The Captain Marvel teaser in the end credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War has had me looking forward to meeting this character since last Spring. I went into this film, the 21st instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with five hopes.
- That it would make me feel nostalgia for the early ‘origin’ films of the MCU (Iron Man, Thor, etc..)
- Being set in the 1990’s, it would also make me feel occasional pangs of nostalgia for superhero films from this era, and 90’s films/the 90’s in general
- That the film would feel as if it’s existed all this time, as if it’s only just been discovered in the archives or you just happened to have missed it previously
- Subtle connectivity to and Easter eggs for the rest of the MCU
- That I’d leave the cinema even more ready to see Avengers: Endgame.
It delivered on all of the above and then some. Not only was Brie Larson great as Captain Marvel, Sam Jackson nailed the younger Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn (a.k.a Krennic!) was a surprise standout as Talos. There a few plot devices that I feel would warrant a second viewing and I’m toying with trying to fit one in before Endgame drops next month.
You could probably get away without seeing Captain Marvel before Endgame, this is more a focus on the character rather than the ongoing MCU story, but why would you want to? Seeing this will give so much more depth to the character of Captain Marvel when she inevitably turns up on screen in Endgame.
After catching up with (and finishing) GLOW this month, nothing seemed to compare to those 80’s ladies in spandex who might just have given me my new favourite TV show. Then came After Life, a new black comedy from Ricky Gervais on Netflix. I’ll admit I’ve fallen behind on some of his recent work (Special Correspondents for one) and I didn’t know a lot about this new show going in, so I had almost zero expectations on that front.
Episode one was alright, enough to encourage you to stick with it, although I’m a big enough fan of Ricky’s work that I probably would’ve kept going regardless. By the end of episode two I was ready to rank it in my top three things he’s ever done (alongside The Office and Cemetery Junction). By the end of episode five I was contemplating whether it might even earn the top spot.
The finale continued at a similar high standard, but knowing that a second season has already been commissioned took me out of the resolution of certain story arcs and felt as if they had less weight. I’m looking forward to seeing where Ricky takes the show in series two. The ending suggests it’ll be a slightly different direction, but I hope this doesn’t mean that some of the fantastic characters from this season won’t be returning.
Weezer – The Black Album
The not-so-long wait since Pacific Daydream (2017) for Weezer’s thirteenth album was disrupted in January of this year, with the surprise release of a covers album from the band, The Teal Album. On a first listen I enjoyed this collection, the novelty soon wore off though, with all of the covers sounding a bit like their single release of Toto’s Africa last year – good renditions that don’t add anything particularly interesting or new.
The Black Album continues a similar trend to Weezer’s last few (original) albums for me, some standout tracks that I’d rank up there with my favourites from their back catalogue, some that I could honestly take or leave. I wouldn’t say that I’m anywhere near as incensed as some with direction of the sound, I think Rivers Cuomo is doing exactly what he wants and I respect that, artists have no obligation to please people. Fortunately there are enough people still listening (and paying) to allow Weezer to keep doing whatever the hell they choose.
My favourite track from the record is easily High As A Kite. I’m loathed to say “because it sounds like their old material”, there is a certain haunting quality to it though that is what I enjoyed so much about The Blue Album and even 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright In The End. I think this is more the direction I hoped The Black Album would’ve taken. Equally I would’ve accepted something more experimental. That’s not to say this album isn’t diverse, but I’d rather it had been a bit more daring.
Star Wars Resistance
The first season of the latest Star Wars animated series concluded this month and the pay off of sticking with the show for 20 weeks (plus the mid season break) was worth it. I’m willing to admit that the initial kid orientated tone took a little time to settle into. I think this was partly due to the staggered delivery of the content. I’m increasingly less comfortable with having to wait a week for the next episode of a show and the relatively short length of these (around 20 minutes) didn’t help. I’m sure I’d have felt more connected quicker if we’d had two episodes a week.
Towards the end of the season the storyline weaves into The Force Awakens in a satisfying way and concluded by offering some higher stakes for the future. The second season now seems more compelling than the premise for the show perhaps did when the first season was announced.
I’d recommend Resistance to anyone who considers themselves to be slightly more than a fair-weather Star Wars fan. Some will get a kick out of the Saturday morning cartoon vibe of the show. There were moments in the season where it felt more familiar to some of the cartoons I grew up watching than it did the Star Wars films and that’s not a bad thing. I’m still really enjoying the range of takes on Star Wars that we have in this new era of content.