Film Review: Avengers: Endgame

As all of you probably know, Marvel Studios just released the record-shattering finale to the ‘Avengers’ movie series. It is the only film in history to make over $1 billion in its debut, breaking the record previously held by its prequel, Avengers: Infinity War. Furthermore, it broke the record, which was also previously held by ‘Infinity War,’ for most money made opening weekend in the United States. It managed to score a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an A+ on CinemaScore. Needless to say, this movie was groundbreaking and has definitely scored a place in the cinematic hall of fame.

I don’t even know where to start with this movie, but I can warn you that there will be spoilers in this review. I think I’ll begin with the groundbreaking female empowerment exhibited in the film. It’s been well known that women will play a strong role in the next movement of Marvel’s plotlines after the release of movies like ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Captain Marvel.’ But ‘Endgame’ really went above and beyond in this area- there was a moment during the final battle which I loved. Spider-Man questions Captain Marvel, and all of our favorite female superheroes, such as Shuri, Okoye, Gamora, Nebula, Pepper Potts, The Wasp, Scarlet Witch, and Valykrie, rally behind her. The movie also touches on core female character from the past, such as Frigga and Peggy Carter. Additionally, Marvel gives Natasha Romanov a beautiful heroic send-off, with Clint Barton and Wanda Maximoff paying respects to her sacrifice.

To add to the wonder of the movie, the story-line was perfect. I laughed, I cried, and I laughed and cried at the same time. One of my favorite pieces of the movie was Tony Stark’s new family. He married Pepper and had a beautiful daughter. I have wanted to see Tony flourish as the perfect father he never had for what seems like forever. Even though Tony ends up dying after using the infinity stones to defeat Thanos’ army, I cherished the scenes featuring the Stark family. Additionally, I loved the character development for Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, and Thor. Steve finally opened up and let loose, starting a post-snap therapy group and letting loose a little bad language here and there. Bruce Banner finally came to terms with his other half, introducing Professor Hulk to the MCU and becoming an instant sensation with the Avenger fanbase in New York. Thor’s development, on the other hand, was not exactly positive. The viewer sees him spiral after the immense losses he has suffered- the deaths of his brother, mother, father, and half his people. He has become a drunkard, pot-bellied and lazy. The viewer finally sees the hidden side of Thor, the one he always covers up with his relentless positive attitude.

Overall, I thought this movie was perfect and served its purpose (to transition from Phase 3 to Phase 4) excellently. I would really recommend seeing this movie to Marvel fans, since you do need some background to understand what is happening. However, if you have not seen the movies, I would suggest that you do, just so that you can understand this one. This movie was absolutely amazing, it satisfied me and made me feel all sorts of wonderful feelings.

-Arushi S.

Film Review: Thor Ragnarok

The movie Thor Ragnarok left a hilarious taste on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I have always found the Thor movies of the Marvel universe to be very boring. This movie really put the Thor movies back on the map. In the last two movies, Thor has always been a more serious character. Instead of keeping the serious state going, Marvel turned him into a funny character.

One person who stole Thor’s spotlight was the rock man Korg, a warrior held captive in The Grand Master’s arena. Many critics and fans thought this rock alien stole the spotlight from Chris Hemsworth. Even though Korg stole the show, Thor was still a star. Every line that he spoke was hilarious.

Then there was Bruce Banner, or the Hulk if you want to call him by that. He was also a funny addition to the team. It was a great idea to have the Hulk associated in the movie. The main idea of adding the Hulk to the movie was that he wasn’t going to have a stand alone movie of his own. Marvel decided to have Hulk in Thor’s movie so there wouldn’t be any problems with Universal. In my opinion, making Hulk into a Thor Movie was a great idea. Thor and Hulk have always been close together. Putting them into a movie showed how their bond progresses from movie to movie.

The last of the “Revengers” in Thor Ragnarok is Valkyrie. She was a great addition to the movie because, in the Thor comics she was a very big character. She was involved in so much in Thor’s life she could be his sister.

But of course how could we forget Loki. He was another funny character in this movie. Tom Hiddleson has always been a standout attribute to the Marvel Universe. Whether is was being a villain or being a complete good guy until he betrayed Thor. Loki and Thor’s relationship was strong and funny in this movie. Besides Korg stealing the spotlight, Loki and Thor where an amazing duo whether it was telling a joke or fighting along side each other.

My honest opinion of Thor Ragnarok was that it was hilarious but, it could use some more advanced feelings. Thor Ragnarok was a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and i hope you go see it.

-Max U.

Magnus Chase: The Hammer Of Thor by Rick Riordan

magnuschasehammerthor_rickriordanRick Riordan has done it again: with the second installment of his retelling of Norse mythology, he brings out the laughs and slightly more mature elements that add the modern world to the books. All in all, these elements add to a tale that is fun to enjoy and interesting to read once again.

First, the laughs. We see Thor again, with more arrogance and goats. We get more sass from Jack, and Sam hilariously trying to find her way through her to be marriage and her Valkyrie job. There are many new characters and Riordan rewrites old legends in his way, including one where Thor had to wear a dress.

Finally, for the mature elements, we have to remember that usually, these books are meant for 8-12 year olds. However, with his more recent books, Riordan has tapped into the LGBTQ community, like when he revealed in Percy Jackson: Heroes of Olympus series that Nico was gay and the introduction of a (literal) gender-fluid kid named Alex. While this stuff may be mature for some people of this age group, I am quite happy that the author is bringing them up front, especially as loved main characters, and not putting them on the back burner like most YA authors of this time would.

All in all, it was a worthwhile sequel for this series, and even a wonderful book for those new to the Riordan fandom, even if not many have heard of the legends of Norse mythology.

-Megan V., 11th grade

Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download from Overdrive and Hoopla