CandidxCinema Podcast: Episode #1 – Oscars 2020

As we all know, Oscar season is almost over. It has been such a long ride since last September, when I watched majority of the nominees at The Toronto International Film Festival. I decided to start my own podcast ahead of Oscar Sunday and share some wisdom about how the Academy works.

In the following podcast, I discuss the major snubs and the politics behind the nominations/wins. I talk about the lack of female representation in the Best Director category AND the lack of nominations for people of colour. I also didn’t forget to go on a rant, highlighting how every Oscar season has been fairly questionable, over the past decade.

The links are below, The CandidxCinema Podcast is now live on Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple Podcasts:

Please subscribe and follow along on Twitter @amxndareviews for more updates!

6 Gems to Keep in Mind While Watching ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (SPOILER WARNING)

After eleven years and twenty-two movies later, the “Infinity Saga” has officially come to an end.

Marvel President, Kevin Feige had an idea, to build a franchise that is all interconnected and would eventually culminate the longform story structure into a daring finale.

It’s easier to breakdown what happened and look over the MCU as a whole. So, here are the major clues from other films in the MCU, which will all make sense while watching “Avengers: Endgame”

The most important question after watching “Infinity War” is “What happened after the snap?”

Thanos believed that he restored balance to the universe by wiping out 50% of humanity. At the end of “Infinity War”, we see that half of the heroes have vanished and the original Avengers have stayed back.

Before vanishing, Doctor Strange went forward in time and saw all the possible outcomes before fighting Thanos. He then gave up the time stone to Thanos in order to carry out the proper plan to defeat him. As “Sorcerer Supreme” it was his duty to protect the time stone because it’s a power source for him, so when he gave up the stone to Thanos, in exchange to save Tony Stark’s life, there must have been a reason for him to do so. The time stone is a major player going into “Endgame” because of the one outcome that can save them all.

At the beginning of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Scott Lang is alive, as he pops out of the Quantum Realm. He has an idea to use the realm and pinpoint an exact moment in time so they can time travel. It’s a simple plan and it’s the only option the Avengers have to get everyone back. Scott Lang was actually one of the best characters in Endgame because he had a lot to lose, he DID NOT stop fighting for his family, even when he had to talk Tony Stark into conducting this “time heist”. The trials that they conducted with Bruce Banner made for quite an entertaining schtick before Tony jumps in and saves the day with his “time gps”. The original 6, plus Nebula, Rocket and Rhodie all enter the realm and travel back to specific moments from previous films in which the stones appeared in. This was such a beautiful idea from the Russo’s, to incorporate the important moments for their characters and memorable ones for audiences.

INFINITY SAGA PHASE 1 PODCAST
https://castbox.fm/x/15raq

The previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have all been perfectly placed to lead up to ““Endgame””, starting with the first ““Avengers”” movie. The “Battle of New York” changed the trajectory of all the characters, but most importantly Tony Stark’s character arc. In this film, Tony Stark is introduced to space for the first time. He battled Loki and the Chitauri, which were from another realm. These aliens completely destroyed New York and from that moment, Tony Stark made it a point to create more weapons to keep the entire world safe. The aftermath of this film affected Tony Stark’s mental health, which was carried out in “Iron Man 3”. He had post traumatic stress disorder and was obsessed with building more suits, so he would always be protected. It wasn’t until “Age of Ultron” where his ultimate fear was revealed, due to Scarlet Witch and her mind control. She made him see the fate of The Avengers and it was death by Thanos. Since “Age of Ultron” Tony Stark had a personal vendetta against Thanos because of how obsessive he had become in keeping his loved ones safe from the Mad Titan. Tony Stark’s character arc is the most important heading into “Endgame” because of everything that he has been through with Thanos. The Marvel Cinematic Universe began with Tony Stark, so it is only fitting that he avenges the lives that were lost.

One of the most powerful Avengers also undergoes one of biggest transformations and the God of Thunder changes after the events in “Thor: The Dark World”. In this film the reality stone is discovered by Dr. Jane Foster on Earth. Jane noticed that various portals have appeared around her area and the laws of physics had been suspended. She entered this abandoned building, where the power was at its strongest and she ends up entering another realm. After entering she is infected with the “Aether”, otherwise known as the reality stone. Thor’s father, Odin, then warns Thor that Jane is out of reach and he can no longer track her whereabouts. He then goes to save Jane and they have to remove the “aether” from her body. He brings Jane to Asgard in order to keep her safe because an enemy force wants the “Aether”. In order to keep her and the stone safe, Thor’s mother, Frigga ends up sacrificing herself in order to protect Jane from the Dark Elves. In this film, Thor loses his mother and renounces the throne. He becomes more humble and acknowledges his own faults. As Thor navigates his way through the other films he finally comes into his own in “Thor:Ragnarok”, he had a purpose to protect his people. In “Infinity War”, Thor is the one to attack Thanos with all the power he had gained from his axe “Stormbreaker” and he unleashed it in Wakanda. Thor took on Thanos on his own and went to stab his heart. Unfortunately, Thanos was still able to snap his fingers and complete his plan. Thor then becomes our discouraged hero and blames himself for not doing the right thing. Thor falls off the wagon into a depression that leaves him struggling to find out who he is instead of who he is supposed to be.

INFINITY SAGA 2 PODCAST
https://castbox.fm/x/15raC

The first sign of Thanos retrieving the infinity stones was during “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1”. The power stone was locked up on planet Morag and Peter Quill was able to retrieve it, not knowing the contents of the orb. In this film, Thanos sends Nebula and Gamora to go retrieve the orb. Gamora ends up making contact with Quill and the battle for the orb continues throughout the film. Gamora sees what her father, Thanos has done to the universe and ends up protecting the power stone, instead of giving it to him. At this point, Thanos loses Gamora to the Guardians and begins to search for the stones on his own. The Guardians ended up giving the power stone to the Nova Corps in order to keep it safe. Thanos began to recruit his own army, known as The Black Order, in order to retrieve the stones. They destroyed planets and many lives were lost while trying to uncover these stones.

Another issue ‘The Avengers’ face when they head into the Quantum Realm is that they were all clueless about the soul stone. Thanos is the only one who has ever ventured to Voromir and in exchange for the stone, he had to sacrifice his daughter. Clint and Natasha were sent there without any knowledge of the decision they had to make in order to retrieve the stone. This could have all been avoided if Nebula actually told the full story of her sister Gamora’s death. The soul stone is not easy to retrieve and even Scott Lang knew it was a bad idea, since he opted out. What is very unfortunate is that Black Widow was the most excited to get the stones and return back to the present and it didn’t happen for her. Black Widow’s ending made sense because she finally had a family and she would do anything for them, including sacrificing herself. We’re getting a Black Widows standalone anyway and I’m sure it will have better characterization than what she had in previous movies.

INFINITY SAGA PHASE 3 PODCAST
https://castbox.fm/x/15raO

The most important thing to take away from the “Infinity Saga” coming to an end is that Stan Lee was fortunate enough to watch his comic panels come to life. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby all contributed to this universe and their work will live on forever. From the writing, witty characters and special cameos, it’s a real treat to be a Marvel fan because of how dedicated everyone has been in doing these characters justice.

So in the words of Stan Lee,

Excelsior and enjoy Avengers: Endgame.

The Future of Film Distribution & Netflix Streaming

In most recent years Netflix has become a major part of the film industry. It started out with original television content which have gained critical acclaim and eventually they branched out into films.

In the past 5 years Netflix Original Films have been in the Oscar conversation. Films like Beasts of No Nation, Mudbound and now Roma have all been nominated for Academy Awards.

Roma has received the biggest accolades for the streaming service, gaining 10 Oscar nominations and plenty of other awards this Oscar season. Roma is the first Mexican foreign language film to ever be nominated for that category and Best Picture. Roma has won 3 Oscars for Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film.

Netflix was first established in 1997. They were the first company to have an online streaming library which initially included DVD sales and rental by mail. Due to this structure, Netflix wanted to collaborate with Blockbuster and combine the online content with DVD sales. Unfortunately, Blockbuster soon went under, as many people were just buying DVD’s and Netflix had their own library.

In 2011 Netflix began production on their original content. Netflix funds their shows differently than regular TV stations do. When anyone signs onto a project, they must have the money up front and they order two seasons of most series. The Netflix Originals, usually have 10 to 13 episodes per season rather than TV Networks with a 23 episode order.

In July 2013, Orange is the New Black premiered on Netflix and became a global phenomenon and it brought in more subscribers. Netflix has reached out to major film studios such as Warner Brothers, Paramount and Universal in order to have as much content as they can for their library.

As Netflix continues to flourish and makes huge moves with well known filmmakers such as Alfonso Cuarón and Martin Scorsese, it will soon be accessible to so many people and deliver a wide range of films. In the following podcast, the issue of categorizing the quality of Netflix content and how it will impact the future of cinema is a rising conversation.

Netflix Becoming a Major Distributor Podcast
(associated with Candid Cinema Podcast)

Netflix has been in constant battles with cinemas all over the world and with the Cannes Film Festival. Cannes banned Netflix films from ever appearing at the festival. Netflix wanted to branch out and somehow have a tandem with cinema distribution and their platform. Netflix attempted to have their original film Beasts of No Nation be shown in theatres nationwide but most companies refused it. The push for this tandem was brought forward by Alfonso Cuaron, as his film Roma was the first one to be shown in theatres nationwide and debut on the streaming service.

Netflix has turned into a global phenomenon and has changed the way films are presented. Movie theatre chains and film fans have noticed this major difference. In the following video, managers and guests alike express their views on the moviegoing experience.

a compilation video of opinions about the future of cinema and netflix

The future of cinema could be in the hands of Netflix. The studio has plenty of original content lined up and considering the success of Roma it has become a major player in regards to what stories are presented to the streaming service. The next tandem distribution is Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Scorsese and Cuaron have been in the industry for a very long time and both have them have taken risks with their filmography. Both of them have pushed the medium forward and if they have given Netflix a chance as a major player in Hollywood then it must be the right move.

Award Season Nominations & Early Predictions

Well, it’s officially Oscar season and the nominations have been rolling in! The past couple of days we’ve had the Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG award nominations announced and it’s going to be a very tough year this year!

The films that have surprised me the most are Black Panther, The Favourite, Vice and Mary Poppins Returns to name a few. There are so many things that I have to say so I made a podcast highlighting all three award nominations!

award-season-20161

Episode 08 – Award Season Nominations 2018

It’s been such a wonderful year for cinema and the nominations are proof of that! I will be keeping up with the award season on Twitter and Letterboxd, so feel free to follow along there! Of course, I will be on Instagram giving my graded reviews as well! Keep it locked and I promise I will deliver the most honest reviews possible!