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NOTICE: What Happened, How It Was Resolved and Moving Forward

Vee

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  1. So this is about to be upon us, but I wanted to take a minute to talk about the beginnings of Marvel as we know it today. I watched Iron Man tonight in full for the first time since 2008 - the capstone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It really holds up and is both modern, funny and human. What wasn't known then, but is now, is just how much of an incredible gamble it was. Many people know Robert Downey Jr. was uninsurable by '08, and that Marvel had to backstop him themselves. But it was also largely an independent film, taken on by the fledgling Marvel Studios only after every studio had put the property through development hell since the '90s before abandoning it, because no one cared about Iron Man. At that time, Marvel, only a handful of years out of its '90s bankruptcy, had sold most of its marquee character rights (Spider-Man, the X-Men, etc.) to other studios. Captain America and Thor were too earnest or esoteric to try out immediately. Iron Man, a character focus-testing indicated most of the general public thought was an actual robot if they knew him at all, was the only shot. The script was at least half-improvised, a la Robert Altman (a direct influence on Jon Favreau during the making of the film, and it shows). And Marvel had to take out a massive bank loan to finance the film at all. If it flopped or only broke even, the bank would own the entire remaining Marvel property catalog. But it worked. I won't say much about Captain America: The First Avenger because I think it stands for itself. It was also a huge gamble - a very earnest, even cheesy on paper, potentially jingoistic character being launched in a post-GW Bush America. I love Captain America but I never thought it could work onscreen. It did and it's still one of the best films Marvel ever made. I'll leave talking about the others to other people for now. I'll just say what I've said many times - what Marvel has accomplished is beyond my wildest dreams as both a film buff and a longtime comic book geek. If you told me we'd be here now a decade ago I'd call you insane. For better or worse, Marvel has created an entertainment superstructure that rivals the golden age of the Hollywood studio system of the 20th century. As Endgame is already out in parts of Europe, Asia and Australia, please tag all SPOILERS. The reviews are pretty good so far. (Granted, it got a B- from the guy at the A.V. Club who hates everything; a B- from him is an A anywhere else.)
  2. That Victor spoiler is every bad story he's had for at least a decade.
  3. Uh-oh! My mother was there, and this is how white str8 male organizers essentially behaved during the antiwar movement when Bernie came of age. Women shut up, black people were ancillary, the gays were beneath concern - it was always about the passionate, virile white guy with the megaphone who, if you really understood his rap, would sleep with you. That paradigm has not changed much on the far left for fifty years. When it began to in 2008 and a black guy took over the party and didn't listen to them, most of the latest generation of passionate white guys (Matt Taibbi, Greenwald, Scahill, etc.) proceeded to lose their fuckíng minds. Then, they began to do what a lot of their predecessors had done in the 70s and 80s - drift towards the enclaves of the right or right-adjacent or at least sympathetic, spaces where their voices are still heard first and loudest. The history of our ego is cyclical. Now, is Bernie those guys? Not exactly. I believe he means well. I also believe he's ultimately very privileged and self-absorbed. Take away a microphone and funds from him now, after he's had more than he dreamed, and I will wager $100 he will be on Fox in five years.
  4. Vee

    HBO: Game of Thrones

    Iain Glen is the aged Bruce Wayne/Batman of DC's streaming Titans series.
  5. America: Stop taking your little kids to horror movies while they're in theaters.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Khan

      Khan

      I pray that one day we find a cure (if not a vaccine) for that [!@#$%^&*] awful disease.

    3. Juliajms

      Juliajms

      Oh no. This is horrible news.

    4. Faulkner

      Faulkner

      I couldn’t read that. It hits too close to home.

  6. On the one hand, no, I can't really take much of Morning Joe. OTOH this is a pretty inspired on-air response to Trump's latest ragetweets:
  7. You're doing too much conflating that Russia shít. Don't. Working in the industry (not soaps), I am the first to allow that many of these people are more than one thing and multi-faceted beyond what little we see. I'm sure many people had wonderful interactions with Goutman, I'm sure he did good things, and his longevity in soaps and otherwise going back to his acting days speaks to him not being a total creep. He may well be a lovely man personally. JFP did some good work as well (and has a lot of people BTS who still love her today - and just as many who can't stand her, and claiming her work was not misogynistic and that she did not go out of her way to punish certain unfavorites is a joke). I know people deified him for what he tried to do for AW, and I think back then and in his early years at ATWT he truly cared. I also think that whatever good Goutman did day to day, it could never countenance the complete shitshow of his latter-years tenure at ATWT. Not only his public comments but the show he put on spoke to his complete disinterest in any voice but his own. A handful of boilerplate magazine quotes given to press don't change that - that's what any EP would say. And no, sorry, I will never give him credit for anything in regards to the Martha Byrne debacle. Correction: They aren't supposed to. But they can and have off-book. Mal Young is one of few recent EPs who officially did so. JFP is another who did it off-book at OLTL for a year and ran the show further into the ground, until ABC forced her to hire Megan McTavish who became her glorified stenographer. There are many other cases. The writers at GH are also presently fully under the yoke of Frank Valentini's whims, which was not the case with Ron Carlivati. These days no one cares. But yes - some EPs can and do control the writing at that level, and have many times.
  8. Vee

    HBO: Game of Thrones

    Given all of the above, here are my hot take predictions: - The Night King and Viserion/the ice dragon are not even at Winterfell. He has sent his army as a diversion to break their forces and is going to solo-attack King's Landing and bring a new army of the dead from the south. Episode 4 will deal largely with this. - Theon, Missandei, Beric Dondarrian and Lyanna Mormont die at Winterfell, maybe more I'm forgetting; Jorah and Grey Worm were red herrings this week because both their loved ones will be in the crypts, the most vulnerable place. Jorah emphasized that Lyanna is the future of their house while he is the outcast; this is why she will die and he will carry on the Mormont name. Possibly Gendry and Tormund bite it, but I'm not convinced. - Jaime dies killing and/or with Cersei. - Jon kills Daenerys, the power-hungry Mad Queen and the final villain of GOT, and in doing so dies himself. - The Stark kids survive. Bran likely returns to beyond the structure-formerly-known-as-the-Wall to be a greenseer in the wilderness. - Bronn dies saving Tyrion. - No one sits on the Iron Throne, thus breaking the wheel. Tyrion contributes to helping break Westeros into democratic citystates. - Sam, Gilly and Little Sam live out the series.
  9. This is typical Ron, though. He falls for a flashy side character (T-Boz) and dumps another. It was easy to see coming. Sometimes it works, other times, eh.
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