Martin Scorsese v. Marvel: Dawn of Justice

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is in theatres today and will eventually be released on Netflix November 27th. The past month, the media has been in a frenzy over Mr. Scorsese’s comments about Marvel films and how he considers them a different form of cinema.

In my personal opinion, Scorsese is just reiterating what many people have been saying for the past five years. Disney has been pumping out these films year after year and they have been lacking in many departments. It’s killing the moviegoing experience for general audiences. He has compared the MCU to theme park rides because the entire franchise consists of EVENT films. Disney brings in the entire family, whether it be a Marvel film or a remade Disney live action, they have been able to make money on nostalgia and comfort.

The Future of Netflix Distribution Analytical Podcast
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The film critics, cinephiles and movie lovers count down the days for independent films like The Irishman but the general audience has been conditioned to spend money on event films because of the rising ticket prices. No one will spend the money to watch a film that they are taking a gamble on. The podcast that is linked on the right is an in depth analysis of the new age of movie watching. In the podcast the discourse of film distribution, local movie theatre chains and streaming are all discussed. The general audience mainly goes to the theatre for a comedy or an action film and that’s the sad reality that Mr. Scorsese is addressing in this new age of filmmaking. He was never dismissing the hard work and dedication that has gone into each of these films but instead, how it has altered the thought process when deciding which film to watch in theatres and which films to watch at home.

(from left) Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Ray Romano in The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman is a gigantic film because of the calibre of actors, the streaming deal with Netflix AND he is delivering another classic mob film. There have been so many comments about who he is as a person and as a filmmaker, it seems that people haven’t done their research on what Scorsese has been doing for the past four decades. He has been pushing cinema forward with his own filmography and he has been preserving the history of cinema since 1990. Martin Scorsese genuinely loves every single aspect of this industry and for people to undermine him and disrespect his dedication to his craft is ridiculous.

It’s also incredible to me that journalists, who have studied for their degree, are pushing this discourse, while Scorsese is doing promo for The Irishman. You have one of the most renowned directors in front of you, with a massive film, which is a culmination of his entire filmography and you decide to get a soundbite for clickbait, rather than any film related content? Are his thoughts about a franchise really more important than the film he’s promoting? Also, why are you asking the Marvel actors/directors their thoughts about Scorsese’s comments, knowing full well that they have contracts with Disney?

The moviegoing audience has shifted and the way people watch films has also drastically changed. Martin Scorsese has been able to transcend generations with his filmmaking because he moves with the technological climate. When 3D came out, Scorsese made Hugo and the film was nominated because of his heartfelt story and homage to cinema history.

Asa Butterfield in Hugo (2011)

When movies were being shot on digital, Scorsese gave it a shot with the bombastic The Wolf of Wall Street and it was also nominated. It only made sense for Scorsese to head to a streaming platform for this gangster epic.

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The reason why it’s so important that big filmmakers take a chance on Netflix, is so we can finally bridge the gap between streaming and theatrical distribution. A film like The Irishman in this current climate won’t even make a profit in a local movie theatre BUT showcasing this type of film on a streaming service, allows a guaranteed international release on multiple screens. Scorsese attempted to bridge the gap but movie theatres did not want to show a 3.5 hour gangster film, with older actors, when they could fill their screens with the latest action flick or Disney film.

If you really think about it, it took a director like Scorsese, to express everyone’s thoughts about the destruction of the moviegoing experience, for people to actually question Disney’s conditioning. There is original content that should be thriving and that’s the only point Martin Scorsese was trying to make.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Review

This is the movie I was waiting for.

This is the Peter Parker/Spider-Man I always dreamed of.

Tom Holland is the best teenage version of this hero and I am so happy Spidey is in his hands. He has such a dorky innocence to him and he plays the character so effortlessly.

Far From Home was a perfect Spider-Man movie because it incorporated many different aspects from the comics. The script was very compact and the twists flowed extremely well. I loved that the simplicity of Peter wanting to tell MJ that he likes her was the main plot and that saving the world multiple times became the obstacle. It made sense from a teenage perspective and I thought there was a solid balance. What I appreciated was that the memory of Tony Stark didn’t overpower Parker’s Spider-Man like in Homecoming and that’s why I enjoyed it so much more. Tom Holland is his own hero now and this film truly proved that he’s capable of carrying that title, not of Iron Man but of Spider-Man.

The one aspect that stood out the most was Mysterio. Jake Gyllenhaal has easily become one of the best villains in the MCU and I am so happy that they used him to his full capability! Mysterio was an excellent choice to bring in the multiverse and a great way to bring one of the most visually stunning action scenes I’ve seen in a very long time!

This was so perfect and I know Stan and Steve would be so very proud of this film! The mid credit scene was probably my favourite one to ever exist, I audibly screamed and my entire theatre started cheering! DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE OR THE CHANCE TO WATCH IT IN 3D!

Dark Phoenix Review

Dark Phoenix is the final instalment in the X-Men universe and I have to admit that it was a pretty decent send off.

Over the years I have grown attached to the mutants because their issues were deeply rooted in humanity and we all see each other. So many people can relate to the X-Men in one way or another and I think that the franchise has done wonders for those who feel like they are different.

The X-Men franchise has been fairly consistent and they all finally showed their maximum power in Dark Phoenix. This film was a standard X-Men film. If you’re a fan of the franchise, you really won’t be disappointed because it’s exactly what you would expect. What Kinberg did that was great is that he kept the same tone of the universe and I really appreciated that.

I thought it was great that Jean Grey was finally front and centre, Sophie Turner was fantastic and I wish we could see more of her in this role! I loved that they showed her full power, especially when going toe to toe with Magneto! I felt like there wasn’t enough time to watch her soar and I wanted to see so much more!

It was actually really hard for me to say goodbye to them. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have done an extraordinary job in bringing Charles and Eric to life. The final scene with them getting ready to play chess made me tear up because it is the end of the X-Men, it’s the end of an era with these actors and it’s really sad.

The beauty of Dark Phoenix is that even though it’s a standalone, it still fits with the rest of the franchise and gives us more to enjoy from each character. The entire franchise still holds up and I will definitely keep them close to my heart.

X.

6 Gems to Keep in Mind While Watching ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (SPOILER WARNING)

After eleven years and twenty-two movies later, the “Infinity Saga” has officially come to an end.

Marvel President, Kevin Feige had an idea, to build a franchise that is all interconnected and would eventually culminate the longform story structure into a daring finale.

It’s easier to breakdown what happened and look over the MCU as a whole. So, here are the major clues from other films in the MCU, which will all make sense while watching “Avengers: Endgame”

The most important question after watching “Infinity War” is “What happened after the snap?”

Thanos believed that he restored balance to the universe by wiping out 50% of humanity. At the end of “Infinity War”, we see that half of the heroes have vanished and the original Avengers have stayed back.

Before vanishing, Doctor Strange went forward in time and saw all the possible outcomes before fighting Thanos. He then gave up the time stone to Thanos in order to carry out the proper plan to defeat him. As “Sorcerer Supreme” it was his duty to protect the time stone because it’s a power source for him, so when he gave up the stone to Thanos, in exchange to save Tony Stark’s life, there must have been a reason for him to do so. The time stone is a major player going into “Endgame” because of the one outcome that can save them all.

At the beginning of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Scott Lang is alive, as he pops out of the Quantum Realm. He has an idea to use the realm and pinpoint an exact moment in time so they can time travel. It’s a simple plan and it’s the only option the Avengers have to get everyone back. Scott Lang was actually one of the best characters in Endgame because he had a lot to lose, he DID NOT stop fighting for his family, even when he had to talk Tony Stark into conducting this “time heist”. The trials that they conducted with Bruce Banner made for quite an entertaining schtick before Tony jumps in and saves the day with his “time gps”. The original 6, plus Nebula, Rocket and Rhodie all enter the realm and travel back to specific moments from previous films in which the stones appeared in. This was such a beautiful idea from the Russo’s, to incorporate the important moments for their characters and memorable ones for audiences.

INFINITY SAGA PHASE 1 PODCAST
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The previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have all been perfectly placed to lead up to ““Endgame””, starting with the first ““Avengers”” movie. The “Battle of New York” changed the trajectory of all the characters, but most importantly Tony Stark’s character arc. In this film, Tony Stark is introduced to space for the first time. He battled Loki and the Chitauri, which were from another realm. These aliens completely destroyed New York and from that moment, Tony Stark made it a point to create more weapons to keep the entire world safe. The aftermath of this film affected Tony Stark’s mental health, which was carried out in “Iron Man 3”. He had post traumatic stress disorder and was obsessed with building more suits, so he would always be protected. It wasn’t until “Age of Ultron” where his ultimate fear was revealed, due to Scarlet Witch and her mind control. She made him see the fate of The Avengers and it was death by Thanos. Since “Age of Ultron” Tony Stark had a personal vendetta against Thanos because of how obsessive he had become in keeping his loved ones safe from the Mad Titan. Tony Stark’s character arc is the most important heading into “Endgame” because of everything that he has been through with Thanos. The Marvel Cinematic Universe began with Tony Stark, so it is only fitting that he avenges the lives that were lost.

One of the most powerful Avengers also undergoes one of biggest transformations and the God of Thunder changes after the events in “Thor: The Dark World”. In this film the reality stone is discovered by Dr. Jane Foster on Earth. Jane noticed that various portals have appeared around her area and the laws of physics had been suspended. She entered this abandoned building, where the power was at its strongest and she ends up entering another realm. After entering she is infected with the “Aether”, otherwise known as the reality stone. Thor’s father, Odin, then warns Thor that Jane is out of reach and he can no longer track her whereabouts. He then goes to save Jane and they have to remove the “aether” from her body. He brings Jane to Asgard in order to keep her safe because an enemy force wants the “Aether”. In order to keep her and the stone safe, Thor’s mother, Frigga ends up sacrificing herself in order to protect Jane from the Dark Elves. In this film, Thor loses his mother and renounces the throne. He becomes more humble and acknowledges his own faults. As Thor navigates his way through the other films he finally comes into his own in “Thor:Ragnarok”, he had a purpose to protect his people. In “Infinity War”, Thor is the one to attack Thanos with all the power he had gained from his axe “Stormbreaker” and he unleashed it in Wakanda. Thor took on Thanos on his own and went to stab his heart. Unfortunately, Thanos was still able to snap his fingers and complete his plan. Thor then becomes our discouraged hero and blames himself for not doing the right thing. Thor falls off the wagon into a depression that leaves him struggling to find out who he is instead of who he is supposed to be.

INFINITY SAGA 2 PODCAST
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The first sign of Thanos retrieving the infinity stones was during “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1”. The power stone was locked up on planet Morag and Peter Quill was able to retrieve it, not knowing the contents of the orb. In this film, Thanos sends Nebula and Gamora to go retrieve the orb. Gamora ends up making contact with Quill and the battle for the orb continues throughout the film. Gamora sees what her father, Thanos has done to the universe and ends up protecting the power stone, instead of giving it to him. At this point, Thanos loses Gamora to the Guardians and begins to search for the stones on his own. The Guardians ended up giving the power stone to the Nova Corps in order to keep it safe. Thanos began to recruit his own army, known as The Black Order, in order to retrieve the stones. They destroyed planets and many lives were lost while trying to uncover these stones.

Another issue ‘The Avengers’ face when they head into the Quantum Realm is that they were all clueless about the soul stone. Thanos is the only one who has ever ventured to Voromir and in exchange for the stone, he had to sacrifice his daughter. Clint and Natasha were sent there without any knowledge of the decision they had to make in order to retrieve the stone. This could have all been avoided if Nebula actually told the full story of her sister Gamora’s death. The soul stone is not easy to retrieve and even Scott Lang knew it was a bad idea, since he opted out. What is very unfortunate is that Black Widow was the most excited to get the stones and return back to the present and it didn’t happen for her. Black Widow’s ending made sense because she finally had a family and she would do anything for them, including sacrificing herself. We’re getting a Black Widows standalone anyway and I’m sure it will have better characterization than what she had in previous movies.

INFINITY SAGA PHASE 3 PODCAST
https://castbox.fm/x/15raO

The most important thing to take away from the “Infinity Saga” coming to an end is that Stan Lee was fortunate enough to watch his comic panels come to life. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby all contributed to this universe and their work will live on forever. From the writing, witty characters and special cameos, it’s a real treat to be a Marvel fan because of how dedicated everyone has been in doing these characters justice.

So in the words of Stan Lee,

Excelsior and enjoy Avengers: Endgame.

The Disney – 20th Century Fox Merger

Mark your calendars.

Today is the day.

At midnight tonight, Disney will become an untouchable monopoly in the film industry.

Disney has finally closed the deal with 20th Century Fox. At the surface many comic book fans are excited because heroes like The X-Men, Deadpool and Fantastic Four are returning “home” to Marvel.

Ryan Reynolds confirmed the merger this morning on Twitter. Posting this photo with the tweet – @VancityReynolds: “Feels like the first day of ‘Pool”

However, what does this mean for the other content in the 20th Century Fox library? What else has Disney acquired in this merger?

Well 20th Century Fox also has television programming. It will pick up Fox Animation titles such as The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burger’s. This also allows Disney to pick up Fox 21, which has The Americans, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and American Horror Story. No one realizes the amount of shows that the Fox library consists of and now Disney even owns series like Mash, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 24. Disney made this move with the streaming service in mind. The company just added major television series to their library ahead of its release.

Yeah sure, it’s great that Marvel is getting their characters back but it also destroys a lot of what they worked on for the past 14 years. Do we really want a fresh cast for the X-Men? How can you replace actors like Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Hugh Jackman? It’s too soon. 20th Century Fox treated the X-Men so well and now all of that will be replaced in the next 10 years.

Disney has become a massive corporation that everyone should be afraid of. They will eventually own 70% of media consumption and will continuously knock down the competition. This merger means that there will be massive job cuts, unemployment and more control over creativity. Forget about the product for a moment and think about the thousands of workers who have worked for 20th Century Fox for years… where are they going?

Disney has become the production company bully and it feels like everyone has to love whatever they put out. The online critics are incredibly biased and have turned criticism and the average moviegoing experience into an unpleasant one. Disney used the excuse to buy back the X-Men for Marvel to cover up the fact that they were aiming for Fox’s TV catalogue for their own streaming service.

Disney will control creativity. Prepare for remakes and reboots in the next 10 years with the magical Disney touch. Prepare yourselves for a Deadpool that is marketed to children. Prepare for The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burger’s to change their brand. Disney also owns Avatar now, so be prepared for overly marketed sequels that NO ONE cares about.

This is where smaller production companies step in and take control of original content. Companies like Anna Purna, A24, EOne, NEON and Focus Features to name a few, all have to pay closer attention to the films they pick up. That’s why we as a film community need to appreciate and fight for Netflix as a streaming service because eventually Disney will buy it out too. Once Disney has steadied their streaming service, it will buyout the competition.

There’s going to be a massive shift in film content in the next decade and this merger is the start of something that could potentially ruin the industry as we know it.