So, are we ready to talk about this?

My first comment is that it didn't feel like a three-hour movie -- it felt like they packed four hours of story into it. I felt sometimes like I was drinking out of a firehose. Maybe it was because I loved just about everything. Here's my firehose of comments:

  • There was certainly more characterization than I expected. Glad to see it.
  • Loved Cap vs. Cap. (I write about it in this week's column.)
  • Loved Professor Hulk (Ditto.)
  • Surprised they chose to kill Black Widow, and disappointed that it was in exactly the same way as Gamora. I could have gone for a new approach to obtaining the Soul Stone -- I mean, surely the Avengers are more creative problem-solvers than Thanos. But I suspect that it will play into the Black Widow movie in some way, and establish a replacement Widow. (Either Yelena "Black Widow II" Belova or a re-cast of Natasha.)
  • And my first thought when Widow was killed was "Damn. Should have been Hawkeye." I'm sorry, but Natasha was interesting, and Hawkeye is not. (Oh, how odd, he's a family man! Yes, odd for a superhero -- but not interesting.) Also, I loved Jeremy Renner in American Hustle, but man, is he unattractive. If nothing else, I'd rather look at Scarlett Johansson.
  • But obviously Hawkeye's got to be around for his Disney+ series, so my wife and I both kinda knew how that scene was going to play out. I still thought we saw too much of him. I mean, he's boring.
  • Speaking of my wife, she cried throughout. She said she hadn't cried at a movie since she was 10. There's a heckuva review!
  • That unidentified teenager at Tony's funeral? That was the kid from Iron Man 2, all grown up.
  • So now we know how Loki survived. Well, a version of Loki, since the (sometimes contradictory) description of time travel in this movie would indicate that they created an alternate timeline, and that timeline's Loki is the one that survived, and all we need for Hiddleston to star in his Disney+ series is to find a way for alt-Loki to get to our dimension. Piece o' cake.
  • Speaking of which, Steve Rogers created an alternate timeline when he stayed with Peggy. That's where the shield came from. (Thanos destroyed the one from our dimension.) When Falcon says the shield feels like it belongs to someone else, Cap says "It doesn't" -- which could mean that it now belongs to Sam, or it could mean that it used to belong to alt-Sam in Cap's other dimension. (And how did our Cap get back here, anyway? Questions abound!)
  • Some critics have complained that Thor taking Mjolnir from the past should have repercussions. That's a dog that doesn't hunt, because we saw it on the stand with Cap when he went back in time to replace the Infinity Gems. IOW, it as obvious he meant to return Mjolnir to its place in the timeline, too.
  • I'd like to have seen that. Man, I'd watch a whole series of Chris Evans replacing stuff in time.
  • Evans was so, so good in the role. Now does everyone see why Captain America has always meant more to me than just another superhero? It's not his strength or whatever -- it's his philosophy. He represents the best of men, writ large.
  • The replacement Gamora is from before her time with the Guardians, which softened her considerably. She is essentially a villain again, like she currently is in the comics. She and her sister could cause some trouble. I suppose that's what Guardians 3 will be about. I don't know if that will include Thor, because Hemsworth's contract is up, too. I guess we'll see.
  • Some critics have noted that the only significant, multiple-movie player that didn't appear in Endgame was Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). I beg to disagree. Since death is no barrier (with all the time traveling), we could have seen anybody, and we didn't see a number of multiple-movie characters such as Ronan, Odin, Sif, Darcy, Phil Coulson, Vision, the Nova Corps, Sharon Carter and probably a few more I'm not thinking of. Technically we didn't see Jane Foster, because the clips we saw of her were taken from Thor: The Dark World. (although Natalie Portman did do new dialogue that was dubbed in).
  • Speaking of which, they sure did a deep dive on a number of characters. It was surprising to see Frigga, Jane Foster (sorta), Jasper Sitwell, Brock Rumlow, Jarvis and others.
  • Speaking of Jarvis, that character, as played by James D'Arcy, has never been in the movies before. He was in Agent Carter. Is he the first Marvel TV character to make the leap into the Marvel movies?
  • I really liked seeing Cap and Peggy dance. That was a running line all through Captain America: The First Avenger, and has been referenced a time or two since. They both earned that dance.
  • Cap looking through the glass at Peggy, Tony meeting his father, Thor talking to his mother -- wow, they went all out trying to make us cry. And it worked.
  • I laughed out loud when Cap repeated the elevator scene from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and got the Stone without a fight by using the "Hail Hydra" line from Secret Empire. A callback to the comics, a clever ploy to avoid a fight, and a terrific thought experiment about how confused that left Jasper Sitwell. (Assuming that doesn't cause a separate timeline.)
  • It's beautiful that Tony's last important words were the same as the ones that set this all in motion: "I am Iron Man." Evidently that was an ad lib in Iron Man! It sure carries weight now.
  • Did Tony have to die? Yes. They established in a number of movies that no human could hold even ONE Infinity Gem, much less all six. Even the Hulk could barely survive it. Also, RDJ's contract was up, he has said on a number of occasions he wanted to leave on top and not as a ridiculous old man playing superhero, and he is already 54 (and starting to look it). Also, he made $75 million on Infinity War ALONE, and God knows how much he'll make for Endgame and how much he's already made on the other movies. He sure doesn't need the money.
  • Which is one reason I don't think we'll see him as a hologram or AI program or something, as some have suggested. He would simply cost too much. If they do that, they'll probably re-cast with a lookalike/soundalike.
  • WandaVision on Disney+ is supposed to be set in the '50s. That precedes Vision's death, but it also precedes his creation. (And Wanda's.) Given Wanda's power set, though, I guess anything is possible.
  • Who will be the New Avengers? Captain Marvel and Captain America/Falcon seem like a lock, and I think it's been revealed that Spider-Man will be. Who else? We have a lot of options, despite the carnage: Ant-Man, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Valkyrie, Wasp and Winter Soldier leap to mind.
  • Do you think they'll rename the Disney+ series Falcon and the Winter Soldier as Captain America and the Winter Soldier?

OK, I've wandered into mindless speculation territory. What did y'all think?

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Once again, I'm late to the party because I refuse to see an MCU movie without The Lad, and he's been busy. So ... I don't have much to add about favorite moments that Cap and/or CK haven't already touched on.
I will say this. I have always enjoyed Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. But to me Chris Evans' Captain America was always the heart and soul of the MCU. Evans took on the impossible task of playing a character who has to be likeable and relatable and REAL .. and, oh yeah, also the living embodiment of the best we can possibly be. The best friend, the best leader, the man you would trust with everything that mattered to you, knowing that he would always do the right thing. And he nailed it.
So all those key Captain America scenes everyone has already mentioned? THOSE were the ones that got me all goosebumpy and teary-eyed. Cap wielding Mjolnir, Cap saying "Avengers Assemble", Cap getting his dance with Peggy. Those hit me in the gut in a way that surprised me, in the same way I was surprised by how emotional I got when I saw the Avengers on screen the first time.
I'm as old as RDJr, but I still have a 10-year-old inside me who thinks these characters mean something. That they deserve to be treated with respect. I think they, and we, got that.

I was making fun of the fact that, to the best of my recollection, the name "Captain Marvel" has not been voiced outright within either of the character's two film appearances.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

A.) Who is the "Marvel that dare not speak her superhero name"? I must have missed out on that one.

B.) I was fine with Fat Thor, but I LOVED Professor Hulk!

Gene Phillips said:

"Marvel that dare not speak her superhero name."

Did not like Fat Thor or Professor Hulk.

The thing I like best about Cap's time-trip is how it spits (heh) in the cornflakes of all the fans who wanted a "Stucky" relationship in the MCU: that is, a Cap-Bucky hookup.

I don't have anything about wild fantasizing with fictional characters. I get a little aggravated with fans who act like producers who don't indulge their fantasies are not "woke" enough.

Doctor Hmmm? said:

Once again, I'm late to the party because I refuse to see an MCU movie without The Lad, and he's been busy. So ... I don't have much to add about favorite moments that Cap and/or CK haven't already touched on.
I will say this. I have always enjoyed Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. But to me Chris Evans' Captain America was always the heart and soul of the MCU. Evans took on the impossible task of playing a character who has to be likeable and relatable and REAL .. and, oh yeah, also the living embodiment of the best we can possibly be. The best friend, the best leader, the man you would trust with everything that mattered to you, knowing that he would always do the right thing. And he nailed it.
So all those key Captain America scenes everyone has already mentioned? THOSE were the ones that got me all goosebumpy and teary-eyed. Cap wielding Mjolnir, Cap saying "Avengers Assemble", Cap getting his dance with Peggy. Those hit me in the gut in a way that surprised me, in the same way I was surprised by how emotional I got when I saw the Avengers on screen the first time.
I'm as old as RDJr, but I still have a 10-year-old inside me who thinks these characters mean something. That they deserve to be treated with respect. I think they, and we, got that.

ClarkKent_DC said:

  • I have to say, there were places where the CGI on the Hulk looked a little cartoony.

Here's a piece from IndieWire describing the work that went into animating Professor Hulk: "It Was No VFX Snap Introducing Smart Hulk to ‘Avengers: Endgame’"

LOTS of coverage of Avengers: Endgame at Business Insider:  "TAG: AVENGERS ENDGAME"

Gene Phillips said:

"Marvel that dare not speak her superhero name."


Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

A.) Who is the "Marvel that dare not speak her superhero name"? I must have missed out on that one.


Gene Phillips said:

I was making fun of the fact that, to the best of my recollection, the name "Captain Marvel" has not been voiced outright within either of the character's two film appearances.

There's a reason for that. From Business Insider: "'Captain Marvel' Consultants Explain Why Carol Danvers Wasn’t Called By Her Superhero Name in the Movie"

A great roundup of Easter eggs in the movie, from Business Insider: "60 Details You May Have Missed in 'Avengers: Endgame'"

Gene Phillips said:

There were assorted things I liked about the movie, but on the whole it's much weaker than INFINITY WAR. I think it's because the people behind the cameras knew that they were going to make a buttload of money no matter what they did, so they felt free to drop a lot of major plotlines (why was the Hulk unwilling to come out of Banner, how did the surviving Asgardians end up on Earth). 

ClarkKent_DC said:

As for the Hulk being unwilling to come out of Banner, I thought it was pretty clear in Avengers: Infinity War he was scared of getting his butt kicked, because Thanos actually did just that -- and that was something that had never happened to him before. Exploring how he got over that and became Professor Hulk would take another movie, and it could be an interesting one ...

I stand corrected. From that Business Insider collection of Easter eggs, under the subheading "'Endgame' Introduces Us to a Version of Professor Hulk", it is explained the Hulk wouldn't come out because he was bickering with Banner. As somebody put it elsewhere (in an article I can't put my finger on right away), the Hulk was irritated that Banner calls on him only to have him go beat somebody up, and just refused to do it any more.

ClarkKent_DC said:

... but Mark Ruffalo has said many times another solo Hulk movie can't happen because of a rights snafu with Universal, which produced Hulk with Eric Bana and The Incredible Hulk with Ed Norton. Why Universal can't reach a deal with Marvel the way Sony did with Spider-Man is one of those things that keeps lawyers busy at work. 

He said so to Variety ("Mark Ruffalo Sizes Up Chances of a Standalone 'Hulk' Movie: 'It ‘Will Never Happen'"). That comment is quoted in this piece from CNBC: "Marvel's Post-'Endgame' Anger-Management Issue: The Incredible Hulk' Future". Part of it is that Universal wants to hang on to its rights to keep the Hulk as an attraction in its theme parks.

Thanks for the link. Nevertheless, I think this reasoning is fallacious:

"Livanos: The story of the film is, Carol doesn’t even know that she’s Carol. Carol starts out thinking that she’s a member of the Kree Starforce, named Vers. It’s a journey of self-discovery and really, in a way, her name doesn’t define her. Names given to her don’t define her. It’s the embodiment of her mission that does." 

I think it's a lot more likely that the scripters just couldn't figure out a good explanation for Danvers to adopt the name of her mentor, given the convoluted way that the whole "Bourne Identity" plot played out.



ClarkKent_DC said:

Gene Phillips said:

"Marvel that dare not speak her superhero name."


Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

A.) Who is the "Marvel that dare not speak her superhero name"? I must have missed out on that one.


Gene Phillips said:

I was making fun of the fact that, to the best of my recollection, the name "Captain Marvel" has not been voiced outright within either of the character's two film appearances.

There's a reason for that. From Business Insider: "'Captain Marvel' Consultants Explain Why Carol Danvers Wasn’t Called By Her Superhero Name in the Movie"

I like the "Hulk got scared" explanation better than the official one.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Gene Phillips said:

There were assorted things I liked about the movie, but on the whole it's much weaker than INFINITY WAR. I think it's because the people behind the cameras knew that they were going to make a buttload of money no matter what they did, so they felt free to drop a lot of major plotlines (why was the Hulk unwilling to come out of Banner, how did the surviving Asgardians end up on Earth). 

ClarkKent_DC said:

As for the Hulk being unwilling to come out of Banner, I thought it was pretty clear in Avengers: Infinity War he was scared of getting his butt kicked, because Thanos actually did just that -- and that was something that had never happened to him before. Exploring how he got over that and became Professor Hulk would take another movie, and it could be an interesting one ...

I stand corrected. From that Business Insider collection of Easter eggs, under the subheading "'Endgame' Introduces Us to a Version of Professor Hulk", it is explained the Hulk wouldn't come out because he was bickering with Banner. As somebody put it elsewhere (in an article I can't put my finger on right away), the Hulk was irritated that Banner calls on him only to have him go beat somebody up, and just refused to do it any more.

ClarkKent_DC said:

... but Mark Ruffalo has said many times another solo Hulk movie can't happen because of a rights snafu with Universal, which produced Hulk with Eric Bana and The Incredible Hulk with Ed Norton. Why Universal can't reach a deal with Marvel the way Sony did with Spider-Man is one of those things that keeps lawyers busy at work. 

He said so to Variety ("Mark Ruffalo Sizes Up Chances of a Standalone 'Hulk' Movie: 'It ‘Will Never Happen'"). That comment is quoted in this piece from CNBC: "Marvel's Post-'Endgame' Anger-Management Issue: The Incredible Hulk' Future". Part of it is that Universal wants to hang on to its rights to keep the Hulk as an attraction in its theme parks.

By the time I got around to seeing the movie, Trevor F. Noah had already dropped a huge spoiler trying to be funny. I just finished reading this entire discussion. I wish I liked this movie as much as you guys do, but when it comes down to it, it’s still just a movie. There’s no way a three hour movie can stack up against a lifetime of reading comics. Horseraces. Just my way of saying, “The book was better.” I expected Adam Warlock to be in this one. That was my biggest disappointment. Seems to me he was in the post-credits teaser sequence of the last one (or it may have been the last Guardians of the Galaxy). Oh, well.

Yeah, Adam has been teased in, I think, both Guardians movies. He's evidently going to be ultimate product of a golden race that reproduces outside the womb, and we've seen a cocoon twice.

And I'm genuinely sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as you wanted, too. I always feel frustrated when people enjoy things I didn't, because they're finding something that I didn't, and I want to know what that is. (Or maybe I'm just jealous they're having a better time than me!) Sometimes someone will say something that clicks with me, and I can view a book from that perspective, and change my opinion. Sometimes not.

But, yeah, we've got decades of enjoying "the real thing," and that's a joy no one can ever take away. We're all on board with that, I suspect.

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