Artist. Designer. Awkward wad of nerd. Fights off existential terror and self-loathing with Godzilla films.

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Make Mine Marvel

I don’t know why I decided to do this, but here is a list of every movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what I think are the best and worst moments from each. A lot of these movies run together, they’re very middle of the road movies that tend to play it safe and follow the same formula, so I guess trying to pick the highlights and low points is an interesting exercise in finding things that really stand out.

 

Iron Man (2008)
Best Moment: I have two here. The first is when Obadiah Stane, played by Jeff Bridges, basically makes threats at Tony while grinning, hand on his shoulder, the two of them posing for photos outside of some big event. The other one is after Stane becomes Iron Monger, when he grabs a passing motorcycle, wheels still spinning and engine still revving, and smacks Iron Man with it. Good stuff.

Worst Moment: Is it this one where he sleeps with a reporter, and she wakes up in his home, and there’s this moment where she’s in awe of his automated house voiced by Paul Bettany? And then Pepper Potts steps in and kicks her out? Because that was lame.

 

The Incredible Hulk (2008)
...I don’t remember anything about this movie because I haven’t seen it since its theatrical release 9 freaking years ago. I mean, there are parts I remember, but they are neither good nor bad, they’re just there. There’s a shot that almost looks like Cloverfield, where the Abomination is leaping, I think, and I know William Hurt is in it and I like that dude a lot but I don’t recall his performance at all. Stan Lee drinks a soda? Is there a favela chase scene, like in Fast Five, or is that me projecting a better movie’s action sequence? Let’s move on!

 

Iron Man 2 (2010)
Best Moment: There is nothing redeemable about this movie. Except Sam Rockwell, I guess, he’s cool, but I don’t remember his performance, ugh.

Worst Moment: Drunk Tony Vs Rhodey, the cartoony clanging of their suits awkwardly bashing together like a child with action figures.

 

Thor (2011)
Best Moment: This is another one I’m struggling to remember. I liked the Destroyer a lot? Doesn’t he fire a really cool beam? I remember that looking cool.

Worst Moments: DUTCH ANGLES. They shot the movie in native 3D so I guess Kenneth Branagh thought it’d be cool to have the camera lopsided all the damn time for DEPTH.

 

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Best Moment: I don’t remember the context AT ALL, but Steve Rogers, super soldier, is reduced to a mascot, trapped in a montage of onstage performances, maybe promoting war bonds? The man has a heart of gold and can throw vehicles at people and this is what the army does with him.

Worst Moment: ...the rest of the movie wasn’t memorable enough for me to think of anything here. The train sequence that leads to Bucky’s “death,” I guess, was kind of not well shot? I don’t know.

 

The Avengers (2012)

Best Moment: Harry Dean Stanton’s surprising cameo as a janitor who gives Bruce Banner a nice pep talk, like the angel that he is. The movie didn’t deserve his presence.

Worst Moments: The first, what, 20-30 minutes is unwatchable garbage and Joss Whedon’s habit of turning everybody into quippy smart mouths is the worst.

 

Iron Man 3 (2013)
Best: Tony Stark calling that kid a pussy before driving off.

Worst: That holographic version of the explosion site that Tony’s computer makes that he wanders through is a really dumb and pointless use of CG.

 

Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Best: I am an unabashed fan of this dumb movie, and it’s hard to pick one thing. I like the fleeting glimpses of tokusatsu looking dudes in the prison, the girl from Two Broke Girls awkwardly asking Thor how space is, the weird Star Wars dog fight, Stellan Skarsgard ranting in his underwear, Heimdall killing a spaceship single handedly...I mean, this is arguably one of the bottom tier films in the MCU but I don’t care because it’s stupid and fun.

Worst: Oh, that prologue is god-awful though. And Chris Eccleston needed more to do as that dark elf villain, but that’s not a *moment.*

 

Captain America: The Winter Solder (2014)
Best: Cap taking out a whole crew on that ship’s deck at the beginning of the movie like he’s speedrunning a videogame stage. This is the first of these movies with actual fights and action scenes and that opening was a nice way of making it known.

Worst: Cap putting his old costume back on, because geez that thing is ugly, why did they do that. Also, his lips in this movie were like, really noticeably pink, and distractingly so.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Best: I feel like this betrays my love for Michael Rooker as Yondu, who is a shining light in every scene he’s in, but it has to go to Rocket and Groot trying to capture Quill by putting him in an actual fucking sack like kidnappers from Looney Tunes.

Worst: Peter’s frat boy antics are really really tiresome, but the Jackson Pollack quip is the worst.

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Best: Captain America, whose basic gimmick is throwing his shield at people, instead chooses to throw the motorcycle he rode in on at a henchman for no reason. It wasn’t low on fuel or banged up or anything, he just did it because he could. This is also, oddly, the second motorcycle related best moment I’ve brought up. Huh.
Runner up: Forgetting I even saw this movie after having my brain melted by the glory of Mad Max: Fury Road just a week or two later.

Worst: Ohhhh, it’s hard to pick. This movie is a bloated mess, a chore to watch, not very fun at all. So many pointless scenes, SO MANY. I may have to give it to Black Widow calling herself a monster because she can’t have kids anymore, or whatever that scene was.

 

Ant-Man (2015)
Best: When he shrinks for the first time, and the camera does some weird, fish-eye wonky perspective inside the bathtub, and things just get wilder from there. Or wait, maybe it’s Michael Peña talking about art. Or maybe it’s just Michael Peña. I dunno.

Worst: There are a lot of shots in this movie that feel like they just didn’t have the actors in the same room when they shot it, that they’re just all composited in. A lot of parts like that which just don’t feel organic. I dunno. They maybe shouldn’t have run off Edgar Wright like that.

 

Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Best: Budapest. Bucky using whatever he can to fight his way through a bunch of dudes trying to capture him, kinda like a super powered Jackie Chan with a robot arm. Black Panther being an unstoppable force. The big airport fight feeling like something out of Super Sentai, probably the most tokusatsu thing to come out of these films so far.

Worst: The movie just sags whenever there aren’t any fights, but the de-aged Tony presentation grappling with the loss of his parents is just...so weird and unnecessary. Was that really the best way to demonstrate the fact that yes, Tony, like other people, feels regret?

 

Doctor Strange (2016)
Best: Tilda Swinton launching Strange through the multiverse is the wildest, trippiest thing, better than this movie deserves. I wish it did more of that.

Worst: Strange is a boring character played by an even more boring dude. Wait, this isn’t a moment. I felt bad for Rachel McAdams having almost nothing to do every time she was onscreen.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Best: Oh god, I don’t know. Yondu again? Rocket toying with the Ravagers out in the woods? Everyone in the movie being so weird looking and ugly, with James Gunn putting a lot of effort into giving them loving closeups? Setting up huge action sequences and then ignoring them? This is my favorite film out of all of these, in case y’all are wondering.

Worst: ENOUGH WITH THE DE-AGING SHIT ALREADY DISNEY, IT DOESN’T WORK AND IT LOOKS TERRIBLE. This is yet another Marvel movie with a crappy prologue attached, adding that effect just worsens it.

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Best: Hannibal Burress sending someone who looks nothing like him in his place to the movie’s premiere. And the end credits animation.

Worst: I dunno. It’s an okay movie. Nothing stood out as really BAD to me, except maybe how confusing the final fight on the stealth plane was. I just could not tell what I was looking at.

 

BONUS:
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) trailer
Best: “I lost my hammer...like, yesterday, so that’s pretty fresh.” Thor and Loki busting into a room with GIANT guns and blasting people is VERY Flash Gordon/Masters of the Universe and I’m thrilled for that. And I hope the rocking synthwave music going on is a good indicator of how the film’s score will be, because that’s rad.

Worst: When you realize Jeff Goldblum’s not going to be in the movie much at all, and that hurts.

 

Black Panther (2018) trailer
Best: MICHAEL B. JORDAN AS KILLMONGER. HIS HAIR. THAT MASK HE WEARS. And, you know, big budget afropunk, the kind of visuals we need more of in these damn movies.

Worst: ...there is really nothing about that trailer that I don’t like. I just hope they let Ryan Coogler do his thing and don’t get in the way too much, because I watched Creed last month and he’s a PHENOMENAL filmmaker.


 

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