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Endgame Spoilers: Playing with the F-Word ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Trolls the Trolls

This article contains spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame.” If you haven’t seen it, yet, seriously? You haven’t seen it, yet? Okay, well, since things on the Internet are forever and this could be read sometime in the future, if you haven’t seen it yet, book mark this page and come back to it. If you have seen “Endgame” then continue on after the trailer.

There is a certain segment of the movie going (and general) population whose trigger word is “feminism.” They came out against “Ghostbusters,” so hard that Leslie Jones had to delete her Twitter account. They’ve joined forces to harass “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” star Kelly Marie Tran into leaving social media.

The problem is so bad that when Rotten Tomatoes recognized campaigns to sink “Captain Marvel” “Black Panther” and “Star Wars: Episode IX” through bad reviews before the films were released, it changed its policy for reviewing films and only allowed people to review films after they had been released. That same anti-“Captain Marvel” campaign was addressed by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi in a class act social media post about how those actions actually hurt fandoms. People can like both films.

All of this plays into one amazing scene in “Avengers: Endgame.” All of the women on the battlefield during the confrontation with Thanos and his army come together on the screen to relieve Spider-Man and keep the gauntlet away from Thanos. It’s a glorious scene and sequence.

My first thought was “OMG! They did it. I can’t believe they did it. It’s amazing.” My second thought was “OMG! They did it. I can’t believe they did it. The trolls are going to be talking about this scene and deriding the movie because of it.” And they did come out to comment, which is unfortunate because one of the comments was a ridiculous “It’s not even realistic that all these women could get together on a chaotic battlefield to make this scene work.”

Let’s just take this comment at face value. “It’s not realistic…” This battle is literally about one thing: Getting the Infinity Gauntlet and keeping it away from Thanos. That’s all this battle is about. It’s not about killing the army on Thanos’ side. It’s not about counting bodies. It’s not about anything but Thanos and the gauntlet. Every eye in that battle, especially on the Avengers side, should be on that gauntlet and where it is at all times. Yes, you don’t want to get taken out by one of Thanos’ minions, but you also don’t want to get taken out by a second snap. So, when the women heard Spider-Man was in trouble, they all gathered to protect the him and the gauntlet.

Now, let’s move on to the more important point: “It’s not realistic…” We are talking about a movie where a rage monster merged with a genius and became a green, hulking scientist with little penchant for smashing things. This movie also featured an Asgardian getting a beer belly, half the beings in the universe having been snapped away, and stones holding sway over space, time, souls, reality, mind and power. Women were riding winged horses. Aliens were coming out of there spaceships. A man had grown to the size of skyscraper. A majority of the main cast had traveled through time, and many of the rest of them were resurrected after being dead for five years. Yes, it’s not realistic. It’s a comic book movie.

And let’s examine one more point: Comic team-ups are the best, especially for those who are less interested in comics. As a kid, I didn’t have a lot of money for comic books, so when I did buy them, they were either really cheap and secondhand or they were a comic that included a team-up. The return of almost the entire 11 years of Marvel superheroes at the beginning of the battle was powerful. Having the women team-up in the middle of the battle was also powerful. It was that moment of awe and wonder. They were both fan services, just for different types of fans.

For anyone who would criticize this scene, it’s important to realize what the scene really is and why you’re reacting to it negatively. Chances are, if you dig deep enough, you’ll find that you don’t like its implications of change at a cultural level. It does represent a shift in the status quo, and there’s no going back, no matter how much you fight, whine, complain and troll. What you should realize, though, is this shift is going to make it possible for your favorite comic book characters to survive. As more people enjoy the movies, the profits will funnel to the Marvel division of Disney and they will keep the comic books themselves on the shelves.

If you love Marvel comics, you should be grateful for everyone who saw “Avengers: Endgame” regardless of their politics and the fan service paid to them. Instead of wasting your time trolling, step into the light of a new day and find your power for positive transformation – like Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Maybe, you’ll even realize that scene wasn’t a fan service, it was a way to troll the trolls.

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Who Has the Better Fans: Marvel or Star Wars?

As “Avengers: Endgame” prepares to fall short of the domestic box office total of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” we should ask who has the better movie fans. Are Star Wars fans better than Marvel fans?

In the top 20 domestic movie box offices of all-time, there are five movies form the Star Wars franchise: “Star Wars” at 16, “Star Wars: Episode 1 – the Phantom Menace” at 15, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” at 12, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” at 9, and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on top of the domestic box office with almost $1 billion. The total take for these films is about $3.02 billion.

Marvel also has five films in the top 20: “Avengers: Age of Ultron” at 17, “Marvel’s The Avengers” at 8, “Avengers: Endgame” at 7 (still in theaters and projected to grab the number two spot), “Avengers: Infinity War” at 3, and “Black Panther” at 2. These films have totaled about $3.1 billion. Based on these two metrics, Marvel movie fans have the edge over Star Wars fans. (“Captain Marvel” is still in theaters and could make it to the top 20 if it receives a continued “Endgame” boost. It stands at 24 and is about $14 million away from passing “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial” and taking the 20th spot.)

Until “Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker,” Marvel fans will continue to have the edge, especially with “Endgame” making it to the second spot, giving Marvel three films in the top 5 for domestic gross. (In case you’re counting, when “Endgame” passes “Titanic,” Disney properties will own the top 5 movies of all time for unadjusted domestic box office.)

Marvel fans can make a huge statement with several films still on the docket before the next Star Wars release. The biggest statement would come if they can propel “Endgame” to the top spot and get “Captain Marvel” into the top 20. “X-Men: The Dark Phoenix,” “Men in Black International,” “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” “The New Mutants,” and “Kingsman 3” are all opportunities for Marvel fans to exercise their power as the best fan base by voting at the box office.

With the crash and burn of “Solo,” Disney has taken a step back from its Star Wars movie properties. However, in real life, Star Wars is the only property with its own land: “Galaxy’s Edge.” While Marvel characters have taken over Hollywood Studios at Disney California Adventure, it isn’t Marvel’s land; the heroes are scheduled to be moved into the former Bug’s Land in 2020.  This seems like a tie. So, what do you think?

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Does ‘Avengers: Endgame’ trailer tell the whole story?

Marvel has misled us before with its trailers. They have shown clips that didn’t make it in the movie: Remember the Hulk in the Battle of Wakanda? It was in the trailer but not in the movie. Marvel has also created trailers that showed scenes from the first 30 minutes and nothing else. (I think it was “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”) They’ve kept entire stories under wraps, except when Tom Holland has spilled the beans, and apparently Holland didn’t get the entire script for “Avengers: Endgame.”

What if this is what they’re doing now? These trailers could be from the first hour of the movie leaving the last two hours under wraps while we all pontificate over the details.

What are we going to see? Two and a half hours of Avengers assembling? This isn’t a Lego movie, and we already did that in “The Avengers.” Two and half hours of Tony Stark lost in space? This isn’t a sequel to “Gravity,” and Robert Downey, Jr. is no George Clooney. Two and a half hours of a “Fantastic Voyage through Inner Space”? We’ve been to the Quantum Realm; Marvel wouldn’t take us there again for the same meta-reason Doctor Strange didn’t use his Dormammu-bargaining time loop with Thanos.

They have to show the Avengers avenging to pay off Tony Stark’s assertion that “If we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it.” So far, the Avengers haven’t done any avenging. They protected the Earth on two occasions. They have to recruit Hawkeye/Ronin. They have to get Nebula and Tony Stark back. They may face trip through the Quantum Realm. They may get transported through space by Captain Marvel.

But we’ve already seen them battle Thanos. We’ve seen them in their glory, even if they didn’t win, even if it was without Captain Marvel. We’ve seen them going after the Mad Titan. Marvel isn’t going to make a three-hour long film about something they’ve already done. A battle they win against Thanos can’t be any more exciting than the one they already loss. We might as well plug in the Battle of Helm’s Deep. If Marvel wants to score more than just the largest opening weekend ever, it’s going to need to do something new. The addition of Captain Marvel and some time travel mumbo-jumbo isn’t it.

Which brings us to the Endgame… The Gamemaster, Red Skull, ADAM from Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Collector are presumably still around. Any of these characters could figure into the plot, especially considering that Jeff Goldblum and Benicio del Toro are big enough names not to waste on a couple of cameos and a theme park attraction. Maybe there’s a villain we haven’t seen manipulating Thanos and events.

Where does the story go after Thanos? I doubt if a second meeting and subsequent defeating of Thanos will be satisfying enough to justify three hours of film, and if that’s the case and “Avengers: Endgame” is only about beating Thanos, it could have a short and financially disappointing theater run. Then again, what if that Hulk scene in Wakanda was filmed for “Avengers: Endgame”?

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‘Shazam!’ bring the popcorn and have some fun

“Shazam!” is a fun DC romp that shows DC can use humor on its superhero films. Sure, there are some scary parts (The monsters are U-G-L-Y; THEY AIN’T GOT NO ALIBI; THEY UGLY!), and 14-year-old Billy Batson uses his newfound adulthood for some nefarious purposes, one of which he rejects outright. Another he indulges in and commits a crime to go back for more. It’s played for comedy, so it works if you don’t think about it too much.

Zachary Levi is at his goofy, charming best, and “Shazam!” is a fun popcorn movie. If you remember “The Greatest American Hero,” you’ll recognize elements of the TV superhero comedy as Shazam tries to learn about his superpowers.

I saw this in Russian with my wife, who laughed far more than I did, and after discussing with her some of the things I didn’t catch, “Shazam!” may be a little deeper than a popcorn movie. That being said, it was fun, even if it has a deeper message about envy and family.

Apparently, there are some people, aka trolls, causing a ruckus pitting “Shazam!” against “Captain Marvel.” A small part of this stems from the DC vs. Marvel rivalry. Small minds have an issue with holding two competing theories in them, and it’s the same with this rivalry. You can like DC AND Marvel. It’s not either/or; don’t fall for the false dichotomy. In fact, if you like Indie comics and want to see more of them on the big screen, going to see films that are like the Indie comics you love will cause the studios to scour the nation looking for stories they can adapt, thus creating a larger market for the smaller IP.

A larger part of this trollduggery is the unfounded fear that males, and usually white males, have at being rendered irrelevant as the world changes. They lose a power that has been a birthright since before the U.S. was founded, and the act of taking that power away and distributing it so that all people have the same equality of opportunity feels like discrimination. What good are the movies if you don’t share them? While we could delve deeper into the psychology of this issue, I’m just going to let Zachary Levi take it from here:

Of course, if you still want to ring in on the Marvel vs. DC question, you can take our poll.

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‘Captain Marvel’: The Problem with Prequels

Before the movie everyone is waiting for, fans of the Avengers films have to, get to, or whatever your verb choice is, sit through “Captain Marvel.” The movie in and of itself, without its connection to the larger franchise, has nothing really wrong with it.

Clark Gregg is amazing and fun. Brie Larson is a badass, and Samuel Jackson delivers as Agent Fury. There’s plenty of action, one lame reveal, and an amazing cat made for the Internet. The lame reveal is lame, but it’s surprising in its lameness, which makes it less lame by a smidge. At any rate, Marvel makes a good movie.

The problem is that “Captain Marvel” is a prequel, so there aren’t any stakes to speak of. You know what’s coming next “Avengers: Endgame.” If you’ve seen the other Marvel films, you know the Earth isn’t in danger, at least during this film. Captain Marvel is coming to fight Thanos and save the current half of the Marvel universe. That meta-knowledge renders the stakes in this film pointless. Captain Marvel, Agents Coulson and Fury, and Korath are all safe. Flashbacks have the same problem as prequels, but they’re shorter. (Let’s not talk about a flashback in a prequel; it gets too difficult to process.) How do you raise the stakes if the audience knows the outcome?

“Captain Marvel” doesn’t answer the question well. Instead, it settles for a cliché shot at an ancillary character Still, it’s a nice film, with a beautiful tribute to Stan Lee and his cameo. “Captain Marvel” is just enough to whet the appetite for Marvel’s “Endgame.”

Read more blog posts about Marvel.

Which was better: “Captain Marvel” or “Wonder Woman”? Leave your answer in the comments!