โ™ชโ™ช Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening! โ™ชโ™ช

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With both A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody (planned for LunaFlix’s outdoor cinema this weekend at Boughton House) postponed because of the weather forecast, we needed a ‘Plan B’!

That’s the first time that the weather has disrupted this annual event – totally unexpected in AUGUST! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The replacement dates didn’t work for any of us, so, it was all round to ours for a carpet-picnic and to watch A Star is Born courtesy of Sky. With the TV switched to ‘UHD/4K’ and everyone bringing along something yummy to eat and drink – it was the next best thing to actually being there! ๐Ÿ˜

OK, the screen was a bit smaller, but at least it wouldn’t blow away and we’d stay dry!

Between us all – Geoff, Rhonda, Janet, Jo, Carol, Paul, Sue and of course Ann – it was, as you might expect, a “Banquet… and some!”. With two types of Salad, Jacket Potatoes, Spicy Chicken Pieces and a mega-Moussak (helped along with plenty of nibbles) we did it all proud – and that’s before we got to the Dessert!

And one of the benefits of watching the movie at home was at least could pause it, whilst we ourselves paused in preparation for Ann’s Apricot Crumble (with its secret ingredient) and/or some perfect Meringues Nests…

…it was mostly ‘and’! ๐Ÿ˜.

What a feast! It was all super-yummy. I spent so much time eating, I forgot to take any photos! – it all went down a treat and none of us were to return home hungry!

And what of the Movie? Actually, it was very good, and a respectful (slight) re-interpretation of the 1977 version starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson (itself a remake of the original 1937 starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March). It was well acted – and very well sung (especially Bradley Cooper who also learned to play the guitar for the part!)

As the evening progressed, the weather didn’t turn out to be quite so biblical as the forecast suggested. I think we had just as much fun inside enjoying each other’s company – and culinary skills – as we would have done ‘out in the open’.

Happy days! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

Movie of the Year: ‘Avengers: Endgame’

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If Sci-Fi is your preferred film genre, then I reckon this movie is as important as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Star Wars (1977)… Read on…

One of the many promotional Posters

But what makes this latest blockbuster different is the sheer scale and ambition by those responsible for its existence – Marvel Studios (more about all this later).

So, here is my review of Marvel’s latest flick – spoiler-free too! ๐Ÿ‘

But first, some background to put all this ‘scale’ and ‘ambition’ into context. Skip the next few paragraphs, if you’re already up-to-speed.

Ten Years in the Planning!

What began with Iron Man back in 2008, Marvel Studios has now turned-out 21 Movies in the series (21? yes, really!). They’ve all been part of their multi-phase Infinity Saga storyline (see the links below if you need a reminder!) – scroll-on, if you don’t!

Phase 1

Iron Man (2008)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Thor (2011)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)


Phase 2

Iron Man 3 (2013)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Ant-Man (2015)


Phase 3

Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Black Panther (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Captain Marvel (2019)
SpiderMan: Far from Home (2019)


Crikey! It makes the original Star Wars Trilogy feel like a short story!

How’s that for scale and ambition then? ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

And with plenty of fanfare in the media, this is Marvel’s final Movie in the ‘Infinity Saga’ series (did I mention there had been 21 Movies so far?) – and with a running-time of a tad over three-hours, (3 hours and 58 seconds actually) it promises to wrap things up nicely, given the dark and depressing tone of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

Is this one of the longest Movies of recent years/ever? Well, ‘no’ it isn’t actually – not by a long way!!! See Longest Cinematic Films. So, no records broken here!

I’m still looking for box-office estimates on how much Endgame is going to rake-in, but I’ll be amazed if it doesn’t exceed a billion dollars after its full run! ๐Ÿ’ฐ,๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฒ,๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ฐ,๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฒ – and that WILL set a record! Just take a look at other Movies in this saga – this is serious money!

Update: Monday, May 6, 2019Box Office receipts globally exceed TWO billion dollars!

Thanks to Box Office Mojo for the Charts

Talking of takings, Odeon will be the other winner here – with their extra food and drink sales at their (ahem!) ‘very special’ prices. It’s a pity they don’t charge for the loo too, because everyone is going to need a loo-break… or three ๐Ÿฅด to get through this one!

And just because you’re NOT a fan, don’t think it’s safe to return to a sans-spandex-Cinema after tonight! Bad news then, as Marvel has already announced Phase 4, and with it, a series of films featuring the return of some existing super-heroes plus some we’ve yet to meet. Six Movies are already confirmed.


Phase 4

Black Widow
The Eternals
Doctor Strange 2
Black Panther 2
Shang-Chi
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

PS: If you’re a bit fazed by all these err, Phases, you can find them explained here – but beware, it’s a Nerd’s Paradise! Thanks Digital Spy ๐Ÿ˜‰


Do try and stay awake at the back Tompkins! ๐Ÿ˜

As you’d expect, details of this final (and pivotal) Movie have remained a closely-guarded secret. Scripts were under lock-and-key, and some scenes were only communicated by word-of-mouth! They even filmed multiple versions of scenes, in case some leaked out. I guess it’s all part of this 24/7 Internet age that we live in. When the official Trailers started appearing, plenty of folks, looking for their ’15 minutes of fame’, began hypothesising as to how this film will play out – albeit with very little to go on!

December 2018: The first official Trailer arrives and sends the interweb into a spin. And, as predicted, everyone who had the time and the motivation (Oh, and a video camera!) uploads their theory about ‘what it all means’! ๐Ÿค”

1st Official Trailer (7 December 2018)

Not me though! I’d carefully avoided any spoilers and/or fan theories, so I could eventually watch the Film with a genuine wonder as to what was going to happen (you know, like it used to be at Cinemas!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

2nd Official Trailer (April 2019)

April 2019: Even when the second official Trailer appeared online, even more half-baked theories clogged-up the Internet – nothing substantial reported though! And that suited me perfectly! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Final Official Trailer (Mid-April 2019)

Mid-April 2019: By the time this final Trailer appeared later in April, the same old ground was still being re-trod about what the film would be about. The biggest talking-point seemed to be whether the first Avenger – Captain America – would survive? This was prompted by a somewhat ambiguous tweet by Chris Evans, (the Actor who plays him) when Endgame wrapped last year.

Ooops!

Update: 17 April 2019: With just a week to go before general release here, someone apparently leaked the story online with some images – the Directors (The Russo Bothers) pleaded with the fanbase NOT to share the details! And, maybe surprisingly, as a result of their plea, the leak saw virtually no air-time at all. I’m definitely sensing a backlash against those who do all this spoiling!

#DontSpoilTheEndgame

Update: 21 April 2019: No more Trailers, but a handy timeline, courtesy of Marvel, appeared on the BBC News website. It explained the best order to watch all 22 Movies so far, to make sense of how the bigger story unfolds. If you’re wondering about the years shown – that’s the year in which the film is set. And yes, in America, some Cinemas were showing all the Movies in one sitting (that’s 1 day, 23 hours and 48 minutes)! Really?

Yeesh! I’m not that much of a fan! ๐Ÿ˜

Update: 23 April 2019: The World Premiรจre was last night and the invited few were exceptionally positive – and best of all, no-one gave away the plot either! Having said that, based on quite a few comments, it looks like Kleenex are the other winners here! ๐Ÿ˜ช

Sadly, no invitation!

The Odeon, Kettering

28 April 2019: So, finally, here we are, and there’s nothing left to do but sit-back, break open those sweets smuggled-in from Aldi, and enjoy the Movie. Although it was released a few days ago on the 25th April that was OK, because it meant all the super-super (super!) fans – you know, the ones who cos-play at these events, will have been and gone. So, that’s a positive! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

I picked up Jo and Janet and we headed off for what promises (for me, at least) to be the best film of the year. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‰. But first there was the small matter of parking the car. Normally, it’s usually not a problem, but in all the years I’ve been going to the Odeon, I have NEVER seen the car-park so full as it was tonight. In fact, it was so full, some helpful buggers had created their own parking spaces in amongst the official white lines just to make it even more tricky to get around.

As expected then, our screen was a full! And considering we’re only three days in, and it’s showing every half hour, makes me even more confident that it’s going to smash all previous Box Office records.

So, we hung about whilst they bulldozed the debris of refreshments from the previous sitting, and whilst waiting, we learned that a couple of young dudes in front of us were there for their THIRD screening. Kerchinng! Eventually we were let in, and we found our seats. Just as the lights went down, an individual who could only be described as the Hulk’s long-lost brother squeezed into the seat next to me – I’ve never seen a guy that big before – apart from in an Avengers movie!! Oh joy! No chance of me stretching-out then!

Back to the film – and this, to remind you, is spoiler-free, so it’s safe to read onโ€ฆ

  • In spite of a three-hour+ running time, it didn’t feel like it
  • This isn’t a movie for casual Marvel viewers, as there is loads going on most of the time
  • There’s plenty of stuff online abut the best time for a visit to the loo, but I’d say ‘go before you go‘ because there is very little that’s NOT important
  • I expected the movie to invoke a lot of emotions, but wasn’t expecting so much humour
  • Those in lust with Chris Hemsworth will see a part of him that will bring you back to your senses
  • The movie is worth a second viewing (or maybe even three) to take it all in
  • Some characters don’t make it to the end, but maybe not who you think!
  • Someone cashes in that rain-check for a dance
  • The final scenes will make Kleenex very satisfied with recent sales. Even my cinema-neighbour: “Hulk’s Brother” was blubbing!
  • There IS a post-credit scene (of sorts) but it’s easy to miss, and only lasts around 10 seconds – and you need to be eagle-eared rather than eagle-eyed. It either means nothing, something โ€ฆor everything! Does it look forward or back? Only time the internet will tell
  • Oh, and there’s a free poster waiting for you when you leave!

Well, maybe not surprisingly, it turned out to be excellent! The Movie successfully pulled together all the loose strands of the previous flicks and in doing so, took the audience through the complete spectrum of emotions. Considering the sheer number of characters (and costumes!) it was all very enjoyable, although it did require a high level of concentration and ‘joining of the dots’.

For those of you that are interested in the numbers: This Marvel blockbuster has become the fastest film ever to break the $1bn barrier – in just 5 days. Its opening takings easily beat the previous global dรฉbut record of (only!) $640m (set by last year’s Avengers: Infinity War) and was also the UK and Ireland’s biggest opening ever, with takings of ยฃ43.7m.


Worldwide Box Office as at Sunday, 28th April

$1,200,000,000

Phew!