[Movies] MCU: Phase 4: Variant Madness

I think I've seen Thor twice and The Dark World once. Haven't had much interest in watching either of them again unless my daughter shows an interest.
 

Dave

Staff member
I hated Ragnarok because of how they fucked up Planet Hulk as well as turning Korg and ESPECIALLY Meek into punchlines.
 
I liked The Dark World well enough, but I still rank it along the bottom of my MCU list. Ragnarok is definitely my favorite, largely because it was refreshing to have Hulk actually talk for a change. And the Kirby aesthetics are off the charts more than any other Marvel movie (including Eternals, where it SHOULD have been bleeding Kirby aesthetics).

I really like the first one, too, though. Probably gonna get flack for this, but I like it more than the first Iron Man.
The original Thor movie is great and, all too often, overlooked. Ragnarok is fun, the cast is generally great, and the story has some interesting beats, but there are also some issues.

Also, speaking of Thor:

 
So something's been bugging me about Moon Knight. This shouldn't be too much of a spoiler, but there's a scene where they have to know where the stars were on a particular date and how that's like impossible, and so Konshu moves the heavens so that they can see it.

But the motions of stars and planets are highly predictable. In fact, there are books (called an ephemeris) that will give you the exact position of stars and planets for any given time and date--not only in the past, but for the future, as well. These have been around for a couple of thousands of years. In fact, you can get an app for your phone that will do it. And some of the surviving Babylonian artifacts are clay tablets of ephemerides, so I have a hard time believing Steven Grant wouldn't know about them.

But I guess that wouldn't have moved the plot along in the way it played out, so I can give it a pass. Still, it bugs me.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
But I guess that wouldn't have moved the plot along in the way it played out, so I can give it a pass. Still, it bugs me.
It bugged me, too. And I was trying to figure out if there's any way to understand this that makes sense, and maybe if we assume that Konshu doesn't know the date, and only remembers how the stars looked. Which really just brings up the question of why there wasn't a less dramatic way to get that info into the app. Maybe this was originally written as a longer scene that got cut down until it reached the point of making anyone who knows just a little about astronomy scratch their heads.

Hypothetically if we think about the difficulty of an invisible god who has to act through his avatar trying to interact with a computer program to get the stars into the right position on the tablet screen. It's kinda humorous, especially if the impatient Konshu just goes "Fuck it, being imprisoned in stone is better than trying to learn how to use an iPad. I'll just rearrange the heavens for a moment, and then you can be on your way."

It's still a huge stretch, but at least it fits the characters.
 
Hypothetically if we think about the difficulty of an invisible god who has to act through his avatar trying to interact with a computer program to get the stars into the right position on the tablet screen. It's kinda humorous, especially if the impatient Konshu just goes "Fuck it, being imprisoned in stone is better than trying to learn how to use an iPad. I'll just rearrange the heavens for a moment, and then you can be on your way."
Considering the sheer amount of IT work we have often have to do for our parents and/or people of their generation+, I would TOTALLY by someone as old as Konshu prefering to rearrange the stars than learn how to send a damn text. This may be the most realistic part of the series.
 
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
Review.
I exited the theater with the strong feeling that Spider-Man: No Way Home was a much better multiverse movie. Heck, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once was a better multiverse movie than this film. It isn't that it's terrible, but it isn't exactly the Marvel Universe changing film that I was expecting. My major complaint with the film is that all major twists or major plot points are not paced well. Things that you feel could use some build up to really pack an emotional punch are let loose far too quickly and the punches become more of a hearty tap. Make no mistake that I love Sam Raimi films but this does not feel like a film that he should have been put on. He brings a campiness to it that just doesn't feel right. Plus there are some scenes that feel like Raimi's signature directions were really pushed to only say "THIS IS A SAM RAIMI MOVIE" instead of tell a fun and engaging story. As an example there is a point in the film that Dr. Strange does something very uncharacteristically cruel to a character, simply so the film can make an obvious reference to The Evil Dead franchise.
A good way to demonstrate how this movie pales to No Way Home is by comparing the audience reactions. In No Way Home the theater would go absolutely nuts when certain things occurred or especially when certain characters appeared. In Multiverse of Madness my theater barely made a few hoot and hollers when the major cameos appeared.
The ending is abrupt and feels rushed. The 1st end credit scene feels the same and reminds me of the stereotypical ending you might see in a 90s Super Hero film (The Mario Bros movie came to mind for me almost immediately) . And the 2nd end credit scene is used just to continue the Evil Dead joke from earlier.
It is an absolute shame that this film did not meet my expectations pacing wise. I enjoyed the story and there was a lot of potential here. Effects were wonderful of course and there was even some pretty decent (though PG-13 level gruesome) kills.
Giving this one a C
 
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I thought the movie was pretty middle ground overall but I will say my theatre went just as wild for
the Illuminati as they did for No Way Home. I do think they telegraphed Reed badly by having Christine say she worked in the Baxter Building. Knew we were getting him at that point, when they could have just waited 5 minutes for his actual reveal. I get that it's only a if you know you know thing but still it made the other reveals less impactful for me cause all I was waiting for was Reed from then on.
 
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Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

Watched this with my niece and some friends afternoon. I dug it. Raimi's style is ALL over it, making me feel like rewatching his other work. The set pieces are phenomenal and the effects are outstanding.

It's well bookended, but everything in between is kind of hit and miss and drags at times.

Structurally, it feels similar to Civil War, in that the middle part has a bunch of cameos that don't really amount to much in terms of the story as a whole. Still a lot of fun, but the cameos felt like canon fodder.

It also feels like the story went out of its way to give Strange and another character side quests that take up the majority of the middle of the movie in order to keep them separated until the end. And it leads to some awkward moments.

Visually, it's absolutely top notch. Story-wise, it drags in the middle. A lot of scenes feel like expositional infodumps, either to explain certain magic stuff or certain multiverse stuff. It's necessary for the plot or themes, but it's done in a really dull manner.

It's not Raimi's best work and it won't rank terribly high in my MCU rankings. Definitely below the first Dr. Strange. Visually, it's by far the most interesting MCU film since probably the Guardians movies, both for its effects and for Raimi's specific directing flair.

Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed it. But I don't see myself enjoying or appreciating it more with rewatches.
 
I really enjoyed it, as a parent the change in tone did bother me a bit. Not that I brought my kid to see it, but I know a lot of parents did not knowing that it would be quite a bit darker than the other marvel movies.

Pretty much every other Marvel movie was what I would consider a soft pg-13. Lots of fighting and explosions, but nothing really scary or gory. Yes, parents should do their research, but there wasn’t much to say that this would be edging in to almost the horror genre at times. The ratings were the same as the other Marvel movies, so unless they watched it first, they wouldn’t really know it was any different.
 

GasBandit

Staff member


Top comment: "Legally, it's only Thor if they're from a specific region of Asgard. Otherwise it's just Sparkling Sexy Hammer Viking."
 
Dr Strange 2 and the need to see the Disney+ shows
Would people who hadn't watched WandaVision understand Wanda's motivation for wanting to reunite with her children? I don't recall anything just from the films to reference a home life with VIsion. Unlike Falcon and Winter Soldier, where movie-only watchers can go from Endgame where Steve gives Sam the shield and go right into Cap 4 where Sam is the new Cap. I don't think What If is necessary to understand why there is a Captain Carter, and Black Bolt's superpower is shown anyway.
 


Top comment: "Legally, it's only Thor if they're from a specific region of Asgard. Otherwise it's just Sparkling Sexy Hammer Viking."
I like how they're not even trying to hide the fact that Lady Thor is Jane. It's like, "No, the comic readers already know, and they're going to tell everyone else, so just toss Natalie Portman into the marketing."
 
Dr Strange 2 and the need to see the Disney+ shows
Would people who hadn't watched WandaVision understand Wanda's motivation for wanting to reunite with her children? I don't recall anything just from the films to reference a home life with VIsion. Unlike Falcon and Winter Soldier, where movie-only watchers can go from Endgame where Steve gives Sam the shield and go right into Cap 4 where Sam is the new Cap. I don't think What If is necessary to understand why there is a Captain Carter, and Black Bolt's superpower is shown anyway.
Wanda has a short monologue that brings the WV stuff into it, I think you can fill in from there. Some people are more “you have to spell out everything to me” and will not be happy having to infer things that may have happened.
My verdict is that you don’t have to have it to watch MoM, but may want to watch it after. Start with Ep 3.
 
I enjoyed Dr. Strange a great deal and

Deadite Dr. Strange cloaked in hell spirits is both the dumbest and raddest thing in the entirety of Marvel and the Illuminati getting jobbed out as grisly as they were was great. I literally guffawed when Professor X came out in the yellow chair and the cartoon theme played for a split second. The musical battle was great too.

God this rules

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Sam Raimi rules and I'm glad he got to splash some of his own unique B-movie sensibilities all over this big budget Marvel machine.

This was a better Dark Phoenix story than any of the attempts of making a Dark Phoenix movie.

My only major negative right now is that I'm pretty sure seeing this in theaters is how I got covid.
 
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That's... not exactly a high hurdle :p


That risk is why I still haven't seen it yet, and will probably wait for it to hit the torrents.
I've been to the movies a few times lately, but I always choose the more expensive IMAX (because less people show up) and I get my tickets at the last minute and try to reserve them as far away from others as possible. And, I tend to go at the end of a movie's run, so that most people have already seen it and attendance is way low.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
I've been to the movies a few times lately, but I always choose the more expensive IMAX (because less people show up) and I get my tickets at the last minute and try to reserve them as far away from others as possible. And, I tend to go at the end of a movie's run, so that most people have already seen it and attendance is way low.
And really, even Pre-Covid, I pretty much stopped going to the movies. Last movie I saw in the theater was Thor: Ragnarok. Basically I've only gone to Marvel movies in the theater since, like, Avengers 1, I think.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Ok, I just got back from seeing Multiverse of Madness and I basically echo everything @Frank said. I loved picking out all the Raimiverse references (HEY THAT'S ASH'S CAR FROM EVIL DEAD), and the leitmotif Frank mentioned got me giddy as a schoolboy.

So yeah, everything Frank said. Double for me.

Except the COVID part.

Uh, I hope.
 
Took my son to see ut tonight.

THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!

Some chump tried to talk us out of watching the final credit scene. Total chump.
 
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