The Problem with Superhero Sagas: Why Treating Movies Like Television Is a Bad Idea

by     Posted 135 days ago

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When Marvel Studios started producing its own films with Iron Man in 2008, many in the industry and the public at large were quite sure that they would fail.  Headlines famously accused the comic book company of delving into its “second-tier superheroes” in order to compete with the likes of Batman and Spider-Man at the box office, and few could have predicted just how successful the studio’s new venture would be—or that Iron Man was only the beginning.  The tag at the end of the Iron Man credits introducing Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury kicked off one of the more ambitious feats in recent film history, beginning a series of interconnected movies that featured different lead characters inhabiting the same cinematic universe.  This culminated in the 2012 team-up film The Avengers to the tune of $1.5 billion.  Marvel Studios is now no longer just a production company; it’s a brand.

As with any successful brand, imitators followed.  Other major studios are aiming to mimic Marvel’s success with their own interconnected universes, and just recently Warner Bros. announced release dates for nine untitled DC Comics adaptations that will surely all connect to one another.  However, this new approach to franchise filmmaking—ostensibly treating movies as episodes in a TV series—may actually be robbing us of more creatively satisfying superhero adaptations. 

iron-man-2-robert-downey-jr-samuel-l-jacksonWhile Iron Man was the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the full scope of Marvel’s plans for its upcoming superhero adaptations really started to take shape in Iron Man 2, which is regarded by some as one of the studio’s bigger misfires.  The film was of course the highly anticipated sequel to the surprise hit Iron Man, and while it pulled in a worldwide total of over $620 million, creatively the film was rather unsatisfying.

The principal culprit for the disappointment of Iron Man 2 was the film’s preoccupation with setting up the MCU as a whole, as the seeds for S.H.I.E.L.D. had to be planted, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow needed to be introduced, and a backstory involving Tony Stark’s father, Howard Stark, was meant to tease the past origins of some of the Marvel elements.  Iron Man 2 had trouble standing on its own as a self-contained story due in large part to the fact that Marvel was more concerned with setting up future MCU films.

Though the studio found commercial success again with Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and of course The Avengers, these films also suffered from some of the same constraints that bogged down Iron Man 2 (who can forget the “cut & paste” approach to introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye in Thor?), and the issues continued in its Phase Two set of films.  In effect, as Marvel became more comfortable with how it was building the Marvel Cinematic Universe, its films began looking more and more like TV episodes.

thor-the-dark-world-alan-taylor-chris-hemsworthIn the television landscape, the writer/showrunner is king.  Since the showrunner is the one constant throughout a show’s run, the purpose of the director is to execute what’s on the page in a manner that’s in keeping with the agreed-upon aesthetic and tonal approach of the show.  TV directors must ensure that one episode doesn’t look or feel too different from the others lest they risk breaking the illusion that the show’s characters exist in a single, cohesive, week-to-week TV universe.

This is not dissimilar to how Marvel approaches each of its feature films.  In fact, directors like Alan Taylor and Joss Whedon have been forthcoming about the fact that they were handed very specific story beats, characters, and set pieces that had to be executed in their respective films. Marvel is, in effect, the “showrunner” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, responsible for breaking the story (and possibly even acts) of each of their films before signing a director to execute said vision.  This of course ensures that every Marvel movie has strong connective tissue with the films that precede and follow it, but it also puts creative constraints on the filmmakers.

It’s hard not to think of Edgar Wright and the upcoming Ant-Man when considering Marvel’s increasingly TV-like approach to its films.  Wright signed on to write and direct an adaptation of the Ant-Man in 2006, which was around the time that Jon Favreau was preparing to shoot Iron Man, and thus predated the MCU.  As the filmmaker returned to Marvel last fall in order to start prepping Ant-Man in earnest, creative differences began to arise between Wright and Marvel, which led to Wright departing Ant-Man earlier this year.

edgar-wright-ant-manLooking back at the recent string of Phase Two Marvel films and their inherent sameness, the split between Wright and Marvel almost seems inevitable.  More so than any other Marvel filmmaker thus far, Wright is an auteur.  He has a very specific approach to his films—both visually and structurally—that would have felt out of place in the MCU.  Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man would not have been Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man; it would have been Marvel’s Ant-Man, and bringing in a talent like Wright to essentially “blend in” by shooting an episode in a larger series would have been a waste of his talents.

This is why approaching movies like television is ultimately a bad idea.  Yes, we get to see familiar characters inhabit each other’s films, but the tradeoff is that none of the films are really filmmaker-driven.  Aesthetically, every Marvel movie feels the same.  Yes, you can call The Winter Soldier a “political thriller”, but in the end it just feels like a Marvel movie.  You can call Guardians of the Galaxy a “space opera”, but it too ultimately feels like a Marvel movie (right down to the now-signature climactic aerial battle).  When filmmakers are only allowed to draw within very strict lines, it feels like we’re being denied some truly promising adaptations.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-lee-paceMoreover, when each film leads right into the next, stories doesn’t really end.  Every Marvel movie concludes in the “To Be Continued” style of a two-parter on TV—except in this case it’s an “undetermined-number-parter” that could go on for decades.  There’s a reason that Iron Man, Iron Man 3, and Guardians of the Galaxy are the Marvel movies that feel the most singular—they have the least to do with the rest of the MCU as a whole, and thus are freer to tell a (mostly) standalone story.  One could argue that Guardians of the Galaxy has a lot of James Gunn in it, and while its true that the film’s excellent sense of humor and musical flourishes are in line with Gunn’s sensibilities, from a story and visual perspective the film is still very much in line with the “Marvel Movie” standard.

Now other studios are taking a cue from Marvel and developing their own interconnected universes.  When Warner Bros. announced nine release dates for untitled DC Comics adaptations, it was clear that what they were really announcing was their own DC Cinematic Universe.

We’ve only seen one movie in this series of DC films thus far, Man of Steel, so it’s tough to know exactly how Warner Bros. will be approaching its own universe.  Zack Snyder is directing the second film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as Justice League, so there will be a rather established aesthetic for the DC Universe, but will filmmakers be allowed to express their own styles in other DC films?  Will Wonder Woman and Aquaman have the same gritty yet bombastic aesthetic as Man of Steel and presumably Batman v Superman?

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-ben-affleckMoreover, will these films stand on their own as close-ended stories, or will WB be taking the Marvel approach and treating them as episodes?  Since Warner Bros. seems to be a more director-friendly studio, I’m hoping that they’ll give their filmmakers more freedom when it comes to these DC adaptations, but if they’re really trying to ape what Marvel has done, we could see another TV-like approach to superhero adaptations.  Warner Bros. could be the FX to Marvel’s ABC.

And given how successful Marvel has been thus far, who could blame them?  Look, Marvel deserves respect for sticking with its ambitious plan, but it’s frustrating to see some of their properties being constrained by the inherent sameness that “the plan” requires.  Look no further than Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man as evidence of what kinds of movies we’re being denied.  If a filmmaker has a really great take on a Thor movie or a Captain America movie that doesn’t easily fit within the story and aesthetic constraints of the MCU, it cannot exist.  Instead, what we get are episodes in a larger series that start to feel same-y due to the fact that they all have one showrunner: Marvel.  Again, there’s a reason that “third act aerial battle” has become a frustrating staple of the MCU.  When it’s Marvel Studios that is breaking out the story beats and set pieces instead of a filmmaker with a unique vision for his or her specific film, things start to get familiar.

Marvel isn’t likely to deviate from this plan in the near future, so now all eyes are on Warner Bros. and their DC Universe.  Will we simply see the flip side of the coin—a series of interconnected superhero movies that are po-faced and dour?  Or will the studio allow exciting directors to put their own spin on the material with a unique tone and aesthetic while maintaining loose connective tissue between films?

the-dark-knight-heath-ledgerI understand that comics fans may be loving Marvel’s approach—it’s essentially executing the comics format on a massive scale—but I really think we may be losing some truly inventive and fresh adaptations as a result.  Just think if Warner Bros. had told Christopher Nolan that he had to arc out a series of films when he started Batman Begins.  With The Dark Knight, Nolan tells a singular, mostly close-ended story. He’s not introducing villains as Easter eggs to appear in future movies; he’s not keeping characters alive just so he can use them in other sequels; and he’s not trying to ensure that his film connects to whatever other DC characters might be used at a future date.  As a result, we get one of the best superhero movies of all time.

Approaching films as television drowns out the singularity of each feature.  We’re not only being denied unique, filmmaker-driven takes on properties, but we’re being robbed of complete stories.  In this moviegoing climate dominated by reboots, sequels, and franchises, we’re inundated with movies that are either setting up a trilogy or an overall interconnected franchise.  This denies us the satisfaction of a genuine ending for a lot of these films, which, you know, is kind of an important part of storytelling.  With Marvel unlikely to waver, the onus is now on Warner Bros. to give us movies, not episodes.

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  • Rad

    Sorry but i’ve heard this argument before and it just doesn’t hold water. As long as the end product is good i dont care if Marvel is emulating how TV is made. Are Breaking Bad or The Wire subpar because the directors served the vision of the showrunner/producers? And since we have been enjoying a golden age of television for the past decade i don’t really get the beef with copying the small screen approach. The idea that not having a shared universe would somehow make these movies better is just crazy. You brought up The Dark Knight, but what about Green Lantern or Superman Returns , just because they were standalone didn’t make them good. Marvel have produced decent fun movies again and again, so until they produce something truly as terrible and off centre as Green Lantern or Man of Steel , they will keep getting my money

    • Person

      But the end product with Marvel isn’t always good. As Adam points out, IM2 was a stinker (and for more reasons than just being saddled with setting up the MCU), and Thor 2 was also mostly bland and forgettable. No one is expecting high art from these movies, but there is a sense of complacency setting in and a fear of being “too different.”

      The biggest problem post-Avengers is simply the big plot hole that can never be adequately addressed: now that all these heroes know each other, why can’t they just help each other out in their independent movies? Capt. 2 got around this problem but IM3 was moronic for saying that only Stark could defeat the Mandarin because he’s an American threat (well there’s a CAPTAIN AMERICA), and Thor 2′s end-of-the-world finale could have used some extra help.

      Just to be clear though, I’m not advocating that Marvel/other studios should abandon joint-universe franchises, just saying there are pitfalls. Marvel is getting better with it, let’s just hope DC can learn from Marvel’s mistakes.

      • Rad

        I agree Thor 2 and Iron Man 2 were both pretty bad films, with huge flaws but I don’t think that is linked to been part of shared universe. They just failed on many levels, like Green Lantern failed on many levels. I’m not saying Marvel approach is perfect because there is always a million things that can go wrong with a movie. I’m arguing the point that people who say the problem is the shared universe are just wrong. I’m not saying its a full proof approach, where nothing can go wrong, but I don’t think its detremental. Iron Man 3, Cap 2 and Guardians have all been really good films. Thor 2, Iron Man 2 and Hulk weren’t. What made those films not work was choices the filmmakers made, with unengaging storylines and stale direction. Not the fact that they had to work around the Marvel universe.

        The whole plot whole thing of heroes not calling other heroes is just a comic book trope I’m afraid you just have to live with. I remember the first time it reared its head for me when in the comics Bane broke Batman’s back and took over Gotham. Batman could have called his best pal Superman to fly over and flick Bane into prison but didn’t cause it would kill the story. Just something you have to accept I’m afraid. Like why the villains never kill James Bond.

      • Grayden

        To be fair, Bond’s villains attempt to kill him all the time. It’s a credit to his mythic stature that he always escapes. He survives, though not for a lack of trying on the villain’s part. He’s the ultimate spy.

      • JayF

        ^^^ this. SPECTRE was in a good portion of the movies with different villains. Great point.

      • Agent777

        It’s also a series of novels. Bond is often truly beat up and mutilated in the books, so the films change that to make it more marketable and less gruesome.

        SPECTRE is used in the films to cover villain in the books who were Russian and worked for SMERSH… so that the films could be marketed to Russia.

        These two changes are mainly responsible for the criticism the series gets today, so these decisions studios make are worth discussing, because historically they do affect the series in the long term (and short term).

      • John Locke

        I loved Thor 2 and Iron Man 2.

      • JudgeMethos

        I liked Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 2. Sorry apparently some others didn’t. Haven’t been disappointed with any current Marvel films yet. They’ve all done their jobs.

      • Luke Grissom

        Thank you! Some might be better than others but all have been great. Have to say guardians overtook the Avengers as my favorite though. Just barely but it did.

      • To Be Continued

        I honestly wouldn’t call Thor 2 and Iron Man 2 “pretty bad”. Below average for Marvel Studios? Sure, but there’s still good things in those films.

      • dudu

        We’re just speaking relatively. They don’t exactly hold a candle to the solid MCU films. Marvel hasn’t really made a bad movie.

      • Person

        I disagree, Iron Man 2 really is a bad movie.

        The script introduces a potentially fascinating character study of Tony Stark having to deal with his own mortality, but sidelines it so we can gt introduced to SHIELD and Black Widow. It creates an awesome father/son dynamic between Tony/Howard and Whiplash/his father, then sandbags it so we can spend time with Nick Fury. It also introduces the ridiculously annoying trope of how everyone can just slip into an Iron Man suit and fly it like a pro, but it took Tony Stark himself an entire movie to figure out how to fly the damn thing.

        It’s just a stupid movie with one decent action scene, a few good one-liners (the “doing a spread” bit kills me), and a great performance from Sam Rockwell. I’ve seen it three times (including with Favreau’s commentary) and it’s just a mess of a movie. Would love to see Favreau re-assemble his desired cut but it won’t happen.

      • To Be Continued

        I honestly wouldn’t call Thor 2 and Iron Man 2 “pretty bad”. Below average for Marvel Studios? Sure, but there’s still good things in those films.

      • nym

        calling thor 2 a pretty bad movie is not fair. It was obvious that writers watched a lot of game of thrones before writing the script(killing frigga, choppin thor’s hand etc) but they did a good job on narrating the story.

      • RedMercury

        IM3 was moronic for saying that only Stark could defeat the Mandarin because he’s an American threat (well there’s a CAPTAIN AMERICA), and Thor 2′s end-of-the-world finale could have used some extra help.

        Not this again.

        The thing in London with Thor? Uh…if Cap hopped in an SR-71 Blackbird as soon as the word went out and he flew at top speed from Washington, DC, he’d still take an hour-and-a-half to get there! If Tony Stark was lounging in Malibu, it’d be more like two hours! Not nearly enough time.

        Captain America works for SHIELD. SHIELD is an international organization–or did you not notice the people in charge spoke with funny accents in Cap 2? Thus, SHIELD is precluded from being involved. If the President were missing, would we immediately call on the UN? Heck no! We’d have the Secret Service trying to figure this out.

        Okay, okay, so Captain America would go all lone-wolf to save the President and ignore this whole jurisdictional thing. Where would he start? Where does he get his intel from so he can figure this whole thing out from scratch, hmm? Maybe he’d call Tony Stark–oh wait! Tony Stark is dead! The Mandarin blew up his house in Malibu! For that matter, Air Force One blew up! Nobody knows what happened to the President! Nobody really knows what happened to Air Force One, either. You have the 13 people who Iron Man saved from the tail section, but they don’t know what happened to the President. They were locked in the tail section. For all they know, the President was aboard when Air Force One blew up.

        That said, there are some interesting angles involved–not with SHIELD, but with the US Air Force. They get the report of temperature spikes and such aboard Air Force One. They look with their satellite and see the plane flying one way and Iron Patriot heading off the other way. And they don’t keep an eye on Iron Patriot? Maybe–after all, they’re supposed to keep an eye on Air Force One. So maybe they lost him. And since AIM was responsible for the Iron Patriot rebranding, I would assume they know how to turn off any tracking systems in the armor so when they looked for him later, he was gone.

        I would imagine that Rhodey might be in a bit of hot water for not calling in the calvary, though he and Tony did make a report to the Vice President–it’s not his fault that the VP was in on it and ignored their report.

        Finally, lets take a look at the people involved. Tony Stark is definitely not a team player, so I doubt he’d be calling in Cap. Besides, Tony’s out to save Pepper. If he can save the President, too, great. Rhodey’s the one tasked with saving the President. I doubt Cap is on Rhodey’s speed-dial.

        While Cap might be a team player, I doubt he’d call in Tony Stark because Nick Fury told him to trust no one and he has good reason not to trust Stark, who supplied the new equipment for the helicarriers.

        So let’s put this whole “Where were the other superheroes” thing to rest. There are perfectly reasonable explanations for why Cap or Iron Man didn’t show up in Thor, why Iron Man didn’t show up in Cap or why Cap didn’t show up in Iron Man.

      • Person

        Iron Man is shown several times flying from California to the Middle East and back, and the amount of time that ever takes him is never really addressed.

        My problem is not so much that it doesn’t happen, but that it isn’t explained. I’m not saying that every little thing in a movie needs to be explained, but there needs to be some kind of attention paid to the fact that these people now have friends who can help them out, but don’t ever call on them (and I know the reasoning of “but putting all these actors together would cost a fortune,” but I’m talking about a creatively reasoning within the movies).

        And Captain AMERICA could easily have pitched in during IM3. SHIELD may be international but it’s based in the US and international does include the US. At the very least, I’m sure Banner could have made an appearance as a personal favor (making that movie’s post-credit scene such an annoying slap-in-the-face).

        To Rad’s point: I know this happens in the comics, it just has to be accepted. I just think it should be addressed.

      • RedMercury

        Iron Man is shown several times flying from California to the Middle East and back, and the amount of time that ever takes him is never really addressed.

        True. On the other hand, flying from California to London in, let’s say, 15 minutes in order to be useful, means traveling somewhere in the realm of 20,000 MPH. Heck, even New York to London in 15 minutes is around 13,000 MPH. That’s orbital re-entry speeds. Tony’s going to need a heat-shield-type suit for that (and, as we saw in IM3, extreme heat seems to be an achille’s heel of his).

        Also, as established in Agents of SHIELD, SHIELD doesn’t get to go into a country unless they are invited. So I’m sure SHIELD watches everything (After all, in IM3, Tony gleaned information from FBI, CIA, and SHIELD databases). And, again, SHIELD would have needed to get a call from Tony–the guy who does not play well with others–to help him rescue his girlfriend. Like I said, Rhodey was the one who should have called in the calvary. I’m surprised that, half-way through the battle, you didn’t see a bunch of helicopters with US Military troops show up.

        That said, I wouldn’t mind a throw-away-type line. One of the things that the comic books sometimes do is you’ll see Spiderman try to contact the Avengers, only to discover they aren’t available. And you’ll see a footnote inside the panel saying, “Check out Avenger #329 to see where they are!”

        When you think about it, there isn’t really an issue. But, I somewhat agree that it might be nice to throw one reference in there just to quiet people down…

        Nick Fury: Trust…no one.
        Cap: What about Tony?
        Nick: NO ONE!
        Cap: Okay, okay…

      • Ozweego

        Neeeerrrrrddddd!
        *in Homer Simpson voice

      • Petrovski

        Dude..you have a brain..think for yourself..they’re not gonna to spoon feed you every step of the way..

        If you want these movies to continue you’re just going to have to suspend your disbelief and enjoy the movie..If you can’t, well then that’s your own problem..You’d be one of the minority..

      • Person

        Most of them are perfectly fine and enjoyable, but a couple of them have problems. God forbid I should voice those concerns.

      • TigerFIST

        Captain America didn’t help in Im3 b/c he was working for shield at the time. And shield does not interfere with government issues

      • Person

        I’ve seen every Marvel movie (not the TV show though) and I didn’t know about SHIELD staying out of government issues. I don’t really believe that, but It wouldn’t have killed them to include a line explaining it anyway.

      • TigerFIST

        They did in cap 2

      • Person

        IM3 was before Capt. 2, I was talking about explaining it in IM3. When there’s a superhero built around defending America who is suddenly completely absent when there’s an American threat, it makes the whole brand look stupid. Not to mention that it also devalues Captain America as a character by making it look like he can’t/won’t defend his country just because his bosses say “nope, not our problem.”

      • Jason Wright

        But Captain America in the films is never presented as a free agent who has the ability to just go anywhere anytime he wants. He’s presented as a soldier. It’s not that he’s a bad guy. And I don’t think it devalues him at all.

      • Person

        True, he’s a soldier, but there are a few instances of him going rogue when he believes it’s the right thing to do. Off the top of my head, when he decides to save Bucky in the middle of the first Capt.

      • Let’s Be Clear Here

        IM3 is an even bigger stinker than IM2.

      • doc

        It’s the same plot hole that exists in the comics but nobody seems to care there. Why is it such a big deal because it’s a movie? So are you saying you would rather have every marvel movie be an Avengers movie? That would get stale pretty quick.

      • Person

        All I’m saying is that by ignoring this, it makes the movies just a little dumb. I know not every superhero can/should be in all the movies, but it should be addressed. People don’t seem to understand that.

      • doc

        They understand it, they just don’t care.

      • Person

        All I’m saying is that by ignoring this, it makes the movies just a little dumb. I know not every superhero can/should be in all the movies, but it should be addressed. People don’t seem to understand that.

    • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

      To your examples of The Wire and Breaking Bad, those were operating at a much higher, more demanding level AND they have style. I enjoy Marvel movies, but none of them look as good as “Ozymandias”, an episode with a fraction of a Marvel movie’s budget.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        Fair point. At the same time, Breaking Bad is one of the most acclaimed shows of all time and that is one of the most praised episodes of the series. Saying Marvel movies don’t look as a good as the one of the best episodes of one of the best TV shoes doesn’t seem like a big complaint. For all we get with a joined universe, I’m ok with the movies not looking as good as Ozymandias.

      • Django9000

        The plain & simple argument for all of this is that movies allow for budgets that can finally realize these wildly imaginative Comic based yarns ( & Sci fi, & young adult serial or novel stories).

        If TV could afford a Marvel or DC scale vision that looked like Weta & every EFX pro on Earth put their best effort into it, DUNE the series would be worshipped as high art and agents of SHIELD would feature guest shots by the Hulk, no question. And we’d still project those tv episodes on big screens to get all the details.

        TV and movies are both changed, irreversibly. Both their systems imploded, & what’s been working since their studios systems died circa 2006 are these new serialized tie in narratives. Should small indie one offs like District 9, Monsters, and unique visions still Sundance their way into movie houses? Of course. But there wouldn’t be a studio system to support their ventures after Universal, United Artists, New Line & hosts of others went bankrupt.

        Will the Avengers pave the way for smaller street level & dramatic fare? Already on the march w Daredevil & Heroes for Hire. Does that mean there’s no room for Orange is the New Black or even Juno, Little Miss Sunshine or ___fill in the blank romantic comedy/drama/period piece biopic/thriller__ ? Of course not.

        It just means we’ve found a way to convince as many people as imaginable to see movies when they actually come out, instead of downloading them, & multiple times, on multiple formats, to boot!

        Will the new March to Aug. Blockbuster season spell the end of Hollywood and movies as we know it? Who knows. But at least people are paying to see movies, & studios, actors & directors & producers are launching vastly successful new careers as a result. :)

      • Colin

        The Wire is one of the most realistic series of fictional TV ever created. Breaking Bad has a striking visual style (New Mexico desert landscapes, methamphetamine cooking montages, time lapse photography, blood on lenses, dim interior lighting of the White residence, POV shots, etc.) and is as realistic of a crime drama that we are going to get about a high school chemistry teacher-turned methamphetamine kingpin. Both of these shows are indubitably serious and are considered by many to be two of the greatest TV series ever created.

        Marvel movies, on the other hand, are just enjoyable pop entertainment (but who am I to say; let time be the teller of critical worth): adaptations of many elements from comic books to the screen, including notions of continuity and cross-overs. It goes without saying the basis for these movies are the fantastical elements of the superheroes’ narratives, not necessarily verisimilitude.

        While both Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor had “world-building” elements in the MCU, I don’t necessarily think this notion of setting up content for future films detracted from the cinematic experience. And both certainly had a keen sense of style, evoking the pulpy 1940s and the regal Asgard that many would glean their eyes at. A lot would definitely say the movies are entertaining; fewer would probably say any Marvel movie pushes the boundaries of the genre (In my opinion, The Dark Knight is the only benchmark for the superhero/comic book genre and even then, the movie has notable flaws, but I feel many of the 18-34 demographic might think that as well).

        I felt part of the reason why “Ozymandias,” arguably one of the best episodes of Breaking Bad, had a distinctive style, was not because of the technical quality of the production, but the strength of the script and direction (the firemen playing chess with a lone corned white king; unequivocally, dramatically different phone calls at the beginning and end of the episode, etc.). In this sense, there is a point that perhaps every Marvel movie’s script and direction, with consideration to how each aligns in the MCU, is not as singular.

      • dudu

        Ozymandias was as good as it did because of the build of and character development that took place of the previous 4 seasons. That being said, Breaking Bad is one of the best quality per dollar production in recent history, an incredible collaboration.

      • Rad

        In terms of distinct direction I wouldn’t say Iron Man 3 was lacking in style and a distinctive voice. It was a joy to watch Shane Black bring some of that old school ‘Lethal Weapon’, ‘Last Boy Sccout’ and ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ flavour to a super hero movie. This idea that all the Marvel movies are bland similar looking films is a falsity. Even sequels like Cap 2 and Thor 2 changed their styles up.
        The examples of Wire and Breaking Bad wern’t meant to be so specific, just take any well run TV show, like say Firefly, and that can have brilliant episodes and average ones, and still maintain a consistent tone. What I’m saying is its up to the writers, directors and actors to work within that frame work and elevate the material. The fact that there is a frame work should not mean there is a problem preventing the work from achieving greatness.

    • theinkisdry

      The bottom line is that all of these Marvel films have been mediocre. They generally have an interesting 1st and 2nd act and then they fall into the generic kill the bad guy 3rd act which forces the bad guys into a position which makes them obviously bad. With their generic propulsion into the stereotypical bad guy stature it makes the film black and white and takes all thought from the narrative. Sky Fall and Star Trek into darkness suffers from the same issues-

      Its partially a product of there being a Marvel Universe and thus creating a need to be able to connect certain dots. I agree with Adam- He has been dead wrong in the past (specifically about his stance that the Star Wars Expanded Universe being dead, a real low point for this site actually), but here he poses the truth in that Marvel has a road map that they are forcing themselves and their chosen directors to follow and it ultimately makes for mediocre movies.

      • dudu

        Marvel only makes 2 movies a year so the simplicity of their plots doesn’t bother me. I don’t think they need to make a thought provoking movie to keep doing what they are. I’m fine with having plain old fun at the movies a couple times a year. I’ll let someone else make the smart movies. I can’t wait for Interstellar. It’s sad that I’ll never experience Inception for the first time again.

      • theinkisdry

        as much as I want to agree with you that Inception is some intellectual powerhouse- I simply can’t – Its great popcorn fun that is anything but mediocre, but Nolan isn’t even in the same ballpark when it comes to crafting films of a Kubrickian nature.

        I love Inception for what it is- but there isn’t much more to it than what is presented on screen- To me Inception is the plain old fun at the movies and the MCU is several shades below- Its not fun to me personally when it feels like I have seen the movie before because they build it on a template- Obviously it is working for Disney and Marvel- Kudus to them; but it isn’t my thing-

        Days of Future Past to me was also plain old fun- while some of the story elements weren’t entirely fresh- it was a blast-

    • lord jim

      Breaking Bad or The Wire don´t have origin story after origin story with lame villains, boring climaxes, bad scripts and mediocre style without any imagination.The Marvel Studios movies are completely tame, uncreative and forgettable compared to the comics, and the main reason for that is the freedom and individual voices the comicbook artists had, and guess what – it still worked as one universe.The movies are just boring, lazy mediocre products with no balls – no risk no fun.I still watched them because I loved the comics, and The Avengers was at least truly entertaining, and I haven´t seen the Guardians yet, but right now they don´t reach a candle to Nolan, Burton, Donner or even Brian Singer.

      • dudu

        Go see GotG before saying MCU is uncreative. They aren’t going for creative most of the time. They want mass appeal, consistency, and entertainment.

      • the king of comedy

        I disagree, I love comic books but superhero comic books have lost my interest because they have no risk, no coherence with one another, precisely because they are written by many different authors, they keep trying to be groundbrealking and shocking by killing major characters, but guess what they are back every single time, nothing has an impact, it`s just a long story with no end and no coherence, personalities, apperances, and things that have happened before (or in previous comic books) are changed constantly, there are just way too many stories for this characters and they will still be written when we`re dead, you just can`t buy it anymore that all this endless stories happen to these characters (and somehow nothing has an impact). For this reasson I much rather read Watchmen, The Walking Dead, Hellblazer and yeah I can read some individual superhero comic books and take them for their own such as The Dark Knight Returns. I think that the aproach they are taking for the marvel movies is great, I think they captured the personalities of their characters and it`s refresing to see this universe expand in different movies (in wich things that happen actually have an impact), something that has never been done before in movie history, I`m not sure what do you mean by not having balls, what would you like to see in this movies that`s so groundbreaking in the comics? They stablisehd great characters, tragic events happened, their relationship and individual personalities are great and loyal to the source material, the story is actually moving forward building carefully the ultimate battle agains Thanos, hence the story has a begginign and an end, instead of endless comics that reach nowhere.

  • Captain

    I agree but i think that captain america 2 is a great movie on his own. It is not a tv episode by any mean is a full cinematic experience and one of the best action movie from the last years. The climax was a little dissapointing but still is good. Iron Man 3 also is a unique movie i like that one too. Guardians of the galaxy for me is different but because is bad is almost a kid movie. Everyone is screaming their lines and making jokes all the time. Now that i think it was like a community episode. About the other ones i think that marvel find somekind of formula to make a movie for each hero and to be relevant. No one want to miss an episode for their favourite show. Sorry for my english

    • Captain

      DC otherwise it is not doing it well. You cant make a movie about batman vs superman and then put aquaman, wonderman and cyborg. Because when the justice league movie arrives no one is going to be that interested. We already saw them alltogether. And if batman vs superman isnt that good or some of the superheroes/heroines doesnt work … they are going to put that nine movies on their ass. Sorry for my english again. When you see a marvel movie you know it will be at least a decent flick but they earn that

      • Nathaniel Haywood

        Guardians of the Galaxy was going for that tone because that’s very much the tone of the comic. So it was a conscious choice to mix it up and not have it be as serious as Captain America 2.

        I think that the Batman vs. Superman movie is really supposed to be the introduction of the Justice League. It’s setting up the foundation of a world where all these heroes exist – thus the inclusion of all the Justice League characters. If they do it right, there will absolutely be interest in the Justice League movie because people will want to see the characters in action together as an actual team. But that’s only if they do it right, which they may not

      • Captain

        I dont think like that maybe because i prefer solo movies. For me the only way to make a movie about the justice league whick work is a la marvel. Every character having their movie and being develope in his own film so when the justice league arrives we dont need any introduction for the characters. But DC is going to safe zone here. They know that everybody is going to see batman vs superman. Even if it is the worst movie ever it will be box office super mega hit. So knowing that they put every heroe that they have so they can guarantee somekind of continuation. Go to see Aquaman the heroe who appears in the supermegahit Batman vs Superman. For me it will be a disaster. There is no way they can do a good batman vs superman ( With aquaman WW) movie when they didnt do a good superman movie in the first place.

      • Christopher Sims

        You have to also consider one of the criticisms of the Marvel solo movies after The Avengers, where are they? Why would there be a direct threat to the president of the US in Iron Man 3 and Captain America does not stop by to help? Why would there be an event that threatens the fabric of the universe, the convergence and the ether, and there wasn’t another Avenger in sight? Iron Man could have popped over to London to help a bit.

        Batman v Superman could be that, a film with 2 characters, but with a global threat that also involves other heroes albeit in a minor role.

  • Nathaniel Haywood

    I agree and disagree with some points here. I do think that the current setup of the MCU places constraints on the characters (hard to argue against that). But I don’t think it’s necessarily a terrible thing. For example, the Dark Knight Trilogy example is all wrong. Nolan did conceive of that as a trilogy, and each of those films specifically builds on what happened in the previous one. In Batman Begins, Lt. Gordon even brings up the Joker and Batman says he’ll look into it – a direct reference to the next movie. In Dark Knight Rises, the movie goes so far as to use actuall footage from Batman Begins. Yet that trilogy is amazing. Also, the shared universe and storylines connected through multiple films is the strongest aspect of the comic book movie. I don’t know if I’d really want all standalone films where no characters interact and where a Thor 1 film has nothing to do with a Thor 2. Comics are made to be interconnected. That way you can see Captain America’s character growth in Cap1 continue and evolve in Cap2 instead of starting all over again. Plus, from a business standpoint, it makes way more sense to build on the success instead of starting fresh every time and incurring unnecessary risk. When the current MCU runs its course, it can just be rebooted with a new approach – which is what happens in comics. In terms of the TV setup, cable and premium TV series have become the best type of TV, often surpassing films in terms of quality. So I’m okay with it.

    • GrimReaper07

      “In Batman Begins, Lt. Gordon even brings up the Joker and Batman says he’ll look into it – a direct reference to the next movie. In Dark Knight Rises, the movie goes so far as to use actuall footage from Batman Begins”

      This is in no way similar to what Marvel’s doing though. Their movies all feel like fairly inconsequential side stories until we get to the next big thing: Avengers. It’s one thing to give a tiny hint about what might come next and its another one entirely to make a movie as sort of an advertisement for the next. Not saying Marvel’s movies are bad, cause they aren’t. GotG in particular was really good because it worked as a self-contained story (similar to what the Batman trilogy did with its movies). It’s fun but it also has its flaws (it’s Marvel’s 4th aerial battle more or less). Captain America was decent but it felt and looked really similar to the other Marvel movies (and yet again, another aerial battle).

      No one’s saying it doesn’t make sense from a business stand point. We’re exclusively talking about quality. I’m not saying they should abandon the MCU, but I do think they should allow more room for the writers and the directors to have a voice. Look at the Harry Potter franchise. They’ve had different directors with wildly different styles and it still worked out perfectly continuity-wise. Not only that, but it was exciting to see how the next movie would look and feel (until they focused on Yates, who still did a good job).

      • Christopher Sims

        First, before the Avengers, the movies did not feel like they were setting up the next big thing, especially Iron Man, because the first big thing was not made yet. Second, I believe you contradicted yourself. The Harry Potter franchise puts way more constraints on it’s filmmakers because not only could they not stray too far from a certain tone, they had to use the same cast and characters. At least in the Marvel universe there are multiple characters that have different tones and different genres even.

      • GrimReaper07

        ? The great thing about the Harry Potter franchise is how much the tone changed throughout the series. Look at movies 2 through 5 and tell me two of those movies that have a similar tone, atmosphere or visual style.

        The first Iron Man didn’t suffer from that Marvel syndrome, but Iron Man 2, Thor, Thor 2, Iron Man 3 and Captain America did and they were worse because of it.

      • GrimReaper07

        ? The great thing about the Harry Potter franchise is how much the tone changed throughout the series. Look at movies 2 through 5 and tell me two of those movies that have a similar tone, atmosphere or visual style.

        The first Iron Man didn’t suffer from that Marvel syndrome, but Iron Man 2, Thor, Thor 2, Iron Man 3 and Captain America did and they were worse because of it.

      • Christopher Sims

        I have looked at them, a lot. They all feel like Harry to me. They fit, they are connected. Yes, they may seem different but that is just because the cast is growing up on screen, thus why the last few movies were not that different at all. After Azkaban they all felt pretty similar, because the stars made the jump from pre-teen to young adult…However, tell me Captain America: the First Avenger and Captain America: the Winter Soldier are not tonally different, one is a period piece, a coming of age(power) story, a War story to a story that is a political commentary that had more of an espionage feel, with having Black Widow and S.H.I.E.L.D. more involved. The same reason the early Harry films feel different from the latter, can be said for Cap.

        Thor 2 didn’t even have S.H.I.E.L.D. in it, which is the common thread between the films. The First Avenger didn’t really feel in the same as the others. Iron Man 3 was solely about a man with PTSD about the Avengers team up, which could have some subtext about the movies trying to interconnect, and was solely about a man finding his identity and throwing away the past. At the end of that movie Tony doesn’t even have the arc reactor in his chest anymore and no suits. Iron Man 3 felt like a Shane Black movie, and was more of a merge of Robert Downey from Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and Iron Man than anything.

      • GrimReaper07

        I’m not saying that it’s my opinion that the Harry Potter films look completely different. I don’t mean to be an a-hole but that’s a fact.

        The fifth through eight movies look similar not because of the cast, but because they were directed by the same person. Other than that every one of those movies looked and felt differently despite the fact that they happened in the same physical space. The art style and cinematography was wildly different and the change between directors showed.

        I disagree that Marvel movies look and feel differently. Sure, Cap 1 and Cap 2 can be considered to be in two “different genres”. But honestly, they both feel like Marvel movies with a small “world war” and “spy thriller” twist to them. I use the word Marvel as a genre because that’s what they’ve become. All Marvel movies have the same sense of humor and the same look and feel to them. Iron Man 3 felt like a Marvel movie with some Shane Black dialogue here and there (that wasn’t even that different from what we’d seen in the first two and The Avengers). These movies don’t feel like films made by a particular director but by a studio, which they are.

        Thor 2 in particular is complete filler. If that movie hadn’t released we wouldn’t be missing anything story wise. In that way it sustains itself (unfortunately its one of Marvel’s worst movies). However its also very reliant on things that have happened before. It neither pushes his story forward nor is independent from what came before. It feels like a minor story in the character’s life .

        None of this matters now because I’ve just found out Robin Williams has died. The tears don’t stop coming.

      • Christopher Sims

        I have looked at them, a lot. They all feel like Harry to me. They fit, they are connected. Yes, they may seem different but that is just because the cast is growing up on screen, thus why the last few movies were not that different at all. After Azkaban they all felt pretty similar, because the stars made the jump from pre-teen to young adult…However, tell me Captain America: the First Avenger and Captain America: the Winter Soldier are not tonally different, one is a period piece, a coming of age(power) story, a War story to a story that is a political commentary that had more of an espionage feel, with having Black Widow and S.H.I.E.L.D. more involved. The same reason the early Harry films feel different from the latter, can be said for Cap.

        Thor 2 didn’t even have S.H.I.E.L.D. in it, which is the common thread between the films. The First Avenger didn’t really feel in the same as the others. Iron Man 3 was solely about a man with PTSD about the Avengers team up, which could have some subtext about the movies trying to interconnect, and was solely about a man finding his identity and throwing away the past. At the end of that movie Tony doesn’t even have the arc reactor in his chest anymore and no suits. Iron Man 3 felt like a Shane Black movie, and was more of a merge of Robert Downey from Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and Iron Man than anything.

    • Adam Chitwood

      Nolan actually admitted that he never thought of his Batman films as a trilogy, saying he put everything he had into each film. The Joker tease wasn’t meant to set up a sequel, Nolan said he just wanted to have audiences leaving the theater with a feeling of excitement. It’s fitting that TDKR, the film that feels the most “connected”, is the weakest of the three.

      I agree that the interconnected nature of Marvel’s films can be cool, and I’m not arguing to lose any and all connective tissue between the movies, but I would like to more distinction between each film.

      The Harry Potter franchise is a solid example of this. The same characters inhabit each film, but each director brings something wholly different to the series. The tone varies wildly depending on what’s best for the story—think the jump between HP2 and HP3 when it goes from Columbus to Cuaron.

      • Redemption

        I know what you mean regarding Harry Potter, but I think that is a much different situation than Marvels movies. Harry Potter covers the same characters, in the same sets, and the general story outlines are similar. There wasn’t consistency with Harry Potter because they couldn’t use a set from 2001 in a 2011 movie, it wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing anymore. With Harry Potter, the only director I would consider a unique talent with his own vision was Cuaron. The rest were not all that different from the Marvel “yes-men” directors.

        You make a solid point about directors losing their creative decisions. However, I don’t think Marvel will ever make a film on par with The Dark Knight, more-so because they don’t aim that high. It is true that they won’t sign a director of Nolan’s skill (who demands creative control). Still, the Marvel material isn’t meant for dark stories like TDK Trilogy. Iron Man, The Avengers, and Guardians are great movies and very entertaining, but they don’t transcend the genre in the way Nolan did. It’s still nice to have consistency between all of the movies though, so I don’t have a big problem with what Marvel is doing.

      • GrimReaper07

        Dude you’re crazy. Each director brought a completely different vibe to each HP movie. They could have copied the sets if they aimed to be that consistent.

      • GrimReaper07

        Dude you’re crazy. Each director brought a completely different vibe to each HP movie. They could have copied the sets if they aimed to be that consistent.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        If you’re not arguing against a connect universe, why not write the article that way?

      • Eskay

        For my part, TNKR was the best of the three Batman movies.

      • TJ

        TDKR was a movie that had Batman in it instead of a movie about Batman. Disagree.

      • supersatanic

        What the difference between both of those things??

      • Christopher Sims

        So was the Dark Knight, it was a Joker movie that had Batman in it.

      • Nathaniel Haywood

        I see your point – I think your point is what I was thinking. Allowing for the connective tissue while still being individual films. It is very much that way in the comics (reading the current run of Elektra, for example, is a completely different experience than reading Avengers even though they take place in the same universe. Even the different Avengers titles have different styles). I never thought about the aerial battle plot point until you mentioned it, but it is in virtually all of the films. A little diversity would be nice.

      • Christopher Sims

        How is it that Harry Potter, a franchise that has wholly the same exact cast for over 8 films, whose genre is fantasy and magic each time, whose source material is a book series centering around one character, can have a more distinct tone from film to film than the Marvel universe that not only has different characters, but some of those characters inhabit a world that is literally light years away from others? How does that make any sense? Comparing it to the DC universe is one thing, if you consider the Dark Knight Trilogy one thing and incorporate Green Lantern and all that foolishness, but to compare it to Harry Potter is a fallacy. That’s like saying every scene is a particular film is tonally distinct.

  • zonver

    theres is definitely some truth there… especially the marvel movies lack tension because no freakin characters life is at stake..

    also this subject was kinda was touched upon in some interview on youtube where they had joss via satellite and some fan asked “well joss, what can DC learn from marvel” (to the effect that every marvel fan in the audience cheered…)

    first: how ignorant can someone be to think thats the only way to make these movies.. and joss rightly said “nothing, i wouldnt wanna miss what nolan did with batman”

  • El Alto

    I’m not sure of the reason behind this editorial.

    • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

      Because discussion is good. If that baffles you, then don’t participate in it.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        Then why was it written and titled like click bait?

        The last two Marvel films have had over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Guardians of the Galaxy OBVIOUSLY is not the same as other Marvel films. If one didn’t know better and just read the article, you’d think Marvel is producing very average films. In reality they are mass producing a few average and lots of VERY GOOD films. Yes they share a tone and feel. That’s called a BRAND. They have a very solid FILM brand. PERIOD.

        To suggest Marvel films don’t have an actual END is dubious. They clearly have self-contained stories which come to a conclusion.

        OBVIOUSLY there are weaknesses to this method of filmmaking. But the benefits FAR out way the negatives and the success of Guardians of the Galaxy prove that. To suggest what they’re doing is a “bad idea” and tossing aside the critical and fan reaction to what they’re doing is foolish.

        Finally, the MCU doesn’t feel like television. It just doesn’t. It feels like connected movies.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        Sorry for the catchy headline. It’s something new in publishing.

        And congratulations, you just participated in the discussion.

      • MJ

        If Adam Chitwood told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?

        I see you as smarter than this, Matt — I think you are just “closing ranks” here to back up your your buddy. I get that — and have done it myself when necessary.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        “Back up your buddy?” I’m the Managing Editor. I support my writers even if I don’t agree with their opinions.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        I’m not opposed to the discussion or catchy titles. I’m opposed to packaging reasonable discussion in an unreasonable way. Given the ratings you’ve given some of the recent Marvel films, I’m struggling to believe you actually believe what Marvel is doing is a BAD idea.

        Just to be crystal clear, I participated in the discussion about the MCU. You only responded to my discussion about the discussion. If this is really about discussing the MCU, then discuss the MCU NOT the discussion about the discussion about the MCU.

      • Why Not?

        You Marvel fanboys can’t be satisfied with films that are financially successful, get pretty decent critical response, and are popular with audiences. Now, everyone must view their approach to films without any kind of constructive criticism or scrutiny. Stop being so sensitive. It’s not flattering.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        I’m open to discussion. I’m not a fan of a click bait packaging.

      • MJ

        Not when the source is simply someone being obtuse.

      • El Alto

        Discussion isn’t what’s baffling. It’s that a news site posts an editorial, titled like a buzzfeed list, that blanket accuses a studio and genre for operating in a way that they feel is kinda, sorta, maybe not the way it should be. Not that we shouldn’t discuss these ideas, but it seems this editorial comes from no where on a website that generally doesn’t post editorials in this fashion. It’s cool to write an article that gets site traffic up and all. I guess I should take some of my own advice and not judge for doing what is apparently working well for y’all. Maybe inter-connected editorials that set up a bigger interconnected editorial universe will equal success!

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        Yep. Titled like a list, except not at all, and also it’s not a list. It was a well put together editorial.

        And it comes from nowhere? Warner Bros. declared their intentions last week. Marvel’s actions have had repercussions. This is a perfectly valid topic.

        But if you want to act surprised and hurt over someone writing an insightful article, be my guest.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        If this is really about having a good discussion then why are you discussing the discussion rather than the topic? You seem far more concerned with defending your writer than conversation he started.

      • General Kang

        And you seem more interested in digging into the motivations behind the article than participating and discussing the ideas it presents. One of you runs a web site. One of you doesn’t.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        If you look through the comments I have expressed my comments on the actual topic. One occasion Goldberg even congratulated me on joining the discussion. He however did not respond to my points. He simply responded to my discussion of the discussion. Hence my comment here.

      • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

        Best article you guys have posted in a while. Almost 300 comments and counting.

  • appolox

    Can no one just be happy/thankful that things like the Marvel film series even exists? Must we nitpick and take everything for granted?

    • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

      Agreed. This entire article is really frustrating.

  • Jo-Jo

    Marvel’s formula is working so I would be surprised to see DC take a different approach. We are witnessing a universe being put together like nothing ever seen before on the big screen and I think it’s awesome to see it unfold, even if some of the films are not as memorable as others.

  • Harry

    I agree completely. These films are made off of an assembly line, and while most of them have been good (not great) movies, Adam is just stating how this method is limiting its potential. One comment spoke of Breaking Bad is a TV show, that doesn’t make it subpar. You are right, but some episodes of Breaking Bad weren’t the greatest, think of The Fly. Marvel releases 2 or 3 movies a year, if we get one like The Fly, it can hurt the series.

    Marvel no doubt knows how to get seats in theaters, but besides Iron Man, Captain America (except for the ending), and Guardians of the Galaxy, they all don’t really stand on their own well. And since this is a series, where’s the other heroes when danger is going down? They need a better answer than contractual obligations.

    • Ancalagon

      I agree with this strongly, except that I really liked “Fly.” (If all the episodes in Breaking Bad were like it, the show clearly wouldn’t work, but as a change of pace, it was fantastic.) Now I’m wondering what a slow, meditative, “stage-y” Marvel movie would be like. Not that we’ll get one; it wouldn’t sell as well, and wouldn’t fit the mold, which more or less echoes the point of what Adam is saying in the article.

  • Colin Christian

    Very interesting article.Right now it seems to be working but only time will tell.I am a fan of film and directors before CBM,Nolan was lucky,he got in his artistic vision early on,I wonder how many other film makers will get the same deal? It would be unfortunate if the whole thing became homogenized,artistic vision compromised ‘for the greater good’

  • Lyle

    This editorial acts as if it contains an original idea.

    • GrimReaper07

      It offers up compelling arguments and promotes intelligent discussion. It’s a good article.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        There’s a good discussion to be had, but it’s written like click bait. The MCU doesn’t feel like TV. Based on the critical, fan, and box office reaction it was obviously a GOOD IDEA. But the article just throws out an extremely controversial idea like it’s the final say.

      • GrimReaper07

        It totally feels like TV. Not in terms of production value of course – nobody’s saying that – but in terms of narrative. Each individual film feels like an inconsequential step towards the next big movie. Thor 2, Iron Man 2 and 3 and to a degree Cap 2 all feel like minor things to keep us over until the big finale.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        I can agree A FEW films feel that way, but not the majority. Cap 2 is a self contained film which connects to a bigger picture. Iron Man 3 doesn’t set up anything. It removes Iron Man from service. Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t setup a sequel. More importantly even if they do setup sequels they still don’t feel like a TV show because they contain different characters and exist in very different spaces.

      • milo

        “Each individual film feels like an inconsequential step towards the next big movie.”

        I’d argue no more so than the vast majority of blockbuster movies and sequels. The marvel movies have the upside of continuity between them but looking at the actual results I don’t see anything that makes them more like TV than any other series of movies.

        Potter is an interesting example. I’m really glad that Cuaron came along with his unique stamp. But I think all the movies following it have a similar style as opposed to each director doing their own thing. And after seeing the third, going back to the first two look very out of place. Frankly the series would have been much better overall if they had just hired Cuaron for the first one and stuck with that style for the entire series.

      • GrimReaper07

        I completely disagree. I’d much rather the style change from movie to movie than have the entire 8 movies look and feel the same. It makes each film unique. The reason movies 5 through 8 have a similar style is because they were all done by the same director (who nevertheless did a good job). The 4th movie was really different from what Cuaron and Yates did though.

      • milo

        “Each individual film feels like an inconsequential step towards the next big movie.”

        I’d argue no more so than the vast majority of blockbuster movies and sequels. The marvel movies have the upside of continuity between them but looking at the actual results I don’t see anything that makes them more like TV than any other series of movies.

        Potter is an interesting example. I’m really glad that Cuaron came along with his unique stamp. But I think all the movies following it have a similar style as opposed to each director doing their own thing. And after seeing the third, going back to the first two look very out of place. Frankly the series would have been much better overall if they had just hired Cuaron for the first one and stuck with that style for the entire series.

    • To Be Continued

      Even if you don’t agree like myself, it still is an interesting thing to read and to discuss about.

    • To Be Continued

      Even if you don’t agree like myself, it still is an interesting thing to read and to discuss about.

  • GrimReaper07

    I absolutely agree 100% with everything that’s said in this article. It’s kind of ridiculous how many Marvel movies we’ve gotten with nearly the same third act. Films and television are two completely different beasts and Marvel’s movies are suffering because of it. GotG was surprisingly fantastic, but it too suffered from the annoyingly familiar aerial battle. All the other movies look and feel the same and its starting to get really boring. There’s barely any room for artistic vision in these movies anymore.

  • Dan

    Iron Man 2 was partly ruined by world-building (even though I still like the movie very much), Feige and Marvel were simply learning how to build their universe and made a few forgivable missteps in that movie. I agree that creative restrictions could arise, but the argument collapses when you realize that the tone of Cap 2 would not allow the Guardians to co-exist in that movie specifically. Of course Cap and Guardians will most likely appear onscreen together at some point, but the tones of Guardians and Cap 2 were different in that the Guardians would not work in that movie.

  • Steven

    I agree, several of the recent Marvel films have been forgettable waffle. These directors can’t kill off any characters or do anything edgy cause they have keep things in the same ball park as the all the other films.

  • To Be Continued

    Yes, the way this films are connected may prevent some specific stories with different creativity to be told.
    BUT on the other hand (and more important that any of the arguments in that article) this type of filmmaking hasn’t been done before. So I prefer this interconnected universe instead of the ‘stand-alone’ approach we’ve been watching for years. The possibilities are endless, and that is pretty damn exciting.

  • Anthonyg1500

    I would argue that without marvels brand/episodic filmmaking GOTG, Thor, and possibly Captain America would’ve never been made, not to mention the best on screen representation of the hulk yet. Also some of the best stories being told right now are being done on tv so there’s plenty of good that comes with working in that style. Marvel movies may not always be homeruns but at the very least if marvel is making it it’s worth watching if for no other reason than to see how it fits into the franchise and that’s part of the fun.

  • slimpunk

    Matt Goldberg, is that you?

  • McA

    Really good article. I’ve been saying for a while now to anyone who’ll listen is that these movies are 90 minute plus trailers for the next movie. They’re fun while they last but they’re largely forgettable movies. When you constantly look ahead to the next big money spinner in your franchise, that can’t be good for creating the best movie you possibly can.

    The Post-Credit sequence now always leaves me feeling slightly jaded and they’re almost always never worth it. I’d have been super pissed off if I’d found a post credit scene in either the Dark Knight or X-Men First Class as they’re both complete movies in their own right and untainted by the cheapness of a post credit sequence.

    • Pernell Whitaker

      This is exactly how I feel. Most of them are so forgettable and bland. At least they generally go for a fun vibe though… My main fear with DC copying the blue print is that they’re going to do the same but with their post-Nolan super serious, “grounded” take on it.

      • McA

        Problem with the DC stuff is Synder. Plain and simple. Having Batman and God knows who else in the next movie won’t hide the fact that Synder isn’t a particularly good story-teller or even that good at staging action. The action stuff is MoS was very messy and sort of hard to follow.

        I would argue that the tone established in the Justice League animated series (all hail Bruce Timm!) would be perfect for the movies. Granted one is a cartoon and animation has a different ‘feel’ (to quote Goldberg) to it but they got the characters nailed down perfectly and the humor and lightness came from the writers knowing the characters so well. But when stuff got serious in JLAU, it was brutal.

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Yeah I’d agree with that, it’s amazing to me that Snyder is still basically riding the rep 300 got him… MoS was just horrible imo and not even close to what a Superman movie should be. Couldn’t agree more re Bruce Timm and the animated universe.

    • Matt Clayton

      The Post-Credit sequence now always leaves me feeling slightly jaded and they’re almost always never worth it.

      Thank God I’m not the only one, especially the horrid Days of Future Past one. Post-credit scenes were a fun and rare treat before Marvel Studios came along, and now they do it for every freaking movie they do. And now rivals are copying their model, like Pixar, Sony, Fox, and some DWA films. And now, you won’t believe how many people ask me “is there something at the end?” for movies like Gravity and The Hobbit.

      I’m fine with Marvel Studios taking the television approach to their franchise, but if they hire auteur or TV directors, they need to allow them a certain degree of creative freedom. (And from what I read, Edgar Wright did rewrites to accommodate Marvel without compromising his vision, but it was apparent the “homogenized” rewrites from other writers that made him walk.) It is annoying when the Marvel films don’t kill off any of the key players and unwilling to change the status quo. I mean, Marvel’s golden boy Joss Whedon was willing to do it (and did so with the shows he showrunned) but Marvel pretty much nixed that when they started “Agents of SHIELD”. It nulls that crucial death that got The Avengers to assemble.

      There ought to be a happy medium between doing an interconnected universe throughout a film series, and making standalone films that don’t lead into a sequel or heavily rely on previous films to fully enjoy. The beauty of films like The Dark Knight or The Avengers is that they can be enjoyed pretty much on their own. Sure, being familiar with the previous films do help, but it’s not necessary.

  • Angel of Death

    Whatever. This coming from the guy who hated The Winter Soldier for no legitimately good reasons. You’re entitled to your opinions, but I’d prefer if you mark your criticisms with an “EDITORIAL” heading in the title rather than cramming your high and mighty thoughts down our throats. These are comic book movies, you mook. They’re not meant to be artsy fartsy freaking films for pretentious jerks. They’re meant to tell comic book stories in a fun live action medium at high budgets. Personally I love all the Marvel Studios movies. And every time something new is introduced in a Marvel Studios movie that builds to something better, it gets me excited to see the next one because I am a Marvel fan. It’s a lot of fun, no studio has ever made a vast interconnected universe prior to this one. Yes a lot of the time elements get tied into one another, but it ends up paying off pretty big in an exciting way. Don’t crap all over that for the rest of us who enjoy it, dude.

    Furthermore, just to clarify, they’re not “treating movies like televisions series”. They’re a COMIC BOOK company treating COMIC BOOK MOVIES like COMIC BOOKS! That’s what they’re supposed to be, you idiot. Prior to the first Iron Man, the comic book genre treated everything super conservatively, placing the “movie” before the “comic book”. Marvel finally did what you’re supposed to do with comic book movies and characters. But unfortunately that’s wasted on non-fans like you who believe every movie needs to be a Coen Brothers movie. You don’t like them, don’t bother watching them.

    • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

      You really need something that’s clearly an editorial to be labeled “Editorial”? Also, who “crammed an opinion down your throat”? You read the article of your own volition.

      But you’re right that it’s important to treat movies like comic books. Comic books are infallible.

      However, I’ll agree with you that not every movie needs to be a Cohen Brothers movie because there are no Cohen Brothers movies.

      • axalon

        “Also, who “crammed an opinion down your throat”? You read the article of your own volition.”

        What would internet comments be without unnecessary hyperbole?

      • theinkisdry

        at least they let you have an opinion on this site – /film will block you for thinking in any way other than what they copy and paste (plagiarize) from other sites-

        I’m glad that Collider sometimes stirs the pot- they aren’t usually correct due to their fanboy tendencies but at least they will have a discussion.

      • axalon

        Amen to that. I got banned from there for voicing a different opinion than Peter Sciretta.

      • theinkisdry

        Peter seems to have some real issues- hopefully he can work through them-

      • axalon

        Amen to that. I got banned from there for voicing a different opinion than Peter Sciretta.

      • dudu

        Angel of Death might be a dick, but he made a couple of solid points. I really disagree with Adam on this one, but it makes for really great fodder in the comment section.

    • Adam Chitwood

      I didn’t hate The Winter Soldier, but I didn’t like it as much as most seem to. And I have plenty of “legitimately good reasons”. You disagree with those reasons, which is fine. That’s what we call “art”, which provokes discussion over the merits of said art. Or you could just yell.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        LOUD! NOISES!

      • Angel of Death

        There Matt, I fixed my spelling mistake from “Cohen” to “Coen”. Happy? But you wanna know why I hate Collider. You guys DO cram opinions down our throats. No other movie sites reinforce their opinions on any straight up news articles like you, Evan, and Adam do. I come here for news. I get an earful about whether you guys like something or have seen something before getting to the actual facts. The only reason I choose to come here, is because you sometimes get scoops other places don’t. Then you take those scoops and write up some nonsense on what your opinions are on it, in the most pretentious way possible, before finally serving us the facts. Take comingsoon.net for instance. They straight up report on things without saying the BS you guys do. And yeah, you know what, it would be better if you marked crap as “Editorial” because you’re literally writing pages on a subject that’s pure PURE opinion, on a news site, and calling it news. It’s the most unprofessional thing ever.

        Furthermore, I never said comic books are infallible. But I think it makes sense to treat comic book movies like comic books, because they’re freaking based on comic books! You’re welcome to disagree with me on this, but I think there’s something about that that makes sense, don’t you?

      • To Be Continued

        “No other movie sites reinforce their opinions on any straight up news articles like you,. I come here for news. I get an earful about whether you guys like something or have seen something before getting to the actual facts.”

        I never noticed but now that you point that out, is true.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        Yep. If you don’t like the way we do things, then I encourage you to read the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline, and ComingSoon instead. I would hate for you to be unhappy.

      • To Be Continued

        Woah woah, hold on. I never said I didn’t like the way you do things. Read my comment again.
        I simply acknowledged what the other user said, that is all. I will continue to read here because I like the site, no matter your opinions, if that’s ok with you.

        In the spiral of user-hate in this article, you jumped down my throat with no real reason. Take it easy.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        My apologies. That was really directed more towards Angel of Death.

      • Austin Kemprowski

        There are so many movie websites out there that just report the news (which is great), but what makes Collider special is it has opinions on the news. I love that uniqueness, and if it doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of other sites out there that don’t offer opinion.

      • Danny

        You sir, are 100% correct.

      • lavaca

        I didn’t realize that simply writing your opinions was the same as cramming them down someone’s throat…

      • Angel of Death

        It is when they are added unnecessarily and you have a responsibility to be completely unbiased when writing stories. People criticize Fox News all the time for completely biased spins on the events happening in the world. In the SAME EXACT WAY Collider does that with entertainment news! They are the Fox News of online entertainment reporting.

      • axalon

        Responsibility? This is the internet, nobody owes you anything.

      • lavaca

        yeah…

      • lavaca

        Who said it was Collider’s responsibility to be unbiased? If you want to read news without commentary, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of other sites.

      • eternalozzie

        you do realize this is THEIR website that they have the right to run any way they like? They have ZERO responsibility or obligation to you or any of us.

      • Austin Kemprowski

        Oh come on. Collider doesn’t have a fraction of the responsibility that places like Fox or CNN (should) have. We all love movies here, but lets be realistic. Doesn’t it make sense to mix opinions into the story when you’re writing about art? If that doesn’t make sense to you, go to another website. I don’t see why that’s so hard to understand.

      • Adam Chitwood

        This article is in no way presented as a “news” item; it’s even tagged “editorial”.

        Plenty of other websites inject opinion into news articles, and plenty simply present the news as-is. You have a choice as to how you’d like to get your news. At Collider, we present informed opinion when applicable, to which you’re more than welcome to disagree. We love movies, we love writing about movies, and we love getting into discussions about movies; we wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t the case.

      • axalon

        I can get my movie news from a dozen different sites, articles like this are why I keep coming back to Collider.

      • Angel of Death

        Informed opinion? One of your reporters reported on Galaxy Quest without seeing Galaxy Quest…You love movies, and discussing movies, but in my opinion are barely qualified to be giving any sort of insight yourselves.

        And you’re right. I have a choice of where I’d like to get my news. And I’d like to get it from better informed, more intelligent, less pretentious morons…Good luck with your site and with being wrong.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        You’ll be missed.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        I’m not necessarily agreeing with the original poster, but do you not see why readers would be frustrated that you have writers unapologetically reporting on movies they haven’t seen?

        I don’t read to hear blatantly uninformed news and discussion.

      • axalon

        There’s a really, really simple solution to all your complaints.

      • LK

        I, personally, think Badass Digest is the worst in term of putting their opinions in articles. Devin Faraci puts his opinions in every…single…article and tries way too hard to be funny and his snarky attitude is unbearable to me and the other writers on that site do the same thing. I’m not saying the writers at Collider don’t do it [i think every writer for a website does it to a certain degree] but to me BAD is the absolute worst. But that’s just me.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        You are so cute.

        You don’t like what we do? Don’t come. We’re not changing for you. We don’t revolve around you. You don’t matter. Get over yourself.

      • MJ

        This is WHY I DO COME HERE, Matt You guys are unapologetic and stick to your guns.

        That is why I respect you even at times like this when I think you (well, Adam) are kind of full of shit.

        Keep up the good work!

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        Thanks! (I think)

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Managing Editor of Collider arguing, being condescending and missing the mark in the comments section and losing most arguments too.. Great look for your website. Btw though, I liked the editorial Adam and completely agree, until Guardians I had waited for the Blu Ray of most phase 2 Marvel releases due to them being too similar and pretty forgettable over time.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        I didn’t know we had hired you to do PR.

        Sorry, was that condescending? Darn. We’ll need to work on that.

      • Pernell Whitaker

        No it wasn’t condescending, it was sarcastic. Do you need my help learning the difference? Wait, you haven’t hired me as an English teacher either, so I’ll guess not. Your wit is so blunt yet you try so hard, it’s actually kinda endearing. Oops sorry, now I’m being condescending :)

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        But you tempered it with a smiley face!

      • eternalozzie

        as a reader I have adapted to their opinions and enjoy all of collider’s writings and editorialness (new word) … Matt for instance when he reviews a movie I can almost tell exactly how much I am going to like it … not because I agree with what he says but because but because I know what I like in comparison.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        Do you really believe the whole would be better if the MCU weren’t connected films?

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        Do you really believe the whole would be better if the MCU weren’t connected films?

      • axalon

        I agree with the points you made and the way you presented them

    • MJ

      I agree 100%

    • lord jim

      the marvel comic books had very different approaches, the writers had more freedom and a lot more creativity in the process, and guess what:they still worked inside one universe, you stupid moron.

      • dudu

        That’s not a good point.

  • Laura

    To be honest the best DC adaptations have worked when the director has more the say not the studio (Green Lantern is an example of how WB screwed it up.) I do think WB will be looser and will allow the director more of a voice. There have been rumours that the Shazam or Captain Marvel will not be connected to the universe (as well as the possible Sandman adaptation.)

  • bob

    I agree, it will probably be time to refresh the style after Avengers 2 and Feige lost the opportunity to let a director use a B or C character to introduce new ideas similar to what Stan Lee had done when he allowed Jim Steranko to revamp Nick Fury.

  • brNdon

    Thor 2 didn’t lead into anything. Sure we met the collector but that meeting didn’t come up in GotG at all.

    • Patrick Campbell

      We also learned about one of the infinity stones, which is shown when The Collector is talking about them.

    • Patrick Campbell

      We also learned about one of the infinity stones, which is shown when The Collector is talking about them.

  • DoremusJessup

    Great article and I couldn’t agree more.

  • Sean

    Oh, Come on ! The Avengers movie wasn’t treated like a tv series at all ! It was treated as a movie and only a movie, nothing other then that !

  • cimmerian

    Thanks for posting an intelligent article that asks some legitimate questions.I finally watched Winter Soldier the other night, and while it’s good I expected more after all the hype. It was just another Marvel movie, albeit a good one. About half way through I begin to ask myself if I cared enough about this stuff anymore to support 3 of these movies every year for the next decade. And that’s just Marvel. I really hope DC ends up using some of their dates for Vertigo properties as I don’t see how these studios can expect to pull in the half a billion dollars a so it takes one of these super hero movies to not be considered a failure.
    It seems like the real estate or software bubble at this point and I have a feeling changing audience tastes are going to burst it.

    • MJ

      “About half way through I begin to ask myself if I cared enough about this stuff anymore to support 3 of these movies every year for the next decade. And that’s just Marvel”

      So you must have got tired of the comics after 3 issues then, right?

      • cimmerian

        Depends on the comic actually. However 3 issues of a 21 page comic is not a billion dollar franchise. I did burn out on Marvel comics in general after awhile because of repetitive stories and variant cover cash grabs. Judging by the comicbook collapse of the 90′s and Marvels bankruptcy at that time a lot of people did.

        I don’t go to the movies a lot unless it’s something so special I want to see it as family viewing experience (the hardships of being a father). I think many people are in the same boat. I’m not attacking Marvel, a company that is obviously very dear to you from your comments, but pointing out that making movies that are similar and based on a formula 3 times a year and expecting them to make 500 MILLION dollars to be successful might not be a sound long term plan.

        As far as my comic reading habits go I tend to stick with creators I like who are telling serious long term stories that play to the strengths of the medium. Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Brian Vaughn etc. That’s clearly not what Marvel’s doing in it’s movies or comics. To each their own.

        The argument that comic book movies should be held to the standards of comic books is,,,, well, just take a look at howmany actual issues of comics sell today. 50,000 is a top selling title.

      • MJ

        I am just talking about expectations. When I got to see a Marvel movies based on a comic book, that is what I expect to see. I have no illusions that it is going to be art cinema. It is what is is, so what’s the point in being critical if they successfully deliver to me an entertaining expansion of the comic book that is on the title of the movie?

        Why spank the dog for crapping in the neighbors yard…the dog is what he is.

        I am not really a huge Marvel fan, but when I pay to see a Marvel movie, I expect to see a Marvel comic book story on the big screen…and that is usually what they deliver on. It’s as simple as that, my friend.

        You and Adam Chitwood just don’t get it.

      • cimmerian

        I don’t even have a problem with the connected universe thing. It’s cool and it’s fun. I don’t have a problem with most of the movies themselves. I just think that Adam has a legitimate point about whether these movies can continue to be commercially and critically successful over the next decade that dates have been staked out for.

        You’re passionate about these movies and I’m sure you have a lot of friends who are too but the studios have created a situation where these movies need millions of people to share your passion for them. I think that history shows that the general public’s taste change’s. People ARE going to start feel like they’re watching the same thing over and over again. Some other genre IS going to capture peoples imagination. Regardless of whether the movies are great or not there is going to be a point where the shared universe idea is like being painted into a corner..

      • cimmerian

        I don’t even have a problem with the connected universe thing. It’s cool and it’s fun. I don’t have a problem with most of the movies themselves. I just think that Adam has a legitimate point about whether these movies can continue to be commercially and critically successful over the next decade that dates have been staked out for.

        You’re passionate about these movies and I’m sure you have a lot of friends who are too but the studios have created a situation where these movies need millions of people to share your passion for them. I think that history shows that the general public’s taste change’s. People ARE going to start feel like they’re watching the same thing over and over again. Some other genre IS going to capture peoples imagination. Regardless of whether the movies are great or not there is going to be a point where the shared universe idea is like being painted into a corner..

      • Eskay

        I think he’s just saying that when he’s goes into a Marvel comic-book movie, he usually get’s what he came to see; a Marvel comic-book movie.
        Just don’t see the Marvel comic-book movies if you don’t like them. I don’t really understand your point?

      • Eskay

        I think he’s just saying that when he’s goes into a Marvel comic-book movie, he usually get’s what he came to see; a Marvel comic-book movie.
        Just don’t see the Marvel comic-book movies if you don’t like them. I don’t really understand your point?

      • cimmerian

        I said I do like the Marvel movies. My point is that Chitwood wrote an article about the hazards of a shared universe and people are flipping out when he has a legitimate point.Telling people “Just don’t see the Marvel comic-book movies if you don’t like them” IS the point. I’ve said it 3 times already , for these movies to be successful MILLIONS of people have to be motivated to go see them. Not just the people who are ok with a comic book movie that has the quality of an average comic book. You can contribute to the conversation by suggesting how you think Marvel’s going to avoid this but everyone bagging on the guy who wrote the article for pointing out the obvious is pretty crazy.

      • MJ

        I am just talking about expectations. When I got to see a Marvel movies based on a comic book, that is what I expect to see. I have no illusions that it is going to be art cinema. It is what is is, so what’s the point in being critical if they successfully deliver to me an entertaining expansion of the comic book that is on the title of the movie?

        Why spank the dog for crapping in the neighbors yard…the dog is what he is.

        I am not really a huge Marvel fan, but when I pay to see a Marvel movie, I expect to see a Marvel comic book story on the big screen…and that is usually what they deliver on. It’s as simple as that, my friend.

        You and Adam Chitwood just don’t get it.

    • Eskay

      Sounds like you just don’t like Marvel comics?
      So this begs the question, why are you even seeing these films then?

      • cimmerian

        What gives you that impression? Are you actually reading my replies to you? Take a moment, reassess what it is you’re angry about. Think about the conversation that I’m attempting to have with you. Realize that a discussion about how blockbuster movies make money is not a personal attack on you or Marvel comics.

        I see these movies because I mostly like them and I find them entertaining. I do have to admit that after 10 of them it’s clear they are formulaic and I (and probably more people as time goes on) will just catch it in dvd. It’s a fact that these movies rely on large box office numbers to be successful. Most people and families tend to go to theaters in large numbers for something that is an EVENT. When there are 3 Marvel movies a year coming out that are all similar and formulaic these movies will not be considered EVENTS. Therefore less people go, lower box office, lower box office leads to lower production money on the next etc. What is so hard to understand about what I’m saying? You should be saying something like “OH, Marvel will freshen it up!” or “Guardians of the Galaxy bitch!”. You just seemed confused and angered that some mild criticism was posted on site that earns it’s money by basically giving studios years of free publicity before a movie even comes out.

      • vpuik

        It would be great to see a 70m dollar R rated Marvel movie, but I really can’t see a solid business case at this point why Marvel would spend limited resources to make one. I know these editorials are wishful thinking based on world where everyone gets what they want. There are plenty of studios who can make these movies, people just need to pay to see the ones they are already making first.

    • lavaca

      Totally agree on The Winter Soldier. It felt very… average. Wasn’t bad, but… average.

  • http://keychung.com Key Chung

    Higher minded themes aside, Nolan’s Batfilms all ended in conventional 3rd act action spectacle that often times was the worst thing in them. So, one could argue that regardless of Marvel’s TV-like editorial control over their films, any large budget filmmaker (even the more elevated) will have to satisfy the studios and the demands of mainstream audiences. That part is not necessarily a flaw unique to Marvel. Although they’re in a unique position to break more ‘tentpole’ rules, as long as they’re true to story or character.

    For example, it would be very wise of Fiege & Co to NOT make Dr. Strange primarily an action movie. Go full into a different genre.

    • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

      If Dr. Strange was part Insidious/part medical drama/part origin story that’d be pretty cool.

    • Ancalagon

      Agreed. I’m in the tiny minority here, but my favorite of Nolan’s Bat-trilogy was Batman Begins, which to my taste had the most emotional resonance and was (blurry action scenes aside) the best shot.

    • milo

      Good point. People act like the formulaic aspects are “marvel formula” yet most superhero if not most action films follow the same formula. It would be great to do a superhero movie that didn’t end with the biggest battle against the biggest enemy but it’s hard to think of an alternative that would be satisfying to audiences.

  • scurvy

    This is all well and good but what would have happened if Edgar Wright’s Ant Man turned into another Scot Pilgram vs the World? It’s a great movie if you liked it but it was rejected by the vast majority of people. Then we’d have to suffer through endless, did Edgar Wright kill the MCU?

    • MJ

      Oh, but Edgar Wright is this “fragile mega-genius” of cinema? Didn’t you get the memo?

      LOL

  • Alboone

    I completely disagree when it comes to Winter Soldier. The reason why that movie works so well is that it takes the genre of the political thriller and runs with it. It’s the most cinematic out of ALL the MCU films where the story is actually involving and the climax raises some serious stakes. Time is going to be very good to Cap2.

    • MJ

      Yep!

    • MJ

      Yep!

    • Aquartertoseven

      It really won’t be, there’s no character development, it’s very safe and predictable for a conspiracy film, homogeneous, and the Winter Soldier himself doesn’t really do anything in the film; only after the end credits does he become open to change.

      It could’ve been Marvel’s TDK but they’re so frightened to push boundaries, especially after IM3, that they’re just not taking risks anymore. At all. And that’s not good. Cap 2 and Thor 2 weren’t original unlike their predecessors, and by that I mean they didn’t have a unique stamp, they were too generic. Sequels like TDK, Spiderman 2 and X-Men 2 all pushed boundaries, they went above and beyond and the end result was stunning, whereas those 2 MCU examples, quite frankly, didn’t. And they won’t/shouldn’t be as well remembered or highly regarded because they didn’t give much (if any) depth to the story and characters. Let’s look at the character deaths in those sequels, look at all of the major ones that were killed, the stakes and tension were undoubtedly made high, whereas the MCU? They’re completely unwilling to do that, every actor signs on for 9 films.

      • MJ

        Blah, blah, blah….like we all haven’t heard your Cap2 bitching and moaning like 20 times by now….

        Cap 2 was an outstanding movie…90% of us here know that.

      • Aquartertoseven

        I know, I’m like a broken record, but it’s better to be that than a mindless drone, evident from your last sentence, laughable MJ, truly. We agree on a fair few things, but sometimes you just have that one opinion where it’s like ‘whaaa—?!?’

      • milo

        “I know, I’m like a broken record”

        And yet you keep droning on?

        “a mindless drone”

        Yeah, just calling everyone who disagrees with you is really going to make your point. But I guess I’m being a broken record.

      • Aquartertoseven

        The truth has to be told.

        No, they’re drones if they blindly think it’s amazing, jumping on the hype train, ignoring the many flaws I listed above, very substantial ones.

      • milo

        “I know, I’m like a broken record”

        And yet you keep droning on?

        “a mindless drone”

        Yeah, just calling everyone who disagrees with you is really going to make your point. But I guess I’m being a broken record.

  • MJ

    What a bunch of gobbledy-gook. It’s a framework, so of course there will be crossovers between the movies — that is part of “the point.” The comics covered all this — duh! If you want to go see superior-original-director-driven films, then I suggest you stop watching comic book movies entirely. You are providing a way overly-serious set of artistic-movie elitist principles to a genre that has no need of such principles.

    If that fragile Edgar Wright director was such a movie visionary-artist type, then what the frack was he doing with the silly Ant Man movie in the first place…LOL…it’s Ant Man, not Goodfellas or Casblanca. Edgar Wright needs that corncob removed from his ass. (I mean, come on, Worlds End and Scott Pilgram…LOL…are you kidding me!!!)

    And in staying with that theme, you need stop being so anally retentive about these comic book movies, dude. This is not great cinema…never was, and never will be. But they are enjoyable popcorn films that most of us here love. That should be good enough, and we don’t need to apply cinema-elitist analysis at all to these movies.

    • Eskay

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Eskay

      My thoughts exactly.

    • lavaca

      Adam’s not being “anally retentive”, he’s just saying that maybe it’s time we start seeing some structural innovation from Marvel. Besides, how about you watch an Edgar Wright movie before you comment on him? Maybe if you did you’d see why Ant-Man + Edgar Wright = possibly the most original super hero film ever.

      • MJ

        Seen a lot of Wright’s stuff, and it’s hardly The Right Stuff:

        – Scott Pilgram versus the World = forgettable movie, that I am so glad that I didn’t pay to watch (cable).

        – The World’s End = somewhat funny movie that should have been a lot funnier, with an out-of-place overly serious ending that did not match the tone of the rest of the film.

        – Hot Fuzz and Shawn of the Dead = funny B movies, but not great films by any stretch of the imagination.

        – Tintin (screenplay) = completely forgettable. Paid to see the movie in a theater, and now I can barely remember it.

      • lavaca

        Maybe you disagree about Wright’s films. That’s cool, but instead of calling the author “anally retentive”, maybe you can talk to him like you would if you saw him in person. You know, with respect.

      • Eskay

        Then “sphincter reduction challenged”, perhaps? ;-)

      • lavaca

        That was a good one…
        upvote…

      • MJ

        I hear you. But it seems so odd that a web site that pretty much celebrates comic book movies would publish a kind of obtuse editorial like this. And this is further exacerbated given that the logic of the editorial makes absolutely no sense to many of us.

        But sure, if I offended Adam with that term, than I apologize. But, if I were having a beer with him in person, I’d have no problem using that term with him…hopefully, instead of smacking me, he’d tell me to F off and we’d both have a laugh..

      • Eskay

        Agree on Wright. He’s overrated.

      • Ancalagon

        I’ll agree on Tintin; I really liked it at the time, but quite literally forgot about it completely within a day if not a few hours. Didn’t know it was written by Wright though. The only one of his movies I’ve seen is World’s End; liked it well enough, but it wasn’t mind-blowing.

      • MJ

        Seen a lot of Wright’s stuff, and it’s hardly The Right Stuff:

        – Scott Pilgram versus the World = forgettable movie, that I am so glad that I didn’t pay to watch (cable).

        – The World’s End = somewhat funny movie that should have been a lot funnier, with an out-of-place overly serious ending that did not match the tone of the rest of the film.

        – Hot Fuzz and Shawn of the Dead = funny B movies, but not great films by any stretch of the imagination.

        – Tintin (screenplay) = completely forgettable. Paid to see the movie in a theater, and now I can barely remember it.

  • wtfmansrs

    Totally agree. Whatever “sameness” is evident I think is largely indicative of the Superhero “genre” as a whole. It’s the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with stories that involve overtly “good” guys vs. overtly “bad” guys, whose motivations end up being inevitably more or less one dimensional (bad guy – kill/enslave people with the help of some super powerful macguffin.. good guy – stop them)

    There isn’t much room for really dynamic story telling when you’re dealing with character archetypes that are so simple, especially under the guiding hand of a studio that needs to push these films out at a consistent rate & make them of a suitable quality so that people WILL still watch them, yet sanitised enough that they’re still kid-friendly, to make back their $$$. I agree, the formula is becoming noticeable. The ONLY reason I had any interest in Ant-Man was solely because of Edgar Wright. I really hoped he’d make something different and kind of edgy, but now that he’s gone.. eh.

    • MJ

      So stop watching comic book superhero movies then???

      What’s your point??? Obviously you didn’t like the comics books in the first place???

      • wtfmansrs

        How can I properly and fairly judge a movie unless I’ve seen it…?

      • MJ

        These movies are based on the comic books. So if you go into the movie expecting something else, you are wasting your own time and money. All of your crticisms hit on the source material — the comic books. So you don’t like the comic book stories and character types, but yet you feel compelled to see the movies…that does not make any sense?

        Here is an example for you — I don’t like horror movies, so I don’t generally see them — because my brain has a “working mental filter” that saves me time and money by avoiding those films…you should try that.

      • wtfmansrs

        No. It’s the height of ignorance to ignore something based on some pre-conceived notion, no matter how “right” you feel that notion ends up being. It’s called NOT judging a book (or maybe comic book, in this case) by it’s cover. YOU should try that.

      • MJ

        That’s about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Everyone has a filter of some type.

        What person would claim the need to personally see every single movie put out each year because it’s the only way to be able to determine what they liked?…LMFAO.

        God and/or Evolution (take your pick) gave me a brain, which I choose to use.

      • wtfmansrs

        Did I say height of ignorance? Maybe I should have said height of “arrogance.”

        Yes, sure, of course people have their filters. I wouldn’t watch the Kardashians and not expect soapy tv trash, but it’s hardly fair of me to make a judgement without actually having watched it for at least SOME context.

      • wtfmansrs

        Did I say height of ignorance? Maybe I should have said height of “arrogance.”

        Yes, sure, of course people have their filters. I wouldn’t watch the Kardashians and not expect soapy tv trash, but it’s hardly fair of me to make a judgement without actually having watched it for at least SOME context.

      • MJ

        That’s about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Everyone has a filter of some type.

        What person would claim the need to personally see every single movie put out each year because it’s the only way to be able to determine what they liked?…LMFAO.

        God and/or Evolution (take your pick) gave me a brain, which I choose to use.

      • wtfmansrs

        How can I properly and fairly judge a movie unless I’ve seen it…?

    • vpuik

      The one benefit of these archetypes is that they are universal. They transcend language and culture. That is the best way to appeal to the widest audience possible. People have always argued whether it’s a good thing or bad. I guess it depends on how much of a ‘hipster’ you are:)

  • calebrcrawford

    I agree with your sentiment, BUT this is the same problem with major label superhero comics. A really great writer gets brought in to handle a character, but he or she is limited in what he or she can do because the overall arc of that company’s larger universe is decided by the company. As a result, no one really stays dead in comics. In essence, creators are continually writing the middle act of a story that has long sense began and will not end for sometime to come. The same is now true of the comic movies, and so we must live with the pros and cons of this method. However, the pendulum could always swing back in the other direction, and it probably will given time.

    • MJ

      Dude, these ARE COMIC BOOK SUPERHERO MOVIES.

      That is THE DEFINITION AND PURPOSE of these movies?

      Duh !!!!!

      Find a different genre is you don’t like this one, please….

      • calebrcrawford

        I do not disagree. I was just saying that the same issue the writer is discussing in the article is ongoing in superhero comics as well. There are pros to it (as stated in my first comment where I said we must live with the pros and cons), but I for one can acknowledge there are cons as well. It is part of the genre, and I can accept that. Still for people interested in original stories and fresh takes, I can relate. There are drawbacks to this method, just like there are drawbacks to Nolan’s method of definitive original takes on superheroes.

      • MJ

        I agree.

    • MJ

      Why did you just change your ID from “wtfmansrs” to “calebrcrawford,” I saw it change when you revised your post?

      Why the two different identities?

      • calebrcrawford

        That must be the site. I always post as calebrcrawford. There are a lot of people commenting on this article, and I did not revise my post. I do not get on the internet to troll. I enjoy discussing these types of things, and use my real name as my tag: Caleb R. Crawford. Nothing to hide or change, sir.

      • MJ

        OK, thanks. Must be the site.

  • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

    I can appreciate the discussion you’re trying to start, but the way this was written films far more like click bait than an invitation for discussion. Given the critical, fan, and box office success of Marvel, is it really fair to call it a “Bad idea”? Can you actually name a TV show which is anything like the MCU?

    This feels more like a valid critique presented in an exaggerated form to spark extra clicks and discussion. This is particularly true given that the article throws Guardians of the Galaxy into the sameness discussion.

  • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

    I can appreciate the discussion you’re trying to start, but the way this was written films far more like click bait than an invitation for discussion. Given the critical, fan, and box office success of Marvel, is it really fair to call it a “Bad idea”? Can you actually name a TV show which is anything like the MCU?

    This feels more like a valid critique presented in an exaggerated form to spark extra clicks and discussion. This is particularly true given that the article throws Guardians of the Galaxy into the sameness discussion.

  • 007Fusiion .

    This was well written. But you didn’t need to restate your points again towards the end.
    Yes, the films feel like a continuum. With excessive visionary restriction, which are impeding the singular experience–one must feel inclined to watch associated movies, before going into the film, which isn’t great for an impromptu visit.
    I personally am not a fan of these new Marvel films. Storytelling wise, I’ve never got the impression the risk level is high enough. And that’s because it has a knock-on effect, that would naturally have to be dealt with in an associated film. So the villains impact is limited and so is the threat level.

  • https://www.facebook.com/MyPassion4Life?ref=hl Javan Clark

    It’s distressing to see Collider descend so fully into nothing more than a click bait factory. The idea that you wrote this entire article and didn’t touch on the history of the comic medium and the FACT that history is repeating itself (Marvel introducing a shared continuity to comics… which then would lead DC to do so) is bizarre enough.. but the fact that you choose to criticize the primary strength of four color story telling because it doesn’t provide satisfaction for your critical sensibilities reduces your credibility on this subject to nil.

    Sure. The Nolan Batman series was good movie making. Here’s the Rub… that wasn’t Batman. It was a guy dressed in a batsuit that was custom made to fit perfectly into a Nolan movie. Sure, he shared enough of a back story to make it seem credible, but Baleman was far to pedestrian and far to reliant on gizmos to be taken seriously. He was James Bond in a batsuit. It was a crime thriller trilogy with a guy who looked like Batman, but… wasn’t Batman (DC created a alternate universe to house this Batman.. there was no where else to put him.. he was just to “original”)

    The four color world you are whining about is episodic in nature. Sure the occasional one shot is nice, but for the most part, it’s 32 pages of story telling that we enjoy, largely because it’s episodic. We wait for a month, (on purpose) to read a book that will take us about 10-15 minutes to finish… only to then move on to the next book in the stack. We love the characters, the creators and the stories. And there’s where the disconnect lies.. they aren’t making these movies for you. They don’t care if episodic movie making pisses you off. They aren’t making them for critics (like you) to mull over and question the validity of their strategy… they are making them for the people that have been the driving force in making them popular enough to be the multi-billion dollar a year industry they have become.

    They are making them for the comic book fans.. .and apparently, if you look at the box office numbers that would be most of the world. So, it’s totally cool that you don’t like it.. we are more than happy to watch it without you.

    • lavaca

      Yeah let’s compare comic-books and movies. Comics contain fun, serialized, mostly throwaway reading that entertains us for 15 minutes. A movie is at least an hour and a half long. If I’m going to spend that amount of time on a story, I want to see something special. I want to see something original.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love the Marvel movies. But the formulaic strategy they’re taking is really starting to bug me. Besides, the fact is these films aren’t made for comic fans. If they were we wouldn’t get the Mandarin twist. These films are made to make more money.

      Also, don’t kid yourself into thinking that most of the world consists of comic book fans.

      • MJ

        Not so fast. A series of comics telling a story is frequently 4 to 8 issues long, and can take about as much time as a movie to get through.

        And don’t kid yourself into thinking that most of the world doesn’t like straight-forward genre action movies based on comic book stories, with fairly predictable good and bad guys, with honest and exciting storytelling, and lots of special effects and great music.

  • NeoGeo12

    It’s been essential for Comic Book and super heroes movies to evolve since the Dark Knight. Eventually the genre will reach a peak and become a novelty. Genre fiction has always been best way to blend real world problems with fantastical stories somewhat beyond our understanding. The Marvel movies are avoiding this and betting heavily on recycled formula with minor nuances that are not enough to make most of their movies stand on their own.

    • MJ

      Guess you didn’t see Cap 2 — dangers of drone warfare and over-responding to terrorism. Seriously, how much more relevant to today’s world does it need to be than that?

      • NeoGeo12

        Yes but ultimately it never really dug deep into these themes. It basically asserted the end justify the means only in the right hands. It didn’t really make the case is it worth sacrificing freedom just to live and Police state that violates your civil rights.

  • Guest

    If ANYBODY should be doing the interconnected movie approach, it’s
    Marvel. Emulating tv? More like emulating their own COMIC UNIVERSE in
    theaters! They started interconnecting superhero movies that some comic
    fans have ALWAYS dreamed of and it’s lovely. Marvel can’t be held
    accountable for what Fox, Sony, and DC attempt now based on their
    success. It’s up to those Studios to come up with their own way but that
    would be too hard. If it works for Marvel, they’ll copy and try to beat
    them at their own game and 2 (Fox and Sony) of the 3 are failing so
    far. DC seems like their starting out with the characters and then
    releasing their single movies later. Anyway, Marvel is doing its vision
    and I see it looking fantabulous :-)

  • Guest

    If ANYBODY should be doing the interconnected movie approach, it’s
    Marvel. Emulating tv? More like emulating their own COMIC UNIVERSE in
    theaters! They started interconnecting superhero movies that some comic
    fans have ALWAYS dreamed of and it’s lovely. Marvel can’t be held
    accountable for what Fox, Sony, and DC attempt now based on their
    success. It’s up to those Studios to come up with their own way but that
    would be too hard. If it works for Marvel, they’ll copy and try to beat
    them at their own game and 2 (Fox and Sony) of the 3 are failing so
    far. DC seems like their starting out with the characters and then
    releasing their single movies later. Anyway, Marvel is doing its vision
    and I see it looking fantabulous :-)

  • fatboy35

    Adam,

    Your argument and 3 big points:

    1) we are being denied truly great films and

    2) the movies Marvel does put out are episodic and

    3) they have no true ending

    fall apart the moment you grant them. The truth of the matter is:

    1) these films wouldn’t be made AT ALL if Marvel wasn’t at the helm. For proof, check out the Marvel-based movies prior to 2008.

    2) have you ever read a comic book from which these films are derived? they are the epitome of episodic.

    3) see point 2 – the stories in the comics are a never-ending build upon another. why do you think they re-boot characters all the time?

    The very things you are complaining about would keep these films from being made in the first place and if they were made – would please only a few – as they would cease to be comic book movies.

    • MJ

      E X A C T L Y
      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MJ

    Someone needs to explain to me how basically “average” directors with limited resumes, like Wright and Cornish, get “anointed” on Collider and other places on the fan internet as these like incredible genius genre directors who we all should worship?

    These guys are marginally OK directors, but are not “all that.”

    You’d think that Scott Pilgrim, The Worlds End and Attack of the Block were some great gifts to scifi cinema…LOL…they are all pretty forgettable films.

    • paul h

      Cornish I don’t have any strong feelings for one way or another, but I *totally* love EWs visual style & would personally rank him well above “average”, this video may go someway to explaining why – http://vimeo.com/96558506

      A director having a limited number of films to their name isn’t an impediment for them being lauded, Terrence Malick has had 6 films released in the last 39 years! (guys like Kubrick & Fincher aren’t exactly prolific either)

      • MJ

        It’s an interesting technical note to see here about EW’s use of flim visuals to do comedy, but The World’s End was still a missed opportunity that wasn’t as funny as it should have been, and had an ending that seemed out of place given the rest of the flim.

        Perhaps he should be a great cinematographer then and let directors who know how to tell stories and finish movies take the lead? If you can’t tell a good story and finish it, you’ll never master directing, no matter how good your visual techniques are.

        PS: Malick’s last good movie was in 1978. Somewhere along the way, he started believing the cinema-elitist hype about himself, and he forgot how to tell the audience a well-crafted story that they would give a crap about.

      • paul h

        Well I don’t agree with your statement about TWE being a missed opportunity, and you can prolly find an article on how the ending is thematically consistent & setup during the film but … :shrug: whateves, I like you the guy, you don’t … no biggie.

  • Jay

    I don’t think one of the most profitable movie franchises in film history needs to be taking advice from Adam Chitwood of collider

  • JayF

    If you can get the same budget for a TV show that you can for a movie, then your argument is valid. Until then, no.

    • MJ

      But even then his point falls apart.

      Drum Roll: Game of Thrones

  • JD-McG

    If Marvel wasn’t doing this the article would be about how they aren’t seeding their films with other characters and elements from their comics. I don’t see how you can say Winter Solider and Guardians have a “sameness” but if it bothers you, don’t watch. Plenty of people are enjoying Marvel execute this plan.

    Bravo on meeting your daily Marvel post quota though for clicks though.

  • Math

    Yeah… I don’t quite agree. They are adapting material that already exists so one way or another, you are limited to follow the rules established by that material. If filmmakers want freedom, then let them make their own original material. I mean finally we get a studio that was smart enough to connect and serialize their movies and it’s working. They fully deserve their success because they are bright and they do it right. Now if other studios want to replicate that formula but do it wrong, Marvel is not to blame but the studios themselves are. And it happens all the time. A few movies of a type have huge success and all Hollywood wants to replicate that success. We’ve had horror movies, disaster movies, war movies, teenage sex comedy movies, fantasy movies, superhero movies, young adult movies, etc. all genre who ended up being copied to death because a few “original” movies started the trend. That’s nothing new, and it leads to a whole bunch of un-original movies and we eventually get tired of always getting the same formula shoved down our throat… but that will always happen, and that’s when new trends usually start with someone bright enough to break the pattern and create a new one. And let’s face it, eventually Marvel will reach a point where they’ll need to freshen up their approach. Then they can try and do something different by rebooting some of their material and maybe even create some real standalone movies with a new twist on the characters. But when you deviate from the source material, it is risky and you better damn sure do something great, otherwise you’ll just piss off the fan base. The Dark Knight comes to mind as a successful deviation from the source material vs Amazing Spider-man who wasn’t as successful at pulling off those “updates”. I think both approaches can be valid, but we’re finally enjoying well made expanded universe movies, so let them run with that as long as it works. I think the real debate is how Hollywood doesn’t invest much in original material anymore. I think this is the real issue, way more then every studio trying to build serialized franchises.

  • Verbal Kent

    How dare he give an honest opinion when everyone else is riding the bandwagon of mediocrity. Cap 2 was great though.

  • Grant

    I agree with most of this article. The thing about the MCU or even the upcoming DC films is that there is basically just 2% chance for tragedy within the films ie. a key character dying. Marvel will never properly kill off say, Tony Stark or Cap. They’ll send them off to do their own thing, which can work possibly. But what I liked about Chris Nolan’s universe was that anybody could die. *SPOILERS* A lot of people thought Bruce would die at the end of TDKR, and even though he didn’t, the fact that we as an audience can think something like that to be true, is great. We won’t ever be able to think something like that in the MCU.

    • MJ

      You just proved the opposite of your own point. Batman DID NOT die in the Nolan films….completely disproves your main point here.

      LOL

    • milo

      “Marvel will never properly kill off say, Tony Stark or Cap.”

      And the same is true of Spiderman, Superman, Batman, James Bond, Harry Potter as well as most other popular characters who have the potential to come back in a sequel. In the batman films they would never have killed the main character, they only killed off villains and minor characters, the biggest was his girlfriend.

      “They won’t kill the hero” isn’t a complaint about Marvel, it’s a complaint about every film franchise. And the same goes for books and TV to a large degree as well. Even on a show like 24 the attitude was “anyone can die…except for Jack…and even he can if they know the show is getting cancelled.”

    • milo

      “Marvel will never properly kill off say, Tony Stark or Cap.”

      And the same is true of Spiderman, Superman, Batman, James Bond, Harry Potter as well as most other popular characters who have the potential to come back in a sequel. In the batman films they would never have killed the main character, they only killed off villains and minor characters, the biggest was his girlfriend.

      “They won’t kill the hero” isn’t a complaint about Marvel, it’s a complaint about every film franchise. And the same goes for books and TV to a large degree as well. Even on a show like 24 the attitude was “anyone can die…except for Jack…and even he can if they know the show is getting cancelled.”

  • Bob

    It comes down to how good the finished films are. Imo, Cap 2 is arguably better than Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises. Imo, Iron Man, Avengers, and Guardians is better than those 2 Batman films. I also enjoy Thor and Thor 2. Iron Man 2 is eh, but great in some areas. Like Hammer, Downey Jr is fantastic, action and effects great etc. Iron Man 3 I am biased cause I am not a fan of the twist, but I felt they went overboard with Downey Jr humor. Hulk is a fun movie to watch, the action and effects are great imo. I liked Cap 1 cause of the different setting and period etc.

    So for me, Marvel has 4 Great films to its name; Cap 2, Iron Man, Guardians, and Avengers.
    Then a couple of solid good entertaining films like Cap 1, Thor 1, Thor 2, and Hulk. Iron Man 2 is near.
    And Iron Man 3 is my least favorite.

  • Tommy Cook

    I’ll argue that the singularity of these films isn’t so much a Marvel issue as it is a necessity for big budget films writ large. The truth of the matter isn’t just that all Marvel films feel the same (which I tend to agree with) — but that most of these super expensive ‘event’ films do. These films cost so much that they need to fit within a certain paradigm in order to appeal to the most people possible. As such — they all tend to follow the same basic story beats (be it Guardians of the Galaxy or Spider-Man or even something like Batman Begins). Is Marvel the showrunner of all their films? Yeah — of course. But so is Warner Brothers & Sony & Fox of their respective multi-billion dollar franchises. There’s just too much money at stake for them to not be. Any time there is any shred of auteurist sensibility in these movies — it should be noted as the exception to the rule.

  • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

    Man, a lot of folks entirely missing the point of this article, and getting weirdly defensive. There’s nothing wrong with liking this stuff, but let’s not pretend that they are all they could be, or should be. Like what was stated in the article, the whole Edgar Wright fiasco is proof that Marvel/Kevin Feige want what they want, and don’t have much need/desire for true authorial voices.

    The Marvel flicks have a tone and a style, and that’s fine. They capture the spirit of what they are adapting, but if we objectively look at them as films, they come up short.

    Again,there is nothing wrong with digging what Marvel is doing, but as film lovers( I assume if you’re reading this site you have more than a passing interest in films.),I wish there was more honest discussion.

    Also, one last thing, to the commentators claiming this is some sort of “back-lash,” how exactly could one come to this kind of conclusion before we were this far down the road with these movies? Honest question. It requires some type of recent historical context. This article, and others like it, are anything but “knee jerk.”

    Great article, Chitwood! Really enjoyed it.

    • Bob

      See that is were I disagree completely. Iron Man, Guardians, and Avengers are legitimately great films IMHO and do not come up short at all; and imho 20 years from now they will be remembered and loved by many, many people and considered classic blockbuster films of high caliber. Cap 2 maybe as well, but less so then the other 3 I said.

      • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

        That’s fair, and I would agree that the films that you have mentioned are definitely the best of them, hell, I’d add Iron Man 3 to that list, but I think this “list” elucidates something: All,of those movies have the strongest directorial voices. They forge their own paths, and aren’t as beholden to the larger MCU. I honestly think,if Marvel let the talent they hire do their own thing, and only dictate a few structural things for the larger universe, we would have better movies over all, and I’m all for that. Trust me, Bob, I really do want to “love’ these movies, but even by your own admission, only 3 or 4 out of 10 are actually great.

      • MJ

        Huh? The Avengers is the definition of integrating the whole Marvel Universe…that’s the point of the whole film, dude???

      • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

        I’m not saying that it’s a problem, but the Avengers definitely feels like a Whedon movie. His directorial voice can be heard through the Marvel machine. Just like GOTG feels like a James Gunn movie. Which is what I’d like to see more of, and is how I read the article that we’re commenting on. Just because the films are connected doesn’t mean they can’t be individual/idiosyncratic efforts.

        Marvel/Kevin Feige(the show runner) have a history of wrangling their movies away from their directors. Thor,Thor 2, Iron Man 2, Cap 1. I mean, it’s all been pretty public.

        I’ve seen a few of the comments you’ve made in this thread, MJ, and I’m not trying to be snarky here, but I feel like we read two entirely different articles, honestly.

      • MJ

        Well, let’s say you are right. Then, based on The Worlds End, Scott Pilgrim, the Tintin screenplay, etc., I think we all just dodged a bullet here.

        Kevin Feige is doing a great job. He does know when he has good ones, like Whedon and Gunn, and let’s them roll with their ideas, but he does excerpt more control over the wannabe kind of average ones like Wright.

        My bet is Wright had some dumbass ideas that Feige’s gut knew wouldn’t come off very well. Look at the horrid end to World’s End…the guy has never really shown the ability to finish any of his movies very well.

      • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

        Well, let’s say you’re right, and let’s all have Marvel continue hiring TV directors that get taken out of the picture during the editing process. Because, lord knows, Thor: The Dark World was great…

        Also, your feelings about Edgar Wright has nothing to do with the actual discussion being had in this editorial. Whether you like his films or not, which you don’t, he has a strong sense of identity. He doesn’t make cookie cutter movies that are designed for mass consumption. He makes the movies he wants to make. His dealings with Marvel is just an example of Marvel’s MO.

        People wanting these movies to be more unique or “better,” or whatever you want to call it, shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. If you really want to see variations of the same story structure for the next decade, more power to you, but when people are having a discussion, at the very least, try to stay on point.

      • MJ

        Guy, you must admit, Guardians of the Galaxy, the most current Marvel movie, completely disproves yours and Adam’s points here. James Gunn had a vision, and he executed it. It was unlike any Marvel movie to date.

        Additionally, Cap 2, which really hit on the current dangers of out of control drone warfare, and the U.S.’s over-response to terrorism, again — the Russo brothers vision succeeded very well within the Marvel context.

        And you mentioned The Avengers.

        I’ll grant you the Thor and IM sequels kind of sucked and perhaps illustrate yours and Adam’s point.

        But at least half of these movies are showing originality and directors visions within the framework. That’s pretty damn good. Star Wars and Star Trek have batted about .500, and Batman and Spiderman have batted much less than .500 in this department.

      • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

        I did admit that in my previous comments. I would like to see it become a continuing trend. Both worlds can co-exist if the proper time is taken. But they seem like they intend on pumping 2-3 of these movies out a year, so, it gives folks pause.

      • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

        The release structure is similar to that used in, DUN DUN DUN, television shows! Hey, we’ve come full circle!

      • MJ

        Seeing your name points out a surprise to me — why hasn’t anyone tried to reboot Kolchak – The Night Stalker?

      • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

        Actually, funny story, Edgar Wright is signed on toit with Disney! Haha, I’m sure you’re stoked!

        By the way, no hard feelings. I’m enjoying the conversation.

      • MJ

        Well, let’s hope for the best. :-))

        No, me too…good conversation…I appreciate it, man.

      • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

        They did have a television reboot a few years back with Stuart Townsend a few years back. It was pretty mediocre.

        I wouldn’t worry too much about Wright’s big screen take. It’s been in development hell for years.

      • Bob

        Not everyone shares your opinion of Thor, The Dark World. IMO it was a totally satisfying, highly entertaining addition to the marvel canon. Rag on me if you must but these films continue to do great business for a reason and I believe the reason is that they continue to deliver the goods.

      • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

        I understand that not everyone shares my opinion. I wouldn’t expect that, but doing “big business” doesn’t denote quality.

        I wouldn’t rag on you. Everyone has a right to their opinion, I just disagree.

      • Bob

        Your reply ignores the full statement of my post which concludes that they do great business because they deliver the goods. Both of our opinions are subjective of course and I respect yours as I hope you respect mine. And the films movie goers decide to make successful don.t always align with my taste. Why Transformers but not Edge of Tomorrow? What’s up with that? But you can’t deny success. Thor The Dark World was a success for me in that it did trmendously well at the box office and it delivered the goods.

      • http://mfhbff.wordpress.com/ Kolchak

        I’m not sure what I ignored. I disagree that they do it well, and I think Thor 2 is a structural and tonal mess. I respect that you like it, I just disagree, respectfully.

        I totally agree about Edge of Tomorrow. Hopefully it finds it’s audience on home video. One of the best popcorn sci-fi flicks I’ve seen in awhile.

    • MJ

      “Like what was stated in the article, the whole Edgar Wright fiasco is proof that Marvel/Kevin Feige want what they want, and don’t have much need/desire for true authorial voices.”

      Again, what was so great about this supposed “master of cinema,” Edgar Wright? Scott Pilgrim and The Worlds End?….B.F.D. He’s overrated, and we are fine without him. Same goes for the Joe Cornish hard-on so many of you have here. Bunch of average directors who fanboys have anointed as somehow some wunderkind directors. I am not buying it.

      You can plug in 10 different guys to replace these particular two average directors who fanboys have some misplaced love for.

  • Jax

    When I first watched The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 1 and 2, I didn’t even realize it was a connected universe.

  • Faptain America

    Man of Steel told a standalone story, and it was a great one, in my opinion. Certainly it had the Batman and Luthor Easter eggs at least, but they took a few seconds of the movie’s time, they didn’t contort the movie into an episode.
    Especially with Thor 2, there was an opportunity to tell a great story using popular and well-acted characters i.e. Thor and Loki at least. But the movie was little more than “And now we have Infinity Stone #2.”

  • Mr. Marvel

    Why does it feel that this article is just ANOTHER excuse to lament the exit of Edgar Wright? Yes, I’m upset that he’s gone. We ALL are Adam. But you have to let it go man! Move on and just hope for the best that Ant-Man turns out ok. Besides, It’s not like we’ve seen any actual footage from the film, just a test scene. I’m sure it will be well made with care and quality, just like every other MCU film thus far.

    • MJ

      I’m ecstatic that Edgar Wright is out. We all just dodged a major bullet.

  • Jack Dennis

    I have been wondering the same thing recently.will all films not directed by snyder have his visual aesthetic? i wouldn’t mind. I love the visuals and cinematography in his films.it can be done as Noam Murro perfectly exampled that in 300 rise of an empire. He would be my second choice for wonder woman behind patty jenkins.

    • MJ

      Should I pour you another shot?

      • Jack Dennis

        lagavula neat please

  • Kondorr

    90% of Marvel characters can fly, so 90% of all the movie epic showdowns will be aerial battles… check the comics, they all slab each other in mid air almost always!
    This is not bad movie making, this is staying close to the source material… anyway, why would you let someone who can fly walk on the ground?!?
    And regarding the other sameness of movies… comparing Cap1 to Cap2… never was a sequel so different from the earlier movie… than try to compare ANY marvel movie to the Thor movies… not possible… again, vastly different…

    The DC movies at the other hand… we will see… your Nolan argument might be accurate… but honestly, I am tired of seeing Batman rebooted again… I hope this TV-approach ensures, that Batfleck will stay with us for at least 20 years before on Dick Grayson takes the mantle… and he stayes for another 20 years…

  • PresidentObama

    Adam, of all the mistakes you’ve made in your article, your mentioning of “The Dark Knight” as one of the best stand alone superhero/comic adaptations is just RIDICULOUS. I quote, “With The Dark Knight, Nolan tells a singular, mostly close-ended story.” Errr, do you have brain damage or something because “The Dark Knight” would never have been possible without “Batman Begins” introducing us to and laying out all the background/world that Batman existed in, to begin with. Terrible article, sigh.

  • Gabe

    So much butthurt in the comments section. Those of you who are complaining that the word “editorial” wasn’t written in the title are the same people that say “well, that’s your opinion” in an argument. Of course it’s an opinion. Maybe you should’ve written “IMO” in the beginning and end of every sentence, Adam,

  • lord jim

    this article is so right in every aspect, good work!

  • Cedhollywood

    Interesting read. There are those that will scoff at it instead of taking into account that not only will we see tv like productions,but we will continue to see more “big action/light comedy” super hero movies that is for the summer family crowds. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But movies like The Dark Knight or even a Kick Ass will be made less and less. Not to say that TDK and KA are the only super hero films that are better over the rest but there is a audience that want a edgier more adult type of super hero movies. Marvel Films is making family films that will bring revenue and a audience to not only there movies but tv shows,amusement parks,merchandise etc etc. Once again there is nothing wrong with that. My point is that a film company like Marvel Films that has a focus for the family will not be making any super hero films that’s rated R for adults. Not to say that all super hero films needs to be rated R but there are a few characters that would make a great movie if they were.

  • DeathoftheEndless7

    I would agree if movies like Iron Man 3 and Cap 2 didn’t exist.

  • chrstphr

    It is a valid point, but I don’t think it is going to change anything. Simply put, the most successful shows of late have been large scale epic shows done with a show-runner, following a strict guideline of how the story should go. Even more simply put, why stop when it is working? Marvel is doing exactly what you say they are doing, but it is working for them, they’re making a metric-shit-ton of money, and if/when the story concludes, there will likely be solo unconnected superhero movies. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just to be clear, I agree with you, but they can’t hear you behind all the money they’re making.

  • Plissken

    great article–and an unfortunate reality. yeah, it’s great they’re “ambitious” by making maximum cash in an exponentially recognizable universe, but to shortchange massive potential with movies like Guardians and Cap 2 by giving us 2/3 of what could’ve been and a 45 minute-frisking-with-Michael Bay-territory finale has been perpetually disappointing

  • TheDarkNut

    When Disney bought Marvel many worried that a “Disneyfication” would seep into the comics. I was more worried for the films as the MCU had only just launched. Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk were standalone productions that were connected via after credit scenes. A safe gamble by Marvel looking back. However once it was established that we were in a connected universe there was no other way this could go. You can’t have an accurate representation of the vast Marvel universe told in 2 hour increments without sacrificing plot and character development to parcel out information of the larger plots and breadcrumbing easter eggs.

    Superhero films are evolving as a genre and for Marvel and DC/WB this serialization is appropriate. The adherence to continuity is heavily scrutinized unlike in any other film franchise except maybe Star Wars (which once we get the spinoff films will be more like Marvel) another Disney property. Comics have concurrent and interweaving story lines in their DNA and if X Men, Spider Man and Fantastic Four were under their umbrella it would be much more involved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sangbaran Sam

    I think Marvel achieved success because of the very flaw the author is trying to point out. the continuity on such a scale… it is unique and the audience is lapping it up.

  • dudu

    Alan Taylor was the main reason Thor 2 stunk. Marvel let the movie get away from the Asgard they built so beautifully in the first movie. Too much MCU build up was not the only problem with IM2. The writing was just boring. Cap 2 was not hindered by its involvement with MCU. And IM3 (IMO a great movie) was stylistically different from the other IM movies and MCU. Even if you think IM3 stunk, it was because of these differences. Personally, I don’t think Antman would work if it looked like Scott Pilgrim or the other solid Wright movies, but I am disappointed they couldn’t come together to create a Wright/Marvel movie. Gunn definitely had his style in GotG and it blends nicely with the MCU style.

    I just completely disagree with the premise of this article and like the way Marvel is managing its Brand/movies.

  • Alan Stowe

    Great article. Its totally true. The slavish connecting makes for bland films. None of the Marvel films outside of Guardians have held my interest for very long. They’re so bland. They lack any sort of cinematic styling. Avengers is easily one of the most over rated films of all time. And the fact that Guardians was so well received really shows how receptive audiences are to slightly more stand alone (ish) films that have some voice of their own. The voices of the other films run together. They’re so average and devoid of style its just exhausting to even sit through. Its an interesting idea having character arcs go through multiple films but they really need to stop making it so ham fisted and winky wink. Its just amateur really. I’ll take comic films like Dredd, Dark Knight and Scott Pilgrim over this sort of grey storytelling. And I’ll definitely take more Guardians with its light touch connection to the other films and an actual identity as a film for the most part.

  • Steve McCort

    I think it’s hilarious that you continue slam super hero
    movies. I don’t think Marvel is trying to replace Citizen Kane as (arguably)
    the greatest movie ever; they’re dressing up really good actors in plastic,
    latex and foam, giving them some corny one-liners and we laugh our way out of
    the theater and Marvel laughs to the bank. Period. Quit looking for substance in
    a superhero movie because at the end of the day it’s still a freakin super hero
    movie.

    And why are you and Matt so against Marvel being in charge
    of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Someone has to be the program manager to
    amalgamate all of these stories together and while you demonize Marvel for doing
    so, we the movie goers find it pleasing that Marvel has the vision to put a
    political twist on Cap 2 and lean more heavily on the Sci Fi aspect for
    Guardians to keep the experience fresh. It’s brilliant and I think Feige and
    crew should be lauded for their efforts. I wonder if you’ll say the same about
    Bond 24 before its release?

    I find it hilarious that you think that just because Chris
    Nolan was giving the artistic freedom to produce three really good Batman movies
    that you assume DC isn’t going to Marvelize their own cinematic universe. I guarantee
    you there will be a program manager to tie everything together for cohesion. And
    why are they going to Marvelize? Money. Make no mistake that the movie industry
    is a business and regardless of the studio they are out to make a profit at our
    expense and I will continue to throw money as long as a giant green superhuman punches
    a giant space slug in the face thereby collapsing it’s spine.

    DC will always have better characters because that’s the yin
    to Marvel’s yang. Smallville lasted 10 seasons, Arrow is going into its third
    season and it only gets better and DC is spawning new shows that will be
    equally good if not better because DC creates characters with depth. Marvel has
    cornered the market with action and DC has found its niche with character
    development. It is what it is.

    • Strong Enough

      “I don’t think Marvel is trying to replace Citizen Kane as (arguably)
      the greatest movie ever”

      they should be

  • Christopher Sims

    To play Devil’s Advocate here, reeling filmmakers into a cohesive universe is not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, The Dark Knight was it’s own incredible movie that can stand alone but it was in a universe itself, a universe that consisted of 2 other films. On the other hand consider Batman Forever and Batman & Robin…if the tone of those movies had to be in line with Burton’s films, we may have gotten 4 good films instead of 2 good, 1 sort of bad, and 1 completely horrible that almost killed live action Batman.

    What Marvel is doing is saying, “hey, you can make your own movie, you can do what you want, but let us look at the script to make sure it fits, fit the movie into our universe a bit”. Maybe Wright was too hung up on his original 2006 version and when Marvel made the request, “hey, can you somehow make this fit”, he rebelled. To each his own, Wright will probably go on to do a film he is completely passionate about and Marvel will get a film in its scope.

    This is new territory, never before has a studio required more than one film to gel like this on this scale. I don’t think you should think of it like a TV series, but more so as a Comic Book series, apropos. It is sort of weird having superheroes on screen, that obviously are incorporated with each other in the comic books, that do not acknowledge one of another’s existence. You could not have the Avengers if Marvel didn’t do what it did. It would be like making a Justice League movie with Brandon Routh, Christian Bale, and Ryan Reynolds. Better to insist upon cohesiveness, instead of pigeon hold different narratives and tones into a compilation that feels forced because it is. Fitting a round peg, a square peg, and a triangle peg into a star shaped whole.

    Say what you will about the Marvel movies being in the same vein, but Thor feels very different than The Incredible Hulk. Captain America 2 is a marvel, pun intended, and Guardians of the Galaxy hearkens back to the 80′s when you had wholly new Star Wars and Indiana Jones, on purpose. But those films do not feel like they can ever cross over, and yet they do. Not to mention Marvel Phase 3 seems to be hinting at even more distinct films, Doctor Strange, another Guardians, possibly a Black Panther, all of which will be new and exciting. I think the Marvel movies are very distinctive yet seem to have the ability to fit at any moment, this is the magic of Marvel. This is the magic of Pixar as well, by the way, both under Disney’s banner.

  • milo

    The TV comparison is especially weak considering how much amazing TV is made these days. And yeah, for the most part the good shows are stylistically consistent.

    Game of Thrones is a lot of different directors and writers, yet they have showrunners who keep the show consistent. And the result is fantastic. (same goes for a number of other great shows of recent years)

    Honestly, does GOT suffer from the individual directors and writers not being able to be “auters” (roll eyes here) and do whatever they want? Would it be better if each episode was in that director/writer’s own style instead of being cohesive with the rest of the series? The answer seems obvious to me.

  • Luke Grissom

    I understand the sentiment expressed but still feel this is the only way to do these movies and make them work for avenger type films. I understand the desire for another dark knight like film, but the dark knight stores would have never of worked in a superhero series. It was designed to be and individual story. If you want to have combined superhero movies like Avengers, you need to have a combined universe in which they exist. I loved all of the marvel movies. Avengers was awesome, guardians spectacular and the individual sequels all great too. The cohesiveness adds to that greatness.

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  • Johnny Blaze

    I’ll never understand why the majority have this insatiable need for a never ending stream of entertainment. It’s always quantity over quality. They also seem to think that being meta is the most clever thing since sliced bread as if it trumps the fact that underneath it all is a tired formula. Thor 2 and GotG for example had absolutely zero surprises from a story perspective. Everything can be telegraphed from a mile away.

    That said, I’m not totally against the whole cinematic universe idea, i just feel these things could be more self contained. Go ahead and do your cosmic epic over the course of three or so movies, but why that has anything to do with Captain America for example is beyond me. I just don’t get this childlike fascination with throwing everything including the kitchen sink into one pot. There’s no reason why a thunder God, a green giant, a titanium man, and a super soldier have to team up no matter how little sense it makes. If you want spectacle over story then you should simply go throw a bunch of random toys in the dryer and watch them tumble around.

    • Johnny Blaze

      I’d also like to make it clear that I have even less faith in DC/Warner, Sony, Universal, Fox, and any other company trying to attempt to jump on the cinematic universe bandwagon.

  • doc

    When a studio can put out a movie starring a talking raccoon and a tree that says three words, it grosses almost $100 million opening weekend, and is critically acclaimed, I think they are doing something right.

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  • MJ

    WELL SAID !!!!!

  • MJ

    WELL SAID !!!!!

  • appolox

    Yeah really. No offense to Adam but if you’re gonna write an editorial that might piss alot of people off and make them bitch at you then you really should mark it as an editorial so that the people who agree can read it and the people who will get pissed know not to. That way you won’t have to put up with people complaining. Putting this with the news was basically setting yourself up for hate.

  • appolox

    Yeah really. No offense to Adam but if you’re gonna write an editorial that might piss alot of people off and make them bitch at you then you really should mark it as an editorial so that the people who agree can read it and the people who will get pissed know not to. That way you won’t have to put up with people complaining. Putting this with the news was basically setting yourself up for hate.

  • lavaca

    Why don’t you discuss Adam’s points instead of attacking him? If you disagree it’s fine, but don’t shoot down the guy for writing it.

  • Adam Chitwood

    I wasn’t aiming to piss people off, I was aiming to express a frustration over what I see to be the major flaw in the MCU plan and consider how Warner Bros./DC might set up its own universe. Editorials are written with the expectation that they will provoke (hopefully thoughtful) discussion. If I was writing this solely to “piss people off”, I would consider it a massive waste of my time.

    As to those upset that “editorial” doesn’t appear in the headline, I’m not really sure what to say. I think it’s clear that this is an editorial from the get-go. It’s not like it’s being presented as a news story.

  • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

    I think that’s what’s frustrating to me. Usually Adam is a very reasonable guy. But here he presents a fair point like an extremely one-sided argument.

  • appolox

    If had just put an editorial tag on this then most of us wouldn’t be here.

  • lavaca

    How did you not know this was an editorial going into it? It’s pretty obvious if you consider the title…

  • El Alto

    I find the article interesting and entertaining, but I guess the thing about it is that it seems to accuse Marvel’s method of making movies is somehow incorrect (although you do a fair amount of back-tracking to praise them as well). So, my question behind the point of this editorial is more of a feeling of “why?” As in, why is it a bad thing to make a movie any kind of way. To judge and disagree with a method of creation is fudimently moot. Especially when it comes to a blanket genre of comic book films. Up until this point in history we haven’t had the means to make movies in the fashion as Marvel has. It’s not a perfect method of making movies, but it’s how they’re doing it. We as consumers are rewarding their efforts and they’ll keep at it until it stops working for them. There is still plenty of room for any studio to make any movie, of any genre to please any body. So, why write an entire editorial just to say somebody isn’t doing something right? Especially when it’s obviously what’s right for Marvel? And, yes, now after reading this comment I realize I’m basically doing the same thing… Oh internet

  • MJ

    Agreed. I completely disagree with you on this topic, but I am not going to whine like a baby here and claim it wasn’t labeled properly. That’s the tactic of weak-minded trolls who aren’t confident enough in their own opinions.

  • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

    It’s one thing to say their method has a FLAW. It’s another to call it a BAD IDEA. Do you think as a whole the MCU would be better if the films weren’t connected and each director got to make an independent film?

    That seems to be the real issue here. It seems obvious to most of us that the overall whole is better because it’s a shared universe.

  • dudu

    at 200+ comments, I’d say you were pretty successful.

  • Guest

    The adults in the room knew it was an editorial from the get go. The man children not so much.

  • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

    Except far too much of the discussion is about the discussion rather than the topic. They were successful in getting clicks and comments. But we’re not doing much discussing of the topic at hand.

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