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Thread: Is the MCU becoming woke? Is that bad?

  1. #1
    Wildökarudo Mercen-X's Avatar
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    Default Is the MCU becoming woke? Is that bad?

    Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Shang Chi, Mighty Thor, Blade, Disney-Marvel looks set to run with the whole "inclusion era" for Phase 4. Or so say detractors on social media looking to harp on the MCU's #metoo facade.

    What made Black Panther a popular film? Was it the action? The effects? The contrived controversy of pandering to the black community? The appeal to solidarity from its black patrons? No. None of that. Black Panther was a popular film for the same reason as Iron Man, Winter Soldier, Ragnarok, Guardians... Character. Black Panther had character. T'Challa had character which was visibly and audibly expressed throughout the film.

    Now what made Captain Marvel so difficult to like? So many "champions" claim sexist dislike of the female lead, ignorance, penis-envy, little men who feel threatened by a strong woman. Funny, no one tried to make these arguments about Wonder Woman a year earlier. However, one of the main reasons Captain Marvel is disliked is because her character is not well-written. She's a one-dimensional snapshot of an idea similar in tone to the hero comics of the "Golden Age". Of course, Brie Larson's performance didn't help and she seemed to carry the "character" of Carol Danver's feminist paranoia and one-upmanship into interviews in which she constantly reminded the audience that she was a badass who didn't need anyone else, let alone her own co-stars. This all may have been an orchestrated act between her, Don Cheadle, Chris Hemsworth, and Jeremy Renner, but if so the joke ultimately backfired, clearly going over the heads of an already sour fanbase.

    However, justifiable as it may be to wish Captain Marvel had been a better film, fan outcry over the fem and racially diverse leads of future films is just silly. Much as it did when SJWs attacked the Straight Pride Parade, this kind of negative reaction is only going to hasten MCU's inevitable bent toward "invlusion." And why shouldn't it?

    The only harmful aspect that may arise from these films is a preachy narrative which would ultimately leave the story unbearable to watch. Fortunately, an inclusive film doesn't have to be preachy and Black Panther did a fine job proving that. Captain Marvel... not so much.

    But now things are getting interesting. Endgame already featured a short but epic "woman power" moment that left almost everyone clamoring for an A-Force film, but now Black Widow is getting her own film and the next Thor will feature Jane Foster as the titular hero. But anxiety over the MCU's wokeness is not limited to the films with female leads. There's also Blade and Shang Chi, two non-white males leading their very own films in just few years time.

    I'm not sure how exactly we came to arrive at a point in history when people are so concerned about what race or what gender a character will be especially given we already have so many badass female and "non-white" characters in the MCU as it is. What is this nonsensical fear of a film being "black-washed" or whatever other term one might use.

    50-50 odds the inclusion films are good like Black Panther or migraine-inducing like Captain Marvel. There doesn't seem to be an in-between. I may not watch another Star Wars film (sadly), but I will always be willing to give the MCU the benefit of the doubt. I know the actors, I know the directors, and I feel like I know who Kevin Feige is by now. I trust them.

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  2. #2
    The Misanthropist charliepanayi's Avatar
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    You do realise Captain Marvel was almost as a big a hit as Black Panther was right? And Brie Larson is great.

    More diversity is great, ultimately Marvel is a money-making corporate machine, so don't just rely on them, go and see independent films to encourage diversity in filmmaking too.
    "Excuse me Miss, do you like pineapple?"

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    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    Seems like a smart move to have more diversity in their lead characters from both a business and social perspective. But ultimately it has to be a good movie regardless of who is cast in it. That's on the writers, directors, actors, etc. Most MCU movies are good (I haven't yet seen Captain Marvel) and I expect the next crop to follow suit. I'm not sure about the whole 'inclusion' angle but they do seem to be taking a different approach to Phase 4 which makes total sense since Endgame was literally supposed to represent the end of a certain era and the dawn of a new one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercen-X View Post
    Now what made Captain Marvel so difficult to like? So many "champions" claim sexist dislike of the female lead, ignorance, penis-envy, little men who feel threatened by a strong woman. Funny, no one tried to make these arguments about Wonder Woman a year earlier.
    Captain Marvel wasn't so difficult to like. Financially it did really well. Reviews sit in the "mostly favorable" range between 6-8, out of 10.

    You're allowed to dislike it and can even have reasonable reasons not to. But people's views on Brie Larson as a person, not the movie itself, are what caused the movie to be torpedoed on sites like Rotten Tomatoes before it was even released.

    The backlash came because Brie Larson is an outspoken feminist and advocate for diversity in media. Just one example, she made a comment about wanting more POC interviewers, and a lot of the "anti-sjw" crowd disingenuously took this to mean "BrIe LaRsOn dOeSn'T wAnT wHiTe PeOpLe tO sEe hEr MoViEs".

    So, was it okay to not like Captain Marvel for genuine reasons? Yes, of course. But were there a large portion of people who disliked it because they had a:

    sexist dislike of the female lead, ignorance, penis-envy, little men who feel threatened by a strong woman
    That's also a yes.

  5. #5
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    What LWL said.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I honestly liked Captain Marvel a bit better than Black Panther. Partly for the 90s nostalgia love and partly because I've always had a soft spot for Marvel's "get out of a writing screw up" card known as the Skrulls.

    I also do remember a lot of people getting all riled up about feminism and girl power nonsense when Wonder Woman came out as well, and that was also still a pretty great flick people whined too much about for no good reason.

    As for inclusiveness in the MCU, I don't see it as a bad thing. Of anything, it was always one of the hallmarks of Marvel Comics that set them apart from other comic brands back in the day. So I can't imagine why this is so controversial today outside of a portion of the populace who feels threatened by this having more avenues to speak their minds with anonymity. People need role models and it's important for some to have ones that speak closer to their life situations than others.

    I don't mind Jane Foster's Thor getting green lighted because A) the actual comic story it's based on is pretty well written and epic. B) Natalie Portman is a great actress, and her character has been underwhelming since the beginning. Which is why the first two Thor Movies have never set well with me, because I know she can do better, but good acting only goes so far with a bad script. So I'm all for giving her a fair shake to make one of the better Thor story lines come to life. Hell, I'm just excited that we'll finally have a plot that won't involve Loki.

    I also want to see more of Anthony Mackie because I feel he's one of the most underappreciated actors within the MCU and he's always a treat to see.

  7. #7
    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    Captain Marvel is a troutty movie, but I didn't really like Black Panther either.

    Anyway, Marvel is performatively "woke," in that they think it will make them more money to do it so that's what they do. That's what corporations do. Does it matter that it's just because they are doing it to make more money, as long as they are doing it (and by it I mean including diverse characters and actors)? That's a more interesting question to me.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Does it really matter that Marvel/Disney is just doing it for the money?

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    This just reminded me that I still need to see Black Panther.

    I don’t have too much to say except that I definitely saw people whining about Wonder Woman in a similar way to Captain Marvel as that movie was coming out. I still have to see Wonder Woman as well, but I thought that Captain Marvel was a very fun movie despite some issues I had with it. I don’t mind if people have issues with the movie, but the issues don’t really have anything to do with Marvel being more inclusive.

    I’m excited to see what we get in the coming phase. I like that all the different movies have a different focus, from space opera to buddy cop to heists to fantasy.

  10. #10
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    Does it really matter that Marvel/Disney is just doing it for the money?
    I've always been of the opinion that since I'm not a mind reader I don't really care why any entity does the right thing so long as they're doing the right thing. It's not a particularly interesting question to me because if there's no discernible difference that I can actually know then the difference doesn't matter.

  11. #11

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    Not really and no.

  12. #12
    Wildökarudo Mercen-X's Avatar
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    I was gonna make a poorly-thought comparison between movie studios and serial killers, but it didn't play... so there that is.

    (SPOILER)
    Quote Originally Posted by charliepanayi
    You do realise Captain Marvel was almost as a big a hit as Black Panther was right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf Leonhart
    Captain Marvel wasn't so difficult to like. Financially it did really well. Reviews sit in the "mostly favorable" range between 6-8, out of 10.
    https://youtu.be/no0qB8CVspY


    First, most reviewers these days do not have the guts to write honestly turning said reviews into mere advertisements which do not detract from or, in fact, outright push for the "agenda". Just because it makes money, doesn't mean it's good. Using this same criteria is akin to saying Forgotten is one of Linkin Park's all-time best songs solely on the basis that the album it's on (Hybrid Theory) was their best-selling album. Captain Marvel, just like Star Wars and Transformers, feeds off the hard-earned faith and nostalgia of a pre-existing fanbase. People saw Captain Marvel because it was part of the MCU, not necessarily because it was a good movie. People saw Star Wars TFA because they adored Star Wars and saw Transformers for their love of Transformers. Much of the fanbase of RoboCop and Ghostbusters still saw the remakes because of their love for the originals. It's funny how so many have dredged up this sexist stuff when a movie is decried or does not do well at the box-office. However, RoboCop got the same deal without having to go transgender or racially relevant. It was trashed for the same reason the other sequels and remakes were. Because it was trash. Bladerunner (Ryan Gosling), Total Recall (Colin Farrell), Godzilla (Matthew Broadrick), Planet of the Apes (Mark Wahlberg), and Dredd (Karl Urban) didn't fare any better. But now we're suddenly supposed to believe that Ghostbusters, Last Jedi, Dark Fate, and Captain Marvel were panned because of this new-age anti-feminist hate train...

    It may be true that audiences are willing to forgive and overlook a lot of mistakes because they prefer who has been cast, because they prefer who the main character happens to be. It may be true that most of the audience didn't like Brie Larson or even the character of Carol Danvers as she appeared in the comics and this may have lent to the film's flaws standing out all that much more.
    However, the type of person who can ignore these flaws simply because they see it as "a dumb action film which should be enjoyed solely on this merit" or because it's "a fictional premise based on a comic book aimed at young adults" do not possess the necessary passionate pride of ownership to make them worthy champions in such a movie's defense. True fans praise a movie because they love everything about it, not because they saw it once and didn't instantly throw up in their mouths.

    Anyway, these movies should be made:
    War Machine solo movie
    Storm solo movie
    She-Hulk (played by Eliza Dushku, 'cause)
    Photon (Monica Rambeau)
    Gwenpool
    Iron Heart
    Spider-Man 2099
    Silver Samurai
    Ms Marvel
    Silk
    Amadeus Cho

    Also, Sif... no matter what Feige or the Russos might have argued, there is no mention in the films regarding Sif's fate (and even a deleted scene wouldn't count, though I suppose they could label it as a "featurette"). Until her name is at least mentioned again in the franchise, I will consider her alive and waiting to be revisited.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...2&&FORM=VDRVRV

    Deadpool:
    As a mercenary, my first loyalty is to my hand. My right hand to be precise. Don't tell lefty, he gets jealous.
    My pal, Dexter, and I have had a longstanding on-and-off romance. I've proposed to her multiple times but she always says she's still young and wants to explore her sexuality while men are still interested. Well, men and women. She strokes both ways. That's a double entendre.

  13. #13
    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    For the record Blade Runner 2049 and Dredd are both pretty good movies.

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    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Dredd was great. Still need to see Bladerunner but hear good things, and Last Jedi is my favourite Star Wars movie that isn't named Rogue One.

  15. #15
    Wildökarudo Mercen-X's Avatar
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    Bladerunner wasn't perfectly terrible and I personally enjoyed Dredd more than the Stallone version if only because I'm a big fan of Karl Urban (why I also enjoyed Doom, and I also enjoy anything with the Rock).

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...2&&FORM=VDRVRV

    Deadpool:
    As a mercenary, my first loyalty is to my hand. My right hand to be precise. Don't tell lefty, he gets jealous.
    My pal, Dexter, and I have had a longstanding on-and-off romance. I've proposed to her multiple times but she always says she's still young and wants to explore her sexuality while men are still interested. Well, men and women. She strokes both ways. That's a double entendre.

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