Captain Marvel (2019)
March 6, 2019 11:27 PM - Subscribe

The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, Captain Marvel is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
posted by cendawanita (238 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
there are cons to me, namely the direction and editing was a bit pedestrian, that betrayed the directors' first time foray to the blockbuster leagues. and i genuinely wished the Just A Girl setpiece was blocked and cut better. (unless it's being meta abt how 90s blockbusters were like)

but i love it. i love the story. Can't help comparing to Wonder Woman, because of how they both are seminal movies within their respective universes, and this one is a lot more cohesive story-wise, hangs a lot better, and DIDN'T fall into pieces as it went into the ending. So much of the story I enjoyed, and I really enjoyed how Carol is just cool, but not in a Tough Girl cliche kind of cool.

I love:
- no romance! EXCEPT WITH MARIA (it's canon i don't care)
- MARIAAAAAAAA
- like seriously, their relationship just gives me a lot of feels
- like so much feels, i almost forgot the cat, but yes, GOOSE.
- i didn't really follow the casting news after Jude Law was announced, partly because I was feeling a bit meh at some of the speculation, so let me just go AAAAAAAAAAAA at how and WHO Mar-vell turned out to be in the end
- ugh so many female relationships, my heart.
- i'm :') that basically MCU!Carol gave the Avengers their name.
- on that note, young!Fury totally amused me, especially his buddy cop routine with Carol. A friend said it reminded them of A Long Kiss Goodnight, and I can see it.
- speaking of movie allusions, I totally see Alien Nation with the MCU!Skrulls. Now I need some overthinking beanplating article on what that means for the MCU Secret Invasion arc.
posted by cendawanita at 11:36 PM on March 6 [19 favorites]


also: NICK FURRY.

thank u i'll show myself out
posted by cendawanita at 11:38 PM on March 6 [11 favorites]


there is a cat?
posted by lefty lucky cat at 9:14 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah.
posted by cendawanita at 9:48 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


SPOILER




I loved how weaponised emotions were key to the plot.
posted by Faintdreams at 7:54 PM on March 7 [16 favorites]


I am a very happy Carol Corps member.

I got back from a packed 7 pm "Fan Event" showing in Boston. The only "Fan Event" aspect was getting to see it a day early, and not having to wait until midnight.

I don't know if the other audience members were as into it as I was. I was too busy giggling at the moments I was waiting for, and enjoying the way the story played out.

But people seemed to enjoy it.

I was the only one who screamed 'Yes!' at the flerken reveal.

My only quibble is minor. In the comics, her call sign was 'Cheeseburger' because of her being cocky enough to eat a full meal before centrifuge testing. I apparently have some emotional investment in that facet of her story.

Stuff that worked for me, and I think might work for most folks:
Balance of action and quiet moments felt right.
Aerial fights looked good.
Carol as the smart-ass annoying the too-proper military types.
Maria Rambeau as a bad-ass pilot in her own right.
Annette Bening in a temporally complex role.
"I don't have anything to prove to you."

Stuff that worked for me, but might not work for other folks:
The 90's music cues. I could understand that some people might find the 'Just a Girl' usage too wink-wink for the stakes of that scene. For me, it was in the groove of Carol having fun and realizing how much ass she's had the potential to kick this whole time. But I could see people thinking it was overdone.
The cute kid. I loved the comics bit they were riffing off ("Lieutenant Trouble" helping Carol regain her memories) and was pretty glad they put that opening for Monica Rambeau as a mid-20-something character in the MCU.
Carol's power acquisition. Again, I loved the riff they pulled on the original Ms. Marvel backstory, but I could see folks less invested in the MCU and MTVU minutiae asking "Why wouldn't it just kill her?" ("Because the Kree have been messing with human genetics for a while" would come from Agents of SHIELD, and I could see folks not buying that.)
Fury's eye.
Scene cues from other movies. Independence Day dogfight, for example. Gunfight showdown iconography in the desert. There were a couple others I'm not remembering right now. I could see a more critical audience member thinking, "Please, didn't you have an original way to get this across?"

Stuff I am relieved that they didn't do:
Carol as a Skrull sleeper agent. Some of the trailer cuts made me suspect they might do that.
Jude Law's character as a love interest.
Monica or Maria as sacrifices.

Stuff I wish they could have done.
Include a SHIELD lawyer named Jennifer Walters. (I wish this for every MCU movie. I am 0 for 21.)

Look, I bought tickets for tonight, Friday night, Saturday noon, and Sunday noon. I am happy with that decision. I do not think I will be sick of this movie.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 8:04 PM on March 7 [22 favorites]


Somewhere in an alternate universe there's a version of this movie that was a little better on editing and leaned a little harder on the grimdark shit you get from a war between shapeshifting assassins and genocidal military dictatorship, and it's a better movie than this, but in the space between our universe and that one there are a lot of paths where they accidentally adapt the rape of Carol Danvers or one of several other horrible, horrible storylines from this character's past and, just, thank you disney, thank you so much for giving us a movie to chill out before you go hard on traditional punching bag Carol Danvers.

Biggest complaint-I wish the lady playing Mar-vell had like a hundred additional minutes of screen time as Mar-vell.
posted by fomhar at 8:09 PM on March 7 [13 favorites]


This was big fun. It was pretty much everything I wanted - not perfect, but definitely fun. The end credits scene referencing the next Avenger's movie is pretty much the first thing that has made me want to check it out on the big screen when it's released.

Lots of good Fury character moments. Not quite enough Coulton moments, but oh well. GOOSE. And gosh, Annette Benning is looking good as Mar-vell.

Tomorrow, I'm traveling and then Saturday, I'm going to go spend a week on a boat (JoCo Cruise), so when I saw a few months ago that there were going to be Thursday showings, I was ALL OVER THAT SHIT. I am pleased with this movie.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:26 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Aieeee I'm just having and I loved it so much and I whooped with joy in the theater when she told what's his face she didn't owe him jack and that line about fighting with one hand behind her back couldn't have come at a better time for me, personally and professionally, and I am about to scoop up my own orange cat and demand he shows me where he keeps his tentacles

- no romance! EXCEPT WITH MARIA (it's canon i don't care)

look if fandom doesn't leap on this they are asleep at the wheel. We have:

-co-raising a child together
-Maria got Carol's dog tags: she's Carol's next of kin in an era when that would have been potentially risky to both their careers, given they're women in the military (who have been at heightened suspicion of lavender scares from moment one)
-Maria showing up in every photo of Carol, near enough, post college
-Maria also received and kept all Carol's stuff for six years: more next of kin evidence
-Maria calls Carol back from the "who am I" scene and is clearly her closest relationship
-Carol "not getting along with her parents": pretty fucking loaded signal of queerness

If fandom doesn't take this opportunity to wallow in DADT-era fic I will be extremely surprised and disappointed, just saying

not that I'm planning on delving into that soon no maam
posted by sciatrix at 8:32 PM on March 7 [39 favorites]


it doesn't help that i've been binging on promo interviews and watching brie larson emphatically declaring her great big, ONLY, love in the movie is maria is making me go *_*
posted by cendawanita at 8:43 PM on March 7 [14 favorites]


" I am about to scoop up my own orange cat and demand he shows me where he keeps his tentacles"
sciatrix, please put on safety goggles... or a welder's mask... before that.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 8:50 PM on March 7 [4 favorites]


it's okay he just purr
posted by sciatrix at 8:53 PM on March 7 [34 favorites]


One of the things that I've been getting from some reviews of the movie--and that I got a whiff of in this thread--is that it seems like a lot of people are really impatient for Endgame, and maybe thought that this movie would be an installment on that promise, and are finding it lacking because it's not widescreen-kick-splody enough. I am actually OK with the movie simply being what it is: a warm, witty, engaging movie about someone with some of the usual superhero baggage (not-great childhood, super-science accident) but also some real positive motivation. (If people thought that "Just a Girl" was too obvious a musical cue, I was thinking that if they'd set the movie a couple of years later, they could have used "Tubthumping.") Maria and Monica were great, Fury was really great (and I really must go back and finish The Long Kiss Goodnight one of these first days), the Big Twist totally worked for me, Annette Benning was fantastic (and I have to commend Marvel for putting her, Michelle Pfeiffer as the original Wasp, and Glenn Close as Nova-Prime in their movies; due credit to DC also for Nicole Kidman in Aquaman and Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright in Wonder Woman--I think you can see where I'm going with this), and I fully support the Carol/Maria ship (CarMa?).

Minor quibbles: The resurfacing of Fury's and Coulson's faces dipped into the uncanny valley a bit at times; the business with the Tesseract was a bit confusing WRT the continuity with the first Captain America and Avengers movies; and when did Korath make it out of the ship? I'll probably catch it when I watch it again, as I shall.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:14 PM on March 7 [7 favorites]


As we were leaving the theatre, I suggested to my husband we should take our 6yo daughter to see it, too, since he took her to see Ant Man and the Wasp.

“No way. She’ll be fighting and climbing and jumping off all the things until we end up in the ER.”

True.

I do need to see it in English now, though, because the Italian dub actor for Samuel L. Jackson just can’t compare.
posted by romakimmy at 11:35 PM on March 7 [4 favorites]


Tesseract time line
- 194x: hidden in Norway
194x: HYDRA
194y: Down at the bottom of the sea.
Unknown time in 50s(?): Howard Stark finds it.
-198x: somewhere under the US gov's control.
198x-1995: NASA/USAF/Dr. Lawson/Hidden lab
1995: Flerken!
somewhere between 1995-2011: SHIELD
2011 - 2012: "Not only are we not alone, we are hopelessly, hilariously out-gunned" - so let's charge up some weapons.
2012 - 2017: Asgard
2017: Loki / Thanos
2018:
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 12:09 AM on March 8 [17 favorites]


I wanted to love it but I’m still so confused by the plot. How did the Skrull refugees end up on Lawson’s lab-ship? Why was it full of retro Earth stuff? How long were they there? Could Mar-Vell, like, shuttle between Earth and the lab? At what point did she take the Tesseract up there? Why did she have an alien cat? Why was Ben Mendelsohn’s family in the lab but he wasn’t? How did he know that Vers was somehow connected to finding them, enough to set a trap for her? Why did Lawson/Mar-Vell think the engine was going to stop the war? What was the reason she freaked out and had Carol pilot her into space?

So many questions that filled my head and kept me from really connecting with the movie.
posted by web-goddess at 3:36 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I think Mar-Vell can travel between Earth and the ship -- what she cracked was faster-than-light travel, the macguffin tht we initially thought the Skrulls wanted. Once tht's answered for me, that explained how she could be low-key saving and hiding the refugees. As for the earth stuff, that made sense since we saw kid Skrulls so the adults and Mar-Vell were probably trying to give them some semblance of home life. the other stuff is up in the air in terms of details but i thought it was apparent Talos was separated from his family because he was on active duty and probably thought his family was dead until he found this lead about Mar-Vell. Why Vers -- I genuinely think (rewatch tomorrow!) that it was accidental - like he was mining info from any Kree I guess? or that spy had given away something about Carol's mysterious circumstances. Between her, Minn-Erva and Yon-Rogg, he's got at least a few leads in terms of Kree that had anything to do with Mar-Vell's last location (I guess, but I didn't sweat it).

about the FTL tech stopping the war, i'm open to ideas, but it was obviously a gamechanger of some kind. and I don't know why would a Kree keep a Flerken, maybe they're great intergalactic mousers (as seen!).
posted by cendawanita at 4:41 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


“...probably thought his family was dead until he found this lead about Mar-Vell.”

But what lead? Did he know his family went with someone called Mar-Vell? How? Or if it was entirely random that he happened to scan Carol, how would he connect her memories to Mar-Vell or his family?

I know I should just shut up and cheer her punching the patriarchy, but this crap annoyed me. Why did the story have to be so complicated?
posted by web-goddess at 4:48 AM on March 8


And I thought everybody already had FTL - the Kree certainly seem to be zipping all over the place pretty easily...
posted by web-goddess at 4:49 AM on March 8


no, remember how it still took 22 hours to get to Earth per the first Earth call Carol made to her Kree team?

As for the lead, tht's the part that's out of the story for sure, but yeah *shrug*
posted by cendawanita at 4:55 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


oh wait, re: lead - he was just mining her memories per SOP but they were getting weirded out hence the many time skips. it's when she had her first convo with Lawson was when Talos was like, hold on hold on, rewind, because he saw Lawson's face (hence him realising Carol knew Mar-vell), and why he needed her to rewind and pay attention to Lawson's jacket patch to orient himself to where she could be
posted by cendawanita at 4:57 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


But what lead? Did he know his family went with someone called Mar-Vell? How? Or if it was entirely random that he happened to scan Carol, how would he connect her memories to Mar-Vell or his family?

To me it was clear that Taulous (sp?) knew of Mar-vell somehow, and he was probably on Earth when she got killed. So Skrulls on the ship went dark and didn't try to communicate at all. Taulous was looking for them and seemingly set a trap to capture Vers and scan her memories for location info.

Or something like that. THe movie definitely could have used some paring down of the plot, but I appreciate that it tried to do something more complex for the MCU.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:04 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I loved it. My nephew loved it. The other 200 people in the theatre with us loved it. It's lovable! And there was a near 50/50 split of men and women and whites and POC. Is it perfect, no? Is it as good as Black Panther ... no. But it is a lot of fun, has a compelling story and cool fight scenes and I walked out of there pumping photon blasts of feminist joy. And!!! AND, I just realized, if I were to ever go to a Con, I have a character I could reasonably portray! Long live MarVell and the Pegasus Project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by pjsky at 5:48 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Something that I forgot to mention above: when Carol is leaving the subway, we get a glimpse of Kelly Sue DeConnick in the crowd. DeConnick is the comics writer who is probably most responsible for the modern, post-original-Ms.-Marvel incarnation of Carol, and is a very powerful voice for feminism in comics.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:38 AM on March 8 [15 favorites]


And I thought everybody already had FTL - the Kree certainly seem to be zipping all over the place pretty easily...

They have to get to Jump Points to travel great distances, as previously seen in the GotG movies.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:54 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


it doesn't help that i've been binging on promo interviews and watching brie larson emphatically declaring her great big, ONLY, love in the movie is maria is making me go *_*

You've seen the red carpet interview with Larson and Lashana Lynch, right?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:30 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


You've seen the red carpet interview with Larson and Lashana Lynch, right?

:) :) :)!!!!
posted by cendawanita at 8:12 AM on March 8


Who is a good kitty?
GOOSE IS A GOOD KITTY
THE BEST KITTY
This movie was 100% worth it for the image of official cat person Nick Fury wielding an orange tabby as a deadly weapon.
posted by nicebookrack at 2:33 PM on March 8 [31 favorites]


“I don’t have to prove anything to you”.

I air punched this line, lemme tells ya.
posted by Faintdreams at 2:58 PM on March 8 [19 favorites]


Faintdreams, that glorious punch is already my new favorite mansplaining/sealioning reaction GIF
posted by nicebookrack at 4:01 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


I loved this and I'm somewhat mystified by the negative reviews that this has gotten from the critics. I'm usually harder on Marvel films than most people, but this was just so much well paced fun. I thought that Larson really nailed the tone for it; given the whole find-out-who-I-really-am story line I thought that she'd be super serious but she went the whole other direction with almost a Harrison Ford kind of vibe.
posted by octothorpe at 7:17 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


So I’m the only one who didn’t care for the cat? The gags were pretty heavy handed and the CGI was dire.
posted by orrnyereg at 8:17 PM on March 8


"You're my science guy."
posted by RakDaddy at 8:24 PM on March 8 [18 favorites]


about the FTL tech stopping the war, i'm open to ideas, but it was obviously a gamechanger of some kind.

The way I interpreted what Talos said about, "We just want a home." on the spaceship, I assumed they were planning on building an FTL ship and get so far away from the Kree, the Kree could never attack them again. (They would have to go pick up all the Skrull dispersed across the galaxy, but they could find a "home" planet and than make the sorties to do that.)

I loved this and I'm somewhat mystified by the negative reviews that this has gotten from the critics.


Not to be too snarky, but were those reviews written by guys? I bet most were written by guys.

My brief thoughts: The "Marvel Studios" part at the very beginning was beautiful. The story moved at a very good pace. If I had a complaint, it would be that the movie should have had less action as all of the characters/relationships/etc. had so much more potential that could have been explored. And why did we not recloak the lab when we knew the Kree were coming??????? ARGH! Brie was amazing. She could do a lot with just a small little smile.

My 10 yo didn't want to go at first, but she loved every minute of it and wants to go as Cpt. Marvel for Halloween.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 8:26 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]


I so so wish I could take 10-year-old me to see this movie. It was such awesome fun.

Also, BATTLE MOHAWK filled me with glee.

I seriously doubt Fury's smarts, now though; he saw what Goose was and put his face in front of him! The fuck, don't even do that with regular cats, my dude.
posted by emjaybee at 8:31 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Don't think it's been mentioned yet. Stan Lee's cameo rehearsing his line from Kevin Smith's Mallrats (1995) was perfect.
posted by mikelieman at 8:32 PM on March 8 [49 favorites]


If I had a complaint, it would be that the movie should have had less action as all of the characters/relationships/etc. had so much more potential that could have been explored.

Totally agreed. Just a little more of Carol and Maria's relationship would have been great. Maybe there'll be a bigger cut available later?
posted by RakDaddy at 9:15 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Not to be too snarky, but were those reviews written by guys? I bet most were written by guys.

Most film reviewers are guys, in general. I do find it interesting that, after the AV Club's Ignatiy Vishnevetsky gave it a C (in general, Vishnevetsky is a tough grader and often takes a weirdly dispassionate approach to reviewing; in his review of this movie, he went to some pains to establish that there were some anachronisms in the film, including the fact that AltaVista hadn't gone live yet... by a matter of a few months), they thought to ask their women reviewers what they thought. AVC commenters also noted that their sister site io9's review was considerably more sanguine.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:37 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]


The shock I felt over the Skrulls twist was so satisfying that I'm thrilled I wasn't spoiled. I expected Space Jude Law to turn out shady too, but "Skrulls are actually the persecuted refugee good guys" I never saw coming. As a delicious lore twist it's MORE surprising if you're a comics nerd who knows the canon, in which "sneaky shapeshifting Skrulls" are on the Generic Marvel Villain shelf beside mad scientists, Hydra, and rogue Doombots. So this also blows up a lot of fan theories about post-Endgame storylines, because everybody assumed the Secret Invasion of Skrull imposters was a guaranteed future Avenger villain.

Speaking of which, maybe Marvel has finally stopped killing off interesting villains, because everybody lived! Even criminally-underused Minerva/Gemma Chan exploded in a suspiciously never-found-the-body way! But Ronan the Accuser should've stayed dead rather than have Space Lee Pace underused AGAIN.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:01 PM on March 8 [12 favorites]


I was happy to see Ben Mendelsohn / Talos finally playing a good guy, even as he gave me emotional whiplash. "He's so enjoyably scene-chewy as this villain Skrull guy, I'm gonna be kinda disappointed when he's inevitably killed off. Wait, he's not a villain? He's actually a good guy? Wait, oh god, they're showing his family, he's a good guy with an adorable family, he's doomed! Oh god, I knew it, he's shot, he's dead, I knew it, NOOOO! Wait, he's fine?"
posted by nicebookrack at 10:16 PM on March 8 [21 favorites]


some anachronisms in the film, including the fact that AltaVista hadn't gone live yet
This is a universe in which technology was advanced enough to give Nazi-pummeling superpowers to Captain America in 1943, but AltaVista is where the line breaks for suspension of disbelief?
posted by nicebookrack at 10:23 PM on March 8 [59 favorites]


Right? I mean, MODOK (whom it seems a whole bunch of people want to introduce to the MCU) could have set out to conquer the world via Silicon Valley and made SEDOS (search engine designed only for searching) and thrown everyone else's release schedule off.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:54 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Gosh. Bummed to say I thought it was pretty bad. I felt like it really lacked any sense of tension or struggle, and suffered a lot from murky action sequences that were just Carol beating up endless CGI mooks she way outmatched, with occasional pauses for clunky exposition and random snark. It would've been better spending more time with the emotional beats and relationships it lingered on briefly -- it had a great supporting cast.

Maybe just me but it also felt like the studio got in and said "we need to really underline that this is an EMPOWERING movie for WOMEN!!!" and as a result you got things like Carol fighting to No Doubt's "I'm Just a Girl." Which... ugh. We just want you to make movies about us, Marvel, you don't need to hang a lampshade on our heads while doing so.
posted by Emily's Fist at 12:33 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


MODOK's getting an adult animated series on Hulu, along with Howard the Duck, Tigra & Dazzler, and Hit-Monkey.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:33 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


Oh my god I loved this movie! The 90s soundtrack, Carol and Maria, and the montage where she just kept getting up! Everything I wanted Wonder Woman (which I did enjoy) to be.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:11 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]




One random thought, completely irrelevant to anything in the movie.
When Carol grabs her boots from the control room - "Of course. She disappeared in 1989. She's seen Die Hard. She knows better than to run around enemy territory barefoot."
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 4:56 AM on March 9 [27 favorites]


I loved the movie! Speaking as a non-comic-reader, I had no idea what to expect, and the beginning of the movie was confusing and trippy (in a good way). I loved all the 90s homages, even the No Doubt one.

And yeah, the relationship between Carol and Maria seemed a bit sanitized, especially the good-bye scene at the end -- just kiss already! but we can't have everything.

Loved the "I don't have to prove anything to you" scene. Especially since I've seen SO MANY versions of that scene where a male character, sensible until this point, willingly puts down his weapons so he can fight the big baddie scumbag "like a man". Even though by doing so he's lessening his chance of winning, and risking the lives of the villagers / crew / entire human race who the bad guy was threatening in the first place.

Despite being a man myself, this has driven me crazy every single time, and I guess it took a female character to finally handle this situation the way I would have handled it...

Also I've said "Bad Flerkin!" to my cats at least three times since seeing the movie and I don't think I can stop.
posted by mmoncur at 5:22 AM on March 9 [14 favorites]


But Ronan the Accuser should've stayed dead rather than have Space Lee Pace underused AGAIN.

Oh, uh, he still stayed dead. Remember, Ronan died circa 2014 (iirc), but this movie is not set in 2014. This is set in 1994. So Ronan has a good twenty years left in him before he snuffs it.

I noticed the Sakaarian from GOTGv1 was also prominently placed among Rogg's team, which I found an interesting choice. This movie felt a lot like a prequel to the GOTG movies to me.

Which, uh, makes vol3 being held up by the decision to fire James Gunn an interesting and tricky decision, because as far as I can tell they can't find a single person willing to direct it in his absence, offered script changes or no. If anything, this movie really underscores how centrally Marvel had been intending to move the space stories, which puts an interesting new pressure on that story.
posted by sciatrix at 6:21 AM on March 9 [8 favorites]


I did keep web-goddess' questions in mind when I saw it again last night. Some of these I did pick up on my first viewing, but I was in the bag for this movie since Feige announced it 4 years ago, so my mileage is larger than other folks. Folks can skip past this if rambling justifications aren't their thing.

(MLfR takes a second to warm up a plate of beans)

Also, as I was writing this, I realized that one line from Avengers 1 helped me reason things out. I do recognize that having one movie depend on references in earlier movies is not acceptable to every viewer. But, hey, in the comics, there'd be a little "See Avengers #3 for all the details, True Believers! -Ed." text box....

(SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS)

"How did the Skrull refugees end up on Lawson’s lab-ship?"
Unstated. It is also unclear how long Mar-Vell was on Earth, which does give us plenty of time for some Skrull refugee ship to come in this direction.
Earth's designation is common to Skrull and Kree knowledge bases, so we aren't the boondocks. We are low-profile enough that the Kree felt they could hide a scientist working on FTL travel. ("These rubes have barely set foot on their nearest satellite. Skrull won't look for evidence of FTL research there.")
The Skrull have the ability to detect the FTL energy signature (which turns out to be Tesseract-based), so we assume that the Kree also have that ability. Pulling in a Thor line from Avengers 1 about Earth using the Tesseract signaling to the rest of the immediate galaxy that we "are ready for a higher form of war", we assume that the Kree got lucky, picked up that the Tesseract was on Earth before the Skrull did, and sent Mar-Vell to Earth to develop engines from it.
So Mar-Vell has the lab ship - a Kree military cruiser, according to the title when we see it - which can detect Skrull vessels. Skrull refugee ship comes our way, Mar-Vell gets an alert, picks them up, finds out they are non-combatants, realizes what she's doing to help persecute these people, gives them a place to hide, and starts adjusting her research to give them a chance to escape the Kree empire for several hundred generations.

"Why was it full of retro Earth stuff?"
Mostly cheap toys and clothes to give the refugees a semblance of home life.
In 1989, the Happy Days lunch box and the Space Invaders pinball machine wouldn't class as cheap, but Mar-Vell has a sense of humor, if for no other reason than hanging out with goofy hairless apes for a while. (Danvers: "Your blood is blue." Mar-Vell: "Forget that, how's my hair?")
So, we assume Mar-Vell thinks it's funny to have a Space Invaders pinball game when she herself is a Space Invader (from the locals' POV).
We don't know how long Mar-Vell was on Earth, but we can assume she spent a decade or two infiltrating to become a trusted scientist in the US military structure. And Kree military aren't big on nostalgia (Yon-Rogg "Let go of your past." Supreme Intelligence: "Perhaps forgetting these things is merciful, it frees you for our glorious Kree empire future."), just learning what the enemy is capable of. (Korath: "Disturbing to see your enemy wearing your face.")
So maybe the Happy Days lunch box amused her when it first came out ("how much time do these goofballs spend living in their past?") and she's just held on to it.

"How long were they there?"
Unstated. More than six years (Mar-Vell's death), probably less than ten, guessing by the apparent age of Talos' child.

"Could Mar-Vell, like, shuttle between Earth and the lab?"
Unstated. Implied that Mar-Vell could personally do so. Safer to have major resources (materials and reference and comms with Kree high command) parked in orbit and cloaked than somewhere terrestrial, where base Military Police could stumble across it.

"At what point did she take the Tesseract up there?"
Unstated. But given the earlier Avengers 1 line that the Tesseract's use would be detectable to the rest of the spacefaring races, we can assume Mar-Vell's first goal on Earth was to spend the time to infiltrate whichever Terrestrial power structure had the Tesseract.
If Howard Stark spent time trying to crack it and failed, then by the time Mar-Vell shows up, the US gov might have it in their Ark-of-the-Covenant warehouse, where the unusable and inconvenient oddities get stored. Mar-Vell finds a way to get it out of there.

"Why did she have an alien cat?"
Unstated. But a) why WOULDN'T you? And b) the flerken's tentacles are obviously coming from some dimension outside out basic three spatial, so observing and cautious testing with the flerken could yield useful insights. Possibly also Goose had hidden the Tesseract before?
And Goose is a friendly kitty, as kitties go. Whatever way Mar-Vell winds up with Goose, maybe she feels less alone while hanging out with these goofy nostalgic apes when there's flerken-kitty snuggles.

"Why was Ben Mendelsohn’s family in the lab but he wasn’t?"
Unstated. Talos is a Skrull general in a refugee/guerilla army. All of the Skrulls on Mar-Vell's lab ship were non-combatants. The Skrull diaspora is fleeing in all possible directions (Talos: "My people are scattered all over the galaxy.") If Earth is low-enough profile for the Kree to hide FTL travel on Earth, Skrulls could assume that sending high-ranking military families out our way is a decent gamble.

"How did he know that Vers was somehow connected to finding them, enough to set a trap for her?"
He didn't know about his family. He stated that her energy signature was connected to the FTL engine signature (really, the Tesseract energy signature.) He was surprised as anyone that Vers memories were unlike other Kree - he'd at least had access to the spy Soh-larr's memories, to have the subconscious password, and we can safely assume that to develop that memory-reading machine*, the Skrull tested on some number of Kree prisoners of war. (Talos: "This is war, Carol. My hands are filthy with it.")
Talos at least has knowledge that Mar-Vell exists, and knows what Mar-Vell looks like, and knows what Mar-Vell is working on.
The trap for Starforce could have been a simple intelligence op - pick up some Starforce members (kill them if you can't capture them) and drain their memories and see what you can use, whether it has anything to do with Mar-Vell or not.
Kree and Skrull should both be able to detect Tesseract energy at close physical distances. Skrull stick Carol in the mind-reader, while their other scientific detectors pick up Tesseract energy, so Talos improvises from there, because now he sees two options: FTL engine to attack by surprise; FTL engine to get the hell out of Dodge.

"Why did Lawson/Mar-Vell think the engine was going to stop the war?"
Implied or stated by Talos. Gather up the Skrull survivors and get so far away that the Kree need thousands of years to even find the right sector.
Mar-Vell describes the war as shameful.
Talos is looking for any option out of a guerilla war of attrition (from the tone of his "filthy hands" line).
They wouldn't need to be in contact to have the same thought: Accusers can't bomb people if Accusers can't find people.

"What was the reason she freaked out and had Carol pilot her into space?"
Unstated. But Yon-Rogg and Minn-Erva were chasing her on Earth, in Carol's black-box memory.
Mar-Vell had a working stable prototype of the engine in an airframe.
Mar-Vell also had to be reporting back to Kree command on some regular basis.
One likely possibility is Kree command saying, "Ok, you've got a usable thing, time to gather up you and your lab and bring it back to Hala, where we can really start cranking out the whip-ass."
Opposite possibility: Mar-Vell has been changing the reports enough, making the research seem fruitless, and Kree command says, "Ok, you gave it a couple decades, let's not chase sunk costs, time to pack up your crap and we'll get you another project."
Mar-Vell is hiding Skrull refugees (with at least one high-ranking family) on that lab. And Skrulls apparently don't think about shapeshifting into inanimate objects (Talos: "Why would you simulate a filing cabinet?") so Mar-Vell cannot hide them on the ship for long.
Mar-Vell gets killed, and Yon-Rogg doesn't have the co-ordinates or access codes to get the lab, so Kree abandon in place.
According to Maria, Mar-Vell was going to take the engine-ship herself, but Carol got in her way and wouldn't take no for an answer. Less time arguing, more time fleeing, fine, Carol, get in the driver's seat.

No, none of this occurred to me on first viewing. None of the questions even occurred to me on first viewing. I am an uncritical viewer, as long as the tone of the scenes doesn't seem off to me. And I was ready to ride the fun train as long as Carol Danvers felt like the character I have liked since I read a college roommates X-Men conics back in 1989.

---
*I just now felt the need to call it a Psyche-Magnitron. But that would complicate this overthinking.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 7:08 AM on March 9 [10 favorites]


Second viewing does improve my enjoyment of the pacing of the action, especially since I've cracked the 'mystery' already. I still wish tht Just A Girl sequence was cut better, but tbh, all of the fighting needed to be blocked much much better. The only exception to me is ones with the Marvel trademark for blocking fights in closed spaces/hallways eg the train fight.

It does solidify my own understanding of how the movie sausage gets made. It's obvious by now, they have deep technical production bench, with what must be an extensive library of templates/stock sequences. 10 years in, I'm sure their project flow is not to be laughed at. That's not a bad thing necessarily, that's how they can transition and promote these new directors into the big leagues. But it does take those with a much stronger understanding and insight to this genre's style of filmmaking to make their own mark, because I do think Marvel Studios fully want to support their creatives in their strengths, so these templates come in to spackle whichever area the directors aren't strongest at. So you'll have people like Gunn, Coogler, and Waititi who knows how to play in this sandbox from the getgo, so they get to produce a more visibly stylistically auteur kind of blockbuster, and then you have those like Branagh, whose strength is in Shakespearian-like dramas so those bits of Asgardian family intrigue were the strongest. And for this one, Boden & Fleck's handling of the characters and relationships were the strongest to me, but they were never really action movie directors, and that showed in the generic feel of the action.

(my examples seem to be those who also had a strong hand in the story credits too, but you know... on the other hand, Whedon could've fit into this and yet... it's been years and I still very much hate Age of Ultron, really purely on its production aspect inc directing, editing, blocking, storyboarding etc etc)
posted by cendawanita at 7:17 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


And yeah, the relationship between Carol and Maria seemed a bit sanitized, especially the good-bye scene at the end -- just kiss already! but we can't have everything.

It was queerbaiting imo.
posted by Emily's Fist at 8:19 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed that the scale of this movie was smaller than most MCU movies.

I like movies but I'm not skilled or knowledgeable enough to know how I might have had it edited better; I only have murky feelings that some of the fight scenes would have been more impressive if they were just a little different somehow. Not flashier, maybe just easier to follow?

I do know, however, THAT WAS A CAT THAT DIDN'T NEED SAVING. Lovely.

While 'Just a Girl' was a little on the nose I choose to hear it as an iconic 'No Doubt' song which is a phrase that resonates far stronger for me in the moment.

My only minor quibble (this was deliciously escapist on a day when I really needed it) was some of the earlier mere-mortal-stunts. Leaping the fare gate at the train station looked like either cgi or wire-fu.... seemed a little off. Weird ass super power charged up fight scenes don't have to conform realistic functional movement patterns but, well, yeah, that didn't look real.

On the other end of the spectrum I love that Carol doesn't, umm, run with very good form. Tough as nails, keeps getting back up, has a one-weird-accident-you-won't-believe origins story but is still, at heart, a real person just doing their best under trying circumstances. Loki told Thanos "You will never be a God" but Carol doesn't need to be, and doesn't have to prove it.
posted by mce at 8:25 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


I saw it last night and really enjoyed it. I was surprised by the Skrull-Kree/good-bad reversal, in a good way. I found the fight sequences, especially when she really powered up to be muddy and hard to follow. But also, once she powered up it seemed like it took more effort for her than necessary to dispatch all the baddies. Later, she single-handedly destroys a whole Kree warship in under a minute. A hand to hand skirmish shouldn’t take more than five seconds. I suppose the “Just a Girl” sequence is partly about her feeling out her true power and relishing in the freedom of just kicking ass, so it sort of makes sense. But again, it was not well-blocked and kind of hard to follow.

I love Brie Larson’s charisma. She’s got boatloads of it. She reminds me of Cybill Shepherd, but I think she might have more range as actor than Cybill. (Kind of makes me want a remake/reboot of Moonlighting).

I loved that they changed the Marvel logo/montage in the opening to pay tribute to Stan Lee. That was great.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:37 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


While I am at it - is Carol a Mary Sue in this movie?
(Beyond the Trailer Grace Randolph refers to her as such, so I have to assume enough people saw the movie and felt that way.)
I don't generally think in those terms so I might be off on this, but I want to take a whack at it.
(SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS)
Grace Randolph's criticisms: ridiculously overpowered and able to use it instantly.
I can see the point, but given that "engine blows up and gives human flight-propulsion and energy beams and implied invulnerability" is already pretty suspect as a mechanism...
I still want to look at the in-universe historical record, and likely implications.
In 1989, Carol Danvers gets space-magic powers, and the Kree take her to Hala. They seem to be struggling to fit her into the Starforce mode. All the other Starforce team members have weapons. Carol is a highly-mobile weapon.
In the sparring with Yon-Rogg, he's telling her to hold back her use of the powers. She's impatient to use them all the time, but Kree command is keeping her in check with the neck device.
I assume that six Earth-years of training to the limits allowed by Kree command gives her a good idea of what she can do with the inhibitor off.
I assume Kree command needs to know what she's capable of doing, so they have to dedicate some time to allow her to experiment with the powers at a lower-inhibitor level. She's the only evidence of faster-than-light engine technology. Teach her how to use her powers for flight, they can a) use her as a mobile aerial weapon in combat, b) study her energy's behavior.
She's a human fighter-plane-quality pilot, so the basic sensations of flight and flight-combat wouldn't throw her off. Yes, flying in a seat is not flying like superman. But I assume the Kree are smart enough to exploit her potential, so I assume they give her ways to experiment with flight.
So, if Carol seems Mary Sue-ish on power level and mastery, the movie didn't show the learning curve of six years in the Kree military. Maybe a couple more scenes in the dream sequence at the start, showing Carol mixing up Earth memories and Kree memories. Maybe she checks her schedule for the day before waking Yon-Rogg up - "oh, great, flying two feet off the ground until my neck chip cuts in." Maybe the Supreme Intelligence interview talks up her skill strengths before "Serve our glorious empire well."

So, is Carol a Mary Sue in other ways?
Unclear to me. I'll take a whack at what I think are the MS definitions.

"Better at everything; able to do anything."
Unclear.
We know she's a high-quality combat pilot (as is Maria) sneaking in whatever flight time she can.
We know that she is often limited in her thinking by her emotions in combat.
Talos got the drop on her in the meet-up, so she's not omniscient.
Her figuring things out (expression while on phone with Yon-Rogg, testing what he tells her) is paralleled with Yon-Rogg figuring things out ("She knows the truth, doesn't she?")
Cobbling together the communications gear from Radio Shack, and upgrading Fury's pager. It took her a few hours (night to daylight), but I assume that in Kree Starforce battle school they've got some classes for improvising in the field.
Knows how to ride a motorcycle. Could be old muscle memory (she's trying to race go-karts, she flies airplanes, I can believe she's ridden motorcycles), could be similar to Kree vehicles.
Use a 1995-era Earth computer. We don't know that it was instant. I assume that if Kree battle school is teaching her field coms improv, information searches on keywords seems possible.
I do tend to fall back on Chandler's "it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a {protagonist} fir for adventure."

"Her decisions are always the right ones, and she never faces consequences."
Unclear.
Photon blasting Yon-Rogg in sparring - maybe that's neutral (it gets us to an information dump from the Supreme Intelligence), but from the Kree military viewpoint (which is all the context we have at that moment) it's a negative, a loss of control over her decisions.
Going in to meet Soh-larr. Bad idea. Yon-Rogg is saying it's a trap, and she is stubborn, and gets herself captured.
Damaging the Skrull ship because she doesn't control her blasts during the fight. Maybe. It cuts down on the number of Skrulls that do land on Earth, and breaks her out of Skrull control. But usually explosions in orbit are really really bad ideas.
Fight on the train. Punching the Skrull immediately gained her nothing, put people in danger.
Couldn't identify the Skrull when disembarking at the station.
Blowing up the jukebox to prove she wasn't a Skrull. Funny, but not even close to justifiable.
Going to visit Maria Rambeau - Fury was already on that line of thought, and there aren't other leads quickly accessible.
Getting Fury put of the room to talk with Maria privately. I don't see how that was a bad idea.
From the point Talos shows up, to the point she takes the chip off, she's making decisions with Fury and Maria and Talos, not independently deciding and making them go along.
Once the chip is off, her goal is "Keep the Kree distracted as long as possible." Nothing she does seems to impede that goal in-universe.
Maria takes out Minn-Erva, while Carol is fighting Yon-Rogg, the missles, the Kree fighter craft, and the heavy bomber craft. If Carol doesn't stop the bombing , Earth is destroyed. I can't call that the wrong decision.
Letting Yon-Rogg live to carry a declaration of war back to the Kree. I could see people argue it either way. That might be vanity coming back to bite her later.

"Everybody loves her."
Unclear.
The other Starforce members are dour strike team members with no personality. I'd say they don't like Carol much, but there's barely evidence to go on. I assume she doesn't fit in because she keeps being a smart-ass.
Yon-Rogg and Supreme Intelligence are manipulating her to keep her in line while they figure out how best to use her.
Fury distrusts her, but they go through some crazy together, so he respects her and likes her by the end.
Maria is de facto Carol's partner. That scene with them at the table, the body language and tone read like "two exes talking after six years." Mix in the points that sciatrix raised, plus "Auntie" as a coded meaning. So, the ghost of Maria's partner shows up claiming amnesia, yeah, Maria is holding back emotion at first until she sees how much she can trust this apparent stranger with her partner's face. Then she observes Carol acting like Carol in ways too hard to fake on the fly, sees Carol memory breakthroughs, listens to the black box.
Monica - "they said you were dead, but you're not". However sharp Monica is, she has missed Carol. She's not guarded enough to suspect weirdness the way that Maria does.
Talos - he does claim her as a friend, after she helps him in ways no Kree soldier would help a Skrull. In this case, yeah, shorthand for "She's acting decent and probably won't blow us up." But she is behaving differently than the Vers who "crushed twenty of my best men." And he's out of other options. She helps him, he gives her the benefit of the doubt. She's earned his respect as a fighter and as an ally.
Everyone else she encounters is either an enemy or a bystander.

All right, that's enough beans for this morning.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 8:47 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


wabittwax - I noticed the Shepherd resemblance in some of the shots, too - some of the expressions matched with that hairstyle.
There have been other promo shots where Lasron seems to resemble Amy Poehler, so that I expect Tina Fey to wander in and start out-snarking Larson.
(Really I am going to walk away from this for a while.)
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 8:51 AM on March 9


I personally don't think Mary Sue/Marty Stu (or related epithets) are very useful concepts, especially in an original work as this theoretically is (rather than a fanwork). I think those concepts tend to get used to throw mud at female characters who are too powerful within the plot or too accomplished or too... something, rather than discussing the original off-putting tendency of certain OCs to warp character reactions in not-consistent-with-established-character ways in genres of fanfiction. I think the concept gets used to try to shove female characters into specific corners within fiction, and I don't fucking like that.

No one asks whether male heros are Marty Stus in their own damn canons, only female ones. No. I don't fucking like the discussion of Mary Sues in fandom--even if I don't want to read it, I think that it comes across as criticizing fledgling writers unfairly for a normal and fairly natural stage of writing!--and I think it has even less place in a discussion of a professional work like this one.
posted by sciatrix at 8:58 AM on March 9 [30 favorites]


Grace Randolph’s criticisms of CM are incredibly stupid and trite and worth ignoring.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:20 AM on March 9 [9 favorites]


I kind of want to go back through all the previous movies looking for any instances where characters called him Nick instead of Fury. I think maybe Redford’s character in Winter Soldier calls him Nick.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:22 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


I'm appreciating hearing people's takes on this. It was a good movie but not great, or that's my first impression and I'm trying to put my finger on why. I liked it and it kept my interest throughout, and I hope it has great success.

I think people are right about the blocking/editing of the fights and action, but I also feel like it wasn't as funny as I wanted it to be, and I can't decide where to locate that either. Maybe it's just the directors aren't into making comedy? I haven't seen their other work. I wonder if it's partly having so many writers work on it? Like, how would I improve this - simplify the plot some?

I like all the actors, and feel like they were doing a good job, but I often didn't feel like they had the chemistry that the story insists they do... and I'm not sure why, where the disconnect was for me. Editing, direction, writing? It's possible I would feel differently on a second viewing.

I also don't know the character really, coming in. What are her canonical powers? Is she invulnerable? She can fly [at light speed?) and doesn't need a face mask in space or any shielding from say burning metal shrapnel or like structural elements of a spaceship. What else?

It's interesting about who can handle the tesseract - in GotG people get destroyed handling that infinity stone, but here it's just fine to hand it over to Maria in a lunchbox?

Love the mohawk helmet, corny but I like that they went for it without any explanation. I get the sense there are a bunch of little touches like that which existing Captain Marvel fans would really enjoy?

Nick Fury and the cat - I super enjoy the Nick-Fury's-character side of it for the movie. Also man, Samuel L Jackson does not have the body language of a cat-familiar person. Uncanny valley of cat-petting.

I do love the very accurate animation of the cat barfing up the tesseract at the end. How much reference footage did they shoot for that.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:42 AM on March 9 [5 favorites]


That Autostraddle article wasted no time getting down to pertinent business. From the first para:
If I were a man invested, even subconsciously, in propping up a patriarchal society where women, even subconsciously, Know Their Place, Captain Marvel would terrify the pants off of me. Which is why MRA Reddit started review bombing it weeks before it was released. And why half the reviews from professional male critics — who take up 100% of the top spots on Rotten Tomatoes’ Captain Marvel landing page — basically say, “I don’t get it.”
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:51 AM on March 9 [22 favorites]


Loved Annette Bening.

Loved that they don't try to shoehorn in some idiot romance-with-dude for Carol; loved that she shoots Jude Law in the middle of his "fight me without your powers" speech.

Enjoyed the little differences between the Kree team; we didn't see a ton of them but got a little sense. I like seeing Korath/Djimon Hounsou a little more, he has so much badass and straight-man potential it's a shame for him to be so little used.

Enjoyed the underlining of her no-heels footwear choices - i.e. she runs barefoot in the Skrull ship with splat-splat footfall sound effects, she has to go back to get her boots, which have flat soles; at the end when she's fighting off central intelligence and glowing and levitating there's a shot specifically of her boot's non-heels sole.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:56 AM on March 9 [12 favorites]


South Korea is trending a hashtag for Goose with people editing their cats into a Captain Marvel background: #캡틴마블_우리집구스
posted by nicebookrack at 10:16 AM on March 9 [13 favorites]


Setting aside the use of "Mary Sue" as a way to punish female characters (and their writers and fans) who dare to be powerful in many of the same ways as male characters--

In my experience, a Mary Sue (or a Marty Stu) is a character who warps the narrative around them and destabilizes the story. That's why fanfic writers originally disliked them and coined the term.

This generally shows more clearly in fanfiction because there is a basic story structure in place already, with developed characters, and when the Mary Sue shows up, it's like someone cannonballing into the middle of the pool. All the relationships (social, power, story) get torqued and twisted in order to make the Mary Sue the most important element of the situation. Spock and Kirk end up fighting because they both love LT Mary Sue! LT Mary Sue leads an away team and saves the Enterprise! LT Mary Sue is better at fixing the engine than CDR Scott! Making Mary Sue as powerful as she (or he) is often results in screwing up either characterizations or story-logic.

That is the real problem with Mary Sues; not that they're too powerful, but that a real Mary Sue screws up the story dynamics in order to privilege the author's need to make the character powerful. If the character doesn't overwhelm the story and other characters, then she's not a Mary Sue.

However because of this cannonball effect, Mary Sues are much less of a problem in original work, because it's original work. Carol isn't a Mary Sue because there is no existing narrative that her power is fucking up: she is the narrative. There's nobody else in the pool when she jumps in.

I suppose you could claim that the MCU as a whole is the narrative, but the MCU is also full of larger-than-life super-powerful characters, and it doesn't strike me that Carol is anywhere near as overwhelming a personality as Tony Stark or Thor.

So, in summary, Mary Sues are a land of contrasts, but Carol Danvers isn't one of them.
posted by suelac at 10:25 AM on March 9 [32 favorites]


However because of this cannonball effect, Mary Sues are much less of a problem in original work, because it's original work. Carol isn't a Mary Sue because there is no existing narrative that her power is fucking up: she is the narrative. There's nobody else in the pool when she jumps in.

This makes sense in the context of the Captain Marvel film. But does this mean that when she enters the narrative of Avengers: Endgame, she runs the risk of being a Mary Sue?
posted by wabbittwax at 10:32 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Thor suddenly showing up in Infinity War to one-shot-kill Thanos in 30 seconds was extremely awesome and a totally overpowered Marty Stu move...if he'd gone for the head, at least.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:53 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


This makes sense in the context of the Captain Marvel film. But does this mean that when she enters the narrative of Avengers: Endgame, she runs the risk of being a Mary Sue?

Eh. There's still plenty of room for other characters to do their thing and have their own areas of expertise, and it's worth questioning whether a) Carol is even that much more powerful than other characters (see: Thor) and b) whether technically having a ton of power in the MCU detracts from other characters' ability to have an important impact (see: also Thor)

(there's also a tendency to worry more about female superhero characters being 'too OP' than male superheroes)

I loved this film. I think that it suffers a little compared to the last three Marvel stand-alones I've seen, but considering those three films were Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, Black Panther, and Thor Ragnarok, that's setting some incredibly high standards.

The pacing of the fight scenes seemed much better than what I'm used to in a Marvel movie, and I wasn't expecting the twist at all. My husband went in expecting Secret Invasion to be next on the Marvel docket, and it's safe to say that's not happening. It works a lot better, and I think the subtext RE: American military helps cut down on the rah-rah-ness of the Air Force piloting shots.

I loved that it was all about emotions - Carol being told that she's not funny, to be serious, that she's being angry and uncontrolled (even when she seems like she has to be controlled), that it's only right that she be sandbagged.

I love that she was responsible for her getting her powers - it's something that Kelly Sue talked about regarding her first Captain Marvel run. She'd wanted to change Carol's origin story so she hadn't just inherited her powers unwittingly from a man, and hadn't been able to make that happen at the time. And now Carol gets both a female mentor AND is responsible for her getting her powers, by being extra-Carol and doing a stupid rash and brave thing that works out in her favor.

And I'd been hoping for a Carol Danvers and Nick Fury buddy cop film, and I pretty much got it.
(Apparently Brie Larson is horribly allergic to cats, which is why Samuel L. Jackson got most of the Goose moments).

The music cues worked for me too. Yeah, Just A Girl is on the nose, but. I mean. Immigrant Song for Thor's pretty on the nose, too.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:58 AM on March 9 [25 favorites]


Also I was surprised by the Skrull twist, and very relieved - I've been worried about what direction they would go with that, and I'm really glad they went this way and in the process, cut off future attempts to make evil-impostors-among-us plot. In our current political moment, we extra certainly do not need "they look like humans but really they're monsters infiltrating us" stories.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:08 AM on March 9 [22 favorites]


I can see the Kree Empire as the next overarching antagonist of the MCU, with an overall anti-imperialist bent. With the exception of Mar-Vell (& IIRC one random unnamed guy on Agents of SHIELD?), the Kree have been smug imperialist assholes every time they show up, with Agents of SHIELD even time-jumping forward to a Bad Future in which the Kree have enslaved all surviving humans. If Avengers Endgame undoes the Snapture, that'll restore 50% of the Kree Empire right back to their conquest-happy ways, and surely more space refugees will start coming to the Avengers for asylum on Earth.

That would also be a great time to bring Inhumans into the movies, with the whole "Kree have been genetically experimenting on humans as superpowered guinea pigs for centuries" reveal, but the disastrous Inhumans TV series may have shat the bed permanently for the Inhumans overall.
posted by nicebookrack at 11:55 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


Yesterday morning I was in a shit mood (mostly brought on by lack of sleep), I decided to take a bubble bath around 10:45am (bubble baths fix a lot of things), I decided spur of the moment to check movie times on my phone while in the bath. I couldn't make the 11am showing but I bought a ticket for the 11:30 showing.

All of my complaints about this movie are technical.

1. The Just a Girl fight scene was just clunky AF.

2. Some of the cat cgi/fx were fine but the scene of Goose clinging and contorting on the ship was eyerollingly bad.

3. De-aging stuff was a bit uncanny valley at first.

4. The use of Celebrity Skin by Hole annoys me. It feels like tonally an earlier, angrier Hole song would have worked better but I understand that Celebrity Skin may have worked better lyrically for marketing purposes.

I enjoyed the movie. Brie Larson has taken a ton of shit since the first trailer came out about being wooden, unemotional, etc., Well, that was all very much in the script so fuck all those critiques and those people. I thought she was perfectly great working the supplied material. I look forward to seeing her in Endgame.

It was also nice to see Annette Bening in a blockbuster.

I started sobbing at the Stan Lee Marvel starter. I was expecting the cameo in the film but was not expecting the re-working of the Marvel thingy at the beginning.

I also started crying at "I don't have to prove myself to you." I'm 46 years old and that is a lesson that I wish had been beamed into my head when I was a child. It took me so many years to get there on my own and I still have to constantly remind and question myself about it.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 12:45 PM on March 9 [20 favorites]


Mary Sues (shudder) also specifically were meant to be fan author self-inserts. Even when CM joints Infinity War I don't see how the concept applies at all here, except insofar as it's primary meaning now is just That Sort Of Nerd using it to wail "I Don't Like Thing". The whole concept has become gross and shitty and honestly if I never read the phrase again I'll be happy.

Saw the film this morning at a baby cinema showing. Enjoyed it a whole lot, while it wasn't perfect I came out feeling very defensive on the film's behalf as to how a lot of the hotter takes seem to have demanded it be some sort of flawless statement of feminism or something; I felt it was kind of joyous to have the representation without hanging that millstone around its neck.

Oh, and a woman behind us gasped out very loud in the first stinger when CM just appears behind Black Widow. In an English cinema where we Do Not Make Noise. A nice moment.
posted by ominous_paws at 3:09 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


Ooh, and for whatever reason I thought Coulsdon was noticeably more at the creepy end of the uncanny valley than Fury was. More screen time = more money spent? Or just Samuel L Jackson's agelessness, who knows.
posted by ominous_paws at 3:11 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


I also found the de-aging on Coulson more annoying than on Fury. My brain may have adjusted better to Fury because he was on screen more?
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:22 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


I apologize for using the MS term. I will be more careful in the future.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 3:22 PM on March 9


Oh god, wasn't looking for an apology, sorry. It's just been used as an unworthy stick to beat so many things, so often by the same folks who were review bombing the film on RT etc. I don't know.
posted by ominous_paws at 3:26 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Well, sciatrix first pointed it out, so I was going for a general apology.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 3:32 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Thanks Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead for your excellent attempt to answer my plot questions - I was hoping someone would do that! I'm both annoyed and gratified that the answers were pretty much all unstated and implied. At least I hadn't missed some crucial dialogue that explained it all. I don't usually get this tangled up in knots over a plot, but it got lodged in my brain and kept me from enjoying the movie as much as I wanted to. :(
posted by web-goddess at 3:39 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Oh, I wasn't fishing for an apology, either! I just wanted to say what I thought, which isn't the same thing. You're good!
posted by sciatrix at 3:42 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Brie Larson Believes Carol and Maria Are the 'Great Love' of Captain Marvel
Without being too showboating about it, this is the love of the movie. This is the great love. This is the love lost, this is the love found again, this is the reason to continue fighting and to go to the ends of the Earth for the person that you love.
Just let them kiss, Marvel. Let the queer ladies kiss onscreen! And let Carol have visited Earth on occasional shore leave so Maria wasn't waiting for a cumulative ~30 years!
posted by nicebookrack at 4:35 PM on March 9 [20 favorites]


I'll say this for the Carol/Maria relationship: at least they didn't feel like they needed to No Homo it the way that they did with Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes (and Sam Wilson) in Civil War. Steve making out with Sharon Carter while Bucky and Sam watch approvingly from the car might very well be the most awkward scene in the MCU.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:43 PM on March 9 [21 favorites]


I think it's interesting how many things weren't big enough emergencies for Fury to break out the Captain Marvel pager. Battle of New York? Nah. Ultron? Nope. It's amazing he even bothered for the Snap.
posted by wabbittwax at 5:51 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


Also, I would absolutely forgive the folks at Marvel if they felt it necessary to include a scene where Carol says to Steve Rogers: "Look at me. I'm the Captain now."
posted by wabbittwax at 5:53 PM on March 9 [27 favorites]


I would buy that Fury would hold off until the last possible moment to contact Captain Marvel, if only to keep Carol from dishing the flerkin story (and other embarrassing anecdotes) to Natasha.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:54 PM on March 9 [16 favorites]


Poor Fury, living a real-life Too Awesome to Use
posted by nicebookrack at 6:33 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I have no problem with believing Fury would hold off on using that pager simply because people generally wait way too long to ask for help in real life.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:16 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


My 10 yo didn't want to go at first, but she loved every minute of it and wants to go as Cpt. Marvel for Halloween.

Me too now. Started trying to plot the costume during the movie.

Ooh, and for whatever reason I thought Coulsdon was noticeably more at the creepy end of the uncanny valley than Fury was. More screen time = more money spent? Or just Samuel L Jackson's agelessness, who knows.

I kinda agree, I think Coulson seemed very square/plastic/seamless--whereas Fury is a rougher-edged dude who's literally got an injured face as is. Fury wasn't too smooth. And yeah, seeing him more probably might have something to do with it.

I think it's interesting how many things weren't big enough emergencies for Fury to break out the Captain Marvel pager. Battle of New York? Nah. Ultron? Nope. It's amazing he even bothered for the Snap.

(cut to Fury a few months before the Snap going through his desk clearing out stuff from the last 20 years)
"Oh riiiiiight, I forgot I have this Captain Marvel pager. I wish I'd remembered I had this from a few decades ago during the last alien invasion. Well, I'll charge this puppy and start carrying it around in my pocket Just In Case."

Okay, on to my actual comments: I liked it enough to want to do it for Halloween. I was not as into the Kree-land opening, but once she got to Earth and started hanging with Fury it was delightful. I like Carol's subtle snark sense of humor and she and Fury were so cute hanging out together.

Also Goose. Damn, that cat's awesome, not to mention some kind of kitty garbage disposal.

I loved the credits scenes. I so look forward to her working on solving this.

The thing I want explained is that as far as I've heard for years, Kree are blue. It's their Signature Thing as far as I've seen in the MCU (though I skipped Inhumans, sounded so bad and out of character anyway). So how come now only some are blue and some are non-blue? How close are Kree biologically to humans anyway?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:18 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I am usually completely bored by superhero movies and haven't seen any other Avengers movies, but I loved this so much!

- The Just a Girl scene felt like pandering but I didn't care.
- Annette Benning in all her naturally-aged gorgeousness.
- A fighter pilot showdown between a black woman pilot and an Asian woman pilot!
- The sequence where she keeps standing up.
- “I don’t have to prove anything to you”.
- When she shoots her laser at the "you know why they call it a cockpit guy."

I'm a 40 year old woman and it felt like this movie was made for me, which never happens. Is this what it feels like to be an 18-34 year old white male?
posted by apricot at 7:23 PM on March 9 [36 favorites]


There was a lot to love in this film, but Fury wielding the cat like a weapon might be my favorite thing of all.

Wait, no, Carol standing up and unleashing the fucking fury was my favorite thing of all. I love how she was funny and sarcastic and so human, even after everything that was taken from her.

There's enough uneven stuff (How did Fury know where Carol would go? Why are there Skrulls on the research vessel? Just how did the Tessaract get from Captain America to here to the first Avengers movie?) that I wonder how much of this got left on the cutting room floor.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:43 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Re: pager - well here's Feige's coy response:

"Well, I’d say two things. One, she does say it’s gotta be a real emergency, right? Yeah.

"The other thing I’d say is how do you know he never hit it? How do we know he never pushed it before? We’ve never seen him push it before. That doesn’t mean he never did."

So that door is being left open.

I wonder if the sequel would take Carol to Xandar and plot shenanigans with fighting the Kree that led to the Xandar-Kree peace treaty that Ronan was so mad about in GotG1... Maybe gets to meet Nova Prime-- at this rate MCU's unspoken thing is its digital aging and deaging of Hollywood. (I remember their first time doing it for Hayley Atwell in Winter Soldier. I was so shocked I genuinely thought they got another actor.)
posted by cendawanita at 8:02 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


I liked this movie a lot.

The skull twist was a pleasant surprise. I'm glad I got to see it before that got spoiled for me. The agree that some of the fight scenes were a bit clunky, but I didn't really have trouble following what was going on.

I liked that they didn't try to fool us with the lunchbox, only the Kree. I think the whole following sequence worked better that way then it would the other way around.

When Carol started roflstomping the Tree fleet, the first thought through my head was "Well, that escalated quickly," but I was okay with it. More than okay, really. I loved her claiming the power that had been hers all along.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 8:08 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


I think it’s safe to say there’s no good reason why Fury wouldn’t have used that Pager before.

There’s also no good reason why Carol would just choose to stay away so long.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 PM on March 9


So how come now only some [Kree] are blue and some are non-blue?

My assumption is that, since the Kree Empire is thousands of years old and covers hundreds of planets, the Kree military must include people who are descendants of Kree/non-Kree subjects, plus non-Kree people who are recruited/enslaved into service to the empire. IIRC GOTG2 mentions Yondu being a Kree soldier slave for years. Or it could be due to a situation like the comics, in which IIRC there were blue Kree and pink Kree who could pass as (white) humans, so maybe movie Kree have a wider range of skin tones.

Or it could be due to lots of genetic experimentation; see my next answer.

How close are Kree biologically to humans anyway?

Well, if you take Agents of SHIELD as canon—which the movies may not!—the Kree Empire mad scientists like to genetically experiment with Kree DNA on all the alien species they get their hands on, and thousands of years ago they experimented on humans and found us a very useful species particularly receptive to Kree-DNA-squishing. So while the flashiest altered Kree DNA in humans is the Inhuman gene, Kree blood can also be used to heal humans (both Inhuman and not) or bring humans back from the dead. Which was used to revive Coulson, from a project started by Fury from a Kree corpse, which in retrospect is kinda disturbing.

tl;dr Agents of SHIELD says "the Kree are assholes"
posted by nicebookrack at 8:52 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


WRT suelac's earlier comment on Mary Sues and "cannonballing", and how that would work with her joining the Avengers, and maybe taking the lead depending on who dies or retires during/after Endgame, I think that the test of Mary Sueism vs. the character being a legit, valuable addition is: does the character serve the group, or does the group end up serving the character? A great example of the former is when Worf joined DS9; he was a popular character from a more popular iteration of the franchise, and the show could have easily become the Worf Show. Instead, the writers made his past history and character as often a liability as an asset; for every awesome thing he did, he did something that was counterproductive or potentially disastrous. Eventually, he found his own role within the group dynamic. There are any number of ways that Carol could eventually fit into the Avengers; she could end up being the leader (if Steve leaves), the powerhouse (if Thor leaves), she could be their resident alien expert, she could even become head of SWORD (the Earth orbit-based counterpart to SHIELD that guards Earth from alien threats) if that gets started up in the next phase, she could even be the cornerstone of the proposed/planned Marvel Cosmic subfranchise (basically the supplementation/replacement for GotG).
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:48 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


Here's a promo picture for the BBC/Marvel crossover people in another timeline will get to enjoy sometime in their near future.
posted by homunculus at 10:45 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


No one asks whether male heros are Marty Stus in their own damn canons, only female ones.

By far the most blatant Mary Sue in all of Marvel comics was The Sentry, a dude. Pick up his original miniseries and watch him cannonball into every bit of classic Marvel continuity. There's nothing in this movie that remotely compares to that.
posted by straight at 11:24 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I loved it! It was fun and funny and so much warmer than I was expecting, and oh my god I am so thrilled and relieved by the Skrull twist.

The scene that I thought was the gorgeous, beating and warm heart of the movie was the one at the end where Talos and his family are eating dinner with Maria, Monica, Carol, and Fury. It was just so kind and warm-hearted, and it did not at all escape me that our heroes were offering hospitality and a home to displaced refugees who were the victims of an imperialist war. I loved that we saw Monica and Talos's kid playing together, and I legit got teary eyed when, amidst the Skrull family's discussion of how they could hide as humans, Monica told Talos's kid that her eyes were lovely just as they were and that she should keep her eyes the same.

Carol was a delight, sly and badass and strong, and I am very much looking forward to her punching a hole through Thanos.
posted by yasaman at 11:25 PM on March 9 [15 favorites]


"You're my science guy."

One of my favorite little bits was the science guy converting an airplane into a spacecraft like it was the A-Team welding a battering ram onto the front of their van.

Now that's the Marvel Comics Science I know and love.
posted by straight at 11:26 PM on March 9 [27 favorites]


I also really love the Skrull twist. It was so far from what I expected, I was almost sure it was some kind of trick right up until we meet the Skrull refugee families.

I love that we got a pretty good helping of some creepy Skrull infiltration and switcheroos and then they basically said, "No, we're not just gonna repeat that same thing over and over for a dozen movies." It would be such an easy crutch / story engine.

Of course that doesn't mean that there can't occasionally be a bad Skrull who comes to Earth to do something nefarious. But I'm glad we're not gonna be constantly going, Is that a Skrull? Is that a Skrull? Is that a Skrull? for the next few years of Marvel movies.
posted by straight at 11:32 PM on March 9 [14 favorites]


But also, once she powered up it seemed like it took more effort for her than necessary to dispatch all the baddies. Later, she single-handedly destroys a whole Kree warship in under a minute. A hand to hand skirmish shouldn’t take more than five seconds.

She was stalling for time so the Skrulls could get away.
posted by straight at 11:42 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


As someone who's basically had to suppress twitches of rage whenever people go on about how cool it would be if any number of previously portrayed beloved characters were in fact Sekrit Evil Skrulls All Along, I am so goddamn relieved the MCU has apparently decided to just...not do that. Because let me tell you, even apart from the uncomfortable sociopolitical implications, it would just be incredibly cheap storytelling to keep playing the Skrull card. It's far, far too much of a crutch storytelling wise, and it has far too much potential to render vast swathes of the MCU's story building and character development inert (i.e.: "surprise! that character you've watched and enjoyed for x movies was an evil shapeshifter all along! how fun!" uh, not fun, just a disingenuous twist that retroactively ruins the character and the movies they were in).

I loved how we got a decent dose of how creepy and disorienting Skrull switcharoos could be here, which leaves the possibility open for the odd bad guy Skrull, but that we also got Talos and his family and a bunch of shapeshifting aliens who just want a new home. It's an exciting and interesting subversion, and a great example of the MCU knowing when to shake things up, and knowing what works best in what medium.
posted by yasaman at 11:44 PM on March 9 [18 favorites]


I saw this two nights ago at a late show at Alamo Drafthouse with my oldest son in tow. And, I'm not gonna lie, he laughed a lot more than I did: he finds the 90s fucking hilarious. I'll tell you when he stopped laughing: the needle drop for "I'm Just A Girl". I imagine, as y'all did, at that moment that Carol had never been "walking like a girl", leading with her hips but had always been walking by leading with her shoulders. I imagine that's why you find the blocking weird and clunky. You imagine a female heroine being more smooth, hip-forward, and elegant. But I prefer Captain Marvel's shoulders forward power. It's not very elegant but it's really powerful. It's the way I walk. And I don't apologize for it.
posted by blessedlyndie at 11:47 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


I didn't have any trouble with the plot. Mar-Vell comes to Earth because the tesseract is here. She's doing research and at some point her loyalty switches and she hides Skrull refugees on her ship and focuses her research on a drive that can get them out of the Kree Empire's reach. At least one active Skrull resistance agent has family there while he does missions on Earth and elsewhere.

Somehow the Kree find out what she's up to and send Starforce to get her. She tries to escape but gets shot down. Starforce captures Carol but loses the trail to the tessaract. Skrull agents find out (because Skrulls) about her powers and set a trap to capture her. I think they somehow know her power is connected to the tesseract and Mar-Vell because they seem to be looking for something specific when we join them in Carol's memories, but maybe some of that is a surprise.
posted by straight at 11:57 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Instead of secret infiltrator evil skrulls, how about secret hero skrulls?
posted by Pronoiac at 12:00 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I wasn't sure I needed to go see this opening weekend, but I'm glad I did because there were two really good surprises that I'm sure will be all over the internet soon: The Skrull Face Turn and the flerken. Right up to the reveal, I thought they were just setting up cats to be Skrull kryptonite.
posted by straight at 12:03 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Having already seen the getting up montage in the trailers, I was kinda hoping that was just for the trailer because it seemed like it would be really cheesy as a Big Moment in the movie. But wow did they make it work and make sense. Even when I knew it was coming, I was like, YES NOW IS THE MOMENT FOR THAT MONTAGE THIS IS AWESOME.

I think the key is that the Supreme Intelligence is seeing these memories so it's not a moment where the movie is trying to convince us that Carol can do it, it's more that the Supreme Intelligence doesn't see it coming--and we do--so we're just waiting for her to lay those cards down on the table and watch the SI's face fall.
posted by straight at 12:15 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


"Last time I trusted someone I lost an eye." -- Fury to Captain America in Winter Soldier.
posted by straight at 12:26 AM on March 10 [39 favorites]


I expected the color change in Carol's uniform to be some part of her big transfiguration when she wields her full power for the first time. But I really liked that it was just her saying, "Well, can't wear these colors any more," and letting Monica play with the settings like the character creation tool in a superhero video game that didn't exist yet was marvelous.
posted by straight at 12:32 AM on March 10 [25 favorites]


I'm looking forward to someone cosplaying the brief Lisa Frank Neon version of Carol's suit that Monica tried.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:34 AM on March 10 [38 favorites]


And I was so, so glad she blasted Yon-Rogg with the classic Indiana Jones move for dudes bringing a sword to a gunfight. I was wanting her to say, "Did you miss the part where I just smashed an entire battleship with my bare hands? And you're challenging me to a fistfight?"

But then she has her line about having nothing to prove and it's so much better.
posted by straight at 12:58 AM on March 10 [17 favorites]


So I was a bit hesitant about taking my 8yo daughter to see this with her older sisters. So happy I did and she loved it. For a girl who has trouble sitting still and concentrating for 10 min at a time, she was pretty engaged with the whole film.
Biggest complaint was from my 16 y.o on why they didn't use tubthumping instead of "Like a Girl" but a quick visit to the interwebs supported Halloween Jack's explanation above.
Carol is the captain now
As a 50y.o father of three girls - I loved every minute of it.
posted by dangerousdan at 1:26 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


I imagine that's why you find the blocking weird and clunky. You imagine a female heroine being more smooth, hip-forward, and elegant.

Quite respectfully, no, not for me. I'm southeast asian, and I grew up with kungfu movies. Only quite recently, with the infusion of talent circa the matrix fight team etc did Hollywood really start to know how to point the camera at ppl who are good at movie fighting, but even then established convention dies hard eg a lot of the editing culture revolves around masking ppl's lack of fighting talent and choreography. Some of that shows up here. But specifically about that just a girl sequence, the song's bass lines (at minimum) could've lined up better with the punches or edit cuts imo. Something about that particular music cue was executed half-heartedly.
posted by cendawanita at 3:29 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


(maybe the song coming in the way it did led me to expect a music video moment)
posted by cendawanita at 3:31 AM on March 10


Something about that particular music cue was executed half-heartedly.


I'll have to watch it again but I have a suspicion that the scene was originally set to a different song. It's probably common to have last-minute changes due to licensing issues -- maybe the rights to the originally intended song didn't come through, or maybe "Just a Girl" came through at the last moment and they thought it worked better (for the soundtrack and marketing) than the other song.
posted by mmoncur at 4:51 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


it's just sort of refreshing in the aftermath to think of the fact that she gut-busted a space-cruiser
posted by angrycat at 5:20 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


The only song choice that felt clunky to me and too on-the-nose was "Come As You Are."

I loved how competent Carol was. Just plain old competent. Not apologetic, but confidently going about doing the things she had to do. For example: in the archives when there was that flood of memories, most movies would have her faint from the information overload. She just kept on going.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:52 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


"I loved how competent Carol was. Just plain old competent. Not apologetic, but confidently going about doing the things she had to do."
This. So much this.
posted by mce at 8:29 AM on March 10 [9 favorites]


As someone who's basically had to suppress twitches of rage whenever people go on about how cool it would be if any number of previously portrayed beloved characters were in fact Sekrit Evil Skrulls All Along, I am so goddamn relieved the MCU has apparently decided to just...not do that.

They've already done some of that with the Hydra infiltration of SHIELD; having Jasper Sitwell turn out to be one was a bit of a shock, as he'd been a stalwart SHIELD agent for some time in the comics. I'm also glad that they won't be doing some sort of Secret Invasion thing in the MCU, because so often these events end up being just another rearrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic sort of thing, along with the writer's promotion of their favorite hobby horses and demotion of their pet peeves.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:55 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


I would be ok with a secret skrull story line if the hidden skrull turned out to be disguised as a filing cabinet.

"You been storing all your secret files in me, mwhahahahahahaha!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:35 AM on March 10 [25 favorites]




Only quite recently, with the infusion of talent circa the matrix fight team etc did Hollywood really start to know how to point the camera at ppl who are good at movie fighting, but even then established convention dies hard eg a lot of the editing culture revolves around masking ppl's lack of fighting talent and choreography. Some of that shows up here.

Yes. There's a good Cracked article "6 Ways Hollywood Ruins Fight Scenes" which astutely digs into a lot of ways fights are poorly choreographed or written in most blockbusters.

It's a fun article because it also includes examples of fight scenes done well. For example, the early fight scene in Fury Road where Furiosa meets Max. The fight is very tense because the balance is constantly shifting, and the editing is crystal clear so that you always understand how many people are in the scene, where they are, what they are trying to achieve, and who has the upper hand. Sort of things that a lot of Marvel movies struggle with.

But yeah -- it's not about Carol not seeming "ladylike" -- Furiosa doesn't seem ladylike/smooth/elegant at all, she's just 100% muscle, grit, and badass. And that scene is awesome. The fight scenes in Captain Marvel are murky and difficult to follow because they're emblematic of a wider industry trends. A lot of Hollywood just doesn't know how to shoot action.
posted by Emily's Fist at 11:42 AM on March 10 [8 favorites]


I think it's interesting how many things weren't big enough emergencies for Fury to break out the Captain Marvel pager. Battle of New York? Nah. Ultron? Nope. It's amazing he even bothered for the Snap.

I actually think it makes a lot of sense that Fury never paged her until the Snapture! The Battle of New York is probably the one time Fury genuinely got close to calling Carol, but remember: at the end of Captain Marvel, we see him begin drafting the plans for what will become the Avengers Initiative. He says Earth's going to need heroes of its own, heroes who don't have "prior commitments." Fury spends the next couple decades trying to build up a team of just such heroes, and he finally has one in the first Avengers movie. Of course he's going to want to put them to the test rather than immediately calling in the big guns aka Carol. Like, the Avengers aren't much use if Nick Fury's just going to call Carol in every time anyway, you know? I doubt Fury at all considered calling Carol for the Ultron thing, that was Tony Stark's mess to clean up, and anyway, Thor was around, Fury probably figured they were covered when it came to heavy hitters.

As for why he seemingly waited until the last moment to call Carol in Infinity War, well, I imagine the movie took place over the course of a few days, and the full scope of the shit they were in wasn't wholly apparent at first.

I think the MCU has left itself some nice wiggle room in terms of "why was Carol gone for so long." I imagine dealing with getting all the refugee Skrulls to safety took some time, plus whatever other space shenanigans Carol got caught up in, but even apart from that, Carol may well have stopped by Earth every so often after the events of this movie to visit Maria and Monica.
posted by yasaman at 11:42 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


Of course he's going to want to put them to the test rather than immediately calling in the big guns aka Carol.

When an Asgardian god turns out to be real, steals a device of unlimited power, kills or converts some of your best agents, and then rips a hole in reality to lead a horde of aliens to take over the Earth, that's a pretty good time to call in Carol and not "test" your nearly formed super team. Especially since they're volatile mix of personalities.

Carol might have a better excuse for never returning, as her memories are fragmented and she might have lost a lot of the emotional connection to Marie and Earth. Though I do like the idea that she's visited a few times on the sly, to see Monica and LT.

The fact is Captain Marvel really wasn't planned from the beginning and now they're trying to shoehorn her in by trying to explain things, like the Star Wars prequels, and it's not working. They're trying too hard and the pager is a major weak point. The story doesn't need it all.

Half the universe just got wiped and Carol is probably hanging or knows enough advanced alien life forms that they can pinpoint where the snappening began or trace all the infinity stones being in one spot. Of course she'd come calling then.

If there has to be a device, then Carol should have converted the pager into a iPhone like device. That way her and Fury were able to communicate via text or something, with them exchanging periodic reports.

As it is now, the avengers are gonna be confused about who she is and then possibly pissed that she never reported in, Carol's probably gonna have some guilt going on 'cause if she has been here, maybe Marie or LT wouldn't have gotten snapped and goddamnit it's two months until Endgame and all this is settled, shit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:39 PM on March 10


Fury didn't call Captain Marvel in the earlier Avengers movies because that character wasn't part of the MCU at that point and Brie Larson hadn't been cast yet. Kevin Feige didn't have the road map planned out that well.
posted by octothorpe at 12:55 PM on March 10 [8 favorites]


Maybe he paged her before and she was busy. It's a big universe.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:54 PM on March 10 [5 favorites]


How great was it to see Fury as the junior partner for once? That bit where Carol takes his pager and says, "You obviously can't be trusted with this" was so good.
posted by straight at 2:20 PM on March 10 [10 favorites]


Are we assuming that Carol can teleport anywhere in the universe instantaneously, like the spore drive in Star Trek: Discovery? I don't think that that's how the Light Drive works, and it sure isn't how the stargates that the Kree were using work. The Battle of New York took place in minutes, and although we don't know how long it was between the moment of the Snapture and Carol showing up, the teasers that we've been shown have indicated some measure of time passing. It could have taken months. For all we know, Fury did page Carol during the Battles of New York and Sokovia, and she showed up some time later, looked around, went "hmm, looks like they took care of things", and went back to Home Shopping with the Skrulls.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:58 PM on March 10 [5 favorites]


From Elana Levin at Wired, Captain Marvel Has a Very Important Message About Skrulls
"Marvel comics have given readers sympathetic Skrulls before, but their shape-changing abilities and dramatic ears and chins have historically coded them as untrustworthy and alien. They're a version of the old sci-fi trope of the alien race that infiltrates society to replace humans. They can even, dangerously, be seen as stand-ins for immigrants or minorities; they are Other. Captain Marvel upends that, calling into question assumptions about who is the Good Guy and who is the Bad Guy in any war narrative. Do we side with people who look like us? (Kree, even with their blue skin, still look more human than Skrulls do.) Or do we side with the people who are forced into hiding?"
posted by nicebookrack at 3:29 PM on March 10 [9 favorites]


I loved this. So good.

I read some of these comments going into the film and I honestly don’t see any problems with editing or pacing. Like, maybe the fight scene wasn’t Jet Li worthy?, but it was still fucking great. Hands down my favorite marvel film of all time. Easily beat Black Panther and Wonder Woman, for me. Probably the only superhero film I’d like to go back and see a second time.

Perhaps my only complaint is the action is maybe a little too good. She is so fucking powerful, it’s almost unfair for the adversaries. She fucking cores out starships like nbd!! That shit was amazing, she’s easily the most powerful character I’ve ever seen onscreen.

On a side note, I was totally unprepared for Bri Larsen’s rogueish charm. The trailers made her seem much more serious, and as someone pointed out above she’s got a real Harrison Ford thing going on. Fucking loved it.
posted by weed donkey at 3:46 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Are we assuming that Carol can teleport anywhere in the universe instantaneously, like the spore drive in Star Trek: Discovery? I don't think that that's how the Light Drive works, and it sure isn't how the stargates that the Kree were using work. The Battle of New York took place in minutes, and although we don't know how long it was between the moment of the Snapture and Carol showing up, the teasers that we've been shown have indicated some measure of time passing.

Carol is shown entering hyperspace with the Kree Cruiser at the end of CM, so it's safe to assume she can get around really quickly.

Otherwise, Fury should have been paging her when Loki showed up and stole the Tessaract. She may or may not have gotten there quick enough for the battle of New York though, that's true.

It's been at least six hours since Fury activated the pager, someone found it and got it to Avengers HQ for them to rig it up to some sort of battery. Probably more like 12-24 hours. I don't think it matters a whole lot, I doubt the script will make that span of time important.

This plot hole will probably never be adequately explained away for me though, so there's that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:56 PM on March 10


The fact is Captain Marvel really wasn't planned from the beginning and now they're trying to shoehorn her in by trying to explain things, like the Star Wars prequels, and it's not working.

Retcons in a nutshell, yo. As was pointed out above, this wasn't 100% planned for as far as Avengers, for whatever legal reasons, etc. This is why we fanwank and make up explanations after the fact.

Carol may well have stopped by Earth every so often after the events of this movie to visit Maria and Monica.

I hope so.

I'm looking forward to someone cosplaying the brief Lisa Frank Neon version of Carol's suit that Monica tried.

I'd like to, but trying to get a neon costume going might be even harder. Anyone have a good picture of this?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:13 PM on March 10




"Why didn't they just call in the strongest hero they know" is a question that breaks shared-universe superhero comics if you keep asking it. Why doesn't Superman stop the Joker from killing hundreds of people every few months/years? There are any number of plausible reasons Fury might have chosen to keep the pager in his trunk, but in the end....those were Avengers stories and she wasn't an Avenger (yet). So they didn't call her.

Anyway, loved the movie. Most of why has been talked over and beanplated already, but I would like to point out the deliciousness of making a movie with US military branding all over the ads, where the hero's pivotal decision is to reject war for war's sake and stand with a race of demonized refugees.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:04 PM on March 10 [27 favorites]


Don't forget the pointed mention that Carol & Maria were flying experimental aircraft for Mar-Vell because as women they were barred from flying combat missions for the US military!
posted by nicebookrack at 9:09 PM on March 10 [18 favorites]


Yeah, everyone asking "why didn't Fury call her for {x}" pretty much understands the reasons in our world that the movies didn't depict it. The question is always being asked in the Conan-Doyle-explaining-Sherlock's-return mode.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 12:05 AM on March 11 [3 favorites]


The sequence where Carol kept getting up:
AND YET SHE PERSISTED

When Jude Law bates her for a fight, she has no time for it, she is not a man child (I am looking at you Starlord)
"I don't need your approval" is the modern "You have no power over me". Look in the eyes of the Goblin King and tell him to fuck off, this woman has her shit together.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 1:00 AM on March 11 [14 favorites]


Bringing back this Kelly Sue quote:

“Carol falls down all the time,” DeConnick says, “but she always gets back up — we say that about Captain America as well, but Captain America gets back up because it’s the right thing to do. Carol gets back up because ‘Fuck you.’
posted by dinty_moore at 6:42 AM on March 11 [32 favorites]


I saw it on Friday night and really liked it although I think the writers need to work harder to come up with scenarios in which a hero as powerful as CM can't just save the day with a well-placed photon blast. Like, it's good that she clearly loves Maria and Monica, but these have all tended to be stories where you solve problems with your fists, and Captain Marvel has the biggest fists in town. Like, they are not going to do Captain Marvel 2 where she has trouble connecting emotionally to Monica, or whatever. They are going to do Captain Marvel 2 where she punches out a Celestial who is threatening Monica.

I think this movie was the first time that a period of time that I lived through was held up as an object of nostalgia, and that felt weird. The shelves at the Blockbuster video were a little too carefully curated, for instance.

Also, Nick Fury works for a shadowy and secret worldwide intergovernmental agency. He has just discovered proof of an alien invasion. It is the mid-90s. And HE DOESN'T MAKE A SINGLE X-FILES REFERENCE!
posted by gauche at 7:07 AM on March 11 [23 favorites]


I wasn't totally engaged at the start of the movie where it's all Kree stuff... but once she crashed through the Blockbuster it started getting good. And in retrospect, it makes sense that as repressed/suppressed as she was by the Kree, it makes sense her personality wouldn't really shine through yet either.

At the scene where she tore the restraining thingy off and realized this was her power, I squeed out loud. To me that was the moment that made the movie. And then at "I don't have to prove anything to you" I squeed again.

I liked this much better than Infniity War. Other recent Marvel movies were pretty tough acts to follow but I think this was one of the good ones.
posted by Foosnark at 7:15 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


HE DOESN'T MAKE A SINGLE X-FILES REFERENCE!

This. OTOH, he did reference having watched his very own alien autopsy, but no one really caught that in the cinemas I was in.
posted by cendawanita at 7:28 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


For those who didn't get the reference: Alien Autopsy, which was released in 1995 and that same year made into a Fox documentary, hosted by Star Trek TNG's Jonathan Frakes.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:10 AM on March 11 [5 favorites]




Brie Larson worked the concession stand at a movie theater in Clifton, NJ, this weekend.

<cynical>I expect there to be lots more of this kind of promotion from Marvel in the future, as Disney has to placate theater chain owners who are nervous about Disney's new streaming service.</cynical>
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:40 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


Brie Larson's Captain Marvel tracksuit she wore while working the concession stand looks extremely comfy and warm, an aesthetic I appreciate in superhero apparel.

Also YES HELLO HI MONSTERFUCKERS: this Ben Mendelsohn interview is amusing; let the Talos thirst begin, fandom!
posted by nicebookrack at 10:13 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


I saw it on Saturday, and I admittedly went in with kind of tempered expectations because I had listened to thinks like the Pop Culture Happy Hour review where the consensus seemed to be "Not bad! But kind of pedestrian in spots."

I can see what they mean, in that there wasn't any moment where my heart started thumping wildly. I also think that this movie needed to have come out five years ago. Just the same, I really, really enjoyed it. There are so many good little moments between characters, and you can get such a quick reading on the relationships between people even when it's a tiny moment and not the big things like Fury and Carol or Carol and Maria and Monica. (Like Minerva telling Carol "No, I just never really liked you," or Coulson trusting Fury despite the weird situation). I'm always a sucker for more, more, more of that stuff, and there could have been more, but what was there was so good (and I had feared it would be much less then we got so I was happy).

So for me, no wild cheers, but a deep and happy satisfaction. I'm also really happy that the Skrulls are not who they are in the comics, because they are such a temptation for a bad writer to go "hey guess what your favorite character wasn't who you thought they were, they were evil haha Skrulls everywhere!") and I am so, so tired of gotchas like that.
posted by PussKillian at 10:34 AM on March 11 [10 favorites]


I do hope that the MCU Skrulls being unfairly maligned as a species won’t preclude them producing one or two actual villains, by which I specifically mean Kl’rt the Super-Skrull.

Also, elsewhere on the Internet I’ve seen people do a Skrull headcount and come up with one still left on Earth. Talos had three others with him, and we only see two of them in later scenes: the one who impersonates Coulson in the car chase, and the “science guy” who Yon-Rog kills. Might just be a plot hole but there’s now an opening for exactly one (1) Skrull reveal.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:55 AM on March 11 [5 favorites]


Maybe a Mr. or Mrs. Altman?
posted by dinty_moore at 11:00 AM on March 11 [1 favorite]


"hey guess what your favorite character wasn't who you thought they were, they were evil haha Skrulls everywhere!"

I think this reveal, whether done well or poorly, just generally works way, way better in the comics format, because comics continuity being what it is, there's no strong obligation to pinpoint the switcharoo to a specific point in time. Plus, with so many different series going at once, there's plenty of picking and choosing comics readers can do, like "oh, so yeah, he's a secret Skrull in #x of Whatever, but that's not a thing in #x of Blah." You can't really do that in the MCU. If you say that, like, Sam Wilson was a Skrull All Along, then you have to go back to his prior movies and say whether that was Real Sam or Skrull Sam, and account for Skrull Sam's whereabouts, motivations, goals, etc. And then, without having the vastness of comics continuity to rely on where many characters are in multiple series at once, you have the problem that the audience has invested in this specific version of this character, as portrayed in however many movies, and pulling a gotcha and saying "They weren't who you thought!!!" is an unpleasant gotcha, not an interesting story or character development. Plus, it requires having any number of actors and directors and writers in on the secret, at least if you want to have any kind of character continuity. I think it's a really good call to just mostly take the whole thing off the table in the MCU.

While it's clear Captain Marvel hasn't been part of the plan from Phase One, I do think one thing the MCU should get credit for is having enough room in the story it's built over the past decade plus to include her without breaking anything egregiously. That's why I don't think the pager thing is a plot hole. It's less a plot hole, and more an avenue for potential future stories to tell, and when you are telling a long, serialized story as the MCU is, there's no need to neatly tie off every dangling loose end. You want to leave some of them for later for someone else to possibly pick up on. Did Nick Fury use the pager before Infinity War? If so, when? At what points did he decide not to use it and why? The possible Watsonian explanations are far, far more interesting than the obvious Doylist reality of "Captain Marvel wasn't in Marvel's plans during the first Avengers movie." Closing off those explanations with a simple "it's just a plot hole" doesn't really tell us anything interesting, or offer new stories to tell.
posted by yasaman at 11:29 AM on March 11 [8 favorites]


Talos needs to come back and join the Avengers and/or GOTG, not to do any heroics or fighting, just to hang around trolling people and sampling Earth food. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

Anyway, no movie MCU Skrull infiltration could ever top the claustrophobic paranoid intensity of "some of us have been replaced by murderous robots" in Agents of SHIELD's "Self Control," so I'm glad Movie MCU didn't even try.

there’s now an opening for exactly one (1) Skrull reveal
Since the Agents of SHIELD season 6 trailer debuted in January, there's been a lot of speculation that it could be a Skrull in the last few seconds of the trailer (massive AoS season 5-6 spoilers, obviously). If TV Marvel is allowed to use to Skrulls, that speculation just might turn out to be true, though with less Obviously Evil results than everyone expected in January.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:15 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


HE DOESN'T MAKE A SINGLE X-FILES REFERENCE!

Maybe the X-Files title was inspired by the X-Men comics, which probably don't exist in the MCU? It's hard to predict how different the media landscape would be without Marvel Comics. (Don't ask why the MCU Stan Lee is preparing for a cameo in Mallrats.)

But the real reason is that the X-Files comic book is published by Marvel's Distinguished Competition.
posted by straight at 12:23 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


I'm so tired of the MCU but Brie Larson as Captain Marvel is one of the most enjoyable movie superheroes I've seen in ages. Can it be crossover time now?
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:36 PM on March 11


Speaking of crossovers, I want Captain Marvel to give Scott Pilgrim a long deserved ass-kicking, and then enjoy a good Envy Adams show with Julie Powers.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 12:54 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed it- maybe not as much as Thor: Ragnarok, but for me, it's right up there with Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America. Brie Larson was fantastic, and she and Samuel L. Jackson were clearly having fun with the whole thing.

My one quibble is with using "I'm Just A Girl" for the big fight scene, but that's mainly because I was never really a No Doubt fan. I think they definitely could have used a number of better songs from the early '90s. For example.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:32 PM on March 11 [6 favorites]


Just got home from seeing it. I liked it a lot -- definitely loved it in some respects but, even so, it wasn't quite as good as I wanted it to be. It's in the top third or quarter of MCU movies for me, but I wish it were, like, in the top three.

Regardless, Brie Larson and the character "Carol Danvers" were just great. I have zero complaints in that regard. This character jumps to the top of my MCU favorites list, and Brie Larson really impressed me.

I did not see the last two Avengers movies in the theater, but I plan to see Endgame just for Captain Marvel.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:19 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


A hypothetical CM / Avengers sequel with the Kree Empire as the Bigger Bad could see a very loose adaptation of the melodramatically-titled story Operation Galactic Storm. But throw out the ending, because there's literally no one except Spider-Man on the big MCU teams who'd hesitate to kill an evil AI out of general moral opposition. Even MCU Captains Rogers and Danvers will kill you if you need killing.

I hope that Annette Bening returns for all our future Supreme Intelligence evil needs. She even lounged in a smug, gloating way; it was great.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:27 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


I saw Sunday and enjoyed it. My 13-year-old daughter "heckin' loved it" and asked if she could get her hair cut like Brie Larson (yes).
posted by mogget at 7:17 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Saw it opening night with my 24 year old nephew and we both loved it. Saw it again last night with my 17 year old nephew and he really enjoyed it and I loved it even more. (The story made a lot more sense the second time around. I had missed a lot.) Planning to see it a third time with my 13 year old niece and anticipate I'll still be in love with this character for many more viewings to come.
posted by pjsky at 8:23 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


So I really liked the way they directly linked militarism with patriarchal society. I mean, did anyone notice that all of Carol's relationships with Kree women were based on the limited stereotypes for patriarchal fiction? You had the mother that tears her down, and the bitchy rival. It isn't until she comes to Earth that she interests with women who care about her as a person, and give support and love.
posted by happyroach at 8:34 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Including (via backstory) the same mother figure that the Kree repurposed as a toxic element in her own mind. Good point.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:52 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


So another thing - just a nerdy note, not really a criticism but something I think people here will be on the same wavelength about - and yes, I know she's an alien coming back to earth and within the story she doesn't know how to use this stuff. But still.

No way did that bar have a web presence at that time (1995?).

And I don't think AltaVista would have been the first place to look - you would've looked in like Yahoo and drilled down through a hierarchical listing of topics, don't you think? Those links are the first crawls the Wayback Machine has of those sites, they're from October 1996.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:57 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


> I don't think AltaVista would have been the first place to look

Well, we established upthread that AltaVista didn't exist yet for a few months, and I'm going with nicebookrack's response about the suspension of disbelief - it's an alternative reality that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike our own.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:05 AM on March 12


Sure, and it's not meant as a criticism that needs to be defended against at all -- like with the songs, I'm more just thinking about the fun thought exercise of 'what if we really did a precise job of pinning this down to a specific date, what technology/songs/etc would be available/not, or given the stuff we want to put in the movie what exact date would it need to be.'
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:30 AM on March 12


> the fun thought exercise of 'what if we really did a precise job of pinning this down to a specific date, what technology/songs/etc would be available/not

Ok, so here's something that's been nagging at me.

I know the USAF didn't have female combat pilots yet, but since when have they allowed female test pilots? Say, for experimental aircraft? The movie implied pretty strongly that this was the case (with the combat pilots posturing about how it's called a cockpit, etc.) - has that always been the case, or is there a timeline on that?
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:36 AM on March 12


I know the USAF didn't have female combat pilots yet, but since when have they allowed female test pilots?

It was a black operation totally outside the USAF chain of command.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:03 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


since when have they allowed female test pilots?

On google: 1989.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:25 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]


Lawson/Mar-Vell's Project Pegasus is marked as a joint project between NASA and SHIELD by the building signs. (Like Carol says, does putting your logo on everything help with the secret stealth missions??) And SHIELD better allow female test pilots; Peggy Carter co-founded the place. Though SHIELD was also infiltrated with Hydra the whole time, so it's not exactly a benevolent force.
posted by nicebookrack at 11:35 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


> the building signs

Ohhh, the Joint Dark Energy task force! (We joke that the only reason Dark Energy stuck as a name, instead of something like Quintessence, is so that the Department of Energy would continue to fund astronomy programs... [e.g.] Thank you, Rick Perry?)
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:23 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


since when have they allowed female test pilots?
On google: 1989.

The WASPs - Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII were technically "test pilots" and they were 100% awesome, amazing badasses.
posted by pjsky at 3:50 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Saw the movie sunday night. I really liked it! I thought the big fight scene in the space ship lab was a little hard to follow too, and I didn't even notice the song. I really liked the characters and I'm actually excited for Endgame now.
posted by numaner at 5:15 PM on March 12


The WASPs - Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII were technically "test pilots" and they were 100% awesome, amazing badasses.
From the article: "Between November 1942 and December 1944, 1,074 more women were trained to fly first in Houston and then moved to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX." That's probably just a happy coincidence, but Carol Danvers using the name of Jacqueline Cochran's legendary airfield as a callsign makes a lot of sense.
posted by elgilito at 9:09 AM on March 13 [24 favorites]


Since, as I said, I've been in the bag for this movie, I thought I ought to read and re-read Abigail Nussbaum's critique over at Lawyers Guns and Money. (tl,dr: for as important as the movie is in the overall movie world, for the ground it's breaking, the movie itself isn't as interesting or thoughtful as the quality of the lead character should demand.)
Fair enough.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 5:20 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


"Between November 1942 and December 1944, 1,074 more women were trained to fly first in Houston and then moved to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX."

Holy crap, that's amazing! Feels ground-shifting because the name of "Earth's Mightest Heroes" (their tag line in the comics) came from those women/that airfield.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:27 PM on March 13 [6 favorites]


That's fantastic. I wasn't gonna whine about it here, but I rolled my eyes at that bit about Carol's call sign being the source of the Avengers name because it seemed like an unnecessary attempt to make her seem more important. But if "Avenger" has that kind of history for women test pilots, then it seems like a really nifty and appropriate link to make.

And "Avengers" always did seem like an odd and awkward name for a team of superheroes, so I think Marvel could use a really good origin for it. Nice.
posted by straight at 11:50 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


on the subject of retconned background: Nick Fury's iconic trenchcoat look is now in-canon inspired by Talos.
posted by cendawanita at 12:07 AM on March 14 [4 favorites]


In the comics Janet van Dyne literally just picked the name because she thought it sounded cool. This is the best retcon-origin for it I've seen.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:57 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


OK, this is the new best thing ever. Dance-off, bro, you and me!
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:29 AM on March 14 [7 favorites]




Just saw this last night. Not prepared to go read through the entire thread at the moment, but wow. I really dug this. I think both Black Panther and Thor Ragnarok were better, but it's a really close number three tie between this movie and Captain America: The First Avenger. I'm gonna have to have a long think about which of those last two is my pat answer for "what's the best superhero origin story".

And what makes this movie all the more impressive is that it managed to be that good while not only being Carol's origin story but also a soft retcon of the entire pre-Thanos MCU, up to and including the Agents of SHIELD, and a bridge to the post-Endgame MCU. That's a lot of baggage, but it didn't weigh the movie down at all.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:21 AM on March 15 [7 favorites]


- Going in, I expected this to be at least 30% advertisement for the military, imagine my pleasant surprise to find out it's actually about an unjust war against Space Refugees.

- I love how they let Carol remain confident even when she's crash-landed on a new planet with amnesia. It would have been so easy to write her as shaky and unsure, and sure she's a little fish-out-of-water, but never overwhelmed or helpless.

- The Flerkin.
posted by Gordafarin at 10:32 AM on March 15 [6 favorites]


(As a side note, the WASPs get a lot of mention in the The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, a great series about the space program needing a jumpstart in the 50s after a meteor destroys much of the East Coast.)

Carol has a brief moment in the new Avengers trailer that I love. Thor tries to intimidate her with Stormbreaker and she just glances at him. Since we're never going to get a JLA/Avengers crossover, maybe she can recreate the iconic moment where Superman dual wields Mjolnir and Captain America's shield for the MCU.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:55 AM on March 15 [2 favorites]


"Thor tries to intimidate her with Stormbreaker and she just glances at him."

I wouldn't say glances so much as smirks which is even better.
posted by komara at 1:34 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Fury ever had a moment, post-Winter Soldier, where he was like "huh, maybe I should have let that Skrull stay on as my boss, he wouldn't have put up with any HYDRA shit."
posted by nonasuch at 9:33 PM on March 15 [11 favorites]


Who’s Lee Pace? I thought Ronan was played by Peyton Manning.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 3:06 PM on March 16


Saw it. Liked it.

Loved the soundtrack. Because I am Old.
posted by kyrademon at 4:01 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


> I thought Ronan was played by Peyton Manning

Is there a joke I'm missing here?
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:41 PM on March 16


Just got back, loved it, can't help but wonder if it works for somebody who hasn't read the comics.
posted by signal at 6:25 PM on March 16


I've never read the comics and didn't feel like I was missing anything.
posted by octothorpe at 6:26 PM on March 16 [3 favorites]


I think Lee Pace, as Ronan, looks like Peyton Manning, the gormless, former football player. My wife laughed, but she tends to humor me.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:41 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


The Carol Danvers comics version I am most familiar with is the one where she was hanging around with the X-Men and fighting the Brood. The most relevant connections between that storyline and this could probably best be summed up as "Outer Space" and "Flaming Hair". I don't feel like I missed anything.
posted by kyrademon at 3:11 AM on March 17 [2 favorites]


Kelly Sue deConnick's recent run on the comics is the basis of most of the movie, and for the whole look and feel of Carol, especially her general outlook and 0-fucks brand of feminism. It's as far from (the original) Ms. Marvel and Binary to be almost a brand new character.
The movie is full of callbacks to the comic books. For example, the whole 'that's not a "cat" it's a flerken' line (and running gag) is word from word from the comics, except it's Rocket Raccoon who delivers it.
posted by signal at 5:33 AM on March 17 [4 favorites]


DeConnick's characterization, yes, but the plot doesn't resemble that run at all.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:16 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


Right after Talos' science guy reverts back to his true form and shrugs at Monica, there's this little bit of 1950's sci-fi theremin in the score and it's a perfect little music choice.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:59 PM on March 17 [3 favorites]


DeConnick's characterization, yes, but the plot doesn't resemble that run at all.

Just as well. I find it interesting that her work on the Captain Marvel book started years after The Avengers movie.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:40 AM on March 18


Went to see it for the second time, am angry that Avengers isn't out yet so I can't get More Carol. Suspect I will be grumpy after Avengers release because Not Enough Carol.

This movie works for me better than Wonder Woman's. Mostly because she grew up with the same bullshit I did, and doesn't have to wear a bathing-suit-based costume with heels, which matters so much to me in ways I can't really explain.

(I would totally be ok with a deConnick-type Wonder Woman, but her backstory is still Mythical Demi-God, not Badass Human, so not as relatable).

(Though of course Carol now has Demi-God powers [does she age?] but at least she started out Badass Human).
posted by emjaybee at 7:50 AM on March 18 [5 favorites]


Just as well. I find it interesting that her work on the Captain Marvel book started years after The Avengers movie.

This is where it gets confusing and tricky, because comics: There's a Kelly Sue DeConnick run of Captain Marvel that ran from 2012 - 2014 (the one with the time travel back to WW2 and Kit/ Lt. Trouble), then they went back to #1 for another DeConnick run that went from 2014 - 2016 (the one with the flerkens and going back into space with Guardians of the Galaxy), then they went back to #1 again in 2016, but that with a different writer/artist team.

There's also multiple artists on each of these runs, so it can be hard to tell what belongs to which run visually.

So technically Kelly Sue DeConnick started on Captain Marvel around the same time as the Avengers came out, but Marvel reboots their stuff so often it's hard to tell.

Captain Marvel just rebooted again, and apparently this storyline is supposed to be easy for new people to follow.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:03 AM on March 18 [3 favorites]


I saw this with no expectations and no background on the character and was very pleasantly surprised! An actually well paced marvel movie! I kind of loved how they pulled off a hat trick of retconning a bunch of stuff without it feeling convoluted and trying all the space movies into the main storyline more.

Also! I thought they took a lot of time to have chatty, character based scenes which was unusual and also what I’ve been wanted from these movies? There’s a lot of talking to each other scenes! It’s basically a buddy cop movie.

It wasn’t as stylish or inventive as some of recent ones, but very solid and competetsnt and a good brick to build up to Endgame, which is going to be the capstone on the last 10+ years of this series so of course they’re going back and trying uo loose ends and going back to the first avenger and the first Avengers etc etc
posted by The Whelk at 6:36 PM on March 19 [6 favorites]


I met a friendly orange cat on the street today who loved snuggles and petting. I asked it if it was a Flerken and it didn't answer. But on the other hand, it didn't barf out tentacles and eat me, so it was all good.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:41 PM on March 19 [10 favorites]


The one complaint that I've heard is that thematically the use of grunge and post-grunge mid 90's music doesn't make a ton of sense for someone who disappeared in 1989 if we're going on some sort of Starlord Greatest Hits notion. Like, is the music supposed to be at least semi-diegetic, or is it just a soundtrack that resonates with the audience?

I mean, I know I came home and tried to buy it (but it doesn't exist?), but as a mid 40's dude it's basically the age appropriate soundtrack for my late teens and early 20s, so of course I would. And I was bopping my head along in the theater, to be sure. But it felt occasionally a bit anachronistic, I guess.

(On the other hand, a soundtrack fulla GnR and other hair metal bands from the 80s that Carol would've listened to before getting kidnapped would have been a ton harder to make thematically appropriate? Tricksy.)
posted by Kyol at 9:18 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


The "Just a Girl" fight sequence scored with "Welcome to the Jungle" instead would definitely be a different vibe.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:53 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


> The one complaint that I've heard is that thematically the use of grunge and post-grunge mid 90's music doesn't make a ton of sense for someone who disappeared in 1989 if we're going on some sort of Starlord Greatest Hits notion.

I don't remember the music in Captain Marvel being played by Carol the same way that Peter was listening to his headphones, so it kinda makes sense that it would be Top 40 music from the year the movie is set and not from when she vanished. Also, she wouldn't've remembered that.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:17 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


"a soundtrack fulla GnR and other hair metal bands from the 80s that Carol would've listened to before getting kidnapped would have been a ton harder to make thematically appropriate." - Kyol
I immediately imagined "Danger Sign" by Girlschool.
On further thought, "Three Minute Warning" or "I Rule the Ruins" from Warlock.
Heh, or "Aces High" from Iron Maiden.
The fact that we didn't get any Motley Crue or Bon Jovi is huge blessing, in my view.

"The "Just a Girl" fight sequence scored with "Welcome to the Jungle" instead would definitely be a different vibe." -wabbittwax
"You're Crazy", from Appetite, popped into my head, corrected to "Out ta Get Me".

Aiigh, now I want Marvel to have chosen to get Halestorm covering "Aces High" and Dorothy covering "Out ta Get Me".

"I don't remember the music in Captain Marvel being played by Carol the same way that Peter was listening to his headphones.." - The corpse in the library.
I think the only diegetic music bits were
"Kiss Me Deadly" by Lita Ford in flashback
"Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage on the jukebox in Pancho's
"Come As You Are" on the imagined record player when Carol is fed to the Supreme Intelligence the second time.

"Connection" by Elastica could have been playing in the Internet café - that wasn't clear.
And "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree could have been playing on the radio as Carol approached Maria's plane hangar - that also isn't clear to me on recall.

Comment from my spouse a day or two after seeing the movie: "I went on Amazon to try to buy the soundtrack, but I think I have all the original albums already."
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 5:38 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


And yeah, while I completely bought in to the Nick Fury de-aging, Coulson was a bit weird. I think it was the hair. Coulson doesn't have a full head of hair, so it felt like a bad toupee. I still squee'd when he was revealed anyway. Probably more than for Fury. Agents of SHIELD has me invested in ol' Coulson in a way that I am not for Fury.

Anyway, while we're on soundtrack choices, it's just another missed opportunity for a MCU movie to use Cartoon Heroes in an appropriate-ish era. Maybe the next Ant-Man movie. (Ok, it would be even more anachronistic than Celebrity Skin for a movie set in 1995. Just let me dream.)
posted by Kyol at 7:17 PM on March 21




Connection was definitely teased once in the background before it hit the main soundtrack.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:24 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking there'll be some kind of fan edit eventually with different songs in the sound track.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:51 AM on March 22


"Mostly because she grew up with the same bullshit I did, and doesn't have to wear a bathing-suit-based costume with heels, which matters so much to me in ways I can't really explain. " - emjaybee
I've been forgetting to check up on my nerd sites lately, so I missed it when it first was published - over at feminist pop culture site The Mary Sue, Tia Vasiliou from comiXology published a quick personal piece about Captain Marvel's (the movie and the comic character) meaning to her mom as well as to her.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 3:44 PM on March 22 [4 favorites]


I just assume that during that three-hour drive to the base, Fury had the radio on.
"Hey, what's this song?"
"Just a Girl, by a band called No Doubt."
"Is it popular or something? This is the fourth time we've heard it."
"Yeah."
"Nice sound to it."
"Yeah."
"I'm never going to get this out of my head, am I?"
"Nope."
posted by happyroach at 4:02 PM on March 22 [6 favorites]


I noticed a nod to Terminator 2. Arnold steals Cigar Biker’s clothes and motorcycle. In Captain Marvel, the scene when Carol steals the motorcycle from the dudebro and clothing off a manikin reminded me of this strongly, and something in the sound track around then reminded me of Terminator right around then also. They’re both Harley Davidsons.
posted by bq at 4:17 PM on March 22 [5 favorites]


I don't know how the robot youth thing is done, but I wonder if Nick Fury was less of an Uncanny Valley effect because the people rendering him had a better sense of what Samuel L Jackson looked like in the 90s than they did with Clark Gregg. It looked like they just wiped away Coulson's forehead wrinkles and gave him a little more hair, which is not...exactly how being younger works.

What if they thought about using "Tubthumping," then realized every other line is alchohol consumption and "pissing the night away." Like...they'd have had to pretty much immediately fade out on the music, right? "Just a Girl" didn't bother me, but the truth is that I was paying a lot more attention to the Skrull evacuation than I was to a fight that Carol was always going to win.
posted by grandiloquiet at 4:52 PM on March 24 [2 favorites]


The neat thing about the flow of "Just a Girl" is that it left a lot of room for the evacuation bits and the Flerken stuff without having to cut away from the song.

There's a lot of armchair directing to be done about the song choice there, but IMO it worked for me. It's not the harsh, bass-heavy ass-kicking badass anthem that you'd have heard in another action movie, which I'm pretty sure was actually the point.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:38 AM on March 25 [3 favorites]


The song works. The slightly off fight choreography works as well, because Carol just came into full command of her powers, of course she's still a little hesitant and awkward.
posted by signal at 7:47 AM on March 25 [4 favorites]


This Tumblr post has a lot to say about male reviews of CM:
The biggest problem with every single bad review of Captain Marvel coming from a man is that none of them seem to comprehend a narrative that isn’t meant for them.

They see Carol finally breaking free from being gaslighted by the Kree as “emotionally underwhelming,” never realizing that a climactic, emotional showdown with her abuser would be giving him exactly what he wants. Being in control of her emotions? Choosing not to react to a provocation? That’s strength most male comic fans don’t understand. They see masculine-coded strength as the only kind of valid strength. Carol not being angry and putting Yon-Rogg down in a shonen-esque battle doesn’t make sense to them because it’s not what they would have done.
Please go read the whole thing.
posted by hanov3r at 8:37 AM on March 26 [17 favorites]


I was paying a lot more attention to the Skrull evacuation than I was to a fight that Carol was always going to win

That...was literally the point of the sequence. The fight was a distraction from the Skrull evacuation, which we knew all along because the film literally shows the audience the tesseract switcheroo and Carol saying she'll delay the Kree as long as she can. The narrative tension is always over whether Carol's friends will escape with the tesseract, not whether Carol will win the deliberately long and flashy fight. The entire fight is Carol going "Dance off, bro!" and the Kree falling for it in their eagerness to clobber her personally, because apparently Kree will always go for the shiny distraction taunting them instead of focusing on the goal. The biggest narrative flaw of the fight scene is that Carol has to end it artificially by accidentally dropping the lunchbox and reminding the Kree that they're supposed to care about the tesseract stuff, since all of the Kree have been trying to kill Carol instead of trying to steal the lunchbox or stop the escaping Skrulls. The Kree didn't even try using hostages again to force Carol to hand over the precious lunchbox.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:20 PM on March 26 [6 favorites]


Late to the party, but finally watched this today. It's the last in my series of films I needed to catch up on before Endgame.

My major complaints really just have to do with the action sequences. Some of them worked great (the first Earth fight, especially the train bits; the Skrull ship escape wasn't bad either) but some of them felt borderline incoherent to me, especially the Just a Girl scene. I think it's less that the action is clunky and more that I find it really hard to read the scene, though; that scene and the first Kree infiltration scene are really dark and murky to me, and it's hard to tell what people are doing in them. It doesn't help much that I didn't have the greatest handle on what Captain Marvel's powers were at the time. So it all just resolves into "Captain Marvel's beating up some people probably I guess" and I kind of stop thinking about it until it's over.

Besides that? It's one of my favourite Marvel movies. I seem to like the movies that a) feature a lot of character moments and b) don't concern themselves so much with the rest of the MCU, and this definitely fits the bill. The thing I wasn't really expecting from the movie was how touching bits of it were: Maria telling Carol why she's the most powerful person she's even known; Monica picking out Captain Marvel's new colours; Carol being told that as a human she just fails over and over, only for Carol to remember her strength is that she gets back up every time. Honestly, those are the kinds of moments I find are usually lacking from the bigger MCU productions, and I really appreciated them here.

Random nitpicks: I know they're not necessarily anachronistic because hey alternate universe from our own, but "Come As You Are" feels like one (because Carol totally wouldn't recognize it if she was taken in 1989) and so does "Celebrity Skin" (but I feel like the singles off Live Through This probably wouldn't have worked the way the producers wanted it to). But if the only worth this movie had was its otherwise immaculate recreation of the 90s zeitgeist with Blockbuster, old Chevy Impalas (and new-for-1995 ones!), and Garbage and Elastica on the soundtrack, I would've taken it and been mostly pleased.
posted by chrominance at 6:29 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]




The biggest problem with every single bad review of Captain Marvel coming from a man is that none of them seem to comprehend a narrative that isn’t meant for them.

I am quietly amused when reading posts by other men on Captain Marvel (on other forums), because of what is and is not recognized in the movie.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:58 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


So, CM picks up a copy of The Right Stuff in Blockbuster, then heads off to a place called Pancho's. I guess in the MCU, Pancho Barnes was able to open a new bar after she was forced out of the Happy Bottom Riding Club in the 50s.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 10:30 AM on April 2 [4 favorites]


$1 billion worldwide in 26 days.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:55 PM on April 2 [5 favorites]


And yet it feels like way more digital ink has been spilt over the stupid Thanos butthole thing than this movie.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:46 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]


That might just be a factor of where you spend your time? I've seen little to none of that.
posted by ODiV at 10:03 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]


grandiloquiet: I don't know how the robot youth thing is done, but I wonder if Nick Fury was less of an Uncanny Valley effect because the people rendering him had a better sense of what Samuel L Jackson looked like in the 90s than they did with Clark Gregg.

This is obviously a late comment and I might be the only one, but I almost feel the opposite, that there was next to no youthening of Jackson's face compared to all the obvious work on Gregg's. He looked to me much more like his modern-day self than, I dunno, a fully shaved Jules Winnfield, and hence it was fully on the realism side of the Valley.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:48 PM on April 3


Relevant to nothing, but after I uploaded some of my new CarolCorps pictures to Flickr, I found that I had forgotten to get this tag rolling after I applied it to a photo in 2016: theviolenttalkingraccoonhashadtwomoviesalready
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 6:22 PM on April 5 [5 favorites]


Finally saw this yesterday (it’s been out long enough that a 5:00 showing on a Saturday had four people total in the screening room, heh) and it was fun and good! Really dug the twist. The only thing that got to me is the way that it handled the nineties period piece setting with all the subtlety of BoJack Horseman, though I am informed that I am supposed to have loved it, due to the nature of pandering.

In any case, hey, it was a fun and entertaining MCU movie that felt like it took a lot of cues from nineties movies, deliberately or not. I got a lot of Matrix vibes in the first act, and later on I couldn’t help but feel like the milkshake was meant as a reference to Pulp Fiction (especially given Jackson’s presence in the scene).
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:08 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]


The only thing that got to me is the way that it handled the nineties period piece setting with all the subtlety of BoJack Horseman, though I am informed that I am supposed to have loved it, due to the nature of pandering.

You perfectly put into words what I've been trying to say ever since I saw this one. A+
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:11 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


So I've been going through the MCU in the chronological nerd order (versus release order, I guess?) and nah, SLJ looks older and balder even in the earliest MCU movies a decade ago. Clark Gregg has one of his de-aged frames from Captain Marvel on his IMDB profile now and it's not just that they swept the magic wrinkle eraser over his forehead and gave him a toupee, his brow and chin lines feel totally different.
posted by Kyol at 9:02 AM on April 8


Also finally got around to seeing this, and loved it. I was in college in LA when this was set, so the throwbacks to 90s LA (90's LA skyline, old metro trains, etc) and 90s music was great nostalgia. But my wife who has zero knowledge of US pop culture in the 90s and didn't recognize any of the songs also quite liked it, so it definitely didn't need that. [Although the minor censoring of Celebrity Skin jumped out at me, probably because I listened to that album so much...]

Definitely loved the take on Skrulls and overall tone on imperialism/etc (which is a little ironic given all the "thanks to the US military" bits at the end...).

Fury holding out Goose like a weapon was super awesome.

Watching the finally-unleashed Captain Marvel basically punching fighters out of space and then taking out a battleship with zero effort was quite fun, although I'm curious how they will handle this power level post-Thanos (as in, other than maybe a Infinity Stone powered Thanos, who is a threat to her?). But thats also the standard Superman problem, and I do think its possible to tell interesting stories with that, just a little tougher.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:13 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


I'm curious also because Larson filmed Endgame before CM, and she had no script for CM and only her bits for Endgame, so I am expecting to see the narrative joins and spackling. (Can't be as bad as how whedon completely disrespected Tony's growth in IM3 just so he can jam in Ultron.)
posted by cendawanita at 7:33 PM on April 8 [4 favorites]


Super late to the party, (every effort to go see it sooner tanked - been chomping at the bit), but I loved this.
posted by mordax at 11:29 PM on April 8


So... is there an active MCU re-watch thread?

I've been having terrible nights, so over the last week, I've stayed up and rewatched Iron Man, Captain America - the First Avenger, and Thor. It's been delightful! I'd forgotten how much *fun* those early movies were - especially Thor, where the unhappy taste left by The Dark World had made me forget a lot of the first movie too.

Now I'm debating whether I need to re-watch Iron Man 2, or whether I should skip to just the stinger(s?) and move on to The Avengers.

(Of course, sleep would be best of all, but ... I'm really looking forward to Winter Soldier!)
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:36 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]




Iron Man 2 is worse than you remember, but Thor 2 is better. The parts with Thor & Loki together more than make up for the blah villains (but maybe not for the fridging of Frigga that brings them together--although Rene Russo does get a brief chance to be awesome, and the fact that Odin's death is used the same way in Thor 3 maybe mitigates it somewhat?). Odin is horrible (and irritatingly right about how Thor's plan sucks) in a way that seems appropriately alien and sets up some stuff in Thor 3 nicely. The action bits at the end with all the portals are funny and clever and Jane gets to save the day after Odin treating her like a MacGuffin. And SHAZAM gets to play Fandral for a bit which is amusing in a magic lightning sort of way and makes this comment slightly more on-topic for this Captain Marvel thread.
posted by straight at 1:36 PM on April 10 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'd love to have a thread to discuss the threads that tie the greater MCU storyline together, I mean the Tesseract is one thing, but there's a _bunch_ of stuff I was completely oblivious to in the original viewings that make a hell of a lot more sense now, 20 movies and 7 seasons of television later. (sub: jeeeeez)

But it's not really on-topic for CM, even though CM really sort of tees it up.

Poking around, that sort of thing is buried in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Fanfare Club tag, which sort-of-amusingly doesn't seem to include a whole heck of a lot of the actual cinematic universe. What would it take to retroactively add the mcu_club tag to the existing movie posts?
posted by Kyol at 3:20 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


(I just added the mcu_club tag to this post - anyone can add any tag they like to a fanfare post. Be the change you want to see in the world)
posted by dinty_moore at 4:23 PM on April 10 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'd love to have a thread to discuss the threads that tie the greater MCU storyline together

We can do that in Fanfare Talk or Fanfare proper as long as the thread is appropriately labeled above the fold. (I asked the mods about this in reference to Star Trek cross-series discussion over a year ago.)
posted by mordax at 11:30 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


I finished teaching my last night class yesterday so tonight my good friend and I went to see Captain Marvel. It was great! We both loved it. We have both been feeling a little bit down at the rampant sexism that still seems to be alive and well in the world, so this movie was a nice antidote. Both of us are perimenopausal and experiencing those fun symptoms like hot flashes and (much more refreshing and enjoyable) a decided lack of patience for sexism and stupidity, so when Captain Marvel is on the ship and just HAS HAD ENOUGH and starts powering up and kicking ass right and left, we were like, "She must be having a hot flash. Captain Perimenopause."

Other things I really liked:
  • The cat!! As soon as the cat's name was revealed, I thought, "Top Gun!"
  • The loving relationship between Carol and Maria.
  • Maria's awesome daughter.
  • The excellent twist with the Skrulls being not bad guys but refugees oppressed by colonizers.
  • Annette Bening.
  • BOOM! "I don't have to prove anything to you." My friend leaned over and whispered, "She was sick of his mansplaining."
I have zero complaints about pacing, characterization, or anyone's acting. Loved it 100% and will be taking mr hgg to see it soon too.

By the way, it has now hit over $1 billion worldwide, surpassing Wonder Woman, Spider Man, and Twilight.

And just to finish off, here is one of my favourite articles I have read lately: Movies Starring Women Outperform Male Led Titles at Box Office, Studies Find.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:08 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


I think my favorite thing in the whole movie might be the way Carol says, "Higher, Further, Faster, baby." Larson manages just with the tone of her voice, her face, and that high-five about 45 minutes worth of characterization and backstory about what those two mean to each other and what they've been through together.
posted by straight at 11:01 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Took mr hgg to see this today. He really enjoyed it and I loved it just as much the second time. Maybe more.

I've been thinking about Captain Marvel and Black Panther, which are my favourite MCU movies to date. Before seeing Wonder Woman, I would have said I was really, really not a superhero movie person even though I'd seen the biggies like Batman, Superman and Spiderman (all DC movies, I realize now). But I went to see Wonder Woman because I remembered liking Lynda Carter's version on TV and also just really wanting to support a superhero movie with a female lead. I ended up loving it so much I saw it twice.

And then came Black Panther, which I also watched because it's the first blockbuster superhero movie featuring an all black cast. And I loved that too. And watched it twice.

And ever since Black Panther, I've been watching lots more Marvel movies, getting filled in on some of the characters and backstory of SHIELD and the Avengers. And I've enjoyed them! But my enjoyment is definitely amplified when there are good female characters because SURPRISE SURRISE I like to see myself represented.

And now, with Captain Marvel, I think this ties with Black Panther as my favourite MCU movie. I know there are fans who aren't as keen on it, for perfectly legit reasons and not misogynist ones. But for me, as a non-superhero movie fan, Captain Marvel and Black Panther have given me reason to be interested in this world, because they are such a beautiful way to represent the power that POC and women should have in the world.

It's so easy to feel thoroughly beaten down by the misogyny and racism and inequity in the world, by the hateful lugs getting elected to office, by neo-Nazis and MRA assholes and people just determined to spread their particular brand of cruelty. But I think I finally understand the appeal of superhero movies and the fervour with which people love them. I think I get it now. When I see something like Black Panther or Captain Marvel or even Wonder Woman, I feel buoyed, like okay things are shitty in list of ways but there will always be people who feel the same as I do, who want a better world and are willing to work together with me to make things better in whatever small way we can. We aren't alone and it's important not to give up.

So here's why Marvel should keep making female-led superhero movies and POC-led superhero movies: because I can't be the only person who just wasn't that interested until I started seeing myself represented and started seeing messages that align with my values. If I can be won over, there have to be more people like me. And I just really hope Marvel realizes it's no coincidence that CM and BP blew box office expectations out of the water.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:58 PM on April 21 [7 favorites]


Haha, okay, we just watched Avengers: Infinity War last night and I realized Spiderman is Marvel, not DC! I suppose my confusion is a pretty good sign I haven't been a superhero/comics fan for long...
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:30 PM on April 22


What gave you that impression is probably more the studio licensing agreements that have kept Spider-Man, X-Men, and Fantastic Four separate from the rest of the Marvel cinema universe for many years.

I mean, well, the last comic book I read was probably a Spider-Man issue when I was eight in 1972. It's not like I've been up on all this stuff. But I've been watching the movies and TV shows and I've picked up a lot just from discussion. For me, after all these movies where Spider-Man is in his own segregated movie world, it's been a bit strange to see him with these superheroes, even though (presumably) it's not weird for comics fans.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:01 PM on April 22


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