Monday, May 9, 2016

F This Movie! - Captain America: Civil War

Patrick and Heath Holland are joined by Flickering Myth senior staff writer James Garcia to discuss who's right, who's wrong, the MCU and the first big movie of summer 2016.



Download this episode here. (128.9 MB)

Subscribe to F This Movie! in iTunes.

Listen to F This Movie! on Stitcher.

Also discussed this episode: Zootopia (2016), Legends of the Fall (1994), The Sound of Music (1965), The Dead Room (2016), Heat (1986), Focus (2015)

56 comments:

  1. Just started listening... got to the Legends of the Fall discussion. I am literally named after Brad Pitt in that movie and I have not seen it yet, and I'm kind of getting more and more afraid of watching it.

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    1. Oh man, that's awesome! The film might not be great, but don't worry about your namesake - the movie goes out of its way to tell us that he's the awesome one.

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    2. Don´t worry. I love that movie. Of course it´s overly melodramatic and the story is kind of ridiculous, but director Ed Zwick and his superb cast, as well as John Toll`s photography and Horner´s great score make it work - at least for me ;-)

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  2. I probably shouldn't jump in before listening to the entire show, but now that I've heard the basic positions of all three podcasters, I'm definitely #TeamPatrick. I thought Civil War worked incredibly well, juggled a ton of characters, put on a great show, and had things to say.

    It helped that I rewatched Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron leading up to this movie. (Age of Ultron? Way better a second time than it was in the theaters.) The movies build on each other like (shocker) issues of a comic book. I wouldn't be surprised if CW doesn't do as well as the original Avengers simply because it requires an investment in a large handful of other movies to get the most out of it. The Avengers built on the individual characters' movies but you could come in cold and still have a good time. CW doesn't work without knowing the events of Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron (add in a few editor's notes to fill in the gaps, and First Avengers, WS, and CW make a neat little trilogy).

    As a comic-book style event story playing out over a decade plus onscreen, it's become something really unique. I didn't love most of Phase One but Marvel has won me over. None of these are going to end up on my list of all-time favorite movies, but they've put in the work. They've earned it. Civil War progressed the overall story, brought some old threads to a close, introduced new characters, and did it in a way that had as much emotional heft as one can expect from a comic book storyline.

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    1. I've wondered the same thing about the success of these movies going forward. Avengers was the ultimate crowd pleaser, and totally accessible by those unfamiliar with the franchise as a whole. You're absolutely right, Civil War isn't like that at all. Going forward, I think most of the Marvel movies will be similar, so I wonder how audiences will react to that. Will the general audience slowly drop off? Or has Marvel built such a strong brand that they'll stick around?

      I do need to rewatch Age of Ultron. I remember liking parts of it, and liking it more than the first Avengers. I think that, as an Avengers movie, Civil War is definitely superior. Same goes for it being a great Iron Man movie. It's when it tries to be a Cap film that it falls a bit short for me (the same way BvS was more of a Batman story than a Superman story).

      All in all, I ended up liking the movie more thanks to some of Patrick's points. I still don't love it, and have some issues with it (and a few more than I was able to address on the podcast), but to be fair I haven't "loved" most of Marvel's films. I suspect this will be one that really grows on me over time, and one I plan to revisit if for nothing else than to see Spider-Man and the airport scene again and again.

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    2. I´m also decidedly Team Patrick. To me CW is the best Marvel movie behind Winter Soldier and Guardians of the galaxy. It had everything I hoped for and then some.
      The Russo brothers made everything right Zack Snyder made wrong in his similarly themed BvS. Civil War has a good and relatively grounded story, a villain with a relatable purpose, an interesting conflict among the team and a fantastic and organic introduction of the two new players Black Panther and Spider-Man plus humor, emotion and some great action sequences.
      Hearing some of the points about differences between the characterization in comic and film, I´m once again glad that I never read any comics, so those points are nothing to worry about for me.

      Regarding the Avengers movies, I like Age of Ultron a little bit more than the first Avengers, although Patrick is right calling it "a mess". As fun as the first movie is, I disliked most of the final battle everyone else seems to love. For me there are more interesting bits and pieces in Age of Ultron than in the first one.

      Am I excited for X-Men Apocalypse? I don´t think so. Again, as a non comic book reading guy, I have no idea of the story except for the bits you see in the trailers. But that makes me think of two things I hate. A villain who wants to rule the world and mass destruction.
      So I hope the trailers are misleading and I hope that Bryan Singer is in better form for his DOFP follow up than Sam Mendes was with his Skyfall follow up Spectre.

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  3. I'm honestly not a blind fan boy, and I don't like every Marvel movie. But I absolutely loved Civil War. I thought what it had to say about government intervention, and just war in general was fascinating. I don't know that I've ever seen a comic book Superhero movie with so many interesting questions. It's also just incredibly entertaining. I do agree with your Spider-man points though. I loved him, and I'm so glad he was in the movie. But I remember watching an interview with the Russo brothers and they were saying "there was no version of this movie without Spider-man". For real guys? C'mon. He was not even slightly necessary.

    I feel the same as you guys about X-men apocalypse (despite loving DOFP), and I know exactly why.
    1) Terrible green screen and CGI in the trailers
    2) Same generic Apocalypse dialogue in every trailer
    3) So.... much... Jennifer Lawrence... fatigue

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    1. YES to the Jennifer Lawrence fatigue. She's a fine actress, but I've grown tired of seeing her all over the place, especially in these genre pics. She doesn't need them anymore, and the new X-Men trilogy's reliance on Mystique feels more contractual and timely than story-based. I guarantee that if any other actress had played her in First Class, she wouldn't be such a central part of the next installments.

      And yeah, why doesn't Apocalypse say anything else than those few lines? Maybe that's all he really says?.... I guess we'll find out.

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  4. Every time I hear people discount long movies it breaks my heart. Just because a movie is long doesn't mean it's bad. If anything, it COULD mean that there is just more to love. If you don't like what you see, that's fine, but a length shouldn't deter you from watching a movie with a good reputation you've never seen at least once.

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    1. I agree completely. I don't consider the length of a movie when deciding whether to watch or not. Some movies are long and don't feel it at all. First one that comes to mind is There Will Be Blood...I wouldn't cut a second out of that masterpiece. However, if a movie "feels" long, that's a problem, and one that plagues many modern movies as they strive to reach the 2 hour mark.

      I've been delving into a lots of 80's horror and action movies recently, and I'm always joyed when I see that they're 90 minutes long. In and out before my bedtime.

      Then there is Kevin Costner...enough said (the Kevin Costner conundrum is discussed thoroughly on the Waterworld episode).

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    2. I know, I know... I'm not proud of it. I even work from home, but still feel that I don't have the time to devote to a longer film. But then I just sit and watch 5 or 6 episodes of the Sopranos instead. Don't know what THAT's about...

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    3. I have no problem with long movies, as long as they are entertaining. And I hate intermissions, except something like Hateful Eight, where the intermission is integral part of the roadshow version. Otherwise an intermission is just a bad excuse for the cinema to sell more drinks and popcorn.
      Generally I can accept intermissions in movies with a running time north of three hours. I´m pretty happy that my regular movie house works exactly like that.
      Lots of people obviously can´t watch a 100 minute movie without going to the bathroom, so to them even 100 minutes is too long ;-)

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  5. "I liked Batman V Superman better than Civil War."
    " I liked Age Of Ultron better than Civil War."

    2 quotes that broke my Civil War loving heart while listening to this podcast. I thought the movie was incredible. I had a huge smile on my face for pretty much the entire running time and it made me feel like I was 10 years old. It's a miracle how the Russo Bros were able to beautifully weave in and out of all of these storylines and characters and not have it be complete chaos. Batman V Superman had only 3 superheroes to balance and Zack Snyder failed miserably. Every character in Civil War got their kick ass moments on screen and I loved them all. Sure the pieces of the villains twisty plan don't make a whole lot of sense, but it comes together enough for me to forgive it. Atleast they tried to come up with a legitimate villain with an actual plan and a good and emotional reason for our heroes to fight one another. I just admire Marvel so much because of the care they put into these movies. I felt like Batman V Superman hated the audience and all I got out of Civil War was just pure love. It makes such a huge difference which is why Civil War is my favorite Marvel movie. I feel like all of their years and years of hard work has paid off wonderfully in this movie and it was a pleasure to watch it feeling like I was a little kid in that theater.

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    1. The Age of Ultron hate I don't get. Movie gets better every time I watch it, but whatever. But I honestly turned the podcast off when he said he liked BvS more. I have no desire to listen to another hour of the same boring, uninspired 'Ugh, these movies are just TV shows. Oh my GOD I'm tired of superheroes.'

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    2. Those are the two quotes that lost me too. I was sad to see that Patrick was the lone voice of reason and coherent movie criticism on what was a really spectacular, well made, and highly entertaining film.

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    3. Sorry to hear that made you leave, Tom! If given the chance I please ask that you listen to the rest - I don't hate Civil War as much as you think!

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    4. I like age of ultron but only sequence to sequence. As a cohesive whole I don't think the movie works very well but I still enjoy it. I felt like Civil War course corrected everything I wasn't a huge fan of in Ultron (it made me like scarlet witch and vision, it had the avengers actually deal with the consequences of what happened on Ultron which I felt like the kinda blew off at the end of that movie) Civil War to me was just a much more confident movie in balancing all the characters and making them shine.

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    5. Great point about Age of Ultron being better in segments. I could see it as a movie that's enjoyable on cable or something. Hulkbuster battle here, break. The birth of Vision here, break. Etc. As a whole, it's definitely a mess, but there ARE things in it that I like and wouldn't mind revisiting.

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    6. No, James, don't take it personally. It wasn't a problem with you per se. Not to neg it up, but I'm a longtime listener who stopped listening long ago due to multiple issues with the podcast. Came back to check out the Civil War episode and all the same issues are there.

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  6. I've been wanting to see That Darn Cat! Glad you liked it, Heath! Hey, have you seen The Truth About Spring? I think it's Disney from the same period. And it has Hailey Mills playing in love with Fritz from SFR, I think. I've been wanting to see it but not sure where to find it now.

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    1. I have not seen The Truth about Spring, but I might have to check it out. It's on a DVD-R from Universal's Vault series, but you should also Google it.

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    2. Sweet, thanks. Hope to hear your thoughts on it someday, since I know you're a Disney fan, and Hayley was Disney's girl :)

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    3. Okay, I saw it! Was not impressed, sad to say. It's not tight like many Disney movies, the adventure is slow and boring and even the performances by Hayley and John Mills are awkward (very) and recycled. So, glad I finally saw it but it wasn't what I expected.

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  7. I'm probably in the middle of you guys. I liked Civil War, I thought it was pretty solid most of the way through. But I didn't walk out loving it like I did for Winter Soldier. I think my main problem was inherent in the premise. The stakes felt so low because I knew these guys wouldn't kill each other. The airport conflict was fun, but it did feel like a 20 minute pillow fight. I thought the action was visually engaging, but emotionally unengaging. Its just hard for me to buy into a battle when the characters haven't even bought into it.

    I also realised that I am not a fan of the comic-book Spider-Man on screen. He annoyed me to no end.

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    1. I'm also kind of middling. This is maybe my fourth or fifth favorite Marvel movie (and the reason we rank them is because there is getting to be so damn many of them. It's in the vein of ranking the Bond movies). That being said, it's still in the top 5 for me, which I think is saying something.

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    2. It's Top 5 for me as well, but I'm not terribly high on any Marvel movies outside of Winter Soldier and Guardians. Most Marvel movies are 1 and done for me, not because they're bad but just because I get all I want from them in 1 viewing. Its probably because I never read many comics as a kid and don't really care for Easter eggs.

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    3. Brian, glad to hear I'm not alone in that "one and done" category! I enjoy the Marvel movies when I watch them. I really do. But once I leave the theater? Poof. They're gone. I even DO like comics and love Easter eggs, but the Marvel films are usually such surface-level, crowd-pleasing entertainment that I don't get much out of them upon repeat viewings.

      I also think you hit the nail on the head in that pillow fight analogy. That's exactly it. Fun to watch, but not much room for any emotional investment there. That's pretty much my attitude toward a lot of these Marvel films.

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  8. I never thought the day would come but this movie made me a Robert Downey Jr fan. I like that smug ass Tony Stark is finally eating some humble pie.

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  9. I swear, I saw a trailer for That Darn Cat and one for Santa With Muscles...before Joe's Apartment. Which I saw in the theater (and honestly, enjoyed).

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  10. You know how you jokingly mentioned that someone is listening to the podcast on the fence whether they would watch the movie or not, well I am totally that guy. I think Ill skip this one and finally go catch Zootopia.

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    1. I know I said it on the podcast, but Zootopia is fantastic! May just be my favorite film of the year so far.

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  11. BTW...Really great podcast this week. One of my faves.

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  12. Patrick, you've never seen Sound Of Music? We had a recording on VHS, so I've seen it countless times (caveat: a long time ago). I don't remember it being long. Although I mostly remember tumbling around the house, singing songs, and very little of the escaping from Nazi's by roving and singing over the mountains.

    Swiss Family Robinson? Wow. After your excellent review of Treasure Island, I watched it with my kids (same age as your boy and older) and they loved it (me too!). Then Blackbeards Ghost, and then Swiss Family Robinson. My kids are always a bit wary of watching anything not animated (except for Spy Kids), but they loved these older classics.

    And Flight of the Navigator is one we have lined up to watched very soon! One of my favourites as a kid (again, probably because it's one we had recorded onto VHS, so it was watched repeatedly), and can't wait to see it again. Heath, you're the man! Hope to see a "live action disney" piece in the future, because I'm sure you'll have lots of great recommendations.

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    1. Swiss Family Robinson is a darn fun movie and has the most happy and cheerful massacre scene I've ever witnessed.

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    2. Straight up: I've yet to watch a live-action Disney movie that I didn't like. There were lots of them that I found boring when I was a kid, but that hasn't been the case at all while I've been studying them currently. Even the worst (like The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit) has something going for it. Namely Kurt Russell, who makes everything better.

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  13. I'm so glad you brought up Flight Of The Navigator! It's an often over-looked gem. It skews serious where Night Of The Comet goes comedic, but it does it well. They dramatize the idea of how scary it would be to suddenly wake up and discover that 7 years have passed. Your parents look older, there are weird people living in your house now, your younger brother is now your older brother?! Woah. I loved the tone of them film. It made me want to live in Ft. Lauderdale.

    Freaky Friday, Disney's 1976 Jodie Foster movie, is another pretty great movie. I actually watched it last week. That's weird, I know, but I have my reasons.

    And Jason, I would truly recommend The Sound Of Music. I find that people's aversion to it is similar to their aversion to black and white movies; a weird assumption that it's boring or something. The songs are great, it lags for only a moment in the second half, but quickly picks up again. That's basically where the Nazis come in. And the scene where Captain Von Trapp hands Rolfe his ass... it's so satisfying. I talk this movie up all the time and I'm always surprised that more people my age (mid 30's) haven't seen it.

    Love the show!

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    1. The 1976 Freaky Friday is sitting next to my DVD player right now. We watched the remake this past weekend and really enjoyed it.

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  14. How dare you, sir, impugn the good name of Speedball, the Masked Marvel.

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  15. I had been up for almost 24 hours when I watched Civil War having just flown back in from a business trip. I really need to watch it again under better circumstances, but it enjoyed it. My main issue was that due to the marketing, and things like the Lego set that was mentioned there were very few actual surprises in the movie.

    X-men: Apocalypse doesn't interest me much. There doesn't seem to be any hook to it beyond the action. I've never been a huge fan of the X-men movies though aside from First Class. On a narrative level, I think almost all of them have been a mess but are usually redeemed by some amazing action sequences. X2 is the best example of this with great scenes like Nightcrawler in the White House, and the attack on the school, but surrounded by an utterly forgettable plot and villain.

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    1. I'm glad you bring that up about X2, Ross! I always remember that film being much better than it actually is. It's a pretty solid follow-up to the original film, but those 2 scenes you mentioned are definitely the highlights, and while I like how the character-driven all of the Striker/Wolverine stuff is, it doesn't amount to being a really great X-Men story. Then of course it sets up Dark Phoenix, which Last Stand totally botched. I often leave that film a bit disappointed.

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  16. I hadn't seen a Marvel movie in theaters since Avengers, which I liked, but I guess I was kind of cynical about the whole thing. After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy and Winter Soldier at home, I didn't want to miss out on this one (but it was mostly because of Spider-Man). I liked it a lot! I definitely had some criticisms, but most of them were brought up in the podcast, except for Agent 13, who felt like a plot point, and that I didn't buy the emotional impact of the big reveal in the finale.

    I initially went to see it in 3D--I think CG effects look more believable in 3D--but I left after 10 minutes. The action was so blurry and I was not enjoying it, but I went to a show that started 30 minutes later. Like Patrick said, the first action scene is a little messy and this was apparent in 2D, but at least it wasn't blurry. I was worried that the whole rest of the movie would be this way...

    And then the tunnel scene happened. The shot framing, angles, and editing made it feel like a cinematic translation of reading a comic book. Yes, it used a handheld camera and there was a lot of camera movement, but to me, it just clicked that I was watching a comic book--which was odd to me because my imagination of a movie shot like a comic book had a pretty fixed camera, but I think that made me like it even more.

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    1. YES, we did totally forget to mention Agent 13, and how the film handles Peggy Carter (which left me REALLY bummed, as I don't think the way that was handled did the character justice). 13 was definitely a plot point, and her kiss with Cap gave way to quite a few chuckles in my theater (even before the comedic button at the end of that scene). Talk about a story point with absolutely no emotional weight.

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    2. I wasn't bothered by the Peggy Carter thing because of the same reason I can't really get too worked up about all internal drama of the Avengers bickering. There won't be permanent consequences. Listen, I LOVE Peggy Carter. She's an incredibly strong female character with no superpowers, just sheer determination and grit. I watched both seasons of her spin-off television show and I really dig the retro-spy, noir vibe. But see, that's the thing: Peggy Carter is no longer in this timeline, so we can have 60 seasons of a television show, multiple movies, WHATEVER and it has no impact whatsoever on the current timeline. So they can write her off in the Avengers movies, but they can still tell unlimited stories elsewhere. We lose absolutely nothing, and Marvel literally gets the best of both worlds. Only it's not the best for those of us who want to see some real impact and feel a real sense of loss when a character goes away. We will definitely see them all again in some form or another. Just like in the comic books, death and loss have lost all meaning because there's a status quo that must be maintained.

      The Agent 13 thing did feel kind of shoe-horned in. It feels to me like it's there because it's there in the comics, not because it fits organically.

      Speaking of organically, I've been thinking more about Spidey in this flick and I can't for the life of me figure out why that isn't Daredevil instead.

      But remember that in spite of all this, I liked it fine. It's cool! Just not what I consider the pinnacle of what Marvel movies can be.

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    3. I hear ya, Heath, and you're right - I think I'm thinking of this, specifically the Peggy Carter thing, in a traditional movie sense, and not in the context of the new shared universe, multiple timeline model. Will we see more of Peggy elsewhere? Most likely (though it doesn't look like the show will get renewed, which also really bums me out). I do, however, miss the impact that a death like that is supposed to have. And I'd argue that, even with the Marvel model, we CAN still have that emotional impact, it just wasn't a priority in a film like this. Perhaps they could have saved her death for a TRUE Captain America standalone film, because I can't for the life of me figure out why they really had to do that here, other than to tell us that Sharon was her niece (which could have been accomplished without it).

      Totally agree with you on the Daredevil point. As a Spidey fan, I love that we got to see him with the Avengers and his part in this was great. But, swap him out with Daredevil, and perhaps it fits more with the shared universe that they've already established. Not a big deal, but something worth noting, for sure.

      And yes, despite my problems it's all good! I liked the movie, just didn't love it, and many of the issues I had with it I've had with the entirety of Marvel's slate. I get that, in a true comics-to-screen adaptation of the Marvel universe, death becomes less of a big deal and multiple timelines/stories are possible. I just wish that some of the emotional weight didn't have to fall by the wayside as a result.

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    4. Yeah, my timing for this post was the worst. Talk about seeing more Peggy Carter on the day they officially cancel her show. Good one, Heath.

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    5. I saw that news come in last night and thought, "Oh man, Heath and I were JUST talking about seeing more Peggy Carter!" So bummed. Maybe they can go full circle and give her a One Shot send-off. Or, as you said, appearances elsewhere in different timelines.

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    6. I guess if you don't care about the relationships between these characters then I can see why you'd say there are no consequences. The stakes are emotional. But it's hard not to lump that kind of criticism in with the people who watched Winter Soldier and Guardians in the same summer and still turned around and complained about the Marvel formula.

      Like....will Steve and Tony be allies again? Probably. But the emotional baggage will be there. What would consequences be? That someone died? That these guys became mortal enemies and stayed that way?

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  17. I apologize. But Heath Holland has declared Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves as his favorite movie of all time. For me, his opinion can be ignored permanently. I know this site attempts to stay "positive," but give me a break. Again, apologies, no personal attack intended (other than your opinion on movies).

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    2. And I said he declared it his 'favorite,' not the best movie of all time. And I do ignore "opinions" that seem ridiculous to me, including yours.

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    3. I stand corrected, you did say it was his favourite.

      Not wanting to get into a dumb argument, let me just restate that I love and appreciate Heath's contributions to FThisMovie. If you want to "ignore" his opinion, I might suggest you visit another website/podcast.

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  18. Wow this podcast was rough to listen to. Two people making criticisms, bring confronted by an actual reasoned rebuttal and immediately bowing to it.

    The guy who said he liked civil war was the only one who had thoughtful reasons to backup his thoughts on the movie. Sack the two useless youtube grade reviewers and get someone else.

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