Second episode is up. Flubbed a few times. Tried to edit them. I’m a work in progress guys
I make no secret that I am not the biggest fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Liked the first one but really didn’t get the hype and not really excited about the upcoming Vol. 2. I love Spider-Man but with Spider-Man: Homecoming, this will be the sixth Spider-Man film and the trailers are cool but nothing really too exciting for me. Before Marvel Studios struck a deal with Sony to integrate Spider-Man into the MCU, Black Panther was scheduled to be released in 2017 and thus my most anticipated MCU film. But with that being delayed due to Spider-Man, my most anticipated MCU has become Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor was originally my favorite superhero in the MCU until Captain America slowly but surely supplanted that spot. As the movies continued, Thor continued to slide down the list of my favorites as they seemingly did not know what to do with the character. Since Thor is probably the most powerful Avenger, you have to take him out of most of the action scenes in those movies as he could seemingly end the conflict before it begins. The second Thor movie is just a case of mediocrity. So when Thor 3 became Thor: Ragnarok, my interest was piqued once again.
Thor’s Got His Helmet (Finally)
Other than a quick shot in the first Thor, Thor has never worn his iconic helmet. I knew it was because of the studio wanting to show off Chris Hemsworth and his face but it makes no logical sense. They even had old Anthony Hopkins wearing Odin’s helmet more than Thor himself. If Thor is a warrior with long flowing hair, it would be best to keep his hair in check as it can be used against him. I don’t know how much Thor will be wearing his helmet but the fact that it’s featured in a lot of the promo imagery, hopefully a good chunk.
You don’t get an actress like Cate Blanchett and just have her do nothing. This has been the biggest problems when it comes to the villains in the MCU. Great talent that is ultimately squandered. This does not seem to be the case with Hela in this movie as we frequently see her in the midst of doing something interesting. Whether it’s her destroying Mjolnir and taking on the armies of Asgard, it looks like she will be a villain who leads from the front. She will also be the first main big bad who is a woman which is a welcome change for the MCU. There are rumors she might stick around for future movies but she has already left an impression from the trailers…plus she wears Hela’s iconic and bizarre helmet.
Hey you know Idris Elba has been in three MCU films? No? Can’t blame you if you didn’t because he’s something of an afterthought. That looks to be changing with this one as we see more of Idris Elba as Heimdall doing more than guarding something. He is also sporting some fancy new hair and look. This does lead me to believe that there might be some sort of time jump within the movie.
All the major returning characters also seemingly have new looks.
There is also someone who has a new look but we’ll get to him next.
We all knew it was coming and we finally got it. The Incredible Hulk in gladiator attire. The movie somewhat adapts elements from the popular Planet Hulk storyline. The biggest question is how in the world did Hulk get there? The last we saw of him, he was in a quinjet going who knows where. A line in Captain America: Civil War seemed to indicate that he was still on Earth. So a big question the movie will have to answer is how Dr. Bruce Banner got there and how long has he been there?
Thor and Hulk Going Buckwild
The biggest thing about Thor and Hulk is that they are two most powerful Avengers. So usually the fight scenes between the two of them have had to be limited. Either no one is really strong enough to take them on or the destruction they would cause would be too great. So what’s the best solution? Take both of them off world to face opponents equally as strong as they are. Also there looks to be a rematch between Thor and Hulk from The Avengers, a fight that was a bit underwhelming. So it looks like this movie will be taking full advantage of their new locales and new technologies available to them.
Are you excited for Thor: Ragnarok? You can already tell that I am.
Thor is one of my favorite characters in all comics. His movie counterpart is not. While I highly enjoyed the first Thor movie, it has been scattered since then. He appears late into The Avengers and despite his brother being the main antagonist, he is not really a focal point. Thor: The Dark World is not a bad movie but it suffers from an identity crisis. Age of Ultron, Thor has to be taken out of many of the battles because he is so powerful he could probably ended the movie thirty minutes in. Plus his character probably got hurt the most by executive meddling as his scenes were devoted to setting up the larger MCU picture. So Thor is in need of a kick in the pants.
Taika Waititi is a filmmaker that I’m familiar but not one that I can say I’m a fan of. So it was interesting to see that he would be directing the latest Thor movie. But after the Russo Brothers took on the Captain America franchise and took it to new levels, I am open to anything. One of his mission statements going into the movie is to make Thor the most interesting character. In his own movies, Thor tends to get overshadowed by Loki. Though Loki is in Ragnarok, it is unkown just as how much.
Then there’s the added caveat of The Incredible Hulk. The Hulk due to some legal quagmires cannot have a solo movie. So the next best thing? Team him up in the Thor movie while adapting elements from the popular Planet Hulk storyline. Thor and Hulk trapped on a gladiator planet where even the two most powerful Avengers will have to fight for their lives and one another. The movie was described as something of a buddy road trip movie as Thor is left stranded on the other side of the galaxy. It won’t come as a surprise to see Thor drag Hulk with him as he will need all the help he can get to prevent Ragnarok.
The newcomers to the franchise are also exciting. Cate Blanchett will also be playing the first female big bad in the MCU, Hela. Academy Award winning actor winning certainly brings in a gravitas to whatever she is in. Tessa Thompson is one of the biggest up and coming actors is playing Valkyrie. Karl Urban will be playing Skurge the Executioner, someone who can take Thor on in a one on one fight. Jeff Goldblum is playing The Grandmaster who has ties to other MCU characters like The Collector and Thanos. These are all in addition to the already stellar cast from previous movies such as Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston.
There’s still much we do not know about the movie. Just how does Hulk get involved? Will there be an Infinity Stone? How well can Waititi juggle all these different elements? Will this be the end f the Asgardians? These answers will certainly be answered November 3, 2017.
Plus: we get to see the return of Doctor Strange. The post credits scene between Strange and Thor was filmed for Ragnarok.
Thanos, The Mad Titan, is the current big bad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We know that he is gathering the Infinity Stones. Their comics counterpart can be placed into ths Infinity Gauntlet and be used for complete domination of reality. It can be assumed that this is the goal of the movie version of Thanos as well. But that’s the thing…we know next to nothing about Thanos. I have already made my statements clear that I think Marvel Studios has tripped with their handling of the character. He has only made three appearances so far, his introduction in The Avengers, a small role in Guardians of the Galaxy where he was disrespected by an underling and the last in Avengers: Age of Ultron where he made a lackluster after credits appearance.
Avengers: Infinity War is due to drop in 2018 so in 2017 Marvel Studios should really build up his threat. James Gunn, the writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel has said that Thanos will not be appearing in Vol. 2. He also made the same statements about its predecessor but weeks before the movie was released, it was announced Josh Brolin would be appearing in the movie as Thanos. It’s an open secret that the Guardians will be in Infinity War so something has to bring them to the conflict. Gamora and Nebula are both the daughters (kidnapped children) of Thanos and Drax has a personal vendetta against him. The Guardians also know where one of the Infinity Stones is stored at.
Thor: Ragnarok is probably the most important movie linking to Infinity War. At the end of Age of Ultron, Thor set out to figure out who was behind the gathering of the Infinity Stones. It is also widely believed that the final Stone, the Soul Stone, will play a role in the movie. Loki, currently masquerading as Odin, also has access to the Tesseract aka the Space Stone. Loki was also loaned the Mind Stone (it is still up in the air if he knew that info) in The Avengers to find the Tesseract but failed. So he might have to return a favor to be back in Thanos’ good graces.
Thanos has not been announced for any of these movies. But as with his other appearances, they can be uncredited. Since Thanos is a motion capture character, it would not require a lot to get Josh Brolin in for a day or two to do the role. But it is time to see Thanos actually do something. The most action we have deen is him sitting in his chair and putting on a gauntlet. We have seen characters refer to him as the most powerful character in the universe but that has not been conveyed. Most of his underlings including both of his daughters have outright betrayed him. Ronan the Accuser outright dissed him and yet no retaliation.
One of the biggest criticisms towards the MCU is how the villains are one note. Marvel Studios can really build up the threat of Thanos before his big opening in Avengers: Infinity War. They don’t really have to be much. Just small cameos in Guardians Vol. 2 and Ragnarok to show he is coming for what he covets and is not messing around anymore. There would be something really unfortunate if the big bad for the MCU turned out to be a dud.
So a new year is upon us and thus that means a whole field of new movies to be released. Since it’s so early in the year, it’s a bit more questionable about the smaller releases in the year. So this list will primarily consist of the bigger movies but there will be smaller releases here and there:
10. The Founder – Honestly who hasn’t been to McDonald’s in their lifetime? So when a movie comes out about how McDonald’s was taken from a small chain to a worldwide franchise, it sparks my interest. As with most large corporations, there had to be shady dealings to get the company where it is today. Michael Keaton lately has never done wrong even in stuff like Need for Speed.
9. Logan – the suuposed final movie for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart as Logan/Wolverine and Professor Xavier. Much about the movie is unknown except that it will be R rated and feature a little girl and the Reavers.
8. Kingsman: The Golden Circle – the sequel to the surprise hit of 2015. I highly enjoyed the first movie and wonder where the sequel is going to go. All we know is that the Kingsman will be interacting with their American equivalents.
7. Kong: Skull Island – well it is a movie about a giant ape. The largest version of Kong put to screen.
6. Spider-Man: Homecoming – Spider-Man is one of my favorite heroes and this will be his first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
5. Get Out – as someone who’s been in a lot of interracial relationships, this kinda hits close to home. I think we’ve all been there where we visit our significant other’s family and you dont know how they’ll be. Now add in a horror element and you’ve got one of my most anticipated movies.
4. Thor: Ragnarok – Thor + Hulk to stop the destruction of everything. Count me in
3. Wonder Woman – the premiere female superhero finally getting her own movie
2. Star Wars: Episode VIII – it’s no secret that I’m a Star Wars nut. So here we are with the continuing adventures of the Skywalker saga
1. Justice League – I’m a fan of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice despite its flaws. The Justice League is my favorite superhero team. So even though people have been iffy on the DC Extended Universe, it will still be interesting to see how the premiere team of the DC Universe comes together on the big screen for the first time.
- First we see The Avengers Tower in the opening of the movie so it’s clearly post Avengers so after 2012
- Pre-accident/rehab Stephen Strange takes place in 2013/2014
- Training of Strange in the mystic arts takes place in 2014 through 2016
- The second and third acts of Doctor Strange are post Civil War
- The stinger with Thor (which is presumably taken from Thor: Ragnarok) takes place about a year after the main events of the movie. Strange’s look is completely different from how he looked in the main movie and he’s wearing his trademark orange/yellow gloves
- The second stinger with Mordo takes place in between the main movie and the stinger with Thor
The release of Doctor Strange has drawn many comparisons to the very first Iron Man film that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008. Both are about brilliant yet arrogant men who after surviving a tragic event, eventually become superheroes. It’s a bit hard to judge where the Doctor Strange is going to go as he has only had one appearance so far. Tony Stark has had many appearances and frankly I think he is probably one of the least likable characters in the MCU. So while there are many parallels between the two, I can already say that I prefer Strange over Stark.
When we first met Tony Stark, he was arrogant and a philanderer and something of a war monger. But after the events that led him being injured, captured, and losing his mentor, he seemed to mellow out by the end of the first film. The second film ultimately changed my view on the guy as he arguably became worse. He became much more of a motor mouth and would cause many of the incidents that he would have to save. This is pointed out in The Avengers by Captain America where his more negative traits from Iron Man 2 carried over. Iron Man 3 we do see a younger Stark who once again eventually caused the problems that he had in the film. Age of Ultron was really the straw the broke the camel’s back for me as he once again caused the incident that the heroes had to clean up and was frankly more condescending about it. Captain America: Civil War more or less rectified the two extremes of Stark as he was more mellow and less of a know it all but still had his huge ego.
The ego and arrogance are two of the biggest drawbacks for me to the character. How he is regarded as such a great hero in universe has always been something I’ve wondered about. Other than The Avengers, all of his conflicts have been ones that he either caused or aggravated. His treatment of Scarlet Witch in Civil War was a real point of contention for me. Telling Cap that “Wanda didn’t want to leave” her forced house arrest yet when Wanda calls him out on it he only responds, “It’s not what it seems”. There is also his general hypocrisy about registering yet he willingly drags an unregistered teenager into his pissing contest with Captain America. I think his attitude being all over the place is something intentional on the creative teams behind the films but doesn’t mean I have to like the character.
Doctor Strange from the get go we do see that he can be nice. Sure he only takes cases that interest him or won’t risk his perfect record but when called for help, he doesn’t hesitate. By the end of the film, he willingly put himself into a time loop to endlessly be killed by a more powerful enemy. It’s left unclear as to how many times that this loop happened but it was surely enough. This was a far contrast from the man we saw at the beginning of the film where everything was about him. Halfway through the film, it was implied that he had all forgotten as to why he even sought mystical training (to fix his hands) and just enjoyed his new life. But when faced with the responsibility of being a Master, he shirked at first but by the end he somberly accepted the new role in his life.
Then there is the post credits scene with Thor. Clearly taking place during Thor: Ragnarok, which will presumably be set about a year after Doctor Strange, we see the meeting between the two. It’s cordial but there is seemingly some tension there and presumably has to do with Loki being on Earth. Strange has accepted his role as a protector of the realm and thus wants Loki gone and also Thor and Odin. So we do see the snark of Strange in the scene, he is much more focused on his role. It’s not hard to see why he wants the Asgardians gone as they have caused plenty of problems for Earth.
It’s easier for me to buy a hero who takes his job seriously. I never really got that with Stark with the constant quips and snark. Though Strange does not seemingly lose his sense of humor by his next appearance, we do see he has eased more into the role. It will be interesting to see Strange and Stark meet when Thanos comes knocking on Earth’s door. You can imagine that Strange will not be in the mood for any of Stark’s shenanigans. He jokes when he needs to but during all combat situations, he is utterly focused on what he needs to do to survive and win. So that’s why I prefer Strange over Stark.