Welcome to Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. In each episode I go with a different comedian to see a movie and then we head to the closest coffee shop to chat about it over the internet. Yes it is a podcast, you just have to read it instead of listen to it. As always, you can catch up on all the other episodes here. Even better, consider supporting the podcast by subscribing!
Nick and I saw Avengers: Infinity War at Williamsburg Cinemas in Brooklyn. I got there a bit early because I still had to buy my ticket and perhaps more importantly, I’m very bad at estimating travel time on the G train. It was gray and rainy and we were both ready for some bright bold Marvel Colors. After the movie, we walked to Toby’s Estate on N 6th to chat about the movie over gchat. I got a cortado and Nick got a small cold brew. There were no outlets available so eventually we hiked over to Kinfolk on Wythe ave and each got a peppermint tea to sip while we finished our conversation.
Dan: Thanks for being here today, Nick. This could very well be the most anticipated episode of Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The Only Podcast You Have to Read…ever. We finally did it, we saw Avengers: Infinity War and America (the world? the universe? the multiverse?) wants to know: are you ready for the end game?
Nick: I am ready. I have my dwarven-made gauntlet empty and I’m looking to fill it with facts and fun about this new gem from the Marvel Universe.
Dan: Ok where to begin? Might I suggest that, like this movie, we begin at the end…of another movie? Full stop: here be spoilers. There is no meaningful way to talk about this movie without covering what happens in it. Since there is nothing really to this movie other than what happens in it. Maybe that’s unfair, in addition to what happens in it there are also the blaster FX. Lots of good blasting FX to be had here, but we can talk about that later. Nick some people know this about me but not everyone so I’ll just say it: I am not the biggest fan of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe or Marymount California University), and I haven’t seen all the movies up to this point. My point of view for this conversation will be one of an intermittent watcher, picking up strands of plot and understanding through years of passive osmosis and standing behind people catching each other up in line for the movie this morning.
So: to begin at the end. It seems like this movie starts at the end of a Thor Movie I Never Saw. In Media Res as we say. So why don’t we start at the end of this conversation? In conclusion: What did you think of Avengers: Infinity War?
Nick: I have to say I liked it. It really was what I want in a Marvel movie. Not everything makes sense. Not everyone is great. But the funny moments were genuinely funny, the action-packed moments were legitimately action-packed. And, you know, there was lots of cool visual stuff. Visually, these movies are like what screen savers in the 90s were for me. An “I didn’t know it would be physically possible for a computer to make that many pipes and link them all together in real time!” kinda thing. I think the story was simple and straight forward enough. They avoided a lot of the Marvel pitfalls for me. Seeing Thor: Ragnarok would’ve helped a bit there for the being of the movie but all you need to know is that the place where Thor is from is gone (bc Ragnarok.) Thanos found the ones who escaped and killed they ass. Enter A:IW.
Dan: In conclusion, I thought the same things except that I always knew that screensavers could do it. I believed in them even then and I feel that even more pipes would be possible these days with modern chips if only kids weren’t on their phones all the time. If you don’t believe me ask a kid if they like their phone more than pipes on screensavers but be aware the answer might upset you.
Since people who made it this far are ready for spoilers I guess we can talk about the P word. Plot. One thing that I thought was Very Smart Movie Making was how simple they made the whole deal. It has probably been said many times by smarter, uglier people than me but I would think that managing the sheer number of beloved characters and converging story arcs in a single film that this movie does is very difficult. At a high level the plan (for our heroes) is: GET THANOS. The plan (for the studio’s heroes) is: SPLIT EVERYONE INTO MORE MANAGEABLE TEAMS AND GIVE THEM THEIR OWN MINI MOVIES.
What did you think of the set up? What were your favorite meet and greets?
Nick: Perfectly said and I can’t believe someone so attractive said it this time. I loved the studio plan here. Let’s talk first team: The first team is formed (then quickly broken up) when the Guardians of the Galaxy team finds Thor in space by running into his floating body with their ship. The chances were as slim as you are imagining. Two members of the GotG team know/were raised by Thanos so that’s lucky too. The plan is this: Thanos needs 6 Infinity Stones (unfortunately scattered by the clumsy ass Big Bang.) He has 2. He’s out for the other 4. Great. We split up. Racoon, Tree, and Thor need to go get a new weapon from the dwarves. Rest of GotG go try to get the Reality stone before Thanos can.
Dan: A lot of people forget that the big bang made the Infinity Stones. Science education is failing and is also a waste of time and money. Also, don’t get me started on these fucking Infinity Stones. I know that might be hard given the nature of this movie but seriously: these fucking stones.
Also, I think there is a meet cute even before Thor joins up with The Planet Express Crew. The hulk lands in Doctor Strange’s house and meets the wizards. Then Iron Man shows up and Spider-Man too. There is a very Ocean’s 11 quality to all of this with the main difference being rather than having a montage of all the characters doing their special tricks: this guy hacks! this guy fits in a box! these guys are brothers who argue! we instead have 12 movies of that.
As someone who doesn’t really know everything going on in this world, I had fun trying to figure out what everyone’s deal was just from this movie. And let me tell you, I think I nailed them all. You know this stuff so tell me if I’m right:
Ok so, Spider-Man: his power is he is very strong /flexible and has arm air.
His main personality trait is: kid.
Nick: Yes, if you have to put “arm hair standing up when big alien ships are right outside his bus window” last, yes.
Dan: Ok next is Iron Man: his power is technology and weapons and his main personality trait is: using his CEO skills in the boardroom and the bedroom! (battleroom)
Nick: Yea, he’s the swaggering, bad ass, fast talking guy everyone, including me, loves in movies but wishes would die immediately if encountered IRL.
Dan: Thor is Superman.
Nick: Yeah he’s marvel’s Superman but also a god so he is one of the main departures from a Marvel Universe loosely held together with the scotch tape of the trappings of a naturalistic, causal universe based on, often mysterious but empirical, laws of physics and such…
Dan: The escalation of powers and the disproportionate reactions to various powers interacting is always going to be a problem with superhero movies and when you cram 15 together it’s only gonna amplify. I guess I applaud this movie’s willingness to just not even bother trying to reconcile all the crazy shit and just turn everyone’s power into blasting each other. Like, no matter what your power lets you do on paper, you better hope it will help you blast in combat. But we’ll get to the blasting in a bit (I promise).
I have to talk about Dr. Strange. Dr Strange has the power of Traditional Chinese Medicine and my mom would definitely pay any amount of money to take a workshop with him. His main personality trait is: unclear to me. What is that guy’s deal?
Nick: Yeah I saw the Doctor Strange movie and I can’t really tell. He is the white savior of the ancient asian tribe of people who protect the Time Stone. It’s ok that he’s white because he’s 1. British and 2. has a goatee and robes. I liked Doctor Strange, but controlling time is a huge problem for fiction in general. Search “time turner + harry potter” on that ol’ pipe maker of yours at your own peril, friend. As soon as it’s possible everything goes out of the window. Luckily, Doctor Strange didn’t use time travel much at all and gave away his stone at the end because “[they’re] in the end game now.”
Dan: I got the impression that he was not actually British but American, as portrayed by a British man the way only British men can portray Americans. But point taken.
Most every other character, which we can cover in due time has the power of: fighting hard.
Their personality traits are: Serious or Comedy.
Nick: Yeah. That is the best classification. So for Comedy team we have: all GotG except Gamora, Stark, and “can’t get it up” Bruce / Hulk. Am I missing anyone?
Dan: I guess that depends on if you consider Don Cheadle’s pathetic screen presence comedic. We have to talk about the audience reactions to this movie because they were incredible.
Nick: Don Cheadle has a blood disease.
Dan: Every time a new (old) character showed up for the first time the crowd went buck ass wild. Captain America got a standing ovation when he showed up in the subway station. Three women gave birth when Chris Pratt took his helmet off. Then Don Cheadle shows up and I heard a mouse fart.
Nick: Yeah I think everyone was worried like I was.
Dan: It was honestly the saddest thing I’ve seen in theaters since, uh…What’s a sad movie? Was Her sad? Kinda.
“I was as sad seeing the audience react to Don Cheadle as I was emotionally wrecked thinking about past relationships while watching Her.” The perfect pull quote for this review.
Nick: I got embarrassed when everyone was literally throwing their underwear at the screen When Thor’s eyes went white and he was swing around that new ax. A cool moment that becomes very uncool when adults like it with noises.
Dan: That was very funny too. Thor gets a new ax in one scene and the very next scene he uses the ax and it was honestly like the entire audience simultaneously all reached under their seats and found a roll of quarters.
Also, Spider-Man is definitely team comedy.
I have lots of questions about the Redhead Woman because it seems like she is Very Powerful, in a way that would possibly break the movie so I’m glad she got to instead just be the Crying Girlfriend.
Nick: Well said. Scarlet Witch is sort of a “this red energy can do anything” lady. The actor playing her is compensating for this surplus of power but not having a the power to deliver every line in a way that reads as a thing someone would say in the way someone would say it. I think she said “You can fix it right?” in a way that sounded like she was in a local appliance repair commercial.
Dan: “There has to be a better way!”
Ok so back to the movie. I guess we have to explain Thanos now. Thanos is California Raisin Hellboy and his main deal is he has some Infinity Stones and wants All of them. Don’t get me started on these fucking Infinity Stones, Nick. If Thanos gets all the Infinity Stones he will get to be in control of the entire universe or some such as the big bang always wanted when it created them.
Nick: WITH A SNAP OF HIS FINGERS DAN.
Dan: Again, the movie makes a big point of not exactly explaining what these stones do because it seems like if you actually thought about it, just one of them is too strong to exist in a movie. One lets you control Time, one can control Reality. Sounds good right? Nah, all the stones let you blast. Each stone lets you blast hard in a different color.
Back to the plot.
Mini Movie 1) Dr. Strange, Iron Man and Spider-Man all get on a spaceship to go to Thanos’ planet. Their mission: Kill Thanos?
Mini Movie 2) Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor Meet up but then split into two mini-er movies?
Nick: Well Iron Man and Spider-Man are really just trying to save Doc Strange at first but yes eventually. Yes, the first mini-er movie of the 2nd mini movie concerns a trip to the planet of the dwarves that made Thor’s original hammer (now broken) and the Infinity Gauntlet. Dan, explain how these dwarves are portrayed.
Dan: Oh right.
Mini Movie 2a) Thor and Raccoon go to Peter Dinklage planet to make a weapon. Peter Dinklage plays a 12 foot tall Dwarf with a Deep Voice. It was funny Nick!
Mini Movie 2b) The other Guardians of The Galaxy go to a different place. Their mission: Kill Thanos?
Nick: Well one of the things about 2b there is the plan isn’t clear because GotG aren’t great with plans. I think they just want to get the Reality Stone. Now I know you’ve asked me not to, but I’m going to get you started about these stones. There are six. Power, Space, Reality, Time, Soul, and Vision. The powers of even one of these shouldn’t exist in fiction without great care.
Dan: That’s true, the Guardians Of The Galaxy (I refuse to abbreviate) go to a place because they know that one of the Infinity Stones is there and they want to get it before Thanos does. Don’t get me started on these fucking Infinity Stones.
Nick: We’re started on them. Power Stone = powerful blasts of purple. Space = powerful blasts of blue and also translocation? Reality = silly alternatives to things like bubbles instead of bullets. Time = time travel that isn’t really used as much as it could be by anyone. Soul = no clue but that one comes with a price. Vision = as far as we can tell a mental pacemaker for another superhero. What is your issue here?
Dan: Was Vision the…robot man? Not the man in the robot suit but the robot in the man suit. There are a lot of men in robot suits actually. No not the main white guy one the black guy in the robot suit. No not that black guy in the robot suit the one who flies. No not the black guy in the robot suit who flies with boots the black guy in the robot suit who flies with wings.
Nick: Yes Vision is red with cape. Very powerful in last movie. Kind of just sickly in this one.
Dan: I didn’t understand what the deal with Vision was. What is his power? He could definitely fly at one point and he was In Love. I’ll get to the fucking Infinity Stones but I need to know what Vision’s deal is.
Nick: In the last Avengers he could do basically anything and also fly. This included picking up Thor’s hammer which no one else in the universe could. He was made by Tony stark’s AI plus some other stuff.
Dan: Got it. And now he can’t?
Nick: In this movie getting stabbed early was a big problem that he never really could get over.
Dan: I see. Well we all have our kryptonite.
Nick: Ok so what in particular, did you not like about the gems? What should the studio have done with them? Explain the powers more? Less?
Dan: Ok first of all, I’m sure that in the comics these gems are fully explained and it all Makes Sense to Someone. The world I am in however, all I got is this movie. I know that explaining the gems in this movie is a straight up trap. Like, if these gems are the most powerful shit in the universe and can actually do anything remotely like what their name implies: what’s the point of anything.
What’s the point of Long Hair Robot Arm Guy With Gun?
What’s the point of ScarJo With Gun?
Why have new look Captain “Dawson’s Creek” America show up at all if Thanos can ALTER REALITY before the movie really even gets going?
I guess at the very least, they could have thrown in a line like: The Gems are extremely mysterious and hard to control! Maybe they said this in another movie? So that way it’s like oh well duh, of course Thanos could destroy everything at any time but until you get all the gems you Just Can’t Control The Power. In this movie he seemed very competent with all gems at all times.
Nick: Ok that makes sense. Or if it was clear explained to be a Captain Planet thing where the sum is a greater than its parts? I think it is supposed to be that but not conveyed very clearly. Also, to your point, probably by design: so Long Hair Robot Arm guy could have a reason to throw on the old arm one more time. Now to Thanos and his reason for wanting them, which is the only real issue I have with the film.
Dan: No I’m not done with these fucking Infinity Stones. You can’t get me started and then try to stop me. This is tangential to the stones, but this movie had a lot of “we COULD sacrifice this one thing to stop Thanos, but…” Many times Our Heroes are given this option but decide not to. I guess the message is, even heroes are dumb. Never meet your heroes, because they are dumb.
Nick: Haha yes. That was the repeating sophie’s choice of the film: do you save your friend or half of the universe (including your friend 50% of the time).
Dan: They are given the option of destroying one or more Infinity Stones potentially at the cost of one of their friends’ lives but decide not to. I could actually be convinced that maybe there is a point to this, but I’ll save that for a bit later. Ok, so Thanos’ big plan. Lay it on me, stud.
Nick: Thanos has found the problem with all sentient life in the universe.
There is exactly…
2 times as much of it as there should be.
Dan: Surely that changes constantly, Nick? Like, right now maybe it’s like 2.1x as much.
Nick: DAMMIT DAN NO. Every planet. Every civilization. Has two times too many people. And that’s why people are hungry. And why moons like Titan, Thanos’ homeworld go to pot.
Dan: What about plants? Smart dogs? Ok fine so there’s twice as much life as there should be so what? I’m with you so far.
Nick: Plants die when 2 people try to eat their fruit instead of the allotted 1. Smart dogs are not exempt because think of Raccoon. So there is 2x too many people and Thanos wants to SNAP HIS FINGERS and make half of them turn to dust. Then Utopia happens and he can enjoy a sunset, finally.
Dan: The movie also makes it clear that up until now he has been doing this manually. Going planet by planet and killing half of the sentient life (read: english speaking life, the language of the universe). Thanos wants to cut out the middleman and get all the Infinity Stones so he can very quickly eliminate half of life on every planet in the universe, solving the problem once in for all.
I think his plan makes sense and maybe he is the good guy.
Nick: Our first split then! I think genocide could make every planet devolve into chaos and fear and wouldn’t make everything green in a decade. Also, populations don’t just stay at the number you genocide them to.
Dan: Agree to disagree. OK wait, we have a bunch more mini movies and meet and greets to cover.Team Iron Man is going to space moon to look for Thanos. Team Thor is going to Peter Dinklage world for a weapon. Team Guardians is chasing the Reality Gem.
Mini movie 3) Vision, Redhead, Captain America, ScarJo, and Goggle Man? all get together with a simple mission: Get the yellow gem out of Vision’s head and…blow it up? Did I get that one right?
Nick: Yes. But SHIELD isn’t dtf on this so they have to go to Wakanda. Also, Wakanda has the best scientist on the planet so they need her to run som firmware updates on the stone.
Dan: Right, Black Panther joins Mini Movie 3 and their main mission turns into stalling until the Big Fight.
Mini Movie 4) Thanos and his gang actually have a fun little road trip around the galaxy snatching up gems.
Is there a mini movie I’m missing? Oh ya also the Hulk is there hanging out.
Nick: Thanos’s gang is cool. Goblin, Religious Flat Nose, Dark Demon Lady, Big Troll With Retractable Car Part Hammer were cool. I got the feeling they were very powerful and not your usual, shitty henchmen types. Make your henchmen powerful and they can surprise you Dan.
Dan: The henchmen did a great job of further indicating how confused our audience was. One time one of the henchmen died and people cheered. Then another henchmen died 20 seconds later and nobody cheered. None of the henchmen were particularly interesting or mean or powerful so it was an interesting choice from our audience.
Actually no, one guy was pretty cool and powerful but he was defeated with the most powerful force in the universe: Space, the place where he hangs out all the time already. He got sucked out a spaceship and I guess that killed him even though he was magic.
Nick: People’s clapping in movies has always confused me. Who is it for? Does this just need to come out of you? Clapping when landing a plane makes 1000x more sense because at least the person who did their job is only a few feet away behind a bullet proof door.
Dan: I honestly have to go back to Don Cheadle. His appearance forced an anti-clap out of our audience. Nick, every cameo and entrance shot was treated like the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. And then Ol’ Donny shows up and everyone kind of tugged at their collars and slowly backed out into the lobby.
Nick: The room got more quiet than it was before. Rustling stopped Dan. No one took a sip of a soda or ate a kernel of p-corn for the next 45 seconds I think people thought he looked bad. “This is War Machine and he looks bad. WTF? Should we go?”
Dan: We all finally exhaled when he did a joke. We didn’t laugh but we exhaled. Speaking of…I have to say, the jokes and the delivery were….not bad! Overall this was very inoffensive stuff and that is saying a lot.
Not offensive comedy like Daniel Tosh or one of comedy’s Bad Boys but offensive comedy like the other Marvel movies I’ve seen. These were tight jokes in a good, succinct script. Truly and honestly I think they did a good job keeping everything simple and active and moving right along. Everyone who mattered got a few lines to show their Personality and what was Important To Them.
Nick: Agree. I think the big decision was really sticking with the team comedy vs team serious angle. The big problem with comedy in Marvel movies often is everyone is team comedy, saying things in moments of levity while fighting. Scarlet Witch says her lines like she’s on SNL and the cue card is stuck under a chair. She shouldn’t be making a pun while blasting.
Dan: Stay your lane, team serious.
Nick: And I don’t mean to pick on her. Everyone but Stark and Starlord aren’t funny. Even E.D. Hulk.
Dan: Spider-Man was fun. It’s good to have a Kid.
Nick: Yeah i guess he had some funny moments of innocence. And the raccoon is funny and tattoo man had a couple.
Dan: I think the Avengers need an Old Person, to balance it out. Is there an Old Person superhero? Like, he or she could be funny with all the, ow my back! material after a big fight. Or like, while fighting a big bad guy: “this guy’s morals are lower than my old balls!”
Nick: Yeah an “I’m getting too old for this” type. Im sure in canon there is, but another important thing about everyone in a Marvel movie except the villains is: everyone is hot. Which is why cheadle was such a betrayal.
Dan: Mmm good point. Ok, so we have all our basic mini movie setups. Things progress, paths cross, fights are fought. I’m gonna skip ahead to the Big Fight but first I will ask: anything cool or dumb or interesting in the middle of the movie? Say, Acts 4–12? (it’s a long movie)
I will consider the following to be part of the Big Fight: Everything happening on Thanos planet and everything happening in Wakanda. It’s two parts of the same big fight, brought together by the magic of teleportation (and movies!).
Nick: I think the only thing interesting there is getting the Soul Stone. Getting the Soul Stone requires you give up the thing you love the most.
Dan: Oh ya, that was very funny. So Thanos takes Gamora (sp?) against her will to find the Soul Stone on Soul Stone Planet. Soul Stone Planet is guarded by a cloaked figure who explains how Soul Stone Planet works.
Nick: Thanos didn’t know about that requirement, but luckily he has the thing he loves the most with him his “little one,” Gamora. The protection of this stone is curious. It is protected by unbreakable magic unless something is given. Why aren’t the other stones? Why have the condition at all? Why is the reality stone with a crazy kook pawn shop owner? These stones needed to be better protected and the mysterious Soul Stone really points that out.
Dan: It’s another one of those weird superhero movie things where this time falling from a large height will actually kill the green superhero lady. Spoilers: Gamora get got. I could have sworn I’ve seen her jump around on stuff before and she was fine. The tour guide in the cloak, I should mention, was Red Skull, the evil head nazi from Captain America times.
Nick: Yeah often falling is a bad way to kill someone in a superhero movie because they don’t die from it and.. wait… now they’re down there! Also yes, he was literally a nazi. Now he’s thousands of lightyears away showing people to a cliff.
Dan: Does Thanos use the Soul Stone at any point? If he did I didn’t see it. The Green one and the Yellow one don’t seem to do much other than complete the set. So either: they are too powerful to be used and would break the movie, or, they are too boring to use and would not be as cool as blasting.
Nick: The Soul Stone like the “heart ring” in captain planet is undoubtedly lame and not worth anyone’s time. But also yeah blasting is easy to show, and sells tickets.
Dan: Now Nick, am I correct in understanding that the Time Gem lets you control time? Forget it I can’t talk about these fucking Infinity Stones. I don’t care what it does. Literally forget it.
Nick: It does control time as we see in The Big Fight. And you need to deal with that, or it will eat you alive. Also it can control time in a dumb way, as shown when Doc Strange gets to see all possible outcomes before The Big Fight.
Dan: Ugh, fine. That’s true, Dr. Strange uses the time stone to meditate and levitate and see possible plans for how to beat Thanos. I should mention that Thanos has a glove that can hold and control all the Stones if you didn’t know that. So yadda yadda yadda everyone is ready for the Big Fight. Team Thanos Homeworld has a not bad plan to take Thanos’ Glove. Team Iron Man and Team Guardians team up to do that. It almost works but for the classic mistake of punching the bad guy and accidentally the psychic alien who is keeping him subdued. So Thanos gets away and also he stole the Time Gem / is given the Time Gem.
MEANWHILE, BACK IN WAKANDA… (Gem Count: Thanos — Time, Reality, Space, Power, Soul. Good Guys — Yellow Gem)
Nick: They need time for the firmware updates to the Vision stone so they can save Vision AND destroy the Vision Stone. Time is running out though because spaceships just fell outside the laser bubble Wakanda sits in and the four arm alien creatures pouring from them are advancing.
Dan: Wait what is the Yellow Stone actually called? And what does it do?
Nick: The Vision Stone. Don’t know what it does. It seems to be a person. Anyway, it turns out the laser bubble isn’t perfect. If enough alien dogs try to get through it, some can get in.
Dan: It’s called the Vision Stone?
Nick: I think. Google it. So the alien dogs are running around the bubble, which is not good because they can surround the Wakandan army and team Cap America and trickle in. Black Panther says to open up laser bubble a bit and let’s have a row, allowing the left over henchmen and alien dogs to advance on the Vision stone.
Dan: This whole fight is on a big open plain which leaves plenty of space for blasting and punching. A Good Fight, all told. Pointless, but good. It’s a stall fight which is good actually. Most of these big fights in superhero movies are very dumb and pointless: why have all these randos running around getting shot at? In this movie it’s spelled out: we know this is pointless but we are trying to buy time while Vision updates his apps.
Nick: Yes good point. there should be more stall fights in these things because then you can at least pretend there is a reason for it. There isn’t. Wakanda has the best technology in the world and their airships aren’t used at all.
Dan: That’s true. I did see Black Panther and I know there were a lot of things covered in that movie by the main takeaway I had was that Vibranium is good. I guess more Vibranium could have been used but really it’s just a big stall fight until Thor and then later Thanos show up.
Thor has a lightning ax now and is very strong and can kill infinite bad guys so that helps.
Nick: Yeah, that’s true. But airships with missiles and futuristic guns could focus fire on the gap in the bubble and they can all go get a coffee or tea.
Dan: Eventually Thanos teleports in and we get a slow-mo sequence of all the Avengers (and pals) trying one at a time to blast Thanos but little do they know…Thanos came to blast as well.
Thanos proceeds to blast everyone one by one, using all the colors of the rainbow, as he slowly works his way to Vision who is lying supine with that big juicy Vision Stone (no way it is called this) right on his forehead.
Vision’s Girlfriend has to make the difficult choice of blowing up the Vision Stone (and her boyfriend) or letting Thanos have it. She eventually decides to tell that boy bye and explodes his head. We did it, Nick. The good guys win…..right?
Nick: Yes, I am grabbing my jacket and backpack now as I wait or the credits to roll. What an enjoyable film. It was close! He almost got that 6th stone! But I’m not hearing credits music…I’m hearing the distinct sound of time rewinding!
Dan: That’s right. Thanos got a Time Turner and he is gonna use it, plot problems be damned.
Nick: Thanos rewinds time, undoes the Vision Stone being destroyed and takes the damn thing Dan is 99% sure is called something else but we both agree is Yellow.
Dan: Agree to disagree. Ok Thanos has all the gems, Thor comes to try and kill him, it doesn’t work…and then…
Thanos disappears and half the universe starts dying. Not all at once like might make sense but one by one and slowly enough so everyone can say their last like like might be a good final scene in a movie..
Two things immediately go through my mind, Nick
1) This is dumb, who actually thinks Black Panther is gonna stay dead? They have 2 more movies already being uploaded to Netflix or something. Disney is definitely ready to let Robert Downey Jr and Chris Pratt take their show on the road. This is cool but there is no way people are going to care about this.
2) Why is everyone in the audience gasping and crying right now?
One by one we see random ass avengers and pals disintegrate. Gasps for Black Panther. Sobs for Robot Arm Long Hair Man.
Then we see Don Cheadle in his big dumb pants and everyone kind tugs their collar and coughs.
To be clear: as far as filmmaking goes, the decision to have Thanos win, and to see all of these characters that people have come to know over 10 years die in front of their friends is actually handled about as well as it could be. It’s affecting at an emotional level for sure but like, these things don’t exist in a vacuum. The context of these Marvel movies is incredibly pervasive outside of the theatre and they all stink of it. You ALWAYS know you are watching a tiny part of a broadly yet tightly orchestrated marathon produced by a vast media empire that will go on and on and on and it’s very hard for me to think any of these money making characters are dead or even in danger. That, I suppose, is my biggest issue with this movie. Marvel wants to have their cake and eat it too. Specifically: a) implicitly demanding that you have seen all these other movies leading up to Infinity War, or at the very least, be intimately familiar with most of the goings on in this crazy anthology. Yet at the same time b) asking you to pretend that all these other movies and upcoming adventures don’t exist so that the Big Snap has any sort of stakes at all.
Nick: Yeah, I actually liked the bad guy winning ending, but I agree. The only thing I don’t like is this: it will require time travel to undo. And Doc Strange clearly already knows what happens and his giving up of the time stone will be for a reason and so the stakes don’t exist. Time stone should be called Anti-stakes Stone.
Dan: Bad guy winning ending is good! And like I said, at some level it’s not this movie’s fault. In fact, the fact that half the universe “dies” gives actual implications to Our Heroes deciding not to sacrifice one life to save trillions. The movie did its best. But anyway, it ends and the post credits scene is basically just the pilot episode of the Leftovers. Half the world is gone and some cars crash.
Nick: I haven’t seen The Leftovers but I’m 99% sure you’re making that show up.
Dan: Google it. Ok, well that’s Avengers: Infinity Wars for you — a lot of people working very hard to overcome the inherent limitations of superhero movies (more specifically: of marvel superhero movies) and doing a good but imperfect job. Anything we missed?
Nick: Well, you bring up a really good point. Are all other Marvel movies on hiatus until we see the next Avengers movie? How can we see Black Panther 2 this Xmas if he’s dissolved? We need to see Avengers on Thanksgiving.
Dan: Nah, they plan that shit out way ahead of time. I’m sure Dr. strange 2: The Legend OF Curly’s Time Gem is coming out soon. Then everyone can get back to work.
Nick: Ahhhhh so all Marvel movies are now Avengers movies.
Dan: But are all Avengers movies Marvel movies?
Nick: Yes, legally, yes.
Dan: Ok, I have a few more questions before we call it quits. What were your three favorite things about Avengers: Infinity War?
Nick: Ok but I will want to know your 3 favorites as well.
1) I liked the Guardians of the Galaxy team even though I haven’t seen any of those movies.
2) The planet the Soul Stone was on looked so cool I got sad I wasn’t born at a time when space travel allowed me to see planets like that (which probably don’t exist).
3) I love blasting.
Now you please.
Dan: For me:
1) I liked that Captain America didn’t have to be on screen much. He’s a weiner and a half.
2) I liked that graphics in the movie. Imagine how many pipes Disney could have put on screen if they allocated even a fraction of their render farm to the cause.
3) I liked that Spider-Man was mostly CGI even when it was Peter’s face and it was very fun to see how the CGI Spider-Man had a slightly different haircut than human actor Spider-Man and you could watch it jump back and forth in the middle of the same conversation.
Ok, next question: if you could change one thing about the movie, what would it be?
Nick: I would make Thanos’ reason for wanting the stones to be anything else. Even if he was just a 1-dimensional psychopath that loved killing, it would be better than having a problem with 50% of people being there, impeding the survival of the other 50%. What about you?
Dan: For me, I would make it so at one point one of the good guys, maybe Redhead so she can do more than be Vision’s Girlfriend takes out her phone and say, “guys, i think we better call the X-Men. And Deadpool.” You can see where it goes from there but I think it would open things up a bit, narratively.
Ok last question, you have been given the power to rename this movie: what do you call it?
Nick: Avengers and Doctor Strange and the Black Panther and The GotG (abbreviated like this) vs. The Rainbow Glove.
Dan: I would go with either Hey, It’s That Guy! or Blasts and The Blasting Blasters Who Blast Them. Well Nick, thanks again for joining me today, any last words for our faithful readers?
Nick: Whichever one of you is closest to him, please check to see if Don Cheadle is still alive.
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Nick Guercio is a comedian, writer, and performer at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater. He can be seen weekly on Harold Night.
[Editor’s note: the Yellow Stone is called the Mind Stone]