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I also see you left out Men in Black (which is based on a comic Marvel owns) and Kick-Ass (although the comic was only created to pitch the movie)

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Edgar Allan Poe said on April 11th, 2014 at 1:12 am

What’s Iron Man 2 about? That’s simple. It’s about everyone trying and failing to be be Tony Stark. Justin Hammer wants to be Stark the playboy genius, but he’s hilariously bad at it. Ivan Vanko wants the inheritance he feels the Starks denied him. Rhodey and Pepper reluctantly try to fill his shoes as Iron Man and as CEO of his company, respectively, and while they do a better job than the villains, they’re still no substitute for the genuine article. Finally, Tony saves the day and his own life by being Tony Stark super-hard.

And then there’s a live-action Genndy Tartakovsky fight, and it is awesome.

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Going allllllllllll the way back to the top of the comments for this one:

“Wait… what?

MCU Tony is very clearly an alcoholic. He’s a functional one, but he still is one. That’s not just me, right? Everyone can see that?”

Actually I’d sort of disagree with the assumption that movie Tony Stark is meant to be a functional alcoholic…it’s a valid interpretation, I won’t argue that it’s wrong, but I don’t think the movies present it as definitive one way or the next…but MGK’s point is that a lot of comic-savvy moviegoers have been wondering when Marvel Studios was going to adapt the Demon In a Bottle arc because the three things that Tony Stark in the comics is known for are A). being Iron Man, B). the huge mess that was Civil War, and C). being an alcoholic. Tony Stark and alcohol is like Hank Pym and beating his wife…you can argue that maybe it shouldn’t be a primary character trait but a bunch of people immediately point to it as one.

And I agree with MGK that adapting that arc to the movies probably wouldn’t have worked out very well. I think that if you have to have a movie where Tony Stark wrestles with some demons that PTSD over flying a nuclear warhead into an alien mothership during a huge battle in the middle of New York works a whole lot better in the context of the Marvel Movies rather than trying to shoehorn in a sudden bout of dramatic alcoholism.

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Potomac Ripper said on April 11th, 2014 at 2:28 am

Winter Soldier was even better the second time. MCU Phase 2 is full speed ahead.

The equivalent of a summer comic book event that shatters the status quo and creates storytelling opportunities for the next year.

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@Cyrus I always thought that Spider-Man was motivated by guilt, not revenge. Guess I’ve been misreading the character.

Sure, guilt is his primary motivation, or responsibility in general. But his original motivation? The first time he put on the costume and went out the window to beat someone up, he was thinking, “No power on earth will save that guy who killed my uncle.” In the comics, he quickly had it rubbed in his face that that’s the wrong attitude. In the movie, it seemed like a more organic character growth towards helping people, rather than just taking out his grief and guilt on small-time crooks.

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Not sure if this was mentioned elsewhere, but the thing I liked about the revenge arc in Amazing Spider-Man was the fact that it is a logical initial impulse for Peter to follow and think he’s honoring the “great power, great responsibility” axiom. He let the thief go, thief killed Uncle Ben, the responsible thing is to hunt down the thief. It takes another mentor figure to tell him “no, you’re not being responsible by doing this”. You see it on Peter’s face the minute Captain Stacy says the word vendetta. It never occurred to Peter that he was doing that, but once it’s pointed out, it’s unavoidable. And from that moment on, the thief is completely forgotten, because Peter is made to see his larger responsibility.

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Christian Williams said on April 11th, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I agree with this list, with the exception of FF2. FF2 should be ranked somewhere around 456 out of 32.

Any movie that takes Galactus, the World-Devourer, the primal force who is seen by everyone as their own private version of the Devourer… and reduces him to a fucking cloud? No, just no.

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DensityDuck said on April 12th, 2014 at 3:08 am

RE: Thor 2 gender politics. I *did* think it was weird that Jane never had a “here I am voluntarily using the Evil Power and being tempted by it” moment. It’s just kind of…there.

Like, seriously, NOBODY in the writer’s room said “you know what would work? If she was all ‘hey here I am using my power, I can be superpowered too’ and Thor got to give a stern speech about how ‘power needs control or it will destroy you’ or some bullshit like that”.

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DensityDuck said on April 12th, 2014 at 3:10 am

RE: Spider-Man 2. What I did like was how Raimi and company followed a comic-book arc in the fight scenes with Molina; like, the first one is Golden Age-style, with Doc Ock being all dapper and holding a cigar with his robot arms, and the fight involves Ock throwing bags of money (with an actual “$” on them!) and ends with Aunt May hitting him on the head with her umbrella. And then we go to the Nineties grim-and-gritty, street-person Doc threatening civilians.

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DensityDuck said on April 12th, 2014 at 3:11 am

RE: Winter Soldier. You know, you’re right about the “skip the heist” thing, and in fact I totally forgot that they skipped it until you brought it up!

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26. I have Blade: Trinity on DVD. I skip to the scenes with Parker Posey, and only give it my full attention when she’s talking to Ryan Reynolds.

25. There is, by my count, precisely one good moment in Fantastic Four – the “Don’t even think about it.” “I never do.” exchange. Oh, and the problem with Jessica Alba’s Sue is that she just doesn’t come across as smart.

8. Iron Man 3 seems to be Marmite. I liked it a lot, although I’d probably rate it below X2 and Thor.

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(but it would have been so easy to give her a more active role when she was empowered by the red CG).

Like, seriously, NOBODY in the writer’s room said “you know what would work? If she was all ‘hey here I am using my power, I can be superpowered too’ and Thor got to give a stern speech about how ‘power needs control or it will destroy you’ or some bullshit like that”.

Personally, I think the best place for her to take a more active role would have been in the climax itself. She’s got that rift manipulation iPad thingy, she could use it to teleport passerby out of the way of flying debris or to throw flying debris at the dark elves or get Malekith away from Thor when he has the upper hand or something.

But clearly she should have got to do something more in the movie.

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olfactory_ninja said on April 12th, 2014 at 4:24 pm

And here’s hoping they can keep up the momentum of the last few movies by the time they get to Doctor Strange.

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kingderella said on April 13th, 2014 at 6:13 am

Opinions, I have them:

NO WAY First Class is better than X-Men & X2, both of which should have been ranked higher anyway.

Haven’t seen Winter Soldier yet, but I wouldn’t rank First Avenger this far. The Chris Evans CGI pre transformation was giving me the Uncanney Valley creeps.

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Troy Wilson said on April 13th, 2014 at 11:30 pm

@Slarti and @Matthew Johnson: Even if Jean was in fact the only one who could save the team in X2, the ending is still effed up. Why? Because it wasn’t made crystal clear why she needed to actually leave the jet in order to do what she did. Maybe she could only lift it from the outside. Maybe the power she expended would have damaged/destroyed the jet and those inside. Maybe both. Maybe [fill in the blank with your own reason]. If you’re going to kill off a major character (or, heck, even a minor one), you better make it totally, utterly, and mind-numbingly clear why said character couldn’t have evaded danger by taking a different path (like, say, lifting the jet while still inside it). When Jean tells her teammates – via Prof X – “This is the only way”, she neglects to tell them (and us) WHY it’s the only way. A quick “I’d destroy the jet if I did this inside” or “I can only lift it from outside” would’ve more than sufficed. But nope, no dice. I suppose I shouldn’t be so bothered given that possible explanations do indeed exist, but I also shouldn’t have to be deciding which explanation to choose when I could instead be involved in the moment. It feels like the filmmakers believed the explanation was more self-evident than it actually was. It feels sloppy.

I love the rest of the film, which is all the more reason why the above stands out as marring an otherwise excellent piece of entertainment.

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Troy Wilson said on April 13th, 2014 at 11:58 pm

I suppose that even if (and it’s a big if) Jean could’ve lifted the jet from the inside, perhaps she couldn’t have done so quickly enough to avoid the oncoming deluge. So she had to step out to first protect the jet and then lift it. Maybe that’s the explanation which the filmmakers felt was blatantly obvious. With a dash of suicide-due-to-rise-of-dangerous-powers thrown in for good measure.

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DensityDuck said on April 14th, 2014 at 12:11 am

Will: The thing I find about Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 was that they were, in a way I hadn’t seen the new Marvel movies do yet, comic book movies. That is, I could very easily see what happened in those movies happening on the pages of a comic book.

This is in no way a slam on the movies, which I really enjoyed. But the earlier movies were regular movies about comic-book subjects; they were staged, shot, dialogue and acting and plot progression, all of it was basically just Generic 21st-Century American Movie.

I’m not really describing this very well, because I don’t quite have the language for it. But it seems almost like IM3/T2 were playful in a way that earlier movies weren’t.

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lance lunchmeat said on April 14th, 2014 at 3:54 am

Ever gonna finish ranking all the national anthems?

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They make it clear why Jean had to be outside the jet – her enhanced powers were interfering with electronics. Remember the museum scene earlier in the film? She was sorting out tv screens and stuff.

As for Iceman not freezing the tidal wave – they make it clear that this Iceman isn’t as experienced as his comic counterpart and is still a student. While it may’ve been badass to have him successfully freeze the wave, I don’t think it’s a plot hole that he wasn’t able to do so. If anything, they maybe should’ve had him try and fail.

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Troy Wilson said on April 14th, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Thanks for attempting to clarify, @Zach. Though, to be honest, this is the first time I’ve heard/read anyone give that explanation, so I’m still not sure if the filmmakers made it as clear as they could (or if, in fact, it’s even the explanation they had in mind).

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Cookie McCool said on April 15th, 2014 at 10:48 am

I always assumed Jean had to be outside the jet because she is just terrible and useless and can’t make good decisions, and also it was easier to make the ultimate dumb sacrifice than choose between two boys. But I’m not sure if she was meant to be weak or was just weakly written.

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I always assumed Jean had to be outside the jet to lift it for the same reason you have to be outside a bucket to lift it.

Seriously, try picking up a bucket while standing in it. Go on, try. I’ll wait.

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My whole problem with Amazing Spider-Man was Andrew Garfield as Spider-man was unlikeable…maybe a second watching would change my mind but I sat through the movie wondering why he was being such a pain in the ass and had so much attitude with everyone

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Troy Wilson said on April 16th, 2014 at 4:18 am

You shouldn’t have to assume, @Will; neither should I. We should *know* – and if the filmmakers had done their job, we would. As I said in my first post on the subject, a quick “I can only lift it from outside” from Jean after her “This is the only way” would’ve economically sealed the deal.

Re: the bucket, um, I don’t have telekinetic powers.

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malakim2099 said on April 17th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I’m not reading through all 74 comments prior but here’s a hypothetical for you MGK:

If we didn’t get “All Hail the King” made with the Thor 2 DVD release, how far would that have knocked IM3 down? Because that turned it from “Augh really?!?” to “Hey, that’s pretty cool” to me. I just didn’t like that twist at all, mainly because I like the Mandarin as a villain. (And if Ben Kingsley also plays the “Real” Mandarin, that’s a major bonus.)

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Is it wrong that I started to hum “My Humps” from the elevator scene to the bridge escape in Winter Soldier?

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“Ebert’s favorite superhero movie and justifiably so: this is the height of Sam Raimi’s creative vision. Just watch any of the Spidey/Ock fights; they are simply perfect filmmaking. The balance between action and drama is expertly maintained. Alfred Molina’s performance is staggeringly good. I could say so many more things but they would all be superlatives.”

Spider-Man 2 is note-perfect Spidey to me, and is the reason why I can’t muster up interest in the reboot.

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Out of necro-posting curiosity, where would you slot Guardians of the Galaxy in this list?

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Out of necro-posting curiosity, where would you slot Guardians of the Galaxy in this list?

I’m not MGK, but I’ll give you my guess and I imagine he wouldn’t rate it too far from this: between 9 and 6, that is, X2 and Iron Man. Incredibly fun and funny, ambitious and mostly lives up to it, uses both its characters and its actors surprisingly well, but loses a few points for wasting Gamora and Nebula – the only impact they have on the climax is cancelling each other out in an obligatory girl fight – and the Nova Corps.

As for the other new Marvel movies since this list, Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Days of Future Past, I wouldn’t even venture to guess at MGK’s opinion, but mine:

I’d rate ASM 2 three or four places behind ASM (but note that I rated that a lot higher than MGK did), because it had good performances and a lot of cool moments here and there but that isn’t enough to make up for a very thin, disjointed plot.

As for Days of Future Past, it depends on how we value it fitting seamlessly into a series. It really screws up its series, both because it’s about time travel and because of other details here and there, like the absence of all the supporting characters from First Class. However, viewed as a standalone movie, I’d rate it third or better. Very minor flaws here and there don’t outweigh the fact that it has its cake and eats it too – it juggles the 70s and the all-green-screen end-of-the-world seamlessly, and still manages to take the X-Men’s principles seriously in ways that the comic itself rarely manages to.

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