Thursday, September 20, 2018

So ... what to do about DCEU's Superman?

The news came out within the last week that Henry Cavill and Warner Brothers apparently won't be working together on any Superman projects going forward.

The DCEU seemed to be getting better after the success of Wonder Woman and then this news comes along.

First of all, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that DC would cast aside one of their benchmarks for a Supergirl project.

No offense to Supergirl fans out there, but she's never been a succeessful character. The show will return for a fourth season this Fall on The CW, but it's been on a steady decline in viewership since it first season on CBS.

The Supergirl movie was awful. The comics have never really wowed the world.

I'm fine with female empowerment and all that, but you already have Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Captain Marvel (MCU). I don't see a Supergirl doing well in a market that already has two muscled women who can fly.

Meanwhile I believe a Black Widow movie and Batgirl movie are also in the works --- both of which I see being more successful than Supergirl.

So, first off: I have an issue with DC casting aside Superman for Supergirl, but there are a few possibilities:

1. Cast a new Superman (NO!)

Sure, there are various actors who could take over the role, but I am NOT in favor of this at all. Recast a new Superman for a different set of movies, but replacing Henry Cavill and having him interact with Gal Gadot (as Wonder Woman) or Jason Momoa (as Aquaman) is not okay.

That's low-level soap opera stuff there --- not something you'd see in a big superhero movie.

Sure, they replaced Batman actors back in the '90s, but look at how credible those movies turned out.

If DC wants to stay serious about Superman, then recasting is not an option.

Now, if they want to recast him in an entirely different reboot that's separate or outside of the current DCEU, fine. Go ahead.

Side note --- I like Michael B. Jordan, but I don't think having Superman go black is the answer here.

There are plenty of black superheroes who can be developed and given movies of their own. Just look at Black Panther! I just recently blogged about the fact that X-Men's Storm has a lot of potential as a standalone movie.

Updating Aquaman's look so that it's not so cheesy? Fine. Great, actually! He looks pretty bad-ass now.

There's no need to start changing ethnicities of such an iconic superhero, though. Aquaman was kind of a joke character. Superman is iconic. There's a big difference.

2. Discontinue the Superman character in the current DCEU (that's acceptable, I guess)

If they aren't using Henry Cavill anymore, then just do the Pepper Potts / Marvel thing and make references to him in other movies, but don't actually use him. If it has to be the case that he was the character to set up the DCEU and is now gone, so be it.

Better to let the character disappear from the DCEU than to recast him in the same universe.

3. Renegotiate with Henry Cavill (YES!)

This is the best option, in my opinion.

He proved he can draw in the latest Mission: Impossible movie (Tom Cruise is an aging actor who wouldn't have been able to carry that movie without Cavill).

Time to give him more money, get him committed to a multi-picture deal and give him good content to work with.

Cavill has the athleticism, the look, and the acting skill. He works as Superman. Use him!

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. I don't think Cavill is going to bankrupt Warner Bros. or DC with his pay day. Now, if the next movie he does as Superman doesn't profit, don't proceed with any other Superman movies. That's fine.

But absolutely do not recast Superman with a lower-paid actor. That's not acceptable and it's dooming the project from the start.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Ant-Man and The Wasp - reviewed.

The first Ant-Man movie was kind of a surprise success.

So could the sequel live up to the higher expectations?

This time around the action is doubled, of course. In addition to Ant-Man, we have his love interest: The Wasp.

It's double the fun in this case.

Just like Ant-Man, she has the ability to shrink and grow in size (though she may not have yet gotten to grow dozens of stories in the air the way Ant-Man has).

The fun thing about The Wasp, of course, is that she can fly.  Ant-Man rides insects, but he can't naturally fly.

The Wasp, with her wings, can take to the air and definitely takes advantage of that aerial ability throughout this movie.

I honestly haven’t kept track of the box office for this movie but I liked it a lot.  I hope it did well.  I'm assuming it did, based on the positive reviews I've heard from friends.

Paul Rudd made this character his. He owns the role the way Robert Downey owns Iron Man or Hugh Jackman owns Wolverine or Margot Robbie now owns the Harley Quinn character. He’s so good at it.

The humor and the action. His portrayal of the character makes this movie such a comedy, but in an entirely different way than a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy.

Ant-Man and Ant-Man and The Wasp aren't necessarily as big and bold as Avengers or as loud and colorful as Thor: Ragnarok or Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but it sure leaves you walking away as a satisfied comic book fan.

I don't know how well Rudd's portrayal fits into the traditional Ant-Man comic book depiction (never read an Ant-Man comic), but it works superbly well on the big screen.

He is taking everything seriously in terms of the sometimes dire situation going on in the movie, but Scott Lang (Rudd) can always interject some humor into the situation — much to the annoyance of Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly).

She takes more of a straightforward approach in solving the challenges ahead of her.  That contrast in their characters makes for a fun yin and yang dynamic.

They're not a well-oiled duo like Batman and Robin.  They clash and butt heads, but that's what makes them entertaining in this sequel.

Speaking of Lilly, some women get better with age and she’s definitely one of them!

Hope Pym is another character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that doesn't necessarily jump off the screen and say 'Hey! Look at me!' but there's a lot to the character.

Her enhanced flight abilities were actually some of the best and most creative fight sequences I've seen in a couple of years.

I won't spoil too much in case you haven't seen this, but the hotel restaurant and kitchen fight scene was particularly good!

Wonder Woman or Superman or Thor can't shrink and grow in an instant in order to do battle against the villains in front of them.

Lilly and Rudd's ability to captivate at the right moments and almost be subtle in their acting in a lot of ways makes the final product very interesting.

It's definitely an ensemble project.  While Ant-Man and The Wasp are, as the title suggests, the rest of the cast are important here, too.

Let's start with Scott Lang's family.  His daughter, Cassie, was a motivating factor for him in the first movie and she's just as important in this sequel.  In fact, I think she may be more important.

Learning from his previous mistakes, Lang makes it a point throughout this movie not to violate his house arrest so he can see his daughter on his terms again.

His daughter isn't just a source of inspiration for keeping on the straight and narrow.

She's got a couple of scenes that she kind of steals, honestly.

A lot of sequels kind of forget about the child cast members that made the original memorable to begin with.  It's not an action movie, but The Santa Clause comes to mind.  By the third movie it was all about Tim Allen as Santa Claus and his child, his ex-wife and her new husband were all seemingly forgotten.

That ensemble cast is what made the first movie a classic. The ensemble cast in Ant-Man is what made it interesting.  It was nice to see them return for the second round.

Speaking of ex-wives and new husbands, Scott Lang's ex-wife (Judy Greer) and her new husband (Bobby Cannavale) are also in the movie.  They provided some drama in the first movie, but they provide a lot of the comedy in Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Cannavale was a smidgen over-the-top in some instances, but I'm sure he was directed that way.  That's part of his character in this movie, really.

Even though she's, more or less, a secondary character, it's nice to see Greer get a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

She's played second fiddle to characters in mainstream movies over the years, but this role feels a little bigger than those.  She's not the snooty best friend or plotting coworker.  She's the caring (and sometimes off-the-hinges) mother.

It's a good role for her.

Michelle Pfeiffer swapped over from her iconic role as DC's Catwoman to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the original Wasp -- as Hope Pym's mother.

Her character --- specifically, finding her --- is the plot point of the entire movie.

I should say that finding Janet Van Dyne (Pfeiffer) is the connecting plot point, tying together the sub-plots and complicating sub-plots as well.

Again, I'll try not to spoil too much, but Pfeiffer did well in this role.  I'd be anxious to see them expand on her character a little bit if a third movie is released.

I thought Pfeiffer was a good pairing for Michael Douglas' character: Hank Pym.  Hank didn't have as many moments in this movie, but he had several in the first.  Understandably, there's not as much meaningful screen time for him this time around because there are more than a couple of new characters.

One of those new characters was Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne).  I actually groaned when I saw Fishburne on screen.

He, too, is jumping over from DC (he was Perry White in Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice).

I don't exactly have anything against Fishburne.  I really liked him in Akeelah and the Bee and The Matrix, but I thought he failed in his role on C.S.I. and don't think he was the right choice for the Perry White character.

I would've preferred to have seen a lesser known actor in this role.  It came off, to me, like he was given the role because he's an established name --- not because he really offered much to the role or the movie itself.

That being said, he was fine.  This casting didn't hinder the movie in any way.  He's there.  His character served its' purpose, but wasn't necessarily memorable.

One character who was fun: Luis (Michael Peña).

He and the rest of his cohorts also decided to put their criminal ways behind them and start, appropriately enough, a security business.

They're trying to land a major client by offering insight on how their security system is lacking.  

They would know since they have broken into several businesses in the past.

Just like in the first Ant-Man, there's a very creative and memorable fast-talking flashback sequence involving Luis. 

It maybe wasn't as entertaining as the first one, but that's because the first one was so unexpected.

When it came up this time around, the flashback sequence was welcomed and fun, but didn't have the surprise factor.  Still, Luis and the rest of Lang's buddies added a lot of entertainment to the movie and it seemed to me that they had a more expanded role this time around.

On the villain side of things, we have Ghost a.k.a. Ava (Hannah John-Kamen).

Her character's abilities were a lot of fun.  Upon seeing the previews I knew I wanted to see her action scenes.

The action scenes did not disappoint.  They were interesting, mixed her own unique abilities with Ant-Man and The Wasp's abilities.

However, her character was a little bit weak.  I blame that on the story behind her character.  It was more than a little convoluted --- or maybe lackluster is the better word.  The problem is: that messy story is a big part of the movie.

It's why you care (or, in my case, don't) about the Ghost character.

She's not a straight villain, by the way.  Her character is more complex than that.
That's why they needed another bad dude.  Enter Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) for a surprisingly long-lasting and entertaining subplot!

Overall, it was a very entertaining movie.  The first movie had a very fun scene with Thomas the Tank Engine and this time you have other pop culture references, like Hello Kitty.

I really like that Marvel is making Ant-Man a character with his own feel.  His own identity.  Marvel is able to do things in these Ant-Man movies that they're not able to do with some of their other properties.

Related Content:
• 7 Super Heroes Who Deserve Their Own Movie
• So ... who should be the next James Bond?
• The Avengers: Infinity War - reviewed.
• The Black Panther - reviewed.
• My most anticipated movies of 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

5 Super Heroes Who Got Their Own Movie

Looking at some of my previous blogs here, I found one from July 2013: 7 Super Heroes Who Deserve Their Own Movie.

Well, the good news for superhero fans -- or at least me! -- is that several of the people on my list ended up getting their own movies.

Ms. Marvel / Capt. Marvel will be in theaters in 2019.

Marvel is surely hoping to attract more of a female demographic with this one and capitalize (or compete) with the success of Wonder Woman.

I don't think that'll happen, though.

I think Capt. Marvel will be successful enough (it is a Marvel movie, after all), but I don't see it breaking any records.  I could be way off, but the character (especially with the name change from Ms. Marvel to Capt. Marvel) just doesn't have the same fan base as Wonder Woman.

Granted, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy were obscure in terms of mainstream coverage, so Brie Larson and Marvel could definitely make this work.  It's definitely on them to make it successful, though.  It's not guaranteed.

The Black Widow movie is apparently rolling along in pre-production mode.

After appearing in over half a dozen Marvel movies (and having a very significant role in some of them), it's about time they push the 'Go' button on this project!

Scarlett Johanson is now one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, thanks to her spot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Why it took them so long to get this project off the ground is beyond me.  Seems like a no-brainer.  Now Marvel seems to be playing catch-up, trailing behind other female superhero projects like DC's Wonder Woman and their own Captain Marvel.

I just hope that the project is worth the wait.  If done correctly, I think a Black Widow movie could potentially compete with a Wonder Woman movie.

Dr. Strange had his first solo movie.  Dr. Strange 2 hasn't been announced yet, but is sure to happen.

He's possibly going to take a bigger role in upcoming Marvel movies if Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth don't return as Iron Man, Captain America and Thor.

While Dr. Strange didn't break records at the box office, Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal was well-received in Dr. Strange and Avengers: Infinity War.  Remember, Captain America's initial movie didn't set the world on fire either.

He-Man is apparently still happening --- though I won't believe that one until I actually see it in the theater!

Any Masters of the Universe fans know what I'm talking about.  It's been back-and-forth and up-and-down with that movie for years now.

But, it's definitely possible because it also finally happened with Wonder Woman.  That movie seemed like it'd never get made.  I think it took almost 20 years to finally get a big-screen movie made and just look at the success of that movie.

He-Man probably won't be anywhere near as successful, but I'm hoping for -- at least -- G.I. Joe type success.  I don't think that's too delusional.  As a MOTU fan, I may be too close to the project, but, looking at it objectively, I think it'll do well enough to warrant a sequel.

Wonder Woman was released in 2017 (one of the highest-grossing movies of the year, no less), the sequel is on it's way for 2019, too.

That's after the character appeared in Justice League and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

So, by the time Wonder Woman 2 hits theaters in 2019, Gal Gadot will have played the character in 4 big-screen movies.

That's not too bad, huh?  I anticipate more movies so long as Gal Gadot is happy with the scripts presented to her and so long as her movies are successful.

The only two people from that list back in 2013 that didn't get solo movies were: Storm and The Hulk.

I've accepted that The Hulk probably won't get his own movie anytime soon.

His story will be told through the other Marvel movies. And I'm kind of OK with that, now.

He had a lot of screen time in Thor: Ragnarok. He had some screen time in Avengers: Infinity War. He's sure to get lots of screen time in Avengers 4 (yet to be titled). Round the Mark Ruffalo 'Hulk' story out in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe and then, if they do a reboot of the cinematic universe, do a solo movie at that point.

There are fan rumblings about wanting a She-Hulk movie. Personally, I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon. If we're talking female characters, let's focus on making sure Capt. Marvel is successful. Let's give The Wasp more development. Let's (finally!) get The Black Widow solo movie off the ground.

No need to focus on She-Hulk at this point. If it were to happen in the near future, however, I think the best choice would be to tie The Hulk into the movie. She'll need a bit of the rub from that character in order to stand on her own.

As for Storm, I think she should be a focus long before She-Hulk ever is. With the Fox / Disney purchase, that may just happen.

She's one of the strongest characters in the X-Men franchise and a rebooted version (a much stronger character presented in a more dominant way) could work very well.

An African-American female with very impressive powers (the way she was portrayed in the comics and 90's animated series) would do very well in the current pop culture climate.

There's a lot you could do with the character, too. You could do the origin story and focus on her dealings with the Shadow King in Cairo.

From there you could see her work her way to the U.S. and maybe develop her initial contact with Professor X.

Of course, you could lead into a new ensemble X-Men movie as well, with the same actress portraying Storm.

There's a lot that could be done with that character on the big screen. Hopefully 5 years from now I can blog about that movie happening.

Related Content:
7 Super Heroes Who Deserve Their Own Movie
So ... who should be the next James Bond?
The Avengers: Infinity War - reviewed.
The Black Panther - reviewed.
My most anticipated movies of 2018
Actors who have had multiple super hero roles

Friday, August 31, 2018

So ... who should be the next James Bond?

Since it appears that Idris Elba won't be taking up the role of James Bond (he would've done a great job at it!) when Daniel Craig retires from it, here are a few other options:

Who would you prefer?

Tom Hiddleston (37 years old)
from: Westminster, United Kingdom

Thanks to his role as the villain-turned-hero-turned-villain-turned-hero as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hiddleston has become a very recognizable name and even more recognizable face.

Despite his Marvel success, he hasn't necessarily had that breakout movie yet. Kong: Skull Island was good, but the movie didn't break any records.

Taking up the iconic role of James Bond would be a nice counterbalance to one of Marvel's best and most well-developed villains, especially if he won't be in any more Marvel movies.

Hiddleston would be a fine choice to replace the 50-year-old Daniel Craig.

The only thing is: if there are concerns about Idris Elba (45-years-old) playing James Bond, I worry that Hiddleston would be too old as well.

John Boyega (26 years years old)
from: Peckham, London, United Kingdom

He already has Star Wars to his name, but I'm assuming that role will wrap up after the next Star Wars movie --- whether Disney wants it to or not (fans may make that decision for them).

But James Bond is very different than his Star Wars role.

His Star Wars character is probably more comedy than serious and athletic.

I don't know if he'd be up for any physical stunts, but that's what stunt men are for, right?

I'd like to see a more serious John Boyega as James Bond -- with the British accent. I don't doubt that he'd do a good job.

Daniel Radcliffe (29 years old)
from: London, United Kingdom

I haven't seen Radcliffe in a movie since Harry Potter and I didn't watch any of the later Harry Potter movies, so it's been a LONG time since I've seen a movie of his.

I know he's been acting (on stage, too?), though.

Let's look at the benefits of him in this role:
  -  He's got name recognition.
  -  Harry Potter was obviously a different character than James Bond, so you don't have to worry about audiences complaining about him being the same character.
  -  He's maybe not your typical choice for the role.

Now some downsides ...
  -  He's not necessarily physically intimidating.

And, that's all I've got.  I don't know...  I'd give him a shot.

Henry Cavill (35 years old)
from: Saint Helier, Jersey (not New Jersey, but Jersey in the Channel Islands ... in other words, he's British)

He may be too big of a name and too ingrained in people's minds as Superman, but Henry Cavill could do well in this role.

I don't think it'd be too similar to the Man of Steel. He did a great job mixing in action and comedy in Man from U.N.C.L.E.. I haven't seen the latest Mission Impossible, but I heard he did very well in that role, too.

Acting in epsionage movies? Yeah, he can probably handle that.

Does he have the physicality for the stunts? Absolutely. Without question.

I'd say he's a strong contender (get it? LOL).

Daniel Kaluuya (29 years old)
from: London, United Kingdom

Daniel Kaluuya is probably the least well-known on this list, but he has major box office success behind him already with his role in The Black Panther.

He seemed to do well enough in that movie, though I don't know that he got to really display his acting chops.

James Bond would definitely allow him a path to success even more than his somewhat minor character in the Marvel universe.

I don't know if he has the acting ability to take over such an iconic role, but sometimes sink or swim is the best option.

If he tests well, give him a shot.  The unknowns sometimes do the best when it comes to taking on major characters in franchises.

Chiwetel Ejiofor (41 years old)
from: Forest Gate, London, United Kingdom

He'd be a good choice as well, but he's the oldest person on this list. Plus, he'll likely have a Marvel commitment or two coming up with Dr. Strange movies down the road and Baron Mordo being one of Dr. Strange's main enemies.

A Dr. Strange movie would be far less physical than a James Bond movie.  I'm not sure if Chiwetel is athletic enough to handle the Bond stunts.

It seems he's more of an actor's actor -- one who is in dramas and focuses on acting rather than stunts.  Then again, like I said regarding John Boyega and Daniel Radcliffe -- that's what stunt doubles are for.

Gotta' keep them gainfully employed!

Tom Hardy (40 years old ... turns 41 on Sept. 15)
from: Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom

A bit on the older side, but Tom Hardy would certainly provide an exciting James Bond. He's not who I would consider a traditional James Bond. I'd be excited to see what Hardy could bring to the role and infuse into the character.

I'll probably have to settle for his roles as Bane and Venom, though.

If Venom does well, he may have a few Spider-Man universe sequels in store for his future filming schedule.

I'd like to see him take that Venom role and run with it.

Of course, the other option would be: picking someone unknown.

That's what I suggested with Wonder Woman back in January 2013 and it worked extremely well. Kudos to whoever found Gal Gadot and had her audition! She was a great choice.

Hopefully the same happens for James Bond. That franchise is a good one and I'd like to see it get a little boost after Craig takes his leave.

Related Content:
The Black Panther - reviewed.
The Avengers: Infinity War - reviewed.
Actors who have had multiple super hero roles
My most anticipated movies of 2018

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Avengers: Infinity War - reviewed.

What an action-packed movie this was, huh?!

Marvel and Disney have been working toward this for years and it really did come of as massive team-up movie.

I really liked how they kept the feel of the individual characters while telling the overall story of Thanos and his quest for the Infinity Gauntlet.

The story was pretty straightforward though they really made Thanos out to be a more dynamic character than just a power-hungry villain.

The backstory of Titan made him almost human — just misunderstood. Still a bad dude but you could see where he was coming from and where he went wrong.

Oh, and let's talk about his costuming.  I was very skeptical when I saw the trailer and he didn't have his battle gear on or his helmet.  He does adorn that at certain parts of the movie and I got used to seeing the movie version very quickly.

It was a quick adjustment if you're used to the traditional comic book version, so good on Marvel for making that decision on the costuming and doing it successfully.

The best thing about this entire movie was absolutely the various interactions between characters that don’t normally interact.

Here are some of my favorites:

Doctor Strange, Iron Man and Spider-Man

The snarky comments and pop culture references between these three characters was amazing. Despite not being a well-oiled machine at all, they had camaraderie by the end of the movie.

They were a great pairing to forward a major -- almost subplot -- of this movie.

This movie reminded me of some of the Star Wars movies, the way they had multiple situations going on at the same time, while still maintaining focus on the end goal.

These three actors portray their characters so well and made for some memorable moments.  Hopefully there’s more of this trio in Marvel’s future.

Even if it's just in Avengers 4, I want more of this trio. Or cameos in upcoming movies? I'm not picky.  I'll take what I can.

Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy (specifically with Star-Lord Peter Quill)

Oh my God!  Where do I even start with these interactions?

The ... let’s call it ‘muscle measuring contest’ ... was hilarious!

The Guardians calling Quill out on his obvious shortcomings against Thor was even more hilarious!  This 5 minuets (or however long it was) of interaction was great

It was so well written but the acting was awesome.  Chris Hemsworth has some great comedic abilities.  We all know that Chris Pratt excels in that area, too.  The two Chris' were awesome together.

I don't know that we'll see any future interactions between them, but what a treat for fans to get the bit we got in Infinity War.

Teenage Groot and the rest of the Guardians

Groot, no longer a baby, was hilarious in this movie! His angsty, troublesome teen years were on full display here.

In a movie where deaths do occur, you need some fun moments to lighten the mood. Groot did that on almost all of his scenes.

I like how that character -- as minor as it is -- progresses throughout the movies.

In Guardians of the Galaxy you see a underestimated fighter who maintains his demeanor in tough spots.

He was selfless enough to sacrifice himself for his team.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 shows a baby Groot -- innocent and oblivious to his surroundings more often than not.

Infinity War has an entirely different side of Groot.  Just as parents go through different stages with their kids, the Guardians team is going through the same growing pains with teenage Groot.

What makes Marvel movies so good is the creative character development.  They don't rinse, wash, repeat.

That's very much appreciated as a fan and moviegoer.

The Black Widow and Okoye

If you want to see two tough chicks fighting a tough alien chick, then Infinity War is the movie for you. Their interactions weren’t too long-lasting but the Widow and Okoye fighting alongside each other was pretty cool.

We saw a small glimpse of them interacting -- in the form a staredown --- in Civil War.  This time around they were doing battle alongside each other.  Unfortunately the Widow's impact in this movie was probably the least impressive of all.  I didn't walk away remembering any particular scene where she was really impressive or had a good one-liner.

The single one-liner that she did have wasn't that well written so nobody around me during the 3 times I saw this movie didn't laugh out loud, even though the producers left some pacing after the one-liner for audiences to react to it.

It's high time that Black Widow got her own movie.  She could excel properly in a full-on feature film.

Captain America and The Black Panther

Just as their female counterparts teamed up, Cap and Black Panther did, too.

At one point, as they were running into battle it seemed as though they were almost racing. Nothing like a friendly 'anything you can do I can do better' rivalry in the midst of battle.

Everything involving Black Panther and Captain America was kept mostly serious in this movie.

There were a few lighter moments, but it was pretty serious with them overall.

Neither one of them really stole any scenes.  They were almost filler in this story, but I'm sure they'll have bigger roles in the future.

Plus, both of them have already had entire movies based around their characters, so it's nice to see some of the other characters get some shine in these big ensemble movies.

It was fun to see these two major characters briefly do battle in Civil War and even more fun to see them battle together in Infinity War.

The Scarlet Witch and Vision (and their romance)

Who says you can’t take your girlfriend to a Marvel movie and get her feeling romantic after?
Okay, so it’s no Notebook romance but their relationship actually plays a pivotal part in the story.

Not sure where everything will go from here but the romance that was hinted at in Civil War went full force in Avengers, part 3.

I wasn't necessarily feeling a lot of chemistry in Civil War.  The romance felt a little contrived, but the writers did well with making it more important and Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany actually do have some good chemistry together.

It felt real in this movie and that's important, especially considering the important role they had in the movie.

There's one scene -- and you'll know which one I'm talking about -- where Olsen's emotions carry the scene.  She may be a Marvel movie star, but this young Olsen sibling has some impressive acting chops!

The Falcon, Wong, War Machine, etc.

There were several other characters who showed up in this movie, of course.

Hulk and Bruce Banner are both involved in this story.

The Falcon and War Machine had a couple of nice team-up moments.

Dr. Strange's buddy, Wong, has a nice bit of screen time.  Cap's buddy, The Winter Soldier, gets in on the action, too (as was foreshadowed at the end of The Black Panther).

Pepper Potts made her return!  Gwyneth Paltrow didn't add that much to this movie, but she's a big part of Iron Man's life and it felt strange when she didn't even have bit parts in some previous movies.

Mantis continues being laugh-out-loud funny.  Rocket and Drax had some great moments as well.

Nebula has a large role in the movie.  Considering I thought she may have been written off after Guardians of the Galaxy, this character has staying power.  I think there's still a lot of character development that could be done with that character.

There were even a couple of other characters: one new one and one surprise return.

I'm amazed that the writers were able to make this story work without making any character feel completely unimportant.  I'm sure it's extremely difficult to divide up screen time in situations like this.

Stan Lee, of course, has a cameo.

Noticeably missing from this chapter in the MCU: HawkeyeAnt-Man, The Wasp, Baron Mordo, and The Valkyrie.  I'm kind of OK with that because I'm hoping they show up in Avengers 4 (or future movies).

Those characters are too good to not get involved in these crossover, team-up movies!

If you're wondering where Nick Fury was, here's a hint: let the credits roll. :)

None of these characters are likely to get their own individual movies, so it's always nice when the writers use these characters in some good material.

Lastly, Thanos’ interaction with just about everyone

From Gamora to all of the Guardians to Loki and another well-known villain (don’t want to spoil that part for the handful of people who may read this and haven’t seen it yet).

Thanos was the character Marvel has been building to for 10 or more movies. It makes sense that they’d focus on him in this movie.

This was pretty much 'the Thanos movie,' but it didn't feel like it.  Just as certain Star Wars movies focused on Darth Vader, but still told an overall story, Infinity War progressed the Marvel Cinematic Universe plan.  It properly fully introduced Thanos for the first time and made everyone realize (very quickly) that he's a big deal.

One of my favorite aspects about this movie is that it truly did feel like a gigantic team-up movie.  At certain parts you felt like you were watching a Guardians movie.  Then you transitioned into The Black Panther.  No, wait.  It's an Iron Man movie.  Nevermind, it's a Dr. Strange movie!

The scenes that involved the individual characters and team-ups felt like you were seeing universes collide and mash-up.

Marvel did an exceptional job keeping the characters in line how we're used to seeing them, even if they were out of their element and in a totally different environment than they are typically in.

And, finally, how about that ending?!?

I have a hunch how it’ll all end up but I bet Marvel throws some surprises into the next movie.

With the snap of the fingers, it was over.


Related Content:
The Black Panther - reviewed.
My most anticipated movies of 2018
Star Wars: The Last Jedi - reviewed.
Justice League - reviewed.
Wonder Woman - reviewed.