I Have An Idea
I have an idea.
It may not be a good idea, but it’s my idea.
I have an idea, and it may not be a good idea, but it’s my idea, and I’ll let time be the judge as to whether it’s good or not, and I’m going to pursue my idea and see where it takes me, even if it kills me. Hopefully it won’t; this isn’t a hill I want to die on.
Enticed? Not yet? Give it a second. Here’s my idea: I want to run the gauntlet of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the perspective of a total novice to the series, and I want to catalog my journey here. Given that I am a total novice to the series (well, mostly - more on that later), I’ve got the perspective part locked down. I expect the harder task will be actually powering through the intimidatingly massive catalog of MCU movies that has been stacking up since 2008 - seriously, there are somehow twenty-two of these suckers, but you probably already knew that - and making sense of what I’m seeing, since my impression from what I have seen is that there are about a million moving parts and inside jokes and obscure pieces of comic book lore and Stan Lee cameos glueing these movies together into some huge, cosmically glowing, definitely-caped transformer. Are there transformers in the MCU? I’ll find out!
Before I get going on this thing, a little more about me and my bonafides: I watch a ton of movies and tend to have strong opinions about them but am by no means a seasoned movie critic; really, I’m just some guy who has observed, with fascination and mostly from the sidelines, as superhero movies caught fire a decade ago and burned hotter and hotter, and who, in 2019, is wondering what he might have missed out on, if anything. To be perfectly candid, though, I have seen a choice few of these movies. I saw Iron Man when it jump-started the franchise in 2008 (just like how the ARC REACTOR jump-started Tony Stark’s heart, amiright? See, this is gonna be fun maybe!), and I’ve caught snippets of its sequels on cable in the years since; I saw Captain Marvel about a few months ago; I’ve seen both installments of Guardians of the Galaxy; I’ve seen Black Panther; and I’ve seen Dr. Strange, for some reason. That’s it. No Thors, no Captain Americas, no Avengers. I’m an 80%-ish pure, unspoiled, MCU-free, 34-year-old man-child.
To drop even more brutal honesty on you, I’m also coming at this project as a quasi-skeptic. I have by no means loved all of the movies I listed above; in fact, I flat-out disliked a few of them. I do recognize, however, that fully appreciating and even understanding a MCU movie released during the waning years of whatever we call this 2010 to 2020 decade (the 10s? The 2010s? I’m not into either of those.) likely requires a little more background information than I have, so I’m hitching up my movie-watching trousers and am fully prepared to re-assess whatever needs re-assessing. I’m ready to do the research, and I’m going to share the results with you as I go. What sort of conclusions will you be privy to? What will I be sharing, exactly? I haven’t quite figured that out, but it’ll probably be a mix of what I liked about a particular movie, what I didn’t like, what confounded me, what deeply disturbed me, whose costume is the most righteous, and any other loose ends that strike my fancy and feel worthy of discussion. Basically: whatever jumps out at me and makes me feel feelings.
You may disagree with me, you may be a Marvel fanboy or fangirl and find your sensibilities inflamed and want to call me a troll or an opportunist or whatever occurs to you, and you’re welcome to think those things, but I’m really just doing this because I’m curious, because I want a new writing project, and because I want to quell the chronic case of FOMO I’ve been harboring for so long.
So let’s get into it. Given the length of these movies and the finite nature of time, these definitely won’t be weekly entries, but I’ll try to stay on top of this project to the best of my ability. Iron Man, the Robert Downey Jr. bombshell from 2008, is first up, and I’ll tackle it next week.
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