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Offline honk

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2080 on: February 05, 2021, 08:01:47 PM »
Weird question that you already know the answer to. The fourth episode was a clumsy, unnecessary, and unfunny exposition dump, and nothing that happens later in the show will retroactively change that fact. The fifth episode was overall an improvement, but it seems to be establishing a pattern of having these unfunny characters now providing a running commentary on what's going on in Westview and what Wanda is up to. They've thrown the principle of "show, don't tell" out the window. The best (worst) example of this so far is the cameo at the end of the fifth episode. This is a jaw-dropping moment, and both we and the characters need a few moments to let it sink in...but no, Kat Dennings immediately has to open her big mouth and give us a lame quip. And just like that, the dramatic impact is ruined.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2021, 05:05:27 PM by honk »
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Offline Rama Set

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2081 on: February 05, 2021, 08:52:59 PM »
Weird question that you already know the answer to.

It was weird to assert that they were telling you everything is going on when you are midway through the series.  We don't know how much is true and how much isn't.  From what I have read of source material, there could be significant red herring's they set up.

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The fourth episode was a clumsy, unnecessary, and unfunny exposition dump, and nothing that happens later in the show will retroactively change that fact.

Again you are assuming that you know everything that is going to happen.  What a silly way to judge the middle of the story.  Was it heavy on expository type information?  Yes.  Was it clumsy?  Not at all.  They managed to show (not tell) what it was like when the events of Endgame took place.  They reintroduced an adult Monica and used her story to inform the audience with a whole bunch of backstory in a few minutes.  Much more efficient than a flashback and not at all clumsy considering the territory they have to cover.  You don't like the humour, fine, but its not objectively bad, but I can understand not liking it.

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The fifth episode was overall an improvement, but it seems to be establishing a pattern of having these unfunny characters now providing a running commentary on what's going on in Westfield and what Wanda is up to. They've thrown the principle of "show, don't tell" out the window.

They haven't.  Vision's entire storyline is proof of that.

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The best (worst) example of this so far is the cameo at the end of the fifth episode. This is a jaw-dropping moment, and both we and the characters need a few moments to let it sink in...but no, Kat Dennings immediately has to open her big mouth and give us a lame quip.

It wasn't a lame quip.  First off, there will be large portions of the audience who will not have Days of Future Past and so will need to be filled in some way.  Instead of devoting extra time to "showing" it, they made the choice to expedite the matter.  It's a fair choice and one you have to make when you are juggling significant amounts of material like they are.  It wasn't even a quip, it was a pretty concise expression of what happened in the context of the world Wanda created.

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And just like that, the dramatic impact is ruined.

The dramatic impact was ruined?  What impact do you think it was "supposed" to have?  It wasn't a moment you enjoyed, sure, but again, there are huge amounts of audience who need the narrative to do more than just be mysterious because it actually takes a fuck load of background knowledge to keep up.  I can vouch for this every time I watch an MCU property with my wife, who has seen a lot, but not everything, forgets things because she isn't a huge nerd like me and needs to be reminded of expository information.

I feel like your issue with how they handle exposition misses how well Wanda is being portrayed, how well they are taking Vision through his growing understanding or allowing for there still to be more going on than they have told you.

It's also objectively better than WW84 in every facet, js.
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Offline honk

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2082 on: February 05, 2021, 10:25:45 PM »
It was weird to assert that they were telling you everything is going on when you are midway through the series.  We don't know how much is true and how much isn't.  From what I have read of source material, there could be significant red herring's they set up.

That's not important. Whether the information we currently have will ultimately turn out to be true or false, it's still information that the show wants us to have. This information was being communicated to us in a very interesting, unique, almost Lynchian way, and then the show decided to put a halt to that and instead give us the exact same information in the very familiar, tired format of government agents and scientists quipping and spouting technobabble at each other. That's really, really disappointing.

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They managed to show (not tell) what it was like when the events of Endgame took place.

Yeah, I hated that too. The five-year time skip was such a stupid idea, and just like I predicted when that movie came out, now all future MCU projects have to find a way to either write around it or include it in their overall stories.

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It wasn't a lame quip.  First off, there will be large portions of the audience who will not have Days of Future Past and so will need to be filled in some way.  Instead of devoting extra time to "showing" it, they made the choice to expedite the matter.  It's a fair choice and one you have to make when you are juggling significant amounts of material like they are.  It wasn't even a quip, it was a pretty concise expression of what happened in the context of the world Wanda created.

If you haven't seen DoFP, you will get nothing out of that cameo. The entire impact is predicated on you recognizing who this person is and realizing why it's a big deal to see him here. The quip wasn't to help anyone understand what was going on, it was a fourth-wall joke highlighting the fact that Pietro has literally been recast IRL. It wouldn't make any sense to seriously call Pietro's appearance a "recast," because he was never in the "cast" of Wanda's show to begin with.

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The dramatic impact was ruined?  What impact do you think it was "supposed" to have?  It wasn't a moment you enjoyed, sure, but again, there are huge amounts of audience who need the narrative to do more than just be mysterious because it actually takes a fuck load of background knowledge to keep up.  I can vouch for this every time I watch an MCU property with my wife, who has seen a lot, but not everything, forgets things because she isn't a huge nerd like me and needs to be reminded of expository information.

You know perfectly well what impact it was supposed to have. It's Pietro returning from the dead as well as being played by the actor who played a different version of the character in a competing franchise. I still don't believe that cameo was meant for the benefit of anyone other than those who did recognize him, but if they did want to give a quick line explaining what was happening, they could have said something along the lines of "I think that's supposed to be...Pietro?" or "It's Pietro, but he's...different." Something like that, not a dumb quip about him being "recast."

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I feel like your issue with how they handle exposition misses how well Wanda is being portrayed, how well they are taking Vision through his growing understanding or allowing for there still to be more going on than they have told you.

Yeah, everything with Wanda and Vision is great. It makes it all the more frustrating when they're forced to share the spotlight with the constant exposition and awful attempts at comedy from Dennings and Randall Park. The difference in quality between everything set in Westview and everything outside of it is night and day.

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It's also objectively better than WW84 in every facet, js.

I agree.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2021, 05:05:58 PM by honk »
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Offline honk

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2083 on: March 06, 2021, 04:31:42 AM »
And now WandaVision is all over. It was good for the most part. I do still think that much of the technobabble and expository dialogue was unnecessary, especially in the fourth episode, and in general that the show was at its weakest when it was most conventional and "MCU-like," so to speak. I wanted more quiet, poignant scenes between Wanda and Vision, less quipping and expository technobabble. More Kathryn Hahn, less Kat Dennings. More "Ship of Theseus" philosophical musings, less extravagant CGI battles.

I also really disliked the show's presumption that Hayward was a villain for wanting to kill Wanda - not just a jerk, but an actual villain who needed to be physically defeated and sent to jail - and that the other side characters were totally right to defend Wanda and stop him from killing her. It's such blatant protagonist-centered morality. We in the audience like Wanda and don't want her to be killed, but that doesn't mean anything in-universe, where the only thing the characters know is that Wanda is holding a town full of people prisoner via a powerful and dangerous magic spell. Why was it so morally wrong to try and kill Wanda? Why did the show portray that as such an inherently villainous act? In fact, why was Hayward even arrested at the end, anyway? Did he ever actually break the law or do something that wasn't simply his job?

Pietro being played by Evan Peters was a bullshit fake-out on the show's part, and I'm not using spoiler tags for that because of how inconsequential the role proved to be. They knew what they were implying by casting him as Pietro, and if they weren't willing to follow through with it, they shouldn't have cast him.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 08:49:27 PM by honk »
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Offline JSS

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2084 on: March 06, 2021, 12:09:22 PM »
And now WandaVision is all over. It was great for the most part. I do still think that much of the technobabble and expository dialogue was unnecessary, especially in the fourth episode, and in general that the show was at its weakest when it was most conventional and "MCU-like," so to speak. I wanted more quiet, poignant scenes between Wanda and Vision, less quipping and expository technobabble. More Kathryn Hahn, less Kat Dennings. More "Ship of Theseus" philosophical musings, less extravagant CGI battles.

I also really disliked the show's presumption that Hayward was a villain for wanting to kill Wanda - not just a jerk, but an actual villain who needed to be physically defeated and sent to jail - and that the other side characters were totally right to defend Wanda and stop him from killing her. It's such blatant protagonist-centered morality. We in the audience like Wanda and don't want her to be killed, but that doesn't mean anything in-universe, where the only thing the characters know is that Wanda is holding a town full of people prisoner via a powerful and dangerous magic spell. Why was it so morally wrong to try and kill Wanda? Why did the show portray that as such an inherently villainous act? In fact, why was Hayward even arrested at the end anyway? Did he ever actually break the law or do something that wasn't simply his job?

Pietro being played by Evan Peters was a bullshit fake-out on the show's part, and I'm not using spoiler tags for that because of how inconsequential the role proved to be. They knew what they were implying by casting him as Pietro, and if they weren't willing to follow through with it, they shouldn't have cast him.

Yeah, I was really disappointed he didn't turn out to be pulled from an alternate universe as a prelude to trying to reintegrate the sectioned off mess the various shows and movies are. But maybe as someone said it was to test audience reaction to the idea. People reacted VERY favorably so they might do so in the future.

I also felt the villain was underdeveloped and, well, not villainy enough to get the reaction from the other characters.

He was trying to take out a supervillain who took over an entire town and was literally altering their bodies and minds, and with Rambo providing evidence this alteration was harmful and permanent.

I guess the real evil plot was putting Vision back together as a weapon or something but it wasn't really clear what was so bad about that either.  I mean, half the Marvel universe is someone the government built/put back together.

But aside from that, it was really well done.  It was a great story when not distracted by a few flaws.

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Offline honk

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2085 on: March 07, 2021, 05:11:00 AM »
Oh, and Monica's "They'll never know what you sacrificed" line left a very bad taste in my mouth. As if Wanda was a hero who just saved the day and everyone should be grateful to, rather than the person who was responsible for the whole horrible situation to begin with. You don't praise someone for "sacrificing" something that they never should have had to begin with. Monica taking on the role of Wanda's constant apologist throughout the show made no sense - she didn't know Wanda, and had no more reason to assume good faith on her part than anyone else did - and neither did the show's portrayal of her as inherently heroic and morally correct for doing so. It's so weird. The show knew that what Wanda did was monstrous and portrayed it as such, but at the same time, it demonized the character that put the most effort into stopping her and lionized the character that mindlessly defended her.
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Offline Roundy

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2086 on: March 12, 2021, 04:11:16 AM »
WandaVision, particularly the finale. Unmarked spoilers ahead so don't read if you haven't watched it, in which case what's wrong with you?








I loved the Fietro fake-out. For some reason I never really bought that Evan Peters was going to turn out to be X-Men's Pietro. Maybe it seemed like it would seem so obvious that it felt like a feint. I don't know. It was tantalizing when he showed up, but I never thought it felt right. There's almost something meta about it; Agatha created him to manipulate Wanda, and it's certainly a reasonable argument that the creators used the actor to manipulate the audience, and pretty much to the same purpose as Agatha did with Wanda. They wanted you to believe, as Wanda did, that this was somehow really her brother. What better way than by casting Peters? Yes it's a tease, but it's an artful, clever tease. At any rate at least it's a good dick joke.

Wait a minute. Bohner... Peters... Pietro...

Hmm.

There were two major issues I had with the finale. One was Monica's reaction to Wanda. Putting her on a pedestal, hero worshipping her, because she released the town. After having enslaved it in horrifying fashion in the first place... I get that it wasn't intentional, but Wanda went mad with grief, literally. With that, and her possession of the Darkhold, it feels like they're setting her up as a villain. Which will probably end up being another fake-out, but I hope they explore this hero/villain duality throughout the course of Phase 4. I hope that after having developed Wanda so thoroughly and beautifully they don't just tie this storyline up with a bow in the next Dr Strange movie.

And Hayward ending up being viewed as a criminal... I get that he was basically a mustache-twirling villain to the audience, but I feel like I have to watch it again to figure out if it makes sense that it's treated like he literally broke the law in the end.

I also thought it was weird how underused Darcy was in the final episode, but that's a really minor quibble. I did love both Kat Dennings and Randall Park in this. More great meta-casting, in my opinion, using two of the MCU's resident sitcom stars as snarky observers of the series.

The emotional scenes in the last two episodes were top-notch. Wanda and Vision putting the kids to bed, Vision disappearing with the house... the scene where Vision is comforting Wanda after Pietro's death... there was a lot that was really beautiful about this show. And it was extremely well-acted. I think Olsen, Bettany, and Hahn all deserve Emmy nods for this, and given how popular the show was, I don't even think it's unreasonable to expect it.

And both the thoughtful ending to Vision and White Vision's battle, and the more standard ending to Wanda and Agatha's battle, were pretty epic. The runes were a perfect call- back, and you really don't expect something like the Ship of Theseus to come up in a typical TV show. It brought me back to The Good Place and it's emphasis on philosophy, particularly the episode "The Trolley Problem".

All in all I thought it was a satisfying, if flawed, ending to an amazing series. I'd love to see Marvel do more thoughtful and offbeat stuff like this in the future.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 04:15:14 AM by Roundy »
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Offline honk

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2087 on: March 12, 2021, 10:03:40 PM »
They wanted you to believe, as Wanda did, that this was somehow really her brother. What better way than by casting Peters? Yes it's a tease, but it's an artful, clever tease.

But nobody thought that this was really Wanda's brother, because he was clearly the X-Men Pietro and not the MCU Pietro. I don't think even Wanda actually believed he was her brother. By that point in the show, she had begun to accept the artificial nature of her world and her role in creating it. I'm not sure what sense it even makes in-universe that Agatha had to go with a "recast" of Pietro, anyway. She could use magic to control this guy and give him super speed, but couldn't make him look like the actual Pietro? Even though we see her change her appearance, showing that she's perfectly capable of that kind of magic?
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Offline Rama Set

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2088 on: March 12, 2021, 10:10:02 PM »
Knowing that Multiverse of Madness is coming soon made the recasting of Pietro a little more enigmatic.
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Offline Roundy

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2089 on: March 13, 2021, 02:14:15 AM »
They wanted you to believe, as Wanda did, that this was somehow really her brother. What better way than by casting Peters? Yes it's a tease, but it's an artful, clever tease.

But nobody thought that this was really Wanda's brother, because he was clearly the X-Men Pietro and not the MCU Pietro. I don't think even Wanda actually believed he was her brother. By that point in the show, she had begun to accept the artificial nature of her world and her role in creating it. I'm not sure what sense it even makes in-universe that Agatha had to go with a "recast" of Pietro, anyway. She could use magic to control this guy and give him super speed, but couldn't make him look like the actual Pietro? Even though we see her change her appearance, showing that she's perfectly capable of that kind of magic?

I think Wanda was willing to accept it, though, at least at first. She was distraught and confused and by that point already fairly exhausted, I think she was willing to believe anything. I might, again, have to rewatch for context, but I don't think it was until he really started acting like a dick that Wanda was even actively questioning it. And certainly anyone who bought into the theory that he was the X-Men's Pietro
at least believed he was actually Pietro, even if they knew it was not *actually* this Wanda's Pietro. You're just nitpicking about the lack of a glamour to make him look like Wanda's Pietro. I'm willing to justify it by just figuring Agatha was really only doing it to keep Wanda off-balance, so it didn't matter to her if he looked like Pietro and may have actually worked in her favor that he didn't. Why not?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 02:16:55 AM by Roundy »
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Offline Rama Set

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2090 on: March 17, 2021, 11:36:17 PM »
I’m psyched for Falcon and Winter Soldier this week. If the more yuck yuck side of the MCUs law enforcement isn’t your thing then hopefully this will deliver some sweet action.
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Offline Shane

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2091 on: March 18, 2021, 12:01:07 AM »
The Puncher (Punisher) season 1 and 2. Season 1 was better but still a lot of great punches in season 2.
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Offline beardo

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2092 on: March 19, 2021, 10:49:53 AM »
Snack Zyder's Justice League. Was a good.
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Offline honk

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2093 on: May 03, 2021, 09:30:15 PM »
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was a mixed bag for me. I don't really feel like writing a big review for it, because a lot of the show just felt like passable, forgettable filler. My biggest issue was the main antagonist. I get what the show was going for by making the leader of a terrorist group and the face of the resistance to global resettlement so young and physically slight, but her actress simply didn't have the charisma or gravitas to make it work. She never once came across as a leader or a visionary, and turned in a very dull, milquetoast performance. The first episode was also a pretty rough start to the show. It didn't really have a story so much as it had a series of seemingly unconnected events just sort of happening, and the big action scene up in the sky was an awful mess of shitty CGI and frantic cut-cut-cut-what's-even-happening direction. But Sam and Bucky are a fun pair, I'd like to see more of Walker in the future, and I appreciated the social commentary and deconstruction of the Captain America figure.

One more thing - and I am unfortunately going to go into "plot hole" territory for this - Sharon's heel turn isn't a bad idea for a character that's so far been nothing more than a bland obligatory love interest for a character no longer active in the franchise, but her actions over the course of the show don't really make much sense if she was the Power Broker all along, especially in the third episode. Why does she put a bounty on Sam, Bucky, and Zemo for killing her people when she was the one who did it to protect them? Why does she spend the whole episode fighting bounty hunters to protect them when she was the one who placed the bounty in the first place? Why does she give the trio access to her most valuable employee when she could have easily gotten any information they needed from him herself? Why, despite the vast resources supposedly at her command, does she spend the remaining episodes doing precisely nothing until the final confrontation, and finally make her move by personally jumping into the middle of a heated battle to say to Karli, "Aw, c'mon, work for me again?" Was that her master plan all along? Obviously there's no way for me to prove this, but I strongly suspect that her turning out to be the Power Broker was a last-minute decision for the show.

And having typed out the above paragraph, I decided to look it up, and I'd say this (link is spoilery) is near-enough confirmation my theory is right.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2094 on: May 03, 2021, 09:50:53 PM »
Agree almost entirely. Got off to a very slow start, but Bucky and Falcon made a great pair. Pacing and content dramatically improved in episodes 2-6. Kudos for highlighting and tackling some pretty heavy issues, I thought were (mostly) handled pretty well, hitting a variety of smaller topics along the way the arc was relatively well thought out, but they cut short the completion of Bucky's arc,  and the one line at the culmination of Falcon's  seemed a bit hokey (but I'm a middle class white dude so I'll stfu). Antagonist was very 1-D and the 'twist' was telegraphed a mile away.