Is Captain Marvel male or female
Let's start with the miraculous transformation that Samuel L. Jackson goes through in the superhero movie "Captain Marvel". In it, the actor, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, appears wrinkle-free as a man in his forties - Hollywood's pixel artists make it possible.
This technique is called "de-aging". It has already been tried out on a small scale several times, for example for the rejuvenated guest appearances of Michael Douglas, 74, in the "Ant-Man" films. In 2019, it will finally become a standard filmmaking tool. Soon you will see Hollywood stars Robert De Niro, 75, and Al Pacino, 78, as young gangsters again in Martin Scorsese's mafia drama "The Irishman". However, Samuel L. Jackson's de-aging has not become the best reference for this technique. Because Jackson sees the subsequent processing in the computer much more than the many green-wrinkled alien monsters around him.
Strictly speaking, the rejuvenated Samuel L. Jackson doesn't look like the young Samuel L. Jackson, let's say in "Pulp Fiction" times. It's more like a plastic version of his fellow actor Laurence Fishburne in the "Matrix" times. And Jackson has been saying about him for years that they are always confused with one another. Did the computer nerds at the Marvel studios make a joke?
But anyway, Jackson is only second fiddle to the eponymous heroine in "Captain Marvel", played by actress Brie Larson (29 years old, de-aging is not necessary even in Hollywood for the time being).
The film is the 21st work in the "Marvel Cinematic Universe", the comic film cosmos with which the studio has dominated Hollywood blockbusters since 2008. And in this cosmos, this is the first film that has a female superhero as the main character. Captain Marvel had a wide variety of incarnations, including male, in the comic models since the 1960s. One of his manifestations is a tough young woman named Carol Danvers, who is the inspiration for the film version.
In contrast to Wonder Woman, becoming a heroine is above all a comedy
That is certainly at least a little bit because the biggest Marvel competitor DC had a veritable blockbuster hit with "Wonder Woman" in the cinema after decades with Batmen and Supermen. In 2017, the film pushed through the last misogynous Hollywood heads that the audience, oh wonder, also like women as the protagonists of an action film (DC also has a Captain Marvel in its program, since the 1940s, which led to a longstanding trademark dispute between led the publishers, but that's another story).
In any case, the men who direct the Marvel studio have now also aroused a certain interest in heroines, the US launch of "Captain Marvel" was even specially scheduled for today's International Women's Day (in Germany it has been running since Thursday). The work, however, raises the question of whether the filmmakers in Hollywood understand equal rights to send women through just as stupid film plots as men - because the story of "Captain Marvel" is quite a crap. Two alien races are at war, and part of them are waging war on a planet called C-53, which a resigned alien calls "quite a shit house" and which then turns out to be our human earth. Of course, only a superhero can help. Battles have to be fought, sides changed, and other important foundations in Marvel mythology have to be clarified. This includes the rejuvenated Samuel L. Jackson, who once again plays the hero mentor Nick Fury, this time without his trademark, the eye patch. The history of his previous Marvel appearances is woven into "Captain Marvel".
Fortunately, directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, the latter the first woman to direct a Marvel film, don't take superhero pathos too seriously. They stage their protagonist's becoming a heroine primarily as a comedy. The two are veterans of American independent cinema, for example they shot the teacher drama "Half Nelson" and the coming-of-age tragic comedy "It's Kind of a Funny Story". Now they are making their blockbuster debut. Marvel's chief producer Kevin Feige has preferred to recruit his directors outside of the established studio system for years in order to work with Hollywood newbies to ensure that his superhero assembly line production looks as little like an assembly line as possible.
In the 1990s, women were just sidekicks with hopping breasts
Of course, Marvel movies are more like individual episodes of a series than stand-alone movies. A well-coordinated team of set designers, cameramen, composers and editors ensures that every Marvel film is immediately recognized as such, based on a stringent corporate design. The directors play almost a subordinate role in this machinery, but still contribute with individual gimmicks to ensure that the films are not completely interchangeable with one another.
This story left the ground and stain in Los Angeles in 1995. This offers them the opportunity for many gags from the prehistoric times of the Internet, when modems dialed in screaming and secret superhero data was saved on CD-ROM. They also have a neat nineties soundtrack with them Nirvana, Beck and No doubt compiled. Most importantly, as the setting for the adventures of the first Marvel superhero woman to get her own movie, the nineties are a kind of late revenge on the cinema of that era.
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That was always very modern, but propagated, at least in Hollywood, an image of women that was much closer to the fifties than to the present. Think of the actresses from Michael Bay films who have been degraded to sidekicks with hopping breasts. In this respect, it almost has a therapeutic function when Brie Larson takes the matter in hand as Captain Marvel and beats up the aliens of the distant year 1995 while "Just A Girl" yells out of the cinema speakers.
Captain Marvel, USA 2019 - Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck. Camera: Ben Davis. Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Jude Law. Disney, 124 minutes.
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