Captain Marvel – Better Than I Expected – A White Male’s Review

Christopher Estrada for RunPee
Chris Estrada: RunPee’s Newest Guest Geek Extraordinaire!

Guest article by Christopher Estrada

I am no Marvel Cinematic Universe newbie. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all but one MCU film to date — that one being 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. We were thrown into the middle of Dr. Banner’s story with little in the way of actual origin story. Maybe Marvel was leaning a bit on the other Hulk movie released not long before the MCU version. Or maybe they just didn’t want to get bogged down with the cinematic birth of The Hulk. Whatever the case, I wasn’t, and am still not impressed, with the big green guy’s first MCU outing.

All of this is to say that I went into Captain Marvel with apprehensive expectations. Which actually was disappointing for me. Immediately following Avengers: Infinity War, I was excited for the first female-led MCU movie. I wanted to learn about the Captain trademarked by the comic book company.

Can A White Man Review Feminist Films?

Then Brie Larson made headlines that were…off-putting…with talk of the movie being very feminist…and not wanting white males crowding the press tour…and then we had Brie’s speech at the Oscars.

black panther and king T'Challa
Inclusivity also means white males count too. It means that everyone can have talent. Gender and color should be meaningless, although society isn’t there yet.

I mean, I get it. This is 2019 and a highly politicized era. The world is pushing for more representation of people of color, and of women. That is all admirable and great things to work towards. But it’s not really the fault that white men today — and film critics and reporters — are white males. It could be argued that news organizations and film review publishers are at fault. It could also be argued there simply aren’t as many women and people of color that want to be film critics and reporters. Not that there shouldn’t be: just that it is up to the individuals to want to do that job, and to be good enough to get the job.

Despite my Hispanic surname, I am a white male. It’s yet to be decided if I am good enough at writing and critiquing to be doing it. (This is my second attempt in the area. The first being my thoughts on the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame. And while this review may be published, I could very well be uninvited or ignored in the future.) But is it my fault that I’m not a person of color? That I would have an opinion on entertainment? That the RunPee Family noticed a theory of mine in a discussion on their Facebook page?

My point is that it really shouldn’t matter what ethnicity or gender a person is. What should matter is whether what they have to say is worthy of publication. People of color are just as capable as any white man of having thoughts on any subject. The question is how many of them practice the craft, and pursue a job or freelance work in that field. The more of them that do so, the more of them there will be in the field. It takes time.

So, I was less excited about going to see the movie than I was just a few months ago. But I still wanted to see it. I still wanted to add more MCU canon to my brain. I wanted to give the movie a chance.

A Captain Marvel Review (with mild spoilers)

captain-marvelI’m glad I did. The movie was, in my white male opinion, a success. Is it as good as Black Panther or DC’s Wonder Woman? No. But it is a decent movie.

The origin story is fleshed out through the movie. Sometimes in jarring, unexpected flashbacks. Other times, in ways that make perfect sense for the flow of the movie.

There is some decent comedy sprinkled throughout. The best of which came from Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D Nick Fury, and his interactions with Goose, the brilliant ginger cat that steals every scene s/he purrs into.

Likewise, the seeming antagonistic Skrulls were a good source of humor. The titular hero, on the other hand…Brie’s acting in the comedic bits was…unconvincing. She seemed kind of stiff when it came to cracking puns back at her co-stars. I’m not saying I didn’t get her jokes, or that I didn’t laugh. I did. It was just a bit delayed in comparison with the other funny parts. I think the exception is when she crashes to Earth near the beginning of the film. The stiff acting actually made sense, and made for decent humor when she asked if the human security officer understood her. When she asks for a communication source and he points at Radio Shack — here it worked.

The action is typical Marvel quality with good choreography and CGI special effects. The overwhelming powers Carol Danvers wields is made crystal clear when she breaks free of the Kree binds, and confronts her former team.

I was somewhat disappointed that she didn’t fight and overcome Jude Law’s character in a non-powered exhibition at the end. She basically pulls an Indiana Jones pistol shot, on the bad guy with a sword in the courtyard in Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was worth a short chuckle. But it would have been awesome to see her best him in the hand to hand combat they were practicing early on. Then Ronan’s reaction when Carol blasts her way through one of the enemy ships was also a chuckle-worthy bit. It was all fairly anti-climactic in my estimation, though.

gregg clarke as agent coulson in captain marvel
A digitally de-aged Agent Coulson. They de-aged Nick Fury too.

The CGI to make Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg look younger is a tough cookie. Fury looked pretty good — maybe a little plastic or rubbery. But Coulson…he just looked weird and inconsistent. The facial CGI is still a technology that needs to improve. Forward and backward in age…

The film was touted as being a very feminist movie. Everyone from Larson to Kevin Feige made a point to advertise it as the first female MCU hero movie. The trailers etched the tag line in our heads. “Her” flashing into, “A Hero”.

Then we saw the mantra heavily repeated during the Super Bowl Captain Marvel trailer saying “Higher, Further, Faster.” And the flashbacks of authority figures telling the younger Carol what she should, and shouldn’t — or can’t be doing — and her exclamation of “I’m kind of done with you telling me what I can’t do.” The theme isn’t bad. In fact it’s a great theme that should help uplift girls and women everywhere. Sadly, I think the film falls short of that message overall.

There are flashbacks to Carol’s time as a human child, teen, and young adult, where we see her father and other authorities telling her negative things: what was shown in that Superbowl trailer, but sprinkled throughout the film. Then we see all of those flashbacks at once, just before she realizes her full power.

But the theme wasn’t played up enough to amount to anything more that this one person saying that, yes, she can. Carol never sits down and tells little Monica to never let anyone hold her back. That Monica, and by extension all girls, can do what they want if they put their minds to it. If they push past their own limits and do what others say they can’t: this is a missed opportunity in my opinion.

Women Superhero Films Today

This missed opportunity kind of negates the leftist politics and feminist push from the PR campaign before the film released. The politics aren’t in your face. That makes this a fairly typical Marvel movie.

LEGO 2 - Wonder Woman
Even Legos deserve our respect.

It’s actually an interesting comparison with Wonder Woman. Ultimately both films center on each franchise’s first female-hero led film. Both show awesome, bad-ass women kicking butt and proving that women make excellent warriors. Both are origin stories. Both are prequels to a larger universe. But they both left me in different places. We knew more or less what was next for Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, because what was next was actually shown to us before, in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

What’s next for Captain Marvel is a bit of a mystery still. We know she will be in next month’s Avengers: Endgame. But since we haven’t seen that movie yet, and we expect her in it, this story feels incomplete to me. Yes, she completed her objective for this movie. But we’re left wanting more in a different way than Wonder Woman. I think part of this is because of the mid-credits scene which shows us a flash-forward to the post-Thanos-Snap world. It leaves us by teasing us.

justice league superhero characters
Oh yeah, Wonder Woman is in there. It’s a start.

Another difference between the two comics movies is the pre-release marketing. I could be wrong, but I don’t recall Wonder Woman being pushed as a feminist film. Gal Gadot certainly didn’t politicize the press tour. The film quite simply introduced us to a strong female hero that didn’t dwell on her peers telling her she cant do this or that. She rolls her eyes and puts on the trench coat to cover her armored body. She hears the entrenched soldiers saying they can’t push forward, and picks up her shield, climbs the ladder and says “Follow me!” She just did it.

DC didn’t push the film as an empowerment story for women in the way that Marvel did with Captain Marvel. They both ultimately present that theme successfully. But one alienated a large portion — possibly a majority — of the fan-base. The other didn’t. That only hurts the film early on, because, again, I am a part of that portion of the fan-base that was targeted and putt-off, and I ended up enjoying the movie.

My Captain Marvel Movie Grade

On a 1-10 scale, I’d give Captain Marvel an 8/10 or a B grade.

captain marvel
Captain Marvel herself.

Much of Brie Larson’s acting just seemed stiff and un-involved. Some of this could be the idea that she’s on an unknown, forgotten world, and as an alien she doesn’t know how to behave around humans. But that idea slips away with her relative comfort working with Fury, where she still seems like she has a board strapped to her back. (Maybe its the costume? But no; she’s in normal human clothes for a lot of this bit.)

Overall, I’d say this movie is worth a theatrical viewing. Boycotting a box office ticket for it because of the recent politics is only keeping you from adding to the Avengers canon. The movie isn’t blatantly political or anti-white male. I might go see it in theater again, in a few weeks, when the theater isn’t packed with other people…before Endgame.

Christopher Estrada: “Take a look at my first e-book An Abducted Date. The book is available for free in all e-book formats. So anyone using a Kindle, Ipad, Tablet, Sony Reader, Nook, or Kobo e-reading device can enjoy. Also available as PDF format for reading on a computer! Read and Review!”

Movie Review – Captain Marvel – A Pretty Good Origin Story

Movie Review – Avengers Infinity War – An Unrivaled Marvel Epic

A Slightly More Than Casual Fan’s Reaction to Avenger 4 Trailer 1

Avengers 4 Endgame – First Trailer Review

Why You Need to Care About Carol Danvers – Captain Marvel Facts and Film Updates

brie larson as captain marvel for the mcu
Who is this young woman, and how can she possibly fight Thanos?

Have you noticed the Captain Marvel trailers dropping for the upcoming March 8, 2019 film, set within the (admittedly large and dense) Marvel Cinematic Universe? There’s a lot of speculation on who exactly Ms. Marvel is, how she’s going to fit into the Avengers ongoing storyline, why the movie will be set in the past, and what we need to know before we see the flick. Rest assured, you don’t need to catch up on years of Captain Marvel comic books to follow along — we’ll tell you the few things we think will help get you up to speed.

There are some slight spoilers here, but nothing to fret over if you’ve seen the trailers at all. (Skip this post if you want to be completely in the dark.)

RunPee writer Golden Man, of the Oscar-awards oriented blog Etched In Gold, lists these cool details to help you better understand Carol Danvers (AKA Captain Marvel):

— In the comic books, Carol Danvers was known as Ms. Marvel, until taking over the mantle of Captain Marvel in 2012.

— The movie draws inspiration from the 1970s comic storyline The Kree-Skrull War.

— Skrulls are the villains in the movie. They have the ability to simulate other people (like the old lady on the train in the trailer).

— There are rumors this movie will plant the seeds for a future film based on the 2008 Secret Invasion storyline, where Skrulls impersonated many famous characters from the Marvel universe.

— The movie is set in the late ’90s. This basically makes it a prequel to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

— In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Samuel L. Jackson confirmed we will find out what happened to Nick Fury’s eye in this movie.

— A young Agent Coulson appears in the movie. (That is Clark Gregg taking off his sunglasses in the latest trailer.)

— This movie makes the first time Marvel Studios has used de-aging effects on actors for an entire film (for Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg).

— Lee Pace’s character Ronan the Accuser (who menaced the Guardians of the Galaxy in Volume 1) will reappear in this movie.

— Lashana Lynch plays Maria Rambeaux. In the comics, her daughter Monica also takes on the mantle of Captain Marvel at some point. (She is also known by other superhero names.)

— Captain Marvel is confirmed to be appearing in Avengers: Endgame.

— While a sequel is likely, Marvel is remaining super secretive about Phase Four and no movies have been officially announced beyond Spiderman: Far From Home.

Here’s the first Captain Marvel trailer to get you started. It’s less than two minutes long, but packed with great (albeit lightning-quick) details  — things you’ll understand better after reading our tips:

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops

Avengers 4 Endgame – First Trailer Review

A Slightly More Than Casual Fan’s Reaction to Avenger 4 Trailer 1

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

Movie Review – Guardians Of The Galaxy – The Marvel Movie that Changed Everything


Bio: Golden Man loves comedies, romantic films, superhero movies, and awards bait. He blogs about the Oscar race all year long at Etched In Gold.

A Slightly More Than Casual Fan’s Reaction to Avenger 4 Trailer 1

Christopher Estrada for RunPee
Chris Estrada: RunPee’s Newest Guest Geek

Guest article by Christopher Estrada

WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp, and the trailer for Avengers: End Game. 

Wow… Iron Man’s helmet really looks beaten… Because it was. And he was. Pretty severely when Thanos nearly snuffed out the life of Tony Stark. I didn’t expect Tony to survive that fight. In fact I’d prepared myself for the death of all the original team when going to see Avengers: Infinity War. But then Dr. Strange pulled the craziest rabbit out of Knowhere when he handed over the Time Stone. Thanos spares Tony and steps through a portal to Wakanda, where he snaps and turns half of us to dust. (I was spared by Thanos… [http://www.DidThanosKill.me/])

Back to the present day. We see and hear Tony power on the Iron Man helmet to record a message for Pepper Potts. He’s fairly confident his death is about a day away, drifting through the vacuum of space.

[pullquote]Gosh. Why must we be depressed even more?![/pullquote]

Cut to the Avengers’ base in Upstate New York. Cap, Black Widow, Banner, and Thor are all shown in mourning: which is normal and to be expected. They even show us a kinder, sadder side of Nebula, who lost Gamora, her adopted sister. Strange, considering she tried to kill her several times in both Volumes of  Guardians of the Galaxy.

Bruce stands before displays of Scott Lang (Ant-Man), Shuri, sister of T’Challa (Black Panther), and Peter Parker (Spider-Man). It’s not clear to me why he would be torn over the loss of Scott. As far as we know, they’ve never met. Hulk wasn’t around during Civil War, and Banner likely wasn’t hanging out with a cat burglar before going on the run before the MCU kicked off in 2008. So there is no clear connection between Bruce and Scott. Not even Hank Pym. Bruce only knows that Scott exists from brief remarks between Black Widow and Cap.

Bruce being torn over Spider-Man’s Peter Parker makes a bit of sense. He did get to see Pete in action before he was dragged into space with Tony in Infinity War, though Banner didn’t see Pete go into space. It’s a loose bond, but a bond nonetheless. Tony trusted the kid. Bruce trusts Tony, and by extension, Peter.

Thor is likely beating himself up. We see him sitting all lonesome in a gray hoodie, in a cold-looking room. His head bowed. For a split second it looks like he’s removed the prosthetic eye. But… No… He just opened that eye slower, or delayed. The God of Thunder lost half of his Asgardian refugees when Thanos attacked, seeking the Space Stone lodged inside the Tesseract. Then he lost another half of them in The Snap. So we’re down to 25% of the Asgardians we saw escape from Valhalla in Thor: Ragnarok. We can only hope that Valkyrie, Korg, and Meek are still out there somewhere.

[pullquote position=”right”]Through all of this, Steve and Nat have been talking, voicing over these clips. They’re telling us what we know, and what we felt at the end of Infinity War, and still feel today.[/pullquote]

But what really gets me through all this… is Steve’s hair. It’s perfect. Like, it doesn’t make sense in the context given. He’s depressed, in mourning. His best friend, his allies, have died in front of him. The guy he disagrees with, but respects, is lost in space, and for all Cap knows, turned to dust as well.

Why then is his hair perfectly styled? Did he wake up depressed and decide, “Hey, let me gel my hair and shave the beard before I go and talk about the end of the world with Nat?”

Does this really matter? No. It’s a movie. I get it. But still. It’s out of place to me. I mean…Natasha is another story. Her hair is a bit longer and not styled beyond a quick brushing. It flaps around quite freely. Her hair fits. But his doesn’t.

…Back to what matters…

[pullquote]Finally Nat gives Steve a small pep talk, saying that, “This is gonna work, Steve.” He looks at her and replies that he knows it will. That, “I don’t know what I’m gonna do if it doesn’t.”[/pullquote] The Avengers “A” is shown being reconstructed from dust, followed by the full Avengers title beaming over, and the sub-title, End Game, dusting.

Then Scott Lang (the Ant Man) shows up at the front gate of the compound and asks to be buzzed in.

Wait… What? Wasn’t he lost to the Quantum Realm when Thanos snapped and killed the Pyms and Hope?

Cliffhanger!

Guess we’ll have to wait for the next trailer. Unless Marvel/Disney wants to torture us and not release another trailer. Just make us wait until the movie premieres. I’ll be at an opening night showing. How ‘bout you?

_____________________________________________________________________

Christopher Estrada bio: “Take a look at my first e-book An Abducted Date. The book is available for free in all e-book formats. So anyone using a Kindle, Ipad, Tablet, Sony Reader, Nook, or Kobo e-reading device can enjoy. Also available as PDF format for reading on a computer! Read and Review!”

Avengers 4 Trailer Hints and Rumors

Mark Ruffalo Spoils Avengers 4 Title – Or Does He?

About the End Credits Scenes in Ant Man & The Wasp

Avengers 4 Endgame – First Trailer Review

Movie Review – Captain Marvel – A Pretty Good Origin Story

Avengers 4 Endgame – First Trailer Review

iron man in avengers endgame
Tony Stark, somewhere in the universe.

Oh dear Thor! I’m sitting here sobbing my heart out. I just watched the first (amazing!) trailer for Avengers 4, which finally has a title: Avengers: Endgame. It’s under three minutes long and I’m a mess. Just like I was at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. As soon as it flipped to the title card that dissolved into ASHES, the tears started, and I lost it.

As I’m sure the producers intended.

Damn them, DAMN THEM…okay, I also love them. So it’s complicated. If you’re a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll be leaking from the old tear ducts too.

SPOILERS HERE for Infinity War (has anyone not seen this yet?) and the Avengers 4: Endgame trailer. (Get caught up to Infinity War with only five films.)

Here’s the first Endgame trailer, with only a few spoilers (Ant Man‘s inclusion  should be no surprise, if you paid attention to the end of Ant Man and the Wasp).

But don’t blame me if you get something in your eye while watching this. (Full Trailer Review is below video.)

Alright — let’s get to my notes:

  • I knew Tony had a ship available to him, since the Guardians flew to Titan. But with Rocket and Nebula elsewhere, Tony has to figure out 1. how to fly Star Lord’s ship and 2. how the heck to find Earth. Now it seems he’s out of food and water. Also: oxygen. He gives a last message to — who else? — Pepper Potts, who he didn’t manage to marry before hitching a ride to Titan. I’m confident he’ll work this out — he’s a genius, right? And if he asphyxiates in space, the whole Iron Man arc will implode. He’s the brains, while Cap is the heart. An ignominious death won’t satisfy. And, trust me, fans would get ugly.
  • Nooooo! That dusting logo is killing me. Remember when they did that to the title card during the end credits to Infinity War? All the feels just came rushing back.
  • Thanos’ armor is hanging like a scarecrow, perhaps at Thanos’ farm. It’s a pretty world. I wonder if anyone else is on it. There’s a castle-looking building way up on a mountain in the background.
  • We see someone strolling through fields of thistle flowers (?), brushing them with a big gloved hand. Probably Thanos. I can’t tell if the glove is the Gauntlet. Wasn’t that broken by the Snap? Black Widow voice-overs about how Thanos did what he said he’d do.
  • Cut to a wide shot of the Avenger’s compound.
  • OMG how DARE they show a picture of Peter Parker (presumed dead). TEH FEELS, THEY HAS MEEEEEEE……
  • Anyone catch Shuri on the screen just before Peter? We  know she’s been confirmed alive by the MCU producers, so it seems these are people listed as Missing and not Presumed Dead. You have to catch the right second to see this. Also, we see that Scott Lang (Ant Man) is prominently displayed.
  • Where’s Bruce Banner? Oh, there he is!! I was distracted by the cheap shot with Peter Parker. Banner’s got his hand over his face as he watches the screen of the missing. Specifically when young Peter’s face comes up. I know, Bruce, it hurts.
  • So, next. Where did Thor go? (Maybe he’s in the escape pod with Rocket, searching for Tony Stark? This would work. Also, Thor now controls the Bifrost, so he might be checking on the status of the Nine Realms. Or looking for Valkyrie and Korg. My sense is since he was so prominent in Infinity War, Endgame might feature more of Cap.)
  • Where is Nebula? Why don’t I remember where Nebula is?
  • I assume the producers are withholding Captain Marvel from any of this. Patience! 😉
  • Back to the actual trailer. We’re in the Avengers hangar deck at sunrise/set.
  • And there’s our Thor. He’s looking lost in a hoodie — you can see the bleakness in his eyes. I want to hug everyone.
  • Nebula!!! I should finish this trailer before making some of these comments. She looks like she’s on a spaceship. Maybe with Tony. I still don’t remember where she was at the end of Infinity War. I even wrote an entire article about “those left behind”, but Nebula is not on the list, so they must have shown where she was.
  • Who is the hooded sword guy?? Is that Hawkeye?
  • YES, IT IS HAWKEYE! He’s somewhere in Asia and it looks like Natasha went to find him. Which makes me think his entire family must have been dusted. He looks like a man driven insane by grief. Notice the street in China (?) is completely empty. Maybe, post-Snap, people are afraid to leave their homes. It must be an incredibly dark time across the universe. How nice for Thanos to be so happy with himself at the end of Infinity War.
  • Cap looks at an old photo. I assume Peggy Carter. He’s lost everyone who mattered to him now.
  • Captain America and Black Widow talk about the post-Snap universe. It’s grim. Cap wants to be optimistic, because the alternative is unthinkable. Cap has always been the biggest believer in truth and honor prevailing over evil, so I buy it. Black Widow has more of a cynical view of reality… but you can see she’s trying, for Cap’s sake, to salvage the situation.
  • Cut to the A4 logo, looking like the ashes reforming…but the music swells in a mighty crescendo of minor keys. Not a happy track. It’s game time.
  • Because this is Marvel, we even get an extra scene in the trailer: Ant Man waving and shouting at a security camera in front of the Avengers compound. The old van (containing the Quantum Tunnel) is right behind him. Remember, the Avengers think he’s dead. We end on a fun note of him saying basically, “Hey guys, remember me from that big airport fight? Can I come in?”  Nice. I appreciate a little lightness in this otherwise harrowing trailer.
  • We end on the A from Avengers superimposed on April, when the movie is expected to come out.

Overall, I’m super pleased this upcoming movie seems to have the real stakes we’ve waited 10 — soon 11 — years to pay off. April can’t get here soon enough. I wonder how many times I’ll watch this trailer? RunPee will do an MCU rewatch before Avengers: Endgame, and keep you updated with newly posted rewatch commentary.

Related MCU posts with our predictions: 

10 Ways Ant Man Could Escape the Quantum Realm

Once More, with Ant Man. Why him, and why now?

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

Even more: Read every RunPee article about the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Any Endgame early predictions? Leave your comments below!

 

Video – How Marvel Finally Got Thor Right

Is Thor your favorite Avenger? Did the Ragnarok movie change your feeling towards him as a legitimate character?

This 10 minute video breaks apart the progression of the “Strongest Avenger” and tells us how he went from meh to awesome, becoming the character we most root (Groot for?) for by the time of Infinity War:

Once More, with Ant Man. Why him, and why now?

ant man in the quantum realm
Wait. What? Where did everybody go?

With Ant Man & The Wasp now released on DVD and Blu-Ray, people are struck again with how this movie might tie in with the greater Marvel oeuvre, and wonder anew why the light-weight Ant Man 2 arrived so closely after the heavy ending of Infinity War.

— Spoilers ahead for Avengers Infinity War and Ant Man & The Wasp —

Here’s a roundup of some intriguing articles addressing Ant Man, the Quantum Realm, and some conjecture about how to undo The Snap:

Do you have any thoughts on how things could wrap up for Avengers 4, coming out next summer? At least we’ve got time to puzzle, conjecture, and, yes,  re-watch the 20 previous movies for scraps of clues. Feel free to comment below with your ideas. I promise to respond.

MCU Trailer News: 

First Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops

Avengers 4 Trailer Hints and Rumors

Avengers 4 Trailer Hints and Rumors

avengers 4 movie trailer
Avengers 4 will soon have a name! (The Snap Undone?)

Several people online are reporting in with seeing the as-yet untitled Avengers 4 trailer, which is expected to drop by mid-November.

Here’s the link to the extended observations of the Avengers 4 trailer, possibly titled Avengers: Annihilation. The notes are detailed and sound authentic enough, given the final events of Avengers: Infinity War. Keep in mind some people believe the title will be Avengers: The Last Avenger, a name possibly “spoiled” by Mark Ruffalo, the Hulk himself. (Granted, that’s a somewhat clunky full title, but it makes a good bookend with Captain America: The First Avenger.)

Read that, then come back here for more news from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (The leak is traced from Reddit user vfxgurudontmind, and reposted by Chris Smith on BGR.) 

What else do we know? Well, Frank Grillo who plays Crossbones in the MCU, also has news, confirming that some of Avengers 4 will be told in flashbacks. With The Hollywood Reporter, he announced his dead character goes on to reprise his role. Now that photos are out showing Captain America in his 2102 Avengers-era costume, it seems that at least some of the upcoming film will take place around the events of the Battle of New York.

We’ll report here more as the news comes in.

In the meantime, here’s a bunch of related articles to read on RunPee.com, to get you excited about the next Marvel movies:

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops

How The Avengers Get Off Titan After Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War – Characters Missing in Action, Whereabouts Unknown

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

Mark Ruffalo Spoils Avengers 4 Title – Or Does He?

Mark Ruffalo Sneaks in a Hulk Movie

Tom Holland is an Adorable Bigmouth

 

 

 

How The Avengers Get Off Titan After Infinity War

Oh, Snap!

Be it known — spoilers ahead for Infinity War and Ant Man & the Wasp. 

If you’re up to date with the 20 current Avengers-universe movies, you might recall there are some heroes left behind on Thanos’ home world of Titan, presumably stranded. How will those “left behind” by the dusting get reunited with Earth and the other Avengers?

First, consider who survived The Snap on Titan, and what their options/powers/spaceships are. We have Iron Man, a full Avenger, with a ruined suit and seemingly out of nanobots. Also Nebula lived, who may or may not be considered a Guardian of the Galaxy (and the only other survivor of their group besides Rocket), but crucially, can pilot spaceships.

Considered dead on Titan: Dr. Strange, Star Lord, Drax, Mantis, and — most heartbreakingly — Spider-Man.

[pullquote]For one thing, we don’t know yet how The Snap will be undone (although we assume it will be, for many reasons), or when.[/pullquote] If time re-setting is involved, things could pick up moments after said snap, bringing everyone back quickly. Then it might be a matter of hopping on Star Lord’s new ship, the Benatar, and sailing back to Earth.  It could be just that easy, but the next Spiderman movie is confirmed to be titled Far From Home, which might showcase Peter Parker stranded on Titan for at least some of his second solo film. Which would seriously be poignant and exciting.

If our missing heroes heroes don’t get resurrected right away, then only Stark and Nebula remain on Titan. Do they know where The Benatar (Star-Lord’s ship) is parked? Can either of them fly it? Was it damaged by Thanos during the attack? We’ve seen Nebula pilot other ships, and Stark is a tech genius, so this solution is probably too easy — just build something and fly to where-ever the Avengers re-group.(Guesses: Wakanda, Wong’s NYC Santum Santorium, or the Avengers  compound, all on Earth, the only planet that makes sense post-snap. Or, hey, they could convene on the  X-Men campus, since X-Men is officially a Disney property now.)  However, I’m betting the Benatar won’t be flyable. And we saw that Nebula wrecked her ship, attacking Thanos. So, all easy options are probably moot.

Which simply means the narrative will have to be creative in getting Iron Man home. [pullquote]Tony and Nebula marooned on Titan is an interesting development, and the MCU movie schedule gives fans time to make theories. [/pullquote]Such as:

Who can bring Stark and Nebula back from Titan? 

  1. Posit that Dr. Strange travels through time after he returns, and sends everyone back to the last time they had a working ship. Or to anywhen, say the battle of New York. He’s the only one who knows the end game, the only right choice in 14 million futures. Alternatively, Wong is available for these services, in NYC — if Wong survived the Infinity War.
  2. Or someone like Ant Man (maybe with Bill Foster and Ghost) travels through Time Vortices in the Quantum Realm, and manipulates the time/space continuum — POOF; all fixed.
  3. Captain Marvel, who is said to be the most powerful Avenger by endless internet sources, will take care of it in her movie, in March 2019. I’m actively avoiding internet spoilers, but this seems to be a well-known point. Clearly, Nick Fury placed all his stock in that belief, in the very end.
  4. Thor will travel to Titan via Stormbreaker and the Bifrost, and bring them back.
  5. Rocket will use his space pod to see who is left on Titan, once he figures out where the rest of the Guardians went. The Guardians, and Thor, are his only friends, so he might be motivated to find out who made it out alive.
  6. Pepper Potts will use Tony’s Tech to track him, don one of Stark’s suits (she’s done it before), and find someone to take a ship (or the Bifrost) to Titan and retrieve him. And we know Potts and Happy will be motivated to get Tony back. Maybe she can team up with War Machine, find something from Tony’s workshop full of tech, and make a plan.
  7. Tony and Nebula rescue themselves by building a ship from the parts all around Titan, or repair Nebula’s small ship/the Benatar.
  8. Or our remaining heroes will get an Infinity Stone from the broken Gauntlet, and use it to manipulate space, reality, or time.
  9. The Ravagers, lead by Kraglin, head to Titan. (Maybe he also got Nebula’s message on where the Guardians were going.)
  10. Valkyrie, with Korg, mount a spaceship rescue. We know they weren’t on the Asguardian ship when Thanos arrived. So, if they survived The Snap, they should show up somewhere.

How will anyone know where Stark is? Two real ways exist to get this info:

  1. Tech — Someone will find a way to track Iron Man’s trajectory/ location. Surely there is a Vibranium answer in Wakanda for this. Or the nanobytes from Stark Industries. Or a Pym Particle from the Quantum Realm. There’s lot of high-tech MacGuffins in the MCU.
  2. Magic — Through mediation and astral travels, Wong will find Tony, create a portal, and bring him back. As far as I know, only the Dr. Strange allies use magic. Although if the Asguardians are gods, this might be an avenue for magic too, for whomever is left.

So…there are really two options, ultimately: magic or tech. Either a lot of the next Avengers film will be about a rescue attempt, or things will be resolved quickly, easily, and possibly off-screen. I’d like to see Avengers 4 devote some time to finding and rescuing Stark, but with literally dozens of characters needing facetime in one movie, it’s likely this cliffhanger will be a simple fix.

There just isn’t a lot of time to track down who and what is left in the universe in two hours and still provide a good story. We also have to retrieve Scott Lang (Ant Man) from the Quantum Realm, which necessitates another rescue operation. (We discussed possible ways Ant Man will return here.)


Read:

Who Survived the Infinity War

The Five Movies You Must See To Understand Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers Characters Who Can Lift Thor’s Hammer

Why Ant Man and the Quantum Realm are Necessary for Avengers 4

10 Ways Ant Man Could Escape the Quantum Realm

“Hey guys! Guys? This isn’t funny anymore!”

Spoilers for Infinity War, and of course Ant Man & the Wasp…don’t bother reading if you haven’t seen those two movies. This will all be gibberish to you anyway if you’re not up to date. Onward…

So, that ending in Ant Man 2. It’s nice that Scott Lang finally has a superhero partner, and an ad-hoc family…but with Hank, Hope, and Janet suddenly Snapped away by Thanos, how’s he going to get out of the Quantum Realm? Is he stuck there now, for decades (or possibly forever), just like Janet Van Dyne before Ant Man 1?

Well…doubtful. That’s not how Marvel works. And there’s probably a darn good reason there was a fluffy Ant Man movie right after the seriously universe-changing and dire events of Infinity War. I assume something about the Quantum Realm (the QR) will be crucial to undoing the victims of the Snapocalypse…or why this superhero again, and why now?

Previously, the first Ant Man movie was a light, comedic pallet-cleanser after the serious events of Captain America: Civil War. This could be the same kind of thing going on…but I tend to doubt it’s just that. Ant Man isn’t that big a crowd draw, not after such momentous and box-office pleasing films of late, like Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War. In fact, AM&TW is the only late-phase MCU film to earn the kind of paltry box office amounts we’ve seen since the original Phase One movies (check the Wikipedia). [pullquote]Nobody’s been begging for another Ant Man film.[/pullquote]

At the time, I was also curious why we had to “start over” with such newer origin properties like Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and Black Panther, after taking so much time carefully setting up ensemble-cast driven stories in the main story arc. Especially since Spiderman and Black Panther, as part of Civil War, didn’t even need stand-alone films. Post Infinity War, it all makes sense now. And we’re getting yet ANOTHER origin story movie in Captain Marvel, coming out in March of 2019 (with that Infinity War post credits scene, we can even guess why).

[pullquote position=”right”]It keeps circling back to why Ant Man again, and why now. With half of all life forms now turned to ash, fans have to assume the 4th Avengers film will be about rectifying this catastrophe.[/pullquote]

Dr. Strange saw ONE lifetime in over 14 million that led to our heroes winning. If the QR is vitally important, then so is an Ant Man story. We’ve talked about this before on RunPee.com. It’s also quite possible Scott was protected by the QR from the Snap itself. So — moving on — how will Scott get back?

Here are some reasonable ideas: (Note: lacking evidence otherwise, I’m going to assume anyone we haven’t seen dusted is still around.) (Note the Second: I haven’t consulted any of the comic books, so this is all conjecture based on the 20 MCU films.)

1. Luis. He’s in the front of the van housing the Quantum Tunnel. It might be as easy as him flicking a ‘retrieve’ switch. That would set the cliffhanger to a speedy (if not hugely satisfying) solution, so we can get on with the rest of the Avengers 4 and their immense cast.

2. Luis drives the van to someone else who can help. Bill Foster and/or Ghost know exactly what to do with a Quantum Tunnel. (Plus, using them here would justify the somewhat pointless inclusion of them in a movie already over-packed with characters and plot dynamics.)

3. Scott gets himself out. Option One: he did it before on his own. He can futz with his regulator and “quantum-leap” himself back to normal space/time.

4. Scott gets himself out. Option Two: Janet made an obvious point of mentioning Time Vortices in the QR, and told Scott to avoid them. Why mention these for no good reason, so suddenly at the end of the film? Sounds like a major foreshadowing hint. We have no idea what a time vortex can do, but perhaps they act like wormholes to bring Scott back…although, to when and where is uncertain. This could lead to a time-travel element in Avengers 4.

5. Scott gets himself out. Option Three: Janet’s been in his head for a few years now by the current space/time, but by QR standards, she is likely always still there, essentially possessing him. Either she, or her remnant, or just the ‘quantum memory’ will help him find a way out.

6. Dr. Strange did something — yes, he’s ash. But he’s also a master of the mystic arts and previously Wielder of the Time Stone. Since he is essentially disjointed from normal time, he could be/have been/will be/will have been doing something magically to get Scott back. (Someday we’ll work out the right grammar for time  travel paradoxing.) Perhaps the QR even kept Scott safe during the Snap, and that too was part of the plan.

7. See above, but insert Wong. He’s as skilled as Strange, and guarding the NY temple. He could be asked to help, maybe by Luis. I’m placing a lot on Luis here, aren’t I? Or maybe Wong grasps the situation from his own mystical meditations.

8. Cassie might have a role. It’s nearly impossible to avoid spoilers about future films unless you avoid the entire internet, but I’ll be vague: I’ve heard Scott’s little girl won’t always be so little, and might have a more intense role to play. Plus, she’s a determined and smart young person in her own right.

9. Captain Marvel might just take care of this herself, after getting Nick Fury’s page…

10. The Cosmic stuff. There’s a lot of things in space that could send a message to interstellar travelers like the Guardians/Revengers/Ravagers/Giant Dwarves, etc…or to gods like Thor, or strongly powered unaligned aliens we haven’t met yet, or even randoms like The Collector and The Grandmaster. Or the hinted at with “Adam” from the post-credits Sovereign scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Or even a semi-conscious pull from the Infinity Stones — say, the Soul Stone — to bring “balance to the Force.” [pullquote]Yes, I’m lumping nearly everything weird in this category.[/pullquote]  Call it a ‘catch-all’ option for a wild universe of infinite, interdimensional possibilities.

What theory do you like? Have one of your own?

Read Also: 

The Five Movies You Need to Watch To Understand Infinity War

Every Character Unaccounted For After Infinity War

Every MCU Superhero Category, Ranked

Best to Worst  MCU Movie, Ranked

 

About the End Credits Scenes in Ant Man & The Wasp

First off, it’s a Marvel movie, okay? You simply may not leave your seat until the lights come up. In this case, Ant Man and the Wasp is no different. Make your friends — and even strangers — “hold onto their butts.” (Ten points to Gryffindor if you remember where that quote is from.)

Spoilers for Infinity War and Ant Man & The Wasp ahead!

[pullquote]Some extra scenes/tags/stingers are fluffy fun, some add to the plot, and some hint at what’s to come. Some tease you in a sort of parody way, or just send you off with a little laugh. We’ve got a fine stew of all that in Ant Man 2, the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[/pullquote]

My advice: don’t leave until the bitter end.

As the credits roll, for two minutes we see scenes from Ant Man and the Wasp as miniature models, highlights from the film. There are posed dolls; there are miniatures sets; it’s nice and all. Since this bit of Title Credits begins exactly as the movie ends, we don’t call this kind of thing an extra. It’s neat to see, though, with some good music to enjoy while you wait for the big anticipated mid-credits scene.

Some background first : Ant Man and The Wasp takes place roughly before/during/around the momentous events of Avengers: Infinity War.  Maybe most of their timelime happens during Thor: Ragnarok, which leads directly into Infinity War. 

Seriously awful things happen in the last 20 minutes of IW. I saw it five times in the theater and still bawled like a baby. Peter Parker and Teen Groot destroyed me.

So when I say that I and the audience GASPED out loud in the crucial mid-credits scene of Ant Man 2, I mean it viscerally. It was a gut-punch that surprised us all. It was almost (ALMOST) worse than what happened in Infinity War. This reminder hurt.

[pullquote position=”right”]It’s not like the Ant Man crew are my favorite superheros, and while I’d hoped  this ‘small stakes’ lighthearted film would connect to the larger MCU, I was, by the end of the movie, lulled into a sense of contentment.[/pullquote] By then, I’d totally forgotten about The Snap. As the directors surely planned. When The Snap returned, during the mid-credits, making ash of Hank, Hope and the newly-freed Janet — simultaneously stranding Scott Lang in the Quantum Realm — I actually yelped in the theater. A huge audience “Nooooooo!” showed I wasn’t the only one lulled into complacency.

And that is exactly what the Marvel studios bank on. Light, fun  movie? Check. Awful last minute universe continuity meant to shock the audience — double check.

So, Scott is left alone in the Quantum Realm (to be fair, Luis, Bill Foster or even Ghost could retrieve him, and maybe he was immune to The Snap by being out of space and time…theories abound), but that doesn’t take the power of the moment away when Hope, Hank, and Janet disappear. Mic drop. End scene.

If you wait for the final, post credit extra, you’re treated to a hint of the world status, Post Snap. Streets are empty, while sirens sound in the distance. We pan through Scott’s empty house, in several rooms, see the TV switch over to the Emergency Broadcast System…and finally land on one of Scott’s giant ants playing his drums. Dire as things are, it’s still an Ant Man movie, providing a grace of comic relief, after the brutal reminder of the state of the universe.

The final nail in the coffin swiftly follows, when the screen fades to black and we see the title card: Ant Man and The Wasp Will Return.

Then a beat passes.

And a question mark pops up, to show: “Ant Man and The Wasp Will Return?”

Nice. Ambiguity.

Then lights come up and you’re left feeling like you saw a cutely made, well-done late phase MCU film: a rollicking good time with refreshingly small stakes (sans the very end).

So, now what?

My theory is that people we didn’t see dissolve are still with us. So, Luis is still in the front of the van. Bill Foster and his Ghost ward know how to operate the Quantum Tunnel. Getting Scott out may be a simple affair, and his knowledge of the Quantum Realm might hold the key to undoing Thanos’ damage.

It’s a long wait til 2019’s March release of Captain Marvel and the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4, due later that summer.

[pullquote]I do have a burning question: How did Hank Pym and family not know Earth was under attack by massive waves of alien monsters in Wakanda? You’d think this wouldn’t be the time for starting a risky new quantum experiment. Personally, I’d be glued to the news of world events.[/pullquote]

And for that matter, in Infinity War, how did Nick Fury, of all people, not realize his planet was in a serious state of war? Shouldn’t he be dialed in to everything the Avengers say or do, at all times? Running around panicking in NYC, he seemed strangely out of the loop.

Here’s the Mid Credit Scene from Ant Man and The Wasp, mixed in with the real-time last moment of Avengers: Infinity War. (2.3 minutes long.) You might need a tissue.

Coda. Final Scene:

What do you think happens with Scott, the Quantum Realm, and the Post-World Snap?