Endgame . . . Again?

Why do I seem to be talking about Avengers: Endgame, and yet have a trailer for Long Shot? I had intended to view both today. Since seeing Endgame I wanted to view it a second time. To prepare for this blog, I have gone to the theater armed with some type of note taking device. A journal is my usual accompaniment. Thus when I see a movie, there are certain moments that go unnoticed as I am scribbling something down. Given my criticisms in my previous review, I wanted to see if there was anything I missed, this time divorced of my note taking.

Further, when I set out to start this blog, I wanted to only see films on their opening weekend. This would give my blog a freshness that I felt important. However, there will come weekends like this one where I did not feel compelled to see anything. The choices were Long Shot or Ugly Dolls. In hindsight, I guess I should have seen Ugly Dolls, though I have already documented my dislike of animated films with my review of Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. So that left Long Shot.

The life of a movie reviewer means seeing a lot of movies (obviously), and if my movie-going career is any indication, they are more often than not going to be just terrible. One would think that after over a century of moving pictures, and nearly as long with actual sound attached to them, the art of making a film would have gotten better. It really has not. And when you see a lot of movies, you tend to be able to guess their outcome. Also, and this has often been a source of annoyance to my friends, I find that I cannot simply switch my brain off as I watch a movie. Finally, I am a Catholic. My relationship with God comes first. My Faith is central to my life. This presents a challenge in these “wonderful” modern times when it comes to film content. I do not necessarily avoid “R” rated movies, but I can guess pretty accurately what they will contain.

Long Shot, starring Seth Rogen (Fred Flarsky) and Charlize Theron (Charlotte Field), is an “R” rated film. By all appearances (I did not see it, ultimately), it is an unlikely romantic comedy between a rather unconventional journalist (Rogen) and a presidential candidate (Theron). By unconventional, I mean that in addition to being a reporter, he is also apt to do drugs. Somehow he ends up in Theron’s sphere, and she decides to strike up a relationship with him. The ratings for the movie warned of heavy drug use and sexuality, so even though I did not see it I know it contained those themes.

Again, I know that I will not always be able to avoid such things in every film I see. I have struggled with this in Confession, and a priest once told me that if you are going to the cinema without the intent to see objectionable content, then you are okay. Still, such things do not sit with me the same way they once did, that is to say not easily.

Thus in thinking about my film choices this week, I ultimately opted to see just Avengers: Endgame. For me, it was a choice between heroism and what I view as moral bankruptcy. If you do drugs, please understand I am not judging you. I hope you get help, and I would be more than happy to help you. But I do not agree with the philosophy that we need to relax about such things. I may not think that they should be illegal, but nor do I feel they should be glorified in any way.

With all that said, I still found that most things in Avengers: Endgame did not make sense. But the “why,” I guess, is really not important in such films. It was good to see a full theater in the film’s second weekend, loudly cheering and gasping, and audibly crying in all the right moments. It is the sum total of over a decade of films and coming to know all the characters. I will take those moments over anything that Long Shot could offer any day.

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