Black Widow Keeps It in the Family for Natasha’s Last Ride
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
We’re at a point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where when a film is set matters as much as where. Past MCU outings have planted flags in 1942, 1995, 2023, and everywhere in between. More to the point, who’s alive (not to mention who’s on speaking terms) varies with each jump across the timeline. So when an adventure is set can tell the audience plenty before the story’s even started. Black Widow, then, is set very deliberately after the events of Captain America: Civil War (or most of them, anyway). The story seizes on a time when Natasha Romanoff had just witnessed the break-up of one fou ..read more
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Loki Finds New Purpose in the Man behind the Mischief
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
What would you do if you went through life convinced that you were “burdened with glorious purpose” when you were, in fact, just another cog in the machine? What would you do if you found out the artifacts of power you so desired were mere trinkets that other folks used as paper weights? What would you do if you believed you were in control of your own destiny, only to discover that you are the plaything of greater beings whose life story has already been written? And what would you do if you thought you were the protagonist, only to realize that you are a mere springboard to help others beco ..read more
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The WandaVision Finale Helps Us See the Rocky Road to Healing
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
The world is on fire. We are still very much in the throes of a pandemic that has cost untold human lives and inflicted even more misery. In the midst of all of this, many of us have retreated to the warmth of T.V.’s comfort food, where laughs are plentiful and problems are solved in thirty minutes or less. It’s a preferable alternative, albeit a temporary one, to the hurts and horrors of the real world, providing a little spiritual getaway in tumultuous times to soothe our pains or block them out entirely. That’s part of why WandaVision has been so resonant and so successful. It certainly he ..read more
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“On a Very Special Episode” and the Painful Truth at the Heart of WandaVision
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
Caution: This review contains MAJOR SPOILERS for S01E05 of WandaVision There’s so much to buzz over at WandaVision’s halfway mark. Quicksilver from the X-Men as Quicksilver from the Avengers! Scarlet Witch’s stand-off with Sword! Pitch-perfect 1980s TV spoofs! Bulletproof hot pants! But here’s the thing that grabbed me the most while watching this “Very Special Episode” — the sequence where Vision confronts Wanda over what’s happening to both of them. That harrowing scene has some extra oomph because of the special effects at play. There’s something eerie about the two of them arguing over th ..read more
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Avengers: Endgame Is an Unprecedented Achievement in Cinema, Not Just Superhero Cinema
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
Stop and consider the magnitude of this achievement for a moment. Avengers: Endgame is not just a film. It is not just the “season finale” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the culmination of eleven years of multifaceted storytelling, somehow managing to balance dozens of characters, tie off story threads that have stretched and intersected over the past decade, and craft a final challenge worthy of being the capstone to this mega-franchise. That it happened at all, let alone that this saga ends on a note so poignant, funny, and exhilarating, is an absolute miracle — or at least, if you ..read more
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Captain Marvel Is a Throwback to the Earliest MCU Films, Even as It Breaks New Ground
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
Captain Marvel is essentially a “Phase One” MCU film. That’s not a bad thing! The original dose of pre-Avengers movies hit doubles more often than they hit home runs, but each was enjoyable on its own terms and managed to nicely establish its main character. The journeys in these introductory films are clearly meant to be personal ones, as much about a hero becoming who they’re meant to be as they are about defeating some forgettable bad guy. That’s certainly true for Captain Marvel, where the nominally cataclysmic stakes (already diminished by the period setting) take a backseat to the audie ..read more
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Avengers: Infinity War and the Choice between Love and Victory
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
Caution: This review contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War. Before Joss Whedon made 2012’s The Avengers and changed the caped crossover game forever, he created an arguably even more influential T.V. show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Despite its gothic overtones, Buffy had the rhythms of a superhero story, with special powers, recurring villains, and big deaths and resurrections. And in one particularly significant season finale [spoilers for a 15-year-old episode of television], Whedon gave his protagonist a choice: save the universe or save someone you love. Buffy’s conflic ..read more
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Black Panther Makes the MCU a Deeper, Richer Place
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
Black Panther doesn’t have the aura of a Marvel Cinematic Universe film. Yes, it features allies and enemies we’ve met in prior outings like Age of Ultron and Civil War. Yes, it has a jovial vibe throughout its cast that buoys heavier moments. And yes, it has the mandatory, climactic third act battle, draped in CGI and stuffed with the usual fanfare. But Black Panther also stands apart from the rest of Marvel’s offerings on the silver screen. It is unabashedly Afrocentric in its focus and in its approach. It is a forthrightly political film, meditating on the legacy of colonialism, the oppres ..read more
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Thor: Ragnarok Wins with Comedy and Character, Even When its Story Sags
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
Some of the best aspects of the original Star Wars movie were its characters, its humor, and its surfeit of enjoyable, individual moments. The film’s special effects were innovative, and its famed myth arc was substantial, but the hero’s journey and all that technical splendor might have fallen apart if we hadn’t felt the warm, jostling connection between Luke, Leia, and Han, or laughed at their antics, or been able to so enjoy their interactions even apart from the larger story. Thor: Ragnarok, while not nearly as good as A New Hope, can rely on the same saving grace. The third solo Thor fli ..read more
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Behold the Awfulness of Showrunner Scott Buck in “Behold…The Inhumans!”
The Andrew Blog » Marvel Cinematic Universe
by Andrew Bloom
1y ago
In one of Family Guy’s notorious cutaway gags, a character declares that he “hasn’t been this confused since he watched the film No Way Out.” The scene them flashes back to him exiting a movie theater and declaring, “How does Kevin Costner keep getting work?” It’s hard not to feel the same bafflement about Inhumans showrunner Scott Buck. The biggest mystery left in the wake of “Behold…The Inhumans!”, the show’s first episode, is not how the titular heroes will cope with a budding coup, or what a seer’s prophecies mean, or even the vaguely-defined superpowers of the protagonists. Instead, it’s ..read more
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