Marvel Cinematic Universe Rewatch – Phase 1 | #HusbandDoesStuff

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Rewatch – Phase 1

Iron Man Art Book

Iron Man

The OG, the original, the films that started it all. First, we can all collectively agree that Robert Downey Jr is captivating as Tony Stark. He brings charisma, and an amount of wit to the character, alongside some good acting. I still really enjoy the film; the growth that Tony goes through, the suit design phase, the Gulmira set (seeing the first time the ‘Tank Missile’ was used was just awesome), the fight between him and Obadiah… I enjoy a lot of this film. And of course not forgetting the introduction to Phil Coulson!

Favourite Part:

When Tony tests the MK2 suit and starts flying, how amazing everything is and how ecstatic he is that he is flying around. I love the acting by RDJ here, alongside the musical score which helps to grasp the feeling and uplifting sense of this part.

Worst Part:

I get it, first movie by a new film studio, but the endorsements in the film. I can’t help but question how much Burger King paid them to be one of the first things Tony thought of once he had been rescued.


Iron Man 2 Art Book

Iron Man 2

Straight into a sequel…what?! I always liked the number going round that RDJ got paid 20 times the amount for Iron Man 2 than he did for Iron Man! So it pretty much carries on from Iron Man, except we find out that someone else can make arc reactors! Don Cheadle also debuts as the recast for Rhodey which I wasn’t sure about to start with but I now fully agree with the decision. I’m not sure this film lives up to the first; I like the introduction of SHIELD, Nick Fury, Black Widow etc, all good characters but I don’t feel enough happens in the film. I like that they showed him getting drunk at the party, possibly hinting to the alcoholism that was a recurring theme in the comic books. Whiplash is a so so villain, but isn’t all that involved and culminated in a short last fight. The end battle with all the drones is a decent set piece of the film, and I enjoy Tony discovering his father’s work, going back to basics and making the element by himself. Also Coulson going to New Mexico is a nice little nod of where the bigger story is going. I always saw this film as just needing to get Tony in a place ready for Avengers. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy watching it as generally I enjoy watching all the Marvel films, it just doesn’t rate high on my list!

Favourite Part:

When Tony realises the Expo set is a design for a new element and the part where he discovers it. His father reminds me of Walt Disney. This along with the whole Expo set design and the culminating element creation help pick the film up.

Worst Part:

I understand we’re not meant to like Justin Hammer, but his scenes are annoying and he doesn’t add much other than bankrolling Ivan, and then he’s taken to jail and never seen again!


Thor Art Book

Thor

The next hero introduced is Thor Odinson (Son of Odin, which is why I always laugh when he calls Coulson Son of Coul!). And we only get one scene in his traditional helmet! This is the ‘pretty’ film of Phase 1, and you can tell that the budget went into the CGI of Asgard, and they kept it low for the Earth scenes! Chris Hemsworth makes a good Thor, but we all know the character we fell in love with here is Loki. Tom Hiddleston is fantastic and I have no doubt the reason why the character sticks around in the MCU for a while is due to the reception of Hiddleston as Loki. I do feel bad for Loki in the film; he goes through a fair amount of distress, becomes king and then everyone gets annoyed that he doesn’t bring Thor home straight away – well obviously not as he’s still banished?! I also enjoy the nod to the comics when Jane has some scrubs with the name Donald Blake on them, which was the name of Thor in the comics when he was banished to Earth! I like the film; the Asgard parts are the best as the CGI looks really good and the wonder of it all is pleasing, the story is so so, and the best part is seeing Loki’s character arc and seeing all his plans play out!

Favourite Part:

Thor walking into a pet shop saying “I need a Horse!” just makes me laugh; I also bought my friend a hand sprayed cap which said that before as we just used to laugh about it alot!

Worse Part:

Thor learns to be worthy in what, two days? Two days on Earth suddenly he’s changed his whole thinking and moral code? I get it, film, time etc, but it still annoys me.


Captain America Art Book

Captain America

We got there – my main man Steve Rogers aka Captain America. Cap’s been my favourite character for a long time which not everyone would get as he’s not ‘super’. Screw you guys he’s awesome. Plus, at the time of his comics being released, a blond super soldier, what would have been Hitler’s ideal man, is beating the Nazis, and punching them all in the face! Anyway back to the film; it’s set in the past and lacks Thor’s glossy CGI as well as the theatrical ‘hero’ set pieces of the other films, but it still works really well. All the set pieces work well, the fighting and gun fights play out well, and Peggy punching the guy in the face is pretty cool as well! It’s good to show Steve was chosen for having a good heart as shown by him risking everything to save Bucky and the whole platoon. Tommy Lee Jones plays his usual grumpy old man self but it works well. I really enjoy Hayley Atwell as Peggy and her and Steve’s relationship plays out without being too rushed or forced. Chris Evans as Cap is the perfect casting; Chris himself is awesome and almost embodies everything Cap stands for. The Howling Commandos, Bucky’s unfortunate end (everyone who read the comics knows where that storyline goes), Hydra, Red Skull… just everything about the film works. And, as a nod to the ‘ultimate’ comics and animated film, the part where Steve wakes up in present day is based on that – breaking out of a fake room!

Favourite Part:

Cap walking back to camp with the rescued soldiers, after proving himself, and getting the recognition he deserves! Feel good for the win!

Worst Part:

How dare Natalie Dormer’s character ruin Steve and Peggy’s relationship! I generally didn’t like her because of this until I started appreciating her character on Game of Thrones and then began to like her again, but not in this film!


Art of Marvel Studios Book

Avengers

OMG; when this came out I saw it twice in the cinema and was amazed by it. I remember flying to America to go Walt Disney World and I’m pretty sure I watched it 3 times! So yeah, Avengers is a fitting culmination of everything Marvel Studios had been building up to. Mark Ruffalo’s casting as Hulk was a really good choice, the different characters developments over the film work well, and getting introduced to the complete Avengers works well. Not forgetting everyone’s favourite love to hate villain Loki returns, on form as always, and played really well. This has a good story to it; Loki wanting to take over Earth as a form of revenge is decent enough and is a nod to Loki being the original villain that brings the Avengers together in the comics (although not with these heroes!). It’s hard now to grasp the magnitude of this film, bringing together this bunch of heroes that 10 years prior no-one wanted the rights to (X-men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four but not Avengers?). This is just pure Marvel hero movie at its best, plenty of action set pieces, the Battle of New York plays out well with each of them having their different parts and working together. I just remember the smile I had when they all stood together in the streets of New York for the first time before Cap calls it.

Favourite Part:

As said, seeing them stand together, ready to fight together, working as a team for the first time, Cap giving orders out to them before getting to Hulk and just saying “Smash”.

Worst Part:

There’s a bad part to this film? Not sure there is… I mean Coulson was upsetting but then he got his own TV show…


So there it is, my opinions on my Phase 1 Rewatch. I am biased as I have been a fan of Marvel and the comics for many a year since my oldest brother used to let me read his, and then once i got into gaming and Marvel games started appearing I was more enthralled and would just read for hours about all the different comic storylines the characters had been through. So generally I enjoy all the films as they give me a sense of escapism and I still get to see the heroes being their awesome selves on screen. What are your thoughts on the films? Do you have different thoughts or did you notice any cool bits I might have missed, Easter eggs or nods to the comics? Let me know!

My plan going forward is to create a ranking of all the MCU films as I rewatch each phase, so the current ranking is as follows:

  1. Avengers
  2. Captain America
  3. Iron Man
  4. Thor
  5. Iron Man 2
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