Avengers: Endgame (2019)

So, that’s it, as close to a season finale the MCU has had yet, this film genuinely feels like closure for a lot of the characters. A fitting closure too, it completes a lot of story arcs which have been running since 2008. Whilst there’s been a few missteps along the way it’s generally accepted that the films have been of high quality and with interacting storylines to keep you invested (even if they weren’t as carefully crafted as they needed to be at times, with major plot holes and continuity errors between separate films). I did love this film, I really enjoyed it, and didn’t feel it outstayed its welcome (which considering it is 3 hours long, really says something). It deserves the praise it’s getting, but I still can’t help but feel slightly disappointed, not with what happened, but with now can’t happen. Like I wish they pushed the Civil War storyline further, as it is it never really felt like a proper division between two sets, it always felt temporary and outside of Civil War itself, kind of small. It never had that urge of paranoia, you never felt like the heroes against registration were under any threat (with the possible exception of Ant-Man in Ant-Man And The Wasp). If you look at the movies after Civil War:

  1. Doctor Strange (completely unaffected by Civil War as not recognised by the government)
  2. Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (In space so unaffected)
  3. Spider-Man (pro-registration but didn’t affect the movie much. This is annoying as a big part of the Civil War comics was Spider-Man unmasking and revealing his identity, nothing similar to that has happened in this universe since the first Iron Man movie, and that was clearly Tony Starks decision, there’s no “forced to reveal identity” moments yet.)
  4. Thor: Ragnarok. (Again, in space)
  5. Black Panther (not as affected by the Registration Act as it could have been)
  6. Ant-Man And The Wasp (The most affected, but not essential)
  7. Infinity War (just causes a slight “we need to find this person” moment)
  8. Captain Marvel (Set in the past)

To be honest, I can’t even remember if the Act passed at the end of Civil War. That’s how little it’s affected the movies, and that can not be fixed now, it’s too late for it to start coming into effect now, and that’s disappointing. The other thing I’m disappointed in is that there were no post-snap movies. Ok, yeah, technically all movies now are post-snap, but they’re also going to be set after the resolution. There should have been a film between them, so many villain origin stories start with them losing their families, and yet the perfect opportunity for one now won’t happen (oh, spoilers, the people killed by the snap come back, but 5 years have passed in this world so they will be 5 years younger than they should be when they come back, I REALLY hope they make a big point of this in future films). We mostly saw how the snap affected heroes, we didn’t get much of it affecting the world, the opening scenes were done to show that, but the audience isn’t as invested in that as they should be as they’re sitting there waiting for everyone to get revenge on Thanos. Can you imagine how much more effective it would have been if there was an entire movie set in that world? The chaos, the frustration, the paranoia, the fear, the bastards using it to make money, the conspiracy theories! Do ordinary people know it was Thanos? As far as most of them saw, half the world just disappeared with no explanation. The only way they’d know it was Thanos is if someone put out a press release, which I can’t really see happening somehow. So can you imagine the conspiracy theories that would arise from that? It would be INSANE, and yet we will never find out (although I am thinking of writing a short Marvel story set in that universe, just to express that idea).

I know I haven’t spoken much about this film, but I feel if you wanted to see it, you would have seen it already, there’s nothing I can say in this review that will change that. Also, the entire internet has opinions on it and has expressed them better than I could. They’ve been right; it’s emotional as hell, full to the brim with references and fan-service, things are paid off which you didn’t even realise they were setting up, and most characters get their time to shine. It’s not perfect though; Captain Marvel seems misused, only seeming to exist as a Deus Ex Machina, and she’s involved in one of the most cringy moments of the franchise so far which is clearly designed to get a reaction in the cinema but is so false it seems like pandering. Despite how many characters are included, some rather important ones are missing with not even a mention. Also if you think about some aspects of the plot for too long it does seem to fall apart slightly.

But despite that, I highly recommend it, so far it’s been the best example of spectacle so far this year, and I doubt even the Godzilla movie could top it

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Ant-Man And The Wasp (2018)

Have you seen Infinity War? If the answer is no, avoid this, or just leave after the actual plot concludes. The final scene to this will make absolutely zero sense if you avoided Infinity War, and it seems like this film references Captain America: Civil War more than it does the first Ant-Man movie. It’s a shame as the first Ant-Man movie was a lot of fun and is severely underrated when people talk about the MCU. This one feels important, but in a way where it’s not going to be known how important it is until the next film, which is a problem with Marvel films lately, they’re not self-contained so the endings are usually the equivalent of “Tune in next time”.  You know what this reminds me of? When a massive video game has been released and a year later they release a few new levels as an expansion pack/DLC, it’s that. It doesn’t stand out on it’s own at all, it’s the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to Infinity War’s Hamlet (Or The Lion King 1 1/2 to The Lion King if you prefer). But the thing is; it doesn’t even do that that well. It would be good if it had a few subtle background references to it running throughout. But it doesn’t, it comes in at big points in the film, but not often enough. So it somehow fails at even that. Okay, “fails” is a very harsh word to use, because if it wasn’t for the Infinity War stuff, I would consider this a great film, it’s funny, looks fantastic, has INCREDIBLY inventive action set pieces, and the performances are good.

Now Marvel villains are either incredibly amazing (Thanos, Loki, Killmonger) or completely forgettable (that guy, the other one, the yellow one). This comes soooo close to being the first one. She has a tragic backstory which makes her sympathetic, her motives are logical but she’s also terrifying, and she’s not just “the good guy, but bad!” which seems to be the general template to make a villain in Marvel films. But she’s not used enough, and her ending is woefully unsatisfying and seems like it came because the writer needed to get home early so just wrote “and then MAGIC!”. It’s a shame as one thing this does very well is it gives a lot of the background characters moments to shine, even if a lot of their moments could be cut and nothing would be affected (particularly Bobby Cannavale and Judy Greer, which is a shame as I love both their characters, I just wish they had more to do). The star of the show is still Michael Pena though, who maintains one of the best side characters they’ve created, which of course means he’s probably going to be run into the ground through overuse in the next one, or killed.

So should you see this? I’d say yes, but not yet. Watch it as part of a MCU marathon, it lacks enough context to survive on its own.

4 (Wrong) Thoughts I Had About Wonder Woman

It Will Look Dull

Why

Most action films lately have a certain colour to them; all various shades of blue and grey, with the occasional flash of orange. Plus it’s only the director’s third film, and their first film of this genre, so there’s a good chance they’re going to stick to the typical conventions of the genre and not take any risks, resulting in something which will just end up looking like every other film out there.

But

This looked amazing. The shots of Themyscira in particular looked like they came straight out of an advert for a travel agent. Even when the film moves to the front line of the war (a place which is usually depicted in lots of different browns) it remains visually interesting. And the action scenes…oh my god. Even Marvel struggle with action scenes. Not including the airport scene, a lot of the fight scenes in Civil War were an incoherent mess. It suffered from the same problem that plagues most film fight scenes lately: directors cutting before every single hit. I HATE when films do this, it never makes it look good as the audience has to refocus their attention constantly so they can’t concentrate properly as they have no idea where to focus. It also makes it very obvious you’re watching a film, you can almost hear the director yelling “okay don’t actually hit each other, we’ll make it look like you are in post”. It’s why I liked Deadpool so much, Ed Skrein was being interviewed about it and he said for the fight scenes the director told him “it’s not your job to miss him, it’s his job to get out of the way”. I don’t know how Patty Jenkins did the fight scenes in this but they are superb. Everything is well choreographed and makes sense, you can see it all clearly (seriously, why is this, such a basic requirement, so hard for people to do nowadays?), and it flows beautifully. The action scenes in this are superb, the sequence in No Mans Land in particular is breathtaking in how it’s shown.

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No, it’s not that.

It Should Be R-Rated

Why

This thought is the one that took the longest to go away, and is actually the last thought that entered my head, entering it whilst I was watching the beach invasion scene (which is superb by the way). As the battle went on I noticed how bloodless a lot of it was. I sat there thinking “hmm, maybe this needs to be harsher, like Logan was”. If you haven’t seen Logan I’ll explain, the action scenes in that were filled with gore, as such you winced when people got hurt, you knew they were in a lot of pain, and it made it feel more real as you could see actions have consequences, you could see the physical damage which even just a single punch could do, the scenes could have been improved if it was allowed to be aimed towards a more adult audience.

But

As soon as I thought about this for a second I realised that was very very wrong. Logan could get away with being R-Rated as (let’s be honest) not much was depending on it. X-Men Origins: Wolverine had already proven the character could survive a film not doing well. Wonder Woman had A LOT riding on it, if it failed (actually, forget failing, it not only had to be a success, it had to be a MASSIVE success), then it wouldn’t just be “super hero films don’t make money anymore”, it wouldn’t be”DC films don’t make money”, it wouldn’t even be “This character doesn’t make money”, it would be “female leads in movies don’t make money”. It would sour people on a Black Widow film, or a Catwoman solo film. So yeah this needed to do well, and for that to happen it needed mass appeal, so an R Rating would have killed it. It also would have meant little girls wouldn’t have been able to see it and be inspired to grow up and kick ass, and I don’t want to live in a world where that couldn’t happen. 

The Romance Will Ruin It

Why

“Oh, so just because it’s a female character they need her focus to be a man? Typical”

But

I dislike tacked-on unnecessary romance as much as the next person, but this wasn’t tacked on, and her character didn’t revolve entirely around him. If anything it was like those action films where Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone etc are fighting an evil Russian/Brit and they can’t manage to defeat them, but then the twirly-moustached villain kills the persons wife, and that motivates them to rise up and defeat them (and possibly adopt a dog along the way). Wonder Woman saves the male lead in this film, he depends on her throughout. As such I kind of liked the romance in this, it helped that it felt genuine and was really well written.

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Won’t Be Able To Take It Seriously

Why

Because most super hero films are about someone finding something, or having something happen to them that causes them to become a hero. Different methods but either way it’s usually grounded in realism. This film is about someone who is essentially a God, how would it be possible to do a mature, gritty film about Gods? You may argue “but they managed it with Thor”, and to that I say “Thor was bad and you should feel bad”

But

The best superhero films aren’t just superhero films, they double as another genre. Winter Soldier is a cold war spy movie, Guardians Of The Galaxy is an ensemble space comedy, and this is a war movie. It’s not just a film about Wonder Woman, it’s a film about human nature, about humanity at it’s darkest. It’s a film about beauty, and a film about dark truths. It’s wonderful and mesmerising, a beautiful mix of glory that leads to this being, without a doubt, one of the best films of the year.

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So in summary; Wonder Woman, it’s fucking fantastic and if anyone thinks Gal Gadot isn’t right for the part then you can no longer trust their opinion on anything. Strong in spirit and body yet naive when it comes to dealing with humanity, Gadot has been one of the most inspired castings in a superhero movie yet.

5 Amazing Comic Book Movies Still To Come In 2017

5. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Okay, not technically based on a comic book, but is the sequel to a film that is. The trailer for this will be released later today, two teasers already been made (one of which is the entire trailer sped up to fit into 10 second, very cool and innovative way of doing it, already led to people slowing it down and discussing it). No idea how they’re going to bring back Colin Firth’s character, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure they wouldn’t bring him back for no reason, not as though they’re short of credible actors in this film; they’ve got Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore etc. Not released until September but already really looking forward to it.

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4. Wonder Woman

Saw the trailer, loved it. Gal Gadot was one of the best things about Batman Vs. Superman, so the fact her character has FINALLY got a full length feature is very exciting. Basically seems like an origin story, which I’m okay with as her origin hasn’t permeated popular culture that much so for new people they would need to know that. Of course, it would have been a better idea if they did this film BEFORE Batman Vs. Superman as at the moment I can’t see their being any tension in it all. Not for her character anyway, you know she’s going to survive so you won’t worry if she’s safe, which means that unless the film kills somebody she’s close to it won’t be able to land emotionally enough to be effective. Really hope this does well, mainly because if it doesn’t, internet assholes (and studio executives) will blame the fact it’s a female character for the failure, and be more reluctant to do female-led movies in the future.

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3. Justice League

Mainly curious about this one. Personally (and I’m happy to be proven wrong), I think the DC Extended Universe scheduling has been a complete mess so far. BvS should not have been the second film in the series, you need to build up tension between the characters first in other films so that it feels like it means something, as it was it just felt like “hey, this is happening” “and? Who cares?”. They’ve done that fight so early on in the series that there’s not that much left for them to do, there’s not many “big events” they have to call back on (especially since they’ve also already done The Death Of Superman). Related to this, Justice League should not be released this year. It’s too big a film to come out so soon after Wonder Woman, they’ve already released the trailers for this before Wonder Woman is out. They’re really rushing this through and it could end up harming the product in the long run. Although I am still kind of excited about it, so what do I know?

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2. Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2

Released very soon, really looking forward to it. Had a kind of average marketing campaign, I’d hoped the marketing campaign of Deadpool would lead to more innovative and unique marketing for “quirky” comic book films, but seems like it’s just standard “trailer tease, trailer, second trailer, release” kind of thing. Trailer looks good though, slight risk that they’re intentionally trying to create memes with it, which hasn’t been too annoying in the trailers but if the rest of the film is like that it could be off-putting. Guardians is in a weird place this time, the first one was so good that expectations are high, which is almost the complete opposite of what the situation was last time, where everybody expected this to be the iceberg that sinks the MCU Titanic. Have to wonder whether this will be the film where they explicitly acknowledge the link between it and the rest of the MCU. Also, I really hope it’s not just going to be a rehash of the first one. I want to be amazed during this, but I trust Marvel, so I think I will be.

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1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was one of the (many many) highlights of Captain America: Civil War, so much so that it almost made audiences completely forget that this is the third reboot of the franchise in a short period of time. Confession time: He’s one of the characters I’ve never really liked in films, he’s always supposed to be a teenager but is never played as one. At least, not an actual teenager, he’s played like the leading man in a teen drama where “anxiety” and “shy geek” just means “is friends with the most popular girl in school but hasn’t dated her yet” and the only sign of their geekdom is that people with letters on their jacket (I now know it’s their school letters, but I will never stop having a small part of me think it’s their initials so they don’t forget their names) shove them into lockers. This Spider-Man however is a teenager, he geeks out over superheroes, he messes up, he gets overexcited (which then leads to more mistakes). More importantly: he’s fun. He’s a funny, engaging character whom is inherently likeable, and should do well in his full length debut, which is thankfully, not an origin story.

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Note to directors: EVERYBODY knows this scene, it’s NEVER been needed in a film

 

2016 In Film (Part Four: The Amazeballs)

Contains possibly my favourite scene of the year, I’ll be doing a “end of year” awards blog soon so will go into it in more detail there. The film is worth seeing for that scene alone. A truly astounding piece of cinema that deserves it’s place alongside the true greats of the genre.
The BFG
This film is like milkshake made of magic. Bright, colourful, sweet and so lovely.
The Big Short/Spotlight
I’m including both of these as one as to me they’re both very similar. For some reason I’d get the feeling they’d make a brilliant double feature. Both deal with social responsibility and how to cope when your world collapses around you, how you deal with knowing that something that is supposed to be a saviour for the masses is actually responsible for ruining so many peoples lives. Not just good films, but also very important.
Captain America: Civil War
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It’s……amazing. Pre-hype for this was pretty intense, until Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn’t Stop Twice It’s Alright, then people started to get concerned. Was easy to see why, it seemed like Civil War was following a lot of of BvS mistakes: they released a trailer that seemed to give away the plot, then another one which introduced a character people weren’t certain if was going to be in it, and they seemed to be introducing a lot of new characters in one film. I’ll admit, I was really disappointed that they put Spider-Man in the trailer. I thought “but it would have worked better if it was a shock, stupid idiots. I hate them all! Burn them!” But here’s the thing: I was wrong. Spider-Man came in waaaaaay too early in this film for him to be a surprise character. Besides, if that happened then people would walk out talking about “Oh my God, I can’t believe Spider-Man was in that!” as opposed to how good the film is. Plus that information would have leaked in the first screenings, even if you tried to avoid it you’d see it everywhere on facebook when you woke up on release day. So in the end it made sense, so so much sense. God damn I loved this movie, probably my favourite Marvel film so far, had everything: sensible plotting, good characterisation, good action sequences, just, everything you want.
Let’s take you back to a dark time: July 2014. ISIS were causing a major kerfuffle in Iraq, Lucy made film watchers brains explode (at least; viewers with the scientific knowledge of at least a toddler), and S Club 7 reformed. A time before Deadpool. The chances of a film made featuring the character were astronomically low, then test footage was leaked. The reaction to this is solely responsible for the film being completed. This film wasn’t made to cash in on something popular, it was made because people were excited and really wanted to see it. The leaking of the video turned the film from “it would be nice but will never happen” to “release date announced”. This characterised the entire film really, it was really made for the fans. You can tell this even down to the rating, this film really earns it’s rating, it’s violent and brilliant. And let’s face it, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
A film I nearly put in the “good”, but the visuals were just about good enough to push it into this one instead. Directed by a guy who’s mainly known for horror, he’s really allowed to showcase his visual skills here. Kind of makes sense really, horror is definitely a visual director’s medium, you can have a great script, great soundtrack and great actors, but something as simple as making a shot a little bit too light or too dark can kill the entire scare. As such it really shouldn’t be much of a surprise that he pulled it off as well as he did. I know I’m going on about it but I really can’t put over how magnificent this film looks.
Edge Of Seventeen
A very enjoyable film, it’s a bit like listening to a REALLY good cover song, whilst it’s not completely original, and you won’t be surprised by it, you still have to be impressed with how they’ve done it, and you still love it.
Finding Dory
It’s Pixar, does anything else need to be said? It will make you squee and it will make you cry. Not quite as good as Inside Out, but then again very few films are.
Kubo And The Two Strings
A very very unique look, almost origami cinema. A film so strong and confident I just automatically assumed it was based on something. Genuinely heartfelt and a fantastic story. Not just a great kids film, but a great film all round.
Holy crap kids films were good this year. This film is so good it almost seems like Pixar made it. Moving, well told story, brilliant visuals, and the music is beyond fantastic. It also features what is without a doubt the best pee-joke of the year. So there’s that.
Nocturnal Animals
A very good film, but not a very nice one. You can go into this film having the best day ever and this will make you feel awful. This is the cinematic equivalent of a Dementor’s kiss.
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies
This film has a really unique look, actually it’s kind of beautiful. The costumes look amazing, as does the actual look of the film. You see POV shots of zombies when they get their heads cut off. It’s an odd mix of brutality and elegance that you don’t see often enough. Not just that, it’s a well told story that is genuinely laugh out loud funny. The opening narration points out that at the first sign of the zombie invasion, we blamed the French, which is pretty darn funny.
Just absolutely brutal, Gleeson is quietly building up a quite impressive CV. DiCaprio was good, but Tom Hardy was better. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Tom Hardy might be the best actor of this generation, great versatility, amazing abilities, and a proven box office draw, adored by both indie snobs, and the casual film-goer.
Room
If you, dear reader, were in the room with me I wouldn’t grab you by the lapels. I would grab you by the ankles and drag you to the cinema and force you to watch this film, even if I had to pay your ticket. This is definitely a “buy the DVD on release day” kind of film. The kind which remind you of just how fantastic films are. It’s definitely a cinema film too. Certain films just work better at the cinema, horrors for example because they rely on audience feedback, comedy too as it means that (if the film is good) it will create its own laugh track. The other type of good cinema films are ones that just look stunning, films that need you to just sit there and go “wow”. This film was good in the cinema for a different reason, you could hear people cry around you. So much raw emotion on screen. It won so many awards, yet it could have won every award ever and it still would be less than it deserved.
I will judge people who don’t like this film. Actually, God will judge them. How can someone not like this? It’s smart, funny, and just brilliant. One of the finest films of the year and a true piece of brilliance.

Why We (Already) Love Captain America: Civil War

Erm, because it’s good? That’s it, blog’s over everyone, go home and play with your food, eat your wives and make love to your xbox (side note: Ex-Box is a truly vile nickname for someone’s vagina, don’t use it, you’re better than that).

But yeah, this film. It’s……amazing. Pre-hype for this was pretty intense, until Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn’t You (Forget About Me), then people started to get concerned. Was easy to see why, it seemed like Civil War was following a lot of of BvS mistakes: they released a trailer that seemed to give away the plot, then another one which introduced a character people weren’t certain if was going to be in it, and they seemed to be introducing a lot of new characters in one film. I’ll admit, I was really disappointed that they put Spider-Man in the trailer. I thought “but it would have worked better if it was a shock, stupid idiots. I hate them all! Burn them!” But here’s the thing: I was wrong. Spider-Man came in waaaaaay too early in this film for him to be a surprise character. Besides, if that happened then people would walk out talking about “Oh my God, I can’t believe Spider-Man was in that!” as opposed to how good the film is. Plus that information would have leaked in the first screenings, even if you tried to avoid it you’d see it everywhere on facebook when you woke up on release day. So in the end it made sense, so so much sense. God damn I loved this movie, probably my favourite Marvel film so far, had everything: sensible plotting, good characterisation, good action sequences, just, everything you want. Anyway, enough pointless random conversation: let’s get started on purposeful random conversation.

1. Spider-Man

He’s one of the characters I’ve never really liked in films, he’s always supposed to be a teenager but is never played as one. At least, not an actual teenager, he’s played like the leading man in a teen drama where “anxiety” and “shy geek” just means “is friends with the most popular girl in school but hasn’t dated her yet” and the only sign of their geekdom is that people with letters on their jacket shove them into lockers. This Spider-Man however is a teenager, he geeks out over superheroes, he messes up, he gets overexcited (which then leads to more mistakes). More importantly: he’s fun. He’s a funny, engaging character whom is inherently likeable.

2. Black Panther

This film is not just Spider-mans, it’s not even fully Captain America, this film belongs partly to Black Panther. This film is his origin story. Which is fantastic news, A LOT of people have seen Civil War, which means a lot of them are now familiar with the character, so now when he has his solo movie (which thanks to this serving as his origin, should be able to avoid the whole “boring first movie” syndrome that plagues so many films) a large number of people who ordinarily wouldn’t go to see the film now will. They’re invested in the character, they’re invested in the story, and they want to see what happens next.

3. The Villain

I’ve seen one or two people annoyed that the villain in this movie is just a guy. He’s not a very rich guy, he’s not a powerful or influential guy, he’s got no powers at all. He is, just, a guy. But to me that’s perfect. Who better to show the Avengers the damage they’re doing to the man on the street than a man on the street? A man who has suffered personal loss due to the actions of a few self-appointed übermensch’s. Superhero movies needed to find their humanity again, they needed a human touch (not the human torch, nobody needs that guy). The characters needed to be shown the consequences of their actions, they needed to create their own villain, not through a mistake, not through an accident in a lab somewhere, but by their very actions which make them heroic. This guy realises that he can’t beat the Avengers, he needs them to defeat themselves, and he sets it up beautifully (which is another thing I like about this film, it doesn’t really have a happy ending, everything’s not fixed, this film truly changes the dynamic of the group).

4. The Airport Scene

Possibly the best action sequence in a Marvel film so far. Every character is given a chance to shine and showcase their abilities. We see why Tony Stark wanted Spider-Man so much, we see Ant-Man do…..well, trust me it’s amazing. So much better than the action sequence which opens the film (which to me was a little too jerky and didn’t really flow properly. Why do so many directors move the camera during action sequences now? It very makes us feel like we’re really there, instead it just makes it dicking difficult to focus on the scenes they’ve spent months working on). One of my biggest problems with Age Of Ultron was that the fight scenes felt pointless, there were too many moments which felt like someone high up said “ok, we need an action scene here otherwise people will get bored” instead of “we need an action scene here to develop the story”. This doesn’t really have that, there are quite a few action scenes, but they’re well placed within the story and they all make sense. Plus there’s a certain uniqueness to them; the character’s are all slightly holding back. They’re going more for showmanship and intimidation than “I am going to kill you” (with the exception of one rather notable three way fight) which brings a different dynamic to the scenes.

5. Next time.

I’m already excited for the next one. There’s so many questions I want to ask (but not in a “this movie didn’t answer these questions and I’m unsatisfied way) and so many things I’m looking forward to seeing. I’m already excited for films that won’t be out for years to come. THAT’S how good this movie is. Basically: here’s the things I’m looking forward to seeing/finding out:

  • How will Captain America cope now he doesn’t have his shield?
  • What will happen with Martin Freemans character? He’s too big an actor for such a small part so I assume they’re doing something big.
  • How will people react to Iron Patriot? One of America’s soldiers is now paralysed due to superheroes, American’s are perfectly okay with foreign civilians dying, but when a soldier is shot at? Shit goes down.
  • What’s the villains next step? Does he even have one?
  • How will Hulk and Thor react?
  • What will the next stage of the MCU films be like? This film changed the dynamic of them completely: the heroes can no longer operate in the open, they are now forced underground. We won’t get the good guys teaming up with the military from now on, we’ll have the military shooting at the good guys.
  • Will other countries use the superheroes as an excuse to declare war? All, say, North Korea would need to do is stage a scene of massive devastation and frame someone from South Korea for it and claim they’re a superhero and it would be a pretence for war (with international approval as well as South Korea has disobeyed international law).

Oh, and spoilers btw. I, probably should have mentioned that earlier. Whoops.

Musings On Marvel: Day 12 (Ant-Man)

Director: Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes Man)

Budget: $130million

Box Office: $519million

  • “If only you protected Janet with the same ferocity” That line only exists to get along plot details.
  • “I’m not going back, I’ve got a daughter to take care off” the same daughter you had BEFORE you went to prison? Or is it “well, she needed changing then, now she can look after herself”
  • Is he being shamed for working at a Baskin Robbins? Yeah, how dare he have a job to support his family. Shame! Shame! This is a big issue actually, certain jobs are seen as demeaning but people need to do them. People make fun of the server at McDonalds yet go in at 1am demanding that same person provide them with a burger.Jobs need doing, and these jobs need to be done by people. Don’t act all high and mighty like certain jobs aren’t “good enough” for people. You don’t want to do a job because you see it as demeaning? Then starve to f*cking death. Now, tis is different obviously from “this job makes me work 12 hours a day with no breaks and they pay me in stinging nettles”. That’s management being dicks, in which case, yeah, gain superpowers, sneak into manager’s house, pick them up and drop them in an active volcano.
  • Things I’ve spotted in the Baskin Robbins bosses office: an employee of the month sign above the sink, a microwave that isn’t plugged in, a rubber chicken, a wicker ball, a metal bucket.
  • “An Ant-Man” Hey! That’s the title of the movie.
  • Did nobody think to title them “small soldiers”?
  • “the ultimate combat advantage” wouldn’t it be more advantageous to be 10 times larger? There’s no good hitting people if nobody knows what’s hitting them as they won’t quit. You make them larger and entire armies will see it and give up.
  • That bunny is terrifying.
  • “He’s so ugly, I love him” My girlfriend says the exact same thing.
  • “you’re her hero”, how? She’s 5, he’s been in prison 3 years. Even if she could remember him she wouldn’t have enough to build him up to hero status.
  • This guy peed without shutting the bathroom door. He deserves to die.
  • This is a perfectly viable weapon that again is never used. I mean, he has a handheld weapon that can kill someone with no mess. No blood or anything, so no evidence. You literally flush the evidence down the toilet. That alone is a great weapon.
  • I have a feeling this montage of finding out about the “job” seems like one of the parts written by Edgar Wright.
  • This reference to Titanic also seems like Edgar Wright, it also seems exactly like the kind of thing I do: random pop culture references in middle of scenes which have no need for them. I would argue that point but I once put a critique of Love Actually in a scene which was basically a massive argument.
  • That door falling down still created a hell of a lot of noise.
  • If he is the size of an ant, surely that guy would still notice him in the bath? Would you not notice an ant in the bath?
  • This guy who’s entire dialogue is “what the hell” is comedian Garrett Morris who had the first appearance of Ant-Man in Saturday Night Live.
  • “set up a five block perimeter” for a petty theft? Are you kidding? He’s not exactly caused harm to people so that’s not a good use of resources.
  • This escape thing is fine, but you know what else would have made sense? Michael Douglas parking his car nearby with the window open so he could just go in there.
  • I know someone who saw this film and thought “just step on the Bullet Ants, how painful can they be?” Well, to answer that, bullshit. Bullet Ants are terrifying. It’s called a Bullet Ant because its sting feels like being shot. The Schmidt Pain Index is a real thing, and this is really high on it. Also, they shriek at you before attacking, because that’s not scary. Certain tribes use them as an initiation into manhood. They weave sleeves with hundreds of this things in, the stings facing inwards. They then wear them and get stung to holy hell. That’s not an exaggeration, this causes the arms to become useless for a few days, and cause spasms through the entire body. So THAT’S why you don’t just f*cking step on them.
  • So you control ants and make them put sugar in your tea? That’s just lazy.
  • The bald guy from House Of Cards is a dick to tiny sheep
  • “I think we should call the Avengers” So do I! In fact, I’d call them for everything. Changing my light bulbs, fixing my internet, getting the person in the queue in front of me to just MOVE FORWARD ALREADY!
  • “this is not some cute technology like the Iron Man Suit” Unnecessary shot!
  • “Plus they’re too busy dropping cities out of the sky” That was Ultron and you know it, dick.
  • Why ants? I’m serious, it’s never explained why he specifically can converse only with ants? Surely there’s other small things he could talk to, grasshoppers, lice, aphids, spiders. You’ve had this research for decades and figured out how to talk to ants, yet you have no incentive to push it forward to other species? Is it because it was called Ant-Man and you really hate not going with themes?
  • Where are the rest of the Avengers? Have they all gone home for the holidays and left one guy as the security?
  • Ant-Man punches Falcon too much. Literally all he needs to do is get his visual apparatus off, then he won’t be able to see him so he can just sneak in easier.
  • Next time you might want to start with “I got the thing” instead of leaving it until it’s suitably dramatic.
  • “I fought an Avenger and didn’t die”. Well, technically you fought an Avenger. But Falcon’s only an Avenger in the same way as Barcardi Breezers are alcoholic beverages. Technically right, but nobody counts it.
  • “this is the work of gypsies” That’s racist!
  • There is never a good reason to whistle “It’s A Small World”. Ever.
  • Can you even hit an ant with a bullet? Wouldn’t physics push the ant of the way?
  • Are those guys being attacked by Bullet Ants? If so it would be a lot more than “ow, slight pain”, they’d cry.
  • Hank Pym dies whilst I was writing that last one, I think.
  • Oh wait, he’s standing up.
  • Ok this is one of the best uses of music in Marvel movies, plus it’s The Cure.
  • Why is this guy so focused on killing Paul Rudd? Couldn’t he just move on with his life and sell the weapon and still get shit loads of money? This just seems like a distraction.
  • Where did those ants come from?
  • Ah, the old “throwing trains at the enemy trick”. So cliche, you know that’s exactly how the Roundheads beat the Cavaliers in 1651.
  • Can ants survive getting that big? Wouldn’t their exoskeleton collapse or something? It’s like how King Kong wouldn’t be able to run, or barely move.
  • “that’s a messed up looking dog”. Surely you can tell it’s an ant? I mean, it would be weird for us to see an ant that size, but we don’t have superheroes in this world. They do. Everybody could wake up and find their feet have been replaced by Big Macs and it still wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the universe.
  • Imagine watching this whilst really stoned or under heavy medication. That would make a brilliant blog series actually: Medicated Musings. Exactly like these blogs, but recorded whilst either high or drunk.
  • She’s feeding that thing under the table. Does she want ants? Because that’s how you get ants.
  • And the post credits scene is a teaser for Avengers 3. I mean, Captain America: Civil War.

Musings On Marvel: Day 11 (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

Director: Joss Whedon (writer of Toy Story and uncredited co-writer on Twister)

Budget: $250million

Box Office: $1.4billion

  • Why did you need to find the Loki Pokey stick? Wasn’t it at the top of the Avengers tower at the end of the Avengers movie? Was it stolen at some point in the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D series? And if so, f*ck that noise. Don’t make me hours of a TV show necessary viewing for a movie that’s already way too long.
  • “lasting a little long, boys” Yeah I’ve had that problem before.
  • “Fire on the weak ones” See, this is why you don’t have weak ones.
  • “send in the Iron Legion” Why not start with that? That way you don’t have to even be there.
  • Wait, didn’t he promise to destroy all the suits at the end of Iron Man 3?
  • Do the people here understand English? Surely that’s a logical flaw Tony Stark would have fixed?
  • “I want to poke it with something”. That’s exactly how I deal with almost every problem.
  • “yay” Is Tony Stark now a fifteen year old girl? I mean, what kind of self respecting person says “yay”? Note: I don’t count, I don’t respect myself.
  • See, this annoys the hell out of me. That shot of the broken shield was used in the trailer. It created intrigue. I was waiting, wondering how that happened, wondering what force could create that. And then I found out: dream sequence, didn’t happen, doesn’t matter. F*ck you film industry. It’s one of the most annoying things about film trailers and I’d love to see it stopped, that, and ruining cameos. There was no reason to showcase that Spider-Man is in Civil War. Close to that: people in the trailer who are only in a handful of scenes. Such as Hugh Grant in Man From U.N.C.L.E.
  • “no pepper? no jane?” Yeah, we couldn’t afford for them to come to this party.
  • “Jane’s better” normally I would really disagree with you, but the other person is Gwyneth Paltrow so it’s more like “please, please, they’re both terrible people”
  • Wait, you’re a celebrity funded by a multi million dollar agency. How do you not have enough money?
  • “this was not meant for mortal men” But you are mortal! Your mother died just a few movies ago, and you think your brother died. You should be aware of mortality by now.
  • “he’s also a huge dork, chicks dig that”. As someone who is almost the court jester of dorks I can confirm this is most definitely not true.
  • “on the world’s leading authority on waiting too long”, no. You slept for most of that, does not count.
  • If I was Thor I’d totally leave the hammer on the toilet seat so people couldn’t pee.
  • Tony Stark makes a joke about raping the women of Asgard. Comedy!
  • So Captain is “slightly” worthy?
  • Ultron waited until all the other party guests left before attacking.
  • An evil robot in a Marvel movie? Wow, never seen that before.
  • The film isn’t perfect, but James Spaders performance is pretty close.
  • So Ultron went on the internet and now hates the world? I see he’s seen the Daily Mail comments section then.
  • “he’s taken the Loki Pokey stick and now we have to find it, again”. Even the movie knows it’s repeating itself.
  • “it was built in the centre of the city so everyone could be equally close”. That’s not true, as in, that wouldn’t work. Unless there’s only one line of houses in a perfect circle then there’s going to be people living closer. I mean, draw a perfect circle on the floor, mark the centre, now stand two meters away, now have someone else stand one meter away from the centre. Are you both the same distance from the middle? No, you’re not. Lee: making fun of movies via math. Usually I only comfort people with mathematics, and that’s only during certain circumstances.
  • “our parents go in”, wait, your dad is Magneto. So does Magneto die really early on in this universe? Harsh.
  • “Cuttlefish: deep sea fish, they make lights” no they don’t. You’re describing an anglerfish.
  • Just realised they’re in Wakanda, shouldn’t Black Panther be there?
  • Movie spend the time providing a backstory to Black Widow when surely she should have had her own movie do that for her?
  • Wait, was that Clara Oswald? For one shot.
  • So Black Widow fantasises in cinematic low angle shots?
  • Why isn’t the hulkbuster suit the default suit?
  • I assume there was a deleted scene here which explains why Thor is just f’ing off. How do these films manage to be both too long, and have so many things missing?
  • “they have a graduation ceremony where they sterilise you” Apparently Greenwich Uni has the same procedure.
  • Wait, did they take the only strong female character in this thing and make her tragic backstory tie into childbirth? Damnit. And if you don’t see why this is problematic: imagine if Captain America’s main backstory was that the serum turned him sterile, and that was his biggest issue. See how weird that would be? But they had to make the only female character the only one who has a backstory that involves childbirth.
  • “everytime someone tries to win a war before it starts, innocent people die”. As opposed to normal wars where absolutely no innocent people die.
  • “guy’s multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit”. I never noticed that line before.
  • Why did Ultron shoot the road, not the person?
  • “how do you want me to take it”. Obvious sex joke is obvious.
  • “without the homicidal glitch that he thinks are his winning personality” oh but without that I have nothing.
  • Why is he keeping Black Widow alive? It’s not to lure the Avengers there, as they kind of already have reason to find him and attack him.
  • Hey it’s a naked Paul Bettany, that’s never been done before.
  • Wait, where did he get the cape from?
  • Paul Bettany delivers what is essentially a shakespeare monologue in a film that doesn’t really deserve it.
  • Ok, that bit where Vision picked up the hammer was pretty awesome.
  • Quicksilver uses Adidas.
  • It’s a shame Quicksilver was done better in X-Men Days Of Future past otherwise that bit would have been awesome.
  • It’s a shame we’ve seen Magneto lift a stadium up in X-Men Days Of Past otherwise that bi….god damnit.
  • This plan doesn’t really work, that mass dropping wouldn’t have same impact as a meteor of the same size. The reason meteors cause so much damage is because they have high levels of speed because they’ve dropped such a great height. This land mass isn’t being raised high enough to gather enough speed.
  • Other point: if this city is being raised to 18,000 feet, shouldn’t that change the temperature? Should be below zero surely.
  • “you get killed” he says, as the camera focuses on the only main character to die.
  • Wait, can Captain now call his shield to him with telepathy?
  • Yeah, good job Captain America and Thor, saving those two people when you could be saving a lot more.
  • “Thor, you’re bothering me”. He bothers me too.
  • Hadouken!
  • Hawkeye wastes valuable time making stupid jokes. Funny stupid jokes that were adlibbed on set but still.
  • “Where else am I going to get a view like this?” A mountain, a plane, riding Iron Man?
  • “You kiss your mother with that mouth?” His mother’s probably been dead for like a century, not cool!
  • “show em what we’ve got” Yeah, that’s right, show that army you’ve got one guy in a suit. They’ll be shitting themselves.
  • “if you get through this, I’ll hold your own”. Well, they both survived, so I assume that scene will be in Civil War.
  • Villain tries to say a funny line and gets hit by Hulk. Just like in the first movie.
  • Finally a major hero dies.
  • Well, I say “major”, he had like 20 minutes of screen time, if that.
  • So things that aren’t worthy can’t keep the hammer aloft? There was a moment in the last Thor movie where the hammer was put on a coat hook, was the coat hook worthy?
  • Holy crap that film felt long.
  • Oh wait, it was long.
  • Thanos decides to retrieve the stones himself. You know if he did this earlier, these films would’ve been other before Thor. Ah, we live in hope.

Musings On Marvel Day Six: Avengers Assemble

Director: Joss Whedon ((Much Ado About Nothing, two episodes of The Office (U.S))

Budget: $220million

Box Office: $1.5billion

  • Why’s the helicopter following a roadway?
  • Coulson wears sunglasses at night.
  • Nick Fury doesn’t say “That makes me Fury-us” during this whole film.
  • Cobie Smulders is actually kind of weak in this, her first lines are delivered like when an actor gives deliberately bad performance to show how bad their character is at acting.
  • “A door can be opened two ways” Science!
  • That’s not a spear, that’s a, well I’m not sure if it’s actually got a name, so I’ll just call it the Loki Pokey stick.
  • See, Loki Pokey.
  • “I am Loki, of Asgard”, ah, so not Loki from New Jersey then?
  • “I come with glad tidings”, I come with external stimuli, using a vagina or a mouth or a hand. General feelings of happiness don’t tend to do anything for me.
  • “What do we do?” *dramatic pause*. Yeah, that’s fine for the film and everything, but is pissing annoying for the other person who’s just waiting to be told what to do.
  • Wow, Edward Norton looks a lot different.
  • “what does he want me to do, swallow it?” Good people always swallow.
  • Did 9/11 happen in the MCU? It’s never referenced, not even in passing. And don’t give me that “but why would they mention it?” BS, it’s America, they always mention it, it’s been mentioned almost daily for the past week alone, so you think with all the constant attacks at least one person would say something like “this kind of damage has not been seen since 9/11”. And can you imagine Captain America being told about 9/11? Holy crap that scene would have been fantastic in terms of emotion.
  • So he’s in Germany, yet he’s delivering this speech in English?
  • “Isn’t being on your knees your natural state?” Let’s not get into my sexual proclivities right now.
  • This old guy is the most heroic character in the entire series. He is basically an average guy being the first in line to stand up to a vicious dictator with obvious superpowers. In a world with superpowers he has nothing but still stands up just because he knows it’s right. He risked his life just for his principles, and he did it on his own. That guy, is freaking awesome.
  • Obvious nazi parralels but nobody says “that makes me Führerious”
  • “there’s only one God, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that”, true, I prefer black t-shirt and jeans.
  • Ok there’s about a minute between Thor jumping out and Captain America parachuting up and jumping out, in a moving plane. There is no way Captain America would land anywhere near them.
  • Thor throws a magical hammer at Iron Man, potentially killing him.
  • Thor can charge up Iron Man’s suit, this is never referenced again at any point.
  • Thor basically tries to smash Iron Man’s face with a hammer, even if was just a regular hammer that would have killed him if it connected.
  • Thor then launches himself at Captain America to hit him with the hammer, in a move that surely would have killed him if it connected with a normal human being, which for all he knew, the Captain was. Basically, Thor is a psychopath who attempts to kill people for no reason what so ever in this film. One of many reasons I hate the character.
  • Wow, it sure sucks we have to wait until Civil War to see these guys fighting, you know, the guys who are currently fighting right now.
  • So “flying monkeys” Thor doesn’t understand, yet he mentioned nothing when “Galaga” or “Point Break” were mentioned?
  • “It’s not just power Loki wants, he wants vengeance”, so he’s, an Avenger?
  • “your ledger is gushing red”, yeah that happens like once a month once you pass puberty.
  • This is probably the only film that’s earned over a billion which has the line “mewling quim” in it.
  • Loki could totally play SuperLee in a movie.
  • “everything special about you came out of a bottle”. Yeah, developed by some idiot named Howard Sta—yeah nevermind.
  • Wait, one arrow did that?
  • So the world knows that Thor is a God? And this has had no impact on religion in the world? Not one member of the clergy, or even the Pope has mentioned the definitive existence of a God that walked among us? There’s been no resurgence in people believing in the Norse Gods? A God walked among the world and it changed absolutely nothing. I’m not buying it.
  • This should be much better shot. If this was done well then this moment of Black Widow silently walking around to avoid The Hulk could have been like Alien: Isolation. It could have been a huge dramatic set piece. As it is it’s just a scene that almost everyone will forget about.
  • Captain America there talking on the device in his ear. Which if you were paying attention to the previous scene you’ll know is either invisible or doesn’t exist. Is he going through a mental breakdown? What if the Captain America movie was just the insane thoughts of a madman who grew up reading Captain America comics and then had a nervous breakdown?
  • “so that’s what it does”, yup, pretty much the same as every other weapon, fires and knocks people backwards.
  • It’s well known that you can stop brainwashing by hitting somebody in the head really hard. Can’t imagine that defence standing up in court.
  • Does Stark not have any security cameras that picked up the strangers building something on his balcony?
  • Loki’s so nice. He waits for Tony Stark to land, take his armour off, and monologue before attempting to attack them.
  • “and you’ve got the glow stick of destiny”. It’s name is the Loki Pokey stick!
  • “what have I got to fear?” “The Avengers”, hey, that’s the title of the movie! (In America anyway)
  • I think we’re getting into the final battle now, and there’s 40 minutes left. Don’t worry, I’m sure every single moment of the following action sequence is necessary and none of it could be cut all.
  • The fact they also put “Avengers Assemble” (the UK title) into this film makes me wonder if this film was called “Mewling Quims” in Indonesia and that’s why that line was in there.
  • Ok this is a beautiful tracking shot.
  • “I put in a failsafe, the sceptre”, you couldn’t just put an on/off switch in?
  • “Detonation in two minutes thirty seconds, Mark”. Wait, no, this is Lee. Mark’s the other guy.
  • See, even the news doesn’t mention 9/11. It’s an attack, in New York, the news would definitely make a 9/11 reference.
  • So Tony Stark falls straight down, in zero gravity.
  • “and then there was like pew pew”, still more intelligent than how Daily Mail would report it.
  • Wait, can Captain America legally drive? Wouldn’t his license have expired?
  • And that’s phase one complete. Comment, like, share, bitch about how we’re wrong, whatever 🙂
  • Wait, what the f*ck is this song? It’s like “generic rock song #16”

Ranking The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films (so far)

So yeah, Captain America: Civil War is out in 14 days. There’s 12 films, you know what that means? Yup, it’s time for the as-yet-untitled Marvel Version of my hugely unsuccessful Nightmare A Day series. What, you don’t remember that? Don’t worry, shall all be explained tomorrow. But until then, I still have to blog today, so what will today’s be? Simple, this will be my last normal blog until Civil War is released, so is really my last chance to do this and make it relevant. So here goes, all opinions are my own, but if you disagree you are wrong.

12. Thor: The Dark World

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I saw this film at the cinema and yet can barely remember anything about it. The trouble was that it’s kinda dull and doesn’t fit in with the rest. Plus by this point it was obvious that the character of Thor isn’t as interesting as his own villain. Loki dominates this film, just as he did the previous film, only this time it’s a lot more clunky in terms of why he’s there. It also completely wastes Christopher Ecclestone. The first film to really be skippable.

11. The Incredible Hulk

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A film that only ranks so low because it doesn’t really mesh with the others. The only thing tying this into to the rest is the cameo of Tony Stark. If it wasn’t for that, (and if it was released first instead of second) then they could just ignore it and pretend it never happened, like the world does with Godfather III.

10. Thor

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Yeah, maybe my personal bias is showing, I don’t like Thor. Mainly because the rest of the MCU tries really hard to be realistic and scientific, and then suddenly this guy shows up and smashes that to pieces. Also I feel his character just displays wasted opportunities. They have a character who is a God, they could do films based on how the world reacts to this, how does religion react to the existence of A God, but not Their God? None of this is shown, at all. Oh, and Natalie Portman’s character has all the background and charisma of a see through piece of tissue paper. Oh, and they wasted Idris Elba. Plus, Thor basically tried to kill Captain America in Avengers movie. Yes, the shield stopped him from being smashed with a hammer, but Thor didn’t know that would happen! From his perspective he just jumped at someone and tried to smash their face in with an unbeatable weapon. That would be like me launching nuclear weapons at a school but it turns out it’s okay as Fuzzy Felt stops explosions (it doesn’t by the way, I can 100% confirm this, sorry Nagasaki).

9. Avengers: Age Of Ultron. 

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This film highlighted a problem with a lot of modern super hero movies: pointless fight scenes and action sequences. Not just that, but poorly made action sequences too. There’s so many moments in this where action sequences just happen for no reason other than the studio thought “Action sequence goes here!”. Which is a shame as other than those it’s actually an okay story. I mean, the trailer did that annoying thing where it showed an awful thing that turned out to be a dream sequence. If it wasn’t for those two things it would be rated much higher (probably top five).

8. Iron Man 2

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Mickey Rourke is good in this, as is Downey Jr. But that’s kind of the biggest problem too. It’s so heavily dependent on performance, that it forgets to carve a good enough story. The villain is too similar to the first one (although don’t get me wrong he is better). The scene where Tony Stark is called into congress to explain himself is fantastic and says a lot about the nature of heroes, but then it just dissolves into casual action fare. Plus it’s hard to imagine THIS Tony Stark being the same one who (maybe, if they go close to the source material) advocates government registration of superheroes.

7. Iron Man

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Ok now we’re getting into awesome stuff. This is the film that launched not only the MCU, but superhero movies being fun again. After Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy it looked like all future superhero movies would just be fifty shades of grey and dark blues (and just as painful as that sounds). A great origin story, brilliantly directed by Jon Favreau, and the casting of Robert Downey Jr. was a master stroke. It was a risky decision but one that paid off.

6. Ant-Man

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Very, very fun. Paul Rudd is very funny. Yes, it would have been better if Edgar Wright stayed on but still. I saw this soon after Age Of Ultron, and the action set pieces in this were a lot better, featuring the best use of Thomas The Tank Engine I’ve ever seen in film.

5. Iron Man 3

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F*ck you I liked it. I know a lot of people don’t, and I understand why. But this was the first time the series tricked me. I’m a pretentious film student so I recognise plot twists early, but this one genuinely came out of left field, but in a way that made sense, it wasn’t one of those “and the killer turned out to be the goldfish all along!”. Yes, it still sucks that Iron Man films have had the worst villains so far but meh. This one also should be commended for actually showing character growth, Tony Stark is haunted by the actions of the Avengers movie, he’s basically suffering PTSD, sadly this was pretty much forgotten about by Age Of Ultron, very disappointing.

4. Avengers Assemble

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I rate this higher than the second one only because the action sequences aren’t as long, and at the time it was new. Plus it resurrected The Hulk as a character after two previous attempts to make a live action film about the character. This film established Loki as THE best villain in the Marvel Universe, which counts both for and against it. For because in this film he’s a charismatic, logical villain. Against because they can never hope to do that again.

3. Captain America: The First Avenger

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Yes, other films have been better, but this was the moment where the series grew from “action fare” to “cinematic genius”. The first (and best) use of cinematic emotion in the series. Usually when people say “Superhero movies are grown up and mature” they show things like Deadpool etc, things which are “adult”, but not “mature” (and yes, there is a difference). This would be a better option, exploring themes of identity, loss, and the commercialisation of war heroes to raise money instead of winning the war. The casting of Tommy Lee Jones in it added authenticity to the film, oh, and Hayley Atwell is superb. This is the first time they went beyond the “superhero saves world” story and focused on the hero themselves, a truly touching tale that was a worthy introduction to the character.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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Probably the best example of a comic book movie transcending the genre. This film is almost like a cold-war era spy movie. Has the best plot of any of the films, fantastic characterisation, and is just all round brilliant. Amazing but not too comical, this film is not “look at this ooooo moment”, it’s not spectacle, but it is spectacular.

1. Guardians Of The Galaxy

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A part of this is because everybody expected it to fail. When it was announced people were certain this would be the biggest flop in Marvel history, more so than SuperLee, a superhero who fights crime with sarcasm and bitterness, which was invented by me, in my head, just now. But this film is amazing, it’s funny, smart and perfectly acted. It’s odd that Marvel has made better characters from a tree that only says three words than a lot of films manage with entire monologues. A space opera which is definitely the most fun film from all of them, and overall that’s what films should be: fun. It’s not the film with the best story, or the best acting, but it is definitely the one you’ll want to watch the most.