To say that it was one of the few Marvel films that I’ve actually been looking forward to, it’s taken a really long time for me to actually watch the most recent Thor film. I meant to go and see it in the cinema but Covid kept preventing it. So, it was one of the first things that I watched following its release on Disney+ last week. I was really looking forward to it because I loved The Mighty Thor run of comics. It was always going to a dodgy one with fans though. I remember when the comic first came out and a guy I worked with was livid. He couldn’t understand why there could be a female version of Thor when he’s based on Norse mythology. I had no time for him or his nonsense.
There’s a major problem in the MCU right now. Spoilers. The Dr Strange sequel has been out for less than 2 weeks and already I’ve seen so many spoilers. First, Charlize Theron ruined the mid-credits scene on her social media. Then Elizabeth Olsen confirmed a character’s presence by talking about an actor in an interview. Yes, I know they were both rumoured to be happening but why do they need to be confirmed by the cast within the first week of release?
Spoilers man. You can’t get away from them these days. I’m not just talking about idiots on social media either. I’m talking news outlets. Or at least websites that like to think they’re news outlets. The new Spider-Man film has been out less than a month and one of the biggest plot points has become common knowledge thanks to countless articles. I know it’s not as if we hadn’t already figured it out but it still seems unsportsmanly for there to be quite so many articles about it. Not everyone can get to the cinema within the first few weeks of a film and they should get to experience the joy firsthand.
It’s probably quite odd to be reviewing another Marvel film this week considering how much I’ve been banging on about my MCU fatigue. It’s true. I can’t say that I was exactly rushing to watch Eternals but I also had to give it a go. After the reaction from the critics, I needed to see for myself. It’s been funny watching Disney market this film without many positive reviews from the usual places. It’s why so many of their trailers are filled with quotes by random Marvel fanboy bloggers. It just screams of desperation but Disney is doing whatever they could to make this film seem worth watching. But who was right? The professionals or the fans? I had to see for myself.
Is anyone suffering from Marvel fatgue? It just feels so overwhelming to be a fan of the MCU these days. Not only are all the films pretty formulaic right now but they are trying to do something huge. It doesn’t help that I was reading about Dr Strange 2 today and the prospect of characters from Fox’s X-Men movies finally arriving in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s become so big. So much has changed since those early days when there were only about 6 superheroes to contend with. This general fatigue is part f the reason that it’s taken until now to watch Shang-Chi. I just needed a break. What with WandaVision and Loki ending in such cliched Marvel ways, I just wasn’t ready to go back to the big blockbusters. Now that it’s on Disney+, I figured it was time to see what it’s all about.
What have you been reading this week?
The last week of July was a bit of a blur. A miserable and rainy blur but a blur nonetheless. August is going to be a pretty busy month, so hopefully I’ll get through all of the books I wanted to read. But I can worry about that later. For now, I’m finishing the month having finished more books than I expected. It’s been a difficult month and I haven’t felt up to reading much. This week was especially tricky and I was convinced that I’d fail to finish the books I needed to. So, how did I do?
During all of the press surrounding Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson criticised the film in which she made her first MCU appearance. Johansson spoke out about the “hypersexualisation” of her character during the film. Of course, she didn’t have an awful lot to say about Joss Whedon’s decision to focus on her arse as much as possible during Avengers but never mind. It’s not like you can disagree with her. Everything about Nat’s first appearance in this franchise problematic when you look back. First and foremost, the way she looks. It’s her worst look by far and speaks to the male gaze that comes from the comic books. That awful red wig doesn’t really work and makes Johansson look much less beautiful than she really is. Yes, she’s still one of the best looking people on the planet so it’s all relative. Now with all of this talk of Iron Man 2, I decided it was time to go back and rewatch it.
It’s been a long road getting to this Black Widow film. The character first appeared in the MCU way back in 2010 and has been sidelined ever since. Then the news finally hit that she was getting her chance in the spotlight. Of course, it wasn’t smooth sailing and Covid put the release date back by over a year. It’s fair to say that Natasha deserved a better deal but at least she’s finally the star of the show. Yes, it’s 4 years after Wonder Woman debuted and we’ve met Captain Marvel already. The fact is, Black Widow is here and we’ve got a lot to celebrate. For one thing, Scarlett Johansson is playing a character with an appropriate ethnic background. But this has always looked like a genuinely good film. The cast looked awesome ad there was plenty of potential to get to know the character from a different point of view.
What have you been reading this week?
This week I found out that I was being out on flexible furlough, which means I’ll be working 3 out of 5 days a week. It’s not the best news ever but, considering the current economic climate, I’m grateful that it’s not worse. Of course, being the naïve dreamer that I am, I expected to use my afternoons to whirl through my TBR. Obviously, that didn’t happen. In fact, I’d say that I probably read much less this week than I have this year. I’ve just not been feeling it. I guess I’ve finally hit that start of the year slump. I’m going to try and get in a quick read to kickstart my system and see how it goes. I’m trying not to feel too bad about it but it’s hard.
Do you remember when Ricky Gervais was doing interviews about Special Correspondents and decided to lecture everyone about what comedy is? And then it turned out to be dreadful? Yeah, pretty awkward. Well, this week director Martin Scorsese has decided to use an interview discussing the release of his film The Irishman to deride comic book movies. Actually, he didn’t even do that. He simply dismissed them. In an interview with Empire magazine, Scorsese told them he didn’t bother watching Marvel movies: “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema”. Now, of course, Scorsese is in a much stronger position than Gervais was to tell people what’s what but that’s not to say he deserves the final say on what is and isn’t cinema. After all, what is cinema? According to Google, “the production of films as an art or industry.” The MCU sounds like it’s the exact definition of cinema.