So everybody, Thor: Ragnarok was awesome. The action was fun and Jeff Goldblum has never been Jeff Goldblumier. OK, thanks for reading. That’s really all I needed to say. Article’s over, go home.
But since there are a few hundred more words to be filled in, let’s break down why Thor: Ragnarok was awesome. In fact, let’s talk about why Marvel movies keep getting better. Because according to this nifty graph I made based on Rotten Tomatoes scores, that’s super what’s happening:
As you can see, Marvel has consistently had hits since they started making movies, but as time passed, their lower-ranked films slowly caught up with their higher-ranked ones. If you’re wondering, the films that represent those valleys in quality were The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor 2, and Age Of Ultron (although you can hardly count any of these as critical failures).
So what is happening? What’s behind the pattern? Well I’m glad I asked, because I have an answer: The lowest-rated films were all “filler” stories. Incredible Hulk was a necessary reboot of Ang Lee’s attempt, and the other three were all part twos leading up to major explody events like The Avengers and the eventual Infinity War. We had already met all the characters, and so these films bought time so that the MCU could set up the inevitable hype films on the horizon. For that reason, the stories are pretty self-contained and therefore rather boring: the bad guy shows up, wants to blow up the world, and creates an army.
Second question: Why did the quality of these “filler” films get better? Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok could both be considered “filler” movies. Hell, the plot to the first Guardians, when you look at the broad strokes, is extremely cliche: “A group of reluctant heroes band together to fight an evil wizard / family member from blowing up a planet using a super-weapon, only to take down his spaceship and save the day.” That’s also the plot to Star Wars. Ragnarok is about another Asgard sibling putting together a generic skull army to take over their world … only with an even pointier helmet. So why is it so amazing despite that oatmeal premise?
Because it’s fucking weird, obviously. This “oatmeal” premise is flavored with crazy-dick characters and Led Zeppelin. Jeff Goldblum is dressed like a gospel space-priest and appears multiple times as a hologram. The movie is so comedic that it’s practically a parody of itself. The studio got the dude who made What We Do In The Shadows and let him make a beautiful mess, like a cocaine toddler in a Walmart. Marvel realized they were making filler films and said, “Well shit, we might as well fill these fillers with clown guts and candy.” And that’s goddamn swell.
And so the rule for Phase Three came down to a successful Marvel film being either A) a unique and interesting story told in a straightforward way (Civil War, Homecoming), or B) a really straightforward story told in a unique and interesting way (Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians).
This explains why movies like Thor 2 and Ultron weren’t as well-received, for they are neither unique nor told in a particularly fun way. The lesson here is that Marvel’s doing a great job of being ahead of its fans and realizing that the superhero stories once considered “unique” tend to get old really fast. I remember a time when I couldn’t wait to see an origin story; now I shudder at the words “Uncle Ben.” And guess what? Homecoming knew this, and focused on making a Spider-Man that felt bizarrely similar to a coming-of-age teen movie. Other comic book movies are figuring this out too. Logan was an X-Men stab at drama, and now we’re getting The New Mutants, a goddamn superhero horror movie.
But finally — and this is super important — Marvel is beginning to learn that they need to stick an eccentric ’80s/’90s actor in their movies as a villain. Sure, it could be Kurt Russell or Michael Keaton, but the big money is obviously Jeff Goldblum, America’s bumbling sex maestro.
We need more Goldblum villains, Marvel. Goldblum Hobgoblin, Goldblum Stilt-Man, an entire gang of clone Goldblum henchmen. I don’t give a fuck who you thought was playing Thanos; if you want Infinity War to end with a whooshing cacophony of nerds’ ROM the Space Knight panties hitting the theater floors, you know what needs to be done. Don’t fuck me on this.
David is totally on Twitter.
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IMAX is having a 20-film Marvel movie marathon
Are you not entertained??
Marvel’s having a 10th birthday bash, and you’re invited.
IMAX, Marvel Studios, and Walt Disney Studios have announced that, in a celebration of the franchise’s 10th anniversary, all 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are coming to IMAX theaters this Labor Day weekend.
Yup, all of them – including, for the first time ever in that jumbo-sized format, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America: The First Avenger.
And the Marvel crew couldn’t be more excited, as explained in this promotional video explaining just why it’s so important for you to not just watch these movies, but to watch them in IMAX.
“A lot of superheroes coming together. Sounds like IMAX was the appropriate call,” says Chris Evans.
Hey, who are we to argue with Captain America?
The “Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival,” as it’s called, will run from Thursday, Aug. 30 through Thursday, Sep. 6 in select IMAX theaters across the U.S. and Canada.
For the first five days (Aug. 30 – Sep. 3), all 20 films will be shown in the order they were released. The following two days (Sep. 4-5) will be “theme days” centered around origin stories and team-ups. Finally, the event will wrap up on Sep. 6 with encore showings of two of the films, as voted on by fans.
Tickets are on sale now at IMAX.com/MarvelFest.
DC disaster: can Supergirl save the universe for Warner Bros?
With the titanic tedium of Batman and Superman having left the studios vision in mortal danger, execs have recognised its time for the boys to step aside
“Its probably fair to say that Supergirl likely to be the next costumed titan to get their own movie is not the first DC superhero who springs to mind for the average comic-book fan. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman occupy far taller plinths on the pantheon than Kara Zor-El, who, prior to the current TV series starring Melissa Benoist, was best known for the 1984 movie so terrible that the characters fellow Kryptonians were probably happy to be dead and buried so they didnt have to watch it.
Yet there is a problem with DCs holy trinity. DC has ruined its plans for a shared universe centred around the three superheroes, with the heavy metal cacophony of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice having jarred horribly with the prosaic lilt of Justice League. If the studio, Warner Bros, has any plans to to get the gang back together again, it will have to do a much better job of getting audiences interested in its characters before trying to unite them in a money-spinning, Marvel-style mega-team.
The good news is that the best instalment so far has been Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman, which was cheerfully unconcerned with the rest of the DC extended universe (DCEU), the movie taking place in a different era to the other films……………….
‘Iron Fist’ Netflix teaser has a first look at Danny’s comic book mask
It’s been said many times before that what looks cool in the comics doesn’t always translate on film. Here today with an object lesson in that idea is Netflix’s latest teaser for Iron Fist Season 2, which also confirms (again) that the Marvel series will return on Sept. 7.
Brace yourself. Here it is:
Just for the sake of comparison, the comic book version looks like this. So as you can see, the Netflix version isn’t too far off, style-wise. But it also reads very differently here.
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