Doctor Omega

Moderator
TIER 3: The OK Ones


13. “Doctor Strange”
Scott Derrickson brings the wild stylings of Steve Ditko’s illustrations to life with some of the best visuals of the franchise. From chases that would make MC Esher envious to a wildly trippy visit into a blacklight universe, it’s certainly inventive from a visual perspective. At times it also takes a couple of risks which give you hope of something fresh.

Unfortunately, all too often, it falls back into incredibly safe and familiar territory – remaking Tony Stark’s story but with a far less charismatic lead. A superb cast does what they can but the material is just too thin to work – Cumberbatch and Swinton come out well, but the likes of Ejiofor, Mikkelsen and McAdams are utterly wasted. It’s a shame a film that’s often glorious in looks is so ordinary at heart.


14. “Ant-Man”
Much like the “Thor” sequel, Marvel’s “Ant-Man” is one of its safest and most by the numbers films – which also makes it one of its least interesting. There’s a welcome reduction in stakes here to just the fate of individuals and a man’s legacy, some familiar inventiveness that makes use of fun “Honey I Shrunk the Kids”-style scale differentials, a playful but sanitised sense of humor, and very likable lead turns from both Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. Yet there’s also arguably the weakest villain of the MCU to date, one of the most forgettably generic heist stories I’ve ever seen in a heist film, and a real feeling of this being only a very minor entry in the whole canon.


15. “Avengers: Age of Ultron”
Certainly a more ambitious film than the first, this attempts to dive a bit deeper into the characters this time out whilst retaining the balance that made the original so fun. Yet even Whedon, who is such a master with large ensembles, is juggling too many balls in the air with this and can’t help but drop a few even as he impresses so well with what ones he can keep up.

James Spader’s Ultron proves very disappointing in his rote evilness, the additions of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch leave much to be desired, and poor Thor is given the strangest subplot of the MCU to date. Yet the film’s handling of The Vision is wonderful, same for the Hulk-Black Widow relationship and giving Hawkeye some proper development. Despite its fundamental flaws, it’s still a highly polished effort.


16. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”
James Gunn tries for something a little different with the sequel, which neither falls into the trap of carbon copy repeating its predecessor or falling back on MCU formula (for the most part). Instead, the humor and easy appeal of the first gets nudged to the back burner as the heart comes to the fore and a storyline is built around it. It’s great big heart that hurts and asks you to behold its beauty as it shares its very specific pain with the world.

Gunn however hasn’t mastered emotional filmmaking beats as well as he has comedic ones, and the greater focus on the former comes at something of a cost to the latter – at times making this akin to a heavy-handed Pixar film squeezed into a lesser pre-reboot “Star Trek” film where the labored metaphors are too often made manifest. The film’s greatest supporters will recognise that it is quite overstuffed, while its greatest detractors will admire some of the inventive ideas and bravura on display.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
TIER 4: The Bad Ones


17. “Iron Man 2”
The energetic drive and carefree spirit that made the original such a welcome change of pace from the superhero films that came before gets muted in this problematic and over-stuffed sequel. Much like the problems that would plague ‘Ultron’ a few years later, the far more ambitious narrative often loses track of itself and is overly self-conscious.

The result is Downey Jr.’s charismatic charmer becomes more obnoxious, the villains more interesting in concept but blander in execution, and of all the films this is the one where the setting up of the greater MCU has the most crippling effect on this solo film’s structure. A noble failure, but a failure nonetheless.


18. “Thor: The Dark World”
The “Thor” sequel remains a great example of too much polishing. On the surface to many people it’s a film better than its predecessor in almost every way – a much larger scale, a more lived in and less fantastical universe, a decidedly more serious tone with less irksome comedy, and a greater sense of ensemble with smoother tie-ins to the rest of the MCU.

Yet it sits on the bottom of many lists because, quite frankly, it’s dull. The first one’s campiness, clunky edges and silly elements are the very things that made it what it was and give it a real individual flavour. With most of that scrubbed away, the sequel feels incredibly generic on every level – to the point that there’s no need for more than one viewing.


19. “The Incredible Hulk”
The saving grace of the film is its pre-Hulk first half-hour as Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner hides out in a Brazillian favela trying to curb his anger. Essentially “The Bourne Irradiation,” this bit is well paced, grounded, serious and gives star Edward Norton the chance to do most of his acting as a proactive and sympathetic Banner whom we get to know before all the green computer animation fully takes over.

Once it does though it unfortunately becomes a victim of the worst superhero film tropes – multiple overacted arch villains, bombastic set pieces more akin to a video game, and really nothing beyond the most conventional of thrills.
 

Gavin

Member: Rank 6
VIP
Thank's @Doctor Omega for your list. While I don't agree with all of your placements, its well thought out and explained. I might have to respond with my own list after I've seen Infinity War tomorrow.

And in the meantime (not as a criticism but just because the OCD part of my brain can't handle it) can I just point out that the picture you've used for Captain America: Civil War is actually from Winter Soldier.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
It's actually not my list Gavin, as I have shamelessly filched the entire article from elsewhere, in my magpie like wanderings, but thought it made for an interesting read. I see now that the beginning was written in the first person, which made it sound like me! So have swapped that opening for a credit of origin.

Doctor Plagirism. :emoji_blush:

The only work I will contribute to the article will be to correct the original author's picture error. Then I will have a rest after all my dishonest labouring. :emoji_alien:
 
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Doctor Omega

Moderator
Marvel’s Feige On “Eternals,” “Avengers 4” & More


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More comments have emerged from Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige during recent interviews he conducted for “Ant-Man and the Wasp” in which he talked about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and potential plans for what comes after the fourth “Avengers” next year.

He says the studio has tentative plans for a “Power Pack” film: “because we wanted to do something for families, something that’s a little younger, Ant-Man has kind of become that franchise, certainly with Ant-Man and the Wasp, but Power Pack still is one of the many things that we discuss.”

Another thing in discussion is a film based on Jack Kirby’s iconic The Eternals characters: “There’s this notion of all of these myths and legends that we know from ancient times, were they inspired by the Eternals? Kevin Feige: Were they Eternals? It’s a very … you know, it’s an ancient aliens kind of sci-fi trope that we think would be fun to explore someday.”

Feige says “Avengers 4” is deliberately putting the focus on the original ‘Avengers’ with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and The Hulk teaming up. He’s also indicated that despite everyone being aware of what future MCU films are coming out: “the mere fact that those films exist, people shouldn’t take any indication that they can now guess what will happen.”

Finally, Jake Gyllenhaal is NOT yet closed to play Mysterio in “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” and the first “Captain Marvel” trailer is “still a few months” off and the fourth “Avengers” title won’t be revealed until after – sometime towards year’s end.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Atwell Uncertain About Reprising Peggy Carter


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After several years of expressing interest in reprising the role, British actress Hayley Atwell revealed this past weekend she’s now hesitant to take on the role of Peggy Carter again for Marvel Studios.

Atwell played the role in the first two “Captain America” movies and briefly in “Ant-Man,” and notably starred in the title role in ABC’s short-lived “Agent Carter” TV series. Appearing at a Q&A panel at ACE Comic Con Seattle on Sunday, Atwell says if she were to come back to the character it would have to take a different approach:

“I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to play a beloved character for so long, as is. It’s very unusual. I wouldn’t have thought starting off in my career that that would happen. You do one character for however many months and then you go and do the next. So I think it’s an unusual position to be in – it would be very unusual to have the choice to do that again.

I think the main thing, though, is if it were – if there were interest in Netflix or in her being in a film or something – that it would have to feel… it would have to feel right. I wouldn’t want to go over old ground. It would have to be new, there would have to be higher production values so she could do more. I’d have to feel like it’s not just, you know, ‘a case a week with Peggy Carter.’

If she’s had an impact on audiences, let that impact grow, so it delights them, but I think it should be to do with more of the current climate now. What are smart issues to bring up? How to create any sort of kind of social weight, an emotional kind of gravitas to the show.

So I think on the principle of it, if somebody approached me with it, I would be appropriately kind of tentative about it. Because I would go, ‘well, but, you’ve got to convince me of why we need this, and what for, and how is this a development of the two seasons that we’ve done?’ So that’s more of the question — I’d just want to do something new with her.”

Fans have petitioned for Netflix to resurrect “Agent Carter” over the years, while critical appraisal of the show has only grown with time – some now citing it as the best thing Marvel’s TV division has done to date.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Hemsworth Reflects On First Two “Thor” Films


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In the individual Marvel franchises, quality has varied greatly. “Iron Man” had a great start, a widely disliked second and a highly divisive third entry. “Guardians” had a beloved first film and a more mixed second. “Captain America” had the best run with two good films bookending a great one in between.

Then there’s “Thor”. Kenneth Branagh’s initial entry is space opera extraordinaire with all its gilded camp trampings intact – it’s neither really hated or loved but how much people like it varies greatly. Alan Taylor’s ‘The Dark World’ has its defenders but often deservedly sits at the bottom of the entire MCU canon.

Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Ragnarok” was widely beloved upon release and is still seen as a very welcome tonal shift towards more comedy and pulp trappings, even as its relative thinness means it wears out quickly. In a new interview with GQ, the franchise’s star Chris Hemsworth gets fairly honest about the previous films, saying after ‘The Dark World’ the change was very much needed:

“The first one is good, the second one is meh. What masculinity was, the classic archetype – it just all starts to feel very familiar. I was so aware that we were right on the edge.”

He adds that the big change that Waititi brought was to switch the masculine role model, changing it up from the classic action hero role to someone still definitely masculine but much more fun an interesting. That role model? Kurt Russell:

“Not to say that Kurt Russell has ever been ‘less masculine’ than contemporary heroes. [His characters were] just more flawed than contemporary heroes.”

The quotes come as it has been revealed over at Slashfilm that the scene towards the end of “Avengers: Infinity War” where Thanos and a younger Gamora briefly talk was going to be initially a whole lot darker – namely, the Mad Titan would be walking through a river of blood.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is out on disc this week.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Snipes On Possible “Blade” Future At Marvel


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Twenty years ago, the Wesley Snipes-led “Blade” effectively kicked off the current superhero movie trend with the first and still underappreciated 1998 film from director Stephen Norrington. That was followed by Guillermo del Toro’s less lore-heavy sequel that some appreciated even more, and David Goyer’s not well received “Blade: Trinity” in 2004.

Marvel Studios scored back the rights to the character a few years ago, but haven’t made any apparent progress on doing anything with them. Snipes though is convinced a fourth instalment will happen and will see him reprising the role. Speaking with VICE recently, Snipes said:

“There are a lot of conversations going around right now and we’re very blessed to have the enthusiasm and interest in something coming from that world. We’ve created two projects that fit perfectly into this world and, when people see them, I think they’re only going to have a problem with deciding which one they love the most.”

Snipes goes on to indicate he’s actually met with Marvel Studios:

“All the main execs [at Marvel] and my team, we’ve been discussing for the past two years. Everyone’s enthusiastic about it, everybody gets it. But they got a business to run and they gotta square the things that they gotta figure out before they can get to it, I guess. In the meantime, we got a business to run and our own slate of things to do so. But the next time you see something in [Blade], mark my words: What we did before is child’s play compared to what we can do now.”

Despite Snipes’ comments, the chances are seemingly very slim of another “Blade” film in the near future – certainly it wouldn’t fit in with Disney’s family audience mandate, but something for a streaming service certainly could have potential. The three previous films earned in the $130-155 million range each at the global box-office.









 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Marvel Plans More Female Superhero Films


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As part of EW’s cover story regarding the upcoming “Captain Marvel” film this week, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige spoke with the outlet and confirmed the company is currently developing more female-led Marvel movies and plans to announce their release in the near future.

Currently “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is the first film which includes a female hero in the title, but “Captain Marvel” will serve as the studio’s first female-led superhero film. Feige says:

“With [Ant-Man and The Wasp] and now with Captain Marvel and many movies to be announced in the near future, I’m anxious for the time where it’s not a novelty that there is a female-led superhero movie, but it is a norm. And it is less a story of, ‘Oh, look, a female hero,’ and it’s more a story of, ‘Oh, what’s this about? Who’s this character? I’m excited to see that.’ And I think we can get there.”

Asked why a female superhero solo movie took so long to develop, Feige says there are many but one of them is the wrong perception that female superhero movies are not capable of having box office success.

“I think there are a lot of reasons, not the least of which was fighting for many years the erroneous notion that audiences did not want to see a female-led hero [film] because of a slew of films 15 years ago that didn’t work. And my belief was always that they didn’t work not because they were female-led stories — they didn’t work because they were not particularly good movies.”

Feige added that the success of “Wonder Woman” made him very happy. At present, the only other announced female-led Marvel film in the works is their long-awaited and long overdue Scarlett Johansson-led “Black Widow” movie which Cate Shortland is directing.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
The Marvel Studios Films Get A Timeline


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1943-1945: Captain America: The First Avenger
1995: Captain Marvel
2010: Iron Man
2011: Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor
2012: The Avengers, Iron Man 3
2013: Thor: The Dark World
2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2
2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man
2016: Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming
2016-2017: Doctor Strange
2017: Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War


When the fourth “Avengers” is set is unknown at this time, we’ll find out when it opens in cinemas May 3rd 2019.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Evans Not Done As Captain America Just Yet?


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Last month, as additional filming on the upcoming fourth “Avengers” wrapped, actor Chris Evans posted remarks on social media that seemed to make it pretty clear he was done with playing Captain America in the Marvel Studios films.

It wasn’t a shock, Evans’ contract is effectively up and he has expressed a desire in the past to move on. This week however, speaking with USA Today, “Avengers” co-director Joe Russo says it’s not over quite yet:

“I think it was more emotional for him than it was us because he’s not done yet. I won’t explain what that means but fans will soon understand what I’m talking about.”

Cap’s fate in the next “Avengers” is unknown at this point. Russo also touched upon when a fifth “Avengers” might happen to which he says it’ll be a long time down the road as Disney will likely try to incorporate the X-Men characters into the MCU:

“It could be a little bit of time, with the integration of Fox and all the Fox characters – I haven’t talked directly to Kevin [Feige] about it so I don’t know what his plans are – but my guess would be there would be a little bit of time to integrate some of the other characters and take their time doing that.”

The Russos also showed up at a special screening of the film the other night, hosted by Collider, and confirmed (via Slashfilm) that they initially were thinking about including the Netflix characters in the film but the complications surrounding those characters were too much to make it work.

The pair also confirms that the firing of James Gunn and uncertain future of the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” hasn’t impacted “Avengers 4” as it was done and set before Gunn was let go.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Disney+ Chief Open To Marvel Shows Continuing?


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He could’ve shut down the speculation then and there but Kevin Mayer, the newly appointed head of the upcoming streaming service Disney+, has dropped comments fuelling the fire of fan belief that Marvel’s cancelled Netflix series could live on at the new service.

in the wake of the axing of “Iron Fist,” “Luke Cage” and “Daredevil,” the various companies involved from Netflix to Marvel TV, Marvel Studios, Disney, ABC Studios and more have all either kept quiet or remained decidedly vague about the post-Netflix fate of the various series.

That continues with this week’s interview with THR in which Mayer was asked directly if he would consider reviving the Marvel shows that Netflix cancelled to which he responded: “They are very high-quality shows. We haven’t yet discussed that, but I would say that’s a possibility.”

What is known is that due to contractual clauses, none of the shows could appear again on any other service until late 2020 at the very earliest. That also assumes Disney simply won’t reboot the property either to avoid the expense of bringing back creative teams and actors no longer under contract – assuming they could get them.

For now, no-one involved seems to want to talk about any of the shows and their fates, meaning we don’t know if they’ll come back and if so where and when. Until someone does, we probably won’t have an idea about what’s going to happen until sometime well into 2020.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Marvel Chief Talks Superhero Fatigue


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With so many superhero films dominating the box-office and the film conversation, there’s also been the obvious talk of ‘superhero fatigue’. The talk has been there for years now, even as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to climb new box-office heights.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige spoke Variety this week and says all that talk is poppycock, and he has $17.5 billion in global box office in global box-office success to prove him right:

“Not only has there not been the quote-unquote superhero fatigue that people have been asking me about since years before ‘Iron Man,’ but here we are having our biggest year ever. Our instincts have always guided us, and the successes have always just encouraged us to keep following those instincts.”

Marvel Studios has “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” coming in 2019, and later this year are expected to announce their future plans for the next few years.
 
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