Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Day Marvel Movie Thoughts...

It wasn't planned as a project or anything, but over the past five or six weeks, I've watched the entire MCU in a narrative order that I appreciate, and I have a few thoughts.

First, my narrative order doesn't really deviate too much from the release order, with a couple of exceptions.  I just moved a couple things around so that we don't have two of the same franchise back to back, or to move it closer, relatively, to the events surrounding it (Black Panther close to Civil War, GOTG 2 back aways because their events aren't really that far apart...).

I went:

Iron Man
Incredible Hulk
Iron Man 2
Captain America: First Avenger
The Avengers
Iron Man 3
Thor: Dark World
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ant Man
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Captain America: Civil War
Black Panther
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Doctor Strange:
Thor: Ragnarok
Avengers: Infinity War
Ant Man and the Wasp
Captain Marvel
Avengers: Endgame
Spider-Man: Far from Home

A few thoughts, about performances:

  • Gwyneth Paltrow should get a lot of credit for being part of the glue that holds the whole Universe together, and for being a fucking professional.  She got a little bit of crap for mentioning that she wasn't a huge fan of the movies, and for not realizing that she and a couple actors had appeared in the same movie.  And that's fine.  They're not her taste.  That's cool.  She still showed up every day and didn't once act like she was slumming it, or doing somebody a favor by just being there.  There are a couple through the 23 flicks that cannot say that (looking right at Natalie Portman, right now....).
  • Don Cheadle is another that just shows up every time.  He's got a handful of the best line deliveries across the whole shebang, and he really deserves his own series on Disney+, if not his own movie.  He's a favorite actor of mine.
  • Let's do the Iron Man Trifecta...Jon Favreau does so much with such little screen time.  Tell me that his staring at the back of the kid's head in Spider-Man Homecoming isn't hilarious.  I held it together during Endgame, but his talking to Morgan at the end of Endgame just broke me up, and got me again this time.
  • Dave Bautista just knocks it out of the park.  It's tough to play clueless for laughs and not seem hammy.  He's just right in the groove in both Guardians movies and Infinity War.
A few wishes:

  • I really wish that we'd found a way to feature the new lineup of Avengers in a flick or as backup before we got from Age of Ultron to Civil War.  There are a couple interactions between War Machine and Black Widow, and Falcon and War Machine, that tell you that this team is a really tight knit unit.  I wish we'd gotten to seem them gel as a unit on-screen, before we get to Civil War.  
  • I don't think Tilda Swinton did a bad job at all.  But that just wasn't good casting.  I mean, Michelle Yeoh's out there.  Jackie Chan is out there.  I feel like there was a better choice out there for Ancient One.  
  • There's a place in the multiverse where Ed Norton and Marvel came to some accord, and he plays in the greater MCU instead of being replaced by Mark Ruffalo.  Ruffalo did a great job, and I still hold that Avengers was probably the best depiction of the interplay between Hulk and Banner on screen, to that date (Ragnarok would later surpass that...).  But I think Norton brought something different to the character.  Maybe not necessarily better, but something different, and I wonder what the stew would taste like were he there.
  • I want more Justin Hammer.  I just love Sam Rockwell.  I hope we get to see more.
A few more thoughts:

  • If Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy flops, I wonder if the whole thing comes to fruition.  I think Gunn gave Feige and the Marvel folks a little more confidence in letting people play in the sandbox.  Similar to the Norton thing above, I'd kinda like to see what a Jenkins Thor or an Edgar Wright Ant Man ends up looking like.....
  • Doctor Strange keeps falling in my esteem.  It's just Iron Man, turned about 10 degrees.  And wasting Mads Mikkelsen and Rachel McAdams.
  • I like both Spider-Man movies more and more every time I see it.  If only for their humanity, and their humor about how superpowers play in the real world.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Favorite Movies A to Z

Just making my brain wake up.  I will not be loyal to these answers.  I have not had coffee.

Favorite movies starting with each letter of the alphabet

A         Amedeus   (Forman)
B         Batman      (Burton)
C         Captain America: Winter Soldier      (Russo)
D         Dr. Strangelove       (Kubrick)
E         Empire Strikes Back    (Kirschner)
F         the French Connection      (Friedkin)
G        Ghostbusters     (Reitman)
H        Harvey            (Koster)
I          Inglourious Basterds       (Tarantino)
J         Jurassic Park          (Spielberg)
K        King of Comedy      (Scorsese)
L        A League of Their Own      (Marshall)
M       Monty Python and the Meaning of Life     (Gilliam/Jones)
N        No Country for Old Men     (Coen)
O        O Brother Where Art Thou?       (Coen)
P         Pulp Fiction        (Tarantino)
Q        the Quick and the Dead     (Raimi)
R         Rashomon         (Kurosawa)
S          Star Wars          (Lucas)
T          This is Spinal Tap      (Reiner)
U          Usual Suspects       (Singer)
V          Vacation      (Ramis)
W         Wizard of Oz        (Fleming/Cukor)
X          X-Men: First Class       (Vaughn)
Y          Yojimbo       (Kurosawa)
Z           Zero Effect       (Kasdan)