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Film Frenzy - Episode 3: Our Thoughts on Madame Web and Avatar: The Last Airbender

In the latest episode of the show, we turn our attention to the latest Sony blockbuster and the newly released Netflix live action anime adaptation.

Audio transcription

"Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the third episode of our Film Frenzy podcast.
This is... We promised a lot of things in the last episode as to what this show would be.
So it's not really a spoiler to say that we're going to be talking about both Madame Web and Avatar The Last Airbender, right?
So I went to see Madame Web over the weekend."

"Alex, you've been watching Avatar The Last Airbender.
And by the time you see this, the bar will have lifted and we'll be able to talk about it.
So, but yes, we're going to be talking about those two things.
Should we do it chronologically? Talk about Avatar second?
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I've got another quiz for you. Locked and loaded."

"All right, we'll save that for the end and then we'll do Madame Web, Avatar.
This one will take a fair bit longer, I think, than the Madame Web one.
OK. Because the Madame Web one was really just a riddle.
More than a trick question, I guess. Yeah, a trick question. Yeah."

"Yeah, I don't know. This film was bad.
We'll see you on the next episode of Film Frenzy.
Yeah. We'll see you on the next episode of Film Frenzy.
Thanks for coming, everyone. Madame Web was an interesting one for me because going into it, everyone was saying it was bad. I wasn't expecting to be good."

"After you watch a trailer as bad as Madame Web's trailer, it kind of puts it into perspective that this film isn't going to be great.
But a lot of people were thrown around the term of cult, you know, will it be a cult film, a cult classic?
Well, is it so bad that it's good in a way?
The Madame Web revisionists will come out in five years time."

"But the thing is, is right for me, for a cult, for a film to be a cult classic, it has to stand out in a way.
Right. It can't just be so bad that it's good.
It has to stand out in a way and be unique.
Madame Web isn't that it's it's like the most generic basic superhero movie you'll ever see, but it just isn't good at any point."

"It's just it's not entertaining. It's not fun.
It's just it's just boring to watch.
I got I went through the film, just think to myself, like, what am I doing here?
Why am I watching? Why am I spending time watching this?
Because it's just, you know, sometimes you watch a bad superhero."

"You think to yourself, like, I know this film isn't good.
A lot of Marvel films have been like that as of late where you're getting through and you think like this film is just fundamentally not great.
Yeah. But there's at least entertaining elements to it.
You know, there'll be some nice visual effects or there'll be some nice action scenes or something like that."

"Or maybe, though, there'll be some interesting plot points.
Madame Web just has none of that. It's just so boring all the way through.
It's like criminally boring in a way.
And I've seen a lot of people as well have come out from the cinema of watching this film and they're putting out things like hilarious."

"How funny.
I mean, it's like it's it's really not it's it's just bad.
It's just bad.
I feel like there's a there's a Twitter bubble of people who love Dakota Johnson because she is a bit unhinged."

"Like, that's not the truth, Ellen.
I don't know if you've seen that clip where she's on The Ellen Show.
She she is a bit like, you know, what they call it, what the kids say, mother, mother, you know, that's what they say nowadays.
I think she's got those mother vibes about her."

"So maybe that's why people like it, just because her doing anything is seen as quite like funny.
But I really want to see it.
It's not showing at my local cinema because my local cinema is much more of an art housey sort of type where it's got like, like I watch The Iron Claw on Sunday.
Right. And like before that, I watch poor things."

"But I think they'd slap me if I came in and I said, can I get to a ticket to Madame Web, please?
You know, I think they'd strike me across the jaw. Yeah.
So. My cinema is the complete opposite.
All we have is just garbage."

"We have at the moment shown in our cinema, I think, Mean Girls, Madame Web.
This is a garbage film that came out recently, not The Beekeeper, because that was about a month ago now.
Although I did go watch that. That was a good film.
That was actually a good film. Jason Statham is endlessly entertaining."

"What is out at the minute? Let me just get up.
It's just basically got, my cinema's just got all the latest garbage.
Films, which suits me because, you know, I like going to the cinema.
Migration. Bob Marley's there."

"That's probably the most classy one, shall we say. Trolls band together.
No, but we do have Peppa Pig. Bob Marley's the most classy one.
Well, yeah, I mean, like compared to Migration, Mean Girls and Madame Web.
I just apparently people really hate the Bob Marley one."

"I haven't had a chance to see it yet. There is Peppa's Cinema Party, though.
So Peppa Pig Cinema Party. So if you want to go watch that.
That looks goated.
But but yeah, it's. I don't know, man, I just I came out of it and I was like trying to find an area that I could talk about that's positive about this film."

"Like there's some parts of the plot. It tries to be really cerebral and sort of psychological.
And sometimes it works. Sometimes some of the time elements like Madame Web can see in the future and sometimes things happen.
She goes back in time and it's sometimes that works.
But it's all."

"Quite loosely put together.
The biggest criminal in the entire the biggest offender of the entire film, though, is the villain.
Well, you know, I don't mean like in his actions.
I mean, just like, oh, my God, it's the worst villain I think I've ever seen in a Marvel movie."

"And I mean that. Yeah, he's not threatening.
He's not scary. He's like Gimp suit Spider-Man really, isn't he?
Yeah, he doesn't do anything to Spider-Man. Literally, right.
As far as I think his powers are supposedly like."

"Strength and agility and being able to walk on walls and stuff.
But he like spends all of his time just walking around or like maybe like crawling on a roof.
He gets between locations driving in a sports car.
It's like, what are we doing?
Well, I don't know. It's bizarre."

"It really is. And.
And then you don't even see many action sequences because, you know, as we were talking about last week with the dream sequences and stuff.
Yeah. Spider girls are showing up. Yeah.
Far and few between. They're barely in the film."

"The actual spider. They don't actually turn into the superheroes.
They're not even there. They're not even the spider women.
They're just there in like dream sequences of like, what if this could happen?
Which is. Well, you can see that Sony's setting up for that to be the future."

"Right. And that they're going to become those people. But the film is there's never going to be a future because this film is bombed so hard.
Why did they ever think they were going to get mad? This is the one, guys.
As is obvious. No more. No more failures.
We're going to set up the MCU, but it's the Madam Cinematic Universe, not the Marvel."

"I don't get it because you pick all these really like niche and weird and I don't want to say boring, but like boring characters to build a cinematic universe around.
Yeah. I don't mean to be rude.
Madam Web might be really interested in comics, but I do not care less.
I don't read comics. So, like, I don't care about Madam Web."

"I really, really don't. And likewise, I don't really care about that.
I don't really care about the Spider-Women that are in the film because.
Well, you've got no reason to because they don't.
If they only show up for like a minute in a dream sequence, you can't be like, oh, they're cool."

"I want to see what they do next.
There needs to be something to tie them together.
Like we like Miles Morales from Spider-Verse because we had Peter Parker to compare him against.
Right. Because everyone knows Spider-Man."

"So you can connect to Miles Morales through Spider-Man and then Miles Morales becomes the guy.
And then you like Spider-Gwen because she's connected to the other two.
So now you like Spider-Gwen. But like in this film, there's no Spider-Man because it takes place.
Well, it takes place around Peter Parker's birth."

"They don't name Peter Parker, but it is Peter Parker.
So there's no Spider-Man to compare it to.
You just got these weird, like, niche characters that pretty much nobody can associate with.
Maybe like, I don't know, maybe two percent of the audience that are going to go watch this film have read a Madam Web comic before."

"But everyone else doesn't have the slightest clue who this character is.
And it. Yeah.
To be honest, right, I wouldn't even be able to tell you the actual villain's name.
I know his name as a person was Ezekiel Sims, but."

"Ezekiel Simp? Sims.
I know that's like the character's human name, right?
Not actor. The human name of the villain.
Imagine coming up with that name as your villain name and your real name is something else."

"I know, but I don't know what his like villain name is.
Is he like Spider Hombre or something? Because he's Latin American.
Latin American? I don't know. I really don't know.
Villain."

"They do a horrible job of of any form of character development in this film.
And it's just.
OK, do you want to know?
Go on."

"OK, so his real name, Ezekiel Sims, his villain name, Tahar Rahim.
Now that's the actor.
Oh.
That's the actor's name.
Tahar Rahim is the actor who plays Ezekiel Sims."

"But he has like a spider.
I think his name is just Ezekiel Sims though.
I know.
I think that's it.
He has like a Spider-Man suit that looks like Miles Morales."

"Is Madame Web good or bad is the first thing.
But he has no villain name.
I don't.
It all comes back to the writers, right?
That duo who's been on that legendary run of writing."

"Just pure hot garbage.
The Last Witch Hunter.
Dracula's Legend Untold.
Gods of Egypt.
Morbius."

"Gods of Egypt.
Incredible movies.
If you get the chance.
Watch them all.
Actually, I did end up watching Gods of Egypt like accidentally just in the background."

"And even in the background, I was like, this is boring.
This is like boring background viewing.
I would rather focus on like hoovering.
I can't believe that for a film that clearly had a lot of a big budget because the amount of money they spent making the like the CG of that film and all the different special effects."

"I can't believe they lined up Nicolás Costa-Voldo and Gerard Butler.
Yeah.
Gerard Butler was the villain.
Who was the..."

"Is he?
Yeah, I think he is.
He plays the bad guy, right?
I thought he...
The trailers make him look like the hero and I can't remember enough of the film."

"No, no, he plays the bad guy.
Nicolás Costa-Voldo plays Horace as the good guy.
Yeah.
Who's the woman in it?
I can't remember her name."

"Oh, Elodie Young, I think it is.
Who like, people probably don't...
I only know Elodie Young because of A, she played Elektra in the Marvel Daredevil show on Netflix, but she also played one of the protagonists in, I think it was Black Ops 3 movies."

"So...
Well...
There you go.
Then Brandon Thwaites is also in it.
Let's see who else is in the cast."

"Chadwick Boseman's in it.
I think he played Thoth.
RMP.
Right.
He played the library guy."

"That's a terrible film.
Anyway, let's move away from Madame Web and Gods of Egypt and that horrible theatrical offering.
If you have a chance to go watch Madame Web, don't."

"Go and watch Bob Marley instead.
Go watch Gods of Egypt.
Don't watch Bob Marley.
Don't fund any more.
Don't watch any more."

"No.
I'd love to watch more music biopics.
I'm sick of them.
I'm sick of seeing them.
I'm waiting for the Rod Stewart one."

"What about it?
The Rod Stewart one.
The summit?
I just put the teeth in my mouth right here.
Who got three Oscar?
I could do that."

"Hey, maybe you should.
Fan cast me.
I could probably do a good Bob Marley as well.
I'm not going to do it because I feel like that's going to get the show shut down within five minutes."

"But...
Let's move on.
Let's talk about Avatar.
Is it good?
Avatar's surprisingly quite good it's very Netflix I've spoken to our good friend and colleague Mag about this and Mag has not watched the original and he's like it's great and I'm like well I think it's really hard to tell if it's great because I have I've watched the original like three times I love it, it's one of my favourite series of all time I think it's one of the best shows ever put to television because of how tight it is apart from one episode which they don't cover unless they're about to do it right before the finale because I'm just up to the finale now they're going out with the bank they're going out with the end of book one they're covering book one but I feel like Netflix has this really large problem just in general a lot of my problems with it are just wider Netflix problems where the dialogue is bad most of the time the wider issue with Netflix cinematography always looking the same Mag loves the cinematography he was like it looks amazing I was like it doesn't look like anything else well it looks like sorry everything else that Netflix has put out to me at least there's some interesting shots and stuff like that but even though it's shot pretty well and a lot of the backgrounds look pretty good it's always like overexposed in my opinion it's always got the same Netflix look about it and the Netflix dialogue and some of the acting is pretty bad as well like I hate to dunk on Katara because she is the girl who plays who's only 17 but you know 10 year old has won Oscars so at the end of the day she looks like she's about to laugh in like 50% of the dialogue she's doing and it'll be like they've just found the avatar and it's like okay Katara can't remember the actress's name okay Katara like this is someone who shouldn't even exist this is the last airbender the last of his tribe you have no idea why this kid has come to you and she's like is he avatar?
is he avatar?
who is this guy?
I'm like pull it together why is this the best take?
every time it's like they took one take and walked off otherwise though I you know get my major problems out of the way because the show is pretty like watchable the only thing I'd say about it is that it's not going to be one they better move fast on doing those other seasons because that kid is not going to look like a 12 year old forever that 12 year old kid they've got playing Adam he's really good for 12 years old he does the best he can with the material he's got but he's if they want to do the three seasons they're going to have to do them like you know they're going to have to get on with it I mean to be fair though they do have the advantage that avatar isn't that long I have a fear that they're going to try and stretch it out they probably will but I mean like you know I think the One Piece adaptation for example what they've got like a thousand episodes to get yeah like I think the biggest concern with One Piece is whether the cast are going to make it to the end of the series alive like whether or not they're going to it'll be like the year 29 40 years old yeah we'll be in the 23rd century by the time that they finish adapting One Piece but by the time they even finish writing it like it's still going it's not even done that's the annoying thing about One Piece is how you can be a fan of that and still like think that it's still good it's the same as like a soap in it I guess yeah well I read it when I read it I read it when I was like 15, 16 and I got all the way to like the current bit because you can read like the manga chapters like five minutes a piece rather than spending 20 minutes and like the plot does drop off like it's not it's just keeps doing the same arcs but anyway Avatar I have this problem with Netflix where it's like content just happening in front of you there's no real reason to engage with it there's no real intricacies to a lot of the characters a lot of those things are dropped a lot of it's very like plot, plot, plot stuff has to happen we have to get to the next action sequence which is a flaw again with a lot of these big adaptations because Netflix doesn't have any faith in its audience to maintain their attention span which is you know you're catering to whatever but I would just like to linger in a few of these moments I would like to stay in a place and it feels weird that you can spend 50 minutes on an episode and make me feel less for a character than I did in 20 minutes in the original series it's that lack of attentiveness but again it's overall good it's just like I don't know it's really impossible as someone who loved the original and watched the original why do I want to watch this over the original?
there's no reason to it doesn't really look better it's live action so if you how if you are one of those like man babies who hates animation just because it's animation one get a life two you can watch that but like otherwise I would just say the best moments of the show come from the original and that's weird because there are some smart elements to the writing in how they flip there's a lot of like compartmentalizing three different plots into one segment so like Boomy the old king from the I don't have you watched the original?
no no okay so they do like three different episodes worth of characters in this one city that is usually just one episode in the original show right which is quite clever but it would only be really clever if you didn't have the amount of time that the original has you've actually got more time and they use that time in different ways like they introduce certain characters earlier and they spend more time on backstories and some of them are quite interesting but others are just you're letting daylight in there's a famous quote from a guy an excellent political writer which I think is always quite good to use in telly because he says you can't let daylight in on the magic and the actual relation to that is something to do with the monarchy or some bollocks but what I like to use it for TV and stuff is you're letting sort of people in too much on the mystery of the show in the end you're letting people in too much on the mystery of the show in the end you're letting people in too much on the mystery of the show in the original Avatar when Zuko gets his eye blasted you just see him kneeling before his dad and his dad with a fire in his hands in the live action you see the full fight and Zuko almost gets the better of it which to me is not how you build a villain because Daniel Dae Kim does really well as Ozai he's really really good and all of the Fire Nation cast are actually really good but the problem I have with it is that you show too much and therefore you leave very little for the audience to wonder about next season apart from where's the problem where's the plot going to go next but yeah I could just ramble on forever I think the million dollar question though with Avatar is how does it stack up to M. Night Shyamalan's adaptation it's better than M. Night Shyamalan's adaptation it's a million times better than M. Night Shyamalan's adaptation and like it is as I say it is a good show it's a good show it's just it's weird because it's not like The Witcher where I would say if you can't bother reading the books yeah it's a good show it's a show about the books or you know if you just want more content and you don't want and you don't read or whatever you can't physically read let's say but like with Avatar it's like the show was made like 20 years ago yes but I recently finished watching The Sopranos for the first time right and if someone had told me they're remaking The Sopranos now with the pretty much the same plot lines but it's by Netflix and they're gonna do it in either animation or some other medium I'd be like bollocks to that give me the original like I don't see the only excuse for this to be made is that it's a quick cash grab slash a quick buck I don't buy that it introduces new people to this show because the original show was smarter better, wittier, funnier as well like even though the kid who plays soccer is really good and tries to sort of bring a lot of levity to it they completely get rid of a lot of the fun in the series but they've dived back into it at weird times there's this whole episode where Aang is trapped by a king who's a wacky dude who's like 100 years old and the wacky dude is like is that the guy in the earthbender?
yeah who you've seen in the trailer that everyone hates where it says one more week and Aang's just as he does the backflip he slowly jumps over the rock yeah I mean that's like a rip from the original show pretty much and it's not great but it is whatever but um yeah that felt very One Piece to me I'll be honest like the Netflix yeah it is it is it's the same and because Netflix have so much of their own people just doing all the shows now that everything looks pretty similar the effects in Avatar are pretty similar or better I would say 90% of the time some of the backgrounds look really fake and there's this over exposure again when they're in like daylight zones and it's like Jesus I can't see these kids faces they're getting that blasted by the daylight or whatever but it's it's overall like it's a good show but it is it is the classic case of Netflix content happening in front of you if you want smarter shows if you want to be even like because I remember watching it when I was a kid and the thing I always say about how Avatar I knew Avatar was really good was that my mum would come in and watch it with me not because like you just hang out with your kids but because she would be like what are you watching and I'd be like Avatar she'd come in and sit down and she'd go what's happened tell me everything tell me what's going on and you know we got to like the final things and I was like oh Aang's fighting the phylo and she's like what when did you tell me why didn't you bring me in earlier and I was like oh I don't know so it was one of those like real classic series and again I don't really mind like you know I don't really know what's going on here you know if you want I just can't see a real reason that I would say watch this show because like I think if you're watching it I think it's good but I think at the same time why does it exist there's so many big like there's so many questions that I have that make me probably sound like I hate it when actually watching it is quite nice it's a nice show to watch it's not you know everyone does their part it feels like they've paid attention to the source material and they've written about it and they've sort of like swapped stuff around as I say in a really nice way it's not like The Witcher where you can tell they're just sort of doing things differently for the sake of doing it differently they're like how does this how can we add in more content that people haven't seen before while also making the stuff that we have more streamlined which is quite nice anyway do you want to find out what bender you'd be yeah yeah sure why not let's back this up quick how would you describe yourself focused, free-spirited, dynamic or strong?
focused what is most important to you Ben?
is it knowledge, freedom, harmony or stability?
let's go knowledge knowledge knowledge which of these astrology sign groups is your favourite?
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, Libra, Aquarius let's just go Leo because I'm a Leo okay none of it means anything to me what is your greatest asset?
intelligence, loyalty, loyalty, freedom?
what is your greatest asset?
intelligence, loyalty, liberty, freedom?
love or stability?
I'm a big lover let's go with that okay love which of the following is your worst that's something else that they've got rid of by the way pretty much all the romances apart from soccer which is fine because the kid who plays Aang is literally 12 and the girl who plays him is 17 and you know high school relationships can be weird but not that weird which of the following is your worst trait?
I can be extremely sensitive, I can be very lazy I can be temperamental, I can be quite stubborn temperamental temperamental?
I feel like this is revealing a lot about me right now what colour are your eyes?
blue what's your favourite season?
winter oh I'm a big winter guy as well what would be your dream job?
CEO, doctor, architect?
I haven't decided I don't know CEO?
why not?
come in you say Sandra schedule my meeting for 12 o'clock and then you leave go play golf what part of the country are you from?
west, south, north, east I mean you're midlands right?
more west midlands though so go west welst welst what's your favourite colour to wear?
orange, white, blue or green?
what are the choices today?
white I guess white which of the following would you do in your spare time?
read a book, go for a swim, drive around town go for a walk probably read a book bloody hell this is probably go for a walk what pet would you want?
a dragon, a sky bison, a whale or a blind dragon where would you take a vacation?
desert, mountains, beach, forest beach what's your favourite food? burgers and fries, sushi, ice cream anything vegetarian you can have cheese ice cream I guess?
what's your favourite subject in school?
I hated school, art, physics, math physics which super hero is your favourite?
jean grey storm, aquaman, petra what kind of choices are they?
who the hell is petra?
who's picking any of them?
regardless of petra who's picking any of them as their favourite super hero?
why are two of them x-men and one of them is aquaman?
I don't know maybe aquaman? this is just going to set you up let's go aquaman which of the following would be in your dream home?
a fireplace, an outdoor room, a pool or a rock garden fireplace which of these sports is your favourite?
soccer, ultimate frisbee, basketball or karate like I guess soccer, football soccer which is your preferred form of travel?
motorbike, plane, boat or walking yeah plane, I love to fly everywhere regardless of the distance you're taylor swift how would you handle a difficult situation?
you'd make sure that others see where you're coming from you'd explore all options before making a decision you'd keep an open mind you'd stand firm and not change your mind the second one cool what do you do when you are angry?
say mean things run, scream, hit something hit something hit something, good if you were attacked what would you do?
I'd counter attack and keep attacking I'd counter attack then ask questions I'd defend myself until I'm able to attack I'd defend myself then run away counter attack then ask questions nice, ok good in your group of friends which friend are you?
I'm the smart one, I'm the funny one, I'm the peacemaker, I'm the leader probably the smart one the smart one when do you feel most comfortable?
when you're out with friends when you're exploring a new place when you're helping others or when you're alone I mean alone, who's going to say anything other than alone as if it's not where they're most comfortable when I'm exploring a new place, I don't know that might be fun which of the following is your favourite singer?
Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West Taylor Swift Tay Tay you've got the jet question as well which of these is your favourite author?
JK Rowling, Toni Morrison EL James or Stephen King it feels like someone just googled author Toni Morrison Toni Morrison, let's go I would have gone JK Rowling JK Rowling, now it's fine we can change it in the world of Harry Potter, related which house would you be in?
Hufflepuff which superpower would you choose?
superhuman endurance flight, healing or telepathy healing really?
yeah you're like Wolverine, just never die oh yeah true I'd probably take the flight but you know Taylor Swift could call me up I'd take you anywhere girl screw Travis which subgroup of bending is the most interesting now this is the penultimate question the ultimate question I have read already and I think it makes this whole quiz pretty obsolete but in any case lightning redirection, spiritual projection blood bending or metal bending I don't really know what a lot of them are so let's go with blood bending because it sounds hardcore blood bending is like you'd make people into puppets like you know in Gen V a bit like that if you could choose which type of bender you would be, which would you choose?
I feel like this is just the entire quiz fire, air, water or earth probably water which is going to give me water because I selected aquaman and then water no apparently you got fire bender really? okay you're a fire bender because you're ambitious passionate and outgoing person people often think that you're unfriendly or that you don't care but it's the opposite fire benders are the most emotional of all benders and the smallest things can get a rise out of them they're also very dedicated and determined fulfilling your dreams is the most important important goal to you I feel like that's because you picked temperamental and CEO yeah probably, it's weird how it selects these things isn't it so we learned a lot today we learned that madam webb is a disaster we learned that I'm a fire bender and we learned that avatar, while not terrible is probably pointless and also for illiterate people so it's we learned a lot I feel like we've informed you a lot about these shows and films you're welcome this is the end of film frenzy for episode 3 I believe it is by the time that you watch this show you'll be able to watch avatar so go and check that out let us know what you think about it or as well, read Alex's full thoughts on the show on your local game writer region you can read my thoughts on madam webb as well if you want to sit through that that's out there as well but otherwise we'll be back next week now for the next episode I don't know what we'll be talking about actually because we're going to be in this weird sort of period between two we'll probably save Dune part 2 for the week after so for next week I'm not too sure what it'll be, either way we'll be back otherwise, Alex, always a pleasure thanks for informing me about my avatar future no worries, anytime I'll get him a new quiz for next week alright, thanks for watching everyone we'll see you all on the next episode"

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