The same way that Guardians of the Galaxy followed up the more somber and serious Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we needed something lighter after Avengers: Infinity War. Well, I certainly needed it the first time I saw this in theaters. Remember theaters? Those were the days... Anyway, MCU March continues with Ant-Man and the … Continue reading Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Black Panther was a game changer. Sure, it's a piece of the greater tapestry that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it barely feels like it. And that's not a bad thing! It broke free, so to speak, from the standard hero template and became its own thing. Which, as it turns out, was widely successful as it's the top grossing movie in the MCU that doesn't have "Avengers" in the title (as of writing). Why was it so successful? Let's dive in with this entry of MCU March and find out.
Once upon a time in the far away land of 1996, Marvel Entertainment was facing bankruptcy. One step of staying afloat was selling the movie rights to their most popular characters--Sony got Spider-Man, 20th Century Fox got the X-Men, and so on. Marvel kept the rights to the B-tier team the Avengers and against all odds successfully managed them into the most successful franchise ever. Over time film rights expired and went back to Marvel, or companies were just bought out. But Sony kept making Spider-Man movies so they kept the rights. Which is to say that Spider-Man: Homecoming is a weird and somewhat unique movie in terms of licensing the character. MCU March continues with the first film in the trilogy of the third incarnation of the live action Spider-Man!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe really tries to cover as many genres as it can, all while still sticking with a superhero aesthetic. For example, Captain America: The First Avenger is a war drama, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a political thriller, and Guardians of the Galaxy is a space comedy. So really, it's not that big a surprise that Ant-Man would be a heist movie. And despite some behind the scenes shakeups, this is a comedy that has that that Mr. Edgar Wright humor all over it.
I know I basically said that Thor: The Dark World was a turning point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that's more a collection of little details. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, however? This is a huge moment in the franchise, splitting everything into "films before" and "films after." It's also the first MCU film by the directors of several episodes of Community, Mr. Joe and Mr. Anthony Russo. Oh yeah, they both directed the pilot and Joe also directed Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, A Fistfull of Paintballs, and For a Few Paintballs More. That probably explains why Abed was working for SHIELD... They also directed Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, so that's probably more relevant to MCU March.
I gotta say, I absolutely love that MCU March lined up in such a perfect way that not only do the number of weekdays match the number of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also that the Thor post is going up on Thursday. Thor's Day? Get it?! Ah, we have fun here at Chwineka Watches... Anyway, let's talk about my favorite film of Marvel's Phase One.
One of the downsides of doing an event or theme month is that anything that doesn't fit in gets pushed back. I saw Promising Young Woman near the middle of January but it absolutely didn't match that month's "worst ever" theme. Plus, I had already cheesed it by finding a negative review for the good movie Possessor, so doing that twice felt too much like cheating. So here we are in February, talking about a movie that came out in December. Ever so topical.
Sure, I could spend all of January pulling movies straight from the IMDB Bottom 100 and call it a day. Month. Whatever. But things like "bad" and "worst ever" are incredibly subjective. What you think is awful could be another person's favorite movie. As an example, Diary of a Cannibal--the worst movie I have ever seen and no I will never shut up about that--has reviews on IMDB giving it an 8 and a 10. Are these people deranged? Probably, but you get the idea. So while Possessor has been on several "best of 2020" lists, one anonymous person on Letterboxd said, and I quote, "One of the worst movies we have ever seen." Flimsy justification on my part to watch a good movie during this month, but someone said it was the worst! So here we are!
Merry Christmas! My gift to you is me rambling about aspect ratios. No, you can't exchange it for something else. So anyway, you've probably heard of "widescreen" versus "full screen." Full screen is an aspect ratio of 4:3 (if the width is 4 units, then the height is 3 units), creating close to a square. This was the format of most early television shows and a lot of movies got cut down to that for a home release, either losing things on the sides or forcing editors to make awkward shifts to keep the action on the smaller screen. Case in point, the DVD of The Muppet Christmas Carol I have gives you the option of watching either widescreen or full screen before starting the movie, and in the full screen example you can see Peter Cratchit nearly cut out of the shot entirely. So widescreen for theatrical movies is generally better, right? Well, let me tell you why I prefer to watch this particular movie in full screen, or at least for one particular scene...
One potentially bad habit of mine when writing these posts is referencing a different movie. A lot of the time it's a film I've already talked about, but there are also a bunch of times where it's something I haven't made a post for. I keep all the references on a list and it currently sits at 272 movies and TV shows. Holy fuck! So let's work through that backlog, but in a random way! I'm going to roll the digital equivalent of a 272-sided die and that's going to be what we're talking about today. As of writing this sentence, I don't even know what it'll be! So let's roll and... #149! The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, as mentioned in the Viktor und Viktoria post! So let's talk about this nearly 3 hour movie in the Criteron Collection.