Marvel Media (Spoiler Thread)

Loki S02E04
This was the only episode I liked this season. Couple of shocking moments. Couple people go from 1 to 11 on the evil scale. Ends on a WTF moment. Also some funny moments. I hope the season ends well.

I’ve been enjoying it but it feels smaller than season 1 despite the stakes being much, much higher.

Variety: “Marvel is truly f*cked with the whole Kang angle," on top of other major (pun intended) issues. Interesting that an industry trade paper makes zero mention AI and using the likenesses of background actors without permission.

Rat Boy wrote:

Variety: “Marvel is truly f*cked with the whole Kang angle," on top of other major (pun intended) issues. Interesting that an industry trade paper makes zero mention AI and using the likenesses of background actors without permission.

I've been quite vocal about my lack of faith that the Mouse can handle the X-Men, and the hilarious stuff about Blade and apparently an attempt to just make his movie Buffy has me even more convinced (I dearly hope there was a suit who said "You think we can get that guy who did that one vampire show on this? What's he up to these days?"). Blade is such an easy lay-up movie concept, the fact that they couldn't look at the character and say "People like this cool black vampire hunter who does martial arts and says sick sh*t, so let's have him do that," does not suggest they're ready for anything the mutants are to anyone.

One of the most telling things for me is that Marvel Studios fired Victoria Alonso (who clawed her way up from VFX producer-for-hire to PRESIDENT of post for Marvel) because the people above her couldn't get their sh*t together in preproduction. Multiple movies suffered from a lack of planning resulting in multiple VFX studios flaming out in post. It really makes me wonder how in the world the whole "Infinity Saga" happened in the first place.

From all I've read, she was a huge part of the success of that multi-billion-dollar series of movies.

This reminds me a lot of Bioware's fall from grace and the notion of bringing back Iron Man and Black Widow also reminds me a lot about what we think will happen with Mass Effect 4.

The Variety article is really interesting (though perhaps a bit too gossipy for my tastes).

It's clear that fundamental issue at Disney is financial. They need to earn consistent returns on the huge investments they made in Marvel and Star Wars... and to offset the potential falls in revenues as older intellectual properties lose their copyright protections in the US and elsewhere. (The Variety reference to an "interlocking slate of sequels, spinoffs and series" applies equally to Star Wars.)

These are the drivers behind the conveyor belt of linked films and television shows that's pushing all of this content onto our screens. There are signs that the conveyor belt is being slowed down to address quality issues. However, there are none that it will be stopped.

As for the Blade reboots... I think the first challenge would have been to do something that the Wesley Snipes films didn't do... and I don't know what that would be. The first one was absolutely iconic. The second was Aliens, but with Vampires. The third one had already run out of ideas, and threw in Dracula to up the stakes (no pun intended).

25 years after Blade's release, I still believe that this is one of the best opening scenes in cinema.

The second challenge would have been to create a connection to the wider cinematic/tv universe. I don't know how possible that would have been. To my mind, Blade was always very much a Divisions III character (but that may be my age talking - I stopped buying comics in the mid-80s... before the character's second act in the 1990s.)

I dunno, I think just doing what the Snipes movies were doing would be utterly refreshing today. R-rated action, contained scope, and keep the budget (relatively) modest.

That’s when the COVID pandemic ushered in a mandate to help boost Disney’s stock price with an endless torrent of interconnected Marvel content for the studio’s fledgling streaming platform, Disney+. According to the plan, there would never be a lapse in superhero fare, with either a film in theaters or a new television series streaming at any given moment.

A genuine galaxy brain move by people who think of movies and television as undifferentiated slop (a.k.a. content).

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

I dunno, I think just doing what the Snipes movies were doing would be utterly refreshing today. R-rated action, contained scope, and keep the budget (relatively) modest.

That’s when the COVID pandemic ushered in a mandate to help boost Disney’s stock price with an endless torrent of interconnected Marvel content for the studio’s fledgling streaming platform, Disney+. According to the plan, there would never be a lapse in superhero fare, with either a film in theaters or a new television series streaming at any given moment.

A genuine galaxy brain move by people who think of movies and television as undifferentiated slop (a.k.a. content).

I'd forgotten that the Blade films were all 'R' ('18' in the UK) rated. Well, that's never going to happen again!

I have a touch more sympathy for Disney when it comes to their current "undifferentiated slop". It's easy to forget now just how poor Disney used to be at exploiting their portfolio of intellectual property. You can see it if you wander through their back catalogue on Disney+. New IPs were being created and abandoned all the time, Particularly, their live action films, which is it feels like they pivoted to from the late 1960s.

Certainly in the UK, Disney's cinematic output was periodic re-releases of animated classics ('The Jungle Book', 'The Fox and the Hound') and releases of terrible live action films. (Such as, The Herbie films *shudder* and 'The Cat From Outer Space', which I shouldn't love as much as I do!).

I can imagine how frustrating this approach must have been for shareholders. For me, the prime example is the Tron property. A first film in 1982, then nothing for nearly 30 years... precisely the period when video games exploded in popularity.

It didn't feel like they had a strategy at all (again, from the UK perspective).

detroit20 wrote:

25 years after Blade's release, I still believe that this is one of the best opening scenes in cinema.

X-Men 2 may never be topped. Nightcrawler in the White House.

f*ck me for occasionally wanting a movie that arises from the organic need of creative people to create as opposed to the need of shareholders to exploit their portfolio of intellectual property, I guess.

hbi2k wrote:

f*ck me for occasionally wanting a movie that arises from the organic need of creative people to create as opposed to the need of shareholders to exploit their portfolio of intellectual property, I guess.

Yeah, that's not what mega-corps are for. Like pretty much definitionally.

It's really too bad that shareholder capitalism is the only way to organize an economy.

hbi2k wrote:

f*ck me for occasionally wanting a movie that arises from the organic need of creative people to create as opposed to the need of shareholders to exploit their portfolio of intellectual property, I guess.

It's interesting that you say that, because there is an argument that technology has significantly reduced the barriers to entry into the film industry. That's both in terms of production and distribution. It may never have been easier to make a feature film and to find an audience for it - for creative people to create, as you say.

Recently, I've come across a number of very low-budget, short to medium-length films on Amazon recently. Weirdly, they tend to be art house, erotic thrillers, or horror movies (and sometimes a combination of all three!)

detroit20 wrote:

I'd forgotten that the Blade films were all 'R' ('18' in the UK) rated. Well, that's never going to happen again!

Don't know, Deadpool and Wolverine did well as R. It's all about keeping it low budget enough to offset the market limits that come with R.

MannishBoy wrote:
detroit20 wrote:

I'd forgotten that the Blade films were all 'R' ('18' in the UK) rated. Well, that's never going to happen again!

Don't know, Deadpool and Wolverine did well as R. It's all about keeping it low budget enough to offset the market limits that come with R.

For sure. John Wick started a < 30 million, and incrementally worked its way to 100 by the last one. (Would also not be a bad series for Blade to rip off in other ways besides scope and budget.)

detroit20 wrote:
Alien Love Gardener wrote:
That’s when the COVID pandemic ushered in a mandate to help boost Disney’s stock price with an endless torrent of interconnected Marvel content for the studio’s fledgling streaming platform, Disney+. According to the plan, there would never be a lapse in superhero fare, with either a film in theaters or a new television series streaming at any given moment.

A genuine galaxy brain move by people who think of movies and television as undifferentiated slop (a.k.a. content).

I have a touch more sympathy for Disney when it comes to their current "undifferentiated slop". It's easy to forget now just how poor Disney used to be at exploiting their portfolio of intellectual property. You can see it if you wander through their back catalogue on Disney+. New IPs were being created and abandoned all the time, Particularly, their live action films, which is it feels like they pivoted to from the late 1960s.

Certainly in the UK, Disney's cinematic output was periodic re-releases of animated classics ('The Jungle Book', 'The Fox and the Hound') and releases of terrible live action films. (Such as, The Herbie films *shudder* and 'The Cat From Outer Space', which I shouldn't love as much as I do!).

I can imagine how frustrating this approach must have been for shareholders. For me, the prime example is the Tron property. A first film in 1982, then nothing for nearly 30 years... precisely the period when video games exploded in popularity.

It didn't feel like they had a strategy at all (again, from the UK perspective).

Yes, I understand what they're doing from a the perspective of a shareholder looking to optimize the revenue of ugh...content pushed through a pipeline.

But I'm not a shareholder, so I'm not looking at it like that. And neither is anyone that is actually engaging with it as y'know, art/entertainment. It should be obvious for anyone that actually watches movies and TV that unleashing an endless torrent of Marvel would make the individual pieces less of an event, make it harder to keep up with the interconnected nonsense and lead to people tuning out.

It's always surprising to me that somehow none of the execs seemed to anticipate that making movies based on comic books would inherit some of the same patterns and problems that comic books have. There are entire arcs that are either entirely skipable or only serve to set up the next big crossover event, and they're never as popular as the big events themselves are. It should not be a surprise in any way that the current crop of movies and shows that are trying to do the same thing are facing the same problems.

It doesn't help that they've taken a bit too long to start setting up the next big story. There was a clear line with phase one setting up the Avengers. Phase whatever-we're-in has finally started building its own line with Kang, but there was a lot of stuff that's been pretty unrelated, so eveything since Endgame has felt very scattered and meandering. It's hard not to get the impression that some of it's just been filler. There's very much a feeling that some of the shows/movies were approached with the mindset of people will show up because it's Marvel rather than actually wanting to make something people were excited to see. I suppose that's bound to happen when you approach making shows/movies the way they've been doing. Hopefully them rediscovering the benefits of having one person see their creative vision all the way through to the end rather than frankensteining a production together will fix that.

I think part of the problem is precisely the expectation that everything needs to be building toward the next big crossover event or else it's "filler." Maybe we can spend two hours telling a half-decent story in its own right, and it's okay if it doesn't particularly contribute to the grand overarching Phase VIII.5 roadmap starring Kang the Domestic Abuser?

Two of the best things they did, Spider-Man No Way Home and WandaVision, were dealing with the fallout from Endgame. The other best thing of phase 5 was Shang Chi. No huge story arc tie in, just a new great hero origin.

Stele wrote:

Two of the best things they did, Spider-Man No Way Home and WandaVision, were dealing with the fallout from Endgame. The other best thing of phase 5 was Shang Chi. No huge story arc tie in, just a new great hero origin.

I'd throw Hawkeye in as another really great part of the last phase, just a fun little buddy cop show set in the aftermath of the blip, and the best part of it is there were no skybeams or world-threatening, ever-increasing stakes, and it was just a limited number of really fun characters dealing with small things. Loved it.

If there's a single thing that's emblematic of the last phase of Marvel, it's Black Widow; the start of that movie is fantastic, the dynamic between Natasha and Yelena is what that movie should have been. Two sisters, getting to know each other again, both with plenty of darkness, trying to figure out some Winter Soldier-esque conspiracy. Even liked throwing in the Red Guardian for more weird family dynamics. All that? That would have been a good movie. Then, of course, it turns into giant floating death castles and makes Taskmaster, one of the singly most fun semi-villains in comics into robo-death child woman, and it was sh*t.

It couldn't just be a simple little thing about a few characters; it had to basically be Winter Soldier Plus, and it turned into absolute garbage.

Just bought The Marvels tickets for this weekend.

Let me predict based on the Fandango seat selection screen for the IMAX that's nearly always full opening weekend...

This is not going to go well for Marvel. There were only 7 tickets sold in one of the big full sized IMAX theaters.

To be honest, I'm not that excited myself. I didn't like Captain Marvel, and haven't liked her in other movies either. Neither did my wife or daughter. We're just going out of habit at this point.

MannishBoy wrote:

Just bought The Marvels tickets for this weekend.

Let me predict based on the Fandango seat selection screen for the IMAX that's nearly always full opening weekend...

This is not going to go well for Marvel. There were only 7 tickets sold in one of the big full sized IMAX theaters.

To be honest, I'm not that excited myself. I didn't like Captain Marvel, and haven't liked her in other movies either. Neither did my wife or daughter. We're just going out of habit at this point.

Hell, I really like Capt. Marvel and I can't be bothered.

I love Captain Marvel. A Supes/Goku-level character that is actually likable and fun.

I thought about getting tickets for opening weekend. For context, the last adult movie I saw in theaters was Avatar back in January.

I probably won't pull the trigger but that's because I'd have to go late because kids and that would wreck me for kiddo duty next day.

I'm indifferent to Captain Marvel (big ups on Brie Larson, though), but hearing it's a brisk 90 minutes made me:
IMAGE(https://i.giphy.com/media/3iwRj8JrhaBfvQMSx9/giphy.webp)

It isn't just Marvel movies for me, the problem is post-COVID I just don't have much interest in going to see things in the theater. It doesn't help that the nearest theater to me is more than 30 minutes away in another town.

I loved Captain Marvel, but am overcome with MCU fatigue. Will watch on digital.

The multiverse killed it all for me, especially Dr. Strange 3.

I haven't been in a theater since the first Black Panther movie. I don't have any particular desire to ever go back. I'll gladly just watch things at home. No annoying other people to deal with and it's a hell of a lot cheaper. Plus I can have my subtitles on.

Yeah, another one here who stopped going to the cinema during the pandemic and has never felt the need to go back. Last movie I saw in a cinema was Knives Out.

Yeah Endgame was the last thing I saw and will be for a while.

2 kids under 5 over here too so the struggle of babysitting it would have to be something my wife and I both really want to see. Or I'd have to go by myself on Fri Sat night to a 9pm or later show. Spider Verse is the only thing that tempted me. And I might see the final one that way, alone.