“There are just as many crappy arthouse films (if not more)”
Mainstream is always worse than art-house. It’s the same in music, literature, theatre….
“and I would certainly like to see some more interest in Nina Menkes ’round here.”
True but only 2-3 of hers at most are viewable for free in other sites but it’s a start, no?
“When they guarantee the rights of the minorities?”
What rights? Do as we tell you to do?
I took my kids to see this. They loved it. Cause they’re kids, ya know. They’re allowed.
Actually, I liked it, too—all while fully aware of the jingoistic overtones and the bloated budget (as one seeking independent financing for my own film project, this is always top of mind).
But as a superhero movie it was okay—a really good origin story with a second-half that didn’t quite live up to the promise of its beginning.
you did not respond to any of my points. all you did was name a film
@odil“If our Mubi audience, who’d be most familiar with it, fails to find it worth supporting well then… that kind of speaks for itself — i.e., it’s not the audience that it claims to be — i.e., the arty audience.”
wait, wait, wait, wait – wait for it – wait. are you seriously saying that anyone who doesn’t support your project isn’t arty? seriously? SERIOUSLY?!
Curtis—She’ll speak for herself, but your supposition is a little off the deep end.
Besides, what the hell is arty?
No Curtis. I was just saying that if you’re (not you, the general “you”) going to say that Mubi should be supportive of non-mainstream movies, then you should put your money where your mouth is and be supportive of a project that was born on Mubi and consists of members of Mubi. (That is, a project that is not mainstream, or what you expected Mubi to be supportive of in the first place, when it was called The Auteurs).
House — oops. I guess the word is “artsy.” Ha!
I give up. Carry on… or not.
Well, there’s this—I for one support more things emotionally and ideologically than I can afford to support financially.
Yeah guys I don’t like where this conversation is going and I don’t want the Ergodic Cinema Project to be part of a sociopolitical debate over Captain America. My point is that the Ergodic Cinema Project is its own thing whose success or failure is detached from the significance or lack thereof of this event movie. I also think that as an artist I should expend more effort being supportive of the arts then worrying about the lack of support from the general public. I find that more things get done this way, at least for me, and that it creates a better environment in which the art is received as people feel more welcome and comfortable. Think or say whatever you may about Captain America or The Ergodic Cinema Project, the two nevertheless coexist in the same world and must find a way to, yet are not really comparable or significant to each other.
I worked up some numbers for LAW once. I used middle-class income ( or maybe it was disposable income) worldwide to figure out just what percentage of the world’s population would have the resources to become involved with cinephilia. I wish I could find the numbers, but the percentage was low, very low.
Blockbusters are low involvement entertainment – to compare them to the types of films we like at MUBI doesn’t make economic sense – the audience isn’t there, they don’t have the resources to get involved.
Resources are finite, but I don’t think it is credible to say a ticket sold for Captain America has a direct relationship to an art film.
Good points, DiB and Robert.
Matt — understood! :)
“… I was just saying that if you’re (not you, the general “you”) going to say that Mubi should be supportive of non-mainstream movies, then you should put your money where your mouth is and be supportive of a project that was born on Mubi and consists of members of Mubi.”
I’m fond of vegetables, but I don’t like okra. It’s slimy, tasteless, and a waste of my money.
Thought it to be the best movie ever made about a Marvel comic by far. And one of the few Superhero movies to actually look like a comic book. Most Superheroes movies look just like regular action movies with people running around in funny clothes, like the Xmen movies and the Nolan Batman movies. In Capt America the production design, art direction and photography/ligtning follow Kirby’s work, some shots seem to be directly swapped from the 60s Capt America book. One of the few over 100 million dollar movies that actually looks like its price tab. As Charles Bronson used to say “It not may be a Bergman Film but what the hell”.
i totally get what you’re saying, but:
a) why does being an art(s)y audience member necessitate one wanting to support other’s projects financially? no one has the right to say how others should express their values…
b) even if they want to financially support non-mainstream movies, why should someone support that project in particular? what if they hate that project
(i’m not saying i hate it. i don’t know enough about it to have a strong sentiment either way)
Indeed, Curtis. It doesn’t matter. Never mind. I’m just really tired. Of the whole financial thing. Period.
Deadeye Thom: sorry you’re not interested. Just don’t compare our project to something slimy and tasteless and a waste of money. That’s your opinion, if indeed that’s what you think of it.
And yes, I’m protective and proud of what I am working on with a bunch of other excellent people, so shoot me for being disappointed that we didn’t do as well with Mubians as we had all hoped.
Shoot me. I’ll shoot right back.
Curtis, no one is saying support an exact project, but support projects if they can, and here is a project that needs support.
Maybe don’t play semantics and try to look at a bigger picture and show a little respect for those that are trying to do something.
Yeah you know, let’s drop all that, right now. Anyone who wants to talk about the Ergodic, come to our Communications thread instead. If not, ignore us.
This thread is devoted to Captain America and super heros. If you want to talk about that movie or related, cool. Otherwise, if you don’t, please go on to another thread that you DO enjoy.
Aha! I finally got the chance to see it! Right then!
First of all, all the propagandistic complaints are dealt with within the movie the same way the iconography of a “Captain America” is… with an acknowledgment that our thinking about stuff like what “America” means as a symbol and the evils of propaganda has changed. If that still sets off your cackles then let’s discuss Listen to Britain sometime. But as for the movie, Captain America gets his big start as a public superhero prancing on stage to sell war bonds. When you recall that this montage occurs where the typical “training and learning his powers” montage of superhero movies is supposed to lie, you realize that therein shows the intentional irony.
Where the movie is more serious about it is in its flashback structure. The movie is bookended by the discovery of Captain America pretty much as a literal fossil in the beginning, and then breaking out of a poor rendition of his past into one of the most post-modern spaces in the world: New York Times Square. However, rather than being a defense, I feel this was one of the movie’s failings. The bookending was specifically made in order to set up The Ultimate Avengers and I felt Captain America’s story was strong enough to stand on its own, that the story should be more than a flashback.
My other complaint about this movie is that Red Skull, though a charismatic villian, only stood for so long as a real foil. The supervillain is always the twist/variant of the superhero that forces the hero to question his power—Batman tries to fight off his psychological demons only to have psychological demons of various types pop up plentifully after his appearance; Tony Stark’s common enemy ends up being a stolen form of his own technology; villains hold Spiderman’s favorite everythings hostage because with great power comes great responsibility—and Red Skull is the same superpower with malevolent intent but doesn’t ever confront Captain America further beyond the tired out, “Why not be like me and take over the world?” literally thrown out in the middle of mid-air zero-gravity fistfight. What he should have done is start making “bullies” appear as a result of Captain America’s own actions, since that’s the whole heart of who Captain America is: someone who wants to stand up to bullies and is willing to take the hardest hits to do so.
What I DID like about Red Skull however, is the Hydra instead of Hitler thing. Very quickly the Third Reich disappears as a player and the game becomes fantasy hero versus fantasy villain, much more satisfactory than bringing up questions about Captain America possibly taking down Hitler or something. What I didn’t like about Red Skull was the fact that I kept hearing the phrase, “Cut one head down and two will sprout in its place… Mr. Anderson.” Yeah I’m sorry Hugo Weaving but your German accent just doesn’t hide you enough. But your mask helped.
Anyway, other than that it was really good. Steve Rogers/Captain America ended up becoming a much more pleasant and interesting character than I expected, he mixes all the good underdog traits of wit, compassion, ambition, and dedication without the more recent strain of “Haha but no really, these guys are total losers!” faux-underdog stories of Napoleon Dynamite, Dodgeball, Step Brothers, etc. so on and whatever. This is why Captain America ‘s throwback feel actually works—because it doesn’t believe in the good-ol’-days, just the good-ol’-days’ superheroes who were allowed to be decent, upright dudes.
Now the Cap’n has to meet his new team, and up ‘til now I have been ambivalent about the Avengers. But really, Captain America seals the deal. His humanism will clash with Thor’s deification, his consideration will clash with Hulk’s brawling, and his history and sense of heroism will definitely, definitely clash with Iron Man’s technocracy—as well as held over conflict with Tony’s father, Howard Stark, a totally awesome character who deserves his own non-superhero slapstick comedy offshoot flick. I am hoping Avengers focuses more on the team working through just how much their personalities clash than on actual battles, which I am hearing it is supposed to, and for once I actually really like that the heroes are all male because they are all very, very different types of “male heroes”. There’s an opportunity there… we will see.
Great review, Polaris.
>>I am hoping Avengers focuses more on the team working through just how much their personalities clash than on actual battles, which I am hearing it is supposed to, and for once I actually really like that the heroes are all male because they are all very, very different types of “male heroes”.<<
This dynamic will be essential to the success of the Avengers as I couldn’t be less interested in how much CGI this gathering can make explode. Joss Wheadon=strong dialogue, so there’s reason to be hopeful.
However, the team will not be all male. Meet the Black Widow:
Is that Scarlett Johansson?
DiB said, His humanism will clash with Thor’s deification, his consideration will clash with Hulk’s brawling, and his history and sense of heroism will definitely, definitely clash with Iron Man’s technocracy—as well as held over conflict with Tony’s father, Howard Stark, a totally awesome character who deserves his own non-superhero slapstick comedy offshoot flick. I am hoping Avengers focuses more on the team working through just how much their personalities clash than on actual battles,…
Wow, those are great ideas, DiB! (But now you’ve gotten my hopes up!) The only thing I’d disagree with is the bit about focusing on these tensions more than the actual battles. Why not do both! Indeed, if the filmmakers incorporate the tensions you mention into the battles, that will make the fight sequences even more enjoyable!
On a side-note, Captain America, as I understand it, is suppose to lead the Avengers. I wished this film established the reason he’d make the best leader. He’s the weakest of the other Avengers (although if Hawkeye and the Black Widow are in it, maybe not)—so he should bring other things to the table (e.g., leadership, tactical/strategic knowledge, wisdom, etc.), and I wished this film established this.
Well, you KNOW there are going to be giant battle scenes (a rampaging Hulk alone guarantees this.) But that’s the easy part. Any of these big budget CGI yahoos can make a cool action scene. What will be more difficult and really determine the worth of the film, is how strong the characterizations and relationships are and whether it can make us care how those battles turn out.
Re: Cap as the leader. Wheadon will have to establish this, but remember that Captain America’s WWII heroism predates all the other back stories, so he would already be admired by the other Avengers and the general public. Also, he has been established as a military man who’s self sacrificing and already an experienced team builder. Iron Man and Thor embody more self interest and arrogance, respectively.
(although, as heroes, they seek to overcome those traits.)
As we discussed before, First Avenger had to cover an awful lot of ground to get to the beginning of the Avengers movie, but yeah, I’d have to agree that some more detail would have been ideal.
I still think this is the most solid superhero film in a few years. Polaris made some great points.
Well, you KNOW there are going to be giant battle scenes (a rampaging Hulk alone guarantees this.) But that’s the easy part.
Well, I don’t know if I would say that. Personally, with super-hero teams, one of the most enjoyable aspects of a battle sequence (especially against another super-villain team) is the way the super-heroes use and coordinate their powers to defeat defeat the enemy(ies). (And also the way the villains coordinate their powers—and the countering moves by the super-heroes.) Imo, the X-Men and Fantastic Four films haven’t done this very well at all.
What will be more difficult and really determine the worth of the film, is how strong the characterizations and relationships are and whether it can make us care how those battles turn out.
I hear you, and I agree that this aspect is really important.
…but remember that Captain America’s WWII heroism predates all the other back stories, so he would already be admired by the other Avengers and the general public. Also, he has been established as a military man who’s self sacrificing and already an experienced team builder.
He might be admired, but he (via the film) hasn’t won my admiration, if you know my admiration. Ditto his skill at team building. In other words, the film hasn’t shown or established this part of his character. Think of Kanbei in Seven Samurai. There’s a scene where he has to use his wits and fighting acumen to rescue a hostage. Then we see his skills assembling the team and also both his compassion and insight via years of experience. Moreover, Shimura’s aura convinces viewers of all these things. Now, I’m not asking The Avengers to be like the Seven Samurai, but I think it could do some of the things I mentioned above to establish the character.
As we discussed before, First Avenger had to cover an awful lot of ground to get to the beginning of the Avengers movie,…
Right. I would say the film especially had to contain quite a bit of action sequences and explosions. If I had my druthers, I would have shortened those elements to develop the character more, but this is a Hollywood film, so…
“I still think this is the most solid superhero film in a few years.”
I’m really surprised at how many people loved this movie. I thought it was agonizingly average at best.
I know we’ve been complaining about this since the beginning but I’m starting to wonder if Mubi really has changed…
Oh come on. Let people have their opinions, as varied as they might be, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes.
Who cares? People can have a variety of tastes, from the high to the low. Don’t be so judgemental! :)
Doesn’t mean they’re idiots.
lol. I’m not saying anyone is an idiot. And I’m certainly not saying people can’t have opinions. I was just making a observation on something that has surprised me.
Ah… but whenever I see people complaining that Mubi has changed, it’s always because they feel it’s changed for the worse. Like the site let in some “uncool” people — see what I mean?
This thread got slammed for even existing in the first place, when the reason I created it was to just start a discussion about it, whether people liked it or not, and why. I took my kids to see this movie, and it was the first I’d seen in the theater since I was pregnant with my first over 7 years ago. I rarely see superhero movies and was interested in the phenomenon that is going on of late with making so many of them.
But instead, it was like — OH NO. Why are you even discussing this? Mubi is not about superhero movies, go discuss that elsewhere. It’s just stupid Hollywood fare. We don’t do that here.
So you see when someone says they’re surprised that anyone liked this film, then earlier surprised and dismayed that people would even discuss this film, then that maybe Mubi has changed and that the complainers (that Mubi is now diluted and the participants are somehow lame for discussing movies that are “beneath” the former TheAuteurs standard) may be right — well that’s a bit of a negative comment, no?
Not trying to give you a hard time, but it’s that what you said sorta echoes an attitude I see around Mubi that gets kinda like, old.
“Ah… but whenever I see people complaining that Mubi has changed, it’s always because they feel it’s changed for the worse. Like the site let in some “uncool” people — see what I mean?”
The funny thing is, people have been complaining about this since the site began. When I first got here 2.5 years ago, people were already crying about how the site had already declined (and it was still in Beta!). The thing is, I have noticed a change since coming back. Some of it’s a good change, some of it’s a bad change, some of it’s neither.
I’m not dismayed that people talk about Captain America on here. Talk about whatever floats your boat. But just as I was surprised at how many people revere Tony Scott, I was surprised that some people thought it was the best superhero movie in awhile. That’s not a dig – just my opinion. The irony of course is that people used to harp on me for saying positive things about Hollywood films.
Every attitude on here is old. Nothing is new.