Non Poker Non Spoiler Avengers EndGame Review and Game of Thrones thoughts...

Wow.  When's the last time you walked out of a movie and thought simply...  Wow.

Did you also feel completely satisfied? You laughed, you might have stifled a cry or two, and also felt blown away.  Avengers End Game did that for me.  2019 was always going to be a big year as Endgame and Game of Thrones were going to wrap up two, first of their kind, long form visual sagas, and Avengers ended first and wow.

So... if you watch Game of Thrones (but not the Marvel movies) and have for the duration you'll feel the last two episodes packed in a ton of beats for the true fans. Beats (moments of impact) where your commitment to that epic show got a pay off.  Not much happened but at the same time a ton of interactions that needed to happen in gathering the All-Stars team to Winterfell played out.  BUT... if you are somehow new to show... it did little for you.  Long term fans can criticize the writing as some have, fine, but before we go down the roller coaster we have to go up it.  We are at the peak and I anticipate the ride will take off tonight.  That said after two years off and on the heels of seven seasons we needed to do that.  Besides executing the assembling of the giant cast was always going to be difficult almost impossible right?

Well, now that I've seen the Avengers Endgame and that somehow in three hours they wrapped up 11 years and 20+ (?) movies at once with three acts that were essentially three movies in one--nothing is impossible.  It had everything the first two episodes of Game of Thrones tried to pack in as well as multiple incredible plots, call backs, and whoa... cool moments in three short hours.  If I am as close to this satisfied when Game of Thrones is completed there never will be a greater year for long form visual sagas ever... it can't be done.  In fact, the Avengers is so satisfying I'm afraid however Game of Thrones ends it'll be judged as lacking by comparison and even if Game of Thrones butchers the ending the Avengers is so good 2019 will resonate for a long time for me.

That said, if you haven't been invested in this saga (as now they are calling it and well they should)  but watch the movie multiple times you'll be sitting there thinking the thoughts of one facebook commenter, "I at times had no idea what was going on."  I'm not saying go watch 20+ movies because it'll make this one of the most satisfying movies ever (and it is) but if you have done that... this is the payoff of all payoffs.

It exceeded my high expectations by some measure.  The volume of the casting alone, even a cameo from a corner of a universe long thought ignored, incredible.  The payoffs, the sacrifices, the capping of the arcs, the callbacks, the geek moments, unbelievable.  If you thought I was gushing before...

The whole point of this post is to write something I haven't seen mentioned yet but should be said.

This film is Oscar worthy.  Some of the performances, Chris Evans in particular, are Oscar worthy.  What the Russos managed to do has never been done before, and will never be done again, and they did it seamlessly.  The scale of it is mind-blowing.  This is one of the better movies of any genre I've ever seen.  I don't know how any movie that will come out this year can surpass their achievement... it just can't be done.

That said it probably won't win an Oscar and maybe won't even get nominated because to appreciate this movie you have to have the built in history of the previous movies.  To understand what they did you have to watch a Superhero movie (or 20) and the Academy isn't doing that.   Just as if you jumped in to Game of Thrones this year you'd be like, "... meh" after two episodes.  The Academy would also have to acknowledge there is genuine craft even in a superhero movie. Even the ones that will give it a chance will feel like they are reading the last three chapters of a book and not get any of the nuance of the performances, the script, and the movie. Oddly, even if you didn't like the other movies I think just having watched them you'd like this one. On top of that it was a bit of awesome fan service at every turn.  What a balancing act they pulled off...

The Avengers challenge in my opinion was harder than Game of Thrones.  For the producers and the writers of Thrones were able to make fantasy palatable en masse by front loading it with violence, adult themes, sex, and grittiness... and then covertly got regular non geek people to care about Dragons, zombies, fiery swords etc.  Somehow the Avengers stayed true to core comic book themes and characters without enticement to the broader audience by dialing up the adult and then just crushed it with this film.  Every record this movie sets it deserves.  Pulling off the Captain America character arc as the ultimate boy scout and not being incredibly corny on it's own is an achievement.*  Doing similar with an entire universe of kids characters is monumental.

Seriously... somehow they pulled off making one of the best movies of all time under the weight of all that continuity.  Not only did they embrace that continuity (from the films AND the comic books) they somehow enhanced it.  Imagine if the latest Friday the 13th was the greatest (and maybe the first or second genuinely good film in the series) but also somehow made all the other movies better.  Imagine if George Lucas came back to Star Wars and tied everything in a bow AND made the best Star Wars film yet AND made the worst movie in the franchise (Episode one/Thor Dark World) somehow more interesting?  Imagine doing so AND appeasing all but the worst geeks and super fans in the process.

The bar has now been set impossibly high, and the cinematic achievement of this movie we'll never see again.  I mean that's a wrap.  In 20 or 30 years when they recast the Avengers and try to print money again... good luck.  At this point it'll be like remaking Gone with the Wind or the original Wizard of Oz.  In a way, Marvel is it's own worst enemy.  The reboots and the recastings will pale and fail in comparison.  This is a mic drop movie.

...but man am I being greedy in hoping Game of Thrones can execute half as good as this movie to close out the season?

*Part of the reason Evans is deserving of recognition.  See any other iteration of Captain America on screen and you'll begin to understand what he pulled off.


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