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‘Avengers: Endgame’ Movie Trailer: A Shot-by-Shot Analysis

Did you catch everything in the latest ‘Avengers: Endgame’ trailer?

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Today we got a brand new trailer for the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame, and with it a bunch of teases and suggestions as to where the plot will be going. The trailer is relatively short, but it packs an emotional punch to us Marvel fans who have been with the cinematic universe since its inception in 2008, as well as fans of the comics. So, let’s start the breakdown!

*SPOILER WARNING for several Marvel films, including Avengers: Infinity War. You might not want to read this if you’re not fully caught up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. You’ve been warned!

Red and Black

The most notable element of the trailer right from the get go is the style choice of black-and-white shots with hints of red. It is a powerful and striking choice, and is reminiscent to me of a scene in Schindler’s List, which was entirely black and white with the exception of a red coat worn by a little girl. This choice emphasizes the solemn, severe, and dramatic tone of the film, which is to be expected after the supposed demise of half the population in Infinity War.

Many people are assumed dead, including some of our favourite heroes, in a shocking moment that brought many fans to the emotional brink (myself included), so it is no surprise that the footage and promotional material we have seen so far would play on that drama. It is noticeably the flashbacks from older films that have been given the black, white, and red styling treatment, with moments from Endgame presented normally. It’s also interesting to note that this is the first Marvel film trailer without the usual Marvel Studios logo. The stylised scenes are important moments from throughout the years, but there does seem to be a focus on three characters in particular: Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor.

I Am Iron Man

Tony Stark is seen in the desert after his crash landing following the escape from the cave in the original Iron Man, and we also see his original arc reactor. We also hear him narrating about how the events of Iron Man feel like a thousand years ago, and how he wants to pull off one last surprise for his fiance Pepper Potts.

I Can Do This All Day

With Cap, we see his very first visit to the army recruitment centre back before he became a super soldier, followed by him at Peggy’s funeral in Civil War. Peggy has some narration here too, which is interesting. We hear her speech to Steve when he visits her not long before she dies, when she tells him “None of us can go back. All we can do is our best. And sometimes the best we can do is start over.” This could have a much deeper meaning for all of the Avengers, as well as Steve.

God of Thunder

Thor is shown in Asgard with his father, Odin, from the original Thor film. The bright red of the flags in Asgard are particularly noticeable, followed by Thor’s iconic red cape. Thor himself narrates on how he saw so many die — but more on that in a moment. These shots make you feel that these particular events in these characters lives have truly meant something, as if it has all been leading to this, and for us fans who have been there since the very beginning, it feels poignant.

Heroes Fall

This moment is then followed by black, white, and red shots of the deaths of the heroes from Infinity War. We see Sam (also known as Falcon), T’Challa (Black Panther), and Wanda (Scarlet Witch) crumble to dust as Thor looks on in despair. The colouring of these shots makes this already pivotal and painful moment even more heart-breaking, and emphasizes the loss that was felt as we watched them turn to ash. Thor’s reaction is also crucial; though they have been edited together in this instance (we didn’t see Thor react to these deaths in Infinity War) it is still a sobering shot. It is likely that Thor feels guilty about Thanos’ victory, as he didn’t go for the head when he had the chance to take Thanos down. It will be interesting to see how affected he is by the snap, and to what extent he blames himself.

Hawkeye and his Protégé

In between the stylised shots, there are some other scenes that are worth having a look at. Notable absentee of Infinity War Clint Barton (Hawkeye) is seen teaching a young girl to use a bow and arrow. This could be his daughter, who we were introduced to in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it could also be a character from the comics called Kate Bishop. Kate takes on the mantle of Hawkeye in the comics, and is a member of the Young Avengers. Perhaps his daughter and Kate are one and the same in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If so, could she end up taking on her father’s role?

Friends to the End

The next shot we get is of Hawkeye in a moment with Natasha (Black Widow), the first time we have seen them together since Age of Ultron. They hold hands in the rain, suggesting their continued friendship has been cemented by the traumatic events of Infinity War. It could also suggest that something terrible has happened to Hawkeye. His new look and sullen expression could be suggesting that his family were victims of Thanos’s snap.

Not Us

We get a look at a black and white Cap with red gloves mournfully touching Bucky’s (The Winter Soldier) ashes as he says that he keeps telling people to move on, but can’t do so himself. “Some do, but not us” he says to Natasha. Steve’s stubbornness is clear here, as he is unwilling to give up on his fallen comrades and move on.

Side note: Natasha’s hair is longer and red again here, with the last bits of her previous blonde lingering on the tips. As a girl who keeps track of things like how long it takes for hair to grow, I can confirm that a fair amount of time must have passed since the moments in the previous trailer with her short, blonde do. It would at the very least be a few months, as her hair dye has faded at this point too. It is possible that footage with her short blonde hair was filmed to throw people off the scent, but I’ve given you some hair knowledge that I’m sure you weren’t expecting to get today. You’re welcome.

Ant-Man

Scott Lang (Ant-Man) looks confused as he sees a bunch of missing people posters stuck to a lamppost. Not only has he successfully made his way out of the Quantum Realm, which we saw him get trapped in during the post-credits scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp, but he clearly has no idea what has happened while he was gone. He gets stuck in there during the events of Infinity War, just as Thanos snaps away half the universe, and this may have saved him. We know that Hank Pym, Hope, and Janet Van Dyne all got snapped away (at the worst possible moment I might add), but what of Scott’s daughter, Cassie?

Homecoming

We see a ship flying through the air in New York, and it looks very similar to the one at the beginning of the trailer, hanging motionless in space with Tony Stark trapped within it. This looks like Tony and Nebula have fixed up the ship, and managed to get it to Earth. We get further confirmation of this later, but more on that when we get there.

Suit Up

Black Widow and Hawkeye get suited and booted for…something. Perhaps a battle, or a mission of some kind? Hawkeye grabs Black Widows shoulder, and she holds his hand in response, so whatever it is that they are preparing for seems to be something dangerous if they are comforting one another beforehand.

Big Boom

I wasn’t entirely sure who it was that we see in this next shot, running down a hallway as an explosion detonates, but if you look closely you can see a silhouette resembling arrows on his back, so I’m assuming this is Hawkeye. I’m glad he is getting more time in this trailer. I really hope his character has an important role to play after he was nowhere to be found in Infinity War.

Rocket and Rhodey

Rocket Raccoon and James Rhodes (War Machine) look ready for a fight as Rocket perches on War Machine’s shoulder. Rocket is arguably one of the characters who lost the most in Infinity War, as all his fellow Guardians of the Galaxy perished. Gamora was killed by Thanos to obtain the Soul Stone, whilst Star-Lord, Drax, Mantis, and Groot were snapped into dust. Nebula, who wasn’t really a proper Guardian — but did join forces with them in GOTG Vol.2 — is all that remains, and she is stuck in space with Tony Stark. I’m interested to see how Rocket will react when he realises that his comrades are all gone. He knows about Groot, but not the other Guardians. Hopefully, he will be able to find some solace in the other Avengers — especially Thor, who he got on particularly well within Infinity War. A nice touch is that Rocket is in his classic costume here from the comics, taking his look back to his roots.

We’ll Do it Together

A few shots of the remaining heroes here suiting up include Ant-Man (in his tiny form and maneuvering through what looks like a dangerous environment), Hawkeye, Thor (with his new weapon, Stormbreaker), Nebula, Black Widow, and Captain America. Cap is most noteworthy here. He appears in his classic outfit, and is covered in dirt and dust, obviously fighting for his life, his teammates lives, and the lives of just about everyone who is left in this world. Will he make the ultimate sacrifice to save us all?

Whatever it Takes

One of the last shots of the trailer shows what is left of the Avengers in some brand new white suits with red trims as they march towards what is likely their lost shot at saving the universe. Captain America heads up the team, and we then see Ant-Man and Nebula. This is followed by Hawkeye and War Machine, and finally, Black Widow and Iron Man. We don’t see everyone here; there is no Rocket, no Thor, and no Bruce Banner (The Hulk, who has gotten very little screen time in general in the promotional material). What this does confirm is that Nebula and Tony do indeed make it back to Earth after being stuck on Titan. That’s assuming that the Russo Brothers aren’t messing with us, but I have a feeling that they will both be needed in the plan to stop Thanos and restore the galaxy.

The new suits also raise some questions. Rumours have been flying about the Avengers using time travel via the Quantum Realm to return to key moments in previous films to try and undo Thanos’ destruction; if this is so, are these special suits for their journey into the Quantum Realm to access the time vortex that was mentioned in Ant-Man and the Wasp? Possibly. But as we are getting very little in the way of footage (which to me is a great thing), everything is still up in the air at this point.

Captain Marvel

In a little scene at the end of the trailer, we see Thor meeting Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel). As they size each other up, Thor summons Stormbreaker, which flies dangerously close to Carol’s head. She doesn’t even flinch. Thor announces that “he likes this one,” and a beautiful partnership is born. Captain Marvel is sure to shake things up in the fight against Thanos due to her insane powers. I loved her solo film, which came out recently, so I’m looking forward to seeing her in action again.

The Avengers

The Russo Brothers have been keeping tight-lipped about Endgame, and for good reason. This may well be the last Marvel film for some of our favourite heroes, the ones who have been around the longest. I was 15 years old when I first saw Iron Man in the cinema. Now, at age 26, I’m still watching. It was the start of a journey that no one could have predicted, leading to all manner of unthinkable characters getting their own movies, and team-ups that once seemed impossible. I feel like I have aged with the Avengers, and watched them grow to the heroes they are now. There is a personal element to this film that I think a lot of people will also be feeling. One thing I am certain of is that I don’t think I’m ready to see how this is all going to end.

Avengers: Endgame is out on April 26th 2019 (in the UK we get it on April 25th. Yes, that is me bragging about that).

Antonia Haynes resides in a small seaside town in England where she has lived her whole life. She's a simple girl with a passion for zombies, writing, film, television, drawing, superheroes, Disney and, of course, video games. Her ideal day would consist of junk food, fluffy pyjamas and video games because quite frankly going outside is overrated. Follow her on Twitter on @RainbowMachete

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Let’s Discuss the Revamped Sonic the Hedgehog Design

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The internet has breathed a collective sigh of relief following the release of a new trailer for the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog movie. Some leaks a few weeks back that turned out to be correct showed the design that we see but the trailer shows a lot more of the new redesign of the world renowned video game character. The movie has been the subject of much attention-mostly negative- after the initial trailer was released six months ago. The first trailer (which initially announced a release date of November 2019) was incredibly poorly received due to the odd design choice for the titular character. With small eyes, a tiny snout and human teeth, the original design was weirdly realistic and resembled an odd humanoid rather than the blue cartoon hedgehog that we all know and love.

The first design for Sonic looked a bit like a child in a Sonic the Hedgehog suit. Creepy to say the least.

The new trailer shows off a brand new look for Sonic which is far more in sync with what we already know for the character. He is definitely an animated character, with the exaggerated features that he has always had in every other iteration. The movie itself still looks cheesy as hell but it looks like a tolerable, even kind of enjoyable sort of cheesy.  The controversy surrounding the terribly received first Sonic design has been so prolific that some even argued that the whole thing has been a marketing ploy and that the character was never meant to look as bad as he originally did. Whatever the case may be in terms of what went down behind the scenes of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, it is clear that even if the film is terrible it will attract a substantial audience of people just curious as to how the whole thing is going to turn out. As a fan of Sonic since the 90’s when I was little, I’m probably going to be one of those people.

Sonic is now appropriately cute, fluffy and more in line with his usual style.

I’m still kind of hoping it can break the curse of the video game movie-like Detective Pikachu did- but alongside the aforementioned cheesiness, it looks like a pretty generic movie aimed at kids rather than diehard fans of the Sonic franchise. Flop or not, at least Sonic is looking far more adorable and less like he might murder you in your sleep. It also shows how the filmmakers were willing to listen to their audience and implement changes following feedback. Incredibly vocal feedback at that.

The comparison between the two designs shows just how much the animators have worked to create a brand new Sonic. Their hard work has certainly paid off.

Sonic the Hedgehog is due for theatrical release on February 14th, 2020.

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Anamanaguchi – [USA] (Album Review)

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Few acts boast such renown amongst uber-nerdy video game enthusiasts as Anamanaguchi. Unveiling their debut EP ‘Power Supply’ in 2009, the Chiptune pioneers have pushed their unique brand of 8-bit powered Rock and Pop across various releases, including 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game soundtrack, and 2013’s Kickstarter funded 22 track LP ‘Endless Fantasy’. And with ‘Endless Fantasy’ being their last LP (excluding their stuffed to the brim ‘Capsule Silence XXIV’ compilations), to say fans have anticipated ‘[USA]’ is an almighty understatement.

Six years is a while, so has Anamanaguchi’s latest batch of tracks been worth the wait? Seasoned fans Harry and Kyle are on the scene to offer their takes, from how ‘[USA]’ stacks up against the band’s other offerings, to its effectiveness as an artistic whole.

Background With Anamanaguchi

I first heard Anamanaguchi around 2010. At the time I was neck deep in my Slipknot phase (a phase I’ve yet to grow out of judging by how much I replayed ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ this year), so their goofy electronic schtick didn’t tick my boxes. But as time passed I developed a stronger fondness of them, so much so that I enthusiastically backed their 2013 LP ‘Endless Fantasy’ on Kickstarter. Now I’ve seen them live twice, followed their progress over the years, and can proudly proclaim my superfan status. – Harry

The late 2000s saw a shift in pop culture: suddenly, geek chic was all the rage. G4 was at the height of its popularity, pixel art infested countless pieces of media, and video games were undeniably cool. Few other pieces of media encapsulate this cultural zeitgeist more than Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game. Based on the popular comic by Bryan Lee O’Malley, the Scott Pilgrim game featured Anamanaguchi’s crunchy pixelated Rock sound, which melded perfectly with the colorful 16-bit beat-em’-up gameplay. Older Anamanaguchi albums are more than just music: they’re a trip back in time to a brighter, more innocent era of pop culture and gaming. – Kyle

Introducing [USA]

I was excited for ‘[USA]’, but that’s stating the obvious based on my prior words. The LP kicks off with its titular track, introducing affairs with an amalgamation of predictably glitchy bleeps ‘n’ bloops. It’s straight up Anamanaguchi, their Chiptune flair intact. This is good, as Anamanaguchi sans Chiptune is like spaghetti sans sauce (still awesome, but lacking a key ingredient). “USA” is chanted as instrumentation morphs stylistically, crescendoing in dynamics and tempo, and setting the stage for the lead single.

“Lorem Ipsum (Arctic Anthem)” is an LP highlight. Stepping out the gate with Vocaloid-y singing, an aesthetic of grandiose gorgeousness is speedily cemented. This later juxtaposes with the rapid-fire rhythms of Luke’s drumming and manic synthesizer arpeggios that run around like an 8-bit-ified (Sega Master System) Sonic the Hedgehog. This mental meld of melody, Drum and bass, and all manner of other musical magic finally sinks into a sea of atmospheric spookiness, concluding in an out of left field (yet utterly engaging) way. “Lorem Ipsum (Arctic Anthem)” avoids predictability through each and every beat of its journey, but nails catchy accessibility to a tee. A masterclass in creative songwriting, it sets ‘[USA]’s’ bar sky high. – Harry

The weeks to ‘[USA]’ releasing were positive ones, marked by enticing singles like “Lorem Ipsum (Arctic Anthem)” and “Air On Line”. Anamanaguchi’s distinct Rock-flavored Chiptune style had undergone a stylistic shift in the band’s 2013 release ‘Endless Fantasy’, where the band shed off some of its punk flair in favor of dreamier synth tones. In the six years between LP releases, Anamanaguchi experimented with singles and EPs featuring sonic palettes characteristic of modern J-Pop (“Pop It”, “Miku”). While the band stretched its legs with poppier beats, it did mark a further departure from the traditional Rock-oriented sound that had defined much of their earlier work.

‘[USA]’ in many respects displays a return to Anamanaguchi’s roots. Tracks like “On My Own (feat. HANA)” and “Air On Line” boast driving guitar riffs, thumping drums, and fluidly complex intricacies. Yet, it’s more than clear that Anamanaguchi has evolved beyond their geeky beginnings to cultivate an airy soundscape of bright pastel colors and crystal clear tones. It doesn’t always hit the mark, but the highs that ‘[USA]’ can reach prove that the guys have still got it. – Kyle

Negative Bits

Unfortunately, said sky high bar is scarcely met again throughout the rest of ‘[USA]’. Plenty of tracks, like “The C R T Woods” and “Overwriting Incorporate”, are serviceable, but fall short of the laser focused compositional direction and melodic magnificence that Anamanaguchi are so super slick at. ‘[USA]’ suffers from banality, with tracks like “Tear” and “We Die” meandering noisily without focus, and big chunks (particularly the interlude-like tracks “Speak To You [Memory Messengers]” and “Apophenia Light [Name Eaters]”) feeling akin to ‘Capsule Silence XXIV’ cuts (i.e. decent demos, but not kickass LP standouts). – Harry

Much like Harry, I found a large chunk of the album rather dull to get through. Admittedly, Anamanaguchi has an undeniable talent for their synth instrumentation. However, what pushes their work beyond generic electronic music is their ability to anchor that instrumentation to a melodic through line built on catchy hooks and unexpected turns. “Lorem Ipsum (Arctic Anthem)” is one of the few tracks that manages to pull off this floaty, ethereal sound because it moves forward with purpose and constantly engages your curiosity. The same can’t be said for several of the other synth-heavy tracks, too lost in their own sound to offer anything truly engaging. – Kyle

Positive Bits

Nevertheless, there are flashes of brilliance here. “Sunset By Plane (feat. Caroline Lufkin)” is Anamanaguchi firing on all cylinders, delivering energetic poppy bombast in spades. Porter Robinson’s co production is evident in “Air On Line”, resulting in a smooth stomper of happy hooks. “B S X (feat. Hatsune Miku)” incorporates choppily glitched-out singing from the iconic Vocaloid, serving as a pseudo-sequel to the 2016 single “Miku”. “On My Own (feat. HANA)” sees Anamanaguchi’s Chiptune/Pop/Rock melting pot bubbling away again. And speaking of Chiptune, it’s wonderful to hear mountains of 8-bit eccentricity throughout ‘[USA]’, proving even as their sound matures, Anamanaguchi still celebrate where they came from with beaming pixelated smiles. – Harry

As a whole, ‘[USA]’ still deserves a place worthy of praise in Anamanaguchi’s discography. Porter Robinson only collaborated with the band for “Air On Line”, but his style bleeds wonderfully into tracks like “Up to You (feat. meesh)” and “Sunset By Plane (feat. Caroline Lufkin)”. The kawaii-infused J-Pop rhythms and hooks are infectiously catchy, but don’t let that fool you: Anamanaguchi haven’t lost their edge. “B S X (feat. Hatsune Miku)” and “On My Own (feat. HANA)” show that the band can reach back into their deep musical pockets and bring out their signature hard Chiptune Rock to surprise you with something intimately familiar. – Kyle

Final Thoughts

In typical Anamanaguchi fashion, ‘[USA]’ is ambitious from start to finish. ‘Endless Fantasy’ is bloated, but stylistically spot on, whereas ‘[USA]’ trims the fat, but gets a little lost in its journey. Glistening gold sits alongside stale pies, and that description is a fitting metaphor for elements of ‘[USA]’: it’s odd, and doesn’t make much sense (and perhaps that in itself is a metaphor for the real life USA?).

Still, when Anamanaguchi’s latest is good, it’s really good, and there’s bundles of genius in the 8-bit boys yet!

Check out, stream, buy or consume ‘[USA]’ in your preferred capacity by clicking HERE!

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Star Wars Fan Films Embrace the Essence of A Galaxy Far, Far Away

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There is no doubt that dedicated fans are capable of creating brilliant, fan-made content, but the Star Wars fan base has a habit of going above and beyond in making incredible works of art that often surpass official entries in the franchise. Two relatively recent short fan films — one released last week, the other released in March of this year — are great examples of this.

The first is a 1970s/80s-style cartoon from YouTuber Wilkins Animation called Dark Empire Episode One: The Destiny of a Jedi. This animated short is incredibly reminiscent of classic cartoons — so much so that it is difficult not to feel a pang of nostalgia upon watching it. The style gives off a He-Man vibe due to the quirky animation, stellar voice work, and vibrant colour scheme. The story is set after The Return of The Jedi as Han, Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO embark on a mission to save Luke and Lando, who are stranded on war-torn Coruscant. I won’t spoil anything in case you want to check it out for yourself, but the story is engaging, and I couldn’t help but feel that I wanted to see more when it came to an end.

Have a watch below if you want to see more, and to check out Wilkins Animation’s Patreon to support their work, click here.

The second fan made film is a slightly older (from March 2019) one called Battle of the Dreadnoughts, by YouTuber EckhartsLadder. The film is significantly shorter than the 12-minute Dark Empire cartoon, clocking in at about three and a half minutes. It depicts a space battle between the New Republic’s Viscount Class Star Defender and the Empire’s most dangerous of all its weapons, the Eclipse Super Star Destroyer. Battle of the Dreadnoughts may be short, but it is astounding in quality. Upon my first viewing, I was certain I had accidentally clicked on a scene from the movies rather than a fan-made project. The accuracy, attention to detail, and sheer scale blew my mind and — as with the Dark Empire animation — left me wanting more from the content creators involved.

Check out EckhartsLadder’s Patreon here and their Twitch account here.

There is no doubting the talent of the Star Wars fan base, but these two films in particular are incredible works of art both in their own right and as Star Wars fan projects.

For more Star Wars, have a read of our Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer breakdown.

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