The Oberlin Review

Captain Marvel: A Solid Superhero Movie, But Nothing More

Captain Marvel: A Solid Superhero Movie, But Nothing More

March 15, 2019

As a die-hard Marvel fan and a general superhero buff, I was more than merely excited to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female superhero-led movie. Yet, perhaps spoiled by last year’s Black Panther, I was somewhat disappointed by the movie. Captain Marvel is a fine film, and a much-needed step in the right direction in terms of female representation within the MCU, but it never truly excels, instead feeling like a by-the-numbers superhero movie with nothing special going for it. Pa...

Best Picture Countdown: Black Panther

Kabir Karamchandani

February 8, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Theater & Film

Marvel Studios is notorious for churning out movies that are fun to watch but lack substance and depth, which makes Black Panther a pleasant surprise. The film sets a new bar for the genre, with a compelling villain and a semi-nuanced debate of a politically relevant issue. In a time rife with xenophobia and immigration issues, Black Panther tackles serious questions about whether a country’s responsibilities extend beyond its borders and whether those in power have a responsibility to help those who are not. The film handles these issues with surprising tact, painting them as a debate rather than the black-and-white depiction of disagreements usually found in superhero films.  Despite this, the film still remains somewhat hamstrung by its g...

“Infinity War” Shatters Expectations, Box Office Records, Hearts

Christian Bolles, Editor-in-Chief

May 4, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Recent Stories, Theater & Film

Editor’s note: This review contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War. You can — and really should — catch it tonight at the Apollo Theatre instead of reading ahead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Over the course of the previous 18 films, Marvel charted the rise of a cast of super-powered characters who all now share a pop-culture pedestal. To many, they may as well be real — in a changing world, their heroism has provided a welcome source of stability. Every year, fans rely on a handful of new stories, each invested in illustrating and protecting a shared sense of humanity. Recently, Marvel has used their considerable platform to set a new bar for representation in blockbuster filmmaking with the wildly suc...

Noah Hawley’s “Legion” Explores Mutant Minds

Christian Bolles, Columnist

March 3, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

In the second episode of Legion, Fargo creator Noah Hawley’s first attempt at a Marvel television series, the protagonist, David, tells his lover — whom he is forbidden to touch — that they are engaged in “a romance of the mind.” This is as much of a mission statement as the show’s mind-boggling, brilliant and often elusive script is willing to provide. Hawley’s fascination with the human mind is the entry point for the series, which tells David’s story and follows his path from disempowerment to untold amounts of power. David quickly learns that the symptoms of schizophrenia that placed him in a psychiatric institution, where the show’s pilot is set, might not be the caused by mental illness at all. H...

Age of Ultron’s Cliffhanger Ending Disappoints

Jeremy Reynolds, Staff Writer

May 8, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Avengers, Assemble! Or, you know, don’t. In a recent interview with Empire Magazine about Marvel’s most recent blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron, director Joss Whedon explained his deliberate avoidance of one of the most iconic lines in comic book history at the close of the film: “I made sure that we never shot Chris Evans [Captain America] saying ‘Assemble!’” Whedon said. “I was positive that some executive was gonna go, ‘You forgot to put in the last word!’ I was like, ‘With my dying breath...’ I don’t have to say that a lot, but sometimes I’ll turn to [Marvel President] Kevin [Feige] and say, ‘With my dying breath... ” Just before blackout, Evans sizes up his teammates and cal...

Superhero Franchises Face Rebuilding at Hands of Writers

Jeremy Reynolds, Staff Writer

March 13, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Features

In the world of Marvel Comics, nothing is sacred and nothing is set in stone. Writers tend to kill off characters with years of backstory and an enormous fan base in some appropriately heroic manner, only to resurrect them somewhere down the line with only flimsy, pseudoscientific justifications for their return. Of course, this is all a marketing strategy, as sometimes characters are simply worth more dead than alive. The revenue generated from retiring crowd favorites like Captain America is often formidable; March 2007’s Captain America #25, in which Captain America dies, sold more than any other comic that month. But lately, the stakes have grown higher than merely life and death. Writers and producers have bee...

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