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Everything posted by zslane

  1. Thor: Ragnarok spoiler thread

    Good point. In addition to that, it seems that the MCU-promulgated notion that Mjolnir can't be moved unless someone worthy moves it (like Thor or Vision) appears to have been debunked by the fact that Surtur's dragon managed to shake it off after Thor tried to keep him pinned down by dropping it into his mouth.
  2. Black Panther with spoilers

    It would seem that the personal struggle we got to see was Okoye's. I guess they didn't feel they had time to do that for W'Kabi too. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  3. Marvel didn't yet have a formula when Batman Begins or The Dark Knight came out. In fact, I'd say their formula for success didn't really emerge until 2012 when The Avengers thoroughly eclipsed Dark Knight Rises. The decision to approach superheroes "realistically" and "seriously" wasn't a particularly awful one, as it potentially offered a point of distinction with what Marvel was coming out with, but that wasn't the start of their corporate psychosis, in my view. They didn't truly go off the rails until after The Avengers put incredible pressure on WB to turn Man of Steel into the basis for a shared universe. It was that strategic decision, along with completely untenable time tables, that put them on the path to implosion they are now trying to rescue themselves from.
  4. Black Panther with spoilers

    I probably should have paid closer attention to W'Kabi's characterization. You're right, he was a co-villain right from the start.
  5. Thor: Ragnarok spoiler thread

    Swordapalooza simply doesn't fit her character, period, and "making it kewl for the kiddies" doesn't change that.
  6. Thor: Ragnarok spoiler thread

    Typically by convention, a necromancer takes out massive armies with an even more massive undead army. Summoning swords to whack-a-mole at the enemy soldiers does not seem fitting. But I guess if Marvel's view is that any costumed super-hero/villain based on Norse mythology must have an attack based on an ancient melee weapon, then I guess it really doesn't matter which weapon they choose since such an association is completely arbitrary to begin with.
  7. Thor: Ragnarok spoiler thread

    Well, her ability to utilize the Eternal Fire to raise dead things and command them makes her more of a Necromancer than a Gladiator, IMO. She also ruled Hel, the Norse realm of the dead (even in the comics). It is in this sense that I figure she acquired her "goddess of death" moniker.
  8. Black Widow

    Presumably the adamantium lacing isn't regarded as a damaging agent in his body, so his healing power doesn't react to it. But any foreign object that tears tissue and creates any sort of internal trauma surely would trigger healing, including the expulsion of said foreign object (regardless of what it's made of)?
  9. Black Panther with spoilers

    And rather than T'Challa's death making him angry (and maybe even a little vengeful?), like it did everyone else who was close to T'Challa, W'Kabi just thought, "Good riddance"? Look at how Killmonger's rise to the throne tore at Okoye's heart. It even forced to her completely re-evaluate her notions of duty and loyalty. W'Kabi exhibited no such conflict within him. I guess I'm just placing far too much weight on T'Challa's (misguided) understanding of his "best friend's" regard for him. If the movie intended to paint W'Kabi as a co-villain, then I'd say it surely succeeded. But if it intended to make W'Kabi's actions sympathetic and "understandable" then the movie failed for me in this respect.
  10. Well, I guess it depends on to what extent you credit Nolan (and the success of his movies) for pushing WB over the edge from an operational point of view. I give way more credit to the success of the MCU than to the success of the Dark Knight trilogy.
  11. Black Widow

    Penetration performance will also be heavily dependent on angle of attack.
  12. The two good Batman films don't really count in my book since they aren't part of the DCEU, and they pre-date the desperate charge to compete with Marvel in the shared universe market. That's when WB really went off the rails and lost the ability to do anything right. Let's face it, the staggering success of the MCU really put the zap on WB's head, and they haven't been able to get it screwed back on straight since. Yes, Wonder Woman was the exception, but it was only that, the exception rather than the norm, and so far it merely represents that one lucky swing that manages to knock the ball out of the park.
  13. Black Panther with spoilers

    Well put. However, I still feel W'Kabi's reaction, indeed his entire perspective, was a bit contrived, for the primary purpose of making it easier for us to swallow the idea that he would side with Killmonger in the ensuing inter-tribal conflict, even after watching Killmonger kill his best friend (regardless of the fact that it was "legal").
  14. Thor: Ragnarok spoiler thread

    I think with the right fx, death auras can definitely translate into terrifying visuals and dramatic fight scenes. In general I'm just a really big believer in tight character concepts. No death/underworld goddess I'm aware of (Norse or otherwise) was the "goddess of magically-materializing pointy projectiles", and there's a good reason for that (it don't make any dang sense).
  15. Not only Justice League. Suicide Squad also suffered from onerous meddling and course-correcting by the studio. Then there's all the subsequent chaos of trying to get The Batman off the ground, the overall strategic decision to try and match Marvel at their game, etc. WB showed a consistent inability to get out of their own way, with their intransigent commitment to Snyder being only one example of that. Feige would never have continued with a director who was responsible for a movie that received the kind of scathing public scorn that BvS received. Yet WB doubled down with Snyder and put him in charge of Justice League. I'm sure some would call that loyalty, but others would call that poor judgment (me being among them).
  16. Black Panther with spoilers

    T'Challa understood that when a mission goes sideways, you still have opportunities to bring in (or kill) a fugitive of the state, but you only get one chance to save a man's life after he suffers a mortal wound. It is a grave matter of ethical priority-setting, and T'Challa had to make a very quick decision on the spot. It's what leaders do. W'Kabi, presumably having never faced such tough decisions, was in no position to judge IMO.
  17. Excising Snyder and his vision is only a partial solution. A bigger issue, in my view, is the extent to which WB imposes itself on the creative process to the detriment of the final product. Getting rid of one director does not cure the disease at the heart of the failure of the DCEU, IMO. Replacing its head honcho was a necessary move as well, but we have not yet seen the results of these changes at WB. Until there is actual evidence, in the form of excellent films on screen (and more than just one, like, say, the WW sequel), that WB has figured out how to turn its stable of DC characters into successful franchises, I will remain skeptical.
  18. The recent change in leadership over at WB has the DC fanboys high on the hope that the ship will be righted, and righted quickly. I remain skeptical. I guess I have a real "prove it to me" attitude when it comes to DC movies, and so far only Wonder Woman has managed to show me anything worthwhile (since Nolan's second Batman movie). One good movie is a fluke until proven otherwise, in my view.
  19. Black Panther with spoilers

    There is a big difference between a reason and an excuse. T'Challa didn't have to contend that the possibility of mission failure (which always exists, I don't care how elite you or your team are) made failure "okay". All he had to do was contend that mission failure is not the same as not trying, or the same as having a policy of turning a blind eye to Klaue's crimes. W'Kabi seemed to view the mission failure as being equivalent to not even making the effort. You make good points about the challenge trial. Let's hope that T'Challa has the good sense not to let challenges like Killmonger's lead him to poor judgment again in the future. Otherwise his rule may not be as enduring and prosperous as his father's was. If he thought ruling Wakanda was tricky before, it's only going to get trickier as all kinds of outside influences start to have their effect on Wakandan society. Governments of nations change all the time, but usually the change is slow and gradual. When a coup d'état occurs, it becomes a potentially serious international problem. That's what happened to Wakanda. Luckily for them, it happened (and then un-happened) before they opened up and decided to create formal diplomatic, economic, and (presumably) military ties to other First World nations. If it happens again merely because their sitting king is goaded into accepting a challenge for his throne, a challenge which is decided "in the octagon", so to speak, where the ability to govern takes a back seat to the ability to fight a single opponent to the death (or submission), it will be difficult for any nation to see the value in forming and maintaining their international relationships with them. Yes, Wakanda is "opening up" now, but they seem to hold on to their ancient traditions very dearly, despite the more modern demeanor of people like Shuri. It remains to be seen just how many of their old ways they are willing to set aside and let die in order to have any credibility on the world stage.
  20. Black Panther with spoilers

    Again, there's a difference between breaking a promise, and failing a mission. I think W'Kabi knows the difference but was just so frustrated that he allowed himself to become petty about it. Which while understandable to some people, still bothered me. It also bugged me that T'Challa did nothing to set him straight, suggesting that he half agreed with W'Kabi, which is utter nonsense. As for their challenge ritual, it isn't the ritual itself that is problematic. It is the fact that no nation is going to want to establish formal relations with a government whose leadership is decided solely on the basis of a hand-to-hand combat trial that can happen at any time. You can't build effective political, economic, and military agreements when you can't even count on the leadership (and its ideology) remaining in place from day to day.
  21. Thor: Ragnarok spoiler thread

    Three different writers are given writing credit for the screenplay, and I'm sure many uncredited others were involved. I reject the notion that there was a single unified vision for the screenplay that can explain (or be blamed for) the "logic" behind each narrative element of the film. The fact that we can, with a little discussion, make reasonable sense of things means they did a pretty good job given the odds stacked against them.
  22. Thor: Ragnarok spoiler thread

    Maybe that's what Odin was referring to when he said Hela draws her great power from Asgard; maybe he meant she draws power from the Eternal Fire, something she can really only do if she's on Asgard. Once Surtur was reincarnated from the Flame, it became a contest of who could wield it more potently, with Surtur having the advantage of prophecy on his side.
  23. Black Panther with spoilers

    I thought this movie was very well done and definitely deserves to be ranked up there among the best of the MCU films. But, as others have mentioned, it isn't perfect. I agree that Killmonger was too easily accepted as king; the fact that Wakanda's laws allowed for him to take the throne by simply goading the sitting king into accepting a challenge shows just how fragile and perhaps outdated their system of government truly is. But perhaps this was meant to show how fragile any culturally-isolated monarchy would be in the modern world? I also didn't care for W'kabi's attitude towards T'Challa when he failed to bring in Klaue. You'd think he would understand that complex covert operations, conducted within the borders of distant sovereign nations do not always go as planned. Rather than see T'Challa's failure as nothing more than a failure of mission execution, he chose to see it as some sort of ideological betrayal ("I thought you would be different. But it is just the same thing.") That's just lazy Hollywood writing IMO, shoe-horning a wedge between close friends just to lay the (unearned) dramatic groundwork for the Wakandan civil uprising that needed to happen in the third act. I also kinda wish Nakia wouldn't have repeatedly stressed that she was "just a spy" when she clearly had extensive combat training, including the expert use of those Tron identity discs (hey, now we know who invented those for the MCP!). But the merits of the film vastly overshadow its shortcomings, IMO. The bad CGI Panther-action animation throughout the movie was par for the course for Hollywood (they really, really don't know how to do superheroic fighting action while also maintaining a proper sense of mass, inertia, momentum, and speed), but all the other fantastic visuals made up for it. And while I was disappointed to see two really fun and interesting villains killed off (Klaue and Killmonger), that was just par for the course for the MCU and was mitigated by the survival of all the wonderfully badass women in the film (including Shuri who was badass in her own, adorable Q-like way). I can see how some people might feel that the movie's "message" was a bit heavy-handed, but I didn't feel that way. I felt it delivered its message of optimism and duty (to those who desperately need help) with just the right combination of eloquence and urgency. I am absolutely on T'Challa's side when it comes to his new mission to show the world how to reject disunity, and to step up and help all of humanity. Let's just hope the other tribes remain on board with his vision for Wakanda's future.
  24. Thor: Ragnarok spoiler thread

    When Thor defeated Surtur at the beginning of the film, Surtur did not have the benefit of being imbued with the Eternal Fire. Once he was reborn from that Flame, Ragnarok was then in full swing and I don't think any Asgardian, not even Odin, would have had the power to stop the destruction of Asgard. The way I see it, Asgard was the target--as decreed by prophecy--and Hela was the collateral damage.
  25. Black Widow

    It's hard enough as it is to maintain creative integrity in just a single tentpole film while holding at bay the slavoring demands of the corporate overlord and its voracious bottom line. Doing so over the course of a decade with a mega-franchise made up of smaller sub-franchises is nearly impossible. Long-form storytelling is just not cinema's forté, and the fact that Feige and Co. have managed to succeed to any degree is nothing short of miraculous. I cut them considerable slack when it comes to things that you normally don't do (or even get to do) in film, like long-term romance development, or recurring villains, or complex intertwined mysteries (ala Lost). Some things will inevitably be sacrificed at the altar of the Mega-Franchise and the need to "rush" to the big party that will rake in all the cash. It's fine to point out those flaws when they exist, but I don't think it is terribly realistic to believe it would be easy for the creatives to do any differently given all the pressure that comes from so many opposing interests, none of which care at all about striving for narrative perfection.