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To Infinity and Beyond: The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Purple

(She/Her)
  • Disney has been trying to sue people for publishing things that use actual Norse Mythology because they're a fucking evil company that seeks a fucking evil destination. This is an active attack on the very idea of public domain, an attempt to make their version of something the ONLY version of it. Pirating their media is the only moral way to consume it.
I also saw something about some random guy getting takedown notices on like his instagram or whatever because he happens to look vaguely similar to Tom Hiddleston.

So... I guess watch this while you still can?

Probably this one too for good measure.
 

Daikaiju

Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
It looks fine to me! I am 100% here for the wacky alternate universe shit.
Indeed. Besides obviously the animators were told to stick close to the actors' likenesses. That always makes for some stiffer designs. You see the same thing in comics
 

muteKi

Hashtag give it to gilly
I am hearing talk that they have put an alligator in the loki show. I guess this is to be a new mascot for the Florida parks; after all, since people are taking vaccinations for granted, the mouse must find a new means for blood sacrifice
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
Who run the world? Widows.

This was fun! Great action, and I really appreciated how much screentime was devoted to quieter character moments. More than most MCU movies, BW seemed eager to slow things down and examine the people involved. More like this, please.

Florence Pugh was excellent as Yelena, with perfect comedic timing and some subtle emotional work. Her heartbreak at realizing that she's the only one who considered their fake sleeper cell family real (or so she thought, anyway) was very affecting. I'm eager to see more of her in the MCU -- I guess she'll be turning up in the Hawkeye series. It remains to be seen who or what Elaine represents, but it's probably nothing good; it seems Yelena went from being a pawn of one shadowy organization to another. Sad, and probably the result of her hunger for belonging.

I would have liked more Taskmaster action; she had a real Terminator/Winter Soldier vibe going there for a bit, but then she dropped out of the movie for a large chunk and became more tragic than menacing once the mask came off. (I like that they spun out a throwaway reference from The Avengers into a whole subplot, though.) If I were better at unpacking fight choreography I would probably have recognized a lot of moves from previous films, but broadly I saw references to Cap, Hawkeye, T'Challa and Bucky. And Natasha, obviously.

David Harbour's Russian accent kept drifting in and out, and I don't know how much his being Red Guardian added to the proceedings. Really, it's just another wrinkle in the increasingly messy history of the super soldier serum. Whatever, it's fine.

I had heard a rumor that RDJ was going to cameo in this, but apparently not. That's fine, there wasn't really a place for him here that wouldn't have felt like a gimmick. Nice to see Secretary Ross again.

Assorted quibbles:
I have no idea how Taskmaster tracked the vials from Budapes(h)t to Norway. I guess they really are training super spies over there.

Why were S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists working under a front? They were an official government organization. (Maybe that question is really naive of me.)

I love a helicarrier, me, but the Red Room turning out to be a gigantic flying fortress was a bit much.

Could one Widow really bring down a nation, or was Dreykov just cribbing from the Winter Soldier sales pitch?

Why does Natasha think she still needs to break the other Avengers out of prison at the end? I guess Civil War's final scene took place a lot later than it appeared. Or she's just not up on current events. (I liked the Avengers theme sting, though.)

Something doesn't sit right with me about Elaine twisting the events of Endgame to goose Yelena into killing Hawkeye. He was the only one to come back from Vormir, so his version of events is the only version, official or otherwise. How does Elaine spin that to make him look responsible? Or if she doesn't have to because Yelena is just that eager to avenge Natasha, wouldn't she have gone after him already anyway? I'm probably overthinking this.

Onward to Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Bracelets!
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
Oh oh, I've got it

Instead of Stan Lee cameos, every movie from now on should have a William Hurt cameo, as Secretary Ross and his motorcade show up just a little too late after every major battle to arrest people for violating the Accords

"Those fucking Avengers!!"
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I liked the movie Black Widow. It was pretty good!

(Black Widow and Endgame spoilers follow) But it just makes Natasha throwing herself to her death instead of Hawkeye even more infuriating. She has two families now! Let stupid fucking Hawkeye throw himself off the cliff, Nat! Sheesh.

I hope Yelena does kill him, even if he didn't actually kill Natasha.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I think that was the explodingest ending yet. Yeah, the timeline was a little weird, this whole movie took place between the end of Civil War and its end credit sequence. The last scene where she had blonde hair and got a jet felt a little too much like they were trying to tie things together. It was a fun movie overall though. .
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I liked Black Widow pretty much. The best part is squarely in the middle where Natasha's fucked up family gets to bounce off of each other. Its definitely where it is at its strongest dramatically and comedically.

Feelings on the Taskmaster: I do feel a little bummed it was different than the character I like in the comics but thematically the choice to change the character makes sense. Sadly, she doesn't get to do too much, even in terms of fighting. Like there are some good fights but I feel like "having the martial capability of all of the non-super Avengers" should have lead itself to some better climactic fights or more of a pay off solution on how to defeat the character before curing her. That said, I do hope the character continues in the Marvel U and gets to do her own thing. In fact, I feel like if they could build toward an A-Force movie with all the underserved female characters.

David Harbour is a lot of fun but like with Little Women, Florence Pugh is the strongest part of it.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I agree that the parts with the family were a lot of fun. The trailers didn’t sell that dynamic well, so I was pleasantly surprised.

One other thing I forgot to mention was the weird intro with a slow Nirvana cover and images of girls being kidnapped. That was a bit heavy for this movie. I get that it’s relevant to the plot, but it didn’t fit with the jokey action style that the rest of the the movie stuck to. It would have been better if the intro was lighter, or if the movie highlighted the tragedy of human trafficing beyond showing that they all become super heroes.
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
Between over a year of delays and the premise of going back and finally giving this character a solo picture after she'd already died in continuity, expectations were low, but I liked Black Widow a surprising amount. When it was over, I immediately thought of Captain Marvel and how much pressure seemed to have been placed on it to be a feminist film; this one, with themes of exploitation and disposal of women and girls embedded in Natasha's backstory, serves that purpose very naturally. I appreciate that it commits fully to the grim details and emotional of the circumstances, which makes it all the more satisfying when the hero triumphs over the villain, the very face of male insecurity, violence, and subjugation.

I'm glad the first one in such a long time is this good.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The most recent episode of MODOK brought in the Secret Best X-Men villain; Arcade.

Every other character in the show is either exaggerated for comic effect or just made an out-right goofball. Even characters who were inherently goofballs.

They left Arcade completely true to the text. Right down to the fact that his fee is entirely symbolic. They even managed to land the exact voice I hear all his dialogue in.

It’s safe to proclaim this the single greatest source for all your much-needed Arcade content outside of the comic pages
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I liked Black Widow. It did get progressively sillier as it went on, and it seemed to forget that despite being set in the MCU these characters do not have super powers to survive what should be grievous injury, but it had a fun dynamic and good action scenes.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I’ll go ahead and proclaim Black Widow a Good Spys-em-up. And also I hope that Yelena and Sergei are in more movies going forward because they were both very fun characters.

Yelena, in particular, was good in all the ways that Natasha left me indifferent
 
Ray Winstone's accent flipping between Hollywood Russian and British gangster was the comedy highlight of the film.

I feel like the movie was fine, serviceable and all, but suffered a bit from being delayed from its Early 2020 stocking-stuffer slot to a post-Disney+ Show mid-2021.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
In Ang Lee's "Hulk" (2003), a freak lab accident transforms Bruce into an unstoppable rage monster. Aided only by his ex-girlfriend, and hounded by his long-lost mad scientist biodad, the United States military, and his own inner demons, he must uncover the dark secrets of his own extraordinary birth and the repressed trauma of his early childhood.

I watched it tonight. It isn't officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it slots in pretty well notwithstanding, with the later "The Incredible Hulk" feature positioning itself as a pseudo-sequel rather than a reboot. The MCU has basically given up trying to have even a quarter of the style of this gem. Most memorably, its use of multiple-perspective shots and really cheeky cuts and wipes can only be called avant-garde.

I've gained access to a Disney+ account so I'll probably be able to catch Black Widow once it joins the general rotation, if I don't hit a theater or something first. Looking forward to it.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
EDIT: I posted this when I was sleep deprived, and in retrospect I think it came off poorly. Removed.
 
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I watched Black Widow the other day. I had a good time, the movie was a decent if extremely predictable and formulaic Marvel movie (even for Marvel movies). But when watching the movie, I just weirdly got angrier and angrier, and when it was over I was just low key furious. I've waited a while to post impressions because I wanted to cool off and think about it, but nope, still angry at the movie.

Most of it boils down to the fact that Marvel/Disney keeps abusing this character I like, even after she's been rather uncerimoniously killed off. It's ridiculous we had to wait this long for a solo feature about her. And it's annoying as hell that the movie is basically about everyone but her. More time is spent fleshing out ScarJo's replacements than her. And I think the point in the movie that was the breaking point for me personally, was when they tried lampshading Black Widow's whole stylized landing sequence thing she does. Like, the movie effectively mocked her character for doing that, which like, ok. It's a little silly granted, but that's what heroes of all genders do. I still really hate lampshading though. The act of acknowledging you're doing something stupid doesn't suddenly make you better. You're still doing that stupid thing! Then, the substitute Black Widow decides after repeatedly mocking her sister about what she does, decides to just do it herself just to try it out which brings the whole obnoxious lampshading to a new level.

By the end of the film, ScarJo is having a free-falling insane fight through the clouds doing action stunts that would make Cap blush. And her surviving all these death-defying stunts, and also discovering she too has a family to go home to, further makes her death in Endgame even more infuriating. Like, she sacrifices herself to save Hawkeye who is a piece of shit because he has a family he has to return to and she doesn't... except she secretly did! Ugh!

I really really really really really really really really really really really hope Kevin Feige or someone near him gains suddenly gains some sensibility and uses Loki S1 to retcon her death because short of that I'll never forgive Disney for this insult and injustice.

In Ang Lee's "Hulk" (2003)
This is a hill I've repeatedly died upon. That movie is a masterpiece and I adore it. The lacking audience and critical response to that film was an early indicator to me that humanity might be doomed.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The first Captain America movie is still one of my favourite movies in the MCU, but… honestly, the first episode of What If makes me dislike it, because know I know what we could have had.

Being animated means they can get some fight scene choreography that would have been… a lot tougher to achieve if nothing else. Also; SHUMA GORATH!!!

Anyway… I like this. This is some good streaming TV
 

madhair60

Video games
By the end of the film, ScarJo is having a free-falling insane fight through the clouds doing action stunts that would make Cap blush. And her surviving all these death-defying stunts, and also discovering she too has a family to go home to, further makes her death in Endgame even more infuriating. Like, she sacrifices herself to save Hawkeye who is a piece of shit because he has a family he has to return to and she doesn't... except she secretly did! Ugh!

there's your problem, you're using your brain to think about it. it's the MCU, you just gotta sit back and consume.
 
there's your problem, you're using your brain to think about it. it's the MCU, you just gotta sit back and consume.
You might be right. But it's never a good look imo when enjoyment of something rests on "just turn your brain off and stop thinking." Sometimes I'm in that mood, but I'd like to be able to enjoy things on multiple levels.

Anyway… I like this. This is some good streaming TV
Meanwhile I thought it was a big downer/mixed bag. I liked the scenario and a lot of its ideas in the abstract. But I thought the execution was lacking.
I liked Steve as proto-Iron Man. "Captain Carter" is a pretty lame name for a professional butt-kicker, but I don't know what else they could have done there. Some of the animation was choreographed in a way that you could tell whoever was storyboarding this had some real talent. But whoever was then turning the storyboards into animation was very trick or treat. Some of it looked great, some looked stilted and horrendous. The voice acting felt extremely phoned in, but I'm willing to chalk that up to the actors probably literally phoning in their lines via zoom b/c of pandemic scheduling. And the writing was bad. Just some of the corniest stuff. I like corn, but the dosage makes the poison, and this one was stepping over the line a bit. I want something a little higher budget than this, and it's more than a little disappointing as a result. Hollywood suits seem to think TV cartoons = phone it in/cheap out when it doesn't have to be that way.
 
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Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
Toward the end I thought it was going to reference some other Marvel movies or do something wild, but it just turned into a kind of watered down Hellboy setpiece. It was good overall, I think I just set my expectations too high.
 
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