Presenting my ‘Must See’ List for 2019

A whole lot of trailers dropped this week, but for my part, I only really cared about two.

First, obviously, is Avengers: Endgame

Yeah, this looks pretty fantastic. They’re not showing much yet; this trailer is mostly about letting the audience know that yes, the Avengers are going to keep fighting. Love the logo reassembling at the end. I’d also like to point out that the opening scene of the trailer to this movie, with Tony Stark recording a message for Pepper, is more honestly human than most films these days are in their entirety. Also, the fact that the big moment in the trailer involves Ant-Man just warms my heart. I really hope he gets to play a crucial role in this film.

As I was saying at a friend’s blog, the thing I most want from this movie is for Thanos to receive a ‘Nightmare-on-Elm-Street’-style comeuppance, where he gets to see his mad vision being undone and know that all his sacrifices and all his crimes were for nothing. If they get that right, I’ll allow almost anything else.

The other is the second Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer.

Wow!

Lots more kaiju action, and it’s clear they’re still holding back most of it. We get clear views of all four monsters this time around, and a lot of King Ghidorah. I said last time that he was the one I was most hoping they’d get right, and from this it looks like they’re absolutely nailing it. I want a Ghidorah who can pound Godzilla into the dirt, and whom the three greatest monsters on Earth – Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan – will be hard pressed to bring down, and that’s pretty much what we seem to be getting. The two scenes of Godzilla and Ghidorah facing off are practically a dream come true (though I might wish they had been done in daylight).

Meanwhile, we get a full-view of Mothra this time. She’s definitely been given quite the makeover and resembles her ‘Mothra Leo’ form. I probably would have gone for more traditional designs, but that’s just me; they’re clearly keeping the important points. I like that they’re definitely playing her up as a heroic figure, which is proper.

Similarly, Rodan seems to be exactly in character as well; not strictly evil, but terrifyingly destructive and even more indifferent to mankind than Godzilla. We’re supposed to have a fight between Rodan and Godzilla at one point, but I’m also kind of hoping for one between Mothra and Rodan, since that’s something we’ve never seen before (Rodan and Mothra’s imago form have only shared one film – Final Wars – and they never interacted). Plus, if you have two flying kaiju, it only seems to make sense to make them fight.

I do have to wonder what’s with the scene of something bursting out of the ground. I presume it’s Godzilla, but why is he underground? I suppose we’ll find out (unless they just wanted to go above and beyond the call of duty by giving Anguirus or Baragon a cameo).

So, yeah, I think this looks fantastic. Again, there’s real respect being shown for these characters and this franchise, and in today’s world that’s something to be thankful for.

By the way, look closely at the clouds in the early scene of the devastated Washington.

(And I just found out; apparently, this film will feature Akira Ifukube’s immortal ‘Godzilla March’. Nothing else needs to be said.)

So, basically these two films are at the undisputed summit of my list of things to see next year.

 

9 thoughts on “Presenting my ‘Must See’ List for 2019

  1. Thanks for the link, David! I’m getting the distinct impression that Scott Lang is one your favorite Avengers. (He’s a worthy choice.) Do you think Cassie got dusted along with everyone else, or that she’s the only one Scott has left?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually never thought of it that way, but yeah, I suppose he is.

      As for Cassie, there are strong possibilities either way; if she got dusted, that parallels Thanos and Gamora and gives him an extra-strong reason to fight. If she hasn’t, then that highlights how much the ordinary people of the world are suffering because of this. On the whole, I think it would be better if she wasn’t dusted, just because he’s already got plenty of motivation with his girlfriend, mentor, etc. being gone and I think it would be important for them to emphasize what this means for the people they’re fighting for.

      By the way, is it really being called ‘the decimation’? Because that offends my pedantic sensibilities, since a decimation is the destruction of one tenth of something. Should be the ‘duocimation’ or something.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thought so! 😊

        I agree; I think it would be better if Cassie was still alive, too. Given the fact that Scott seems relatively composed when asking to be buzzed in, odds are good his daughter wasn’t dusted. Despite their different careers, I think Scott might look a little more like Hawkeye if Cassie had vanished.

        Yes, unfortunately, in-universe the Snapture is known as the Decimation. It is a terrible name; granted, only the Avengers know Thanos’ finger snap caused the horrendous loss of life and that he wanted to destroy half of all living things in the universe. Still, there HAD to be a better name for it than Decimation. Was ‘devastation’ taken or something?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was also thinking Scott seemed pretty calm for someone whose daughter is gone, so I’m guessing she’s still there.

        What about ‘the Culling’? That has some ominous phonetics, connotations of both predation and surgery, and also sounds similar to ‘calling’, implying how the dead were removed for a supposedly ‘higher purpose.’

        Of course, ‘Snappening’ and ‘Snapture’ are both superior names.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Culling’ is a good one. ‘Snappening’ and ‘Snapture’ are great, but they don’t really work in-universe due the general population’s lack of knowledge about Thanos. All they know is that in one day, the world essentially ended. Infrastructure around the globe went with it, leaving everyone cut off from each other, which means the Avengers probably haven’t been able to send out bulletins explaining what happened to everyone.

    That means the people in the film would use a term to express what they know, not what we know. Though even in-universe, it should quickly become clear that more than a tenth of the world population was wiped out…. (Wow, this is becoming a bigger thought exercise the further in we go!! 😃)

    *Shivers* The devastating consequences of Thanos’ snap are going to make this film truly frightening. Endgame will give audiences a good look at what things would be like if half or three quarters of Earth’s population was killed, illustrating what the world would be like if all those talking heads claiming we need to eliminate the majority of the human race to save the planet actually got their way. There won’t be a Garden of Eden if they find a method to kill that many people; there will only be war, starvation, and death.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Typical: world ends and language immediately starts to decay.

      The point about the infrastructure is interesting, and as you say, frightening. Not only in terms of the collapse of order either; as shown by the after-credits scene, there’s going to be a lot of collateral damage as people driving cars, planes, and so on are taken, not to mention people running power plants, hospitals and the like. Plus those guarding dangerous chemicals and weapons and the like, leaving them open for the taking, not to mention prisons (I wonder if that might have repercussions involving past villains). So, basically we’re talking a realistic version of that stupid ‘Day the Earth Stood Still’ remake.

      I’m wondering if the scene in the trailer with Hawkeye was him dealing with the results of societal breakdown. This also means the Avengers will have to do more than just restore the people Thanos destroyed; they really will have to resort to time travel. Otherwise it will still result in a pretty decent chunk of the population being wiped out, not to mention the world-wide chaos.

      Of course, if someone’s going to suggest removing a huge chunk of the population (not counting themselves, of course) as a viable solution to environmental destruction, I don’t imagine they’d be particularly concerned with how many more people will die in the aftermath. Probably think it’s good for the planet (at least until people start plundering the wilds for every scrap of food and fuel and filling the sky with smoke from their fires). That is one of the things I love about these films: that Thanos is basically the embodiment of just how evil the idea of ‘over-population’ truly is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Indeed. Language is always one of the first victims of an apocalypse, whether it is a civilizational, planetary, or universal one.

    You hit the terrifying part of Endgame directly on the head. The post-credits scenes from Infinity War and Ant-Man & the Wasp were, in essence, previews. In Endgame anarchy will be the norm. The Avengers are still reeling from their losses and licking their wounds; the governments of the world have been severely weakened, and the local hierarchies are halved at least. (I do hope Thunderbolt Ross was dusted, after all the trouble he caused the heroes in Civil War.) Resources will quickly become scarce for the average people while criminal organizations and perhaps governments begin hoarding the bigger caches of supplies and weapons. This also may be part of the reason why Tony and Nebula are in such dire straits at the start of the trailer; the fuel depots have probably been seized and bands of pirates are scavenging space for easy marks, like a Ravager ship piloted by two worn out fighters.

    Apparently, Hawkeye’s opponents have been identified as Yakuza, though how he got to Japan is a mystery. (Maybe he is actually in San Francisco?..) In the wake of such a catastrophe it makes sense that mobs of every kind would move in to fill the power vacuum. They wouldn’t be particularly kind about it, either, necessitating the intervention of one or more Avengers. This would also require the team travel back in time to unravel the Snap, as you say, because bringing back just those they lost will not solve the problem at all. If they want to save the world and the universe (and they do), then they have to stop Thanos BEFORE he wins.

    Going back to your point about Hawkeye, I don’t think he is fighting against this societal breakdown out of charity. That scary stare he gives the camera confirms my suspicion that his wife and children were dusted by Thanos’ snap. He’s lost everything and, it seems, is fighting and killing in the hopes that he’ll eventually die in the process.

    Natasha’s expression before he pulls his hood off and turns to her cements that idea for me. She seems to be afraid of him and to be fighting the urge to take a step back. I don’t think she was expecting him to be quite so harsh with his opponents. That implies that he has changed his fighting style to a more brutal version of the one we are familiar with.

    Those happily proposing wiping out most of the population to ‘save the planet’ aren’t going to be swayed by Endgame at all, you are right. I’m hoping some of their followers will be, though; even a few brought to the realization that this is what the environmentalist dream actually looks like would be a good thing. And the fact that these two movies, as you say, blow the over-population myth to pieces makes them truly impressive. The entire franchise has been a cultural boon, and I hope they are recognized as such someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I definitely caught that Hawkeye has somewhat lost it, indicating his family didn’t survive the Snap (or else that they did, but were lost in the ensuing chaos: or a combination of the two).

      The thing is, the fanatics and ‘thought-leaders’ are never the ones who have to be swayed; it’s everyone else. If the leaders have no support, they can only do so much harm. That’s one reason popular fiction, like the Avengers, is so important; it affects how ordinary people *feel* about issues like this. We see Thanos ranting about finite resources and murdering half the population in response, feel how horrifying that really is, and then we see real people saying much the same thing in real life. Even if we don’t consciously link the two, the same emotional response is awakened.

      (I keep meaning to make a post about that whole topic)

      Anyway, I agree this whole franchise has been a great boon to our culture. I figure of all the films released over the past ten years or so, the MCU (at least thus far) is among the most likely to still be remembered fifty years later, once the current cultural moment has passed. After all, it’s one of the few that will have anything at all to say to people who aren’t contemporary with it. Popular fiction – the meek among literature – always inherits the audience.

      (Now I want to make a post about that. This is a very profitable discussion!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm, I never thought about them being killed *after* the Snap. That’s a good point.

    Yes! Please make a post about this!!! You hit on precisely what I was trying to say myself. If ordinary people see Malthusian philosophy in fictional ‘practice’ and rebel against it there, they will be more likely to refuse it in the real world. It has made the movies far more valuable than some critics (professional and private) realize.

    Even if the following MCU films are terrible, those made in the first ten years ought to be remembered and referenced continuously. Stan Lee was right when he said that comic books were fairy tales for adults; they really do speak to us on a deep level, no matter the era in which they were made. The same goes for the MCU so far. We will have to see how things go from here, but I will forever be grateful to God and Marvel Studios for even the worst of these early films.

    (It’s been a fun discussion, too. 😉)

    Liked by 1 person

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