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.

Disney & Film Criticism

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This is what we’ve come to?

It’s acceptable to just claim that a movie is just “fine”?

There’s a reason why Captain Marvel can’t be critiqued as “fine” and the reason is because it’s the TWENTY FIRST superhero film in a franchise.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s a female led cbm or that it’s written by a female or that it’s CO-DIRECTED by a woman. The film as a whole was not up to par with other films in the MCU and they are in Phase 04.

So because it’s under Disney we’re supposed to give a mediocre Marvel film a free pass? No.

Captain Marvel should not have been as mediocre as it was at this stage in the MCU, especially ahead of Endgame. 

Please tell me why there was more pressure on Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman? The answer is blatantly obvious and it’s because it’s a DC film.

Captain Marvel did not reinvent the genre, it did not change the formulaic structure and it was extremely underwhelming. As a woman, there were moments where I understood Carol Danvers but I did not feel a connection to her. Also, how doesn’t it upset anyone that Captain Marvel was literally used as a stepping stone to Endgame? She’s being used as a device to further a narrative that is already in place because of the shared universe. The placement of Captain Marvel is odd and the only link to Endgame is the post credit scene which also makes this film disjointed among the MCU. I’m sure if you watch Captain Marvel before The Avengers it’ll fit better.

In the article from Variety, this is what Alicia Lutes says, “You’re still enabling the narrative that women have to be twice as good, all the time, to maybe get 1% of the pie. Whether you thought “Captain Marvel” or any of these movies was good, or even an affront, is entirely beside the point.”

I’m sorry but I don’t understand how any viewer has put women on a pedestal in regards to filmmaking? Women need more opportunities in the industry but when it comes to their work, they need to be critiqued like every other filmmaker. When you make claims that “it’s okay for this film, that is directed by a woman to fail because we need more of that”… no one wants their film to be mediocre or a failure, so why are we giving this film a pass?

You’ve already categorized Captain Marvel as a female led film and completely pushed aside the fact that it’s a DISNEY MARVEL MOVIE. It doesn’t matter who is behind the lens and that’s what people have to start realizing when critiquing films in the future. You have to be able to watch it for what it is and not put the film on a pedestal because it’s a female led film or directed by a woman. It’s damaging to female filmmakers, yes they struggle more than the average males in the industry but their content needs to be critiqued the same as everyone else.

How do we, as critics, say it’s acceptable that a movie is just “fine”? There have been thousands of films that have been mediocre and forgotten, where people have critisized every single aspect of the film, but this one, gets a free pass because female directors need to make some bad movies? Do people know what they’re saying?

This is proof that Disney owns the critics. Forget about Captain Marvel for a second and think about the critical acclaim Mary Poppins Returns received…. it didn’t deserve any of that hype and it was a disappointment in my eyes but it got plenty of nominations. Disney has known how to market their films since day one and now they’ve become greedy and power hungry. They own the box office year round and the critics are biased and fall to their knees as if they’ve made another masterpiece.

The new age of film criticism is not objective anymore, there is no singular voice that breaks down the film for what it is, there’s no balance. Ratings have become more important than reviews and critiques because a percentage from a consensus is more powerful than a credible writer expressing their opinion.

There should be no mediocrity when it comes to a Disney Marvel movie at this stage in the game because of it’s longevity. They have a “perfected” formula, so why not use it properly? That’s the issue with this kind of criticism for the film. At the end of the day, it’s not about female filmmakers at the box office but it’s about a standalone film apart of a larger universe.

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Marvel (SPOILER FREE) Review

The most powerful Avenger has arrived.

Thanos watch your back.

Captain Marvel finally has her moment in the spotlight and it was a good start to her story. Brie Larson perfectly embodied Carol Danvers and kicked ass as Captain Marvel. She really studied the character and she made it effortless, this was definitely the role for her.

Brie Larson’s chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson was so natural and lovely that their bond carried the movie. This was also Sam Jackson’s best performance out of all the movies in the MCU and I’m happy we got to see this side of him.

Captain Marvel played off of the Marvel nostalgia and found humour in the 90s. It was a lot of fun and the character dynamics were the glue that held everything together.

However, the first half was very messy and confusing. I had trouble getting into her story at the beginning because they dragged out the story on Kree, when the real focus should have been on Earth and her memories. The screenplay needed work but the humour was spot on and to be honest, it was kind of refreshing. The editing was very choppy and the flashbacks did not add much to her story because it was all over the place. Once Carol Danvers met up with her best friend Maria Rambeau played but the wonderful Lashana Lynch, the film began to feel natural.

The second act really picked up and I just wanted more of everything! Once she got control of her powers it was very exciting and Carol Danvers was having fun playing with what her energy can do. The origin story was solid but I just wanted more of her backstory, I just don’t think they did a good job in covering every aspect of her life.

It was a great film to go into Endgame with and that’s all I can say about Captain Marvel, it was just a stepping stone… it’s kind of like the character film was a plot device in order to push the greater picture.

The Stan Lee tribute at the beginning made me cry and his cameo was classic!

Stay for that post credit scene because it got my blood pumping more than the entirety of the film itself.