Sunday, June 7, 2015

Marvel Cinematic Universe Retrospective: Intro

So I’ve wanted to do this for a while.

I love retrospectives. Taking a common theme or entity that combines something, and examining what makes it thick. Film is, of course, no stranger to common motifs, be they filmmaker, thematic linking, or even artistic choice. I have a couple in mind, and I wanted to get myself motivated to do longer reviews again (or just reviews in general) so now's a good a time as any

So why start on a film franchise? Why not something with  bit more of an artistic flair (and I have a few in mind geared that way)? Well, I love these movies! I think a a lot goes into them and, conversely, a lot can be taken out. I've been a comic book fan since I was five, and having these come out in such  huge way nowadays is just really exciting to me, so it's interesting to look back and examine just what makes these films so damn popular. 

Marvel Studios seems to own the world right now, but it’s not just because they make popular crowd pleasers (though that’s certainly a part of it). Their films are brilliantly marketed, they have great casts, likable characters, they’re fun and silly, and hit a lot of right notes.

Yet, they grew into this. Behind these films was a great plan; a through line to fine tune that voice, and get to that point of being the multi-billion dollar behemoths we know today, with no more than three movies in the top ten highest grossing of all time.

It’s interesting to see that climb, and to see how this little franchise (based on a pretty steady and successful corporation even before being taken in by the Evil Mouse Overlord, but hey, everyone loves an underdog story) came to be so damn beloved, and how it shaped their movies.

Also, I am going to work it backwards, and unravel this thread from there. For simplicity’s sake, and so I don’t spend the rest of my life on this, I will solely be focusing on the movies, not the shorts or TV shows. I also already did a review of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it’s a bit too early to see what effect it will have on the franchise, so I’m not reviewing it.

So, let’s step back in time one step at a time (usually six months) by going with the latest of the MCU flicks, and the most successful use of their formula to date: