Films I've just watched 2017

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Medicine Man
 
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Medicine Man » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:22 am

I liked Spiderman 2. Does that count?

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby katarn » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:38 am

They keep churning out these MCU films, yet as a piece of storytelling Batman Begins just stands there and pisses all over every one of them from a great height IMO.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:46 am

eVoL wrote:I think a better job has been done with marvel properties outside the MCU.


X-Men is a bit hit and miss, although Logan is exceptional. The non-MCU Spiderman films are also hit and miss (mostly miss for me if I'm completely honest). I'm not sure what other major non-MCU Marvel films there are. Blade, I guess? The Fantastic Four? Ben Affleck's Daredevil? Jennifer Garner's hilariously terrible Elektra?

The strength of the MCU to me is the big picture and how each film (most of them at least) builds towards something greater. There are only a handful of them which you could approach as individual films with no prior MCU knowledge and have a proper appreciation of them, let alone understand them. That's arguably a weakness, but if you invest in the MCU as a whole then it rewards you with something greater than the sum of its parts.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Raid » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:13 pm

For me, Logan is the only film from the Marvel side that can compete with Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight from DC. There aren't many superhero films that I think excel outside of the genre, but those two are probably the standouts. The MCU films are generally well produced, glossy, exciting and all that, but they don't escape their genre because they don't take themselves particularly seriously, as the source material is, let's face it, a bit ridiculous.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:21 pm

And a man who dresses up as a bat isn't...?
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Raid » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:32 pm

That's the thing though, they play that completely straight in TDK allowing the audience to suspend their disbelief. You can't really do that with, say, an alien that flies using a magic hammer, or a guy who turns into a big green monster if he stubs his toe. It's also as much about world-building as it is character design, and TDK's Gotham feels like it could be a real place, with grime and muggings and people being shot in alleyways, and criminals reacting to being grabbed from above by terrifying man in a bat costume in the way you'd expect, rather than for example, making a quip about how he's using too much eyeshadow.

This is all subjective, I'm not saying that everyone will classify the film in this way.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:39 pm

Fair enough, but I completely disagree. :lol: Reality is no defence for fiction - i.e. just because something could be closer to reality in a story, that in no way means that it should be. The only important thing in that respect is internal consistency. Thor is the god of thunder and flies with a magic hammer. Fine - that's not something that could ever happen in the real world, but I don't care about the real world when I'm watching Thor. I care about what's possible in the Marvel universe, and everything Thor does is perfectly possible and consistent within that context.

As for suspension of disbelief, apologies but I loathe and reject that statement emphatically. Audiences do not need to suspend disbelief because humans are wired to WANT to believe. That's the whole reason tabloid newspapers get people to buy into entirely fabricated bullshit stories. It's also a large part of why religion is so successful. Again, it's all to do with internal consistency - people will believe whatever you present in your story as long as it doesn't contradict whatever rules you've set out.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Sly Boots » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:53 pm

NERD FIGHT! :o
My face is tired.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:57 pm

:lol:

To this day, when someone says nerd fight my brain immediately goes here:

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Sly Boots » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:08 pm

:lol:
My face is tired.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:41 pm

On a non-MCU note (and in danger of spamming this thread), I'm off to see a special 30th anniversary screening of Predator at our local Vue cinema tonight and I'm pretty stoked. I can only imagine such wonders as "STICK AROUND" and diving away from a nuclear explosion are infinitely better on the big screen.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Mantis » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:45 pm

I think the fact that the new Batman movies are more leashed by reality allowed them to explore slightly darker themes than what the MCU tackles. In fact, the Batman comics have always been darker. It's hard to really get the personal struggles in there when your big baddie is a demi-god from another dimension intent on enslaving the universe.

They're very different movies aimed at very different audiences, albeit with a clear crossover. For what it's worth I think I prefer Batman.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:01 pm

DC definitely deals with darker stuff than Marvel, and while I like a lot of DC stuff I'm a Marvel man at heart because its stories are broadly hopeful and optimistic which is what I go for.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:47 pm

Iron Man 2

As previously mentioned, I love this film and I've often felt that the criticism laid on it is at least partly unfounded. I've heard so many times that it doesn't have good villains and that the story is weak that I started to believe I was wrong and the naysayers must be right. Going into this time I got thoroughly stuck into the guts of it, even making notes, so that I could finally understand why I love it and perhaps figure out why so many people hate it. The short version is that I'm finally convinced it has a superb story that is not always clearly presented, but I love it more than ever.

The long version... this could get a bit silly, so apologies in advance. I'm doing this for my own sake in case I ever feel the need to explain to someone else why it's a great but flawed film. :P

Iron Man 2 is unusually structured as it boils down to two stories, two conflicts, which are intertwined: an internal one and an external one. The internal conflict is that Stark is dying of palladium poisoning as a result of using the Iron Man suits, and he is his own antagonist because of his self-destructive nature and his refusal to share his responsibilities. The external conflict is that Stark wants to create a good legacy for himself as he's dying, and Justin Hammer and Ivan Vanko want to destroy that legacy. These conflicts are tested and resolved across four acts:

Act 1 - The two core conflicts are established in the first 40 minutes or so, culminating with Vanko's attack at Monaco.
Act 2 - Tony rejects help from his friends and begins to drive them away, which leads to him having a meltdown at his birthday party that throws his legacy into disrepute and turns his friends against him.
Act 3 - The 'Daddy Issues' act, where Tony discovers his dad did love and respect him, which leads to him attempting to fix his situation and repair his relationships.
Act 4 - Tony finally accepts help in defeating Hammer and Vanko, resolving both conflicts.

Far from being "just another" Iron Man film attempting to ride off the success of the first, IM2 firmly establishes Tony Stark's character for the foreseeable future and lays the groundwork for a huge portion of the MCU, not just practically (as in bringing Rhody, Nick Fury and Black Widow into the mix) but tonally, as it proves that the world needs Iron Man and Iron Man cannot save the world by himself. This is the film that establishes heroes cannot and should not be lone wolves, hence the formation of the Avengers. For me it's not that I think IM2 is better than IM1, it's that IM2 completes Tony's character from what IM1 sets up and makes both films stronger as a result. In particular, IM1 seems to end with Tony accepting the responsibility of Iron Man largely because of his own ego, and that's immediately confirmed by the self-congratulatory expo opening at the start of IM2. That ego grows throughout act 1 with Tony flipping off the senate, declaring he's privatised world peace, then deciding to race at Monaco - something even experienced racers find challenging. How egocentric is he to think he can compete there (I mean, he probably can... he's Tony Stark... but still)? He seems to demand adoration from the world, like a vain god, until Vanko shows that "god can bleed". It's good stuff.

The other major criticism of IM2 is that Vanko and Hammer are poor antagonists. I respectfully disagree; in fact I think they're demonstrably strong antagonists for the external conflict who only work as a duo - take one away and the other flounders. That's good villainy. A bad duo of antagonists is where you can take one away and it doesn't have any effect. Vanko and Hammer are dark mirror images of parts of Tony Stark. Vanko has the skill, but uses it to destroy Tony's legacy in revenge for the way Howard Stark treated Anton Vanko, whereas Tony is using his tech to create a legacy in spite of the way his father treated him. Hammer wants to create his own legacy by destroying Tony's but has no skill whatsoever, so he depends entirely on others to do the work for him; Tony outright rejects help because he doesn't trust others to do what he does.

The flaw of the film is that this great story of two parts is somehow obscured, almost to the point where it's lost. It's all there - I can evidence everything I've said about it - but considering I've watched it I don't know how many times and this is the first time I've really identified what makes it good, that clearly means it's not doing something right. Honestly, the reason I loved it from the start is certainly for superficial reasons rather than any subconscious insight, but having looked at it in great detail it's frustrating that it's so close to being a truly masterful film. With some tighter emphasis on certain aspects and clearer character motivations, I'm convinced that most MCU fans would have placed it near the top of their lists.

I could go on (seriously, I could write pages about Iron Man 2), but I think I've shown why I find it such a good MCU film, and if it makes someone who didn't like it watch it again and possibly enjoy it, that would make me very happy!
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Rusty » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:26 pm

Hmm, just watched the 'everything wrong with' video on Iron Man 2 and it didn't have a whole lot wrong with it :)
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