Episode 172 – Coast to Coast

Matt digs back into Minecraft, Neil is stuck on his old laptop, Riot Games is about to get a walk-out, SPOILER WARNING FOR ENDGAME!

*Update – Riot Games had the walk-out on Monday May 6th.

Music: “Sun Spots” by Chakita

Find more music Chakita at chakitamusic.com

Matt Lane: @azumagames

Neil Jimenez: @thatneilj

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4 thoughts on “Episode 172 – Coast to Coast

  1. Sorry to hog all the comment space on your site, but I feel compelled to respond to your remarks regarding the girl-power shot in the finale of Endgame.

    It is established fact that screen representation has a massive impact on people’s – and especially young people’ – self-esteem. We cannot realize what we cannot imagine, and as visually-oriented primates, what we can imagine is inextricably linked to what we see.

    From the very first time big screen images hit a boy’s eyeballs till that boy’s dying day, every hero-film is jam-packed with hero guys. Solo hero guys, buddy hero guys, packs of hero guys. For decades now, diversity has been creeping into the hero-guy picture, giving us Black hero-guys and Asian hero-guys and kid hero-guys and aging hero-guys – but the image of hero has remained overwhelmingly male.

    The Marvel Universe is no exception. For years the only Marvel gal-hero was Black Widow. The casting reflected male tastes in sexy women far more than the comic book character, and her “super power” is she’s good at kung fu. Then Red Witch came along, but while they hinted at her amazing power in the early films and did let her be bad ass in Endgame, again, if you read the comics, you know the initial film version of RW suffered a downgrade from god-like super-person to a chick with telekinesis.

    It wasn’t until Black Panther we saw some true gal-heroes, but they were all relegated to supporting roles. Wasp got to share title credit with Ant-Man. And before either of those, DC’s attempt at a gal-hero was kind of an epic fail. Fun flick, and the Amazons were great, but making super-feminist Diana a gal who just needs to be shown the meaning of love and heroism from a guy-hero – who got a major upgrade from his comic book role – sucked big time.

    Finally, FINALLY, we got a bona fide, genuine hero-gal movie with Captain Marvel. And it was feckin’ brilliant, no caveats, start to finish. But that is ONE great gal-hero action film in 116 years of action films (I’m starting with The Great Train Robbery, 1903).

    Was the shot gratuitous by nature, since the gal-heroes’ stories were better told in the film? Absolutely. Did they have to stretch mightily to get a group of women for that cheesy shot? Fer shure; your point about Mantis is well-taken.

    But if you think the shot was unnecessary because the wonderfulness of the gal-heroes is implicit, then I think your male privilege is showing. Talk to your friends of the female persuasion. Every woman I know LOVED that shot. And while lots of us groaned at the way Marvel had to grasp at straws to put the shot together, we appreciate that they at least made the effort. When young girls go to see action in the cinema, they need their fair share of gender representation, they need to see a bold, beautiful group of all-female heroes standing proud . Yes, it needs to be explicit

    1. I do agree that it is a good thing to get the representation. That specific scene felt weak in large part because of where Endgame, and substantially more with Captain Marvel, succeeded.
      The thing that felt bad about that scene for me was the fact that the setup was revolving around captain marvel carrying the mcguffin. Out of all the characters, she is the one who could really be doing exactly what she was doing without the “help” from the rest of the female cast.
      The moments that stood out better to me were Captain Marvel and Scarlet Witch successfully standing up to Thanos in 1v1 combat. Hell, Thanos literally says ‘fuck it’ to his own army because of how strong Scarlet Witch is compared to the men who couldn’t 2v1 him.
      The moment was fine, but as big as it was being built up to be, it felt really weak compared to all the strengths being displayed throughout the movie.


    2. Matt here. I only saw this after deleting a bunch of spam comments while renovating the website. I really appreciate the engagement, so please excuse my late-ass reply:

      Marvel gets a lot of things right, but it’s not immune to accusations of pandering. There’s most-definitely a double-standard of ‘cool shots of guys standing next to each other,’ but I find that there’s generally at least a scrap of context for such moments. When you gather up the vast majority of female characters and herd them into a shot like too many relatives at a reunion while the literal battle for Earth is going on, it’s not about what’s going on in the movie any more. To me, that’s pandering.

      I can’t speak to the female experience, but I think that it would have been more impactful and do more justice to the characters if Mantis was at the end of the film talking to Nebula about how they’re both survivors of abusive, nigh omnipotent male authority figures instead of shoving her awkwardly off to the side of ‘The Women of Marvel’ sizzle reel. I get that Captain Marvel literally has Marvel in her name, but these characters stand on their own a lot better when they’re not being compared to her, whether it’s intentional or not.

      Do I think the female characters of marvel deserve to be seen? Of course I do, and I’m not trying to gate-keep where and when that happens, but I think that this particular instance was blatant to the point of it being reductive of them as individuals. Is that worth it to get a headcount of female characters in the Marvel universe? I don’t really think so, but that’s just my take, and I’m not a lady.

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