This week his It was great for movie lovers. First, the box office returns this past weekend proof That there is, indeed, hope that cinemas will survive covid-19 pandemic. On the other hand, AMC is looking to invest in new theaters. (it’s also Offer free popcorn To meme stock investors, and I won’t even begin to try to explain it here.) And finally, Rachel Weisz Go Jimmy Kimmel Live To talk about her new Marvel movie, Black WidowShe will defeat the James Bond movie for her husband, Daniel Craig, no time to die, for multiplexing. All in all, it’s time to get really nervous about going to the movies again. estate!
Then Disney doubled down.
Late Wednesday, via livestream, Mouse House announced the opening of Disneyland’s Avengers Campus. Likes Star Wars: Galaxy EdgeIt’s a themed Southern California parkland filled with rides, specialty food, and costumed characters (they’re called “staff members”) all centered around the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man hosts a rope web ride; There is a restaurant with different sized foods inspired by the work of Hank Beam; Black Panther is walking around reminding people that Wakanda is forever based on the promotional reel that Disney shared to coincide with the opening, looks cool as hell. It also kind of surprises me.
Not necessarily in a bad way. And not just because theme park rides look like a bowl of Covid soup these days – although watching a promotional video where the cheering faces of park attendees are covered in masks is a bit baffling. It is only strange, as of this writing, that the culture vultures are slowly emerging from the quarantine during which most of their artistic consumption was done at home. During that time, the MCU has been ported to new episodes of WandaVision And the The Hawk and the Winter Soldier on Disney+. People are now just starting to watch movies in actual theaters again. Black Widow It’s not coming until July 9, but here’s Marvel honcho Kevin Feige on YouTube talking about how “with every story we told we knew there could be a translation into the real world — and finally the beginning of that with Avengers Campus.” Solitude may be talking, but it seems too much. The jump from watching Captain Marvel on my laptop Vision Captain Marvel walking next to him what it was Twilight Zone Horror tower somehow looks like it’s walking on the surface of the moon in Uncanny Valley. They are not very real digital copies of humans; They are very real human beings who pretend to be people who only work in a digital world for a very long time.
Yes, that’s what Disney has been doing at its theme parks for years – and it looks pretty cool. There’s an old campus where Doctor Strange comes out! “Embedded Story” stores are full of interconnected goods! And the (alleged) Bavarian pastries are magnified by Bim particles! (I guess that’s how it works? Whatever, it comes with cheese beer!) Much like Galaxy’s Edge, this new Disneyland feels like a nerd’s paradise, a place where anyone can walk between heroes and crooks. It looks neat! But also, the idea of going there seems strange after 15 months of avoiding almost everyone in the world.
In the end, though, what seems a little frustrating about the Marvel Universe at Disneyland is that it’s two steps away from where it started. Unlike the Star Wars attractions, the places you can spend time at the Avengers Campus are based on movies based on the comic books. They look the way they appeared on screen in the Disney movies, not the way they looked in the comics created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Avengers campus opening ceremony was, As vulture said, an attempt to “Walt-ify the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Practically speaking, this meant cross-shots of John Slattery as Howard Stark with quotes from Walt Disney himself about how his theme park would never be completed “as long as there is a fantasy in the world”. But broadly speaking, that means Marvel is now part of a tradition older than Disney: taking an existing IP address — like, say, Grimm’s Fairy Tales — and then turning it into movies and then turning those movies into entertainment attractions. It’s a world-building that commands the highest respect, and at the end of the period when everyone’s world has gotten a little smaller, it feels more or less real.
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