Knee-jerk review: "Captain Marvel"

1. Yeah, we know the TV spots showed Captain Marvel blasting into space with all a-glowing eyes.  But we still feel like the Disney marketing campaign completely underplayed the fact that this is, like, a very sci-fi movie.  A good third of it takes places on spaceships and other planets.  Not a criticism necessarily.  Just a surprise for us sitting there with our popcorn.
2. We are a jaded, hard-to-impress moviegoer.  We've seen it all.  So a tip of the cap to an unexpected twist midway through the movie that flipped some of the good guy/bad guy allegiances.  We know, we know - we should have seen it coming.
3. Hard to believe this is the 21st Marvel movie.  For a while there we were doing pretty good seeing them as they were coming out, but we got sidetracked with, you know, kids.  Still haven't seen Civil War, much less Infinity War.  Our favorites remain Iron Man 3, Ant-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
5. Annette Bening continues to age very, very well.  How does she do that?
6. The technology that de-ages actors has made huge strides since 2010 and the creepy, wax-figure effect they used on Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy.  To our eye, this 1990s version of Sam Jackson in Captain Marvel looks just like the 1993 Jurassic Park edition.
7. Is your house cat secretly a Flerken?
8. The first 20 minutes or so are something of a mess, what with the space planet setting and all the alien races and the flashbacks and fractured memories.  Things finally settle into a groove once Captain Marvel crashes through the ceiling of a 1990s era Blockbuster store.  
9. Our brains can't comprehend the motivation of the trolls that tried to undermine the movie before it opened by doing things like flooding Rotten Tomatoes' website with negative comments.  Are there really men out there that deeply offended and enraged by the idea of a female superhero movie (or by clumsy if well-intentioned comments about women and minority film critics by star Brie Larson)?
10. At this point we just have to accept that comic book superhero movies must end with blinding explosions and noisy energy beams.  Typically, these climaxes - to which surely 25% of the film's entire CGI visual effects budget must go - are not only way over the top, but usually go on twice as long as they should.  That we feel this way makes us feel very old and out of touch.  Now shut up and get off my lawn.
11. The reptilian Skrulls scared our seven-year-old, for what it's worth.  Though Ben Mendelsohn's Talos may be the movie's funniest character.
12. When these Marvel movies come out, we get a fleeting sense via internet comment boards that there's an immense amount work that the filmmakers must do to boil down years and years of comic book storylines (and hero iterations - with Marvel, there always seems to be more than one version of every superhero) into a single two-hour movie.
13. The obligatory credits tag scene may be the best part of the movie when Captain Marvel shows up to meet our Avengers.  More, please.
14. Cheesy as it may be, there is something thrilling about the moment when Captain Marvel, so full of uncertainty and doubt about her talents and ability, always getting told she's not yet ready and needs to follow the rules, cuts loose and embraces her full, insane power.  (She's more powerful than Superman, right?)  How is that sort of "you can do it if you believe it" message not fantastic for all of the girls in the audience?
15. We liked it.  Are we getting soft?  We think we are.

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