Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Jake Lipson

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I think they realize that as Black Panther is another example.
It is, but they need constant reminding to not slide back into their old patterns, so Infinity War is another positive thing coming now.

I'll also be very curious as to where Disney ends up dating Black Panther 2, in terms of whether it remains in February where the first one did so well or whether they give it an "upgrade" to a summer time period. Deadpool is another case where the movie did extra-well in February, which resulted in the sequel getting moved into the summer, and it doen't look quit like it will be as effective in the summer, bookended by Infinity War and Solo, than it was when the original was the only blockbuster in town.
 

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I'll also be very curious as to where Disney ends up dating Black Panther 2, in terms of whether it remains in February where the first one did so well or whether they give it an "upgrade" to a summer time period.
That'd be my bet. Much like Guardians Of The Galaxy going from the original opening in August to May for the sequel.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Much like Guardians Of The Galaxy going from the original opening in August to May for the sequel.
It will probably do well in May if they do that...and I don't mean to take anything away from the quality of Black Panther, which is certainly a sensational movie and a massive hit. But I think a portion of the reason for its extraordinary overprformnce is because the February and March calendar didn't really have anything else hat popped this year in a major way, so a lot of people probably went to Black Panther multiple times because there wasn't anything else big playing. In May, that will almost certainly not be the case. To your example, Guardians managed to outgross the original in its move to May, but it also was pretty frontloaded.

Also, it's worth noting that when Guardians landed in May, the early August slot (July 28 that year, actually) was occupied by Spider-Man Homecoming, so Marvel was actually still using both release slots. Spider-Man ended up being shifted forward due to other moves (Last Jedi, set for Memorial Day, moved to December, so Pirates, set for July 7, moved to Memorial Day, and then Spider-Man shifted to take the old Pirates date.) But since, originally, there was another Marvel film in the same spot as Guardians had been, that didn't read to me as a situation of, "We're abandoning this timetable," as opposed to just using it for another picture.

It will be interesting to see if Marvel uses the February slot again in future, whether for Black Panther or another property.
 
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Sean Bryan

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Just a heads up. The world premiere is tomorrow (Monday) and social media reactions from critics are allowed as of tomorrow night. Full reviews will be out the following day (Tuesday).

So tread with caution online starting tomorrow evening if you’d prefer to avoid spoilers, because even though the Russos had requested that viewers not let things slip you know that some just can’t help themselves.
 

Brett_B

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Just a heads up. The world premiere is tomorrow (Monday) and social media reactions from critics are allowed as of tomorrow night. Full reviews will be out the following day (Tuesday).

So tread with caution online starting tomorrow evening if you’d prefer to avoid spoilers, because even though the Russos had requested that viewers not let things slip you know that some just can’t help themselves.
Like the idiot that did this:

h3PjuCDl.jpg
 

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I worry when you put too many characters in a movie, and the pie gets split into too many pieces, bad things result. But Marvel has proven they can handle these kinds of movies (perhaps never with this many characters showcased before) and I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.

I'm trying to figure out the bare essential movies I need to screen for my wife so she knows what the hell's going on. She's seen several, but didn't watch them with this ultimate climax in mind.
 
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Jake Lipson

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I'm trying to figure out the bare essential movies I need to screen for my wife so she knows what the hell's going on. She's seen several, but didn't watch them with this ultimate climax in mind.
I would go with The Avengers because it's The Avengers, the two Captain America sequels since the Russos directed those, Ultron if you want to explain the origin of Vision and the Mind Stone, and Guardians of the Galaxy because it features Thanos.

Edit: Guardians 1 also has that handy-dandy scene where the Collector explains what the Infinity Stones are.

And, on a similar point, here's an article from The Wrap accounting for where the Infinity Stones have most recently appeared in the prior MCU films: https://www.thewrap.com/avengers-infinity-war-last-saw-every-infinity-stone/
 
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Jake Lipson

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I think I'll just email my wife this article with the scoop on Thanos
I find it interesting that the article assumes the Collector still has the stone from The Dark World. We saw it delivered to him, but that was before his whole place got sort of busted up by the orb in Guardians 1. I wonder if that destruction had any effect on the other stone? We don't know. Obviously, The Dark World is one of Marvel's lesser productions and I'm not all that keen on revisiting it, but it still had a stone in there, so the lack of clarity about what happened to that stone is interesting to me.

Also, the scene in Dark World implied that the Collector was also looking to complete his collection of Infinity Stones, which surely would bring him into conflict with Thanos, who has the same goal.
 

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I find it interesting that the article assumes the Collector still has the stone from The Dark World. We saw it delivered to him, but that was before his whole place got sort of busted up by the orb in Guardians 1. I wonder if that destruction had any effect on the other stone? We don't know. Obviously, The Dark World is one of Marvel's lesser productions and I'm not all that keen on revisiting it, but it still had a stone in there, so the lack of clarity about what happened to that stone is interesting to me.

Also, the scene in Dark World implied that the Collector was also looking to complete his collection of Infinity Stones, which surely would bring him into conflict with Thanos, who has the same goal.
What concerns me is the story structure for Infinity War. Given the vast number of characters, I'm hoping they choose a single character and stick with their point of view for most of the movie, and we only see the other characters when they interact with the POV character. The logical character for the POV is Thanos.

Whatever structure they choose, I hope it commands narrative clarity.
 

Jake Lipson

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The logical character for the POV is Thanos.
I think Civil War proved that the Russos are as adept as anyone at incorporating a ton of characters into their story and giving them all weight and space to do something important. And that film had to introduce Black Panther for the first time ever, as well as introduce Spider-Man for the first time in terms of this universe. At least they aren't going to have to add new heroes this time since we have already been introduced to all of the major players before.

However, I think you've hit on something anyway, and that is that Thanos needs to be much more developed than he has been in the pas, simply because he has existed peripherally for all of his appearances to date without being in the center before. It will be interesting to see what they do.

And my above post concerning the stone from Dark World still stands as something that has not been clarified as to whether or not the explosion in the Collector's museum in Guardians impacted that. That is business thy have to deal with because it relates to one of the Stones, of which obtaining them is Thanos' primary objective here, but it's not character-based storytelling like what you're talking about. It's just another thing for the to-do list.

I think they're going to have to go through each of the Infinity Stones as if they are characters, and we will see Thanos either obtain it, or b blocked in his attempt to obtain it by whichever characters happen to be in proximity to that particular one. If they structure it as though Thanos is going down a list of the stones until he gets them all, then it becomes a relatively simple structure.

Another question I would ask is: does Thanos actually know where each Infinity Stone is? Just because we know where most of them are doesn't mean he does.
 

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If they structure it as though Thanos is going down a list of the stones until he gets them all, then it becomes a relatively simple structure.
A simple structure isn't always a bad thing, especially if the stakes are high and the audience cares about the fate of each character. Marvel has done their work well all these years since the original Iron Man. I don't know how any studio could have done better on the whole. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a true crowning achievement.
 
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Jake Lipson

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A simple structure isn't always a bad thing, especially if the stakes are high and the audience cares about the fate of each character.
I wasn't meaning to imply that there is anything wrong with a simple structure. If Thanos goes down the list and encounters various characters as he attempts to take each Infinity Stone, that's a really effective way to deal with, as you noted, the insane amount of characters needing to be balanced in this movie. It would also be fairly novel to do one of these films from the perspective of the bad guy, which hasn't really happened before with them in the center.
 
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TravisR

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I'm trying to figure out the bare essential movies I need to screen for my wife so she knows what the hell's going on. She's seen several, but didn't watch them with this ultimate climax in mind.
I read an issue of Entertainment Weekly maybe a month ago with a ton of stuff on the whole Marvel series and there were multiple times where I thought "I don't remember that at all". The good thing is that I think that reading a recap of the pertinent info from previous movies and the movie itself will be enough that a viewer can understand the new movie.
 

Sean Bryan

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I find it interesting that the article assumes the Collector still has the stone from The Dark World. We saw it delivered to him, but that was before his whole place got sort of busted up by the orb in Guardians 1. I wonder if that destruction had any effect on the other stone? We don't know. Obviously, The Dark World is one of Marvel's lesser productions and I'm not all that keen on revisiting it, but it still had a stone in there, so the lack of clarity about what happened to that stone is interesting to me.

Also, the scene in Dark World implied that the Collector was also looking to complete his collection of Infinity Stones, which surely would bring him into conflict with Thanos, who has the same goal.
I’m pretty sure that the Collector stored away his most prized possession and it is still in his safe keeping. The Infinity Stones can’t be destroyed, so I doubt the explosion caused by the Power Stone would have had any impact on it, especially since plenty of beings inside the Collector’s place survived the explosion. If Howard the Duck survived that explosion the Reality Stone weathered it just fine.
 
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Sean Bryan

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What concerns me is the story structure for Infinity War. Given the vast number of characters, I'm hoping they choose a single character and stick with their point of view for most of the movie, and we only see the other characters when they interact with the POV character. The logical character for the POV is Thanos.

Whatever structure they choose, I hope it commands narrative clarity.
The Russo’s had this to say about the story structure:
“With ‘Infinity War,’ the biggest new element to the movie is Thanos and the fact that he's entering the storytelling in a very bold, strong way, to the degree that he's almost one of the leads. We've shaped an interesting narrative around him that in some ways leans heavily on a heist film in the fact that he's going after the infinity stones in a much bolder, successful way than he has in the past. The entire movie has that energy of the bad guy being one step ahead of the heroes. We looked at a lot of movies that had that heist-style energy to them, [and] that brought some inspiration.”
 

Sean Bryan

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Another question I would ask is: does Thanos actually know where each Infinity Stone is? Just because we know where most of them are doesn't mean he does.
I think the fact that he is actively, openly pursuing them now means that he knows where they are and has a plan for snatching them all. If he didnt know where some of them were, then I’d expect that he’d still be trying to acquire them covertly using others like he has up to this point so as not to announce his intentions to those who might stop him. But since he is making bold moves here, I’m betting he knows where each one is.

The Soul Stone is the only one that hasn’t shown up yet in the movies. I bet we learn where that is through Thanos.
 
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Jake Lipson

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If Howard the Duck survived that explosion the Reality Stone weathered it just fine.
Good point.

I think the fact that he is actively, openly pursuing them now means that he knows where they are and has a plan for snatching them all.
Another good point. I hope we get to see how he acquired this knowledge, or at least understand his previous actions in the MCU from his perspective. In Ultron, he said, "Fine, I'll do it myself," but we know that Ragnarok is two years after Ultron, so what has he been doing for the last two years? I'm really curious as to what the impetus is that makes him do this now. Of course, the technical answer is that they've now fractured the Avengers through Civil War, introduced all the newer characters who will play a role in this film, and are ready to tell this story. But in-universe, since they don't know they're in movies, that explanation doesn't work. So what causes him to begin making active moves at this point is going to be interesting, and I hope the story addresses that.

Also, I began my rewatch tonight of select films leading to Thursday, starting with The Avengers. I hadn't really have to say, this film just works. I hadn't watched it in a while and I had forgotten just how effective it is on pretty much every level in bringing these characters together in interesting and exciting combinations throughout and making it feel easy, which I'm sure it wasn't. It sets a very high bar for Infinity War to live up to.

I was also thinking in the scene where Loki is threatened as to what will happen when he fails: we know from Thor Ragnarok that he has to have taken the Tesseract from the vault of Asgard as it was being destroyed. Loki gonna Loki. Obviously, Thanos will take it from him, which is probably what Ragnarok's mid-credits scene is teeing up. However, I still don't think that Thanos will be very pleased with Loki for his delay in getting it. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Loki dying, for real this time, at Thanos' hand was a signal early in this film that the stakes are higher this time than before. This is all speculation on my part, so no spoiler is intended here -- if I'm right it's a lucky guess -- but it would follow through on the dangling threat against Loki from The Avengers, and if Thanos makes mincemeat out of him, that would certainly make a statement to more casual audience members especially that Thanos means business and is not as disposable as some of Marvel's other villains from the past. I suspect that we all know this here already, but for the less dedicated general audience, Loki being murdered would be a clear way to raise the stakes going into this film.
 

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