So I’ve never seen a Marvel movie in its entirety. I’ve seen clips here and there. I don’t live under a rock. I know what’s going on and which actors are in what projects. I know people nerd out about the after-credits scenes. But let’s be honest here. I’ve been busy with my own cinematic universes. I am deeply invested in Bachelor Nation. I am obsessed with Below Deck. I know a lot about The Real Housewives, Love Island, Big Brother… the list goes on. I have ONE nerdy franchise and that’s Harry Potter. I never got into Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, or any of the other big multiverse projects.
However, we’re going into Season Three of the Pandemic and I’m ready to invest the time into entering a new world. So many of my friends are obsessed with the Marvel movies that I figured it’s time.
Here’s how this is going to work. I’m going to keep updating this blog as I watch the movies – so constantly check back in here to see where I’m at and what I’m thinking about as I watch the movies. I’m starting this on January 7th and if I do 4-5 movies a week, I should be done by Mid-February.
Based on the advice of my friends (shout out to Beth and Dan), I’m going to watch the movies in release order rather than chronological order.
Okay… let’s do it.
So I was actually pretty surprised that this movie was set around the Afghanistan war. I guess I just thought that Marvel existed in its own world, and not our world. I’ve seen my fair share of war movies but I really wasn’t expecting this to be a “war movie”. I knew Gwyneth Paltrow was in this and she’s a great actress but since 2008, her own brand has really tainted how I see her in movies. I do like Robert Dowey Jr. I get the charm. It felt highly obvious that Jeff Bridges was the villain and perhaps because it is 2022 and I know how many movies there are… when they “killed” Tony Stark I had to laugh. Anyways – my initial hypothesis is that the power that Pepper Potts releases when she pushes the button is the power that gives all the other superheroes their skills. I’m probably wrong… it can’t be this obvious but this is my hypothesis. Overall feelings: it was a fun movie, I get why there is a sequel but I’m not obsessed yet.
Skipped. Why is this not on Disney+? Also, I thought Mark Ruffalo was hulk? I didn’t realize that Edward Norton was the first Hulk and he got re-cast. Interesting.
Iron Man 2
Okay before we get too into this journey… I have to complain about one thing. I’m constantly hitting volume up-volume down. The conversations are so quiet but then the action is SO LOUD. It’s driving me crazy. BUT THE MOVIE – I didn’t love it. I got bored. I like Don Cheadle. I’m excited to see more ScarJo because we need more women in this franchise. I was a bit turned off this movie with some of the 2010 sexist jokes. Like I was reminded why I thought Marvel was a ‘boys’ movie. I got a bit bored. Iron Man OG was better. The end credit scene with the teaser to Thor was the best part – I’m ready for Chris.
I LOVED this movie. I was texting friends as I watched it and the beginning felt very Narnia to me. It is clear that this is a Kenneth Branagh-directed film. It feels less snarky, more classic. I love the brother dynamic, I love the alternative worlds. There are just so many fun moments — it’s a much better world-building movie than Iron Man. Overall I just love the cast: Chris Hemsworth is incredible, I adore Tom Hiddleston (he’s very fun to watch), and Natalie Portman is a great leading lady (I was screaming KISS HER at the TV… which I was not doing with RDJ and GP). Really everyone in this movie is fun to watch. There are more women I care about – Kat Dennings and Jaimie Alexander’s characters are both wonderful. The story is much more interesting, and I’m here for a movie that isn’t centred around terrorism. I am actively excited for future Thor movies. So far – this is my favourite.
Captain America: First Avenger
So another war movie. Sigh. However… I prefer a WWII war movie to a ‘War on Terror’ movie. I liked this movie, but I did get bored at points. It didn’t hold my focus like Thor did. I liked it more than I liked Iron Man/Iron Man 2, but it’s no Thor. The highlight for me is always casting – I had a “ITS STANLEY” moment when Stanely Tucci showed up. I’m always thrilled with casting but this movie particularly made me happy. I was really pleasantly surprised to see Hayley Atwell. I watched her series Agent Carter and was obsessed with it. Didn’t fully realize it fit into the puzzle. I thought that show was a stand-alone. BUT THRILLED that it does. I just think she’s wonderful. I love Dominic Cooper (I’m a History Boys stan) and Chris Evens is lovely. The combo of Cooper/Evans/Atwell is so fun – I just really enjoy them as a trio. On the flip side… Red Skull looks like a cross between Jim Carry’s The Mask and Voldemort and by 2011… you’d think they’d create a better villain. Maybe it’s the comic books. But like… I’m bored. LASTLY – maybe because I was bored my attention was not fully there… I feel like I blinked and missed Bucky Barns and I’m disappointed. Overall fun movie. Lots to love but it was the END OF THE MOVIE that really made me go… OH SNAP! He’s in the present! HE HAD A DATE. Okay – bring on the final film in Phase 1. I’m here for it.
I still think Thor is the best movie and I’m still convinced that these movies are “for boys” and not for everyone. We’re missing the wonderful female characters from Thor and Captain America (bring back Natalie Portman and Hayley Atwell). I want the movie where all the smart women gather to defeat the world. There is also next to zero diversity. I really see these movies from Phase 1 being part of that early 2010’s ugh. They are clearly made before Me Too (cue the director of this movie who shall not be named) and no one has thought about including anyone that’s not white as part of the main team – it’s just tokenism at this point: one woman, one POC… that’s not cutting it. The action scenes are fun, the production value is incredibly high, and I can imagine 10-year-olds everywhere repeating the one-liners on the playground as they “play Avengers”. I get why people like these movies. But I’m not thrilled. One plus here is that I do love Mark Ruffalo as the re-cast for the Hulk. I love anything Mark is in so you get some bonus points (even though I’d rather be watching 13 Going on 30).
Now that we’re done Phase 1 here’s my order from best movie to worst: Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Avengers, Iron Man 2.
Iron Man 3
Okay – so everyone told me this was going to be terrible. That it was their least favourite. I get it. There is a lot of ‘darkness’ and ‘drama’ in this. I tried watching it in one sitting… it was a no-go. I got bored. As per my intro, I do not live under a rock and so the most interesting thing about this movie is all the chat about The Mandarin. This movie is obviously setting up for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. I’m genuinely curious how they are going to pull it together over the next *checks notes* 17 movies? As a Toronto girl, I do want to watch that, so maybe seeing this movie will make that movie better? That’s this movie’s only pro right now. From a Hollywood industry POV – the franchise has obviously steamrolled, so I understand how it became a top-grossing movie of 2013… but I also understand why Frozen won that battle. Elsa > Tony. She’d win any battle. Honestly – put Elsa in the MCU. With her frozen power… That is truly THE superhero movie of 2013. Fight me boys. Anyyywaaayyyysssss… I’m just excited to get through this so I can watch Thor again…
Thor: The Dark World
Honestly, these movies are “make or break” for me based on the cast. The production value across the movies is consistently strong – so I feel like I can’t really say one movie is better or worse than another. The writing does ebb and flow across the movies, so while some plots are better than others and some movies have better dialogue, generally the plots feel similar to me. “Here’s how we will save the world this time”. It’s always the same. I know that will have to change because people get very upset about spoilers but at this point, I don’t feel like the twists and turns are that shocking. So what makes the movies different at this point in my viewing adventure is the cast. Thus far, Thor has the best cast. Chris Hemsworth is my favourite but I adore Natalie Portman more. Like Portman over Paltrow every day of the week. Their chemistry also makes me incredibly happy – it’s like a romcom within a superhero movie. We also need to give some praise to Tom Hiddleston – he is an excellent villain. I’m kind of obsessed with him. I understand why Taylor would date him… Like I get it. Cannot wait to get to the Loki series. All that being said, I still like the OG Thor better. This was was fine. Strong start, good end. I got bored and lost the plot in the middle there for a bit. Let’s just say I’m not sold on this phase yet.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I’m a bit peeved that we don’t get more Peggy Carter in this film. I understand why, but she was the best part of the first one. Notice a trend here? I care about the strong female characters. So when a movie doesn’t have them, I’m less interested. This movie was okay. I was into it. It’s so obvious these movies are meant to be watched in theatres and with other Marvel fans. I get so distracted at home and because I’m watching them alone, when I miss something I don’t have anyone to turn to go – ‘wait what just happened?’. But that being said, I feel like this movie was less confusing than other movies. A lot of people say the Captain America movies keep getting better and apparently Civil War is going to be good. Okay – I’ll bite. I’m starting to feel the Captain America hype. I’ll put Captain America down as my 2nd favourite at this point. Thor OG is still #1, but the duo of Captain America movies gets that 2nd spot.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Well, this was stupid. I’m starting to doubt this plan to watch all the Marvel movies. I’m here for Sean Gunn. I will always support Kirk and his various businesses. That’s it. That’s the only thing going for it. What a stupid movie. The music was good, but the music is also good without being in the movie… like I really have nothing good to say about this. It feels like it was made for 10-year-old boys … which is fine. 10-year-old boys need movies too and I’m clearly not in that catchment audience. But commmmme oooonn. That was ridiculous. (I blame Chis Pratt – he sucks).
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Currently Watching
Last updated on Jan 22nd.
STILL TO WATCH:
Captain America: Civil War
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Black Panther – I have seen bits of this but not the whole thing
Avengers: Infinity War
Ant-Man & the Wasp
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Debating if I want to do PURE movies or add in the TV shows… give me your thoughts.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Phase 4 (including Disney+ shows)
WandaVision – I have seen bits of this but not the whole thing.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home