So everybody, Thor: Ragnarok was awesome. The action was fun and Jeff Goldblum has never been Jeff Goldblumier. OK, thanks for reading. That’s really all I needed to say. Article’s over, go home.
But since there are a few hundred more words to be filled in, let’s break down why Thor: Ragnarok was awesome. In fact, let’s talk about why Marvel movies keep getting better. Because according to this nifty graph I made based on Rotten Tomatoes scores, that’s super what’s happening:
As you can see, Marvel has consistently had hits since they started making movies, but as time passed, their lower-ranked films slowly caught up with their higher-ranked ones. If you’re wondering, the films that represent those valleys in quality were The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor 2, and Age Of Ultron (although you can hardly count any of these as critical failures).
So what is happening? What’s behind the pattern? Well I’m glad I asked, because I have an answer: The lowest-rated films were all “filler” stories. Incredible Hulk was a necessary reboot of Ang Lee’s attempt, and the other three were all part twos leading up to major explody events like The Avengers and the eventual Infinity War. We had already met all the characters, and so these films bought time so that the MCU could set up the inevitable hype films on the horizon. For that reason, the stories are pretty self-contained and therefore rather boring: the bad guy shows up, wants to blow up the world, and creates an army.
Second question: Why did the quality of these “filler” films get better? Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok could both be considered “filler” movies. Hell, the plot to the first Guardians, when you look at the broad strokes, is extremely cliche: “A group of reluctant heroes band together to fight an evil wizard / family member from blowing up a planet using a super-weapon, only to take down his spaceship and save the day.” That’s also the plot to Star Wars. Ragnarok is about another Asgard sibling putting together a generic skull army to take over their world … only with an even pointier helmet. So why is it so amazing despite that oatmeal premise?
Because it’s fucking weird, obviously. This “oatmeal” premise is flavored with crazy-dick characters and Led Zeppelin. Jeff Goldblum is dressed like a gospel space-priest and appears multiple times as a hologram. The movie is so comedic that it’s practically a parody of itself. The studio got the dude who made What We Do In The Shadows and let him make a beautiful mess, like a cocaine toddler in a Walmart. Marvel realized they were making filler films and said, “Well shit, we might as well fill these fillers with clown guts and candy.” And that’s goddamn swell.
And so the rule for Phase Three came down to a successful Marvel film being either A) a unique and interesting story told in a straightforward way (Civil War, Homecoming), or B) a really straightforward story told in a unique and interesting way (Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians).
This explains why movies like Thor 2 and Ultron weren’t as well-received, for they are neither unique nor told in a particularly fun way. The lesson here is that Marvel’s doing a great job of being ahead of its fans and realizing that the superhero stories once considered “unique” tend to get old really fast. I remember a time when I couldn’t wait to see an origin story; now I shudder at the words “Uncle Ben.” And guess what? Homecoming knew this, and focused on making a Spider-Man that felt bizarrely similar to a coming-of-age teen movie. Other comic book movies are figuring this out too. Logan was an X-Men stab at drama, and now we’re getting The New Mutants, a goddamn superhero horror movie.
But finally — and this is super important — Marvel is beginning to learn that they need to stick an eccentric ’80s/’90s actor in their movies as a villain. Sure, it could be Kurt Russell or Michael Keaton, but the big money is obviously Jeff Goldblum, America’s bumbling sex maestro.
We need more Goldblum villains, Marvel. Goldblum Hobgoblin, Goldblum Stilt-Man, an entire gang of clone Goldblum henchmen. I don’t give a fuck who you thought was playing Thanos; if you want Infinity War to end with a whooshing cacophony of nerds’ ROM the Space Knight panties hitting the theater floors, you know what needs to be done. Don’t fuck me on this.
David is totally on Twitter.
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5 Comics to Read Before You See Deadpool 2
“He’s the breakout character of Deadpool 2, as well as the next step in Josh Brolin’s unlikely plan to play a comic book character in every cinematic universe. (Don’t forget that in addition to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War he also played Jonah Hex in the 2010 DC movie of the same name.) Yes, Cable is a time-traveling toughie fans have been waiting to see on the big screen for a long time and he’s finally here! What’s that? You don’t know who he is? You’re worried you’ll look like a n00b at the theater this weekend? Quit your fretting, friends; here are the five comic book runs you should check out for the best summation of everyone’s favorite gun-toting, half-man, half-machine.
New Mutants (Vol. 1) #87-100
The initial appearances of Cable are, in retrospect, fascinating historical documents that reveal how much of the character was in place from the beginning—notably, his iconography, despite costume changes from issue to issue—and how much wasn’t. As his characterization slowly cools into place, you get to see how a cypher cyborg from the future became a fan-favorite character. This run also offers up the first appearances of Deadpool and Domino (another Deadpool 2 highlight), if you’re into that sort of thing. (Creator Rob Liefeld was a productive man back in the day.)
How to read it: Available digitally and in the X-Force: Cable & the New Mutants print collection.
Cable (Vol. 1) #97-107
More than a decade after his debut, this run feels like it shows a version of Cable as the dude he should’ve been all along: someone who eschews superheroics for techno espionage and finds trouble almost…”
Heartbreaking fact about Groot in Infinity War
I am… great. Seriously. It’s just really dusty in here.
Spoiler Alert: This article discusses the shocking ending of Infinity War, which you really should have seen by now.
We’re not crying you’re crying everyone’s crying.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has revealed an overwhelmingly sad fact about Groot in Avengers: Infinity War and yeah, we’re not ok.
What’s all this blubbering about? Groot’s final line, uttered as he once again evaporates from our lives into a cloud of Infinity Stone-inflicted nothingness. Thanos, ya jerk.
Gunn hopped on Twitter to answer a question on this line from a fan on Sunday, and dropped this devastating truth nugget:
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 6, 2018
Groot’s final line, as he disintegrates into Thanos-clicked dust like many of your favourite Marvel heroes, is delivered to? Rocket.
Our bratty teenage space tree thinks of former freelance criminal and fellow Guardian Rocket Raccoon as his dear ol’ dad, guys — so much so, that he broke his regular “I am Groot,” utterance tendency to say so. Someone hold me.
Yeah, folks on Twitter also lost their collective shit.
Groot’s last words being confirmed “Dad..” has broken me no one touch me
— ev barton-romanoff
That thing Doctor Strange did in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ was all part of the plan
Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.
That’s how many possible futures Doctor Strange viewed during his sojourn through time on the surface of Titan. And, he told Tony Stark, of all those many futures, only one had a happy ending for everyone except Thanos.
It’s an important moment that’s easy to forget about in light of what happens next. Thanos shows up on Titan. The best battle sequence of the movie then ensues (don’t @ me), as Tony, Strange, Spider-Man, Nebula, Star-Lord, Mantis, and Drax gang on on the big guy.
It doesn’t turn out so well. Thanos has the immediate upper hand thanks to his cosmic glove, and even though…”
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