All posts by Howard Tayler

Avengers: Infinity War

I enjoyed Avengers: Infinity War, but not unreservedly. It has brilliant, beautiful moments, and it does some daring and wonderful things with character and story, but there are reasons why audiences are not exuberantly cheering on their way out of the theater.

I want to make a recommendation, but I can’t do so without brushing right up against the threshold of spoilers and pointing at some interesting footprints on the other side of that line. Here’s the line.


And here’s my recommendation: If you’re an adult with kids who love the Marvel movies, you should see Infinity War without them before deciding to see it with them. This film is about 75% what you expect from an Avengers film, but that other 25% is definitely not what you expect. It might be more convenient for you, as a parent, to have already processed those bits before you have to process them with small people.

Avengers: Infinity War marks the point where the Marvel Cinematic Universe fully and finally commits to being a collection of blockbuster films that are also serial installments, with everything that the word “serial” implies. It does not cross my Threshold of Awesome yet. I hold out hope that it will do so in 2019…

 

 

Rampage

Rampage was everything I wanted from a cinematic adaptation of one of my favorite video games. The writers did a fine job of splitting the difference between making the monsters our protagonists, and giving us human protagonists we can relate to.

It’s worth seeing on the big screen, because big. I experienced actual glee during some of the rampaging monster scenes because it was just so pretty.

Rampage clears my Threshold of Awesome, and is going to end up in the Blu-Ray collection. Also, I think THIS version of the film’s promotional poster is superior to the one used in the United States.

T-Shirt Kickstarter Ends Tuesday!

We’re in the final days of the Schlock Mercenary t-shirt project. As of this writing we’re 5% shy of being 300% funded, but more importantly we’re only fifty shirt sales away from a free shirt.

It’s a volume discount thing, and it will let us include a fourth shirt for free in the three-shirt bundle. It’s not “the manufacturer likes us, so they sent Howard a free shirt.” That would only be cool for Howard. This stretch goal is cool for everybody¹.


¹ “Everybody” here being defined as “everybody who orders the three-shirt bundle, and who thinks getting a fourth shirt would be cool.”

Ready Player One

Ready Player One was a visual extravaganza with a story that gave it convenient excuses to feature pop-culture icons from the past thirty years. I enjoyed it a lot, but the most innovative part about the film was that zipper thing on an expandable suitcase which allowed the producers to say “oh, wow, we can put EVERYTHING in here! And it all fits!”

It didn’t ruin my childhood, but it did aggressively strip-mine several shallow deposits of nostalgia. It comes in at number 3 for me this year, just below my Threshold of Awesome.