Spider-Man: Far From Home

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME continues the charming “teen comedy, but in the Marvel Universe” vibe of 2017’s SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, but instead of situating it on the outskirts of the MCU it’s more in the middle this time. It’s pretty much an epilogue to the whole story that culminated in AVENGERS: ENDGAME, or a bridge to the next one. It starts by making light of the fictional tragedies of that movie (a hilariously awful teen-made video tribute to fallen heroes) and pretty much addressing everything I wondered about after ENDGAME (AVENGERS that is, not HIGHLANDER) pertaining to a world where half of all teens are five years younger than their ID says.

And then it’s kind of like it should be called SPIDER-MAN IS… IRON MAN 4. Peter Parker (Tom Holland, BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL LIVE) is on a school trip to Europe, and his mind is on a plan to tell M.J. (Zendaya, SUPER BUDDIES) he has a crush on her, though she seems to be spending her time with Brad (Remy Hii, CRAZY RICH ASIANS), who is somebody’s little brother who grew big and handsome while the rest of them were dusted.

Meanwhile, scary Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, THE EXTERMINATOR) is trying to get Peter to help a weird flying guy called Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal, PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME) fight giant water, wind and fire monsters called Elementals that threaten the world. (The fifth element is love, but he never gets to that one [spoiler].) Peter doesn’t feel qualified and just wants to stay with his friends, so he uses the excuse that he can’t leave the trip without everybody figuring out he’s Spider-Man. Then Fury uses the resources of S.H.I.E.L.D. to redirect the trip to wherever they need Spider-Man, giving the class various “upgrades” like excursions to Prague and Berlin in a big black bus driven by an agent named Dmitri (Numan Acar, THE GREAT WALL) who looks like a henchman in a DTV Seagal movie.

The trip is chaperoned by teachers Mr. Harrington (Martin Starr, ADVENTURELAND) and Mr. Dell (J.B. Smoove, TOP FIVE), who both get much more time to be funny than in the first film. There are also some good laughs from Peter’s best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon, BLOOD FEST), their classmate Betty (Angourie Rice, THE NICE GUYS) and Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL), the dick who constantly makes fun of Peter but idolizes Spider-Man.

These SPIDER-MANs stand out from the other super hero movies because they really are about him being a teen. It was exciting for him to save the world with The Avengers, but he truly just wants to be a “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” with enough time off to be with friends and maybe kiss a girl. He has relationships with various adults who expect different things from him: Aunt May (Marisa Tomei, THE TOXIC AVENGER) gets him involved in charity and packs his Spider-Suit in his luggage when he tries to leave it behind, Fury expects him to sacrifice his youth to save the world, Mysterio acts like a cool Super Hero Big Brother and encourages him to do what makes him happy, and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau, FOLKS!) – bodyguard to the late Tony Stark – encourages but doesn’t force his fulfillment of Tony’s belief in him.

The biggest IRON MAN 4 element is that Stark left Peter a pair of sunglasses that connect him to an all-powerful A.I. called E.D.I.T.H. that can plug into the Stark Industries databases, snoop on people’s communications, and oh yeah, control an army of drones housed in satellites orbiting the earth. Using them is a big responsibility that this kid probly isn’t ready for. Also the glasses don’t necessarily look good on him. A great moment is when Happy lets Peter construct a new suit using Tony’s equipment. He watches proudly as Peter excitedly moves around his holographic 3D models. And though Peter starts the movie wearing a metal suit with yellow highlights – the Iron Man Memorial Spider-Suit – the one he designs for himself is an almost entirely traditional Spider-Man look. He has to be himself.

I don’t mind that he has a few different suits. People always say they do that to sell toys – I’m not sure how much of a thing that is anymore. But it’s smart for marketing. It’s a way for you to see a still or an ad and instantly know this is a new one, not a scene from the one you’ve already seen. THE INCREDIBLES 2 is really good and was long-anticipated but to this day I see the cover for the Blu-Ray and I forget it’s even a sequel because they chose to make them look exactly as they did in the first film. Good move for the movie, bad for marketing (and toys?). Despite this necessity it’s always the traditional Spider-Man costume that’s the most appealing, so I’m glad Peter seems to prefer it.

Is this the biggest role Happy Hogan has had since the first IRON MAN? I guess I don’t remember the sequels well enough to know. It’s interesting that I have so thoroughly accepted Favreau as a lovable comic relief character and have to remind myself that he’s also the director who started the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe – the guy who it seemed like was pushed away during IRON MAN 2, who it seemed like it was a mistake not to get to do THE AVENGERS. They moved on but they didn’t leave him in the dust.

PRISONERS convinced me that Gyllenhaal is one of the more interesting actors of his generation. NIGHTCRAWLER backed me up on that. Mysterio is not really a character that fully utilizes that level of talent, but he’s fun in a traditional Spider-man character type of way. He goes sort of in the direction I expected but definitely not in the way I expected. Gyllenhaal gets to play a Superman type square-jaw walking around in his cape, but he also gets to use a little bit of that comical mania he has in stuff like OKJA and ACCIDENTAL LOVE.

There’s definitely some cool super hero shit. Peter swinging, jumping and climbing, in one scene without his costume, later in a cool tactical black suit humorously undercut by a ridiculous name that Ned gives it. Fighting off drones, including in a scene where he accidentally sics them on Brad. A little bit of badassery from Fury and Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders, JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK). Gyllenhaal with a cloudy fishbowl on his head. But it’s a testament to the talents of director Jon Watts (COP CAR), writers Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers (JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE) and especially the young cast that I truly was more invested in Peter’s love life and friendships than in his fight against bad guys. The most interesting parts of his super heroing aren’t really how he saves the day, but how he hides it from his schoolmates and does it on his own terms.

I mean INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE is my favorite Spider-Man now, but as far as live action Spider-Movies go, these HOME ones really get it done.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 at 10:23 am and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

168 Responses to “Spider-Man: Far From Home”

  1. I think I’m in the middle on this one. Some of it may be because SPIDERVERSE recently came out and was so great. The other part of is how the most compelling stretch of the movie arguably is post-credits. It was certainly what got my audience reacting the loudest. I’ve come to grips some with how MCU movies are rarely self-contained well and mostly feel like big budget TV, but doing that is naturally going to make me think: “you’re gonna show me that and y’all couldn’t have decided to make THAT more of the movie?!?”

    Mysterio works as a villain in a kind of meta way—is Jake G taking a swing at David Fincher? The fake news and unreliability of what you see which gets picked up later. And how so much of these movies is theater, formula, and performance with familiar beats. That works well for the middle illusion set piece, and maybe there’s a metacommentary about how average to poor most of the action set pieces are, but I’ve still got to sit and watch them…soo…..(and I don’t think the early ones make much narrative plausibility sense after the big Mysterio twist but nobody ever seems to care about that in these movies.)

    I think most people must like the awkward teenage romance between MJ and Parker more than me. It’s not awful, and they got some good laughs of it especially when Ned gets competitive, but boy did I watch this movie and wonder: why don’t they just have Spider-Man be openly gay? I think Holland said he’s in favor of doing that and I’m starting to think that’s what they should do if they don’t only care about Spider-Man making nearly a billion dollars worldwide or whatever.

    Maybe I’m getting old. I liked all the high school dynamics, and also found the teachers much funnier in this movie, but seems like I’m less enamored with that than everyone else. In fairness, I literally watched the hilarious ELECTION the night before, which may have biased my opinion and who knows maybe the next time I see this I’ll like those elements more.

  2. This one is kind of a mess, but it’s a charming mess. I laughed a bunch and liked all the characters, was invested in their problems, got a kick out of the action, but I don’t know. It definitely feels like the kind of movie that had like 40 minutes cut out of the first half. Scenes just kinda start and stop out of nowhere. It’s full of great parts but the vehicle they were welded onto feels pretty ramshackle. Like, I’m not exactly sure what Mysterio was even trying to do. In my experience, being a superhero doesn’t pay the bills let alone make you rich (which is something maybe Peter could have told him about if they’d ever had a chance to talk after Mysterio went evil) so how exactly was he going to make his minions into millionaires by defeating menaces they themselves spent millions of dollars creating? It felt like a real “Step 1. Build a holograph machine. Step 2. ?????? Step 3. Profit” scenario. It feels like the screenwriters got really excited about all these hot-button themes their villainous scheme had swirling around it but nobody stopped to think about how it might actually, you know, function.

    Also, they acted like Spider-Man was the only superhero game in town, but where the fuck are all the 40,000 Avengers we saw at the end of ENDGAME? Not one of them had their cell phone on them when the end of the earth supposedly came calling? I realize Falcon probably ain’t gonna do much against a lava monster but could it hurt having him there? I mean, he IS the new Captain America. Lava monsters are probably in the job description.

    Also also: When exactly did Tony set aside this billion-dollar defense network for Peter? There was like a five minute overlap in ENDGAME when they were both alive, and I didn’t see Tony signing any cards during them. I guess we’re supposed to assume Tony was just so confident that his time travel plan would work (not not confident that he would survive it) so he changed his will. I’m not sure how he got a lawyer to sign off on a legal document leaving billions of dollars in tech to a dead kid, but hey, he’s Tony Stark.

    Also also also: Peter and MJ have like zero romantic chemistry. Say what you will about the AMAZINGs, but Garfield and Stone generated sparks. I like Holland and Zendaya, but they’re not really burning up the screen. They have a good rapport but it seems like they’d be great friends and that’s it.

    Anyway, despite these misgivings, it’s still a lot of breezy, colorful, good-hearted fun, but I’m a little worried that the seams might finally be showing on this whole MCU thing. At this rate, they might only have 18 or 19 more movies left before the wheels really start falling off.

  3. This was a sneaky one. Just after watching it, I thought it was fun. But then I kept thinking about it for the next few days. I told my friend I think I liked it more than I originally thought because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. She asked what I was thinking about and it took me a second to figure it out. It’s Holland. I think he’s doing a really good job. I loved his performance of the stressed out kid who didn’t want all these responsibilities. He wasn’t a whiny little shit. He wasn’t a mopy Eeyore. He was just a kid wanting to go on a trip and kiss a girl. Yeah, I think he’s a good one.

  4. TIL Marisa Tomei was in The Toxic Avenger.

  5. I love the joke that E.D.I.T.H is; Even Dead I’m The Hero. Even dead Tony Stark presence is strong. I hope they will move away from Spider-Man being the new Iron Man, and let him by Spider-Man.

  6. Just want to say I’ve really enjoyed this season of Sheild. Ok bye.

  7. I agree about Iron Man 4. One of the reasons I didn’t like Homecoming was that Spider-Man basically acts like Iron man. Iron Man designs all his suits which have new powers for every situation is in. I’m surprised fans liked it because if you love Spider-Man don’t you want to see him use his own powers?

    I liked Far From Home more. The Trumpian “people prefer capes to qualifications” and manipulating Peter’s insecurities went somewhere, although he’s still using too much Stark tech.

  8. grimgrinningchris

    July 10th, 2019 at 9:15 pm


    Isn’t that kind of the point of this movie?

  9. grimgrinningchris – I sure hope so. I liked Iron Man as much as anybody and it’s not out of place that an egomaniac like Tony Stark would find a way to dominate a movie he’s not even in (Even Dead I’m The Hero, indeed), but man, I’ll be glad when they just let Spider-man be Spider-man. It’s a bummer that Sony toxified his origin story by rebooting and retelling it so many times that by the time he joined the MCU, Spider-man had to be recalibrated into Iron Man’s protege (which, while it worked okay in these movies, is just not a part of the classic Spider-man character). Tom Holland is so good in the role that I want him to just be able to Spider-man around without being beholden to the greater MCU. I think/hope that’s where they’re building to and years from now this will have just been a temporary navel-gazy, victory lap, post-Infinity Saga blip, but for now it’s a little frustrating even though I liked this one.

  10. Not trying to derail the comment section, but since THE INCREDIBLES 2 was mentioned in the review and I just saw it a few days ago: I’m not sure if I would even call it “really good”. More “competent sequel that’s less memorable than a mid-lever MCU movie”. I don’t hate it, it was fun, but I even low-tier MCU movies are more memorable to me than this.

  11. Far From Home was The Incredibles in many ways. Not really the family plot part but the Mysterio/Syndrome part about not being accepted by the hero so he’s gonna go off and make himself a hero through trickery. But I did appreciate the, possibly unintentional, stab at big studio (read MCU) movies relying on CGI trickery to create a big “show” to woo viewers with regardless of how the “show” sometimes comes apart under execution. And Gyllenhall’s reasoning that “people will still buy this crap” even when the drones or the seems start showing! :D

  12. Sorry meant to print “seams” not seems :)

  13. I couldn’t help but laugh as Mysterio yells out “you killed my family!” (or something to that effect) during the big fight sequence. At the same time, am I supposed to ignore how that comment is a dagger into the heart of Captain American Civil War and other MCU movies as much as it’s a dagger into numerous other comic book movies? Some of that is maybe why how an actor’s surprise return aside, I got more into the Alex Jones satire

  14. grimgrinningchris

    July 12th, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Like I get everyone’s concerns…

    But I feel like a major theme of the movie was Tony wanting Peter to take up his mantle (probably mainly due to his inherent goodness and seeming inability to be corrupted and his intelligence) and Peter shirking that… from trying to walk away from the hugeness of the threat, to giving up Edith, to- while having what appeared to be unlimited options in his Spider-Suit, going back to a more classic suit with less bells and whistles and IM-y shit…

  15. This film felt pretty fluffy and forgettable, like the first one. Shiny, perfectly cast, fun, always threatening but never quite breaking through beyond charming, earnest, and plucky into something heartfelt and substantive. These films want us to feel a certain emotional connection to our heroes–to Peter and Happy and May and the ghost of Tony. I have to tell you that I can’t quite get there. Everything feels a bit too perfunctory, a bit too ruthlessly efficient to really breathe or earn its emotional beats, a bit too SCOOBY DOO and the gang to earn its character arcs.

    Having said all that, it’s plenty of fun, looks great, is perfectly cast, and I have a lot of fun with Peter and Ned and the Gyll here. I can watch Jake Gyllenhaal read the proverbial phone book and be fully invested. My favorite part is Spidey’s little Mysterio hallucination experience. That was a nice momentum of inspired, almost vaguely Burton-esque weirdness. Mysterio is definitely the highlight here.

  16. sorry, that’s “moment,” not “momentum.”

  17. Off topic, but the mention of OKJA makes me wonder if Vern had a cinema nearby playing PARASITE…

  18. So what does everyone think about this Sony/Disney split? I like the idea of a Spider-Man movie that is divorced from the wider MCU, but I don’t know if I trust Sony to make another live-action Spider-Man movie. I don’t think they could resist cramming Venom in there or adapting the Clone Saga or something.

    Anyway, BLACK WIDOW will probably have a post-credits scene where Spider-Man dies on the way back to his home planet.

  19. It’s inevitable that Sony will crawl back to Marvel at some point. We maybe get another good INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE movie, maybe even VENOM 2 will improve a little over the first one, but I can also see them losing Tom Holland over some typical Rothman shit and the overall quality (and their box office revenues) of their movies just dropping again, because the operation is now run by the guy who rushed X-MEN 3 into production and killed Cyclops, because he threw a hissy fit over Singer and Marsden making a Superman movie first.

  20. Dunno if it’s true, but currently twitter is peeing it’s pants due to the fact that this movie ended


    With Peter Parker in dire need of a lawyer


    And apparently Charlie Cox has been cast as that lawyer

    I know Vern said he tried to get down with Daredevil, but couldn’t hang. Allow me to make the controversial suggestion of just skipping the first season. It’s glacial, and it seems it’s makers are never quite comfortable letting Daredevil be Daredevil. Thankfully, this gets more or less fixed with the second season which, for the most part, hits the ground running with crazy ninja shit and never really looks back.

  21. To be honest, given some of the other casting that has been announced, and irrespective of the quality of the actual film that would make this a prospect, I would be more excited if it were


    Ben Affleck


    They were casting

  22. Well, they haven’t cast him *yet*

    (even as I a child, I thought the whole ‘multiverse’ was some BULLSHIT. “Wait, so there’s six different Wolverine books running simultaneously because there’s six different Wolverines in six different alternate timelines/universes?? How much money do you need, Marvel?”

  23. My experience with DAREDEVIL was the exact opposite; I thought the first season was great, completely forgot every single thing about the second the instant it was over and never watched the third. But if I’m being honest here, the only seasons of those Netflix shows I could see myself revisiting are DEFENDERS and the first season of JESSICA JONES. The rest were tedious, meandering, subplotty wastes of time with maybe two good episodes apiece. And not even that for PUNISHER, which sucked from Episode 1 and just got worse. I’m pretty sure those shows killed the last vestiges of my tolerance for long-form storytelling on television.

  24. I’m one of the only people on the planet who liked Iron Fist, but I did. I liked that he was the opposite of all the other mopey heroes. He loved being the Iron Fist and couldn’t shut up about it. He was young and slightly idiotic but his enthusiasm about being a hero was refreshing. I also liked that he treated his romantic interest with enough respect to let her decide if she wanted to be a part of the heroics rather than trying to protect her, like all the other heroes. He actually wanted her to be a partner. A lot of people liked the 2nd season better but I think they backed off those things too much. And yeah the side plots and characters were mostly dumb and boring, but that’s what those Netflix shows do.

  25. You know what, Maggie? You’re right, I actually enjoyed the first season of IRON FIST, too. I can’t see myself revisiting it but it was entertaining. I never watched the second season because by then I was done with Marvel TV, not because I disliked the first season.

  26. [i]My experience with DAREDEVIL was the exact opposite; I thought the first season was great[/i]

    That’s pretty common, which is why I said my “you can just skip season one” opinion was a ‘controversial suggestion’

    In interest of full disclosure, Matt Murdock was a young jojo’s DUDE circa ’82/’83. So I may coming at it from a unique angle

  27. Annnnd that’s right, this is the site that still uses “” brackets…

  28. “greater than/less than”

    Apparently you can’t print them even in quotations

  29. The Undefeated Gaul

    December 10th, 2020 at 2:53 am

    To me the only part worth watching from any of the Netflix Marvel shows is the first half of Daredevil season 2, and even then just the stuff related to Jon Bernthal. That was good shit for a little while, but the excitement sadly ends after he gets released from prison. It still makes me angry how bad the two seasons of his own show were. It’s bewildering – you can’t make something that awful by accident, you have to really put in the effort. Obviously they put in a LOT of effort.

  30. You guys were all way more patient than me. I didn’t even finish one season of DAREDEVIL (I’m not even sure if I get beyond episode 3) and never bothered with any of the other Netflix Marvels. That said: I know that corner of the MC(TV?)U has its fans and I admit it’s cool that they are now incorporating it into their movies.

  31. Looking up Charlie Cox has lead me to discover that he filmed scenes that didn’t make it into the final cut of DRACULA UNTOLD where he played “Young Caligula” and that Charles Dance’s character was supposed to be revealed as a never-dead now-vampire Caligula!

  32. So what do you all think of the new Disney+ projects announced yesterday?

  33. Eh, once my sister is done watching all her favourite shows from yesteryear, I’m gonna cancel my D+ subscriptions and none of the announced stuff is gonna bring me back.

    Well, the GOTG Christmas special maybe, but that’s it.

  34. Star Wars going to TV just makes Star Wars easier to ignore, so I’m totally down with that. I’m bummed that I may have to borrow a Disney+ password to get my MCU fix for the foreseeable future, but luckily I will probably tire of those shows by the third episode when they turn out to be mostly about supporting characters having affairs or something like literally every TV show I’ve tried watching in the past five years, so I doubt it’ll be a problem for long.

  35. I wonder if SUPER OLSON AND PURPLE BETTANY will reveal that the 50s weren’t as innocent as I think and not as much fun for some as it was for others? Because it would *blow my freakin’ mind* if I found that out!

  36. Well, I also am excited for SHE-HULK, because she is such a damn fun character. At least in her “giant green lawyer” incarnation. Not an expert, so I don’t know if and how many less fun versions of her exist, but I hope the show will be BOSTON LEGAL with superpowered fights.

  37. As far as the Marvel stuff, it’s a little weird, because I have watched every one of the Marvel movies in the theater and I know movie obsessive people who have seen either all or most of them, but whenever I talk to normal people they’re, like, “is that the one where… wait, there’s a separate Ant-Man movie? I thought there was only one Thor movie? Oh, I haven’t seen those ones,” etc. And now I’m facing a realization that it just is not physically possible that I will be able to keep up with all the stuff they’re making. Admittedly I didn’t watch the Netflix shows, but those didn’t seem to tie in to the movies in a very direct way. These have the same actors and characters, and they officially said that Raimi’s DOCTOR STRANGE movie ties in with Wandavision and the SPIDER-MAN movies. So it’s becoming even more demanding than before.

    So what I realized is, these movies are made for people way younger than me. But I still enjoy them, so I guess I’ll try to hang on until I fall off.

    As far as Star Wars, I’m more invested in those (and love The Mandalorian) so, although most of these sound cool, I’m concerned that they are for sure definitely way overdoing it. Hopefully they’re mostly mini-series that are spread out, and not a bunch of ongoing shows airing at the same time.

  38. CJ – Big Green Lawyer She-Hulk is a very fun character and I’m pretty excited for that show too. With a few exceptions over the years, She-Hulk tends to be one of the more light and comedic books Marvel does. My favorite bit from I think Dan Slott’s time on the book is the idea that, within the Marvel universe, Marvel Comics both exists and publishes all the same comics they do in our world, but there the comics also function as documents of legal record that can be submitted in court.

  39. Vern, the Netflix shows are kept separate from the MCU universe, though they reference the same events (e.g The Chtauri Invasion in The Avengers).

    I’ve heard though that Charlie Cox who plays Daredevil in the Netflix show will be in the next Spiderman movie. So it seems the suits at Disney are looking to integrate them all together.

    All these new Star Wars and Marvel shows feel like oversaturated. Less is more for me. No plans to get Disney+ anyway.

  40. From what I’ve read it sounds like the Daredevil rumor did not come from reputable source. But since they’ve gone crazy with tying together the various timelines, anything could happen.

  41. I enjoyed Daredevil S1 and even S2, although that got a bit overstuffed. Only problem I have with them is TOO.MANY.GODDAMN.EPISODES! 13 is too much, leading to way too much filler, never more tediously apparent than in the 1st season of JESSICA JONES. Christ, the baddie has mind control powers and JJ is the ONLY one impervious to them, and it takes 13 hours to put that mofo down? I will get around to Daredevil S3 just for completion and also because I think D’Onofrio is amazing as Kingpin and the focus apparently shifts back to him in the final season. Am crushed to hear the scathing opinions on THE PUNISHER series as I was very keen to check them out. Have heard good things about the action scenes in them. And I think Jon Bernthal, like Frank Grillo, just radiates an effortless menace which makes him a natural in action scenes.

  42. I thought Jon Berenthal was a great Punisher (as was Tom Jane, for that matter) but he got saddled with some pretty bad writing (also like Tom Jane). I almost feel like the Punisher’s whole *thing* is just so simple that writers feel like they have to tinker with it somehow, but they really don’t.

    Given the recent trend of throwing action roles to somewhat-aging actors, I’d love to see them take a crack at it from that angle, like some of the MAX comics storylines where he’s just been actively hunting criminals for 30+ years at this point.

  43. TV writers just can’t help overcomplicating shit. The draw of PUNISHER is “scary dude is hilariously competent at murdering bad guys” yet I swear half the pilot is given over to two sophisticated lady lawyers sharing a glass of wine and discussing their relationship problems. That’s TV in a nutshell to me. If they actually focused on what you came to see, they’d never be able to fill out a season, because then it would just be a movie.

    Also the action scenes look like they were shot using only available light from an open refrigerator in the next room. You can’t see a thing. The whole show is an utter waste of some perfect casting. If anybody from the Netflix universe deserves a second chance as their character on the big screen, it’s Bernthal.

  44. From what I’ve read it sounds like the Daredevil rumor did not come from reputable source.

    As I said when I posted, no idea if it’s true because all I saw were a buncha people on twitter talking as if it was. Last I checked, as far from a reputable source as one can get.

  45. Anybody else watching WANDAVISION? I’m really enjoying it so far, mostly for how different it is from anything else Marvel Studios has done. I mean, at least so far they are 95% just straight-up 50/60s-era sitcom episodes. I’ve seen some people describe the sitcom stuff as “intentionally bad” or “parodies”, which they are not. The jokes are corny but period appropriate, and the actors are not overplaying it or winking at the camera. But because everyone is playing it so straight, the moments of tension pack way more of a punch. There’s a dinner table scene in the first episode that is really something. Seems weird to call something made by Disney/Marvel Studios Lynchian, but that’s the only way I can describe it. Kathryn Hahn has been correctly identified by the internet as MVP, but I’m really impressed with Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen. I never fully bought into their relationship in the movies, but they have great chemistry here.

    Really excited to see where it goes, and I hope the rest of the Phase 4 stuff is this bold and weird.

  46. Ha, Crustacean Love, I told my wife I don’t think I could have hated those first two episodes more! They totaled maybe 50-55 minutes long, and just the very barest minimum of them hinted at something more important going on. The remainder was indeed no different from a ‘50s or ‘60s sitcom and possibly worse. I didn’t laugh or smile once at any of the intentionally weak or goofy humor.

    I still have hope, don’t get me wrong. The (very few) hints of more, I suppose, intrigued me enough to watch episode 3, so it wasn’t my least favorite thing ever, but….whew boy, I mostly couldn’t believe what I was watching.

  47. Caveat: I am not the biggest Marvel fan to begin with, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. My wife certainly liked it some. But geez, they really devote themselves to that bit.

  48. I’ve only watched the first one, but it is a relief to see Elizabeth Olsen being funny and having fun. It was always such a bummer tome that every single other Avenger gets to be funny half the time and she just has to be anguished for pretty much all her screen time. This makes it clear how much they wasted her – she’s like not even the same person.

    Yeah, I’m with Crustacean (so far) – I like the slow burn and the willingness to say “okay people, if you watch everything Marvel, will you still watch it if it’s mostly just Bewitched but with some hints at some weird TRUMAN SHOW shit that we’ll get to later if you earn it?” I appreciate the meticulous and not exaggerated recreation of the type of shows I grew up watching on Nick at Nite, and the occasional bits of realization that something is wrong are pretty unsettling.

  49. I tried to watch the first one and found it genuinely unwatchable. To me it didn’t feel like it captures the 50s sitcom well at all, felt like something made by people who once saw a snarky VH1 retrospective on 50s sitcoms, or at best have foggy 30-year memories of them. Certainly didn’t feel like an affectionate tribute to me.

    Sorry to be a grump here, but hey I’m in the minority anyway.

  50. I’m not an expert or anything, but I’m not finding the sitcom stuff mean-spirited or snarky at all. I’m rather enjoying it. But I can see how if you have no affection for that style of TV, or if it’s something you have to suffer through to get to the “good stuff”, then it’d be absolutely torturous.

  51. Because the MCU is one of the only things that make living in this world moderately bearable, I watched WANDAVISION, despite it being a TV show and thus a waste of time, figuring if nothing else I could at least strip mine it for its continuity in preparation for later movies (should those ever exist in this nightmare realm we live in). And it was…you know, it was cute. Everybody seems like they’re having a good time. If it was a movie, the material in the first two episodes would make a really bold and catchy opening 15 minutes. As it is, though, it’s like an SNL skit times ten: I got the joke immediately and then they just beat it into the ground for the next hour. I couldn’t believe I actually had to watch the lame “boss coming over for dinner” plot play out in its entirety, without any subversion or satire or twist or anything. It was just the genuine article for 20 minutes. I never even liked this kind of Nick At Nite shit as a kid, so watching an exact recreation of it with maybe a minute and a half of half-assed sub-TWIN PEAKS surrealism thrown in per episode is really not that enticing. There’s the occasional corny joke that I laugh at despite myself but I’m not sure how much longer this conceit can be dragged out. It’s watchable because the cast is so likable but I’m ready to get to the superhero portion of this superhero show, please.

  52. It’s a continuation of whatever happened in ENDGAME, right? Still have to watch that, but can’t bring myself to it after the awfulness of INFINITY WAR. But I heard Kat Dennings is in it, so, I kinda wanna watch it, because I developed a HUGE crush on her. She constantly tweets and snaps stuff that gives me “Man, we are totally on the same wavelength.” thoughts. And yes, I feel like a 15 year old loser for that! Still won’t watch 2 BROKE GIRLS though.

  53. CJ, if you think INFINITY WAR is awful, just give up. That movie is the platonic ideal of the Marvel film, so if it’s not your thing, then you don’t like Marvel films and should probably do something else with your time. It’s like saying “Boy I hope these new STAR WARSes can redeem themselves after that awful EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.” It ain’t getting any better, man. This thing you hate is the thing’s purest form.

  54. Dude, I love Marvels, just not the ones where the Russos had their hands in.

  55. That’s just weird to me, since they’re the ones making the movies that make this whole MCU thing more than the sum of its otherwise fairly middling parts. I will take your word for it that it’s possible to like Marvel movies without liking the movies that make Marvel worth liking.

  56. I’m with Johnny Utah and Mr. Majestyk on this one. It’s way too much of just a 50s sitcom. I told my friend, it’s too much of an homage in that they’re just recreating those shows outright instead of using the form to say something. I’ll stick with it because those moments of unease were interesting and the characters and actors are real good, but I hope it gets trippier.

  57. Eh, I don’t know. It’s not just that these guys are absolutely horrible action directors (and have an obvious “Oh, these guys come from a sitcom background” visual style in general), it’s also their movies always feel a bit (sometimes a huge bit) off for me. I’m not even sure what you mean with the sum ot its part thing. The destruction of SHIELD in CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE RANDOM HENCHMAN WHO DOES NOTHING TO DESERVE TO BE IN THE TITLE FOR NOW felt pretty consequence free for the rest of the other movies (Never watched the SHIELD TV show, but in the movies the only difference was that Nick Fury now gave his orders in farm houses instead of high tech offices) and CIVIL WAR should’ve been an epic “Friends turn against friends” status quo destroyer, but they not just reversed the end of Cap’s and Tony’s friendship in the last scene before the end credits, the only real consequence was that Ant-Man got a funny subplot about his ankle monitor in his next movie.

    I mean, now that we have the full story with ENDGAME, I might enjoy INFINITY WAR more instead of feeling my intelligence insulted by its “shocking” cliffhanger, but I doubt all the other stuff, including the overedited action scenes, will magically sit well with me now. I’ll keep you updated (if you don’t read my Letterboxd). Wanted to finish my MCU rewatchening (+first watchening of its current ending) this month anyway.

  58. Wandavision is making me appreciate how much of a savant Quentin Tarantino is when it comes to this stuff, as his OUATIH pastiches are fun enough to watch even without the promise of getting to the fireworks factory. With Wandavision, I might skip all the ironic, “they’re SUPPOSED to be dumb jokes” with thirty seconds of stuff for nerds to theorize about and just pick it up again at whatever episode has actual things happening in it.

  59. I forgot to mention that I had literally NO IDEA what to expect when I watched this. I just assumed it would be another Marvel or Marvel-lite show, which, to me at least, is generally code for “aggressively fine.” So I was excited for the first few minutes when it turned out to be goofy and different….until it continued and continued and continued to be exactly the same goofy different.

    I look forward to it becoming more, even if that means moving back to the very middlish middle of an average Marvel movie (or even tv show, god forbid — lord, did I not enjoy Agents of Shield).

  60. Still really enjoying WANDAVISION *shrug*. All the normies who were turned off by this show’s next-level commitment-to-the-bit should be satisfied by episode 4’s as it’s all MCU Classic: people in suits expositing around blooping holograms in high-tech military installations. Seriously though, I think this episode does a good job answering some smaller questions while leaving the overarching mystery intact. Some things I liked:

    1) SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME treated The Snap with such a light touch; I liked that this show had at least one scene that showed the chaos that would ensue if half the world’s population re-appeared overnight. Obviously the sight of a panicked, overcrowded hospital hits a little harder in the current climate.

    2) I found Kat Dennings kind of irritating in the THOR movies, but I really liked her character here. From bored, sarcastic intern to world-class astro-physicist in a little over a decade… well done, Darcy!

    3) Jimmy Woo finally learned his magic trick!

  61. I think it’s really fucking cool what they’ve done so far. It’s something that could only be done as a TV show, and that pays tribute to the history of television, and then when it opens up into the MCU stuff all the sudden it seems more like the movies than the other Marvel TV shows.

  62. I thought the first two episodes should have been combined into one. Not enough happened with the overarching mystery to account for almost an hour of screen time, which threw off the pacing and allowed the clever but one-note central conceit to wear out its welcome. But since then it’s been improving. Can’t say I’m that interested in more episodes set entirely in the sitcom reality, but hopefully now that the cat’s out of the bag that won’t be a problem and we’ll see the two worlds colliding more.

  63. I think for me is that I’m pretty much all in on Chris Evan’s Captain America that I just like all the Russo movies.

    I like corny sitcom humor and really think Paul Bettany has really underrated comic chops. There was enough mysterious stuff happening that it kept me interested. I think the fact the episodes are short helps too. I get into arguments with people a lot but I find so many hour long streaming shows really drag out their runtimes just to fill some abitrary hour long time frame. I appreciate this and Mandalorian don’t feel like they have fat on them (though Wandavisions ludicrisly long end credits is pretty fat)

  64. Thought an hour long show that’s streaming that I loooooooooooooooooove is Warrior.

  65. So…..I’ve watched WandaVision up to Ep 5.

    Verdict: On The Fence.

    I admire the slow burn approach but Episodes 1 and 2 were a snoozefest (if I wanted to relive the nostalgia of 50s/60s era sitcoms like I LOVE LUCY, I DREAM OF JEANNIE or DECEMBER BRIDE I’d re-watch them instead).

    Ep. 4 is where it finally sputters to life and reclaimed my interest and I’ll probably stick with it a little longer as I find the mystery tantalizing enough and Olsen and Bettany are terrific in their roles although Wanda & Vision aren’t interesting enough for me to continuously see them in sitcom pastiches across the decades.

    But, 5 episodes in, and the script is already employing some annoying narrative shorthand that passes for writing in many movies these days and also bone-headedly snakes it’s way into many a Marvel flick.

    Case in point, and here’s where I need to say


    So, the Director of SWORD is doing a briefing, using empirical evidence and making a tactical decision that Wanda needs to be stopped on account of basically holding an entire town mind-hostage and stating a fact that she once used to be one of the bad guys.

    In steps FBI dude to her defense saying she’s actually one of the good ones now and I’m like…what???? Jimmy Woo is a character we’ve seen exactly ONCE before in exactly ONE Marvel movie where he was a bit of a dick-ish Agent on Ant-Man’s ass. Now without seeing anymore of this character since, he’s become an AVENGER Groupie?

    Then in steps Ace Pilot to say she doesn’t think Wanda is the villain here. Errrr….you just got blasted across walls and miles by a mutant with scary ass powers who also mind controlled you for awhile, and you THINK she’s not all bad? Based on WHAT evidence? And we the viewer are supposed to get behind this character who’s sole connection to the MCU is the fact she’s the daughter of the BFF of my least fav AVENGER, said BFF having about less than 10 minutes of total screen time in the ONE movie she was in?

    And the Sardonic Astrophysicist caps it off by saying the Director of SWORD is being a dick.

    This is lazy-ass writing at it’s best, to set up the fact that Wanda will have some allies in SWORD, conveniently comprising second and third stringers from the MCU, who make judgement calls out of unearned sympathy and connection with the leads while the authority figure gets shafted for making decisions based on actual tangible facts.

    I like you MCU, and applaud your effort in running the most expensive TV show on screens for a decade, but your supporting characters are nowhere as complex, nuanced or compelling for me to accept such lapses in logic.

  66. “…where he was a bit of a dick-ish Agent on Ant-Man’s ass”

    Hey, Woo was actually really nice and likeable, except for the parts when he tried to prove that Ant-Man violated his house arrest. But even here he never crossed any lines of unprofessionalism and was just doing his job. The only reason why he was an antagonistic character, was because he was trying to catch the protagonist in flagranti when he did something illegal, even if it was for a good cause. Were you probably mixing him up with Bobby Cannavale in part 1?

  67. And then the guy Woo antagonized went on to come up with the idea that saved half of all life in the universe. I’m guessing that might change a man’s perspective on how much benefit of the doubt to grant the superpeople who sometimes make mistakes while repeatedly and consistently preventing the apocalypse. I think his character growth scans just fine.

    Now that the show has integrated its two sides, I’m on board with it.

  68. CJ: Calling Woo dick-ish was probably a tad harsh but I was making a larger point about how the Woo we first saw was a by-the-book guy and how the script fast-tracks him to Team Wanda. (Also, I’d think if you really wanted to stay true to these characters, Woo and Darcy wouldn’t be bonding right off the bat. They’d indulge in a little bit of back and forth piss take first).

    Good for you Maj, I’ll leave my sceptic hat on a tad longer until I can wrap my noggin around 3 strangers bonding over their Wanda-Love like they’d all been given a scene by scene recap of INFINITY WAR and ENDGAME, which would be one hell of a debriefing since 1 of the 3 just blipped back and immediately landed the Westview assignment. But there’s still 5 more episodes to go and I’ll hold out hope it could still surprise me.

  69. Five years have passed since we last saw Agent Woo. It’s been even longer than that since we saw Darcy. Both of them have seen up close and personal what sacrifices these superheroes make in order to do what they do. It is completely plausible that they would both start from a point of sympathy when dealing with Wanda. As for Rambeau, she literally had Wanda in her head. I’d say that gives her insights into Wanda’s motivation a little more weight than that of an obviously corrupt stuffed shirt who only got his job because everybody more qualified was dead.

    I don’t think you are reading the subtext of the scene as intended. The point is that a capable female operative has informed her male boss of her firsthand experience, corroborated by experts, and he has utterly disregarded her in favor of his own unsubstantiated theory. This is likely setting the boss up to either be a bad guy or a red herring.

    But suppose he is right and Wanda is simply being malicious. What’s his plan? Shoot her? Didn’t work so well for him, did it? So regardless of how little sympathy he has for Wanda’s motivations, it still behooves him to listen to his team, because getting to the root of what Wanda wants is likely the only way to stop her. His extremely male method of full-frontal aggression is extremely ineffective in this situation, yet he is completely unreceptive to other ideas. At best, he’s a garbage boss who doesn’t utilize the instincts and talents of his team. At worst (and most likely) he is hiding valuable information about his own role in this disaster. You really don’t think they were just innocently storing Vision’s dissected corpse, do you?

  70. Got forced to watch some of this show, these Marvels are not my usual bag but not bad. But Mr. M What’s interesting about that scene is the Boss Agent is a real asshole, but he’s generally correct. They were trying to say Wanda has been thrown in but when he showed them the video of her taking the body they all shut up real fast…that showed she’s no victim, she’s doing it.

    And Wanda is getting leeway because she’s the lead and we’ve seen her in all of those movies and such, but let’s not forget, she is raping a town full of people. Straight up, constant mindfucking rape. If some random character showed up and was doing this they’d be a straight up villain no matter how we might understand their motivation. We understood Baron Nemo’s motivation too but he’s still a bad guy as we now see in that new Marvel trailer tonight and the heroes will be trying to kill him and all of his buddies.

  71. Vern I saw your comment above about people who haven’t seen all of these movies…I’m definitely one of them. I haven’t seen a lot of these and they are DEFINITELY for young people who love their puzzles and shit. Like I don’t want to have to do a bunch of homework and watch four movies to catch up to this one that looks interesting…not to slam too much on Marvel because what they’re doing is pretty cool and has never been done before in movies. But it’s like sure Wandavision is a tv show but this whole series has seemed like a tv show.

    But what I don’t like is this style is really getting into every other big tentpole. I rememeber complaining to someone about how that Phasma character was pretty much useless in the Star Wars movie and mentioned in the first sequel, when Finn has a big fight with a random-ass stormtrooper, why didn’t he fight her? At least then there’d seem like a reason for her to be there and add to their conflict. But my friend was telling me about this stormtrooper’s background and if I wanted to know about it I could read these novelizations and I’m thinking I shouldn’t have to read a bunch of supplemental material to make this movie’s plot not suck. Put that stuff in the actual movie I just paid to watch.

  72. Maj, interesting viewpoint and although I don’t agree with all of them (especially re Monica: If some mutant mind-fucked me, then blasted me away the moment I was in danger of bursting her perverse sitcom bubble designed to enable her to keep having sex with her robot hubby, sympathy wouldn’t be the first emotion I’d feel) I’ll keep an open mind for how the rest of the season plays out.

    MUH-expect copious bleeding of the movies into the TV shows and vice versa to be the way from hereon. THE MANDALORIAN started it with Bo-Kataan and Asokha Thano dropped in with throwaway lines to Thrawn just to trigger a collective Nerdgasm among fans of CLONE WARS and REBELS

    With the MCU I wish they keep the shows separate Agents of SHIELD-style, but fat chance. I predict some plot development in DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS is gonna hinge on something you needed to pay attention to in WANDAVISION, with a future pay off in FALCON and THE WINTER SOLDIER…..and so on…..

  73. So…I finished WANDAVISION and….


    It has serious pacing issues which is saying something about a series which consists of only 9 half hour episodes. The problem largely stems from how much the writers think we enjoy being immersed in it’s DICK VAN DYKE/I LOVE LUCY/GROWING PAINS/FULL HOUSE/MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE sit-com pastiches. And turns out a little of that can go a long way, especially when every new revelation is followed by even more scenes of Wanda playing house and her kids’ “cutesy” hijinks. And when virtually EVERY goddamn person turns to the camera and speaks into it in one episode, I was about ready to check out.

    It’s a pity because with a little judicious pruning and a willingness to go dark, this could have been one hell of a show exploring loss and grief and the lengths to which we can go to reclaim lost time with a loved one. And Olsen, a naturally gifted performer could have sold it effortlessly. And thematically it would have made perfect sense too. A powerful but fragile psyche, reeling under the triple whammy of losing parents, sibling and finally lover, fractures and conjures up an idyllic Mayberry complete with resurrected partner and a loving family to boot but this fantasy comes with a price: The enslavement of literally hundreds all trapped in a private hell of pre-defined roles with no escape. The wounded, grief-stricken Hero now becomes a tragic Villain. Heady Stuff.

    So, naturally Disney pussyfoots around all of that, pulling out 3 Chickenshit Moves, 2 of which I fully expected:

    Chickenshit Move 1: LETTING WANDA OFF THE HOOK

    Yup, I totally expected this. The show not only gets a late-reveal baddie to place Wanda in a more sympathetic light, but Wanda herself is let off the hook with ZERO repercussions for mind-fucking hundreds of innocent people for days and weeks. And when Monica Rambeau (the character as written and played is a perfect Charisma Vacuum) tells Wanda…”These people will never know what you sacrificed for their freedom” I kinda tasted vomit in my mouth.
    White, male Authority figure however gets his just comeuppance, never fear. Given the complexity and depth accorded this character, who went from stern to condescending to outright being a dick, then a bigger dick culminating in attempted child-murder (because we need to convince the remaining 5 viewers in Zimbabwe who still harbor doubts about this character’s venality and more dangerously, may still be inclined to view him as a misguided and hopelessly outmatched official attempting to shut down the World’s Most Dangerous Mutant/Witch), this is as it should be.

    Chickenshit Move 2: White Vision/Anti-Vision

    Jesus, can NOBODY stay dead anymore? The catalyst for Wanda’s grief and mental breakdown and the poignancy underpinning the show, spectacularly neutered by having SWORD create another Vision. Who’s out there now flying about, figuring out the meaning of life and shit I guess.

    Chickenshit Move 3: Fake Pietro Gets Mandarin-ed

    So, the introduction of Evan Peters as Quicksilver isn’t an acknowledgement that Disney now owns Fox and hence it’s iteration of Pietro Maximoff, but a gigantic joke. Did you love it when The Mandarin turned out to be an out of work junkie actor? Prepare to split your sides when Fake Pietro is actually a basement-dwelling slob called Ralph Bohner. Get it? Bohner? Har har har hardy har.

    Ultimately, WANDAVISION is to me an intriguing but flawed experiment whose biggest bonus is that you can choose to skip it entirely as it sits, contrary to my initial guess, as a stand-alone, AGENTS OF SHIELD-style side episode to the movies.

  74. Yeah his coming back for good was essentially a foregone conclusion. I was hoping they would let Wanda just become kind of a villain like Willow did in that old Buffy tv show.

    As is, the studio that fired Gina Carano for having impure thoughts essentially just made the “What if Harvey Weinstein was Simply Misunderstood and Was Only Acting On His Insecurities: The Movie.”

  75. I mean, she’s exiled in a remote cabin like Thanos at the end. What should they have done, burn her at the stake? Hawkeye has killed a bunch of people. Iron Man was a war profiteer and then almost destroyed the entire world by building his dumb robot. Wanda herself considered herself a victim of collateral damage from whatever that was in AVENGERS 2 (I believe). These are larger than life characters, I think part of the conceit involves coming back from larger than life sins.

    But I agree that making her (and us) accept that Vision is permanently gone is a more thematically appropriate outcome that they could not do for commercial/audience pleasing reasons.

    p.s. Not accusing you, Muh, but when nobody knew Gina Carano was a bigoted asshole I couldn’t write about her without three dudes telling me she was the worst actor they’d ever seen. Suddenly every one of those dudes has strong opinions about who should be forced to give her jobs.

    (edit for clarification: this is an exaggerated, non-specific three dudes, there are not three specific dudes whose Carano attitudes I’ve been keeping track of)

  76. I’d also like to know what, exactly, could be done about it. If Wanda don’t feel like going to jail, Wanda ain’t going to jail. If you think that’s unfair, well, I guess we all learned a little something about power today.

  77. Oh yeah it’s hilarious how the conservatives have flipped on Carano. So no argument there. And it was always clear why they thought that way. I myself, as an enlightened man, had no problems with her. I didn’t think she was the BEST actor, but she was fine for the material she was doing. And I saw some of the Mandalorian and thought she was quite good in that (I know the same people who love her now were pissed that she was on the show).

    But it’s kind of weird how you and Mr. M are saying what could be done about it, as if Marvel writers have never pulled anything out of their ass before. Thanos wiped out half the universe and was unstoppable, what could possibly be done about that, clearly he won and that’s how the saga ended I suppose…I never saw the second one which I guess was his victory lap.

  78. You’re contradicting yourself. You admit that sometimes Marvel leaves things hanging until the next movie, yet you are also arguing under the premise that this story is completely finished. Don’t you think it’s possible that Wanda will be dealing with the fallout of her choices in this series the next time we see her, possibly in ways that will be slightly more dramatic and impactful than what could be accomplished in the last five minutes of an episode of TV?

  79. Well I can only clearly comment on what currently exists. So…hey, maybe!

    Although I’ve never said I LOVE the idea that you don’t get an actual narrative in a movie. I’ve made fun of having to watch or read a bunch of supplemental bullshit in order for a story to make sense. And your argument doesn’t really wash either…gee, how could they accomplish finishing a story in the last five minutes of the show? Make 10 episodes and deal with it.

  80. Maybe not waste three or four episodes on recreating old sitcoms with minuscule hints about what’s ‘really’ going on?

    I like Friday the 13th Part 2, but that doesn’t mean I want The Falcon And The Winter Soldier to spend two hours having Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie act it out with Baron Zemo as Jason.

  81. Yeah they clearly didn’t have enough time to fully tell that story with four episodes of mostly filler and they needed to fit it in the typical episode number of…9?

  82. See, this is the big division on the show. To me, the good part of the show is those sitcom episodes that are mostly separate from Marvel, use the characters in a different way, give these two actors way more to do than in the movies, and take advantage of (at times even comment on) the chosen medium. If that’s not interesting to you, then no, of course, don’t watch this, and just read the Slashfilm easter eggs post or whatever to find out what they say at the end so you know how it ties into the next thing.

    In other words, the three or four episodes that were to you (and many others) a waste of time were to me the only reason for the show to exist. The two at the end where they explain everything and do normal Marvel shit on a lower budget were the inevitable let down that I forgave because the journey there was interesting.

  83. I actually think the shows that to me gave it a reason to exist were the ones somewhat in the middle. Maybe it was one of the last two I don’t recall, but the one showing Wanda as a kid and then the stuff with her and Vision talking. The sitcom stuff was kind of okay cute and the stuff with typical Marvel stuff was bleh. I’m not the biggest fan of this stuff anyway (been watching with someone otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it at all), but it was okay. She liked it all quite a bit though.

    The next show with the Winter Solider looks to be more like typical Marvel.

  84. Hopefully it’s just a remake of Hardcastle and McCormick.

  85. “Hopefully it’s just a remake of Hardcastle and McCormick.”

    Or…Simon and Simon

  86. “Hawkeye has killed a bunch of people. Iron Man was a war profiteer and then almost destroyed the entire world by building his dumb robot.”

    Well, Hawkeye as Ronin mowed down members of the Cartel and Yakuza to work through his grief, not mind-enslave innocent citizens of suburbia.

    And it’s interesting you brought up Iron Man, because EVERY IM installment had Tony feel the full brunt of the repercussions brought on by his arrogance and narcissism.

    IM1: Sell weapons to both sides? Get kidnapped and held to ransom in a dank cave while forced to manufacture weapons by the very people you sold them to.

    IM2: Alienate the people you love through increasingly erratic behavior? Get your ass kicked by your best friend who steals your armor while your girlfriend freezes you out of the company and her life.

    IM3: Blow off an eager to please nerd who waits all night for you to show up while you nail the hot scientist? Have the nerd show up years later, kidnap your girlfriend, experiment on her, seriously injure your best friend/bodyguard/chauffeur and blow up your house.

    Age Of Ultron: Tinker with Infinity Stones whose powers you know nothing about in a grandiose attempt to protect the world? Create a Rogue Sentient AI who’s out to show the world A Very Bad Day.

    By comparison, getting a few glares from your understandably pissed victims, then self-exiling yourself to an idyllic cabin in the middle of Picture Postcard Country to sip coffee and work on your spells doesn’t exactly scream penitence to me.

    I must be in the minority because I sure as hell can’t understand this enormous wellspring of compassion and forgiveness accorded to Wanda when even in this same universe, the likes of Tony Stark, Thor, Peter Parker and Stephen Strange paid the price for hubris and poor judgement.

    But I guess what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander in the current narrative.

  87. I mean I don’t see a big difference between those examples, but I also don’t think the WandaVision story needs to be about Wanda dealing with the consequences of her actions during the WandaVision story. I’m not even totally sure what it is you’re asking for but obviously it’s not something that felt missing to me.

    However I do regret that I didn’t bring up that Loki probly killed millions of humans and later teamed up with the Avengers and walked around New York City and nobody gave a shit and is one of the most beloved characters.

  88. Vern, the bigger than average size bug I have up my ass is a script which is bold enough to shade it’s hero a few layers darker, then bends over backwards to exonerate her with ZERO accountability. But it’s my bug and my ass, so let’s just agree to disagree on this.

    P.S: With respect to Loki, oh this mass murderer paid for his dastardly deeds in many humiliating ways, none of which Wanda will endure and I’m willing to bet serious moolah on that. The biggest laugh in the cinema I saw THE AVENGERS in came when the Hulk smashed him 5 different ways, and from that point on the character was largely used as comic relief and a walking punchline in subsequent installments and I had no issues when Thanos finally snapped his neck and wasn’t exactly clamoring for his return. In fact the only thing that interests me about the upcoming Loki TV Show is how they’re gonna use good old Owen Wilson.

  89. I find that funny too when they try to turn mass murdering villains into heroes. Like the Fast and the Furious did that too. Although they DID end up bumping off Loki, although looks like they’ll retcon that too as usual.

    But here’s something…Loki was a murderer and reveled in his evilness and yet basically became a sort of good guy. You know who would never be able to be redeemed? The bad guy in Jessica Jones. Clearly he did more than simply control some minds, but he did less actual destruction than Loki did. But we see him as a skeezy rapey fucker. Which is correct.

  90. Muh, that’s why Killgrave is the best villain in the MCU. He was a moral threat, not just a physical one.

  91. For a minute there I thought they were going to redeem Kilgrave in Jessica Jones. In that episode where he and Jessica were teamed up and he was trying to show her he was good. At first I was all, are you fucking kidding me? Then they actually had great chemistry and I was still pissed but enjoyed it. Then I loved that they used it as a way of showing he was for sure, 100% an irredeemable monster.

  92. Ok, gotta say, after the muddled and morally murky WANDAVISION, FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER is more my speed. It’s LETHAL WEAPON, jacked up on high-tech and Super Soldier Serum.

    The action is decent, Mackie and Stan strike up a good rapport and so far, the patented Marvel brand of nudge-nudge, wink-wink, look we’re so self-aware style humor has been kept to a minimum. Let’s hope that continues.

  93. So… 4 episodes in, and I gotta say, when the script bothers to shut the fuck up with the relentless political pontificating (BLM, Refugees, authoritarian regimes blah blah fucking blah), THE FALCON AND WINTER SOLDIER’S plot twists and terrific action pretty much makes it my current favorite 45 mins of weekly TV.

    I’ll give it to the writers of these MCU shows. They achieve the rare feat of getting me increasingly annoyed with it’s heroes while developing a growing soft spot for the heels. Mackie’s Falcon has become a sappy bleeding heart while Sebastian Stan’s morose and moody routine is becoming old.

    But damn if Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo isn’t growing on me and if my sympathies aren’t starting to shift towards the series’ best character: Kurt Russell Jr’s deeply flawed, conflicted and incrementally dangerous Captain America.

    2 more episodes to go. Hope they stick the landing.

  94. And…lemme go out on a limb here and say in the 10 mins of screen time they get in this episode, the Dora Milage exhibit more savage bad-assery than the entire 2 hours of BLACK PANTHER. With the woman who told Black Widow in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR “Move, or you will be moved” leading the charge.

  95. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 9th, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    KayKay – I fully agree. Indeed the whole Flag Smasher thing is sappy and uninteresting – and really, really doesn’t feel like a proper justification for why Bucky would immediately help Zemo break out of prison – but it’s been fun watching Daniel Bruhl and as of this episode they really made Kurt Jr into a relatable character that you fully understand where he’s coming from. So I’m enjoying this more and more as it goes on.

    Bt the way, the Power Broker – that has to be just Zemo or something right? I don’t believe it’s Sharon, and I don’t think it’s gonna be a completely new character.

  96. Gaul-Yup, springing Zemo out of prison instead of using him ,Lecter-style to guide them while still incarcerated is one of the clunkier pieces of plotting in this show. Did Bucky really think he could keep a master schemer who practically broke up The Avengers and mind fucked him in the process on a short leash?

    The Flag Smashers storyline isn’t doing it for me, because I suspect my sympathies lie diametrically opposite to where the screenwriters expect them to be. Like WANDAVISION, this show generates some ridiculously unearned sympathy for it’s Badly Behaving Female. So, like 3 MCU second stringers automatically aligning with Wanda, here Falcon feels a sudden empathy for Karli in spite of the fact that she straight out murders people in her quest for a “borderless” (sic) world. Why? Don’t know. Because…cute Red Heads are deep down, really Nice People even when they’re engaging in really Bad Shit?

    Instead I’m drawn to the show’s current Mainstream Film’s Favorite Whipping Boy Archetype: Blonde, White, Straight, Male John Walker. A PTSD sufferer shoe-horned into a pair of huge size 20 ICONIC HERO boots he’s ill-equipped, physically or temperamentally to fill. But I’m guessing I’m supposed to hate this character.

    As for the Power Broker, I doubt it’s Zemo or Sharon, they’ve promised a Surprise Actor Cameo who’ll most likely be it.

  97. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 15th, 2021 at 5:07 am

    Ah, I didn’t know a surprise cameo had been promised. I was just looking at episode 3 on Disney+ and it’s a picture of Zemo with the title of the ep “Power Broker”right next to him, so I thought it may be a “hiding in plain sight” kind of thing.

    As for the villains, I agree – Walker is way more interesting than Karli, and I think it’s because he’s much more clearly defined. Like I said above, you know exactly where he’s coming from, what he wants, why he felt it was necessary to use the serum. Sure, he’s a bit of a dick (he interrupts Falcon’s chat with Karli for no reason other than the show needing to remind us that he’s really an asshole, you guys, ugh don’t you hate this dude?) but he makes sense.

    Karli wants there to be a place for people coming back from the blip and for there to be no borders (not entirely sure why), but I’ve got no clue what the big plan is, outside of helping people out by giving them supplies or a place to stay or whatever. Her suddenly killing people felt completely out of place and contradicting everything else we’ve seen of her. She makes no sense, she’s not interesting, making it impossible to care about the character.

    Also, how the fuck do you smash a flag?

  98. I haven’t really written about F&TWS because I think it’s only okay and I don’t want to rain on someone’s parade. To me it sometimes seems almost on the level of the movies – whatever that city was was pretty cool, and it was fun to see the Dora Milaje. But the well-meaningness of using The Blip to deal with the subject of refugees is wasted on the bland genericness of every character, every setting, every mopey scene involving them. It just seems like a bad episode of Agents of SHIELD, at best.

    But I do think Falcon’s attempt to talk to Karli is in character and taking advantage of how he’s different from the other Marvel heroes.

  99. I’m enjoying it, particularly the extra attention given to Bucky, who I have started identifying with to an alarming degree. I agree that Karli’s motivations are a bit ambiguous, but I have no problem with it. She’s young, traumatized, idealistic, and self-rightous, but she’s not a criminal mastermind. She’s blundering around in the dark with powers she doesn’t understand and lofty goals she has no real way to implement. That’s why Sam’s sympathy is understandable; she’s in way over her head and headed for certain destruction. Thanos she is not.

    I have hated Wyatt Russell since the first time I saw him (he seems like the kind of guy who buys roofies in bulk) so I think he’s perfect as Fake Cap. He’s yet another overcompensating wannabe alpha male who’s failed upward into a position where his frustrated ego can cause real damage. The fact that some viewers sympathize with this entitled man-child but not the disenfranchised refugee who is lashing out at the system that took her home away is very telling. The violent, selfish white man deserves a thousand second chances but you can’t work up any empathy at all for a traumatized young woman who makes mistakes while trying to help people. Some real “Sure, you can protest injustice but just don’t break any windows” energy there.

    I will say that, unlike WANDAVISION, it’s not a story that particularly needs to be a TV show. They could have easily fit this story into a movie with some judicious trimming, and then we wouldn’t have like 80 consecutive minutes of screentime where they forget that Falcon’s entire deal is that he can fly. But then I guess the internet wouldn’t get its gifs. Giffability seems to be the only metric the internet has for a project’s success these days so by that measure this show is basically CITIZEN KANE.

  100. Is it? I haven’t seen one single gif or meme from that show yet, to the point where I wondered if anybody is even watching it. Although I admit that I don’t hang out at the spots where memes and gifs are king, but it was impossible to escape Baby Yoda and random WANDAVISION stills. But its lack of watercoolertalkfactor, outside of the usual “We recap it because it’s on” websites, is odd. Maybe I’m in the wrong bubble for that one.

  101. Two words: Dancing Zemo.

  102. I’ve seen a gif or meme, don’t remember which, of Sam and Bucky both saying, “No!” But that’s it.

  103. I had to google Dancing Zemo. Seriously, that video seemed to me more like Disney actually trying to desperately make it go viral and failed. At least from my side. Again, won’t rule out that I just am outside the show’s bubble, but normally these things are harder to escape. I pretty much know the whole story of WANDAVISION already, without having seen it or even trying to google spoilers, while all I know about this show, is that it stars Falcon, The Winter Soldier and Zemo. Which is kinda cool, to be honest.

  104. “The fact that some viewers sympathize with this entitled man-child but not the disenfranchised refugee who is lashing out at the system that took her home away is very telling.”

    It’s telling of piss poor writing which seeks to manipulate my sympathies and failing spectacularly. I’m certainly not hard-wired to give white male characters a thousand second chances any more than I’m willing to give women and minority characters a pass for doing equally shitty things because of some perceived course-correction for decades of marginalization.

    So, am in synch with Gaul that it’s easier to sympathize while not condoning the actions of John Walker, because it’s a much better written character whose motivations are so much clearer. Attributes which made him an asset in some war torn Hot Zone where the line between morality and expedience is frequently blurred, is now a liability in the current geopolitical real world where tact, compassion and objectivity matter as much as brute strength. He’s clearly not up to the job, his arrogance, lack of emotional intelligence and fragile ego coupled with some obvious signs of PTSD taking a solid pounding by being outsmarted and bested at every turn. And when his best friend and comrade in arms is killed by Karli, I can understand how that’s the tipping point into the full blown berserker rage he flies into. When he gets his ass handed to him by the Dora Milage, the look of sheer frustration and impotence on his face coupled with the line “They weren’t even Super soldiers!” gives me more insight into this character’s state of mind than Karli’s bloviating nonsense about some world without borders shit, which again boils down to poor writing.

    Because, 4 episodes in, and I’m STILL unclear about the whole Blip/Refugee thing. So, basically, when half the world’s population disappeared, no cartels rushed in to fill the power vacuum, and Planet Earth came together in a Kumbaya moment to eradicate geographical and racial borders? And when the missing people got blipped back, then we all reverted to being the selfish, power mad, xenophobic, war-mongering, destructive and natural-resource plundering assholes we’ve always been? And refugees were those who got kicked out of homes they occupied when the real owners came back and relegated to internment camps? So basically, kicked out of OTHER people’s homes you occupied? This is so poorly thought out, any vestige of sympathy I may have had for some roided out Greta Thunberg that’s spearheading this fight for equality and supposed to sell this narrative evaporates as quickly as my comprehension of TENET in it’s last 60 mins.

    A script needs to wow me with it’s writing not it’s writer’s Agenda.

  105. No, the Dancing Zemo thing was definitely a meme before Disney leaned into it. That said, I think Disney has a strong grasp of the memeability of their products and probably have Dancing Zemo bobbleheads rolling down an factory assembly line as we speak. They don’t want to get caught with their pants down again like they did with Baby Yoda.

  106. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 15th, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    What KayKay said. Also, it’s just a simple matter of entertainment, it’s about what’s more interesting and fun to watch. For me personally a villain like Walker is just way more fun to see fight our heroes than the conflicted refugee with ambiguous intentions. When it comes to action often times I just like watching the strong guys punch the other strong guy. I’m simple like that.

  107. “Seriously, that video seemed to me more like Disney actually trying to desperately make it go viral and failed.” CJ – from what I understand, it’s just the opposite. I wasn’t part of the crowd clamoring for it, so I’m not 100% sure. The episode with Zemo dancing was just a little clip and the internet lost its mind and demanded the full scene of him dancing be released. I think they even tried to pull Daniel Bruhl into it and he just got confused about why anyone would want that. Disney gave in (I’m sure they were very happy to do so) and released it.

  108. “When it comes to action often times I just like watching the strong guys punch the other strong guy.”

    Gaul, I’m no different. When it boils down to it, I’m pretty meat and potatoes where my action movies are concerned. SOCIAL COMMENTARY and POLITICAL SUBTEXT can both link hands and take a long walk to nowhere for all I fucking care. I just wanna see men and women kick the ever loving shit out of one another in an exquisitely choreographed flurry of flying feet and fists.

    I also like to see shit blow up and prefer people shoot 2-handed, in slow motion with a couple of flying doves circling above.

    So, I was just thrilled when Ep 5 simply opens with an epic 3 way fight. Of course, they slow things down for some time out in preparation for the no doubt explosive finale next week. The political commentary is back on unfortunately, but Sam and Bucky bonding over shield-throwing, the John Walker scenes and the sight of Julia Louis Dreyfus doing a rather sinister version of Elaine from Seinfeld was all good.

  109. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 17th, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    KayKay, I fully agree, that opening fight was great – although by watching the trailer for the last 2 eps I was kind of expecting/hoping this to be part of the finale. To me it was the main moment I was waiting for and it kind of feels like the season has peaked now and we’re just left with wrapping up the flag smasher stuff. Obviously they’re setting Walker up for future developments but it seems like that won’t play a large part in the finale. I could be wrong though.

    I am a little disappointed with Zemo – unless it was his plan all along to get captured again (like dozens of villains before him). But if this is it, that’s pretty underwhelming. I thought this guy would be a threat.

    Lastly, was Elaine the previously mentioned surprise cameo? Meaning that wasn’t reserved for the Power Broker after all and Sharon is still in the running (not sure what she’s up to with Batroc).

  110. For me this was one of the better episodes. The opening fight was cool story-wise, although mediocre action wise. In my opinion, someone who believes a fight should be shot mostly from the waist up is a person who should choose another subject matter and give the job to a reasonable person. (The Captain America movies often commit this same crime.) The narrative was all over the place but way more fun than the tighter episodes because getting pulled off of The Case of the Scary Flag Smashers gave us so much more of Sam and Bucky as characters. I like their developing friendship, especially Bucky coming to a better understanding of the shield situation and apologizing to Sam.

    And that was a nice little moment when Zemo told Bucky he crossed his own name out of his book.

    So what do you think the Wakandans made him? At first I was thinking improved wings, but duh, it’s gotta be a shield, right? I hope it’s a red black and green Captain America shield. Also, speaking of shields, how the fuck would Walker’s cosplay shield hold up in battle? Or does he have spare vibranium in his garage?

  111. Yeah, definitely a Shield is what I think the Wakandans gifted Sam. As for Walker, he’s snapped. At this point I don’t think he gives a shit if his shield is papier mache. He’s Captain America dammit!

    Gaul, yeah am a little disappointed Zemo’s been taken out of the picture. But that could be so they can roll him out for Black Panther 2 or any of the other MCU flicks down the road. He’s officially graduated to MVP status. Elaine is the surprise cameo but she ain’t the Power Broker, just one of his people. There’s certainly a lot to wrap up in the last episode (Flag Smashers, Walker, Power Broker, Batroc, Sharon etc etc) so am guessing some loose threads are gonna be left.

  112. I figured it was a new Captain America costume, but I like the idea of a new shield even better. It would be a way for Sam to honour Captain America’s legacy while also creating something new and distinct. Would tie in nicely to that great scene between Isaiah and Sam.

    JLD as Madame Hydra is some inspired casting. My guess is that she’s the anti-Nick-Fury recruiting for the Thunderbolts, and John Walker will join the team as US Agent.

    I guess Sharon Carter is the Power Broker, even though it makes zero sense.

    PS – In the comics, Torres becomes the new Falcon when Sam steps up to become Captain America, so I figure that’s what is happening when Sam hands over the wings to him.

  113. You guys are nuts. There’s no way Sam lets anyone else wield Steve’s shield ever again. What would be the point of all this rigamarole about what it represents if he can just use any any old goddamn hunk of metal his buddy feels like picking up for him on the way home?

    It’s a suit. It won’t be, but it should be a Captain America wing suit. Why does becoming Cap mean Sam has to stop flying? Why not combine skillsets? It’s not like he’s working with a whole lot, power-wise. It seems like a winged Cap would be the best of both worlds.

  114. I agree that he should be Falcon America, but if he has the choice of a badass shield made *by Wakandans* specifically for him then it puts more weight on his decision to carry the stars and stripes instead. (And I hope he can convince Isaiah that it doesn’t make him a sellout.)

  115. I disagree. According to the logic of this story, he either carries the shield and accepts his part in the Captain America legacy, for better or worse, or he doesn’t. Having some other shield sidesteps the issue and makes everything we’ve seen far pointless. He hasn’t struggled this whole time with the burden of becoming Captain Wakanda.

  116. Oh, you’re saying he should turn down an alternative shield? That sounds like a lot of shoe leather for little purpose

    Also there is no way in hell Bucky encourages him to carry a different shield. He feels bad for trying to force him to take it without understanding the issues behind it, but he still thinks Sam is the only one who can carry it. And having someone carry on Steve’s legacy is important to Bucky. He wouldn’t suddenly change his mind about that.

    Also I don’t think Wakandans just give out vibranium like that. To me, this whole alternate shield idea is a dead end all around.

  117. We’ll see. I’m often wrong about these things. But Wakanda made the original shield, the entire episode is about the conflict of a Black man carrying that shield, and ends with Sam staring into the box in awe as if what he’s looking at is important to the episode and not, like, a new gimmick for him to use. But I suppose them making him a Captain America suit (and putting it in a giant box like a bunch of fuckin weirdos) is the way to tell that story if you also need to cover for his lack of super strength.

    The funniest choice would be if it was the Black Panther suit. See how that goes over.

  118. I see where you’re coming from. It would be a bold and welcome choice in a different context for the black hero to reject the legacy and iconography of the past and forge a new identity utilizing elements of his own cultural ancestry. But even though the title says THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, CAPTAIN AMERICA is the brand name. Having Sam reject the shield would mean rejecting that brand name. And Disney is not having that. The answer to the question “Is it even worth being Captain America?” can be complicated, but it sure as hell can’t be “No.” and I wouldn’t want it to be. America has more red in its ledger than black these days, but I’m not ready for our mightiest heroes to give up in it entirely. Which is what Sam not wielding Steve’s shield would say. I cannot in a million years see that happening.

    Besides, Sam has a shield. He doesn’t have a suit. It’s a suit.

  119. Okay, but I hope it’s a red black and green suit.

  120. Agreed. With wings.

  121. I had that same conversation with my friend about it not being a shield. I thought *maybe* it was wings, but ultimately think it’s a suit or something else I haven’t thought of yet. He’s gotta have something more than just a suit and a shield. He’s not a super soldier so he needs something to give him an edge. That’s why I still think it might be wings. But it seemed like he’s passing the mantle of being the falcon to that other guy so who knows.

  122. The original shield was made by Howard Stark, not Wakanda (though it was made of vibranium, which comes from Wakanda).

  123. JTS – Ah, fuck. They didn’t steal it from Wakanda, did they? (I don’t think anybody could.)

    Maggie – Now that I’ve been convinced it could be a suit, I figure it could have that thing Shuri invented where it absorbs the power of being hit and can use it to enhance strength. But maybe she wouldn’t give that to an American.

  124. Howard Stark made the original shield from Vibranium he “found” in “deepest Africa”, but that one was destroyed during INFINITY WAR. The current shield, the one Captain America gives to Falcon at the end of the movie, is a new one he picked up during his off-screen time-travel adventures. Steve Rogers seems like the kind of guy who would go the extra mile to get a shield that had been made from sustainably-sourced, fair-trade Vibranium.

  125. I thought his original shield was destroyed by Tony in CIVIL WAR. Then he had a weird littler shield. Then Tony brought him another one, or perhaps repaired the one he broke, when he showed up to help with the time heist.

  126. Sorry, hit send too soon. Did his shield get destroyed again in the final battle with Thanos? Did he not have it when he jumped back in time and never came back until he was an old man?

  127. Yeah, Cap’s shield gets a little dinged up in CIVIL WAR and he abandons it at the end of the movie. During INFINITY WAR the Wakandans hook him up with a little shield/arm bracer thing. In ENDGAME Tony Stark fixes up his shield and returns it. Thanos busts it in half during the final battle and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have it when he goes back in time, just the Infinity Stones and Thor’s hammer.

  128. What if the shield is radioactive from time travel and is responsible for Walker going crazy? Steve Rogers must be brought to justice. TIMECOP 3.

  129. I mean, it looks like the LOKI TV series is basically the MCU version of TIMECOP, except I bet Tom Hiddleston can’t do the splits over a kitchen counter. Advantage TIMECOP.

  130. So, the fact that old man Steve has a shield suggests that he did heroic stuff after going back to the past. I’m guessing on the DL. Oh man, I’d really, really love a further adventures of Cap and Peggy Carter movie but I don’t think it’ll happen.

  131. LOKI the Series = NO Ron Silver and Mia Sara


  132. Apropos of nothing, anyone catch the SHANG-CHI trailer? For me….

    The Good: Kung Fu comes to the MCU! And Tony Leung! And it’s the Tony Leung I like!

    The Bad: Did they just rip-off SPEED?

    The Ugly: Fights deep-dunked in so much wire-fu and CGI ought to be illegal.

  133. I thought the movie looks pretty generic (Although it’s just the trailer, so that doesn’t mean shit), but it’s nice that they didn’t go the Russo Brothers route with their action scenes . I don’t mind the wirework, since it’s an honored martial arts movie tradition and since it’s a fantasy movie, they can add as much CGI as they want.

  134. Oh I don’t mind the wire-fu either. Read the comics as a teenager and Shang-Chi IS a Kung Fu Supremo so I’d expect something along the lines of Woo Ping’s work in Once Upon A Time in China or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. But the CGI here, laid on with a trowel, gives the character a weightlessness which makes it look very artificial, like some of the fights in Blade II.

    But let me not sound like one of those 20 minute YouTube channels breaking down a 3 second fight in a 2 minute trailer and just wait for the finished product.

  135. Ok…not gonna spoil anything for those who haven’t watched it but (big sigh of relief) THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER sticks it’s landing, some mild turbulence but largely a pleasant touchdown.

    Some nail-chewing moments in the action scenes, and some of genuine emotional heft in the quieter ones.

    I will agree with the opinion that with some judicious pruning, this could have actually been a kick ass 3 hour flick. All in all, the best time I’ve had in a Disney+ offering NOT called THE MANDALORIAN.

  136. This comes up all the time, but I still do a double take every time someone uses “wire fu” as a complaint. Like, are wires not used in the majority of great martial arts movies throughout history? I love people flying around. I prefer that to realistic, for the most part. And if somebody tried to make the martial arts movie for the Marvel Universe and felt it was important to be grounded and realistic that person would be, in my opinion, pretty much a criminal. I don’t doubt that somebody would try that shit but they should be barred from participation in public life. OF COURSE this should pay tribute to the classic wuxia films.

  137. Let the record reflect that Majestyk was correct that it was a suit and that I was nuts for thinking it was gonna be a shield. For the first half of the episode I was pretty torn between thinking it was great and meaningful that he was Captain America and fretting that they had completely skipped over the issue of Isaiah basically telling him he would be a pathetic sellout if he became Captain America. Fortunately they cover that after the battle and it was good stuff and I was moved when they hugged. (Also that was cold when the nephew or whatever called him “White Falcon.”)

    So it was a good ending, although I was left with many questions that don’t necessarily seem like cool ambiguities. Like – isn’t Captain America an official government sanctioned title and not just something he can declare himself? Are the wings supposed to be some kind of more advanced vibranium version, and if not why did Bucky bother the Wakandans with a dumb suit? Did everybody forget that Walker fucking brutally murdered a man in front of the world? Or do they just forgive him?

    In the non-question realm, I don’t think the movies or show ever established Sharon enough as a character for her betrayal to mean much, but as a fan of the Peggy Carter show I’m very disappointed in her shitty niece shaming the family name.

  138. My praise for John Walker as a character has been echoed tirelessly (some would contend, tiresomely) around these parts, but even I balked when…..


    After his rescue of the hostages, he’s suddenly One Of The Boys, even trading quips with Bucky?

    WTF Bucky? For 5 episodes, you’ve viewed him with a mixture of suspicion, derision and outright hostility, but one rescue attempt and he’s suddenly Cash to your Tango?

    But I guess both “Baddies” got off light. One died a “Hero”, the other lived long enough to be Acceptable.

  139. After Wandavision showed you can torture hundreds of people to the point of begging for death and still be a hero, Walker killing one dude is small potatoes. It’s like saying ‘ass’ on TV. Sure, it was big deal when George Carlin did it, but nowadays it’s in movie trailers.

  140. EVERYONE: Superhero movies are fascist and simplistic and childish with their black-and-white depictions of right and wrong.

    MARVEL: Creates depictions of characters who embody both heroic and villainous traits and neither fully rewards nor punished them for their actions but treats them as flawed individuals who still have mistakes to atone for.

    EVERYONE: No, not like that.

  141. I never watched a Thor movie and thought “man, this could use more torture. Why isn’t Thor torturing anybody? Can’t stand that none of these innocent people are begging to be allowed to see their children.”

  142. I like that Wanda is flawed (especially since the show made her so much more interesting than the movies did). I don’t think Walker murdering a guy on behalf of the USA and the world, including the heroes of the show who represent higher standards, seeming to forget it ever happened like 3 days later falls into the same category. Especially since this is the first Marvel thing to try to directly address contemporary issues like housing discrimination and racial profiling. I think they should at least use it to make a point about representatives of the government getting away with murder, but it comes across to me like it just doesn’t fit into the MCU plans to deal with the consequences.

  143. But consequences would make the movies less (as nerds like to use capitalization FUN! These movies are FUN! Yes they can touch on things but in the end drinking out of the endless sludge trough is what fans want. No one cares, like how the murderer Jason Statham is now one of the family after murdering their friend. Cause FUN!

    Having said THAT, I do have to disagree with Vern about wire fu. I don’t mind them when used judiciously, as I think Crouching Tiger did wonderfully…lots of flying but for the most part when it was fight time, it was grounded and real. More realistic than Jet Li doing a modern day movie like Romeo Must Die and flying around like an idiot because some suit thought it was hip. But in general, wires were used for specific movies a lot but they weren’t used for large sections of kung either…from time to time to accentuate (even Jackie used them) but not as the main attraction. I mean the 70s were straight up kung fu. In the 60s they used trampolines a lot. In the 80s specifically late 80s and 90s it seems like it really became a craze. But to me I’d rather watch Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Lau Kar Leung, Chang Cheh movies, Sammo Hung, Bruce Leung (especially when working with See Yuen Ng), Donnie Yen. Wire fu is really like it’s own subgenre of martial arts movies.

  144. I think the way they handled John Walker is one of my favourite things about the show. They could have easily made him a right-wing caricature, but instead they he was a flawed guy who wants to do good but isn’t up to the task, and his actions in the finale reflect that. And I like the post-fight bantering with Bucky… of course he would sympathise with Walker’s position of having done bad things but trying to atone. And I don’t know how you can view Walker being recruited by a shady government(?) official to be a shitty black-ops Captain America as a redemption arc. Even if you aren’t familiar with her comic book origins, Val is clearly up to no good and does not have Walker’s interests at heart.

    I’m less enthused about how half-assed Karli’s arc was. I know we’re supposed to see her as an in-over-her-head idealist who gradually gets radicalised, but never once was she convincing as a ruthless or charismatic leader. For the amount of screentime they spent on it, everything about the Flag Smashers and the GRC was vague and unsatisfying. And Sharon Carter as the Power Broker makes no goddamn sense whatsoever.

  145. For all the talk of Flawed Characters, how much of a pass they get for doing essentially shitty things all depend on how they slot into MCU’s precision-managed Road Map.

    Killmonger: Hey, my agenda was righteous, all I wanted was for these bloody Wakandans to stop behaving like Africa’s One-Percenters and share their bounty with their people across the world who’re 10 times poorer and 20 times more persecuted. Plus, I kicked T’Challa’s ass, without Purple Flower Juice and ooze Bad-Ass and Attitude.

    Marvel: Yeah, but we have BLACK PANTHER 2 in production, so… sorry, we’re gonna throw in some shit about how you’re also planning mass genocide and off you. But hey…CREED, right?

    Wanda: In my grief and anger at losing someone I love, coming so soon after losing my only brother, my unstable Psyche just transformed a sleepy town into my own little Sitcom world and mind-enslaved it’s residence to be it’s co-stars. Ooops…sorrryyyy!

    Marvel: You naughty girl..but you’re booked for DOCTOR STRANGE 2, and you’re a bona fide Avenger to boot! So, just lay low at this scenic cabin for awhile. Don’t forget to work on your spells, girl! See ya soon!

    Director Hayward: Look, I was overzealous and more than a little arrogant in discharging my duties but I genuinely thought the Most Powerful Mutant In The World needed to be stopped and that town full of zombies freed so I made some bad judgement calls….

    Marvel : Fuck off. We’ll send you a postcard in prison. Plus…we’re also making you a child murderer in the last act, just so we don’t need to ever use you again.

    Karli: Look, I was just Greta Thunberg on Secret Sauce, with a noble but terribly misguided and naive notion to create a world without borders and end oppression. I murdered a bunch of people because…dammit! Nobody was taking me seriously!

    Marvel: Sorry, girl. You’re a one off. But tell you what, we’re gonna have The Falcon give you a rousing send off via an eulogy so excruciatingly drawn out, it makes Seagal’s save the environment speech at the end of ON DEADLY GROUND a model of brevity.

    John Walker: I’m a PTSD-suffering ex-combat veteran, thrust into a role I’m ill-equipped mentally and emotionally to handle, armed only with a Shield and a shit-ton of publicity. My ONE friend and comrade-in-arms was brutally killed by the Flag Smashers, so yeah, I snapped and took out one of those assholes with extreme prejudice.

    Marvel: Acknowledged, Soldier. We got plans for you. Report for Costume Change, Re-Designation and New Orders. Dismissed.

    Loki: Look I know I’ve done some bad things….

    Marvel: You’re got that cool English accent and enunciate like a Shakespearean Thespian, so anything you say sounds suave, witty and charming. You’re Mark Strong, but less threatening. We’ll kill you, but will keep finding ways to bring you back.

  146. Why you’re right, more interesting characters often DO get more extensive redemption arcs. This is certainly something worth being performatively cynical about.

  147. Did I miss where it was shown that Walker had PTSD? I mean, it’s a fair assumption that a soldier who saw a lot of shit would, but I don’t remember anything that pointed to it specifically.

  148. As far as I recall, they never showed him dealing with PTSD, he just talks about having it in episode five after he’s committed murder.

  149. Moreso than WANDAVISION, FATWS felt like an exercise in moving the pieces around so they’re in the right place for the next movie. I thought it was entertaining and when it worked it really worked, but some pieces are handled more deftly than others.

    I don’t think they mention PTSD by name, but I think it’s pretty clearly set up as one of things that cause Walker’s adverse reaction to the super-serum. He has a discussion with Lemar about being uncomfortable with the “things we had to do in Afghanistan” to earn the Medals of Honor, and about that incident being the “worst day of [his] life”.

  150. I think you nailed it, Crusty. FALCON AND ETC tried to do an awful lot, and some of it didn’t totally work (the Flag Smashers are interesting conceptually but there’s nothing compelling about the way they’re presented) but the parts that do work do so really well. Mackie and Stan had instant chemistry just from their extremely brief interactions in CAP 2 (seriously, the shot of them both smiling as Steve finally kissed Sharon is probably my favorite part of the movie) and the show really played off that well. Watching these two lugs slowly admit (if not in words) that they love and respect each other above all others was very satisfying. Just having a white superhero admit that he’s fought both nazis and space gods and been in world wars and survived death twice and still doesn’t know shit about what a black man goes through just walking the streets of the United States…that moved me. That’s the kind of hero we need: motherfuckers who are strong enough to know when they need to listen. I’m not gonna let a kinda weak villain ruin all that.

    I would also like to finally admit that Wyatt Russell’s complete and utter lack of charm, charism, and a face you don’t constantly want to punch is a feature, not a bug. I have always been amazed that the offspring of two of the most likable people who ever lived could come off so utterly odious in every way in everything he’s in, but even that worked in his favor when playing a guy who means well but is simply ill equipped to fill the shoes he’s been thrust into. Perfect casting.

    The overall plot was definitely less engaging on its own than WANDAVISION’s, but I think I’ll remember this as more of a hangout show with occasional fight scenes than an action thriller. I liked all the downtime these constantly on-the-go characters got to enjoy. I hate parties, but even I wouldn’t turn down an invite to that cookout in the finale. It made this frozen old winter soldier smile.

  151. Wait, that part was in CIVIL WAR. Still my favorite part of the movie.

  152. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 28th, 2021 at 7:12 am

    Wyatt Russell wasn’t “utterly odious” in OVERLORD, was he? I remember really liking him in that and seeing potential for the future. He’s no Kurt, but who is?

  153. I think Wandavision is about ten times better as a piece of carefully crafted storytelling. It’s much more focused, more original, uses the medium in ways that are new and that take advantage of it not being a movie. Falcon, on the other hand, is all over the place and seems like a hybrid of the movies and of crappy TV shows. At its best it seems the same as the movies and more often it seems like either Agents of SHIELD or a longer, sloppier, cheaper version of the movies. BUT – I’m much more into the characters of Falcon and the Winter Soldier than I am into Wanda and Vision. So the hang out aspect of the show did make it fun. I hope their next movie or TV show or pog or whatever is more consistent and better constructed, but I enjoyed watching this one.

  154. Gaul: I forgot he was in OVERLORD, but then again I forgot everything about OVERLORD except that it totally wasted its premise. So I guess I’ll give him a pass on that one.

  155. He was in OVERLORD? He’s literally the only character I can’t remember. I went through my head saying, he’s not that guy, he’s not that guy, he’s not that guy, who the fuck was he?

  156. Maj, if you found the CHARACTER of John Walker odious, then I think Wyatt Russell did his job and delivered a great performance. If you find WYATT RUSSELL odious, well then…he must be doing to you what Jared Leto does to me.

  157. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 28th, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    It’s funny, I’m not a huge fan of OVERLORD by any means and only remember about two guys from it, the villain played by the Game of Thrones dude, and Russell. He was the badass leader of the American soldiers, the guy who fights the main villain at the end and sacrifices himself. I remember realizing he was Kurt’s son and thinking he was pretty good for that type of role.

  158. I think I first became aware of him in GOON 2, where he was so loathsome that he’s practically unwatchable. He was also apparently in EVERYBODY WANTS SOME, but I also can’t really hold that against him because I hated every single character in that movie except the one character all the other characters hate, and only because he was hatable in a funny way and not a smug way. That movie is DAZED & CONFUSED if everybody was Ben Affleck.

    Mostly I think I just don’t like his face. At least he’s leaning into it, I guess.

  159. I’ll still take him over Scott Fucking Eastwood though. Russell has an inherently repulsive quality to him, but at least it’s a quality. Eastwood has no qualities at all. He’s the type of guy you’d introduce yourself to and he’d say, “Actually, we’ve met. I’ve had dinner at your house three times” and you’d apologize and he’d say “Don’t worry about it. It happens all the time.” He’s a glass of room temperature tap water. He’s low-fat cottage cheese.

    To be honest I don’t know why we’re even fucking with any of these milquetoast celebrity scions when this utter fucking champion is languishing in obscurity.

    Weston Cage Coppola - IMDb

    Weston Cage Coppola, Soundtrack: Drive Angry. Weston Cage Coppola was born on December 26, 1990 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Weston Coppola Cage. He is an actor, known for Drive Angry (2011), Joe (2013) and Lord of War (2005). He has been married to Hila Aronian since April 28, 2018. He was previously married to Danielle Cage and Nikki Williams.

  160. Damn the universe blessed Nic Cage with a son that could play a Superman if he cleaned up. It’s kismet.

  161. He looks like the star of a softcore adapatation of DRACULA and I am down with it.

  162. On Discovery, the newest incarnation of Spock is played by Gregory Peck’s son. I’ve enjoyed his performance.

  163. Have you guys seen that the director of Falcon and Winter Soldier said the goal was to get everyone to like John Walker by the end of the season and that they think that goal was accomplished? Uh…

  164. The Undefeated Gaul

    May 1st, 2021 at 3:00 am

    I just read that, and the reason is supposed to be because he’s earnest and he makes the right choice at the end. Yeah, that’s a bit much. I do like the character in the sense that he’s interesting, but the redemption stuff at the end is actually the least interesting thing about him and makes me like him less.

    BTW, has anyone on here with Amazon Prime been watching INVINCIBLE? I know the premise (what if Superman… was bad?) sounds derivative and is already being done with THE BOYS and lots of other things, but I watched it anyway and it was so much better than I expected. Quite an achievement for an animated show to engage me like this and bring the same level of excitement as a “proper” show. They just announced two more seasons which makes me very, very happy.

  165. Since this comment thread has been hijacked at least twice for a Marvel TV show, it seems only fitting…..

    I gotta say, 3 episodes in, LOKI simply isn’t ringing any bells in my cathedral. But I sure hope Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson both have personal physio therapists on set, cause their shoulders are definitely going to need some serious massaging from the strain of having to carry this (so far) pedestrian show.

    The problem is, it’s central conceit, of a staid, bureaucratic organization policing some out-of-this-world space time continuum shit has been done numerous times. And when you spend your pilot episode replaying scenes from 2 AVENGERS flicks and THOR DARK WORLD, for an in-built audience that’s probably watched all 23 movies 6 times each and is cognizant with all it’s narrative threads backward and sideways, I’ve gotta wonder just how much faith it’s makers have with this show.

    But Hiddleston and Wilson’s Riggs-Murtaugh repartee is marvelous. I can hear those dulcet British tones bounce off that laidback surfer drawl all day.

  166. Ok, without spoiling anything, I’ll say SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME is lots of fun, but also realize much of that is owing to some epic levels of Nostalgia Whimsy it’s banking on milking from it’s audience. But given that I haven’t been the biggest fan of this MCU-spawned version of the Web Head, and found the previous 2 installments middling at best, this one actually manages a decent balance between the epic set pieces and the more intimate scenes, a few of which carry some surprisingly resonant heft.

    But in it’s absolute bonkers cast, and inter-connecting storylines ported over from multiple mediums, it’s also Disney’s most muscle-flexing, dick-waving statement: WE OWN EVERYTHING

  167. SPOILER-Man
    Warns of SPOILERS wherever he can

    (My post below will have SPOILERS for the motion pictures SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME and xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE)

    So yeah, big surprise, HUGE surprise, the pay off to all the cutsey “Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield aren’t in this movie! But maybe they are…no they aren’t, we swear ;)” stuff is that they are in fact in the movie. But Kirsten Dunst isn’t :(

    Was anyone else put out by how little Andrew Garfield seemed like he was playing the same character from his two previous films? Kinda both he and Tobey Maguire and so many of the returning characters feel like they’ve become a lot more MCU-ish self-deprecating jokesters, but it really struck me with Garfield in particular. Despite that, the film also has a couple of big moments that rely on you having seen THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, one of which plays off of his relationship with Jamie Foxx’s Electro, who also feels like a completely different character. Part of me thinks this is weird multi-corporate hubris, part of me kind of likes this non-gatekeepy approach to the cinematic Spider-Man legacy; “oh you think AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 is a BATMAN & ROBIN-level embarrassment and you only want to think about SPIDER-MAN 3 in relation to memes, well what do you think of this?!?” It’s not quite Darius Stone turning up in THE REVENGE OF XANDER CAGE, but it’s something.

    The attitude towards the previous Spider-Men and their films is kind of weird. “Gosh those were kind of silly and small and not as self-aware as we are! But still those guys are great! You should spend money revisiting them! But we’re the best! But remember where we came from!”. Maguire even gives Garfield the Bart Simpson/Jay Sherman “I think all kids should watch your show!” treatment. I lose track of what’s going on between Disney and Sony with these Spider flicks, who is actually making them and who is making the money from them and want not, but it feels like there’s a battle of corporate muscle flexes going on on screen.

    The movie as a whole is fine. It’s pretty much what you expect from a film by the MCU’s most journeyman director bringing in elements from the Rami and Webb films. It will hit probably hit the audience it’s going for the way it’s supposed to.

    So is Maguire going to be suiting up again for Sam Rami’s MORE DOCTOR STRANGE? Because that would be the thing to get really excited for right? Not least as this movie reminded me that character kind of sucks. Fucking transatlantic voiced, stupid finger movements, instantly mastering disciplines FUCK!

    Was he mean?
    Listen bud
    He’s a rare millennial MCU grump
    Sharing thoughts, in a thread
    Take a look overhead
    Hey, there
    There goes the SPOILERS-MAN!

  168. New Spider-man is pretty good

    A ★★★½ review of Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

    So the world knows who Iron Man, Jr. is now and it sucks shit so much he has a lawyer now, Matt Murdock played here by Rex Smith reprising his role from THE TRIAL OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK, so he asks fellow Steve Ditko-creation, Dr. Strange, to change it to where no one knows who he is anymore. Unfortunately, Spidey's 'f--- everything up powers' even affects Strange casting abilities and now villains from earlier non-Marvel Studio Spider-man movies show up. This is either Marvel Studios admitting all their villains suck so it's just fan service. But what fan service it

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