11 Favorite Moments In ‘Avengers: Endgame’

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1. Justine Bieber. That moment when Rocket joked about Captain Marvel’s ever changing haircut. Yup, Captain Marvel is Disney’s attempt at a lesbian superhero. And they still couldn’t spell it out. Where’s your balls Kevin Feige Mickey Mouse? Also, Deadpool did it first. And she has a very cool name: Negasonic Teenage Warhead. By the way, Deadpool is now also Disney—but with balls (hopefully).

2. Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy.” Hawkeye losing his family to the snap, this song, and Tony Stark and Nebula drifting in space set the tone of Endgame‘s first act. It’s also probably a reference to the Iron Man movies which features mostly 70s rock music (AC/DC) on its soundtrack. Continue reading “11 Favorite Moments In ‘Avengers: Endgame’”

Ranking All MCU Movies from Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame

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Endgame is over now. Thank you, Tony Stark, you’re the one who started it all. In a cave. In Afghanistan. Back in 2008. It was that long ago. If you could still remember, there were two big comic book movies in 2008. and if I have to pick between the two, for me, Iron Man is 2008’s comic book movie of the year.

2008 is the year when two billionaire-playboy get to don the suit. One’s a smarmy genius, who almost got himself killed but was crafty enough to escape, then had changed of heart—his shrapnel-threatened heart—changed his ways and made himself a gold and red armor. The other “playboy” wears a decidedly darker suit, humor imbalanced, probably a sociopath, and a bit slow-footed to make convincing Ninja Continue reading “Ranking All MCU Movies from Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame”

Captain America goes back to the ’70s to save Nick Fury

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Everyone’s into time travel now, thanks to Avengers: Endgame. It’s an interesting concept—time travel. In the MCU, it was first hinted at in Doctor Strange. Then, in Infinity War. Below’s an old post of mine, which I came up with after binge-watching Tarantino movies, Scorsese’s gangster films, and exploitation movies from the ’70s.

Yep, I made this up even before the movie Captain Marvel.  And I’m re-posting it because everyone’s into time travel now, thanks to Avengers: Endgame. It’s an interesting concept—time travel. In the MCU, it was first hinted at in Doctor Strange. Then, in Infinity War. Below’s an old post of mine, which I came up with after binge-watching Tarantino movies, Scorsese’s gangster films, and exploitation movies Continue reading “Captain America goes back to the ’70s to save Nick Fury”

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame Is The Super Duper $@%!#& Season Finale of the Year

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The End Is The Beginning Is The End

Avengers: Endgame isn’t “the best MCU movie or the best superhero movie since (insert your preference here),” but it does what it has to do, “whatever it takes.” Even if that means Endgame makes for an unwieldy, ponderous, pandering, uneven, thrilling ride. It’s a crowd-pleaser and super duper entertaining.

Just like the fanboys/girls are saying, it gloriously caps the 22-movie Infinity Stones Saga and its a fitting swan song, encore, last dance, last hurrah for the OG Avengers, who, more or less, are saying goodbye to the fans after this movie. It’s a massive ending. If the whole of Infinity War is one big climax, Endgame is a false ending, another big climax then denouement. Continue reading “Avengers: Endgame (2019)”

Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Thor (2011)

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Iron-Man (2008). This is where it all begun, the Mark I of all Marvel movies. This is the movie where Marvel–after deciding to make their own movies based on characters they haven’t sold yet–finally hammers it home. In a cave. In Afghanistan. Tony Stark’s billionaire-genuis-playboy suits Robert Downey Jr. perfectly in the same the way the red and gold weaponized armor suit fits Tony Stark. The CGI’s top notch. So is Iron Man’s origin story: Stark’s transformation from an egotistical weapons manufacturer to an egotistical armor-suited do-gooder. For better or worse, this movie has forged Continue reading “Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Thor (2011)”

Captain America Trilogy

How To Solve A Problem Like ‘Bucky’

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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Wonder why I couldn’t like this movie more. It’s well made, has a unique look, the right amount of heart, and nice-looking set pieces and action scenes. Found it boring at first, gave it a second look and found Joe Johnston’s efforts, quite admirable, though still not a knock down punch. Maybe because it’s just so predictable. I already knew Cap’s only gonna end up frozen, he’s not gonna die. Could he even get hurt? I’m not really sure. Looks like he’s nearly invulnerable. And that’s a major superhero storytelling problem. Thus, he’s journey from the skinny undersized soldier with an oversized heart to the beefcake super soldier with undersized shirt Continue reading “Captain America Trilogy”

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Is A Perfectly Executed Action-RPG

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Right after the opening salvo of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which we find Captain America and Agent Romanoff displaying their super-awesome fighting skills against a group of mercenaries in a SHIELD vessel, I wasn’t sure if I was in a movie house or if I just watched a perfectly executed tactical/brawler/action-RPG.

Was it the works of an invincibility cheat or was the player just really good? One thing is clear though, Captain America is someone Samuel L. Jackson would call a real bad-ass motherfucker! He was called super-soldier; only now do I understand. He’s better than Scott Adkins’ Ninja, James Bond, Col. Guile, Rambo, Ethan Hunt or all of them combined. He’s super-tough, and also, super-fast—cameramen could hardly follow his punches.

Captain America used to be a bore. Unless he’s got the wise-crackin’ Tony Stark or the brash god of thunder Thor on his side. But pair him with the Winter Soldier, and you’ll get a sophisticated “political thriller” featuring a shield-throwing Jack Ryan on steroids and a bad-hair day Jason Bourne with a cybernetic arm, in a movie that’s less Three Days of Condor and more like The Bored Ultimatum.

Continue reading “Captain America: The Winter Soldier Is A Perfectly Executed Action-RPG”

Thor’s New Hammer, Iron Man’s Gundam Suit and Other Great Things In ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

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Avengers: Infinity War is far from perfect. But then it could have been worse, like The Matrix: Revolutions or Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Good thing it’s more like Back to the Future II. Someone said it should have been a three-part movie. Well, dude’s got a point. Because the storytelling felt rushed. Me, I only wished it was longer. Story-wise, Infinity War is coherent, consistent, but also packed to the gills. It’s too compact. Like, it could have used a few more quieter moment to allow the movie (and us) to breathe and give everything on screen and off screen some time to sink in. It could also use a bit more build up, a few more “hanging moments” to let the punches hit the guts and make the surprising turns really “wow!” But, we can’t have it all, I guess. So let’s just break down the things I like the most about the movie and the things I thought were kinda “meh”. And I’m not gonna complain about all of the deaths being temporary. That’s like complaining that Neo came back to life at the end of The Matrix.

Great:

1) No resurrection this time. How to make a dark Avengers movie? Kill Korg (Taika Waititi) before the movie starts. Y’know, that guy who made that goofy Thor and Hulk movie. Now seriously, that opening sequence is definitely one of the most effective, if not the best, in all Marvel movies. Setting the stakes and the tone early on. Thanos and his death metal band, the Black Order, mean business.

2) Goofy in Knowhere. Thanos knows well his favorite daughter hangs out with disco-loving, galaxy-saving group of oddballs and misfits. Why Thanos didn’t use the Power stone in fighting the Guardians? He probably didn’t want to kill his daughter’s friends. So he tried to be creative and used the Reality stone instead. To make bubbles.

Continue reading “Thor’s New Hammer, Iron Man’s Gundam Suit and Other Great Things In ‘Avengers: Infinity War’”

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is One Big Superhero Movie Climax

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Avengers: Infinity War opens with a distress call—actually a massacre, off-screen. And it’s only fitting that after Marvel’s most outrageously hilarious movie comes tragedy. I’m referring to Thor: Ragnarok, of course, which ended with Thor, Loki, Heimdall, Hulk and the rest of the Asgardians aboard The Mastermind’s fancy ship. They all survived Ragnarok—saw Asgard burn to the ground—only to have their refuge cut short by Thanos and his henchmen, the Black Order.

Yes, Avengers: Infinity War takes off right after that Ragnarok stinger. By the way, I remember someone complained that Ragnarok shouldn’t be a comedy, that everyone should have died in the end just like in the comics. My dear friend, you had Thanos’ mercy, your wish has been fulfilled. Are you happy now?

Of course, Infinity War is also, more or less, a direct sequel to Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2—none of which required viewing prior (in case you missed them) except for the last one. Civil War‘s great divide was summed up by Tony Starks with “we’re not in speaking terms”; Spider-Man, who tried so hard to impress Tony only to reject his offer to become an Avenger in the end, now becomes an Avenger; and Killmonger, the most important character in Black Panther, you don’t really need to know to understand this movie.

Continue reading “‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is One Big Superhero Movie Climax”

13 Reasons Why I’m (Not) So Excited About Avengers: Infinity War

 

 

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Can’t say I’m not the least bit excited about Avengers: Infinity War. It is after all an Avengers movie. Something I have always looked forward to more than any other series or sub-franchise in the ongoing Marvel universe. Outside of the Guardians of the Galaxy, of course.

One reason I’m not too excited about Infinity War is that the Russos are directing it. And the writers of Captain America trilogy are the guys behind the script (Edit: They also wrote The Dark World, which I actually liked, but y’know Joss Whedon also had a hand on it). Sure, Civil War had some funny, sometimes witty back and forths, but it’s not the same as when Joss Whedon was still Marvel’s go to guy. Of course, Age of Ultron was a massive let down but so was Civil War. Continue reading “13 Reasons Why I’m (Not) So Excited About Avengers: Infinity War”

Ranking All MCU Movies from Iron Man to Ragnarok

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With the release of Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel has now churned out seventeen movies. Yep, that’s right. Seventeen fuckin’ Marvel movies and almost all of them widely popular with both critics and fans, almost all of them hit big at the box office. But not all of them are great or good. There are few stinkers and there are a few gold. The list below starts with the stinkers with the movies listed in descending order. Continue reading “Ranking All MCU Movies from Iron Man to Ragnarok”

What if Marvel gets Tarantino to do a Captain America spin-off?

Here’s what—should Marvel hire Quentin Tarantino and give him 100% free rein:

It would be set in the near future where the world is enslaved by Loki and the formation of Avengers never happened. Why? Because a deadly assassin killed Nick Fury in the ’70s. Doctor Strange would send Captain America back in time to stop the assassination.

Fury would be portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in Jheri curl. He still has two good eyes, but he’ll lost one by the end of the movie. Cap would have few but important lines; Samuel L. Jackson would do most of the talking.

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To get to Fury, Cap would need to hook up with hookers, nuns with guns, and sexy spies. Expect lots of T&A and few glimpses of untrimmed hair because this is the ’70s! Cap’s magic shield wouldn’t work in this movie; he has to do a lot of heavy action scenes and sweaty bed scenes without CGI, green-screen, shaky cam and frantic editing.

There would be a scene where SHIELD’s Agent Skye shows Cap her voluptuous… vinyl collection. And Cap would unsheathe and play her delicate… Delfonics LP. Off-screen, she’d be heard whispering OMG’s ever so softly.

The assassin’s identity would be revealed as Cap, Fury, and Skye find themselves on the wrong end of a brutal fight. Cap would do the ultimate sacrifice to save Fury. (Cap dies during climax.) The assassin would escape through a time portal created by Doctor Strange.
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Epilogue: Present day. Bucky opens the door and enters his apartment, groceries on both hands. He finds Fury waiting inside with gun aimed at him.

Bang! Bucky’s hit between the eyes and falls on the floor.

A rodent crawls across the window.

Roy Buchanan’s “Sweet Dreams” fades in. Black screen. Credits.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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Captain America: Civil War finds the Earth’s mightiest heroes split in two. One led by Captain America and the other headed by Iron Man—two evenly matched teams going head-to-head in a mid-movie battle seemingly inspired by the opening sequence of the X-Men cartoons from the ‘90s. While Iron Man got Spider-Man, Captain America’s team is the more exciting one, with Wanda, Hawkeye and Ant-Man on his side. Still, this doesn’t make it significantly more interesting than the other similarly themed summer flick from DC, especially when most of the superheroes left to team up with either Cap or Tony, are the predictably dull side characters in the Marvel Universe—War Machine, Falcon, Winter Soldier, Vision and a likewise banal newcomer in Black Panther.

I thought we should at least have Nick Fury in the middle, make him give long Tarantino-esque monologues that would illuminate why Cap and Tony were on different sides. (Looks like Tony is just jealous because Cap’s got a new boyfriend and he’s got no one else since Pepper left him.) Also, they could have given Agent 13 more screen presence this time, because honestly, they couldn’t make Black Widow any more alluring and her signature takedown gets tiring already. Another thing, the camera tends to get too shaky during her fight scenes—actually, most of the fight scenes, not just those with Black Widow.

Captain America: Civil War starts with The Avengers foiling a terrorist attack somewhere in Africa. They were able to retrieve the biological weapon from the terrorists, but not without collateral damage—something they might have avoided, if only Vision wasn’t so busy in the headquarters kitchen. So Tony Stark has to do a Bruce Wayne this time; taking fall for the death of innocent people when they tried to save the world from Ultron. Captain America, on the other hand, just can’t afford to lose Bucky for the third time, even if his disagreement with Stark could lead to Civil War.

Of course, it didn’t. No Civil War, just a smaller version of Mark Millar’s serial, which has twelve superheroes fighting each other in Leipzig/Halle Airport. With Hawkeye just being funny, delivering one-liners in between punches; Ant-Man getting inside Iron Man’s suit, then later turning into Giant-Man; and Spider-Man throwing banters while webbing up Falcon, sparring with Cap, and swinging around Giant-Man. Then, there’s Elizabeth Olsen, who gives Wanda Maximoff the vulnerability—both emotional and physical—that’s kind of rare in this type of movie. Olsen’s Wanda is both fragile and fierce, like a kitten with special powers, caught in the middle of a slugfest.

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Said airport scuffle is easily the best part of this movie. But since it happens somewhere in the middle, right before the “more” important events are about to unfold, it makes the last third of the movie drag, not just a bit. And I couldn’t even care less, especially after Wanda, Ant-Man and Spidey left off the screen. And I think, it asks too much of its audience when they killed Rhodes. Almost. It’s not like he (almost) died trying to save people. And both teams seem to be having a fun pick-up match just right before that, with Spider-Man referencing Star Wars and Ant-Man asking for orange slices (probably to nurse a massive headache) after he gets knocked down. Unlike the death scene in Joss Whedon’s Age of Ultron, the tone here is just, off.

At long last, the final fight between Cap and Iron Man boils down to Tony doing another Bruce Wayne—as he turns vengeful for the death of his parents. The fight gets a bit clearer near the end—lesser camera movements, lesser cutting but in the same gloomy blue-grayish tone (would have been nice to see Cap’s bright costume contrasting nicely with Iron Man’s metallic gold and red). And in case you forgot, in the pure Marvel tradition of having boring half-villains, this movie also got one: Baron Zemo, who gets to carry out his very complicated plan, just because the plot needs him to.

Again, that airport scene is probably the coolest thing ever…or maybe, just until the next Marvel movie comes.

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