The moment that Captain Marvel starts working is when Brie Larson’s hero crashes in through the roof of a Blockbuster Video. If you thought that nerd culture’s recent spate of eighties nostalgia was overbearing, just you wait. The nineties are back baby. Her first reaction to it is to blow the head off a True Lies standee. The disappearance of the video store was a great blow to the growing democratisation of culture; our local one was family owned, lived in a tiny place between the One-Stop and a chippy. They had as complete a collection of the studio Ghibli films as I think it was possible to have, the proprietor was the guy who introduced us to them.
I’ll admit, the first shot of Glass didn’t fill me with much confidence. A masculine bodied person, wearing a dress, stalks into a room to intimidate a new batch of abducted young girls. It spoke to everything that I hated about Split: its stigmatisation of non-normative bodies, the casual nature of its depictions of abuse. Our first glimpse into the lives of our self-identifying heroes and villains disappointingly confirms that not much has changed.
Shortly after my screening of Aquaman I was chatting with someone who was considering going to see it. ‘I’m not too sure yet, people have told me it’s cringy.’
‘I wouldn’t say “cringy”,’ I replied, ‘but it’s definitely silly.’
See now, I remember back in 2013 I saw the trailer for The Lego Movie. I had seen Jump Street at that point, but not Cloudy and Lord and Miller weren’t really a directorial team that I was following. I didn’t know if the film was going to be any good, but I knew I had to see it on the big screen. There just wasn’t anything else ever made that looked like it. There was nothing that moved in the same way.
Alright, Venom is bad. Not like interestingly bad, or creatively bad, there’s honestly very little of merit to be found in this feature. What makes it redeemable is that it is the exact sort of bad that makes it really fun to watch.
I’ve been struggling on the how of criticising Deadpool 2 (what no witty subtitle?) for just about a week now. Not because there’s loads to criticise, or even that I really disliked it. No, the problem lies in its relationship to itself, or more accurately Deadpool’s relationship to the entire construct that surrounds him.
I think I habitually overrate Marvel movies. I mean, I’m pretty sincere when I consider them just about the most important contemporary releases. A decade seems to have been the right amount of time for these movies to mutate, a hybrid combination of pap and prestige. They are the most honest reflection of our culture and politics that is being created right now. You can feel it in the struggles, the barbs present in these films’ souls. What they see in society, what they want to be seen, and what remains conspicuously absent from their tapestries.