Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Informant wrote:

I just think that these Netflix/Marvel shows would benefit from fewer episodes, or more standalone episodes where the characters are fighting one-off bad guys.

I see the "fewer episodes" stuff from critics and fans all the time.  The 13-episode seasons are a relatively new concept, and a lot of shows are still happily doing 22-23....including comic-inspired shows like Arrow, Gotham, etc.

So when are we going to stop letting writers be lazy?  Are we truly saying that a character like the Punisher or Daredevil doesn't have enough material for 13 episodes?  That's ridiculous - these characters have had 50 years worth of stories in print.  The writers should have enough material for 30-episode seasons.

I think the primary problem with the Netflix shows (and the reason I'm even talking about this now is that I'm a few episodes into Punisher now and can see it happening again) is that they, for some reason, insist on telling *one* story for the entire duration.  Daredevil season 2 split the season up into two mini-seasons (one for Castle, one for Elektra), and Luke Cage split the season based on two villains (one dies and is replaced with another).

But, even in those cases, it's one story.  One villain.  What's crazy is that the show that did this the most, Jessica Jones, was the one show that has a built-in way to *not* tell those stories - the detective agency.  It's a "crime of the week" format that has made shows like these drive for decades.

On Supernatural, Sam and Dean are usually fighting one big monster for a season, but they break that up by doing small stories where they fight a ghost or a werewolf or something.  They aren't central to the main plot, but they can still be fun episodes where the characters learn and grow.  Team Arrow might be fighting Prometheus for a season, but they still take down smaller crime syndicates in the mean time.  Team Flash takes a break from fighting Savitar to fight other, smaller metas.  It's how these shows can do multiple seasons of 23 episodes.

Let Jessica Jones solve some standard murder cases.  Let Daredevil stumble upon a dogfighting ring.  Let Luke Cage beat up a drug dealer that moved into Harlem.  Let Danny Rand rescue a kid who's getting recruited into a street gang.  I know that the Punisher is a revenge-driven story (although, as ireactions points out, it isn't even that anymore in the comics), but the first episode of the Netflix show is just about him saving a kid.  They could do four of those a season and save episodes full of talking.

It would break up the monotony, and it'd give the heroes a few wins along the way.  Because half the reason why these stories feel so long is because, a lot of the time, they're getting *this* close to taking down the villain for them to slip out of the way.  I can't remember how many times Jessica Jones had Kilgrave in her grasp, only for him to slither away.

Tell stories.  Not just one story.  And you'll find that 13 episodes isn't too much.  It shouldn't be nearly enough.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I agree... But if they're not going to do stand alone episodes, they need to shorten the seasons. smile

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Yeah, I wasn't really directing that at you (despite quoting you).  I see the "DO LESS EPISODES" stuff all the time time.  Defenders was only 8 episodes and struggled from the same stuff - it's one story.  If they do one story, 13 episodes is too many.  Eight episodes is too many.  Five is too many.

If they're only going to do one story, don't even bother doing a show.  Do a two-hour movie.

354 (edited by Informant 2018-01-03 22:26:28)

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Spider-Man Homecoming was an absurd mess of a movie. The plot was a sloppy mess. The characters were a sloppy mess. The writers didn't seem to know whether this was a John Hughs movie or a standard Marvel movie. The continuity was a very distracting mess. I don't get why they would fight so hard to get the character in the MCU, ditch Andrew Garfield just so they can do it their own way, and then have no clear vision for the movie.

And I don't get Marvel's need to have blundering heroes who make things worse every time they show up. Honestly, how many big battles could be avoided in Marvel movies if only their characters weren't such screwups?

By the end of the movie, I wanted Peter to reject the Avengers offer and tell Tony to f*** off, because his f***ing handler wouldn't listen to him for five f***ing seconds, and the whole f***ing movie could have been avoided if they had. The Avengers didn't have Peter's back, so why would Peter even want to be one, or associate with them? Stark almost got Peter and many others killed because he was such an a**hole.

I like Iron Man, the first movie. However, it seems like they've been working hard to make me hate him ever since.

It seemed like they were messing with established characters just for the sake of being different. Why do this "hot Aunt May" schtick?

The movie was such a baffling mess. Why did nobody fix this script? It wasn't like it would have been hard to make a better movie. Did they have a set release date before they started, and just couldn't take the time to do it right?

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I loved the first Andrew Garfield movie; the second was a mess that reminded me of Joel Schumacher Batman.  Even with that, I wish they had continued on with Garfield’s version.  However, I don’t think that was happening regardless. The leaked Sony e-mails seem to indicate that Garfield got himself fired from the role: … sony-chief

The Spider-Man series have so far been adaptations of eras in spirit if not fact.  The Toby Maguire years were the original Stan Lee stuff from the 60’s.  Garfield’s version was more the feel of the late 70’s through 80’s Spider-Man from Len Wein, Roger Stern and even Tom Defalco.  And Homecoming is very much an adaptation of the Brian Michael Bendis Ultimate Spider-Man from the 2000s.

Ultimate Spider-man is where Young Aunt May comes from (she was presented as in her 50’s); this is where “chair guy” comes from; it’s really where the overall tone comes from.  And while Tony Stark has changed moods over the years like Batman (going from a happy guy to a grouch who alienated all of his friends), the Ultimate Tony Stark was a true a-hole. This was partly because they turned him into a genetic experiment where his whole body was his brain (which would be why he’s an ultra genius, of course); but also partly because he had cancer and was dying.

Homecoming has some problems.  I didn’t like the high tech suit.  I didn’t like the Stark mentor angle.  That stuff wasn’t in Ultimate Spider-Man either.  I did like the high school stuff.  I liked Spidey bumbling around a little.  I loved what they did with Vulture (making that character “cool” for the first time in my memory).

Overall, I enjoyed it; but it’s faults (namely Stark) kept me from being amazed.  Hopefully the next solo outing for Spidey will give him the full spotlight; but that movie is also slated to be the direct follow up to the Infinity War aftermath, so they’ll probably again be preoccupied with the greater Marvel universe instead of focusing on a true character piece.  This is where Marvel is starting to stumble a bit; they’re forgetting that their success began with individual solo movies that only connected subtly.  That approach gave characters a chance to shine without someone else stealing their spotlight.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Okay, I'm obviously not the target audience for MCU movies, so I wanted to see what everyone's impression of the Black Panther trailers are. Are people looking forward to the movie? I can't base any expectations of performance on my own impressions, but I also can't really take the word of the critics.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

The hype is pretty big as far as I can tell.  I've heard a lot of people who don't watch comic book movies getting really excited to see it.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Interesting. I guess it'll be worth keeping an eye on. smile

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Black Panther has never been a character I was interested in, so I’m not too excited about it.  I felt the same way about Thor.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Wow, Black Panther is killing it in the box office. I'm happy for them, and I hope that this is one of the MCU movies that's actually good and deserves the praise.

I'm not sure that I get a lot of the social elements of people going to see a movie. I've seen a lot of people say that they're happy to see a big blockbuster that's finally led by a black guy... which kinda invalidates Will Smith's entire career. Some are happy to see a comic book movie that finally stars a black guy... which kinda ignores movies like Spawn or Blade. Those movies weren't as huge, but it's not because they weren't made. It's because the comic book trend wasn't a thing until the last ten years or so.
I also see people say that they're happy to see this culture celebrated... which makes no sense, because it's fictional.

So I don't know how much of this box office is earned by being a good movie, and how much is earned by identity politics. Which I hate, because there shouldn't be an asterisk next to its success, even if I end up not liking the movie (as is the case with most MCU movies).

I guess we'll have to wait a few weeks for all of the political stuff to die down before people start talking about the movie itself, and stop with the "he's black!" and "there are strong women!" reviews. I hated that about Wonder Woman too. Just review the damn movie and stop telling people how to relate to it on a personal level. I heard something about people registering to vote at screenings of the movie. Seriously?

Anyway, I'm happy for the film itself. A lot of the actors in it are cool, so I hope it's a good movie, and based on the director's previous success, I'm in no way saying that the success of the movie isn't earned (because I haven't seen it and that would be a stupid comment to make). I'm just commenting more on the press surrounding the movie right now.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I haven't seen Black Panther yet.  I hope to see it soon.


I've recently been watching the MCU films with my fiancee.  She's not into comic books or superheroes, and as I've said many times on this board, I think the MCU is very accessible to people who don't typically like comic books.  We finally got up to Captain America: the First Avenger, and I was surprised by it.  I hadn't seen it since it came out, and I'd resigned it to the pile of "worst MCU movies".  Whenever it's brought up here, it's regularly mentioned as a movie that worked only as a preview to Avengers and not able to stand on its own.

Watching it again....I really disagree.

It's not a movie without its flaws.  My fiancee certainly wasn't wowed by it or the character of Captain America, but I think it works on a lot of levels.  Steve is a very compelling protagonist that you're rooting for from the first frame he's in.  You believe in his friendship with Bucky (which will become more important in later movies), and the world that's built feels real and genuine. 

Does the movie set up the Avengers?  Sort of?  The Tesseract is both the McGuffin here and in the Avengers, and the ending certainly sets up the idea that Captain America is in the modern times, but I didn't get the impression that those two things were really enough to de-rail the movie.  The emotional thrust of the film is still Steve and his friends, and that's pretty resolved before any of the future stuff even happens.  Even then, Steve isn't wowed by the future or the potential of joining a team of superheroes...he's sad about Peggy.

There's stuff I didn't like.  I don't understand why Steve was so easily turned into a caricature.  He starts the movie so desperate to join the war effort that he's willing to commit perjury to try again and again.  Even if the Senator was a great salesman, Steve wasn't interested in helping domestically - he wanted to lay his life on the line.  If General Tommy Lee Jones didn't want him, I'd figure he'd simply enlist with his new body - there didn't seem to be anything stopping him.

I also didn't understand why General Tommy Lee Jones didn't want Steve.  Sure, he'd be disappointed that the super-soldier program only produced one guy....but it produced one guy.  Why not use him?  Or even *see if he's worth using* before just dumping him.  Steve literally changes the course of the war all by himself.  Even if he was just a great soldier, I thought it was crazy to turn him into a song and dance man, and I don't see what that really did for his arc.

And I get that Steve is now a top specimen, but the movie actually shows him running into a window because he's not used to being so big/strong/fast.  This wasn't a Neo situation and skills were downloaded into him.  He's the same scrawny kid in a small body.  I don't understand how he can, all of the sudden, fight.  And ride a motorcycle.  And shoot guns.  And fly planes.  He had the training at the base, but he was shown to be pretty below average.  He's small, but if he's beaten up as much as he is, he clearly can't fight either (and those are two different things I'm talking about).  He shouldn't have any of those skills.

SQ21 Edit - Skip the song and dance stuff.  Everyone involved immediately understands that Steve is a very powerful weapon.  But 1) he can't fight and 2) he's too important to be risked on anything but the most important missions.  He's sent to train (willingly) and gets trained by the best.  Meanwhile, different parts of the war effort keep asking to use him, but it's always rejected - not important enough.  When the POWs held by Red Skull are mentioned, it's declined.  And that's when Steve decides to take matters into his own hands, and the movie can continue from there.

All in all, it's not a great movie.  But while I went in thinking it's one of the worst Phase 1 movies, I think it's actually better than everything but the first Iron Man.  That's not saying much because Phase One is the weakest one, but I found myself really enjoying it.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I was there for a midnight premiere of Captain America; not an empty seat in the house.  It’s one of the few movies I’ve been to where at the end the audience stood up and cheered clapping; and I felt the same way.  The movie had alot of heart; and it really left me pumped up.

I attribute that more to director Joe Johnson than anything else.  That man really gets the idealized version of World War II filled with that innocent patriotism and a propaganda feel.  That’s really what Captain America is; it was a perfect fit.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I don't think that The First Avenger was a horrible movie. I rewatched it recently, and it's good enough. I just think that the movie had the potential to be a lot more, except that it was chained down to The Avengers. As a result, the Peggy relationship is a waste of time, and it feels like a lot of Captain America's story potential is thrown out the window, because they have to get him to the present by the end of the movie. The story didn't have a chance to breathe, so it ends up kinda feeling like an additional feature on some other movie's blu-ray, where we learn Cap's origin story.

It's far from the worst MCU movie, but it could have been a lot better if they'd been able to take their time with it and develop some of the relationships in the past.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I mean, I've read your idea on how the trilogy should've gone....building to him being frozen.  And I think that could've been a stronger story as far as Steve/Peggy, but I think for Steve on his own, I think it's fine to throw him right into the future.  He doesn't really get the Hollywood ending that he wants, and as soon as he feels comfortable with this life he's always dreamed of, it's torn away from him.

The other movies are really about Steve regaining what he lost.

I see where you're coming from regarding how the Avengers might've cut short a story that would've gone longer if they didn't need Steve in the future.  But if you consider his 1940s story done, then I don't think worldbuilding affected this movie as much as, say, Iron Man 2.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

One problem is that Steve isn't really a character. It's just Captain America. Yeah, Bucky ties into who he was, but in a way that is entirely about Captain America.

But this is a problem for a lot of Marvel movies. They're built around the concepts for big action sequences rather than character. I guess that's their purpose, so it isn't a failure for them. It's just not how I prefer things.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I don't know if I agree with that.  Steve is a boring character, but he's boring in a lot of the same way (comic) Superman is boring.  He does the right thing.  He thinks with his conscience.  And he's willing to fight if someone disagrees with him.

That's sorta what I'm talking about in my review.  I was surprised at how much character stuff there was.  I think they missed the mark on some stuff, but you get a pretty good idea about the depth of his friendship with Bucky.  You get a pretty decent idea of what makes this guy tick and what makes him angry.  When you look at the Captain America trilogy, there's actually a decent foundation for those movies.  First Avenger is the worst of the three (in my opinion), but it's almost a Batman Begins situation.  Dark Knight is a better movie, but there's no Dark Knight if Batman Begins didn't do heavy lifting.

I was impressed.  Not blown away.  But impressed.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Of the three, I'd say that Civil War was the worst for me. It's one of the worst MCU movies that I've seen, because it's like the writers stopped pretending to care about a plot at some point. I'm far less likely to go back to rewatchable Civil War than I am the other two.

I will agree that The First Avenger had the most character depth for Steve as a person. I'd have just liked to have seen more development of that character.

This is why I like Man of Steel. Superman is usually a pretty boring, poorly written character. Man of Steel was all about developing Clark and using that development to drive the story.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Jessica Jones, season 2...


The second season was better than the first. While it probably could have been tightened up, it didn't have some of the bigger problems of the first season... or, it probably did, but it was presented in a way that made a bit more sense.

In general, I'm not a fan of the "Person who was thought dead turns out to not be dead" trope, especially when that death is such a large part of the main character's story. And while bringing Jessica's mother back to life for this season did provide some emotional weight to the story, I'm still not sure that it managed to bypass my dislike of that trope.

Once it was done, I guess it worked out okay. There was definite struggle with Jessica and her mother, and it didn't feel illegitimate, given the circumstance. It made the arc between those characters really interesting in a lot of ways.

Jessica killing the prison guard... At first, I thought it worked and that it served a purpose, by making Jessica do the thing that she hates the most about her mother. However, when all is said and done, I don't know that that beat was played strongly enough to make the killing worthwhile. Yeah, she killed a bad guy and she felt bad about that, but nothing really became of it. Especially since the guy splatted on the sidewalk with the smashed side up, and no apparent cause for that injury.

Some parts of the season felt weird, in that they failed to reference The Defenders and Jessica's role in saving the city there, or the fact that she really could have used the help Luke or Danny at certain points, but never mentioned them. They do get points for having Foggy pop in and out really quick.

The whole combined MCU continues to be more of a distraction than anything else. They mention the Raft several times, which we saw in Civil War. But they also talk about being the most powerful women in the world, which probably isn't true (though, come to think of it, Marvel has really failed to build up female characters). Then you consider that we're also supposed to lump in Agents of SHIELD... it's just a mess. And needlessly so. It's not like they're going to combine the Netflix shows with AoS or the movies. At least, I hope that the Netflix characters won't appear in Infinity War, because it just doesn't fit. None of these properties feel like the same reality. And that's fine. It's good even. I just wish that the studio would stop messing around and commit to the fact that they're not the same world.

At the end of the season, I felt like the story with Jessica's mother was *ended* more than *resolved*. Trish just appears and shoots Jessica's mother, and then runs away, and the whole thing feels like an afterthought. The building conflict between Jessica and this problem that was her mother ultimately led nowhere.

Like I said, the season was better than season 1. I actually didn't dislike season 2. It just had some problems that prevent me from saying that it was actually good. It just didn't seem to come together in the end. It just kinda wound down.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I finally saw Black Panther.  SPOILERS below:


I liked it a lot.  I wasn't really aware of much of the character's history, but I really thought it sold him and his world.  It all felt very real, even though Wakanda has barely been mentioned in the previous MCU movies.  I thought just about everything about it (the acting, the worldbuilding, the costumes, the action, the character arcs) were above average for MCU.  For a first movie, it might be up there with the first Iron Man.

And the villain might be the best in the MCU altogether.  He's a guy who, while twisted, really makes some strong points about how Wakanda should work in the modern world.  And it's one of those rare movies where the villain essentially changes the path of the hero.

The racial stuff is pretty heavy-handed, but I think it's important for it to be heavy-handed at this point in our history.  I think it's important for black kids to have a hero like T'Challa right now, and I'm very glad that they're feeling empowered by him.  And I hope that they didn't make Killmonger's message *too* empathatic because it could, obviously be dangerous.

It was really fun and well-paced.  Considering how important the Black Panther characters are going to be in Infinity War, I'm glad that I saw it in time.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I bought tickets to see Infinity War on opening night.  Whether or not the movie lives up to the hype, I want to see it the same time as everyone else.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I have my reservation for... Whenever it hits Redbox, or maybe a streaming service. smile

I don't think that it can live up to the hype. Everyone has a favorite character, and most people will probably feel like their favorite didn't get enough screen time. The cast is too big, so real character work won't happen. So it comes down to plot. We'll see how that goes.

Everyone complains when a DC movie comes out and has a CG villain. Then they praise Marvel movies for their CG villains. The thing is agree about is that you really can't get a great performance from them. Unless they're on a mindless rampage, like Doomsday or parademons, it's hard to sell them as a real villain. That will be another hurdle for Infinity War. Especially since Thanos looks pretty unfinished in the commercials.

The movie will make a trillion dollars and he widely praised, I'm sure. But it has a lot of challenges to face down, even for an MCU movie. Civil War was too bloated and the plot suffered. This is much bigger.

It really doesn't matter though. The movie could suck hard and Disney will still make a bunch of money. They probably don't care at this point. The MCU is a perpetual motion device.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Well I agree and disagree.  Regarding the size of the cast and character's not necessarily crucial for a lot of this in that film.  It's probably not necessary for, say, Dr. Strange to learn a valuable lesson in this movie.  All these characters aren't going to need to change and/or grow for them to serve their purpose.  He might just need to be there to say some spells, open some portals, and show how powerful the villain is.  And, I think, that's okay.

There are obviously three levels of MCU heroes - there's the original Avengers who have had solo films (so just Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America), the next gen of solo-film heroes (your Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, the Guardians, Black Panther), and everyone else (which would include secondary heroes like Falcon and even original Avengers like Black Widow).

This movie is doing to focus, character-wise, on the originals....since these next two movies are supposed to be a passing of the torch of sorts.  Robert Downey Jr. is going to be too expensive at some point, even if he's game.  Chris Evans has said he's done.   Hemsworth said that Ragnarok energized him, but he won't do this forever.  There's only so much for the Hulk to do since he can't have solo films.

So if this movie is about Tony finally coming to terms with all he's done....with Captain America finally making the ultimate sacrifice, with Banner getting the peace he's always wanted, and Thor growing as a hero....then I think it's fine if every other character just sorta shows up and says their catchphrase.  Because, soon, it'll be their time to step up and carry the emotional weight.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Yeah... but at the same time, Guardians is a huge movie franchise on its own. If they show up, say "I am Groot" and we spend the next three hours with the Hulk, someone out there is going to feel cheated. At the same time, if the focus is too heavy on the next phase of heroes, people will feel like they didn't get enough from the originals.

Star Trek always had a hard time balancing large casts in their movies. Ideally, each character will serve a purpose, and any character who shows up on screen needs some sort of personal arc. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, or a life-changing arc, but they need to get from point A to point B while justifying their presence.

It's possible that the film will be great. However, I think it's more of a challenge than people are expecting. Still, I don't think that the bar is super high for the MCU, in terms of story construction, world building, or characters. The movie will probably serve its purpose well enough.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Informant wrote:

However, I think it's more of a challenge than people are expecting.

I'll certainly be grading it on a curve.  To take all these huge characters and somehow make a movie that makes any level of sense will be impressive on its own.  I'm expecting it to either be a clusterf*ck on at least one level, and that's how I'm going to rate it.

The Russo Brothers have come out and said that the two main characters in the movie are Thanos and Thor.  So if they're gonna spend any time developing Thanos as a character and if they're able to determine that there *is* a main character, then a lot of these guys are going to be background characters.  And if you're a big fan of Scarlett Witch and she doesn't get an important role, you're just going to have to get over it, unfortunately.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

And really, the limited leading roles is how the comics story was handled too.  The Infinity Guantlet mini-series focused on only a few characters (Thanos, Adam Warlock, Silver Surfer, Death, Mephisto and ultimately Nebula).  While every hero in Marvel at the time also appeared, they were just supporting players with maybe their own moment here or there.  Honestly, half of the major Marvel characters died in issue one when Thanos snapped his fingers.

Of course, the Infinity War movie will also include what was the lead-up to Infinity Gauntlet, and that happened completely in the Silver Surfer monthly series along with a two issue mini called Thanos Quest with Thanos as the lead collecting the gems.

There is already evidence they’re following the Infinity Gauntlet Comic - the scene with Hulk falling through the skylight window at Doctor Strange’s Sanctum is a direct reproduction of a scene from Infinity Gauntlet #1 (the only difference being in the comic it was Silver Surfer who crashed through the window after a fight on the moon with a doppleganger Surfer that Thanos created).  So I expect we’ll see the comic formula followed. From what 21 is saying, I suspect Thor is sliding into the Adam Warlock role.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Incidentally, the lead up to Infinity Gauntlet in the Silver Surfer monthly, the Thanos Quest and the Infinity Gauntlet mini-series is one my all time favorite storylines in comics.  The art of Ron Lim in Surfer coupled with Jim Starlin’s writing (the creator of Thanos) was really the pinnacle of the material they produced in their careers.

Bonus trivia if you didn’t know - Thanos is based on DC Comics Darkseid.  Starlin went to DC first wanting to write his stories for Darkseid and the New Gods, but DC said no.  So Statlin went to Marvel, created Thanos and told his Darkseid stories anyway.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Focusing on one or two characters, with everyone else as supporting players, would probably work best... But is it what's been advertised? I'm a little shocked to hear that Thor is one of the primary focuses. He hasn't stood out in the commercials, at least to me. Spider-Man and the Guardians have stood out more.