Avengers: Endgame

5 out of 5 stars

I’m happy now.

I won’t even try to understand how confused someone who’s been living under a rock for the past eleven years must feel like watching «Avengers: Endgame». But this movie is not for them. This movie was made for fans – it was made for rafemen. It was made for me.

I wasn’t afraid.

I wasn’t worried this time around that the Russo Brothers wouldn’t be able to pull it off. They went all-in with «Avengers: Infinity War» and succeeded spectacularly. With «Avengers: Endgame» they still had everything to loose, but the pressure was off, it seems, and they delivered.

I’m not even mad.

I don’t care that as a movie, «Endgame» isn’t the masterpiece «Infinity War» was. By itself, it’s probably not even that good a film. At times it lacks in elegance and pacing, even some of the green-screen work seems rushed and unfinished.
What this movie is is an all-star potpourri, the ultimate fan-service delivery-device. And probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen on the big screen.
Where «Infinity War» was all about quality and build-up, «Endgame» is about quantity. A nostalgic, almost melancholic stroll down memory lane.
«Endgame» is nothing short of the ultimate payoff for fans like me, made possible only through the hard work, imagination and most important, the heart and soul of thousands of highly talented people, creating a phenomenon never seen before in the history of cinema: A dream come true lasting for more than a decade.

I cried.

For the last ten or so years I’ve been witnessing something that I’d never thought to be possible as young boy in the eighties, way beyond my bedtime, browsing all of six TV-Channels over and over again looking for something fantastic, something special,… something for me. Just to be let down time and again finding out that neither «The Electric Horseman» nor «The Kiss of the Spider-Woman» had anything to do with superheroes or comic books whatsoever…
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become everything that this now grown up boy could ever wish for, and more: It has shown me that it’s ok to be me: A nerd, a geek, a loner communicating first through drawings, then through websites, even a puny blog. In a cynical world I’ve learned to appreciate the ability to enjoy those ridiculous movies, unbelievable characters and fantastic adventures – the suspension of disbelieve truly has become my own personal superpower, giving me the opportunity to find excitement and happiness through escapism in times my depression wouldn’t allow it in any other way.

Without a doubt, there will be more comic book movies to come, even from Marvel Studios. But for me, with «Infinity War» and «Endgame» an era has ended. A most spectacular and emotional cinematic roller coaster ride has come to a stop, giving me closure. And what a truly amazing, satisfying ride it was.

I’m ready now….

It’s time to leave the dark movie theatre and go outside. To meet new friends, say thank you to my family and old pals and let go of even older ideas. To create new things and destroy bad habits. To make peace. To find purpose. To find love.

It’s time…

It’s time for me to take off those 3D glasses and open my eyes for the wonders this world has to offer, to experience whatever marvels this life presents for me to explore, embracing the good, overcoming the bad, growing into the person I am supposed to be.
Not to become a superhero, not even a hero – but a good man.

I am rafeman.

I am Raphael.

  • Characters: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
  • Acting: 🐷🐷🐷🐷
  • Drama, Baby: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
  • Fun: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
  • Humour: 🐷🐷🐷🐷
  • Visuals: 🐷🐷🐷🐷
  • Music and Sound: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
  • Originality: 🐷🐷🐷
  • Entertainment value: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
  • Production value: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
  • Satisfaction: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷

Avengers: Infinity War

4.5 out of 5 stars

Let’s bring the Infinity War week to an end by answering the most important question: Is it any good?

Though the Marvel Studios have managed to release one feature film after the other without screwing up, they have well proven their ability to fail with some of their more underwhelming series on Netflix. So I could nothing but hope that I wouldn’t be disappointed by their climactic showdown that could set an end to all the comic book movies (which of course it won’t).

The chance of failure was not unlikely, given the high bar they kept raising in the last ten years and the sheer scope of the whole undertaking.

Well, we all knew Marvel Studios’ lucky streak would come to an end one day – A sad day.

But that day is not today. Holy fucking moly! What a fantastic ride! Oh yes, it’s good. I mean: g o o d. It’s spectacular! Thank you Marvel Studios to let your first 10 amazing years end on such a high note, giving a now grown up man all the comic book movie his 9-year-old self would never even have dreamed of.

I have often claimed to regret to be too young to have seen the original «Star Wars» when it first was theatrically released. But that’s a low price to pay to be alive and well today and be able to enjoy wonderful things like «Avengers: Infinity War».

Post Scriptum:

Thank You pic.twitter.com/IP3tLSwQmS

Ghost in the Shell

4 out of 5 stars

I knew I was quite excited about this most recent adaptation of «Ghost in the Shell». But until today, I didn’t really know why that was.

When I first watched the anime from 1995 I did it because I was still blown away by «Akira» and just wanted more of this kind of movies. By that time, «Ghost in the Shell» already had gotten the label of a cult classic. But I remember that after seeing it, I was a little bit disappointed (but it’s still one of the very few VHS tapes I didn’t get rid of). I never completely understood the plot and I’ve been wanting to rewatch it again, but never took the time to actually do it, maybe because I just wasn’t too impressed by its visuals – compared to «Akira», that was.

Well, the current adaptation surely doesn’t have that problem: Thanks to its presentation I’d go as far as to state that «Ghost in the Shell» is not only a good remake, but even superior to the original. I even like what they did to the plot that was streamlined (as far as I can tell, because this time around, I understood what was going on).

Even before the anime’s original soundtrack finally echoed over the end credits, the last iconic shots of the Major (Scarlett «will you marry me» Johansson) had almost moved me to tears because visually, this adaptation of «Ghost in the Shell» works great by going back to the «original» imagery and reviving it with current CGI work and beautiful production design, making it shiny, while keeping it very stylish, cool – even cold – staying very close to the original’s look and feel.

Though characters and plot are solid, they’re not too original or spectacular. But I think that has always been the problem with «Ghost in the Shell». The very intriguing premise never really leads anywhere, because it doesn’t leave much left to explore, being too fundamental for its own good. But nonetheless the deep questions about humanity, technology and consciousness are powerful enough to hold the visual spectacle together as a whole.

Sometimes, combined with Scarlett Johansson, who really wears her role like a suit – a very tight suit – that’s enough for me (and I really dig her cyborg-walk).