Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Turnaround, Aug 20, 2021.

  1. Turnaround

    Turnaround Member your mama warned you about Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Marvel Studios lifted the social media embargo on reviewers after Shang-Chi's red carpet premiere this week. First reactions and initial reviews from movie reviewers are highly positive!

    Some initial reviews are collected at Screen Rant and Rotten Tomatoes. John Campea is calling Shang-Chi the best comic book movie he's enjoyed since Logan, and the best martial arts in a movie since The Raid movies.

    Full reviews are still embargoed, so press and movie reviewers who got to see the movie early won't be allowed to publish their full reviews until later. The movie comes out on September 3.

    Disney is doing a theatrical only opening for Shang-Chi, no day and date on Disney+ (like with Black Widow). I wonder how this movie will do opening weekend. Shang-Chi is a new character for MCU movie audiences, and the covid delta variant is messing with theater attendance. The Suicide Squad recently got rave reviews from critics, but did not fare so well at the box office on its opening weekend; although it had a day and date release on HBO Max, and the baggage of the 2016 Suicide Squad move (which was not well liked).
     
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  2. GregM

    GregM The expanding man

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    Not "surprising" to see this unlikely hero movie would be "surprisingly" good. MCU has been churning out great movies with remarkable consistency, and I look forward to taking my kid to see this one.
     
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  3. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I wouldn't trust the reviews so far. They all seem strikingly similar, and they are all people Disney invited to their VIP screenings. It's kind of a conflict of interest as these people want to keep getting invited to these events so they dare not say if it's bad or they don't get invited. And the stuff Campea was saying is hard to believe, a little hyperbolic.

    It could turn out to be amazing but I would wait for the reviews from people who aren't being bribed by Disney ;)

    Whatever, I don't sense much of a buzz over this movie so I can see this losing money like Black Widow. Maybe a decent initial week then dropping like a bomb.
     
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  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Member your mama warned you about Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Your logic would apply to every movie. The only way that movie reviews come out before or on a movie's release date, is because the press and movie critics get invited to advance screenings by the studio. So for any movie that comes out, the press and movie critics have a conflict of interest because they were invited to the advance screening, and want to get invited back for future ones?

    That's the usual process, and how the press and movie critics are able to publish reviews before on on a movie's release date. It didn't stop movie critics (including John Campea) from trashing a movie like F9 in early reviews, when they all got invited to advance screenings and allowed to publish their reactions and reviews before F9's release date.

    If the studio knows they've got a bad movie on their hands, or are getting bad vibes from the audiences, then they hold the review embargo as long as they can to keep reactions from getting out. Or they just don't do any advance screening for the press at all. You know it's going to be a bad movie when no published reviews show up on Rotten Tomatoes the day just before the movie comes out.
     
  5. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    The impression I get is that Disney/Marvel 'manage' this in a more hands-on way that other studios.
     
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  6. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Troy, MI, USA
    All studios are *very* hands-on with pre-reviews. There are companies that specialize in handling this kind of publicity, if the studio doesn't have an internal office that does it themselves. They have teams of people who pull statistics from reviews based on actors, directors, type of movie, etc... then match up reviewers to movies.

    Every once in a while you'll hear about a movie that wasn't pre-screened for critics. Those are smaller studios who don't want to pay for a media relations company to handle the pre-screenings, and know that the movie is going to get trashed if they risk a general pre-screen.
     
  7. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I think Disney are more hands-on than other companies, that is my view.

    Campea was on the red carpet with his wife, not just any press screening, it was the red carpet premier. The sort of thing that you want to keep getting. Then his review is (I quote) ' Part Shakespearen family tragedy, part mythological epic, part martial arts masterpiece'.

    That's an epic shakespearen masterpiece which is basically no higher praise you can give. Maybe if he was watching Seven Samurai that would fit, but for a Marvel film? Hmmm...

    Don't be surprised that in six months time he's backtracking on that and saying something like 'in retrospect a solid film' or something.
     
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  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Member your mama warned you about Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Haha. John Campea was hyperbolic in his enthusiasm, and funny he started showing off a slide show of him and his wife dressed up at the red carpet premier - more like family vacation presentation than movie review. But Campea is not so much a proper film critic, as a fanboy with a news/discussion outlet. I am not sure how wide Campea's tastes go outside the Comic Con/geek/action movies and shows that are the core of what he talks about on his show. But on those type of movies, I find him generally okay in broad strokes when he conveys that a movie is top shelf, mid shelf or bottom shelf.
     
  9. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Reviews for Disney films and the MCU are a joke. 90-92% for ALL three MCU streaming series so far? Even though I think the fan buzz seems to be that Winter Soldier was disappointing, or worse than the others. Not a SINGLE MCU movie has gotten a rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes, even though most MCU fans hate at least one movie in the MCU (usually Thor: Dark World):

    All 24 MCU Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked By Tomatometer << Rotten Tomatoes – Movie and TV News

    Ant-Man and the Wasp at 87%? Seriously? And Black Panther is the highest rated MCU movie? Few MCU fans think that's the best one. Shang-Chi is also likely to get the virtue-signaling bump that Black Panther did. Journalists want to be seen as praising diversity in movies, and even more so, they're afraid of being criticized as prejudiced in some way if they criticize the movie.

    The MCU is basically at the point where it's being reviewed like a TV series. Too many people appreciate the safe, bland, familiar consistency of it, and aren't really judging each entry with fresh, discerning eyes.
     
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  10. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    Location:
    detroit, mi
    I'm going to see it.
     
  11. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Ehhhhh... I'll wait for streaming.
     
  12. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    It's like the Beatles I think. They have created a fan base who are now blind to the faults and who lap up any new release blindly like it is amazing. They have zero critical objectivity, it's just Marvel so must be good.

    Ratings of 90% are for the best tv shows like Breaking Bad and (when it was good) Game of Thrones, not these average at best Marvel shows.

    The irony is that Marvel did raise the bar considerably with some great films, but instead of maintaining that level these tv shows are well below but the fans can't see it. They should be a lot better. The writing in the cartoon is really poor, I can't see how people can't see it. But it's McCartney singing a song so it must be good, right?
     
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  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Member your mama warned you about Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    You cannot make Rotten Tomatoes into something that it is not. Rotten Tomatoes is a review aggregator that scores each review as either fresh (positive) or rotten (negative), and tallies up what percentage of the review pool was positive. RT's rating does not account for whether a review calls it the greatest movie ever or is just mildly positive. A movie with a lot of barely positive reviews can come out with a high RT rating. I think many of the MCU movies wind up like that: even the bottom shelf titles are usually well-done enough that many reviews saying, "It's not the greatest MCU movie, but it's entertaining enough," will register as a positive on RT's meter. Hard to compare movies against each other in quality, based on their RT ratings.

    Metacritic is another review aggregator, but tries to assign to each review a score for how strongly positive (or how strongly negative) it was. However, metacritic's methodology has its own issues too, and more confusing to make sense of than RT.

    As for TV shows, RT's ratings are totally messed up. Too many TV shows of all types, not just MCU, get 90-100% rating. Something is massively off with how RT does TV shows, versus movies. I cannot put my finger on it, but think there are at least two contributing factors. First, many TV shows are reviewed based on just the first episode or two (that's what press reviewers get in advance to do reviews), so reviews don't actually cover the entire season, just the set-up and initial taste. Second, I think the YouTube type reviewers are skewed towards positive ones. For movies, reviewers tend to see all of them, the good and the bad. For TV shows, these type of reviewers tend to only review the shows that they pick and choose as the ones they are personally interested in following. So they don't review the shows that they skipped over as not interesting, and they tend to review shows that hold their interest.

    I don't know what's worse. Virtue-signaling journalists, or people announcing before a movie has come out that the only way it would succeed is because of affirmative action. Seems like this movie is handicapped before it got started. That has been the problem for projects with underrepresented people: they never get a fair shake in being judged. They get made into a political or racial thing by people who want to be supportive, as well as people who are tired of everything being turned into a political or racial thing (because they can't stop complaining about the people who make it into a political or racial thing).
     
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  14. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    To be clear, your position is that reviewers only give straight reviews if the protagonist is a white male?

    JohnK
     
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  15. shark shaped fin

    shark shaped fin Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Maybe supposedly dishonest “virtue-signaling” reasons for praising a film might cancel out possibly dishonest racist reasons for criticizing the same film, and ultimately the RT score will wind up about what it would have been anyway!
     
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  16. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I don't know of any critic who could be accused of giving a racist review. I think racists are very hard to find in the U.S., especially among educated, professional and publicly known people.

    I get that. But nevertheless that doesn't make every movie come out positive. The DCEU movies, for instance, have had a much rougher time on Rotten Tomatoes, with 5 rotten out of 11. Go further back to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, all were rotten except the first one. You can also look at the actual number rating on RT reviews if you click a button on the page. It's just time-consuming to do, and they don't put it out there to see easily on their lists of ranked movies.

    I don't think I'm making RT into something it's not. It's a gauge of what the average critic likes. So this discussion is about wondering why a majority of critics like every MCU movie. They may only mildly like them, but that's not helping the DCEU look any better by comparison. Not that I think all the DCEU should have positive reviews, just that enough critics are going easy on the MCU to make it seem like the RT ratings are skewed higher by 15-20%. The sign for me is that MCU fans themselves are not even as positive as the critics are, which is extremely unusual. Usually the fans trash the critics for not liking what they like enough.

    Harry Potter was another series that was entirely positive on RT, seeming overrated. Much tougher on the Hobbit trilogy. I can remember a lot of things that happened in the Hobbit movies, while I can't tell the Harry Potter movies apart most of the time. It's like they favor bland consistency in a movie series above all else.

    No, that some reviewers over-praise movies for reasons of political correctness.
     
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  17. davenav

    davenav High Plains Grifter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY USA
    Seems like you guys are setting this movie up for a no-win situation. If it gets bad reviews, you’ll be all, See, I told ya so.”, and if it gets good reviews, well that’s just ‘virtue-signaling’.

    And if the fans like it, that just shows that they are stupid and like anything the MCU puts out.
     
  18. SRC

    SRC That sums up Squatter for me

    Location:
    New York, NY
    So much to unpack there. You sound like you imagine you can read the mind of critics and know their motivations are suspect, instead of entertaining the idea that other people might just have a different honest opinion than you. "Much tougher on the Hobbit trilogy"? The Harry Potter films are well-loved, while The Hobbit films are generally considered a total misfire. The idea that just because you have a different opinion on those two doesn't mean there's something wrong or suspicious about Rotten Tomatoes, or critics themselves.

    Any time you or anyone says something is "overrated", you should think twice. It really just means that you don't like it. Not liking something, or not being able to appreciate it, or being biased against it from the start, does not mean that the opinions of critics or audiences in general are somehow "wrong". Consider that what you like doesn't necessarily align with what critics or general audiences like. Doesn't mean that it has anything to do with political correctness. Maybe your own opinions if anything are biased because anything that "feels" politically correct to you, you just dislike.
     
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  19. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    It is always amazing to me how some people are able to know what other people say in private or what they actually believe.

    Evidence for this other than personal bias? One could also say that some reviewers over-praise movies because they are jaded from all of the movies they see that are crap, and when they see something different or new they can go a bit overboard. Or it could be that they know a thing or two about what makes a good movie.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Shang Chi as I've got a soft spot for a good mystical martial arts movie, but I'm not about to go to a theater to see it.

    JohnK
     
  20. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It amazes me too. People are all too happy to assume there are racists or bigots somewhere without evidence. The people making those accusations are the ones who have to provide the proof. Innocent until proven guilty. Someone here suggested critics might be racist without providing anything to back it up whatsoever. It's proper to assume someone is pure of motivation until proven otherwise, but totally improper to assume someone is immoral or evil without evidence.

    Not setting the movie up for anything. These are just predictions. I have no idea if I'll like the movie or not. But I've learned to be skeptical after Captain Marvel, one of the MCU movies that was overrated by the critics (79 on RT compared to 45 audience rating). And, as I said, usually the MCU fans are better at this than the critics. Captain Marvel is one of the more heavily criticized movies among MCU fans. The critics are sometimes overpraising these movies compared to what the fans, who are the best judges of an adaptation, think.

    It's a battle of opinions. Never once did I say the critics are "wrong." Why are you misquoting me? You used that word repeatedly, and if you take out that incorrect word, your argument doesn't apply. I'm simply trying to evaluate the perspective of the critics. My main point is that their perspective is skewed away from what fans or general audiences think. The critics used by Rotten Tomatoes are a small group that isn't a good representation of the public at large or any particular fan group for a genre or series, so their usefulness is limited. The RT audience ratings on the Harry Potter and The Hobbit series are very close in scores. Audiences didn't rate Potter as high as the critics or Hobbit as low as the critics. My message here is to be skeptical of the critics based on their past failure to provide recommendations that dovetail with what audiences think. If you're an individual who happens to always agree with the critics, then your mileage may vary.

    The bigger message here is that RT, or someone else, should start finding a better cross-section of critics to use, for a more representative score. Simply using people who work at various well-known media outlets is not a group that's representative of anything except maybe people who went to journalism school. Look at how political polling is done. They try to put together focus groups who represent a cross-section of the nation. A movie review site should focus on putting together a group of critics that's built more on that principle than simply on who works for some elite publication.

    No, I don't have biased opinions on movies. I'm willing to give any movie a fair shot. The discussion here had nothing to do with whether a movie is politically correct or not. This was about whether the critics are politically correct. Discussing political correctness in movies would be a whole different topic entirely. But, generally speaking, political correctness is a problem in movies when it causes the story to be weaker or the adaptation to be less faithful.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  21. Lonson

    Lonson Just a Lucky So-and-so

    I'll wait to see this at home. I have given up on Marvel movies overall due to just getting fed up with Robert Downey Jr., but this was one of my favorite comics at the end of my comic book reading periods and though they have transformed the character and cast I'll still be interested in seeing what they've produced.
     
  22. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Something tells me Aquafina's gonna make you not like it...
    But, to tell the truth, I think she's great!
     
  23. Lonson

    Lonson Just a Lucky So-and-so

    I don't so far have a problem with Aquafina.
     
  24. SRC

    SRC That sums up Squatter for me

    Location:
    New York, NY
    There is an RT score from professional critics (and it's a large amount from a wide range of backgrounds) and an RT score for the audience that comes to the site. And you think that the critic score should better match the audience score, which makes no sense and defeats the purpose. Any audience score is somewhat nonsense, fueled by bots, trolls, god knows what. You have no concrete idea what general audiences think, you have a online poll type thing on a website and you have your own assessment (Harry Potter bad, Hobbit better, etc.) You make assumptions that general audiences didn't like certain movies i.e. Captain Marvel when you may just have seen a lot of loud-voiced trolls who disliked it - I don't think the great majority of audiences go on message boards or vote on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Saying that "this was about whether the critics are politically correct" shows you might not understand your own biases, because you are positing that reviewers must themselves be biased if they disagree with your opinion of a movie. You are saying that certain critics give good reviews to movies for reasons other than the movie's quality, and you may just be basing that because you yourself did not like the movie, or because of negative discussion online, and/or because you yourself disagree with certain cultural ideas that you are, still vaguely, referring to as "politically correct."
     
  25. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Awkwafina!
     
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