A short review of “Captain Marvel” (2019)

“Captain Marvel” (2019) has a couple of weaknesses, but mostly rises above them in its second half to become an entertaining big-budget popcorn movie.  It generally succeeds, and I had a lot of fun with it.  I’d rate it an 8 out of 10.

At first, the movie comes off as a mild disappointment — a boilerplate, made-to-order space opera with a thin script, simplistic dialogue and sometimes average acting.  (I personally don’t think that Brie Larson has the most depth or range of any actress in Hollywood.)

But the movie has a few surprises for us, both in terms of its story and its ability to win us over with humor and its sense of escapist, comic book fun.  Larson does have a lot of onscreen presence and charisma, and she does fine conveying anger and urgency.  She also has great deadpan comic line delivery.  After seeing the film, it’s difficult for me to picture anyone else in the role.

The special effects were nothing short of fabulous.  I didn’t expect to see a Marvel film with a space battle that could compete with those of the “Star Wars” franchise.  The fan service and the continuity with other Marvel films is also terrific.  Speaking of fan service — the Stan Lee tributes were genuinely touching.  One of them was a threefold reference to Lee, Kevin Smith and the 1990’s, when the story is set.  Talk about understanding how to please your target audience.

I’d recommend this.

 

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“Beware the Ides of March.”

Soothsayer: Caesar!

Caesar: Ha! who calls?

Casca: Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!

Caesar: Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry ‘Caesar!’ Speak; Caesar is turn’d to hear.

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

Caesar: What man is that?

Brutus: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Caesar: Set him before me; let me see his face.

Cassius: Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

Caesar: What say’st thou to me now? speak once again.

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

Caesar: He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.

 

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Today’s thoughts.

  1. If Mueller’s report is particularly damning, then releasing it on the Ides of March would be one hell of a Shakespearean reference.
  2. Donald Trump autographing Bibles is like me autographing a Gold’s Gym membership. Or a calculus textbook.
  3. I’ll bet yesterday’s Facebook outage did more to prevent Russian meddling in America’s affairs than our President has.

 

 

Throwback Thursday: 80’s-era Scouting handbooks.

If you were a Scout in the 1980’s, then I’m sure you remember these.  Yes, I was a Scout for a while too, and I fully realize that will amuse a lot of people who know me.

I’m pretty sure I aced that whole Cub Scout gig, as its only real requirement was being polite to adults, along with maybe doing good deeds every now and then.  I did just fine at the “Webelos” stage too.  Being a Boy Scout, however, had many more requirements — they included, among other things, not dying of exposure.  And here was where the expectations of scouting at last exceeded my natural aptitudes.

So I wasn’t exactly John Rambo out there.  If the Boy Scouts had voted on superlative awards, then I’m pretty sure I would have won “Most Likely to Die in the Wilderness,” or maybe “Most Likely to Perish in a Fire He Inadvertently Started,” or maybe even “Most Likely to Arrive at a Girl Scout Meeting by Mistake.”

Oh, well. I had fun with it.

The painting on the Bot Scout Handbook below, by the way, is “Come and Get It” by Norman Rockwell.  Here’s some trivia for you — if you’re ever surprised by the sheer volume of the man’s paintings, that’s because he completed more than 4,000 in his lifetime.

[Update: I see that I misspelled “Boy Scout” as “Bot Scout” above, but I’m leaving it there because it’s funny.]

 

 

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boy scout book cover

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