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Posts Tagged ‘IMAX’

As I’m sure you have heard, since the launch of Disney+ all Marvel TV shows on other networks are coming to an end.  This seems like a good time to have a quick look back at the TV shows based in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).  It is worth noting that none of these shows had any impact on the MCU; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and Agent Carter has featured characters from the movies, but to the best of my knowledge, aside from a small appearance from James D’Arcy in Endgame (that has no impact on the plot), nobody has gone the other way.  Something that I understand is set to change.  In an interview with Bloomberg Marvel chief Kevin Feige said: “If you want to understand everything in future Marvel movies, he says, you’ll probably need a Disney+ subscription, because events from the new shows will factor into forthcoming films such as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” I was always disappointed that none of the key characters from the TV shows made it into the movies, but am not sure this isn’t a step too far.  Below is a quick synopsis of the shows and what I thought of the ones I watched:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013 – 2020) – S.H.I.E.L.D recruit new agents, have personal problems, and save the world numerous times, all under the watch of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) resurrected from the dead following the events of The Avengers. I watched this from the start.  The events of Captain America, The Winter Soldier threw them a real curveball that derailed the plot.  Surprisingly they recovered from this and the series improved.  They have also had some memorable antagonists; Kyle MacLachlan, Powers Boothe, and Bill Paxton.  It was also the first time I had seen the amazing Ruth Negga.  I gave up early in the sixth season.  I understand there will be a seventh and final season next year. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Agent Carter (2015-2016) – After the end of WWII, British Agent  Peggy Carter is working in America for Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), a forerunner to S.H.I.E.L.D.  She is mostly relegated to secretarial duties while the men in the office haplessly blunder around.  This series took forever to make it to the UK, I eventually saw it on Amazon, after it had been cancelled.  I watched both series, the pacing is a little up and down, but the period setting looks great and Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy make likeable leads. Agent Carter

Daredevil (2015 -2018) – The first of the MCU shows made by Netflix.  Charlie Cox stars as Matt Murdock a blind lawyer who uses his superhuman senses to moonlight as the crime fighting masked vigilante Daredevil.  The first season was excellent, but lost its way in the second before returning for a fantastic third and final season.  I binged all three seasons as soon as they came out. Daredevil

Jessica Jones (2015 – 2019) – The second Netfix show: Following a short stint as a superhero, with a tragic ending, Jessica Jones reinvents herself as a New York private detective with a drink problem.  Running for just 39 episodes over three seasons, this was my favourite  Marvel TV show.  Krysten Ritter was perfectly cast as the snarky, sarcastic lead, the supporting cast was also great.  The stories, particularly season one were amongst the strongest too.  As with Daredevil, I binged them all!Jessica Jones

Luke Cage 2016 – 2018 – Having already been introduced in Jessica Jones, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) gets his own show.  Reluctant hero Cage is a former convict with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin.  Set in Harlem with a largely African American cast, the series made a refreshing change to the usual super hero shows and movies.  The villains are excellent, particularly Alfre Woodard, and a pre Oscar Mahershala Ali.  The supporting cast includes the always excellent Rosario Dawson, reprising her role from Daredevil.  It ran for 26 episodes over two seasons, I watched them all and largely enjoyed it.  The first season started really well but lost its way, the second season was up and down.  Luke Cage

Marvels Inhumans (2017) – I understand the plot goes something like this: After a military coup, the Inhuman Royal Family escape their home on the dark side of the moon, to Hawaii.  They must put aside personal differences to save the world!  The first two episodes were shot in IMAX and screened in cinemas.  I didn’t get around to seeing them, but understand they are terrible.  I didn’t bother with the series, and it seems no one else did either, it bombed and was swiftly cancelled, the eight completed episodes were retiled a mini-seriesMarvels Inhumans

Iron Fist (2017 – 2018) – The weakest of the Netflix shows.  Finn Jones plays Danny Rand, A young man who returns to New York after being presumed dead for fifteen years following a plane crash. Rand has heightened martial arts abilities, and the ability to call upon the mystical power of the Iron Fist.  The character isn’t very well written, and the plots are less engaging than those  in the other series.  It is helped by a strong supporting cast most notably Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing.  I watched all 23 episodes (across two seasons) but took longer over it than any other Netfix/MCU show.  As a side note Danny Rand appears as a supporting character in a few episodes of Luke Cake, and works better as a supporting character. Iron Fist

The Defenders 2017 –  Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, join forces to fight a common enemy, the Hand.  It was been suggested that it was the least-viewed Marvel Netflix following mixed reviews and word of mouth.  I enjoyed it and watched all eight episodes in quick succession. the defenders

The Punisher (2017 – 2019) – The final MCU/Netflix show.  Probably the most consistently excellent MCU show, and at its best it is as good as Jessica Jones, and Daredevil.   Jon Bernthal plays Frank Castle a former cop turned vigilante “the Punisher”, after the loss of his family.  First introduced in Daredevil, the first season goes back to tell the well trodden origin of the character.  The second season is actually better.  Another show that deserves more than the 26 episodes it got. The Punisher

Marvel’s Runaways (2017 – 2020) The plot (copied from wikipedia):  “Six teenagers from different backgrounds unite against a common enemy – their criminal parents” sounds interesting.  There are twenty episodes to date, with a final season of ten due out later this month.  I haven’t seen any of them yet, but may get around to it. Radio On

Cloak & Dagger (2018 – 2019) The unsung hero of the MCU TV.  Two very different teenagers  with seemingly unconnected powers find they are more effective when working together.  An excellent show that combines all the tropes of a teen romance, with a superhero show.  Sadly cancelled in the Disney+ cull of competing Marvel properties, it deserves a third and final season.  It has been rumoured that stars, Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph are reprising their characters in the supporting cast of the final season of Runaways, another reason to catch up with it.AUBREY JOSEPH, OLIVIA HOLT

So what does Disney+ have planned for us to replace everything that has been cancelled?  The following shows have all been slated and are at various stages of production.

  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Filming – due: late 2020)
  • WandaVision (Filming -Due: early 2021)
  • Loki (Pre Production – Due 2021)
  • What If…? (In Production (animated) – Due: 2021)
  • Hawkeye (Ordered – Due: 2021/2022)
  • Ms. Marvel (Ordered – Due: TBA)
  • Moon Knight (Ordered – Due: TBA)
  • She-Hulk (Ordered – Due: TBA)

The interesting thing, the first three are only set to have six episode first seasons.  Is this because they are so expensive, or are Disney spreading their properties too thinly?  Are they a toe in the water before a longer full season is ordered, or are has this just been misreported? Given the level of the MCU movies, I expect the new shows to be top quality.  I’m just not convinced cancelling excellent shows that still have millage in them the best way to do it.  Maybe there is truth to the rumour of a Disney+ reprieve for Jessica Jones and Daredevil! 

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As a movie fan I am relatively well located. Living just a short drive from the centre of a major UK city, England’s so called second city, Birmingham, I have access to many cinemas including a great independent and a multiplex with an IMAX screen. However I am beginning to feel a little short changed.

For the second time this year a much hyped movie doesn’t appear to be coming anywhere near my city. The first was Upstream Colour (2013) Shane Carruth’s long anticipated follow up to Primer (2004). More recently Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013), the controversial Palme d’Or winner from this years Cannes Film Festival. Earlier in the year Amour (2012) received a single screening after it had won the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Had it not won, it is unlikely that it would have made it to a multiplex.Upstream Colour

Back to my local multiplex I mentioned above. They have over 80 UK cinemas. Five of them are showing Blue Is the Warmest Colour. All but one of the five are in London. While I accept that we don’t get as many of the smaller movies as they do in the capital, but if they are unable to show a Palme d’Or winner in England’s second city what is the point of modern technology? The modern technology that is supposed to make it easier and cheaper for cinemas to show more films making smaller films more accessible and available.Blue Is the Warmest Colour

Upstream Colour and Blue is the Warmest Colour are set for release on DVD on 30th December and 17th March respectively, I fear these will be my first opportunities to see them. I am also confident they will find their way onto FIlm4 before too long. This however isn’t the point, I don’t just want to watch movies, I want to watch them where they are made to be seen, on a giant screen in a cinema.Nebraska

Before you feel too sorry for me, I do get to see more films than many people and will most likely be going to see Alexander Payne’s Nebraska tomorrow.

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The Hollywood studio system came to an end in the late 40’s because of anti-trust laws. A Supreme Court ruling dictated that film production, distribution and exhibition should be separated thus ending vertical integration. Was it a good or a bad thing? There were merits and drawbacks, we will never know how things would have been different had the laws not been passed. Although on a smaller scale, we are seeing an example of government competition rules interfering with the film industry here in the UK following Cineworld’s purchase of The Picturehouse group.

The Ritzy in Brixton

Last December Cineworld purchased Picturehouse Cinemas for a reported £47.3m. With their largest cinema (The Ritzy in London) having five screens Picture house Cinemas are very different from the multiplexes that dominate the market (and form the basis for Cineworld‘s own branded sites). They also cater to less mainstream tastes with an emphasis on foreign language, independent and cult movies as well as mainstream Hollywood films. Most of their locations are named and include some famous cinemas: The Cameo in Edinburgh, The Ritzy in Brixton, The Belmont in Aberdeen and Phoenix in Oxford (not to be confused with The Phoenix East Finchley). They offer a good balance between independent and chain cinemas.

Arts Picture House Cambridge . Picture by David Johnson .

Unfortunately, The Competition Commission has decided that the group must sell venues in Aberdeen, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge. They have “reluctantly” agreed to sell The Belmont in Aberdeen, and its Picturehouse cinema in Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge. Concerned local filmgoers have written to Competition Commission and signed a petition (including a reported 14,000 names to save the St Andrew’s Street cinema in Cambridge), explaining that a new operator will change the nature of the cinemas or even worse fail to make a profit jeopardising the future of the venues. Sticking to their guns, the Competition Commission are sticking to their guns and have stated: “The sale of one of the cinemas in Aberdeen, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge to a competing cinema operator will restore competition in these areas and protect customers’ interests.”

cineworld

If one chain owned all the multiplexes in a town they could dictate what movies are available for people to watch and how much they pay for them. In this instance it would make sense to split them up, but the situation here is very different. The two brands are very different and can happily exist within the same group. Cineworld seem to be a good match for Picturehouse, even in their multiplexes they show a reasonable number of smaller independent and foreign language movies. They also have an “Unlimited Card” allowing customers to see as many films as they like for a monthly fee. This makes it much cheaper for regular cinema goers. On the downside, like so many multiplexes they make most of their money from food and drink, and in some locations close their box-office forcing customers to buy tickets from the concessions stand.

ElectricCinema

I could be overreacting, and a buyer could be found who will make a better job of running The Belmont in Aberdeen, The Abbeygate Picturehouse in Bury St Edmunds and Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge. Before I come across as an apologist for Cineworld, they don’t come out of this scot-free. I am not so naive to think that Cineworld would have spent a millisecond thinking about selling one of its multiplexes instead of one of the arts cinemas. However; it is hard to believe that a company like Cineworld didn’t employ an army of lawyers who warned them this could happen. As I don’t live near a Picturehouse cinema, I have no vested interest in the situation, however as someone who lives in a city containing a great multiplex (with an IMAX screen) and a fantastic independent cinema, I know how fortunate I am as s movie lover.

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