Introducing Myself

Hello, and welcome to my blog! My name is Alex and I’ve started a blog because I’m very passionate about writing and love to discuss things that are important to me. There are three main categories: My Writing, My Thoughts, and Reviews.

My Writing features short works that I wrote inspired by various prompts and ideas. These are not things that I look to get published officially, but were proud of and wanted to share. Comments and sharing with others is more than welcome!

My Thoughts includes articles where I discuss how I feel about things, share writing tips, and share positive experiences. I have debated creating a new category for writing tips, but since it is not something I plan to continue working on, I felt it worked best here.

Reviews is where I share my thoughts about TV shows, movies, and books. These reviews are written in a format that I prefer, so they may not appeal to everyone when it comes to information provided.

For updates follow my Twitter.

Ranking the MCU

Over the past several months I have been rewatching the MCU films and reviewing them. Now the time has come to rank them from best to worst. There will be an overall ranking and the best of each set. The first set of rankings will be my personal rankings, and the second set will be fan rankings based on votes from Twitter and my Discord. If you’re curious about my rankings, each movie title will be linked to the review!

My Personal Rankings

Overall Rankings:

  1. Iron Man
  2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  3. The Avengers
  4. Black Panther
  5. Thor: Ragnarok
  6. Doctor Strange
  7. Captain America: Civil War
  8. Captain America
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy
  10. Ant-Man
  11. Iron Man 3
  12. Iron Man 2
  13. Guardians of the Galaxy VOL. 2
  14. Avengers: Infinity War
  15. Avengers: Endgame
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  17. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  18. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  19. Thor
  20. Captain Marvel
  21. Thor: The Dark World
  22. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Best Iron Man: Iron Man (2008)

Best Thor: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Best Captain America: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Best Avengers: The Avengers (2012)

Best Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Best Spider-Man: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Best Ant-Man: Ant-Man (2015)

Best Stand Alone: Doctor Strange (2016)

Fan Rankings

Overall Rankings:

  1. The Avengers
  2. Black Panther
  3. Captain America
  4. Doctor Strange
  5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  6. Iron Man
  7. Captain America: Civil War
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy
  9. Thor
  10. Thor: Ragnarok
  11. Avengers: Infinity War
  12. Iron Man 3
  13. Ant-Man
  14. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  15. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  16. Iron Man 2
  17. Avengers: Endgame
  18. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  19. Captain Marvel
  20. Guardians of the Galaxy VOL.2
  21. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  22. Thor: The Dark World

Best Iron Man: Iron Man (2008)

Best Thor: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Best Captain America: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Best Avengers: The Avengers (2012)

Best Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Best Spider-Man: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Best Ant-Man: Ant-Man (2015)

Best Stand Alone: Doctor Strange (2016)

There will be no post next week, but be sure to tune in Feb first for new topics! If you enjoyed this post and would like to keep up with future posts, be sure to subscribe below and follow my official Twitter or Instagram for updates!

This week’s post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast inspired by this blog. Be sure to go check it out wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe!

Spider-Man: Far From Home Review

After Endgame, it was hard to watch any Marvel movie. Of course, this one made me cry because they kept referring back to Tony and who he was to Peter. Sadly, this is also the last Marvel movie we have had in awhile, and it’s been tough. This film came out in 2019 and continued Peter’s journey as Spider-Man, now with the responsibility of some of Tony’s tech. This was an extremely emotional and somewhat frustrating movie, with a shocking end! I’m nervous for the next film. I know moving forward the MCU is going to be absolutely chaotic and emotional, so prepare yourselves. As for this film, let’s discuss it!

The film begins with a remembrance of the Avengers who gave their lives to bring everyone back. This includes Captain America because no one knows the truth of what happened to him and the assumption is that he’s dead. We learn that everyone is calling the event “The Blip” which is the stupidest name ever. They could’ve just called it “The Snap” because everyone knows what happened! After everything that happened, Peter is just trying to live a normal high school kids life and wants to take a break from his duties as an Avenger. However, that doesn’t really seem to be an option.

Peter’s class is going on a trip to Europe, and on the plane we see a film dedicated to Tony Stark. I demand that Marvel give us that film so that I may cry some more over Tony’s death. Peter pretty much breaks my heart this entire film, because he seems so lost without Tony and is doing his best to be someone he’s not sure he can be yet. He’s also trying to admit his feelings to MJ and their awkward flirting is the only accurate portrayal of high school romance there is. However, Nick Fury is following him to remind him of his duties as an Avenger. He is essentially having Peter become the new Iron Man and is trying to explain to him the importance of his title. Peter spent so long wanting to become an Avenger, but I don’t think he was aware of the responsponsibility and emotional toll it took. I don’t know if the MCU plans to have him as their next big character, but there are several parallels we see of him being a younger Tony, especially during that scene on the plane with Happy. 

Mysterio’s character is surprisingly savage for a Spider-Man villain, at least in the MCU, and strays from the comics in an interesting way. In the comics Mysterio is simply a failed magician who has somehow turned evil (I don’t know the details). However, in this film he is a former Stark employee who is trying to seek justice for his work. His work that was being used to develop a way for people to deal with their anxiety, depression, and PTSD, for the record. His willingness to kill a teenager is fairly dark for the film, and the turn his character takes is shocking. We were all under the impression that this film would be the one that opens up the Multiverse, but clearly it’s going to be the next one! I will say I would have liked to see more from his character, even if he was a villain. Marvel has a lot of one film villains and regardless of how we get there, we all know in the end the hero will win. 

Ignoring all of the hero stuff going on in this film, the realness of the high school characters was actually impressive. Peter is an awkward high school kid with a crush on a girl he’s afraid to ask out. It takes a lot of build up for him to finally express his feelings and she reciprocated, but still rather awkwardly. Ned and Beth, however, are the most accurate high school relationship. One that spawns from forced interaction, acts like a married couple, and ends just as quickly because there isn’t really such a thing as real love in high school. And they’re all dressed like high schoolers, instead of adults playing gorgeous high schoolers.

Though this film follows the general MCU plot, the end credits do not at all. Peter takes MJ for a ride across the city, leaving her somewhat terrified, and referencing a classic comic book scene. There is a fun cameo from the original J. Jonah Jameson as he begins on another tirade about why Spider-Man is a menace. However, the footage he reveals is extremely shocking. Mysterio claims that Spider-Man has killed him and exposes Peter as Spider-Man. This left us all in shock because how could they expose him like that? What will happen? The other scene shows that the real Nick Fury is in space living with the Skrulls, spearheading something. But what is it? We don’t know just yet! 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to keep up with future posts, be sure to subscribe below and follow my official Twitter or Instagram for updates!

This week’s post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast inspired by this blog. Be sure to go check it out wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe!

Avengers: Endgame Review

Let me just begin this review by saying this is the hardest I have ever cried in a movie theater. I saw it twice in theaters and sobbed uncontrollably both times. I still continue to cry, in fact I get teary eyed just thinking about Tony in this movie. This movie came out in 2019 and was the biggest movie Marvel has ever made. After Infinity War, we were all waiting for the solution and it did not come at all how we expected it. Not only did this movie set up the rest of the MCU, it set up a very different world than we anticipated. While, as a whole, it was a pretty good film, there were things in this movie that were not done well or were not accurate for the characters. This review will be similar to the Infinity War one where I go roughly scene-by-scene and analyze what’s happening.

The film begins with Clint and his non-canon family during his house arrest. They’re having a picnic when everyone except him gets dusted, which shows us where he was when everything was happening to tie up loose ends. It moves onto Tony and Nebula playing games on the Guardians ship adrift in space. We learn that they’ve been drifting through space for 22 days after the snap, and despite everything Tony is still trying to get through it. He is recording messages for Pepper through his helmet, and we see a great amount of kindness from Nebula towards him as she refuses to eat the last of their food. Thankfully Captain Marvel finds and saves them right when we think this is the end of Tony Stark, which was something fans predicted correctly.

Back on Earth Steve is shaving his beard, which is a tragedy, and Carol brings the ship down. Interestingly, Steve is the first one to run to Tony and try to help him, then Pepper comes over. Rocket and Nebula silently comfort each other and everyone moves into the compound. They’re discussing going after Thanos and Tony blows up on Steve, as he should have because he was right, Steve wasn’t there for him like he said he would be. He ends up needing medical care and the rest go after Thanos with the information from Nebula. Thanos is apparently a fucking farmer now and we see the damage he took from the stones; the gauntlet now essentially welded to him. They come in aggressive and Thor immediately chops off his hand. However, Thanos has destroyed the stones so Thor decapitates him, going for the head like he was told. Unfortunately this scene didn’t satisfy viewer anger like it intended because the damage was already done. 

Five Years Later. 

Earth is grim, abandon looking. Society never recovered from the snap and Steve has created a support group to try and help people move on. Unfortunately this scene is ruined by one of the Russo brothers making a pathetic attempt to include an LGBTQ+ character in the film. Really, it’s ridiculous, and they tried to pass it off as inclusion. Steve talks to them about moving on and gives them an example of himself and Peggy, but later in the film this ends up being bullshit! 

In San Francisco there is a storage place for items that belonged to those who got snapped. Lucky for Scott a rat walks on the machine and he is spat out of the quantum zone, but he has no idea what’s going on. He goes to a memorial with large stones called “The Vanished” that listed everyone who disappeared, looking for Cassie’s name. He then goes to find Cassie and both are shocked to see each other. He gets his van back and makes his way to The Avengers base where Nat is virtually meeting with everyone to keep up with what’s going on around the universe. She’s taken the lead on keeping things in check and is trying to track down Clint. Here we learn that Okoye is somewhat incharge of Wakanda, Carol is trying to help other planets recover, and Rhodey is tracking Cling. When Scott shows up they realize they might have a shot at bringing everyone back as he explains that he was only missing for 5 hours and proposes time travel. 

Where is Tony now you ask? Living in a lakeside cabin with his adorable daughter and now-wife Pepper Potts. He also has a pet llama but that got cut from the film sadly. Steve, Scott, and Nat go to see him because they know he could figure out time travel but he’s not willing to give up what he has now. However, that evening Tony see’s a photo of him and Peter in the kitchen and decides to give it a shot just to see what happens. He never recovered from losing Peter and it’s a fairly emotional moment for viewers. Of course he manages to figure it out and has a talk with Pepper about it, who knows he has to go help them. We also get the most adorable moment in MCU history: I love you 3000.

At the compound Smart Hulk (who is Hulk and Bruce combined in harmony) and the others are testing out time travel, but it’s not going well and they’re aging Scott all over the place. This isn’t directly acknowledged in the film, but Smart Hulk isn’t as smart as Bruce because his balance with Hulk lowers his IQ a bit. Thankfully Tony shows up with the solution and returns the shield to Cap. They make amends and now the next step is to get the team together and create a game plan. Rocket, Nebula, and Rhodey show up (RIP Scott’s taco) so the only two remaining are Thor and Clint. 

Clint is in Tokyo killing bad people (presumably members of the Yakuza), which I had no issue with and thought was a good thing. Heroes rarely ever kill bad guys, which is why they keep coming back, so it’s fascinating to see a hero go all the way and remove bad people from the world. Thor, however, is holed up in a shack in the Asgardian colony on Earth. One, Infinity War made it seem like all of them had died so how are there any left? Two, he’s now depressed and overweight from drinking. While there are brief moments of showing how dark of a place he’s in mentally, the film mainly treats it as a joke. He even has a panic attack on Asgard and instead of dealing with it properly Rocket just slaps him in the face. Despite all this, he is still somewhat willing to help them bring everyone back (for beer).
Next up comes the planning. Clint offers to test out the time travel device and he returns with a baseball glove that belonged to his son. However, the original plan was to have him return to Sokovia and bring back Quicksilver, which was a way better option. They begin discussing where each stone is at what point in time and as Thor is telling the story of the Reality Stone, Scott is eagerly listening and clearly happy to be there. The rest share where the stones are and they make a plan to go get them, but are unaware of how difficult it will end up being. Steve gives them an inspirational speech, as he does, and they travel into the past.

Morag 2014: Nebula, Rhodey, Clint, and Nat go to Morag and split up. Nebula and Rhodey stay on Morag to wait for Quill to lead them to the Power Stone. It’s fun to see this Guardians scene from another point of view, and Rhody calls Peter an idiot. Unfortunately, future Nebula’s drive crosses over with past Nebula’s drive and Thanos is able to discover everything that happens to him. He catches future Nebula and sends past Nebula back so that he can time travel to the future. However, I have some beef with this. Nebula was about to return to the future when her drive crossed over. After recovering, instead of returning to the future she tries to warn Clint and Nat and gets captured by Thanos. While her intentions may have been good, she got caught because of this decision and I think she should have just returned to the future because the Thanos at this point and time does not know where the Soul Stone is. 

Vorimir 2014: Nat and Clint go to Vorimir to get the Soul Stone but are unaware of the price it demands. Red Skull explains “a soul for a soul” and after a debate they both believe they should be the sacrifice. They fight it out and Nat is the one who falls. However, I think this is fucked up. Clint should have been the one to fall because Nat had more to live for. She has done so much good in the past five years and even though I approve of Clint’s killing actions, I do not approve of his non-canon family. Therefore Nat deserved to live over him. 

Asgard 2013: Thor and Rocket arrive on Asgard and sneak past Loki which I find it somewhat unbelievable that Thor wouldn’t try to get Loki’s attention and find a way to bring him with them. This is when Thor has his panic attack that is not dealt with correctly. But thankfully he runs into his mother and has a good chat with her that gives him some closure after her death. Rocket gets the Reality Stone and is being chased by the guards looking for Thor. Thor also finds out that he is still worthy to wield mjolnir which I interpret as an important message. Depression does not stop you from being worthy of happiness or of life, and even if that’s not what they meant that is what we will interpret it as.

NYC 2012: Smart Hulk, Scott, Tony, and Steve end up in the middle of the NYC battle and split off to get the stones. Smart Hulk heads to the New York Sanctum to speak with the Ancient One and take the stone. At first she is hesitant because she believes it will only cause chaos if they fail and it’s no returned. However, once she learns that Dr. Strange gave it up she realizes that this is the only path for them to win and allows Smart Hulk to take the stone. Meanwhile, Tony, Scott, and Steve are causing utter chaos in Stark Tower. Scott coins America’s ass and truly is an American hero for this. We also learn why Loki gets muzzled and it’s very fitting for his character. Down in the lobby Tony has Scott give him a minor heart attack and just stands back and watches which is truly the most chaotic neutral action I’ve ever fucking seen. Unfortunately, Hulk having to take the stairs messes up their plans to get the Tesseract and Loki ends up escaping with it. The Loki show will continue right after this escape and I’m beyond excited to see it. Steve is successful and gets the scepter by using “Hail Hydra” in the elevator (clearing him from that horrid plot twist the comics created when they tried to make him an secret Hydra agent) and ends up kicking his own ass. Realistically, they left 2012 NYC in utter chaos:

  • Hydra agents now think Captain America is one of them.
  • Loki and the Tesseract have escaped.
  • Steve now knows that Bucky is alive.

New Jersey 1970: In order to get the Tesseract and have a way back Steve and Tony must travel to 1970 Jersey. This is when we get a lovely Stan Lee cameo as he drives past the military base yelling “Make peace not war!” Tony is able to grab the Tesseract but runs into his father. This interaction somewhat gives him closure, but I still don’t like his father since he really wasn’t there for him at all. We also get to see Jarvis! They use the same actor from the Agent Carter show (a show I would highly recommend even though it was CANCELLED FOR NO GOOD REASON). Steve snags some Pym Particles from the lab and we get a brief view of the comic-accurate Ant-Man helmet. He ends up hiding in an office and sees Peggy through the window, which foreshadows his stupid ass descion at the end of the film. 

Current Time: They all return to the present except for Nat and the real Nebula. They all process it differently, each representing a different stage of grief, and go to put the stones on the gauntlet that Tony made. Thor believes he is the strongest and best option to wear it but Smart Hulk decides that he is the best suited to wear it because of its gamma radiation. He snaps his fingers and successfully brings everyone back. However, the past Nebula uses the time machine to bring Thanos and his armies to attack. Thanos destroys the entire base in a surprise attack and the big 3 (Steve, Tony, and Thor) begin the battle with him. Steve, after much foreshadowing, wields the hammer and Thor is thrilled, as a good friend would be! 

I’ll only be going over highlights of the battle because to explain it would be too complicated. It begins with Sam returning through the portals with “On your left,” and Steve, with much relief, saying “Avengers, Assemble.” Valkyrie is riding a Pegasus, which where did she get it from? The camera shows everyone who has returned and Peter makes his way to Tony who goes straight for a hug. Wanda displays her power once again by rendering Thanos incapable of fighting her to the point where he has his ship fire on the battle to escape. However, Captain Marvel shows up and destroys his ship. They also have that empowered woman moment where they show all the strong women in the MCU. After all of this, Tony ends up with the stones and leaves the MCU the same way he entered it: “I am Iron Man.” For some reason they cut out a very emotional and incredible scene where everyone kneels to him after he has passed. 

After all of this we see everyone return to their lives as we get one final speech from Tony. He had recorded it in case of his death and it plays at the funeral for Pepper and Morgan. It’s a beautifully tragic moment and we see how much respect everyone has for him even if they only knew him briefly. Drax is wearing a shirt; Bucky isn’t dressed up because he doesn’t think he should be there; Harley (the kid from Iron Man 3) is there; even Hank Pym is there.

What happens now you ask? Well, Valkyrie is crowned king of the Asgardians and Thor leaves with the Guardians. This causes some tension though because Thor has been a leader all his life and even though he “recognizes” Peter as captain, he still is going to lead let’s be real here. He also calls Quill “Quail” and the Guardians suggest a knife fight for leadership.

Steve is sent to return the stones and him and Bucky say goodbye because Bucky knows his plan. He leaves and Sam and Smart Hulk try and figure out what went wrong. This is when Old Steve shows up and he passes the mantle of Captain America onto Sam (yay for Bucky and Sam show!). We then see a flashback of him dancing with Peggy and lemme tell you why this is fucked up. Not only did they essentially throw all of Steve’s character development out the window, they did the same with Peggy! In the Agent Carter show she moves on from Steve after much struggle. So the Russo’s are just going to say hey fuck that here’s this instead? NO! Also, Steve moved on! Steve adapted to his life in the present and after all the effort to get Bucky back he’s just gunna leave? NO! Here is what we are going to think instead:

Steve goes and dances with Peggy so they both get proper closure. He then goes to return the Soul Stone, and because of the soul for a soul thing, Natasha is brought back. They decided they will live their own life together and be happy as a family. They even have a kid in the comics so it’s reasonable that they have a kid and a family. The reason we are deciding this is what happens is because Steve doesn’t say anything about the woman he ends up with, so it’s completely plausible that it’s Natasha.

Now, after all that, there is still one film left before we complete Phase 3 and all the MCU films currently out: Spider-Man Far From Home. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to keep up with future posts, be sure to subscribe below and follow my official Twitter or Instagram for updates!

This week’s post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast inspired by this blog. Be sure to go check it out wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe!

Captain Marvel Review

Captain Marvel came out in 2019 and was probably the first Marvel character I knew absolutely nothing about. It seemed to have a lot of mixed reviews and I think performed so poorly because of the timing of its release. It had some good aspects to it, but felt like a last minute decision and forced her tie into the MCU rather than brought her in seemlessly. While it may have seemed she didn’t have much of a personality, she actually had more personality than a Kree should have. Once she learned she wasn’t Kree, she opened up to learning about herself and of course had to go on a personal and emotional journey to develop herself. However, this made it difficult to enjoy her as a character and the film didn’t give her enough room to grow.

The film begins with a tribute to Stan Lee’s cameos, since this is the first film to be released after his passing. It is an emotional opening and a reminder of how much he contributed to the MCU. We then get a flashback of a scene that Vers remembers, but later we learn that her memory has been altered. We get our first look at the Kree homeworld, Hala, and of Captain Marvel, or Vers for now. She believes her powers are a gift from the Supreme Intelligence that she needs to learn to control. She gets her first glance of how strong her powers actually are and who she really is while trying to escape the Skrull ship. After attempting to stop a Skrull attack, Vers ends up on Earth in a Blockbuster video looking for the Skrull. We meet a young Nick Fury and Phil Coulson. Her time on Earth shows her that she isn’t a Kree but rather a human, and she begins to learn about the past she can’t remember. 

There were a few fun catches in this film for MCU and comic book fans. Korath is a member of Yon-Rogg’s team, but we know from Guardians of the Galaxy that he later follows Ronan the Accuser on his quest to avenge Kree deaths. Ronan also makes an appearance and we learn that he always held some rather extreme views, even for the Kree. He will most likely be reprising his role in the next Captain Marvel film since he mentions he will pursue her later. The Blockbuster used in the film is actually the last Blockbuster in America, located in Bend, Oregon. Stan Lee makes his cameo on the train while Vers is looking for the Skrull and she gives him a very sweet smile. I’m glad they were able to film that before he passed. The music in the movie was pretty good as well, but not as good as some of the other movies!

My favorite part of this movie, though, is Goose the cat. Goose is a Flerken and is rather fond of Carol just as it was fond of Dr. Lawson. He is the reason Fury wears an eyepatch and guards the Tesseract in his stomach. He also seems to be somewhat of an office pet for Fury now, so I’m curious to see where his story will go. 

Something the Kree teach is that emotions are dangerous to warriors, and they are trying to teach Vers to control them since she was human. While she does have more emotions than a normal Kree, she is still lacking a lot of personality and emotional range. In fact, she reigns in her emotions at the end of the film when she is challenged to a hand-to-hand combat fight with Yon-Rogg. He wants her to prove to him that she is in control, and instead she blasts him with her powers. The reason I say she is reigning in her emotions here is because she’s not trying to prove anything to him. She is not letting her emotions get the better of her and instead she shows him how powerful she is. She has nothing to prove to him. 

Something that was done well was the development of Carol and Fury’s friendship. They’re suspicious of each other at first but learn that they can help each other out as needed. He helps her discover who she was, that Dr. Lawson was a Kree who saw the fault in the Kree’s ways, and she promises to come help when he feels it is absolutely necessary. I think my biggest issue with this film though is that it doesn’t feel like a MCU film. All the other films and characters have been tied in by now, but this one came in late and felt thrown into the universe like she was a last minute decision. Her story is set before the majority of the MCU events, but was released after Infinity War. This made it difficult to follow along and her tie-in (the pager) was an extremely weak one. I think they would have been better off leaving her out until later, or should have brought her in during Phase 2. 

The two end credit scenes really leave Marvel fans on the edge of their seats. The first scene is Carol showing up in the Avengers compound responding to the pager Fury sent out before he got dusted. This led us to believe she would play an important role in Endgame, though she was once agains thrown in at the last minute again. The second end credit scene is Goose throwing up the Tesseract on Fury’s desk. This explains how the Tesseract returns to Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. and it remains with them until the events of the Avengers. 

Next week there will be no blog post to celebrate the holidays. I’ll be back to posting every Monday next year! If you enjoyed this post and would like to keep up with future posts, be sure to subscribe below and follow my official Twitter or Instagram for updates!         

This week’s post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast inspired by this blog. Be sure to go check it out wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe!

Ant-Man and the Wasp Review

Ant-Man and the Wasp came out shortly after Infinity War in 2018 and was difficult to watch for a few reasons. First, watching something much more relaxed and humorous after Infinity War was difficult and felt wrong. Second, I felt it didn’t have the same energy as the first Ant-Man film and wasn’t as good. While I did enjoy my rewatch of it, it still feels out of place following the intensity of Infinity War. The villain, Ghost, felt very flat and Hope didn’t have much character development or emotional range. The only saving grace in this film was Scott because of his goal to be a good father and make the most of his house-arrest. I think we should all take a page from Scott’s book when it comes to finding things to do while stuck at home and staying positive! 

The film begins with a flashback of how Janet got trapped in the Quantum Realm. Her face is shown for the first time and Marvel used impressive CGI to deage Michelle Pfeiffer (who plays Janet) and Michael Douglas (who plays Hank Pym). Following the normal Marvel intro, we move into current times where we see Scott and his daughter having fun at home. We learn that he’s on house arrest because he violated the Sokovia Accords in Germany and the events of Infinity War have not happened, yet. This film takes place right before the tragic events and ends by tying everything together in the end credit scenes.

The first end credit scene is Janet, Hope, and Hank sending Scott into the Quantum Realm to collect particles to help heal Ghost. As they’re counting down to bring him back, their radio cuts out and we see that all three of them have been dusted. Scott was protected by being in the Quantum Realm, but has no idea what is going on. The next scene shows the news station has cut out, but the large ant that learned his schedule is playing the drums unaware of the events in the world. Right after a phrase appears on the screen that left the audience in shock: “Ant-Man and the Wasp will return?”

There were a variety of hilarious moments and a few easter eggs worth noting! Stan Lee made his traditional cameo as a man watching his car get shrunk; he comments about everything he did in the past catching up to him. Scott’s ex wife comments that the FBI stands for “Forevering Bothering Individuals,” which seems accurate. Scott later comments that the postal service is very reliable, which I don’t think was intended to be a joke but it definitely is one during the holiday season. Luis, Dave, and Kurt return and bring their hilariousness back to the audience as they attempt to grow their small security business. Luis especially is a great character with the way he tells stories and speaks in general (rapidly and with way more detail than necessary). Unfortunately, there were some things in this film that were not funny nor done well. 

Ghost. She is introduced later than normal villains in Marvel films, has a somewhat weak backstory, not much personality, or motivation. Her backstory is only loosely connected to Hank and what happened to her seems to be somewhat on her father rather than Hank’s fault. Her motivation makes sense since she is in constant pain, but I find it difficult to believe that she was willing to kill Janet when they all could have found a solution together. Also, they had to bring in a second bad guy because she was not strong enough on her own to be the villain of the movie. For more dedicated comic book fans it was most likely frustrating to see such an interesting comic book character completely rewritten. In the comics Ghost is a man who’s name is never revealed, takes down large corporations, and is technically an Iron Man villain. Overall, she was a somewhat poorly written villain who strayed a bit too far from the comics for me to get on board. 

The best aspect of this film was Scott. He is one of my favorite characters because he has a fun and relatable personality. He continues to try and be a good father for Cassie and has developed a good friendship with his ex-wife and her husband for Cassie’s sake. One of my favorite moments was when he was talking to Cassie about giving up being Ant-Man for her sake. It’s a shame that he lost five years of watching her grow due to the events of Infinity War. He is also starting up his own business with his friends which is a difficult but impressive thing to do! He makes the best of his time on house arrest and is a great example of trying to stay positive when you can’t leave your house. A particularly amusing moment was when he gets “possessed” by Janet. That does leave me with a question though: what are Janet’s new abilities?

As for Hope’s character I’m not impressed. While her hair looks much better now, she still lacks personality or character development. There are small moments of emotional expression, but they weren’t enough for me to get on board with her character. She fell very flat and I believe she has a lot of potential but they’re not letting her grow. I believe part of this difficulty in her character spawns from how strong of a character Scott is. With his big personality, it’s tough to place a character next to him without them getting overshadowed. Hopefully in the next film she’ll be a new person who expresses more emotions and grows into a likeable character. 

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Avengers: Infinity War Review

Infinity War came out in 2018 and I was not emotionally prepared for this film, I don’t think anyone was. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that hard at a movie theater before (until Endgame anyway). Peter was the person who broke me the first time, which may come as a surprise given my love of Loki. But I was, and still am, deeply in denial that he’s dead. The hype for this movie was massive, and none of us saw what was coming. If you claim you did, you’re a liar and you know it. This review is going to be fairly long because my plan is to go scene-by-scene to discuss the accuracy of the characterizations and the logic of the events occurring!

The film begins with a dramatic Marvel intro, lacking it’s usual exciting music and instead using rather morbid music. It then transitions into a distress call from Loki as their ship is under attack by Thanos. He has taken their ship and undoubtedly killed half the people on it with the Power Stone. He is there for the Tesseract that Loki took, which I believe he took to keep it safe. He knew it wouldn’t be destroyed with Asgard and took it to potentially keep it from Thanos. While there were moments of unrealistic doubt about Loki’s loyalty, due to poor writing, his character growth and care for Thor is still shown as he tries to save his brother. My issue here is his pathetic attempt to kill Thanos. Loki is an extremely powerful sorcerer and Marvel really missed the mark here. In the process of all this, Hulk gets sent to Earth, Heimdal is killed, and Loki is choked to death. However, I am in denial of his death and I hope Marvel does a better job with his character in his upcoming show. 

Hulk lands in the NY Sanctum as Strange and Wong are discussing lunch. He warns them that Thanos is coming. However, Dr. Stephen Strange, who claims to have a list of beings who threaten Earth and the dimensions, is unaware of who Thanos is. He seeks out Tony who is out running with Pepper and discussing how Tony still isn’t ready to give up on Iron Man. Tony goes with them once Bruce steps through the portal and Wong and Strange explain what the Infinity Stones are to them. Bruce and Tony also catch up slightly as Tony explains that the Avengers are no more and he can’t call Steve. Strange’s judgement is obvious here and rather accurate. Bruce also seems to judge which fits for the situation. Before they can continue this conversation, a spaceship appears above New York. 

Peter is on a school bus and we get a glimpse of his Spider-sense as his arm hairs stick up. He notices the ship right away and asks Ned to cause a distraction so he can leap out of the bus window. Turns out, Ned predicted the end of the movie when he exclaimed “We’re all gunna die!” Stan Lee makes his cameo here as the bus driver! 

Strange stops the wind from the spaceship with some magic and gives a sexy little wink to Tony, which was a glorious moment. Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian, members of the Black Order, appear claiming they bring “salvation.” Strange does his famous “boom boom woosh,” but is quickly overpowered by Maw’s abilities. Peter shows up to help and Tony gives him a very quick and efficient breakdown of what’s going on. He’s been in enough fights to prioritize relevant information and disperse instructions quickly. Peter ends up on the spaceship and Tony gives him his Iron Spider suit. Tony’s suit also includes upgrades that are based on events from the past. For example, his flight booster is because of what happened with Rhodey in Civil War.

Back on Earth, Bruce calls Steve for help without any hesitation because he understands the importance of the situation at hand.

Responding to the distress call, the Guardians are on their way to the coordinates. They find the wreckage of the Asgarian ship and Thor hits their windshield. They bring him into the ship because he is still alive, and Drax describes him as the child of a pirate and an angel. They discuss that Thanos is collecting the Infinity Stones and he learns that Gamora is a daughter of Thanos. He doesn’t judge her because he understands family is difficult, which shows how compassionate of a person he still is despite everything he’s been through. Him, Rocket, and Groot separate from the Guardians to go get Thor a new weapon to defeat Thanos while the others go to Knowhere to get the Reality Stone. However, we as viewers already have a sense of dread about the situation and can assume that it will not go in their favor.

Vision and Wanda’s relationship has progressed but they have to have secret meetings due to the results of Civil War. Oddly enough Wanda has essentially lost her accent and is now a redhead. This feels like poor writing because there is no reason for either of these things to have happened. Vision is still trying to understand the Mind Stone, and the other two members of the Black Order, Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, attempt to retrieve it. This is when Steve makes a dramatic entrance, closely followed by Sam and Natasha. Now, Natasha’s hair is blonde which again, why? No logical reason. People have argued that it is so she can blend in better, but with the facial recognition technology available this argument is invaild. 

We get a flashback of Gamora as a child and learn a few important things. One, they writers have made some sort of attempt to show Thanos as a caring father which is a horrific thing to have done. Two, Thanos is most likely lying about her home planet. In Guardians of the Galaxy, her information shows that she is the last of her species so her home planet most likely died out after Thanos killed half their population, which proves that his “solution” will inevitably fail. We later learn that she knows the location of the Soul Stone and is willing to die to keep this information from Thanos. Unfortunately, this plan fails on Knowhere when Thanos uses the Reality Stone to keep her alive and take her back to his ship. On the ship, he has captured Nebula and tortures her to get the information about the stone from Gamora. This is a strong reminder that Thanos cares only for his goal of getting the stones and wiping out half the universe. 

Back on Earth the Avengers are planning what to do and Vision is the only one who knows the stone needs to be destroyed. He is willing to die for this cause, but they find another solution and take him to Wakanda for Shuri to remove the stone. While entering Wakanda, Okoye comments about wanting to participate in the Olympics or getting a Starbucks. This was one of the few humorous moments in the film that actually fit in with what was happening. There is a great display of Shuri’s brilliance and seemingly endless abilities. Bucky has also received a new Vibranium arm and seemingly has an entire spa day before meeting up with Steve.

Heading to Titan, Maw has Strange captured on his ship and Tony is plotting how to save him with the Cloak of Levitation. That is when Peter makes an appearance, gets a dad lecture from Tony, and provides another pop culture reference to help them succeed. He is later dubbed an honorary Avenger and the three make their way to Titan thinking it will give them an advantage.

On their way for a new weapon, we learn that Thor is 1,500 years old which roughly translates to his mid-20’s in human years. When they arrive, only one dwarf remains and they are quickly reminded of how mad Thanos is. hence the name “The Mad Titan.” They are able to create the weapon, an axe called Stormbreaker, for Thor and by doing so we see once again how powerful Thor can be. He is able to hold open the mechanism and take the full power of a star in order to make this weapon. While it does nearly kill him, teenage Groot displays passion and care for Thor by creating the handle of Stormbreaker. This restores Thor’s power and he is ready to seek revenge on Thanos. 

The Avengers end up meeting the Guardians on Titan while searching for Thanos. We get an incredible look at how different the two groups are and how little patience Tony has left. We also get another morbid warning as Strange looks into all possible outcomes, 14 million, and learns that they only win in one. Now, he knows that in order to win they have to lose and his entire tone towards Tony has changed because he has watched Tony sacrifice himself for the sake of the universe over and over again. This also justifies Peter Quill’s actions later, because they had to happen in order for them to win. 

In order to retrieve the Soul Stone one must sacrifice that which they love most. A soul for a soul. Red Skull is the guardian of the stone and is cursed with knowledge of everything. In order for the plot to progress, it makes sense that Thanos would sacrifice Gamora. However, his supposed “love” for her was a delusion and I do not believe he was truly sorry for this sacrifice, no matter how much the script claimed he was. When we see Gamora’s body down there, we see another faint bloodstain which we can deduce is Natasha’s. 

Notable moments from the Wakanda Battle. Bucky can run as fast as Steve and T’Challa can but doesn’t because there is a part of him that does not want to run into battle anymore. Thor makes a dramatic entrance and immediately displays his power, yelling for Thanos. Him and Steve quickly share some quips, which fits their friendship perfectly, and Steve introduces himself to Groot politely. Eventually Wanda has to go down to help and I wonder if she should have been down there the entire time. She knew removing the stone would take time and she’s far too powerful to be sitting around waiting. Visian also ends up joining the fight by force as Crovus attempts to steal the stone from him. 

Notable moments from the battle on Titan. This battle is an incredible display of Dr. Strange’s powers and several moments reference his abilities from the comics. They all do fight their hardest, but none as hard as Tony. He is the only one to make Thanos bleed, and though it was a tremendous amount of effort, it shows us who the strongest Avenger really is. Mantis is also incredibly strong as she is able to subdue Thanos in order for them to steal the glove. While they lose this battle we must trust that Strange knew what he was doing as he says “We’re in the endgame now.”

Unfortunately for Wanda she has no choice but to destroy the Mind Stone. While doing so, she also holds back Thanos and is dealing with an enormous amount of grief. Despite all this, she succeeds and we truly see how strong of a person she is. For clarity, she destroyed one Infinity Stone while holding back the power of the other five. However, Thanos uses the power of the Time Stone to bring Vision back and rip the Mind Stone from him. While Thor makes a great attack on him, Thanos still succeeds in his mission and snaps his fingers, wiping out half the universe. There is a brief vision in which Thanos speaks to a small Gamora, but I believe this scene was just another pathetic attempt for us to pity a genocidal maniac. We slowly watch characters fade into dust as our hearts break. It’s difficult to watch something where the heroes fail, and this film really did it’s best to wreck its audience. 

The end credit scene is Fury driving with Hill when they discover people turning to dust. He rushes for a pager and as he fades away we see the screen of the pager show the symbol of Captain Marvel. 

That was a lot of information! Thank you for making it all the way to the end. While I did my best to prevent it from being a movie summary, I found that to be the only way to share my thoughts in an organized manner. I did combine certain scenes or bits of information that were directly tied together to make it easier to comprehend. Overall, while this movie had a large amount of technical faults due to poor writing and bad judgements for characters, it is still a very engaging film to watch. It is action packed and progresses all of the stories forward for the next phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I pointed out all the issues I personally had with this film, but I’m sure there were a few other things that didn’t add up. I would also recommend watching the rest of the MCU before watching this movie, because there are far too many characters and plot developments for casual viewing. 

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Black Panther Review

Before we begin this review, I wanted to take some time to appreciate Chadwick Boseman (1976-2020) who passed away this year from cancer. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, but kept it private and continued to act in several films. He was an incredible actor and I was extremely saddened to hear the news of his passing. Though I have only seen him in the role of Black Panther, I know that he has done incredible work in other films as well. If you’d like to go see what other films he’s been in, here is his IMDB page. I sincerely hope Marvel continues to honor his memory by not recasting his role, but rather giving him a proper send-off in the next film and passing the mantle of Black Panther to Shuri. 

This film is absolutely incredible, from the plot development, to the character development, to the soundtrack and score. I loved this film the first time I saw it, and I still love it to this day. It grips the audience from the get-go as T’Challa realized that the old ways no longer were good for Wakanda and the world. Wakanda has been closed off for too long and he opens it up to the world in order to help those who are struggling. This also ties Wakanda and T’Challa into Infinity War because Wakanda is where the main battle takes place. I would highly recommend this film, and if you haven’t already, go check out the soundtrack!

The film begins with the story of how Wakanda came to be and why they’ve remained hidden all this time. The animation of this screen was incredible and I know it took a long time to create. The Marvel intro on Disney+ for this film was different from the others; it was a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman in the film and behind the scenes. Following the tribute, we get a brief scene setting up some backstory for the antagonist. This movie takes place immediately following Civil War and we see an incredible ceremony where T’Challa becomes king. The culture, tradition, and African music within the film were beautiful. It was refreshing and exciting to see the details of these traditions and hear the language of Xhosa.

There were only a few obvious easter-eggs within the film that a normal viewer could catch. Stan Lee’s cameo was of a man playing craps in Korea; he takes T’Challa’s winnings claiming he will hold onto them. Shuri drops two big easter-eggs, though one may go over the heads of those who don’t know classic vines. The first was Shuri making a vine reference when she said “WHAT ARE THOSE,” to T’Challa’s traditional king sandals. The second was when they bring her Ross and she mentions having another broken white boy to fix. This is an obvious reference to Bucky, who was taken toWakanda to be healed by their technology. 

Shuri is an incredible, brilliant, and strong young woman and I loved how this movie portrayed her character. Her brilliance is shown throughout as she continues to provide upgrades to their technology, heal injuries, and prepare planning for their outreach programs. Though we don’t see it as much, she is an extremely skilled fighter as well. During the ceremony when M’Baku calls her out everyone moves their arms in front of her. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that they’re not protecting her, they’re holding her back. There is also a theory that she took the Black Panther necklace because she was planning to take the herd, wear the suit, and fight Killmonger. In the next film we may see her take up the mantle, as she does in the comics, and potentially take on a surprising villain. 

From the start of this film to the end, T’Challa is going on a huge emotional journey. First, he is trying to cope with his father’s passing and his taking up the mantle as king. Second, he discovers that he has a cousin and begins to question the way his father ruled. He is not making decisions for himself, but for the good of Wakanda now. Through all of this, he becomes a great king as he realizes that Wakanda has been closed off from the world for too long. He is ready to open it up to the world and provide better opportunities for those who have nothing. This is a huge change from tradition but one that was necessary. Though we will not get to see him in the next film, the things he did will no doubt be honored and shown. 

There were two end credit scenes, as normal, but neither really set up much in the way of future films. The first was a UN conference where T’Challa was sharing that Wakanda was going to open up to the world; which we can imagine plays a bit of a role in the future Black Panther film. The second was Shuri checking on Bucky (who is called White Wolf) to teach him about all kinds of things. We can only imagine she is catching him up on the world, teaching him how to adapt, and preparing him for his new life. Fun fact: in the comics the Queen Mother adopts Bucky and he is properly given the name of White Wolf, and is granted diplomatic immunity. I would love to see this or a reference to this in his show or the next Black Panther movie!

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Thor: Ragnarok Review

Thor Ragnarok is a movie I can watch on repeat, and have! This film came out in 2017 and gave us our transition to the next two, huge Avengers movies. This movie was absolutely hilarious and I am never against watching it! It shows a side of Thor we’ve all known was there, but never really got to see. It also gives us huge character development for Loki, which was long overdue. Taika was an excellent choice for this film, and I’m looking forward to his next Thor movie. My only issue with this film is Hela’s relation to the brothers. I understand why they made her an older sibling, convenience for the film and audience, but the reality is that she’s Loki’s daughter. The large wolf is also one of Loki’s children, as is the 8-legged horse we see depicted in the art on the ceiling of the Asgardian hall. In the comics they acknowledge Loki to be the parent, so I fully believe they could have worked it in if they wanted to. Aside from that, it’s an incredible film that I would highly recommend. 

This film was packed full of hilarious moments, fun easter-eggs for viewers, and cameos. Matt Damon appears in Loki’s play as Loki, and alongside him is the oldest Hemsworth brother portraying Thor. The running theory is that Loki actually went to Earth, sought out a good actor, and kidnapped Matt Damon to play him in his production. Dr. Strange makes his full appearance in this film based on the end credit scene in his own film; I would have liked to see more interaction between him and Loki though, given Loki’s insticit to stab him. Stan Lee is the man who cuts Thor’s hair, which is just the next step in his journey to gather information for the Watchers! The Grandmaster appears in this film, and for those who don’t know, he is the Collector’s older brother; though I doubt their relationship will be shown in the future. The director himself, Taika Waititi, also makes an appearance in this film as Korg. And last but not least, though it is not a proper cameo, my home state of Texas is mentioned as one of the places Skurge got his stuff: “I’m particularly fond of these. I pulled ’em out of a place on Midgard called Tex-ass.”

While I try not to be too picky about the differences in this film from Norse Mythology, there are a few things I wanted to discuss. Ragnarok is brought about differently in Norse Mythology, but in this film it is brought about by Surtur (or Surtr), the fire giant who is determined to destroy Asgard. In this process, he destroys himself and Hela, which was an incredible way to display their power. I appreciate the way they feature the true power of some of these beings, though they still refuse to show Loki’s full abilities for some reason. We also meet a Valkyrie in this film, a strong female warrior that actually had strong similarities to the Valkyrie in Norse Mythology. For the record, her name is not Valkyrie, she is just a member of the Valkyrie. Her name is Brunnhilde, and she is on Sakaar to drink and forget because Hela killed her girlfriend in the battle. 

Something I found interesting was the usage of the Willy Wonka music as Thor is being introduced to Sakaar and the Grandmaster (something I wouldn’t have noticed without my mother pointing it out). A small but important thing to point out is that Thor passed out from the electric chip, but Loki remained conscious which is more evidence than he has been through far, far worse at the hands of Thanos. Hulk on Sakaar is also a reference to the comic series Planet Hulk. Bruce has been Hulk for 2 years, and is only able to return to his human form when a video of Natasha appears on the quinjet. Poor Bruce just wants to go home, but ends up doing the right thing and helping them defeat Hela. Apparently he also has 7 PhD’s, a fact I did not know before this film. 

Finally we get to see Thor as he was meant to be. He is funny, relatable, and comes into the full ability of his powers in this film. The film begins with him explaining how he ended up in a cage, and there is a theory that the film is lighter and funny because he is telling it to us from his perspective. He was out searching for the Infinity Stones, but then foresaw Ragnarok and had to focus his energy on saving his home. However, he helps bring about Ragnarok because he realizes that “Asgard is not a place, it’s a people.” We learn that he is no longer dating Jane, but based on everything else he has to go through, his relationship status is the least of his concerns. His relationship with Loki was also portrayed better; more as a sibling relationship and with a deeper understanding of one another. 

Loki was also portrayed much better in this film, though we’re still lacking the full range of his power as I mentioned earlier. His time on the throne pretending to be Odin was actually a good thing. He put resources and time into the arts and the people of Asgard, and lessen Asgards domain on the other planets. Though Thor viewed this as a bad thing, I don’t think it is because it shows that Loki has learned from his mistakes and does not seek a tyrannical rule on others. He also shows his care for his mother by picking her colors, blue and gold, for his outfit on Sakaar. By the end of the film, he has come full circle and realizes he could be much more than just the God of Mischief. 

Now for the end credit scenes. The first one is rather concerning, and is the lead-in to Infinity War. Thor and Loki are discussing Loki returning to Earth, and a large ship appears before them. Just from the look on Loki’s face alone, we can determine that it is Thanos’ ship. Thankfully we get another good film before having to suffer through the emotional destruction caused by Infinity War. The second end credit scene is the Grandmaster climbing out of a broken ship congratulating his people on their rebellion. We can assume that his rule over this planet is over, and I would love to see him seek out his brother in the future for shelter. 

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Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

Alright so unfortunately because Marvel/Disney and Sony can’t get along, I have no feasible way to watch this film. It’s not on Disney+ nor anywhere else unless I pay, and my DVD version is currently buried in a storage unit. So instead this blog post will somewhat discuss the film based on my memory of it and what I know about his future in the MCU. Apologizes for this blip! 

This film came out in 2017 and was a lot of fun to see because it felt like the most accurate version of Peter Parker so far. The Toby Maguire films were rough and you know it, and the Andrew Garfield films had a lot of potential but unfortunately fell short. Now, we have an incredible Spider-Man with Tom Holland! I really enjoyed this film, and love how Tony is seen as somewhat of a father figure to Peter. It felt fairly different from the other films, even though it had much stronger tie-ins than others.

Overall, I remember enjoying this film because it felt lighter than some of the other Marvel films. The inclusion of Tony Stark was also one of the reasons I really enjoyed this film since he’s such a great character and is now a father-figure to Peter. While this film did have several serious moments, the tone of it still remained light and somewhat relatable. We all remember being a teenager and trying to figure out who we were while juggling school, friends, and potentially other activities. Of course, Peter has superhero duties to juggle as well, but his struggle is still a familiar one. His decision in the end to continue looking out for the little guy instead of becoming an Avenger was a good decision, and we saw his growth throughout the film that led to this decision. While he still may not be fully sure who he is, he knows now that he still has a way to go before he can become an Avenger. He has to finish high school at the very least! His journey continues in the next film, which hopefully by the time I get to it, I can watch. 

I still did research about the easter-eggs, so here we go! There are a few noteworthy characters in Peter’s life. First is Flash Thompson, a notable bully of Peter’s yet a huge fan of Spider-man. In the comics at some point, he hosts the Venom symbiote. Second, Michelle, or MJ, whose character is a tribute to Mary Jane in the comics, but not intended to replicate the character. Third, Aaron Davis, played by Donald Glover, makes an appearance and he is the uncle of Miles Morales, who later becomes Spider-man. Finally, Pepper Potts makes an appearance signifying that her and Tony are back together. It is implied that he proposes to her, and in the next Avengers film we learn they are engaged. Of course Stan Lee makes his normal cameo, and it’s nice to know he’s back on Earth! He’s yelling at Peter from out a window, distrubed by the noise Spider-Man made. 

As for the future of Spider-Man in the MCU, it’s been a rocky road. He was in Infinity War and Endgame, then had his second film, and is currently filming the third. However, Tom Holland had to fight to get the third because Sony pulled him from the MCU due to money negotiations. Hopefully Marvel regains full rights to Spider-Man so that they may continue including him in the films. There have been talks about incorporating Venom into Spider-Man’s films, but for now it’s only speculation. As for other films, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse is currently working on their next film, and I would highly recommend watching the first one if you haven’t! Disney+ also has a variety of Spider-Man animated shows if you’re interested in checking them out. 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 came out in 2017 and felt fairly different from the first one. The first film was set up comedy-emotions-comdey, whereas this one was set up as emotions-comedy-emotions. I was genuinely surprised to find myself crying somewhat at the end of this film, but of course we’ve reached the point where all of these movies are going for an emotional gut-punch. The character development was strong for each individual and everything was tied together in a comprehensive way for the audience. It is a good film that I enjoyed rewatching, and of course Baby Groot!

Finally, we have the new, cooler Marvel intro! You know, the one that DC and Star Wars immediately copied without making it ‘obvious.’ I was excited to finally see this intro and was surprised it took so long, I thought it had been on some of the older films. The film jumps right in and we meet Peter’s mom, and the man we can deduce to be his father. They’re having a wonderful time, and later in the film we get a huge shock in regards to her death. Next, we notice some tension between the Guardians and see it build throughout the film, mainly between Rocket and Quill. Of course working and living together in such close quarters would cause tension, but it seemed a bit surprising after the way the last film ended. This tension gets resolved at the end of the film when Yondu calls Rocket out on his shit and both individuals show that they do care for Peter and the others. 

Something I found rather surprising that I didn’t notice when I first saw it was how dark this film actually is. Ego is a sociopath, who is trying to essentially destroy all life in existence and claim the universe for himself. He killed the woman he claimed to love, rather brutally by giving her brain cancer, and has been killing his offspring that didn’t carry the Celestial gene. My mom pointed this out and it was somewhat disturbing to think about. The film also has a rather sad ending that left me in tears: Yondu’s funeral. It seems like the beginning of a new journey for the Guardians, but unfortunately the reality is not so positive (Infinity War).

Peter Quill, or Star-Lord, has some strong character development in this film and has an emotional appeal to the audience. We learn more about how much he cared for his mother and his desire to know who his father is. However, once he does learn who his father is, he has an internal struggle because he wants this to work but doesn’t know this individual very well. For a brief period of time, he is understanding and excited about Ego’s mission, but once he learns the truth about his mother’s death he turns on Ego. In theory, he is protecting the galaxy, but the emotional reality is that he’s getting revenge for his mother’s death. In the end, he realizes Yondu was his father and learns that he doesn’t need to be searching for anything because he has everything he needs with his real family, the Guardians. 

Gamora and Nebula grow together in this film. We learn more about what they went through when Thanos raised them. They were both living in fear of surviving until the next day, and all Nebula wanted was a sister. While they are hostile and violent towards each other at first, as the film progresses they are able to work together and rebuild their bond, mainly through Gamora. She also starts to show some of her feelings for Peter through them dancing together, her worry for him during the battle with Ego, and her acknowledgement of the unspoken thing. Gamora is also exceptionally strong, which we didn’t see as much in the first film.

I’ve already discussed some things about Rocket, so now I’m going to focus on Baby Groot. He is a gift to the world and loves dancing, but not in front of Drax. He is seemingly hostile towards Drax, and is fairly violent for a child. He also hates hats, which was an important development. He was able to get revenge on the Ravager that scared/hurt him, which is good because anyone who hurts Baby Groot deserves suffering.

We meet a new character in this film: Mantis. She’s living on Ego’s planet but helps the Guardians because she wants to do the right thing. She may not seem like much, but she is actually an incredibly strong individual due to her abilities. She is able to hold Ego at bay until she is knocked out, which is no small feat. She seemingly befriends Drax who is willing to sacrifice himself to save her, as we saw. They have a good friendship, and we learn the Drax is surprisingly wise and good at giving advice. We also learn that Drax absolutely hates dancing, which is why Baby Groot never dances in front of him. 

Some fun and interesting things in this movie! David Hasselhoff makes a cameo in the film and in the end credits, and it is rumored that he will play a larger role in the future films. Howard the Duck returns, drinking and seemingly living his best life. There were 4 end credit scenes. That’s right, 4! The first is the Ravager’s teaming up like the old days, claiming they’re going to steal some shit. However, I do believe this team is a variation of the Guardians of the Galaxy that disbanded a while ago. The second scene is Ayesha mentioning her new creation: Adam. We can deduce that this new character will play a large role in the next Guardians film, and I believe is an important character in the comics. The third scene was Stan Lee being left by the Watchers. While we did see him talking with them earlier, mentioning his time as a FedEx worker, they show him again with them in the end. There is a theory that the reason Stan Lee is in all of these films is because he’s working for them and providing them with information. Clearly he’s given them too much though! The last scene is of teenage Groot being a typical teenger with Peter. 

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