Movies & TV / Columns

The Man Movie Encyclopedia – The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phases Two and Three

May 11, 2018 | Posted by Caliber Winfield
Avengers: Infinity War Chris Evans


Greetings, all.

This would have been up much sooner, but my laptop of 2 years died on me, literally on the day I bought it, 2 years ago. So, what did I have to do? I had to use my old PC from 2004. Yes, you read that right, 2004. It was so slow, that from the time I turned it on, till it was set for me to scroll through facebook, was almost 30 minutes. Absolutely no joke.
So, I just got a new laptop, so this nonsense is over with.

We were gonna go back to traditional action movies, but I got a few requests from you guys about certain films from the MCU and my thoughts. So, because I love you, the beautiful people, here’s my thoughts on the rest of the entire MCU.

Iron Man 3
Ugh, what could have been. Look, it’s not a bad film, but it missed the mark, a lot. For one, there was an episode of Married With Children were Kelly goes to her high school reunion, and a really gorgeous dude is into her. Turns out he was a nerd back in high school, with terrible skin, hair, and glasses. Well, one night Kelly told him to meet her on top of the building, in winter. He lost a toe, then came back smoking hot, and got Kelly to wait on top of the building in winter. Sound familiar? Exactly. Then of course…ugh, the Mandarin. They absolutely blew it with this. The Mandarin deals in magic, Tony deals in science. We’ve only seen Tony fight technology. It would have been so much cooler to finally see him come across a foe who deals with something he can’t explain, that he doesn’t know how to deal with. What we got was crap. I mean, it’s basically impossible for Marvel to make a bad movie, so despite all these flaws, it’s still pretty damn decent. Just not one I cherish and go back to constantly. 6.5/10

Thor: The Dark World
It’s a decent film, but again, much like Iron Man 3, it was lacking. The villain wasn’t anything interesting, and people just weren’t caring too much about Thor having a love interest. That’s good and well for everyone else, but let’s just see Thor crush shit and burn it all to the ground. \par

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Do I even need to talk about this movie? What we have here is arguably not just the greatest MCU film, but the greatest comic book film of all time, as well as one of the greatest flat out films of all time. This movie is absolutely flawless from the word “go”. The story line is fantastic, and the action is arguably the best that Marvel has ever produced. The first time seeing it, you think The Winter Soldier is the whole story, but then BAM, you get the Hyrda twist, and your brain explodes. In my opinion, this film trumps The Dark Knight in every way. A fucking masterpiece. \line 10/10\line\line Guardians of the Galaxy\line Like most, I’d never read a GotG comic, or even knew who they were. However, like Marvel does, they took far less than A List names, and made them as big as anything else they have. Guardians is absolutely fantastic, with some of the best humor in the entire MCU. It was insanely creative, with everyone clicking together perfectly. Batista showed off comedy chops that no one expected, and stole the show. I also feel that Ronin is an underrated villain. He’s ruthless, radicalized, and had a cool look. We also got our first look at Thanos, and his sweet floating, rock chair. I need one.  8/10

The Avengers: Age of Ultron
You wanna talk underrated? This is it right here. The first Avengers was a massive success, both financially and critically, so there was a lot to live up to. Initially, people weren’t in love, but I think they need to go back and re-watch. It’s a darker film, deeper than the first, and while Ultron isn’t as great as Loki, he’s vastly underrated. He’s like an unhinged nut-job that’s insanely powerful. He’s also really funny with a ton of remarks that make me laugh every time while having zero regard for human life. Along with him are the twins, Scarlet Witch and Quicksliver. It’s great to see the Avengers go up against other super powered cats, and then have them join up later. Of course, we also get the amazing Hulk vs Hulkbuster armor fight scene. Great epic battle to close out the show, and of course, my boy Cap, being able to move the Hammer but letting Thor keep his throne. 9/10

The word I feel is best to describe Antman, is fun. While a lot of Marvel films feel epic, like a massive meal, Antman felt more like some sweet Jack In The Box tacos while you sit in the car with your buddies. Just a fun time. Paul Rudd is great, and Michael Douglas fit the role of Hank Pym just fine. The shrinking scenes were great, with top notch CGI, and while the villain was lacking, the final battle was pretty sweet. 7.5/10

Captain America: Civil War
Once again, Cap returns to bring us the absolute best that comic book movies have to offer. What is essentially The Avengers 2.5, Civil War is a comic book fan’s dream come true, as we get a large chunk of the all time greats going at. Anyone who says they didn’t mark the fuck out when Spider-Man showed up in that trailer is a bold faced LIAR, good sir! The movie is phenomenal action from beginning to end, with a host of awesome characters, including two brand new introductions in Black Panther and Spider-Man, both of which were done perfectly. The airport scene is arguably the greatest in comic book movie history, with over 10 minutes of Iron Man, War Machine, Antman, Spider-Man, Cap, Winter Soldier, Vision, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and a few others all doing battle. Then come the end we get a knock-down drag out fight between Cap & Buck and Tony, which was just as emotional as it was fantastic. Goddamn what a fun movie.

Doctor Strange
I was never a huge fan of Strange in the comics, so I actually didn’t see this movie until about a month ago, and I was really blown away. This movie is a lot of fun, with incredible visuals, and one of the most charasmatic, and interesting heroes in Doctor Strange. It’s a lot of fun going along with him as we all discover the worlds beyond ours, just as he does. A gorgeous film that had a great confrontation scene involving the Time Stone. I’m really looking forward to the sequel. \par

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
I think the Guardians would have made for a hell of a TV show, because the group is just flat-out entertaining to watch. The opening scene is fantastic, as we’re lead into the famed sound track that Guardians has become known for. I thought the villain was a very interesting choice, as I remember Ego from way, way back, looking at my Marvel Universe Series 3 trading cards, and wondering who the giant planet was. Bridges killed it as usual, and as per usual, so did the humor, and the action. Plus, it got heavy on the emotion at one point when Yondu sacrificed himself. Top notch stuff.  8/10

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Ever since Marvel got cooking, people wanted Spider-Man to be in his rightful home, especially after that god-awful ASM2. I really liked Andrew Garfield as Parker, but it’s hard to argue Holland as the choice. Thankfully, we’re thrown right into it, no origin story. On top of that, we start heading into Marvel’s era of the awesome bad-guys, as Keaton nails it as the Vulture. He’s menacing, but at the same time you feel almost sympathetic to his plight. I was afraid Iron Man would take too much focus, but he’s used 3rd bowl of portage style, just right. My only complaint is that Tony says “if you’re nothing without the suit, you don’t deserve it” and then he got his ass kicked promptly by the Vulture. Why can’t we get Venom in this world, dammit. 7.5/10

Thor: Ragnarok
Oh hell yeah. We’re in Top 5 territory here, as Thor offers up what is without a doubt the most fun Marvel movie to date. While the previous films were a bit…stoic, I suppose is the world, a bit more serious, this one just lets it all the fuck go, and we get a fucking masterpiece. There’s so much that I loved that I could easily write an entire article on it. Hell, I could write an entire article on Korg. I put Ragnarok up there with Jurassic Park and Scott Pilgrim vs The World as “this is why movies are made” kinda thing. A fucking blast. 10/10

Black Panther
Holy hell is this thing over-rated. Seriously, why are some people so high on it? It’s pretty good, but by no means a Top 5, and I even question a Top 10. T’Challa isn’t that interesting, proven even more so when Kilmonger outshines him at every turn when they’re on screen. The action is decent, but felt a bit lacking. I did like the story, and the fact that they made Kilmonger the type of villain you could understand the motives of. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the final fight, because there was just too much CGI. I mean, we went from the first encounter, a CGI less battle, to a completely computer generated brawl. Also, I had this same problem with Spider-Man, and maybe it’s just me, but I find it almost annoying how advance the tech is becoming. It makes it so these guys are almost all Superman and never have to figure out a situation for themselves, they can just rely on the tech to get them out of it. I’m sure I’m in the few on this one though. Despite all that, still a damn good film, just not the all-time great that people were making it out to be. 7/10

The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1
I’m probably going to need to see this a few more times before I have a concrete thought, but as it stands, I really liked this movie. However, those trailers had me so hyped, and my hype wasn’t exactly satisfied. It feels that Part 2 is where I’ll get to bust the big fan boy nut, as Part 1 was damn near all foreplay. One thing this film did, was show you that Marvel can in fact produce one hell of a villain. Those first 10 minutes, wow. I loved that Thanos was able to not only handle Hulk, but beat the shit out of him, it truly showed how powerful he is. The battle on Wakanda was massive and epic, with Thor’s entrance being one of the greatest of all time. The battle on Titan was great, as was any scene with Ebony Maw. Really, it is a hell of a film, and I think it’ll be that much better once we have Part 2. In terms of villain, it’s funny, no one can say shit to Marvel about their villains now, as they went and created one of the greatest of all time.

Any questions, comments, drunk-ramblings, feel free to send them my way, I always dig hearing from you, the beautiful people.

Twitter: @CaliberWinfield

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I post almost daily with workout related stuff to help you cats out, along with what’s coming down the pike via the MME, and general pop culture from the 80s and 90s that I can’t seem to let go of.

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