Patterico's Pontifications

5/13/2011

Sockpuppet Friday—The Stan Lee is Everywhere Edition!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:23 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sock puppetry in this thread. The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads. I have made that mistake myself, a lot.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.

—————————————

Last week, the Friday frivolity involved the new movie Thor.  This week involves one of his daddies, the indispensible Stan Lee.  As you may or may not know, Stan Lee makes it a point to appear in most of the movies involving his characters and IGN put together a montage of Mr. Lee’s appearances:

And yes, Mr. Lee even appears in the new Thor movie.  I have been pretty hard on Oliver Willis this week (and I am about to be even harder on him in a second if Twitter is restored), but I will say I agree with pretty much everything he said here:

If you go into Thor expecting to see something at the level of Batman Begins or The Dark Knight, you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you’re like me and go into Thor looking for Thor to beat someone up with his hammer Mjolnir, you will be rewarded.

That’s pretty much what I said to my family, only it was more like this.  Remember how in 2003, Ang Lee came out with a Hulk movie, where it was supposed to be some deep meditation on fathers and sons, and when superpoodles got involved you realized that something had gone horribly wrong?  And then remember the one with Ed Norton, The Incredible Hulk, didn’t try to be anything deeper—it just tried to tell a good story?  Remember how The Incredible Hulk turned out to be a much, much better movie?  Well, this movie was more like The Incredible Hulk.

Indeed, that’s sort of Marvel Studios’ trademark.  They aren’t trying to make high art, they are trying to take these solid stories, update them some (changing out the Viet Cong for the modern terrorists in Iron Man, for instance), and then sprinkle in some Avengers set up, and put some random scene in the end, and bam, you have just been solidly entertained for around two hours.  Seriously, Marvel Studios is starting to be a brand in my mind that signifies quality, like Pixar.  They have not made a bad movie yet.*  But on the other hand, they have not made high art yet, either.

And actually you really have to appreciate the skill that went into the writing in Thor.  It might not be high art, but they navigated some tricky terrain.  Thor can be a little off putting.  Like take for instance this opening cinematic to the game Marvel Ultimate Alliance:

“Soulless machine!  How dare you strike the son of Odin?”  Um, seriously?

Fortunately the movie dials down that element of Thor’s personality and, to the extent it exists, they make good drama out of it by making it a story about how his arrogance leads to a fall from grace and then redemption (that’s not a spoiler—it’s in the previews).  Really they take all of this stuff that is hard to relate to, and make it…  relatable.  Indeed, I have to give special props to how they handled Loki, the chief “villain” in the movie.  I won’t give any of this away, but I will say that by the end Loki comes off as not a mustache-twirling villain, but instead more in the mold of Magneto.  He’s a problem and he has to be stopped, but he really thinks he is doing the right thing.  Like I said, it’s not deep but extremely skillfully done.

I would say my big complaint about it is this.  The whole fall from grace and redemption takes place over a weekend.  Seriously.  Thor learns a major life lesson and experiences a significant change of personality over a weekend, and as best as I can tell there is no good reason for that.  I frankly see no reason why the plot couldn’t have played out over a, say, a year, with each event on Asgard happening slowly, and in the meantime Thor is stranded on Earth and is force to do an ordinary job and get involved in the lives of these humans.  It all could have been handled in montages and added maybe five minutes to the movie, but it would have improved the story massively.  Indeed, maybe then it could have made it into art.

But other than that, a very solid entertainment.

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* Remembering that not every Marvel comics movie is made by Marvel Studios.  Marvel Studios made Iron Man 1-2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and soon Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers. That excludes even some good Marvel comic movies, like the first two Spider-Man movies and the first two X-men movies, but also excludes a lot of terrible ones, too.  Like this one:

Try to unsee that.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

47 Responses to “Sockpuppet Friday—The Stan Lee is Everywhere Edition!”

  1. “OdIn.” With an I.

    Easy to remember because Odin has, well, one eye.

    You’d better laugh or I’ll go Hannibal Lecter With Lightning on you.

    Odin (890cbf)

  2. I still love that trailer.

    “That dude scares me.” *muwahahaha!*

    Foxfier (24dddb)

  3. I wear my hair long so that no one sees there is no brain under it

    Donald Trump (0692b1)

  4. I’m rich, white and dumb – no surprise Republicans like me!

    Donald Trump (0692b1)

  5. #7: Remember, Don, you’re supposed to be actually FUNNY here. No wonder Democrats post as you.

    Not Aaron (890cbf)

  6. Stan Lee is doing pretty damned well for age 88.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  7. “My Dad was a good, gentle soul who only murdered on weekends and sat home watching porn most other days.”

    Omar bin Laden (848837)

  8. Please make me your president. I’m eager to do to this country as I did to my wives.

    Donald Trump (0692b1)

  9. Obama’s a wicked foreigner. I know that breed, I married one!

    Donald Trump (0692b1)

  10. There is no truth to the claim I have a comb over.

    [To step out of character… follow the link… he actually makes the claim that thing is just his normal hairline.]

    Donald T. Rump (e7d72e)

  11. I love how the troll thinks Trump is Republican, much less conservative.

    JD (2da347)

  12. How . . . DARE you racists label black liberal racists as racists?!

    RAAAAAAAAAACIIIISTS!!!!!

    Kman (6baa4d)

  13. I’m obviously not everywhere …

    Stan Lee (821ae1)

  14. I’m drowning in stupidity, and I’m not out of the shallow end yet!

    kfap (e7577d)

  15. Donald Trump is a rich vain real estate tycoon who has no problem with bankruptcy. No wonder he gives most of his political contributions to democrats and hated Bush.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  16. Nine hundred ninety-nine Jews in Iran,
    Nine hundred ninety-nine Jooooos;
    Go ’round the bend, count them again,
    Nineteen hundred ninety-eight Jews in Iran.

    One thousand nine nine eight Jews in Iran,
    One thousand nine nine eight Jooooos;
    Call them all friend, count them again,
    Three thousand nine nine six Jews in Iran.

    EricPWJohnson (6baa4d)

  17. ^ lol

    Dustin (c16eca)

  18. I came THIS CLOSE to having an actual substantive interaction with a non-white person today! I was all set to let them know how much I HATE racism but then I got distracted by a fellow white person who I just could NOT resist calling a racist!

    Kman (c1922b)

  19. Thanks, Dustin. Would it be bad form to say that I can’t stop giggling at that one myself?

    Icy Texan (6baa4d)

  20. So what was it you did to your wives, Donald? I think I made out quite well and don’t have to put up with you anymore.

    Ivana Trump (f79bea)

  21. Screw you sideways Beeyotch.

    LudwigVanQuixote (15aa57)

  22. I want more tamales.

    Meechelle Obama (f79bea)

  23. Boy, I surely showed those Republicans in Texas, didn’t I? What??? That’s not what happened? Oh, well, maybe next time.

    Barack Obama, President of all my people (f79bea)

  24. I’m here today to announce that, as I have found no one suitable to meet my incredibly high standards, my hair will be my running mate. Like Joe Biden my hair is a long-running joke that is overshadowed by the main man’s huge ego. Unlike Joe my hair is mute. It’s a win-win I tell you!

    Trump-eting my own significance (6baa4d)

  25. #18 is epic. The people at this bid opening were looking at my like I am insane for laughin out loud right in the middle of the meeting.

    JD (318f81)

  26. Look, bunnies!

    () ()
    {- . -}

    Fake "JD" (6baa4d)

  27. If only I dared tell Jane my true identity, but my father in Asgard would never allow it!!

    Donald Blake (6451eb)

  28. If I only dared tell Betty my true identity, but her father, Thunderbolt Ross, would hound me forever!!!

    Bruce Banner (255b30)

  29. If I only dared Sharon my true identity, but the Red Skull would never rest in trying to harm me through her!!!!

    Stever Rogers (6451eb)

  30. If I only dared to tell Karen my true identity, but she and Foggy would always be in danger, then!!!!!

    Matt Murdock (255b30)

  31. Ah, just you wait, ThunderGod!

    LowKey (8096f2)

  32. Hey, Stan, where are my residuals?

    Jacob Kurzburg (6451eb)

  33. I want more tamales.

    Sorry Meechelle, I already ate them all. *burrrp*

    Oliver "Diamond Jim" Willis (f1c59f)

  34. 1) Where Jack Kirby is now he doesn’t need “residuals”.

    2) Stan Lee has NEVER been the number one guy at Marvel. Never!

    Hard Reality (6baa4d)

  35. Of course I had porn, I can only have four wives..but I have five fingers. Ten if you count the other hand.

    Osama Bin Laden (ba7756)

  36. You better not be using that other hand on me. We know where it’s been.

    the Third Mrs. Ben Ladin (f79bea)

  37. They didn’t list his cameos in Kevin Smith’s movies.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  38. So, what do you think dear, should I run for president? You’d make one foxy first lady.

    Mitch Daniels (0cd6a2)

  39. Has anyone seen Keithy Oberman? I miss bitch slapping him around.

    Ann Coulter (0cd6a2)

  40. Nay, nay you missed me. Is that all you got?

    Omar K daffy (0cd6a2)

  41. I do love me my porn stash. i am telling you i have pictures of the sexiest goats you have ever seen.

    Btw, pro tip. If you are going to shag a goat, do it near a cliff. They pull back better.

    [With apologies to Billy Connelly.]

    Osama bomb laden (73a7ea)

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    Harmony Coutinho (31b706)

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