Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by captainuniverse » Fri May 04, 2018 1:59 am

Michael, did anyone here survive the end of the movie?
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by sirus » Fri May 04, 2018 6:45 am

Michael wrote:About the scene in question, I thought it was hilarious. I didn't think it was pushing any message about race or gender, but rather was about someone who had a completely different background, and was more able to think outside the box than two people who, while quite intelligent, were more conventional in their perspectives.

Wakanda was the most technological advanced nation on Earth (outside of maybe Latveria) in Marvel Comics. One could argue that Latveria is far more isolationist than Wakanda. Also its resident genius had studied at only one university, not all over the world.

Wakanda being what it is in the Marvel films isn't a result of screenwriters trying to push some hidden agenda. Stan and Jack made Wakanda as advanced as it is decades ago back in Fantastic Four #52.
I'm gonna put this under a spoiler tag because it does have some minor Black Panther and Infinity War spoilers.
Spoiler:
Perhaps in this era it is harder to not see things through a racial lens. Especially given the build up to the Black Panther movie got to be very racial in tone. I must say it really did color the lens with which I was able to see the movie. While as from a detached view it was a newer character acting like they were smarter and better than an established character, which I dislike as I hate the idea of tearing down one to make another look good, through the modern lens of intersectional politics it is hard to not see it as a race issue. And to be honest that is part of the problem. It's why I had an issue with the scene. It gave me a massive cognitive dissonance and took me ages to unravel, going from the "well I must be racist" look at the scene to the more plausible "I don't like how these characters interact and I don't like teenage egotist characters."

As for the notion of Wakanda being wealthy and powerful and isolationist, to me this is unrealistic due to how technological advancement is achieved. In truth the area would be very stagnate in terms of advancement and not as advanced as it is. I believe it was made as advanced as it was, both today and in the era it was first created, not for story reasons, but for political reasons. This alone makes it harder for me to get into the Black Panther character as a whole.

To make it clear I believe any country anywhere that refuses trade with the outside world and cuts itself off will not be able to experience the kind of technological advancement that we see in Wakanda, as Latveria has yet to be seen in the MCU it is difficult to say how it would be shown.

Also, because of the rarity of Viberanium is is functionally priceless and thus has no value. They state in Black Panther that they have such advancement because of the Vibranium, but do not explain how they learned to harness it and hide it before they got to the point they could build a magical forcefield wall to protect themselves. It is a massive amount of plot contrivances all to have a super advanced African nation that they can do whatever they want with. It insults both real geopolitical conflicts and the way technology grows and is exchanged.

This, above all else, is what makes the scene where the character I know has studied his ass off in a number of remote places and holds numerous degrees is talked down to by a 16 year old girl. It bothers me because Bruce is from a line of fictional scientist figures who are super smart because they work their ass of to be that smart. Even Tony Stark is implied to have gone to school and done the research to get where he is. Both men stand on the shoulders of giants with giants as peers. Shuri has no such benifit as is simply smart because we are told she is. We are not told she has studied under anyone, she is simply a bright youth who is super smart because. Though characters like that may work on the pages of a comic book, I personally can't stand them there either, the more grounded MCU, grounded in the sense that we are shown and told about the character progression of the characters we meet, cannot have a 16 year old girl outsmart Bruce "Caltech Graduate" Banner in such an off handed way.

Even removing all context of race and canon, a 16 year old should not be outsmarting Bruce Banner unless there is a damn good reason, such as it is tech that they built. Shuri had never even seen the Vision before, let alone knew how an infinity stone worked. So I don't see any excuse for that scene other than letting a person of color get a moment of power over a white character or to show how much better this new character is than the old character (see the Thor problem for that issue).
Quoshara wrote:*bounces up and down and twitches* Man... I can't reply to anything because I won't get to see the movie for another two weeks when my daughter comes to visit.

Thank you all for hiding your spoilers.
The goal is to keep as much out of the sight of the people it might spoil the movie for. It is a good movie and it is best to go in not knowing what all is going to happen.
captainuniverse wrote:Michael, did anyone here survive the end of the movie?
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by JM1776 » Fri May 04, 2018 9:55 am

Spoiler:
I don't bat an eyelash as relates to Shuri's intellect. Anyone can be brilliant.

But when you're practically mocking one of the world's foremost experts, it's clearly in the script to make a certain portion of the demographic cheer and say, "See, we have smart people, too!"

Until we get past such silliness, racism is alive and well.
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by Michael » Fri May 04, 2018 5:05 pm

captainuniverse wrote:Michael, did anyone here survive the end of the movie?
Spoiler:
No... except for the Sith. :twisted:
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by Michael » Fri May 04, 2018 5:09 pm

sirus wrote:
Spoiler:
Perhaps in this era it is harder to not see things through a racial lens.
Spoiler:
I'd say that in the era of Jim Crow (and even more so in the era of slavery), it was exponentially harder not to see things through a racial lens given people's lives were being destroyed for racial reasons by dunderheaded racist idiots.
Spoiler:
Especially given the build up to the Black Panther movie got to be very racial in tone.
Spoiler:
What build up are you referring to? I didn't get that from any of the promotional pieces I saw, or from the film itself.

The only remotely racial message I saw in Black Panther was why did Wakanda sit idle while people of African ancestry were being treated so horribly elsewhere in the world? That doesn't sound like an unfettered glorification of all things African, but rather an interesting and nuanced question I wouldn't have expected from a standard comic book film. That they figured out a way to effectively and emotionally personify that question in the character Killmonger made the film outstanding in my opinion.
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by Michael » Fri May 04, 2018 5:12 pm

JM1776 wrote:
Spoiler:
But when you're practically mocking one of the world's foremost experts, it's clearly in the script to make a certain portion of the demographic cheer and say, "See, we have smart people, too!"
Spoiler:
I don't see how the second part clearly follows from the first.
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by sirus » Fri May 04, 2018 11:33 pm

Michael wrote:
Spoiler:
What build up are you referring to? I didn't get that from any of the promotional pieces I saw, or from the film itself.

The only remotely racial message I saw in Black Panther was why did Wakanda sit idle while people of African ancestry were being treated so horribly elsewhere in the world? That doesn't sound like an unfettered glorification of all things African, but rather an interesting and nuanced question I wouldn't have expected from a standard comic book film. That they figured out a way to effectively and emotionally personify that question in the character Killmonger made the film outstanding in my opinion.
Spoiler:
LINK TO EXAMPLE ARTICLE

This piece for one is dripping with modern racial politics. I can yank up another dozen or so articles talking about the movie in the same racial way. In fact most of the early reviews of the movie, the pre-screener ones, don't tlk much about the movie, but instead about the race of the cast. Thus making it impossible for me to not see the Black Panther characters in a non-racial light (not racist, but racial). Especially in that scene.
Michael wrote:
JM1776 wrote:
Spoiler:
But when you're practically mocking one of the world's foremost experts, it's clearly in the script to make a certain portion of the demographic cheer and say, "See, we have smart people, too!"
Spoiler:
I don't see how the second part clearly follows from the first.
Spoiler:
I think those of us who were following the media attention to the movie, especially the racial bias in the attention, have a lens with which we see the scene through. The scene is trying to please someone, I think we can all assume that quite clearly. It is clearly not trying to please the fans of the comics, as it pays no respect to the canon there. It is not trying to please the fans of the movies, as it is discontinuous with those in the dialogue. Thus the issue becomes who is it trying to please then?

In this era when on twitter phrases like "Kill all white people" are not considered intrinsically racist it is easy to see that scene as the movies writers trying to please the crowd of racial minded people who want to say "See we have smart people too! And ours are smarter!"

Thus I think there are some leaps in logic made by myself in Joe, but to us they are quite logical and we have our evidence to suggest them as true. If you do not make the same leaps it is impossible to make the same connection. But to me in the build up in the media to Black Panther it felt like Ghostbusters again. Sort of "if you don't like it then you're racist/sexist" and the quality of the movie didn't matter. Black Panther was good, even if it did have a few scenes that were highly questionable in their approach. And in turn I loved Infinity War, even if it did carry over a single strand off that odd racial tension and bias from Black Panther.

At the very least this was how I felt about the movie. That I was unallowed to have my own opinion of it or I would be considered some "ism" that would make me a "bad person." And it is very hard to enjoy scenes/movies like that. So I call them out when I feel that way. And the scene in question was all kinds of wrong.
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by Michael » Sat May 05, 2018 1:01 am

sirus wrote:
Spoiler:
LINK TO EXAMPLE ARTICLE

This piece for one is dripping with modern racial politics. I can yank up another dozen or so articles talking about the movie in the same racial way. In fact most of the early reviews of the movie, the pre-screener ones, don't tlk much about the movie, but instead about the race of the cast. Thus making it impossible for me to not see the Black Panther characters in a non-racial light (not racist, but racial). Especially in that scene.
Spoiler:
Some reviews which you take to be discussing racial politics (which I frankly don't see in the example you provided, but for the sake or argument, let's assume it does) makes you see a film from a particular bias? Is that really what you're saying? Maybe there's something I'm not seeing here. I'd really like to understand what you're getting at.

In the review you linked to, the reviewer states he had presumed the movie would "...deliver a resounding high-kick to prejudice and decades of hierarchy, racial and otherwise, in blockbuster cinema. It is expected to stand for something bigger than itself."

SO??? How does that force you to see a movie in a racial light? Or any other light???

The reviewer expected the film to be about something, but it wasn't and he was disappointed. Too bad for him. How does that require anything from you, me, or the other 7 billion+ people on planet Earth?

You have truly lost me on this. And to be clear, I'm not angry, upset, or peeved. I am completely perplexed.
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by JM1776 » Sat May 05, 2018 1:56 am

Spoiler:
JM1776 wrote:But when you're practically mocking one of the world's foremost experts, it's clearly in the script to make a certain portion of the demographic cheer and say, "See, we have smart people, too!"
Spoiler:
Michael wrote:I don't see how the second part clearly follows from the first...

You have truly lost me on this. And to be clear, I'm not angry, upset, or peeved. I am completely perplexed.
Spoiler:
JM1776 wrote:Nor am I furious, aggravated or even annoyed. I'm literally astounded that you could be lost. It seems so self-evident to me (and, it would seem, to Sirus) that I'm not sure why his explanation isn't reaching you. Perhaps it's because you're inherently good-hearted and don't have sufficient cynicism to view certain scenes and occurrences as they may be actually intended?

Again, to make certain I am not being misunderstood ... this is an excellent movie, though not the cinematic coup it's been taken to be: In my opinion, it's one of Marvel's top half-dozen (out of nineteen so far). I'd rank (in no particular order except as they occur to me) Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Infinity War as superior and/or more enjoyable films, as well as Marvel's The Avengers and Captain America: Civil War as equivalent.

Perhaps I should also add this: I think the entire concept of Iron Fist is arguably racist, in that a pretty blond boy becomes its wielder and the city's savior over every martial artist person of color in all of K'un-Lun. Granted, it's a product of its time, but ... as Cris Carter would say, "Come on, man." It's probably why I always assume Shang Chi could kick his ass (which may well be racist itself, on reflection).

If you watch a film in which the lead is implied to be more formidable than any other character of his approximate power level, the main "smart person" is smarter than anyone else we've seen (and actually mocks the others as possessing inferior intellect), the technology is superior to the rest of the planet's level achieved, and there are few if any positive portrayals of a certain race in the entire film, well ... walks like a duck, etc.

I'm not offended by the racist undertones (and overtones) in Black Panther. Frankly, I understand why many feel "it's about time we have a film that talks down to others even as we've been patronized for so long" and can even tacitly condone that considering the day, age and context. But it's not a huge step forward, in that sense. It just places in starker relief how much farther we have to go.
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by sirus » Sat May 05, 2018 3:15 am

Spoiler:
For me the issue is one of context and the lens through which the product is viewed. When the product, be it the Black Panther movie, that is to say certain specific scenes within the Black Panther movie, or the offending scene in Infinity War, I cannot take them by themselves, but instead I see them as part of a larger social narrative of our times. Especially given certain tweets and comments made by certain members of certain communities.

It becomes impossible to separate the scenes from the political landscape in which I live, thus I see the scene through the lens of the modern political climate, IE the Hollywood stars taking political stances in commercials and supporting various political movements based on racial ideologies. 2016 may be long over now, but the divide it has left in the political landscape has not healed, in fact i think it has gotten more entrenched and I cannot look at scenes in which a person of color character uses the phrase "you did your best" when referring to a character not doing things quite as well as they would have done, in a non-racial way.

This is the lens with which I see the Black Panther movie through and in turn the lens with which I see that scene through. That the writers of that scene are saying something and it is not unpolitical. And given my disdain for politics in entertainment, unless it is in a more abstract manner, for example the difference between the political messages in Star Trek VI, which I enjoy, and Star Trek Discovery, which I did not.

Given the social and political climate I find myself in I find scenes and moments with racial undertones to be troubling, especially when I see them as adding to the problem and not helping it. As said I have no problem with the girl being smart or the technology, my issue is how Bruce is made to look less intelligent by contrast and how the technology is given no proper explanation. I think if Bruce had simply said "We were in a rush, this isn't my best work" or even "I didn't really work on that part" the scene would have worked more for me. But because Bruce is left looking inferior to this 16 year old black girl, that is to say because the aged and well educated white man is made to look inferior to a young and spunky black female, i cannot help but see a certain idea behind the text, a subtext if you will.

I think the reason it is not so apparent to you is you watched the scene at the surface and enjoyed that. There is nothing wrong with that, but I find myself reading into scenes in great detail and winding up reading things that may or may not be there. This scene in context of the movie was not needed, you could cut the brief back and forth dialogue and it would change nothing about the scene, and as such when I look at it out of context of the movie it becomes troubling to me. In fact I would argue that the inclusion of the dialogue says to me that they were willing to "forget" certain plot elements, namely Ultron designed and started the construction of the Vision, in favor of instead writing a back and forth to prove that Shuri is smarter than Bruce.

And given that I jump to the concept that they put more weight on the political message, the "hey look at our smart black girl who is smarter than the white guy, see how equal/diverse we are" message came through to me. Especially given that simply having them work together would make the scene vastly more interesting and would give more of a message of equality. This has the taint of racial superiority on it, or at the very least some will see it as an example of that.

And to close out as to why I see this in a racial light, I link you to this tweet from Buzzfeed News and ask you one question, if the word black were changed to white would it feel okay?

LINK TO TWEET
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by Michael » Sat May 05, 2018 4:50 am

JM1776 wrote:
Spoiler:
Perhaps it's because you're inherently good-hearted and don't have sufficient cynicism to view certain scenes and occurrences as they may be actually intended?
Spoiler:
Are you willing to consider the possibility that you're reading something into it which wasn't intended by the writers/actors?
Spoiler:
If you watch a film in which the lead is implied to be more formidable than any other character of his approximate power level, the main "smart person" is smarter than anyone else we've seen (and actually mocks the others as possessing inferior intellect), the technology is superior to the rest of the planet's level achieved, and there are few if any positive portrayals of a certain race in the entire film, well ... walks like a duck, etc.
Spoiler:
What race in Infinity War had few if any positive portrayals? If instead you are referring to Black Panther, it was a film primarily about Africa and people from Africa. There weren't a lot of other people in it aside from Andy Serkis's character who had been established previously as an evil guy, and the CIA guy portrayed by Martin Freeman who was as I remember it portrayed in a positive way.

(And do you really want to apply that set of criteria to every TV show and movie ever made?)
Spoiler:
I'm not offended by the racist undertones (and overtones) in Black Panther. Frankly, I understand why many feel "it's about time we have a film that talks down to others even as we've been patronized for so long" and can even tacitly condone that considering the day, age and context.
Spoiler:
Who was being talked down to (based on race) in Black Panther? I can't remember any scene where that occurred.
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by Michael » Sat May 05, 2018 4:59 am

sirus wrote:
Spoiler:
I think the reason it is not so apparent to you is you watched the scene at the surface and enjoyed that. There is nothing wrong with that, but I find myself reading into scenes in great detail and winding up reading things that may or may not be there.
Spoiler:
If it's not there, then how is that an issue with the film? Is the film supposed to be responsible for what you or someone else might read into it when that thing isn't there in the film?
Spoiler:
And to close out as to why I see this in a racial light, I link you to this tweet from Buzzfeed News and ask you one question, if the word black were changed to white would it feel okay?

LINK TO TWEET
Spoiler:
Why does a tweet from someone not associated with the production of the film have anything to do with how the film is judged?
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by JM1776 » Sat May 05, 2018 6:00 am

Spoiler:
Michael wrote:Are you willing to consider the possibility that you're reading something into it which wasn't intended by the writers/actors?

Spoiler:
Of course. Are you willing to acknowledge the possibility that if intelligent and discerning people such as sirus and myself do see it, that perhaps you've just got a blind spot on this?
Spoiler:
Michael wrote:What race in Infinity War had few if any positive portrayals?... (And do you really want to apply that set of criteria to every TV show and movie ever made?)

Spoiler:
I'm conflating the two films, which is probably unfair. It also may be that I'm seeing something racist in something that was actually just asinine, as relates to Banner being talked down to by Shuri. Perhaps she's just an arrogant teen. She does flip the king the bird in Black Panther, after all.
Spoiler:
Michael wrote:Who was being talked down to (based on race) in Black Panther? I can't remember any scene where that occurred.

Spoiler:
I seem to recall Freeman's character being called "colonizer", which was wholly unnecessary in context. I doubt he himself did any colonizing, Michael. I'd say that's incredibly patronizing ... but, then again, perhaps we're simply establishing that Shuri's a little bitch.
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by Michael » Sat May 05, 2018 4:58 pm

JM1776 wrote:
Spoiler:
Of course. Are you willing to acknowledge the possibility that if intelligent and discerning people such as sirus and myself do see it, that perhaps you've just got a blind spot on this?
Spoiler:
I'm certainly willing to consider that as a possibility which is one of the reasons why I've asked the questions I have.
Spoiler:
I'm conflating the two films, which is probably unfair. It also may be that I'm seeing something racist in something that was actually just asinine, as relates to Banner being talked down to by Shuri. Perhaps she's just an arrogant teen. She does flip the king the bird in Black Panther, after all.
Spoiler:
I viewed that as showing she's a spirited young woman. :)
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Re: Trailer 2 - Avengers:Infinity War

Post by JM1776 » Sat May 05, 2018 5:28 pm

Spoiler:
Michael wrote:I viewed that as showing she's a spirited young woman. :)

Spoiler:
Oh, blah blah blah. (\crdb/)

:wink:

And "colonizer"? ):(
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