A hero’s journey from a mad man’s perspective – an Avengers: Infinity War review

So, last night I got to watch “Avengers: Infinity War” and thought of just writing this. Don’t worry, it’s going to be spoiler-free.


My wife said that missionaries travel from one place to another, spreading what they believe to be right, introducing new cultures, new practices, new education, to the point that it abolishes the old ways. She meant way back when. These days seem different.

In any case: Thanos is the missionary. He is on his own sacred pilgrimage to enforce what he believes in. His ideals are indeed mad. But it’s what he believes in and he has the iron will to carry it out.

This is Thanos’ movie. And everyone else you know in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe are just the supporting roles. Just the familiar faces we’ve been seeing for the past 10 years. 

In its own way, “Avengers: Infinity War” is a hero’s journey from the perspective of a mad man, where Thanos leaves behind nothing but dust and flames. 

The movie opens up to a display of power that we’ve never seen in the entire MCU yet. Thanos has had his patience. He drives forward and takes down everything. 

“Infinity War” is about sacrifices to accomplish what you believe is right. It shows the rewards of those sacrifices, and the consequences for not being strong enough to make the necessary sacrifices. The cost is dear. For all parties.

The Black Order, known in the movie as the Children of Thanos, appear to be colder and far menacing than Thanos himself. While the Mad Titan is the description of death, he has a strong character arc. Marvel wants you to sympathize him. Which is kind of hard to do, knowing he wants to remove from existence half of the universe’s population – remove from existence, not kill – but there is something admirable in his journey to accomplish and the whirlwind of emotions he goes through.

The movie runs at a breakneck pace. The action scenes are plenty and visually exciting. The moments of peace are times for characters to get to know each other, throw a one-liner or two, before setting out on the next big sequence. 

By the end of the movie, the audience I was in, remained shocked until that last bit of the credits finished rolling in. Despite what other people might say, I felt the movie was complete. It had a beginning, middle, and end. 

The only question remains: What now? It’s a similar feeling to next year’s ninth episode of Star Wars. Due to certain events, it’s quite obvious how things will eventually turn up. How we get there should be ride. How Avengers 4 is going to turn up, it’s sure going to be the biggest movie event in the decade.

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Asus banks on the god of war with new cards

Kind Asus has once again sent me a press release about the new Arez brand graphics cards based on the AMD Radeon RX cards, which are getting a lot of buzz lately.

They even named it Arez as in Ares, after the god of war, they said so in the press release. Apparently they want people to find this online when people are searching for Kratos and the new God of War. 

In any case, press release follows:


ASUS announced AREZ, a new brand identity for ASUS Radeon™ RX graphics cards. Derived from Ares, the Greek god of war, AREZ-branded graphics cards are built using industry-leading automated manufacturing to provide AMD gamers and enthusiasts with superior cooling technology and a robust software ecosystem.

The new AREZ brand underlines the strong working partnership between ASUS and AMD that spans decades. Gamers and enthusiasts will enjoy a combination of exclusive ASUS innovations and technologies and AMD’s Radeon graphics processors and software.

“Gamers around the world rally behind AMD Radeon because of what the Radeon name stands for: a dedication to open innovation such as our contributions to the DirectX and Vulkan APIs, a commitment to true transparency through industry standards like Radeon FreeSync™ technology, and a desire to expand the PC gaming ecosystem by enabling developers to take advantage of all graphics hardware, including AMD Radeon graphics. We invite gamers everywhere who believe in these values and the value of the exceptional gaming experience Radeon graphics delivers to join the Red team,” said Scott Herkelman, Vice President and General Manager, AMD Radeon Technologies Group. 

Extreme durability: Auto-Extreme technology and Super Alloy Power II components

AREZ graphics cards are produced using Auto-Extreme technology, an industry-exclusive, 100%-automated production process that incorporates premium materials to set a new standard of quality, performance and longevity. Since the introduction of Auto-Extreme technology in ASUS graphics cards, reliability has improved by 30%. This manufacturing process is also environmentally friendly, eliminating harsh chemicals and reducing power consumption by 50%.

Super Alloy Power II components deliver enhanced efficiency, reduce power loss, reduce component buzzing by 50% under full load and achieve thermal levels that are approximately 50% cooler than previous designs for enhanced quality and reliability.

Hi-tech cooling: MaxContact, patented Wing-Blade IP5X-certified fans and FanConnect II

MaxContact is an industry-first GPU cooling technology featuring an enhanced copper heat-spreader that directly contacts the GPU. MaxContact utilizes precision machining to provide a 10X-flatter surface for up to 2X more contact area with the GPU than traditional heat spreaders, resulting in improved thermal transfer. Select AREZ graphics cards are also constructed with up to 40% more heatsink surface area than previous dual-slot designs, further improving heat dissipation for dramatically cooler and quieter performance.

A patented Wing-Blade fan design delivers 105%-greater static pressure over the heatsink for more efficient cooling and up to 3X-quieter operation compared to other fan designs. The fans are certified under the International Protection Marking (IP code) as IP5X dust resistant for improved reliability and a longer lifespan. This stringent certification process ensures AREZ graphics cards provide optimal fan performance, even under severe operating conditions. Additionally, 0dB technology stops the fan completely when the GPU temperature is below a set level, letting players enjoy light gaming sessions in complete silence.

ASUS FanConnect II features two four-pin hybrid-controlled headers that can be connected to both PWM and DC system fans for optimal system cooling. The connected fans reference both the GPU and CPU, and operate automatically based on the one with the higher temperature. A comprehensive set of tuning options allow gamers to tune fan speeds for efficient cooling.

Software ecosystem: GPU Tweak II, plus Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition

Redesigned with an intuitive user interface, GPU Tweak II makes gaming and overclocking easier than ever, while retaining advanced options for seasoned overclockers. With one click, the Gaming Booster function maximizes system performance by removing redundant processes and allocating all available resources automatically.

AREZ graphics cards also support the latest AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition drivers for comprehensive control over AMD GPUs. Core features include power-saving Radeon Chill technology; Radeon WattMan for profile-based custom control of voltages, engine clocks and fan speeds; and Radeon ReLive for easy capture and sharing of in-game action.

Let’s call it now: Avengers death list


Let’s call it now who among the heroes we’ll be seeing off in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Likelihood of them hitting the bucket in Avengers 3 “Infinity War” is kind of low, considering there’s still Avengers 4 next year. Just the same. Let’s call it now! 

Black Widow aka Natasha Romanoff

Death percent: 60%

It just makes sense that one of the first characters in the bigger universe will have an epic farewell. 

The Hulk aka Bruce Banner

Death percent: 100%

He’s going to die. No question. A full rage mode when Romanoff dies or a full on self sacrifice to save her. Also there’s always talk on how Banner tried to kill himself and the Hulk just prevented it. Maybe it’s time that his lonely path to come to an end.

Captain America aka Steve Rogers

Death percent: 100%

Chris Evans is done with his contract. He’ll either die and be reunited with Peggy, even though he’s kind of dating her granddaughter. Or he’ll somehow end the same way as the Red Skull. Where there’s a fraction of hope for Rogers to appear in future MCU films. That probably won’t happen. In any case when the fateful event happens, Sam Wilson aka the Falcon will take up the suit and Bucky will raise the shield. It’s going to be epic full of tears!

Drax and Nebula

Death percent: 50% each

Both Drax and Nebula have a bone to pick for Thanos. Drax blames Thanos for Ronan’s murder of his family. And Nebula for probably a lot of reasons: including but likely not limited to: Replacing body parts with machines. She did say in Guardians 2 that Thanos pulled out her eye. Ouch. Who wouldn’t want payback for that?

Loki

Death percent: 25%

Unless we get a Ragnarok 2, I can’t imagine Loki past all these craziness. I can’t even imagine a Thor movie without Loki. There’s a chance the Black Order will keep him close by where we can expect some small effort he’ll do some damage from the inside. Or, as soon as Thanos shatters the Tesseract to a acquire the Space Stone inside, he’ll punch Loki to infinity and beyond! (It’s a bad pun. Deal with it.)

Iron Man aka Tony Stark

Death percent: 10%

There’s a lot of tease that Tony will die considering that, he’s practically the MCU’s main hero thanks to the Iron Man movie that kicked off the entire MCU. There’s also the whole dad/mentor figure with Spider-Man and we all know the dad/mentor figure always dies. But I don’t know, there’s a lot of stuff Iron Man can be in for future MCU movies. He doesn’t his own movies since we can work on a transition with Ironheart aka Riri Williams, plus the whole Civil War II with Captain Marvel. Some production shots show Stark with a hole in hus shirt – an Arc Reactor? Was he probably killed off and then resurrected via being pulled put from another timeline? It kind of makes sense for retcon purposes. In any case, I don’t think Tony Stark will die permanently.

Vision

Death percent: 10,456%

He has the Mind Stone lodged into his skull and Thanos will get all the stones.

Few more days

Damn! Just a few more days to go and Infinity War will be hitting theaters! It’s going to be a huge event, something that we’ll never get to experience again. 

A rock in a hard place…?


My wife and I saw the “Rampage” movie. It won’t win any awards: It’s noisy with a lot of stuff getting wrecked. And the closing scene was one big hole patched up with “Yeah, just take it.”

But you know what? This is a movie I’d go watch again in the future. Something when I’m bored or something to show my grandma when she’s bored. 

It’s a popcorn movie that’s helluva fun. Say what you will, but the casts’ performance was stellar. The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson, hits all the right notes. I’ve always enjoyed his movies, even the meh-ish ones like “San Andreas.”


Speaking of movies: “Avengers: Infinity War” is going to premiere on April 25th. The countdown has began! 

Alone, I’d watch all movies again, but my wife and I don’t have the luxury of time. So I’ve narrowed down the watch list to these: 

Captain America: The First Avenger

Avengers

Thor: The Dark World

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Guardians of the Galaxy

Captain America: Civil War

Doctor Strange

Thor: Ragnarok

Black Panther

That’s still a lot. Basically I just chose the films where the Infinity Stones made significant appearances. Minor spoilers! That includes Black Panther, the final Stone, the Soul Stone, is located at Wakanda. It’s probably how the people there, or the chosen Black Panthers can communicate with the spirits of their ancestors. It’s also probably why there is going to be a big battle there with Thanos. 

“Civil War” is in the list because that’s the big “falling out” of the characters in the entire MCU.

Infinity War, here we go!