Winter Sunlight

Saw Civil War yesterday

Relieved to be able to stop the spoiler blackout, mostly.

I didn't hate it, but as much as it annoys me to admit this, I do think when the whole fandom predicted it would be a depressing, bombastic, badly written mess, I should probably have listened, because you all were right. It was very much along the lines of those old 1980s superhero "Hulk vs. the X-Men!!" type events, where the heroes beat up on each other for 22 pages because of some implausible paper-thin pretext and then you pick up Hulk #204 to continue the story (or whatever). I also think the hand of editorial meddling was really obvious. I read an article last summer about the Avengers franchise pointing out that it's become too sprawling to produce good movies anymore; like the comics, everything is now setup for other movies, tying in plot threads from other movies, shoehorning in superheroes from other movies ... and they're right.

All that said, I definitely enjoyed the experience -- I mean, c'mon, I'm a superhero fan from way back. Bombastic, stupid movies about superheroes beating on each other are fun for me. Plus, they're fun to see in the theater. The crowd wasn't as invested as the one for Avengers last summer, so there wasn't as much audience reaction, but the whole theater gasped in unison when Rhodey hit the ground. I'm glad I did manage to spoiler-blackout myself and was able to see it without knowing anything about it. I also seriously expected someone to die, especially in the fight at the end, and was completely shocked that no one did.

I really loved the Sam and Bucky bits (I'm super easy for those two, and Stan & Mackie play off each other so well; someone give those two a road trip movie), the Rhodey and Tony bits ("Give me back my Rhodey!"), and to my complete shock because I had 0% interest in the character up 'til now, everything to do with T'Challa. He's great, the actor's great ... I'm really looking forward to the Black Panther movie now! The fight scenes were a lot of fun and well choreographed, though now I spend half my time feeling sorry for the actors when I'm watching these movies since the whole process of making them, and getting ready for them, looks so grinding and miserable.

And I wondered if Tony's "I'm just doing what has to be done" was a deliberate callback to Agent Carter, knowing the writers are at least somewhat involved in that show as well, and since it was used in a very similar context to the show's recurring use of that line.

I'm much more tempted to write fic than I was expecting. The idea of everyone on the run and hiding out in Wakanda opens up lots of fun possibilities (and exploring Wakanda as a setting looks like loads of fun; plus, you just know Natasha is going to be cheerily double-agenting between the rebels and the official group of superheroes, and possibly Sharon too). On the other hand, I'm not sure if I actually feel like wallowing around in this canon right now, since I suspect thinking about this movie in too much depth would blow away most of the actual enjoyment I got out of watching it. And I don't think the fandom is interested in the kind of fics I'd be wanting to write for it anyway. (Not that that's ever stopped me before.) I suppose I'll see how much inspiration comes along.

ETA: Oh, I forgot to say - it was fun to see that some of what I've been writing in fic actually turned out to be canon, like Sam's goggles having a HUD. I also feel like the actual, canonical post-WS Bucky is really close to how I used to write him - soft-spoken, stubborn, grouchy, a little shy around the Avengers (or at least very uncertain of his welcome, for obvious reasons), messed up but still functional and competent. If I do start writing him again, I don't think I'll actually have to change my characterization at all.

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I saw it yesterday, and the weirdest thing for me was Martin Freeman speaking in American but doing facial expressions in British. ;)

It's interesting in the sense that it asked a question and then never really answered it: "Do superheroes need oversight?" became "do we need to take down This One Guy"?
MARTIN FREEMAN AUGH. There was something very uncanny-valley about him in this movie. I wonder if an accent-facial expressions mismatch was what was bothering me. I'm also not sure why you'd bother casting Martin Freeman and then having him play an American; that seemed a little weird to me!

I do feel like it was an interesting question they raised about superhero oversight, that really needed two or three movies to deal with, and it ended up getting waved aside in favor of the Bucky plot ... but the Bucky plot wasn't really dealt with either, because so much of the movie was buildup for the oversight plot. It may be that part of Infinity War (or whatever they end up calling it) is going to deal with it some more, though.
The Bucky plot was... deferred, I guess? I understand why they did it, I think, but it's an odd choice.
I saw it yesterday, and the weirdest thing for me was Martin Freeman speaking in American but doing facial expressions in British. ;)

I didn't even think about that! I was just wowed that his American accent was so convincing; he didn't drop into a monotone as many British actors (especially men) tend to do when doing Americans. (I didn't see Fargo the series.)
Oooh, I'm glad you've seen it!! I'm kinda glad I don't pay a lot of attention to the online stuff of the MCU -- I read a few things that get posted to FB (not the spoilery ones) and in places like Entertainment Weekly, but I don't really discuss/theorize with it much except with the friends who enjoy it, too.

And seriously, the thing that got me, as much as anything, was Peggy. I mean, it's not surprising, really, but I *knew*, the moment Steve got that text, and almost immediately, I thought of you :) And OMGosh, Sharon's "plant your feet like a tree..." and Steve *doing* that.... Just made me melt in umpteen ways. I can't help but <3 Steve, even as much as I also love Tony and everyone else. Seriously, just *love*.

And also, I'm glad it didn't break my heart more than it did. I was just soooo afraid they were going to either royally screw up the characters, or somehow screw them up so I wouldn't be able to enjoy them any more. But they managed to stay true to the characters and yet still make you believe why they were taking the stances they did.
I was SO glad they didn't kill anyone! I was really worried for Steve and Tony in the final fight. And I really did think they'd killed Rhodey for a moment there.

I'm glad I knew the spoiler about Peggy's death in advance. At least I had time to prepare. I'm still sad about it, even though she lived a good long life and did lots of things! But still. Peggy. :(
Meeeee, too!! I was so scared someone was going to get killed, even if accidentally. I'm just glad it wasn't any worse in that regard :(

I didn't know in advance, but I just realized it immediately when he got that text, even with no other context. And yeah... it's just... it's **Peggy**!! I was glad they actually let Steve have some emotions about that and all, though, too. It was wonderfully done, even if it was too sad, anyway.
Yeah, I went into the movie expecting to be Team Cap all the way, but ended up thinking Tony's side actually had the better argument. Steve's "you can trust us to make the decisions for you" was very him, but also very naive.

Peggy's death ... I'm glad I knew about it in advance, because at least I had time to prepare emotionally, but it was still very hard to watch the funeral scene. I worry a little that we saw both Peggy and Howard's deaths in this movie -- well, Peggy's funeral, and Howard's onscreen death -- because it makes me concerned that it bodes ill for the show's future. I know most of the news lately has been nervewrackingly negative on that front, and the movie was a done deal even before season two aired, but this makes me even more concerned that Marvel has decided to tie up those loose ends and move forward. I'm trying not to be TOO doom and gloom about it yet, but it's very sad to think that Peggy's role in the present-day MCU is finished.
I know! I'm so conflicted about the possibility of the show getting renewed, honestly. On the one hand, more Carter would be AMAZING, and as good as the other two seasons were, it would probably be great! But if I were going to ask for a good stopping place, with lots of potential for all kinds of fic, I really don't think it's possible to get a better ending than we currently have. So conflicted!!
The Adventures of Agent Carter, Her Boyfriend/Fiance/Husband Agent Sousa, And Their Sometimes Friend Jack, And Their Interpersonal Dramas NOT Involving Romance
I still have my fingers crossed for Netflix to pick this up. It's probably very silly of me, but I do.
I have mixed feelings about Civil War. I think you're right in that the number of balls they're juggling has become too great and it's difficult to keep them all up in the air. I loved the first Captain America movie (more than any other movie in the franchise other than the first Avengers movie). I enjoyed TWS, though I felt they could have had fewer big explosion scenes and more characterization. But I was disappointed in AoU.

I think CW did a much better job of handling all the different characters than AoU did, but the seams are showing. This could have easily been an Avengers movie instead of a CA one, and that's disappointing. I was a bit disappointed by the ending as well, though it felt like they were pointing at the next potential movie with giant arrows and a 'hint, hint, wink, wink.'

I think what it really boils down to for me is my belief that Steve Rogers won't survive the next Avengers movie--and that someone else will take over the role. There have been murmurs for a while now about who would replace Steve Rogers in the Captain America role--in the comics, I believe it is Bucky, but Marvel has been hinting at other things. In the end, I think my desire to keep some distance between this fandom and myself stems from my firm belief it's going to break my heart in the not-too-distant future.

Silly, I know, but there you are. I've been harshing my own squee on this fandom for a while now. :/
Yeah; I DID enjoy the movie, but I also feel like the movies are starting to collapse under the sheer amount of stuff they're trying to cram in -- the number of superheroes and ongoing plot threads and so forth. I was thinking about this some more this morning, and specifically I was thinking of a conversation my husband and I had after we saw X-Men: Days of Future Past, namely that what really makes the Marvel movies shine (that the last few non-Marvel superhero movies haven't done) is the way they humanize the characters. You get all those little downtime moments where they're just interacting with each other or doing normal-person things. Even AoU, overstuffed as it was, had a few of those (the party; cooking at the ranch; Tony's conversation with Fury in the barn).

But this movie had almost NOTHING like that; aside from a few brief exchanges between characters (Bucky and Sam in the car; I will never be over that) it was lacking all those little humanizing touches that made the other movies so relatable and fannishly satisfying. Partly because there just wasn't TIME (they were trying to include so much), but partly because it wasn't a priority. Remember how people in SGA fandom used to complain about how the cut scenes were always character development, when they still made room for long space-battle scenes and so forth? I feel like the priority in the movies has shifted that way as well. We could easily have lost a couple minutes of Steve and Tony beating on each other for a scene between Steve and Bucky on the plane, or one with the prisoners in the Raft, or a little more aftermath in Wakanda. For the most part, the only really long character-interaction scenes we got in the movie were either politics, or things like the Tony-Peter Parker scene that were mainly setup for other movies (introducing the Spider-Man character to the MCU). And I think that problem is just going to get worse and worse as they keep cramming in superheroes. IMHO, the most effective movies in the franchise have ALWAYS been the smaller-scale ones that had more time to dwell on individual character relationships, and this is probably the last solo CA movie (at least there are none on the schedule for the next few years), so ALL we're going to get of Steve and his entourage in the future is the group movies where the plot is going a million ways at once, and it makes me sad that the last individual CA movie turned out to be like this.
Yes to all of this. Especially in trimming down the 'let's smash each other to bits' scenes in favor of more character interaction. *sigh*

And yes, it used to frustrate me that TPTB would spend precious moments of episode time on these long shots of ships in space and wind up cutting character scenes. It was one of the reasons the claim that SGU would be more character-driven pissed me off.

There were far too many 'this is a set up for something else, guys' moments in this movie.
Sam & Bucky in the car were the best part of the movie (and the brother shares your wish for a Falcon + Winter Soldier road-trip movie!)

Though really I think I'm glad I'm not really in the fandom proper (at least not when Loki isn't involved) because while I didn't adore it, I enjoyed most of it; it was overblown and absurd, sure, and emphasizes why people in general should not have superpowers (because it reduces everyone to a gradeschool bully mindset, that everything can be solved with fists, and while in most shounen they have the excuse that they're teenagers or aliens, when it's middle-aged guys you just gotta think there's a better way...!) But it was a lot of fun besides that - the all-out superhero brawl is half the reason to want a superhero team in movies; and both sides had reasonable points (I was on Natasha's side: bow to the inevitable when necessary, but try to keep one hand on the wheel.) And I too was astonished that no one died - and it amuses me that "everybody lives!" is the surprising twist now. Much prefer it this way...(not that anyone would actually stay dead, I mean, it's comics...)
*waves from Friends-of-Friends*

I also feel like the actual, canonical post-WS Bucky is really close to how I used to write him - soft-spoken, stubborn, grouchy, a little shy around the Avengers (or at least very uncertain of his welcome, for obvious reasons), messed up but still functional and competent.

Yes, this! Your "Oasis" is one of my very favorite Bucky fics, and that's the Bucky we were left with. Ok, he's in the deep freeze *sigh* but, still.
Finally managed to see it last night! It was fun in parts, I do love a bit of dry humour here and there, and Spider-Man was adorably hilarious most of the time! I was spoiled that Spider-Man appeared, but the only Spiderman I know is from the movies a few years back (and I think we only saw the first two of them), this version is much more fun and adorable! I think I might be a little smitten!

I wish I'd seen Ant Man first,but fortunately it wasn't too spoilery and I soon realised who he must be when he went small, though was a bit confused at first! Love when he's in Tony's suit and says he's his conscience and that they should talk more, lol!

I didn't know about Peggy's death, but as soon as I saw the text Steve received, I knew who is was about. Very sad :(

I didn't think it was the best movie in the franchise, but there was enough fun bits to make up for the bits I wasn't so keen on. I don't get this thing about pitting superhero friends against other thing, but then I don't come from a comic reading background. I prefer my teams to be teamy - yes, some disagreements, but not all out war.

So, there's going to be a Black Panther movie? Could be fun. He certainly seems an interesting enough fellow - and I do like big cats!! I also see there's a Spider-Man movie in post-production. I think I'm going to enjoy that one very much! :) I wonder if he'll learn to shut up during battles? I do hope not!! :D
I was a bit disappointed. They had some character moments, and I wanted more. As you said, we could easily have lost a few minutes of Cap and Iron Man pounding on each other.

I wanted more T'Challa. I'll get that, but I'll have to wait for another movie.

I wanted more of Natasha—both sides must feel somewhat betrayed by her, and it must have cost her greatly to do that. But she did the right thing: she very nearly stopped the fight before someone got seriously hurt. It's not her fault that Rhodey did (and I was so shocked by that and briefly afraid he'd been killed, and then I was sure that he was fine, and he was anything but fine. . . ).

I wanted much more of what was going on in Bucky's head. How did he pull himself back together after DC? How has he been living? What does he want to do? I'm glad he refused to kill people (although it's awfully hard for me to take that entirely seriously when he says the words and then pounds people with battering rams). But I really expected to see much more of him. Maybe next movie? I'm confused—there are so many coming out.