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MCU Phase 4 and beyond - Spidey to stay in the MCU! (warning: Endgame and Far From Home spoilers)


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Also the Mandalorian twist is properly, actually brilliant. Really caught me by surprise. The whole thing is this awesomely weird campy Roger Moore Bond movie in the MCU and I love it for that. The fact that it doesn't feel like an MCU film is a strength for me. 

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On ‎27‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 06:25, mansizerooster said:

I'm with Thor on this one; Iron Man 3 is a horribly wasted opportunity, is missing the AC/DC from IM 1, 2 and Avengers Assemble and is at odds with the rest of the MCU. Iron Man 2 is the better sequel.

 

I urge those who disagree to re-watch the Iron Man trilogy, I'd be very surprised if your minds don't change.

Watched them all in the last 7 days. I would rate them from best to worst - IM3, IM, IM2

 

IM3 is fucking brilliant and James Badge Dale is by far the most under-rated antagonist in the MCU films

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10 hours ago, Charliemouse said:

I was about to say the same thing myself.

 

The only thing I know about them is that Jack Kirby created them.

 

I actually read a run of their comics 5 or 6 years ago and I'm with you, no clue.

 

I was reading Captain Britain at the same time and that was more enjoyable.

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The story so far, spoilered for length:

 

Spoiler

 1. Iron Man: What needs to be said? RDJ kills it, the armour is excellent, the CG fares surprisingly well given its age. 9/10

 

2. The Incredible Hulk: The MCU's most awkward, least thought of entry. Quite clearly retrofitted late in production to reference Iron Man. Casting Edward Norton is probably the most regrettable mistake in the series. Quite a lot of character dead ends. Despite that, lovely production, and a fun story. 5/10

 

3. Iron Man 2: Widely reviled, undeservedly so. Given modern understanding of the interplay between MCU films, the additional characters don't come across as much like sequel advertising as like part of the overarching narrative. Sam Rockwell absolutely nails it, one of the best antagonists in the entire MCU. Solid sequel. 7/10

 

4. Thor: Definitely showing its age at this stage, both in its CG and in its general tone and storytelling. Anthony Hopkins is excellent, Tom Hiddleston is competant but yet to find his swagger. Everything to do with Natalie Portman is a total yawn-fest. Thor breaking in to the SHIELD compound is a definite highlight. 6/10

 

5. Captain America: The First Avenger: This does surprisingly well, and works well when taken into the context of the Cap trilogy. It's just as much about Bucky's journey as Cap's. Red Skull is an excellent villain. 6/10

 

6. Avengers Assemble: Total classic, here we see the MCU fun and exciting tone in full force for the first time. Special effects are largely excellent, and does a surprisingly good job of introducing all characters, regardless of what you've seen before. 9/10

 

7. Iron Man 3: One of the worst MCU films in my book. It's story and motivations are completely at odds with the rest of the MCU storylines, Iron Man is all but absent in the film and is comically depowered, the Mandarin misdirect is horribly executed, and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. 4/10

 

8. Thor: The Dark World: Anthony Hopkins couldn't be more obviously phoning it in here, and I don't blame him. I fell asleep just before the big end set-piece. 4/10

 

9. Captain America: Winter Soldier: The Russo Brother's MCU debut, and what a drastic uptick in quality. One of the MCU's best. The action set-pieces are breathtaking, with a personal highlight being Fury's car chase. A hinted-at Cap/Natasha romantic sub-plot is regrettably trampled on by subsequent films. The tone and pacing of this film is absolutely spot-on. 9/10

 

10. Guardians of the Galaxy: I hadn't seen this in a good long while, and my god did it absolutely shine on this re-watch. With characterisation chops that are the envy of every other MCU director, James Gunn confidently putsforward a film that up until this point was rivalled only by Avengers Assemble in terms of fun and excitement. The MCU enters the cosmic realm in dazzling fashion. 9/10

 

11. Avengers: Age of Ultron: A film so busy with subplots and running at such a speed that it borders on incoherence. A lot of half-baked and poorly concluded threads. I remember coming out of the cinema having watched it for the first time, and not being sure that I understood what I'd seen. Repeat viewings can alleviate these issues though. Regardless, excellent action and contains my personal favourite Stan Lee cameo. 7/10

 

12. Ant-Man: If ever a character thrived on being the underdog, Ant-Man was it. It's obvious from the tone and marketing that Marvel was aware of that strength, and as such they serve up a surprisingly entertaining film here, so much so that expectations are pleasantly exceeded. Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang perfectly. The heist theme is excellently done. 8/10

 

13. Captain America: Civil War: The finest that the MCU has to offer, in my opinion. The plot provides a genuine moral quandary, and each character gets to say their piece. Black Panther is better in this than in his own film, Spider-Man is introduced perfectly ("QUEENS" - SQUEE!) and the action set-pieces are just mesmerising. Most people mention the airport centre-piece, but I think the real highlight is the end fight sequence between Cap, Iron Man and Bucky. There's real weight and consequence here. Thanos gets a lot of credit for it, but Zemo is truly the first villain to have won by the end of the film. 10/10

 

14. Doctor Strange: When I heard that Scott Derrickson was directing this, I was thrilled. Given this and Doctor Strange's previous experience with the occult and Lovecraftian antagonists, I thought Marvel was going to make a horror film. Instead we get a trippy magic-as-kung-fu origin story, steeped in 60's psychedelia, and some of the best and most brain-melting special effects ever seen in film. It feels strangely similar to the first Iron Man, a kind of throw-back to the origins of the MCU. Mads Mikkelson is absolutely wasted in this film (he would have been my dream casting for Doctor Doom), and Tilda Swinton steals every scene she's in. The ending's tone is pulled straight out of the comics, to my utter delight. This film opens Strange up to some wonderful future possibilities, which we've already begun to see. 7/10

 

15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: This film has some pretty big shoes to fill. The first film was a fantastic, confident and stylish departure from the other MCU fare, and it does seem like Gunn was feeling the pressure to replicate and improve upon all of those points. Unfortunately, while on paper this film is grander than the previous, it loses sight of some characterisation, the true linchpin of the original. The worst offence is Drax - a character who's motivations from the first film, the deep mourning for his family, and murderous need to gain vengeance, is replaced by a character who basically just laughs at everything.

There's a bit too much playing for laughs, and the music is a bit too shoehorned in, but there are some excellent messages about the importance of family, despite their imperfections. Kurt Russell is an inspired bit of casting for the role he plays. 7/10

 

16. Spider-Man: Homecoming: This film truly shows just what Marvel can do that other studios just can't. They truly understand the characters and storylines, and don't shy away from any of the details that might not translate so well to film. They've realised that getting Peter Parker right and getting Spider-Man right are two different jobs, and getting one right doesn't imply that that the other is a done deal.

We FINALLY have a Peter Parker who is actually a school-kid, and wisely manage to bypass the already battered-to-death origin story. Melding supporting characters from both the Peter Parker and Miles Morales runs works well in my opinion, and the film actually delivers a genuinely shocking twist for the first time in the MCU. Tom Holland nails it on all fronts, and Michael Keaton takes an easy paycheck, but does a fantastic job while doing it. The best Spider-Man film, despite the first 10 minutes delivering the two most maddening continuity errors in the whole MCU. 9/10

 

21. Captain Marvel: This is a strange one. Brie Larson nails it as a competent and confident, but never outright arrogant, protagonist. She has a real sense of empathy and justice, the real makings of a true hero. There is a really inspiring message about personal strength and determination that lifts the story up. The film is, however, not without fault, most of which can be laid down directly at the directors' feet. There are some questions about character motivations and reactions, and some of the action is poorly laid out. Some of the lighting is god-awful. Ben Mendelsohn nails his role as arch-Skrull. The 90's nods were lovely, although I wish they'd taken more advantage of the Riot Grrl music that was at their disposal. Hopefully this Cap's trilogy has the same trajectory as the other Cap's, and the sequels deliver on this film's promise. 6/10

 

17. Thor: Ragnarok: Well, it only took them 2 feature films and 2 tie-in Avengers films, but they finally got Thor right. This film is a perfect symbiosis of the Marvel Studios juggernaut and a very singular and distinctive directorial style. Dispensing with the chaff of the franchise in hilariously brazen style, this film introduces new, much more engaging characters which embrace the inherent silliness of the franchise. Despite the levity of the film, the storyline lives up to its title in smuggling a cataclysmically dark story past the viewer. There are a few technical issues (perhaps the most blatant and noticeable green screen work in the MCU, and the lighting always looks very... studio-y), but there's such a sense of fun in this film that it's easily forgiven. Blanchett absolutely nails her role as Hela and obviously had great fun doing so. Korg is hilarious and Hulk is, for the first time, a fleshed out character. This is a masterclass in how to turn an ailing franchise around. 9/10

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Just watched Doctor Strange. For me it's solid 8/10, I enjoy it every time I watch it. It's just great entertainment, and has a great ending. 

 

Prior to it I watched Guardians 2 ... it's a 6/10, at best. It's completely irrelevant to the Infinity Saga, and just isn't that good. A lot of the jokes just don't land, or simply aren't funny. Nicole Perlman's absence from the writing team for this sequel is glaringly obvious. 

 

Spidey is next on my list :)

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What’s this, praise for Dr Strange? I thought his film was brilliant and he’s a really good character, but I usually keep that quiet around here as I thought I’d get slated for it.

 

Good to know there are other sensible people!

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The biggest problem Guardians 2 has for me is its completely whiplash tone. It jumps in seconds from dick jokes and cheap gags to torture and callous cruelty. It's so uneven it leaves the whole thing feeling a bit unsatisfying somehow. It's also not as funny as original and the soundtrack isn't as good.

 

Which is a bit of a shame because it also has some of the entire series best emotional moments for me. The scene where Mantis feels Drax's pain as he sits there stoically, and the scene were Quill instantly reacts to finding out the true nature of his mother's death, are both the most curiously effecting moments in any of the films imo.

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As for Doctor Strange... It's one of my favourite origin movies in the series. The biggest criticisms of it are the weak villain (de riguer for the origins), the lack of a feeling of time passing (Strange becomes a master of the magical arts in what seems like a week), Strange being too Stark style quippy, and the under use of McAdams (infamously derided as the film simply giving Strange a bad case of the NotGay). But otherwise Cumberbatch smashes it out of the park, the film isn't afraid to make Strange genuinely unlikable at the start, epitomised by the scene where he rails at McAdams, when at his lowest ebb he lashes out at her cruelly. It has cracking effects, some inventive action scenes, some beautiful scenes, a clever ending, nicely establishes future conflicts... It's a good film.

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Phase 1 micro MCU reviews

 

Spoiler

Iron Man - a great start. Excellent casting, wonderful CGI, bang on tone. The walk away tank explosion shot is still top tier for moments in the series. Falls a little at the end but everything else is so good 8/10

The Incredible Hulk - the series forgotten relative. It doesn't sit in the series very well. On its own terms I like it as a Hulk story, I even quite like Norton as Banner, and Hurt as Ross is just excellent, and serves the series well later. I quite like Roth too. The Hulk design is awful and it isn't great in any other way really. 5/10

Iron Man 2 - the series nadir. It's a holding pattern of a film. It's not all bad - Rockwell is great, the Monaco scene is wonderful, the Mk.V armour is awesome, Cheadle is a good Rhodey. But everything else. Ugh. Rourke is just bizarre, the nod towards Demon in the Bottle is a horrible waste, the poisoning thing, ugh. It's a set up film really. 4/10.

Thor - the series takes its first step towards weird. And it's good. The hammy slightly Shakespearian stuff is fun, Hemsworth is really good, Hiddleston nicely toes the line of Loki being an untrustworthy snake who didn't belong, Hopkins is great as Odin (his disarming anger is awesome). The fish out of water comedy stuff is mostly decent (the coffee shop and pet shop scenes being standouts). Portman is a complete waste mind. Oh, and Thor's eyebrows. Shudder. 6/10

Captain America the First Avenger - unfairly maligned by many. It's an old fashion Saturday afternoon adventure. The cast is across the board excellent, it has superb atmosphere and heart, a good villain, an arc defining lead performance... It's great. The biggest flaw? Not enough action. It relegates a chunk of action to a montage. And what is left isn't the series at it's best. But it's still good. 7/10

Avengers Assemble - the series definer. The biggest event movie I can remember being a part of, and it still feels special. Cast all on song, Loki becomes a credible all conquering villain with that cool undercurrent of him actually just having a bit of a tantrum that got out of hand, excellent action (I will never forget when I first saw the film, the screening I was in had a man with a disability in the front row with 2 carers. During the Thor/Iron Man fight, he had his arms waving around because he was so into it. It touched my heart and I still feel that to this day), good comedy, so many iconic moments... As time has passed more issues with it have become apparent (the pace is dodgy in parts, 'he wanted to be captured!' always sucks, the costume design is ropey, etc), but it's still great. 9/10

 

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35 minutes ago, Chindie said:

the series red headed stepchild

Is there any need for this? It's a pretty insulting and derogatory remark to equate us gingers with something you don't like.

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13 minutes ago, JPL said:

Is there any need for this? It's a pretty insulting and derogatory remark to equate us gingers with something you don't like.

Apologies, no offense meant. I'm half ginger myself, I only use it as a turn of phrase. I'll edit it.

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GotG 2 is one my faves actually. It has some of the best emotional moments, some of the funniest jokes, good action scenes, amazing music and it's probably the best looking of all the MCU films. That movie just pops in 4K/HDR. It helps that I'm a massive space opera fan of course, but yeah, bring on GotG 3.

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6 minutes ago, Glasgowchivas said:

I think GotG2 is garbage. SuperQuill zipping about at the end is as bad as Tony inventing a new element using clues from his Dad's innovation park.

And there's lots to like in GotG2! Individual moments that really work and play well but overall? Garbage.

 

I completely agree. GotG is my favourite Marvel film. The second one is a turd.

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1 hour ago, Chindie said:

Apologies, no offense meant. I'm half ginger myself, I only use it as a turn of phrase. I'll edit it.

No worries.

 

Anyway, tickets booked for 4.30 on Thursday afternoon. Can’t fucking wait.

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15 minutes ago, McCoy said:

 

Is there any need for this? It's a pretty insulting and derogatory remark to equate us forgotten relatives with something you don't like.

 

I know you joke, but what if he’d said ‘the series black friend’ or ‘the series gay brother’ or any other remark meant as an insult. Would those have been ok too?

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5 minutes ago, JPL said:

I know you joke, but what if he’d said ‘the series black friend’ 

 

 

From one redhead to another, I'd edit/delete this before anyone sees it and thinks you're equating someone having a pop at gingers with racism, you idiot. 

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6 minutes ago, BitterToad said:

 

 

From one redhead to another, I'd edit/delete this before anyone sees it and thinks you're equating someone having a pop at gingers with racism, you idiot. 

I’m not equating anything. I’m saying it’s insulting, just as any other derogatory remark is insulting. They were just examples, not direct matches.

 

Maybe it was wrong to give specific examples, so apologies for that, but you get my point. There’s no need to insult a group of people like that. It just reinforces the negative stereotype.

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