[Thisstoryincludesspoilersfor Avengers: Infinity War ]
This past weekend, the biggest concern faced by filmmakers in the vast salt mines of pop cultural discourse is the overwhelming fear that our critical abilities are in Avengers: Infinity War Marvel Studios' latest superhero event has become irrelevant. Emphasize the word "biggest:" the sheer size of Infinity War – a film that attacked the genocidal Titan Thanos (the characteristically impressive Josh Brolin) against a cast of nearly a hundred, including the Guardians of the Galaxy The Avengers, Black Panthers, Spider-Man and more – has left many reviewers overwhelmed. Overcrowding and flatulence are common concerns, such as Washington City Paper Alan Zilberman writes: "The biggest challenge facing screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, along with directors Anthony and Joe Russo, is that there are so many Characters exist there is difficult to ensure that they all get their rights. "
Some critics argue that Infinity War more style is a superficial feint that overcompensates a fundamental lack of reasonably larger ideas. The New York Times "A.O. Scott notes," that the rise of Marvel (and other, not quite as universal entities as this one) has reduced the parameters of criticism. I want to tell you in this review how much fun you will have at ] Infinity War . (Yes, you'll have some, do you want to have enough? Almost.) But I probably went too far to think about what it means.
Other authors argue that the scope of Infinity War necessarily requires a bolder style, such as RogerEbert.com's Matt Zoller Seitz: " Infinity War faced so many challenges, Many of them are unique in this particular project, it's a small miracle that it works at all. At some level, it's ungrateful to ask a movie that does the impossible with more vigor, but what super-hero films really are without momentum good for? If there was ever a moment to swing for the fences, it was this one. "
Fans of mainstream superhero comics know that none of these creative flaws are unique in this specific project ̵
One possibility that Marvel and Russos have attempted (and sometimes successfully) to give viewers the impression that Infinity War is their biggest movie yet, is their 160-minute spectacle with IMAX cameras film. The Russos previously used IMAX cameras to film Captain America: Civil War 's Airfield Dropoff, a set that was designed for Infinity War & # 39; s fight scenes feels like a dry run. And Black Panther Marvel's biggest hit so far, was retrofitted so that he could be shown in IMAX (ie he was not shot with IMAX cameras, but was reconverted to screen size and specifications). This is a welcome step in the right direction, if not a daring one, as this larger lens / action mentality is often used in modern superhero comics.
In this context, individual comic panels should have "cinematic" qualities when they give viewers the impression that they literally spend their time in front of their eyes (almost like a lousy, mostly empty flipbook). First, a three-paneled side of a meteor that is about to crash (Field One: a twinkle in the sky; Field Two: Twinkle gets big enough to spot it – it's a meteor; Field Three: Clamp for the impact! ) then a two-sided spread of the said meteor that explodes really well. In the comics industry, "Bigger" is not only considered better, but a springboard for the next, most epic episode.
But the Russos cover more scenes than they do. Infinity War 's hundreds-strong combat sequences are the best proof: dozens of computer-generated monsters crawl across the plains of Wakanda to King T & # 39; Challa (Chadwick Boseman), M & # 39; Baku (Winston Duke) Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and their respective (but United!) Armies. These scenes are frustrating because, as in Russos' two previous Captain America films, a good action choreography can be seen here. Fans will likely enjoy these scenes because of the care and attention they place in heroic poses and dancing maneuvers. But critics (including this writer) may point out that due to the quivering, unstable nature of the physical movements of the cameras, it is difficult to see what is happening on the screen.
The presence of the camera is always noticeable, partly because of the expensive IMAX cameras, but mostly because, like many modern-day action filmmakers, the Russos often goose-action scenes by wiggling their cameras to the frenetic movement before the Camera to match. It is a cheap trick that distracts from the fact that it costs more production time (and thus more production money) to shut down the camera and functionally capture the motion on the screen. There is a reason why author / director S. Craig Zahler ( Bone Tomahawk Brawl in Cell Block 99 ) in interviews prepares jokes about the hard times in which he depicts his bloody but visually spectacular film choreographers and Cinematographers: Zahler demands more from his staff and is unusually dedicated to making body parts visible in the camera body whenever they are brutally dismantled.
Infinity War It's obviously a different kind of movie, but the question remains: Why do you give viewers the impression of movement instead of impressing them with precise movements? Or rather: Why do you expand the size of your camera frame, even if you do not fill it in a well-thought-out way?  In Infinity there are a lot of explanatory dialogue scenes War some of which have to convey the emotionally tiring tribute of a pseudo-dark movie in which the characters keep saying to each other, "You have to kill me, before he kills me, or, "I have to kill myself before he kills us," and, "I want to die, please let me kill everyone before he indiscriminately kills other people." The best of these scenes are those that require most visualization (ie: they were put into history within one inch of their lives because they need a lot of computer generated images). An example: The scene in which Thanos protects a younger version of his adoptive daughter Gamora (Ariana Greenblatt) from the sight of his troops massacring the inhabitants of their planet. This is a mostly well-blocked little moment, partly because it is information that is visually held back, not information that is pushed us unnecessarily into the faces. We join Gamora by focusing (with medium close-ups) on a "perfectly balanced," two-sided pen-knife that holds Thanos to one finger while his troops pursue their bloody business in the distant background.
Contrast this sequence with the many over-the-shoulder shots of characters who talk. These images look ugly on a real multi-story IMAX screen (I saw the movie at Lincoln Square in New York, whose IMAX screen is 80 feet high and 100 feet wide). This is especially true when a grown-up Gamora (Zoe Saldana) tries to bring his strong friend Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) to sobering up long enough to kill them when it gets hard (spoiler alert: does it). The mind struggles to make this intimate scene more coherent.
But there is only so much visual information on the screen to support this pointless endeavor. Many of Infinity War 's basic conversation scenes are shot in a basic shot / reverse-shot style. So when an actor speaks, his face occupies one half of the screen, and when the other person speaks, the other half of the screen is taken by his face or body. Unfortunately, the Russos often fill the huge frame of their camera with the fuzzy back or head of a secondary character, so that half of the screen is usually filled with nothing more cinematic than a blurry, multi-level noggin or a huge shoulder
I do not share Zilbermans Expectation that viewers of Infinity War "[feeling] cheated on how the movie will spit in their eyes, and it may find some serious emotional searches to figure out why that is." I agree However, Scott admits when he says that "the noisy, bloated spectacles of combat were certainly the most expensive parts of the movie, but the money does not seem to be an imaginative tool as a substitute for real imagination." And indeed Seitz turns the nail on the head when he writes in his sympathetically mixed review: "[the Russos] use the camera in an expressive or poetic way so rarely that when it breaks out a warm upswing […]it is so someone had briefly started a boring wedding party by going to the dance floor and demanding a song with a setback. "
But all these questions and critiques are not new. Comic fans have either screamed or reiterated them for something that feels, um, er, really long time. The decisive factor is whether the next big-budget spectacle will be compiled with more care than Infinity War . Because there is certainly more in sight, because the box office records are already decimated. More can be more, but would not it be nice if the Russos and their colleagues picked up a copy of Sidney Lumet's Making Movies and learned how to frame a scene to a character or a narrative basis? This may sound like a Pollyanna's request, but the book cites Making Movies for one reason: It does not matter what kind of movie you make – the basic principles still apply.