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The Marvels - MCU

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,803 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    Cinemas are barren at the moment. That's not a high bar to jump over.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,948 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    Number 1 yes, but way down to the extent that it's the lowest opening MCU film to date; while we'll see what kind of legs this thing has 'cos it has an approx. $250 million budget to claw back. The buzz isn't that great that it might grow & grow like Barbie or Top Gun Maverick did before it.

    I don't think this was every not gonna open at number one when you look at what opened against it (or didn't), or indeed what's already playing - as successful as Five Nights at Freddie's has been it was never gonna keep the crown - it was always a question of how good the opening was. Hence the tattle around the place. When you don't even match Eternals' own COVID-addled opening, that's not a great sign of things.

    Post edited by pixelburp on


  • Registered Users Posts: 139 ✭✭johnnyk29


    The rise of netflix and all those streaming companies has really hurt cinema and the movie industry. It's gone from a long period where TV stars were the poor relation to the movie stars to almost the opposite.

    It's a pity that the lack of good movies coming out and just the reduction in general of movies being released in the cinema at all. I really enjoy the cinema and I think there was a survey that Irish people are one the biggest movie goers in the EU.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,803 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    I adore the cinema but I've had no end of issues with cretins on their phones. If cinemas are going to permit that carryon, it's hard to sympathise. That said, I tried to watch Zulu the other day on Paramount+ and I'd 5 separate internet interruptions. For all its flaws, the cinema offers something unique and special. I've been applying for jobs on the continent and I'm a little uneasy about not being able to go to the cinema there as everything will be in a foreign (to me) language.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,009 ✭✭✭TheIrishGrover


    I do enjoy the cinema but I must admit, it's getting harder and harder to get enthused about actually going to the cinema. The last thing I went to see I think was Mission Impossible or Across the Spiderverse (Whichever was later). I intended to see The Creator in the cinema but circumstances conspired against me. I tend to limit my cinema-going to movies that appear in my local "IMAX". Unfortunately simply because it is more expensive and less likely to have annoying scrotes. And that's a sad reason. I fully intend on seeing Miyazaki's next film in the cinema and spectacles like Dune etc. I see in the US they are releasing The Abyss in the cinema on Dec 6 for 1 day. Hopefully that will be done here too.

    I will not comment on the movie quality itself as that would be unfair: I have not seen it. But I will say that I never had any intention of going to see it in the cinema. The trailer or characters simply did nothing for me. I only saw a few episodes of Ms Marvel but the girl seemed pleasant and full of energy but, y'know, I'm probably not core demographic :). I barely remembered Rambeau from Wandavision. I remember she started out interesting but then faded from my memory. And Brie Larson was just SO wooden in the first one and so over-powered that they had to "Poochie" her in Endgame. My biggest memory of her on that was her perma-smirk and of course.... THAT eye-clawing scene with all the female superheroes.

    This is NOTHING to do with gender or representation or anything like that. For me is was simply: Not target audience for introduction of character 1. Forgettable character 2 unless you were heavily versed in the comics (Which I'm not) and wooden performance of an over-powered character 3

    I mean Superman is the same. So overpowered that usually the first 1/3 of a film is trying to hobble him



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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,948 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    I think your first point hits on the truth of the MCU: they're not cinematic entities. And this is a chicken coming home to roost in a post-pandemic, Disney+ era. Even for the genre there's little about them that demands a big screen in a dark room; there's no signature of significant visual or aural landscape that takes advantage of that unique location, so you're left with what amounts to TV on a big screen. Dune, Mission Impossible, the Spider-Verse films, The Creator, The Abyss: all of those films you checked off are spectacular entities, whose breadth almost requires as big a screen as possible - thus the constant lament about watching films on your smart-phone, it's just not the same experience. In fact something like Dune was built especially for cinema, when you watch the intentional scaling of its FX to highlight the sheer size of its world's ships.

    There are no two ways about it by design the MCU decided it would be utterly televisual in its appearance and soundscape; much has been written about PreVis and the stable of directors lacking anything resembling a creative voice, but the results speak for themselves. They left behind the pros helming Phase 1 and embraced gormless nobodies. Combine that with the crunch Disney imposed upon the FX houses and you ended up with crap like Quantumania, absolute visual porridge at best.

    I don't enjoy the MCU for the sights, or the sounds (bar the Avengers I couldn't hum a theme tune to save my life) ... but the characters within it and how in many respects, the MCU has been the ultimate "hangout" movie stretched over 30+ movies. A series of movies where ensembles bounced off of each other, the Avengers & Guardians the best examples of that. Then something like the Spider-Verse came along and had its cake & ate it too, in having both very strong characters surrounded by a mesmerising aesthetic and style. Spider-Man: No Way Home was such a pedestrian thing in comparison with Spider-Verse, despite the films having the same approximate premise. Fun to have seen Garfield & Maguire back playing Spidey - but as a visual experience? Blergh, not a single moment made me think I should have seen it in the cinema. And with Maguire returning, I just also thought on the Raime Spidey trilogy; proper movies, full of cinematic scope.

    Post edited by pixelburp on


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,357 ✭✭✭✭Penn


    Agreed. All the action scenes, battles, loud noises and flashing lights... they're good and fun, but not why people cared about the films. The MCU had the success it had because of the characters, and the stories that competent and experienced writers and directors brought to us with those characters. There were character arcs and development in solo films and across multiple films. Sure, it was never amazing or unique character arcs, they were always fairly standard, but with the right stories and performances, that's what a large proportion of the audience was ultimately there for. The fact that Endgame ended not with a "We're going to introduce Kang as the next baddie, and here's (CURRENTLY POPULAR ACTOR) who will show up as (MINOR CHARACTER FROM COMICS) in about 7 years", but instead ended with Steve deciding to give up the fight and go get his dance and have a life with Peggy.

    The most recent films are focusing too much on the big CGI stuff, and inexperienced or rushed writers/directors are giving us so little reason to care about most of the characters, with such basic level character work that may as well not even be there. People don't care about the characters in a dangerous fight if they don't care about the characters. Stuff like Shang-Chi, the fight with his father was the crux of the third act, but the fight with the dragons after was just unnecessary CGI trailer-fodder.

    Even when they have the guts of a decent story, like Jane Foster having cancer and becoming Mighty Thor, there were maybe two scenes about that which were done well, but most of the rest of it was sandwiched between awful jokes which completely worked against what they were doing. Doctor Strange MoM I thought had a decent story about Stephen realising he didn't always need to be in control and he could cede power to others, and then at the end he grows a third eye and f*cks off with Charlize Theron because they're more focused on setting up a sequel than closing out this story arc in a way that suits the character.

    The Marvels, actually does okay in this regard. As basic a story arc as they come, but it was done pretty well.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,803 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    Good point. I have an Unlimited card and it takes me less than 15 minutes to walk to Cineworld. Were it not for both of those factors, along with there being very little else, I'd have skipped The Marvels and missed nothing but the cats. It's a very plain film and I was bored for most of it.

    I went to see Mission Impossible on a weekday at 9pm or so and someone brought a load of children who kept running around with light-up sneakers on. I went to see Oppenheimer at the BFI IMAX for a pretty penny and the screen derped out and played the Universal logo over the sequence in the desert. By contrast, I was in an AirBnB in Athens and had a much better time chilling in the evening with Netflix on the big screen TV that was there.

    That's pretty damming and it's hard to disagree. Some of the Marvel stuff is genuinely fun and enjoyable but there's so much slop in there and now that the signal-to-noise ratio is heading in the wrong direction, it's hard to justify the money required for a trip to the cinema. Anthony Mackie once said that he spent $150 taking his family there to see an Avengers film and joked about how they see him for free all the time.

    Where once the characters would have disagreements and friction like real people, they now just get more powers and the creators just add more characters leaving it feeling bloated. I grew up watching soaps and I'm starting to feel the way about the MCU that I did about the soaps when I got bored of them.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,955 ✭✭✭Brief_Lives




  • Registered Users Posts: 12,936 ✭✭✭✭flazio


    She definitely has a very infectious personality.




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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,101 ✭✭✭✭Foxtrol


    You're setting an unreachable bar with comparisons with Spider-Verse. You can do things in animation that are simply not possible with CGI, definitely not possible without it becoming the visual porridge you complain about Quantumania.

    There is plenty wrong with the MCU but many are setting crazy expectations that it is all things to all people and at times rewriting what actually happened during the Infinity Saga years.



  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 11,023 Mod ✭✭✭✭Fysh


    Ah now, it's one thing to say animation has freedoms that live-action doesn't - but the actual root of the difference between the Spider-Verse films and a majority of MCU entities is that there's no sense of art direction with any flair (Guardians of the Galaxy and maaaaaaybe the Waititi Thor films are the only exceptions IMO, and even at that the Marvel insistence on using separate teams for previs and action choreography still raises its ugly head).

    To be clear, I'm not faulting the people who work on the previs stuff or the visfx teams - the issue is that Marvel's insistence on treating the MCU as one big interconnected Media Content Pipeline means that those teams work under high pressure and tough deadlines so that they can't actually collaborate with individual directors (who, in the case of the previs teams, may not even have been hired yet by the time the work is under way).



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,948 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    I mean, you singled out Spider-Verse when all other films name-checked are live action and make heavy use of CGI themselves. Indeed the Raimi Spider-Man films used CGI, were comicbook films and remain cherished & celebrated. The problem isn't the tool - or the specific genre either [*] - but the imagination and willingness to push some envelopes on occasion, to use the canvas of cinema to its fullest - not just deliver Television but you pay 20 bucks to watch it in a dark room. And when the MCU has tried to be "cinematic", we get stuff like the Guardians trilogy.

    The point was the MCU has often forgotten what the C part of the acronym stands for.

    [*] Spider-Verse punctuated a creeping belief over the last couple of years that maybe animation is where the Superhero genre belongs, 'cos as you say, you can do things in animation you simply can't with live action. And it's the better marriage of the loose styling of a 2D comic than the necessities demanded by 3D live action.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,207 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    No doubt animation affords more opportunities than live-action in some regards, but you just need to look at recent films like Barbie, Poor Things or Asteroid City to prove there's ample space for completely visually distinctive and ambitious films in mainstream cinema. The MCU doesn't deserve a free pass, especially when films like Guardians of the Galaxy do have a decent bit of flair and colour to them.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,936 ✭✭✭✭flazio


    It's funny, I was rewatching Ms Marvel ahead of watching The Marvels and it struck me as to how artistic and colourful that series was and some of the cinematography, especially the bookend episodes. Case in point, the end credits.


    And there's certainly a bit of a GOTG lite air about The Marvels.

    I



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,948 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    I think the Superhero genre's origins make animation a much better fit for the inherent outlandish foundation that informs much of its major works. Obviously the MCU has done a great job lifting those aspects and transplanting them into a broadly "real" world - talking trees n' all - but you also hit a certain tonal limitation eventually.

    I've only seen Asteroid City from the films you mentioned and yes, it clearly made distinct visual choices that decoupled itself from any sense of verisimilitude ... but increasingly I think Superheroes fly highest when in animation. It's not just the MCU either; I really love Invincible on Amazon and I'm not sure it'd every work as well in live action, for a host of reasons.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,101 ✭✭✭✭Foxtrol


    I singled out Spider-Verse due to you using it as the anchor point for you final paragraph.

    If you'd used Raimi's as your anchor then I wouldnt have an issue with the bar you were setting, however I would have said that Raimi's Trilogy aren't nearly as ambitious in the scope of the story they are trying to tell in NWH. The effects required when dealing with a street level hero are completely different when you're talking about characters in space or a different realm. We can see the difference in Raimi's own work and it is only increased by outside factors, Spider-man Raimi didn't have to deal with COVID and reshoots due to other movies, something that MoM Raimi did and you can see how it impacted the quality.

    There has been plenty of imagination in the MCU, though more recently it generally gets glossed over, especially since Endgame when the quality of effects in other parts of the movies have been very low.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,101 ✭✭✭✭Foxtrol


    I really dont get the perspective that movies, especially blockbusters, need to be visually distinctive as nearly a box ticking exercise. If it makes sense to the story, like Barbie, then fire ahead.

    Understand a small set of people enjoy it, and fair play to them, but for the vast majority of cinema goers the uniqueness of the visuals are extremely low on the list of priorities.

    The visual distinctiveness is near the bottom of the reasons why the MCU is struggling. People have been complaining about their lack of visual distinctiveness for a decade and it hasn't mattered one bit to movie goers. To tie it back to this movie, as was pointed out earlier, Ms Marvel was one of the most visually distinctive parts of the MCU and its audience was one of the smallest.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,948 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    The anchor of my point I thought was clear from the first: the MCU is many things but they are not "movies" in the sense that Dune, The Creator, Top Gun Maverick, Mission Impossible, or indeed Raimi's Spidey films of yore were. That almost intangible sense of the spectacular & what it is movies do, or how they look or sound. As cinematic things the MCU has always been incredibly mediocre and televisual. They started with solid pros who understood how to make cinema - even if Kenneth Branagh kinda went insane with the Dutch Angles in Thor - then abandoned that policy quick enough, the occasional Gunn notwithstanding.

    A lot has been out of their control WRT pandemics, Strikes and whatnot, but if The Marvels becomes the thin end of the wedge here, Disney will have to ask themselves: what will entice audiences to see these things in the cinema?

    As I said, they could do with remembering what the C stands for in MCU.



  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    What will entice audiences is good screenwriting, storytelling and directing. Also understanding their core audience and that they, and the general audiences, want quality instead of overwhelming quantity and an endless stream of worse-than-mediocrity.

    Audiences I think are burnt out on super hero content but it's worse with Marvel because of their paint by numbers, rinse repeat, recipe to all of their movies now.

    This is where the MCU has completely fallen down since Endgame and why it's probably coming to an end really fast. Which is amazing given a few years they could hardly put a foot wrong. The losses on their movies are getting to the point now where serious decisions need to be made by Disney.

    Do they keep up the pretence a bit longer or do they scrap the whole thing, wait a few years and reboot?

    I think it will be the latter. Audiences are voting with their feet on what they want to see and Disney just will not listen.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,101 ✭✭✭✭Foxtrol


    To me that borders, if not jumps over the line, to snobbery.

    The bombing The Marvels is 'enticing' far more audiences than some of the examples in this thread - it has already done more than double Asteroid City and has taken in more than The Creator after just one week. The much derided Quantumania did better domestically in the US than the latest Mission Impossible. Dune did worse than the panned Eternals and they were so scared that the Dune sequel would bomb without the cast available to hype the movie that they pushed it into next year. The most recent Spider-man that you've been looking down your nose at did better than any of Raimi's.

    I disagree with your claims on 'the C' but even with your examples there isn't much evidence that better 'C' is key to enticing audiences. Seems you're looking for the answers you want rather than the what audiences do.



  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    The Marvels is going to make an horrific loss for Disney. It cost $275m to make. The figures don't lie.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,101 ✭✭✭✭Foxtrol


    By your logic 'if figures don't lie' then all the MCU movies that were at or near the top of the annual box office year after year for the last 15+ years were all cinematic wonders...

    It is a weird position to take but I respect your right to hold that opinion.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,948 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    Ok. Snobbery, we're going there. Sigh. I didn't expect you agree here cos we barely ever have, and noticeable you just ignore Top Gun Maverick in your attempt at a box office slapdown; but if you seriously think the MCU have a cinematic quality, and are that desperate to defend its honour you can't even countenance a fairly tepid bit of criticism about their total lack of movie magic ... So be it. The MCU is great cos its box office is better than movies that actually look like movies and not TV pilots.

    But hey ho. If all you can do is trot out insults about snobbery we're truly done. Fed up getting sucked into this one man MCU Defence Force act every time someone even tries saying the wrong thing. Seems the only one allowed criticise the MCU is you, everyone else wrong and here's the box office to prove it.

    The MCU films are great, but they look like shít. It can be two things without being accused of being a snob. Don't bother replying fox cos you're on ignore; bit done with this dance cos it's a waste of time and if you're just gonna get personal it's twice the waste.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,101 ✭✭✭✭Foxtrol


    Are you still stalking a thread about a movie that you claimed you'd never see?



  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    You're right, I haven't seen it. I have heard enough about it. If I go to the cinema and see it I am contributing to the problem because I'm paying them money and I'm adding to the audience numbers you want to keep quoting. I don't want to do that.

    This film has failed spectacularly at the box office. No one is denying that. The figures show that this is a failure. The reviews show that this is a bad movie. That is why it's failed.

    I went to see Guardians no problem. I don't have some "man baby" complex about Marvel. I just hate bad movies.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,101 ✭✭✭✭Foxtrol


    You're the one who tried to tie cinematic quality to movie box office performance, not me. There is basically no correlation between cinematography and 'enticing audiences' like you claimed - look at the winners and even nominations for the Oscar in that category.

    What are you trying to prove with Maverick's box office? There are several MCU movies that have done better than it - does that mean their cinematic quality was better? As an aside, if MCU stopped producing movies for 36 years, like Top Gun, I'm sure the movie would do pretty well.

    Calling something potentially snobbery that sounds very much like snobbery isn't a personal attack. Trying to tell people what is or isn't cinema is snobbery, especially when you haven't even seen the movie. Stating the likes of Ryan Coogler, Chloe Zhao, and Waititi 'don't understand how to make cinema' again is snobbery. There is a big difference between saying you don't like something and saying what they do isnt cinema.

    Your attack on me defending MCU doesn't make any sense. My original post after watching the movie said that it has plenty of flaws and I have repeatedly highlighted all the many, many issues within the MCU right now. The only thing I'm disagreeing with is wild hyperbole and pointing out claims that aren't backed up by any evidence.

    It really says it all that the majority of people who keep crapping on this movie and pulling this thread off topic are those who haven't even bothered to see it (or seen many MCU shows/movies recently if they are to be believed).



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,803 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    The snobbery thing is just a way to dismiss criticism you don't like. You can bandy it about if you like but it shows a weird degree of over-sensitivity to criticism of the MCU to me. It's not something I understand but you do you.

    I've seen the film and it's pretty bad as I said before. I live 15 minutes walk from the cinema but where I'm from, it's the better part of 2 hours each way via bus so no way would I be seeing this without access to someone else's Disney+ account and even then, I probably wouldn't bother.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,101 ✭✭✭✭Foxtrol


    Just a complex where you stalk around a thread posting things you 'heard' about a movie. You haven't seen it so you don't know it is bad.

    What kind of hold does this movie in particular have on you that you 'hate' it and keep checking in and posting about it?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    Sorry but am I not entitled to give my opinion or do you regulate that here? I never said I went to see the movie.

    You won't listen to me. Listen to a reputable critic then. This is why I and many others are steering clear whether you like it or not.




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