Monday, May 18, 2015

don't have TOO much faith in Marvel ... "The On Screen Limits of Marvel's comic-book storytelling"


http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/05/the-on-screen-limits-of-marvels-comic-book-storytelling/392663/
Midway through Avengers: Age of Ultron, after a debilitating battle, Marvel's titular heroic team takes shelter at a quiet farm to recover and take stock of themselves. Joss Whedon's film, the eleventh in the increasingly overwhelming "Marvel Cinematic Universe," is a bombastic experience that lays several action sequences end-to-end, with only brief pauses for humor or character development. The most significant is the farm interlude: It’s a crucial moment, because it lets the team reflect on their failings and ponder their relevance to the world, which is the film’s core theme. But it’s not the Marvel Universe’s core theme, which is why, according to Whedon, the studio “pointed a gun” at the sequence during post-production
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Studio interference is hardly a novel concept in Hollywood, and Whedon is hardly the first director to complain about the intersection of business and art in moviemaking. But Marvel’s approach to storytelling increasingly comes into conflict with the idea of a film being able to stand on its own, even as part of a series. Amid complaints of too many sequels, Marvel has largely dodged criticism because of the generally consistent output of its products, but while Age of Ultron has gotten decent critical notices, its seams are far easier to see. Nowhere is Marvel’s interference more obvious than a scene following the trip to the farm, where Thor the Avenger zips off to take a bath
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it's been reported Marvel pointed a gun at the farm sequence (where character development moments actually happen) and told Whedon the cave-bath scene telegraphing Thanos and Infinity Wars had to stay or the whole farm sequence would get cut. 
 
So Thanos decided to finally get off his but and get his own soda out of the icebox.  This is not reason to look forward to more films, is it?  If someone were to say DC can't catch up with Marvel I'd say don't bother, the completely integrated cinematic universe is a bad idea.  Even with the Nolan Batman films, let's note that the weak link in the trilogy (generally considered The Dark Knight Rises) is the one film in the trilogy that depends on you having seen the previous installments, something that is actually not necessary for Batman Begins and even The Dark Knight.  Better to have films that are devoted to getting us to care about a few characters than films that are also required to deal with twenty future potential franchise films.  I really enjoyed the first Avengers film.  This second one felt too freighted by Marvel's expectation that we're all on the hook for five more movies.  No, we're not. 

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