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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:38 am 
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of Vinyamar
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Nearly finished Season 1, loving it so far.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:56 pm 
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I've been going through season 2 rather slowly, but I thought the episode where Elizabeth learns the truth about what her uncle the Duke of Windsor and his wife actually did during WWII was outstanding drama.

I'm intrigued to see what season 3 will be like with new actors playing the principal roles.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:50 am 
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The most recent movie I saw was the one-day-only theatrical release of Mary and the Witch's Flower, which is the debut film from Studio Ponoc, an anime studio set up by some of the younger generation from Studio Ghibli after the latter (temporarily, as it turned out) shut down their production division. The art style and subject matter (based on an English children's fantasy novel) are very Ghibli-esque which is comforting in some ways, but in other ways it feels stuck in the shadow of its predecessors. The plot sort of feels like a mix of Kiki's Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky, which wouldn't necessarily bother me except that the characters are so flat and the setting so unexplored that the film does little to establish its own identity. I feel kinda bad being so critical of this first movie because I like much of the work of the people involved and want to see the new studio succeed, but this is a really rough start IMO.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:12 am 
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I was wondering about that movie. I came across a preview and it was beautiful.

I watched The Fantastic Four, the older, less terrible one. It's better than I remember, possibly because I was actually paying attention, and not just when Chris Evans was mostly naked on screen. (It also has mostly naked Jessica Alba, if that's more your thing.) It's fun to see Evans play a character so completely different from Captain America. And the romantic subplot can be seen as a conflict between Doom's toxic masculinity and Reed, who is clueless romantically but is prepared to step aside and respect Susan's choices even if it means losing her to Victor. That's a nice change from most action movies, where usually the bigger jerk wins. I also have a soft spot for Michael Chilkis from when he was in The Commish on TV.

Still, a pretty bad movie. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:15 am 
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Frelga wrote:
I was wondering about that movie. I came across a preview and it was beautiful.


It is a gorgeous movie to look at both in terms of art and technical animation, and that alone can sometimes be worth the price of admission for me. :) The opening sequence in particular has fantastic flight and action animation.

I'm afraid that both cinematic incarnations of the Fantastic Four have passed me by. :P


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:17 am 
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Eldorion wrote:
I'm afraid that both cinematic incarnations of the Fantastic Four have passed me by. :P


I feel compelled to state that it's not a great loss. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:40 pm 
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Bummer about Witch's Flower I thought I've been looking forward to seeing that one. Still planning to see it if it comes to theaters here. Hopefully I will feel a little different.


Frelga wrote:
I watched The Fantastic Four, the older, less terrible one. It's better than I remember.... Still, a pretty bad movie. :D


Very glad that you included that last sentence in your post. :P

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Last edited by yovargas on Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:41 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
I watched The Fantastic Four, the older, less terrible one. It's better than I remember.... Still, a pretty bad movie. :D


Very glad that you included that last sentence in your post.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:07 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Bummer about Witch's Flower I thought I've been looking forward to seeing that one. Still planning to see it if it comes to theaters here. Hopefully I will feel a little different.


By all means still see it; I certainly don't begrudge anyone else their enjoyment of films and I enjoy hearing other people's takes!

The theatre near me only showed the film for one night but it's still playing at the (larger) theatre near where I used to live, and I'm sure plenty of others too.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:48 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Frelga wrote:
I watched The Fantastic Four, the older, less terrible one. It's better than I remember.... Still, a pretty bad movie. :D


Very glad that you included that last sentence in your post.
Yes, but it's a GOOD bad movie. You know? It's got pretty actors, some funny moments, it's undemanding and inoffensive, and did I mention almost naked Chris Evans?

By contrast, Ben Affleck's Daredevil was a BAD bad movie. In the first 15 minutes, we had the main character attacking an entire bar full of mostly innocent people instead of just waiting until the bad guy steps out, a non evil character putting salt and mustard into his blind Friends Coffee, and the alleged hero following a woman he met briefly after she told him about a dozen times to get lost and provoking a martial arts fight with her for no discernible reason, at which point I turned it off. And the Green Lantern was just mediocre.

The conversation about the Last Jedi made me think about the difference between the quality of the movie and the quality of the movie watching experience. The first is mostly objective, the last is entirely subjective and circumstantial. For example, many people mentioned that Rogue One was a better movie than The Last Jedi. I would agree that Rogue One was, objectively, a good movie but it was not a good movie watching experience for me because I was entirely unprepared for the tragic war drama. I just wanted to watch a Space Opera, dammit! On the other hand, Captain America the Civil War was a great movie experience, emotionally satisfying, which completely fell apart in the hindsight after 15 seconds of logical thought about the plot.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:11 pm 
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Great post, Frelga. I too have objectively bad movies that I still rewatch now and then, and objectively brilliant ones that I struggle to get through (or don’t get through).

I’d read a couple of reviews of Rogue One on genre websites that didn’t spoil the film but that mentally prepared me for it to end in a sad way. Maybe that’s why I was able to like it so much.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:23 pm 
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...and the alleged hero following a woman he met briefly after she told him about a dozen times to get lost and provoking a martial arts fight with her for no discernible reason, at which point I turned it off.


This is one of the greatest sequences in film history. The levels and layers of stupidity of it are so very impressive it is a thing of beauty.

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On the other hand, Captain America the Civil War was a great movie experience, emotionally satisfying, which completely fell apart in the hindsight after 15 seconds of logical thought about the plot.


Wait, what? I think CW is the best of the MCU movies in both senses of "good". And while it surely had a few plot holes if you put it under a microscopic but overall it was imo impressively tight compared to most movies of this nature (including Star Wars). I'd be curious to hear how you thought it fell apart.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:22 am 
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Oh, wow, I actually have an excuse to rant about CACW? Thanks, yov! :D

There are basically two unrelated plots, neither of which make sense on a closer look.

In the Sokovia Accords plot, the Avengers are ordered to operate under the supervision of an United Nations panel and the team is split over whether to comply. Here, Tony's support makes no sense.

Remember in the Avengers when he had to fly a nuclear missile into the wormhole because the international body supervising SHIELD ordered a nuclear strike on Manhattan? Remember in the Winter Soldier when that same panel authorized Insight, which would have murdered millions of people, including Stark, if Captain America didn't stop them? Remember when Tony Stark bought a bar just so he could throw General Ross out of it? Good times. The one thing the Accords would not have stopped? The Sokovia incident, which was caused by Stark and Banner playing with science and not any Avengers action.

But here's Tony Stark, who's not even an active Avenger anymore, throwing his buddy Steve under the bus and trying to gaslight him into feeling guilty when he was personally responsible for saving countless lives in all three incidents.

OK, that can be handwaved by saying that Stark is that much of an utter bastard who will do anything to ease his own guilt, but that seems unfair to a brilliant character.

The second plot, Zemo's revenge, is even worse. To start with, it again relies on Stark being a total idiot. He is shown to be so obsessed with the death of his parents that he built a machine just to relive his last memory of them, but it never occurred to him that gosh, my dad was at the head of a spy organization that was infiltrated by Hydra, maybe his death was not really an accident, let's take a look at those files Natasha made public.

Then, what was Zemo's plan exactly? To bring three and only three specific characters in a remote place to watch a video? But he also orchestrated Bucky's capture, and could not have foreseen his escape from custody. Or that Sam would tell Tony where Steve went, or that Tony would even be there in time to talk to Sam. Like, what would Zemo do if Steve and Bucky showed up in Siberia, found that the other Soldiers were dead and took off five minutes before Tony landed?

I could go on, there were infinite ways both plots should have fallen apart. Starting with the main characters talking like adults for five minutes over the course of two years.


And yet, like I said, on an emotional level it was a very effective movie. T'Challa alone is enough to redeem worse problems, and his character arc almost makes up for the assassination of Tony's.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:48 am 
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Chinese Zodiac with Jackie Chan. Now there's an excellent bad movie. And Jackie is 58 in it, and still doing his own stunts.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:26 am 
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...Here, Tony's support makes no sense. ...


I have been fond of saying that Civil Wars biggest flaws are that Age of Ultron was not very good. See, I broadly agree with you that Tony's position was not set up very well but in my opinion, the true fault of that lies with Ultron for not properly setting up the stories it needed to. (See also: the origin stories for Scarlet Witch and Vision.) Since unfortunately Ultron did not properly lead Tony's arc into Civil War, you kind of have to pretend that it did.

That said, I do think Civil War did a decent enough job trying to make up for that mistake. Based on what we see in Civil War (and not the prior movies), Tony's desire to no no longer carry so much responsibility entirely on his own shoulders is perfectly plausible. And remember, while you mention all the screw-ups the government agencies have made, you also have to account the major screw-ups that Tony himself has made, most notably the creation of Ultron itself. All we needed was a scene at the end of Ultron where we finally see Tony filled with guilt and remorse over the huge mistake his huge arrogance have created. Just assume that scene exists (which it should have) and Civil War becomes much better.

On to Zemo...

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The second plot, Zemo's revenge, is even worse.


I have seen this complaint here and there and I think it is a misreading of what Zemo was actually doing. Part of the reason I love the movie, and think that Zemo is brilliant specifically, is that he does not have some Grand Master Plan. He has a broad goal of causing division within the Avengers but he achieves that in part by reacting to the circumstances and adapting as things change. I don't think he planned for anybody to follow him at the end - he had no way of knowing that would happen and there's no indication that he was somehow setting himself up as bait. But when they did show up, he reacted, and he did so brilliantly. He had come there searching for something he could use against them but when they came to him, he simply took advantage of the opportunity. I think part of why this through many people off is because we're used to the typical scheming supervillain who have some big crazy plan up his sleeve. Zemo instead was just a regular dude with a lot of determination and resourcefulness adapting as things played along. I found him so much more engaging than others any other Marvel villain precisely because of that.

And thanks for the opportunity to rant back! :D

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:28 am 
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Excellent rant, yov! It's like Purim came early this year. :D

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All we needed was a scene at the end of Ultron where we finally see Tony filled with guilt and remorse over the huge mistake his huge arrogance have created. Just assume that scene exists (which it should have) and Civil War becomes much better.


We kinda got that scene at the end of Ultron, when Tony quit Avengering. Apparently he stuck to that, because he's not there fighting in Lagos.

I do agree that Tony's support for the Registration Accords should be coming from his tendency to overcompensate for his mistakes with maximum drama. The problem out-of-story is, IMO, the desire to have Captain America be 100% in the right. So the Accords and everyone supporting them are 100% wrong. Which includes Tony, and makes his attempts to manipulate Steve downright sinister (e.g., when he blackmail Steve by making due process for Barnes conditional on Steve's signing the Accords).

TL;DR I would accept Tony guilt-tripping himself into supporting some version of Accords, but not this version and not under this leadership.

Back to Zemo. :D

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Part of the reason I love the movie, and think that Zemo is brilliant specifically, is that he does not have some Grand Master Plan. He has a broad goal of causing division within the Avengers but he achieves that in part by reacting to the circumstances and adapting as things change.

I did consider that possibility, but I don't see it. Zemo does have an elaborate Grand Plan, at least through these steps:.

- get the notebook with trigger words for the Winter Soldier (but didn't they have to wipe him first? OK, handwave that)

- blow up the meeting in Vienna and frame Bucky, presumably to start the manhunt.

- wait for Barnes to be taken into custody. This should have failed - Steve only showed up because Sharon told him where Bucky was, and without him Bucky would probably have been killed. And if the Panther didn't show up, Bucky probably would have escaped.

- once Barnes is in custody, impersonate the psychiatrist and ensure a private interview while Barnes is restrained, apparently for the purpose of receiving the mission report about the Stark murder? Learning where the video is? I've no idea.

If Siberia was not the intended culminating point of the plan, then what was the next step? Mail the video to Tony?

I am waving all objections to Tony's reaction (killing innocent people under some influence is practically a prerequisite for being an Avenger - see Banner, Romanova, Barton, Rhodes in IM2, Wanda, Tony himself, arguably Steve while he worked for SHIELDRA) because heat of the moment, he just watched his mom die. But if Tony had time to think? Or if another Avenger was around to stop him? Or if he already knew that his parents were murdered (which he should have even without Steve)? That's why I said that plot only made sense if those three characters were in an isolated location while watching the video, and also only if Zemo somehow knew that Tony didn't know and that Steve did.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
Excellent rant, yov! It's like Purim came early this year. :D

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All we needed was a scene at the end of Ultron where we finally see Tony filled with guilt and remorse over the huge mistake his huge arrogance have created. Just assume that scene exists (which it should have) and Civil War becomes much better.


We kinda got that scene at the end of Ultron, when Tony quit Avengering. Apparently he stuck to that, because he's not there fighting in Lagos.


Did he? I guess I don't really remember it that well since I only saw it once (because I kind of hated it...)


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I do agree that Tony's support for the Registration Accords should be coming from his tendency to overcompensate for his mistakes with maximum drama. The problem out-of-story is, IMO, the desire to have Captain America be 100% in the right. So the Accords and everyone supporting them are 100% wrong.


I'm not sure what in the movie gave you the impression that the storytellers are on Captain's side. I didn't feel like the movie really took sides at all and showed that they both had good reasons for taking the stance that they did. I don't think even Captain in the movie would have said he was 100% right and the others were 100% wrong.


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I did consider that possibility, but I don't see it. Zemo does have an elaborate Grand Plan, at least through these steps:.

- get the notebook with trigger words for the Winter Soldier (but didn't they have to wipe him first? OK, handwave that)

- blow up the meeting in Vienna and frame Bucky, presumably to start the manhunt.


I don't think he knew about the meeting when the he started. The meeting was announced after he had already begun his search. But when he found out numerous Avengers were going to be there, he reacted and took advantage of that opportunity.


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- wait for Barnes to be taken into custody. This should have failed - Steve only showed up because Sharon told him where Bucky was, and without him Bucky would probably have been killed. And if the Panther didn't show up, Bucky probably would have escaped.

- once Barnes is in custody, impersonate the psychiatrist and ensure a private interview while Barnes is restrained, apparently for the purpose of receiving the mission report about the Stark murder? Learning where the video is? I've no idea.


My impression is that he understands that Winter Soldier could become a wedge between the Avengers and he's looking for ways to do that. Sure, he wants to meet with the Winter Soldier so he can speak the trigger words but exactly how that happened he has to improvise as events unfold. It's easy to imagine that if Bucky had it been killed instead of captured, that would have split the Avengers too so either way he could exploit the situation to foster divisions. But when he gets captured instead, he questions Bucky looking for information he can use against them.

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If Siberia was not the intended culminating point of the plan, then what was the next step? Mail the video to Tony?


Upload it to youtube? Image :spin:

The only thing that really bugs me is that Zemo does seem to know that Bucky killed Tony's parent from the get-go and I can't imagine how he would have known that. There's just no reasonable way that he would have known that info. You said that you think Tony should have known but I don't see how that could have been the case. Where would he have gotten that information from? It seems to me that only a very small group of people could have known that and Steve and Bucky or the only two who are even alive to tell Tony.

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Last edited by yovargas on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:29 am 
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yovargas wrote:
Did he? I guess I don't really remember it that well since I only saw it once (because I kind of hated it...)


Wanna rant about it? =:) I watched for the second time just last week, and, well, did not hate it quite as much. Ultron is probably my second favorite Marvel villain after Loki, just for how done he is with humans.

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I'm not sure what in the movie gave you the impression that the storytellers are on Captain's side. I didn't feel like the movie really took sides at all and showed that they both had good reasons for taking the stance that they did.

Well, I already mentioned that the accords weren't going to solve the problems they were purported to address, were likely to stop the Avengers from doing what needs to be done, and basically turned Tony into the bad guy. Just imagine the Infinity War, but with the equivalent of the UN Security Council in charge. In case we missed all that, the movie puts Thaddeus Ross in charge when they could have just as easily had Everett Ross be the face of the Accords.

Or have T'Chaka sit down with Steve for half an hour, but that would have been a very short movie. ;)

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I don't think even Captain in the movie would have said he was 100% right and the others were 100% wrong.

That's because he is the moral compass of the MCU, and a highly moral person does not assume they are 100% right. Which is why I love these movies. I've had it with the tortured anti-heroes who are motivated by daddy issues and whose actions are barely distinguishable from the bad guys.

Although Quill still gets the award for the most logical reason for wanting to save the galaxy. "Because I'm one of the idiots who live there!"

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I don't think he knew about the meeting when the he started. The meeting was announced after he had already begun his search. But when he found out numerous Avengers were going to be there, he reacted and took advantage of that opportunity.


Fair enough, change that milestone on his project plan to "carry out a high profile terrorist attack". I agree that Vienna was the target of opportunity, the goal was to frame Bucky.

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Sure, he wants to meet with the Winter Soldier so he can speak the trigger words but exactly how that happened he has to improvise as events unfold. It's easy to imagine that if Bucky had it been killed instead of captured, that would have split the Avengers too so either way he could exploit the situation to foster divisions. But when he gets captured instead, he questions Bucky looking for information he can use against them.


I don't think so. I'm pretty sure the plan to impersonate the psychiatrist was in place before Bucky was arrested - it was the reason he wanted Bucky arrested.

Which is why I am so confused about what that plan was actually supposed to be. If Bucky were killed or locked up, it would have devastated Steve, sure, but that's it. Unless Tony were the one to kill Bucky, which was why Zemo wanted Tony to see the tape. But, again, that only works if Barnes is alive and not in custody, and other Avengers aren't there to stop the fight. Otherwise, the most likely outcome is Tony storming off to sulk with his inventions, which is apparently what he's been doing since Ultron anyway.

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Upload it to youtube? Image :spin:


That would actually make better sense. :D

Team Cap were trying to get to Siberia because Bucky told them about the other Soldiers created with the serum he took from Howard Stark. It is not clear if Bucky thought that was the only logical reason for Zemo to question him, or if Zemo implied that to him as part of a plan to lure the Avengers. I'm leaning towards the latter, since apparently the first thing Zemo did on getting to Siberia was terminate the other Soldiers, so he must have expected company. Insert all the ways this could have gone wrong, from no one showing up because the whole Team Cap was in the Raft (there's another reason why the Accords were Bad) to Ross and his army showing up instead of the Averngers.

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The only thing that really bugs me is that Zemo does seem to know that Bucky killed Tony's parent from the get-go and I can't imagine how he would have known that. There's just no reasonable way that he would have known that info. You said that you think Tony should have known but I don't see how that could have been the case. Where would he have gotten that information from? It seems to me that only a very small group of people could have known that and Steve and Bucky or the only two who are even alive to tell Tony.

To me, it does make sense that Zemo would know who killed the Starks, from inside Hydra info.

I don't think Tony should have known about the Winter Soldier being the killer, but I do think he should have at least considered the possibility that the death was not accidental, it being a pretty short leap of logic. Steve did know that it was a murder from Zola, but I would allow him plausible deniability about Barnes. In Zola's bunker, the image of the Winter Soldier flashed shortly before Howard's photo, but in a different context. In Steve's experience, the Winter Solder is about as subtle as a dive bomber, not someone who you call to arrange a car accident. It's only when we learn about Howard transporting the serum that sending Barnes makes sense - who else would you trust with the serum?

So, we have this incredibly elaborate plan with a ton of potential failure points, when the same goal could be achieved with a simple postcard.

Dear Tony,
Bucky Barnes killed your parents. For proof, search the SHIELD files released by your friend Natasha.
Love, Zemo.
P.S. Steve knew all about it. Did he tell you?


It also just occurred to me that it may have been an interesting plot twist for Zemo to send the user manual for Winter Soldier to Tony with the suggestion that he use it to find out the truth about his parents.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Me and LW have been re-watching all the MCU movies as a lead up to Infinity Wars. We are currently up through IM3. When I get to AoU, I may indulge in some ranting for your amusement. :D But I will say now that from my memory, Ultron was my least favorite of all the villains just for how disappointing it was. :nono: (But that IM3 villian....yeeeeeesh that's some awfulness....)

More response later. :)



Last night I saw the Best Picture Oscar nominee Three Billboards. It was quite bad on numerous levels and I am baffled by its critical acclaim.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:20 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Last night I saw the Best Picture Oscar nominee Three Billboards. It was quite bad on numerous levels and I am baffled by its critical acclaim.


Based on your "top 250 films" thread, you often are. ;)

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