Is Captain Marvel Worth Your Time?

Captain Marvel is a mediocre entry into the MCU, but nonetheless a fun film.

Captain Marvel was directed by husband and wife team Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and stars Brie Larson as the powerful Captain Marvel, also known as Carol Danvers.  This is the 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (holy s***!) and they’re still going semi-strong.  Despite the repetitive nature of these films, they still manage to make me happy at the end of the day. 

I’m not sure what it is, but even though all these movies are made for “normies” who like “big” blockbuster movies, I always manage to watch these movies and get the impression that they feel personal to me in some way.  This is most likely because of the absolutely incredible character building as well as strong world building.  In my opinion, Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2, Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok, and the first Avengers movie are the best in the series/universe. What these movies did to make themselves so well done was either introduce the formula that has been sustaining them for so long, or take that formula we are used to and did something new and exciting with it.

Caveat: I wouldn’t say that Black Panther is the best film in the MCU, at least when compared to Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse or Avengers: Infinity War, but I will say that one does feel more unique in some aspects of its style and presentation. Looking back I am happy it did get nominated and even receive some Academy Awards.

Captain Marvel takes place before most Marvel movies at around 1995!

The film tells the story of Vers and the clan of Kree as they defend their territory against their enemies, the Skrulls. After she escapes a Skurll ship where they attempt to extract her memories, she’s shot out of her escape pod and finds herself atop a Blockbuster Video location in Los Angeles. After making a successful land on the ground and informing Nick Fury, an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D., of the war that is brewing between the two races, they must team up to fight an enemy threatening their territory, who may not be the same group they expected.

Even if Captain Marvel is a fun movie to watch, there is nothing in it that makes it exciting, special, or unique.

Captain Marvel was okay. I think the movie is good, but certainly one of the weaker ones in the franchise. It’s the same as all the other Marvel movies. If you are fine with the formula they have set for their movies, and don’t feel that you need a change of pace in this formula, then you’ll likely enjoy this one. I just wish there was some style to this movie, but there unfortunately isn’t. There isn’t even much color in movie, there’s no memorable music, nor does it even really have a very interesting script or commentary.

The movie is mostly just very generic. It tells a simple story, sets up a few conflicts, there’s a quick resolution, and the movie is suddenly over. There’s not even much tension to this movie really. The best way I can describe it is just pure escapism. You’ll be entertained for two and a half hours, but you’ll probably forget about it until you find it on a streaming service of some sort (probably Disney+ by the time that’s ready). This doesn’t make it necessarily bad, it’s competently made, but there’s nothing unique or special about this movie. It’s so generic and by the numbers, I wish there was more to it. When ranking films with a female heroine, I think Wonder Woman and Alita: Battle Angel, both of which came out this year, are superior films. They additionally have much better action sequences as well.

Time to address the elephant in the room when it comes to this movie…

Now I understand there’s some “drama” with this movie and people’s reception to this movie on the internet, and I really didn’t want to get into it that much but I’ll just quickly say that everyone looks stupid fighting over this movie. If you’re claiming that this movie was going to be bad because there is a woman in it, you’re dumb. On the other hand, if you’re going to bully people who think this movie is only okay and call them “man babies” or “sexist” you’re also dumb.

I would advise anyone out there not review bomb a movie to serve any agenda you may have, whether it be “positive” or “negative,” because that will make you and your cause look bad. My thought going in was that I wanted it to just be a good movie. I also acknowledge Brie Larson said some things that got people really angry, and I really don’t want to get into that either. Just know that you commenting on her comments is only giving more publicity to the movie which will encourage people to go watch it. So whether that is your goal or not, acknowledge that you are doing this.

As a side note: I am planning on discussing how to properly engage in discourse with others on the internet because this is a subject I am passionate about and I really just want people just treat others with kindness no matter the opinions they have. What I would say to you for now regarding the internet drama of this movie is this, respect all people and they opinions they have. More importantly, don’t let what others on the internet have to say persuade you into shaping a belief about this movie, whether it’d be positive or negative. See the movie for yourself, and make up your own mind!

So the movie is fine but lacks style, should you still watch it?

With that being said, I don’t feel there is really anything else I can say about this movie. Although entertaining, I just wish the film-making on display was more interesting. I also wish there was more tension in this movie, because that too would have made this much stronger. Even the lack of color within the film bogged this down because this is one dark looking movie. It’s not as bad as Suicide Squad or Solo: a Star Wars Story, but there’s one scene near the end that borders on that quality of lighting and color correction.

For now, though, this is a completely harmless Marvel movie. I believe people will probably love it or hate it more than I did, so I would recommend watching this movie and just making up your own mind. I am very excited for Avengers: Endgame, and will probably continue to watch these movies for years to come. They would have to take a major dive in quality, or just get so tiring and boring to the point of complete exhaustion for me to stop watching these, and thankfully neither has happened yet.

If these movies aren’t for you, that’s fine. But if you find this to be the best Marvel movie though, good for you! I’m glad you could get more enjoyment than I did out of this. I understand I’m late to this party, and the majority of the population has already seen this movie, but I still wanted to give my general thoughts. If you haven’t seen it though and you want to, check it out! It definitely won’t be an infuriating movie to watch, it’ll just be bland. If you don’t care about this being a masterfully made film, you’ll like it fine. Finally, I will admit this: Captain Marvel has the best opening sequence for any Marvel movie! If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about.

Written by: Christian Scognamillo

Weekly Watchlist: Week 3

weekly watchlist

Weekly Watchlist Week 3: Lots of films in this edition; a few of them are Marvel movies as I have started a binge chain ahead of Avengers: Endgame. I didn’t watch many classics this week but next article will include a few Criterion Collection films and more movies in theatres again.

So here’s what I watched this time around.

Monday (3.11.19)

Captain Marvel (2019) – 2/5

  • Marvel story structure + throwaway Star Wars characters – any substance whatsoever = this movie. Honestly a disappointed on this one because it was fairly hyped up and not very good; props to Marvel for finally making a female led movie.

Tuesday (3.12.19)

The Kid (2019) – 2.5/5

  • Not really as great as I had hoped it would be; Ethan Hawke kills it but that’s about it; the other performances kind of annoyed me (especially the title character) but Chris Pratt did fine as a villain. Not enough yeehaws in this western.

Alien (1979) – 4/5

  • My professor was the 1st Assistant Director on this movie and clearly made it known when he screened it in class; other than that, this movie has really nice lighting, nice set design and just some really advanced stuff for 1979. The movie itself was not all that scary and it was semi-predictable but it wasn’t necessarily cheesy.

Wednesday (3.13.19)

I’m Not Here (2017) – 2/5

  • This movie had nice casting but I feel like this idea has been way overdone; it just felt like a super long PSA about alcoholism. Also, I’m not sure what made me sicker: J.K. Simmons bare as cheeks or the overpriced movie nachos.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2019) – 3.5/5

  • I really love the dialogue in this; the writing is very nice and feels natural/real. The casting was really well done and I think each actor gave a pretty good performance. Other than that, the cinematography was adequate and that’s about it.
  • I really love the dialogue in this; the writing is very nice and feels natural/real. The casting was really well done and I think each actor gave a pretty good performance. Other than that, the cinematography was adequate and that’s about it.

Friday (3.15.19)

Iron Man (2008) – 3.5/5

  • Don’t think I’ve seen this since it came out in theatres and I was 9 years old. The CGI looks shit but back then it was new technology so it’s kinda cool to see how far we’ve come. Gwyneth Paltrow was kind of annoying in this; everyone else is pretty good; this movie makes you highly dislike Jeff Bridges but he’s a king.

Saturday (3.16.19)

The Incredible Hulk (2008) – 2/5

  • This movie was not very good; not very Hulk. Glad they changed the lead role to Mark Ruffalo; Edward Norton was a little stale in this.

Sunday (3.17.19)

Iron Man 2 (2010) – 2.5/5

  • If you haven’t noticed, I’m doing a Marvel binge in anticipation of Avengers: Endgame. Very glad they replaced the James Rhodes character and brought on Don Cheadle; he kills it; excited to see how these characters develop in the 2 following phases of the MCU (or at least rewatching it).

Tuesday (3.19.19)

Thor (2011) – 2.5/5

  • Alright the cinematography in this is really really bad. It is not good. Literally 60% of all shots are dutch angles and it just does not fit the story…It’s fairly cheesy and Lord of the Rings-esque (if it took place in space) but that’s okay considering its a superhero origin film. It was funny to read and find out that the director of this is the guy who voiced Miguel in The Road to El Dorado (2000).

Wednesday (3.20.19)

Climax (2019) – 4/5

  • So, Act I consists of sexual dancing party; Act II consists of sexual dance party banter; Act III consists of every nightmare and fear you;ve ever imagined but it’s not scary, just super uncomfortable. It’s worthy noting that there are heavy Suspiria (1977) influences sprinkled everywhere and soundtrack reminiscent of Good Time (2017). This song is a heavily experimental visual experience that I recommend and also forewarn that it might not be your type; it’ll probably be pulled from theatres soon anyway because Us (2019) is coming out.

Thank you for reading along for this week; I hope these comments offer insight into your choice of what to watch and what to avoid.

Make sure to check in next week to see what I watch.

Written by: Eduardo Orozco

Rocket Con at the Scottish Rite Event Center

Rocket Con

Last weekend the annual San Diego Rocket Con attracted cosplayers and comic book fanatics over to the Scottish Rite Event Center.

This year the Comic Convention has expanded to a two day weekend to showcase art and comics for the community. Chase Lirley originally started the idea of Rocket Con along with his dad after visiting other cons themselves and thought they would put their own spin on it while supporting local artist.

“We love supporting local artists, and we love supporting the local community because we want to be a local con. But at the same time, it’s been great this year because we reached a little further. We got people from Vegas, people from Arizona, all coming in and selling things so even if someone were to go to every single Comic-Con in San Diego, they would get to see newer things here.”

Chase Lirley

Local artists also showed appreciation for the opportunity to show off their art. Emerald Moss, AKA Milky Art, has always had support, but just needed the platform to show off the art she created.

“When I was younger I didn’t even think I could go to conventions. I didn’t think that was something within the realm of possibilities. Before, I really wished I could do something like that, and you know what, my parents, my mom, and my grandma, they were there my whole life and they were really supportive from the moment I told them. Even when I asked ‘Do you guys I think I could do something with my art?’ they were there behind me”.

Emerald Moss

Benjamin Baakar, head of Vandal Priest, thinks that conventions are important in other ways.

“Conventions are very important. We do a lot of networking online and that’s cool but you want to be in front of the people. You want people to have hands-on experience with your art… Seeing it on a screen is cool, but seeing it in person, having it tangibly in front of you, that’s where you get that real connection… If your not owning your craft then you need to be learning something towards your craft “

Benjamin Baakar

At the convention, many of the comic books featured one key character: Wolverine from the X-men comics. This was a character that Joe Rubinstein has drawn many times. Rubinstein came to the United States at an early age and found a love for comics after seeing the collection and the passion his older cousins had for the medium. Rubinstein began his career at the age of 11 in New York as an assistant and worked his way up until he got his first professional job at only 17 with DC Comics. At 19, he transferred over to Marvel Comics. While speaking about his experience of being an artist, Rubinstein stated:

While you should be your own artist and have your own taste, pretty much everything you’re doing has been done before. And don’t reinvent the wheel, learn the lessons of the Masters and never forget that everything is based on reality. Try and study real life. Real people. Real everything… I’ve been brought to Kuwait and Harrison Spain, all because I draw pictures… [but] most human beings don”t get asked for their autograph and get told that you were special to their childhoods, or asked ‘Can I take my picture with you?’ Overall, it is very gratifying.”

Joe Rubinstein

Foregoing a panel featuring past Power Rangers, Smash Brothers tournaments, and action figures, the weekend of Rocket Con came and went. Although it’s over, next year’s Rocket Con is something to look forward to for comic book lovers and artists alike.

Written by: Antonio Marquez

Black Panther Cultural Impact

Was “Black Panther” as good as what I expected? Definitely not… it was even better! “Black Panther” may have been out in theaters for months already, but its hype has not deteriorated.

I went to see “Black Panther” the weekend it was released. Theaters were packed and tickets were selling out fast. Even a week after its release, the line to watch Black Panther had not decreased. Releasing the movie during a four day weekend could be the best decision that Marvel has made yet. But even with the nicely timed release, the movie of course would not have been a success without the great actors, and story line. There was never a dull moment in the movie. I was entertained the whole time. It had enough action, and some jokes here and there, elements that helped grasp the audience’s attention.

The one aspect that I loved about the movie was that it did not just touch the hearts of African-Americans, but also of immigrants. As an American, and daughter of immigrants, I could relate to this movie in various ways, but the one that impacted me the most was of the right to speak any language one pleases. In “Black Panther” there is a scene where the Wakanda general, Okoye,  speaks in her tribal language to T’Challa (Black Panther), while a CIA agent is in their presence. This leads the agent to ask T’Challa, instead of Okoye, “Does she speak english?” Okoye quickly responds in English with, “She speaks English when she wants to.” The moment she said that, the inner me was jumping with happiness, because finally someone on the big screen chose to speak up about this issue.

Throughout history, and even today, people in America are being told to ONLY speak English, or to NOT speak another language. Some even having the audacity to tell others that our soldiers aren’t fighting for us to speak other languages, that they are fighting for our “right” to speak “American.” People should not feel bad speaking in a language besides English in public, and most importantly, people should not be obliged to forget their native language in order to make others feel “comfortable.” I am tired of worrying about making others feel “uncomfortable.” I personally have never been afraid to speak Spanish in public, but I know for a fact that there are many others, children and adults, that do need this reassurance of being told that it is okay to speak another language. “Black Panther” encourages people of all ethnicities and ages to love their culture’s language.

Unfortunately, some children didn’t get the same encouragement from the movie. Or at least the young girl I heard talking in the bathroom didn’t. I was washing my hands after the movie and I overheard a young black girl talking to her mom about how she didn’t want to be like the general. The mom asked her why, and the little girl said that she did not want to speak “African.” I was devastated when I heard her say that, because it showed the negative affect society can have on the minds of the young, when it comes to the topic of speaking other languages. In America, any language besides English appears to be ugly, and it’s not okay and it must change.

Enough decades have passed for people to understand that America is a melting pot, and no one language is better than the other. This is why I thank Marvel for including this scene in “Black Panther,” and presenting the people of Wakanda as people who love their culture, and are proud and unafraid of speaking their language.