Captain America Civil War VFX - Morning Watch

(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)

In this edition, we have an extensive Captain America: Civil War visual effects breakdown revealing all the impressive post-production work on display, which includes most of Iron Man‘s suit. Plus, we have a video essay looking at how the scene transitions in The Matrix enhance the movie, and another about the intricate details of costume design that you may not have noticed. Read More »

fragile masculinity of the mcu

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, and opinionated about something that makes us very happy…or fills us with indescribable rage. In this edition: a dissection of the fragile masculinity of Marvel movies, the overlooked homoeroticism of superhero stories, and how everyone can do better.)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether you realize it or not, it’s considered one of the biggest pop culture institutions defining modern American manhood. Heroes like Captain America, the Falcon, Iron Man, War Machine, Hawkeye, and Thor are considered red-blooded, hypermasculine American men (despite Thor’s role as a Norse god), and even outer space heroes like Star-Lord and lower-rung Avengers like Ant-Man evoke the ideals of fanboy manhood through snarkiness and Teflon attitude.

But all of this is really just a façade for a bubbling societal fear. These characters are archetypes for the fragile masculinity that affects too many men in America. That fear of not being “masculine” enough leads to misogyny, self-loathing, fear of homosexuality, and, at its most extreme, the deaths of gay and trans people (usually trans women).

I can already feel you getting overwhelmed, so let me scale this discussion back a bit to look at the small picture: Marvel and Disney. How does Marvel and Disney’s beloved MCU perpetuate this idea of fragile masculinity? How does it affect their audience? And, most importantly, what can they do to stop the cycle? Take a journey with me as I pick apart the MCU, its men, and why Marvel and Disney shouldn’t be afraid to show them as the vulnerable, soft-hearted human beings they actually are.

Read More »

All the Marvel Big Bads, Ranked By Badness

michael keaton as the vulture in spiderman homecoming

I totally get that you don’t want to read an introduction about how there’s a new (great) Marvel Cinematic Universe villain because of Spider-Man: Homecoming. You’re skipping this to get right to the list so you can get right to the comments section. No sweat. You’ve earned it.

If you’re still reading, there are two things to keep in mind regarding this particularly ranking of Marvel’s bad guys. One, I’m judging them all based on Personality and Plan Points. How magnetic are they? How stupid is their plan for world domination (or whatever else they’re seeking)?

Two, Thanos isn’t on it because he doesn’t count. He’s not a villain; he’s a Postmates customer with the munchies. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to Infinity War when he can legitimately join this list.

Read More »

spider-man mcu

Of all the guardians of the galaxy and Earth’s mightiest heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will be teen wunderkind Peter Parker who will be guiding us through the climactic Avengers: Infinity War and untitled Avengers 4 before bringing us into the mysterious fourth phase of the MCU.

The next four Marvel films will telegraph Peter’s journey as Spider-Man, after the character was first initiated into the cinematic universe in Captain America: Civil War. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spilled the details on the five-movie storyline for Spider-Man, and how he will play a role in the larger MCU.

Read More »

Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked

It’s become a tradition at this point: whenever a new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is released, everyone ranks the movies. And now that everyone on the /Film staff has had a chance to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and spend a few days digesting it, it’s time to completely refresh our list.

We invited the site’s core staff as well as our various contributors to rank all 15 movies in the MCU, with each movie earning points based on its placement in each list. This resulted in a ranked list that reflects the site as a whole rather than the opinion of Just One Person. So here it is: the world’s most accurate ranking of Marvel Studios’ output.

Read More »

Stan Lee

Greetings, true believers. There’s yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe film tearing up the box office – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As with all MCU films, there’s world-building, in-jokes, action, adventure, and of course, the prerequisite Stan Lee cameo. For more than 40 years now, Lee has been the most recognizable public face for Marvel properties, even the ones he had nothing directly to do with. Much like the Marvel post-credit sequence, a cameo from Lee is expected from fans; fans who will inevitably lean over to their theater mates and loudly whisper, “That’s Stan Lee!” when the moment arises. 

Because I’m committed to doing world-changing, issue-driven film writing, I’ve decided to rank every single Stan Lee cameo to date from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the sake of brevity I’ll only be dealing with the MCU films, and not the wealth of other Marvel-related films and TV projects, all of which Lee appears in one form or another. Excelsior!

Read More »

guardians of the galaxy vol. 2 concept art

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press junket, and we discussed a variety of things. We talked about how the Marvel tradition of post-credits scenes started, and how they are developed before, during and sometimes after filming. I also asked him about the lesson he learned working on You’ve Got Mail so many years ago (seriously!) and why he chose Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck to direct Captain Marvel. I also try to make some sense of the current chronology of the current Marvel films. All this and more below!

Read More »

2017 Saturn Awards Nominations

If you’re one of those people who gets frustrated because the Academy Awards don’t nominate the science fiction, fantasy, and horror films you love for Best Picture or any of the other categories, then the Saturn Awards are for you.

The 2017 Saturn Award nominations have just been announced, and not only did Rogue One: A Star Wars Story come out on top with 11 nominations, but all those comic book movies that never had a chance in hell of getting a Best Picture nomination landed a bunch of nods. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Doctor Strange, Suicide Squad, Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War and even X-Men: Apocalypse all received nominations.

But this isn’t just a comic book movie celebration, because plenty of other genre films landed nominations too. Star Trek Beyond, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and 10 Cloverfield Lane are just some of the other films that ended up getting nominated for awards, too.

Check out the full list of 2017 Saturn Awards nominees below. Read More »

Suicide Squad Concept Art - Joker and Harley Quinn Drive Thru

What kind of Batman board game is Monolith debuting at a Cannes game festival coming up? How did Jerry Seinfeld help convince Hugh Jackman that it was time to be done with Wolverine? Was there a Suicide Squad deleted scene with The Joker and Harley Quinn getting fast food? Will there be a Green Lantern cameo in Justice League?  All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

captain america civil war mondo poster

The good folks at Mondo have unveiled their latest poster: a Captain America: Civil War print created by Tyler Stout, one of the more popular poster artists working at the moment. And yes, it’ll go on sale tomorrow, so feel free to start preparing now if you want to snag one.

Read More »