A very valid criticism of the MCU before Phase Three was that it has spent its time on its heroes to the detriment of its villains. It’s a testament to how well-cast and developed the heroes have been because a lot of Marvel’s villains have been forgettable at best. Beginning with Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, you began to see three-dimensional baddies, building to Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger in Black Panther. The best villains are convinced they’re right in what they’re doing and are either charismatic enough to convince the audience that they are justified in their actions or have legitimate points that they’ve taken to unacceptable extremes. Killmonger forces T’Challa out of his comfort zone and makes him face uncomfortable truths about the past of his family and the policies of his country. He’s lethal, driven, but also completely understandable and sympathetic.
Halfway through 2018, Black Panther is probably still the best film of the year-to-date. 2018 has been jammed full of unwarranted sequels and anemic remakes. This is, in all likelihood, the worst year for film in my lifetime. Without the MCU, I can’t even imagine how sick I’d be of the theater. Issue #20 releases this weekend with Ant-Man and the Wasp, and it can’t arrive soon enough. Marvel’s success this year has been astounding. The last two MCU films (Black Panther & Avengers: Infinity War) are the #3 and #4 highest grossing films of all-time in the US. That’s a staggering achievement and testimony to how trusted the quality of the MCU has become in a time where even the most reliable franchises have started to sputter out.
In its third weekend of release, Avengers: Infinity War leaped to #5 all-time at the global box office, passing the original Avengers film to become the highest grossing super hero movie in history. In the US, the film passed The Dark Knight to climb to #8 on the domestic charts. With Deadpool 2 this week and Solo: A Star Wars Story coming the following week, we’ll have to see what kind of staying power the super hero epic has, but it’s already left an indelible mark on the box office. While I don’t quite want to get into an all-out spoilers discussion (I hate to ruin the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, and if you haven’t, GO! See it in the theater in the biggest format you can!), for those of us who have seen it, you may have wondered exactly how much screen time the massive cast got per character. (Potential spoiler warning)
Continue reading Avengers: Infinity War Characters – Screen Time Breakdown
After clearing his name, Luke Cage has become a celebrity on the streets of Harlem with a reputation as bulletproof as his skin. But being so visible has only increased his need to protect the community and find the limits of who he can and can’t save. With the rise of a formidable new foe, Luke is forced to confront the fine line that separates a hero from a villain.
Mike Colter returns as the titular Luke Cage, with Simone Missick as Misty Knight, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard, Theo Rossi as Shades and Finn Jones as Danny Rand aka Iron Fist. Newcomers to the series so far include Mustafa Shakir (The Deuce, The Night Of) as John McIver, a natural leader, brimming with charisma, whose mission is focused on Harlem and vengeance; and Gabrielle Dennis (Insecure, Rosewood) as Tilda Johnson, a brilliant, holistic doctor with a complicated history in Harlem where, as much as she tries to stay far from trouble, it seems to always find her.
The second season is executive produced by series showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker (Ray Donovan), Jim Chory (Marvel’s Jessica Jones), and Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Jessica Jones), who also serves as Marvel’s Head of Television.
Marvel’s Luke Cage returns June 22.
You are not ready. Avengers: Infinity War is the biggest, most epic superhero film ever made, and it’s also the hardest to review. Since literally everything about the film is a spoiler, my review is going to be brief, focus on a few, broad strokes, and direct you to your theater. This film needs to be seen on the big screen, and everyone who has been a part of this 10 years of the MCU should have a chance to see it without spoilers. That being said, the comments are the place to discuss spoilers so do NOT scroll down there if you do not want to immediately regret it. Is it everything you dreamed it would be? Hard to say. Does a lot of stuff happen? Absolutely. Is the MCU forever changed? Yes. Do you just need to go see it yourself asap before it gets spoiled for you? YES! Just be aware, that you are walking into part one of what is a two-part film (no matter what Marvel has said about this standing on its own). My theater’s reaction was stunned. You may have guessed some things, but not all of it, and you’re not ready. The stakes are real, and the dread pressaged in the trailers was warranted.
Continue reading Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) *The End Begins* UPDATED
Avengers: Infinity War has premiered, and with ticket in hand for tomorrow, as the end begins, I thought it might be time to go back and rank the 18 films that have gotten us to this point. Whatever your expectations for IW, it’s half a finale and I think when we go back and rewatch this first book of the MCU and the 22 films that make it up, we’ll watch it with Infinity War and next summer’s Avengers 4 as a back-to-back conclusion (click here for the chronological way to watch the MCU).
The MCU is the most profitable franchise in film history, and in 2020 it will pass the Bond franchise for the most installments. Since Iron Man in 2008, the quality of the films has certainly wavered, but has been-overall-remarkably consistent. If anything, the films are getting better and better as Marvel gets its characters more established and takes more risks in exploring new corners of the Marvel Universe and highlighting more diverse characters. While I can find flaws in a number of the 18 films, I only have big problems with two of the entries and, once you get to a certain point, it’s really about splitting hairs as to which is the best. Of the origin story films Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man are the best, but how do you balance that against films that have had the biggest payoffs in the whole saga like Winter Soldier, Civil War, Avengers, and Thor: Ragnarok? In the end, this is just my preference; your list is just as valid. Here is my MCU ranking #18 to #1 (subject to change in 24 hours). Continue reading Infinity War Prep: Ranking All 18 MCU Films!!!