David Thompson
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May 17, 2021

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David

Critical Drinker on the limited appeal of Marvel’s forthcoming films.

Ray

I'm pretty comic hero'ed out myself but I wasn't aware that that was a common view.

David

I’m pretty comic hero’ed out myself but I wasn’t aware that that was a common view.

When at least three major film studios are mining the format, with varying degrees of success, and when TV series include The Boys, Jupiter’s Legacy, Invincible and umpteen other things, again of varying quality, fatigue seems inevitable.

Though I think it’s more than just a weariness of the genre. Marvel have rather soured their own flavour of late, with an increasing reliance on ham-fisted wokeness and alienating identity politics - Captain Marvel, Falcon and the Winter Soldier come to mind - and bewildering misjudgements in pacing and storytelling – notably, the tedious and underwhelming WandaVision.

I re-watched Endgame a while ago and it was every bit as convoluted and boring as I remembered, having none of the economy, pace and tension of Infinity War - a much better film that I was happy to applaud. And the latest batch of Marvel offerings, with the possible exception of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, just don’t look terribly distinctive or interesting.

The pandemic and subsequent loss of momentum are undoubtedly factors, but Marvel’s Mr Fiege has been mouthing woke pieties as if they were somehow a prerequisite for a film or TV series being entertaining. Things certainly seem unfocussed. For instance, the forthcoming Black Widow film may once have been an appealing prospect – at least more entertaining than, say, two hours of Brie Larson; but I’m fairly sure that time has passed. Releasing a much-delayed solo outing after you’ve killed off the character in the previous Marvel film, in a supposedly poignant but actually laboured way, doesn’t help matters.

[ Edited. ]

WTP

No. Not Yul. It's Disney? Is it the animatronic Richard Nixon from The Hall of Presidents? I haven't been in a while, so...

Stephanie Richer

No. Not Yul. It's Disney? Is it the animatronic Richard Nixon from The Hall of Presidents? I haven't been in a while, so...

Not to propagate wild conspiracy theories but could this be from . . . the White House?

Lancastrian Oik

Mrs. Oik and I watched the first fifteen minutes or so of Jupiter’s Legacy whereupon we decreed jointly that it was boring, cliche-ridden and rather pompous and instead opted for season three of Justified.

David

whereupon we decreed jointly that it was boring, cliche-ridden and rather pompous

I was barely aware of it. I saw the first episode, belatedly, over the weekend. I saw nothing new, and the pacing seems… off. I may watch another episode before hitting the Yay/Nay button.

David

I see lots of people on Twitter gushing over how radical and “adult” the TV version of Invincible is, but from what I’ve seen and the little I remember of the comics, it isn’t exactly adult, or indeed radical, except in the sense that it offers endless gore-porn for people who find that kind of thing titillating. Whatever its pretensions to adult themes, it’s very much sold on the spectacle of watching people having their heads crushed or punched off or whatever. Which, it has to be said, wears thin quite quickly.

semi retired conservative

I re-watched Endgame a while ago and it was every bit as convoluted and boring as I remembered, having none of the economy, pace and tension of Infinity War...

this is the logical and correct interpretation.

Kudos, landlord.

If you are a bit bored on the interweebs at any point, may I recommend a Utube channel called Media Death Cult. The host grates a little (he suffers from Try Hard-ism) but the constant output of videos on sci-fi and fantasy books and movies is at least mildly entertaining.

Which lord knows is in short supply these days.

pst314

it isn’t exactly adult, or indeed radical, except in the sense that it offers endless gore-porn for people who find that kind of thing titillating.

Well, "adult" is an old euphemism for "pornographic".

David

this is the logical and correct interpretation.

Heh. I did enjoy Infinity War much more than I expected, not least because of the nimble and efficient way in which the enormous cast and range of locations were combined. It was surprisingly economical and well-paced. And the cliff-hanger ending was fairly bold. I’ve enjoyed re-watching it and I think it stands up well. But Endgame was, perhaps inevitably, underwhelming, very much so, and often tedious. The pacing was poor and the plot needlessly convoluted and unsatisfying. It seemed largely an excuse to do a greatest hits re-run, which felt both contrived and self-indulgent. The previously interesting villain suddenly became generic. They couldn’t even get the characters’ relative power-levels consistent.

With Infinity War, it seemed to me that they’d found the best way to tell the story as a film. With Endgame, I kept thinking “Why didn’t they do such-and-such instead?”

Karl

Well, "adult" is an old euphemism for "pornographic".

Isn't Invincible a fucking cartoon?
I think the "adult" there might be a euphemism for "juvenile"!

Doom Patrol is a DC entry which is surprisingly not their trademarked dogshit.
And Love, Death & Robots can be genuinely brilliant.

Captain Nemo

Here's a longform essay from @DamCou on Twitter that's worth reading:

https://quillette.com/2021/05/17/debate-and-disinformation-the-ugly-quarrel-over-the-uk-governments-race-report/

Rev. Spooner

Mr L Oik, Esq. 'Justified' is indeed the answer to "What to watch". No Woke nonsense in Kentucky.

Karl

My exhausting smear test battle

Why it's almost as if there's some kind of underlying biology defining her nature. Now if if only we would come up with a name for this condition...

Steve E

My exhausting smear test battle

"Seb, 28, remained registered as female at his GP surgery when he transitioned and so was still called to receive his smear test."

So what's the problem. The system worked. You got notified of the test. You took the test. If you've got a cervix you're sex is female.

Hippogryph

Comic books (and now, their movies) don't generate as much enthusiasm as they used to, for some of the reasons our Scottish friend described. The comic industry's thoroughgoing detest for their core customers is a big part of the problem.

But manga and anime are going strong in the demographics that comics used to dominate. "My Hero Academia" is a superhero manga and anime in the Western style. And it has the appealing characters and exciting stories that Marvel use to provide. It utterly dominates sales relative to any current Marvel or DC title. And more ironic the superhero manga/anime "One Punch Man" also has greater cultural impact (and sales) than anything Marvel Comics produces.

There's still a hunger for superheroes in America. Just less and less for American-made ones.

David

Unforeseen events.

Via Julia.

ComputerLabRat

So what's the problem. The system worked. You got notified of the test. You took the test.

The problem is apparently that the ones who go whole hog and register as male, despite having female internal plumbing and therefore still able to get cancers of the female internal plumbing do not get notified to go take the test, and therefore find it "exhausting" trying to convince the NHS that they, listed as male, need a test that only females need.

One line in that BBC drivel interested me though - it was presented as horrific, and a burden, that the individual was responsible for procuring and scheduling the necessary medical tests. Is it an artifact of having a NHS that creates grown adults who apparently can't avail themselves of the free healthcare without the free health service reminding them to go do it? Somehow I've managed 30 years of annual gyno checkups all on my own without having a GP, or health insurance most of the time, and definitely not an NHS. Nor was it "exhausting" - it's just part of being an adult human female. I'd tell these confused females to man up and grow a set, but that's probably considered hate speech nowadays. You'd think all the steroids they take would make them less fragile and hysterical. Good grief what a bunch of pansies.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Whatever its pretensions to adult themes, it’s very much sold on the spectacle of watching people having their heads crushed or punched off or whatever.

[Looks at 10 volumes of Invincible on bookshelf. In hardcover.]

Nope. Can't say I see that.

Seriously now, I haven't seen the TV show and have no interest to. I enjoyed the comic but more for the more serious take on the Peter Parker falling down the rabbit hole story. I could take the splatter-fest, but not for that alone (which is why I generally don't see those kinds of horror movies).

As for the Marvel movies, I quite enjoyed the run up until "Endgame," which I knew would be mostly a disappointing reset. The end of the storyline and Stan Lee's death was too good of a time to bow out, especially when you could see **cough** Black Panther **cough** that Marvel was in the process of driving its franchise not just into a ditch, but off the cliff Thelma and Louise-style.

Which I'm fine with. They did the impossible for so long it was bound to happen (see Universal monster movies cycling from good to Abbott and Costello).

Karl

Constantly being forced to explain to bigots that despite the fact that you are pretending to be a man, and demanding that every single person around you also pretend at all times in all ways that you are a man, you still have the biology of a woman, and therefore require that certain people, at certain times, at your own convenience "know" that you might not actually be a man for the purposes of this particular interaction. Which you will not specify ahead of time, or satisfactorily explain afterwards.

See? Exhausting!

David

Nope. Can’t say I see that.

I only vaguely recall the comics, of which I saw a couple of issues, years ago, but the TV series relishes the ultra-gore. And the scenes of exploding bodies and super-brutality are the most popular excerpts from the series on YouTube.

Stephanie Richer

Welp, it was nice being an American. What do you think, do I brush up on my Russian or learn Mandarin?

https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1394063328192913413?s=20

Steve E

do I brush up on my Russian or learn Mandarin?

I would recommend Mandarin. My country's idiot led government is allowing Chinese fighter pilots to train in Canadian air space. London Ontario is not far from the US as the crow flies. What could go wrong?

pst314

I would recommend Mandarin. My country's idiot led government is allowing Chinese fighter pilots to train in Canadian air space.

The fact that Trudeau was re-elected seems to eliminate any possibility that this was a fluke: Should Canada change its name to the Canadian Soviet Socialist Republic?

Steve E

Should Canada change its name to the Canadian Soviet Socialist Republic?

The People's Republic of Canada would be more appropriate. Trudeau once said of China that he "admired their basic dictatorship." And there's the belief among some that Fidel Castro is his real father. His mother Margaret had spent time with the dictator.

Here's the happy family:

pst314

Trudeau once said of China that he "admired their basic dictatorship."

I do see that as evidence that a significant fraction of Canadians are not fit for freedom. But the same can be said for America, with all our communistic and fascistic "progressives". I'll probably make another enemy every time I say that, but not among people I respect.

NTSOG

I have great respect for the late Yul Brynner because he tried to warn people about cigarettes and the dangers of smoking as he was dying from [throat?] cancer probably caused by his five pack-day smoking habit. I believe he made a commercial for the anti-cancer council in the US and was blocked by tobacco companies. He died in 1986, but the commercial was shown after his death.

Nikw211

Unforeseen events.

Another kind of unforeseen event.

The victim of the unforeseen event - Nahiem "Abu Layth" Ajmal, has been described as'a “voice of moderate Islam”'. His opponents are already spreading disinformation on social media, suggesting he was attacked for being a pedophile.

And speaking of still more unforeseen events - the young men in cars festooned with Palestinian driving around Jewish neighbourhoods in North London threatening to "Fuck their daughters" and "Rape their daughters" in order to "send a message" to British Jews turn out to have driven in a convoy all the way from Bradford.

A very specific form of threat not entirely without precedent or interest.

pst314

A very specific form of threat not entirely without precedent or interest.

I have read reports that mothers of Rotherham rape gang victims appealed to the religious leaders of those Muslim communities to use their influence to stop the rapes, and that those leaders refused to help. (A quick search does not find those reports, though. Anybody have them to hand?)

Daniel Ream

'Justified' is indeed the answer to "What to watch"

Banshee is also excellent, and Hell on Wheels has much to recommend it.

mothers of Rotherham rape gang victims appealed to the religious leaders of those Muslim communities to use their influence to stop the rapes

The fathers were unavailable for comment.

pst314

The fathers were unavailable for comment.

Often true. However, I am interested in documentation of the callous indifference of the Muslim religious leaders: If they really cared about morality they would not want children to be raped and abused. A Christian would be likely to try to help a child of any religion, while Muslims seem to see non-Muslims as legitimate prey.

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