Musings On Marvel Day Six: Avengers Assemble

Director: Joss Whedon ((Much Ado About Nothing, two episodes of The Office (U.S))

Budget: $220million

Box Office: $1.5billion

  • Why’s the helicopter following a roadway?
  • Coulson wears sunglasses at night.
  • Nick Fury doesn’t say “That makes me Fury-us” during this whole film.
  • Cobie Smulders is actually kind of weak in this, her first lines are delivered like when an actor gives deliberately bad performance to show how bad their character is at acting.
  • “A door can be opened two ways” Science!
  • That’s not a spear, that’s a, well I’m not sure if it’s actually got a name, so I’ll just call it the Loki Pokey stick.
  • See, Loki Pokey.
  • “I am Loki, of Asgard”, ah, so not Loki from New Jersey then?
  • “I come with glad tidings”, I come with external stimuli, using a vagina or a mouth or a hand. General feelings of happiness don’t tend to do anything for me.
  • “What do we do?” *dramatic pause*. Yeah, that’s fine for the film and everything, but is pissing annoying for the other person who’s just waiting to be told what to do.
  • Wow, Edward Norton looks a lot different.
  • “what does he want me to do, swallow it?” Good people always swallow.
  • Did 9/11 happen in the MCU? It’s never referenced, not even in passing. And don’t give me that “but why would they mention it?” BS, it’s America, they always mention it, it’s been mentioned almost daily for the past week alone, so you think with all the constant attacks at least one person would say something like “this kind of damage has not been seen since 9/11”. And can you imagine Captain America being told about 9/11? Holy crap that scene would have been fantastic in terms of emotion.
  • So he’s in Germany, yet he’s delivering this speech in English?
  • “Isn’t being on your knees your natural state?” Let’s not get into my sexual proclivities right now.
  • This old guy is the most heroic character in the entire series. He is basically an average guy being the first in line to stand up to a vicious dictator with obvious superpowers. In a world with superpowers he has nothing but still stands up just because he knows it’s right. He risked his life just for his principles, and he did it on his own. That guy, is freaking awesome.
  • Obvious nazi parralels but nobody says “that makes me Führerious”
  • “there’s only one God, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that”, true, I prefer black t-shirt and jeans.
  • Ok there’s about a minute between Thor jumping out and Captain America parachuting up and jumping out, in a moving plane. There is no way Captain America would land anywhere near them.
  • Thor throws a magical hammer at Iron Man, potentially killing him.
  • Thor can charge up Iron Man’s suit, this is never referenced again at any point.
  • Thor basically tries to smash Iron Man’s face with a hammer, even if was just a regular hammer that would have killed him if it connected.
  • Thor then launches himself at Captain America to hit him with the hammer, in a move that surely would have killed him if it connected with a normal human being, which for all he knew, the Captain was. Basically, Thor is a psychopath who attempts to kill people for no reason what so ever in this film. One of many reasons I hate the character.
  • Wow, it sure sucks we have to wait until Civil War to see these guys fighting, you know, the guys who are currently fighting right now.
  • So “flying monkeys” Thor doesn’t understand, yet he mentioned nothing when “Galaga” or “Point Break” were mentioned?
  • “It’s not just power Loki wants, he wants vengeance”, so he’s, an Avenger?
  • “your ledger is gushing red”, yeah that happens like once a month once you pass puberty.
  • This is probably the only film that’s earned over a billion which has the line “mewling quim” in it.
  • Loki could totally play SuperLee in a movie.
  • “everything special about you came out of a bottle”. Yeah, developed by some idiot named Howard Sta—yeah nevermind.
  • Wait, one arrow did that?
  • So the world knows that Thor is a God? And this has had no impact on religion in the world? Not one member of the clergy, or even the Pope has mentioned the definitive existence of a God that walked among us? There’s been no resurgence in people believing in the Norse Gods? A God walked among the world and it changed absolutely nothing. I’m not buying it.
  • This should be much better shot. If this was done well then this moment of Black Widow silently walking around to avoid The Hulk could have been like Alien: Isolation. It could have been a huge dramatic set piece. As it is it’s just a scene that almost everyone will forget about.
  • Captain America there talking on the device in his ear. Which if you were paying attention to the previous scene you’ll know is either invisible or doesn’t exist. Is he going through a mental breakdown? What if the Captain America movie was just the insane thoughts of a madman who grew up reading Captain America comics and then had a nervous breakdown?
  • “so that’s what it does”, yup, pretty much the same as every other weapon, fires and knocks people backwards.
  • It’s well known that you can stop brainwashing by hitting somebody in the head really hard. Can’t imagine that defence standing up in court.
  • Does Stark not have any security cameras that picked up the strangers building something on his balcony?
  • Loki’s so nice. He waits for Tony Stark to land, take his armour off, and monologue before attempting to attack them.
  • “and you’ve got the glow stick of destiny”. It’s name is the Loki Pokey stick!
  • “what have I got to fear?” “The Avengers”, hey, that’s the title of the movie! (In America anyway)
  • I think we’re getting into the final battle now, and there’s 40 minutes left. Don’t worry, I’m sure every single moment of the following action sequence is necessary and none of it could be cut all.
  • The fact they also put “Avengers Assemble” (the UK title) into this film makes me wonder if this film was called “Mewling Quims” in Indonesia and that’s why that line was in there.
  • Ok this is a beautiful tracking shot.
  • “I put in a failsafe, the sceptre”, you couldn’t just put an on/off switch in?
  • “Detonation in two minutes thirty seconds, Mark”. Wait, no, this is Lee. Mark’s the other guy.
  • See, even the news doesn’t mention 9/11. It’s an attack, in New York, the news would definitely make a 9/11 reference.
  • So Tony Stark falls straight down, in zero gravity.
  • “and then there was like pew pew”, still more intelligent than how Daily Mail would report it.
  • Wait, can Captain America legally drive? Wouldn’t his license have expired?
  • And that’s phase one complete. Comment, like, share, bitch about how we’re wrong, whatever 🙂
  • Wait, what the f*ck is this song? It’s like “generic rock song #16”
Advertisements

Musings On Marvel: Day 2 (The Incredible Hulk)

Director: Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, Grimsby)

Budget: $150million

Box Office: $263million

  • Damn, this isn’t the Ang Lee one. Which is a shame as then I could have made the “Don’t make me Ang Lee, you wouldn’t like me when I’m Ang Lee” joke. Now I can’t 😦 I hate life and everybody in it.
  • Random fact, the director wanted Mark Ruffalo as the lead but was declined. As such we will now never ever know what Mark Ruffalo would look like as The Hulk. Never, ever, ever.
  • Entire origin story takes place during the opening credits. Thank god for that otherwise it would have added like an extra two hours onto the run time.
  • “The best way to control your anger is to control your body”. It’s taken him years to be told this? I’d have thought that would be the first lesson.
  • One slap round the face gets him that annoyed? If I got that annoyed everytime I got slapped in the face it would just distract me from the prostitute I paid for.
  • Edward Norton is being smart and scientific, you can tell this because he’s wearing glasses.
  • How did he miss that REALLY obvious blood on the bottle?
  • Everyone’s looking at him like he’s crazy, as if we’re supposed to think that everyone doesn’t know why he’s worried about his blood getting in the drink. Even without it being Hulk blood, that’s still not something a business wants in their drink. And I know “but they’re a Brazilian company, they don’t have health codes like we do”, maybe, but even Coca Cola wouldn’t want blood in their drink, and they’re practically Satan.
  • “get lost, gringo” That’s racist, I think.
  • “You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry”. Ok, let’s get this clarified: “Angry” in Portuguese is either: Irritado, com raiva, zangado, furioso, colerico, or amarrado, whilst “Hungry” is: com fome, faminto, esfomeado, avido, ansioso, desejoso, pobre, esteril, arido, or pouco productivo. There’s no way you can mistake the two in that language, it really only works in English. You’d think Edward “Everything Must Be Perfect Or Else I Will Stab Everyone” Norton would have picked that up. Cute joke though.
  • “another failure” The exact same language was used by my family when they announced my birth.
  • “living with gamma poisoning not safe”. Thank god for scientists, I never would have known that.
  • Hey Tim Roth’s in this movie.
  • Oh god, Tim Roth’s in this movie. Poor Tim Roth.
  • Still, better than United Passions.
  • Sure, just shut down your laptop. Don’t wait for him to answer or anything. Dick.
  • These guys didn’t even check the exits? They’re awful planners.
  • Tim Roth shoots a dog.
  • Yeah, that’s good, hide your identity and then stare straight at the the guy hunting you. You’re an idiot.
  • “Do not lose him” oh really? Well I was going to just let him escape but now you said that.
  • I’ve never had to run across rooftops to escape people, yet it seems to happen in almost every film.
  • All those coke bottles behind him, Holy product placement Batman!
  • “Not so tough now are you?” Yeah, you show what a strong guy you are by hitting him when two other people holding him down. You big man, you very very strong man.
  • We’ve already established this factory is not doing that great financially, repairing all this damage could bankrupt it. People talk about the damage done to New York in the Avengers movie, but they’re able to pay it off. This company is ruined.
  • “who’s this woman in this newspaper clipping?”. Wait, so you didn’t even take a look at the newspaper clipping and see that this woman has the same name as the guy giving you orders? You suck, Tim Roth (please note the punctuation there, there’s an important difference between “You suck, Tim Roth”, and “You suck Tim Roth”).
  • “He threw a forklift truck like it was a softball”. No Russian person who was raised in England would ever use the word “softball”. At all.
  • “Days without incident: 1”. No, it’s zero, he had an incident just before, it doesn’t count as one if it’s on the same day. You wouldn’t say “I haven’t had chocolate for a whole day” just because you’re not eating chocolate right at that moment.
  • Distance between Brazil and Guatemala: 3,000 miles. How on earth did he go that far without people noticing?
  • Music from the original Incredible Hulk series reminds us that this is in fact, a movie. Maybe that’s the problem with this film, everyone is really familiar with the character, a lot more than they are any other of the characters from the MCU. So everyone goes in with preconceptions about the character which makes it hard to bring something new to the table.
  • “In WW2” Don’t be that guy, just say “world war 2”. Don’t say “WW2”, you sound like a prick and it takes longer to say, it’s like double the syllables.
  • “he thought he was working on radiation resistance. I would never have told him what the project really was”. That’s the perfect way to get accurate scientific data, have them attempt something else.
  • “that mans whole body is the property of the US army”. Sounds a bit rapey.
  • Edward Norton is using Norton antivirus. Hah!
  • Yeah, that’s it Liv Tyler, walk out on your date without saying a word. Rude!
  • Rain powered entirely by emotion.
  • “he wants to make it a weapon” A weapon he can’t control or order around. Having an army of Hulks would cause a lot of damage, yes, but a lot of it would be to your own army. It would be like having an army of bears.
  • Note to self: find army costumes for bears.
  • Ok, this is a visually impressive set-up, the whole “Hulk in the glass covered room which is full of smoke”, but it’s not really done effectively. They showed the transformation and the view from inside the room. What they should have done is the last we see is him as Banner, then silence, and then Hulk bursts out of the smoke.
  • Why does everyone keep shooting him? Surely after the first shots have absolutely no effect you’d think of a different tactic?
  • So this takes place on a University campus in middle of the day, and there’s only two bystanders? There were more bystanders at college when a car crashed into a lamp-post.
  • Do they ever use these sonic cannons again? Does every Marvel film feature a fantastic weapon which for some reason is never used again?
  • This movie is pretty much responsible for keeping rain machines in business.
  • Jesus how much did Coke pay to be in this film so much?
  • So he can swallow a usb stick and it still works? Yet I have one in my pocket for a twenty minute walk to uni and it stops.
  • Wait, so he can’t have sex without hulking out? What about masturbation? So he hasn’t jacked off for years? That might be why he’s so angry, I stopped for two weeks once and committed a small genocide in Rwanda.
  • Can The Hulk get high? Serious question, couldn’t he just get really really stoned? Or maybe he tried and that’s why he’s so green.
  • “I had to make more” Wait, you can just make more blood? Then why the fuck do the NHS keep asking for mine?
  • “I will never forgive what you’ve done to him” for some reason I hate that sentence. It just sounds really clunky, like it’s been translated into english from a foreign language.
  • “The mixture could be……….an Abomination”. Hmmm, I wonder which Marvel character Tim Roth will turn into.
  • I’ve realised where I know that guy from: he was in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmdit.
  • Unbreakable. They alive, damnit. It’s a miracle.
  • I love that show.
  • Ooooo season 2 came out a few days ago. Yay.
  • Bruce’s blood landed on his head wound, what are the odds of that?
  • “That’s impossible”, oh so now you start to question things.
  • So the lead character has to fight someone with the same superpowers as him? Just like Iron Man then? Or Thor. Or Ant-Man
  • “You think a rifle’s going to hurt that?” Most logical sentence in this film.
  • So his plan involves jumping out of a plane with no parachute? I tried that once, I didn’t save anybodies life and now I’m banned from British Airways
  • Hulk and Abomination just holding onto each other. Now kiss!
  • Did Hulk just stop the fire by clapping? I’m going to try that next time I see a fire heading towards me. If it doesn’t work and I die, someone sue Marvel.
  • Look, we know you’re in the Army but “reload” instead of “another drink”? Just makes you sound like a twat.
  • This is the only Marvel film without a post-credits scene. Instead it puts it just before the ending credits, like a normal film does.

Films Worth Seeing from 2015: The Serious ones

Dramas(ish)

Inside Out

Inside_Out_(2015_film)_poster

Yeah I’m putting this in the drama section; go fuck yourselves if you disagree. For every laugh out loud moment, which there are a few; Pixar’s latest masterpiece is littered with heartfelt and moving moments that will warm the cockles of your aging bitter heart and will make you cry. The idea behind it is amazing and while the plot it follows isn’t anything new, it’s execution is near flawless. I knew from the opening melody of the main theme Bundle of Joy (my pick for best original score of the year), that this film was going to be exactly what everyone wanted from a Pixar film, and it was.

Steve Jobs

steve-jobs-posterProbably the most intense and thrilling film of the year, and not one shot is fired and not one car is chased, it never goes beyond people just talking (and screaming). Set in three real-time acts spread across the 1970s-1990s, this film gets to the heart of Steve Jobs the man/the character (he was quite a dick it turns out), and the heart of what it means to be innovative and push the boundary of what technology can be for people. Thrilling, heartstopping, emotional, and surprisingly beautiful to look at, Steve Jobs is a breath of fresh airconditioned air for the Biopic genre…and the fact it made less that jObs is just depressing.

 

Youth

Youth_poster_goldposter_com_1

Another funny but heartfelt film that is a meditation on fame, but even more so is about aging, love, and parenting. Directed by Italian autor Paolo Sorrentino, it’s led by a best in decades Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, as two friends at a Swiss retreat in the Alps trying to keep their lives going. Now this is a bit of a tricky film to talk about, as its light on plot and heavy on strange things happening and characters reacting to them. So just trust me that Youth is a beautiful film and the kind of bold artistic statement that makes you glad that the studio process still lets creatives work their magic on us.

Spotlight

20104185723_0ca6c3e963_o

An in-depth investigative drama that follows the journalist team who uncovered the Child abuse coverups by the Catholic Church in the early 2000s; and it will piss you off for all the right reasons. I’m a sucker for a good investigation film, like Zodiac or All The Presidents Men, and this was no different. Though I don’t think it’s up there with Zodiac, this is still a very well written and compelling drama/thriller that step by step will take you through the disturbing looking glass. Led by a stellar cast of Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and more, this film is a masterclass of restrained filmmaking and acting. With a topic as hot as this, Spotlight could have easily become an over-dramatic spotlight-S_070416_rgblifetime mess, but director Tom McCarthy made the wise choice of keeping everything restrained, realistic, and beautifully drab (never has a cast of A-listers looked so normal), all so the facts can speak for themselves, and they scream.

 

The End of the tour

film-sundance-end-of-the-tour-first-look-2b1b02c3b573cbe3Already talked about this in our 2015 Film Awards, where it was one of the films awarded with best picture, but I’ll talk briefly about it here. It’s a funny and heartfelt road movie that meditates on fame, creativity, and loneliness, through the indepth and witty conversations of its protagonists. Whether you know David Foster Wallace’s work or not, this is an accessible and great film.

Wild

WILD_movie_posterFollow a mesmerizing Reese Witherspoon on a thousand mile hike as she flashes back to the different traumatizing points in her life that led her to the hike. It’s a compelling character film of the purist nature, and with a combination of a great soundtrack, editing, and sound-editing, is the best film I have ever seen capture the feeling of fleeting thought.
But this is a bit of a divisive film it appears, depending completely on whether you like the main character, as she is not really a good person; and not in the love to hate them way, but in a realistic way. I did like her, or at least I was engaged by her, while my fellow Troubled Production’s producer did not, leading to me putting this as one of the best films of 2015, while he put it as one of his worst. (See his personal blog here).

99 Homes

99-Homes-new-poster

Michael Shannon is on terrifying form as a realtor looking to make money during the housing crises of 2010, and Andrew Garfield finally acts his age to heart-breaking effect, as a single father kicked-out of his home by Shannon, and taken under the corrupt realtor’s wing. Another film that finds it’s intensity in its emotions; this film grabs you by the throat and keeps you electrified as you watch a normal man grapple for his morality and his fall to ‘the darkside’ as it’s the only way to provide for his family.

 

 

Brooklyn

file_610952_brooklyn-poster-640x951The second Nick Hornby script on this list (the first was Wild), and it just shows you the versatility of his writing. In 1950’s an Irish immigrant moves to Brooklyn (go figure) where she finds love, life, and a future, but then finds herself torn between the life she wants in America and the life everyone else wants for her back in Ireland. Much more a classic Hollywood romance (in all the right ways) and less the love triangle bollocks the trailers made it look to be, this is really a beautiful film about striving to achieve your own happiness, and who you’re willing to hurt to keep it.

Why I love Zodiac

This isn’t a review; it is a spiel about our love of films and what not. So expect spoilers, biased opinions and general rants.

zodiac
Easily the best poster, and of course its the one you can’t get.

I’m not sure where my love of mysteries started, probably from a childhood (and teenhood, and adulthood) of watching Scooby Doo, nothing major, but a place to start. Now, from LA Confidential, to Memories of Murder, it’s hard to think of a mystery film I haven’t seen, (but please don’t try, I hate having to face my lies) but Zodiac is one of, if not, the best.

Scooby_Doo zodiax

Right out the gate I’ve gotta say, it’s my favorite Fincher film, followed closely by The Social Network and Gone Girl (yes you read that right, neither Se7en nor Fight Club do I consider his best). And Zodiac is a near three hour, investigative murder mystery journalism film, where they never catch the killer. And damn it’s riveting. It’s that last bit, about the Zodiac never being caught, being one reason to why I love and find this film so re-watchable (I watch it almost Bi-monthly). As unlike almost every other serial killer flick, when you know who did it, you can never not know, no matter how enjoyable of a film it is, the first watch is usually the best. That’s part of what makes Zodiac special, though it hazards a guess at who the Zodiac was, and follows it through with compelling, even satisfying evidence, you never know 100%, so with every watch your still looking, thinking, trying to see if there was anything you missed that could lead you to the Zodiac.

fincher filmns
I really don’t have any deep problems with any of Fincher’s films, I just thought this made a good image….Expect maybe Se7en!

It also features one of my favorite scenes in cinema, it happens in the last fifteen minutes of the film (I love it when the best part of the film is near the end, it’s something to look forward to during it), and it doesn’t feature a gun fight, it doesn’t move me to tears, it’s not shot in partially amazing fashion; it’s just two guys (Gyllenhaal’s cartoonist and Ruffalo’s detective respectively), sitting in a café, as Gyllenhaal lays out the entire case, the entire film in front of us. Every complex facet of evidence, every casual event, all the major characters, it’s all led to this, and it’s explained in a perfectly written scene, with an enthrallingly intense turn from Gyllenhaal, till it climaxes with this films closes thing to a big reveal. And god it’s satisfying.

cafe
Never has the choice over salt or pepper been so intense.

This scene also sums up why it’s my favorite serial killer film, and the tagline summaries it perfectly too. “There’s more than one way to lose your life to a killer”. It’s a film about obsession, and how it can eat you alive. Unlike films where you’re worried about the characters  dying, there’s rarely a moment where you think someone’s going to be killed (outside the victims obviously),  but as it unfolds and the characters (mainly Gyllenhaal) fall deeper and deeper and deeper, even when its all said and done, you can’t help but wonder. Can they live again?

Jake

Now I know it’s not cool to care about Academy Awards, and I get it, overall they’re pretty cheap with whom and what they consider worthy (no love for Jake Gyllenhaal unless he’s macking on a cowboy it seems). But at the same time, they do tend to choose pretty good films, and Zodiac easily should have been a major awards contender in 2008, for directing, writing, acting (Robert Downy Jr especially), cinematography (the usual Fincher staples), and the reason it wasn’t I completely put on the studio. They released it at the wrong time, and advertised it the wrong way. Selling it as a fun, messed-up, thrills per-minute serial killer film (Se7en cough, cough) and releasing it in spring; instead of in Oscar season (October-December) and as the investigative drama it is (All The President’s Men meets Citizen X), what the makers always intended it to be. But though I blame them for this, I can see why they did it. Coming off the big hit of the very enjoyable thriller Panic Room, and Fincher’s last serial killer film being a massive hit, I see why the studio treated it like they did. They wanted another Se7en, even though Fincher gave them something much more.

seven 2

It’s films like Zodiac that made me pretty happy when I heard Fincher’s series with HBO had fallen through, because despite how much I like House of Cards, and have heard that Utopia is a great show, I didn’t want Fincher’s spending all his time on a TV series when he could be making more films like this, or Gone Girl, or The Social Network. TV’s amazing right now (check out last weeks post on Breaking Bad, wink, wink), with a lot of hugely talented people creating epic feats of fiction, so we need to make sure Film stays great, and Fincher’s pretty good at that.
(Yes I’m aware he’s still producing the TV Show Shakedown and Video Synchronicity (both which sound really good), but who the hell knows at this point, and at least he’s not directing the entire series.)