Avengers: Endgame (2019)

“Endgame” accomplishes a grand feat. It’s not only a sequel that resolves just about every question we had with “Infinity War,” but it also acts as a wonderful book end to the first ten years of Marvel movies. This movie is a kind of “What If?” if you will, and I loved how the Russo Brothers don’t just make good on closing the epic saga of the infinity stones, but also have some fun tinkering in the Marvel Cinematic Universe established by folks like Joss Whedon, and Jon Favreau prior. It’s a marvelous and brilliant compilation of everything we love about this cinematic universe, plus a dramatic pay off for folks that have come to fall in love with these heroes and villains for of all these years.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Miles Morales was introduced to the Marvel universe in 2011, established in the alternate label the “Ultimate” universe. When that universe’s Peter Parker died, Miles stepped up to become Spider-Man. Since then Morales has become one of the banner Spider-Man iterations that have taken on the mantle of the hero. Morales wasn’t just welcomed in to the primary Marvel universe, but he’s managed to become just as popular as Peter Parker and the original Spider-Man. Some fans will even argue he’s better than Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. It’s general sentiment that’s been accepted by many because Spider-Man is not a person, it’s a movement. It’s a movement where literally anyone can wear the mask and strive for the same goals Peter Parker did.

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Emilie Black’s Top 5 Theatrical Releases of 2017

Having seen mostly independent films and foreign releases, making a top 10 of mainstream, theatrically released films is practically impossible.  However, some of these films deserve to be recognized and seen.  Here are my 5 favorites of the mainstream American films I’ve seen this year.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Director Jon Watts handles the element of Peter Parker’s life that the previous “Spider-Man” iterations didn’t, offering a compelling coming of age high school drama, whose main character is a super powered being trying to live up to impossible standards. When we meet Peter Parker, he’s a typical teenager vlogging his experience in “Civil War” where he brushed up against a slew of heavy hitting superheroes in an effort to help Tony Stark. When the movie begins Peter is returned to Queens to go back to being just a teenager who happens to be Spider-Man. Peter is a young man always trying to do what’s right and noble, he’s the true underdog of the Marvel Universe.

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Supaidāman (Spider-Man) (1978)

What was once considered just a passing joke by Spider-Man fans has managed to gather some cult acclaim over the years, and has even been embraced by Marvel (yes, it’s canon, now) and Stan Lee himself. “Supaidāman” is the Japanese incarnation of Spider Man that bears almost no resemblance to the character we know from the US. That doesn’t mean it’s terrible though, as the 1978 action science fiction series is quite entertaining and has a lot of innovative ideas we’d see in future Super Sentai series. Sure it’s cheesy and goofy in some way, (including the opening theme song) but there’s a lot to like if you can divorce yourself from the Marvel Spider-Man and think of this character as something from another universe.

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Spider-Man (1977)

The Nicholas Hammond starring TV movie* “Spider-Man” is also the two hour TV pilot for the cult classic series “The Amazing Spider-Man.” When you consider the decade, and the budget, “Spider-Man” isn’t too bad of a movie. When I was a kid it was about all we had in the realm of live action Spider-Man, and sadly with its budget we never got banner foes like Green Goblin and or Doctor Octopus. We were instead granted a lot of gangsters, and cronies, as well as the occasional ninja or two (and in this instance, three martial arts thugs with wooden sticks). “Spider-Man” the Movie that sets the stage for the series is a solid iteration of Spider-Man that is altogether a mixed bag.

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Captain America Civil War (2016) [Blu-Ray/Digital]

capamcwIt’s amazing what kind of feat the Russo Brothers have pulled off. Not only do they offer up a pseudo-sequel to the continuing saga of “The Avengers” but they also manage to squeeze in a superhero epic, and revenge saga that stretches out over the Marvel Cinematic Universe without ever missing a single beat. “Captain America: Civil War” finally brings the Marvel Universe full circle creating something of a wider scope now that Marvel has been able to acquire and introduce superheroes and characters that were long thought to be incapable of appearing. In just a two and a half hour movie, we’re able to watch a full fledged tale of friendship unfold in the face of a revenge plot, while being given marvelous and overdue introductions to iconic Avenger The Black Panther, and Marvel’s long awaited iteration of their iconic superhero Spider-Man.

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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

CA-CWIt’s apropos of Marvel to finally bring in Spider-Man to “Civil War.” Because while it is essential that he be introduced to a brilliant cinematic universe, he is representative of the underlying message behind “Civil War.” With great power comes great responsibility. After spending so many years doing battle with aliens and super powered foes, the Avengers are finally taking a toll on the world, and the government from all sides of the globe is angry at their inherent recklessness.

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