Marvel Cinematic Universe

Predicting MCU Phase 4

Predicting MCU Phase 4
Screen Heroes

 
 
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With Avengers: Endgame behind us, we have a brand new Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, along with a lot of Marvel Cinematic Universe news! That’s why this week we talk all about the MCU moving forward, with an emphasis on Far From Home and MCU Phase 4!

Did you catch our MCU Retrospective? No? You’re going to want to read this: http://heroespodcasts.com/reaching-endgame-mcu-retrospective

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What do you want to see from MCU Phase 4? Are you excited for Spider-Man: Far From Home? We want to know! Comment below or hit us up @ScreenHeroesPod on Twitter!

Watch our full-length review below:

 

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

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Derreck Mayer
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GH63: Spider-Man, Spider-Man Does Whatever a Spider Can

In this episode, our heroes discuss web-slinging across New York in the new Spider-Man game for PS4, strange diseases in Two Point Hospital, and the worst placement for an appendage in the Kingdom Death: Monster board game. Hear the response to the previous week’s Question of the Week “What is your funniest video game addition story?”, and be sure to tune in to find out what this week’s question is!

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Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

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Joshua Welch

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GH63: Spider-Man, Spider-Man Does Whatever a Spider Can

SH S4E11: Ranking the Avengers

It’s all Marvel this week as we rank the Top 20 Avengers with special guest, Jerry McMullen of the Worst Comic Podcast EVER!

Before we dive into the ranking, we give our spoiler-free quick take on Kingsman: The Golden Circle which we will be reviewing in full next week.

Then, it’s back to Marvel for our Avengers ranking. Now, we take into consideration several mediums: comic books, TV shows, cartoons, toys, and the MCU films. That means mutants and web-slingers are eligible for the list!

So check out our list and then let us know what you think in the comments or @HeroesPodcast on social media!

Don’t forget to check out our Patreon for a special Patron only clue to our first movie scene.

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

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Prefer to watch the show? Catch the recorded Twitch broadcast below!

Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

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Derreck Mayer

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Derreck Mayer

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SH S4E11: Ranking the Avengers

Why we Should be Excited for the Punisher

Punisher is set to debut on Netflix’s Daredevil season 2 in March but the character isn’t terribly well known. In this age of jaded heroes that are flawed he is absent in public conscious. But the Punisher stands as quintessential anti-hero and he deserves a better place in the public mind. He has no powers or exceptional abilities except one, his willingness to use lethal force. This sets him head and shoulders above all other heroes in ruthlessness. Because of his brutal methods he is consistently rated highly as a fan favorite, IGN ranked the Punisher #27 out of 100 of comic book heroes. But he hasn’t fared all too well in a life outside of the comic books.

2 Punisher Films

His portrayal in movies hasn’t been that great. Sometimes his films capture the mood and the character but drop the ball when it comes to plot. While at others times only paying lip service to what he is as a vigilante super hero. His guest appearances in other media such as video games and animated TV series has been closer to the comics but despite how brutally simple the character is, they have never quite got Frank Castle right. Netflix’s Marvel lineup has been impressive and with The Punisher announced as a future spinoff it could be that Netflix has given the Punisher the justice he deserves in the up and coming appearances. This is an incredible opportunity to bring a character to life that always been bungled in films.

The Punisher in Brief

Frank Castle is a simple character. He was a Marine Special Forces commando in Vietnam where he picked up many deadly skills. He enjoyed combat so much that he changed his name from Castiglione to Castle to sneak past the military’s rule of 3 tours of duty in Vietnam. Later, during a family trip to a park his family witnessed a mob killing and the mob, not wanting any witnesses, killed Frank’s family. As if by sheer will the Punisher refused to die and sets about his war on the mob and crime in general. This has left him emotionally scarred and twisted. He is a man without a family or any connections. Maybe his only power is that he has nothing to lose.

Punish Origin

But this doesn’t really make the character special, I mean heaven is full of dead super hero families, and even some characters that are somewhat ruthless. But not as nearly so as the punisher. What makes the Punisher so unique is that he is waging a one man war. Frank Castle sees the world in simple terms, in the black and white. If a person is guilty of severe crimes then he declares war on them, everything is fair game; Psychological warfare, torture, and executions to name a few. Where a warrant declares a criminal as “wanted dead or alive” the Punisher always ops for killing. In fact he never sets out to capture or persuade, if you’re in his sites he’s coming to kill you, its as simple as that. Not many heroes can claim that. Where a character like Spiderman may rush in, relying on his abilities to capture the criminal, the Punisher stalks his prey and when the time is right unleashes lethal firepower, anywhere from a long range sniper shot to a car bomb. Or if its in is favor he’ll go in guns blazing, All’s fair in war.

The-Punisher

Punisher Compared to Others

He may come off has being too simple and boring, as a character who just runs around killing people but there is something more to the Punisher. Its his willingness to go all the way that liberates him. He doesn’t have to worry about morality, society or the law, punishment he is beyond that. The Punisher is free to go 100%, to let loose. Criminals may fear being captured by other heroes but they know they can wiggle out in courts with lawyers, or they can even escape from prison if it come to it. As seen with the revolving door that is Arkham. But the Punisher is different and in his own words
They laugh at the law. The rich ones who buy it and twist it to their whims. The other ones, who have nothing to lose, who don’t care about themselves, or other people. All the ones who think they’re above the law, or outside it, or beyond it. They know all the law is good for is to keep good people in line. And they all laugh. They laugh at the law. But they don’t laugh at me.” -Return to Big Nothing Vol 1 1

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When you compare the Punisher to other super heroes this is where he stands out most. In this modern age of the popularity of the “anti-hero” Frank Castle out does them all. No other hero is as much of an anti-hero as Castle. Take for example the premier anti-hero Batman. He has a strict no kill policy, sure he may say “I’m not going to kill you but I don’t have to save you” but despite all of the mind games and intimidation he never intends to kill anyone. A much more modern conception of anti-hero, Wolverine, kills people left and right. But its usually not his agenda. Sure hill kill ya if you get in the way or if you really irritate him. But usually his agenda is with the X-men, and they are about protecting mutant rights. It’s the Punisher who stands at the far end of the spectrum of being the anti-hero. From the outset he is planning to kill his target, never capture them. Torture and interrogation notwithstanding. Not many other heroes can claim this. They are always tip toeing around it, but the Punisher is never held back it and this is what gives him the edge. This is what makes a pycho with some guns capable of competing in the superhero big leagues.

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It has been said that the Punisher is a modern take on Captain America, a perfect soldier sent to war. Except when he went to Vietnam it twisted and changed him inside. In many ways he’s America reaction to the post Vietnam era. Castle did every thing right in war but came home to tragedy. If Captain America would’ve gone to Vietnam he and lost his family he may have turned out the same. A powerful parable of about characters being a product of their enviroment, and by extension, fate.

Punisher Cap 1

punisher cap 2

How Netflix Needs To Do It

Netflix as already done an excellent job of capturing action in its shows but Netflix has some advantages over the films. For the most part the films failed to show the suffering of victims. Its that one two punch that gives Punisher stories value. And this is why I’m excited for Netflix’s interpretation of the Punisher. They’ve shown an ability to humanize characters of their stories, both villains and victims. Sure its been said that a hero is defined by his villains but I don’t think this is so much the case with the Punisher, the villains are just fodder to him. The Punisher doesn’t have many great villains because he kills them. Sure there are some reoccurring ones but they don’t have the same epic feel as some other mainstream villains.

 

Casting Jon Bernthal as the Punisher is brilliant. What was lacking from a lot of versions of the Punisher in films was the grim, almost veteran soldier feel. All twisted and turned by tragedy. That and atleast having a soft side to show towards innocent people. Bernthal has already proving all of these aspects on his other hit success, The Walking Dead. That and he looks like depictions of him in the comics.

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Its showing the suffering of the victims and the Punishers connection with that that is needed. At best they may show that Castle lost his family but they never really have him connecting with anyone. Despite his ruthlessness in comics he is warm and kind towards the innocent. Its as almost has if he has some empathy for victims and this is the key to showing the character’s depth. Showing this would accomplish two things that have always being missing from the films, it would humanize him and make the punishment much more meaningful, much more satisfying. If Netflix’s track record of both Jessica Jones and Daredevil show they can do just that.

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What makes the Punisher such a good opportunity has that how poorly he has been done so far in film. The public at large just sees him as a “guy who runs around shooting people.” But he is more than that. In a world where anti-heros are the norm he makes them all look like boy scouts. He’s known as a maniac and crazy man, he even shot wolverine in the balls. You don’t get much more anti-hero than that. And we are about to see him on Netflix, a company that has consistently hit its mark with super hero shows with great plots. Its about time the Punisher is done properly.balls 2

Dirty Laundry

Take for an example this little nugget of an homage below. Called Dirty Laundry it does all of these things that the any Punisher story needs to do. Described as a love letter to the character from the fans and having some great actors. It premiered at the 2012 San Diego Comicon and at the moment, it’s the best depiction of Frank Castle outside the comics so far. Hopefully Netflix will improve on it.

Why we Should be Excited for the Punisher

SH S1E1 – MCU: The Good with the Bad

Welcome to the first episode of Screen Heroes, a new superhero themed podcast series from The Grid: A Sci-Fi Frontier. Screen Heroes will cover everything we see on the big and small screen dealing with superheroes. That means the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the DC Comics Extended Universe (DCEU), and anything else production companies throw at us.

The premiere of Screen Heroes is being dual published on Grid Talk’s feed, so everyone who listens in to our original series will also be able to listen to our first episode of Screen Heroes. While we are not on iTunes yet, we will be soon!

In our first episode, we’ll kick things off by discussing the pros and cons of the MCU. What is good about the massive connected universe? What are the pitfalls of such a far reaching group of franchises?

After listening, contact us letting us know your thoughts on the MCU. What do you like most about it? What do you dislike about it? You can reach us on Twitter, Facebook, email, or you can comment on the article on our website.

We’ve got a lot in store, so listen in, stay tuned, and thanks for joining us for Screen Heroes.

UPDATED 01/07/2016: Add iTunes link in the credits. Please subscribe!

MCU Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer and Editor
Derreck Mayer

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Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S1E1 – MCU: The Good with the Bad

Captain America: Civil War Poster and Trailer

We’re finally getting our first look at the first Marvel’s Phase 3 films: Captain America: Civil War.

First up, the newly released poster:

Captain America: Civil War

But as gorgeous as that poster is, the first trailer is even more amazing:

I was excited for this movie before, but now I can hardly wait.  And what about that soundtrack?  It sounds absolutely fantastic.

This film comes on the heels of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man but follows a very important story to Captain America himself, his old friend Bucky. We weren’t sure what the motivation for the division between heroes was going to be in the MCU but this trailer gives us a much better idea. We also get a better look at the sides, even though that information was released a little while back. How about Bucky and Cap just beating down Tony? Seems like a pretty intense scene. I wonder if Tony is holding back.

What do you think of the the poster and trailer? Let us know in the comments!

Captain America: Civil War Poster and Trailer

Netflix Original – Daredevil

Here we are, less than a week away from the debut of Jessica Jones, the second of Marvel’s Netflix Original Series.  I thought it would be a good idea to do a quick review of the first of Netflix’s Marvel series: Daredevil.

To be honest, when I first heard that about this endeavor, and that Daredevil would be the first of the series to be released, I was worried.  Why would I be worried?  It’s not like there’s ever been a Daredevil movie that was awful.

Daredevil the movie

And I in no way hold a grudge against Ben Affleck for that terrible movie.  And I OF COURSE hold no negative opinion regarding Mr. Affleck’s upcoming performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

But I digress.

Daredevil debuted on April 10, 2015, and in typical Netflix fashion the entire season was available for viewing all at once.  I love Netflix.

Our hero is Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox).  In the opening scene of the first episode, we see the aftermath of a terrible accident, where young Matt was exposed to some chemicals that left him blind, but left his other sense supernaturally enhanced.  It takes a few episodes before we get information on exactly why he’s such a good fighter, but from the beginning we get some background on Matt’s father: he was an old school boxer that didn’t win very often, but he could take a hit.  His son inherited that legacy and then some.

What Daredevil Does Well

The first thing that I love about this show (and I assume the other upcoming Netflix Marvel series) is the casual way they still connect into the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.  A heavy part of the storyline for the show involves a company, Union Allied, benefiting from the efforts to rebuild the areas of New York City that were destroyed as a result of the Avengers’ battle against the Chitauri in The Avengers.

The fight scenes are amazing.  And I mean absolutely, completely amazing.  It’s not that they’re grittier or more gruesome than the fights we’ve seen so far in the MCU.  The fights involving Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America all involve people that are in some way superhuman.  They’re stronger and more durable than normal people.  But physically at least, Matt Murdock is a normal human being.  Granted he’s highly trained, but he’s very much human as far as his physical capabilities go.

That is evidenced by how the fight scenes are choreographed, which is done beautifully.  Not that I can speak from experience here, but I have it from multiple sources that being in a fist fight is very physically exhausting.  These fights actually allow the characters to display that exhaustion, taking a few seconds to catch their breath, to recover a bit of strength, before moving back into the fight.

The extended fight scene in the second episode is practically perfect as far as a cinematic fight scene goes, especially since it’s all one extended, uncut sequence.  You should watch it.  It’s amazing, especially when you think about the fact that everything that happens during that sequence, had to be done in one long continuous take.

Daredevil’s original Black Costume

Up until the end of the season Matt wears a very DIY costume that is incredibly basic, and works really well for the character.  It’s simple and affordable, which makes sense for a brand new attorney striking out on his own.  The hood (balaclava?) that covers most of his face and head works great for the character as well, emphasizing that the character doesn’t rely on typical sight in order to deal with his opponents.

The Daredevil costume

Sadly we only really get one episode in which to see the actual Daredevil costume in action.  It’s an OK costume, and does fairly well at trying to be representative of the Daredevil costume from the comic books.  But to be honest, I prefer the black Ninja-style costume he spent most of the season wearing.  I would almost prefer to see a more armored version of that costume instead of the red ‘devil’ motif of the new costume.  But that’s a relatively small complaint.

Overall the writing is great, the characters are fun, and the show gets down to the business of superhero action pretty darn quickly.  After the extremely slow burn that was employed with the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., that was a HUGE and welcome change.

Where Daredevil Could Improve

It’s 45 minutes into the first episodes of the season before we even hear the primary villain’s voice.  But that character, The Kingpin Wilson Fisk, doesn’t actually appear in the episode at all.  We are introduced to the Kingpin’s primary henchman and the various criminal ‘masterminds’ that the Kingpin is in business with.  But the ultimate villain himself is completely absent from that first episode, and doesn’t actually appear until the second episode.  Granted it’s only one episode, but holding back on the reveal of Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk doesn’t accomplish anything.

Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin

Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin

That problem is made worse by the fact that this interpretation of Wilson Fisk is unreliable.  While Daredevil saves lives and tries to make a difference where he can during the course of that first season, he accomplishes very little as far as dismantling the Kingpin’s criminal empire.  At multiple points throughout the season I found myself thinking, “You know, Matt could just take a vacation at this point, and the bad guys will all just kill each other off.”  Because, SPOILERS, that’s basically what happens.  Matt does take down the Kingpin in the end.  But Wilson Fisk did most of the damage to his own criminal empire as he eliminated each of his own partners for reasons that aren’t ever explained, other than the fact that he is mentally unhinged.

As much as I wanted to root for Matt Murdock to triumph over the Kingpin, it was really hard to do so because it didn’t feel necessary.  Fisk was likely always going to self destruct, and like a black hole, he would destroy everything around him as he did.  Granted the cost of that explosion would likely be enormous, but none of Daredevil’s actions throughout the season felt particularly necessary in brining Kingpin down.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited for Jessica Jones, because this time the villain and our heroine already have a pre-existing history, and it’s intensely personal.  Whatever else Jessica (Krysten Ritter) does as she attempts to save other people and the city around her, it’s all going to be layered on top of the fact that she’s fighting a war to save her own soul.  And that’s going to be fascinating to watch.

Daredevil Verdict

If you haven’t watched this show already, and have even a cursory interest in comic book superheroes coming to the big and small screens, you should watch this show.  Even with its flaws, it’s incredibly fun to watch, and I’m excited to see what Netflix has in store, both for the other three shows they have in the pipeline as well as for Season 2 of Daredevil.

Netflix Original – Daredevil

Marvel Announces Ant-Man and the Wasp

This just in! Marvel Studios has announced a new Phase 3 MCU film, Ant-Man and the Wasp which is slated for a July 6th, 2018 release. This is very exciting news for those looking for move superhero films featuring female heroes as this film marks the first time Marvel Studios will release a film with a female hero in the title. This does affect the release dates of two other Phase 3 MCU films, Black Panther and Captain MarvelBlack Panther has been moved up to a February 16th, 2018 release date while Captain Marvel will see a March 8th, 2019 release date.

This means that Black Panther will release a month before DC Comics The Flash, while Ant-Man and the Wasp will release a few weeks before Aquaman and Captain Marvel will release a month before Shazam.

The decision comes on the back of Ant-Man’s financial success, bringing in $410 million globally with $178.5 million coming from the domestic box office. While this falls short of Avengers: Age of Ultron’s nearly $459 million take, it is a solo film and an origin story of a character many were not familiar with. Now that it was successful, a sequel that features Wasp in action seems viable.

Meanwhile, DC Comics’ Wonder Woman is still slated for a June 23rd, 2017 release, putting their first female-centric superhero flick a year ahead of Marvel’s.

Marvel Logo

Marvel Studios also announced dates for three unknown films all in 2020 as part of Phase 4 of the MCU:

  • May 1st, 2020
  • July 10th, 2020
  • November 6th, 2020

Additional information on the announcement can be found at Marvel’s site.

I know I’m very excited for this new film as well as so many more in the superhero genre. What do you think of the latest news? Comment below!

Marvel Announces Ant-Man and the Wasp

Who Should Be Captain Marvel?

A lot of rumors have been swirling around the casting for Captain Marvel since a solo movie in her honor was announced late 2014.  While some are absolutely brilliant, others are just downright weird.  Take a look at these ten actresses that might snag the part.

Captain Marvel

 

10.  Ronda Rousey

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Known as the best female MMA fighter, Rousey has been recently campaigning for this role via all sorts of social media, including commissioning and posting fan art.  In the last few months, she has truly let her geek flag fly, revealing in her reddit AMA just how much of a comic book fan she really is.  The only downside to seeing Rousey in this role is the level of acting it’s going to entail.  She’ll be up against long time veterans of the craft and any slips could stick out much more than they’d like.  Sadly, a nerd and badass woman doesn’t always translate into great acting.

9. Katee Sackoff

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For at least a year now, this rumor has been in place.  Sackoff has even reportedly met with Marvel executives for a possible role.  Since her Battlestar Galactica days, she hasn’t done much, but a role as one of Marvel’s leading ladies can put any career back in the limelight.  Her cult acting status has her placed as one of the favorite contenders for the role among fans.

8. Charlize Theron

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This rumor is relatively new, following her brilliant take as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s like we all remembered that she could act, or something?  Theron is beyond talented.  On screen, she is a force to be reckoned with and she could easily stand her ground with the amazing Marvel lineup thus far.  She’s even the same age as most of her male counterparts (she just turned 40 this month), making the women of Marvel a more well-rounded group as opposed to being decades younger than the men.  While this rumor may be one of the best, it’s also one of the least likely to happen.

7. Natalie Dormer

nataliedromer

I’m not sure how this rumor started or when I first heard it, but I’m completely okay with this.  Dormer has seen a lot of popularity lately thanks to both Game of Thrones and Mockingjay: Part 1 and it would be a smart business decision to have her jump on the Marvel train sometime soon.  Fans aren’t the only ones to think so, either.  Her recent half shaved head hairstyle has been reflected in the “Captain Marvel” comics lately with Carol Danvers herself sporting the same look.  Coincidence, or foreshadowing?

6.  Katheryn Winnick

550x298_Captain-Marvel-movie-casting--Yvonne-Strahovski-vs-Katee-Sackhoff-Who-should-play-Carol-Danvers-6210

 

A solid part of Vikings, Winnick has proven herself to be an upcoming star.  She’s also ready for just about any kind of action Marvel could throw at her.  While this rumor is mostly fan-based, Winnick has been approached in multiple interviews asking if she would ever consider a role with Marvel.  Fortunately, she seemed to be completely up for the idea and would be eager to fill the role of Captain Marvel, or almost anyone else for that matter.

5. Jessica Chastain

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The Interstellar star has been rumored since late 2014.  She had been up for the role of Maya Hanson in Iron Man 3 before having to drop out due to scheduling issues. Since then, she’s met again with Marvel about a possible different role, which means they have to like her, right?  Chastain even joined the campaign trail to play a superhero, any superhero for a while.  This rumor, sadly enough, seems to have fizzled out recently with Chastain even quoted “There was one thing. I don’t want to say too much – but there was one thing, there was a possibility in the future of the character becoming… And I was like, ‘I understand that, but I want to do it now.’ ”

4. Jennifer Lawrence

jennifer-lawrence

This rumor is 100% fan driven.  Lawrence is beyond a capable actress and would fit right into the Marvel lineup, of that there isn’t a doubt in my mind.  However, Lawrence gets giant franchise after giant franchise, which may be a turn off to some.  Her popularity may not add anything that Marvel couldn’t bring in without her and her larger than life Hollywood profile may stand out more than Marvel would want at this time.  Plus, we know Fox and Marvel can’t cross the streams yet! Maybe if she’s ever officially done playing Mystique…

3. Yvonne Stahovsky

Yvonne4

 

Her role on Chuck proved to many fans that she could take on a superhero role any day, which has left her being a strong contender for the mass audience.  While her work since the show’s finale hasn’t reached the same popularity, her name still keeps popping up when Captain Marvel is mentioned.  She may not be the most obvious choice, she definitely isn’t out of the running yet.

2. Alice Eve

alice eve

 

Marvel enjoys seeing their actresses pull off other major franchise roles before they cast them in the hero spot.  Evangeline Lilly had The Hobbit films, Elizabeth Olsen had Godzilla, and Johansson has had a string of successes since she was a kid.  Alice Eve has that too, now.  Don’t think Marvel will overlook her take on Carol Markus from Star Trek Into Darkness (there’s no punctuation there, I promise).  It certainly worked for Zoe Saldana.  If Eve wants a role in the Marvel franchise bad enough, she most likely will be offered it immediately.

1. Emily Blunt

30/01/2011 PA File Photo of Emily Blunt, arriving for the premiere of Gnomeo and Juliet, an animated film produced by Sir Elton John and David Furnish, at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider. Picture credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider.

Here it is, your top contender for the Captain Marvel role.  Blunt has proven herself to be one of Hollywood’s most well-rounded actresses, leading dramas, action films, and even musicals.  She can bring the star power without overpowering a role.  Her characters, no matter how tough or resilient, she portrays them with a softness that doesn’t take away from any of their qualities.  She’s also the only that has been in touch with Marvel for years.  She was one of the original actresses up for Black Widow.  I’d expect to see Blunt in a Marvel role before Phase 3 is over.

Well, that’s it. Ten awesome women rumored to don the Captain Marvel uniform.  Who’s your favorite? Who do you want to stay away from the project? Who would you like to have a rousing conversation over some ice cream? Comment below!

Who Should Be Captain Marvel?

MCU Ranking – Where Does Ant-Man Land?

Marvel_Cinematic_Universe_logo

A few weeks ago, we ranked all the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We had some people agree and disagree with us, but have stuck by our rankings.  Since then, the release of Ant-Man has come and gone (you can check out our Ant-Man review here) and now the time has come for it to take its place among our ranked films.

Ant-Man Poster

For those of you who have missed it, our list prior to Ant-Man was as follows (you can see the full article here):

11. Iron Man 2
10. Incredible Hulk
9. Iron Man 3
8. Thor: The Dark World
7. Captain America: The First Avenger
6. Thor
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
4. Iron Man
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
1. Avengers

Ant-Man Poster

It was a close call, but Ant-Man has officially taken the number 5 spot!

The film was a solid addition the MCU as a whole and brought to the table what Avengers: Age of Ultron just couldn’t, heart.  Paul Rudd brought such an endearing humor to the character, Scott Lang, that should cause both positive and negative ripples in the Avengers as a whole. The parallels between Hank Pym and Scott Lang were well done without being in your face.  The romance between Hope and Scott wasn’t necessarily inevitable, but it worked.  How great was Corey Stoll’s Yellowjacket? The man was out of his mind! And Michael Pena stole the show as Luis. The film was missing some of the charm that the made Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man such big hits (I blame it on them not letting Hope suit up too), but Ant-Man’s future in the MUC is looking bright!

Overall rating: 5 brave trips to the Quantum Realm

MCU Ranking, Now with more Ant-Man

ant-man-bullet-poster12. Iron Man 2
11. Incredible Hulk
10. Iron Man 3
9. Thor: The Dark World
8. Captain America: The First Avenger
7. Thor
6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
5. Ant-Man
4. Iron Man
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
1. Avengers

What do you think of our placement of Ant-Man? Should it be higher? Lower? Let us know!

 

MCU Ranking – Where Does Ant-Man Land?

Box Office Numbers: July 17-19, 2015

Not surprisingly, Ant-Man, Marvel Studios’ newest MCU film, won the box office its opening weekend, beating out Minions which saw a nearly 57% drop from it’s first week. Check out the list of the Top 10 highest grossing films from this weekend’s box office below.

Before we dive into the specific numbers, let’s take a deeper dive into Ant-Man. While it did win its opening weekend with an estimated $58.04 million, those numbers pale in comparison to Marvel Studios’ previous hitters. In fact, the first of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, Iron Man, brought in $98.62 million in it’s opening weekend way back in May of 2008. The first Thor made $65.72 million in May of 2011 while Captain America: The First Avenger made $65.06 million in July of the same year. In fact, only one film brought in less during its opening weekend, The Incredible Hulk with $55.41 back in June 2008 and to be fair, we had just seen a Hulk-centric film in 2003. Now, we are only talking about official MCU movies here. Ant-Man did beat out other Marvel films including X-Men, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, Fantastic Four (2005), and Big Hero 6, just to name a few of the more popular movies. What does this mean for the newest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Probably not much. Many expected Ant-Man to fall short of previous Marvel Studios films simply because people don’t know the character as well and we haven’t had an origin story in this universe for a while. We do expect to see Scott Lang join up with the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. To see what we thought of the film, check out our review of Ant-Man.

Also breaking into the list with their opening weekend, Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer. She also wrote the film. It’s directed by Judd Apatow. Our limited release film is Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen.

  1. Ant-Man ($58.04 million in opening weekend across 3,856 theaters)
  2. Minions ($50.2 million in second weekend, totaling $216.69 million)
  3. Trainwreck ($30.2 million in opening weekend across 3,158 theaters)
  4. Inside Out ($11.66 million in fifth weekend, totaling $306.36 million)
  5. Jurassic World ($11.4 million in sixth weekend, totaling $611.17 million)
  6. Terminator: Genisys ($5.4 million in third weekend, totaling $80.64 million)
  7. Magic Mike XXL ($4.5 million in third weekend, totaling $58.64 million)
  8. The Gallows ($4 million in second weekend, totaling $18 million)
  9. Ted 2 ($2.7 million in fourth weekend, totaling $77.457 million)
  10. Mr. Holmes ($2.489 million in opening weekend, limited release across 363 theaters)

Did you catch a movie over the weekend? What are you most looking forward to seeing on the big screen? Comment below!

Box Office Numbers: July 17-19, 2015

Ant-Man Review

I’ll admit to being a fanboy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Marvel’s movie studio has managed to consistently do two things that so far, no other movie studio churning out comic book adaptations has figured out yet:

1. Remain faithful to the heart and soul of the original material

2. Present these crazy characters and ridiculous concepts to the general public in a way that doesn’t make them feel like they’re missing vital information because they don’t already read the comics

Ant-Man follows the MCU movie formula, which isn’t terribly surprising considering how well it has performed for Marvel so far.  The humor in the movie is great.  But the moments where the movie wants you to feel some kind of more serious emotion didn’t work very well.  In order to discuss why that is, it’s necessary to discuss some extremely minor spoilers for the movie.

*************************** MINOR SPOILERS BELOW ***************************

Ant-Man poster

For example, Scott Lang befriends one of the ants he works with, and names it Anthony.  So when Anthony is shot later on in the movie, and the camera does the slow-motion linger on one of Anthony’s wings as it falls to the floor, we’re supposed to feel some measure of sadness, right?  The problem is that not enough time was spent in the movie actually seeing the relationship between Ant-Man and Anthony develop, other than in a training montage.  And then after Anthony dies, he’s immediately replaced by another ant who remains nameless.  It’s hard to feel any sense of loss there.

*************************** MINOR SPOILERS DONE ***************************

Ant-Man Evangeline LillyOverall Ant-Man does a great job of fitting nicely into the MCU.  Multiple references are made to the Avengers as a whole, and to individual members of the team.  There are a number of fun cameos that I hadn’t expected.  Falcon gets to make a more-than-cameo appearance, which in some ways makes up for his lack of involvement in the battles scenes from Age of Ultron.  There’s even a line or two that points to Spider-Man already being active and doing his thing out in the world.  That would be great.  We do not need another Spider-Man origin movie.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the movie, while definitely a solo film, is meant as a stepping stone for Ant-Man to join the Avengers.

One of the major criticisms that the MCU has faced, especially recently, is the dearth of female superheroes.  Thankfully Ant-Man introduces us to Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly), the daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and by the end of the movie, well, let’s just say this:  I started imagining what it would be like if Marvel made a movie where Black Widow and Wasp become friends, snark off about (among other things) how dumb the men in their lives are, and generally beat the crap out of everyone that tries to stop them.  There is only one response to that dream:

GIVE IT TO ME NOW!

So here’s hoping that Hope Pym will be making many more appearances in the MCU.  Between Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Wasp, and the upcoming Captain Marvel, it feels like the MCU is ever so gradually trying to bring more of these strong and amazing characters (that just happen to be female) to the screen.  Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we’ll have more solo films starring these characters.

But I digress.

Ant-Man was fun.  The humor is great, the action is well done, especially when it works the humor into the action.  I was a little disappointed that, despite showing Scott Lang tinkering with the suit at various points of the movie, nothing really happened with it.  There is a case to be made that it was his tinkering that allowed him to do something late in the movie, but I disagree with that assessment.

All in all, Ant-Man is a great addition to the MCU, and definitely feels like the end of Phase 2.  Stay all the way to the end of the credits, and tell me if you don’t walk out of the movie theater thinking, “Uh oh, something big is coming…”

What did you think of Marvel’s latest film? Where does it rank for you? What are you hoping to see in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War? Comment below!

Ant-Man Review