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Peter T Chattaway

Captain Marvel

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Links to our threads on Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Avengers 4 (2019) and Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019).

Coming July 6, 2018.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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This is the Carol Danvers Captain Marvel, apparently. Wahoo!

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I liked it, which is with the crowd but slightly against my past history. I do see some of the complaints -- female themes forced in places (after being handled really well in first half) and fan-servicey 90s stuff. But it avoids the origin story format blahs by making her origin a mystery that is doled out. Also, the action scenes while still kinda boring are not quite as bloated as in recent Marvel films. Larson is fine (is she the only Oscar winner besides Halle Berry in the MCU?). She is smart enough to not over-emote when the script is being more on-the-nose than it has to be. Much like with Wonder Woman, the addition of a male sidekick (in this case Fury) who is not a total wastoid shows there is no reason why females must be so in movies with male heroes. 

I saw it on IMAX FWIW. I hate 3D and have never recommended a film in 3D, but this was in 2D and the IMAX did suit the scope of the story.

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6 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

is she the only Oscar winner besides Halle Berry in the MCU?

I don't think Halle Berry as Storm is considered in the MCU, despite both being Marvel. But there are lots of Oscar nominees and winners in the MCU: Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Don Cheadle, Josh Brolin, Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julie Delpy (she was in Age of Ultron!), Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Djimon Honsou, Mickey Rourke, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Robert Redford, Jeremy Renner, Sam Rockwell, Marisa Tomei, Forrest Whitaker, and, of course, Samuel L. Jackson. This post has even more.

 

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I did say "winner," but perhaps I should have said "major character" in the MCU. I'll give you Douglas and maybe Nyong'o. 

Part of what prompts that is wondering if it says anything about the nature and number of roles available for women at all.

 

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I found it mediocre. It's not bad, but it's nothing new. It seems the main purpose of the film was to get her onboard for Endgame.

They seem to like Ascension iconography.

Who knew that cats are like the Tardis?

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Quite a few of the reviews I've seen so far (at IndieWire, The Hollywood Reporter, The Playlist, etc.) have been mixed to negative. They're saying it's nowhere near as good as Wonder Woman, and I found *that* film overrated, so... (I note that the review at Ain't It Cool News even begins by saying that "the word of mouth around this film has been overwhelming enraged and negative"; the AICN critic actually liked the film, but apparently went into the movie worried by the bad buzz.)

Joel Mayward wrote:
: I don't think Halle Berry as Storm is considered in the MCU, despite both being Marvel. 

Correct. The MCU refers to a specific set of universe-sharing movies that began with Iron Man in 2008. But even if we did count Fox's X-Men movies, I would note that Halle Berry did not win her Oscar until *after* the first X-Men movie came out in 2000 (she won the award in March 2002). So, an actor winning an Oscar *after* they've dabbled in comic-book movies is a little different from an actor whose career has gone in the opposite direction.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Movies like this always get really good Rotten Tomatoes ratings at first, as the easy-to-please fanboy reviews come in, and then the ratings tend to slide as we get closer to the release date and more sobre reviews trickle in.

Captain Marvel had a 90% rating yesterday, and now it's at 83%, which puts it in the bottom half of the MCU franchise: Of the 21 MCU films released to date, Captain Marvel currently ranks 13th, behind Black Panther, Iron Man, Thor 3, Spider-Man, Avengers 1 + 3, Captain America 2 + 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 1 + 2, Doctor Strange and Ant-Man 2; and the eight films that still rank below it are Ant-Man, Iron Man 2 + 3, Captain America 1, Thor 1 + 2, Avengers 2 and The Incredible Hulk. (And note, incidentally, that not a single MCU movie has ever had a "rotten" Tomato rating. Ever.)

And for what it's worth, Captain Marvel is also comfortably behind Wonder Woman, which has a Tomato rating of 93%.

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Walter Chaw -- who spends the first couple paragraphs of his review denouncing incel trolls, just so no one will think he's coming at this film from the same perspective as those guys -- says this is not only the worst MCU film, but the worst DCEU film too. He also says it reminded him of last year's lousy Solo and A Wrinkle in Time movies.

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I was actually thinking about posting a comment wondering how to reconcile that generally positive reviews with negative buzz. I see Peter has anticipated and answered it. I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about what makes a good comic book movie, but I do think that "buzz" sometimes becomes a self-fulfilling thing or a separate thing from responses to the movie. Hardly the hill I want to die on, but I enjoyed the film, and some of the hyperbole in reviews (positive or negative) is why I read other people's reviews so very, very infrequently.

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(By the way, it just occurred to me that if we *did* count Halle Berry -- an X-Men co-star who won an Oscar two years after making her first X-Men movie -- then we should also count Jennifer Lawrence, who won an Oscar in 2013, two years after co-starring in X-Men: First Class. And, like Berry, Lawrence has gone on to appear in three more X-Men movies as her bankability has gone up and then back down again.)

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This is probably not the thread for this, but if we expand to DC, Christian Bale won his Oscar in 2011 for 2010's The Fighter, two years after The Dark Knight. So, maybe 2-3 years from now, one of the MCU leads wins an Oscar? I'm betting on Benedict Cumberbatch.

And now this thread can return to Captain Marvel.

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If we expand to DC, then Halle Berry was *already* an Oscar-winner when she starred in Catwoman, Faye Dunaway was already an Oscar-winner before she played the villain in Supergirl, and Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman had already won Oscars -- Brando, twice! -- before playing Jor-El and Lex Luthor, respectively, in Superman. Oh, and Kevin Spacey already had two Oscars under his belt before he played Lex Luthor in Superman Returns.

Forgive me. :)

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Joel Mayward wrote:
: Don't forget Jack Nicholson! ;)

Oh, of course! And speaking of Batman villains, Tommy Lee Jones had already won his Oscar for 1993's The Fugitive before he was cast as Two-Face in 1995's Batman Forever. And Marion Cotillard had already won an Oscar for 2008's La Vie en Rose before she played Talia al Ghul in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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14 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

 

And for what it's worth, Captain Marvel is also comfortably behind Wonder Woman, which has a Tomato rating of 93%.

 

I would be interested (though not interested enough to do the work myself) of the 38 negative reviews (currently) at RT of Captain Marvel and the 28 negative reviews of Wonder Woman, how many are by the same critic? Percentage seems like a big thing, and maybe that will go down as more people hop on, but it seems equally plausible to me that the early reviews could be from more demanding audience and later add ons are higher. We'll see. Doesn't seem that great a difference to me. But what would interest me more than the numbers is anyone articulating a substantive difference between the two films that makes them go fresh for one and rotten for the other. From where I sit, all superhero movies are pretty much the same. 

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Yeah, Chaw’s way over the top on this. It isn’t a great film, but it’s a Marvel movie. None of them are great. CAPTAIN MARVEL is perfectly passable entertainment. Like THOR: THE DARK WORLD, it’s at its best when it’s aping crappy 90s sci-fi film and television (in this case, SUBURBAN COMMANDO). It’s less good when it’s a superhero movie. 

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On 3/6/2019 at 8:19 PM, Peter T Chattaway said:

Movies like this always get really good Rotten Tomatoes ratings at first, as the easy-to-please fanboy reviews come in, and then the ratings tend to slide as we get closer to the release date and more sobre reviews trickle in.

Captain Marvel had a 90% rating yesterday, and now it's at 83%, which puts it in the bottom half of the MCU franchise: Of the 21 MCU films released to date, Captain Marvel currently ranks 13th, behind Black Panther, Iron Man, Thor 3, Spider-Man, Avengers 1 + 3, Captain America 2 + 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 1 + 2, Doctor Strange and Ant-Man 2; and the eight films that still rank below it are Ant-Man, Iron Man 2 + 3, Captain America 1, Thor 1 + 2, Avengers 2 and The Incredible Hulk. (And note, incidentally, that not a single MCU movie has ever had a "rotten" Tomato rating. Ever.)

And for what it's worth, Captain Marvel is also comfortably behind Wonder Woman, which has a Tomato rating of 93%.

Captain Marvel is now down to 79% at Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it 16th out of the 21 MCU films released to date. It is the lowest-rated MCU film since Avengers: Age of Ultron four years ago, and if it weren't for that it would be the lowest since Thor: The Dark World six years ago, and if it weren't also for that it would be the lowest since the original Thor eight years ago. (Iron Man 2, which came out nine years ago, and The Incredible Hulk, which came out eleven years ago, are also lower.)

So, broadly speaking, one could plausibly say that the critical consensus is that this is *one of* the worst MCU movies (though every single one did get a "fresh" rating on the Tomatometer).

Incidentally, it intrigues me that most of the lowest-rated MCU movies came so early in the franchise's development. Is that because Marvel movies were actually less-good back then, or is it because there were fewer fanboy critics contributing to Rotten Tomatoes back then?

kenmorefield wrote:
But what would interest me more than the numbers is anyone articulating a substantive difference between the two films that makes them go fresh for one and rotten for the other. From where I sit, all superhero movies are pretty much the same. 

Well, for starters, Gal Gadot is just more interesting than Brie Larson -- more nuanced, more charismatic, more vulnerable, etc. And the depiction of an all-female warrior society is intriguing in a way that the been-there, done-that Kree race is not (we already saw the Kree in Guardians of the Galaxy, and we've seen other warrior races in outer space before). The action scenes in Captain Marvel are badly-filmed compared to those in other MCU movies, and I suspect they were worse than the action scenes in Wonder Woman too (I say this as one who thought Wonder Woman wasn't *that* different from the other DCEU movies, particularly towards the climax).

But the movies are what the movies are. I'm more intrigued by the different audience responses to these films. I mean, why is there so much controversy about trolls around Captain Marvel (it's the only MCU film with a "rotten" audience score at Rotten Tomatoes) whereas there was none around Wonder Woman (which has an audience score almost as good as its critic score)? And this, despite the fact that the majority of Captain Marvel's opening-weekend audience was male while the majority of Wonder Woman's opening-weekend audience was female?

Oh, and in case I haven't said it in this thread yet, I did not care for Captain Marvel myself. I found it dull, flat, etc. The fact that it's a prequel is bad enough (I say this as one who is currently alternating between episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Discovery, both of which are prequels to the original Star Trek), and the fact that it functions as a massive deus-ex-machina retcon within the MCU is also bad enough, but it compounds those structural problems by being an amnesia story full of flashbacks -- stuffing the back-story with even more back-story, as it were. To me it was emblematic of how uninspired the filmmaking was that Ronan, a villain we saw previously in Guardians of the Galaxy, comes across like some guy cosplaying Ronan here even though he's being played by the same actor who played him in the other film.

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FWIW, here's my positive review. I rather enjoyed it, and the more I think about it, the better it becomes in my mind. I must admit, prolonged analysis of Rotten Tomatoes' metrics on these things feels like a literal exercise in missing the point--are the negative reviews actually being read, are they consistent in their negative critiques, what are the strengths/weaknesses being noted throughout reviews, etc.? The content of the reviews would be more interesting data, in my opinion.

Edited by Joel Mayward

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Joel Mayward wrote:
: I must admit, prolonged analysis of Rotten Tomatoes' metrics on these things feels like a literal exercise in missing the point--are the negative reviews actually being read, are they consistent in their negative critiques, what are the strengths/weaknesses being noted throughout reviews, etc.? The content of the reviews would be more interesting data, in my opinion.

No argument there. But it's still a handy way to gauge critical consensus. And of course, one could also ask if the *positive* reviews are really being read. (I haven't seen most of the MCU movies more than once, but I'm skeptical that Black Panther, for example, is really the best film of the bunch, even though its RT score would suggest that it is. And certainly there are MCU films that *fell* in my estimation when I watched them a second time, e.g. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I suspect many people would have similar reactions to many of the other MCU movies too. I mean, how many people *now* would argue that Thor: The Dark World, for example, really deserves a "fresh" RT score, which is what it has? But RT, for the most part, gauges first reactions only.)

Captain Marvel had the biggest opening weekend for a female-led film, with $153 million in North America, $455 million worldwide.

How quickly we forget the Star Wars and Hunger Games franchises. (Even if we bracket off the Rey-led films, which kept the male protagonists of the original Star Wars trilogy in key supporting roles, there are still Rogue One and Catching Fire to consider, at least in North America.)

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Joel Mayward wrote:
Captain Marvel has crossed $1 billion at the box office.

Yup. It's the 7th Marvel movie to do that (behind Avengers 1 + 2 + 3, Black Panther, Iron Man 3 and Captain America 3), the 10th comic-book movie to do that (also behind Aquaman and The Dark Knight 2 + 3), and the 38th movie overall to do that (also behind Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars 1 + 7 + 7a + 8, Jurassic 1 + 4 + 5, Furious 7 + 8, Harry Potter 8, Frozen, Beauty & the Beast, Incredibles 2, Minions, Transformers 3 + 4, The Lord of the Rings 3, Skyfall, Toy Story 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 + 4, Despicable Me 3, Finding Dory, Alice in Wonderland, Zootopia and The Hobbit 1).

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