Captain Marvel – fun for kids, swill for adults

Summary: Captain Marvel is an amazing film, revealing much about America, and showing that Disney can churn out films of any quality and make a fortune. Tell us a film is great, appeal to our tribal loyalties, give us action and CGI – and we will pay for the product. Why are we so desperate for entertainment that we accept this?

"Captain Marvel" poster

Teens – boys and girls – will love Captain Marvel. Lots of action and heroics, a few surprises, accompanied by loud rock music. And, as always for modern Hollywood, top quality cinematography plus beautiful and imaginative CGI. But nothing intellectually challenging; it is as shallow as a pools of water on my sidewalk after the rain.

Captain Marvel has a mystery, whose answer would reveal much about America: why do so many critics consider this to be a great film? The dialog is leaden. The pace, between blasts of CGI and the fights, is glacial. The script is consistently sloppy; much of it makes no sense. The fight scenes run by the rules of Saturday morning cartoons: blasts from ray guns, lasers from the Captain’s hands, bashings against walls — then everybody gets up for the next dance. The tonal shifts are random, even within scenes. Even within fights – at an invisible signal, everybody stops for silly quips.

Captain Marvel has similarities to but overall compares poorly grade B films made with microscopic budgets, such as 1930s westerns and 1950s science fiction. It has ambitions to be like Ray Harryhausen’s films (e.g., Jason and the Argonauts), but its director-writers (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck) are not that good.

A tough Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel opens with a long montage of flashbacks, massive dumps of exposition, and – a long car chase. This boring beginning nicely prepares the audience for what is to come: it will be a long 204 minutes. For example, it has many scenes (repeated later) of her remembering failures as a child and young woman (e.g., crashing her go-cart, falling off the climbing rope) – equivalent to Steve Rogers’ memories about the good days of his childhood (Captain Marvel is like a child’s imitation of the Captain America story).

Much of the film is a collection of scenes copied from better superhero films, poorly glued together people working on Disney film’s industrial assembly line.

Ms Marvel
An earlier version.

The film’s greatest weakness is Brie Larson (playing the Captain), who is horrifically miscast. She does the small scenes well, projecting a warm person with a nice smile. Unfortunately, physical power and ferocity are outside her range. She affects either a wooden demeanor or a smarmy smirk, and delivers her combative lines like someone stretching her boundaries in film class. The effect is sad, like watching John Wayne in romantic comedies like North To Alaska. Larson looks and sounds like someone dressed for cosplay, lost in the costume.

Many of the scenes reminded me of 1988 presidential candidate Mike Dukakis in a tank, attempting to look macho.

Samuel Jackson does a great Nick Fury, as always. There is a long scene with him buddied up with Larson. He gives it all, working harder at the role than in any of the other Marvel flicks – sometimes going over-the-top. But even he cannot breathe life into those scenes.

We learn how Fury lost his eye – in a stupid, meaningless incident. This could have meaningful and exciting, but done without imagination – like the rest of the film.

Ms Marvel - January 1977
The original: Ms Marvel, January 1977.

The film has some of the sloppiest writing I have seen from a major film in many years. Every fifteen minutes or a leap of illogical or glaring oddity would wreck my suspension of disbelief. One of many examples: the Captain can identify a shape-shifting Scrull by sight in the early part of the film, then can’t do so later. My favorite: an alien scientist stranded on Earth without tools, without so much as a handkerchief, quickly converts a 1990s airplane into a spacecraft able to successful duel with a space fighter from a star-faring civilization. That is as if a modern “scientist” (biologist, chemist?) were stranded in stone age Tahiti (e.g., 1700), and modified a canoe to fight off an F-18. Things like this happen several times in the film.

In this film, Captain Marvel evolves from a powerful warrior – given superpowers by the usual kind of accident – into a goddess. A flying Jesus, like Superman. She will become, rightly, the center of the Marvel Film Universe and leader of the Avengers. After all, she is as powerful as everybody else, combined. This will create the opportunity for fruitful dramatic tension, since in this film Captain Marvel displays little intelligence, judgement, or self-control. Perhaps all that came with her apotheosis at the end of the film. If so, in future films the role for the others will be to follow.

A role model for our time

A question for those how have seen or will see the film: if Captain Marvel was a man, would they have to change a single line of dialog? What does that mean for her as a role model for girls? Is it progress that girls as well as guys grow up loving power fantasies – films about domination? Unlike those written for boys, these written for girls focus on domination of boys.

Many of the reactions to the film are strange, showing America’s increasingly inability to distinguish reality from fantasy.

Goose in "Captain Marvel"

Goose, the cat

The cat – “Goose” – is a major character in Captain Marvel. It’s a weird extraneous element in the plot, sloppily written by writers desperate to fill its two hour running time with its sketchy content. I doubt they anticipated the impact it would have.

As the number of unmarried and divorced middle-aged cat ladies increases, they become an attractive market for Hollywood. They love all mentions of cats, as seen in the ecstatic mentions of “Goose” by reviewers. Cats to women desperate for affectionate relationships. It has over 7 million hits on Google.

Expect to see many more cats at in future films, in larger roles.

Summary: instead of Captain Marvel, go see a better film

For another perspective on this film, see Ian’s brief note in the comments. I agree with his recommendation: skip Captain Marvel and see Alita, Battle Angel. See his review of it.

For something both different and better than the usual Hollywood superhero schlock, see “The Guardians”: the Ruskies make a better superhero film.

Some great reviews. Some unintentionally fun reviews.

Most reviews by professional critics include boilerplate denunciations of Marvel for not doing a women-led superhero film years ago. The RT rating was 83% “fresh.” Most were boring boilerplate. But a few had interesting things to say.

Despite its often over-the-top go-grrl message, many criticize the film for being insufficiently feminist (“80 minutes into this formulaic Marvel flick, with surprisingly, barely a hint of progressive feminist attitude…”).

“Larson – an Oscar-winner …has little to do beyond mug for the camera and spout third-rate one-liners to any of the men who get in her way. …There’s an emotional core in there somewhere, but the movie doesn’t find it. Not since Edward Norton’s Hulk has the MCU offered such a two-dimensional title hero (compared to Danvers, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk might as well be a Dostoyevsky character). …Nothing here is as plastic as the subway fight at the end of “Black Panther,” but that’s only because Boden and Fleck lack that degree of ambition. …Despite never being vulnerable, Carol learns that her vulnerability is not a weakness. Despite never being weak, Carol learns that she doesn’t need permission to be strong. Despite never being unique, Carol learns that she’s just another Avenger.” — David Ehrlich at IndieWire.

“Just to be completely, unerringly, let’s-bubble-wrap-the-universe safe, Boden and Fleck decided to make Danvers stronger than strong, fiercer than fierce, braver than brave. Larson spends the entire movie being insouciant, kicking butt, delivering her lines in an I-got-this monotone and staring down everything with a Blue Steel gaze of supreme confidence. Superheroes are defined by their limitations – Superman’s Kryptonite, Batman’s mortality – but Captain Marvel is just an invincible bore. … {it} presents us with Brie Larson’s Carol being amazingly strong and resilient at the beginning, middle, and end. …Carol looks up an old friend, a fellow feminist fighter pilot …another Mary Sue, boringly capable, flawless, and stalwart. Rambeau is a single mom with a daughter, but when she considers leaving the planet to join Carol’s war with the aliens, the idea of abandoning her kid is played for laughs, not drama. The directors …don’t realize that treating every potential obstacle as no problem whatsoever makes for a very dull movie.” — Kyle Smith at National Review.

SJWs always lie: “Weeks before its release, Larson’s portrayal of Captain Marvel was attacked by trolls on Rotten Tomatoes who hadn’t even seen the movie. (Their dumb-ass vitriol prompted Rotten Tomatoes to remove, for the first time, the option for users to rate a movie before they’ve even seen it – which doesn’t answer the question of why anyone should ever be allowed to rate a movie he hasn’t seen, but whatever.)” — Stephanie Zacharek at TIME. RT did not ask for reviews or ratings; it allowed people to say if they intended to see the film – helping theaters forecast demand. See the official statement at RT.

“{T}he emotional high point …comes when Carol’s best human friend Maria (Lashana Lynch) convinces Carol that she was an invincible warrior even before she got her powers. …it’s still a beautiful connection of sisterhood and strength, and I did cry.” — April Wolfe at The Wrap.

“I {hoped} that the cheap-looking sets and costumes and the hokey dialogue were an homage to syndicated genre TV shows of the 1990s, the decade in which the movie is set. The labored exposition …would have been right at home on an episode of, say, ‘Stargate SG-1.’ …the action sequences {are} sluggish and muddled. Every punch thrown feels about as ham-fisted as the movie’s allegory about political refugees being treated as terrorists.” — David Bax at Battleship Pretension.

Fourth wave feminism is the quest for superiority, not equality. To test for it, reverse the genders. If the result is sexist, its 4th wave.

  • “For most of Captain Marvel it’s the female characters who save the day (fine!), while the male figures are either dressed down or neutered…” — Christian Toto at Hollywood in Toto.
  • “Carol’s discovery of her power and besting over the men in her life is good.” — Kristen Lopez at Fansided.

Some critics forget that this is fiction: “given that she’s the first woman to be charged with the duty of saving this cinematic universe, I for one totally support her avenging.” — Dana Stevens at Slate.

Some critics forget that Hollywood is about making money, not producing inspiring propaganda: “A great superhero origin story hobbled by the corporation using it for their own selfish purposes.” — Kristen Lopez at Fansided.

A much read – the ur-review of Captain Marvel, telling you all you need to know about it: “‘Captain Marvel’ Is A Towering Artistic Achievement” by Matt Walsh at IndieWire.

For more information

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If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all film reviews, reviews of films about DC comics, posts about heroes, and especially these …

  1. Are our film heroes leading us to the future, or signaling despair?
  2. We like superheroes because we’re weak. Let’s use other myths to become strong.
  3. Captain America: the Winter Soldier – high-quality indoctrination for sheep.
  4. Review of Dr. Strange: a good film misunderstood by the critics.
  5. Jeff Beck reviews “Wonder Woman”, a contrary note amidst the ecstatic applause.
  6. “Justice League” is the film we need, not the one we deserve.
  7. “Black Panther” will be the most interesting film of 2018.
  8. “Avengers: Infinity War” is boring. Watch some anime instead.
  9. Aquaman rocks. Also, the future of superhero flicks.
  10. Alita, the Battle Angel, fights her feminist critics.

Trailer for Captain Marvel

31 thoughts on “Captain Marvel – fun for kids, swill for adults

  1. We watch films to see how our culture is changing, and see the influences on our youth. But we’re usually looking at the wrong place. Our boys are more influenced by video games than the feminist-dominate Hollywood productions. That’s good news.

    In hard times, men always turn to myths to gain strength. Such as Commander Shepard from the “Mass Effect” videogames.

    Such as Commander Shepard from the “Mass Effect” videogames.

    “But no matter what scars you bear
    Whatever uniform you wear
    You can fight like a Krogan, run like a leopard
    But you’ll never be better than Commander Shepard”

  2. How is Infinity Wars: Endgame going to go?

    “Thanos forced to step down as dictator of the universe after Captain Marvel reveals he raped her at the Air Force Academy 15 years ago”

    In just about every super hero movie the protagonist has to earn their place as a hero. Thor faces a giant robot without his hammer or powers to save a town of innocent people. Luke Skywalker takes a leap of faith and attacks the Death Star without his targeting computer. In fact, he has a moment like that in all three films. In Empire he chooses to die rather than turn to the dark side. In Return of the Jedi he throws away his lightsaber rather than kill his father.

    Captain Marvel’s most difficult trial by fire is momentarily thinking she didn’t have powers, but then turns out she did. Riveting. The hamfisted flashbacks are the highlight of the movie – a normal young girl with no super powers pushing her way through harsh military training while being resented and bullied by her classmates. A far more interesting story than the actual plot of the movie.

    “Good dialogue” is apparently just cramming as many jokes as possible into every line of dialogue regardless of context. In one particularly tone-deaf moment, when her friend is lying next to the plane crash, dying, Captain Marvel still manages to turn it into a joke about her having blue blood. Wow thanks for that heartfelt moment; audiences will remember it forever. In a second painfully tone-deaf moment, the skrull engineer shapeshifts into a look-alike of Captain Marvel and sacrifices his life to buy time for her and the others to escape. The scene immediately cuts from him to the rest of the group giggling and cracking jokes aboard their plane. It’s bizarre and immersion breaking. The viewer has no idea whether he’s supposed to be laughing, crying, or scared.

    But to the reviewers that’s realistic and compelling dialogue. Salon attacked Alita: Battle Angel for being too “solemn” and the characters not telling enough jokes. Because REAL people laugh and crack jokes when their friends die. Also Hugo and Alita’s conversations are awkward (cuz ya know, real teenagers are famous for never being awkward when they talk to each other)

    I’m actually embarrassed to contribute a ticket sale to this abortion of a movie. Take the #alitachallenge and see Battle Angel instead of Captain Marvel this weekend.

  3. Original information

    If correct, this shows that Rotten Tomatoes is deleting user reviews on a large scale. There were 58 thousand, then there were only 4k. Now there are 7k. The score has been stable at roughly 35%.

    Based on their past actions, they are deleting negative ones – keeping the score at what they consider an acceptable level. Since they contradict the approved narrative, those negative reviews are “trolls.”

    Rotten Tomatoes score: second day

    Updated information

    Thanks for mentioning that. I clicked thru – as I recommend always doing at ZeroHedge – to the actual story.

    A “story at Hollywood Reporter” quotes a statement by Rotten Tomatoes given to them (it is not on the RT website.

    “We launched some changes to the movie pre-release functionality last week, which included not allowing users to leave a comment or review prior to a movie’s release in theatres. However, we still invite users to vote if they ‘want to see’ a movie prior to its release, and that vote total is displayed on the site. …We have identified a bug in the post-release functionality for the movies that have released into theaters since our product update last week. The quantity of user ratings (which is displayed directly below the audience score and is intended to only include the quantity of users who have left a rating or written review after a movie’s release) had included both pre-release and post-release fan voting.”

  4. Conservatives believe themselves to be people, able to have any opinion they want! The government must regulate them.

    Mob action is allowed only for Leftists!

    U.S. Congressional Candidate Calls for Government Legislation in Response to Internet Trolls Attacking ‘Captain Marvel’” by Cameron Bonomolo at ComicBook.com, 7 March 2019.

    U.S. congressional candidate Brianna Wu says the government has a role to play in the fight against Internet trolls, a stance inspired in part by the backlash against Marvel Studios’ female-led Captain Marvel.

    “It’s kind of a familiar story at this point, right? We were here with Ghostbusters — it seems like any time a woman steps forward and tries to put her toe in the water for a male-dominated field, we’re right back here. It’s so frustrating,” Wu said on Bloomberg Technology, citing the controversy that surrounded Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot. …

    When asked if legislation needs to be introduced to better control online hostilities, Wu answered, “I think that there is certainly a role in Washington for us to address what women face both in the tech industry, and what users face on the other side.”

    Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ first female-led superhero movie was targeted on Rotten Tomatoes, where review bombers dropped its anticipation rating to the lowest of any Marvel Cinematic Universe entry. Its abuse resulted in the complete removal of the feature.

    Despite the online pushback facing Captain Marvel, the Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson starrer is eyeing a $350 million global opening weekend.

    —————-

    Current estimates are for a roughly $150 million opening weekend, based on the first day’s box office. Note the success of the many female-led films – from the Aliens series to Wonder Woman – shows her accusation of sexism to be spurious.

  5. Luke raped Thor with his Death Star.

    Captain Marvel – another stupid, pointless movie. I’ve saved so much money since Hollywood decided to go full retard with the comic book movies.

    Glad you are posting again Lar bear.

    1. Gute,

      “Luke raped Thor with his Death Star.”

      What does that mean?

      “Captain Marvel – another stupid, pointless movie.”

      Which will make a lot of money. If the audience wants Big Macs, why would a Le Cordon Bleu graduate make the great effort to prepare a wonderful meal for them? In a free market, we get what we want. That was the original title of my review: “A film for our time, giving us what we want to see.” But the title wasn’t box office, so I replaced it with one more sensational. Now it is getting hits.

      More important is how this shapes audiences’ view of the Marvel brand. People will (obviously) pay to see thrown together film, but they don’t pay to see their ideals trashed. DC had some big numbers from its first few films, but they trashed the brand. Justice League was imo a great film, but the DC brand was too badly damaged for it to fly. The next Star Wars film will show the vitality of the Lucasfilm franchise. And ditto for Marvel from the Avengers Endgame film.

  6. The true test of Captain Marvel will be whether it can successfully embed itself within the zeitgeist in order to generate cash flow long after its theatrical run. Movies in general make far less money than the array of paraphernalia spawning from them, which is why studios have focused so studiously on the superhero route over the last decade.

    Disney learned this harsh lesson after the controversy and backlash surrounding The Last Jedi. The drop in overall gross from The Force Awakens pales in comparison to the blow dealt to the merchandising side. The “spoiled man-babies” media puppets loved to denounce were also the whales that regularly spent $120 on premium Lego sets and $50 on exclusive figures. They renounced any future interest as Disney attempted to court a new demographic that had more interest in attaching themselves remora-style to the progressive wave than spending cash. Check out the Star Wars inventory at any major retailer these days; it’s like a simulacrum of those deteriorating rural towns. Prices are either slashed down to bargain bin levels or overstocked as no one is buying them.

    Which is where I see Captain Marvel ultimately failing in its mission. The movie and its messages about female empowerment are written for millennials and older women, not little girls who aspire to be beautiful princesses. Such beauty/popularity/style are already covered by other brands. Meanwhile Marvel Studios risks alienating the male demographic that ensures its products beat out every competitor. Other studios will pounce on that weakness if it becomes obvious. There are few other genres directly catering to their sensibilities.

    1. NEET,

      “The movie and its messages about female empowerment are written for millennials and older women, not little girls who aspire to be beautiful princesses.”

      That’s an interesting and powerful analysis! Frozen combined empowerment with princesses, and was a monster hit. Will teen girls thrill to see Captain Marvel? That will influence its box office. But more important, will young girls – who buy toys – gets thrills when watching Captain M?

      “Meanwhile Marvel Studios risks alienating the male demographic that ensures its products beat out every competitor”

      That’s the mystery behind the turns to the Left by Lucasfilm and Marvel studios. Marvel comics led the way, and appears to have vaporized its business.

      1. “But more importantly, will young girls – who buy toys – gets thrills when watching Captain M?”

        Perhaps, if the marketing is pushed hard enough. But Captain Marvel’s arrival is belated and she already faces stiff competition. Wonder Woman fulfills all those feminist obligations plus the demands young girls implicitly put on their merchandise: she has the dreamy love interest who’s a hero in his own right, the iconic costume, the social status (a real princess in-universe + beauty that is recognized and envied), and the feminine allure that lets young girls switch between which version of WW they want to play at any given point.

        “That’s the mystery behind the turns to the Left by Lucasfilm and Marvel studios. Marvel comics led the way, and appears to have vaporized its business.”

        To be fair, the comics have been in decline for decades thanks to an exploitative distribution setup and catering to entrenched fandoms over new customers.

        Sony’s already moving onto Marvel’s turf with Spider-Man and Venom. The latter is a cheesy film with some dated tropes, but I think that played to its advantage long-term. On an abstract level it functioned as an ultra-violent buddy comedy – along the lines of Lethal Weapon or Beverly Hills Cop – mixed with the anti-hero ethos of the late 90’s/early 2000s. Judging by the demographics it was an accidental case of alchemy: perfect catnip for young men. Unfortunately Sony botched their shot at overthrowing Marvel by incompetently handling the X-Men movies after the First Class reboot.

    2. That focus on the female demographics remains a mystery for a fantasy/Action/Syfy franchise, because it relies on calculi that have proven false time and again, most notably the one consciously and most obviously dumping on the males (attention, danger: never show a competent male, or even worse, one with an actual personality) in order to prop up the female character. That seems to show, aside from the agenda, a lack of competence in the writing department: while putting more focus on the character you want to promote and giving him/her an edge is a time-honored method in storytelling, pushing it to such a degree and with that little subtlety most often has a counter-productive effect in the context of a series or a franchise, because people have memories and have build up an emotional attachment not only to some characters, but also to a certain set of rules, a form of coherence in a given fictional universe (aka the “magic circle”).

      It seems these companies take their core audiences for granted, or even feel entitled to their money, thus focusing on audiences they feel underdeveloped (needing “representation” and all that this now orwellian word entails), but superhero movies, action movies, rely heavily on males, not only to go see a movie, but to do it multiple times, since big blockbusters deeply need the repeat viewers. At firs glance, it seems that the gender balance in superhero movies is minimal, but it seems that a significant chunk of the female viewership is made of mothers shepherding their children (mostly sons) to the movies (in far bigger numbers than fathers taking their daughters). So, I’m not sure that the present choices are the best for any franchise.

      But it’s Marvel: they have build an enormous capital over the last decade, one which will attract a large public during the first WE or week in theaters, along with a marketing campaign that has been more extensive (and expensive) than for any other movie in this franchise, bar the big “reunion” movies -ie the Avengers ones. And an accumulated capital that will make a large portion of the audience forgive or ignore many faults. Until they become a pattern.

      1. Tancrede,

        “That seems to show, aside from the agenda, a lack of competence in the writing department”

        For Captain Marvel, the writer-directors wrote a script that pushed their values, hard – a project Marvel Films’ management also approved of. It takes extreme skill to write social realism scripts that are entertaining. Failure to do so isn’t incompetence.

        “It seems these companies take their core audiences for granted, or even feel entitled to their money”

        We can only guess at what Marvel managers are thinking. I suggest caution. There are many other equally logically theories. We can’t consult Professor X.

        “but it seems that a significant chunk of the female viewership is made of mothers shepherding their children (mostly sons) to the movies (in far bigger numbers than fathers taking their daughters).”

        Any evidence for that? I’m certain that Disney executives have high-quality surveys showing who attends their films and why. But I’ve not seen that data. It would tell us much.

  7. Summary: instead of Captain Marvel, go see a better film

    I’m hard pressed to imagine what that would be. Hollywood’s product over the last five years in particular has been so consistently awful across the board that one doesn’t even need a synopsis of a new film to dismiss it out of hand as garbage. Better to stay home and find something to watch on Turner Classic Movies that dates from the era when Hollywood had actual creative talent and wasn’t obsessed with intelligence-insulting social justice warfare.

    1. Feeriker,

      As I (and Ian) said, go see Alita Battle Angel. based 1990s Japanese manga series of the same name by Yukito Kishiro.

  8. Here’s an intriguing thought experiment: imagine a movie in which a male hero destroys/kills a complete organization of bad people in violent and strange ways …. but ALL the bad people are female ….

    There would be no interpretation other than murderous misogeny. The director should be jailed.

    Now imagine the reverse: one female hero vs an all male enemy. Interpretation: 4th wave feminist empowerment. Cheered!!

    Interesting. How about this: one Christian hero kills all the Muslims: True Lies. Then, one Muslim kills all the Christians: hmmmm, no movie!

    We have some deep fundamental beliefs we are not aware of. The story is never just “a story”. There is always an underlying “truth”.

    1. Doug,

      That’s the reason I do film reviews: tentpole films are mirrors in which we can more clearly see America. Our values are magnified up on the silver screen.

      1. We reveal ourselves unconsciously even as we deny the truth. The police call this revelation an “embedded confession”.

      2. Doug,

        Wow. That’s great. Thanks for posting this nugget.

        Here’s an interesting discussion about “embedded confessions.”

        Based on the five thousand plus comments here, we can see the truth about America by the vehimance of the denials. When pressed, we see the defence. It’s almost always the same. We should put “it’s not our fault” on the dollar bill. “Out of many, one” no longer fits us well.

    1. ossqss,

      Thanks for mentioning that. I clicked thru – as I recommend always doing at ZeroHedge – to the actual story.

      ‘Captain Marvel’ Sandbagged on Rotten Tomatoes Within a Few Hours of Opening” at Hollywood Reporter. It quotes a statement by Rotten Tomatoes given to them (it is not on their website).

      “We launched some changes to the movie pre-release functionality last week, which included not allowing users to leave a comment or review prior to a movie’s release in theatres. However, we still invite users to vote if they ‘want to see’ a movie prior to its release, and that vote total is displayed on the site. …We have identified a bug in the post-release functionality for the movies that have released into theaters since our product update last week. The quantity of user ratings (which is displayed directly below the audience score and is intended to only include the quantity of users who have left a rating or written review after a movie’s release) had included both pre-release and post-release fan voting.”

      Note that the Hollywood Reporter repeats an SJW lie: “Rotten Tomatoes recently retooled its scoring system in an effort to combat trolls …A film now can no longer be ‘reviewed’ by audiences before it is released.” RT allowed people to state if they wanted to see a film (allowing theaters to estimate demand). They didn’t like people’s answers, so turned that off. See their official statement.

      “As of February 25, we will no longer show the ‘Want to See’ percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period. Why you might ask? We’ve found that the ‘Want to See’ percentage score is often times confused with the ‘Audience Score’ percentage number. (The ‘Audience Score’ percentage, for those who haven’t been following, is the percentage of all users who have rated the movie or TV show positively – that is, given it a star rating of 3.5 or higher – and is only shown once the movie or TV show is released.)”

  9. You say that we can only guess what the executives are thinking. From what you’re telling me, Marvel is sounding like Star Trek once the second tier shows got rolling. When I looked at Next Gen or Voyager, my impression was that the shows were coasting along on their good name. The show used to be good, but it wasn’t anymore, but they could put this stuff on the air because the Trekkies would watch anything that said Trek on it. They didn’t have any real competition for their niche anyway. Maybe a lot of American executives run their shop that way, and not just in Hollywood.

    Anyway, thanks for the review. If I can get a little free time next week after these night shifts are over I might be able to check out Alita.

  10. I don’t like how someone used the deceased Stan Lee’s twitter account to shill for the movie.

    1. Sven,

      It’s the 21st century. Dead actors star in films. Fake quotes from the ancients flood the Web. On the internet nobody knows you’re a dog.

      We’ll have to judge things by their appearance and validity as insights.

  11. Right after I commented here on how stories have unrecognized (at times) subtexts or social concepts, Google cancelled my ability to comment on any Youtube podcast. My friends say this was enough to be cast aside by the PC Stasi. Do you think this reasonable or a coincidence.

    I’ve tried to get back on with 3 ways suggested on the internet, and can’t even get the menus shown.

  12. I think the most telling aspect of this whole debacle is that no matter how poor the product from Disney, the critics are required (and therefore audiences) to like it, especially when it checks some set of social justice boxes. We then witness contemporaneously a significantly better film, checking those same boxes, with a powerful female lead, get panned by critics and thus ignored by a portion of potential audiences, but adored by everyone who saw it. One is lead to the inescapable conclusion that Disney, once a pioneer for entertainment, is now perhaps the most destructive force against quality in the cinematic arts.

    1. Cubbiesblue,

      This bias of reviewers’ is esp noteable in films with 95%+ “fresh” ratings. They tend to be either children’s films, or pleasing to SJWs’ (eg, about gays, etc), or featuring a cast of women or POC.

      1. I think you’re right, but its still sort of what puzzles me about the poor reaction for Alita. It was a PG-13, so not exactly targeted at “kids” but certainly appropriate for a tween audience. I get that some crusty newspaper types will be put off by the anime eyes, but the harsh standard they applied to Alita seems to apply to NONE of the Disney products. Is PC-ness a substitute for quality?

        In any case, as has been suggested, when a company is rewarded for mediocrity, mediocrity flourishes, as there is no incentive to improve. We can expect continued drivel, so long as it is politically correct, from Disney. So be it, it’s just a shame that Disney/MCU occupies such a large footprint on the cinema industry. The frustration comes when another superior piece of work is released, which by design or happenstance, also checks the diversity boxes, but gets panned because its not a familiar Disney/MCU product. I guess my point is, diversity is great, but something can have diversity AND be a good product, but Disney/MCU will never be that source, since they have no incentive to do so.

    1. Ghost,

      I’m not a fan of the genre, but YoungRippa seems to be taking this all too seriously. The Marvel comics have replace many or most of their white male superheroes with POC, women, non-Christian, and non-Cis heroes. Now they’re being attacked for showing favoritism towards one of the factions by the other factions. Too funny to be pitiful.

      Also, he is probably wrong. See “Will Monica Rambeau Be In ‘Endgame?’ The ‘Captain Marvel’ Breakout Has So Much More To Offer The MCU” by Angelica Floria in Bustle.

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