VIDEO: Game of Thrones, A Farewell

It’s the end of an era. Game of Thrones ended this week, and while the finale didn’t live up to our expectations, it’s still sad to see it go. To honor this show and everything it has made us feel in this last decade, Lucy (@iconicaesthetic) commemorated the show with an amazing supercut that will remind you why you’ve loved visiting Westeros every weekend it in the first place.

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‘Detective Pikachu’ is Lovably Bizarre, as a Pokémon Movie Should Be

Yes, it is time for my obligatory anecdote about my relationship with the Pokémon brand! It probably goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of Pokémon because I’m an Asian kid who was born in 1999. Of course I am. I grew up endlessly playing Pokémon Emerald on my Gameboy Advance until my eyes would strain (which probably explains my deteriorating vision) and then go to bed only to wake up at 9 to catch the new episode of the anime show. In 4th grade, everyone called me Ash Ketchum because I had long, thick, and unruly hair that went all over the place. My best friend was a Piplup. I lived and breathed Pokémon. Imagine my excitement when the news broke that Nintendo would finally be letting Pikachu run with his small, little feet on the big screen!

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Honestly, I’ve been rooting for Detective Pikachu ever since the first trailer dropped. Nintendo has had a lot of—  well, issues adapting their material to new forms of media in the past, and ever since then, they’ve been notoriously protective of their gaming IPs and brands. If they were going to open up and take a risk on this project, in my mind I knew it had to be for a good reason. This makes Detective Pikachu a film of multiple firsts: it’s the first generally well-received mainstream video-game-based-blockbuster, it’s the first film in a very long time to break open the Nintendo IP floodgates, and it’s the first film you’ll see with an emotionally detached, caffeine-addicted Pikachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds. And you’d really think, with all that this movie has to prove, that the cards would be played safe. Well, you really couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Detective Pikachu is surreal, ridiculous, but a heartfelt and warm, piece of popcorn entertainment. It’s also one that assumes you know what the significance of Mewtwo is, so if you have no investment in Pokémon, you really aren’t going to get much out of this.

Continue reading “‘Detective Pikachu’ is Lovably Bizarre, as a Pokémon Movie Should Be”

‘Infinity War’, ‘Endgame’ and a Year Without Gamora

This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

It’s been over a year since I’ve witnessed Gamora, one of the most strong-willed women of the Marvel universe, die by the hands of her own abuser.

I know that Avengers: Endgame is a three-hour film with an ungodly amount of baggage to sort through. I know that not only were directors Anthony and Joe Russo challenged with crafting a satisfying conclusion for our original six Avengers, but they were also tasked with forging a new direction for all other characters within the 22 movie franchise, post the aftermath of the cosmic-shattering events of Infinity War. Knowing all this to be true, and all that was at stake, I entered the theater aware that there was no possible way all of the Marvel fan community, with their own favorite characters and unique emotional investments, could realistically walk out of Endgame fully pleased with what they had watched; and yet, despite knowing all of this, even despite enjoying most of what I saw in Endgame, I’ve still had a festering, empty feeling in my heart over one character: Gamora. 

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Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I am aware that I will always carry a bias here. The Guardians of the Galaxy movies mean a lot to me. I love how over the top they are, from their nostalgic needle drops to their sometimes overbearing amounts of sentimentality. I love that they are two calculated, messy movies about scarred and lonely people full of regret, who realize that they are stronger together and that there is a greater meaning of life in the family connection they choose in each other. I’ll save you the specific details, but as someone with a messy relationship with my own blood family, and as someone who’s strongest emotional connections are amongst friends from all sorts of different places, these themes especially ring true. Gunn’s two Guardians films often pass boundaries (i.e. “green whore” line from Drax in Vol. 1, or the many jokes about severed limbs from Rocket) but despite all of that, they’re always being told from a place of sincerity and genuine growth that has struck a chord with me since seeing them on their opening weekends.

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VIDEO: It’s Alive! – Rebirth and Transformation in Horror

This month’s video was posted a little late, it marks the debut of our writer, Mary Beth McAndrews (@mbmcandrews), as part of our video team! Mary Beth is a cinema studies major with a focus on the horror genre, so her new video focusing on the themes of rebirth and transformation is a perfect encapsulation of her interests.

If you want to stay updated on our content, or see these new videos as soon as possible, be sure to follow us at @muchadocinema on twitter!

‘Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019’ Reminded Me Why Fandom Matters

Introduction – My Star Wars Story

On December 18th, 2015, Star Wars awakened once again; a pivotal moment for the last decade of mainstream entertainment. And what made The Force Awakens a graceful, triumphant return was the fact that it was both a nostalgic trip back home for all those who were already invested in the Star Wars franchise, and also a call to people closer to my age to partake in its broad cinematic legacy.

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My photos from before the opening night of The Force Awakens on December 15th, 2015

I remember skipping a whole day of high school with my friends so that we could head straight to Disneyland in the morning, and then to AMC so that we could get the best seat possible in that bustling theater. I already had a history with Star Wars because of my family’s expansive DVD collection, but I was particularly eager to finally have a new trilogy of these films to call my own. I was wearing a quickly thrown together Han Solo costume, I got seated in the middle row, with only my friend and a bag of m&ms at my side when the projector lit up. My eyes gleamed up at the opening crawl, for I was ready to be transported once again to that galaxy far, far away– content with knowing that people like me had a place amongst those stars.

And when I came home from the cinema and fired up the Tumblr log in screen so I could write my first post about how much I loved the new Star Wars, I wasn’t aware of how that love would, in retrospect, become my first steps into a larger world of fandom.

Continue reading “‘Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019’ Reminded Me Why Fandom Matters”

‘Shazam’ Unlocks the Power of Family and Sincerity

My initial take on Shazam was going to be that by the time the liquor store scene comes around, in which Billy (Asher Angel/Zachary Levi) and Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) uses Billy’s newfound superhero transformation powers to go to buy some cheap beer, only to find out that beer is absolutely disgusting— it’s pretty clear that Shazam has a spark; a spark that sets it apart from every other DC releases thus far. A spark that makes the experience of watching it in theaters an absolute joy all the way through despite all of its studio blemishes, and that spark is a soul. But I remembered how great that dinner table scene with Billy and Freddy is and I realized that I lied, actually. This movie has two sparks in its arsenal, the other being sublime child performances. With these two simple but crucial traits, Shazam manages to overcome most of its own hurdles to cement it as the absolute best and most satisfying DCEU release so far.

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VIDEO: A Tribute to Rachel Weisz

This is an exciting video this month for many reasons! First, this is the first time we’ve reached out to Twitter to choose the theme for the video. On March 3rd, we posted a poll asking you all what actress would you like to see spotlighted and the people have spoken! And here we are, with a Rachel Weisz supercut set to Mitski. But another reason why this is such a special post is that it marks the debut of Lucy (@iconicaesthetic) on our video team. That’s right, video TEAM! Here at Much Ado, we’ve ganged up and now we’re working on new types of content that you’ll be seeing very soon. There will still be lots of supercuts coming, but there’s a lot more in store for us in the future.

If you want to stay updated on a poll, or see these new videos as soon as possible, be sure to follow us at @muchadocinema on twitter!