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What If...?

Started by olliebean, August 11, 2021, 07:07:58 PM

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The Culture Bunker

I suppose it makes less sense because in another timeline (that the original Dr Strange film occurs in), she doesn't go to the party with him, doesn't die and indeed saves his life later on - something the episode ignores.

mothman

Yes, you could hypothesise that maybe his changing his trip to include her changed the nature of the accident. The crash is certainly different in the film: he overtakes another vehicle, then is distracted and hits it. The alternate seems to rely on another car behind going even faster and running into the back of them. But he tried not taking her and her building burns down and she dies anyway. You could argue that planning not to go vs. being stood up might influence where she ended up that night, but..?

Lord Mandrake

The supreme Strange timeline has subtle differences before the car accident. Evidently he and Rachel are in a much closer relationship already and Strange seems more charming, certainly less caustic.

With his hands intact he is able to master sorcery faster and with greater ability which may explain how he avoided getting chibbed by Kaecillius or his mob, I forget how that happens in the film. The Dormmamu confrontation plays out the same so his use of time loops figures.

Spoiler alert
I expect Supreme Strange to crossover into the live action films along with Captain Carter and possibly others.
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Pretty sure the big squid thing is going to be the 'big bad' of the series...if there is one.

Glebe

Quote from: tubbsthespidergigolo2 on August 22, 2021, 08:29:34 PMApparently, he's in three more episodes.

Oh yeah, duh.

Anyway, enjoying these. Some great visuals in the Doc Strange episode. And The Watcher is getting directly involved now!

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Quote from: canted_angle_again on September 06, 2021, 08:41:33 PM
Pretty sure the big squid thing is going to be the 'big bad' of the series...if there is one.
I'm fine with each episode standing on its own, but if it's all leading to this guy showing up, it'll all be worth it.

bakabaka

For some reason the word 'pompous' appeared in my head during the opening Marvel credits this week. And was reinforced time and again throughout the episode. I had expected that this series would reawaken my interest in the MCU, but instead it has just made the whole thing feel even more up itself. It's hard to take it as good, old-fashioned pulp entertainment when it pushes itself as cosmically important.

Saw the Ray Harryhausen exhibition a couple of days ago - so much more impressive and an antidote to the anodyne corporate animation that Marvel churns out (as animation or CGI).

Lord Mandrake

Hardly an honest critique of the show or episode itself. Just a broad statement of anti Disney sentiment.

"Ooh I went to an exhibition of a beloved animator and it was better than a cartoon."

Anodyne? Hardly. Corporate? Certainly but compared to what? All those independent, underground superhero  films?

mothman

Agree. If you don't like Marvel or Disney then I doubt What If will change your viewpoint at all. It's an adaptation of a long-running comic. How good an adaptation it is - in tone etc. I mean, not how it's technically achieved - I can't say, it's not one I was previously familiar with. From what I know, the comic can vary from light-hearted flights of fancy, a bit of fun, to serious messages about the consequences of the choices we make. I'm not holding it up as any great example of high art, but comparing it to the (frankly) long ago work of one stop-motion animator, however brilliant it was (the skeletons sequence in J&tA remains one of my all time favourite film scenes) seems disingenuous.

bakabaka

The comparison with Harryhausen was merely coincidence, having seen both on the same day. It just reinforced my dislike of the What If animation. Would it be fair to compare it to any of Masaaki Yuasa's work (which I've been rediscovering this month), which has so much more character and heart to it, even in a TV show like Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken?

As for not liking Marvel, that has never been the case. I used to buy What If... when it first started, and have been enjoying the bleakness that the tv version shares with the early issues [nb]I think I stopped when it became the first comic to revisit the Phoenix saga, which seemed unnecessary as the original had been quite bleak enough. [/nb] It's just that I've lost the love of the films that I had early on and none of the recent ones have quite hit the spot, Antman probably being the last one I enjoyed in popcorn mode. I had hoped that this series, and especially the Doctor Strange episode with its potential for spectacular visuals, would bring back that innocent joy but it appears not. I still think anodyne describes the series well and just hope that the next phase of the MCU gets fun again.

mothman

OK. So we're probably arguing about nothing then. If you go back through the thread, I'm sure you'd agree the animation style has come in for plenty of stick! If the animation and the plots were bobbins, I doubt we'd still be discussing it. And there's a case to be made for expecting Marvel to be a bit more experimental and innovative in the animation stakes (rather than the fairly standard design aesthetic they've used here), perhaps more akin to the anime-inspired look of that upcoming Star Wars series (Legends is it?)[nb]By way of counterpoint, consider Love Death + Robots. Some really good animation, a whole range of styles - but the plots have been predominantly shit.[/nb]. But we've has a funny episode, and a bleak one, and with me at least it's more about how they make me feel than how they look.

Lord Mandrake

I would never want to presume people's experience of any media but I can't help but feel the huge success of the mcu has increased expectation whilst simultaneously irking people just by dint of that success. The appetite to see something so all pervasive fail just out of principle is understandable, especially given Disney's ownership.

I think the artists and crew making this stuff deserve each thing to be judged on merit especially given the constraints of delivering spectacle, surprise, worldbuilding etc... All while staying in key. 

beanheadmcginty

I thought this week's zombie one was easily the best so far, although I watched them all in a row and was the most drunk by the time I got to it.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Yes, a good fun episode and just the sort of mad stuff this series should be doing, I reckon. If they're not going to worry about it making much sense within the timeline of the films, then they may as well go for broke. However much the MCU may dominate Hollywood, I doubt they'd ever bother making that storyline into a film.

I could make the odd criticism: Sebastian Stan's performance was rather indifferent, again -
Spoiler alert
Bucky didn't sound too cut up about Steve being cut up
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- while
Spoiler alert
Paul Rudd
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was conversely rather over the top (although I suppose it's fair enough if the character was supposed to have gone mad). What is point Kurt? It took me ages to work out who he even was. Also, for a series built on references, it seems bizarre to cast Danai Gurira in a zombie story and not have her wield a katana at some point.

Those are really just nitpicks though (especially the last point). It was top stuff overall and quite impressively gory.

beanheadmcginty

I genuinely forgot who Bucky was and what he looked like between every MCU film that he appeared in, to the point that when he'd show up and everyone watching was supposed to go "whoa it's Bucky" I was thinking "who the fuck's that?" so the fact that his cartoon version is just as bland and forgettable as the real life one is quite fitting really.


olliebean

It took me a while but my recollection is now 99% sure that he's the Winter Soldier. Damned if I can remember anything he did in any of the films, though.

mothman

No awards this week, but a mention in dispatches for the actor who voiced Peter Parker so convincingly, I did actually think it was Tom Holland.

mjwilson

Quote from: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on September 09, 2021, 02:17:34 PM
Yes, a good fun episode and just the sort of mad stuff this series should be doing, I reckon. If they're not going to worry about it making much sense within the timeline of the films, then they may as well go for broke. However much the MCU may dominate Hollywood, I doubt they'd ever bother making that storyline into a film.

I could make the odd criticism: Sebastian Stan's performance was rather indifferent, again -
Spoiler alert
Bucky didn't sound too cut up about Steve being cut up
[close]
- while
Spoiler alert
Paul Rudd
[close]
was conversely rather over the top (although I suppose it's fair enough if the character was supposed to have gone mad). What is point Kurt? It took me ages to work out who he even was.

Who was he?

mothman

He was the Russian with the laconic one-liners. He's one of Scott's sidekicks in the Ant-Man films.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Yes, that one. They clearly didn't have the actor, or his image rights though, hence the confusion. I initially thought he might be someone from the Black Widow film, which I've not seen.

mothman

Actually it was the actor! David Dastmalchian. American, but doing a Russian accent.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

How odd. He's got quite a distinctive face, but his animated counterpart looked utterly generic.

VelourSpirit

Haven't liked any of these. That last one felt like they were playing the superheroes seeing the horrifying zombified corpses of their friends for laughs, but then there's all that pathos with Spider-Man. Tone was just utterly bizarre to me

Lord Mandrake

Party Thor is a real low point in the canon. Fuck that.

C_Larence

Quote from: Lord Mandrake on September 22, 2021, 10:30:03 PM
Party Thor is a real low point in the canon. Fuck that.

I quite enjoyed it, a few good lines (although as usual, many that fell flat). Looks like the next episode will tie everything together.

mothman

An impressive number of original character voice actors too. I presume the bods at the end were Kang-related, and the Watcher's surprise at seeing them is an indication that things in the multiverse are about to go south...

Glebe

Thor episode had a decent share of witty zingers and I loved all the different Marvel characters turning up at the parties around the world!

Lord Mandrake

Quote from: mothman on September 23, 2021, 11:57:25 PM
An impressive number of original character voice actors too. I presume the bods at the end were Kang-related, and the Watcher's surprise at seeing them is an indication that things in the multiverse are about to go south...

Wasn't that Ultron/Vision?

Can't believe people liked that. Hemsworth was making me retch with cringe. I suppose they had to chuck in a lighter hearted episode.

letsgobrian

This week's Ultron story was the second thoroughly visually exciting episode (after the Dr Strange one). The story is the usual nihilist slop, but the dynamic use of Kirby Krackle and similar comic book effects raised it above the duller episodes.