After ten years, Marvel has completed the most ambitious story in cinematic history. Over the course of 22 movies, Marvel has taken some lesser known superheroes and crafted a roughly 50 hour story using six different main characters.
Marvel isn’t the only franchise breaking the traditional celluloid story telling method. Warner Bros. and DC have tried to copy Marvel’s game plan with the Justice League universe. Horror film, The Conjuring has its own interwoven stories and then there’s Kevin Smith’s Viewaskewiverse.
On this edition of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss the different cinematic universes regarding what works, what doesn’t and what they’d like to see in future film franchises.
If you have not seen Avengers – Infinity War, do NOT listen to this episode. Download it, save it, and listen to it ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE WATCHED THE MOVIE!!!
We seriously pull no punches when talking about the happenings of the movie.
Who is “we,” you ask? Well, that story gets told in the episode, but long story short, I’m joined by my high school classmate Mike Luther, a fellow nerd who a) has seen the movie (obviously) and 2) lives in the same town as me. It’s really convenient that way.
And we drink beer. Just a couple. We’re responsible.
So what happened in Avengers – Infinity War? I’m sure as hell NOT going to tell you here. You need to listen to the show. But if you are listening to the show, you should have seen the movie by now.
That makes sense, right Mike?
[Mike nods affirmation]
So listen to the show, and then head over to the Amazon link and buy something. Anything. They have it.
Don’t forget that this Saturday, May 5, Cinco de Mayo, is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! So go support your LOCAL comic book shops.
It’s been awhile since I did an audio commentary track…going all the way back to Episode 16 (October 2014, for what it’s worth) when I was joined by guests Joe Dodd and Justin Holman to provide a commentary track for Justice League War. By the way…you have asked and I have heard and I do hope to get some of these guys together for Throne of Atlantis and more DC Animated movies.
But we’re switching side and getting to the beginning of Marvel’s cinematic universe, the one that started it all, 2008’s Iron Man. And I’m joined by my friend and past guest RJ Gallucci for a commentary track. Grab the movie, queue it up, and hit play when we tell you. It’s all the conversation you’d punch people for if they were in the theater with you. But it also has with it the knowledge of nine years of cinematic universe that we didn’t know about back in 2008.
Want more episodes like this? Leave a comment telling me what movie you want us to tackle. We plan on hitting the entire MCU and in the order they were released.
But what movies outside of the MCU are of interest to you? Let me know.
Well, it’s March 1, 2017, and in the Christian faiths, it is Ash Wednesday, forty days before Easter. In the Roman Catholic faith, it is a day to fast and abstain from meat (as we will abstain from meat every Friday between now and Easter Sunday.
The common thread around Lent is for Catholics to “give something up,” to sacrifice something for the season. Now when you’re a kid, it could be something like giving up candy, or cookies, or ice cream. As an adult, I’ve given up McDonald’s, soda, beer (that was tough), and ice cream (because I love ice cream).
This isn’t a religious post or anything, but I’m just setting the stage for all of it to make sense.
This year, I’m working on curbing my swearing. I have a 14-month-old son who’s getting really good at mimicking our words and sounds. Naturally he is saying “mama,” “dada,” “yeah,” “hi,” “milk,” and once, I think I heard him say “boob.” So…I have to watch my mouth, because I don’t want to get THAT call from daycare. So I created this…
And it already has $2.25 in it, with another quarter due to it. And those are just the ones I caught as I police myself on this. After Easter, I’ll take the money I raised with my potty mouth and donate it to our church.
Okay, that’s part of it.
Another thing I’m trying to do this year is maintain some discipline on the content front. So I’m hoping/planning 40 days of new content, which will be written and spoken. So you’ll get the podcasts on the weekly (hoping to get a new episode recorded this weekend, actually).
So…back to this post, and the title. I finally saw Doctor Strange last week, and while I hope to sit down at length and talk about it in an upcoming episode, this will have to suffice for now.
First of all – Doctor Strange in the MCU first appeared on my radar in Captain America: Winter Soldier, when he was named among other more anonymous threats to Hydra. The placing of that makes it seem that the Doctor Strange movie would take place before the events of Winter Soldier, which would indicate that Strange was still largely unknown (albeit active) during Captain America: Civil War (and also Avengers 2: Age of Ultron.
Here’s what I really enjoyed about this movie – it took things to a mystical place, a place you can’t explain with science. In a universe of Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, and Falcon, it was a pleasant departure. I will say that Thor touched on some similar themes, including his famous line to Jane Porter:
But as beautiful as Asgard was in Thor and Thor 2, there was something visually stunning about Doctor Strange. The Inception-inspired cityscape bending was not only done with seamless SFX, but the story was told in a way that made sense. If you think about it, the sorcerers live in the world that has yet to realize they exist. Sleight of hand, misdirection, illusion. It’s what magic is. So it’s completely natural to think that most of the regular world wouldn’t be aware of its existence. So the mirror dimension helps the filmmakers tell the story, manipulate “the world” in a way that doesn’t actually affect the real world.
It was great to see the astral plane. It was amazing to see Doctor Strange in the Dark Dimension, and his use of the Eye of Agamotto (*cough*TIME GEM*cough*) had me rolling. Take THAT, Dormammu.
I thought the cast was brilliant, from Benedict Cumberbatch to Rachel McAdams, the sublime Tilda Swinton, the brilliant-in-everything Mads Mikkelsen, and the incomparable Chiwetel Ejiofor and everyone I didn’t mention…the talent they brought in for this movie just continues to show what Marvel is capable of.
Long story short (since it’s late), if you haven’t seen Doctor Strange, you shouldn’t wait any longer. It’s available in the digital format and as of yesterday, is available on bluray and dvd as well. Don’t wait any longer. After all, time is no longer on your side.
For years we heard “give Spider-Man back to Marvel.” Let’s face the facts...we hear the same for Fantastic Four, especially after last summer’s gamble that did not pay out. But as respected as comics’ first family is, Spidey is the most recognizable (or at least profitable) superhero in the world.Captain America: Civil War is where Spider-Man will make his Marvel movie debut after five Sony pictures that have been met with mixed reactions.
And we all know you can’t have Civil War without Peter Parker.
Here’s the thing – there’s no way they’ll be telling this portion of the story in Captain America III. It has nothing to do with Spider-Man being an established in the Marvel Universe. It revolves primarily around the story Marvel wants to tell in Civil War.
The trailer (shown below) opens with Steve Rogers speaking over some images of the Winter Soldier. Cap is talking about the hazards of the job. Then you see news footage or damage assessment from the events of The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Avengers 2. The events lead the bureaucrat to exclaim that “People are afraid.”
Enter Tony Stark, who as he does in the comic book, is a champion for regulation and oversight. “We need to be put in check.”
So there you have it…#TeamCap vs #TeamIronMan.
Now we don’t know how Spider-Man enters into the movie, exactly. We know how he enters this scene:
But is there a scene before this where Tony Stark goes and recruits Peter Parker to the cause? I imagine there would have to be. Or as Ricky Ricardo would say “Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do.” They’d be retconning the crap out of that. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certain the characters in the MCU are aware of Spider-Man. They might wonder where he was during “the event” in New York City a few years prior. But you catch my drift.
I get the feeling based on what little we’ve seen that perhaps Spider-Man is a “diamond in the rough” type of discovery by Tony Stark. That’s a stark (pun intended) contrast to the comic, where of course Spider-Man was a long-time character whom everyone knew. In the events leading up to Civil War, and in the story itself, Peter Parker/Spider-Man works for Tony Stark/Iron Man. Stark rewards Peter with the Iron Spider suit.
Not even close.
I always perceived that Peter Parker as sort of a pawn in Stark’s agenda. Cooperate and you get to keep the shiny toy.
Something always struck me odd about that pairing. I always felt that Peter was no longer an autonomous hero who does things his way, but someone who had to answer to a higher authority. In short, a microcosm for the entire Civil War story-line. The role of the government and the registration act is played by Tony Stark. The hero community is being portrayed by our favorite wall crawler. When they out themselves, adhere to the law, bad things happen.
In other words, Captain America was right.
Okay, back to Spidey, because I’ve been working on this post off and on since about 11am, and I really just need to wrap it up.
We were told Spider-Man would have a “classic look.” This Spidey suit has Steve Ditko written all over it.
Re-watch the trailer and you’ll see Spidey can be expressive with his eyes again. It’s not just head and neck movements and hand gestures. The eye black gets thicker and thinner as necessary. It’s the same technology that they used with Deadpool’s mask. Totally not worried. Also, that’s a small black spider on the front and a large red spider on the back, much like the one drawn above.
So yes, Spider-Man has arrived in the MCU. But that’s not all we got in the new trailer. We also saw a bulletproof Black Panther, Winter Soldier appear to be locked away deep in the heart of a frozen bunker (which is odd, since the last time we saw him he was pinned to a table with Cap and Falcon), and we saw this this, which I’m officially labeling the Marvel Azkaban.
I know what it is. It’s a prison for super beings. But what I don’t know is a) who funded it and 2) when it was built. Seems like a pretty massive undertaking since the end of Age of Ultron…a year ago.
But I digress.
Here’s the trailer. This movie looks great, and it will have the longest run time of any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. So maybe people will stop complaining that Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice will be too long at 2.5 hours.
What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments section here or on Facebook. Also Twitter, email, smoke signals, or text messages (if you have the Nerds United hotline number).
I won’t lie – #TCT13 is less about the normal Tough Call Tuesday where a present A vs B and make a selection.
This Tough Call Tuesday is essentially a rant.
“Only look if you want to know.” “…surfaces.”
Look, I get it. We’re on the cusp of 2016. We all carry the internet with us in our pockets.
But enough is enough.
There was a time when I would try to find out early what I was getting for Christmas. Yes, as a child, I searched closets and looked under beds for any idea of what I would receive. I learned two things from those experiences.
My mom was a lot better at hiding these items from us than I could ever know (I secretly think she just stashed them at my grandparents’ house until just before Christmas).
IF I was lucky enough to find something early, faking surprise and excitement was always more difficult than genuine surprise.
We are nine days away from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. we are two months away from Deadpool. We are about three and a half months away from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And we are roughly five months away from Captain America: Civil War.
Look, I get it. In an effort to further interest in these films, as well as X-Men: Apocalypse (late May, 2016), studios or actors release certain information. Typically it’s intentional by the studios and accidental when done by an actor. Or an actor gives a response without thinking, and may give away too much, aka a [Spoiler].
Look, Hollywood, you’re going to get my money. We all know you’re going to get the money of millions, if not billions, of others globally.
What I would like seen changed is less information. One of the biggest critiques to the Suicide Squad movie is that there seemed to be new “leaked footage” or footage from on the set every other day. If you want to stand on the set and watch a movie be filmed, great. But there should be some decorum about how to act when given that privilege. And one way to show your gratitude for the opportunity to watch a movie be made is to help keep what is being done in front of you a secret.
Now these examples listed about do give people a choice on if they want to participate in having details of an upcoming movie spoiled for them. “Only click if you want to know.” I choose to not know. And I hid many of these posts. Some titles do not give newsfeed scrollers that option, or a “vague” title gets paired with a picture that gives you the answer.
I will be in the theater Thursday, December 17 at 7pm to watch The Force Awakens. The speed with which I watch the 2016 movies will very likely change after my child is born. I may not make it to an opening night showing of Batman v Superman or Captain America: Civil War. Things happen, and I will have to work extra hard to not have movies spoiled for me.
But those movies will have been released, so I expect a friend or someone to say “OMG I can’t believe _______.” And I will try to cut them off and say “whoa, I haven’t had a chance to see that yet.”
That’s something that happens after a movie comes out.
It’s not something we should have to combat before a movie is in theaters.
Join the #NoSpoilers team, and be surprised for a change when you head to the theaters.
Or just jump on the comments and call me a crotchety old man. Either way.
Have a suggestion for a future #ToughCallTuesday? Drop it in the comments here on on Facebook.
And don’t forget that the Comics For Beginners vol. 2 is set for January. Ask a question, receive a prize. Leave that in the comments or email (I never get any email) email@example.com.
Meet Jay Peteranetz, a lifelong comic book reader (mostly Marvel) and artist who has helped take comics to an unprecedented medium – playing cards.
Welcome to Magicians Must Die:
Jay grew up reading a ton of Marvel, including X-Men and the Cosmic Marvel books, including Guardians of the Galaxy. So naturally we talk about the marvel Cinematic Universe and OMG DID YOU SEE ADAM WARLOCK?
There is a lot covered in this episode, and I’m pumped for future conversations with Jay, who will be appearing at the Denver Comic Con in May. So go check him out there.
ALSO – if we get Jay to 250 Twitter followers in the next two weeks, he’ll hook me up with all four issues (sets) of MMD, autographed, and ready to giveaway on the show. He wins, we win. GET IT?!?