Saturday, April 5, 2014
What is the Best Marvel Studios Movie?
With the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (podcast coming Monday!), the internet is abuzz with rankings of all the Marvel Studios films. This isn't ANY movie with a Marvel superhero; just the ones built around and including The Avengers.
So which one is the best? Because we all respond differently to certain characters and all want something different out of these movies, there is no right answer. Which is your favorite and why?
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For me, it's still the first Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect guy to play Tony Stark. It's genuinely interesting and exciting to watch Stark create and refine his armor, while re-inventing himself at the same time. The final clash is a bit disappointing, but only because of how awesome everything else has been up to that point.ReplyDelete
If we're ranking, for me it would go like this:
Captain America: The First Avenger
Iron Man 3
Iron Man 2
The Incredible Hulk
I haven't seen the second Thor movie yet, so I can't say where it would fall.
This is my answer exactly, including the list, so I'll just say "ditto" to this.Delete
Other than Spider-Man and the X-Men I was never a big Marvel fan back in my comic-collecting days, so big props to Marvel for making me interested in any of these characters, especially Iron Man and Captain America.
We're seeing Winter Soldider tonight, so I'm holding off a full ranking until then.ReplyDelete
Haven't yet seen Cap 2, but my current ranking is:ReplyDelete
Incredible Hulk/Thor 2
... Yes, IM2 is awesome and way underrated.
Well I was just typing in a longer comment, but accidentally hit the backspace... damn.ReplyDelete
I'll keep it short this time. I think overall The Avengers is the best Marvel movie right now. Iron Man and Winter Soldier would be 2/3.
There was a lot on the line in The Avengers, and I think Whedon accomplished what he set out doing. All of the movies have small problems and issues, but the best of them has to be the one where they actually give us the entire group instead of just one or two. I also think overall it is the better movie, since the climax in Iron Man isn't great, and Winter Soldier is kinda repetitious.
After the top three I would go
Iron Man 3
Iron Man 2
Seeing Cap 2 later today, but at this point my favorite is the first Iron Man, for all the reasons Steve K listed more eloquently than I can. Also, for Jeff Bridges' reading of the line, "Tony Stark built this in a cave! FROM SCRAPS!" I will never not love that.ReplyDelete
Haha, yes! That delivery is so great. It's not just the gravel in his voice, it's that he pauses just long enough in between sentences to make you think '.....is he done? Oh shit, no!'Delete
The first Captain AmericaReplyDelete
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I apologize, I'm once again guilty of not reading all 7 sentences of the opening paragraph. Avengers probably claims my top spot, though I know that Iron Man is a "better" movie.Delete
Obviously the hype-sheen is still on it, but right now it's pretty easily The Winter Soldier. That movie was absolutely incredible - saw it last night and going again in an hour.ReplyDelete
Other than the first Iron Man, it's the only Marvel movie that I can see recommending to non-comic book fans. I can't wait for the podcast, get crackin Patrick!
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World
Captain America: First Avenger
Iron Man 2
HOWARD THE DUCK! Just kidding.ReplyDelete
The great thing about the Marvel movies is how, although part of the same series, each one has had its own “voice.” THE AVENGERS is the big comic book crossover, the THOR flicks are fantasy, HULK is a monster movie, CAP 1 is a World War II adventure, CAP 2 is a conspiracy thriller, the first two IRON MAN films are a mélange of character study and corporate espionage, and the third IRON MAN is Shane Black doin’ the Shane Black thing in a Shane Black movie (craft services by Shane Black).
The great thing about the Marvel Universe is the variety of characters and all the different kinds of stories you can tell. This makes the ranking game totally subjective here.
So… my personal favorite? THE AVENGERS. It just hits all the right “pure entertainment” notes. Maybe it’s not as rich in character or plot as some of the others, but sometimes you just have to give in to the ol’ movie magic.
I know people say that, but I never thought it really was true til Winter Soldier. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea that these different characters can play in these different settings with different tones, but Iron Man 3 doesn't feel like a 'techno-thriller', Thor doesn't feel like a fantasy movie to me. The Avengers most definitely does feel like a crossover, but that wasn't really proclaimed by Feige ahead of time.Delete
Winter Soldier, though, really does feel more like a political thriller starring Captain America than a straight up superhero movie.
I'm going to say The Avengers or Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Avengers was a monumental moment for me, one of the first times that I, being around the age of 15 right now, felt like I was part of a truly important, or at least memorable, moviegoing experience. I feel that that movie should have been trimmed a bit, but the character interactions and the action bits just about make up for the wonky first 20ish minutes.ReplyDelete
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is kind of absolutely awesome. It takes elements from series like James Bond or Metal Gear or the past Cap movies, and plays with your familiarity in order to draw you into Captain America's struggle with adapting to the times as you see him, a man from the 40's, put into these familiar yet far more modern setpieces.
The first Iron Man is also a pretty excellent movie, though the climax is very weak.
So... The Avengers =ish Captain America: The Winter Soldier > Iron Man > Captain America: The First Avenger > Iron Man 3 > Thor: The Dark World > Thor > The Incredible Hulk > Iron Man 2Delete
Kino, you are indeed wise for one so young. I second your ranking.Delete
Interesting to read that you prefer Captain America to Iron Man, even though I know you're not a fan of IM's ending.Delete
I do expect The Avengers 2 to be the best of the bunch though. The movie has a huge advantage over the rest with the great cast of characters it gets to choose from. Also Whedon excelled in the first movie in giving each character ample amounts of screen time.ReplyDelete
That's the thing the first one did best is that it put all the characters on equal footing. I thought the movie would essentially be Iron Man and The Avengers, because of how much the audience loves RDJ in the role. But instead each character gets treated properly, and there's no favoritism involved. If you asked four people who their favorite character is you could get four different answers. Heck, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, and even Agent Coulson are well-liked as well. That's the one thing that made me appreciate the movie even more each time I watch it.
The second one will give us a few new heroes, and a completely new established villain (instead of Loki and the ubiquitous random aliens). Also by going with the superhero movie formula the second one always trumps the first. Whedon should be able to make the movie that much better now that all these movies have done a great job setting things up, and they don't need to repeat the formation of the team.
I just hope my expectations aren't too high though, as I think that's why I rate Iron Man 2 and 3 so low, because I expected greatness after the first movie.
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CATWS might be the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. I saw it yesterday, and it’s not a movie that just satisfied me for the 2 hours plus that it ran. The movie has been in my thoughts off and on for most of my waking hours since.ReplyDelete
The movie isn’t flawless. There’s a MacGuffin that I have questions as to why it should have been possible for that to exist in the first place. There are hails of bullets which seem to miss two major characters too improbably in different parts of the movie. There are moments when Captain America wields his mighty shield against direct gunfire, where I wondered, why don’t the bad guys aim for his legs and feet while he’s moving (or even the pavement, and hope for a ricochet)? And the heroes’ plan to stop the villain’s plan depends in significant part on a convenience that makes things improbably simple from a technical standpoint, although not from a logistical standpoint. But to me, CATWS does for the Captain America cinematic character what “Iron Man” in 2008 did for the Iron Man cinematic character.
Before the trailers, I wasn’t looking forward to CATWS. But I was going to see it, because, if you like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you have to see all of these movies, right? But having seen the movie, I now want there to be a Captain America 3 (or Captain America: Appropriate Sub Title) two years from now. CATWS offers the best version of Captain America/Steve Rogers that we’ve seen yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. CATWS also offers the best versions of Black Widow and Nick Fury that we’ve yet seen, but more on that later.
Among the cinematic Avengers, Iron Man has the coolest tech, and the sharpest mind and personality. Thor and the Hulk are the most powerful, and the most dangerous Avengers. But this is the movie that might make Captain America the most badass Avenger of them all, considering the contrast between the limits of his super powers, and his bravery and formidability as a tactician and physical combatant. The trailers only hint at just how awesome a combat weapon Captain America is in this movie. The elevator scene is one among several ultra-cool “don’t F with Captain America” scenes.
Black Widow’s character is significantly more fleshed out in CATWS than it was in Iron Man 2 and The Avengers. And there’s a nice scene in CATWS in which Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Natasha Romanov (Black Widow) have to extricate themselves from a dangerous situation, and we see that Steve Rogers’ instincts tell him to take a tactical military approach, while Black Widow, coming from a background in spy craft, overrides that by suggesting something simpler and more effective.
Nick Fury has appeared in several of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies prior to CATWS. But CATWS is the first of these movies in which we get more of a sense of who Nick Fury is, beyond what he looks like (Samuel L. Jackson in eye-patched PG-13 badass mode) and what his job is (head of S.H.I.E.L.D.). In CATWS, there are sequences, particularly one lengthy action sequence, in which we finally understand why Nick Fury is top dog at S.H.I.E.L.D., beyond “because the comics say so, and if you haven’t read them, then that’s on you”.
As for The Falcon/Sam Wilson, questions of physics aside, he’s a great addition to the Cinematic Universe, and particularly Captain America’s corner of it. Robert Redford is also very good as Alexander Pierce, the Cabinet Secretary whose Department oversees S.H.I.E.L.D. (the movie never specifies which Department that is, i.e. Defense, Homeland Security, something else).
CATWS has a fairly straightforward story to tell. But I was also glad that it took the time to address some loose ends from CATFA, and to acknowledge that being in hibernation for most of the last 70 years is still an adjustment for Steve Rogers. I’ve liked all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, but I haven’t had anything close to love for any one of them, with the exception of CATWS.
Just got back from Winter Soldier and I gotta say, it could be the best. It's thrilling, suspenseful, the writing is tight, the action is well-done and very thought out, the actors did a great job. The downside? The humor is not really there. Which is fine, but for the universe they've built, I think it's reasonable to expect some good humor. I also felt the ending dragged a bit.ReplyDelete
But I'm going to keep Iron Man in first place, with the Winter Solider in a close second. For the record, Iron Man 2 is in a distant last (F that movie)
They're all starting to meld into one for me.ReplyDelete