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Old 05-29-2018, 09:05 AM   #1
LvtLeeTDK
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Default Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

I've noticed that besides villains, the cinematography is another major aspect in which the MCU movies are criticized for. But I see nothing wrong about the way they were shot. In fact, I rarely notice good or bad cinematography in films. I mean it's just... there. Sure there are some gorgeous shots that you can easily pay attention to (those 360' dynamic shot in The Dark Knight) but overall I can't tell whether it's a bad shot or not. If it's incredibly good, I'll notice it but if it's not, it's fine.

What do you think ?

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Old 05-29-2018, 09:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

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Originally Posted by LvtLeeTDK View Post
I've noticed that besides villains, the cinematography is another major aspect in which the MCU movies are criticized for. But I see nothing wrong about the way they were shot. In fact, I rarely notice good or bad cinematography in films. I mean it's just... there. Sure there are some gorgeous shots that you can easily pay attention to (those 360' dynamic shot in The Dark Knight) but overall I can't tell whether it's a bad shot or not. If it's incredibly good, I'll notice it but if it's not, it's fine.

What do you think ?
Beautiful shots are nice and increase my appreciation of movies. We've had some gorgeous movies in the past few years with a lot of nice scenery, Blade Runner and Mad Max being two good examples.

I think that Marvel is working on it, they've made some effort to improve with Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Infinity War. None of those movies are on the level of Batman Begins or Alien Covenant, but they're nice, they have some nice shots.

Part of the issue is that the Marvel movies take place in mostly urban settings, either urban settings or CGI settings. They don't explore nature as much, and there's no matching the beauty of nature. One of the most major fights of the MCU took place in an airport hangar, and it was ugly as hell. Imagine if you went to a three-star Michelin restaurant, you ordered a $300 meal, and they served it to you on paper plates and with plastic cutlery. That was the airport hangar fight.

ETA: Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion is another beautiful film.

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Old 05-29-2018, 09:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

I haven't heard that complaint about the MCU lately. Really, the first Avengers was the only one that got a lot of flak for "looking like it was filmed like a TV show", which, in some shots it does (mostly some of the shots on board the helicarrier) but I think it looks fine.

I think that a good number of the Phase 3 films have been beautifully shot, with the standouts being Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Black Panther. Ragnarok and Infinity War look great as well.

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Old 05-29-2018, 09:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

Really, because I've heard it a alot. Thor 1 was freaking famous for all of its dutch angles.

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Old 05-29-2018, 10:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

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Really, because I've heard it a alot. Thor 1 was freaking famous for all of its dutch angles.
Must've been inspired by/a homage to Adam West's Batman!

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Old 05-29-2018, 11:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

I think MCU cinematography stays true to itself. It's plain, uninspired and completely utilitarian. And even when it tries to go Zack Snyder on people's eyes, those fleeting moments look completely out of place. Because after that we return back to plain, uninspired and utilitarian. MCU's attempts at visual stylization are pathetic and I wish they didn't try that for consistency's sake.

I love The Avengers cinematography because it serves the nature and tone of the film itself. Most expensive sitcom ever with gods and monsters. Completely unpretentious and consistent. Yet it does great job at capturing action and scope. Avengers 2 cinematography is nice, but a bit too heavy on color filters for my liking. I prefer something more life-like and neutral.

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Old 05-29-2018, 11:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

I can understand people saying it isn't great but if it's outright bad, then it just means I obviously don't treat cinematography near the top of what I'm looking for in a film.

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Old 05-29-2018, 11:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

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I love The Avengers cinematography because it serves the nature and tone of the film itself. Most expensive sitcom ever with gods and monsters. Completely unpretentious and consistent.
I like that description.

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Old 05-29-2018, 12:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

The MCU cinematography is alright, but I guess you can't really appreciate it because of the visual effects, action, set pieces and costuming. Like to me, I noticed them more compare to camera work.

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Old 05-29-2018, 12:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

Well. The Dark Knight and Blade Runner 2049 both have a lot of things going on but I can still notice their gorgeous cinematography. I think that's the only 2 films where camera work stands out for me.

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Old 05-29-2018, 12:22 PM   #11
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Cs Funny Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

I haven't noticed the complaint for awhile, but I'm sure this thread will bring all that up again. IW was spectacular to me.

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Old 05-29-2018, 12:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

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Originally Posted by LvtLeeTDK View Post
But I see nothing wrong about the way they were shot. In fact, I rarely notice good or bad cinematography in films.
I think you just answered your own question there. Cinematography most often works on a subliminal level when you're watching a film, and there is a process of training to get yourself to discern it, but it's vitally important. Film is a visual medium after all. With the MCU I think the problem has a lot to do with the color palette. They've gotten better recently, but there are a lot of MCU movies that have a flat and washed out look to them. Homecoming in particular stuck out to me.

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Old 05-29-2018, 12:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

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I think you just answered your own question there. Cinematography most often works on a subliminal level when you're watching a film, and there is a process of training to get yourself to discern it, but it's vitally important. Film is a visual medium after all. With the MCU I think the problem has a lot to do with the color palette. They've gotten better recently, but there are a lot of MCU movies that have a flat and washed out look to them. Homecoming in particular stuck out to me.

You are also comparing film and digital, which has a washed out look anyway due to the lack of emulsion. It's only in the last five years that digital skin tones have begun to look less goulish. The tech is ever-evolving.

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Old 05-29-2018, 02:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

MCU cinematography is fine. Most of the films range from solid to even pretty good. They get criticism because their movies are huge and their kind of at the top of the Hollywood food chain, so expectations are higher. 20 points per game is good for any NBA player but if you're Lebron James or Kevin Durant, we cant be satisfied with that.

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Old 05-29-2018, 02:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

How dare anybody complain about the MCU.

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Old 05-29-2018, 02:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

How dare not enough do.

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Old 05-29-2018, 02:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

How dare you say that.

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Old 05-29-2018, 02:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

I wouldn't say the MCU's cinematography is bad. More like it isn't special. When you see a movie like Mad Max: Fury Road or Blade Runner 2049, then you can see the difference between those and an MCU film. But that being said, the MCU has been improving on this front over time and it has not hurt my enjoyment of their films in the least.

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Old 05-29-2018, 02:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

How dare indeed.

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Old 05-29-2018, 03:41 PM   #20
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

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MCU cinematography is fine. Most of the films range from solid to even pretty good. They get criticism because their movies are huge and their kind of at the top of the Hollywood food chain, so expectations are higher. 20 points per game is good for any NBA player but if you're Lebron James or Kevin Durant, we cant be satisfied with that.
Especially when the other Disney branch, Lucasfilm, easily beats them in this category.

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Old 05-29-2018, 03:48 PM   #21
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

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Really, because I've heard it a alot. Thor 1 was freaking famous for all of its dutch angles.
Well, I did say lately. Thor came out in 2011.

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Old 05-29-2018, 04:01 PM   #22
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

Marvel Studios have a house style. They don't want a Ridley Scott-type visualist, because (a) nobody else could replicate his style and (b) he'd be too expensive.

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Old 05-29-2018, 04:18 PM   #23
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

I think its just the difference between film and digital. Its all a subliminal, I used to not pay attention to cinematography myself....until the first Avengers. I remember sitting in the theater and while i was enjoying myself, i was thinking "something doesnt quite feel...right about this movie" and i now realize i was noticing how...un cinematic it looked, or rather "cinematic" as we've come to grow accustomed to with movies like the Singer Xmen movies, or Raimi Spiderman movies, or Ridley Scott movies or Nolan or, yes, even Michael Bay. They each have their own stylized look to them, they play with lighting, shadows, colors, color grading etc. All stuff which Marvel has elected not to do with their movies for the sake of uniformity.

I think Marvel has heard the complaints and is actively trying to fix it...but theyre not there yet. No one can convince me that Sam Raimi or even Marc Webb's Spiderman movies don't look more visually striking than Homecoming.

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Old 05-30-2018, 11:47 PM   #24
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

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Originally Posted by LvtLeeTDK View Post
I've noticed that besides villains, the cinematography is another major aspect in which the MCU movies are criticized for. But I see nothing wrong about the way they were shot. In fact, I rarely notice good or bad cinematography in films. I mean it's just... there. Sure there are some gorgeous shots that you can easily pay attention to (those 360' dynamic shot in The Dark Knight) but overall I can't tell whether it's a bad shot or not. If it's incredibly good, I'll notice it but if it's not, it's fine.

What do you think ?
I'm unsure if it's the cinematography or the editing.

Marvel films are very lean since:
*Newer Marvel films seem to increasingly be approaching films differently where instead of a single story arc, there are multiple (see Thor: Ragnarok where felt like runtime gone in no time).

*Critics and many casual moviegoers don't like fat so post-production things are trimmed down so that the films seem very hyperkinetic almost like a thrill ride (see Gaurdians of the Galaxy). What isn't used is simply left incomplete and discarded to save on post-production cost and avoid fans from questioning every single editing or storypoint decision.

*If a movie over 4 hours, then limits number of repeat showing as well as makes it tougher to get money back. People get antsy too.



One thing Marvel evidently hasn't felt the need for is extended cuts for home release. More money goes into the film, some fans whine that it a sign studio didn't do their job making it for theatrical release, ect. Expository shots, camera pullback, panning about, focusing in, and just providing webbing between scenes really would be great to have in an extended cut for comic book movies to allow more frames to shift through the movie.


Last edited by Hello2016; 05-31-2018 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:41 AM   #25
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Default Re: Why does every one keep saying that MCU movies' cinematography is bad ?

Most Marvel films look dull, despite the fantastic things on screen. The move to digital was a huge factor. As mentioned, they have a "house style", which I suppose is the down side to a coherent cinematic universe. They are improving, it's a worthwhile trade-off for me.

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