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Avengers: Endgame End of an Era for MCU- SPOILERS AHEAD

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It’s a bittersweet feeling gearing up to see this film. On one hand it’s the conclusion to an 11 year journey that the world has taken together. SPOILERS AHEAD!

On the other it’s like saying goodbye to friends you’ve come to expect are coming over for the holidays every year. You know you’ll see them again but, when and where is anyone’s guess. Endgame is the three hour home stretch to the finish line for the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) faithful.

So, this film starts five years after big, purple, and genocidal snapped his fingers and erased half of the universes population. People are in mourning, missing posters are everywhere, and monuments to the fallen are erected. It’s a sad, devastated world we are dropped into. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are in disarray and looking for answers. Some wallow in failure and others defiantly push forward with hope, however slim that may be. All seems lost until a man returns from a universe unaffected by Thanos and his actions.

The acting was nothing to write home about but, that’s because the cast has been in these shoes for so long it’s hard to see any flaws in their portrayal as these are the way we know and love these characters. They did allow Chris Hemsworth to be a bit more comedic more akin to how he was in Thor:Ragnarok.

The Hulk also had a big change in the way Mark Ruffalo brought him to the screen this time out. Brolin as Thanos was as engaging as he was in Infinity War but, he went a bit harder this time around on the menace he brought to the film as the characters and world around him reacted differently.

The effects were of course top tier as they are in most of the MCU’s litany of material. The fight scenes were fantastically choreographed and executed. I found no slump in how attention grabbing these portions of the film were. The Russo Brothers were masterful in their direction of this film, as an ensemble cast this large can be difficult for the most seasoned of directors to ably handle.

This movie had everything the MCU faithful could possibly want. It had action on a grand scale, multiverse hopping, magic and might, and loose ends tied up nicely. It was the expertly executed ending to the first and hopefully not last, live action comic crossover storyline that spanned 11 years and kept comic fans hanging on to any news of the follow up to the last piece of the tale of Thanos verses Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

These films allowed a new generation of those that love comics already to connect with those who previously had no interest. This was the ultimate reward for those of us that stick it out and watched the cornucopia of movies through the years from 2008 until now and I have to say it was well worth the journey (and the eye sweats…it was warm in there and somebody kept cutting onions in the theater, it was ridiculous). Avengers:Endgame ended up with a 5 out of 5 from this viewer.

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2

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A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  

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If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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