Only seven MCU movies will be on Disney Plus at launch. With Disney this week revealing what it will and won't have when it launches its streaming service Disney Plus next month, it's become apparent that there are a few Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) titles missing. As reported earlier Tuesday by Digital Spy, while Disney Plus tweeted out what seemed like a never-ending list of launch titles Monday, there were scant MCU movies to be seen. At launch, Disney Plus tweeted it will have Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Captain Marvel, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Beyond the MCU movies, animated series including X-Men: Evolution from 2000, Wolverine and the X-Men from 2009, Guardians of the Galaxy from 2015 and Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors from 2018 will also be on the platform.
The most wonderful thing about watching older films right now has been the chance to see 2017 movies, which are still fresh on my mind, in this broader context. It's like watching 2017 movies through the lenses of 1971, 1995, or 1943, rather than just the usual bad habit of watching movies from '43 and '95 through the lens of 2017. For the first time since seeing it in theaters in 1995, I watched Die Hard: With a Vengeance, a movie in which Jeremy Irons makes Bruce Willis stand on a street corner in Harlem wearing a sign that reads, "I Hate Niggers." Loaded--but this movie is premised on racial misunderstanding. Was there a big-name franchise action movie in 2017 that was quite as racially aggressive, off-the-walls, and entertainingly well-made as that classic?
I cannot think of many performances this year that I'd want to airlift out of one movie and drop into a more fully realized one. Mostly, the performances I love felt like they belonged exactly where they were and engendered equal feelings of surprise and inevitability in me: Of course Hugh Grant would prove the perfect scene partner for Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins, and how could nobody have thought of it sooner? How smart of Jim Jarmusch to look at Adam Driver for Paterson and see neither the guy from Girls nor Kylo Ren but the embodiment of stoic, soulful gentleness. How exactly apt that Natalie Portman, at exactly Jacqueline Kennedy's age, should play her. These performances, to me, are so essential that they constitute a kind of co-authorship, or, at least, a welcome partnership with screenwriting and direction of which I would like to see much more in movies.
I will see more movies, period. Not more than most movie critics, mind you--when it comes to sheer quantity of titles viewed, there's no way I could keep up with certain dependent-free whippersnappers who spend their days darting from midnight screening to overseas festival--but just a few more than I managed to cram in this year. Being right in the middle of the Harry Potter universe with my 10-year-old daughter at the moment, I didn't know that I could cope with two hours of watching the Boy Who Lived in full-on flatulent rigor mortis. Similarly, I have every reason to believe I would've loved the apparently way-gory psychological horror tale The Eyes of my Mother, but in those first emotionally rocky weeks after the election, I just couldn't steel myself to sit down and watch it. Next year I will muscle through such resistances and see more movies that lie at the edge of my particular squeamishness comfort zone.