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About DavidMDaut

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  • Birthday 11/10/1991

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  1. DavidMDaut

    Episode 150 - The Avengers (w/ Jenelle Riley)

    Absolutely. Raimi’s Spider-Man movies really feel like the prototype for what would eventually become the MCU, and Spider-Man 2 is still the best the genre has ever offered. I know Amy’s not likely to go back to the superhero well any time soon, but Spidey 2 more than deserves a shot at the Canon.
  2. DavidMDaut

    Episode 150 - The Avengers (w/ Jenelle Riley)

    The other night I rewatched The Avengers for something like the 8,000th time and I tried an experiment: I did my best to divorce myself from a decade of familiarity with these movies and their characters and watch it from the perspective of someone who had never seen a Marvel movie before. Y’all, this is a buck wild movie. It’s weird and messy and structurally incorrect in so many ways. It throws a ton of nonsense at you in the first act of the movie and only gets around to providing context for any of it during the film’s second act. It’s probably safe to assume – thanks to the TV show – that people are at least casually aware of who the Hulk is, but it’s nuts that this film is effectively introducing the character for the first time and only makes vague allusions to what Bruce Banner’s affliction is until we’re 40 minutes deep into the film. And that’s to say nothing of cryogenically preserved super soldiers, Norse gods, and flying, invisible aircraft carriers. This movie shouldn’t work, and I get why it flat out doesn’t work for some including our dear host, Amy. But when we look at the seismic impact this movie has had, man, oh man did it work for *a lot* of people. Like, I said, this movie relies so much on assumed knowledge going into it, but when you look at the numbers (this one film made nearly as much as the previous Avengers’ solo films sans Iron Man 2 combined), it’s obvious that a whole lot of people saw this without seeing all or any of the prior five films. The reason I think it works as well as it does is due to its A+ casting. Every performance in this movie is so compelling that we’re invested in these characters before we maybe fully understand who they even are. And the joy of seeing these characters rub up against each other and the friction it causes is genuinely exciting. It’s almost easy to forget now that before this came out it was perceived as an astronomical gamble. Combining these disparate superhero franchises into one mega blockbuster might not even work, and the ingenious move The Avengers makes is that that’s the literal plot of the film. Can these disparate characters and personalities come together and function as a cohesive team. The movie almost tricks you into rooting for the very gimmick of its existence to succeed. And obviously it did given that we’re ten years and nineteen(!) movies deep into this crazy thing. The Marvel Universe has swept over Hollywood like the Biblical flood, and if this movie hadn’t worked, the entire universe would have died on the vine (see: Justice League). Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to personal opinion, but you can’t argue it’s not significant. In my estimation, The Avengers ranks alongside 9/11 and the iPhone as the most significant changers of global culture in the 21st century. Even Star Wars doesn’t have the global appeal Marvel has garnered. It would have been interesting to pit this against The Dark Knight, which is probably a better movie, but despite what it would’ve seemed in 2008, was the less meaningful long term. Back then, it seemed like Nolan’s superhero crime drama would change the face of the genre, but its only real successor in the DC universe has been dead on arrival since 2013. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to see how Marvel’s success has fundamentally changed the industry. Love it or hate it, The Avengers deserves a place in the Canon. This is among the easiest calls in this show’s history. It’s just too big a thing to ignore.
  3. This is a question that's always been interesting to me when defining what qualifies a movie for The Canon: is it more important for a film to be good or for it to be important? This week, we have a versus episode that directly challenges that debate in that the obviously better film (sorry, Amy) is also clearly less culturally significant. As much as it pains me, I voted TOP GUN. What it came down to is that – while MINORITY REPORT might be better – neither film is great. Neither qualifies for The Canon on sheer quality, so you have to look at other factors. MINORITY REPORT is a very fun sci-fi romp, but it's not even close to Spielberg's best movie, or Cruise's best movie, it's not had a particularly strong impact on the world of filmmaking, nor has it persisted in the broader pop culture. TOP GUN, on the other hand, is goofy slice of '80s cheese that hasn't aged particularly well, but it was a monumental film for one of our premier movie stars, it was a seminal piece of '80s culture, and its legacy still persists in the popular zeitgeist. *Everyone* knows this movie, even if they've never actually seen it. MINORITY REPORT is the better movie, but TOP GUN is far more deserving of a place in The Canon.