Marvel Comics on Film

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
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barryconvex
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#351 Post by barryconvex » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:45 am

Maybe someone at a Disney board meeting will say, "look everybody, we've made so much damn money out of this property already, why don't we let an artist try and get us some credibility back with that part of our audience that respects quality filmmaking. Who's with me?" (sound of crickets)

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tenia
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#352 Post by tenia » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:39 am

The day shareholders all died and growth returns doesn't matter anymore, yeah, sure.

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jazzo
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#353 Post by jazzo » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:30 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:13 am
I didn't see it and probably never will but Dumbo looked way better than any of the other live action Disney remakes (though I'm guessing the crows didn't make it)
It wasn't. Even my kids were asking to leave three-quarters of the way through.

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#354 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:07 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:55 pm
An excerpt from a 2016 interview with Alan Moore on superheroes is getting the Internet riled up today.
He's back at it, but media outlets seem to be misreading (intentionally for clickbait?) his claims. He says the popularity of superhero movies and the rise of Trump are symptoms of the same problem, which is not the same as saying superhero movies caused Trump.

“This may be entirely coincidence, but in 2016 when the American people elected a National Socialist satsuma and the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, six of the top 12 highest-grossing films were superhero movies. Not to say that one causes the other, but I think they’re both symptoms of the same thing — a denial of reality and an urge for simplistic and sensational solutions.” -Moore

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soundchaser
Leave Her to Beaver
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#355 Post by soundchaser » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:32 pm

Most movies are denials of reality and often provide sensational solutions. Did Astaire/Rogers musicals cause FDR to get re-elected?

And more importantly, it was the replacement of the Lime Skittle with Green Apple that caused Trump.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#356 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:36 am

I thought they learned their lesson in the early aughts when the Lime->Green Apple outrage sparked the restoration back to Lime, but apparently they reverted back in '13?! Shoulda seen the social apocalypse coming then- or more importantly, Alan Moore should have

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swo17
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#357 Post by swo17 » Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:50 am

Yet another development The Social Network failed to predict

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domino harvey
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#358 Post by domino harvey » Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:05 am

I prefer them to the lime Skittles. Mod Approved Green Apple #maga

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R0lf
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#359 Post by R0lf » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:38 am

soundchaser wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:32 pm
Most movies are denials of reality and often provide sensational solutions. Did Astaire/Rogers musicals cause FDR to get re-elected?

And more importantly, it was the replacement of the Lime Skittle with Green Apple that caused Trump.
Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Spider-Man are all, literally, avatars for the American flag. From their creation the characters have always been about American jingoism. And the movies have always been about soft selling the military industrial complex to kids.

RIP Film
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#360 Post by RIP Film » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:24 am

Doesn't seem very controversial or anything new. Marc Maron makes similar points on his podcast, most articulately in the episode with Dale Behran, author of "It Came from Something Awful". Certainly you can see correlatives in the increased seriousness of comic culture with an avoidance of reality, if not seeing reality as something malleable altogether (Qanon and growing conspiracy culture). Superhero stuff might normalize our disengagement but I don't think it can be credited for it, and I don't think Moore believes that either; his argument appears more to be that the medium has changed and its role is no longer what it once was.

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feihong
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#361 Post by feihong » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:20 am

I kind of enjoyed Black Panther––mostly for the actors and their energy––and for some reason I like the weirdness and goofiness of the Thor films (unlike anyone else on the internet I had a good time watching the 2nd Thor movie, when he started throwing the hammer through the holes between different dimensions), and I like the Spider-man movies...the rest leave me mostly indifferent. But I am so far very beguiled by the first 2 episodes of Wandavision. It's so far a bit like the Prisoner, but if he was stuck in a television set (I guess he was, in a way). The marriage of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch in the comics has often been treated as an opportunity to play with the metanarrative possibilities of the genre, and this show is very meta in its approach, giving us a Vision and Wanda Maximoff stuck in a prison of old television tropes. The old-fashioned TV material is treated very cannily, so that when the laughtrack rolls out––as it does frequently––I find myself laughing not at the joke itself, but the era-specific trope the joke is referencing. Katherine Hahn's repeated reference to her "ol' ball & chain" husband who never appears is one of these interesting elements that has both a metanarrative humor and a kind of sinister implication for the actual narrative of the show. The first 2 episodes play mostly as straight television episodes from the past, interrupted occasionally by elements of another reality starting to break through. And the acting is very precise, without seeming arch. Paul Bettany is very good in this, and so is Elizabeth Olson––they really seem to enjoy doing the sitcom routines. There is a sharpness to the two of them, and a sense of fun that I wish we could have seen before this. Of course, that would have required them to be present in more than a scene or two of the previous movies, and they weren't very much. As I watch, I shore up my memory of the previous movies with decades of comic narratives about the characters, and I don't know to what extent that increases my appreciation of what's going on in this show. I'm not sure someone less invested in the Vision and Scarlet Witch characters from other media would enjoy the show quite as much––also, if you hadn't seen a lot of old sitcoms––and I'm given to understand many people haven't in recent years, I don't know how much you'd get out of the deliberately hollow acting out of their conventions that's on display in this series.

There is a sense of the show that makes it seem a little like David Lynch lite, but I don't find myself too worked up about it. Definitely this show is going to resolve into a traditional story at some point, rather than be left with any ambiguity, but in that sense it reminds me more of old-school science fiction stories than it does Blue Velvet. I think it seems pretty worthwhile. I'm a little impressed how much the Marvel superhero movies improve with just a little injection of fun into the mix.

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#362 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:52 pm

feihong wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:20 am
But I am so far very beguiled by the first 2 episodes of Wandavision. ...
There is a sense of the show that makes it seem a little like David Lynch lite, but I don't find myself too worked up about it. Definitely this show is going to resolve into a traditional story at some point, rather than be left with any ambiguity, but in that sense it reminds me more of old-school science fiction stories than it does Blue Velvet. I think it seems pretty worthwhile. I'm a little impressed how much the Marvel superhero movies improve with just a little injection of fun into the mix.
I don't think I'm really spoiling anything about Wandavision here, but just in case...
SpoilerShow
Yeah, it was obvious they were going to resolve things at some point, but they definitely jumped the gun on that process. I, too, really enjoyed the first two episodes. I enjoyed the third much less. And now the fourth, in which expository characters explain most everything, has turned it into a typical Marvel movie, just even more bland.

It was a neat concept, but they clearly did not trust their audience enough to stick with the mystery for very long. It's like if Twin Peaks revealed the killer halfway through the first season.

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feihong
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#363 Post by feihong » Tue Feb 02, 2021 5:46 pm

True. It's a commentary on Marvel movies in general, perhaps, to say that it is all you could expect from them, but I think it was pretty much all we could expect from them.

I like most of the 4th episode, though; the parts where Darcy Lewis and Agent Jimmy Woo get invested in watching the Wandavision TV show––invested in the content beyond the calamity they're witnessing. It's maybe giving the game away in terms of what Marvel movies want but aren't really able to achieve; none of it can ever really end up being that emotional.

This is a technique the comics have sort of mastered, but which remains a little out of the reach of the motion pictures––the off-screen emotional journey. Yet it's something they're always trying. Characters frequently fall in love in Marvel comics mostly off-panel. As a reader––especially a young reader––you built the moments of their romance you saw upwards in your imagination until they seemed like full-blown romances. Danny Rand and Misty Knight; Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy; Scott Summers and Jean Grey; Logan and Jean Grey, Logan and Mariko Yashida, Logan and...each relationship depended for the most part on a monthly publishing schedule to sort of roll over your doubts and objections. Believe, dear reader, that this love is not only real; it's the realest of real, it's true love. But when you go back and read the comics, it's hard to find any moments where that gets sold to you, on the page. Plots don't hinge on the romantic angle (except when they're killing Gwen Stacy, which is too little, too late, really), and we don't see anything play out on-page––we just hear characters thinking about how they love this person or that person. In fact, Vision and Wanda Maximoff were one of the few couples that got a lot of melodramatic moments, and a romance that did provide the anchor for a lot of plots in the comics. So it's a little ironic that the relationship they're really trying to play as an off-screen emotional journey is Wanda's and Vision's. And I think we see some of the problem with that, here. This show has to do double-duty, providing a a back-filled sense of Wand and Vision's romantic relationship and also giving us the aftermath of it––because the previous movies weren't interested in doing any more than the off-screen romance. So I think we're seeing the result of a lot of narrative compression––after a couple of episodes of "weird," they've got to get back to the main story.

It's a shame that we can't now follow Darcy and Agent Woo, spellbound by their Wandavision viewing, back into their own lives, where we see the dramas of Wandavision playing out in the real world, or something surreal like that. Now each of them has a canned significant other, and we hear a laugh track behind their lives which they usually don't notice, but which bothers them occasionally. We get just a taste of that when Wanda's birthing scene inspires Jimmy Woo to talk with a kind of bland, everyday inspiration about maybe having kids of his own; the TV is reaching for them and getting its tendrils into their minds. Nothing will be made of this, I think, but in the comics, Jimmy Woo is the leader of a terrorist cell of 60s sci-fi reject superheroes called the Agents of Atlas. I don't imagine we'll be seeing their television show any time soon.

I suppose the problem with expecting something you could call "good" in an unqualified way from these Marvel properties is that they are always serving two masters at once; their inspiration comes, necessarily, from the classic comics, which they adapt in a loose way. But the adaptations have to be aggressively streamlined, because the movies have to appeal to literally everybody, everywhere, and because they have to make digestible a 60-year publication history of ragged but insistently rigid continuity, in a ghostly, half-life form. So we get Vision and Wanda's relationship, in film and on television, but it has none of the elements from the original stories that made their relationship interesting (and that interest was for readers of an earlier era, as well; their relationship was pretty much over by the time I started reading comics, about 35 years ago). The show makes new items of interest, but because they are bereft of any real history between the characters, but at the same time dependent on us knowing the history between the characters...it's hard to unpack how you're supposed to feel about all of it. It feels like they are trying to build to the next big multi-film event, which it seems might be an adaptation of Secret Invasion or House of M––or maybe Wandavision is their adaptation of House of M. Lots of pop film nowadays tries to rely on postmodern subtext to take the place of actual, step-by-step storytelling––and the MCU movies have been maybe the most successful in streamlining this approach. But the results definitely show through here. It would be so much nicer if the story went full postmodern, but then, of course, they'll lose their larger audience, who already felt like three episodes of television from past decades was too much. But it would have been fun to see everything gradually going askew as Wanda tries to hold together the sitcoms; kind of like a nuclear-stakes Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Or something where Wanda has to sort of emotionally engage the real world, and instead of editing out anomalies as she does throughout the show, she actually changes the channel, and everyone is disoriented, being recast in new roles. I guess there's still some potential for that; it looks like we haven't seen yet the episode where Vision goes out trick-or-treating, dressed as himself––is that supposed to be patterned after the Wonder Years? Perhaps at the end of the day, what I want and won't be able to get in this show is a "real world" outside of Wanda's TV town that quakes as it is infected with the same craziness that's going on in Wanda's bubble. It won't happen, and the characters from the outside world have to play the "straight man" role to the craziness in Wanda's mind––which is a little strange, considering how this film references the fact that half the people of this "real world" just got reconsituted with a snap of Iron Man's fingers. But hey, whatever. At the end of the day, I feel like I feel about most of the Marvel movies; I don't hate it. I did miss Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany doing their more inspired TV revue in this last episode, though. They had a chance in there for actual chemistry, in between the superhero antics.

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colinr0380
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#364 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:53 pm

I have not seen Wandavision but in a world in which the gobsmacking Heil Honey I'm Home exists, I cannot imagine the satirical sitcom format being pushed much further.

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#365 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:06 pm

RIP Film wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:24 am
Certainly you can see correlatives in the increased seriousness of comic culture with an avoidance of reality, if not seeing reality as something malleable altogether (Qanon and growing conspiracy culture).
With WandaVision itself exploring this theme, has Marvel become outwardly self-aware? The show is clearly some kind of commentary on escapism, but does this make it a meta-textual commentary? An exploration of the "avoidance of reality" of its own brand?

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#366 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:23 pm

TheKieslowskiHaze wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:06 pm
With WandaVision itself exploring this theme, has Marvel become outwardly self-aware? The show is clearly some kind of commentary on escapism, but does this make it a meta-textual commentary? An exploration of the "avoidance of reality" of its own brand?
As the show gets dumber and dumber, I now feel I was off base here.

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thirtyframesasecond
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#367 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:27 pm

Not worth it, then? I hear good things about Kathryn Hahn, who's about as reliable a scene stealer as say a Catherine Keener was 15-20 years ago. I don't think Disney Plus offers much otherwise. Not interested in the Marvel series generally, and am generally incredibly lukewarm on Star Wars. I wonder if they'll have to offer some of their material out to Amazon/Sky eventually.

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feihong
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#368 Post by feihong » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:00 pm

I've been finding it worth seeing so far. With respect for their position, I don't see the show getting "dumber and dumber," as TheKieslowskiHaze says––though there is a fight in the show between the more energized sitcom recreation content and the somewhat standard superhero movie that winds like a snake through this narrative. I think the show is making an interesting assertion, identifying obsession with nostalgia as a way to process grief. The last episode was much more superhero-adventure–centric again (it has gone back and forth throughout the last few episodes, dipping back into sitcom territory as Wanda repeatedly rejects reality), but it ended with a very nice, subtle suggestion that it's not the one who retreats into that nostalgia that really benefits from it––it's one who creates that nostalgia (or at least, the one who programs it). So the real villain of the piece seems to be Nickelodeon's Nick-at-Night, or television in general. It's not all perfectly delineated––and apparently they planned for longer episodes, but it seems like the series has been recut to add to the episode count, which means that there is one conspicuous episode some of us were lamenting weeks ago, which was only about super cops doing superhero stuff outside of the television nostalgia "zone" where most of the story takes place––but, that aside, it's pretty interesting and pretty funny, and I think Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn all do great things acting-wise, operating in a dizzying amount of different modes and realities. The supporting cast from the more "serious Marvel movie" is also appealing, and as a fan of her from the comics, I was delighted to see that
SpoilerShow
"Spectrum" or "Photon" or "Captain Marvel" Monica Rambeau would actually become a superhero in the show, instead of them just inserting a bunch of teases that she would be one later on.
I do think there's a certain amount of interest to chew upon here, along with the interesting self-reflexive idea of characters pulled from the comics, stretched to the breaking point as they are exploited across multiple mediums, kind of coming apart at the seams. Things did get crazier after episode 4, and so far I am still very interested. I think the show also makes a productive move in distancing the superhero and multiple-reality trappings of the show from post-9-11 militarism––the military is here, but this time as out-and-out villains,
SpoilerShow
who try to nuke Wanda's TV town with a drone, because she stole the Vision back to be her husband again when they were rebuilding him as an awesome new weapon.
It's a nice step away from the Iron Man/extramilitary industral complex origins of the films. I think the series has endeavored to say quite a lot with its themes, and those themes are more broadly critical than those the Marvel movies have presented in the past. There's still a lot of metafictional play going on in the series. I've never liked Paul Bettany so much in a film before (well, maybe in Master and Commander). And the surprise appearance of
SpoilerShow
Evan Peters, sort of recast from the Fox X-men movies as Wanda's brother Quicksilver,
is still a really cool move.

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#369 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:13 pm

feihong wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:00 pm
I've been finding it worth seeing so far. With respect for their position, I don't see the show getting "dumber and dumber," as TheKieslowskiHaze says––though there is a fight in the show between the more energized sitcom recreation content and the somewhat standard superhero movie that winds like a snake through this narrative.
My problem is that, in this fight, the "standard superhero movie" is winning more and more in each successive episode. The mystery, tonal complexity, and genuine humor of the first two episodes has almost entirely vanished.

I am not a fan of Marvel, so this certainly isn't aimed at me. But I'd thought, after seeing reactions to the first two episodes, that this was something interesting and different. That's sadly proving not the case. It's fine, I guess, if you like superhero stuff. I don't. As David Lynch said when pressed about why he didn't like Malick's Tree of Life, "It's just not my cup of tea."

I'll keep watching before passing an ultimate judgment. Maybe they'll wrap it up in an interesting way.

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