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Ben X

Marvel movies

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I want to clarify that I liked Black Panther, and don't like/lack interest lots of Marvel movies. 

Marvel Movies I've liked:

  • Thor Ragnarock
  • Black Panther
  • Spider-man Homecoming
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2
  • Captain America Civil War

Marvel Movies I didn't like

  • The Avengers
  • Thor
  • Ant-Man

Marvel Movies  I didn't even see because I don't really care or like the characters:

  • Iron Man 1 - 3
  • Doctor Strange
  • Avengers Ultron
  • Captain America first avenger or winter soldier
  • Thor 2
  • The Incredible Hulk

I do think the movies are getting better as time goes on. I like that they're trying new things and not making garbage movies like Thor 1 any more. Even Ant-Man which I didn't really like was at least trying something different, than all the other movies.

 

I liked Black Panther because it was fun to look at, had a story that was good enough to merit being told in movie form, and I liked the characters & the performances. I am a white woman but I thought it was neat to watch a movie that was about the African Diaspora and feelings of Blackness and isolation and responsibility. Plus the jokes were good.

 

I like that I don't have to see every MCU movie and watch all the tv shows to be able to follow the movies. There's enough connective tissue that I believe that all these things are happening in the same universe but I don't feel like I'm lost or confused because I skipped huge chunks of releases. I would be much less likely to take a chance on a movie that I'm unsure of going in (like Ant-Man or CA:Civil War) if I thought it was necessary for me to see all of the films leading up to that.

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Ben: Well, when I first saw Fortnight of Ultron I thought it was loud, obnoxious, overfed. Gave me a headache in the cinema. So I wasn't too positive about it (in fact, here's what I wrote about it at the time: http://www.filmadeus.com/2015/04/avengers-age-of-ultron-joss-whedon-2015.html).

 

A few years later I rewatched it on Netflix, on a smaller screen, and I thought it held up better. Nowadays I enjoy it quite a lot. (Though I still stand by my fears that Avengers: Infinity War will turn out to be another ensemble nightmare of heroes whizzing by and clashing styles and tones. I can't even begin to imagine how the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to play out with Iron Man and Captain America. Are they going to do one action scene set to a 90s pop classic, and then back to Thanos wrecking the world in slow motion?

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I also recently rewatched AoU and had a similar takeaway as Roderick.  I think it's because at this point I'm more used to the dumb goofiness that is the MCU.  In general I like the Marvel movies.  I won't pretend they're good cinema but I enjoy them for what they are.  What I find interesting is some of the ones I'm down on are the ones that everyone else seems to like.  I thought Guardians 1 and 2 were fine but I don't understand the love.  And I flat out hated Iron Man 3.  I'll admit I initially wasn't interested in Black Panther just because I don't find that character interesting and something about the visuals is off-putting to me but I'm reconsidering my opinion and am thinking about watching it in the theatre rather than waiting.

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12 hours ago, Roderick said:

Ben: Well, when I first saw Fortnight of Ultron I thought it was loud, obnoxious, overfed. Gave me a headache in the cinema. So I wasn't too positive about it (in fact, here's what I wrote about it at the time: http://www.filmadeus.com/2015/04/avengers-age-of-ultron-joss-whedon-2015.html).

 

A few years later I rewatched it on Netflix, on a smaller screen, and I thought it held up better. Nowadays I enjoy it quite a lot.

 

Roderick, I'm going to be your tough-to-the-point-of-cruelty-but-gets-results mentor archetype here and push you to your full potential by demanding that you give me more than 'I didn't like it then I liked it'. How did it overcome those initial problems for you? TELL ME HOW. AND DON'T SAY IT HELD UP "BETTER" WHEN IT BY DEFINITION WASN'T HOLDING UP THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW IT. OH MY DEAR GOD, ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE SINGLE TEAR PEOPLE?

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On 2/28/2018 at 7:36 AM, Roderick said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Was it me, or did Andy Serkis' character really lose his mind in between movies? In Week of Ultron (refuse to call it Age) he was basically a sane resource robber in a stranded oil tanker, now he's giggling and doing a cool Joker thing.

 

 

I had no idea that character was in any other movie until just now.

 

I also didn't know Martin Freeman's character was in any other movie until a week after I saw BP.

 

TBH, I think my ignorance of both those points helped me enjoy the movie more.

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Alright, Ben, let's do this!!

 

The first time I saw Bi-week of Ultron (and my memories I'll have to partially scoop up from my review, because I forget everything), I was dazzled and annoyed by the sheer chaos on screen. I remember watching the Hulk/Iron Man fight and thinking: 'This is so noisy and tedious!'. There were also expectations at play. I had hoped for a much deeper analysis of Ultron and how AI would rise up and become a creepy puppet master and unshackle himself.

 

Now, upon rewatching, I found there was a.) more to it than I initially saw. Especially in hindsight with Civil War making a huge deal of the Sokovia climax and its ramifications. b.) I also enjoyed the character of Ultron more, how he evolves throughout the film and tries to become godlike by upgrading himself. If you strip away all the mindless action scenes, the world-building is actually quite good and it's fun to trace how Iron Man is degenerating. AGAIN, with much thanks to Civil War, which shows us his end-state, therefore making me appreciate this intermediate step better.

 

Neither should I neglect to consider that my own state of mind is an important factor. Ultron arrived exactly during the first, heaviest onslaught of Marvel fatigue. I was, frankly, momentarily sick of this kind of movie, that offered high visual satisfaction but low cerebral pleasure. After a while I recalibrated my expectations for the MCU and at that point I was able to reappraise the film. It was followed by other forgettable films (very unlike the current high watermark of GotG and Spider-Man Homecoming), so in retrospect I concluded that Ultron wasn't as bad as I thought.

 

Are you satisfied, man?!

 

 

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Very satisfied, thank you Eliza :)

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I did quite like Black Panther (it's amazing how having actual themes helps your movie) but I particularly liked how Michael B Jordan managed to go most of the movie dressed as Vegeta without anyone really noticing.

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I finished Jessica Jones season 2. Not nearly as good as S1, not that i'm super surprised, its just felt more like all the other Netflix Marvel shows than S1 did.

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4 hours ago, Cordeos said:


I finished Jessica Jones season 2. Not nearly as good as S1, not that i'm super surprised, its just felt more like all the other Netflix Marvel shows than S1 did.

Not sure I quite agree with that, most other marvel shows have this weird habit of switching villains in the backend, usually to their detriment.  This felt much more consistent, and I'd argue there really isn't a villain in the traditional sense either. It's been a long time since I've seen s1, but I enjoyed my time here.

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17 hours ago, Brannigan said:

Not sure I quite agree with that, most other marvel shows have this weird habit of switching villains in the backend, usually to their detriment.  This felt much more consistent, and I'd argue there really isn't a villain in the traditional sense either. It's been a long time since I've seen s1, but I enjoyed my time here.

Thats true, I did appreciate the lack of a random villain flip. I just meant that JJ s1 felt far more impactful and interesting, I liked s2 but it was not nearly as good as s1.

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I wasn't going to watch Black Panther at the cinema, but then Civil War hit Netflix so I spent the bank holiday weekend re-watching that and Winter Soldier so I could go watch BP in preparation for Infinity War.

 

I thought Black Panther was pretty dreadful.

 

Basically, my issues with it were:

 

the story doesn't go anywhere, barely anything actually happens; the lead character is super-bland; the action sequences are really badly shot, all wobbly close-ups; the final battle sequence felt like an extended homage to The Phantom Menace - I almost expected Martin Freeman to say 'I'll try spinning, that's a good trick!'; as much as they kept referring to the villain as "a monster" he was in the right most of the time and achieved his plan by playing within Wakanda's ridiculously fragile rule-set.

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I didn't like Infinity War either.
 

Spoiler

 

My main problems were:

 

1. I couldn't tell what was going on at any level. In individual shots it was often too dark. In action sequences it was dark and full of close-ups and blurry pans - a lot of Marvel movies have this issue, especially the Russo Bros ones, but this was beyond the pale. There were so many fetch-quest plot threads that I lost track of who was where and why. I guess the only thing that was clear was the over-arching story - Thanos is chasing the stones, the heroes are trying to stop him - but only because it consisted wholly of that.

 

2. We didn't really get to spend time with the characters - we got to watch Kevin Feige pushing chess-pieces round a board. Almost none of the characters got an arc or any moments; a lot of them were interchangeable. That wasn't Steve Rogers, that was just some dude who showed up for a few minutes to punch things. Probably the only exceptions on the heroes' side were Bruce Banner - he at least had a comedy bit - and Gamora. The villains were all sneering/grunting grey CG splodges, except for Thanos. I was expecting his sole motivation to be power for power's sake and  for him to be utterly emotionless, so I was pleasantly surprised that they gave him a little depth. I also liked his design and thought his CG mostly made him feel like a physically present character.

 

I could pick at loads of other stuff - Peter Dinklage's character was goofy as shit, we got three separate 'Thanos is dead/defeated! Oh no he's not!' scenes, any Thanos fights consisted of the heroes getting some ineffectual hits in, then him blasting them with random glove power, over and over - but those were the big problems with the movie for me.

 

 

It made me appreciate what a good overall job Avengers 1 did despite its flaws, though one could argue that movie had an easier time of it with far fewer characters to juggle.

 

So my Marvel opinion remains 'Iron Man 1, Thor 3 and Jessica Jones 1 are fantastic; the rest of it is a mix of good, solid and awful.' It's telling that those three have very little franchise baggage to deal with...

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I very much disagree...black panther was good!

 

Infinity War...well, it was a movie.  Mostly weightless and bland other than very few character moments.

 

Spoiler

It's pretty clear that 99% of the deaths will be undone in part 2...pretty surprised that people were shocked by deaths at my screening.

 

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I quite enjoyed infinity war as a series of vignettes more than anything else.  A bit of my frustration with it was that Marvel just wasn't willing to let anyone be a background character, so some of the threads tend to either wear out their welcome or make jumps that didn't feel earned.  The perspective of the film jumps around so much that a couple of times I would need a few seconds during the transition shots to think to myself "now who is in this place again?".

 



On the other hand I did quite appreciate the focus on Thanos, the scenes with him I think tended to work the best if only because his overall arc was cohesive.  The 3 plot lines on the protagonist side (Thor's hammer quest, Cap/Black Panther's military alliance stuff and Dr. Strange/Iron Man's mind games) felt like they existed completely independent of one another.  The heroes seemed to occupy the same space more so than work together.  This sort of scatterbrained plot structure made it feel like the stakes were way lower than they otherwise would have been.

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Infinity War (this is just what I said in slack)

 

Spoiler

It was all right for a marvel film 6/10
Ok well going a tiny bit deeper what worked for me was Gammorah's arc and Thanos although I was thrown out in the scene he sacrificed her. Idk something in me feels opposed to the idea that just because someone matters to you means they can be your sacrifice, it needs to be a little reciprocal. Maybe if they built it up a little more, her being more conflicted with Thanos could have helped abate that feeling. As it was the plot called for [emotional moment] and she was just kind of there and then the screen focuses on Thanos' reaction to it all when frankly I'd sooner sympathise with a rock.
The action was hard to track, at least nothing really felt that meaningful, when the superheroes fought the generic baddies they didn't really feel like superheroes they felt like brawlers, it would have been nice to follow the wananda soldiers more since at least their costumes are pretty.
Warmachine carpet bombing things didn't feel too enjoyable, it felt a little Too RealTM
When and where each character was, while being largely explained didn't really matter too much for the plot, I liked that they kept a tiny bit of Thor's humour from TR but it didn't feel like the comedy was that strong in this film, I don't think it's just the tone, I think it might be the directors.
Peter Dinklage felt ridiculous, I've definitely peaked on Dinklage's GoT archetype character (still appreciate him for things like In Bruges or Living in Oblivion) but here the joke was just "The Dwarf's Real Big now!" and that could have been funny but I wish he played his character differently. The voice was.. I mean they made fun of stupid deep voices earlier in the film!
I still enjoyed the film more than most other marvel films,  I don't think it lives up to the standard established by Thor Ragnarock and I didn't like it as much as Black Panther but it was fun enough, having a villain with a tiny bit of personality helped a lot even if his moment to backup his ideology felt pretty weak, like 5 beers in, this will solve the world's problems weak.
I have an easier time nitpicking films than I do building them up but honestly it was alright as a film to watch once and never again, as most Marvel movies are (for me).

 

For the record my favourite Marvel films are probably Captain America's run, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther (having a villain with personality was nice I wish he'd been given a deeper treatment though), Spider Boy Homecoming,

Avengers 1.
I like the GotG films but more for the characters and some of the aesthetic than the plot, the music track nostalgia, etc.

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Agreed on a lot of stuff there. (I don't think Dinklage was in In Bruges, though.)

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56 minutes ago, Ben X said:

(I don't think Dinklage was in In Bruges, though.)

 

My super bad then.

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He was not, that was Jordan Prentice. 


I saw Infinity War on Monday. It was fine. I imagine by the standards of such a monolithic entertainment franchise this was internally considered a very risky, even avant-garde, direction.

 

Spoiler

 

An unhappy ending? No first post-credits scene? I bet there were some worried people at Disney. 

 

The huge ensemble definitely felt like it watered down everyone, though. The Guardians weren't as funny or interesting as they are in their own film, and the same goes for Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Thor. Loki barely got a scene and the entire cast of Black Panther existed only to perform a delaying action, both diegetically and not. Come to think of it, that's all the whole Captain America side of Civil War was used for as well. I almost cared about Vision and Scarlet Witch's relationship, but due to the fact that neither of them have really been characterised to any significant degree in the films to this point, let alone in this film, I didn't quite get there.

 

As has been said by others, the surprising twist is that the only person you end up even a little intrigued by is Thanos himself. That's somewhat of an achievement, but it only ends up highlighting the weakness of all the other characters you're supposed to be more invested in. I don't have a strong conclusion to this post because the film didn't leave me with any strong conclusions.

 

 

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I liked it. I liked Civil War though so I expected to like Infinity War. What I'm most interested in is seeing how the next movie

decides which of our avengers friends come back and which ones don't. I think it's pretty obvious that everyone who turns to ash gets to come back, but are they going to create some comic book logic reason as to why Loki & Gamora can't come back? I just want to know what sticks and what doesn't and if it's at all convincing.

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How important is it to have seen ALL the movies prior to watching Infinity War?  I haven't seen Ragnarok or Black Panther yet.  I very much want to see both but my time is rather limited these days.  Would I be best served waiting until I've seen everything first even at the cost of missing Infinity War at the theater?

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7 minutes ago, SecretAsianMan said:

How important is it to have seen ALL the movies prior to watching Infinity War?  I haven't seen Ragnarok or Black Panther yet.  I very much want to see both but my time is rather limited these days.  Would I be best served waiting until I've seen everything first even at the cost of missing Infinity War at the theater?

 

I don't think you need to have seen either of those movies follow Infinity war. Basically the only things of consequence are that Thor found the Hulk & lost an eye in Ragnarok. Black Panther is the leader of Wakanda, a secret African nation that has recently opened itself up to the outside world. If you liked Civil War, go see Infinity War imo

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7 hours ago, Mawd said:

My super bad then.

 

Appropriately for this thread.

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2 hours ago, SecretAsianMan said:

How important is it to have seen ALL the movies prior to watching Infinity War?  I haven't seen Ragnarok or Black Panther yet.  I very much want to see both but my time is rather limited these days.  Would I be best served waiting until I've seen everything first even at the cost of missing Infinity War at the theater?

Probably don't need to....but those two movies are much better.  Thor is probably the more significant of the two since it ends right where infinity war begins 

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