Round 3: Black Panther v Captain America: Winter Soldier v Avengers: Endgame


Round 3: Black Panther v Captain America: Winter Soldier v Avengers: Endgame  

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I've repeated my criticisms of Black Panther and The Winter Soldier before. I find Infinity War and Endgame to almost be miraculous. Those movies should have collapsed under their own weight and didn't. So I go Endgame.  

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This was quite challenging, but I'm going with 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'.

'Endgame' has a lot of great moments and I am always surprised it works as well as it does, however, it still gets a little clunky and has some jokey bits that sometime take me out of it. I still think it is excellent, just not at the top for me. Similarly, 'Black Panther' is really great and does such a service to the characters, but the third act dips in quality for me. A lot of the CG throughout the film is also of lesser quality. Easily has the best score of the MCU though, that's for sure. 

'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' is just a great continuation of the Captain America story, and really explores the themes his character is based around. I think the supporting characters are all great and the story is quite gripping. I love a lot of the action and I feel that this film is just a great time, with no supplemental viewings of other films required. 

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Endgame is such an amazing closure to the MCU. If they never made another Marvel movie after it, I would be totally fine with that. And as fun and emotional and grand as it is, it doesn't entirely work on its own. At the very least you needed to have seen Infinity War to understand why the world is where it is. That's a big problem if we're looking at it as a singular entity.

On the other hand, while Winter Soldier is the second Captain America movie, all one needs to know is that Steve had a friend named Bucky who seemingly died. That's it. The movie explains all of that, then gets on with itself to easily become a Top Three MCU movie for me.

Panther, though, is inspired. Its only fault is the exceptionally janky CGI punching as T'Challa and Killmonger fall during the final battle.

Man, I'm gonna go Winter Soldier, but this is a lot harder than I had thought.

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Endgame's ambition equates to something like spinning three stories of plates. It's ultimately pulled off and I don't really have much wrong with it, but it does have that requisite MCU humor that it feels to need to tack on that is jarring in between the serious stuff. Like the quibbling over time travel mechanics by going all pop culture crazy, Scott Lang turning into a baby and Avengers-era Tony needing Mjolner-defibrillation from Thor. It's not as...EGREGIOUS...as some of the other films, but they are tonal whiplash all the same. The movie needs humor, but the humor runs too broad.

Additionally, and this is a personal thing, but while I know MCU secret identities are for shit, it's a little annoying that Scott Lang just throws his out there to a bunch of kids because h'es jealous of Hulk (How public is Ant Man anyway? His movies set up that the whole thing with Pym Particles was supposed to be secret), and Tom Holland constantly having his mask off when he's surrounded by hundreds of strangers straight up bothers me. I know they're cribbing off of Ultimate Spider-Man, but at least Peter tried maintaining an identity. Here, he's just telling people his name for the joke of him being an awkward kid, and it's more of that sensibility that he's pretty useless in the universe. But that's not the hugest deal.

Do people really care all that much on Black Panther's CGI in the third act? Yeah it's not the best, but it's not like they're transforming into claymation dinosaurs or anything. It's a flaw, but the way people talk about it, it's almost like they walked out of the movie in that final fight. Still, BP's only real flaw is that T'Challa gets lost in his own movie after Killmonger defeats him for a while. It does a great job on centering on the women, but you don't feel as though you're with T'Challa as much as you should be in the story. The movie's more like the world of Wakanda rather than Black Panther, but it's not the biggest deal either.

Winter Solider has no flaws. The action is the best, the use of continuity is terrific, the characterization is great, the humor isn't fucking stupid, it develops Steve's character and as a result made him a fan favorite of the MCU, where he wasn't during the first phase.

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Donovan convinced me here because it was a coinflip between Winter Soldier and Black Panther. Endgame was never in the running. Just too many problems with how it uses it's runtime.

For me, this is what decides who wins the bracket for me.

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On 8/10/2020 at 2:56 PM, Donomark said:

Do people really care all that much on Black Panther's CGI in the third act?

Overall, I don't believe so. Though I will say, when I saw Blank Panther in a packed cinema, the audience burst into laughter at the falling / punching scene. So it was clear then there was some wonkiness with the singular moment. That's the only reason I mentioned it. Beyond that exceptionally minor gripe, Panther has some amazing themes, subtext, action, acting, pacing, drama, characters, scoring, CGI. Everything. I mean, Killmonger is maybe Marvel's only sympathetic villain? (Zemo is possibly justified, but he's not as charismatic and compelling as Killmonger.)

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