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film fatales #53: captain marvel (anna boden and ryan fleck, 2019)

Captain Marvel is a "film fatale" for more reasons than that it was co-directed by a woman. Two of the three screenwriters are women, the composer is a woman, a woman is co-editor ... none of this would be remarkable if it weren't for the fact that it is still far too rare. There's also the part where this is a Marvel superhero movie with a woman as the lead, although this isn't a first if you include television (say hello to Peggy Carter).

Captain Marvel succeeds in all of the Marvel basics: good action scenes, an enjoyable supporting cast (some, like Gemma Chan and Lee Pace, aren't easily recognized under their makeup, and while Sam Jackson and Clark Gregg are recognizable, that's because of the CGI work that made them younger), even an animal that isn't annoying (Goose the Cat, so much better than that damn fox in the Guardians films). I can barely keep track of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I am a regular viewer of the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so it was fun seeing some of that show's plot integrated into the film (the Kree have been in the series, as has the Tesseract, not to mention Phil Coulson, although the show got better when it mostly detached itself from the MCU).

I've been a fan of Brie Larson since United States of Tara, and she's fine as The Captain, even if she's no Agent Carter (or Wonder Woman, for that matter). I've seen more of these movies than I realize, and for the most part, I like them OK, even if only one has been truly excellent. My rankings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe items I've seen:

Easily the best: Black Panther

Runner-Up: Agent Carter (TV series, but she's a character in a few of the movies, so I'm counting it)

OK: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Ant-ManThe AvengersAvengers: Infinity WarCaptain America: Civil WarCaptain MarvelDoctor Strange, Iron Man, Venom (not sure why it isn't in the official MCU)

Not so OK: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Worst: Guardians of the Galaxy

As is known by now, Captain Marvel is a huge hit at the box office, and I'm glad for that ... puts to rest the notion that female leads can't do box office. Still, my favorite Brie Larson movie, Short Term 12, cost less than $1 million to make ... it would be nice if Marvel fans checked that movie out some time.

Some 4K trailer action:

(Explanation of the Film Fatales Series.)

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