Hypnotized boxer, doomed cosmos: movies viewed

LET’S DO IT AGAIN (1975) was the Sidney Poitier/Bill Cosby follow-up to Uptown Saturday Night in which the guys play the same characters (married, blue-collar guys) but with different names (as countless comedy teams have done before them). Their lodge’s building is going to be torn down and it’ll take $50,000 to start construction on a new building — which the Sons and Daughters of Shaka doesn’t have. Solution: Poitier uses his hypnosis skills to turn inept boxer Jimmie Walker into a champion, bet on him and clean up big. But of course, problems accrue and the gamblers they took for all the money are very, very PO’d … A lot of fun (though if you can’t bear to watch Cosby any more, and some people can’t, that doesn’t apply), very funny and with a great cast including lodge leader Ossie Davis, Denise Nichols and Lee Chamberlain as the wives, Calvin Lockhart and John Amos as the gamblers and Julius Harris as a thug. The writer says on the commentary track that he wrote the film so the wives would have a significant part to play, unlike the first film, and that they let Cosby improvise as much as possible to play to his strengths. It’s a shame the third film Cosby and Poitier made was the disappointing A Piece of the Action. “There is an orphanage with real orphans — they don’t even have things!”

AVENGERS: Infinity War (2018) is the show-stopping spectacular in which the mad titan Thanos sets out to acquire the Infinity Stones that will give him power over all reality, only to face the combined efforts of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and the armies of Wakanda. Thanos (Josh Brolin) works much better than I expected given his face on-screen looks slightly silly; unlike the comics his goal isn’t love of Death but a noble desire to stabilize the universe by wiping out half the population (I presume the switch is because this is a)easier to explain and b)it makes him more sympathetic than if he were killing people to impress a woman). Well worth seeing, though not without flaws — given Thanos can just zap all his opponents with the reality stone, why is there even a fight scene? Why does he need all six gems (you’d think control of reality would do the trick by itself?). And the movie’s high body count will obviously be reversed, so I couldn’t get very distressed about it. Still if you like this sort of thing (I certainly do) it’s worth catching. “This will the greatest end in all of history.”

#SFWApro. Cover by Jim Starlin, all rights remain with current holder.

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