Special Edition Podcast

Special Edition – Avengers: Infinity War

Show Notes

It’s all been leading to this! Josh Flanagan and Conor Kilpatrick are joined by Ryan Haupt to discuss the culmination of ten years of Marvel Studios films — Avengers: Infinity War!

Running Time: 01:10:27

“All Together Now”
The Beatles


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  1. Loved it! Loveeeeeddddd it!

    No real nitpicks for me. I never read the Infinity Gauntlet story in the comics. So I was fine with Thanos’ motivation.

    My crowds cheering moment was when the Guardians appeared flying through space bopping to the Rubberband Man. I enjoyed that scene but was glad they did not do more Guardians pop culture music scenes. Although I was waiting for a Peter Quill vs Dr. Strange discussion about when a particular 70’s song came out. They probably thought the Peter Parker Footloose reference was more than enough.

    I was surprised by the cliffhanger but liked it. Thought they were killing off Bucky but, like you guys, as soon as Black Panther and Spider-Man got dusted I figured they are bringing everyone back. I noted that only the original Avengers (except Hawkeye who may or may not be dusted) were not dusted and survived at the end. Figured this meant they will either all or most get killed off in Part 2 trying to bring back everyone else. Since these are the actors who are done with their contracts and don’t want to come back.

    Agree with Josh. They can always bring back the characters with new actors (James Bond, Batman, Sherlock Holmes, etc.). I have been saying this is why they should just recast Indiana Jones as well. it is the characters the people come to see and not the actors playing them.

    Still in awe as to what Marvel Studios accomplished (19 films over 10 years) and just can’t wait for May 2019.

  2. There were lots of fun bits but this was way too long. I pretty much fell asleep every time they went into space, so missed a few details here and there. I’d forgotten this was a split story and came out utterly lacking the excited buzz I usually have. Fellow audience members also seemed to feel pretty flat.

    I love hearing about US audiences cheering. The only big response we had were laughs out loud at Chris Pratt’s slight weight increase. Even seeing our town, Edinburgh, on screen didn’t cause whoops!

  3. I know about Hugo Weaving.

    • I’ve been expecting Red Skull to show up in Infinity War since the movie was announced, and I didn’t expect it to be Hugo Weaving. I thought they would recast him and have him rip off his “actor’s face” as a surprise reveal, I was super surprised and did not see this coming. Bonus: kind of looks like Death from the comics, that’s how I expected her to look.

  4. Wait. That wasn’t Hugo? Because that one fooled me too. I whispered “Hugo Weaving!!!” to my wife it when he showed up. That was some imitator.

  5. Loved it. RE: The shield, I think Cap made the conscious choice not to retrieve it because of his schism with Tony. I think Cap took it to heart when Tony told him to give the shield back — I don’t think Steve thinks of it as his. Cap, being the guy that he is, probably felt honor-bound to leave the shield with Tony, as it was his father’s invention, and Tony had just found out the truth behind his parents’ murder. I think it’s building towards a moment in the next movie where Tony will give the shield back to Cap.

    • I agree with your reasoning for Cap not to pick up the shield. I watched Civil War the night before Infinity War and the schism between the two felt very real. Cap betrayed Tony and he knows it.

      Overall I loved the film and i’m looking forward to seeing it again.

  6. I was okay with the problem of Hulk refusing to emerge. After, what? Two years Hulked out on Sakaar, and maybe traumatized by the slaughter of the Asgardians, I could get behind the idea that Hulk- who I think was surprisingly effectively as a massive, angry toddler in Ragnarok- would be more than a little tired of being the muscle-on-demand. I think the Hulk/Banner dynamic in the MCU, overall, has evolved to be fairly interesting and resolves some of the tension of Banner unpredictably Hulking out where it would make no sense to have an out of control WMD on the team. As the dad of a three year old who does what I say maybe, maybe, 60% of the time, it worked for me that Hulk was being petulant and stubborn despite the stakes.

    One nit-pick about Hulk in Infinity War remains for me though. The film picks up shortly after the last scene in Ragnarok, where we saw Hulk on the bridge of the Grandmaster’s ship with the whole Asgard Gang but where was he, later, when Thanos and the Black Order boarded the ship? When Loki “summoned” Hulk it was a “Hell yeah!” moment that took Thanos by surprise but why wasn’t Hulk already in the fray? Where were they keeping him while the Asgardians were being slaughtered? I’m not saying Hulk would have prevented all that death, but I feel it would have made more sense to break out the Hulk before, y’know, the mass-murder of a ship full of innocent refugees. Did I miss something there? As to the matter of Valkyrie, Korg, and Miek being MIA, I was willing to accept (grimly) they were already dead or dying along with everyone else.

  7. I may be getting delicate in my decrepitude, but I don’t think you get to open with genocide and then make with the knee-slapping yuk yuks. Every time someone fired off a wisecrack, my gut said “the fuck are you laughing at? Now is not the time.”

    The movie nullified the happy endings of at least two better movies. “Thor saved the Asgardians, and the Guardians saved Xandar, and that was the point, and anyway they’re all dead now. John C. Reilly’s pink child is dead. Footloose!”

    This is also the way I have been reacting to late night hosts since Trumpos got the nuclear stone, so it probably calls for a rewatch with some distance.

    • In that spirit, Quill was an absolute dick when Thor showed up, to the point of being off-putting. Rocket was more sensitive and sensible and he’s a raccoon. Between that and blowing theit chance to get the Gauntlet, Infinity War was not Quill’s finest showing.

    • Thor actually makes a point to say that they killed *half* of the Asgardians. Which, ya know, still sucks, but is consistent with everything Thanos has done in this movie: he culls populations by half. The Gauntlet is basically just a cheat code to speed up the process rather than doing it one-by-one. So until otherwise explicitly stated I choose to believe Valkyrie, Korg and Miek are on escape pods somewhere. And I assume the same for Xandar, half of the world is still there (possibly working on upgrading the Nova Corps to prevent this sort of thing from happening again). I mean… it’s not happy, certainly but it’s not completely relentless either.

    • I would agree with you 100% about the tone of the film being unreasonable, but for me Chris Hemsworth completely NAILED the scene where Thor cries. He’s making jokes, but the score and his acting communicate incredibly well that he’s extremely broken up inside. He simply deals with it by making jokes. I thought that was a critically necessary scene and I think they did it extremely well.

      Laughing in the face of danger is one of the cornerstones of a pop-fiction hero. It’s all about how it’s done that makes or breaks a story. It’s one of the reasons why Harrison Ford is such a jewel. He knows how to tell a joke while in danger and make it seem like he fully understands the situation he’s in.

      I also think that the movie paid it’s dues by having the yuk-yuk Guardians Of The Galaxy be the screw-ups who, disregarding the after-message we get from Strange, ruin the plan to disarm Thanos. Yes their jokes are inappropriate. ButTHIS movie KNOWS they are inappropriate and treats them accordingly.

    • “Every time someone fired off a wisecrack, my gut said ‘the fuck are you laughing at? Now is not the time.’ ”

      This is a problem I have with most Disney Marvel films (and, as of December, Disney Star Wars films): they must primarily be kiddie-safe. So yeah, this often translates into way too much easy humor, to keep kids in the audience happy and engaged. It also guts a lot of the drama, unfortunately, because Disney doesn’t ever want to make kids nervous while in the theater, so villains and threats are often declawed with jokes immediately (e.g. “Thor: Ragnarok”). I can imagine that if you’re the parent of a young kid then you like all this; you like that the trustworthy Disney brand is sanitizing Marvel for your family viewing, making it something you can share with your child. But if you don’t have young kids? Then this formula can be annoying… especially when most films in any given year are now produced by Disney.

      (That being said, I still greatly enjoyed Infinity War. I’d give it 4/5 stars! I’d give it 5/5 if you cut 60% of that forced humor.)

    • Oops – I meant “most *event* films in any given year…”

  8. Oh my god this movie blew my mind!Hell yeah!

  9. I didn’t actually notice it during the film, but having googled it, the Blue Man Tobias reference is pretty great. I hope the display case label makes reference to him being both an analyst and a therapist.

  10. I’m bummed that I am just now posting this because I am curious to know what other people think and I fear that the conversation might be over: Does anyone else think that they could get away with not putting a superhero name or group in the title? I feel like the Marvel brand is so well known now after 10 years that if they put out “Marvel’s Infinity War” instead of tagging it an Avengers film it would still have the sales. This would also open up the franchise for cool team-ups: you could have a Spider-man/Dr. Strange/Black Widow movie without having to call it an Avengers film. Does anyone else think this could work, or will they never do that for fear that ticket sales would take a hit?

    • I’m not sure what you mean. There are have only been three films with “Avengers” in the title — so they’re already doing that, i.e. Spider-Man and Iron Man teaming up in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING and Captain America and Black Widow teaming up in CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER.

      I think the “Avengers” signifier in the title says two things:

      1) This is a big deal.
      2) This is a tent pole chapter in this continuing saga.

    • Let me first say that I think the Avengers signifier on Infinity War is appropriate so maybe my example was wrong. And Spider-man: Homecoming and Captain America: Winter Soldier really were Spider-man/Cap films. I do think that Civil War wasn’t much of a Cap film and could probably have just been titled Marvel’s Civil War. Putting out a film under the Marvel banner would be a way to have some crossovers without it just be a guest spot on another hero’s film. In my Spider-man/Dr. Strange/ Black Widow example they would probably put a movie like that out under Spider-man because he is the biggest name/biggest draw. Do you think that the average movie-goer would show up to a movie with just the Marvel banner without a hero in the title?

    • Well I think the answer to your question is that it’s the same way the Comics do it. The comics have been rife with guest stars for years. You pick up any DC book and you are likely to see a half dozen guests from other books in it. I think that the title of the book gives you a focus on what character is the one who’s eyes you are looking at the world through. They are your anchor, even if “the whole gang” is in every single issue.

      But I see what your point is. And I would argue that it could even be a problem, in some ways. I actually dislike the way DC spends too much time mixing their characters together. I fell like certain characters, say Batman, lose a lot of their potential when they are CONSTANTLY framed in the context of a world where aliens exist, time travel is common, death has no meaning, and where Batman is routinely in space.`

      But this is comics. nothing makes sense.

    • In response to the idea of “actors don’t want to play these characters anymore”, one has to remember that Actors have contracts. That is to say, actors have monetary interests in pretending they couldn’t not be more interested in a film they just signed a contract on, and completely wishy washy when their contract is about to expire.

      “I love Captain America and want to play him forever!” is a great way to shoot yourself in the foot at the negotiation table.

      “I love the character but I’ve done this a long time. I don’t know if people are getting tired of me. I don’t know if the studio wants me around. I have lots other options to consider” are great ways to make the studio show just how much they want you in dollars.

  11. My biggest question at the end of the movie was “where are the rest of the Asgardians?” They did not show a single survivor in the opening sequence aside from Thor himself before the ship blew up. Later in the movie Thor said Thanos killed “Half my people”. So where did they all go?

    • They were probably all floating out there in the wreckage.

    • Since Thor was in the ship as it exploded, I don’t think he would say Thanos killed “half my people.” I assume they were forced onto escape pods and/or sent to the nearest habitable planet. No way they’re going to kill off Valkyrie off-screen.

    • They could have been floating in space. Asgardians (And Jotuns) don’t seem to need air the same way humans do. (Ex. Loki floating off into space at the end of Thor and Thor floating around after the explosion.)

      Which begs the question about Loki’s death, can you choke someone to death who doesn’t need air?

  12. The whole notion of using genocide or the destruction of worlds to bring ‘balance’ to the universe, I would say moreso that they wrote Thanos to step into the role of Galactus… moreso than Ra’s Al Ghul. Rather than pleasing Lady Death by killing half the universe, they give him Galactus’s motivation. Or not necessarily motivation, but the purpose he plays in the Marvel universe when he feeds.

    They used that concept, and it actually makes sense. At least from a plot perspective where the appeal of Lady Death is missing from Thanos’s psyche.

    Other than that, great review/analysis. This was a *fantastic* movie!

  13. http://www.didthanoskill.me/

    It was nice knowing you all.

  14. I was spared!

  15. Spared!!!!

  16. This many comments, and not about the musical intro/ outro from the show. That was perfect, and the edit for the lead in from Ryan to the outro was excellent.

    Nice job guys.

    Oh the movie was pretty good to.

  17. I couldn’t have liked this movie any more. It’s every thing it could possibly have been. I walked out of Civil War thinking, “That was AWESOME. But it was missing something critical. It felt more like Pro Wrestling that comic books”. Infinity War felt like pure, distilled, comics. 100%.

    My only criticism, and this is a testament to how much I loved the film, is that the line about Heimdall being Thor’s “best friend” struck me as bizarre. I also underscored how confusing and weird it is that we didn’t see anything out of the Warriors 3 or Sif. They really were an important part of the reason the first film was so superior to the second.

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