Marvel Is Changing The Face And Feel Of Popular Cinema

Clearly, since the pandemic is still a part of life in 2021, the experience of watching movies in Malaysian cinemas has only slowly been reintroduced into our lives over the past month or so.

New movies are still few and far between, and blockbusters are still in vogue here and abroad.

After two years of watching blockbusters on the small screen, thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Peacock, and many more, it will take some time to get back to the thrills of an evening show with movies.

This is mainly due to the fact that local cinemas are still playing mostly, with films like F9, Free Guy, The Suicide Squad, Don’t Breathe 2, and A Quiet Place Part 2 being released hereafter they can be broadcast in streaming. / online rental.

Even though I’m slowly returning to the movie game, I’m still behind my normal pre-pandemic pace of watching at least one or two, sometimes even three or four movies a week at the local cinema.

But even at that slow pace, I’ve noticed a pretty impressive new development in the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year, with a new scheme forming where the studio is hiring some notable indie directorial talent to direct their new films.

It’s kind of like they’ve hired some notable horror/genre directing talent previously in the form of directors like James Gunn, Scott Derrickson, and Jon Watts.

It’s a bet that has so far produced mixed results, with Australian director Cate Shortland (who made a name for herself with Somersault and Lore) not leaving a personal footprint on the Black Widow, which is now quickly followed by two films that have mixed successfully their indie sensibilities as directors in more pop and blockbuster material they hope to address in their new films.

Just released this week, Eternals was directed by Chloe Zhao, who won Best Director at this year’s Oscars for her film Nomadland, which also won Best Picture and also won the Golden Lion at the Festival of the cinema of Venice last year.

So for Marvel, giving him a budget of $ 200 million (RM831 million), even before he wins his Oscar, surely there is something to be said about the direction MCU Kevin Feige’s mind is taking in the Phase films. 4. of the MCU.

If Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings saw Marvel boldly embrace Chinese culture, almost changing the face of a high-budget superhero film with an almost all-Asian cast, now they’re trying something bolder in Eternals trying to change the look and feel of the superhero movie with a more personal, ethereal yet epic look.

If Terrence Malick were to direct a superhero movie, it might look and feel like that.

The expansive storyline is your typical superhero story; this time it is a group of super-beings called Eternals, who was sent to Earth thousands of years ago to protect humans from a race of dinosaur-like creatures called the Deviants, and they lived secretly and quietly with us while they waited to be called. they return home to their planet Olympia, after a secret mission that only their leader, Ajak, is aware of.

There was a lot of noise about how slow this movie was, which led to a lot of negative reviews online from critics and viewers, but for me, it was exactly “slow” (for the record, I never think this film is slow in all its glorious 155 minutes) making it more than just a superhero movie.

If DC is trying to distinguish itself by claiming to appeal to darker, more adult sensibilities in their superhero movies, especially those led by Zack Snyder, then it’s Marvel that is raising the bar by trying to appeal to not just regular adults. , but to those with more subtle/sophisticated visual tastes.

Call it the indie/arthouse version of the superhero movie, or perhaps an “elevated” superhero movie. It is clear that Zhao is reshaping a Marvel superhero movie in his own image, using its basic framework to reflect great and great philosophical ideas such as free will, the beauty and flaws of humanity, the destructive nature of time, and what more. amazing, the whole concept of gods and faith.

It is a film so rich in subtext and hidden meanings that it is not only a kind of deconstruction in the superhero genre but can also serve as an allegory of the two needs and struggles of humanity in religion, especially organized religion.

However, don’t let these subtext descriptions and whatnot put you off, as it’s still a superhero movie, with plenty of thrilling action scenes to entertain and amuse the fanboys.

But if you’re one of those who complain about how boring superhero movies are because they always offer the same things, it might just be the superhero movie you didn’t know you needed.

And let’s just hope this isn’t the last time Feige has used a bona fide indie writer to direct a Marvel movie because sometimes, even superhero movie fans need a refreshing breath of fresh air.

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