Just a Few Problems with Avengers: Infinity War…No Big Deal

Spoiler Alert.

SPOILERS!

So there’s a thing that happens very often with superhero movies, TV shows, cartoons, and even comics. I’m sure it happens with Harry Potter fiction too, or anything where there’s special powers involved.

The writers forget what the powers do. This is especially problematic with very powerful characters like Martian Manhunter. I remember distinctly watching some episode of one of the Justice League cartoons and thought “If Martian Manhunter had remembered that he can go intangible, this fight would be over by now.”

THOSE PESKY INFINITY STONES

This is a pretty big issue with the Infinity Gauntlet. Now, your average movie-goer likely doesn’t really know what the six Infinity Gems do, and they barely explore that in the film. I’m a huge nerd and I’m not even clear on this. Sure we could both look it up, but let me take a guess: (1) the space stone allows teleportation; (2) the time stone allows you to manipulate time (this one is actually well illustrated); (3) the reality stone allows you to change reality; (4) the mind stone lets you control minds (illustrated in the first Avengers film); (5) the soul stone…???; (6) the power stone…allows you beat the Hulk???

So let’s agree to set aside the “it’s just a show, you should really just relax” mentality, and dig in to the tiny nerdy minutia like a good writer should!

it’s inferred that Thanos is a very powerful entity even without the Infinity Stones, so we don’t really know how much of his power is innate and what comes from the stones. But that’s not a dealbreaker for me.

But those Infinity Stones…oh those Infinity Stones. Given their special powers, there seemed to be a lot of super-brawling that didn’t need to take place for Thanos to fulfill his mission. Sure, they were very entertaining super-brawls, but it seemed to me that Thanos had a very specific task that was all-important to him, and he wouldn’t waste time smacking down some Avengers/Guardians/etc even if it did “bring a smile to his face” (note this line from the trailer didn’t appear in the film).

YOU FORGOT YOU COULD CHANGE REALITY

It’s established I think earlier than halfway through the film that Thanos can use the Reality Stone to turn matter, including people, into ribbons or blocks or bubbles. And yet there are melees that occur subsequently where Thanos opts to hurl moons at the heroes rather than simply willing them into inoffensive vapor. Why? He didn’t think of it? He didn’t want to? Is the most dangerous Avengers villain actually just kind of a dummy or easily distracted?

TELEPORT YOUR ENEMY AWAY

And what about the space stone’s teleportation ability? If I’m fighting Iron Man, and for some reason I don’t want to turn him into bubbles, why not teleport him away to the edge of the universe?

And speaking of teleportation, let’s talk about Dr Strange’s magical gates. He uses one early in the movie and it cuts off the arm of one of the minions. So we know it can do that. If I’m Dr. Strange and I’ve got Mantis keeping Thanos is a groggy state, why not use the magical gateway to cut off his gauntlet-wielding arm? Or better yet, his head? Or is this him keeping to his Hippocratic oath? Failing that, why not plop a portal underneath Thanos and send him to wherever he sent Loki in Thor: Ragnarok? That seemed to work. Sure, Thanos could bring himself back, but it could give the heroes a few critical, game-changing seconds in a life-or-death situation.

It is good move on the writers’ part that the Mind Stone was saved for last, otherwise I would be complaining that there wasn’t enough mass mind control throughout the movie. Iron Man and Dr Strange giving you trouble? Make them fight each other with mind control!

ATOMIZE THE AVENGERS AND THEN GET THE STONES

Another thing that bothered me…just a little bit…was this: Thanos knew who Tony Stark was, that’s stated in the film. He knew, I’m sure, that Stark was responsible for the failure of the invasion of Earth (from the first Avengers film.) So if you’ve got a giant spaceship, or a fleet of giant spaceships, presumably you have nuclear technology. We had it in the 50’s for heaven’s sake. So if you think the Avengers are going to be a thorn in your side, why not nuke them? You could beam a bomb down to Dr. Strange’s sanctorum or just have a guy walk up with a briefcase. Same thing with the Avengers compound or wherever the two Infinity Stones are on earth…and then collect the stones from the debris. Sure, I know, there are many reasons this idea might not work (protective spells on the sanctorum, for example, even though Hulk smashed through the roof no problem), but my point is, at least explore the possibility of obliterating the Infinity Stone carriers from a distance and then collecting the stones, rather than sending a couple guys for a big ol’ donnybrook. Yeah, it’s not as gripping to watch as a movie audience member, but it bears consideration, no?

NOBODY’S REALLY DEAD

The last, and most majorest of the major gripes, is killing off characters that we know are coming back. EVERYBODY KNOWS that there’s going to be another Spider-Man film and another Black Panther film. What, you’re going to have these movies without the main characters? No. So why oh why would you kill off Spidey and Panthery in Infinity War? People say that the ending of A:IW is ballsy, but this move undercuts the ballsiness in a major way, so much so that I have a hard time believing that even the characters killed by methods other than the gauntlet are going to stay dead. Sure they could make Guardians of the Galaxy 3 without Gamora, but I would be very VERY surprised if that happens, given the way they handled Thanos winning the day.

Now, I know that Avengers: Infinity War is actually only half of the story, and we’ve got the conclusion coming up in a year, so maybe, just maybe, all my gripes will be addressed and it will all make sense. I guess we will all just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I will re-read my Spider-Ham comics and hope he appears in Avengers 4.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Here is my Patreon if you like this and all the silly things I do.

 

FLICKED UP 2017: The Movies I Did And Did Not See

From worst to best:

Alien: Covenant
Alien: Covenant – a pile of garbage.
Bushwick – an interesting idea not executed well
Power Rangers – stupid but sometimes entertaining
Bright – ham handed and mostly nonsense
Get Out – great potential wasted; motivations unsold
War for the Planet of the Apes – excessive schmaltz
Life – predictable rehash
Okja – some great parts and some terrible parts
It – too many characters
Kong: Skull Island – stupid but fun
It Comes At Night – Not as advertised but still good
Human Flow – opened my mind and heart
Free Fire. Highly entertaining
The Last Jedi – flawed but at least it took risks
Killing of a Sacred Deer – not for everyone
The LEGO Batman Movie – fun and silly with heart
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – Much better than the original
The Big Sick – great except I didn’t care about the girl
Wonder Woman – end fight a shitshow, otherwise grand
Coco
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – more of the same, which is good
Atomic Blonde – a joy to watch
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore – compelling w/ great performances
Brigsby Bear – original, weird in the best way
Thor: Ragnarok – good action good humour
Wind River – quite good really.
Lady Bird – great character performances

 

Darkest Hour
Spider-Man Homecoming – the best villain in the MCU
Baby Driver – love interest barely works but everything else kills
Dunkirk – intense, crushing, best soundtrack
The Shape of Water – 8/10
Logan – the superhero movie we needed
Blade Runner 2049 – refreshingly paced
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – bold, funny, dark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unseen (As of Yet):


 

 

 

Obsessive Orville Scrutiny – Episode 2 “Command Performance”

For episode 1 critique – click here

Due to unpopular demand, I’m going ahead with episode 2 joke critiques and other observations for The Orville.

Time to explain the Laughometer

Make sense? O on the left, full guffaw on the right. Chortles and full laughs in between.

Here’s a promo scene to start us off:

Let’s take a closer look at episode 2, “Command Performance”

20th/21st century reference #1… at the 7 second mark!

 

Bortas, the straight man, tries to understand Mercer’s relationship with Kermit the frog. This works! 3 full chortles. One point though – Mercer says Kermit “always keeps his cool in a crisis…” – I’m not sure if that’s part of a joke but it took a moment for me to realize that’s not even remotely true:

 

 

 

 

 

And the audience breathes a sigh of relief. Mercer makes a couple of bad egg jokes. The real puzzler is, how could he not know the basic details of his second officer’s species?

Bortas leaves and now Mercer wants to eat eggs. This joke works. 3 Chortles. Doing better than episode one so far!

Really? I mean I get that the Orville is crewed by “everymen” but come on. 0 chortles, 2 head shakes.

 

This is not a joke note, but to me the ship looks perfectly fine when Commander Grayson comments otherwise. A little plasma venting into space would have fixed that scene.

 

A viewer question: why is it “weird” that the other ship scans the Orville? In space etiquette is that a rude thing to do? Or wouldn’t it just be standard procedure whenever two spaceships meet? If it wasn’t by now, it should be after the end of this episode.

20th Century reference tally: 2. Also, barely amusing. 1 chortle.

Two butt jokes in 3 minutes! 1 chortle. I will note at this point though that I am so glad this show has video transmission and not holograms.

0 chortles.

 

 

 

 

Because Grayson is going to visit with her ex-parents-in-law, she decides to replicate a cannabis edible for herself. One half a chortle, I guess? Maybe there’s a payoff down the line with this?

 

Okay, remember in the last episode when I said I’m waiting for Isaac to show his superior intelligence? Here’s a scene that leaves me still waiting. The captain told him to scan the ship. Did he do it? Was there any unusual result? He never gave the captain a report of any kind. Seems important, especially since the other vehicle scanning them was declared “weird.”

 

I like this. 1.4 laughs.

And then she barfed. That’s fine, serves the story. 2 chortles, because the sound effect was good.

 

The two commanding officers were kidnapped, leaving Alara in command, which she isn’t suited for. I like this line and this kind of humour. The timing wasn’t spot on but a full 3 chortles. Also Alara has eyebrows this episode, did you notice?

20th Century reference tally: 3

20th Century reference tally: 4!

 

 

Captain Ed “Top of His Class” Mercer tries to force open some doors with his shoulder. 0 chortles.

 

Even the aliens are blue collar North Americans.

I’ll say it again – great design and makeup on this show!

Isaac uses his superior intellect to analyze and use the alien technology to project a holographic image over the ship. As he should. And now the Planetary Union has ship holographic technology which they will remember to use in subsequent episodes when it would be very useful…right?

 

 

 

20th Century reference tally: 5

I’m surprised they didn’t go for a scene where Mercer goes to the bathroom to take a pee and the aliens are watching him and he can’t go because he’s got a shy bladder.

 

 

 

Hands up if the domestic bickering on this show is something you look forward to.

 

 

 

Good. 3 full chortles.

The “euthanasia sweep” from the super advanced species is a few lasers that don’t even target the living creatures. STUPID! How about sucking out all the air, or poison gas that floods the entire apartment, or a disintegration wall, or incinerating temperatures?

 

 

Elvis Presley’s last words. 20th Century reference tally: 6!

20th Century reference tally: 7
Reality television joke: 1 chortle.

 

Bortas’ egg hatches – and it’s a female. IMPOSSIBLE?!?!

Summing up, there was no payoff to the pot brownie.

At some point I’d like to do a little more analysis on Mercer compared with other douchey/unqualified command officers in space. Interested?

 

 

 

 

 

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69 Images That Judge Every Joke on the Orville (And Other Observations)

Hi, I’m Toren, a Star Trek nerd.

Despite the sour taste that Seth McFarlane’s projects tend to leave in my mouth-brain, it turns out that I care about this show. I didn’t expect to like it based on the trailers, but despite the sophomoric humour — which I feel does not fit in with this clearly Star Trek homology and weakens the overall experience — there is a lot about The Orville that makes it worth watching.

Let’s explore, shall we? Episode 1: “Old Wounds”

In this episode Captain Mercer (Seth McFarlane) walks in on his wife Kelly (Adrienne Palicki) having sex with an alien. He is upset about this and goes into a downward spiral for a year until his now ex-wife (spoiler) arranges for his command of a vessel on which she will serve as second-in-command, in a perverse manipulation both on a personal and professional level.

Ejaculation joke! Rating: 0.5 chortles. I found the “chirp” sound that follows to be better, at a rating of 1.0 chuckles.


Not a joke – but a character observation about Captain Mercer. Sure, I get it. – he’s upset, so he doesn’t want to talk at the moment. But it’s apparent in this pilot that he has no interest working through his relationship. Which is just the kind of guy he is. Does this make him a sympathetic character? Sure, his wife “cheated” on him, but does he ever try to do the right thing? Stay tuned…

The visuals in this show are very good for the most part. Kudos to the design department!
I choose this moment to illustrate that Mercer is not qualified to be the captain of a Union ship.


The marbles not minds joke! Not bad, I give this a full 3 chortles – not yet a full laugh.


This line tells us that Mercer is very smart. Right?


3 minutes, 34 seconds in: First dick joke (if you don’t count the forehead ejaculation scene)

The ogre is super friendly. An amusing joke – 1.0 laughs.

To illustrate that helmsman Gordon Malloy is a roguish chap, he tricks the ogre and beheads him. 0.1 laughs.

Malloy also drinks beer while he’s flying a shuttle. The joke falls flat but there is charisma in the delivery.

0.0 laughs.

The music in this show is excellent and kind of catchy. Another positive mark for the show in general.


Lt. Alara is young, inexperienced and super strong. If I was casting this show, I would have cast her even younger, like maybe 13 or 14. I think that would have made the contrast more ripe for comedy, and then the writers (McFarlane) would have to come up with jokes that steer clear of sexism, which I think would be a nice challenge for them/him.

Slightly amusing. 0.1 laughs I guess?

If the entire species is male, then there is no female and there is no male, because there is no gender differentiation. Are they hermaphroditic like banana slugs? If they lay eggs (we are shown later that they do) then rather than male, wouldn’t they all be female just like whiptail lizards?

This one gets 0.0 on the humorometer.

It’s the acting on this joke that gets it 2.0 chuckles.

I note that the doctor has a degree in psychology because Mercer and Commander Grayson really need a qualified counsellor if they are going to work together in a professional relationship on a Union starship. In fact, if any Trekesque series needed a Counsellor Troi, this one does much more so than Star Trek: The Next Generation. What are the policies on crew fraternization on Union ships, and more importantly, the mental fitness of a commander who has an extremely volatile relationship with his second in command? Are we to believe that the Union would send this ship on important missions while the two highest officers have a dysfunctional if not hostile relationship?

A testicle joke! 0.1 chortles.


I want to point out that Isaac is supposed to be “objectively superior” to humans. Sure, it’s his own claim and nobody else’s, but let’s put a pin in this and come back to it in a future show.

Lt. Malloy has a little fun with navigator John Lamarr. 0.0 laughs.

Minor Quibble Department: Am I the only one who thinks that the bridge is too large?

Again, great visual effects on this show. Really nice.

Delivery on this joke is excellent. 2.0 laughs!

Continued (and concluded) in PART TWO – click here!

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Toast

It’s, like, the list, that I made, right? For you

I think Early Man will be gone by this weekend 🙁

 

A Fantastic Woman shows at Tinseltown (Intl Village)

Game Night shows at Metropolis Metrotown.

 

I, Tonya shows at Tinseltown (Intl Village)

 

Jumanji screens at Tinseltown

Call Me By Your Name shows at Tinseltown

 

If none of these suit your fancy I could be talked into re-watching Annihilation and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri