Somehow the New Infinity War Trailer Makes You More Excited For the Film

If the first Infinity War trailer wasn’t enough, now there’s a second, and it is somehow even better.

What is destined to be the film of the year (and honestly, at least to me, of the decade), Infinity War needs almost no marketing, because people will go to see it. I, however, am not complaining. This is a trailer for the ages.

Interestingly, the biggest takeaway I have from this trailer is that it isn’t all heavy-handed, which is something I was afraid of for the movie. Yes, this needs to be serious, but it would be a betrayal to Starlord and Spider-Man, as showcased in this trailer, to not be at least a little quirky. Case in point, Batman in Batman v Superman was pretty much a wall devoid completely of anything positive, and then immediately in Justice League, he’s throwing around one-liners like it’s his job. Imagine that, but in reverse. No matter what the film’s tone needs to be, it can’t simply change its characters to fit that tone.


Beyond this, and this is something I’ve noticed in a lot of Marvel material lately, from Infinity War promotional material to videos showcasing the last ten years of the MCU, Spider-Man is given so much of the spotlight that it’s just a joy to watch. This includes having the last few seconds of this trailer all to himself. That just makes me so happy.


Back to the focus of the trailer, however, there are some things that are definitely worth mentioning. Thanos will, to some extent, be humanised, and I’m sorry but that’s just better than having him be an all-out bad guy that nobody can understand. You know who that is? That’s Malekith. Remember Malekith? Exactly.


In order for Thanos to be a compelling villain, he needs to be a compelling character, and it’s clear that Marvel are not shying away from this. In doing so, we apparently get some much welcomed backstory involving Gamora, who actually narrates the first part of this trailer completely on her own (as opposed to about five narrators in the last trailer).

What’s clear to me here is that every character in this extensive ensemble will fit the story in their own way, and to their own appropriate extent. It’s great to see how important Gamora is, and that’s exactly how it needs to be.


I do believe we see Thanos in his armour just so Marvel could get people to shut up about his appearance. I didn’t need it, but I’m fairly certain that’s why it’s there.

Finally, of course, I need to talk about the very last shot (before the post-title sequence [in true Marvel fashion]).


I said it before and I’ll say it again. Captain America will stand toe-to-toe with Thanos and he will die fighting. I could be wrong, but given that we’ve seen this now, I’m even more confident now. There is no other way for him to go out. It’s perfect.

Also, the Soul Stone is in Wakanda. I mean, come on.

P.S. as a film student now, there is something very, very pleasing about synchronised audio. I just had to put that out there because I couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole time I was watching this trailer.

Watch the trailer below.


Jessica Jones’ Second Season Struggles to Escape the Shadow of Its First (no spoilers)

It’s a little unfair to a series when it sets such a high bar for itself with its first season.

Jessica Jones’ first season is still my favourite Marvel Netflix series thus far, and I doubt it’ll ever be toppled.

The quality of that first season, however, did place high expectations on the second, and it was inevitable that those expectations would not be met.

I choose not to disclose anything at all about the plot of the second season because the very premise is a spoiler.

What I will say, however, is that it is a smart route to take. The first season of the show was already so personal that exploring the character of Jessica Jones would have been difficult to begin with in the second season. What’s on display here is a great way to dive deeper into her character, and it makes for a compelling story.

However, at some point in the season you begin to realise why the second season simply cannot stand toe-to-toe with the first. Jessica Jones season 1 was the most focused, most driven of all Marvel Netflix series. It had one purpose, one direction, and it didn’t need any more. It was such a great series because it always had you by the collar, making you stare into its eyes.

The second season greatly lacks that focus. Granted, this does not means it’s bad. It is just scattered. You can never truly be as invested in this season as you were in the last, because it doesn’t really allow you to be.

The bigger hole left by season one is David Tennant’s Kilgrave. That character almost defined season one, and his lack of presence is noticeable. This isn’t to say that the cast isn’t adequate – they are all, in fact, great – it’s just to say that Kilgrave was such a scene-stealing character that he seems to have stolen something from the whole season.

This is what makes season two of Jessica Jones just fine, but it should be more than that. It makes for entertaining television, but at the end of the day, almost nothing from the season is memorable.

The season has direction but throughout its entirety, even towards the end, you can never really feel this. There is never a point where you want to stop watching, but at the same time, you can stop watching. Nothing would really stop you from just putting something else on.

Jessica Jones returns to Netflix on the heels of a fantastic first season and a return to form for Marvel with The Punisher. It just doesn’t really go beyond that, and at the end of the day, I’m not going to remember it when I wake up tomorrow. That’s just the sad truth.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Jessica Jones (season two): MIHIR

Did The Shape of Water Deserve Best Picture?

The effect of watching Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri the day before watching The Shape of Water is that it will often be used as a measuring stick across this article.

Immediately, I would like to state that I think Three Billboards is the better film. It is structured better, it has better performances (but this is only because it probably has the best performances in a film in years) and it is better written.

However, to answer my own question, I think The Shape of Water winning best picture is the right outcome.

The Shape of Water is a fantasy romance (well, loosely) which follows Eliza (Sally Hawkins), a mute cleaning lady at a high-end science laboratory, which is housing a sea-creature of sorts and running tests on it. I will not say any more.

The Shape of Water is the sort of film that reminds an audience of why film is so special. Three Billboards is brilliant, yes, but what makes The Shape of Water more deserving of best picture in my eyes is its ambition. It is a film that doesn’t come around very often.

Let me get the negatives out of the way. The Shape of Water gets better as it goes along, and even though that is a positive, it does mean that the film’s first act falls behind. It isn’t that it’s not interesting, it’s just that it isn’t as interesting as it can be.

Beyond this, there is one other tiny nitpick I have that really shouldn’t count, but it’s been bugging me ever since I saw it. There is one scene transition in the film that is like a Star Wars scene transition, and it’s so out of place that I wonder why it’s even there. I’m talking, of course, about a wipe, and there is just one for no particular reason.

Moving past the nitpicking, let’s talk about what makes The Shape of Water great.

When I watch a film, I look at it two ways. One way I look at a film is considering how it’s structured, how it’s written, how it’s directed, how it looks, how well the sound is mixed, and everything of the sort. Generally for a motion picture at this level, most of those elements cannot be sub-par, so unless the sound is something exceptional (like I felt with Dunkirk) or the cinematography is extra beautiful, I usually just think about how it’s written, directed and edited. Considering those factors (except directing, in which Del Toro greatly outdoes Three Billboards’ Martin McDonagh), Three Billboards is the better film.

However, the other way I look at a film matters more to me, and it’s just how the film has an impact on me, or how much I can connect to it, or how much it stands out from other films, and other similar factors. Now, the first way is less subjective than the second, and that is an important distinction. A film connects with everyone differently, and so while I say The Shape of Water deserved its prize, a lot of people would disagree, and that’s how it should be.

The Shape of Water resonates because it showcases the worst and best of humanity. It explores the different ways we deal with things that are not familiar to us, and, at least to me, it is of utmost relevance. Yes, the film is about a fictional sea-creature, or Amphibious Man, but its message extends far beyond that, and that’s what makes it stand out.

The film is also gorgeous. One could argue that it leans a little too much into its fantasy, but to me, that only makes it better. The entire film, maybe because it’s set some time during the Cold War, has a fantastical feel to it, and it really only elevates you as a viewer.

Sally Hawkins and the rest of the cast bring stellar performances to the table, with Hawkins in particular standing out. Her character connects with the Amphibious Man in a beautiful way, and it really is the centre of the film.

This is as far as I’ll go, because I don’t want to accidentally give away anything. The Shape of Water is a film that moves you with its ambition and its magic. What’s even more surprising is that it isn’t your typical best picture winner, but it is rather nice that it is the winner anyway.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

The Shape of Water: MIHIR

Trying to Review Three Billboards Almost Three Months Late

This is arguably my most challenging review ever, because Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is probably the most challenging film I’ve had to review yet.

I love when a film leaves you thinking about it for hours after you walk out, even if it is frustrating or annoying. Three Billboards, directed by Martin McDonagh, is one of those films.

I went into this film with absolutely no idea about the plot, so I will leave it as that. It made my experience better than it would have been if I did know the plot before going in.

This review, obviously, is entirely spoiler-free as my reviews always are, but for the first time my own golden rule is really holding me back. I shall, however, soldier on.

Three Billboards is not a directorial spectacle, or anything of the sorts. It is a subtle film that finds its strength two ways: its performances and its subtext.

All performances in Three Billboards are great, but two stand out far above the rest. Frances McDormand’s Academy Award-winning performance lives up to its accolades. Beyond her, however, is Sam Rockwell, who somehow manages to steal the show in a film filled with fueled, passionate performances.

The characters in Three Billboards require committed performances, because the plot is one that immediately spawns difficult characters. The effect of this is that the film can be rather difficult to watch at times. This is not a critique, but rather a compliment towards the power of the movie. There are viewers that do not like to be manipulated by a film, but I love being manipulated by what I’m watching.

The true charm of Three Billboards, however, is how it explores the complexity of our actions and how even the smallest of acts can have dire consequences. Being set in a small town, everyone’s lives are entangled, and the film does not shy away from allowing people to intertwine as much as it can. There is no good character in this movie, and it is difficult to call anyone definitely bad. Everyone is a human being, and the film treats them that way.

The only problem I found with this film is how it handles its humour, of which it actually has a surprising amount. There are two types of humour in this film, and the type which works is the satirical humour. However, the film also tends to very often undercut a serious (even devastating scene) with something humorous at the end, and it is a confusing predicament to be in as a viewer. Granted, Marvel gets a lot of criticism for the same thing, but the difference is, Marvel films are about superheroes and are nowhere near as serious as Three Billboards, and most of that Marvel humour works. With this film, however, you simply cannot laugh as a viewer because it feels out of place. The satire is great, but the throwaway humour does nothing but take away from the film.

Beyond that, however, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a film that deserves to be remembered, because what it has to say is something worth thinking about. It would have been a disaster if its performances weren’t as brilliant as they were. This is a film I hope to hear people talking about in a film class thirty years down the line.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: MIHIR


Game Night: The Perfect Way to Kill a Couple of Hours, But Nothing More Than That

Films can be interesting when it comes to how seriously they should be taken. There is, of course, the Schindler’s List side of the film spectrum, and on the other end, there is the Ferris Beuller’s Day Off side. Where this scale tends to damage the way we look at film, however, is when one tends to confuse the seriousness of a film with its actual quality. At least to me.

Ferris Beuller, for instance, is one of my favourite films of all time, but it certainly is not to be taken seriously. Game Night, although not nearly on Ferris Beuller’s level, is one of those films. Don’t take it seriously, and you’ll have a great time.

Game Night stars Jason Bateman, who I knew only from Juno and for being the one funny character in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Rachel McAdams, who needs no introduction, and follows a strange mystery that takes place on a game night. That’s all I can really say.

This film is a comedy, and, it is a good one… On most occasions. There are moments that really do not work, but those are outweighed by the moments that do work.

Game Night’s plot isn’t its strongest aspect, but it is pushed along by great performances, from actors who are already well pedigreed. The problems that come along with the plot are that at a point, it becomes tremendously confusing tonally. This is coming back to the point I was making about how serious a film is. If Game Night stuck to its less grounded self, rather than try and be a little more serious, it would have scored more points in my book. The most jarring thing is how quickly the film transitions back and forth between light and heavy.

There is also a minor side-story that is just completely unnecessary and feels rather like it’s just included because the two characters involved in it have nothing else to do in the film.

As harsh as I appear to sound, I actually did like Game Night and I had a great time. It’s funny and has great entertainment value, so, it still receives a recommendation from me. Just don’t take it too seriously.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Game Night: MIHIR

Black Panther is Marvel’s Richest Film Yet

No spoilers.

Eighteen films into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

No more to go until Infinity War.

Black Panther is the final Marvel film before the ultimate nerd extravaganza, and it has a lot riding on it. Not only does it have to try and stand out among origin films, it has to allow Marvel to gain momentum heading into May.

Picking up right where Captain America: Civil War left off (quite literally), Black Panther follows T’Challa’s journey to becoming king of Wakanda.

This is where Black Panther truly shines, and this is what I mean when I say the film is rich. Wakanda is exquisite in this film, and it’s clear that Marvel do not wish to hold back with its importance in the world. The ways and cultures of Wakanda are brought so gloriously to life that you really appreciate the detail everyone involved in this film put into it.

Black Panther also has a wonderful plot, and along with it comes one of Marvel’s best villains to date in Michael B Jordan’s Killmonger. This character is layered, and the best part is that you can completely understand his side of the tale. Aided by Jordan’s fueled performance, Killmonger will go down as one of the MCU’s most memorable villains.

On that note, the characters in this movie are a delight to see. You understand all of their roles in Wakandan society, and all of them are distinct and come with driven performances from their respective actresses and actors.

Black Panther himself is one of the best solo MCU characters to date. He is a class apart from the rest, and we’ve never really seen a character like him before.

All this, of course, seems to be describing a perfect film. That is what I thought I would end up calling this movie. However, it is a disappointment that I cannot call Black Panther perfect, and this really has to do with its final act.

There are two major contributors that take away from the film. First, it’s that the last act feels jarringly rushed. There have been reports that this film was meant to be over four hours long, and I am surprised that the only time this is evident is towards the end. But I can’t deny that you do feel it.

Black Panther’s second problem is that it shifts its tone a bit in the second half. It goes from a truly authentic film to feeling like another Marvel film. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is a shame that it could have been something more special than it is. Especially since we already see how great it can be in the first half.

That said, Black Panther is most certainly one of the better Marvel films, and it is a strong film to lead right into Infinity War. Marvel’s big hurrah comes this May. But this one is definitely worth watching too.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Black Panther: MIHIR

This Is Us Presents the Most Difficult Hour of Television Ever

Spoilers for This Is Us. Proceed with caution.

I don’t conventionally write about a television series until its season comes to an end, and I certainly never write about a random episode in the middle of the season.

However, when it comes to This Is Us’ Super Bowl Sunday, I have to make an exception, because this episode feels like a finale to everything the series has stood for so far. At least, in one sense.

The funny part about all of this is that Jack Pearson’s present-day state of being (as in, dead) was revealed as early as the second episode of the show, and yet, a whole thirty episodes after that, it manages to still make you care so much about his death.

That, really, is a true testament to the show. Jack Pearson may, admittedly, be painted as unrealistically good at times, but This Is Us manages to do this without the audience turning their backs on Jack. This could partially be because Jack isn’t perfect, and the times when the show highlights this, it often goes all out to do so. The bigger reason, however, is clearly Milo Ventimiglia’s performance. Not many would be able to portray Jack quite like he does, and he makes you fall in love with the character effortlessly.


Jack’s death could have been something thrown out of nowhere (although, given the show’s structure, it would have been impossible or indeed, extremely difficult) and it wouldn’t have been so effective. The key to making Jack’s death so painful to watch, even with the whole world knowing he wasn’t a character that would last, was making Jack seem larger than life.

This isn’t necessarily difficult, because to the Big Three, Jack is larger than life. They often didn’t see their father at his worst, and he was, as Randall puts it in this episode, “the best dad in the world”. Even Kevin, who was always at heads with his father, even the very last time he saw him, knows what kind of a person his dad really was. Kate, of course, is even more attached to his death than everyone else.


Thirty episodes of teasing everyone with how Jack died and making Jack the most lovable character that probably exists in any current drama has its effects.

I realise that I’m going on and on about things that have happened previously on the show, but it just astonishes me that a death everyone knew was coming hit me so hard. It hit me even before I watched the episode. I spent about twelve hours contemplating even watching the episode at all.

Ultimately, I did. At 10PM. Because I enjoy going to sleep with tears in my eyes.

Super Bowl Sunday knows what it’s giving us and it even gives us a fake-out about Jack’s death early on. It knew everyone thought he died in the fire, and it played that card until it was almost unbearable.

And so it makes the actual blow much harder, because even in its revealing episode you’re not sure how Jack dies. When he does, though, of a heart attack caused by excessive smoke inhalation, it’s even more tragic than I ever could have imagined.

One thing you notice is that the episode focuses on Rebecca’s immediate grief when Jack’s death actually happened, and it focuses on the Big Three’s different coping mechanisms twenty years later. Interestingly, they are all different. Rebecca tries, no matter how difficult, to be strong for her children.


She is the only one at the hospital when Jack dies, and in her last conversation with him, Jack is visibly not well, but he doesn’t say it. Even then, he tries to make Rebecca laugh, with the last thing he says to her being ‘you’re in front of the TV’.

Then Rebecca leaves and finds a phone to call Kate and tell her everything is okay. What she doesn’t see, however, is the chaos behind her, and she still thinks Jack is completely fine when she gets off the phone. She gets a candy bar from a vending machine, and the first thing she does when the doctor tells her what happened to Jack is take a bite out of it, because she thinks it’s a joke.

What hits you the hardest is the simplicity of it all. Everyone thought Jack’s death was going to be in a fire, but it wasn’t. We were given his death not by the sight of him, but by the sight of Rebecca. Even though this is Jack’s episode, Mandy Moore is truly the star. There’s something more heartbreaking about her not breaking down immediately, but only realising the doctor isn’t lying by seeing Jack’s body herself. Rebecca had been through so much that day already that she didn’t even care about the Pearson house burning down. It may have been tragic earlier, but Jack helped her see that the house doesn’t matter as long as they have each other.

And then minutes later he was gone.

In the present day, Kate blames herself every year for her father’s death, Randall goes into denial and tries to wash out grief by trying to do something cheerful and Kevin routinely avoids his father around the time of his death.

By the end of the episode, both Kevin and Randall realise that they can’t push their sorrow away forever, and Kate appears to be learning to let go and focus on what she has, instead of what she had.

Now, really, all three of these stories were compelling, but, much like the rest of this season, Kevin’s is simply the most crushing.


Justin Hartley appears to be in his element when he’s talking to nobody but himself, or, someone who isn’t there. ‘Number One’ was one of my favourite episodes of television last year, mostly because of the final few minutes of Kevin just talking to himself and spilling all his regrets.

The moment my tear-ducts could no longer contain themselves during Super Bowl Sunday was when Kevin went to Jack’s tree and just talked to him. There it is again. The beauty of simplicity.

It’s worth noting the difference between Jack’s death and William’s death from last season. William’s death focused mostly on William, because he’d been a character that the show attached us to. Jack’s death focused on everyone else. It’s probably the event that made all of the show’s characters who they are, so, it’s not just about Jack dying. It’s about a part of everyone dying.

Even in this episode, there is a completely unexpected twist. While all of us thought the little boy that was occasionally cut back to was going to be adopted by Randall and Beth, we were all wrong. That was set in the future, and that child’s social worker is actually Randall and Beth’s first daughter Tess. This is interesting because it could be hinting at where the show is going in the future. Also, older Randall has aged really well.

For the present, however, This Is Us left everyone grieving a fictional death that they knew was coming. I may be making a bigger deal of this than it really is, but, it’s incredible how a show can pull that off. I do know, however, that if This Is Us leaned even a little bit away from how down to Earth it is, Jack’s death wouldn’t have been so hard-hitting. This Is Us’ charm is that it is as real as can be (its very tagline is ‘This Is Real’), and as far as I’m concerned, that’s why I’m able to care so much about the show and its characters.

There is another episode this week, which Mandy Moore has said is even more heartbreaking than Super Bowl Sunday. Wonderful.

Revisiting The Last Jedi After Two Months

Full spoilers for Star Wars – Episode VIII: The Last Jedi below.

There is a certain aura around any film. I can’t explain what it really is. But every film has one. It leaves a mark on you. It can be minuscule and almost non-existent, something to which anyone can relate. Think of an Adam Sandler film. That was probably the first time you’ve thought of an Adam Sandler film in a very long time. That’s simply because his films lack a great aura. Nobody really remembers them. They don’t leave an impact on anyone.

This isn’t to say a film’s aura comes from how much you like it. It’s simply how long it stays with you, and how much it effects you. You can hate a movie so passionately that it will not leave your thoughts for a while. The point is that it left you thinking about it.

No film I’ve ever watched has had this effect on me as much as Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I went to watch it the day it released with my friend – and you can watch our review here – and then took to the internet to see what everyone else thought of the film. That’s when the chaos arrived.

Before I get to that, however, it’s worth noting that I could not translate my thoughts for The Last Jedi into comprehensible language for quite a while after watching the film for the first time. So, really, reading what the world thought only added fuel to the fire.

Little did I expect that fire to live this long, however. Upon my second viewing, I’m writing this, as a way to let anyone who reads this (thank you) try and understand my predicament, and also to try and bury the hatchet on something that has been haunting me for far too long.


Now, the thing is, I probably wouldn’t be this caught up with myself if I didn’t care about Star Wars so much. I love Star Wars. Not so much Episodes I and II (do not kill me), but the rest, quite a lot.

I was particularly excited for The Last Jedi because Rian Johnson was at the helm, and his talent is undeniable. We’d been promised different, especially after everyone took it personally that The Force Awakens was too much like the original, and so I was excited to see what was going to be different.

The Last Jedi is tremendously bold and has balls. Rian Johnson took risks with this film and, well, they paid off. Or so thought my friend and I when we walked out of the theatre.

I stumbled onto reactions on the internet, from YouTube reviewers, and then from comment sections and other public forums.


What I found was a Batman v Superman level of divide between those that hate the film and those that love it. This being the internet, of course, one isn’t allowed to just like a film while acknowledging its flaws. That is forbidden.

And so began weeks of me questioning myself every now and again about my own abilities as someone who tries to look at films critically. I did actually understand a few of the arguments against the film (others are laughably atrocious), and The Last Jedi started to gradually slip off the pedestal I had placed it on.

Ultimately, I decided there was no point to thinking about the film endlessly, and so I watched it again. I had intended to take notes, as I do occasionally, but decided against it because I wanted to experience the film without any distractions.

One thing that is strikingly apparent that I didn’t catch the first time was that The Last Jedi is, indeed, too long. I’ll get to that later. I actually never find a film too long when I’m watching it in theatres, at least the first time, because when I’m in a theatre, I honestly don’t want the film I’m watching to end. The only time I’ve been tortured by time is when I watched Transformers: The Last Knight, and anyone with a brain can understand why.

The Last Jedi doesn’t feel too long in the sense that its run time is bloated. It’s just that there are so many stories happening side-by-side, that every time it cuts to one in particular, you want it to cut back to any of the others.

I am referring, of course, to the Finn and Rose plot. The first time I watched the film, these scenes didn’t drag because I expected a pay-off. Knowing there really isn’t one truly changes things the second time. The Finn and Rose story is jarring because it could have been done very differently. The search for the ‘only hacker who can get them into Snoke’s ship’ is sidetracked for someone completely different who can also get the job done for them. Benicio Del Toro’s character comes out of nowhere, and while I actually like him for what he represents, it’s a bit of a mess considering how he’s introduced and used. Also, Del Toro appears to have been inspired by Cosmo Kramer for his performance. Once you notice that, you can’t un-notice that.


A lot of it really feels unnecessary. There is a lot of time spent on the Casino planet (I can’t remember names. I’m sorry), and the jail time and animal chases really stray away from the focus of the film.

Rose could have just been the hacker, and the Finn and Rose story could have been about them trying to infiltrate The First Order. That would have been far more compelling, and it wouldn’t have drawn attention away so much from Rey and Luke and the rest. It also wouldn’t have been so disappointing when, ultimately, they fail.

I did not think of that. Jeremy Jahns did. Do not give me credit.

Now here’s where my understanding of a lot of complaints about the film really ends. The Last Jedi has been criticised for ‘failing its characters’ and doing things with the Force that we haven’t seen before.


First the stupid Force argument. Come on. You didn’t design the rules of the Force. It’s literally a mystical thing. That’s just a stubbornly ridiculous critique.

Moving on. Easily the most divisive aspect of The Last Jedi is its characters. Specifically, Rey, Snoke and, surprisingly, Luke Skywalker.


The one I understand most is Snoke, because he is a red herring. While I do think the completely unexpected twist of Kylo Ren killing him is great, I do feel like we could have used more information about Snoke before he died. While I am certain we will learn more about him, we could have gotten it earlier is all I’m saying.

Now here is the thing. Snoke being the big bad of Episode IX is a little similar to the Emperor being the big bag of Return of the Jedi. Kylo Ren being the centre of attention, however, is gold. It just is. Kylo Ren is a beautiful character, and he has earned everything his character has received. It’s simply more compelling than Snoke being the Supreme Leader. Supreme Leader Ren is so much better.

Rey’s parents are revealed to be irrelevant junkies who sold her. This also upset people.

Now I know this has been said before, but I will say it again. The film does not let people down when it comes to both Snoke and Rey’s parents. Everyone let themselves down. The two years between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were overflowing with so many fan theories, that eventually it felt like all of them were redundant, which they were.


Imagine this. After the original Star Wars, everyone in the whole world convinced themselves that Luke Skywalker’s father is Obi Wan Kenobi, and they decided that is the only reveal that would make them happy. I guarantee if that happened, even after witnessing the greatest reveal in cinematic history, people would have been upset that it didn’t go their way.

The point I’m trying to make is that it’s unfair to a film to criticise it for not going how you wanted it to go. It’s similar to how people were upset at how little screen time Luke Skywalker received in The Force Awakens. Disney, JJ Abrams and Mark Hamill never said Luke Skywalker would have a prominent role in the film. Barring one vague shot, he was entirely absent from all trailers and promotional material, and even the poster for the film. Fans let themselves down. It’s the same problem here.

Speaking of Luke Skywalker, apparently The Last Jedi ruined the character. Anyone who says this is specifically referring to one scene, and it’s the flashback to the creation of Kylo Ren.


Yes, Luke does make an impulse decision to kill Ben Solo when he sees the darkness in him, but he immediately regrets it, even before he does anything. Just because he is a Jedi master does not mean he doesn’t have fears and he doesn’t have impulses. Luke Skywalker has always been a character to act on impulse, and the fact that he instantaneously retracts is growth in itself. And imagine this. You have saved the entire galaxy from unstoppable darkness, and right in front of you is the possible rebirth of all that darkness all over again. Would you just let it happen?

Luke is a tremendous character in The Last Jedi because his imperfections are highlighted. That’s what has always made Luke Skywalker a great character, even in the original trilogy. He can’t be all squeaky clean because he is older now. He is still Luke and he is still flawed.

The Last Jedi, also, is flawed, and I’ve mentioned why.

But ultimately, here is what makes me love this film, even with what I’ve said. The Last Jedi is bold and it is so rich in satisfaction. Everything regarding Rey and Kylo Ren is excellent, and the final scene with Kylo and Luke is unbelievable. The last act of this film is so beautiful that if I watched this film every day for the rest of my life, I will always have goosebumps and a tear will always form in the corner of my eye. Rey realising that she must carry the Jedi legacy on, Kylo Ren taking full control of the First Order and Luke Skywalker’s final moments are such gems that you really do forget the problems with the film. The breathtaking visuals, the epic score and pretty much everything else come together to make The Last Jedi stick to you.


That’s what makes The Last Jedi so special. It is not perfect, but what it does right, it does so, so right. I cannot think of this film without feeling something, and while this may ultimately stem from loving Star Wars, it’s what puts The Last Jedi up there as a wonderful film. Flaws and all.

I have no doubt that Episode IX will not be perfect, because no film really is (except perhaps The Empire Strikes Back), but when it comes to Star Wars, perfection no longer matters to me. It’s what the film makes me feel, and how it leaves an impact. The Last Jedi has stuck to me like a magnet for almost two months now, and it is not perfect. It doesn’t have to be.

We should stop striving for perfection and instead search for satisfaction. We should stop placing expectations on a film when it promises nothing at all. The Last Jedi suffered because of both those things. Remove them, and there lies a film that is, simply put, beautiful.



The Ant-Man And The Wasp Teaser Has Everything From Wings to Giant Man

The Marvel train can never really stop chugging, as we enter the year of Infinity War, two weeks from Black Panther, to receive a teaser trailer for Ant-Man and The Wasp, Marvel’s final film of 2018, scheduled for a July release.

There isn’t much to say about this teaser, really, which is a good thing. As of late, even teaser trailers have been packed with unnecessary information about the film.

What can be inferred from this teaser, however, are two main facts. The first is that the effects of Civil War are indeed long-lasting, with Scott Lang having to go on the run, being a fugitive from the federal government now. The ‘Marvel has no consequences’ argument is running its course now.

The second take-away from this teaser is that the apparent focus of this movie will be on Evangeline Lily’s Wasp, which is appropriate. It’s good to see how much she’s in the spotlight in this teaser.

Peyton Reed has said that this film will be Marvel’s first romantic comedy, and that is truly perfect. I can’t really imagine an Ant-Man and The Wasp movie in any other light.

This film releases after Infinity War, so, how it will be placed chronologically will be interesting to see. It’s worth noting that both Ant-Man and The Wasp were not featured in the Infinity War trailer, so, anything is possible. However, my bet is that this film takes place between Civil War and Infinity War.

With Black Panther around the corner and Infinity War looming, this film is really far away. That doesn’t change the fact that it looks good, however.

The Indian Detective: A Series That Could Have Used a Little More of… Anything

It is a little strange to see Russel Peters – who I consider stand-up’s greatest living name – lead a drama about a police officer in a fish-out-of-water sort of situation.

The result is a show that is just fine. It isn’t bad, but it also isn’t that memorable. The Indian Detective is a Netflix original mini-series set in Mumbai and Toronto, and is about a Canadian constable who finds himself caught up in a major crime story in India.

The Indian Detective’s biggest problem is that it never quite commits to anything that can make it great. It is billed as a dramedy, but isn’t comedic enough to really be called that. It tries to tell a story between father and son, and while it manages to just do an alright job with it, it never really makes it anything special. It appears to be creating a reflection of the state of the Indian police and legal system, but it really only scratches the surface.

While its cast may be good, from Peters to Christina Cole as Peters’ partner on the force back in Toronto, The Indian Detective fails itself by not really understanding what it is. It somehow finds the unfavourable line between being not funny enough and not serious enough, and this tonal inconsistency really makes you wonder what you’re supposed to feel while seeing things unfold.

I have a liking towards stories about Sub-Continental immigrants in North America (that’s very specific, but, yes). Kumail Nanjiani’s The Big Sick is a film I love, and Aziz Ansari’s Master of None was my favourite TV series of last year. However, and as disappointing as this is, Russel Peters fails to live up to those because his series is just not as memorable in any way.

The biggest positive about The Indian Detective is that it brings Indian life… To life. It does a really good job of showcasing what life is like on the streets of Mumbai, and for that, it deserves acclaim.

Beyond that, however, I don’t see myself returning to this one for a second season, if there is one. It’s a bigger disappointment because the world knows how great Russel Peters can be.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

The Indian Detective: MIHIR