Avengers Post! I Finally Caught Up to the Rest of the World and Watched Endgame!

Well, I had a productive few days catching up on the Avengers movies! Not all of them, I’d already seen a few, and I skipped the less important ones like Ant Man, but I finally have a sense for the Broad Sweep of the narrative.

I came into The Avengers again through WandaVision. Which is on Disney+ and is FREAKIN’ BRILLIANT!!! It’s an exploration of grief, through the lens of popular media as escapism. I wanted to watch it because of the popular media history part of it. But then I got caught up in the characters and it made me curious about the rest of the story so I finally went back and watched the other Avengers movies that had these characters (Wanda and Vision).

WandaVision | Watch Full Show Online

This is the biggest strength of the whole Marvel Universe concept. No matter who you are, there is going to be a character you care about, one who draws you in. You see them and like them in one movie, like them enough, and they may end up with their own spin off. And then you keep following them into their own movies, and out again into other movies, and so on.

There’s a lot of talk about how the Marvel series was so well planned, and planned out for such a long time. Like, they had a 20 year plan going into the first movie, which is INSANE. But what I find more interesting is how open and unplanned it is. WandaVision is probably the clearest example of that. Neither character was supposed to be a lead, their romance wasn’t even necessarily planned to be included. But there was something there between the actors and the chemistry that just grew and grew onscreen, so they got a TV show that makes it central to everything.

The beauty of these little unplanned surprises is that you don’t have to start from scratch with them!!! Because this is a comic book property, and comic books have every story you could ever possibly need already written out. So Wanda and Vision already had a romance written into the comic books. Once their character chemistry started working, there was a little outline in place already for where to go next with the story.

The structure of the films is similar to the way comic books work in terms of overarching stories that hop between different properties. If you like AntMan best, great, read the AntMan series. And then pick up the big crossover event when he joins The Avengers for a storyline. And maybe because you read The Avengers issue, you discover you like Spider-Man too, and start reading that series, and so on. But what it also reminds me of is how the old studio Star System used to work. An up and coming actress would be put into a small role in a big film, and if she got a lot of fan letters and so on, then the studio would bounce her up to bigger roles. Let the public pick who they like, don’t try to force it. That’s what Marvel is doing here. They are keeping an eye on the internet and figuring out what hits and what doesn’t, and letting that lead things.

Lucille Ball & Fred Astaire in Follow the Fleet 1936 | Fred astaire, Fleet,  Image
Can you spot Lucille Ball?

The other thing that they did really well is time their talent contracts. Again, this is hardly an original thought, but it works SO WELL. Over the past 20 years of Marvel, there’s been a lot of talk about how exhausting this series is for the leads. Especially exhausting because they are generally very talented actors. It’s not just casting someone who looks good in the costume. Which means they also get bored with this action scene costumes kind of performing. What Marvel planned out was to bring their characters along on the same journey. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, they all got tired of being superheroes, they all wore down and lost their joy, and finally they moved on to something else. The actors at the same time as the characters.

Which brings me to Endgame! What makes this movie work so beautiful as closure to the storylines of the original generation of Avengers is the time travel concept. You literally get to see the lighthearted happy Avengers of the first film compared to the tired worn out scared and over it Avengers of the last film.

The “last” film part of it, that’s the bravest decision. A story means nothing without an ending. Every other movie series has left a door open for the story to continue. Happy ending, riding off into the sunset, but they could always come back. The Avengers takes Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America and makes their stories over OVER. The End. Done. No More Possible. It’s the ending that gives meaning to everything.

5 Most Hilarious And Comical Deaths In Bollywood Movies | Latest Articles |  NETTV4U
This is why Amitabh had to keep dying all through the 70s. His best films, he dies at the end. It’s what makes his life meaningful

Let’s look at these endings! Starting with Iron Man. Knowing that it will end with him having a family and then dying tells us what the rest of it meant. He is desperate for a family. That is his story. He loves Pepper but is afraid to say anything to her for a long time because he is afraid she will leave him. He clings to the obviously corrupt Jeff Bridges just to feel like he has a father figure. He is constantly testing Rhodey’s friendship. At the same time, his huge need for people draws folks in. His driver Jon Favrau, Pepper who is way to well qualified to just be his “assistant”. This is why The Avengers team began, Iron Man wanted a team, wanted a family, and went about it an odd off putting way which ultimately worked because it was backed by a deep need. So, finally, he gets what he has always wanted. A family, a real family with love and calm and peace and a sense that they will never leave him, he is worthy of love and being loved.

In the end though, he was always living on borrowed time. The movies have really hit hard on the idea that he should be dead, that it is not about the suit, it’s about the heart, the little engine that keeps him alive against all odds. This whole storyline started because someone who should have died, didn’t. And it inspired him to do even more with the time he had left. Iron Man got a miracle, bonus time. But it was always going to go away eventually, his mortality haunted every storyline.

This ties back into casting in a lovely way. Robert Downey Jr. shouldn’t be alive. He was sunk so deep in addiction that he should not have survived, let alone gotten into recovery. It was so bad that everyone knew about it, not just in the industry but it was in People magazine and everywhere else. It ended his career, he was still incredibly talented, but it was too risky to work with him. And yet, here he is! He somehow miraculously dragged himself back from addiction and into recovery, then worked and worked and worked to prove himself reliable again, and finally landed in this movie series. So when you see him onscreen, if you know his personal story, you see the damaged man who dragged himself into a stable life and relationship and happiness. And even if you don’t know his story, I think you can see it in his performance. That sense that a dark shadow hovers over everything he has built, that there is a sickness inside he has to be ever vigilant over.

A troubled actor's rude awakening - Baltimore Sun

Now, let’s look at Captain America!!! His story line has always been about the man versus the symbol. He had to fight for the right to actually fight, instead of just being a symbol of hope back in WWII when he was created. After he was reborn, he clung to his lost love and his lost best friend because he needed that, he needed people who saw him as a person. He slowly built connections with The Avengers, but always on a personal basis, one on one. That’s why his trilogy is defined by individual connections, first his origin and his love story, then finding his best friend again in Winter Soldier, and finally Civil War where he chooses individuals over the team.

During the Civil War events and the aftermath, he gave up the symbols. He was no longer Captain America, he was just a person. That could have been an ending for his story. But it would have been a bit of a sad ending, I think. If we left it that Cap gave up all the signs of who he was and went off to wander the earth and meet people. The thing is, and I think this might have even surprised the filmmakers as the story went on, he really truly never made a connection at the same level as he did when he was in his own time. In Winter Soldier, they tried to write him forward, to give him friends and even a love interest, but somehow it didn’t feel right for the character. What felt right was finally acknowledging who he was, a man in the wrong time. There was always going to be something sad, something missing inside if he stayed. And so they found a way to send him back. He gets what he was missing, the woman he loves in a place where he feels at home. And now he can live out his life as it was meant to be lived out. Age is a gift, aging in your own time at the proper pace is a gift. His ending as an old man is the happiest possible ending.

10 Peggy Carter Facts The MCU Never Revealed | ScreenRant
Also, Peggy Carter was so awesome you kind of wanted them to stay together

Finally, Thor! Going back to the “Marvel followed the fans”, I think Marvel followed the fans into not caring quite as much about Thor. Don’t know if it was because his movies weren’t as good, or because Natalie Portman dropped out, or his backstory wasn’t as deep, or just because Chris Hemsworth is not at the same acting level as Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. And so in Endgame, Thor becomes comic relief. And it is DELIGHTFUL! Easily the best part of the film, watching him be chubby and play video games and overall petty and selfish and emotional.

Maybe it’s because Thor never really grew up? Captain America and Iron Man both are forged by terrible situations which leave a shadow on them and turn them towards self-sacrifice. But Thor was thrown out of his privileged powerful royal life because he was being bratty. And then he went back whenever he wanted. Really the first super SUPER bad thing to happen to him is when his family died, and that was in his last movies, not his first movies. Does that make sense? Thor’s trauma came after he became a hero, was in fact the end of him being a hero rather than the beginning. And so his ending is to begin. Now he knows loss, he knows pain, he knows humanity. And so he goes off on a journey to find adventures and discover the hero within. Everything we saw from Thor before now, that was just the prequel, the set-up. His most important journey is starting now.

Chris Hemsworth Announces Home Fitness App Is Now Available Free
Even the movies themselves acknowledge Thor’s biggest talent is taking off his shirt!

There’s so much more to talk about, like the way the female members of the team got short shrift in the movies but they shown so bright for fans that their characters were slowly built up. The concept of 3 white men as leads being replaced by women and POC now, and was that always the Marvel plan, or did they go with the mood of the nation? And that Sam Mackie was immediately interesting the second he stepped onscreen in Winter Soldier and I am so glad he has his own TV show now and is going to be the new Captain America!!!

Who is your favorite part of The Avengers and why? Mine is Wanda/Scarlet Witch, I like that she tries her best and keeps failing, and I like that she makes up her own mind as to who and what she wants to follow.

Do you like the complicated part of the Avengers story (elaborate mythology and backstory) or the simple part (these people are friends)? I like the simple part. Honestly, I can’t even keep track of the elaborate mythology and backstory, it’s TOO BIG. I appreciate that someone is keeping track of it, I think if there was an actual error between films I would notice and it would bother me. But I’m not consciously thinking about that, I’m consciously thinking about friendships and personality conflicts.

Finally, multi-part question, of the following elements, which do you think is most important to the series success:

Casting actual actors not just people who look good in costumes

Elaborate interconnected stories that make you want to watch every film to find out what happens

The friendships and the fun hanging out moments between battles

The big special effects

The careful planning of the multifilm stories

The basic love for the characters and joy in the experience

I’m going with the last one! It made so much money, because in the end no one was thinking about the money.

36 thoughts on “Avengers Post! I Finally Caught Up to the Rest of the World and Watched Endgame!

    • So, I should watch Ant Man? It was one I hadn’t seen that I skipped, thinking it wasn’t that important.

      I also really really loved Captain America Winter Soldier! It felt like one of the most cohesive as a standalone work, firmly in the spy versus spy genre, really good considering of Captain America’s internal struggles, and great platonic male-female central relationship. I just started watching the Disney Plus series Falcon and The Winter Soldier and it very much has the same feel as Winter Soldier the movie to me. If you have Disney Plus, you might want to check it out.

      On Fri, May 28, 2021 at 9:29 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have been sitting on the fence about Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Will probably watch it over the weekend. Ant man is cool, but it’s more so that I will watch anything with Paul Rudd in it.

        Like

      • Yes! Ant-Man is worth it for Paul Rudd, the fact that the Wasp is another kick-ass heroine and his equal, plus cool bad guys and effects. Also, the plot ends up being a key piece to Endgame.

        Like

        • Okay! Because Disney is brilliant, they have arranged all the movies in a suggested order, so I can start with Thor Ragnorak and fill in all the others I missed.

          On Sun, May 30, 2021 at 10:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

  1. I agree that Iron Man’s and Captain America’s journey was well thought our and felt complete. But I had problems with the way Thor was depicted in the last movie. To me, it felt like they didn’t know what to do with his character and just turned it into comic relief and by it didn’t do justice to him. But I like the idea that the end of Endgame is Thor’s beginning and he now gets a chance to grow and figure out who he is as opposed to what he was destined to be. Maybe there will be more Guardians and Thor movies and that will make me happy.

    The Iron Man movies and the Captain America movies were clearly supposed to be the most important ones for the continuation of the storyline but my favorites were the others like Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Ant Man movies, Black Panther, and Ragnarock. They gave this characters importance and depth and made you care about what happened to them in Infinity War and Endgame. Maybe it is because of my relationship to my sister but Gamorah and Nebula’s journey was so beautiful and heartbreaking to watch. Seeing Raccon’s history in GoG and Groot’s death made me cry far more than anything else. Ant Man was the most relatable. His movies didn’t even feel like super hero movies and he was brilliant but also just a regular flawed human being and showed that all of us have a little superhero in us.

    In terms of Captain America, I am again probably in the minority and I love Chris Evans as an actor but I found the character of Captain America just so boring. His movies were just the most forgettable to me. And for all that he stands for, not telling Iron Man about his parent’s death was just so foolish and has he done things differently, he could have literally prevented the rest of the travesty that followed. But then I guess we wouldn’t have Infinity War or End Game. I did like the way they redeemed him in the End Game and I especially liked the sequence when he finally picks up Thor’s hammer showing he is worthy again after not being able to pick it up in Age of Ultron due to his betrayal of Iron Man.

    It’s hard to pick what is my favorite things about these movies or what was the most important to their success. I always appreciate when complicated universes and storylines are well thought out but leave flexibility for the author/director to change course as needed based on chemistry and fan favorites. In that sense, I really liked the chemistry between Captain America and Black Widow. OOOH! That’s a romance I would have loved to have seen! She is a tortured assasin who is trying overcome her past and he is the perfect hero who longs for the past. Maybe they will have some of this in the new Black Widow movie. But in these movies particularly, I also loved the banter and the friendships. And adding banter and genuinely funny moments without them seeming out of place is really really hard (Justice League is a prime example of how things went wrong with that). So I guess I don’t have just one thing I love about these movie. I think it is a combination of it all that makes them so special and probably lead to their success.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I got a kick out of Thor’s comic relief status in Endgame and it was deeply needed within that particular movie, but agree it was a bit of an odd ending to his character. Made me wonder if either the writer/directors were mad at Chris Hemsworth, or if they really liked him and realized he was great at goofy humor and they should write towards that. Chris Pratt was the one I was REALLY curious about! Because in both Infinity War and Endgame he is straight up the butt of jokes, I don’t think he gets any really really heroic moments. Felt like maybe they turned against him? Or maybe it was the same idea of better to use him just for comic relief and save the heavy stuff for his own movies.

      Speaking of Ant Man, of course I love Paul Rudd like all Thinking People. And I was really pleased with how his character balanced the serious with the light in his films. I think a lot of that is thanks to Rudd’s performance, even when he is joking he gives a kind of depth that makes you remember he has a kid and stuff. I didn’t come out of Civil War and Endgame thinking of him as a silly comic relief light weight superhero, I came out of it kind of curious about his backstory.

      Captain America in Endgame was one of my favorite character shifts. Everything they established with Boring Captain America paid off. We had this build up of him as the Perfect Guy, but then we see young and hopeful CA meet Current CA and start to realized how he has changed, and how sad he has become. Until finally we get the moment when he is ready to keep fighting against impossible odds and it actually lands, it doesn’t feel like “well of course because that is who he is” it feels like there is an actual price to pay for it, like this is hard for him too but he will always keep going. It worked in Endgame, but I don’t think it worked at all in Civil War. Partly because Civil War just felt COWARDLY to me The original comic book storyline is one of the most worthy of discussion, having good people disagree on basic ideas while still all being good. The movie sort of backed off from that, from the idea of two sides both being right, and made it all about Bucky. I wanted Captain America to have an essential philosophical questioning and dispute with Iron Man, to make a stand. But no, we didn’t get that until Endgame.

      I don’t want Captain America and Black Widow to have a romance! I want them as friends, I loved them as friends! To have the most twisted and “untrustworthy” person be trusted and loved and understood by the MOST trustworthy. For me, romance would have cheapened the friendship. I want Black Widow with, like, Caulson. A nice normal person, the male equivelant of Hawkeye’s wife, who can love her and ground her and make her chili at the end of a long day.

      On Fri, May 28, 2021 at 11:19 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cap had to be the straight man among the bunch of eccentric personalities, so I understand why he comes off as boring. But I enjoyed his movies the most, probably because of his interactions with those around him like Sam, Bucky and Natasha. Loved his arc in the end.

        Like

        • Oh, of course, he was the straight man!!! And maybe that’s why his solo movies worked better than ensemble? When it was solo, and Chris Evans really dug in, you could see the person behind the perfect facade and he felt real. But in the ensemble films, he just sort of faded into the background.

          On Fri, May 28, 2021 at 7:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a big Thor fan (mostly thanks to Tom Hiddleston as Loki, since the movies began when I was a teenager) and I basically agree with everything filmikhudi says. I love him in the first movie and the movie is good, it’s made by Kenneth Branagh after all; the second movie is fine, but not for me unless I just skip to the parts I’m interested in; and third, RAGNAROK is the best one of them all.

    Taika Waititi knew how to make the characters interesting, fun, and knew just what to do to make Thor interesting once again and still give Loki some time because he has a huge fanbase, but unlike Thor 2, not to overtake the movie. I watch the third movie like it is a football match and I love it to bits. Also, the talk about colonialism and how bad it is is a nice cherry on top. Not to mention how wonderful Gemma Tompson as Valkyrie is and Cate Blanchett loving being an evil character is so apparent you can’t help but cheer.

    It’s one I can play over and over again and just pretend Infinity War and Endgame Thor didn’t happen. The Russo brothers clearly didn’t like the way Waititi had made him and the hate shows in the portrayal they had Hemsworth do. It was a full-on character regression that was not set up in the previous movie(s) and I hate it no matter what reason one can justify in that corporate decision making. So yeah, I disagree with you on that Margaret pretty heavily.

    My other favourite character is Scarlet Witch or Wanda Maximoff. So WandaVision was perfect for me, also for my love of history, and media history specifically. All I’m saying is that they should have kept Pietro alive, but I know they couldn’t because corporations overlap or something. It just would have been so interesting to see them together, brother and sister, fighting for justice. Also, I am being completely superficial and liking Aaron Taylor Johnsons Pietro. But I can deal with the other Pietro in the other X-Men (my other favourite Marvel property) as well and hold no hate about it. Also, did you know that in the comics (I haven’t read them but know some trivia) that the Maximoff twins are Romani!! That’s great semi-good representation, but they erased that from the films because of course, they did.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes! Ragnarok was one of my favorites too and I love wouldn’t have minded seeing him struggle a little bit after beheading Thanos and being consumed by guilt but I wish they have redeemed him like they did with Captain America instead of reducing him to to a caricature!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know right! It felt so insulting how he was handled in Infinity War and Endgame. Like, honestly, going to make depression and comfort eating into a joke is just not nice to watch. Thank goodness Waititi is honing the next Thor movie and he will be back to his good grown-up self in future instalments!

        Liked by 1 person

    • See, Ragnorak is the one Thor movie I skipped! And it sounds like we agree on the other two, the first one is fun and nice, the second one drags a little and is a bit confusing, so jumping from the second to Thor in Infinity and Endgame didn’t feel so strange to me. If nothing else, the Russo brothers did give him a nice open ending, so there is space for the character to grow again, so long as Hemsworth is still interested in doing it.

      Maybe the Romani thing will come back? Now that Wanda is moving from “infinity stone powers” kind of person and into “Witch just like witches have always been” kind of person. That would be cool, if they take her story to discovering an old great Aunt in a traveler village who can teach her to use her powers.

      On Fri, May 28, 2021 at 1:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  3. It’s interesting that you came into Avengers following one character, because I had the complete opposite start! My cousin, who is 10 years younger than me, made me watch the 1st Avengers with him not long after its release, because he had enjoyed it so much. I didn’t know and had no interest in any of these superheroes, but with him filling me in on some of the backstories, I enjoyed it immensely! And the primary reason was the chemistry and banter between the group. Nobody stood out in particular, I just wanted more of these people together. I totally agree that casting actual actors who are good at their job really elevated the movies. After that I watched the 2 Captain America films until Age of Ultron came out. Next was Civil War and Dr. Strange. Only then did I watch the Iron Man and Thor movies to better prepare for the final Avengers. So the main draw for me was always seeing the group together rather than individual stories. Except Winter Soldier, my favorite solo-hero films are not of the main heroes, it’s Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Ant-Man, but I enjoyed Iron Man and Cap’s stories. I didn’t much care for Thor. Wish they had made Hulk movies with Mark Ruffalo, and also Emily Blunt got to play Black Widow as was originally planned!

    Haven’t watched any of the series, I’m waiting for all of them to drop to get Disney+, though I’m sorely tempted to watch Falcon and Winter Soldier, mainly because I’ve long had a crush on Bucky!

    To answer your question, I think it’s a combination of good actors and fun interactions between the characters that’s made the franchise so successful. If I’m not wrong, the idea that superhero films can be humorous and banter-y started with Avengers.

    Like

    • My beloved Tobey MacGuire Spider-Man had banter, and so did the early X-Men movies. But in those series, as it went on the banter got left behind. To me, it felt like a scriptwriter or director liked it and put it in, but there was no real studio commitment, so later people dropped it. In The Avengers, the Marvel studio team clearly knew that banter and character moments were what made the films soar. No matter which hero it is, which director, which scriptwriter, that element was always present. Does that make sense?

      Falcon and The Winter Soldier is so good!!!! I am in the middle of it now. And it’s super banter-y. Also, you should just get Disney+. It is the home of All Things Wonderful. Well, if you like old cartoons, kids TV serieses, and shows about dogs.

      On Fri, May 28, 2021 at 6:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

        • YES! Tobey MacGuire Spider-Man is the BEST!!!!! Not the 3rd one, obviously. But the first one is genius and the second one is darn good too. And now we are in a fight.

          On Sat, May 29, 2021 at 10:37 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t remember much about them, but I too liked the Tobey Maguire ones the most. I thought that is the general consensus among audience, is it not?

            Like

      • Totally makes sense!

        The ‘bromance’ between Bucky and Sam was a highlight in the movies and I wanted more, so I’m not surprised the series is good! Oh do any of them get a love interest? That might just tip me over into watching right now!

        Like

      • Continue to match with Filmikudhi, I’m pro Andrew Garfield Spiderman. Tobey was too straitlaced for me. Kind of how I feel about Tom Holland too, he’s the good kid in the ensemble, they stripped out the rebelliousness. Spiderman was the only character whose comics I read growing up because the were in the newspaper. The wisecracking humor has always been one of the best things about the character.

        Like

        • I like my Spider-Man the dorky nerdy kid from the chess club! The one who keeps his powers secret even when they could make him the cool boy in school.

          On Sun, May 30, 2021 at 10:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • Yeah but he’s also the guy who resisted being a hero so much that his uncle had to die before he came around. Hard to believe that the Tom Holland version, having woken up with cool powers, wouldn’t run out to fight bad guys.

            Like

  4. I watched the very first IronMan when it came out in theater with no clue abt the Universe it was going to become. I have watched every Marvel movie as they come out in theaters & it wasn’t until the second Thor movie I had a clue that it was all part of some grand scheme to bring them all together. Thor Ragnarok is the best movie of it all and Thor & Loki have had the maximum growth since their first movie.I too don’t like how Thor was portrayed in the Endgame movie. I also don’t like the way they let down Black Widow in Endgame,like they gave so much time to IronMan’s emotional meeting with his dad in the past but she was just knocked off for a very convoluted reason with no further explanation. She is the only character abt who doesn’t have a proper backstory. I’m looking forward to the new Loki movie and Thor4.
    As someone who has been following it from the beginning,I think the success is due to each character being different/ wacky & flawed in their own ways along with the camradarie with each other+charismatic actors and cheeky writing makes them worth even rewatching. I tried to get into the DC universe and they are super boring. It’s all very serious and intense. Marvel has that perfect balance of light hearted fun,fantasy drama & characterful characters.

    Like

    • Clearly I need to put Thor Ragnorak on my to-do list for this long weekend!!!! Everyone is saying it is the best. But also, I suspect I will watch it and then join the camp of “Thor was let down in Endgame!”

      I wonder if they did any kind of chemistry testing before they cast the individual actors? Because the end result is so fun. Or maybe it gets back to just casting really good experienced actors who they knew would be able to create chemistry with the folks around them, and then leaning into the pairings that worked particularly well. Like, who would have thought Black Widow and Captain America would be such awesome friends?

      On Sat, May 29, 2021 at 1:00 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

        • You know what’s really interesting now that I think about it? The love interest roles were actually bigger names than the stars, Natalie Portman and Gwyneth Paltrow. Tells us right up front that this is going to be a series about relationships and people as much as Heroes and Villains.

          Like

  5. Oh my gosh, there’s so much here, I can see I’m going to have to break this up into a few pieces. First, I’m going to do my usual thing of calling out the books, or the comics in this case. The scope of the enterprise and all the interlocking stories was built on top of the comics – literally, as in the bringing together of the Marvel Universe happened first in the comics, and then they decided to make movies out of the same stories. I haven’t read the comics versions so I don’t know how closely the films followed the character development and plots, but I know it was closely enough that my friend who has read all the comics knew what would happen in Infinity War and Endgame and had opinions about how the characters were represented on film vs. in the comics. As a commercial strategy, it’s brilliant, for both comics and films, because it creates a situation where to understand the huge climactic episodes you want to know all the back stories and go back to catch up on the stories that feed into the convergence. But also, I always think that it’s easier to build big, complex, interlocking stories in print first, where the stakes are lower and the writers and artists live and breathe the characters for years, and this shows up in how well it all holds together on film.

    That said, of the two big climax films, I much prefer Infinity War. I was put off by the title and the concept and refused to watch it or let my kids see it initially, because I thought it would be 2+ hours of explosions and thin as paper character development with so many having to share screentime. When we did finally watch it ahead of Endgame, I was shocked by how good it was. The characters all got actual dialogue and plotlines, I loved the merging of Thor into the GoG group, it was funny and action packed and full of totally human errors that led to the tragic ending of Thanos’s finger snap. Endgame, on the other hand, dragged a lot for me. So many scenes of people standing around the gloomy woods talking! The final fight was satisfying but did feel like they were giving each group its turn to showcase. I was relieved to see some of the older generation storylines end, which I think wasn’t what they were going for. I’m glad to see the next generation get its shot.

    Like

    • Do you think the increasing number of female and POC leads is partly because of the books? You could try out things like a Black Captain America in the comics first, see what the response is, and if it works, use it? It’s a lot lower stakes to try something like that in a comic book to prove it works than convincing a million dollar movie studio to try it.

      Huh! I definitely found infinity war confusing with too much action and characters. That could be my own fault though. I knew Endgame was The End so I paid more attention to it than Infinity War. Even without that, the idea of Infinity War with everyone trying as hard as they can right to the end and still losing was amazing. I guess the same as the end of The Empire Strikes Back, which was similarly brave. you have to have faith your audience will follow you even if they don’t always win.

      On Sun, May 30, 2021 at 10:53 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I don’t know if all of the film and TV stuff showcasing underrepresented groups is from the comics but yes, some of the experimentation is definitely happening there first. And not, for the record, because comics publishing is better at representation or comics fans are more receptive, because neither of those things is true. I think it’s kind of a push pull where the films were successful at bringing in a broader audience to the comics, which then created pressure for the comics to do a better job at reflecting the audience, and again the comics are lower stakes – and they can get really talented writers to come create new characters and storylines – so that’s where they start out experimenting. Ms. Marvel was one of those experiments, created by G. Willow Wilson, and she’s getting her own show now. There’s a comics line now with Thor as a woman. The Miles Morales Spiderman started out in the comics too. Wandavision, on the other hand, seems made for TV, and then some of the other women-focused features are just the film world deciding there is actually an audience for characters who are richly developed in the comics, like Captain Marvel and Black Widow. (Same goes for Black Panther.)

        And yes, totally agree about Infinity War = The Empire Strikes Back.

        Like

  6. My favorite parts were Guardians of the Galaxy – such a great combination of characters and back stories, and I agree with Filmikudhi about Gomorah and Nebula, all the family dramas really in that one, plus it’s the funniest – and Black Panther. Also liked Ironman, the first Avengers movie and Captain Marvel. One step below would be the Edward Norton Hulk, Thor Ragnarok, and Ant-Man and the Wasp. The Hulk is a big hit with my sons, because he manifests that rage monster we all have inside and that kids are constantly being told to control. I really liked Edward Norton’s take on him, but Mark Ruffalo is endearing too and his Hulk was one of the best parts of the Avengers and got its top treatment in Ragnarok (basically a Hulk/Thor buddy movie, shouldn’t work but it does). Along with Thor being so goofy in Endgame, I really hated what they did with the Hulk, made him all tame with his glasses and tweed. How you gonna show up to the end of the free universe with a tame Hulk?

    I think one reason they made odd character choices by the end was they fell into a trap of making all the heroes increasingly powerful to where it hardly seemed plausible that they could be defeated. Ironman has his heart but because every movie the suits had to one-up the last movie he got super hard to beat. With the Hulk, it was always an issue because being unstoppable is the nature of his character, but they made him so strong by the end that they constantly had to come up with weird reasons why he couldn’t use his power. Same with Captain Marvel, she couldn’t even show up until the end because she could maybe have singlehandedly beaten Thanos. Thor outgrew his hammer and he’s a demigod. My sons argue that Wanda is in this category too now. It puts the non superpowered characters at such a disadvantage that sometimes it’s hard to understand why they’re on the team. Widow makes herself useful with her spying, but how is Cap the leader, and what is Hawkeye even doing there by the end? I think this is one reason they had to bring the cycle to a close, it’s hard to think up good reasons to keep them together. (This, to me, is why X-Men doesn’t really fit in the combined universe, it’s always been better at balancing its characters’ powers with flaws, and a more complicated relationship with the regular mortals they have to share the world with.)

    To answer your last question, I do think casting real actors makes a huge difference, but it’s not sufficient in itself. I love Benedict Cumberbatch as an actor but I’m turned off by the character of Doctor Strange, such a classic egotistical male, with none of the vulnerability that Downey brought to Ironman. Doctor Strange, to me, shows what makes the formula really work when it does, because that movie has some of the coolest special effects, and amazing actors of the caliber of Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton, but it doesn’t really stick with me the same way as my favorites do because the characters are lacking a human connection and storyline that makes me really care about them. The ones that do stick, it’s just classic good storytelling and character development, with space and superpowers and magic and stuff.

    (And thank you for lifting up Robert Downey Jr’s backstory, that was a big backdrop to the original Ironman. Saying he’s not supposed to be alive is a succinct way of getting at addiction issues he’s said started when he was a little kid and his dad started sharing his drugs, landed him multiple stints in prison/rehab, and made him uninsurable on set. I think part of the reason you root for the character is that you’re also rooting for this super talented actor to stay healthy and keep working so we all get the pleasure of watching him onscreen. Speaking for myself, anyway. He’s also one of my kids’ favorites.)

    Like

    • Yesterday I watched Ant Man, Doctor Strange, and the second Guardians. And Ant Man is the one I remember best. I think because it was so simple and power-less. Normal human people trying to do their best, on earth. Although the family stuff in Guardian was great, you are right. Especially love all the adoption stuff, the sister dynamic and the father dynamic both built on that.

      RDJ has always been SUCH a brilliant actor. Soapdish is a family favorite and he is amazing in that. Seeing him come back from the impossible outer limits is just stunning. Especially because he has come back a truly better person, focused on service and charity and giving back and so on since his recovery.

      On Sun, May 30, 2021 at 11:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.