Heres what's important. That's all I need to see. pic.twitter.com/FCEv7u6IOT
— Mat's Nerd Corner (@matsnerdcorner) February 28, 2019
Back in my 1970s comix-nerd days, I was almost entirely a DC reader. Only two Marvel-Universe films we’ve seen are Black Panther and the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Captain Marvel character didn’t appear in print until after I’d pretty much given up reading the genre. But I may have to drag the Spousal Unit to the new movie anyways…
From the NYTimes, “Can ‘Captain Marvel’ Fix Marvel’s Woman Problem?”:
When “Captain Marvel” opens next Friday, it will be a moment of great satisfaction mixed with lingering frustration.
The film, which stars Brie Larson as that spacefaring comic-book superhero, is the 21st entry in the interconnected Marvel movie franchise since it began in 2008 but only the first to focus principally on a woman…
Marvel has built its own fortunes on a decades-old supply of costumed adventurers that doesn’t lack for women. And the studio has been criticized for its slowness to create movies emphasizing its female characters.
So what took Marvel as long as it did to reach this point? And will “Captain Marvel” be the movie that makes good on this long unfulfilled potential?…
In recent years Marvel has… gained a reputation for giving opportunities to filmmakers who don’t have a background in tentpole action movies. That category includes the “Captain Marvel” directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who are better known for low-budget offerings like “Mississippi Grind” and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.”
Recalling an early meeting with Marvel, Boden said they told the studio, “All we have is the character stuff. And they said, ‘We know how to explode things — we need directors who can tell a story.’”
(“Captain Marvel,” written by Boden, Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, is also the first Marvel movie to have a female director and only the second, after 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” to credit women as screenwriters.)
Larson, an Academy Award winner for the 2015 drama “Room,” said she was initially wary when she was approached for “Captain Marvel” and unsure if she wanted to take on such a high-profile role.
But the actress, who has called for greater participation by women and people of color in the film industry and in the media covering it, said the global rollout of “Captain Marvel” could help bring her advocacy to a wider audience…
In Captain Marvel’s favor, Larson said that while other Marvel heroes are weak and lowly at the start of their origin stories, “she was a badass before she got her powers.”
A former Air Force test pilot named Carol Danvers, she gains superhuman abilities from an alien race, and Boden described the movie as a mystery of sorts in which Danvers must investigate her own past.
“As she gets to know herself and embrace what makes her her, she really achieves her true power,” Boden said. “Part of that means rejecting the voices of people who tell her she’s not strong enough and doesn’t belong. I feel like a lot of people will be able to relate to that, particularly women.”…
There’s a good section (which matches my own memories) about the major-media comics ‘Mod Revolution’ of my era, the late 1960s/early 1970s: DC was attempting (however ham-handedly) to take its roster of female characters into a new feminist space — Wonder Woman as MS-empowered Diana Prince, Mera as Aquaman’s equal in power rather than just his girlfriend. Marvel, on the other hand, seemed to divide its efforts between designing soft-core porn uniforms for its eyecandy-of-the-month ‘cover babes’ and complaining that female superheroes led to division and social breakdown. Wasn’t really a surprise, even at the time, that the developing subset of Truly Fanatical Comic-Book Readers / Buyers / Creators were increasingly Y-chromosome.
Things have changed since then, for the better if you ask me (and the accountants). Which is why I applaud Rotten Tomatoes for its latest reaction to the bitter-enders of the hyper-insulated TruFan monasteries, per the Washington Post:
… On Monday, Rotten Tomatoes, an online review aggregation service that allows the public to score the movies alongside critics, announced that it would no longer allow users to comment ahead of a movie’s release. Rotten Tomatoes assured users they would be able to post reviews after the movies had opened and that its signature audience score would appear after a film is released.
The site had been used by some individuals to try — or at least, threaten — to “bomb” audience ratings for films such as “Black Panther” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which both featured diverse casts and prominent female characters.
The decision comes ahead of the release of one of the biggest female-fronted blockbuster of the year: “Captain Marvel.” In the film, which opens next week, actress Brie Larson plays a superhero endowed with mysterious powers by an alien race. Early reviews and reactions have been positive, and it is projected to make about $100 million in its opening weekend, Variety reports. But Larson has also been speaking up, loudly and consistently, about the lack of representation among film journalists, making her a target for accusations that she is “racist” and “sexist” against white men.
“Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in nonconstructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership,” Rotten Tomatoes said in a blog post. “We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action.”
Rotten Tomatoes also made other changes to its audience ratings to “more accurately and authentically represent the voice of fans, while protecting our data and public forums from bad actors.” It also altered and minimized a metric called “Want to See” ahead of a movie’s release, in which people could rate how much they were interested in the movie…
If you see this and it makes you mad, fills you with contempt, or makes you feel you’ve had something taken away from you then, well, fuck you. pic.twitter.com/gZaCiRds0s
— Pete Woods (@thatpetewoods) February 28, 2019