Knives Out Review: Take a Trip Down the Donut Hole.

5 stars
“A whodunnit like no one has ever done it” is the phrase that has been used so prominently in marketing Rian Johnson’s latest film.
Coming off the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was… let’s say controversial, Johnson returns with the completely different Knives Out, a film that follows the investigation into the death of millionaire, crime writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer).

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Thrombey’s death drives the story with an interesting take on the murder mystery.

What follows is a constantly intriguing, suspenseful and humorous murder mystery with a star studded cast including Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield and many more.
The standouts of this cast are, without a doubt, Craig, de Armas, and Evans who all turn in fantastic performances.
Craig is brilliant as the wonderfully over the top detective Benoit Blanc, who has been mysteriously hired to investigate the also mysterious death of Thrombey.
Despite this pivotal role, I think the part of main character actually belongs to de Armas’ Marta Cabrera who has the most screen time, takes the most action out of any character, and plays into the themes of the film.

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De Armas and Craig both lead the film with great performances.

Then there is Evans, who plays the spoiled grandson of Thrombey, Hugh Ransom Drysdale, in a welcome deviation from the roles he usually takes.
Along with these three, the other actors of the film do a great job as well; supported by a witty script with plenty of suspenseful and humorous moments.
These two tonnes blend together so well that it feels like Johnson is  taking the murder mystery genre seriously while satirizing it simultaneously, to gleeful results.
There are also so many well placed small details for viewers to notice as well, demanding a second viewing.

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Amazing subtle details, like how flashbacks change depending on who is telling their side of the story, appear throughout the film.

Knives Out certainly lives up to its phrase of “A whodunnit like no one has ever done it,” as it left me hoping for another adventure down the donut hole with Benoit Blanc.

 

Avengers: Endgame, Review. Earns Every Minute of its Three Hour Runtime.

5 stars
When I heard Avengers: Endgame was going to be three hours long I was very concerned.
Not only about how I would sit through the entire thing without a toilet break, but also about how the film could drag due to this runtime.
Well, while watching Endgame I was overjoyed to find that, not only could my bladder hold, but also that the film earns every minute of its three hours.
In all honesty, the movie does not even feel three hours long.
Endgame is so investing that at no point does it drag, despite its long runtime, which is a huge achievement.
Directed by the Russo Brothers, the film picks up after the events of Avengers: Infinity War where Thanos (Josh Brolin) snapped his fingers and wiped out half of all life in the universe.
The Avengers must then unite to find a way to stop Thanos and undo everyone’s deaths.
To say anything more of the plot, would be to spoil so many of Endgame’s amazing twists and turns.

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The story of Avengers: Endgame offers so many explosive moments, especially in its glorious final hour. 

For the most part the trailers only show the first half hour of the film, leaving me completely clueless as what was going to happen next, which made the experience even better.
So many movies spoil their big twists in trailers these days that it was a wonderful change of pace to have absolutely no idea what was coming.
This is made even more wonderful by how brilliant Endgame is with its story, characters, and action sequences.
The story brought out so many emotions in me.
I honestly cried at least five times during this film, both out of joy and sadness.
I think the last time I cried this much when watching a film was Logan, which was my favourite film of 2017.
Well, Endgame is certainly looking primed to take the top spot in 2019 for all its brilliance.
The characters themselves are a part of this brilliance, with many of their arcs being complete perfection.
My favourite characters of the film would have to be Tony Stark’ Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers’ Captain America (Chris Evan), Clint Barton’s Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Natasha Romanoff’s Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and surprisingly Nebula (Karen Gillan).
Tony is by far the standout though, with him providing a lot of the film’s emotional heart.

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Tony Stark is the heart and soul of this film, with Robert Downey Jr. turning in what has to be his best performance as the character.

Then there is the action, which is also stellar.
The final action sequence alone is one of the greatest final hours of any film I have ever seen.
It is absolute brilliance.
Sure, a lot of it is fan service, but it is earned fan service.
Every single part of Endgame is earned, especially that final bombastic hour.
Even the slower moments of the film are great, with so much amazing character development shown as our heroes deal with the aftermath of Thanos’ snap.
Speaking of the big guy, Thanos continues to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best villain.
He is not the main character of the film, like he is in Infinity War, but his presence it still massively felt.

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Josh Brolin is once again incredibly intimidating as the Mad Titan, who is the MCU’s best villain.

Overall, any problems I do have are relatively minor.
At the end of the film there appears to be a retcon to rules established earlier in the film, but this retcon is more than earned so it does not really matter.
Then there is Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who I actually found myself disliking in this film because she is very stuck up and arrogant.
This would not have been a problem if this had been the start of her character arc, with her growing to learn that she needs the Avengers’ help, but she does not change at all.
Still, Captain Marvel is only a minor part of Endgame so my dislike of her here does not change my feelings about the film.
Avengers: Endgame is the true culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being its best film with the way it delivers excitement, intensity and emotion.
It is breaking so many records at the box office right now that it has me wondering if it might beat James Cameron’s Avatar, becoming the highest grossing film of all time.
I hope the film does because it has more than earned it.