Tag Archives: linda cardellini

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019) – My rating: 7.8/10

Avengers: Endgame is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team,The Avengers. The film is produced by Marvell Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Avengers: Endgame is the sequel to 2012’s “The Avengers”, 2015’s” Avengers: Age of Ultron” and 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” , it is also the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Avengers: Endgame is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Endgame picks up with the surviving members of the Avengers team, along with their allies working to reverse the damage caused by Thanos during the Infinity War. I for one, anticipated Endgame with bated breath. While I thought this was a decent sequel, I was somewhat disappointed.

Thanos (Josh Brolin) used the Infinity Stones to disintegrate half of all life across the universe, leaving us devastated by the deaths of our beloved super heroes. The world has waited in anticipation for the reversal of Thanos’ actions. Avengers: Endgame, part two of Avengers: Infinity, begins three weeks after the completion of Thanos’ dastardly deed, with Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) returning to Earth from deep space, carrying a spaceship containing Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) inside. Now the remaining Avengers, which include; Bruce Banner / The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Rocket (Bradley Cooper’s voice), Thor (Christopher Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine (Don Cheadle), must find a way to go back in time to fix what Thanos has done. Using Nebula’s knowledge, they find an injured Thanos on an unguarded planet. Their plan is to retake the Stones and reverse his actions but find he has already destroyed them to prevent further use. An enraged Thor beheads Thanos, who is now an ordinary person without the powers of the stones.

**** SPOILERS ****

Five years later, Scott Lang / Ant Man (Paul Rudd) escapes the quantum realm and meets Natsha Romanoff / Black Widow and Steve Rogers / Captain America at the Avengers’ compound. Scott explains that he experienced only five hours while trapped, which to him theorizes that the quantum realm allows time travel. The three heroes travel to ask Stark, because of his genius, to help them retrieve the Stones from the past so they can reverse Thanos’ actions in the present. Stark not believing this could be done refuses, mostly out of fear he’d lose his daughter, Morgan (Lexi Rabe). After having a short chat with his wife, Virginia “Pepper” Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark relents says good-bye to his family, then leaves to work with Banner, who has merged his consciousness with the Hulk’s body, hoping to stabilize travel in the quantum realm. Banner and Rocket go to the Asgardian refugees’ new home in Norway, to recruit a beer drinking, drunken, overweight Thor and Romanoff heads to Tokyo to recruit Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who has turned into a ruthless vigilante following the disintegration of his family.

I think this is a good place to stop. It is difficult to critique this film because the entire story is a mystery for you to solve or not, so you don’t want to know how it ends or if they accomplish the mission. I was a little disappointed in this sequel. First, I felt Tony Shark deserved much more. I can’t elaborate on this since it would spoil the movie for you. Suffice to say, Iron Man should have a movie all to himself, which would give him the opportunity to explain his actions, past, present and future. I also feel Black Widow should be in that Iron Man movie to boost their fan’s moral, concerning what happened in the Endgame. I must inform you that this three hour and one minute movie is action packed with special effects beyond your greatest expectations. There were so many super heroes, from the present as well as the past, that you will find it hard to keep up. The beginning of Endgame tested our faith in the writers to pull off a Thanos’ reversal, as hopelessness was the only feelings we could muster up. After a long battle of defeats for the Avengers and company, we finally got some hope but it didn’t last long. I personally thought the Endgame could have been better written, as there were too many disappointments. Also, the quantum theory story was a bit hard to swallow. Terms like “your past is now your present” really took a lot of intellect to fully understand. BTW, that quantum statement is longer with deeper meaning; I just can’t spoil this for you by saying anymore. You have to see Avengers: Endgame for yourself. It is definitely worth seeing. The film received positive reviews for its direction, acting, entertainment value, musical score, visual effects and emotional weight, with critics lauding its culmination of the 22-film story. With an estimated budget of $356 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made. It also broke numerous box office records and has grossed over $1.7 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2019, as well as the fifth highest-grossing film of all time. Check It Out!

 

GREEN BOOK (2018) – My rating: 8.7/10

Green Book is an American comedy-drama, based on a true story about a tour of the Deep South in the 1960s involving a classical/jazz pianist and a bouncer who served as a driver and bodyguard. Green Book is directed by Peter Farrelly, the screenplay was also written by Farrelly along with Brian Hayes Currie and Nick Vallelonga, which is based on interviews with the pianist, the bodyguard and letters written to the bodyguard’s wife. The film is named after The Negro Motorist Green Book, informally called the Green Book, a mid-20th century guidebook for African-American travelers, written by Victor Hugo Green to help Blacks find safe havens, i.e., motels and restaurants, throughout the segregated South that would accept them. This is a worthwhile movie!

Green Book revolves around African-American classical and jazz pianist, Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and Italian-American bouncer Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), who served as Shirley’s driver and bodyguard.  In 1960, New York City, bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga is searching for new but temporary employment after the nightclub where he works has been closed for renovations. Eventually Tony gets an interview as a driver for someone called “Doc”. Their first encounter does not go well, as Tony’s flippant, uncultured behavior clashes with Doc’s sophisticated, reserved demeanor. The concert tour is for eight-weeks through the Deep South with plans to return home on Christmas Eve. Tony is hired after a second encounter and referrals from friends. A car along with a copy of the Green Book is given to Tony by Doc’s record studio.

They begin the tour in the Midwest before eventually heading further south. Tony and Doc clash over their differences, as Tony feels uncomfortable being asked to act properly, while Doc is disgusted by Tony’s habits. Regardless, Tony finds himself impressed with Doc’s talent on the piano, and increasingly disgusted by the discriminatory treatment Doc receives by the hosts when he is not on stage. After a bar incident leads to a group of white men threatening Doc’s life, Tony rescues him by threatening to pull a gun on them. He instructs Doc not to go out without him for the rest of the tour. Throughout the journey, Tony writes letters to his wife, Dolores Vallelonga (Linda Cardellini) and kids. Don coaches him to write more beautiful prose, which deeply moves Tony’s wife. Tony encourages Doc to get in touch with his own estranged brother, but Doc is hesitant; Doc says that he has become isolated by his professional life and achievements.

Green Book is a sensitive, touching story that is tactfully told.  I can’t say enough about how brilliant the acting is and how well the film was directed.  The 60’s was an extremely hard time for Blacks given their suppressed value and lack of respect offered by their white counterparts.  I was reminded of a taunted past and the elimination of many Blacks and Whites who fought the good fight.  This simple relationship between 2 men on opposite sides of the race divide, brought together by unprecedented circumstances  is truly a story EVERYONE should see.  I laughed, cried, stood up and clapped and sulked in my heart at every turn of this touching film.  There are many lessons to be learned from Green Book as the film tries to tell it all.  There are some incidents that will take you church and some that will take you to jail.  See Green Book by any means — it’s truly a winner in my book.  Check it out!

[Green Book is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing]

 

A SIMPLE FAVOR (2018) – My rating 8.5/10

A Simple Favor is a mystery thriller film,  directed by Paul Feig from a screenplay by Jessica Sharzer and based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Darcey Bell.  The film follows a small town vlogger who tries to solve the disappearance of her mysterious and rich best friend.  A very twisted plot that is a pleasant change from the all the aliens and super heroes we’ve been bombarded with lately.

Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is a widowed single mother who runs a mom vlog featuring crafts and recipes. During one of her sessions, she discusses an investigation, along with her feelings surrounding the disappearance of her best friend, Emily Nelson (Blake Lively). In a flashback, Emily is a busy working mother, as a PR director for a fashion company.  Emily’s son, Nicky Townsend-Nelson (Ian Ho) attends the same elementary school as Stephanie’s son, Miles Smothers (Joshua Satine).  As a result of their new, fast growing friendship, which includes having play dates for the boys, and martinis for themselves the two women became inseparable.

They traded confidential and personal information about each other, at Emily’s request.  Emily learned of a secret Stephanie held about her half brother, Chris (Dustin Milligan), which she would playfully tease Stephanie about. Emily reveals a secret about  her husband, Sean Townsend (Henry Golding), an English professor who is also pursuing a writing career that has lead to their financial detriment. One day, Emily has a work crisis and asks Stephanie to babysit Nicky after school, which she happily obliges because Sean is in London.

This is the most I can reveal about A Simple Favor because the plot is so twisted I don’t want to give anything away.  This movie is intense and exciting.  The characters are intriguing yet shallow.  The relationships between the two women was started fast and never got beyond 2 weeks.  Sometimes we find ourselves drawn into a new relationship that is going so fast, we can’t seem to control it.  We even find ourselves saying and doing things we don’t ordinarily do in order to satisfy the friendship.  At some point we make a decision as to weather the relationship is a good one or a bad one, then we either get out of it or stay in.  In the cast of Emily and Stephanie, we see that something is really stinking in Denmark.  I liked the movie but found it somewhat unbelievable.  However, you will be fully entertained as well as surprised at the final outcome.  I recommend A Simple Favor to all — Check it out!