Top 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Films

It’s baaaaaacccckkk… 

Hey, y’all!  As we all know, the Marvel Cinematic Universal has been killin’ it this year (to be honest, they’ve been killin’ for the last 10 years), and everyone’s still buzzing about Black Panther and Avengers:  Infinity War as well as the upcoming Avengers 4 (working title).  Plus, we recently received the sad news that Chris Evans’s appearance as Captain America in the next Avengers film will be his last.  😭😭  Add that with that fact that Halloween is coming and kids around the world will be dressing up as Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther, I figured there was no better time to bring back my top 10 to name my favorite films from the MCU!

Spiderman and Deadpool Dancing (Alt)

By the way, this list only refers to the films in the Disney portion of the MCU so Deadpool, the early Spider-Man films and the entire X-Men series to date will be excluded.  Sorry, y’all.  I still urge you to read on.  Some of my choices may shock you.  BTW, there may be some slight spoilers in this review.  You’ve been warned.

10. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spiderman - Frustrated (Alt)

I was one of the precious few people that had reservations about Spider-Man joining the MCU, as I mentioned in my 2016 review of Captain America:  Civil War.  However, the more I see Spider-Man in the MCU films, the more I love him, and I thoroughly enjoyed Spider-Man:  Homecoming.  I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, I love how the MCU reminds us that Spider-Man is actually a teenager and accurately portrays a young Generation Z boy trying to save the world one person at a time.  Plus, I appreciated the fact that Homecoming featured a diverse cast that befittingly showcases the cultural melting pot that is New York City.

9.  Iron Man 3

Iron Man - I'm the Best (Alt)

As I said before, some of my choices will shock you, and right now, I’m sure some of y’all are saying to yourselves, “What in the actual hell?”  In the court of public opinion, Iron Man 3 is not only the worst film in the Iron Man trilogy, but it’s also one of the worst films in the MCU.  In my personal opinion though, I thought the movie was great.  I enjoyed the other two, but this one was my favorite amongst the Iron Man films (stop judging me).  I thought the Mandarin/Trevor Slattery storyline was hilarious and totally unexpected.  There were a ton of other scenes that had me crackin’ up too (i.e.:  Tony’s suit not coming to him immediately after he summoned it), and the storyline with Tony developing PTSD was very interesting.  Plus, the movie falls under one of my favorite genres:   a Christmas movie that’s not really about Christmas (see Die Hard and Trading Places)!

8.  Thor

Thor Winks (Alternate 3)

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love Thor, so naturally, the first installment of his trilogy would be on this list.  At first glance, I thought Thor was going to be a bit on the cheesy side.  However, when I sat down and watched the film in its entirety, I loved it.  My only small gripe is that it moves too fast (the whole movie takes place in the course of two and a half days, pretty much), and we don’t get quite enough Thor and Jane (yeah, I said it), but the creative force behind the MCU more than makes up for that later.  The best things about this film are that I was introduced to one of the finest specimens on Earth, Mr. Chris Hemworth, and we were all introduced to the MCU’s number one villain/antihero, Loki!

7.  Captain America:  The Winter Soldier

Captain America - Does Anyone Want to Get Out (Alt)

When Captain America:  The Winter Soldier was first released in the Spring of 2014, there was a ton of hoopla for the film, and after I finally got to see it myself, I could see why.  I wasn’t sure if I’d like it as much as Captain America:  The First Avenger (yes, I liked The First Avenger), but as it turns out, The Winter Soldier was even better.  Killer action scenes, an intelligent plot and a storyline about how the (brotherly) love between two men remains unending after more than three-quarters of a century go by.  I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.  Let’s not forget…Cap was even sexier in this installment.

6.  Thor:  Ragnarok

Thor - He's a Friend From Work

As my longtime readers know, I posted an article about Thor:  Ragnarok last year, citing my likes, dislikes and scratch my head moments in the film.  If you notice, the likes far outnumber the other two categories, and the more I watch this movie, the more I love it.  It’s friggin’ hilarious, and I love Thor and Bruce/Hulk’s dynamic.  Yes, I still hate that Thor and Jane broke up, and I don’t like that Thor lost his hair or his eye, but I’ve gotten used to the haircut.  Plus, (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Thor gets his eye back in Infinity War.  Yay!

5.  Captain America:  Civil War

Captain America

Hands down, Captain America:  Civil War was the best film out of Cap’s trilogy.   Yeah, he shared the stage with the majority of his Avengers teammates, as well as some new editions (Black Panther, baby!), but that just added to the greatness that is this movie.  I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, the Russo Brothers handled the ensemble cast beautifully.  The special effects and action scenes were killer (namely the fight at the airport), and the twist involving Bucky and Tony’s parents was a real game changer.  I pretty much figured that Bucky was the one that killed Tony’s parents, but after it was confirmed and watching the aftermath behind it…man, I never would’ve predicted that.

4.  Thor:  The Dark World

Thor - Anyone Else (Alt)

Yes, you read that correctly.  I’m sure this is another “What in the actual hell?” moment.  I LOVE Thor:  The Dark World, and as long as I live, I will never understand why it’s the most hated film in the MCU to date.  It’s true that Malekeith was a weak villain, but to be honest, aren’t most of the MCU villains weak?  Aside from Malekeith being a sorry bad guy, this movie was boss.  Beautiful visuals, Thor and Jane’s love story was explored a bit further, we got to see Loki again (and we watched him fake his death again), and the film took place on Asgard and England!  I’ve always had a thing for the UK.  Plus, Thor was drop dead gorgeous in this movie!  To be honest, this is the movie that made me fall in love with him!  Sorry, not sorry.

3.  Black Panther

T'Challa and Shuri - Wakanda Forever (Alt)

Y’all, believe me when I tell you…Black Panther wasn’t just a movie.  It was an adventure.  Seeing what Africa could’ve been if it weren’t torn apart by colonialism and slavery, the stellar performances, the strong black female characters; Erik Killmonger, the first strong and unforgettable MCU villain since Loki; making “Wakanda Forever” the catchphrase of 2018 (I’m just sorry that we ran it down in the ground so much that Chadwick Boseman hates it now); this film has it all.  I saw Black Panther at the theatre in 3-D earlier this year, and it blew me away.  Everything from the beginning to the end credits is awe-inspiring, and as an African-American woman, I love films that portray my people in a positive light.  The soundtrack was phenomenal, as well.  “All the Stars” was my go-to jam of the year until “This Is America” came out.  Dang…the symbolism in that last statement is eerie…

2.  Avengers:  Infinity War

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It was extremely hard for me to choose between Black Panther and Avengers:  Infinity War for the number two spot.  I saw both movies at the theatre (check out my review of Infinity War that I wrote earlier this year) and each film made me rethink my universe.  However, when I had to dig deep and think about it, Infinity War blew my mind just a tad bit more—just a tad—and won the race by a hair.  Like Civil War, Infinity War handled the ensemble cast perfectly.  I was on the edge of my seat during the entire film, and the ending basically went down in pop culture history.  Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it.  Also, I liked that Thanos wasn’t your typical I-wanna-do-evil-just-for-the-sack-of-doing-it bad guy.  He was a three-dimension character with a purpose that he thought was for the greater good.  Then again, so did Hitler and Jim Jones.

1.  The Avengers

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Come on.  The majority of this list may have surprised you, but are you really surprised that The Avengers took the number one spot?  The movie that’s the second highest grossing superhero film of all time (it’s surpassed by Infinity War)?  The film that changed the game for superhero movies forever?  The project that solidified the MCU as a powerhouse?  Y’all knew better.  I could explain why this movie is number one on the list, but y’all already know why.  If you don’t…watch it.

—Written by Nadiya

Did y’all agree with my list?  Did some of the entries intrigue you?  What’s some of your favorite movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?  Are you glad I brought my top 10 back?  Let me know in the comments section!

‘Infinity War’ Spoilers! (Out of Context)

Hey, y’all!  I know I just posted my Avengers:  Infinity War review just yesterday, but I realize some of you out there may be curious about all the big events that happened in the film.  For all of you that want the fine details of the movie, I decided to make this post feature the major spoilers in the film.  I decided to tell you guys the important plot points using one of my favorite methods:  GIFs.  Enjoy!

 

 

***WARNING:  The following GIFs contain important spoilers for Avengers:  Infinity War.  If you haven’t seen the film yet, you may not want to see the pictures.  YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.***

 

 

Naruto - Choking (Alt)

Flying Doughnut (Alt)

Squidsworth - I Hate Everyone (Alt)

Needles in Face (Alt)

Thumper (Alt)

Hans Falling (Alt)

Tyrion - A Small Man Can Cast a Large Shadow (Alt)

Forging Metal (Alt)

World War Z (Alt)

Ashes to Ashes 2 (Alt)

Cecily Strong - Huh (Alt)

Hope you learned somethin’!  (You can thank Twitter for the idea.  😂😂)

—Written (and GIFs posted) by Nadiya

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Was an Experience…

Wow.  Just wow.

I took the chance to see Avengers:  Infinity War last night (Apr. 28, 2018), not really knowing what to expect.  I heard the ending was crazy (which it was); when I viewed Avengers:  Age of Ultron nearly three years ago I remember walking out of the theatre a bit disappointed, and over the years, I’ve learned that having so many great characters and/or actors in one film can be hit or miss.  Last night I left the movie theatre with my mind blown…in a good way.

Just a quick synopsis:  Thanos—the purple bad guy that the MCU’s been teasing us with for the past six years—finally does something and decides to rule the universe with the help of the Infinity Gauntlet and all six of the Infinity Stones.  It’s up to The Avengers to stop him, but to the chagrin of humanity, they’re scattered across the universe and not exactly on speaking terms (Tony and Steve).  Thankfully, they gain a little help from their friends:  The Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange (yes, those Beatles puns were intentional).  The stakes have never been higher.

Thanos (Alt)

I know what you’re thinking:  “We already know that much about the movie from the trailers and TV commercials!”  Well, that’s all I’m able to tell you without spoiling the film.  I’ll just speak on the other factors of Infinity War I enjoyed without getting deep into the plot.  First of all, this is one of the darkest movies in the MCU, and I liked that they decided to take The Avengers series to the next level the way they did.  Once again, I can’t speak too much on the subject without revealing major plot points, but trust me…the darker tone is well worth the price of admission.

All the actors did a great job, and the film was very well written as well as brilliantly handled.  I never got the feeling of there being too many cooks (The Expendables), or that the characters were all fighting for screen time (Age of Ultron).  Without broadcasting too much of the storyline, the characters were basically grouped off in different areas for the duration of the movie.  Steve, Bucky, T’Challa and the rest of Team Cap from Captain America:  Civil War (including Bruce, Vision, and Rhodey this go around) were mostly in Wakanda.  Thor, Rocket, and Groot took a trip to Nidavellir.  The remaining Guardians travel to Knowhere and later meet up with Doctor Strange, Tony and Spider-Man in Titan.  It never felt as if one character had too much focus or not enough.  Each player had equal time in the spotlight.  One thing I really like about the Russo Brothers is that they know how to handle an ensemble cast, as they more than proved when they took the helm of Civil War back in 2016.

Infinity War (Alt)

I have to echo many movie reviewers’ take on Thanos; I like the fact that he’s a fleshed out villain—much like Loki and Erik Killmonger—and he’s more than just an evildoer wrecking havoc for the sake of evil.  It’s revealed that he actually has a heart and feels genuine love…or at least his version of it.  Thanos is also a formidable opponent—as we all figured—but he turns out to commit deeds that are even worse than what we imagined, for a purpose we never would have thought possible.  The Avengers definitely have their work cut out for them.

Thor - Who the Hell are You Guys (Alt)

What I really loved about Infinity War was how the movie portrayed my baby Thor. When it comes to the Avengers movies, sometimes it feels that my sweetie is a bit underutilized, at least in my opinion.  Even though the first Avengers film still stands firm as my favorite out of the MCU, Thor didn’t really have a chance to shine, which in some respects is understandable, since he had to share the screen with his other teammates.  However, in Infinity War, Thor doesn’t hold back a damn thing, and he comes for Thanos with a vengeance, showing that he truly is mighty.  Thor is so badass in this film, that there’s a key scene where he appears in all his glory, and I kid you not, everyone in the theatre applauded.  I love that man.

Now onto the things I didn’t care for, which are small and minuscule.  Wanda’s (Scarlett Witch) accent kept changing from American to slightly Northern European.  She had a  thick Russian-esque accent in Age of Ultron and Civil War.  Pick one, boo.  Another small thing is that sometimes the transition from scene to scene would be a bit jarring, especially if it would say, switch from Earth to a completely atypical planet, but once again, that wasn’t really a biggie.  As I said before, the scenes clashed just a tiny bit, but the difference wasn’t completely overwhelming.  Oh yeah, and I didn’t like Black Widow with blonde hair.  Just sayin’.  Still ain’t feelin’ Thor’s haircut, but I’m over it.  Other than that, the movie was excellent.

In conclusion, if you haven’t seen Avengers:  Infinity War, get off your badonkadonk and go see it.  It’s worth the price of admission.  Don’t be cheap.  😛😛

Star Lord and Iron Man - It Sucks (Alt).gif

—Written by Nadiya

Have you seen Avengers:  Infinity War?  What did you think about it?  Was it the best film in the MCU, the worst, or did you like it, but not much as some of the other movies in the Marvel Universe?  Who was your favorite character?  Who was your least favorite character?  Did you think Thanos made a great villain or was he just…meh?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – The Good, the Bad, and the Things That Made Me Go “Hmmm…”

Thor Ragnarok Pic (Alt)

Hey, y’all!  Long time, no post!  I know, I’ve been away for a loooong time.  I’m not making any excuses; it was a combination of things that kept me away.  Work, other writing assignments, family, losing a loved one this past September, lack of ideas, and a lot of times, just plain laziness.  Like I said, no excuses.  I’m back now, and even though I don’t want to promise you guys that there’ll be a post waiting for you guys each week, I’ll try a little harder to write more often than I have this year.

Now let’s get down to brass tax.  As I’m sure you all know at this point, Thor:  Ragnarok was released on Nov. 3, 2017, and you best believe that I was right there in the theatre the very next day.  Considering that a ton of reviews have already been posted regarding the film, I decided to do something a little different.  I’m going to list the good things about Thor:  Ragnarok, the things I didn’t really like about the movie, and the things that I didn’t like or actually dislike, but they had me scratching my head.

***By the way, this post is full of spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the film yet, you may want to wait to read this.  You’ve been warned.***

The Good:Thor - Swag (Alt)

  1. Thor was fine.  That’s always a plus.
  2. The comedy was on point, 98% of the time.  For a second, I thought the decision to make the Thor series more serious ala Guardians of the Galaxy would blow up in Marvel’s face, but they actually pulled it off.
  3. The action scenes also delivered.  Thor and Hulk’s big fight, the showdown between Hela and “The Revengers,” as Thor liked to call them, the scenes where Heimdall was kickin’ ass and takin’ names, not to mention the scenes where Hela pretty much dominated…everyone was gold.
  4. Cate Blanchett played the hell out of Hela (no alliteration intended).
  5. There was a scene where Thor was shirtless.  Well worth my $13.85.
  6. Even though Doctor Strange has been my least favorite Marvel film so far, I greatly enjoyed his scene with Thor in the film.
  7. Karl Urban and director Taika Waititi also delivered in their roles.
  8. Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba were masterful, as always.
  9. My baby Chris Hemsworth always kills as Thor.
  10. Tessa Thompson was a wonderful addition to the MCU, and as always, I love to see a person of color on the big screen.  I couldn’t help but notice that she and Thor had a fleeting connection while escaping Sakaar.
  11. Jeff Goldblum. That man is a legend.
  12. I loved the chemistry between Thor and Hulk/Bruce Banner.  Once again, I didn’t think the “buddy cop” aspect would work, but it did.
  13. Even though I always loved Erik and Darcy’s characters, I didn’t miss them in the movie.  I guess that’s just a testament to how much fun it is.
  14. Last but not least, I loved how Thor proved that he really is the god of thunder and he didn’t need Mjolnir to wield his power.

The Bad:Thor and Iron Man - GTFO (Alt)

  1. Thor and Jane broke up, apparently.  What’s even worse is that the movie handled Thor and Jane breaking up like a damn footnote.  Really?
  2. Odin dies.  Boo!  Anthony Hopkins was great, as usual, though.
  3. Thor gets all his hair cut off.  I’m sure all of y’all knew that from the trailers and TV spots, but I still didn’t like it.  My only consolation is that it didn’t take away from Thor’s character like I thought it would.
  4. Even though the comedy was on point 98% of the time, I felt like the 2% botched it when they decided to be a little too jokey, especially if the occasion was meant to be serious and they opted to tell a joke.
  5. The Warrior Three got killed off in record time, and their deaths were completely unceremonious.  They were supposed to be Thor’s best friends, and yet not a word was mentioned about them by Thor or anyone else when they were killed.
  6. Sif was MIA, and she was never even mentioned.  Where the hell is she?
  7. Thor lost his damn eye! I am SO pissed off about that!  Why did they have to ruin my beautiful baby’s face?  I swear Thor is the most disrespected one out of all the Avengers!  No one else lost limbs or eyes (not counting Bucky; he’s technically not an Avenger, and the steel arm was artificial anyway.  He can get another one)!

The Things That Made Me Go Hmmm…Thor - Confused (Alt)

  1. Okay, so in an interview, Tessa Thompson stated that Valkyrie was supposed to be bisexual in the comics and she played her that way in the movie.  I guess all those scenes must’ve been cut, because I didn’t see her flirt with any girls or guys, for that matter (she and Thor had a moment for two seconds, but that’s about as sexual as she got).  Basically, her character was badass, burnout, and an alcoholic.  Anybody can have those characteristics, regardless of sexual orientation.  Hmmm…
  2. Bruce was The Hulk for two years straight.  While he was The Hulk, he killed people in the gladiator ring.  When Hulk transformed back into Bruce Banner, he didn’t even inquire about whether or not he killed people, which was one of his many concerns in the past films.  Hmmm…
  3. Loki actually decides to be on the side of justice for a change, but near the end of the film, we notice him eyeing the Tesseract in Odin’s chamber.  Hmmm…
  4. Speaking of Odin’s chamber, Hela mentioned that the gauntlet glove in there is fake. Does that mean Thanos has the real one?  Hmmm…
  5. How exactly did Odin die? He knew his time was coming and then he just…evaporated.  Hmmm….

—Written by Nadiya

So what did y’all think about Thor:  Ragnarok?  Let me know in the comments section!

I’m Team Cap! And It’s Not Because I’m a Nerd!

captain-america-civil-war-key-art

Sorry I’m a little late with this post, but it’s been a crazy little week.  My mom had two medical procedures back to back that I had to take her to, and I had to go to traffic court (I was compelled to listen to a certain N.W.A song when I got that ticket)!  Today…I’m just plain tired (and the fact that my female problems began today doesn’t exactly help, either.  TMI?  Oh, well).  So, let’s hop right into it, shall we?  This past Sunday (May 8, 2016), before everything in my life went cuckoo, I watched Captain America:  Civil War at my local movie theatre.  Mark me (as crazy ass Prince Charles from “Outlander“loves to say), this flick was everything the previews hyped it up to be.  When I say that I loved every minute of this film, I mean that I LOVED every minute of this film.  This is the best Captain America movie to date.  That’s right, it even surpasses The Winter Soldier.

As I’m sure you all have heard by now, the movie is basically about the gubment (yes, I wrote that on purpose) drafting The Sovokia Accords, which are basically restrictions on superheroes.  Apparently, there have been way too many casualties in New York (The Avengers), Washington, DC (The Winter Soldier); and Sovokia (Avengers:  Age of Ultron), and unfortunately, during one of Cap’s mission within the film, even more innocent lives are lost.  The powers that be decide that folks with special abilities need to be reigned in.  My thing is this:  instead of blaming The Avengers, shouldn’t the big wigs be looking at the bad guys for causin’ all of this shit?  As Martin used to say, “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”  Anyway, my boy Tony Stark is all for the accords, especially after finding out about a young man that was killed in Sokovia.  However, Cap is against the accords, hence the beginning of the “civil war.”

This movie was great.  The actual plot is a lot more fleshed out and elaborate than what I described, but I’d hate to give away too much of the film.  You all really have to go out and see it for yourselves.  The action and the special effects don’t disappoint, either.  I only saw a few CGI moments that were clearly CGI in the first few minutes, but later on in the film, everything is pretty much flawless.  By the way, there’s a certain CGI’ed moment with Robert Downey, Jr. that’ll floor you.  What I really loved about the movie was the way the characters were handled.  Unlike Avengers:  Age of Ultron,  all the good guys weren’t fighting for screen time.  They all had their time to shine and it moved along smoothly.  We get to know Vision and Scarlet Witch a little bit more (they’re so cute together!), and Black Panther’s intro to the MCU was pretty badass.  This film was my personal introduction to Ant Man, and I love him now!  Now more than ever, I have to see the Ant Man movie whenever I have the chance.  When I first heard that Spider Man was joining the MCU,  I was totally against the idea.  I always felt that Spider Man and the X-Men should stay with Sony, and The Avengers should have the MCU all to themselves.  However, when I saw Tom Holland’s portrayal in Civil War, I’m more than happy to say I was dead wrong.  No one can beat Tobey Maguire’s rendition of Spidey in my eyes, but this new kid comes damn close.  Along the way, most of us have forgotten that Spider Man is actually a teenager, and this new rendition plays that fact up to everyone’s delight.  Once again, describing it won’t do the performance justice.  You have to see it.  Another thing that has to be seen to be believed is the big fight between Tony’s team and Cap’s team at the airport.  That showdown was hot to death.  My only gripe is that Thor was missing.  I love Thor.

As far as the actual civil war is concerned, I’m team Cap, just as the title reads.  Don’t get me wrong, I can definitely see Tony’s point of view, but Cap brings up an interesting tidbit in the film that totally has me on his side.  He mentions to Tony that the government has their own agenda from time to time, and if they’re dictating what The Avengers can and cannot do, there may come a time that they’ll send the team off on a mission or call a mission off not for the good of the people, but for the good of their own objectives.  Also, who the hell puts restrictions on superheroes?  That’s the craziest shit I’ve ever heard of in my life!  Another reason I’m not on Tony’s team is because the Sokovia Accords were basically drafted by Betty Ross’ dad, Col. Ross (at least, I think he’s a colonel), who’s always been a jackass, anyway.  And like I said earlier, why are The Avengers being blamed for all these civilian deaths?  If Loki, Ultron, and all these other so-and-so’s didn’t do their dirt in the first place, there wouldn’t be any civilian casualties!

So, if you loved The Winter Soldier and The Avengers, but were just a tad let down by Avengers:  Age of Ultron (me!), please check out this movie.  Don’t be like my mom and be turned off by Captain America and Iron Man fighting each other (seriously, she can’t stand the fact that they had to square off against each other in this film…she’s pissed about Superman and Batman going against each other, too).  When you watch the film, you’ll see why things transpired the way they did.  Trust me, it’s well worth your time and money.  Besides, Captain America gets hotter with each film!  Has anyone else noticed that?  They really have some sexy men in the MCU (especially Thor)!

—Written by Nadiya

Have you seen Captain America:  Civil War yet?  What did you think about it?  Was it the best Captain America film in the franchise (or in the MCU), or did you think it was overhyped crap?  Would you like to see Cap and Iron Man go against each other, or does the very thought of it make your stomach turn?  Did you miss Thor as much as I did, or was his absence a welcome relief (forget you if you feel that way…just kidding!)?  Give me your thoughts!