Fun with Franchises: The Marvel Universe – The Avengers (2012), Part I — “The Space-Rape Cometh, or: Fucking Bureaucracy”

We continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series. This week’s film is The Avengers.

Fun with Franchises is a series born out of my friend Colin and I realizing how much fun it was for the two of us to watch the same movie separately and then share our reactions. We started by watching all of the James Bond movies, for the purposes of ranking them for the blog. I brought him in because he was much more of a Bond expert than I was at the time, and I felt his perspective would liven things up. He would be the color commentator to my play-by-play man.

We soon discovered that, by watching the movies separately and then putting everything we said together in the same place, hilarity ensued. We each brought in our own observations, not knowing what the other would say, and then reacted to what the other said. And we loved every minute of it.

We had so much fun, we figured we had to do it again. So we graduated from a single franchise, to all franchises. If you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Season 1 included the Harry Potter movies, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Twilight (which neither of us had seen before we watched them for the articles) and Pirates of the Caribbean. All of those articles can be read on the Fun with Franchises page.

Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them. (Well… Twilight…) We’re watching movies we enjoy and are simply having some fun with them.

Right now, we’re doing the Marvel Universe, and today is the first part of The Avengers.

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Just gonna let everyone know. I saw this movie once. A week before it came out in theaters. And haven’t watched it since.

So this is gonna be enlightening.


Eat your heart out, Private Pyle. We’re in a universe of shit now.

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The red and blue is nice. So that’s not a total loss.

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Another shitty opening shot.

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“The Tesseract has awakened.”

Oh… kay.

Was it sleeping?

Did it have an alarm clock?

Was it those fucking leaf blowers at 7:30 am on a Sunday?


The Tesseract has awaked. We begin with a voiceover because nobody gives a fuck at this point.

If we hold this movie to the rules of all other movies… not a promising start.

Also, what do they mean, awakened? It was always there. It always had the powers. It’s like the One Ring. It didn’t awaken when Bilbo found it. It just was found.


It just hopped up out the bed, turned its swag on. The Tesseract is basically the Soulja Boy of space baubles, I think they’re trying to say.

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“It is on a little world. A human world.”


So there are lots of human worlds? Do they all speak English? Where does all this come from? Are we actually closer to Prometheus in this universe? Were we left on Earth by some other group somewhere else? Did someone teach us English, the language of the universe? Are Britons the chosen people? We’re not even 10 seconds into the movie and my brain is shutting down.

It’s Marvel. Everybody speaks English. They don’t even give us the decency of doing the Hunt for Red October track in.

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“They would wield its power. But our ally knows its working as they never will know.”

This is the opening?

Also, space steps?

If there’s a space musical number, I am fucking in.

Imagine that. Space, steps, someone in a tuxedo, top hat and cane starts walking up them and singing a song.

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“He is ready to lead.”

This is boring. And shitty.


They’re setting shit up by having some alien talk to nobody in particular. Is this the best you’ve got? You’re going to use an unimpressive voiceover to set up the entire threat for this 142 minute film? From the get-go, we see that it’s never the threat that’s supposed to keep us hooked, but rather the interactions between characters and the whole SHIELD business.

The unofficial subtitle to this movie is: Is This The Best You’ve Got?

And yet, that was enough for people. And that is what displeases me most about the film.

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“And our Chitauri will follow.”

What the fuck is a Chitauri?


*how does he not know what a chitauri is*

And why are we not getting full shots? Is it to spare us of the overwhelming CGI? If that’s the case, then thanks.

Can we also talk about how fucked up this whole business is? “Get me the Tesseract. It’s an Infinity Stone. So take another Infinity Stone to get me that one.” Why would you risk losing two?


It’s like the old space maxim says: you have to spend Infinity Stones to make Infinity Stones.

And why is it never explained how he got this army? Motherfucker fell through space. Did he land on this alien planet like Superman, and win them over by not being of a hive mind? Why not show me that movie? The ‘fish out of water’ Loki movie where he wins over the indigenous peoples of Chitaurog or wherever (by the way, love Norman Chitaurog’s work), and then leads them into the genocide of other peoples.


I’ve always been able to win people over by not being of a hive mind. And how about connecting the dots between remorseful, eager-to-please Loki from Thor and the asshole in this movie?

Wouldn’t that be a funny story? Him ingratiating himself into the local tribe, and then it turns out he’s a terrible person and is using them to wipe another set of people from existence.


Like Space America and the Space Pawnee.

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“The world will be his. The universe, yours.”

Uhh, okay. Though admittedly, that would be my kind of deal too. You can rule over everything, just give me like, a suburb where I can run shit and be left to my own devices. I don’t need to take over. Just keep me comfortable and leave me alone and know that I’m no threat to you. I’m that guy. The guy who will never be in danger of being killed by the volatile, paranoid ruler.


300 would have been very different if Leonidas was more like Mike. “I will make you warlord of all Greece.” “Does that mean I can demand booze tributes from Thebes? More like ‘dweebs.’ Okay, you got a deal.” 

That’s the thing, though — I wouldn’t kneel either. There’s a weird middle ground there. Though I guess the kneeling had to happen after he slaughtered like a thousand of his men. My shit would be handled way more diplomatically. Over some booze and wenches.

Also, how fucked up is this deal? He’s getting earth, but Thanos is ultimately trying to destroy the entire universe. Which is kind of like how Leo won that ticket onto the Titanic.

Which, thinking ahead, will this ultimately make Loki a good guy in Infinity War?


Yeah, does he not know that this ends with universe destruction? I never get mercenaries who work for bad guys trying to destroy everything.

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Is that the end of the movie? Because I’d call it no harm no foul if this was the end.

“And the humans, what can they do but burn?”

Burn? Why would they burn? Mostly they’ll be disintegrated, or whatever those space weapons do. I haven’t seen a single person burn up in this entire franchise. This franchise has a pretty low human casualty rate, to be perfectly honest.


What can the humans do? Why do you care? If it’s such a matter of course that they’ll be defeated, you should probably treat them as the tiny speed bump in the way of your and whatever larger fight you have to win to gain universal domination. It sounds as though you’re talking to another alien, but only for the benefit of a…human audience?

So, having seen enough of these movies to where I can pretend like I know what’s going on – this is some guy who works for Thanos. This is not Thanos himself speaking, because they didn’t have the balls to put Thanos in a speaking part until they cast some big-name actor in the role. And Thanos, from what I’ve been told, wants all those whatchamacallits, that when he puts them on his glove, he can blow up the universe. Which is what all the MacGuffins are in these movies. So this guy, through Thanos (since apparently this dude Thanos does nothing, and makes people get shit for him), is giving Loki the scepter so he can take over Earth, which he wants because he’s pissed at Thor for banging Natalie Portman, and he’s giving the Tesseract to Thanos so Thanos can blow up the universe. Am I on track? This will save us time later.

It’s pretty hilarious how this universe eliminates like, seven movies if Thanos decides, “I’ll just do this shit myself.” It took them eleven movies to get there. Technically ten, since I still feel Iron Man is a standalone movie.

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Remind me, when we get to final thoughts, to talk about my theories on film IQ. I have some points to make about this film and why 80 percent of the audience got to the end of that voiceover and said, “OOOOOOOOOOOOOH SHIT!”

Why not do it here? (I just assume nobody bothers to read the Final Thoughts because there are no pictures. Which plays into this theory, I’m sure.)

By the way, we got to the end of that voiceover, and I’m wondering when the real movie’s gonna start. That was a bunch of horse shit. Honestly, everything before the title card in this movie is boring as fuck.

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Where is this, exactly? This is some sort of SHIELD base. And it seems SHIELD has terrible luck with bases, because two of their headquarters have been destroyed so far.

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People gotta evacuate.


Let’s just start with an evacuation order. Don’t waste any precious time on dialogue or plot setup. Skip right to the confusion.

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That’s a lot of Acuras we thankfully can’t see.

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The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone.

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Weird that they list top secret projects right on the logo.


Hah. “Joint.”

I hope Project Pegasus involves sticking horns onto animals.

I love that they just say what this is. They’re basically fucking with alien technology here.

Also, Western division. So we’re somewhere between LA and New Mexico.

Let’s call it Flagstaff.

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What the fuck are the guys in white wearing?


“This is not a drill” always sounds to me like exactly what you’d say when you wanted people to take your drills seriously. Of course, if it’s Mike, he’ll be burned to death horribly without waking up.

Nah, cause if it wasn’t a drill, I’d be the one who was awake. That’s how it works. I sleep through them because I know they’re bullshit. I have a pretty good “impending death” sense.

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And now kids are running? What the hell is going on? Why are there children sleeping in a place where you have space technology?

Does Take Your Child to Work Day count if your job is classified?

I’d love to see children in full camo, walking up the streets of Fallujah with their parents.

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Nice sunglasses, Coulson.

Except it’s like, midnight.


It took them one minute to have a guy wearing sunglasses at night as a helicopter lands amidst chaos. These movies.

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Yeah, that’s a face you make when getting off of a helicopter.

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Samuel L. Motherfuckin’ Jackson.

He looks like he’s about to piss right there.


There are two ways to get out of a helicopter when it lands. One is to duck, usually with a hand over your head, and scamper. The other is to step out real slow, look around, and then walk while being shot from a low angle (Motherfucker.).

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“How bad is it?”

Also, this is basically Cobie Smulders’ role in this movie, standing around, not doing much.

“That’s the problem, sir. We don’t know.”

You can probably guesstimate.

Also, why are you taking your sunglasses off now? That basically means you had no reason to be wearing them to begin with.

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“Dr. Selvig read an energy surge from the Tesseract four hours ago.”

Was it having a bad dream? Is that why it awakened?

“NASA didn’t authorize Selvig to go to test phase.”


I hate those alarm sounds. I hate all alarms.

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“He wasn’t testing it. He wasn’t even in the room. A spontaneous event.”

Nocturnal emission?

“It just turned itself on?”

It can just do that? Why not ask Odin for advice? Didn’t he used to have this thing?

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“What are the energy levels now?”

Over 9,000?



So there’s techno mumbo-jumbo that we don’t care about. The Tesseract did a thing and now it’s going to blow up. Probably a blue explosion.

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“Sir, evacuation may be futile.”

That line sounded horrible.

“We should tell them to go back to sleep?”

Isn’t that this country’s M.O.?

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“If we can’t control the Tesseract’s energy, there may not be a minimum safe distance.”

This is all hypothetical. Stop giving us bullshit, we don’t care.

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“I need you to make sure the phase two prototypes are shipped out.”

This is all boring set up dialogue that means nothing.

Also, did they just say, “Make sure you roll out all the next set of superhero movies just in case this one goes tits up”?


Why are all these people walking? Even at a brisk pace. Shouldn’t EVERYONE be running? Remember that 30 minute estimate, and Fury told him to ‘do better?’ You could start doing better by trying a light jog.

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“Until the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.”

Oh yeah. That was definitely a reference. That was Josh Whedon being cheeky.


Low angles on Samuel L. Jackson.

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“Clear out the tech below. Every piece of phase two on a truck and gone.”

Thanks for beating us over the head with it.


Phase Two, cause we know what that is. I’m glad they leave it, cause at least it can be a semi-reveal later on.

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I love that option, when a boss can just say that. “Best case scenario, two weeks.” “You have six hours.” “Oh…okay.” This script doesn’t even make that much effort. It’s just, “Do better.”

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“Talk to me, Doctor.”

Go home Kenneth Branagh, you are…

Oh, wait, this isn’t Thor.

We’re just tilting the camera as much as we can. This is almost a parody of heroic shots.

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“Director –”

That’s not talking to him.

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Random Asian scientist.

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Maybe don’t poke the space cube next time.

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“The Tesseract is misbehaving.”

So do what regular parents do and whoop its ass.

“Is that supposed to be funny?”

“No, it’s not funny at all.”

Oh, so then I have no reason to start caring yet.

“The Tesseract is not only active, she’s – behaving.”


Also, you said it was misbehaving and then behaving. I know I’m the only one listening to this bullshit, but come on guys. Try harder.


So “she” just does whatever the fuck “she” wants, which is convenient. 

The only difference between this dialogue and other dialogue is that a slightly worse writer would have put an ex-wife joke in there.

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“I assume you pulled the plug.”

“She’s an energy source. We turn off the power, she turns it back on. If she reaches peak level—”

Why are you calling it she?

Did you stick your dick into the space portal, Stellan Skarsgard?


Stellan can’t resist a glory black hole.

Also, trust me, that thing will not reach peak level without proper stimulation. Otherwise it’s totally faking it.

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“We prepared for this, doctor. Harnessing energy from space.”

What? Those two lines have nothing to do with one another. Are you implying there are contingency plans in case something goes wrong? Because it doesn’t seem like you’re prepared for this.

“We don’t have a harness. My calculations are far from complete.”

I don’t care about any of this.


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“She’s throwing off interference. Radiation.”

That seems dangerous.

Also, I’d like for my defense mechanism to be “radiation.”

That milkshake gets all the boys out of the yard.

“Nothing harmful. Low levels of gamma radiation.”

And yet you still said the word radiation.

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“That can be harmful.”

Nice delivery.


Thank you, Samuel. 

I read that as sarcasm, but I just realized that could be a reference to the Hulk.

And now I cannot even take joy out of that line anymore.


It was absolutely a Hulk thing. And yes, I was being sarcastic.

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“Where’s Agent Barton?”

“The Hawk?”

Fuck you. You know who Agent Barton is.

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“Up in his nest, as usual.”

That seemed like a rhetorical exchange. Where the fuck else would he be?

“Where’s Barton?” “The titty bar. Said not to interrupt him unless you hit the ATM first. Man likes titties, what can I say?”

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Well that’s not creepy at all.


Why would you hang out up there inside this locked down facility? You’re not protecting anything. There are no beers up there. Come down, Jeremy Renner.

This is the reason he gets turned evil. Otherwise he’d have been safe up there when Loki showed up.

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So this is a Nasa place that SHIELD is co-running? I’m confused as to what the fuck this whole facility is and is for.

Also notice how they never even bother to tell us where this is.  Because it’s gonna get destroyed in ten minutes.

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So do you climb back up the rope when you want to go back up there? Does it make you feel funny? Like in gym class?

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“I gave you this detail so you could keep a close eye on things.”

He should say, “I have two of them.”

“Well I see better from a distance.”

“Have you seen anything that might set this thing off?”

The fact that it’s in this movie, maybe?

Also, what the fuck would he have seen? He’s up in the rafters of a lab. No one’s doing anything to it, clearly.

And way to properly utilize a trained marksman. “Just stay up in this building and watch shit.”

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“No one’s come or gone. Selvig’s clean. No contacts, no IMs. If there’s any tampering, sir, it wasn’t this end.”

No IMs? Did it have its away message on the whole time?

Remember when that was the thing you did? Went to school and then came home and IMed all the people you just spent 8 hours with?

“At this end?”


These things always just chill out in the open. It’s throwing radiation and shooting weird plasma beams out. Think maybe you should have it in a lead tank or something?

Especially since they know it has two sides to it. How about you put it in a room a hundred feet below ground, where you need crazy amounts of access to get out of, and then if something comes through it triggers a giant shotgun blast to the fucking face?

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“Yeah, the cube is a doorway to the other end of space, right?”

Right? Either you know something like that or you don’t.

“Doors open from both sides.”

Not all doors. Remember Birdman?


Oh, it’s a door to another dimension. What’s on the other side? What if it was Teletubbies?

Did you guys know that Chloe Moretz was the baby used for the sun in that show?


Well it’s not like you just land The Amityville Horror without a resume.

Or a good FICO score.

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That scientist don’t give a FUCK.

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This is the “Godzilla is coming” look.


Five years in Tokyo, I am QUITE familiar with the “Godzilla is coming” look.

I hope there’s a monster Stanley Tucci that makes the face afterward.

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Why are there no guns trained on this thing?

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“Psst, I think I left the stove on.”

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His collar is popped. I don’t like him.

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So did that opening voiceover take place just before this? Because honestly it might have been cooler to see this first, then reveal Loki, and have the portal open up and just see him step (in a single shot, with the camera placed behind him or even POV as he does this) from that space place onto earth. But what do I know?

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“If I don’t call you back in ten minutes, assume I’ve been space-raped.”

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You’re telling me that cube doesn’t give off more radiation than Nagasaki?

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So nice of you to have a place for whom or what ever to land on.


It looks like they built a landing pad just for this purpose. How was Bard the Bowman the only one able to make the door analogy?

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Do we even need to point out the reference point here?

(The Adventures of Milo and Otis.)

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Yeah, boy!


Loki shows up REAL early in the game, conspicuously not naked and kneeling.

Right?! Milo and Otis, man.

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Why are you sweating?

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Did you cut to him because he’s supposed to know who that is? Or just to get another reaction?

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“Sup, bitches?”

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“Sir, please put down the spear.”

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I see you’ve played scepter-spear before.

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I’m gonna take that as a no.

Also, does this technically make him a spear chucker?

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Taking the context out of this, Samuel L. Jackson is trying to look badass, and Jeremy Renner really shouldn’t have had the spicy curry for lunch.

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There’s a manual on the floor right next to that thing.

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You let that happen to you. That’s your own damn fault.

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They start the action less than five minutes in, cause who’s got time? We only have 135 minutes left!

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Lotta Asian guys with guns.

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This face.


The Space-Rape Cometh.


This is actually the “Godzilla just came” look.

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Also — this is Godzilla just came.

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Nice job, Renner, just let the other guys die.

Also, negative coloring. Sort of.

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Aww… your brother did that to you last movie.

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I’m gonna go with — falling through the space portal caused some kind of insanity, and that counts for the complete mental shift of the character between films.

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So I guess everybody’s dead?

What happened to Samuel L. Jackson?

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“You have heart.”

How do you know that?

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Why did we need to cut to him watching this?

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That’s not very healthy.

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So that’s a thing?

Also, why him? Because he has heart? That’s bullshit. That’s just an excuse to give him something to do because he’s useless compared to the rest of the Avengers.

He ain’t making the team past the next one.


So let’s just take the Agent Smith thing, while we’re at it. That’s a good trick to have, so we’ll just take it so we have an excuse for our own guys to fight each other.

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Why put it away? Shouldn’t he be firing at everyone still alive?

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Samuel L. be stealing shit.

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Is that okay to handle with your hand? Didn’t that burn through a plane last movie?

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I know he just winced a little bit, but that seems like a bit much.

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So now he’s just taking over people? How’d you take over Stellan Skarsgard last movie? Can’t you just do it that way?

And why are you completely ignoring Samuel L. Jackson stealing your shit right now?

Plus, Renner had heart. What’s this guy have? Security clearance?

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We happy, Jules?

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This is an awkward cut wide.

Wide shots are not the key to mind control.

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“Please don’t.”

Well that answers one question.

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He should take off running right now. That would be hilarious.

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“I still need that.”

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“This doesn’t have to get any messier.”

I like that. Still thinks he can take him. That’s the way you have to handle it.

“Of course it does. I’ve come too far for anything else.”

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“I am Loki. Of Asgard.”

That doesn’t explain why you need it. I’m also saying this before I have any idea what Colin’s film IQ argument is, but I’m guessing this plays into it.

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Yes. You were in that movie too.

“And I am burdened with glorious purpose.”

What a great phrase.


“Burdened with glorious purpose” is nice. That’s what I’m gonna tell people the next time I excuse myself for a dump.

Sounds like it would be the opposite. Remember Agent Smith? It’s purpose that binds us.

“Loki – brother of Thor!”

Hey, thank you, Dr. Exposition. How long was your dissertation?


Thanks for the exposition, dipshit. If you’re going to go all out with the universe, just assume everyone’s see the rest of the movies. And Thor openly calls him “brother” later on. Why was that line added?

He always calls him brother, though. So that’s not so bad.

Though I thought that was a Hulk thing.

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“Yes, thank you, asshole, we know.”

That is a “Motherfucker…” face if I’ve ever seen one.

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“We have no quarrel with your people.”

YOUR people?

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“An ant has no quarrel with a boot.”

Maybe afterward, it does.

Also, ants are so small, a lot of them aren’t even affected by boots.

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“You planning to step on us?”


 That was a Pulp Fiction intonation.

He needs to know this stuff. The L stands for Loquacious.

(Which is a great name for a black child.)

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Are you even aware of what’s happening right now?

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“I come with glad tidings. Of a world made free.”

Glad tidings for Christmas and a happy New Year?

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“Free from what?”

Said the… actually never mind.



Freedom from freedom. But…but…America.

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Reaction shots.

“Freedom is life’s great lie. Once you accept that – in your heart –”

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Yeah, they set that one up pretty obviously.

I guess because he knows him? Does Loki know that he helped his brother out before?

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“You will know peace.”

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Look at the dead guy in the background.

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“Yeah, you say peace – I kind of think you mean the other thing.”


“The other thing” refers to endless salad and breadsticks, right? Peace, or endless salad and breadsticks.

Tea and cake or death.

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“Sir, Director Fury is stalling. This place is bound to blow.”


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“Drop a hundred feet of rock on us.”

So… how do you work, now? I’m confused.

“He means to bury us.”

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“Like the pharaohs of old.”

Do you think the pharaohs had their own magic space cube? There had to have been some sort of superhero (yes, guys, I know. I saw that credits sequence. But that’s Fox, and this is Marvel. Until they make a handshake deal, I’m not going there) stuff that took place in ancient Egypt. That’s the best place for any kind of a movie. (Unless it’s a Ridley Scott movie.)

What about the pharaohs of new? Or the new pharaohs? (Band name.) Did they get buried like that too? Or were they like “Meh, just leave me wherever”?


Saying “of old” tells me to prepare for self-immolation.

Bitches of Old.

There’s a potential subtitle. Samuel L. Jackson and the Bitches of Old.

“And I shall expunge you from my bedroom ere the cock crows, like the bitches of old.”

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“He’s right. The portal is collapsing on itself. We’ve got maybe two minutes before this goes critical.”

“Well, then.”


Why haven’t they shot him already? Just take the damn thing and go.

It’s funny that Jeremy Renner said what I was going to say before I had a chance to say it.

Only his didn’t have the sarcastic inflection behind it.

I also like how a soldier who can shoot well somehow is an expert on this portal, and not the fucking SCIENTIST he has with him who has been studying it.

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I like people being shot out of frame.


This puts the whole movie into question from the start. Renner’s a perfect shot. Why didn’t he shoot Fury in the HEAD? Things would be very different, and there’s zero reason to account for why he didn’t do that. Later on we hear Stellan say he was sort of aware of what he was doing while under mind control. But wouldn’t Loki recognize that Fury was only winged and take the extra .03 seconds to finish him? Maybe ask Renner why the hell he didn’t do his damn job?

I want to continue to pile on, but the way my brain works forces me to try to come up with some reasoning that could make sense as to why he missed (other than the Plot), even if I don’t necessarily believe it.

And the one thing I come up with is — he’s good with a bow. With a gun, maybe not as much. Different concentration. Like the guy who specializes in the Edo period, but isn’t good with the period where Chandler came and made them sign that treaty.


It was like, “Bing! Your country’s open now for all time to come.” Anyone who knows both Japanese history and Friends is nodding. 

And the shoguns were like, “Can this BE any worse for us?!”

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Aren’t they walking past Fury’s body right now? Shoot him as you step over him,

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So what, he’s just taking people with him? For what?

Also, Fury is clearly alive in this shot.

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I guess this is the classic villain, “Oh, well he’ll die like the pharaohs.” Only you didn’t explicitly state it. And Samuel L. Jackson can’t die. (Motherfuckers.)

They don’t know when to kill their problems.

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“We need these vehicles.”

You. Go do this. Somehow, despite mind controlling them, he’s just letting them do shit. The idea is that he’s keeping a low profile and it just looks like Renner is doing this and they trust Renner, which we’ll see when Hill shows up in a second. But it’s not shown well, directing-wise. We’re just seeing shit happen and aren’t been told why it’s happening. And that’s part of my problem with Marvel. People just go along for the ride, not thinking about moments like this and only remembering the moments they want you to remember. The problem is — the moments like this are not good.

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“Who’s that?”

“He didn’t tell me.”

Sounds like you just blew him in the men’s room.

Why is this place so dirty?

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Why are you focusing on her suddenly figuring out that Loki doesn’t belong?


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Seriously, what is this? Loki thinks he’s gonna get away, and then she notices him, so all of a sudden he’s like, “Oh, damn. Now I have to kill her”? Shouldn’t he want to kill her anyway? Why is he shying away from killing people? Isn’t genocide and the ruling of the planet his ultimate goal?

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“Hill, do you copy?”


See? He’s FINE. She’s a menace who just hangs around snooping with nothing better to do. Who’s loading up all that shit Fury told you to get? Don’t you have arms?

Not only does she have them, but she has a right to bare them.

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“They have the Tesseract.”

Why not just start with this?

And also – why start with this?

Also, once again — what is happening right now?

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Barrel roll!

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So he’s not very good with a gun at all, is he?

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You have so little to do here.

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This is a video game level.

Also, is this seriously the plan? Steal the cube and just drive away? This is ultimately a pretty weird plan. The villain in this movie takes a cube, then brings it to a tall building in a big city, and brings an army. And somehow that’s it. Over 2 1/2 hours.

Marvel has a real villain problem. All their villains are marginalized and get generic “villain” scenes every so often to keep the audience remembering them, and then they all get killed in the end. Pretty much. And some of them are iconic. You’re marginalizing people who should have a larger presence. Plus, we ultimately don’t give a shit about the villain, simply because, “Yeah, evil stuff, got it, got it.” And it happens for like two seconds and then we move on. And then they show up at the end and get defeated. These are actually really horribly structured movies. And that includes the first Iron Man.

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Nice stance.

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Shouldn’t there be a way to put these tunnels on lockdown?

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Yeah, you don’t make it clear of that.

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I’ve always wanted to enter a car like that.

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I like these underground roads leading from secret bases.


Why did they take a Hummer H3? Was it the mind control? Does Loki not know what a worthless vehicle that is? And she got a Jeep. The government in this universe just buys what the fucking ever.

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Complete video game level.

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This must be fun.

Weird also that he has an army but can’t use the cube to bring a few of them with him to handle stuff like this.

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Like the discoloration. That’s something positive to say about this sequence.


This has to be a new record for me on being checked out for action. This is supposed to be a character movie, so start with the characters and make it about something other than just bringing them all in. 

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That shot was… Acura-te.

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There’s always something for cars to veer into and flip over.

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And the requisite angles of it flipping.

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You guys remember The Matrix Reloaded?

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What’s Stellan Skarsgard thinking right now?

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My toilet.

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Weird how no other members of SHIELD are around.

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Yeah, try to get those files out. I’m sure that’s what’s important right now.

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Good job. You’d have lost The Untouchables.

More like the BattleSHIT Potemkin. Amirite, guys?


The Odessa mis-steps, I’d say.

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“No, no, no, leave it.”

And yet, you probably were the one telling them to bring it in the first place.

Also, did he just override an order by Fury?

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More like Hum-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z. Because this action is putting me to sleep!

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Doing things!

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Maybe shoot him in the head.

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That’s it? That’s your move?


It’s an off-road Jeep in nondescript night action. This could be from a Jurassic Park movie and you’d never know.

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I’m Maria Hill and I drive a car!

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There we go. Shoot him in the fucking face.

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Somebody knows the benefit of a windshield.

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My toilet.

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I just realized. This is Loki’s version of, “This is why you have people.”

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Wow, so now the ground is imploding under them during a chase sequence slash getaway happening on three fronts. I had forgotten how bad this opener is. 

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So they got out of there in time. Okay.

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Good thing that waited to blow until after everyone evacuated. Space portals are considerate like that.

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He had a dream. And then that dream was taken from him.

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You guys remember that movie Daylight?

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You guys remember that movie 2012?

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Sad reaction shots of a facility blowing up.

Because it’s not like SHIELD doesn’t have a dozen of these places. Nah.

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And she’s probably dead.

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This is the universe saying that if it had a rock it’d bust yo head, bitch.

Earth Is Having a Bad Semester.

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Are those doors? Doors that can close?

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Wow, that toll booth job must be the fucking worst. You gotta really be a fuck up to get that job.

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Hey… maybe follow them in the helicopter.

Also, is this where Kingdom of the Crystal Skull took place?

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I’ve never understood helicopter chases, cause don’t you just keep driving? Have fun in the air, assholes, I’m down here still going where I’m going.

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How you gonna take evasive maneuvers around a helicopter?

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Huge fan of medium shots of Samuel L. Jackson firing a gun.

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This could be from Skyfall and you wouldn’t know.

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So his scepter was able to do this last movie, right? I think it did. Or is it the Infinity Stone that’s giving this thing weird long-range capabilities?

Also, love the red on his crotch. There’s your cool/warm contrast.


Cool/warm contrast on the crotch is okay. Just never put IcyHot on your balls.

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Yup. The helicopter doesn’t blow up immediately because important people are on board.

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JUST a bit outside.

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I’m at least somewhat optimistic about fictional helicopter crashes because one contributed to Jack Ryan’s career, leading him to feature in the events of The Hunt for Red October. So who knows? Maybe there was someone else in this crash who was badly injured, but in like 15 years, we’re going to have an awesome submarine movie. So there’s that.

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Still firing.

Somehow not with two broken legs.

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Samuel L. Jackson lets people get away a lot.

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“Director Fury do you copy?”

“The Tesseract is with a hostile force. I have men down. Hill?”

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“A lot of men still under. Don’t know how many survivors.”

But we don’t care about them. Because…

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“Sound a general call. I want every living soul not working rescue looking for that briefcase.”

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“Coulson, get back to base.”

What base? It just got destroyed? How many bases you got? Which one is the base?

“This is a level 7. As of now, we are at war.”


Fuck you. We don’t know what that is. And you only have that line so you can cut to both of them looking shocked that this act of war would be considered a Code 7, which is probably unprecedented. And then he says we’re at war. Cause fucking really.

This is exactly the same thing as “what can they do but burn?” They did the exact same thing over again.

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Nice use of title card.


Wow. Did they just make the title card his answer? Can Samuel L. Jackson summon title cards for when he doesn’t feel like talking? “I guess it’s time to say…” GOODNIGHT, MOON II: I’M STILL UP, MOTHERFUCKER

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Don’t know why we needed the train. But we haven’t had a supertitle yet, so I’m cool with this so far.

Technically the title card was… cause, you know… superher… yeah, you got it.

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I like old warehouses.

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And that they didn’t use a title card to tell us where we are.

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And when old warehouses are used for things like this.

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I can’t believe they lasted 12 minutes before caving on the ‘hitting a woman’ shot!

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Well, hello.

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“This is not how I wanted this evening to go.”

“I know how you wanted this evening to go. Believe me, this is better.”


Russian stuff. This isn’t even Tuesday in Russia. This is every day in Russia.

Which you’d think means it’s also Tuesday. But it’s not.

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“Who are you working for? Lermentov, yes?”

Red Shoes reference!

Also, what kind of warehouse is this? It’s all rafters.

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“Does he think that we have to go through him to move our cargo?”


I love that when there’s a Russian gangster part in a movie, wardrobe is like, “Get me an awful black suit jacket and a sleazy t-shirt to be worn under it. Oh, and a few gold pendant necklaces. No, for a guy.”

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It’s the little things that make a character dangerous. Looking at the guy as he tilts her chair over a drop. Silently judging, “You think this is intimidating.”

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“I thought General Solohob is in charge of the export business.”

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“Solohob, a bagman. A front. Your outdated information betrays you.”

I like the set up for this scene. Too bad the movies aren’t more like this.


Hey, nice shot of the mirror and the weapons! Gotta get your reflection shots in. If I make movies, they’ll be mostly shot in reflection.

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Look at this fucking guy.

“The famous Black Widow.”

She’s white.

“And she turns out to be simply another pretty face.”

Speaking of pretty face, look at this guy — this is if Ian Holm had one of those Ring fits and got plastic surgery at that exact moment.


The first time I saw this, I thought it was Ian Holm for a hot second.

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“You really think I’m pretty?”

Of course that’s all she cares about.

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I do like this shot, though. Relative to half of this movie.

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Is he going to make her drink the blood of Kali?

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“Tell Lermentov we don’t need him to move the tanks.”

Are you gonna make her blow you or something?

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“Tell him he is out.”

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I appreciate the cut of that shirt.

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“It’s for her.”

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“You listen carefully –”

“You’re at 114 Selenski Plaza, third floor. We have an F-22 exactly 8 miles out.”


Couple of things. One, he’s got pliers out now. So unless she’s cool with losing teeth, this was probably going to turn into a fight within 10 seconds anyway. Second, would it be an F-22? That’s for air superiority missions. Isn’t this more of a Predator drone kind of job?

And third, are we not in Russia? Cause how kosher do you think it would be to execute an airstrike on Russian soil? In terms of US airstrike targets, a populated Russian area would be about as kosher as a cheeseburger made of pig assholes.

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“Put the woman on the phone or I will blow up the block before you can make the lobby.”

But that includes her.

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“We need you to come in.”

“Are you kidding? I’m working.”

“This takes precedence.”

Obviously if you’re working, he wouldn’t fucking call you if it wasn’t important.

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“I’m in the middle of an interrogation. This moron is giving me everything.”


Well now that you’ve told him he’s giving you everything, that kinda defeats the purpose.

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“I don’t, give – everything.”

This is that Shane Black kind of interplay. Not everyone can do this correctly.

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Reaction shots are the key to goddamn look at those things

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“Look, you can’t pull me out of this right now.”

Well, he can. Because apparently he has this plane and stuff. Not to mention that he’s already blown the operation, so what can she possibly get out of it past what she has already?

“Natasha, Barton’s been compromised.”

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Why is this the thing that stops her? Does she wanna bang Barton? Do they ever really explain it? The most they say is that he helped her and she feels a debt. But all he said is “compromised.” What does that even mean? And if he’s compromised, what’s an hour gonna do to change anything?


Oh, so she’s got a crush. Well isn’t that sweet. Why’d he have to say that? You know what orders is, don’t you? Orders…is or-ders.

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“Let me put you on hold.”

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I appreciate a woman who can kick ass in a cocktail dress.

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Yes. Those.

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Ah, the dreaded Saudi Arabian Hair Whip.



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Just like in the Sino-Japanese War.

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.

Is this where the “base” is?

Look at his watch. That looks like a watch you can afford on a government salary.

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That dame’s got some shapely gams.

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Say cheese!

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Didn’t Thor do that kick too?

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Look at that muscle tone. I bet she was the Russian Handjob Champion of 2002.

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Hang the Russian from a chain so I can go and get a drink. Nah, she’s not that fun.

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I bet when they paid for the product placement they went, “Make sure you put it on the floor of a shitty Russian warehouse.”

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I love this shot. I kinda wish the film cared about it as much as I do.

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“Where’s Barton now?”

“We don’t know.”

“But he’s alive?”

“We think so.”

And yet, you burned this entire operation for “We think so.”

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Oh, nice. Clips from the end of this movie.

“I’ll brief you on everything when you get back. But first, we need you to talk to the big guy.”

Why are their nicknames there?

And why are we seeing this?

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“Coulson, you know that Stark trusts me about as far as he can throw me.”

“Oh, I’ve got Stark. You’ve got the big guy.”


One, I bet Stark would still flirt with you at this point. It’s been a while. And two, are we talking about IN the Iron Man suit? Cause if so, he could probably throw you quite a distance, implying deep trust.

I like how even she assumes the big guy is Stark. Because in this universe, he’s the only guy.

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“Боже мой”

Which translates roughly as, “Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace….Yes, I’ve heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if he were here, he’d consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse. I amWilliam Wallace! And I see a whole army of my country men, here, in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight? …Aye, fight and you may die, run and you’ll live, at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom! Alba gu bra!”

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“Meanwhile, in Thailand…”

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Oh, this is India.


That just went slumdog gopro really fast.

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Uh oh, she’s late for work. They’re gonna dock her a year’s pay for that.

Do you know how many pairs of shoes you have to sew to make up that $12.72?

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“My baby takes the morning train…”

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Someone should really cut this with her turning the corner to find the twins from The Shining.

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That’s the thing about poor countries, no one gives a fuck where you go.

You know the only thing this old lady is thinking isn’t that some random child walked into her house, it’s, “I better not have to feed her.”

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“Bitch, get out!”

Can’t you see he’s tryin-a bang that old chick?

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But her father’s not waking up.

He’s probably drunk off his ass.

This is Bruce Banner, by the way.

He’s looking a little Ruffalo.

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She wants to pay him. How nice. Medicine for the highest bidder.


When people can’t answer questions and instead just say, ‘please,’ you turn them down. This is a rule.

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This looks like where Tony Montana’s mother and sister lived.

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Nice, avoid the Act of Killing squads.


This has to be the second best tiny Indian girl we’ve seen during Fun with Franchises. If memory serves, she never becomes Hugo Weaving, so she loses marks there.

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Goats in the living room.


How’d he end up in India? Wasn’t he in Canada? Why would you go from such a happy, calm place, to INDIA?

I guess the assumption is that every time there’s an incident, the government closes in on him, and he’s gotta relocate.


But wasn’t he able to control it at the end of that movie? That last shot showed him handling it, or something.

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This is a hit.


She peaces out the window. This is totally the second best tiny Indian girl we’ve encountered.

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“Should have got paid up front Banner.”

She’s looking good.

I guess her version of blending in is that shawl.

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“You know, for a man who’s supposed to be avoiding stress you picked a hell of a place to settle.”

Isn’t he avoiding increased heart rate?

And is he settling? I feel like he’s hiding.

And what happened to Liv Tyler? Dead?

I’m gonna assume dead.

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“Avoiding stress isn’t the secret.”

“Then what is it? Yoga?”

How do you two know each other, exactly? Or do you talk this casually to any stranger that speaks English in another country?

“You brought me to the edge of the city. Smart.”


I like Mark. You know what I like better? That they haven’t tried to make another Hulk movie. I want to call them morons sometimes, and you know what? They’ve got some sense.

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“I assume the whole place is surrounded.”

By what? Poverty?

“Just you and me.”

Why would you lie to him if he already knows?

“And your actress buddy, she a spy too? They start that young?”


Yes, they do get started that young. Every movie I’ve seen about India suggests that adulthood there begins at 3. Somehow I suspect that’s just a branding problem.

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“I did.”

Why do I get the feeling she was put into some weird underage prostitute situations during the teenage years?

“Who are you?”

“Natasha Romanov.”

So you don’t know each other? You just naturally got into banter? Sure.


Like that name means something to him. You think he has your rookie card?

Might have a modeling portfolio.

Gotta jerk off to something in India.

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“Are you here to kill me, Miss Romanov? Because that’s not gonna work out. For everyone.”


He really jumps to conclusions without just asking what the hell is going on.

“No, of course not. I’m here on behalf of SHIELD.”

Who wants to kill you.

“How’d they find me?”

“We’ve never lost you, doctor. We’ve kept our distance. Even helped keep some other interested parties off your scent.”

I assume that means William Hurt.


“Nick Fury seems to trust you. But now we need you to come in.”

Seems to? Either he does or doesn’t.

Also, this entire scene has been, “Do you want to kill me?” “No.” “How’d you find me?” “We’ve been tracking you the whole time. But now we need you to do us a favor.” What possible reason does he have to say yes? Oh, well I guess you found me, so I’ll help you. Maybe if you really drove the point home that someone wanted to kill him and they helped him stay alive (even though it seems like he can’t be killed anyway), I’d buy it more.

This whole scene has some flimsy logic behind it, and the breeziness of the dialogue prevents people from realizing it.

“What if I say no?”

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“I’ll persuade you.”

With her tongue.


That doesn’t sound like the right thing to say. Mark’s a lot less trusting and a lot darker than Norton was, huh? I think that’s why I like him.

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“And what if the – other guy – says no?”

“You’ve been more than a year without an incident. I don’t think you wanna break that streak.”

At this point, is it a streak?

I’d really like it if they did make another Hulk movie, but really scaled it back, and focused on his relationship with the Hulk. Keep it remote, and don’t do that much action. Or rather, no large scale Hulk freak outs.

Actually, remember — I’m sure this was a comics arc, but I remember it from the animated show — in the X-Men animated series, that episode where Wolverine is searching for Sabretooth in the arctic, and ends up with that eskimo tribe.

Do that with the Hulk. Some place remote. He can blend in with the locals and try to deal with his condition. Because they make all these references to “the other guy.” So the other guy is in there. And he must have a presence in Banner. It’s not like he only shows up when Banner gets angry. There must be some kind of push and pull between the two for control. You can focus on that, along with his personal stuff, trying to avoid people and all that. You can still have setpieces. He can turn into the Hulk in a forest and wreck that. Fight bears or something.  You can still do Hulk without him destroying a city. I know that’s not what Marvel cares about, but you can make a good movie with the character if you choose to. Give it a good hour. I’ll even allow the last 40 minutes to take place in civilization with your Marvel universe people.

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“Well I don’t every time get what I want.”

I don’t understand. Did you want a baby? Or was that just convenient shot cutting?

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“Doctor, we’re facing a potential global catastrophe.”

And you’re texting.

“Well those I actively try to avoid.”

This is pretty much his equivalent of, “That can be harmful.”

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“This is the Tesseract.”


Also, look at that shitty book cover next to it.

“It has the potential energy to wipe out the planet.”

It has the ability to pretty much do whatever the plot needs it to, doesn’t it?

Also, potential energy. If you guys were really that concerned about it, you wouldn’t have held onto it and did experiments with it.

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“What does Fury want me to do, swallow it?”

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“No, that’s what he wants me to do.”

(Note: And she will, next movie!)



Yeah, there’s a terribly scripted romance between the two of them. I’m not spoiling anything, because you need to go in knowing it’s terrible. It’s the only way to get through it.

Apparently it emits gamma radiation, and he’s the one who knows the most about it.


This is more the right move, even though it doesn’t work out.

It’s funny how the Avengers Initiative recruits them for all the right reasons, and yet it it turns into a giant clusterfuck where they basically just fight people.

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“So Fury isn’t after the monster?”

“Not that he’s told me.”

That’s a terrible response. Fuck me, that answers everything!

Why not say, “Would it do us any good?”

What purpose would the monster serve in this scenario?

“And he tells you everything?”

Even if he does — does he tell her the truth about everything?

“Talk to Fury, he needs you on this.”

Is Fury here? How about you give him a phone? He can talk to him without coming in. This can solve a lot of the problems.

“He needs me in a cage?”

Who fucking said anything about a cage? Goddamnit, Banner, stop talking like a bad movie.

“No one’s gonna put you in a cage.”

Nobody puts Banner in the corner!

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“Stop lying to me!”

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What’s that green shit on your hand? Sprinkles?

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Hulk want that purple stuff.

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“I’m sorry. That was mean. I just wanted to see what you’d do.”


Well, jam. That was a doo doo cloud moment if you weren’t expecting it. And I bet the 1 in 4 adult female audience members who have experienced domestic violence just flashed back.

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And you failed. Because what good is he dead?

“Why don’t we do this the easy way, where you don’t use that?”

Still not sure what convinced you to go in.

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“And the other guy doesn’t make a mess.”

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“Stand down.”

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What in the shit was all that stuff? What made that sound? Was one of them using a Midget Cricket?

Is that MoCon?

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“Just you and me.”

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“This is out of line, Director.”

Powers Boothe.

“You’re dealing with forces you can’t control.”


Is this the Illuminati or something? And if so, really? A woman? Why can’t we see their faces? Is this not a legal governing body? Are they under some kind of protection? Why are they from different countries? SHIELD is American. How did a woman get in the Illuminati? Why does Fury answer to them?

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“You ever been in a war, Councilman? In a firefight? Did you ever feel an abundance of control?”

I don’t even know who these people are. “World Security Council.” They just run shit in the shadows? Why does SHIELD answer to them? What is going on?

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He ain’t saying Asgard has declared war. Loki.

“He can’t be working alone. What about the other one?”

Jenny Agutter. You guys remember her from the 70s? Gorgeous.

“His brother?”


WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? Why is this scene and this group of people not a CONSTANT source of question and concern for people both in the universe and watching it in the theater?

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Thor isn’t a hostile. But he’s worlds away.

“We can’t depend on him to help either. It’s up to us.”

Because… the Plot?

I feel like if it’s about his brother, he’ll show up.

“Which is why you should be focusing on phase two.”

“Phase two isn’t ready.”


Also, is phase two what happens in Winter Soldier? Because that’s fucked up.

“Our enemy is.”

Excuse me while I take this Marvel dick out of my ass.

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“We need a response team.”

“The Avengers Initiative was shut down.”

Probably cause of Stark. If one had to guess.

“This isn’t about the Avengers.”

And… credits.

Cue the Curb theme.

“We’re running the world’s greatest covert security network and you’re gonna leave the fate of human race to a handful of freaks.”

The world’s greatest covert security network? And you just gloss over that?

Also, “handful of freaks”? Really?


So later, we find out that a bunch of these guys are HYDRA, so isn’t it funny that they facilitated the rescue of their old archenemy and then assembled a team of good guys in which Captain America is one of the LEAST badass?

What happened to Powers Boothe between this and Winter Soldier? Did they fire him because he was the leading guy that Fury proved wrong?

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“I’m not leaving anything to anyone. We need a response team.”

So this first act is about a man convincing his bosses to let him use superheroes to combat alien forces.

Fucking bureaucracy.

There’s your subtitle.

Fucking Bureaucracy.

“These people may be isolated, unbalanced even, but I believe with the right push they can be exactly what we need.”

You could say that about a lot of people.

Also, isn’t only one of them unbalanced?

“You believe?”

Why do they need a push? I feel like “the world will be destroyed if you don’t” should be push enough.

“War isn’t won by sentiment, Director.”

Tell that to Steven Spielberg.

“No, it’s won by soldiers.”

Cut to Captain America.


Cue the soldier, cause editing.

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Notice how I said that before the cut.

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This is why we didn’t have an end credits sequence on the last movie. They just showed this scene, and a trailer.


I’m writing my notes on this the day of the Mayweather-Pacquiao matchup. Apparently Mayweather won. I’m not sure why people care this much about boxing. I often forget that it’s a sport. And yet, for some reason, this is being called the “Fight of the Century,” with about 85 years left to decide that. Isn’t that a bit arrogant, calling this whatever fight the main event of 100 years of a sport that isn’t even one-fifth done?

What happens in 2081 when Floyd Mayweather V fights a challenger from one of Saturn’s moons? Are there still gonna be old douchebags in space barbershops talking about that time two assholes hit each other for a few minutes at the MGM Grand in Earth Vegas? That was 2D boxing, gramps. Anyway, I don’t understand boxing at all.

Boxing as a sport is kind of like the Hollywood of sports. Or even the western. It used to be pure and nationally beloved. The pugilist spirit. Kind of like the early westerns or early movies. And then it got specialized and monetized, and then rather than settling things with fisticuffs shit just got way more violent and people became disillusioned with all the bullshit. So now UFC is the fighting sport that people care about.

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This should be a Rocky III ending with Red Skull. Complete with freeze frame and Eye of the Tiger. We can save the beach scene til Age of Ultron.


I like how it’s an old-timey gym. This isn’t where you get a kale protein shake. Captain America doesn’t eat kale. Kale feels like a communist plant.

This Isn’t Where You Get a Kale Protein Shake

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All his friends are dead, what else is he gonna do to pass the time?

Also, how does he age?

Just asking.

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Yeah, we get it. You were in war.


Flashbacks, in case you didn’t see that movie. I don’t know why they do this. If you’re going to make it a universe movie, make it a goddamn universe movie and just expect us to know why he’s tormented. This could have been done so much better (wow, I just said that like it wasn’t true for the entire franchise and not just this moment) if they had skipped the flashback and had him just zoning out instead. Give him a proper 1000 yard stare moment or something.

What if he was the crazed vet who used ethnic slurs? Would we not watch the shit out of that?

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Do we really need all the flashbacks to the previous movie? It was the last one to come out. I think we get it.

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Really? That’s how they found him? Because he looks fucking dead.

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How’d that one work, exactly?

And then they got him out of the uniform and put it in a museum?


See how strange it is that if HYDRA is running SHIELD, they still found Captain America and helped bring him back? Wouldn’t someone ‘accidentally’ kill him or something?

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Good job. Now Glass-Jaw Willie has to clean that up.

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He has a bunch waiting, which is so typically Marvel. You see something that’s supposed to be shocking or unbelievable, and then they cut to something that shows how normal it was to whoever was involved. “Oh, you thought I was going through something real and just had a rough moment? Nah, I actually go through punching bags faster than Charlie Sheen goes through blow. Don’t worry about it.”

I hate these cheap moments. They can work when you use them sparingly, but Marvel overuses them to the point of it being really cheap. There was another just a few minutes ago, with Romanov and her “interrogation.” Why is every day Tuesday in this franchise?

Why Is Every Day Tuesday in This Franchise?

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“Trouble sleeping?”

“I slept for 70 years, sir. I think I’ve had my fill.”

Yeah, what was the deal with that, exactly?


Does he need to be doing this? Isn’t he already perfect? Can’t he just eat all day and watch old movies and never get less ripped? I need some of that stuff.

Also, I don’t think that’s how it works. “I’m through sleeping.” “Yeah, but you were in a coma.” Plus sleep is awesome.

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“Then you should be out, celebrating. Seeing the world.”

Celebrating what? Not being dead?

I also like the assumption that people won’t know who he is because he was a random cult figure from 70 years ago. They probably wouldn’t.

Though I am thinking about him going on a trip around the world, then stopping in Germany, having a somber moment outside a concentration camp, revisiting all the places from the war, and then maybe running into an old Nazi in a supermarket who recognizes him.

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“When I went under, the world was at war. I wake up, they say we won. They didn’t say what we lost.”


I like the idea of that line more than I like that line. Like, make him the character who’s more torn about the way shit gets done now and the problems he sees in modern society. He’s a man out of time, which should be his main interaction with the plot. It becomes more about his loyalty to the country, his tendency to follow orders, and his trust in superiors.

It should have been way more about his questioning the ideals that America displays now and bringing something ‘old-fashioned’ to the fight other than the uniform. They really dropped the ball here, because he could have been the most interesting character in this movie, if only because he’d be the source of soul-searching in a time of need, providing the commentary on a society that leaves the dirty jobs to an ever-shrinking subclass of soldiers, immigrants and the working poor.

How easy would it be to make Rogers the guy who does more than just fight people? Evans is okay, I guess, but I honestly believe that if they gave him the right material, Captain America could have nearly tied Iron Man for best overall character by building on his background as an egalitarian New Deal-era Army volunteer with working-class immigrant parents. But instead, they make him a loyalty-obsessed yes-man who then takes a stand against the threat of American tyranny in a libertarian wet dream. Fuck, they disappoint me.

They kinda have him be able the old way and question how things are done in the Winter Soldier. But not nearly enough. It’s so disappointing that we can just off-handedly suggest better versions of these movies and know that Marvel doesn’t care enough to even consider making them better.

“We’ve made some mistakes along the way.”

Like, Edward Norton and Terrence Howard? Or are we talking historically?

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“Some very recently.”

That dude with the moustache in Thor?

“You here with a mission, sir?”

Nah, man, I got the lunch menu. Wanna get some of that kung pao chicken and jizz soup?

“Trying to get me back in the world?”

Would a mission do that? I feel like a mission would do the opposite of that.

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“Trying to save it.”

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“Hydra’s secret weapon.”

So they need Banner because he knows gamma radiation. They need Cap because he’s seen this thing in action before. Romanov works for SHIELD and there’s the Barton angle (I guess they fucked?). Thor is obvious. And Stark is just cause he’s awesome. All right. I’ll give them decent marks on why they assembled this particular team. What happens once the team is assembled is still a fucking shit show.

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That looks like a glass cube.


There’s always a manila folder. I wonder what the US government’s covert arms spend on manila folders annually. Like, if we were to stop toppling governments and stuff, what would happen to International Paper’s bottom line?

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Wow, Samuel L. Jackson sounds drunk and slurring as he says this.

“Howard Stark fished that out of the ocean while looking for you.”

Listen to this part. Here’s where it gets all drunk.

“He thought what we think.”

And then they cut to this shot where he looks like he’s stumbling.

“The Tesseract could be the key to unlimited sustainable energy.”

Man, that was a weird line of dialogue.


Exposition we already know, and most of it only references his movie and its connection to this plot. So…useless.

“That’s something the world sorely needs.”


Something the world sorely needs? Really? You’re just gonna give the power to developing countries, too?

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“Who took it from you?”

“He’s called Loki. He’s – not from around here.”

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“There’s a lot we’ll have to bring you up to speed on if you’re in. The world has gotten even stranger than you already know.”

And we just completely gloss over this part.

“At this point I doubt anything would surprise me.”

Slap him in the face right now.

“Ten bucks says you’re wrong.”

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“There’s a debriefing packet waiting for you back at your apartment.”

Is no one unsettled by how they know what everyone is doing and can just get into all of their apartments whenever they want? We’re treating this as comedy, but this is fucked up.

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“Is there anything you could tell us about the Tesseract that we ought to know now?”

“You should have left it in the ocean.”

And then that one midget wouldn’t have strangled that other midget in his clam-diggers.


I love that people are going to start saying ‘clam-diggers.’

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Cut to the ocean.

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Starky baby.


And the moment half the audience busted a nut for. Here’s Tony, vandalizing a public utility.

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“Good to go on this end. The rest is up to you.”


Remember how in the next movie his hugely-upgraded suit is not at ALL waterproof?

Isn’t it half-destroyed by that point, though?

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That wouldn’t terrify the people on that boat at all. Does he get a pass for all of this? Why isn’t he being attacked for shit like he is in all of his movies? Shouldn’t he have to take a call at some point during this movie to answer to a senator who’s pissed about how Stark is breaking FAA rules left and right?

It seems like at this point they just leave him alone.

Or maybe they haven’t figured out how to respond to New Mexico.

Remember, Earth’s Bad Semester is still happening.

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See? That’s super not allowed, flying through New York at that altitude. Though, honestly, that’s the nicest way to get through New York.

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What if he had a bunch of cars flying behind him right now?

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“Stark Tower is about to become a Beacon of self-sustaining clean energy.”


Self-sustaining? Doesn’t that mean it continues indefinitely? Doesn’t he say later that it’s going to last a year? 

“Well, assuming the Arc Reactor takes over and it actually works.”

“I assume.”

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“Light her up.”

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“How does it look?”

Looks like the most expensive fuck pad in the city.

“Like Christmas. But with more, me.”

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They’re banging, is the gist of this scene.

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“Sir, Agent Coulson of SHIELD is on the line.”


He built a building with a landing platform just for him, cause of course he did. See? This is the way you do incremental improvement. The first iteration sucks, and it’s hard for him to get the suit off. Then it gets better, but is still stationary. Now he just walks and it comes off. And then later, we see an even crazier version. I suppose the ultimate is atomic materialization around him or something, at which point you figure there has to be a better version of the suit itself that just does everything.

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“I’m not in.”

I like that everyone in the Chrysler Building can see him fucking.

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“I’m actually out.”

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“Sir, I’m afraid he’s insisting.”

I like that Jarvis is having both of these conversations at the same time.

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“Grow a spine, Jarvis. I got a date.”

He’s gonna grow a spine in the next movie.

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Still super unclear what this chest situation is like.

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Honey, I’m home. Is what this is.

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‘Levels are holding steady.”

She looks like she has AIDS.


Gwyneth. Is still in this franchise.

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“Of course they are. I was directly involved. Which brings me to my next question.”

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“How does it feel to be a genius?”

He says all this came from her.

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Nope. It came from that.

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“Please, give yourself some credit. Stark Tower is your baby. Give yourself – 12% of the credit.”

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“Twelve percent?”

“An argument could be made for fifteen.”


She’s turning it around. He’s being generous. How much of this did she do? Like none. Let’s be honest. Without Stark, she’d still be an executive assistant at JP Morgan or wherever. Don’t hate me, hate Marvel. They’re the ones who wrote her this way. And for that matter, she just said that it “all” came from his chest reactor. So he’s GIVING her the 12 percent. And now she’s offended.

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“I did do all the heavy lifting. Literally, I lifted the heavy things.”


I like the Chrysler Building.

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And the security snafu was on her.


I like champagne.

What’s this security snafu about? Why are we not talking about that?

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“I’m going to pay for that comment about percentages in some subtle way later, aren’t I?”

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“Not gonna be that subtle.”

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“I’ll tell you what – next building is gonna say Potts on the tower.”

I don’t like that rich people can say “next building.” I want a building. The most of a building I’ll ever get is a holding cell in the drunk tank commemoratively named after me. But like, unofficially. Like how there’s a street in New York named after Harriet Tubman, but no one calls it that because it’s actually just Fulton Street with another sign on it.

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“On the lease.”

What? You can just say that? “You made a dick comment, now give me a building.”

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That’s the proper reaction when someone wants a building.

Have her sign a pre-nup before she signs that lease.

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Coulson overran Jarvis’s protocols.

Which makes you wonder why he’s Tony Stark to begin with, if anyone can just do that.

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“You have reached the life model decoy of Tony Stark. Please leave a message.”


“new phone who dis lol”

“This is urgent.”

“Then leave it urgently.”

Remember how they didn’t want you like a month ago?

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If you have to walk in, walk in, don’t talk.

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“Security breach.”

This should be where Jarvis drops paint cans from ropes tied to the ceiling and puts race cars all along the floor for him to trip on.

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Love that he adds, “That’s on you” right as we cut.

“Mr. Stark.”

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“Phil! Come in.”



Why IS he ‘Phil?’ She’s awfully familiar.

Gwyneth has a history with this sort of thing.

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“Uhh, his first name is Agent.”

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“We’re just celebrating.”

“Which is why he can’t stay.”

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“We need you to look this over. As soon as possible.”

“I don’t like being handed things.”


That’s probably the best running joke in the franchise. Downey doesn’t like being handed things. What are the other running jokes in this franchise? Other than Romanov being a woman, you mean? Marvel doesn’t have a good track record on gender parity. But whatever.

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“That’s fine, because I love to be handed things.”

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“So let’s trade.”


She gets to hand him stuff? Is that like how only Moe and Larry can give Curly the limburger?

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“Official consulting hours are between eight and five every other Thursday.”

“This isn’t a consultation.”

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“Is this about the Avengers?”

Fuck you.

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“Which I know nothing about.”

Nor should you.

“The Avengers Initiative was scrapped. I thought. And I didn’t even qualify.”

Why was it scrapped? Why would you throw out that idea after making such a big deal about it? Just so you can succeed while not officially trying?

“I didn’t know that either.”

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“Yeah, apparently I’m volatile, self-obsessed, don’t play well with others.”

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“That I did know.”

“Whatever. This isn’t about personality profiles anymore.”

Why does it look like her tit got burnt? Did she Doubtfire?

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“Miss Potts – you have a second?”


I don’t like the way she walks, and I don’t approve of her cutoff denim shorts. Actually, I don’t approve of her. So there’s that.

She’s a CEO.

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I like how there are random pieces of metal lying around for whenever he wants to tinker.

Even though what at this point in his life actually requires metal to be built?

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“You know, I thought we were having a moment.”

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“I was having twelve percent of a moment.”

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“This seems serious. Phil’s pretty shaken.”

“How would you know – why is he Phil?”

Both appropriate questions.

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“What is all this?”


More shit that somebody spent hours at a computer making. What are these random graphs and charts popping up? I get the photos and dossiers, but what’s with the chart? Is that supposed to be a chart of Hulk’s gamma pattern or something? I just don’t get what half of this stuff is and why it would make sense here. You can tell that the industry has gotten very good at populating shots with random graphics that lack any substance, but give off a “logistical” or “briefing” vibe, and seem to make sense in aggregate when a bunch of them are flashed on the screen for a second.

Did Marvel employ CNN’s graphics team on this project? I know there’s a huge debate on the quality of films like this, but I want to hold up the little things like this as evidence that there’s a lot of glitter here, but less gold than people think.

The amount of SHIELD interns that had to put this together for Stark to just ignore it…

He’s also watching the other movies right now.

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“I’m going to take the jet to DC tonight.”

That’s a funny line, out of context.

Also, why DC? Do you work there? Are you just going? Are you going to the senate hearing that he hasn’t even been subpoenaed for yet?

“You have homework.”

You can still bang and do homework.


There are ways of getting out of homework.

“What if I didn’t?”

“If you didn’t? You mean when you finished?”

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“Well, then –”


What did she whisper? Was it like, butt stuff? Something tells me that’s not Tony’s bag. Whatever she said, I bet it wouldn’t be my bag.

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Can you hear that? Why are you feeling embarrassed?

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“Square deal. It’s the last date.”

He said it like “the last one ever.” Which makes no sense. I’m guessing it’s supposed to mean “the same crazy shit we did last time.” But he says it the other way.

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“Work hard.”

Well… now…

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“So, any chance you’re driving by La Guardia?”

Who says he’s driving?

“I can drop you.”

From a plane? I’m okay with that.

“Fantastic. Oh, I wanna hear about the cellist. Is that still a thing?”

“She moved back to Portland.”

“What? Boo!”

I hate this dialogue.

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Is the SHIELD stuff holographic? Cause if it’s a 2D format, I’m wondering how he picks this up.