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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 3 | SPOILER Review/Discussion

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This week it certainly feels like The Falcon And The Winter Solider has moved into fifth gear. We’re now half way through and we’ve finally met all of the characters we knew were in the show from promotional material. Plus with a few extra faces along the way. Baron Zemo’s introduction was great and it now seems like Marvel is trying to make him into another Loki. It was an unexpected turn of events that Bucky decided to help Zemo escape and they’re now working together. This is an interesting dynamic which will surely result in further buddy cop antics. We also see Zemo become more like his comic book counter part. He’s got much more regal clothing and he’s of course wearing the iconic purple mask that was teased in the trailers. He seems to want to keep that mask out of Sam and Bucky’s view, meaning that there’s still stuff he’s hiding from the pair, but more on that later…

There’s also the reveal that Zemo is Sokovian royalty. Now this is a big stretch but this could mean we’re getting ever closer to the reveal of Latveria. A similar fictional Eastern European nation with a very famous leader…Victor Von Doom. As stated, this is a big jump and probably won’t be something we’ll see in the course of this series. But the door is certainly open.

Sharon Carter was also finally revealed after killing the thankfully short lived Selby. Though this episode seems to have given her her whole purpose to the story. Since she can’t leave Madripoor, it doesn’t seem like she’ll be doing much else other than congratulating our leads and thanking them for her pardon once the series is over. That being said, her presence here was greatly welcome. She had some fantastic action sequences to show off her skills and obviously helped out a lot in giving us more information towards the origins of the Flag Smashers’ serum.

It should be noted that Madripoor is a fictional location that originates from the Marvel comics. It is most commonly associated with X-Men storylines. The internet has sadly been burned before with Marvel TV trying to theorise over X-Men characters appearing. WandaVision and Ralph Bohner is not quite the same as Madripoor however.  Madripoor is a location that is now confirmed to exist in the MCU, it’s not like Quicksilver possibly coming from another dimension. On the other hand, it is just that, a location. This doesn’t obligate Marvel into introducing any X-Men in the future, it’s just a nice reference. This doesn’t mean the door to the X-Men isn’t open, but given Marvel’s recent history of teasing the Mutants, it would be a waste of time hoping for anything out of this.

 

We also learn that the person in charge of Madripoor is the Power Broker. In the comics, Curtis Jackson is a wealthy businessman that has partnerships with the likes of Red Skull in an effort to take down Captain America. The character has appeared in the same story arcs as The Flag Smasher, so his presence here isn’t uncalled for. It seems that the Power Broker is the man behind the Flag Smashers’ serum as he’s the one who funded the scientist we see in the cargo tankers. Isiah Bradley is indeed the man behind the serum, but not wittingly as was previously theorised here. Power Broker’s true identity has not yet been revealed in the course of this episode but he surely will be by episode 6, but more on that in theory time…

In this episode we also get a lot more important information about Karli Morganthau. She has someone she cares for who by the end of this episode dies of Tuberculosis. This adds further ammunition to the Flag Smashers being sympathetic. Karli having a sad back story of a refugee carer with TB is probably going to be discussed by the end and it will be the justification for her blowing up several people in Lithuania at the end. We can also now confirm that Karli is indeed the leader of The Flag Smashers as the man who Torres thought was the leader was quite clearly seen in this episode taking orders from her. Both of course were being shown having a normal conversation, showing them to be human beings. Which is great writing, but it also makes it even more obvious of their inevitable siding with Bucky and Sam.

 

The scenes we saw with John Walker and Hoskins were great and revealed further his unworthiness of the shield. We see Walker lose his cool with the German man and from that interaction we can see that as the series goes on we will have further comments on America being the world’s police. Zemo makes further comments in this regard on the plane journey to Madripoor.

We also see right at the end the unexpected reveal that the Wakandans are getting involved in the story. This makes sense since Zemo did kill their last king. It will be interesting to see how they refer to T’Challa throughout the series or if they mention him at all. This series was written before Chadwick Boseman’s untimely demise so it may be disappointing should it seem like there was originally a plan for Black Panther himself to be a bit more involved. After all, T’Challa was the one that ultimately captured Zemo.

Theory Time: Baron Zemo is the Power Broker. It would seem weird to introduce a brand new character that seems to be behind everything in the last few episodes of the show. Zemo is clearly up to something and obviously knew quite a lot about Madripoor. It would make sense that he is the secret leader especially given his access to a wealth of money and resources. He’s also had a history of double crossing and espionage so having a secret identity is not something that would be beyond him.

The series is now rocketing off. Make sure to check back here next week. But in the meantime, do you have anymore theories? Agree with the ones we’ve made. Tweet @TheREALFreddieD and @CoastalHMedia and tell us what you think.

The Falcon And The Winter Soldier is streaming weekly on Disney+

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Freddie has a degree in Digital Film Production from Ravensbourne University London. He’s obsessive about many things but mostly Batman, Doctor Who and The Incredibles. To find out all of Freddie's film opinions go to his Letterboxd - TheDeightonator

Comic Book Movies

Opinion | Why Affleck Is Right About Superhero Movies

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The whole “superhero vs. cinema” debate has been talked about ad nauseam, but add Ben Affleck to the list of actors who have put out their sort of opinion about the genre that he was once a part of. For those who don’t know, and for context, Affleck played Daredevil in the 2003 adaptation of the same name, along with Batman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Justice League, and finally, Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Take it from someone who has done nothing but small movies recently, with the exception of reshoots for Zack Snyder’s Justice League, franchise movies are killing the spotlight for non-franchise movies. Note: Not the theatrical experience, as people are still going in droves to see No Way Home which is great for theaters, but the ability to see something other than Tom Holland at their local movie theater.

Affleck’s quote was pretty clear, talking to Entertainment Weekly, the Good Will Hunting star said: “Hey, I’m so into the Marvel Universe, I can’t wait to see what happens next.” And there’ll be 40 movies a year theatrically, probably, all IP, sequel, animated.” He would then go on to mention The Last Duel, the Ridley Scott film that he starred in this last fall that had critical acclaim but underperformed at the box office, only making $30.5 million worldwide according to Box Office Mojo. The Last Duel did top VOD charts, so at least they can hang their hat on something.

When reading Affleck’s quote, some may roll their eyes at yet another person using Marvel as their example, but the numbers back it up. The top ten highest-grossing movies of 2021 domestically were all franchise movies of the prequel, sequel, and franchise kickstarter assortment. The first original movie to come up (not counting Free Guy or Jungle Cruise, which obviously have hopes for sequels) was another Ridley Scott movie, House of Gucci. Hell, Disney accounted for a quarter of the entirety of 2021’s domestic box office (CNBC), with Sony, by the power of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, coming in at second place.

Ben Affleck photographed exclusively for EW on December 8, 2020, in LA.

Nothing that Affleck said above is wrong. Argo, Affleck’s Oscar-winning 2012 film, likely would be relegated to a streaming series. Hell, Martin-freaking-Scorsese had to make The Irishman for Netflix and his next film, Killers of the Flower Moon, for Apple. And look, thank God for streaming, or else these voices wouldn’t get to share their work. Ricky Gervais’ After Life has resided on Netflix for each of its three seasons, and it’s some of his best work. But what is depressing is that movies like Affleck’s The Tender Bar, which is not a perfect movie by any means, get a limited theatrical run before heading to Prime Video, a common practice nowadays for films without a post-credits scene.

And I should be the first to say, that I am very blessed to experience the number of movies I do at press screenings. If I hadn’t made a screening to see Flee, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, or The Tragedy of Macbeth to name a few, I likely would have missed them before they hit streaming. My local AMC usually does a decent job of getting the smaller releases, they had India Sweets and Spices for a week, but all three mentioned in the previous sentence were nowhere to be found at any point of their theatrical run. And I know that The Tragedy of Macbeth is heading to Apple TV+ this Friday, but it’s a visual spectacle more than anything, and seeing it on the big screen probably enhanced my enjoyment rather than watching the Bergman-like imagery on a laptop.

I must also disclose that screeners do have a certain level of convenience. Sometimes the commute into New York or Philadelphia does not outweigh the enjoyment of sitting in bed watching The Night House or Annette, so I cannot act like I am not guilty of opting for a screener, but there are also times where there isn’t a choice.

I’m also not trying to kid myself, not every movie needs a big-screen to fully experience the movie, but that also doesn’t mean that filmmakers who don’t make movies about men in tights should instantly be thrown onto a streaming service, with a limited theatrical run in New York and Los Angeles as the coveted added bonus.

Ben Affleck photographed exclusively for EW on December 8, 2020, in LA.

There are some filmmakers that seem to get theatrical runs; Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch expanded and was playing in almost every theater around me, Licorice Pizza has been going steady at the box office, hell, House of Gucci, by the same director of the financial flop that was The Last Duel, is still selling out showings almost two full months into its run.

The financial side of things is a whole other issue. Yes, of course, the film industry is a money-making business at the end of the day, but there has to be some middle ground that allows mid-budget/small-budget movies to see the light of day. There’s just something about seeing a comedy like Don’t Look Up in a crowded theater full of laughter that makes the movie funnier than watching it at home.

Look, at the end of the day, this is just my opinion and I am completely aware that people will go and see No Way Home for their sixth rewatch instead of The Worst Person in the World. I cannot act like I don’t catch the latest MCU movie, but I also make an effort to catch Spencer while it’s in theaters or do my rewatch of Licorice Pizza after already seeing it at a press screening at the AMC. I just wish that instead of asking people to cancel their reservation to see Nightmare Alley in an effort to open up auditoriums for No Way Home, Matrix Resurrections, etc., we let those films have at least one showtime. And none of what Affleck said was about the quality of the Marvel movies, that’s a whole different debate, it’s just the silencing of voices in the industry. With it seeming like the number of Marvel movies only rises every year, film lovers can only pray that Dr. Strange could cast that forgetting spell on moviegoers with the Peter Parker in this scenario being the MCU, DCEU, and any other franchise that has dominated the box office in recent years. Even Tom Brady and the Bill Belichick-led New England Patriots lost in the playoffs (thank you, Eli Manning) every once in a while.

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Comic Book Movies

Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness | Official Teaser

Plot unknown. Sequel to the 2016 Marvel film ‘Doctor Strange.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Release Date:

May 6, 2022

Director:

Sam Raimi

Cast:

Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams

Plot Summary:

Plot unknown. Sequel to the 2016 Marvel film ‘Doctor Strange.

 

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Comic Book Movies

Spider-Man: No Way Home – Official Trailer #2 Is Here

Spider-Man: No Way Home is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Release Date:

December 17, 2021

Director:

Jon Watts

Cast:

Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jamie Foxx, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfred Molina, Jacob Batalon, J.K. Simmons

Plot Summary:

Spider-Man: No Way Home is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.

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