Marvel At This

I gave my son a ride to the grocery store the other day, and while I was waiting for him to check out I walked over to the Red Box kiosk to look at titles. I never rent a film from one of these, but they’re good visual reminders of things I haven’t seen but meant to.

I counted 9 films in this category, from the new Mary Poppins to the new Star Is Born. Nine is a number that doesn’t make any sense to me, then. It’s not a number I can work with. I’m never going to see all of these, because if it had been important I would have already seen them. If someone had asked me, I would have gone to the theater to see one of them. Now I won’t, and it’s dumb to spend any time thinking about it. I’ve been alive nearly 61 years and I’ve never seen all of Gone with the Wind. It’s fine.

It is. I’ve tried a few times to reboot my interest in watching movies and it doesn’t seem to be working. I always enjoy the experience, but in my case it’s a solitary one most of the time. There are other things I’d rather do alone, it seems. Read, listen, write, think. Not watch so much.

I’ve written before about my disinclination to get wrapped up in the Marvel Comic Universe. For one thing, I was never all that inclined. In 2008, I watched Iron Man because it had Robert Downey, Jr. and I like to watch him act. I had no idea if Iron Man was an actual comic book character or had been created only for the movie, honestly. I read comic books as a kid but apparently not very often.

But I did get wrapped up. I don’t know how I could have avoided it, and I wasn’t trying to anyway. I saw all of the Iron Man movies. I watched Captain America and then watched the sequel because I have a little man-crush on the Captain, I think. There’s something refreshing about moral absolutism in a contemporary movie, something that feels very much like Superman to me. There’s no angst, no tortured soul trying to make things right. Just a dude who volunteered because he wanted to beat the Nazis, and he trusted science to do right by him. If you can imagine.

So it turns out that out of the first 12 movies, I saw half of them. Out of the next 10, I’ve seen one (Black Panther). I haven’t really had any interest in the others. A little superhero CGI goes a long way with me.

But I do have some interest, and there’s the problem. You can’t just drop in on one of these movies, as you all surely know. You can Wiki your way into a lot, but now that we’ve reached the 22nd film in the series, some watching is necessary.

And I’d like to see Avengers: Endgame in a theater with my son. I’d like to see it before I hear or read too much. What to do.

Fortunately, nice people have written short articles about this, which films are necessary and which are not. John and I got it down to about 10, then did more research and chopped off a few of those. I still have to see movies I wouldn’t see normally. One of them apparently has a squirrel and a tree as main characters, which I don’t understand.

But we watched the first on our list, Avengers: Age of Ultron yesterday. Thor: Dark World is next. I can’t believe I’m a grownup.

I liked it. I’m not going to review it; it’s 5 years old. I got a little more familiar with back stories. RJD is always fun to watch. Jeremy Renner and Scarlet Johansson class the whole thing up, and I really like Mark Ruffalo. The Captain does the right thing, always.

And once I realized that it was impossible to follow the action completely, it just moved too fast, I relaxed into the movie and had a good time.

I don’t really understand the Hulk or the alien Viking thing. I don’t really understand why Renner only has a bow and arrow, although he looks pretty good at archery. I’ve got a good 12 hours of watching ahead, too, before we go to the theater. My enthusiasm is a little fragile at the moment.

But it’s something to do, and it’s doable. Let’s see how it goes and how I feel at the end. It’s a quest, let’s say.

Does the tree wear a cape? Never mind.

Chuck Sigars1 Comment