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Just watched Black Widow on Disney+.

My no spoiler review is that it’s a lot of a lot of stuff. I think it might have been better suited as one of the series rather than a film. Once the film settled in I enjoyed it, or at least I enjoyed the character pieces, I dunno if it is my age or what but the modern hyperactive action stuff just doesn’t do it for me much. That’s a personal preference thing tho, not a judgment on the action itself. Overall I feel like it was worth a watch, but I don’t think it’s a film I’d ever need to revisit. I would like to see these characters again however.

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Yes, I tend to agree with you there Zambingo. We watched it on Disney+ also last night - good origin story, nice to see her full background at last. Enjoyed those family moments.

I thought Rachel Weisz was very good in her role in particular, and David Harbour also had some memorable moments with his Steve Rogers obsession! Florence Pugh was also very strong we thought.

But like you say, can’t see a need to rewatch compared to the others in the series.

End of credits scene was fine (no mid credits for this film) - ties more into Cap & Winter soldier series. But anyone else find it a pain fast forwarding on Disney+? Goes way too quick!!

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I always put Black Widow in the B-list category of superheroes, so I wasn't expecting much or super-excited about this film.  Maybe it was my low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised, and enjoyed this movie a lot.  I loved the dynamic between the "family" and seeing Natasha's backstory fleshed out more.  

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I thought it was a departure from the usual Marvel formula a bit— which I enjoyed. As always, casting makes Marvel shine. I rather enjoyed it.

Pugh will make for a good replacement for a Widow on the Avengers— though seeing Julia there in the button implies she may be on the Thunderbolts first, which would also be fun to see. I’m assuming that button will pay off on the Hawkeye show?

I have to say, I am enjoying watching all the mantels being handed down more than I thought I would. It is very classic Marvel comics. Coming into them in the 80s I was already starting with the second or third iterations of some heroes and teams. Like I said in that other Marvel thread, this is helping the MCU have a sense of history. 

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Going to put this in a quote because spoilers follow -

 

Quote

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Kind of a C+ for me. Most of 'em are, really, didn't come into it expecting to be blown away. But, generally speaking, it feels less like a movie movie and more like a mishmash of v. recent Marvel movies : it's got the general late period Russo Bros. vibe, it's got the fat Thor jokes from Avengers: Endgame (2019), the movie ends w/an audio sting of the Avengers theme just like Captain Marvel (2019) and even features a needle drop of a Nirvana song just like that one, it's a James Bond riff much like Black Panther (2018). Most of the stuff that ISN'T from v. recent Marvel movies is from, you guessed it, slightly older Marvel movies. It felt like any time the brain trust behind the movie had to decide what Scarlet Johansson would do in any given scene they just dipped their hands into a hat with lots of little slips of paper in it, on those slips of paper are things she did in previous appearances, things like "DISGUISE SELF AS SOMEONE ELSE LIKE I DID IN CAPTAIN AMERICA II (2014)" or "SAY THE LINE I SAID IN MY INTRODUCTORY SCENE IN THE AVENGERS (2012)", that's kind of how the movie moved her character through a Connect The Dots style plot entirely about what this dead person got up to back when she was alive, where she was when doing what, just a deadeyed slog through pre-existing referents (there is a Geoff Johns style bit where we find out the deep meaning behind the vest she was wearing in Avengers: Infinity War (2018)!) while flaccid pseudo-jokes are dropped willy nilly out of actors' mouths.

 

So, on the one hand, I didn't like it too much because it felt like a cold and cynical calculated exercise in brand management by a supercorporation but on the other hand I kind of DID like it because it was also a ... hah ... somewhat faithful adaptation of a few issues of Marvel Fanfare from back in the '80s that I once flipped through when I fished 'em out of a back issue bin twenty years ago!? They made this movie for everyone, to please everybody, that's how they make these, but it still felt like they made the movie for me. I remember a discussion (not here, on some other forum, and not involving me, someone else said this) of the bone deep weirdness of being in a movie theatre to see Blade : Trinity (2004) and hearing Parker Posey scream out at the top of her lungs, "Hannibal Kiiiiing!" and marveling (no pun intended, surely) at that character's name being said in public, where real people would pay to hear it, for real money. Our dumb little hobbies took over the world!

 

They made the movie way too late for me to really care about it in precisely the same way I used to care about this stuff. I mean, shouldn't this have come out, no joke, ten years ago!? But they still made it anyway, better late than never I suppose, and I still kind of liked it.

 

More Of What I Can Remember Disliking About The Movie

  • She watches Moonraker (’79) but NOT the bit w/the classic line: “James Bond, you arrive with the tedious inevitability of an unwanted season.”
  • The goofy make’em’ups they scatter throughout the action in these things have always been a problem to me, the lines often feel like they'd belong in a Michael Bay movie more than anything else, but even for that low standard they really aren’t quite up to snuff this time around. Florence Pugh tells ScarJo basically the same thing twice during the Budapest chase sequence, once when they’re about to get away by motorcycle and once again when they’re about to get away by car. Then, later, during the prison break sequence she exhales a sharp “Hah!” to punctuate an action beat and then does it AGAIN.
  • In general, action = bad. There's a fairly good opening action bit where they're fleeing America in the beginning, DavidHarbour has to save his family, they have to save him, they're fleeing from the cars in their plane, everything tracks. The movie never gets better than that, action-wise. All the remaining action sequences, the big set pieces, they all felt dull or incoherent or both.
  • I’m not sure the movie can reveal Taskmaster as ScarJo’s Jungian shadow (and the audience’s!) in one moment and then set this damaged walking pile of her guilt’n’shame up for a bruising knockdown fight w/her own father figure in the v. next moment. I mean, it tried to. But I don't think it worked. In general, the movie did not do a good job tonally of switching back'n'forth between its two modes of (1) Fun Peppy Spy Adventure and (2) Dark Family Melodrama. I don't think anyone's managed to mesh the serious and the funny in these movies to best effect, maybe w/the exceptions of Joss Whedon and Joe Johnston (he made World War II seem like fun fun fun!), everyone else falls flat on their face for me.
  • Why'd they only show the one hand of DavidHarbour's knuckle tats!? What's it say on the other hand, Disney Co.!?  Karl What, Disney Co.!? Disney Co., Disney Co., Disney Co., I'm disappointed in you. You'll make a movie w/the assistance of the Pentagon stating baldly outright that the post-WWII global consensus was undergirded by a Nazi death cult, you'll make a movie (presumably w/Pentagon assistance this time around too but I didn't bother to check in the end credits, but I did make sure to note the names of John Buscema, Paul Cornell, Adi Granov, Devin Grayson, Don Heck, J.G. Jones, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Ralph Macchio, David Michelinie, Richard K. Morgan, Jimmy Palmiotti, George Perez, Joe Quesada, Tom Raney, Don Rico, John Romita Sr., Chris Samnee, Bill Sienkiewicz, Roy Thomas, and Mark Waid) about how the modern world order since the fall of the Iron Curtain has been maintained by an uneasy confluence of child abuse and assassination and mind control, but you WON'T make a movie where Karl Marx's full name appears legibly on screen. It reminds me a little bit of that moment from Netflix's Bo Burnham's Inside (2021), the thing with the sock puppet, where Marx's name is also conspicuously absent. Capitalism will sell you the rope that'll hang itself, sure, but it will deliberately choose to forego telling you outright what the rope is and where it came from. That's a step too far, I suppose.
  • At various points in the movie I lost track of where the vials were, what the vials where (I guess on a symbolic level they’re kind of just the beautiful fireflies in their Ohio home), the movie’s got a lot of heart but at the end of the day it’s mostly a movie about vials and I’m still not sure what the deal is w/the vials. The movie knows this, knows the audience is going to get a little lost w/the vials, lampshades that with its own little scene where Florence Pugh mockingly explains the vials, but I’m still on edge about it. Was the disc from the beginning the vials!? How did the first Widow who fashpritzed one of the vials on Florence Pugh find the vials? By the end of the movie vials are coming out of pockets all the time and I've got no clue how they got there or, if they were there all along then why they hadn't been used previously, I got a lot of vial questions.

 

Some Of What I Can Remember Liking About The Movie, I Saw It Over The Weekend But That Already Feels Like Forever Ago, Sorry!

  • That’s definitely the kind of dinner set you’d get corn’on’the’cob served to you for dinner in if you were a ~10 year old kid in 1995. I know because I was one then and, yep, that’s what we ate ‘em out of!
  • I said already about the movie having a lot of heart. That's what I liked about movie, that's what got me there. The movie ruined it every other second w/jokes that weren't funny and action that wasn't thrilling but I felt the feelings. I mean, it's pretty easy for a superhero movie to get me to feel the feelings, even a bad superhero movie, there's a moment in Green Lantern (2011) where Peter Sarsgaard, infected by an alien organism that's driving him mad, slurs out the words, "Remember when we were kids? Remember then?" to Blake Lively. I felt that!
  • So, yes, a lot of heart but ALSO a lot of ... butt!? The movie's about hearts but the movie never forgets about the bodies those hearts come in AND it puts those bodies on display in a way I found pleasing to the eye. I'll watch Florence Pugh and Scarlet Johansson and Rachel Weisz do their little dances, say their little lines, I'm not picky. I liked looking at Florence Pugh, they didn't put her in a striking yellow number like in that John le Carré adaptation she did w/Park Chan-Wook but beggars can't be choosers. I liked hearing ScarJo talk, I liked the hair style Rachel Weisz had on her reclusive superspy St. Petersburg farm (who did it? did she ... did she train the pigs to do her hair like that!?), I'm into it, I want more of it, I'm down for Black Widow II (2024) or a Black Widow mini-series on Disney+, bring Natasha back from the dead, have it be Selina Meyer's doublecross Skrull plan or whatever, I don't care.
  • The maybe obvious point about how at first it seems like David Harbour is lying about meeting up w/Cap but by the time of his conversation w/ScarJo I became convinced that he really did, he's not lying, because Avengers: Endgame (2019) ends w/Chris Evans going traipsing all over creation to put the Infinity Gems back where they belong (one can but assume some awkwardness w/the Red Skull once he finds him on that mountain planet, of course) so of course it's possible for it to have occurred back in the eighties. Red Guardian fought Captain America back in '83 or '84, that's canon, for real.
  • David Harbour saying “he go toilet on my hands”, all time great moment.

 

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I also thought it wasn't super clear if Red Patriot was just obsessed with Captain America, (and assumed Rogers must be obsessed with him) or if they actually met. I didn't think they could have met in this timeline because Steve was on ice when Patriot was active.

I could be wrong, because they aren't super clear (between the explanations in Endgame and in Loki), but assuming this is still the prime MCU timeline, didn't Steve travel back to other timelines to replace the stones-- meaning this Patriot would not have met him?

Honestly, they should have just tied into FATWS and said Red Patriot faced off against the Isiah Bradley Captain America. That would have tracked.

And I did love that Elena called him "Crimson Dynamo" who I rerally, really, really hope shows up to face off against War Machine in Armor Wars.

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We watched it on Disney+ tonight with some friends.  My wife and I plan on rewatching it soon, though, since we can.  I enjoyed it quite a bit,  but it's certainly not without its flaws.  As Seth said, though, the casting was perfect.  I hope that this isn't the last we end up seeing of most of the supporting characters.  I say "supporting" above despite the fact that this seems almost as much of a movie to set up Yelena as it is a starring vehicle for Natasha.

Did Alexei outright say that he was talking about Steve?  I know the other characters assumed he was, but I was assuming he just fought someone in the Cap costume and just assumed it was the same guy as Steve.  Since this was supposed to have been released prior to F&WS, I was thinking that this was hinting at there being more to the Cap legacy than what we previously knew, which the show confirmed.  Or maybe I didn't hear things properly.  I really enjoyed Alexei, though.

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I think Red Guardian was talking about Steve Rogers. Reason being is that Steve Rogers in the MCU is the famous Captain America, not just the “first”. He was the literal poster boy of WWII. He was the go to hero for Public Service Announcements. He has a museum (or wing) dedicated to him. He even gained infamy by being wanted and going on the run, you know the MCU in universe media ate that up. He is an in universe icon.

So I have to believe the alternatives here are that either Red Guardian is a big fish story lover, or he fought Steve, or he fought someone appearing to be Steve, or he fought someone that said they were Steve.

I’m going with Time Traveling Steve. Or more specifically Timeline Living Out Steve. I think we’re being teased we could see more Steve Rogers adventures, possibly just not using the mantle that has been bequeathed to Falcon.

Red Guardian wouldn’t be like did Nomad tell you I fought him? Did Nomad talk about me? Or whatever insert moniker Steve uses. I hope it’s not Nomad, btw, always thought that was lame. Anyway, Red Guardian would just say he fought Captain America, the Captain America. Steve is Captain America. Which isn’t disrespect to Falcon, heck, he’d probably say that too.

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Agreed - my reaction to that scene initially was that he was bragging and making it up, but by the end of the film having been thinking about it, I thought they came into contact with each other when Steve was living out his life in the past with Peggy and reached the 1980’s by that point.
How old was Red Guardian when he got his serum out of interest? Did they make reference to that?

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They never said how he got his powers— which is odd considering how big a deal they made of it being rare in FATWS. 

I guess I assumed like the space program, he was the product of some Russian knock off serum. 

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Cheers Tank - yeah odd hey.  I was curious if he was super old at that point, or maybe he aged normally as it wasn't the original serum Cap got in the '40's but a lesser one.   We don't exactly know the year that Steve went back to live with Peggy, but you assume it's late '40's early '50s still, so that is some good aging by the time we get to Endgame in the year 2023.   

Assume he's 18 maybe in the first film (older I think, but just going low) and that film covers maybe 3 years to build up his reputation, he is defrosted in 2012, lives out to 2023, before going back to say 1950 (post Agent Carter), and we are at a fairly sprightly looking 105 when he hands his shield over to Sam.  In 1982, he would have been 64 if he did come into contact with Red Guardian - anyway, I don't know where I was going with this - early morning rambles which I probs should delete, but will leave!  Ha ha!
 

Glad you all enjoyed Black Widow - good start to the Film side of Phase 4.  Talking of which, here's the current status for the remaining films:

Film U.S. release date Status
Black Widow July 9, 2021 Released
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings September 3, 2021 Post-production
Eternals November 5, 2021 Post-production
Spider-Man: No Way Home December 17, 2021 Post-production
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness March 25, 2022 Post-production
Thor: Love and Thunder May 6, 2022 Post-production
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever July 8, 2022 Filming
The Marvels November 11, 2022 Filming
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania February 17, 2023 Filming
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 May 5, 2023 Pre-production
Fantastic Four TBA  

 

And here is the TV schedule for Phase 4 as it currently stands:

Series Episodes Originally released Status
WandaVision 9 January 15, 2021 Released
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 6 March 19, 2021 Released
Loki 6 June 9, 2021 Released
What If...? 10 August 11, 2021 Post-production
Ms. Marvel 6 Late 2021 Post-production
Hawkeye TBA Late 2021 Post-production
Moon Knight 6 2022 Filming
She-Hulk 10 2022 Filming
Secret Invasion 6 2022 Pre-production
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special 1 Late 2022 Pre-production
Ironheart 6 TBA Pre-production
Armor Wars TBA TBA Pre-production
Untitled Wakanda series TBA TBA In development


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Cinematic_Universe:_Phase_Four#cite_note-PhaseFourReleaseDatesMay2021-61

Plenty still to come in 2021!   :yes:

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