Despite Thor, The God of Thunder being one of Marvel’s most iconic characters and virtual co-founder of The Avengers, making him a compelling action hero has been a tough task. Even with some great directors and sleek scripting, “Thor” hasn’t quite been as exciting as Iron Man or Captain America. He’s barely risen to the Hulk who, so far, has only had one movie and a hand full of appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With “Thor: Ragnarok,” Marvel has reached the point where audiences are familiar enough with the character that they can begin to change his identity a bit. In the end, he’s still Thor, the God of Thunder, but he also comes in touch with his god like abilities when he allows himself to embrace humility once and for all.
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.
This is one of the first time in years I’ve had such a difficult period deciding which movies had to be cut from my top ten and which deserved to stay on. Of course I didn’t catch every thing I wanted to, as probably Manchester by the Sea and Edge of Seventeen may have been on the list, if I saw them. So while there are some omissions out of my control, this is the ten I ultimately stuck to. This is the ten best movies I saw in 2016, along with a big list of potential place holders I quite loved, just the same.
Movies in 2016 that almost made the list includes the moving science fiction thriller Midnight Special, the touching sequel Finding Dory, the elaborate and beautiful The Handmaiden, the fun Ti West western In a Valley of Violence, the superb and very scary sequel The Conjuring 2, the fun and moving Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the hilarious and raucous antithesis to the superhero movie Deadpool, the sweeping fantasy thriller Doctor Strange, the incredible crime drama Hell or High Water, the very fun Adam Wingard reboot Blair Witch, the moving and fun teen drama Sing Street, the teeth grindingly compelling 10 Cloverfield Lane, and the chaotic survival thriller Green Room. Kudos to everyone behind these top notch movies I plan to revisit again and again in the coming years.
Now on the Top 10…
It’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.
Marvel and Disney have brought movie fans far and wide some of the strong, bravest and most beautiful heroines in cinematic history. While Marvel has a pretty good track record with female heroes, the Cinematic Universe has slowly but surely introduced a long gallery of fantastic and complex bad asses, some of whom are cinematic creations, while others brought in to the flesh from the pages of the comics. These are five of my favorite beauties from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Did I miss any of your favorites? Continue reading
It’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.
With the news that we likely won’t be getting an “Iron Man 4” and increasing rumors that Robert Downey Jr. might end his run as Tony Stark and Iron Man for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, director Joe Russo explained that if Downey Jr. leaves the series, Iron Man might go away for a while. Iron Man experienced a huge comeback in the early aughts thanks to John Favreau bringing him in to a very successful and excellent live action film. Iron Man then became the foundation the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe was built upon, spawning the seeds for the Avengers movie, and then opening the door for a wave of Marvel superhero movies we see now.
With the potential departure of Downey Jr. and Iron Man, it would present a good opportunity to bring the Marvel Cinematic Universe in to a new era, and offer up some new dynamics and interactions between their superheroes. Many forget that once upon a time Iron Man was considered a fourth tier superhero. Before being rebooted in 2008 and transformed in to an icon, Iron Man was quite unpopular for a very long time, and even mocked by many comic book fans. The nineties saw Marvel trying to reboot the character repeatedly with no success, even bringing in a teenage Tony Stark to take over for adult Tony Stark. With Iron Man receiving his proper fame and admiration, since he is one of the early Marvel titans and one of the founding members of the Avengers, should Downey Jr. exit the series, it’d be a great chance to pass the torch on to another hero.
Here are five other Marvel characters who could and should fill Iron Man’s shoes if Iron Man is not included in future Marvel and “The Avengers” films.
Jeremy Renner earned his stripes just like a lot of people in Hollywood and has been playing bit parts for years. After years of forgettable supporting roles, and playing the heel in movies like “SWAT” to the in vogue stars of yesteryear like Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez, he’s finally earned his place as one of the biggest and most marketable stars in Hollywood. Renner has displayed a keen persona that often makes him suitable for roles like military men, police officers, and the like, but he’s also capable of playing regular Joes. Renner is one of the more likable actors in Hollywood filling his resume with an array of blockbusters and prestige pictures. There are five of our favorite Jeremy Renner performances, so far.