MCU movies 15: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

After the massive success that was the first Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios actually moved up the original release date for its sequel by several months. Writer/director James Gunn began working on the film mere months after releasing the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and pretty much every major actor in the movie returned. At the same time, Gunn wanted to aim for a generally smaller cast for the second movie, to make it more character focused. Marvel also pretty much gave him free reign on the sequel.

Of this, Gunn said the company “let me go and do my thing, and I truly listen to their notes and ideas. I’ve never been told to put in any character or plot element at all … when they trust you they give you a wide berth … we just fit.”

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MCU Movies 14: Doctor Strange

Dr. Strange is a unique entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in more ways than one. First off, it released far earlier than any of the other movies, way back in 1978. It never saw a theatrical release, as it went straight to TV. It’s also the first MCU movie where the main villain is a woman. To be more specific, Morgan le Fay is Stephan Strange’s main opponent. The movie also features Dr. Strange’s eventual wife, Clea Lake. Even though the movie is PG, in a lot of ways it feels like a softcore porn. The acting is really cheesy, Dr. Strange has a pure 70’s mustache, and it’s got special effects that will make you feel like you’re on drugs. Even the music gives you that general feel, when it’s not giving you the sense that something really intense is about to happen.

OK, enough kidding around. That said, besides the 1978 movie being in the MCU and the softcore porn feel, everything I said is true. The 1978 Dr. Strange movie was initially intended to be the pilot for a TV series in the same vein as The Incredible Hulk, but that never came to fruition. I looked at the movie for my old blog, and while I won’t link to that blog at all, I may look at this movie again someday here. Save for a couple animated specials, it would be years before we’d get another Dr. Strange movie. Various film adaptations had been in the works since the mid 1980’s, until Paramount Pictures acquired the rights in 2005, along with Iron Man, Thor and others. Several writers were hired in 2010 to write a treatment.

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Quick update

I won’t be able to write my normal comic blog post tomorrow, due to being busy with house buying necessities. I’m in the process of buying a place within 4 minutes of where I work (as opposed to a 45-50 minute drive. So far it looks a lot more promising than the place I dropped out of after the inspection. For that same reason, I need to delay my Doctor Strange post, even though it’s already written and edited. Hopefully I can post it tomorrow night after work.

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MCU Movies 13: Captain America: Civil War

This blog post took longer than anticipated, partly because I put an offer on the place I saw on Wednesday afternoon. Long story short, they accepted, and I’m in the process of buying it. Hopefully the inspection will go a lot better than the first place I almost bought, but so far it looks a lot nicer. Being only a 4 minute drive from my current job is certainly a plus, especially considering I’m currently driving between 45 and 50 minutes each way pretty much every day. If this goes through, then after I get settled, I’ll finally be able to start catching up on reading and video games. I’ve got so much material already that I could easily stop spending money for a while and just focus on what I’ve already got. Anyway, let’s get on with this blog post.

The first Avengers movie accomplished what seemed to be impossible. It brought together 6 superheroes, 4 of which enjoyed solo films before it. Compared to that, Avengers: Age of Ultron didn’t feel quite as impressive. In addition to the first movie’s Avengers cast, it gave a couple other pre-existing superheroes bit parts, brought in a couple brand new ones, and reduced the role of most supporting characters in favour of new ones. It’s still impressive that it happened mind you, but still. Captain America: Civil War feels like another movie that shouldn’t have been able to happen, and in more ways than one.

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Comics of March 13, 2019

I basically don’t have any free time today – seeing a place before work later, so let’s get started. Unlike normal, I won’t even have time to edit this, so I apologize if I don’t make things all that clear. Today, I picked up X-23 10 and Supergirl 28. Here are my first impressions.

X-23 10 is decent. It concludes the story arc with the cybernetic X-23 clones. There’s some good action, a bittersweet ending, and a good talk between Laura and Gabby in the end. On the downside, there are a couple cringy lines of dialogue. It’s worth checking out if you’re an X-23 fan, but so far I can’t say I’m enjoying this series nearly as much as All-New Wolverine.

Supergirl 28 is good. Supergirl completes her prison break-out in an action packed issue. Her interactions with Starfire’s brother/relative/I’m not exactly sure right now and I don’t have the time to research. Anyway, her interactions with him are entertaining, and they lead to a possible misunderstanding in the next issue. Meanwhile, there are strong hints as to who killed Krypton. This is a direction I’m still definitely not a fan of, as it drastically changes the point of Krypton’s destruction as part of Superman’s history, but writer Mark Andreyko is doing the best with what he’s been given. This is worth checking out for Supergirl fans, and for those interested in checking out Superman’s Kryptonian cousin.

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MCU Movies 12 – Ant-Man

With every other movie in MCU’s Phase 2 a much larger scale than anything in the first phase, Ant-Man felt like a nice little break. It’s the smallest scale Marvel movie released since The Incredible Hulk – pun half-intended. This also happens to be the MCU movie that might actually have the longest development cycle.

Development for an Ant-Man film began as early as the late 1980’s, with Stan Lee pitching the idea to New World Pictures, Marvel’s parent company at the time. At the same time, Disney was developing Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. Stan Lee’s Ant-Man movie went into development, but halted after Honey, I Shrunk The Kids came out. In 2000, Howard Stern met with Marvel to attempt to purchase film rights to Ant Man. Later that year, Artisan Entertainment announced a deal with Marvel to co-produce, finance and distribute a film. Edgar Wright and his writing partner Joe Cornish wrote a treatment, although he believed it was never sent to Marvel.

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MCU Movies 11 – Avengers: Age of Ultron

Three years after The Avengers graced the movie world, its first sequel came out. Pretty much everyone involved with the first movie returned for Avengers: Age of Ultron, be it writer/director Joss Whedon, all of the core Avenger cast members, as well as Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. They also brought in Ultron, who is among the greatest Avengers villains in the comics, and a couple more Avengers to join the team. The only major cast and crew members who didn’t return were Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and soundtrack composer Alan Silvestri.

Development for “Avengers 2” began before the first movie released, along with plans for the other phase two films. In March of 2012, Whedon commented that he wanted the sequel to be “smaller. More personal. More painful.” Although as production moved on, the scope of the movie became increasingly larger, despite how Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige maintained that wasn’t their intention. He too wanted a more character focused Avengers film.

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