Monday, March 25, 2019

ScreenJunkies News breaks down "Captain Marvel" box office conspiracy theories!

I am going to go there right now and say that I believe that the world will not end because Marvel's Captain Marvel" happens to send a positive feminist message. I believe that the folks who are screaming from their YouTube channels about how Marvel is "forcing a feminist agenda" down our throats with this "SJW feminist propaganda" are betraying a reactionary agenda and bias.

Apparently, many of these people have been saying that the movie would bomb, then that the great opening weekend was rigged, then that the downturn on Monday, and then the following weekend, proved that the movie and its message was not popular.

ScreenJunkies (who did not give the movie a stellar review) decided to do the research and figure out if there was any truth to these report of Disney doing things like buying out theaters and scheduling the release to maximize ticket sales to make it look like a successful movie when it would not be, among other things.

Without further ado, let's hear what he has to say...


...and on a note relevant to this blog, this is just one more piece of evidence that there is a Captain Marvel connected to EVERYTHING!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Marvel's "Captain Marvel" Carol Danvers movie review (Part 1)



After all the fuss and sturm und drang regarding this movie, let me say: This movie was not what you feared. It is a good, exciting, superhero movie/'90's nostalgia film that you can enjoy without even having read any of the comics or seeing any of the other Marvel movies.

That being said let's get into this. SPOILER ALERT! This is going to be a full-service review/analysis, so if you are one of those "Don't tell me! The introductory paragraph to this post was too much already!" people, stop now and read my "Spoiler Free" review at http://captainmarvelculture.blogspot.com/2019/03/spoiler-free-marvels-captain-marvel.html

Captain Marvel follows the story of an alien Kree warrior named Vers (pronounced "veers") as she discovers her true origin and power when she spends time on Earth.

If you knew nothing about the character, and that this movie was part of the Great Marvel Cinematic Universe, that would actually make for a pretty good movie. A few little things could have been left out, but they were mostly amusing in context.

But such is the way with Marvel superhero movies, and part of the fun of them is to see them in context and get all those little references. But even so, even with those little things, there should be a good movie behind it, and this is a good movie. It is even a good superhero movie, and it has an important, if not unfamiliar message. But this message has not been spelled out quite this obviously and relateably as in other superhero movies yet.

But aside from being a superhero movie, the other big, important characteristic of this movie is that it is a 1990's nostalgia piece. As such there are many 1990's references made, but to the movie's credit, those references (for the most part) enhance the themes, plot, mood, and characters of the movie. There are a few throw-away jokes as well, but at least they fit within the scope and parameters of the film-making.

The story begins with us getting to know Vers (Brie Larsen). She is a warrior with a strike team of the Kree intergalactic empire who has mysterious dreams that are probably about her past, which she can't remember. The Kree have a thing called "The Supreme Intelligence," which seems to be the consciousness of the ruling faction of the empire. It might be some sort of psychic artificial intelligence, because one communes with it by being connected to blue organic wires that tap into your body, and you speak to an avatar that is supposed to be someone you feel you can trust, or something.

She is being trained and led by an officer named Yon-Rogg (Jude Law. The character's name is not mentioned until well past the halfway mark of the movie). He keeps on telling her to control her emotions in many different ways as it seems she has some kind of superpower of "photon blasts" she can shoot with her fists. They appear to be enabled by a gadget stuck to the back of her neck.

In the course of a military extraction operation gone bad against their mortal enemies, the shape-shifting Skrulls, she gets captured and her memories are tapped, revealing a life growing up on Earth, constantly being told that she cannot do things, from kiddie go-kart races to obstacle courses in Air Force training. But these dreams also reveal who Mar-Vell (Marvel Comics' first Captain Marvel) is: a Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Benning), a Kree in disguise on Earth as a jet plane researcher/designer for the US Air Force and/or S.H.I.E.L.D.

At this point it is important to start pointing out the differences between the movie and the comics.

Movie adaptations of comic books and comic book superheroes always have to make changes because the media won't tell the same story to the same effect. Some such movies are direct adaptations of specific book (like Watchmen, 400, and Sin City), and others are stories of characters that have had a long history in the comics (Superman, Batman, the X-Men, Etc). This is one in the former group. In such stories, their origins have probably been told multiple times in the comics by different writers and artists and with different focii, emphasis, dialogue, and sometimes even with details being changed. They have had years of adventures, battling against a variety of adversaries, with an ever-changing and evolving cast of background characters. Even their costumes/uniforms have doubtless changed over time.

This means the the producer/director/writer team has to decide what the essence of the character is, how best to portray that on the screen, and how to make the hero relevant for today to draw an audience of both the loyal fans and those in the mainstream who are unfamiliar. This may mean changing elements of the origin story, combining, changing, or replacing certain background characters, changing the superpowers, even adjusting the costume.

Sometimes these changes work, even brilliantly. Making Rogue be the introductory character of the first X-Men movie, for instance, gave the audience a hero whose very power (the uncontrollable ability to absorb someone's memories and  superpowers, if they have any) drove her away from her loved ones, a perfect metaphorical parallel for the experience of homosexuals and other outcasts for which the X-men served as identifiable characters.

Sometimes these changes don't work, or are simply irrelevant, like making Red Skull Italian in the 1989 Captain America movie. I mean, come on, the greatest foe of Captain America in WWII, Italian?

In the comics, Mar-Vell was male, and Yon-Rogg was his superior officer. Yon-Rogg sent him to Earth to spy on humans to determine if they should be wiped out. While it may yet be revealed in a future movie that this was the true reason Mar-Vell was on Earth, there was another aspect to his character that making her female completely swept away: Romance.

Captain Mar-Vell's girlfriend on the Kree ship orbiting Earth was Medic Una, and Colonel Yon-Rogg had eyes for Una. He was also jealous of Mar-Vell for his popularity and success. Thus he wanted to get rid of him. And when Mar-Vell was on Earth, he won the heart of Carol Danvers for rescuing her from various monstrous threats. They made out numerous times, and each time Yon-Rogg would make sure Medic Una saw it, in the hopes that she would forsake him.

Much as I can only imagine someone in the world might want to see Annette Benning as a lesbian cougar getting it on with Brie Larsen, and Jude Law as some sort of jerk who gets turned on by lesbians, or perhaps that the Kree are not so hung up on gender preference as us humans, making Mar-Vell female and eliminating Una in a Marvel superhero movie totally eliminates any romantic angle in the relationship between these three characters. On the other hand, it does serve a certain message of this movie that I will get to later.

TO BE CONTINUED...

SPOILER FREE Marvel's "Captain Marvel" movie review (Carol Danvers)

I enjoyed it.