Monthly Archives: August 2018

The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Hello!  Long time, no see!

I can’t say that I’m back, but I figured I thought I’d try to keep up with this blog a little bit more than I have been.  I’ll try to toss up a post now and then. 

So why the long absence?  I dunno, just life.  We traveled a bit this summer, I had stuff to do with my mom’s condo, work’s been busy, oldest is going off to college, youngest had some band things like parades.  In between, I actually have been writing a little bit.  Not finishing much.  Not publishing much.  Just writing.

And I’ve also seen a few movies.  On DVD/BluRay, I saw Logan, DeadPool 2, The Dark Knight, and several from the X-men universe.  On the airplanes, I watched Star Trek (the rebooted version), Thor: Ragnarok, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.  In the theater, I saw Mamma Mia:  Here We Go Again, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant Man and The Wasp, Black Panther, and Solo

Notice anything that they have in common?  Oh, yeah.  A bunch of them are superhero movies. I watched them with my sons, for the most part, and I found that I enjoyed them.  Do they make sense all the time?  No.  Are there plot holes big enough to drive trucks through?  Yes.  Does the science violate all principles of physics at times?  Yes, again.  

Are they pure escapist fun?  Yes!

I don’t always need something that’s going to address a serious theme, though I would say that these superhero movies do at times tackle some deeper issues.  Not in the same way as something like the Three Billboards movie did; that tackled a bunch of issues head on and rather directly.  These movies take on issues tangentially, a glancing blow if you will.  Black Panther dealt with racism and haves vs. have-nots, but not in such a way that it always related to our own experience in real life.  Yet I feel like viewers take away some lessons, maybe even better than they do from some other movies, because they recognize the injustice in a different way and internalize it.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  (shrug)  Avengers movies also often show strong female characters who kick butt and take names.  Don’t want to mess with Black Widow or Scarlett Witch or Gamora. 

But mostly, they’re simple morality plays.  Good versus evil.  The evil is pretty easy to spot and identify in these movies; even Thanos, who tries to make the case that he’s doing what he’s doing in order to SAVE the universe, is clearly the evil one in Infinity War.  The superheroes, even when they’re conflicted themselves (like they were in Civil War), are still always good. 

There’s something very cool about this huge story arc that’s occurred over something like eighteen movies now.  They’ve all built up to what we’re waiting for in Avengers 4: Untitled Infinity War Part Two.  They’ve been remarkably consistent and faithful to this story arc.  It’s very fun to watch the older movies and see the events of them in light of what we’ve seen in Infinity War.  They all have added something to the overarching story that’s inspired a ton of discussion online. 

Mostly, for me, they’ve been just fun.  A joy to watch.  I pooh-poohed my son’s enjoyment of them for the longest time, but he finally dragged me in, and now I’m a fan too. 

It would be terrific fun to try to write a story like this.  Maybe someday I’ll try it.

Oh, and Solo was very good, too.  Much better than I was led to believe by the reviews and online comments I saw.  Everyone who sees it seems to like it.  Star Wars fans are the worst.  They micro-examine everything for faithfulness to some story and canon that mostly exists in their own heads.  Another fun movie with plenty of visual eye candy and a solid plot.  I hope they make more of the movies they were intending to make before this one “failed” by not meeting Disney’s financial expectations, a failure that I believe has more to do with competing with themselves (Infinity War, Incredibles 2, and Ant Man and The Wasp), the other blockbuster superhero movie (Deadpool 2) and graduations and graduation parties, the beginning of summer break, and summer vacations, as well as with the expectation that Star Wars movies come out in the late fall/early winter.  It deserved better than it got. 

Back to writing (I hope).