Atlanta

May 11, 2018

DJ Rambles About Avengers: Infinity War, A Quiet Place, Atlanta Season 2, & Apple Hard Drives

I haven’t written a review for a while.  This is mainly because I wanted to focus my attention on The Simplistic Reviews Podcast and guesting on some of our friends’ shows to promote The Simplistic Reviews Podcast. (Have you heard it? Justin Polizzi…Matthew Stewart…moi? It’s pretty dope.) Anyhow, a fateful occurrence involving a spontaneously combusting Apple hard drive suddenly hampered my ability to broadcast my random ravings. (Damn you, Steve Jobs.) However, thanks to the grace of God, Buddha, Vishnu, and two Tennesseans that I consider my family, I got back a computer and thusly my outlet for expositing my inner most thoughts on film and television. (Blame them.  It’s their fault for this.) So, I saw this as an opportunity to get back to writing stuff for our lovely site again.  So…um…what have I missed?

Avengers: Infinity War – BALLSY  I was an avid comic book collector from the early ’90s until around 2007.  And out of all those comics I bought and read, Infinity Gauntlet was the event book that stuck with me.  It was my introduction to many characters, including Thanos.  It was also the first time I had seen many of the heroes I grew up reading actually killed in comic book form.  Suddenly…brutally…unapologetically.


So when Thanos popped his head out at the end of the first Avengers film, I knew what was coming and I thought I was prepared for it.  I wasn’t.  The altering of Thanos’ motivations from book to screen (From wanting to impress a girl to wanting to balance the universe because of the destruction of his planet.) not only strengthens the character but ramps up the drama of his destruction.  Each death changed from just pure shock value, which it was in the comic book, to a heartbreaking and moving loss. 

And yes cynical MCU disparager, I am fully aware Kevin Feige, the Russo Brothers, and whoever else can resurrect the fallen at will.  That doesn’t make the performances of the actors perishing or the performances of the actors reacting to their friends perishing less moving or well done.  When Indiana Jones seemingly falls off a cliff while riding a tank in The Last Crusade, I knew Indy would somehow survive.  However, Sean Connery’s quivering shock while delivering the line “I never told him anything” and his gasping relief while telling his newly resurrected son “I thought I lost you, boy” still reaches in and pulls at your heartstrings despite having the knowledge Indy would likely be fine.  

The ability to bring characters back from death isn’t something invented by the MCU, Marvel Comics, or comic books in general.  It is a tool often used by creators in the medium of fiction.  Just ask Jon Snow…or Spock…or Gandalf…or Sherlock Holmes…or Robocop…or Jesus H. F%*king Christ.  So stow all that, “Who cares?  They’re all coming back anyway” myopic thinking and try to appreciate the journey.  

Apart from all things snap related, Infinity War is a blast.  This is a cinematic universe that knows their secret weapon is the interactions of their characters.  And that secret weapon is on full display here.  Is it my favorite MCU film?  No. (*COUGH!* Civil War *COUGH!*) But it is easily a top five for me.

  • SIDE NOTE: Thank You Taika Waititi for what you did with the character of Thor in Thor: Ragnarok.  It’s like Waititi rebuilt the engine of a car and the Russos took that car for a joy ride on the autobahn.  Waititi deserves so much credit for making the previously ‘meh’ Thor one of the MCU’s most entertaining characters. 
Atlanta Season 2 – CONFOUNDING – My Donald Glover love stretches back farther than most.  I was a fan of his comedy troop, Derrick Comedy.  I watched their oddly funny film Mystery Team and came away hoping Glover would get the chance to do more projects.  Because of his comedy roots, I found myself searching to find the punchline when Glover started his rap career.  I quickly began to realize that Childish Gambino was a legit avenue for another facet of his talents.  When he left Community to make a Twin Peaks-esque “comedy” on FX, I was skeptical.  But after watching the first season of Atlanta, I was convinced that Glover was something special.  My expectations were high for Season 2, which is probably why “Robbing Season” left me a bit underwhelmed.  The biggest standout of the season is easily the unofficial Get Out sequel episode featuring the titular Teddy Perkins.  Glover’s star is shining bright with Lando, an SNL appearance, and “This Is America” grabbing headlines.  I just hope the next season of Atlanta brushes off the sophomore slump it seems to be on and gets back to knocking my socks off.
  • SIDE NOTE: Lakeith Stanfield is astoundingly good.  I’m as interested in his future as I was with Glover’s.
A Quiet Place – ELEGANT  Michael Bay took something I held dear and made it into nothing less than a joke. (Nope…never letting it go.) However, Bay’s Platinum Dunes studio gave me something this year that is a step towards an apology.  I was rooting for A Quiet Place because I really like John Krasinski and am creepily infatuated with Emily Blunt. (Sorry John.  You’re married to her.  You should understand my infatuation.) Thankfully, I might have never heard of either one of them and still be impressed by the quality of the filmmaking in A Quiet Place and its clever simplicity.  People have tried to tear it down as of late with petty nitpicks.  My retort is…and I say this with all due respect…Shhhh!
  • SIDE NOTE: I’ve been hearing the rumblings of a John Krasinski/Emily Blunt respective casting for Reed Richards and Sue Storm in the MCU’s relaunch of the Fantastic Four…and I honestly can’t say I don’t love that suggestion.
Those are just a few things I’ve seen that I missed the opportunity to ramble about.  I could get into the stupidity of Rampage or the sloppy storytelling of Altered Carbon or the chilling feeling that ran up my spine throughout You Were Never Really Here, but I’m gonna try to pace myself.  As one of my favorite Avengers once said…

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