We’re Cancelling The Apocalypse!
If there’s one movie that had me preoccupied for most of March and April, that would be Endgame, Avengers: Endgame. And I saw it on its opening day. And we did no online reservation whatsoever. Just went to one cinema far from the city, where online reservations and reserve seating aren’t still a thing. And Boom! Tony Stark died. Of course, there were long lines, and I almost had to skip dinner just to get to the door early. And get better seats.
And then, I was mildly annoyed, that the guy beside me kept checking his phone the entire movie. Could you just do your little chit chat outside? For chrissakes! He barely even talked to his date. And yet, he can’t seem to wait to see if he has new message every five minutes!
Anyway, I’ll say that taken as a single movie, Endgame was disappointing, though probably not as disappointing as the whole Season 8 of Game of Thrones, which I couldn’t confirm because, I’m still stuck at Season 2. But as an event, well, it was BIG, and something someone like me shouldn’t miss because it’s A-awesome. That said, I’m glad and relieved that it’s finally over. All the hype, the speculations, the expectations and disappointments, all the shoulda woulda coulda—they’re all over now. Finally over. At last. And we can finally move on.
If March and April was all about Avengers: Endgame, May was like a hangover. Because, you’re waiting for the next BIG cinematic event and there isn’t one. So, June was recovery. And July is for some sort of midyear report about the movies I’ve seen—not necessarily released—this year.
And what do I do with a hangover, I rewatch old movies. After Endgame, I re-watched movies that are similar to the last two Avengers movies, the Rurouni Kenshin sequels. In a way, Kyoto Inferno (2014) and The Legend Ends (2014) are similar to Infinity War and Endgame. The two movies cover what was in the Kyoto Arc in the anime, mainly Kenshin Himura dealing with Makoto Shishio.
Fans of the anime were familiar with this arc in the same way that Marvel fans, by reading comics or watching all other MCU movies, are familiar with the Infinity Stones saga. While there are no McGuffins in Rurouni Kenshin, the fate of the Meiji government, the future of Japan rest on the shoulders of our heroes. It’s not just Himura, there’s Sanosuke, Saito, Aoshi, and to some extent, Misau and Kaori. And Kyoto Inferno and The Legend Ends, when watched back to back, makes for a better double feature than Infinity War and Endgame. They’re also quite shorter than the two Avengers combined.
Assault On Precinct 13 (1976) is still a great watch on second go. It’s a great low budget action movie. And it’s quite funny too (“You have a smoke?” “How do you like your coffee?” “Black.”) I think a first saw the remake, with Ethan Hawke as the cop and post-Matrix Lawrence Fishbourne as the convicted criminal. Yes, they race switched the male leads. But where’s Cherry? The remake isn’t as re-watchable and funny as the original. Well, just like the horror classic The Thing, this old John Carpenter movie doesn’t disappoint.
I also re-watched Edge of Tomorrow (2014) and Pacific Rim (2013), which shares some similar plot point about decoding the invading aliens. Edge of Tomorrow, which is based on a Japanese YA novel with a much cooler title “All You Need Is Kill”, is fun mainly for having the balls to let Tom Cruise die and be the butt-end of the jokes. And for Emily Blunt, who plays alpha-female bad-ass soldier. But I’d go with Rinko Kikuchi and Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim simply because, well, it’s Mecha vs. Kaiju. And it’s got the cool factor of having gigantic robots called “Jaeger” that walk past tall buildings and fight alien dinosaurs called “Kaiju.”
Also, Guillermo del Toro understands scale, robots and monsters, unlike Michael Bay or whoever’s behind those Transformers movies. Props as well to Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost for giving one of most bad-ass pep talk ever: “Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!”
Then, there’s James Gunn’s Slither (2006), which I watched for probably third or fourth time already, one of my all time favorite horror movies. I once suggested to watch this movie to a housemate who hasn’t had her lunch yet. Because there’s a scene where one woman turned into a gigantic ball of flesh and skin, like a huge puffer-fish, full of alien slugs. Yes, slugs. Like in David Cronenberg’s Shivers (1975). Then, Boom! she exploded.