Steve Stebbing

Breaking down all things pop culture

Avengers: Infinity War – If you didn’t think I’d kick off this week with this gargantuan epic of a blockbuster then you might be a bit nutty because this movie satisfied me in every way as a movie fan and a comic book nerd. Now, before everyone gets upset, I will preface this by informing you that I won’t give any spoilers in this short little piece but just know that to fully enjoy this film you need to have the context of the ten years of Marvel Cinematic Universe films that came before it. Infinity War holds all of their character’s lives in its hands, divvies out the consequences and realizes all the repercussions that are coming. This film will exhilarate you but will also devastate you and, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to openly talk about it for weeks because of the ultra lockdown on spoilers. You know, because Thanos demands it and this is his movie after all.

The Endless – Directing duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead haven’t hit the big time yet but, even so, they are in the grouping of my favorite filmmakers right now. Their film Spring was a decidedly twisted story built on a romance that was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and now they have done it again. This time taking on the lead roles themselves, Moorhead and Benson star as two former cult members after a mysterious video coaxes them back to the compound for another look. The whole point of them returning is to reaffirm that they made the right choice in leaving but events start to begin that not only makes them question their opposing stance but also their own reality in general. The Endless is operating at a level of intelligence that seems to be missing in a lot of mainstream mystery films and keeps you on the edge of your seat guessing throughout. If you loved Shane Carruth’s Primer like I did, you owe it to yourself to see this one immediately and then tell your friends.

The Rider– I’m going to do something odd here and recommend a movie I haven’t actually seen but this film, from everything I’ve read and all that my colleagues have told me, deserves the spotlight, especially on a weekend dominated by big budget Marvel. Writer and director Chloe Zhao makes what looks to be her breakout film, a story about a rodeo champion who must redefine himself after a horrific accident leaves him unable to do what he loves. The movie puts Brady Jandreau, the man who inspired this film, in the lead role playing opposite his own family, a gamble that just this year worked out horribly for director Clint Eastwood in The 15:17 To Paris. However, in Zhao’s film this move is being praised as Jandreau wears his emotion and experience out on his sleeve is this driven human story. If we want to see these types films still get made and distributed we need to ensure that there is still a visible audience for it, so, in closing, support indie film and keep the celluloid dreams alive!

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