Ultimate Marvel marathon: Watching Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 3, ahead of Endgame

Swetha Ramakrishnan and Pradeep Menon

Apr 17, 2019 21:35:35 IST

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  • The Ultimate Marvel Movies Marathon

    11 years and 21 films later, Avengers: Endgame is just a few days away. What a marvelous feat of vision and execution the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, enriching pop culture in a manner that is without parallel. Now nothing can make Endgame come any sooner, but there can’t be a better way to get into the mood for the final battle with Thanos than going back to the beginning and retracing the entire journey to how we got *here* - breathless with excitement for the conclusion of the truly epic saga.

    So, here’s presenting the Ultimate Marvel Marathon, where we watch every film in the MCU - from Iron Man to Captain Marvel - in the greatest Marvel Studios throwback you’ve seen. We look at the crazy moments and little details that we may have missed or forgotten over time, all of which have contributed to the iconic status the Avengers and other characters hold around the globe. 

    From intriguing trivia to legendary scenes, from cinephile musings to fanboy excitement, expect it all in the Ultimate Marvel Marathon. Join us, won’t you? 

  • The Power Stone makes an entry

    Of course, the Orb is revealed to contain the fourth Infinity Stone to appear in the MCU - the generic-sounding Power Stone. Earlier in the film we also get a better explanation for the Infinity Stone concept, courtesy Benicio Del Toro as the Collector.

  • Guardians... has a mix of old-school nostalgic goodness and just outright pizzazz

    The dance by Peter Quill in the middle of the climactic fight with Ronan in Guardians... pretty much sums up the nature of the film. It’s both a disruption for Marvel, as well as something that fits in beautifully into the bigger puzzle.  

  • Bradley Cooper nails it as Raccoon

    Rocket the raccoon isn’t just bad-ass, he’s bad-sass. His sheer attitude isn’t merely one of my favourite things about this film, it’s one of my favourite things from all of MCU. And Bradley Cooper voices Rocket’s personality as well as RDJ plays Tony Stark (or as Vin Diesel plays... a tree.)

  • Bradley Cooper nails it as Raccoon

    Rocket the raccoon isn’t just bad-ass, he’s bad-sass. His sheer attitude isn’t merely one of my favourite things about this film, it’s one of my favourite things from all of MCU. And Bradley Cooper voices Rocket’s personality as well as RDJ plays Tony Stark (or as Vin Diesel plays... a tree.)

  • Guess who's back? Stan Lee

    The last few films have had rather forgettable Stan Lee cameos. In Guardians..., he appears as an old perv on Xandar (at least according to Rocket the raccoon.)

  • Thanos and the Orb

    From Yondu’s outlaws to Kree villain and full-time genocidal maniac Ronan to even random bounty hunters, everyone in the film seems to be after the mysterious object known as the Orb. But of course, the one who covets it most is none other than the Mad Titan, Thanos. He has a longer appearance in this one and is now voiced by Josh Brolin. Of course, we do find out in time why he wants the Orb so bad.

  • Last film of the day: Guardians of the Galaxy

    James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy yanks you out from the more familiar setting of The Avengers (Earthly, with a smidgen of Asgardian) and flings you far away into worlds like Xandar and Knowhere. Even with all the self-aware humour in the previous films, this one takes the cake for hilarity. It’s intriguing and funny from the beginning!

  • Very little to complain about in Captain America: Winter Soldier

    What. A. Ride. There’s very little to complain about in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and it ends on an absolute high. What a great villain the Winter Soldier is, pipped only because Steve Rogers is such a good guy and great friend.

    And Bucky Barnes is only just remembering his past after being a HYDRA puppet for so long. Plus, it teases so many new Avengers - Stephen Strange is casually name-dropped, the Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver are glimpses in the mid-credits scene, not to mention Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson/Falcon, who gets to play with the big boys for a bit.

    The Russo brothers went on to take the franchise to greater heights, but their first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still my favourite.

  • The action sequences in Winter Soldier are just a thing of beauty

    They’re rugged and intimate while also being so large in scale. Like the one that begins in a crowded, claustrophobic elevator, before ending with Cap bringing a plane down with shield. The HYDRA infiltration coming to light adds a new dimension to the whole things. Suddenly, it’s S.H.I.E.L.D versus shield.

  • The action sequences in Winter Soldier are just a thing of beauty

    They’re rugged and intimate while also being so large in scale. Like the one that begins in a crowded, claustrophobic elevator, before ending with Cap bringing a plane down with shield. The HYDRA infiltration coming to light adds a new dimension to the whole things. Suddenly, it’s S.H.I.E.L.D versus shield.

  • Winter Soldier is frighteningly close to reality

    Marvel films always borrowed from real life, but Winter Soldier comes frighteningly close to showing us a world that’s not too far away, for real. Amid all the character and plot development that’s happening, there’s also a great debate about the nature of the surveillance state - security at the cost of freedom. It all boils down to the fact that humans can’t be trusted. (And neither can cats, as Fury knows now.)

    God, I love this film!

  • Winter Soldier is frighteningly close to reality

    Marvel films always borrowed from real life, but Winter Soldier comes frighteningly close to showing us a world that’s not too far away, for real. Amid all the character and plot development that’s happening, there’s also a great debate about the nature of the surveillance state - security at the cost of freedom. It all boils down to the fact that humans can’t be trusted. (And neither can cats, as Fury knows now.)

    God, I love this film!

  • When Captain America met Captain Marvel (plot-wise)

    “The last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye,” Nick Fury exclaims, to Cap. Awww. The last time Fury trusted someone, it was a cat! (Captain Marvel should have come much sooner.)

  • When Captain America met Captain Marvel (plot-wise)

    “The last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye,” Nick Fury exclaims, to Cap. Awww. The last time Fury trusted someone, it was a cat! (Captain Marvel should have come much sooner.)

  • Captain America’s growth as a character 

    Captain America’s growth as a character is visible only in the big picture. In the first film, he was a science experiment thrust into leadership; in The Avengers, we saw him shakily cobble a team together and assume the mantle in the true sense; and in Winter Soldier, he’s in his element straight off the Bat(roc!) The opening action sequence of Winter Soldier is just stellar. A mix of wide sweeping shots and up-close, hand-held combat, it also has the fog of mystery over it because of SHIELD’s involvement. Remember, HYDRA had infiltrated SHIELD during WW2.

    (I’ll admit, Winter Soldier has always been my favourite film of the lot. Things are getting interesting!) 

  • Next up — Captain America: Winter Soldier!

    Guess who made their MCU debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Infinity War and Endgame! Joss Whedon was still around and he set the tone for Marvel’s success with this franchise, but the Russo brothers perfected it. Winter Soldier has a quietly intriguing air about it right from its opening frame. 

  • First mention of the term Infinity Stone!

    The most interesting thing about Thor, the character, is his brother Loki. This is underlined over and over. Loki’s double twist in this film makes you love him even more. In other news, Thor: The Dark World ends with the Reality Stone being handed over by Asgardians to the Collector in the mid-credits scene, where the term ‘Infinity Stone’ was used for the first time, along with the Collector establishing that there are six of them in total!

  • The is a Natalie Portman appreciation update

     She’s radiant in the Thor films, and I love how smart her character is. Women have hardly gotten any real space in the MCU so far, and this was more starkly apparent in the early years (those rare epic solo Black Widow action sequences notwithstanding.) That’s why Portman is a breath of fresh air. I also feel like I’ve done a disservice by not mentioning Gwyneth Paltrow in this blog so far. She manages to straddle goofiness and gravitas with such ease as Pepper Potts in the earlier films. (She did one great moment in the climax of Iron Man 3.)

  • Infinity Stone sighting

    Early in the film, we encounter the third Infinity Stone, the red Reality Stone which is, in fact, in fluid form. So far, we’ve only seen the Tesseract, which contains the Space Stone, and Loki’s sceptre in The Avengers, which contains the Mind Stone. However, the very concept of Infinity Stones is still far from being explained in the universe. (Odin does tell Thor and Jane about powerful ancient relics that predated the formation of the universe, but doesn’t give them a name.) 

  • Our third film for the day — Thor: The Dark World

    The villain of Thor: The Dark World, Malekith, is introduced in the first minute of the film, and he’s probably one of the most lacklustre villains of the entire franchise so far. The film, if I remember right, was fun despite a bland antagonist, because there are other events at play. 

  • Iron Man 3 is a sweet little follow up to The Avengers

    Just realised that every single time Tony Stark has had a grandiose suiting up sequence throughout the series so far, he’s had a silly mishap shortly after. It’s a gentle prod to remind you of how even superheroes can be fallible people. Iron Man 3 isn’t one of the big picture films, in that the larger MCU story doesn’t hinge on so much on this; but it’s a sweet little follow up to The Avengers.

    We got three Iron Man films in the first five years of the Marvel universe, none in the six years since. Will we even seen him again after Avengers: Endgame? (Cue anxiety attack.)

  • Only Kingsley can match up to Robert Downey Jr

    Ben Kingsley’s character the Mandarin falling apart to reveal merely a drunk actor Trevor, propped up by none other than Aldrich Killian, is one of the better twists in an MCU film. And what a fine actor Kingsley is. He’s the only one so far who’s been able to match Robert Downey Jr in sheer spontaneity. 

  • The Tony Stark Mantra

    I’m all about Captain America’s old-school goodness on regular days. But on bad days, I can only cope when I tinker. It’s the Tony Stark mantra, and the only thing that works for some of us when we’re down. (This may sound lame, but I often lean on Marvel for my mental health. There’s much to learn about the ways of the head and heart, and it’s cheaper than therapy.) The Tennessee portions in Iron Man 3, when all Tony has is a rambunctious kid and his wits for company, are a good break from the relentless mayhem otherwise.

  • Iron Man 3 and real-world messaging

    The pattern of every single technological development being sought out to make weapons continues. Aldrich Killian (a smug but effective Guy Pearce, remember?) invents EXTREMIS to harness and optimise the human brain, but Pepper Potts seems right through him. With the backdrop of global terrorism primarily targeting America, these ‘comic book superhero’ films constantly revel in their real world messaging. 

  • Iron Man 3 and real-world messaging

    The pattern of every single technological development being sought out to make weapons continues. Aldrich Killian (a smug but effective Guy Pearce, remember?) invents EXTREMIS to harness and optimise the human brain, but Pepper Potts seems right through him. With the backdrop of global terrorism primarily targeting America, these ‘comic book superhero’ films constantly revel in their real world messaging. 

  • Up next: Iron Man 3

    The Avengers changed everything, as Tony repeatedly brings up in Iron Man 3. He’s undergoing PTSD after New York, and it’s showing. Meanwhile, Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin is in epic form. There’s a reveal still to come, but we’re now in the 7th film, and every villain so far has been superb. 

  • Introducing Thanos!

    The Avengers snatched an unlikely victory over Loki and his Chitauri army, but it seems so organic - like this lot was meant to do it. Oh, and who do we meet in the mid-credits scene after? Thanos! Josh Brolin wasn’t signed on yet, and this was an early version, so he looks a little different from the Thanos we know now. A dozen-odd films down the line their lives are going to collide.

  • Anyway, coming back The Avengers

    Gosh, the New York sequence never ceases to amaze me. First, they get beat. Then, they assemble. That circular tracking shot as the team stands together for the first time led to the overwhelming crescendo of all those little goosebumps I was feeling throughout. (And remember, these six are going to be back in New York in Endgame!) But true movie magic is in a scene shortly after, where seemingly in one single take we jump from one Avenger to the other, pummelling the Chitauri. Here’s how they did it:

  • Here's a small break from all our Marvel film updates. 

    Jaani Avengers: Ek Infinity Kahaani — what happens when you merge Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahaani and Avengers: Infinity War 

    (sorry, not sorry).

  • The Avengers is a holistic film

    Nick Fury just gave his ‘there was an idea’ speech, which was the voiceover in the Infinity War trailer. My spine has been tingling since the film began!

    Without doubt, The Avengers is the most complete film of the six so far. Every character gets space and so do the events that bring them together. The conflict seems real and necessary because they have to come together and become a team first. There are long, beautiful scenes that build up and lead in to the next great one; which all culminate in that epic extended battle in New York, the first truly great action sequence in the MCU.

  • A Thor-Hulk we need and deserve

    Tony Stark constantly needling Bruce Banner to bring out the Hulk is genuinely funny. Stark’s a true scientist. Also, Hulk and Thor have chemistry from the word go. We always needed a Thor-Hulk film, even if we didn’t know it back then.

  • Loki drops truth bombs

    I remember watching the film the first time, when I found Loki to be the most impactful character for a majority of the film. He’s dropping truth bombs about how wretched humankind is and how desperately we crave subjugation, with only the illusion of freedom. His words are even more relevant today. And so, in the middle of a Marvel live blog, I have a question for all those who blindly follow one political leader without questioning him or her - bhai/behen, koi self-respect nahin hai kya

  • Character build-up before the action begins!

    Love how everyone, each superhero, gets a long, proper buildup before they get down to business here. For example, Natasha’s interrogation scene leading to her meeting Bruce Banner for the first time (in Calcutta, is what they’d like us to believe). Well, you know what they say. All great love stories begin in Calcutta. (I say that, nobody else does.) 

  • The Avengers have arrived

    Alright, The Avengers has just begun and shit is getting real! This, really, is where everything suddenly began to have a larger meaning in the MCU. This is the film that sealed the fate of the hitherto unattempted, ambitious franchise. A good time to note that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is a genius.

  • Schedule of films for today: 17 April

    Avengers

    Iron Man 3

    Thor: The Dark World

    Captain America: Winter Soldier

    Guardians of the Galaxy 

Day 2 updates:

Marvel's The Avengers (2011) is where everything began, really.

Loki is dropping several truth bombs about humanity!

Thor-Hulk need their own film; there's more chemistry here than we imagined.

The Avengers is a holistic film that takes its time to lead up to the epic battle sequence in New York

True movie magic is in a scene shortly after the iconic New York battle scene, where seemingly in one single take we jump from one Avenger to the other, pummelling the Chitauri.

Thanos' introduction in The Avengers is legendary. Josh Brolin hadn't been signed on by then, so he looks different.

Up next, Iron Man 3. Iron Man has PTSD after the New York battle scene and Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin is in top form.

Iron Man 3 has quite a bit of real-world messaging with its themes of global terrorism.

The Tennessee portions in Iron Man 3, when all Tony has is a rambunctious kid and his wits for company, are a good break from the relentless mayhem otherwise.

Iron Man 3 isn’t one of the big picture films, in that the larger MCU story doesn’t hinge on so much on this; but it’s a sweet little follow up to The Avengers.

We're down to the third film of the day - Thor: The Dark World

Women have hardly gotten any real space in the MCU so far, and this was more starkly apparent in the early years. That’s why Natalie Portman in Thor: The Dark World is a breath of fresh air.

Next up - Captain America: The Winter Solider, a film that has a quietly intriguing air about it right from its opening frame.

Captain America’s growth as a character is visible only in the big picture.

Marvel films always borrowed from real life, but Winter Soldier comes frighteningly close to showing us a world that’s not too far away, for real.

Guardians of the Galaxy takes the cake for hilarity. It’s intriguing and funny from the beginning!

Bradley Cooper voices Rocket’s personality as well as RDJ plays Tony Stark (or as Vin Diesel plays... a tree.)

Guardians of the Galaxy has a mix of old-school nostalgic goodness and just outright pizzazz

*

On day one of our power-packed Marvel marathon, we watched five films: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America.

On day two as well, we'll be watching five films: Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy.

Stay tuned as we bring to you easter eggs, details we missed, moments we cherished from our favourite Marvel films and miscellaneous other opinions in the Ultimate Marvel Movies Marathon, ahead of Avengers: Endgame.

For all updates from day one, click here.

*

Avengers: Endgame is only 10 days away. The last film in a massive 22-film extravanganza — Phase 3 of Marvel Cinematic Universe — comes to an end in 10 days. It's been a long, emotional and sometimes exhaustive journey for fans following Marvel films, from Iron Man in 2008 to Captain Marvel, which releases just last month.

Excitement levels are high, and a Marvel movie marathon is a great way to sustain it till the final film releases. In this 'Ultimate Marvel Movie Marathon' we hope to take you through all the tropes, scenes, dialogues and characters that made you fall in love with MCU, as we wait with bated breath for Avengers: Endgame. 

Updated Date: Apr 17, 2019 22:05:22 IST

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