MCU Phase 2: Nando Order @nandovmovies #MCU #movie #NandoOrder

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work or just do something silly. This is both. This guy, “Nando,” initially annoyed me, but the more I listened, the more this made sense. What do you think?

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc (please retweet!)
Follow Nando @nandovmovies

Jarvis from Endgame #movie #MCU @PaulBettany

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it. Other posts in this series can be accessed by clicking here.

Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work or just do something silly. Case and point:

Bettany-Jarvis
It’s true.

Fight me, unless you’re IQ is over 50, in which case you know I’m right.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc (please retweet!)
Follow Paul Bettany @PaulBettany

Superhero Comlinks #movie #MCU #DCEU

If you enjoy this post, please retweet.

Another thing that always bugged me about superhero movies (yes, I can pick at the things I love) are the comlinks that the heroes use to communicate. It’s some sort of Bluetooth thing going on; a earpiece with a built in microphone. I always thought, “Why aren’t they constantly talking over one another?”

It just seemed impractical. Of course, we all just let it go; there are far bigger things requiring the suspension of our disbelief. However, I recently started playing D&D again on Wednesday nights via Zoom, and that has brought this thought back to the surface. Even when there are only 5 of us, the cross-chatter makes it impossible for everyone to be heard. It drives me nuts. I’d think there was a lot more planning involved in the defense of New York City from an alien army then there is in deciding how to navigate a bar fight. And don’t tell me about military discipline. The Hulk, Tony Stark, and Thor don’t care about your silly, human, military procedures for communication.

There’s no way this would work, but that’s okay.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc (please retweet!)

Comic Book Movies: Same IP; Different Media #movie #MCU #DCEU

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

I ran into this meme on Facebook, and it triggered a long-held thought that I suspect is still relevant today.

Constantine
Constantine (if you know the source of this meme, please let me know so I can give proper credit)

This refers to the movie Constantine, which I love. Its Rotten Tomatoes scores are typical of the divide between film credits and the audience. The last panel in the meme is what grabbed me. It references the fact that comics and movies are different media, and so they should play out differently. That appears to be something many (not necessarily most) comic book fans can’t grasp. Even when they accept, for example, the death of Thanos, they immediately start spreading theories as to how he could return in future movies. That attitude is still prevalent, and as much as I loved Thanos, I don’t get why.

This issue goes back a long way for me. I remember my cousin, and avid comic book collector, not liking that the Joker died in Michael Keaton’s first Batman movie (1989). In part, he saw it as a waste of a character that could be put to good use later. (His views may have changed, but others still make this argument.) The thing is, the Joker is not a character that they should have used again, precisely because it’s a movie.

It’s necessary for villains to survive in the comics. There are only so many ideas for villains, and with comic story lines having to last decades, killing off villains would create a shortage of adversaries for your stories. The only way to fix that would be to have another person take up that villain’s mantle. Sometimes that works, but doing that too often would leave the reader with the notion that they’re effectively dealing with the same character, so the writers are (cheaply) trying to have it both ways. Hence, you instead put them in prison or Arkham Asylum, they escape, and then you start the cycle again.

Movies are different. Most audience members require definitive closure, with death providing the most dramatic end to a story. Because the MCU‘s “blistering” pace still produces only three movies per year, there are actually far too many interesting villains that will go unused if you’re going to reuse the ones you’ve already shown. By the time you genuinely need to reuse a villain (if ever), you’re probably rebooting the cinematic universe for a different generation of viewers anyway. Ergo, for movies, you can have the closure your audience craves without painting yourself into a corner. If that pisses off a small percentage of your core fans that are still going to watch your movies anyway, you have an acceptable outcome.

Go ahead. Kill the Joker.

EDIT: See my comment below.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc (please retweet)

Ability Is Great, but Confidence Is Key #DCEU #MCU

If you enjoy this post, please retweet.

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.
— Mark Twain

Yesterday, I wrote about my re-watch of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. As soon as I finished, I re-watched Justice League because of course I did. My favorite scene from Justice League was the fight between Superman and the others, and within that scene, I loved where the Flash entered the speed force (his element), Superman was ready for it, Superman cast off the other members with ease, and then beat up the Flash before the other three even hit the ground. Once and for all, it established Superman as a badass. A badass with the exploitable weakness of his concern for others, but nevertheless a badass.

What struck me about that scene within the scene is that Superman won on Flash’s home turf. He shouldn’t have, but yet he did. Superman won because he was confident, and the Flash was an insecure kid who had never been in a fight before he teamed up with Batman, et al. (which didn’t go so well for him). This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a superhero movie address this theme.

Also, within Justice League, Victor Stone had to take control back from the machine that infected him, and he couldn’t do that while it still intimidated him. There are quite a few examples. On the flip side, Arthur Curry was far too arrogant when he agreed to face his half-brother, King Orm, in the Combat of the Kings (Aquaman). Arrogance can be just as damaging as meekness. You need to strike a balance between the two to realize your full potential, but the point is that attitude certainly matters and always will.

I hope Flash won the race from the mid-credit scene, but he probably spent too much time looking at Superman to see who was currently winning, which always slows you down. Meekness. 😦

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc (please retweet!)

No Small Parts: Captain Robau from Star Trek 2009 @chrishemsworth #StarTrek #FaranTahir #movie

If you enjoy this post, please retweet.

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it. Other posts in this series can be found here: No Small Parts.

Great Shatner’s ghost! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted about Star Trek. It’s my favorite entertainment property, yet I’ve been so focused on the superhero stuff and random Netflix movies that I haven’t watched any Star Trek recently. Ironically, it was the Iron Man quarantine watch party on June 30, that inspired this post (as well as this one and this one).

I haven’t seen a lot of Faran Tahir, but I’ve been impressed by everything in which I’ve seen him, including his role in Iron Man. That role wasn’t small, but this post is about Captain Robau from the 2009 reboot of Star Trek. George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) gets the credit for his sacrifice, and that’s fair, but it’s clear that he was following the teachings of his captain, played by Mr. Tahir. Captain Robau set the tone for the scene, and the entire movie, by remaining completely calm during the brief negotiations and immediately complying with Nero’s demands despite the danger. He didn’t do this because he was without fear – his bio signs indicated an elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, and other signs of emotional distress – but because leaders don’t have the luxury of personal considerations. If you take responsibility for other people’s lives, you need to live up to that.

Captain Robau was a strong character, and his leadership set the tone for a movie that was as much about leadership as it was about friendship.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc (please retweet!)
Follow Chris Hemsworth @chrishemsworth

Pepper Potts Sucks! @ComicBook @BrandonDavisBD @Rowaenthe @RobertDowneyJr #IronMan #QuarantineWatchParty #MCU

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

June 30 was the first ComicBook.com quarantine watch party in quite some time. As always, I made a few more Twitter connections through the conversations that came from it. These conversations inspired three posts for my blog. This is the second one that in some sense serves as a sequel to the first one.

I must admit that I’m a little out of my element. As I said in the prior Iron Man-related post, I don’t analyze these movies from the perspective of an expert in screenwriting. I focus on themes that are important to me. This post eventually strays into an analysis of moviemaking and human relationships, so I have far more questions than I have answers, and my affirmative claims are often mere speculation. My primary question is: What purpose to the larger story did Pepper’s naivete and/or stubbornness serve?

Here’s what I’m talking about:

In other words, there are several incidents throughout the MCU where Pepper makes the same mistake that many people make in the real world. She tries to interfere with a strong person doing what’s necessary because she doesn’t understand what strength of character is, or at least why it’s important. As shown in Shazam!, attitude is often far more important than actual ability, which is why even in the non-caveman, modern world, strength is an important feature. While Pepper is a hard worker, intelligent, and portrayed as strong in other ways, that’s not a realistic portrayal. She’s simply serving a plot, so the script has her acting both strong and weak at different points.

While we all have our strengths and weaknesses, this paradox is far more profound than that. She doesn’t get a simple reality that, again, I’ve seen a lot in the real world: Telling Tony not to act because it places him at risk is counterproductive. If he doesn’t act, the bad guys will win, and Tony will die anyway (along with many other people). This is absolutely maddening, and it happens during Paltrow’s entire tenure in the MCU. At the end of Iron Man 3, Tony temporarily gives up being Iron Man for her. Fortunately, real world economics prevail, and the screenwriters quickly send Tony back into the fray to save half the universe. But the point is that, if you’re weak, that’s fine, but don’t stand in the way of the strong. They have a job to do, and it’s generally saving your ass.

How Did the Relationship Work?

Sorry, but my writing gets a little choppy here because I’m suddenly shifting gears.

I’m light years from my area of expertise, but perhaps Stark latched onto a person with such a silly outlook because her motivation was seemingly unconditional love, and that’s what he was searching for. According to Captain America: Civil War, he lost that relationship for a while, but as soon as he could, he grabbed her and didn’t let go. As I speculated in the prior Iron Man-related post, that’s probably because Tony’s lack of a family was haunting him (as it often haunts me). Or maybe it’s far simpler: Opposites attract. Because it’s just a movie, they were able to write the script anyway they wanted, so the resulting relationship with Pepper worked even if it wouldn’t in the real world, which wouldn’t be so generous. (For the record, Civil War screenwriter Stephen McFeely stated that her presence would have calmed Tony, but he needed to remain dark and angry in order for the events to play out as they did.) Tony never got “fixed’ by anything we saw on screen; the script just pushed him in that direction leaving the details to our imagination (other than the unwitting therapy session with Bruce Banner in Iron Man 3). Figuring out why is merely speculation. As complex as some of these MCU characters are relative to other movie characters, they’re still not real. They’re just two-dimensional characters driven more by dramatic forces than by real, psychological or logical ones.

It appears that Pepper’s behavior always served to advance the plot. She could hold Tony back or push him forward as needed, but she usually held him back. When she did so, her thought processes were wildly illogical, and that grated on me.

I don’t want to hate Pepper Potts, but I do. There. I said it.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc (please retweet!)
Follow ComicBook.com @ComicBook
Follow Brandon Davis @BrandonDavisBD
Follow Angela Rynan Durrell @Rowaenthe
Follow Robert Downey Jr. @RobertDowneyJr

Dysfunctional to Functional Family: Tony Stark, Obadiah Stane, Spiderman, and Morgan Stark @ComicBook @BrandonDavisBD @Rowaenthe @TheJeffBridges @RobertDowneyJr #IronMan #QuarantineWatchParty #MCU #Spiderman

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

June 30 was the first ComicBook.com quarantine watch party in quite some time. As always, I made a few more Twitter connections through the conversations that came from it. These conversations inspired three posts for my blog, this being the first one.

My posts aren’t about getting clicks. If no one read any of my posts, I wouldn’t really care. Writing them is more about catharsis than fame. Moreover, I’m no film student, psychologist, or sociologist, so I can’t break down the science of movie-making or human behavior. Instead, these posts are about analyzing the themes used within the movies due to my personal connection to their messages (accordingly, YMMV). As a result, my favorite posts have been about Nebula’s Redemption, my comparison of Shazam! and Guardians of the Galaxy, and others dealing with a particular theme. That theme is realizing and accepting that your idealized vision of family is complete nonsense, breaking away from those abusive relationships, and appreciating the family you didn’t realize was in front of you the whole time (though for me personally, the third has been elusive). Not everyone has these experiences, but it’s a recurring theme in superhero movies. I never considered that the first Iron Man movie implicitly raised issues related to this theme.

Father Figure

Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) father died, and then Tony disappeared for a while. This isn’t surprising considering how self-absorbed he is, but when he returned to Stark Industries, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) must have served as a father-figure for him. Before I go forward, I want to mention . . .

Tony didn’t show as much respect for Obadiah as you would want to see from your own child, but Tony didn’t ever show much respect for any authority figure, so it’s still fair to assume Obadiah acted as an adoptive father to him. That is, Obadiah wasn’t merely a coworker, boss, or even family friend. Assuming that, it must have been absolutely devastating for Tony when he realized Obadiah had called for his removal from the company, and even worse, his death. That betrayal would hold back Tony’s growth, which became a slow burn throughout the Infinity War saga. It helps make Tony’s grief over Black Widow’s death as believable as that of any other character despite his never overtly expressing that grief or deep feelings for her. It wasn’t until the first Avengers that Tony showed a willingness to “lay down on a wire” for his allies, but his ego made sure that no one would forget that. Somehow, it was still about him . . . until he started to understand fatherhood in Captain America: Civil War.

Peter Parker and Morgan Stark

In Civil War, Tony latched onto Peter Parker/Spiderman. At first, he was looking for a little more firepower to take down Team Cap ®©TM℗SM, but by Infinity War it was clear he had a genuine emotional attachment to Peter.

By Avengers: Endgame, he was devastated because he “lost the kid,” but he got a second chance in that film. Tony’s life became about Pepper and their daughter, Morgan. He was reluctant to restore the Vanished because doing so threatened what he had finally found after a lifetime of searching, even if it meant giving up on his filial figure, Peter.

Tony’s progression from self-absorbed brat to the guy who’d “make the sacrifice play” was 22 movies long probably because of Obadiah more than anything else we saw, but Tony made it there, and that wound up saving half the universe.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc (please retweet!)
Follow ComicBook.com @ComicBook
Follow Brandon Davis @BrandonDavisBD
Follow Angela Rynan Durrell @Rowaenthe
Follow Jeff Bridges @TheJeffBridges
Follow Robert Downey Jr. @RobertDowneyJr

A Summary of the #MCU Leading up to #Endgame @MarvelStudios

If you enjoy this post, please retweet.

Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work. Today, it’s one hour and 14 minutes of some of the most important moments in the MCU leading up to Avengers: Endgame.

Maybe watch it at double speed.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc (please retweet!)
Follow Marvel Studios @MarvelStudios