I know I already made a whole post about the MCU after Endgame came out, but after the MCU Phase 4 announcements this past weekend at SDCC I was a bit hyped. I thought it would be fun to look back at the past 10 years of MCU Phase 1-3 and see what I wrote about the movies.
Iron Man (2008)
Surprisingly, I had written nothing about watching this film at all, and I don’t remember going to the cinema to watch it. The movie came out between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, so my hype was undeniably towards the Batman movies back then. Before the MCU, Iron Man was a B-list hero at best, and back then no one could ever have imagined how far the MCU would go.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
From “Movies – June 2008”:
Edward Norton is cast brilliantly here, a choice on the same level as Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man. And they addressed the issue of Hulk’s stretchy pants!
Iron Man 2 (2010)
It took them 2 years to get to a 2nd movie. They probably weren’t prepared for how well received Iron Man was!
All I have for this movie is from a tweet:
Iron Man 2 was okay, but it was pretty much more of the same. Therefore it does not wow as much as the first movie did.
Couldn’t find any notes about this movie either. Well, except that I thought it was better than Green Lantern (an understatement). I do remember being impressed visually by the Asgard set-pieces.
Captain America the First Avenger (2011)
Captain America was fine. Definitely better than Thor/Green Lantern
I guess I started ranking them around this time, although maintaing an overall ranking was pretty much impossible.
Avengers was very enjoyable, funny and action-packed. Re-reading Ultimates v1 now lol
I wish I had more to say, but I wasn’t in the habit yet of more detailed reviews back then. On to phase two!
Iron Man 3 (2013)
#IronMan3 It was ok. Not as great as some people have said, but probably better than 2. @alvinjtang says it’ll look worse in a few years.
Thor The Dark World (2013)
Thor2 was okay, I like it more than Iron Man 3, mostly because I like the Star Wars x High Fantasy style
Thor2 is generally considered one of the lowest-ranked movies of the MCU, but as a comic book fan I’m very forgiving and I guess this means I generally liked all of them!
Captain America Winter Solider (2014)
Cap America 2 snap judgment: fun movie, better than Iron Man 3/Thor 2. Great for comic fans!
Again, an understatement, as I would later go on to consider Winter Soldier possibly my favorite MCU movie of all time.
I also said in a Facebook post that the movie would have been perfect if he had only done Final Justice lol.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
From a Facebook post:
Guardians was a very funny and fun movie, but it’s hard to say best Marvel movie so far, since I really liked Winter Soldier. And as a comic fan, I’m not that fond of how the Nova Corps was portrayed; I guess it’s understandable since they’re not the heroes here. There’s a lot of stuff for comic fans to enjoy though
2014 was a great year for the MCU, as both of these movies are among my MCU favorites.
Age of Ultron (2015)
From a Facebook post:
Spoiler-free Age of Ultron review: It’s great, go watch it. I loved it. I wish there had been less content made available ahead of time through trailers and casting announcements, but such are the times we live in. It is a good time to be a comic book fan. There is a short mid-credits scene. There is no post-credits scene
It was around this time that I started doing “spoiler-free reviews”. I also posted a more detailed AoU review over on Nedstarkdies.
Ant Man (2015)
From a Facebook post again:
Ant Man spoiler-free review: The first half felt a bit off, with some exposition coming off as forced and the pacing a bit awkward. Things picked up later on and while the plot was not entirely unpredictable there were a number of fun and surprising tangents. Overall a fun and entertaining movie with enough stuff for comic book Marvel fans to enjoy, probably close in quality to the first Iron Man movie, if not better
I realized just now that both Ant Man movies have been used as a palate cleanser after an Avengers film. This first one also marked the end of phase two. On to phase three!
Captain America Civil War (2016)
Captain America Civil War spoiler-free review:
- great fight sequences, start to finish
- the newcomers were great, airport big fight sequence had a great surprise (and not the one you already saw in the trailer - although you might have already been spoiled if you pay attention to certain toy lines), although I feel like a couple of the characters were pulled in to the conflict in a way that was a bit weak, but it’s still pretty good overall
- the plot was ok. Justification for the civil war was ok. Some surprises. The villain motivation was slightly mediocre, but that wasn’t really the focus of the movie anyway
- Martin Freeman’s role felt totally superfluous - it did not seem necessary to cast Martin Freeman
- the movie kind of ends with the MCU and the Avengers in a weird place, some people might not like it
- better than: Winter Soldier. The plot kind of develops in the same way but everything is on a much bigger scale now
- there are two post-credit scenes, one in the middle and one at the very end
- Imax worth it? Probably. Not very ostentatious use of 3d, but most of the fight sequences have it. You might get dizzy if you’re not used to it
- Magugustuhan ba ni Mama? Maybe, but I’d have to keep explaining who these characters are
I started doing this format of “Spoiler-free reviews” around this time, with what would turn out to be the well-loved “Magugustuhan ba ni Mama?” (Translation: Will Mama like it?) section. When I tried removing this section at some point, people complained lol.
Doctor Strange (2016)
- Wow. Great visuals and fight-scenes, very trippy. Possibly the best fight scenes in all the MCU movies so far. You might get dizzy with all the things spinning around though
- Plot is typical of a MCU origin story. Hero’s journey, some light comedy bits, etc.
- I was expecting them to go a different way with Mordo (if you’ve read the comics you know what I mean), but I’m happy with how things went down
- Stakes are high, but failure is not final
- The actors were great; I haven’t seen a lead this good for a role since RDJ’s Tony Stark. Swinton’s Ancient One, Eijofor’s Mordo, and even Wong’s Wong were great
- Doctor friends: Tell me if the medical parts were BS hohoho
- Magugustuhan ba ni Mama: Probably not. She doesn’t like this kind of thing, and the dizziness thing is bad too
- IMAX or not? I think the 3d parts weren’t too exaggerated or critical, but the visuals might feel a bit flat and not as impressive if you don’t go IMAX
- Midcredits scene? Yes
- Postcredits scene? Yes
Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 (2017)
- overall a very entertaining movie to sit down and watch popcorn and to enjoy the jokes and the space battles and the different colored lights and the tiny adorable tree creature
- GOTG’s humor was one of its strong points and for the 2nd movie, they push the comedy up a notch, perhaps a little too much in some places. Lots of funny gags and one-liners
- I felt like some of the character/background development stuff was pushed a bit too hard as well
- the movie’s plot also felt a bit thin and straightforward. I mean, you could see some of the major plot points coming a mile away. Maybe from the trailers even
- Star Lord was ok. Gamora/Nebula felt poorly written. Rocket was a bit annoying. Drax and Mantis were ok, although the space they have for Mantis’ character overlaps with Drax a bit.. I’m still not super happy with how Drax and Gamora are characterized in the MCU.
- I’m less happy with this movie’s soundtrack compared to the first one
- Magugustuhan ba ni Mama: Certainly not. In fact, she chose to derp around the mall instead of coming with me and my cousin to watch.
- IMAX or not: Some visuals used the 3d effect, but nothing too exaggerated or critical. I’d say IMAX optional, but it definitely adds something to some scenes.
- There are five extra scenes near the credits (one of them is right before the credits roll, so I can’t really say “post-credit” screens). Most of them are just setting the tone for the inevitable GOTG3
- Additionally, just pay attention to the background of the credits roll as well, it’s great
- While I felt the movie was ok, it’s kind of just more of the same of what we got with the first movie, which felt a lot stronger overall
Spider-man Homecoming (2017)
- This movie is amazing. Possibly best in all MCU so far. It’s fun, it’s exciting, unexpected things happened. Maybe not watching the trailers helped lol
- Covers a lot of ground the previous Spider-man movies didn’t. Helped along by not needing to rehash the origin story for the Nth time
- Lots of great call outs for the comic book fans
- I was worried about the Vulture, but it was handled very well. Keaton is great here.
- This movie is tightly coupled to the MCU yo. IDK how they’re going to handle it if Sony breaks it off after the two-movie deal. By they I mean Sony. Obviously MCU can just ignore him forever afterwards.
- TBH I was also really worried about the MCU coupling and having too much Iron Man in the movie, but it turned out okay. Maybe could have had a little bit less Tony Stark.
- IMAX? Probably not worth it.
- there’s a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene.
- Magugustuhan ba ni Mama? Possibly! There’s some shaky cam footage near the start that can be a bit nauseating though
That first line is high praise lol. Around this time I started avoiding watching more than the first trailer for the MCU movies, as I always felt like they gave too many jokes and plot points away. I will certainly watch them anyway, so there wasn’t much point building up more hype than I needed to.
Thor Ragnarok (2017):
- a fun, action-packed romp that shakes up the Thor status quo significantly
- easily the best of the three Thor movies
- a number plot points are fairly predictable, yet still fun
- the Marvel formula is generally action mixed with witty banter here and there, and it’s what we get here, although some of the jokes feel like they’re stretched a bit too much
- some great-looking cinematic scenes here and there. One particular flashback scene looked really great
- I kind of like how the older franchises need to be some sort of team effort nowadays. Like Civil War, this felt a bit like some kind of mini-Avengers crossover – in space!
- speaking of space, one of the positive things about this installment is that they didn’t feel the need to tie Thor’s adventures to Earth anymore (not that the movie is 100% Earth-free), and they get to go a bit wild with space and aliens and all that
- I understand the need to highlight Hulk’s involvement as part of the film’s marketing, but man, it would have been so awesome to just find out right then and there
- This movie had that Star Wars: Last Jedi trailer I was trying to avoid D:
- 1 mid-credits scene and 1 post-credits scene
- I think Imax was good for this movie. The 3d wasn’t too much and it definitely made some scenes pop. The film is a visual delight so I think the larger screen is important too
- Magugustuhan ba ni Mama: Probably not. Maybe I should stop including this section kasi parang same na parati ang answer. Unless for some reason I decide to watch some Tagalog romcom
Damn Thor 3 was great. Looking forward to Love and Thunder!
Black Panther (2018)
- it’s a fun, action-filled romp and Wakanda is amazing
- tchalla was ok, killmonger and nakia were great, shuri was badass
- some of the actions scenes didnt seem too well-shot/edited, making them hard to follow
- I realize I’m saying this about a universe where there are talking raccoons and magic hammers, but some of the Wakandan tech push the boundaries of my suspension of disbelief
- my expectations were probably set a bit too high what with some people saying it’s the best MCU movie since Iron Man or calling it revolutionary or eye-opening
- off the top of my head I’d say I consider Civil War, Spider-Man Homecoming and Thor Ragnarok better than this one
- I understand that it’s revolutionary in the sense that it’s a major hollowood motion picture filled with a cast of mostly african descent and that some of the characters are motivated by real world racial issues. But the plot itself was typical for an MCU first movie (maybe I’ve seen too many MCU movies? lol). I dont think it presents the issues it covers under any new or revolutionary context. I guess I kind of went in hoping to be impressed on the level of The Dark Knight or such, but I was disappointed in that regard. It’s a very straightforward movie
- I didn’t watch in Imax, which I kind of regret, as I can imagine some of the scenes being pretty good
- Magugustuhan ba ni Mama: Possibly, pero baka mahirapan sya intindihin accent ni Chadwick Boseman
- There’s a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene
Avengers Infinity War (2018)
- I’m amazed that so little of this movie has been widely spoiled
- movie was fantastic. the movie somehow managed to do everything it needed to do while not doing disservice to any of the bazillion characters involved.
- the plot moves quickly. there is no good time to pee.
- there is one post-credits scene.
- very happy to have watched in imax
Ant Man and the Wasp (2018)
- this movie is great; it’s fun and and action-packed and there’s even more Luis than you thought you wanted; go watch it
- it’s like the first movie, except better and more fun
- best new character: FBI Agent Jimmy Woo played by Randall Park (sorry Michelle Pfeifer)
- there are two mid/post-credit scenes. One of them is better than the other
- I watched in Imax. Some scenes were nice, but it’s probably more of a nice-to-have
- Magugustuhan ba ni Mama: Pwede, but kelangan ng kasama to explain things. Baka ok lang pag tagalized na sa tv
Captain Marvel (2019)
Around this time, I started posting the reviews to Tumblr as well:
- movie was pretty good, no major issues
- doesnt follow the typical MCU origin story ‘formula’
- some weird pacing issues in a few places, but that just might be because of the chosen story direction
- lots of little call-outs and tie-ins to the other MCU movies (although I feel like they could have done a bit more in some spots)
- I am not a cat person. But if you are a cat person, you might like this: there is a cat.
- There’s some parts that made it obvious they were aiming for that Wonder Woman audience, so the movie may be better for you if you’re in that demo (but I think WW was a better movie overall)
- Imax was pretty good, nothing too excessive
- Midcredits scene, and postcredits scene
- Magugustuhan ba ni mama? Possibly! Also, its a good idea to bring little girls to watch this movie
Avengers Endgame (2019)
You can read my review right here on this blog!
Spider-man Far From Home (2019)
You can read my review right here on this blog!
That was a fun walk through a decade of films, and it gave me an opportunity to fold some of my off-blog content back into this blog. I’m hoping to be doing more movie reviews directly here on this blog instead of just on Facebook or Tumblr. Looking forward to more MCU in the years (decades?) to come!