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MCU: Phases? What Phases???


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9 minutes ago, sifth said:

I mean I know it was done for budgetary reasons, but I believe each season of Dear Devil showed considerable restraint in its season finals. Same with season 1 of Loki; nearly the entire season final was hearing Majors talk and you know what, it's memorable. Not gonna lie, I talk more about that Loki season final, with my friends, than I do any of the others.

There's truth to that, but Daredevil is a street level character that is typically fighting non-superpowered villains.  Same with Punisher.  I think it very much depends on both the character and the villain.  The same, I think can be said for over the top environments, like fights on helicarriers or nefarious secret villain floating headquarters.

 

26 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

It depends doesn’t it? There are clearly some movies where a big overblown CGI fest makes sense, and some where  you’d get more benefit doing something else.

I’d expect a huge battle at the end of Infinity War.. less so at the end of Wandavision. Civil War had a fight at the end but it was much more personal one based on conflict between two characters ( the airport fight was actually an example of a good fight as well)

Then something like Shang Chi, a movie that could have  demonstrated some incredible martial arts and physical action, telling a personal story, instead just did a big computer dragon weird shit. There are a lot of ways to make a movie exciting and push those adrenaline buttons that don’t just involve a big cartoony battle.

Certainly, it depends.  WandaVision had so much promise.  I was definitely disappointed with much of the finale, but mostly because of all the ways I let my expectations betray me (though I fully believe that the Easter Egg of Grim Reaper's helmet in the opening animation for Ep 2 was a bitter and cruel tease that implied so many other things).  That said, they did Agatha Harkness dirty and, as a result of that turn, it felt somewhat inevitable.

Shang Chi absolutely could have been something much more personal but as soon as they introduced Mandarin and the 10 Rings, I was prepared for the final act to be what it was, and actually somewhat anticipated them going bigger and introducing Fin Fang Foom.

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Dr. Strange (the first one) is by no means a perfect movie, but I liked that in the climax, Strange managed to defeat the villain not by punching him in the face, but by a clever trick. The second one also doesn't end with another slugfest (and while there's a fight of sorts, you don't see the hero of the story possessing the corpse of his alternate version every day).

The Loki season finale that was already mentioned also didn't end in a brawl.

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1 hour ago, hauberk said:

Over the top action in the third act is pretty much a foregone conclusion.  Would you ask that a Fast and the Furious movie not have chase sequences with beautiful people (and Vin Diesel) doing over the top things.

 

Well, two things: first, Fast and Furious films are about chase sequences and Vin Diesel doing over the top things. There's no conflict between them and other stories they are trying to tell.
Second, and really the first point is a result of this second, is that it's not true that an OTT third act is a foregone conclusion in a superhero comic run. Yeah, it happens a lot, certainly in the team comics and crossover events, but every story? Not even close, even in the ones that are action-focused, and that's a lot of the problem, that stories drawn from comics with a different tone are then being whacked together with the humungous finale. 

Winter Soldier is a case in point, because that's directly based on a specific comic story and while there is quite a lot of beating people up involved, and one issue does involve Iron Man and some stuff blowing up, it's nowhere near the scale the movie goes to and pretty much sticks within what you'd expect of an actiony spy thriller. Steve's final confrontation with Bucky is in a bunker. That story really doesn't need or want the massive mult-carrier aerial showdown. 

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Civil War is also good because it has the fight between Avengers teams that is smaller and, crucially, only involves characters people know and care about, and then that final confrontation between Tony vs Steve and Bucky. They even subvert it by making us think Zemo will unleash an army of faceless supersoldiers, but he just kills them off-camera.

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2 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

Civil War is also good because it has the fight between Avengers teams that is smaller and, crucially, only involves characters people know and care about, and then that final confrontation between Tony vs Steve and Bucky. They even subvert it by making us think Zemo will unleash an army of faceless supersoldiers, but he just kills them off-camera.

Yea, that's a very good example there. The final for Civil War, was not some over the top battle, between 100 to 1000 CGI characters fighting the Avenger; it was simply a battle between friends, over a rather complex issue. The fact that the audience already knows, that all three men are good and decent people, only made it hurt harder, IMO. I'm not even a huge fan of the Civil War film, but even I have to admit they did a very good job with the climax.

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1 hour ago, polishgenius said:

 

Well, two things: first, Fast and Furious films are about chase sequences and Vin Diesel doing over the top things. There's no conflict between them and other stories they are trying to tell.
Second, and really the first point is a result of this second, is that it's not true that an OTT third act is a foregone conclusion in a superhero comic run. Yeah, it happens a lot, certainly in the team comics and crossover events, but every story? Not even close, even in the ones that are action-focused, and that's a lot of the problem, that stories drawn from comics with a different tone are then being whacked together with the humungous finale. 

Winter Soldier is a case in point, because that's directly based on a specific comic story and while there is quite a lot of beating people up involved, and one issue does involve Iron Man and some stuff blowing up, it's nowhere near the scale the movie goes to and pretty much sticks within what you'd expect of an actiony spy thriller. Steve's final confrontation with Bucky is in a bunker. That story really doesn't need or want the massive mult-carrier aerial showdown. 

You are correct, there are numerous examples of smaller, quieter stories that are fantastic.  My point, as someone in my fifth decade of comic reading, is that part of what makes those issues special is that they are the exception and not the norm.  Could we do with more variety, certainly, but this is nothing if not being true to the genre.

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33 minutes ago, DMC said:

I haven't watched a single second of the Fast & Furious franchise and I'm still sick of it.

I’ve also managed to avoid them but recognize that they clearly satisfy a large group of consumers and that’s ok. The market is large enough that I still have opportunities to see the stuff I enjoy. 

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1 minute ago, hauberk said:

I’ve also managed to avoid them but recognize that they clearly satisfy a large group of consumers and that’s ok. The market is large enough that I still have opportunities to see the stuff I enjoy. 

Well sure, reality television, cooking shows, faux history, TikTok, people watching other people play video games, Kanye West, the list goes on.  There's a lot about pop culture over the last twenty years I don't understand, and that's ok.

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41 minutes ago, DMC said:

I haven't watched a single second of the Fast & Furious franchise and I'm still sick of it.

Saw the first one (and maybe the second?) back in my first year of chiropractic school.  It was a run of the mill cop story with fast cars.

Ive not seen any others but don’t recognize what I see in the trailers compared to that first.

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

Well sure, reality television, cooking shows, faux history, TikTok, people watching other people play video games, Kanye West, the list goes on.  There's a lot about pop culture over the last twenty years I don't understand, and that's ok.

God damn. You're...old...

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

I haven't watched a single second of the Fast & Furious franchise and I'm still sick of it.

I refuse to watch them in protest ever since they announced they would set the 5th one in Rio- I know the traffic here too well to know there's no way anyone can get away with multiple car chases, and the unrealistic open roads would just make me mad- you can only get to 250 km per hour if you're driving the goddamn Enterprise.

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1 minute ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

God damn. You're...old...

At heart?  When it comes to popular culture the last twenty years (and mind you, twenty years ago I was 17)?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  OTOH, obviously the predominance of comic book movies and HBO introducing me to asoiaf are things I like.  And streaming totally agrees with my addictive personality.  I binged/rewatched shows before it existed.

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9 hours ago, hauberk said:

You are correct, there are numerous examples of smaller, quieter stories that are fantastic.  My point, as someone in my fifth decade of comic reading, is that part of what makes those issues special is that they are the exception and not the norm.  Could we do with more variety, certainly, but this is nothing if not being true to the genre.

I know what you are getting at, there are a lot of comics where mostly you are just looking at lots of shooty shooty zap zap, double page spreads of big fights. Thats part of superhero storytelling and you wouldn't want to lose that, and it should be expected in these movies as well. I think you can just do it well, there is a skill to it, and fights should mean something because they are a narrative device. The best fights tell a story, have their own beats, ups and downs, display characters and personality. 

I would enjoy the ending of Marvel movies a lot more if they did more of that, instead of just throwing flashy lights at the screen, and 'splosions. They CAN be better. 

Probably the tight turn around of all these special effects and disparate agencies working on the same scene means that there isn't a lot of time to really plan these things out, and what we end up with is a pretty by the numbers generic battle, because when you are up against a deadline, you just do the easiest thing to get it out the door.

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I'm not even sure it's a deadline thing- though more time always helps and in some instances like Black Panther was clearly a key reason- as it very much is a production line process in which the effects are seen as the last thing to apply, rather than an integrated process where the CG artists are involved from the planning stages.

You can give an artist all the time in the world, there's only so much they can do if you give them basic setups and shit lighting to work with - and I don't know for sure, but it feels often like Marvel started filming all the green screen stuff with very flat lighting as if that's meant to give more leeway afterwards - but that's the opposite of true.

 

We've heard from at least one director that they were told they shouldn't even worry about handling the action, the wider production can do it. 

Edited by polishgenius
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3 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Probably the tight turn around of all these special effects and disparate agencies working on the same scene means that there isn't a lot of time to really plan these things out, and what we end up with is a pretty by the numbers generic battle, because when you are up against a deadline, you just do the easiest thing to get it out the door.

I blame a lot of the issues with the climaxes sucking, on Previs being applied to most MCU films made in the last decade or so. It feels like all of these over the top CGI battles are planned out years ahead of time, sometimes before the scripts for the films are even completed and the writers and directors of the films, are told to create a movie that leads up to these over the top battles.

In other words, writers and directors on these MCU films aren't allowed to make the climaxes they want anymore. It certainly would explain why some of them seem very random and almost come out of nowhere.

 

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Back to confusing timelines… in the trailers for She Hulk, they show her talking to an incarcerated Emil Blonsky.  She also has a scene with Wong.

So do we think She Hulk is set before Shang Chi where we see Wong and Abomination in the underground fighting club?

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