Review: Avengers: Infinity War

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Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.

There is a spoiler alert in effect.

Avengers: Infinity War is Disney/Marvel’s new bid for a summer blockbuster in 2018, and it has without question succeeded. The movie has made nearly $2 billion globally so far, making it second in total gross to only Avatar. 

I myself saw the movie a few weeks ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The movie combines dozens of characters who I and many Americans have come to know and love, such as Chris Hemsworth’s hilariously charming and witty Thor, Chris Pratt’s loveable Star Lord, and of course Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. The script for this movie combines the characters that were previously light years apart smoothly, and they all interact with each other on screen better than anyone could have imagined. 

The villain in this movie, Thanos, is also one of the best the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen so far. His power his unquestionable, but his interactions with Gamora, his adopted daughter, serve to reveal both his conflict and a pretty interesting argument behind his drive to destroy (half) the universe. 

Each of the infinity stones also play a crucial role in the plot. In fact, they almost are the driving elements of the movie, in addition to being the driving elements of the universe. As Thanos continues his quest to gain each stone, the ones he has help both him and the heroes in different ways. 

The fight scenes in this movie are breathtaking, and the special effects are better than almost any movie I’ve ever seen. 

However, the ending of the movie is frankly awful. Essentially, the movie ends with Thanos winning, or eliminating half of the universe. Of course, this means some key characters die in this movie. The ones who do die include: Black Panther, Nick Fury, Spider-Man, Star Lord and all of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora, Dr. Strange, and a handful of others. However, there is frankly no way that Disney would allow these characters to actually be dead. For example: Guardians of the Galaxy is a billion dollar franchise, that actually has a third movie in the works. How can there be a Guardians of the Galaxy movie with the entire cast of Guardians of the Galaxy dead? Black Panther is the second highest grossing film ever released by Disney, and it is still in theaters. It is also highly unlikely that they will simply let the Black Panther die. 

But the reason for such a terrible ending to the movie is simple: so that Disney and Marvel can turn every moviegoer of Infinity War: Part 1 into a moviegoer of Infinity War: Part 2. No one can stand to see the family friendly movie-maker end the film on such a low note, and the second Infinity War will be the only solution to the bitter and lost feeling that comes at the end of Infinity War. Though eventually I am sure the bitter feeling will be a thing of the past, it will still definitely be with me for at least another year. 



Why The NFL’s “Anti-Kneeling Rule” Isn’t Right, But Is Legal

Recently, the NFL passed a rule that fines players if they choose to kneel during the national anthem. This came after the extremely politically charged action caused a severe drop in ratings of NFL games, and severe rebuke from the President of the United States, who recently disinvited the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles to meet at the White House due to some members of the team performing the gesture. 

While perhaps forcing players to comply and not raise concerns on the field is not fair to the players themselves, it is without doubt a fully legal motion for the NFL to take. The NFL is not a government-run organization (though its use of penalties and suspensions may make it seem as one), rather it simply serves as a private organization that conglomerates all players and teams. As such, while they do not have the right to enforce fines on players, they do have the right to make the choice of paying fines or being ejected from the league. While they may not have legal authority to force a fine out of a player, they certainly have the legal authority to eject a player from the league. They are further legally backed since each player signs a contract detailing infractions in the league and fines required as a result.  

Many in support of players kneeling during the anthem have argued that the ban on kneeling is flatly illegal, however this could not be further from the truth. Though whether or not is wrong for the NFL to ban kneeling, it is without question that it is legal.

Fun Fact: Money collected from fines is not utilized by the NFL itself. Rather, it goes to former player’s associations that treat retired NFL players who may have been damaged or hurt as a result of the sport. 


The Supreme Court’s Decision on the Colorado Cake Case and Why It Should Be Considered a Victory for Both Parties

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Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop

The Supreme Court has recently ruled on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, 7-2 in favor of the Cakeshop. Though many have argued that this case serves to hurt and allow for further discrimination of LGBT individuals based off religion, the ruling is actually a restrengthening of the first amendment of freedom expression (or lack of expression thereof). 

For those not previously aware of the course, the suit arose after a gay couple referred the owner of a Cakery, Jack Phillips to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after he refused to create a wedding cake for them. The Commission ruled in the couple’s favor, and Phillip proceeded to sue the commission on the grounds of disruption of his freedom of expression of religion. Phillips argued that the cakes he makes are forms of artistic expression, and as such, he should not be made legally obligated to express himself in a certain way if his religious beliefs make him unwilling to do so. 

The decision can be found here. I highly recommend reading it. In it, Kennedy writes the opinion of the court, insisting that making a cake is a form of expression, not a form of service. As such, Phillips should not be under any legal obligation to express himself in any way, especially if it is against his religion. 

I cannot personally agree with Phillips’ evident homophobia, nor do I personally believe his treatment of the gay couple was fair or logical. However, I believe that everything he did was completely legal. People should not be made to say or express themselves in any way, even if it is discriminatory to not do so. 

For this reason, this is a great reaffirmation of civil liberties guaranteed to American citizens by birth. If such liberties were withheld, America would be taken towards another step towards totalitarianism.