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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.

Captain America: Civil War Review

Civil War came out in 2016 and was exceptionally hyped/promoted by both Marvel and the actors. They made silly short videos featuring the tension between both sides, clips that asked people to pick a side, and other interesting content that’s worth checking out on YouTube. It is the first film in Phase 3 which is the longest phase as of today. One thing I remember was everyone deciding between Team Cap or Team Ironman, despite the fact that we didn’t know anything about the plot or why there were sides. I believe at the time I was leaning more towards Team Cap, but I would say now I don’t have a side because I understand the reasoning for both. In this review, I will not be taking a side either, just presenting their reasoning. It is up to you if you want to pick a side or remain neutral. 

Before we jump into the emotional depth of this film, let’s discuss some other things first. This film still has the original Marvel logo, which I honestly thought changed at the start of Phase 3 but I was wrong! And something worth mentioning as that of course there are going to be other Avengers in their “solo” films. Their lives are too intertwined now for them to have a film without at least one other Avenger in it. The fight scenes were awesome, all choreographed excellently and exciting to watch, even though they were friends against friends. Peggy Carter dies, and at her funeral we learn that Sharon is her niece. Later, we have an extremely forced romance/kiss between her and Steve, which was just utter chaos. Thankfully it gets dismissed in the future films. We meet Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, and Ant-Man makes a cameo as well! Stan Lee makes a cameo as the FedEX delivery guy, delivering a package for “Tony Stank,” which is a hilarious joke and something to help lighten the mood for the end of the film.

Let’s look at Tony’s side of things, or essentially his reasoning for signing the accords. We already see that Tony is going through some personal stuff, missing his parents and being separated from Pepper because he can’t stop being Iron Man and she wants him to stop. Then he learns just how much damage they actually cause. Yes, in the bigger picture of things they’re saving the world, but there are so many smaller casualties and Tony learns about this firsthand. When the accords are formed, he realizes this is the solution he was looking for. He just wants to do what is best for everyone, and doesn’t want anyone getting hurt in the process. He believes that if the Avengers are being monitored and not doing what they please, less people will be hurt. Later in the film, he does go to help Steve because he realizes Bucky wasn’t the criminal and he has a duty to go after the actual criminal. However, he learns that Bucky killed his parents and rage overcomes him. In the end, he returns to the compound and continues living by the accords, as far as we’re aware anyway. 

Now Steve’s side, or his reasoning for not signing them. Steve believes in doing what is right no matter what, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. He worries that the UN won’t send the Avengers out where they’re needed, or send them places they don’t need to be. He doesn’t believe they should be supervised, that’s not why they exist. He always has and always will do what is right, even if it means going against what everyone tells him to do. When it comes to Bucky, he knows deep down in his gut Bucky didn’t bomb the UN meeting, and when he learns about the other Winter Soldiers he knows they have to be stopped at all costs. He’s willing to fight for Bucky, even if it means fighting Tony. He believed he was doing the right thing by not telling Tony about his parents, but he learned that he was wrong. In the end, he is still going to be there for Tony when the time comes. 

Now for Bucky, a character who I’ve argued from the beginning isn’t the bag guy, HYDRA was! We see some of his training back at Hydra, and slowly piece together that he killed Tony’s parents. He’s currently living in Romania when he gets framed for the UN bombing, and has a small notebook where he keeps his memories, in case he forgets again. He doesn’t want to be the bad guy, he just wants to live his life. We also learn that he does in fact remember everyone he killed, which broke my heart. Bucky is a good guy, and I have a clear example of this in case you aren’t convinced. When they’re all fighting in the airport, Bucky goes to punch Peter. However, Peter stops it, which shocks Bucky, and then we see his facial expression when he realizes Peter is just a kid once Peter starts talking. He doesn’t want to hurt him and pulls his punches. Also, side note, him flipping the motorcycle to get on it was an extremely badass moment. 

There are a lot of other characters in the film, so I won’t be going in-depth with them since they weren’t the main focus. We see Wanda and Vision begin to fall for each other, but since they end up on different siders it makes things tense. Clint has gone into retirement, but when everything goes to shit, he shows up to repay his debt to Wanda. Even though him and Natasha fight, they’re still friends. In the end, Natasha leaves because she realized she made the wrong choice and ends up going to do her own thing. Falcon will follow Cap for pretty much anything, as Rhodey does with Tony. However, Rhodey becomes somewhat paralyzed from the waist down after their airport battle. 

The two end credit scenes foreshadow two future Marvel films. First, Bucky in Wakanda. We get our first glance at Wakanda and are gearing up for the Black Panther film! We met T’Challa earlier in the film and learned that he is the Black Panther, and now the King of Wakanda. He is a good guy who wants to do what is right, and learns that vengeance is not the way. He offers protection for Bucky and his sister, Shuri, will be the one who fixes him. The second scene was Peter messing with his new Spider-Man gear, which is very exciting because Spider-Man is officially in the MCU!

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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 Review

Ant-Man came out in 2015 and brought in another character to the MCU who was able to have their own adventures that weren’t directly connected to the Avengers, yet. When the film first came out, I was unsure about its relevance to the MCU and did not go see it in theaters. After Civil War came out, and I saw him in it, I realized I should probably go watch the movie. Turns out, it’s a great movie! It has good humor, a great main character, and a strong subplot about Scott just trying to be a good father. I would highly recommend the film for family movie night! 

We begin with a view of the S.H.I.E.L.D. building being built, we see Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Hank Pym, and a member of Hydra. We learn that Hank quits and goes off to create his own company. This sets up the film as well as Hank’s detestement towards the Stark family. Next, we meet Scott Lang in prison, and we start to learn a bit about him in the first 30 minutes of the film. There is strong character development for Scott in this film. Scott spent a lot of time thinking in prison and knows that he wants to work hard to be a good father for Cassie. He cares about her greatly and she already views him as a hero, so that’s what he wants to be for her. What he didn’t know is that he was actually going to become one! Scott dawns the identity of Ant-Man, which once belonged to Hank Pym, in order to stop a mad-man from selling Hank’s tech to Hydra. It’s not about making a better world for them, but a better world for his daughter. We see Hank’s strained relationship with his daughter Hope, and how he wants Scott to have a better one with his daughter. Eventually, Hope and Hank make amends and Scott is given the opportunity to be a part of Cassie’s life.

This film was absolutely hilarious, and featured unique, funny characters that added levity to the scenes. Luis, an excellent storyteller, is Scott’s best friend and introduces the other two members of the crew, Kurt and Dave. Scott himself is funny as well, and the dialogue in the film was written well. One of my favorite moments in the film was when Scott got fired from Baskin Robbins, not because he got fired, but because of what they said: “Baskin Robbin always finds out.” The fight with Yellow-Jacket also had some hilarious moments because it would zoom out of the battle, and all you would see is a toy getting knocked over! There are a great many moments in this film that made me laugh, so be sure to go watch it for a good time! 

Let’s pause for a moment and remember the ants who lost their lives in this battle. RIP Ant-tony, the best little flying ant there ever was. 

Some other things! We still have the original Marvel Logo, which honestly I think changes in phase 3 at this point. There are several mentions of the Avengers and Sokovia, and we actually get to see Falcon in this film! Scott has to go to the Avengers base, which they believed to be an empty warehouse to retrieve some tech needed for the mission. We later see Falcon talking with a journalist to help him locate Scott. The journalist lists off several other vague super hero abilities, but one is a reference to Spider-Man: “and one who crawls on walls.” Stan Lee makes his traditional cameo as a bartender in Luis’ story about the journalist. Luis tells great stories. There are some other, smaller details that I read about online, but aren’t necessarily relevant to the plot of this film.

Now, we need to unpack the two end credit scenes, because they are loaded! The first scene, which I remembered clearly, shows Hank and Hope looking at a suit that was built for Hope’s mother, but is now for Hope. This tells us that the next time we see Hope, she will be the superhero Wasp, which she is more than happy about. The second end credit scene I did not remember at all! This is actually just a scene from Civil War, which features Bucky somewhat trapped by a machine and Sam and Steve discussing the “Accords” and Tony not understanding. This is an incredible set up for the next film, and leaves audiences guessing about what all of this means! I was shocked to see this scene, even though I know what happens in the next film! 

Remember next week is an off week!

Like my blog? Subscribe below and follow my official Twitter or Instagram for updates! Agree or disagree with my thoughts on this film? Comment below what you think and let’s start a conversation! Be sure to share with your friends as well!        

This post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast I created that is inspired by this blog. It is available for free wherever you listen to your podcasts!

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

Age of Ultron came out in 2015 and is arguably the worst Avengers film out of the 4. It may even qualify as the worst MCU film. I remember seeing it in theaters and being absolutely mind-blown by the missteps it took. While it does have some good moments, overall the film felt like a total trainwreck. Joss Whedon absolutely destroyed any character development made in the previous films and reduced some characters to almost nothing. On paper, it should have been a good film, but once he got his hands on it, it became rough. I’m going to pick it apart in this review and also note the good moments.

Before I analyze the characters, I want to go through some other things. The intro to the film is very dramatic, and still involves the original Marvel logo. Then we jump straight into a battle scene, which has some rough looking CGI compared to normal. This film had some easter-eggs and some mentions that just refer back to the previous films. We see Stan Lee saying he can handle Thor’s alcohol (which he can’t), but it seems Steve can! There are mentions of Wakanda and Vibranium again, and we meet Klaue who plays a bigger role in Black Panther (we also learn how he loses his arm). Rhodey and Sam appear in the film as well, Rhodey coming later on to help them save the city and both appearing in the end as new Avengers. After the first set of credits, we see Thanos finally get out of his chair and put the Infinity Gauntlet on (he is looking very purple). The film ends with “The Avengers Will Return,” giving us no clues about the next steps in the MCU. 

Out of everyone in the film, Tony was the only one who was still himself. He made comments, jokes, and quips at almost every opportunity, continued to do his best for the team, and still had all his flashy tech. He also has strong banter with Bruce, which means their friendship has grown and they understand each other better. In retrospect, Ultron was his fault, but the intentions were not evil. Tony wants to protect everyone he cares about and the world, and everything he does is to make the world a safer place. He saw the path they were going down in his vision and wanted to change it, he could not have predicted what Ultron would become. Vision was what he intended when making the program, not Ultron. At the end of the film we see Tony pondering his future with Pepper as this battle has really put things in perspective for him. Honestly, I don’t think RDJ would have them let fuck up Tony Stark after the time and dedication he’s put into the character. 

While Steve still has aspects of himself that ring true to the other films, (his morals and dedication to doing what is right), there are aspects of him in this film that didn’t make sense. For example, “Language.” Really Steve? Or should I say Joss? Because all Tony said was “Shit,” and if he’s actually spent any time around Tony he would have been used to this by now. Although the running joke of them mocking him for it throughout was entertaining. Later, Steve nearly lifts the hammer, because he is worthy, which is foreshadowing to Endgame. In Steve’s vision, he’s back in his time after the war had been won, with Peggy wanting to dance. However, it’s riddled with violence then an emptiness, showing how Steve no longer is that person and he has to find a new path. An entertaining moment during the battle with Ultron: he aggressively planks to decapitate one of the robots. At the end of the film, Steve begins training the new Avengers, because he’s not sure what he can do with his life and he knows this is where he needs to be. It felt left very open which in theory can be good, but there really should have been character development in this film because Steve is still figuring himself out and his path. I was disappointed that not much happened for him, especially after what we saw in The Winter Soldier. 

Thor remains fairly comical throughout the film; his time on Earth shown through his obvious friendship with Steve. However, he didn’t have much in the way of character growth and remained fairly stagnant throughout the film. In his vision, he sees Loki walking around in a cloak (signifying that Loki isn’t really dead) and he begins to glimpse the Infinity Stones. He later goes to see the rest of the vision, which is when he discovers that someone is making a weapon to yield these stones and decides he must go on a journey to find them. The end of the film is him returning to Asgard (or possibly going elsewhere?) to begin his search for the stones. This is meant to lead us to the next Thor film, Ragnarok, but because of the tone of the film it feels somewhat disconnected. 

Natasha, this is where I have a bone to pick with Joss Whedon. This man had the AUDACITY to reduce her to nothing more than a woman who can’t have kids. And on top of that, he wrote her so she thought she was a monster because of it? Fuck that. Natasha is an incredibly strong person and she’s not a monster just because she’s infertile. Women are more than baby-making machines; they are strong individuals who can do what they want with their lives and are not monsters because they can’t (or decide not to) have children. Joss Whedon is a sexist fuck who shouldn’t have been allowed to write anything relating to Natasha’s character. She ALSO doesn’t need to be with something? And Bruce was a stretch if I’ve ever seen one. The only good thing we got out of the film for her was learning about her past with Red Room. It’s clearly a dark part of her past that still haunts her to this day, and I’m curious to learn more about her in the official Black Widow movie. 

Now Clint is interesting in this film because he goes into “dad-mode” somewhat but also develops more in general. We learn that he can maybe play drums (as he’s messing around with drum-sticks in the tower), that he doesn’t tolerate mind-control BS anymore (naturally), and he has a humorous side in relation to Pietro (tolerates the kid but clearly frustrated with being called old-man). He also is somewhat of a motivational speaker as he talks to Wander in the house about becoming an Avenger. However, I take issue with his secret family. It felt like a MAJOR cop-out so they would have somewhere to go, and isn’t really canon. I am aware that there is this version of his family in one strand of the comics, but in the main comics this family doesn’t exist. Therefore I do not consider it canon and am angry about it (you can disagree but this is my blog). I’m curious what his vision would have been though, or do we see what he would become in Endgame regardless?

I don’t have much to say on Bruce that I haven’t already through the other characters. I suppose the lullaby makes sense, but it feels like Bruce could have easily come up with a better way to switch back. The entire thing just felt like a con to trick us into thinking Bruce and Natasha would make a good couple, which they don’t. Bruce also helped design the Hulk-Buster armor, Veronica, because he knows how volatile the Hulk can be should things get out of hand. I respect this because he’s taking precautions, just like Tony was, which is why I think he understood better than the others why Tony created (somewhat by accident) Ultron, and later helped creat Vision.

The twins, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff: “He’s fast and she’s weird.” In the comics, they are some of Magneto’s children, which is why they have their powers. However, in this film their powers originate from Loki’s scepter. This film only touches upon Wanda’s powers, showing her ability to manipulate people’s mind and the matter around her. Later, after Pietro dies, we see her power explode out of her, which is a better insight to her capabilities. This brings me to my next point, why did he die? He’s supposed to be fast, and if he’s fast enough to push Clint out of the way he’s fast enough to MOVE them both out of the way. Plothole! Also, another bone to pick, their beef with Stark isn’t direct beef with Tony. Yes, he made weapons and they were sold on the black market, but it wasn’t him selling them! If they had paid any attention to the news they would have known that and stopped blaming him for their parents death. They work with him later in the film, but Wanda still seems skeptical about Tony. 

The Age of Ultron…more like the long-weekend of Ultron. He clearly represents the extremist side of humanity, those who think humans need to evolve or die. However, he acts like a psychotic child throughout the film, throwing fits when he doesn’t get his way and using phrases that adults wouldn’t typically use (you would hope). He doesn’t want to be compared to Tony Stark, or called one of Stark’s, because he believes he is a unique individual who is nothing like Tony. However, he is directly connected to Tony as much as he wishes he wasn’t. I would argue that Bruce had some role in his creation as well, but this gets brushed aside. I must say, James Spader was an excellent choice for Ultron.

Now his counterpart, Vision. Vision is an odd creation because he is spawned from Ultron, JARVIS, and the Mind Stone. He is worthy of Thor’s hammer because he is a young, pure being who has not experienced life or anything yet. He even admits that he does not know much since he’s only a day old. He just wants to do what is right and even though he sees humanity destroying itself, he sees the beauty in them. He also saves Wanda, which foreshadows their romantic relationship later in the films.

Overall, I would not recommend watching this movie. You can honestly watch the other films without having seen this one, because you’re not missing out on anything. I had to take several breaks while watching it because I got angry, worn out, or just bored with it.   

Like my blog? Subscribe below and follow my official Twitter or Instagram for updates! Agree or disagree with my thoughts on this film? Comment below what you think and let’s start a conversation! Be sure to share with your friends as well!        

This post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast I created that is inspired by this blog. It is available for free wherever you listen to your podcasts!

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Guardians of the Galaxy came out in 2014 and was very different from the other MCU films we had seen up until this point. I had seen it in theaters while I was out of town and remember having a good time watching it. However, I wasn’t sure what the direct connection was to the other MCU films. It’s still a film I enjoy watching to this day because of the great humor, emotional moments, and overall story. 

This film jumps straight into the plot by giving Peter Quill some background before we see the original Marvel logo. Throughout the film we learn more about Peter, as well as the other characters, while listening to some great music. I would highly recommend listening to the full album when you get the chance! There were a few things I noticed within the film that I found interesting or odd. Xandar seems to be a better, more evolved version of Earth but at some point Rocket calls the Nova Core fascists, which seemed to be rooted in some sort of truth. Towards the end of the film, Nova Prime commands to have the city evacuated, but at no point does it seem to be evacuated. When the city is being dive-bombed, it is still fully populated and later we see the citizens watching the final stand-off between Ronan and the Guardians. However, Rocket mentioned earlier that the city had been evacuated, so which is it? Another thing, Ronan named the Guardians in an attempt to mock them in front of these citizens, but then they kept the name. Finally, we see Thanos a bit more in this film, but he continues to sit in his floating chair. 

Peter had the most character development within this film. He was just a sweet little boy who lost his momma and somehow ended up on an alien space-ship becoming a Ravager. Later it is mentioned that his father hired them to bring Peter to him, but Yondu decided to keep him instead and raise him. Earth is referred to as Terra, but Peter is only half Terran as we learn that his father was something ancient and mysterious. Peter makes a lot of old references that no one understands, but they seemingly go along with. He is trying to relate what he knows to what is happening now to cope, but it doesn’t always work. As the film progresses, he realizes more and more that they need to do the right thing to prevent millions of innocent people from dying. Also, he has one of the most logical arguments about saving the galaxy: “Because I’m one of the idiots who lives in it!” This made perfect sense and he was willing to die to do the right thing. Finally, him holding the stone and using it to destroy Ronan was a very badass moment. 

Gamora did have some character development as well, but I feel that she has more growth in the second film. I think in this one she was simply letting her true self out after having to hide away her feelings for years because of Thanos. She’s trying to betray him and use the orb to start a new life away from everything. In a way, she’s also learning about herself because she’s never had the opportunity to grow, and now she has friends and the ability to be more herself. We do see some interactions between her and Nebula, and we learn that Gamora is Thanos’ favorite daughter, but there is still more to their complex relationship that we learn about in the next film. She also takes things somewhat literally, but not to the extent Drax does. 

Speaking of Drax, he too has some small character development as he realizes how his personal vendetta against Ronan isn’t the only path in life. His family was slaughtered by Ronan, but now he has a new family and is grateful for them. He takes things extremely literally because he doesn’t under metaphors. Of course he still wants to take Thanos down, but he learned that he has to be practical about the way he does things and not let his rage blind his actions. He brings a different form of humor to this already humorous film. 

Rocket and Groot came in a pair and didn’t have much in the way of growth. Rocket is a very handy and clever individual, and while he did decide that they all were friends and helped them save the galaxy, we’re not fully sure what he was like before this. We only get brief mentions of his life before this but not enough to put together his story. Groot is an incredible character who is very sweet and proud of himself when he does things. I did cry when he died because it was an extremely tender moment, but thankfully he returned as Baby Groot and danced at the end of the film. 

This film had some incredible easter-eggs throughout! While there are some extremely small and specific details, I’m only going to mention the seemingly obvious. Stan Lee is seen early-on on Xandar flirting with a younger woman while Rocket is looking around for targets. Now, in the Collectors collection we see a good amount of easter-eggs: Cosmo the Spacedog, Howard the Duck, a Dark Elf from Thor the Dark World, and a Chitauri warrior from the Avengers. There were a few other things in his collection that reference other films, not much else related to Marvel or the MCU. Of course we learn more about the Infinity Stones, and the stone seen within this film is the Power Stone. 

Overall, I would highly recommend watching this movie because it is a fully rounded film, with clear plot and humor. It’s somewhat separation from the rest of the MCU means that any viewer can watch and enjoy it, and as I said before the music is incredible!

Like my blog? Subscribe below and follow my official Twitter or Instagram for updates! Agree or disagree with my thoughts on this film? Comment below what you think and let’s start a conversation! Be sure to share with your friends as well!        

This post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast I created that is inspired by this blog. It is available for free wherever you listen to your podcasts!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out in 2014 and was arguably one of the best Marvel films ever made. It has incredible emotional depth, character range, a well-developed plot, and holds the audience’s attention the entire time without fail. I was unprepared when I first saw it and even now I was still unprepared because of how much happens! It was incredible to watch again, held my attention the entire time, and I absolutely love Bucky so it was good to see him again, even if he wasn’t himself. There were also a lot of small things within this film that were exciting to notice! 

We start off with the original Marvel logo and meet a future Avenger, Sam Wilson (Falcon). Steve is running laps, as is Sam, and keeps passing him with the phrase “on your left,” which is a phrase we see later in this film and other films between them. Sam, an Army Vet, quickly befriends Steve and shows that he is willing to do what is right, regardless of the obstacles they may face. We learn that he lost his best friend as well and that he wasn’t technically a pilot, but rather had a flight suit known as Falcon. I believe his character was done well within this film and they made it clear that he has strong morals, like Steve, that he is willing to stick to no matter what. He also adds to Steve’s list of things he needs to catch up on. I decided to copy Steve’s list because I found it fascinating and funny. 

  • I Love Lucy
  • Moon Landing
  • Berlin Wall (up + down)
  • Steve Jobs (Apple)
  • Disco
  • Thai Food
  • Star Wars/Trek
  • Nirvana (band)
  • Rocky (Rocky II?)
  • Troubleman (soundtrack) 

Steve is continuing to develop as a character with this list but also with finding ways to adapt to the modern world. He runs every morning and is open to trying new things to better understand the world he woke up in. However, he doesn’t stray from his morals and his loyalty to his friends, even when they’ve become a brainwashed assassin. He disagrees with Fury, and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s view on “freedom,” and isn’t sure that he wants to fight for this form of “freedom” anymore. He goes to see Peggy to get her opinion on it, and while she does offer advice, she also is suffering from aslheimer’s and he is so sweet with her when she forgets about him being alive it made me cry a little bit. He is able to figure out the right path to take, and in the process uncovers dark secrets about HYDRA existing within, and somewhat controlling, S.H.I.E.L.D. Something else about Steve I found interesting is that he’s an absolutely mad-man when it comes to fighting and doing dangerous things. He jumps out of planes without parachutes, out of windows and through things as if they’re nothing, and the scene in the elevator where he beat up a bunch of guys, escaped, and leapt out of the elevator through the glass ceiling of the building was incredible! He really is living on the edge. 

Natasha’s character is also further developed within this film, (which is how I know Joss Wheadon fucked her up in Ultron), and we see a side of her that she often kept hidden away: her softer, friendship based side. Right away, we see that she uses smiley faces when texting Steve, and their banter throughout the film shows that she’s looking out for him and trying to be his friend, even though it’s difficult for her. She has built up so many walls and created so many personas, to open up like that and be friends with someone whose morals are the way his are is a difficult thing for her. She often has side missions going on, such as the mini mission within Steve’s mission to rescue the hostages, or has things that represent her without expressing who she is, such as the sleek, black Corvette she drives. She is still a badass fighter, and her skills are highlighted more in this film, especially in the fight scene with Bucky. And we learn her real name: Natalia Alianova Ramanova. At the end of the film we see her stand up to the government, explaining why Steve is out doing his own thing and that she’s too vital to be arrested. A total badass move. 

Who the hell is Bucky? Bucky is a brainwashed assassin who used to be Steve’s best friend and a member of the Howling Commandos. His story is depressing and even though he has very few lines within this film, his emotional struggle is made clear as he somewhat remembers Steve but has been trained to complete his missions no matter what. We first see him in the scene with Fury, but don’t learn until later who he is. He’s had a run-in with Natasha before, but she didn’t know who he was in relation to Steve. Even though the reason is not good, he is incredibly skilled in both hand-to-hand combat and with weapons. He clearly has been trained well, and also does not care about his own safety. His story is sad and makes me depressed to watch, but in the end he saves Steve after what he said, “I’m with you till the end of the line,” and goes to the Smithsonian to try and learn about who he was. I’m sure it’s an emotional shock for him but I think their inclusion of that was clever because it shows the beginning of his character arc in the next Captain America film. 

This film was full of little references to other Avengers, future Avengers, and other exciting things worth noting! First, references to other Avengers and future Avengers. At one point Fury makes a comment about people stepping outside of their “spider hole,” which I took as a reference to Spider Man. Later, when the Insight software is being discussed or is targeting people, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, and Tony Stark are mentioned. How exciting that we got a mention of Doctor Strange before he was Doctor Strange! We also see Zola again in computer form, which is a reference to his comic book character of Modok! We learned that Peggy Carter helped found S.H.I.E.L.D., which is part of the reason Steve stays. Stan Lee had a fun cameo as the Smithsonian security guard who may get fired since Cap stole his original suit. Towards the end of the film, we see Maria Hill get a job at Stark Industries, no doubt working to better the world, and we learn that HYDRA has Loki’s scepter! But what have they been doing with his scepter? They’ve been conducting experiments on people and we get a brief glance at the twins, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, who will play a larger role in Age of Ultron. 

Overall, this is an incredible film that I had a lot of fun rewatching. This film should absolutely be in your top five Marvel movies! And if it’s not, watch it again and it will be!

Like my blog? Subscribe below and follow my official Twitter or Instagram for updates! Agree or disagree with my thoughts on this film? Comment below what you think and let’s start a conversation! Be sure to share with your friends as well!        

This post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast I created that is inspired by this blog. It is available for free wherever you listen to your podcasts! 

Thor: The Dark World Review

Following Iron Man 3 was Thor The Dark World, a film I was a bit too excited about when it came out. I am a huge Norse Mythology fan and a huge fan of Loki and Thor in general, so I was excited for this film. I made my friends go exceedingly early in fear of it being crowded, but we had no issues because we live in a fairly boring city.  However, the film was not at all what I expected and was much darker than needed. I even dreaded rewatching it for this blog post because it really was one of the worst MCU films. As I rewatched it, there were small moments I found enjoyable and fun, but overall the film didn’t feel like a proper Thor film.

For the most part I enjoyed the scenes with Loki because he is my favorite character. His sarcastic human and comments made the film a bit more tolerable. It was also nice to see that he did care about Frigga, based on his reaction when she died, and that he is more powerful than the MCU leads us to believe. His magical reaction to hearing about Frigga’s death and ability to hide his sorrow when Thor comes shows just how powerful he really is. I feel that they didn’t give him the opportunity to really show what he can do, and I hope that in his TV show they go all out with his magic. I remember crying very hard when I first saw this film because I thought he actually died, and it does still make me tear up even though I know he’s not actually dead. It was an interesting twist at the end and I love how they made it seem like he was going to be all evil and do terrible things, when he instead pulled back Asgard’s harsh rule of others and focused on the arts. 

Something I didn’t enjoy was Thor’s character. I understand he was dealing with a lot, especially after his mother’s death, but this dark and brooding Thor isn’t who he is. It took away from a lot of his character development and overall personality. I think the only action he took that really made sense was him returning to Jane at the end of the film to give their relationship a proper chance. Though I do not overly care for Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Jane, there was a slight improvement in this film. Sif’s character also seemed off with her jealousy of Jane. Sif is superior to Jane and respects Thor, so there was no reason for her to display any jealousy she may have felt. Odin and Frigga’s characters seemed correct, with Odin generally not being that great and Frigga trying to be a good mother to her sons. Odin’s need for revenge also makes sense with his character, and his willingness to essentially let all of Asgard fall to seek revenge shows that he is not a good king. Heimdall was also still true to himself and his values, doing what he believed was best for Asgard even if it meant committing treason. 

A few things I found really interesting were Malekith’s ability to weird an infinity stone, the Convergence, the proper Viking funeral. First, Malekith clearly was strong enough to wield an infinity stone, but his inability to defeat Thor or even put up a good fight at times made it seem as if he didn’t really have full control of the stone. I would have liked to see more of this to know if he truly could deal with the power or if it was going to eventually destroy him. Second, the Convergence was a really interesting thing that was used well during the battle scene. The proper explanations of it alongside the inclusion of the other realms was well done. Finally, th Viking funeral for Frigga was absolutely beautiful. Yes, it was a sad moment in the film, but the respect that was paid to Viking tradition made me happy. 

There wasn’t much in the way of easter-eggs, but there were some character cameos or introductions throughout! Stan Lee was seen in the place where Erik was being held since he somewhat lost his mind, and had his shoe taken by Erik during his lecture on the Convergence. Loki changes forms into Captain America briefly which I’m sure was fun for Chris Evans to play. And we meet the Collector, who later plays an important role in Guardians of the Galaxy. 

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Iron Man 3 Review

Iron Man 3 came out in 2013 and was the first film in Phase 2 of the MCU. While it overall received good reviews, the audience had mixed feelings about the Mandarin plot twist. I personally enjoyed it, of course, and it was nice to see anxiety and PTSD represented on the big screen to create more awareness of it. The continuing character growth of Tony Stark is always nice to see and we also get a view of his desire to have children as he somewhat takes Harley under his wing. We see Harley again in Endgame which means that Tony stayed in touch with him after this film. 

We start out with Tony narrating a few things about the past and how things can come back around when you least expect them. At the end of the film he narrates again about his journey and a few other things, which is when we learn that he has been talking to Bruce Banner this entire time. Bruce, however, had fallen asleep because he’s “not that kind of Doctor,” so Tony starts over, in fact, he goes even further back this time. While it was somewhat portrayed as a joke, it does indicate that Tony is seeking help to deal with anxiety and PTSD that he suffered throughout the film. We see him suffer several panic attacks and moments of overwhelming stress, finding different ways to ground himself or work through it. Anxiety is difficult to deal with, and that fact that even Tony Stark has panic attacks makes him more human, or more relatable as a character. Through this, we learn that he is so much more than the suit. He buries himself in his “hobby” of building suits to hide away from his stress and anxiety, but as he works through it he learns that he can do so much without them. At the end of the film, he ceremoniously blows them all up to show Pepper that he is moving forward with his life, and that he is more than a man in a metal case. 

Overall, the film was really good and had some great aspect to it alongside the acknowledgement of anxiety/PTSD. The Mandarin plot twist was actually an interesting twist, I thought, because it really shows how as long as society has a scapegoat for evil, they don’t pay attention to the real evil going on behind the curtain. The Mandarin is used to cover up the people who overheated and combusted with AIM’s formula. Though I do understand why people disliked the twist since the character plays a large role in the comics. The Iron Man movies seemingly always address a bigger issue in a way that goes over many peoples heads, and then they dislike the film because they didn’t understand the twist or the plot or something stupid. These films always look at something more in-depth, so giving them a rewatch can help you understand them better as it has me. 

Some smaller details! We still have the original Marvel logo but this intro had the song “Blue” since we began in 1999. A bit later in the film, there is a Joan Rivers cameo as she mocks the Iron Patriot’s colors in her show. Something odd and maybe only I noticed was that Mark 42 seemingly has its own personality, indicating that it’s a sentient being. This may (or may not) be foreshadowing Ultron becoming a sentient in the film. Tony, as mentioned before, clearly wants kids and somewhat adopts Harley in this film in his own, weird way. Even though he jokes around, he clearly cares for the kid and wants him to grow with a father figure in his life. Finally, Pepper has a major badass moment at the end of the film when she kicks one of the suits and Killian’s ass! It was amazing. 

Of course this film has some references to The Avengers, but there are some other smaller things worth noticing! There aren’t too many obvious easter-eggs for regular viewers, but it wouldn’t be a Marvel film without a few! First, we see Dr. Ho Yinsen try to talk to Tony at the party without success. Dr. Yinsen is the man who saves Tony’s life in the cave in the first Iron Man film. Second, in the fight when all of Tony’s suits have come to the rescue, we get the first sighting of the Hulk-buster armor, which later plays a large role in Ultron. Third, naturally we get another wonderful Stan Lee cameo as a judge in the beauty pageant. That is all there is for normal viewers, but if you’re a huge comic genius please leave a comment below with other things you’ve noticed! 

Like my blog? Subscribe below and follow my Twitter for updates! Want to chat with other creative people and get behind-the-scenes info about my blog? Join my Discord Server! I Tweet a new invite link on my Twitter whenever a new blog post comes out.          This post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a new podcast I created that is inspired by this blog. It is available for free wherever you listen to your podcasts!

The Avengers Review

We’ve made it to The Avengers! The film came out in 2012 and was a huge success. This was the first Marvel film I saw in theaters, and I was super excited to see what it was going to be. I knew what I was doing! I’ve been extra early to every Marvel movie on opening night ever since; there is not such thing as too early for a Marvel film. This film brings together Tony, Steve, Thor, Bruce, Natasha, and Clint to prevent an invasion led by a mind-controlled Loki. It’s a thrilling film with lots to discuss and consider, so let’s jump right in!  

Overall, this was an emotional film for me. It gave me such strong feelings of nostalgia and joy that I almost cried from that alone. I have such a great appreciation for the characters that it was fun to see them work together for the first time. I felt that the film did a good job highlighting almost every character, getting the audience interested/invested in them, and setting the universe up for even bigger films. It’s a film that anyone can watch and enjoy. I want to focus on the characters as individuals, because they are what makes this film great and it’s important to recognize their individual traits rather than group them together as a whole. 

Tony Stark/Iron Man. My absolute favorite character who deserves the world. We first see him working on renewable energy, not just for the tower but for the world in the long run. He is also working on his relationship with Pepper. He is trying to do good by her and the world, which is such an incredible thing that feels underappreciated. When he shows up in Germany to fight Loki, he makes a dramatic entrance and shows Loki that he isn’t going to lose this fight. His discomfortable with Steve becomes evident as well as he teases him and is sassy the entire time. This spawns from his issues with his father, as his father always spoke about how great Steve was yet never gave Tony the time of day. He does come around to caring about Steve, as he does the rest of the Avengers, and we see this in the battle as he turns to Cap to lead their plan of attack. He genuinely cares about his team members, and Coulson, even if he gets sassy with them from time-to-time. He is also willing to sacrifice himself if it means everyone will be safe, which we see as he takes the nuke into space. This made me tear up because this never goes away. He is willing to die for what is right, to save the world. 

Thor. He first appears dramatically and shares how he mourned for Loki, and how he believes they can still be brothers. What he doesn’t know is what Loki went through and that his mind is not his own currently. He also seems acutely aware of his differences from humanity. First when he discusses how they come to Earth bumbling about like giant monsters, and later when he insults the others calling them “tiny and petty.” He does his best to understand what is happening, and wants to help protect the Earth however possible. 

Steve Rogers/Captain America. We begin with a beautiful scene of Steve’s butt, while he is beating up a punching bag. He is having flash-backs to WW2 and it seems to be portraying him having PTSD, which I felt was a clever inclusion because it helps raise awareness to soldiers who suffer from PTSD. Steve continues to hold onto his values in this film, standing up for what is right, fighting the bully, and keeping his bet with Fury. He also dresses like an old man, something I noticed when he was on the helicarrier. His confusion with references, or understanding of very old ones, is important because it shows that he hasn’t been awake for very long and is still trying to get his bearings in this new world. 

Bruce Banner/The Hulk. We meet the new Bruce Banner while he is hiding away trying to help people. All he wanted to do was help others who could not help themselves, and was dragged into this operation by Natasha. Though he was only brought in to help with the science of finding the Tesseract, he quickly became an important member of the team as the Hulk. He seemingly cannot control the Hulk when the shift is against his will, but later in the film he controls the shift and therefore can control himself. This felt like some good character development because we learn more about his relationship with the Hulk. We also learn he attempted suicide at some point because it did nto want to hurt others, and when that failed he turned to helping the ill.

Clint Barton/Hawkeye. Unfortunately, we do not get much character development from Clint in this movie since he is quickly brain-washed by Loki. We do learn about his gift with the bow and arrow and we see his importance to Natasha. He saved her life back when he was sent to kill her, showing he is not a cold-hearted person. Overall, he gets the least development in all the films, but he does have a good sarcastic humor that helps keep the audience somewhat interested in him. 

Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. We first see Natasha on a mission, where she displays her incredible fighting and manipulative abilities. Unfortunately, she is still being sexualized here sadly because Joss Wheadon has absolutely NO understanding of her character and later diminishes her to her inability to have children. However, we’ll get there when we get there. She is loyal to Clint because he spared her, and we see how important they are to each other. Something I found genuinely surprising was her legitimate fear of the Hulk. I do understand that the Hulk is a strong, violent character that can do great harm, but she is such a stoic person that I found her fear and shock afterwards surprising. I felt it added a bit to her character because it shows that even she has fears, even though she is a badass assassin. 

Loki. The love of my life. When this film came out, everyone thought he was the villain. Later we learned that he was under mind-control and had been tortured by Thanos. As I rewatched this film, I saw so many signs of this torture and mind-control that it hurt my soul. I believe this was something that we could have realized from the beginning and didn’t. Instead, we tried to justify his actions because we knew something was off but weren’t sure what. His main sign of mind-control is his altered eye color. It’s a somewhat minor detail, but they are bluer than normal, just like Clint’s and Dr. Selvig’s! The signs of his torture are: him limping out of the facility, his magic falters from exhaustion, he is weaker in battle as his bruises and wounds are triggered, and he often seems out of breath or slower than normal. When he is summoned early on, they even threaten him with more torture and his face shows clear signs of exhaustion! He is not the villain here, Thanos is! If you don’t like that, don’t watch the film. 

We still have the original Marvel logo and there is a very dramatic transition into the beginning of the film. It’s much more intense than I remember it being, which was fun in a way because it set up the tone for the movie. Fun fact, Loki’s scepter contains the Mind Stone (something we learn in Ultron), so it is the combined power of the Tesseract and the Mind Stone that allows Loki (who is mind controlled himself) to mind control others. This is also why the scepter can stop the Tesseract, because you need an Infinity Stone to fight/stop another Infinity Stone. Coulson is a huge Captain America fan, which honestly reminds me of actual fans and was fun to see. Stan Lee had a wonderful cameo at the end of the film in the news clips about there being superheroes in New York! It was absolutely wonderful. We see that Tony has his new plans for the tower and each Avenger gets a floor, which shows how caring of a person he really is. And at the very very end of the film, they all get Shawarma like Tony suggested. 

A lot of the easter-eggs in this film actually just tie into the previous films, providing more ties to the characters since they have all been brought together. We hear Hulk share his story with Natasha, Tony learn about the others and what happened on Earth with them, Thor and Loki discuss the destruction of the Bifrost, and Steve still holds his values from the first film. Of course, there are smaller things that dedicated comic book fans would catch, but for normal viewers they don’t have much significance. We do meet Thanos for the first time, in the end-credit scene where he is extra purple. He plays a huge role later, of course, and has brief clips in other films as well. 

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This post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a new podcast I created that is inspired by this blog. It is available for free on Spotify, Anchor, and the Apple Podcast app!

Captain America The First Avenger Review

This week I watched the first Captain America movie! I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. I didn’t first see it in theaters but I remember not understanding what was happening. This time around, I genuinely enjoyed it and was able to understand everything going on. It was much more entertaining than Thor! This film came out in 2011, a few months after Thor, and was extremely successful. 

Overall, I felt that this film was pretty good! It gave a great background about Steve and what he believes in, it was entertaining, and it gave me a lot of feelings. I did find myself tearing up at the end because it was very emotional and it got me thinking about the future for all of the characters. The scene with Bucky falling as well was emotional because to know what he goes through is depressing. We even see the start of them brainwashing him at the Hydra base. It’s just extremely depressing and I wish more people appreciated his character and didn’t view him as the villain. I can’t wait to see his development in this show on Disney +.

At the beginning of the film, Red Skull is warned about the power of the Tesseract and at the end we see the power consume him and destroy him. This was a great display of karma, and much later in the films we see him return! Then we meet Steve Rogers. Steve is a good person, who stands up for what he believes in. He doesn’t want to join the army to kill, he wants to stand up for the little people. He doesn’t like bullies, regardless of where they are from. He maintains these morals throughout the film, and the MCU, as he fights for what is right. Before getting his classic shield, we see him use a trash can lid and later a taxi door as a shield, good foreshadowing! I feel that I have a greater appreciation for his character now that I better understand what he believes in. He was doing his best to do what was right, even when he was tiny and nobody really believed in him.We also hear his famous line, “I can do this all day.”

Let’s talk about some smaller things within the film. Still have the original Marvel logo, which of course I’m tracking for you, and we see S.H.I.E.L.D. finding frozen Cap! We get another great Stan Lee cameo, as a general, where he says something quick and funny again! Something I noticed that I found peculiar was that the Hydra weapons, when fired, sound like Iron Man’s repulsor weapons. Perhaps this was intentional! We also get our first look at Hydra, a Nazi division that has even more extreme views and wants to destroy the world and rebuild it in their image. Then we officially meet Howard Stark, who, as an individual, isn’t as bad as he was as a father. We didn’t get an end credit scene, just the words “Captain America will return in The Avengers,” which was honestly pretty cool! 

Sadly, this film didn’t have obvious easter-eggs like the others. There are some very small details that pay tribute to the comics, but a normal viewer wouldn’t be able to catch them. The only thing that stood out to me were the film’s ties to Thor. There are mentions of Odin’s treasure room in relation to the Tesseract (something that of course ties into the other films!). The Nordic photos and location of the Tesseract, all tired to Norse Mythology, and of the World Tree. These are some great connections that I believe any viewer could notice and appreciate. 

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Thor Review

We’ve made it to Thor! Following the success of the two Iron Man movies, Thor was released in 2011 and was a financial success. The film introduces the Norse gods into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as some other characters who play larger roles later. I don’t recall when I first saw the film, but I was a huge fan of Thor despite his great need for development. This review will be a bit different from the other ones because I have several things I want to focus on.

Loki. Loki spent his life in Thor’s shadow, knowing he was never going to be king but being led to believe he could be. Then he finds out he’s the monster parents tell their kids about at night. I’m not justifying his actions, but I understand why he wanted to prove himself so badly. He wanted to show Odin he was worthy, that he would be a good king, and that he could do what was necessary. However, he did it in a mischievous way that made him out to be the villain of the film. I believe Odin was in the wrong to lie to him all his life, and Odin honestly is a terrible father which we see much more in the later films. At the end of the film, Loki realizes what he did was wrong and decides it is better for everyone if he is no longer there. He drops from the bifrost fully expecting to die. We see in the end credit scene that he is alive, but we also see that he has been tortured and brain-washed, not making these evil decisions for himself. 

Thor. In the beginning of the film, Thor is foolish and in desperate need of a life-lesson. It was a bit frustrating to see this, as it was when I first saw the film. On Earth, he has to learn what it means to be a good king and put the needs of his people first. This happens after he tries to get the hammer, but discovers he is no longer worthy. He reflects on his actions and tries to make it right, becoming worthy again. Something I did like about him was how polite he was to others. In the diner, he lets Darcy take a photo of him with a big smile, apologizes for breaking the cup and promises not to do it again, and later does his best to be polite to Eric, Jane, and Darcy after he fails to lift the hammer. He may be a hot-head at times, but he is a kind and respectful person. His character development was done well within the film and he continues to grow in the other films.

Natalie Portman was a terrible choice for Jane, I’m just putting it out there. Jane the character isn’t as bland as she played her to be. She didn’t have much expression or emotion throughout the film, and it was difficult to watch scenes with her without cringing. I do not see her being the female Thor, and I wish they had made a better choice from the get-go so we wouldn’t be in this situation. She also at some point said she didn’t want to be involved with Marvel anymore so that says a lot about her dedication to her character. 

A few smaller things, we still have the original Marvel Logo! To be honest, I don’t know when they switch it, but I will let you know! They cut out an important scene, which they did to frame Loki to be more evil than he was. There is a deleted scene where Frigga is trying to get him to be king in Odin’s place, and he doesn’t want it. This scene is important because we learn that he hasn’t achieved what he needs to feel worthy of being king and I’m very upset that they cut it out. Frigga cares deeply for Loki, which we see later as well. Finally, we get a glimpse at our first infinity stone, the Tesseract! Or the Space Stone. It is in the end credit scene where Nick Fury has recruited Eric to study it. 

It’s easter-egg time! There are a lot of small details within this film, especially in Odin’s vault, but I’ll try to focus on things that the average viewer can catch! Odin’s horse, as we seen on Jotunheim, is an 8-legged horse. In Norse Mythology, this horse is named Sleipnir and is one of Loki’s six children, though they don’t acknowledge this in the film. The name Donald Blake, which we hear when Jane is giving Thor something to wear and later as his alias, is actually Thor’s human alter-ego in the comics! Stan Lee, of course, has a wonderful cameo where he tries to drive off with Thor’s hammer. Hawkeye also makes an appearance when Thor is trying to get his hammer back. He is up high keeping an eye on everything, as he does, and is ready to take Thor out as needed. However, we don’t get to see his skills until the Avengers film later. Through this film, we get a bit more information about the way S.H.I.E.L.D operates. We also learn about how they operate when Eric mentions how they made a scientist, who was making revolutionary progress in gamma radiation, disappear, a clear reference to Bruce Banner, the Hulk. Coulson also mentions Tony Stark when the Destroyer shows up! 

Now, Odin’s vault holds a lot of relics and items that reference the comics, other characters, and major plot points later in the films. However, they are not the easier things to spot so I wanted to present you all with a challenge! Go watch the film and see what you’re able to spot whenever they’re in the vault. Comment below what you were able to spot and how it connects to everything! 

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This post is sponsored by “Covid in Color,” a coloring book created by the students, faculty, and friends of Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. The images feature experiences and events from this quarantine that you can now color! Each piece has the author’s social media tag at the bottom, so be sure to tag them when you finish coloring their work! Follow the link and go purchase yourself a copy!