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.

Jumaji: Welcome to the Jungle is an enjoyable comedy… just don’t watch the trailers.

3 and a half stars
Jumaji: Welcome to the Jungle was a film I was looking forward to seeing since I first saw the trailers.
Directed by Jake Kasdan, The film looked funny and inventive and I wanted to see how good it was.
However, because of how busy I have been over the Holidays, I did not go to see it until very recently.
Still, were my expectations meet?
Yes… I just wish I had not watched the trailers.
If you want to watch Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, please, do not watch the trailers because 90% of the jokes from the first half of the movie are in those trailers.
I knew what I was watching was funny but it was certainly much less enjoyable because I knew the jokes were coming.
My viewing experience would have been so much better if I had not watched them.
But, aside from that, the film is pretty enjoyable.
The plot of the film is that, 20 years after the first movie, four teenagers stumble across Jumanji, which has transformed into a video game.
They start playing but are sent into the game into the bodies of the characters they were playing as, Dr Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Shelly Oberon, (Jack Black) Franklin Finbar (Kevin Hart) and Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan).
They must then complete the game if they want to escape Jumanji, without losing all three lives or it is game over.
The film definitely has fun with its concept, with so many inside jokes for video gamers, but it the funniest parts of the movie are the characters themselves.
Watching a teenage nerd inside the body of Dwayne Johnson is very funny.

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Dwayne Johnson is funny as a teenage boy stuck in a heroic adventurer’s body.

Best of all though is Bethany in the body of Jack Black’s Shelly Oberon.
Watching a beautiful, popular girl in an “overweight middle aged man’s” body led to some very funny scenarios.
The ending of the film, for me, was a highlight because of how the characters had grown through the story and the results of that.
It is not all good though because the film does have its problems.
There were some interesting areas of conflict that the film did not really go in depth with when they could have.
Also, up until the characters are transported into Jumanji, the film was not very funny and the jokes fell flat.
Then there is the villain.
He is one dimensional, boring and, since we know he is just a video game character and not a real person, he does not hold much investment.
This could be an inside joke about how one dimensional a lot of video game villains are but if it is, once again, they do not go all the way with this idea.

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Bobby Cannavale as Russel Van Pelt, the villain of the movie.

Honestly, I do not think the film needed a villain.
They could have just had the characters be attacked by random animals and bad guys and it would have played out pretty much the same.
But, even with these problems, the film is still enjoyable.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a fun time that will leave you laughing… if you have not watched the trailers.