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Thread: Black Widow (Cate Shortland)

  1. #1
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Black Widow (Cate Shortland)

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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why havenít entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  2. #2
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    I was surprised how much I cared more about Natasha's relationship with her "family" over the Taskmaster stuff. I feel Shortland handled that content really well.

    Red Guardian underused, but excellent with the dialog stuff.

    Oh Rachel Weisz, too good to star in a third Mummy movie and yet here you are, the weakest link in the four piece band when standing next to Florence Pugh, David Harbour and ScarJo.

    The finale is a mess and pointless. This movie didn't need to be a $200 million noisy supernova. It was doing fine until the Red Room reveal. And it was kinda nice not having an end of the world type of thread bearing down on us.

    For a female director, and ScarJo being so open about how Widow was sexualized in her first appearing in Iron Man 2, I was REALLY surprised how many Michael Bay styled ass shots there were, not just of ScarJo in the first 20 minutes, but with the rest of the Widows.
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why havenít entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  3. #3
    Somehow manages to be worse than "Red Sparrow" and "Atomic Blonde," except those movies didn't have this budget + cast. I know I complain endlessly and say a lot of movies are terrible, but this one is really terrible.

    Dunno if it was because of the production interruptions or plain old bad writing, but the movie is weirdly disjointed. There was no logical flow. Nothing connected. Every sequence was like 2 minutes of conversation before things start exploding. Then onto the next. Characters appeared in new locations doing new things with little to no motivation.

    The action scenes had no weight, because I was never clear who was fighting whom and why, especially in the first 90 minutes. The main villain was off screen for three quarters of the movie. Everyone else is just a faceless hench-person, destined to appear out of nowhere whenever the plot needed juice. The action itself was over produced, with obvious CGI and ridiculous fight choreography.

    The protagonists didn't want anything distinct or interesting. Neither did the villain. The script introduced a cheesy McGuffin and then sorta forgot about it. The bare bones of the plot was needlessly complicated, when really all it boiled down to was "kill the bad guy because reasons."

    They tossed out huge title cards to announce a new location, jumping from MOROCCO to NORWAY to BUDAPEST, but none of that shit mattered. It had no bearing on the plot, themes, visuals, or mood. The cinematography was TV bland, with every place in the world looking like every other place in the world.

    Marvel must believe their audience to be badly informed because ... the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991? And the story starts ... 4 years after that?

    What the hell were William Hurt and Ray Winstone doing. Besides collecting a paycheck, I mean.

    Taskmaster (aka Walmart Winter Soldier) looked like like she sprang fully formed from a drawing in a 12 year old's school notebook. Legit must be the worst costume design I've seen in a contemporary feature film.

    CGI fireflies really tear at the ol' heartstrings, don't they? Sniff, sniff.

    On the positive side, I did like how the actors fully committed, especially David Harbour and Florence Pugh. They were fun, because their characters were the only ones allowed to be vaguely human and not constantly, needlessly grim.

  4. #4
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    I haven't seen Red Sparrow yet but you forgot Anna. And Marvel fans are pissed about the Taskmaster costume design so you nailed that. They are comparing it to two of the worst costume designs in recent history; Deadpool in Wolverine and Whedon's Steppenwolf.

    And yeh, it was unclear why Ray Winstone wanted to so many Widows. For what? He has a long speech about starting and ending wars... so maybe power? But hard to care about something that we don't really see a threat to; unless the threat is kidnapping kids and forcing them into the program.

    Industry is expecting this to pull a $80M-$90M opening weekend. And that's WITH a Disney+ Release.
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why havenít entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  5. #5
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Early reviews and word of mouth were saying this was the best Marvel stand alone film, and in the top 3-5 MCU films.

    So is this WW84 all over again?
    "All right, that's too hot. Anything we can do about that heat?"

    "Rick...it's a flamethrower."

  6. #6
    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    I haven't seen Red Sparrow yet but you forgot Anna. And Marvel fans are pissed about the Taskmaster costume design so you nailed that. They are comparing it to two of the worst costume designs in recent history; Deadpool in Wolverine and Whedon's Steppenwolf.
    I haven't seen "Anna," but I was more thinking about super-spy action movies with an established female star in the lead. (So Soderbergh's "Hanna" would be out, too).

    I also kept thinking of "John Wick" and "Taken," and how much more interesting "Black Widow" would have been if they'd made a street-level, rough and tumble movie with practical effects and stunts, as a reflection of a character with no superpowers.

    The Taskmaster was just ... straight up bad. Everything about the character was lame, from the costume down to the "borrowed" powers (which are never explained or explored).

    And yeh, it was unclear why Ray Winstone wanted to so many Widows. For what? He has a long speech about starting and ending wars... so maybe power? But hard to care about something that we don't really see a threat to; unless the threat is kidnapping kids and forcing them into the program.
    The movie is weirdly and mildly incoherent. Like, early on Pugh explains that Winstone didn't have ScarJo killed because he was afraid of retribution from Tony and Steve. (And it's a pretty good moment from Pugh: "Avengers. It's right there in the name.") But much later, Winstone brags about his army of widows and about how he controls kings, presidents, and dictators from the shadows.

    Sooooooooo ... which is it? He can't simultaneously be chickenshit and supremely powerful. And now he doesn't take advantage of "Civil War," either? And just sits up in his techno tower doing ... what, exactly?

    ETA: Meant to mention that I read & enjoyed your LB review. I think you're right about the family moments. Easily the best parts of the film, and unfortunately too little, too late.
    Last edited by Irish; 07-10-2021 at 08:53 PM.

  7. #7
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    ETA: Meant to mention that I read & enjoyed your LB review. I think you're right about the family moments. Easily the best parts of the film, and unfortunately too little, too late.
    Thanks! And that was easily the most interesting about the movie. The dynamic between the kids pretending their childhood was real, and David Harbour complaining that the mission was "boring", clearly offending the kids as they felt like a burden. It's glossed over quickly in the first 3 minutes, but they should have explored the kids playing more, with a reflection on what they did when they weren't doing the mission stuff. How they would use it as an escape or to feel free. They clearly had an attachment to the "mom" as shown on the airfield, and "daddy".

    Then later, when they reconnect, explore some kind of redemption with Harbour and the kids. But there's nothing.

    I liked it overall because it's more Black Widow character stuff, and she's an original Avenger so I feel connected to those characters still... but everything else stinks.

    Also that kind of explains the time gap you mentioned as they started their mission likely in 1991 (or prior) before the collapse and they were kinda stuck there in Ohio.
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why havenít entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  8. #8
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    $80 opening, plus $60 million Disney+. First time Disney releases streaming numbers which almost equaled theatrical. I bet that was part of the new director deals they did after the WB fiasco was to publicly release those numbers.

    I wonder if this will affect the way they open Shang Chi by adding a Disney+ option.
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why havenít entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  9. #9
    Sunrise, Sunset Wryan's Avatar
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    There's way too much going on in this. When the actors are given time to talk to each other, it's pretty good--almost affecting. When it tries to be Jason Borne or John Wick, it's kinda meh. The number of non-superhero people who survive unsurvivable crashes is too damn high! The pheromone stuff is lu-di-crous--just shoot him from across the room or something. I felt extremely uncomfortable watching the pig suffocate. I have too much empathy for shit like that. I can almost feel it happening to me while watching it. Overall I didn't hate it, but there was a better movie somewhere in this, where a few other things are pared down.
    "How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and forgot how to drive?"

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  10. #10
    Sunrise, Sunset Wryan's Avatar
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    I was actually super excited after the opening Ohio stuff, which was really well done, I thought. Just the right touch of humanity, tension and desperate action. Then it kinda peters out in quality while simultaneously getting WAY BIG every way else. I like Pugh and Harbour a lot.
    Last edited by Wryan; 07-12-2021 at 01:36 AM.
    "How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and forgot how to drive?"

    --Homer

  11. #11
    Quote Quoting Wryan (view post)
    The number of non-superhero people who survive unsurvivable crashes is too damn high!
    Don't ever watch F9; you will have an aneurysm.
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  12. #12
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    Good on a character level, but the story is so underwhelming. Feels like it gets stuck in tone and plot between goofy Bond (namechecked) and the more somber actioner of something like MCU's own Winter Soldier, and it ends up diluting the appeal of both. Best stretch, which happens to be where the best action is as well, is when it's just Johansson and Pugh (MVP) together, reconnecting and fighting as sisters after all those years lost.

    And I am never more glad to have watched a film's trailer first, because seeing this film feigns at the more intimate family stuff (effectively too), before it scales up incoherently into yet another big structure in the sky being blown to pieces, without any warning from the trailer first would have totally sunk the film for me. Also, it's been 8 years since Iron Man 3 and somehow people falling through the sky looks so much more obviously green-screened and faker here than in that film. 6/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
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  13. #13
    I liked it quite a bit, especially relative to the increasingly cosmic-focused Marvel stuff that is being churned out lately. The more grounded action was a welcome change, and the early set pieces (opening plane sequence, combat sequences, and car chase) were a lot more memorable than what I remember from other standalone Marvel films. As per the Studio's standard, the climatic action scenes get out of control in terms of scale, CGI and logic. Also, Pugh and Harbour are great in this, leaving a much stronger mark as supporting characters than anyone I recall from Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, etc.
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  14. #14
    Sunrise, Sunset Wryan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting DavidSeven (view post)
    Also, Pugh and Harbour are great in this, leaving a much stronger mark as supporting characters than anyone I recall from Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, etc.
    Michelle Pfeiffer would like a fuckin word with you.
    "How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and forgot how to drive?"

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  15. #15
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Wryan (view post)
    Michelle Pfeiffer would like a fuckin word with you.
    She was in that movie for 30 seconds. Not an apt comparison.
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why havenít entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  16. #16
    Quote Quoting Wryan (view post)
    Michelle Pfeiffer would like a fuckin word with you.
    I would say Michael Pena was the clear breakout side character from Ant-Man.
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  17. #17
    Sunrise, Sunset Wryan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    She was in that movie for 30 seconds. Not an apt comparison.
    Nah, it's more than 30 seconds, and imo she brings a huge impact in a short amount of time.
    "How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and forgot how to drive?"

    --Homer

  18. #18

  19. #19
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    I'm with her on that one.

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  20. #20
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Even though I would say the film was in the bottom five or so of the MCU, I agree with her. Not sure how to get around it with the covid of it all, though. If they had flat out released it as planned it would've made even less in theaters.

  21. #21
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    Even figuring in Disney's force majeure deniablitiy of it all, I still think she has a case:

    Even before the pandemic, Ms. Johansson was concerned that “Black Window” could end up on Disney+ as part of its wide release. In 2019, Ms. Johansson’s representatives reached out to Marvel seeking assurance that “Black Widow” would have a theatrical-only release, according to the complaint.

    In a March 2019 email included in the suit, Marvel Chief Counsel Dave Galluzzi said the release would be according to a traditional theatrical model, adding, “We understand that should the plan change, we would need to discuss this with you and come to an understanding as the deal is based on a series of (very large) box office bonuses.” [....]

    According to the complaint, Ms. Johansson’s representatives sought to renegotiate her contract after learning of the dual-release strategy for “Black Widow,” which she has said is her ninth and last Marvel movie. Disney and Marvel were unresponsive, the suit said.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
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    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  22. #22
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    She definitely has a case if deals were made with directors and not the actors.

    There was a very calculated decision for Disney to reveal that it made $60M on Disney+. That was a first for the streaming industry.
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why havenít entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  23. #23
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    I'm guessing we definitely never see her in a Marvel film again.
    "All right, that's too hot. Anything we can do about that heat?"

    "Rick...it's a flamethrower."

  24. #24
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Apparently Feige is livid at Disney over this.

    Imagine if something like this marks the beginning of the end for the MCU.
    "All right, that's too hot. Anything we can do about that heat?"

    "Rick...it's a flamethrower."

  25. #25
    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    She definitely has a case if deals were made with directors and not the actors.

    There was a very calculated decision for Disney to reveal that it made $60M on Disney+. That was a first for the streaming industry.
    If she can prove they ghosted her, I think they might be fucked.

    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    Imagine if something like this marks the beginning of the end for the MCU.
    Nah, Disney gets sued all the time and lawsuits over back pay happen all the time. This story would have been buried if it weren't vaguely topical (Covid, ScarJo, streaming $$$, etc).

    As for Feige, I suspect that's PR. Feige always needs to appear as a good guy to the fan base, so of course he's "livid."

    But when ScarJo talks about how she tried to renegotiate in good faith and the producers ghosted her, she's talking about Feige.

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