Marvel movies marathon — Watching Age of Ultron, Doctor Strange, Spiderman: Homecoming, ahead of Avengers: Endgame

Swetha Ramakrishnan and Pradeep Menon

Apr 18, 2019 21:55:33 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? 

  • Tom Holland makes for an excellent SpiderMan

    Perhaps the best thing about Spider-Man: Homecoming is watching Peter unlock the full potential of his suit and then struggle with the dazzling array of innovations Tony has added in. The main function of this film was to bring Spidey home, and they’ve done that well. The whole Tony Stark-Peter Parker bonding is done well. Lends some more character and feel to Tony’s desolation. 

  • The Homecoming India scene

    There’s a random sequence in Homecoming, where Tony Stark seems to be in India (which as usual looks like a scene from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.) It’s either this, or the destitute Calcutta they created in Avengers; either a riot of colours or poverty. (Let’s take revenge by showing every American with a hamburger in one hand and a gun in the other.)

  • The Vulture is a menacing villain

    It’s cute how low the stakes still are for Spider-Man. He ends up facing a villain who’s actually such small fry, he’s not even on the Avengers’ radar. But Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes/The Vulture, who’s essentially a thug selling modified alienware on the black market, does make for a menacing villain. (Of course, there’s the little ‘filmy’ twist with the girl Peter has a crush on.)

  • Spider-Man Homecoming has a great introduction

    The introductory sequence of Spider-Man is a very cool montage of the events surrounding Peter Parker’s brief role in Civil War - and it’s from Peter’s perspective, showing stuff he recorded on his phone when he was in Berlin. It’s a quick refresher, but also a nice millennial way of starting the film, considering Peter is a teenager. 

  • Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 is too long

    I’ll admit, the character of Ego and his backstory is quite gripping and off the charts in terms of scale. I just wish Guardians 2 was shorter and a little more focused. But I guess they had to think of the long-term future of the Guardians franchise as well. In other news, after a string of indifferent appearances, it’s good to finally see Stan Lee in a fun cameo. Here, he’s chatting with The Watchers. “I have so many more stories to tell,” he exclaims.

  • Guardians of their own Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is less relevant to Avengers: Endgame, and more to the future of the Guardians and the MCU itself. Sylvester Stallone turns up as Stakar, who was one of the original Guardians in the comic books. And Ayesha, the leader of the golden Sovereign people ends up losing to the Guardians, only to create an important character that will probably turn up in Guardians 3.

  • Star Lord isn't so starry after all

    Peter Quill has become more annoying! And if I remember correctly, he’s rather painful in Infinity War as well. You’d have thought all those inter-galactic adventures would’ve driven some sense into him, but no. (Much of the MCU is devoted to the tantrums of immature men.)

  • Fifth film of the day: Guardian of th Galaxy 2

    Alright, I don’t know if this is because I’m now on the 15th film or what, but Guardians 2 already seems exhausting. It’s still fun, but it’s also just more of the same. The first time around, it was fresh. Now, not so much. 

  • Fifth film of the day: Guardian of th Galaxy 2

    Alright, I don’t know if this is because I’m now on the 15th film or what, but Guardians 2 already seems exhausting. It’s still fun, but it’s also just more of the same. The first time around, it was fresh. Now, not so much. 

  • It all leads to Endgame

    The mid-credits scene has Doctor Strange and Thor having a drink. The scene, we later get to know, is from Thor: Ragnarok. It’s amazing how suddenly there are so many characters, so many strands, all inexorably leading towards... Endgame!

  • It all leads to Endgame

    The mid-credits scene has Doctor Strange and Thor having a drink. The scene, we later get to know, is from Thor: Ragnarok. It’s amazing how suddenly there are so many characters, so many strands, all inexorably leading towards... Endgame!

  • It all leads to Endgame

    The mid-credits scene has Doctor Strange and Thor having a drink. The scene, we later get to know, is from Thor: Ragnarok. It’s amazing how suddenly there are so many characters, so many strands, all inexorably leading towards... Endgame!

  • Fifth Infinity Stone is spotted

    It’s a slow, twisted journey towards finding Doctor Strange’s true purpose, but the little details keep you interested.

    Also, the green Time Stone. The time travel angle in the film is surprisingly measure, considering how out there the rest of the film is. Dormamu is quite unique as a villain, and the way Strange traps him in an infinite loop. The whole mythology, the twist with The Ancient One, the sheer use of the word ‘magic’ - it’s all new to the MCU. Things are escalating! 

  • Doctor Strange takes its time to unravel

    Quite like a few characters earlier, before assuming the superhero mantle, the protagonist Stephen Strange is a bit of an insufferable prick. You don’t sympathise with him even when he has an accident. It makes the initial stretch of the film a bit of a drag. Things only get interesting when the quest for a cure lead him to Kamar Taj. From here in, the film becomes quite trippy! 

  • Fourth film of the day: Doctor Strange

    The introduction of Dr. Stephen Strange is like a throwback to House MD. A patient whose case looks lost, and the arrogant genius swoops in to save the day. Quite meta, with the whole Sherlock backdrop. 

  • Why Civil War is still memorable

    Ultimately, Civil War is still memorable because of the note at which it ends - the falling out of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. Both seem in the right, and both seem in the wrong. Meanwhile, remember, Thanos has already proclaimed that ‘he’s going to do it himself’ (collecting Infinity Stones, that is.)

  • Civil War isn't as clever as it wants to be

    The more I watch Civil War, the more I realise that the film’s big problem is that it’s not as clever as it wants to be. There isn’t much depth, even though it’s largely fun throughout. Helmut Zemo’s plan seems to be gigantically out of proportion with his available resources, and they explain it away with the fact that he has ‘experience and patience’. No.

  • After teasing Wakanda in Age of Ultron, King T’Chaka and Prince T’Challa finally appear in the MCU

    Black Panther is an intriguing character as soon as he enters. In general, I think no one has directed action sequences in the MCU like the Russo brothers. They have a penchant for long, gritty scenes that undergo a journey of their own before, ending with a major turn in the plot. Like the one in which Bucky is chased by Black Panther, who are both chased by Captain America. Eventually, all three are apprehended by the authorities. (And who can forget that mad airport blockbuster scene where we get to see Spider-Man in action for the first time in the MCU!)

  • Iron Man or Captain America?

    Tony Stark’s guilt is being steadily built up. A little manipulative, if you ask me, but they were clearly aiming for a bit of melodrama. Ultimately, this film boils down to the ego of two men, and to be honest, both make fair points. This is probably one of the all-time great poll questions that this film throws up. 

  • Third film of the day — Captain America: Civil War

    The opening sequence of Civil War, after a brief flashback with the Winter Soldier, sees the new Avenger fighting an old foe - remember Rumlow from Captain America: The Winter Soldier? That’s one thing good about Civil War. It’s a long film, but it’s relentless from the word go.

  • Ant-Man rates quite highly in the MCU franchise, on second viewing

    It’s impossible to not enjoy it when Ant-Man messes with Anthony Mackie’s Falcon at an Avengers facility; or to root for him as you hope and pray he achieves the impossible and returns from the quantum realm in the climax, just for his daughter. Sure, there are no aliens or Infinity Stones in this film, but Ant-Man still rates quite highly for me in the entire franchise. 

  • Shifting perspective with Ant-Man

    Ant-Man’s tiny perspective ends up giving the film some of the most imaginative sequences you’ve seen in the MCU. Right from the first time Lang shrinks in a bathtub to the final fight scene between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket in the middle of a toy train set, everything is twice the fun when you shift the perspective from micro to macro and back again. 

  • Marvel’s finally rectifying their gender imbalance

    Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket makes for a crazy, menacing villain. Evangeline Lilly, who plays Hank Pym’s daughter (and who’s seen as The Wasp in the next Ant-Man film) is great as well. But my favourite character in this film (and easily in my top ten in the MCU) is Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie. She makes for the greatest, purest motivation for any of the superheroes so far, and she lights up the screen every time she appears. 

  • Second film of the day: Ant-Man

    Ant-Man is all kinds of cool from the start. Who’d have thought Phoebe’s husband would one day play a Marvel superhero? But Paul Rudd genuinely brings in a certain freshness to his part and to the franchise as a whole. What an actor! And Scott Lang is such a fun character. I’m already waiting for his first run-in with Tony Stark in Civil War. 

  • Age of Ultron often struggles with the weight of its own ambition

    It’s far from a bad film; if anything, it’s loaded with great dialogue, great action and genuine intent. But it’s also long and over-stuffed at times. To put things into perspective, we start with six active Avengers and end with the same number, but four of the six have changed by the end of it. So there’s the journey of all those Avengers-on-a-break plus all the new ones, crammed into one film. (Although, when Captain America said, “If you get killed, walk it off,” I officially added ‘stan’ to my vocabulary.)

  • Wakanda finally gets a mention in the MCU

    ...as Ultron gets his hands on a large supply of vibranium courtesy the black arms market and Andy Serkis’ super-creepy Ulysses Klaue. We’ll be meeting him again soon enough, in Black Panther

  • Tony Stark, the token white dude

    Tony Stark, for some reason, has gone back to being a privileged white dude who wants to save the world by inventing another new weapon - an AI bot. Yes, smart guys are sometimes dumb. Oh, and get this: his justification is that there seem to be some bad aliens out there. “That’s the *endgame*,” he says, pointing skywards. Goosebumps, anyone?

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron hits the ground running

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe really blew up in public consciousness after The Avengers, so with Age of Ultron, Kevin Feige, Joss Whedon and team really needed to step things up. The opening action sequence seems to have been designed pretty much keeping this in mind. A long, single take jumps from one Avenger to the other, until they all suddenly appear flying in the frame together, and it becomes slow-motion for just a second while we soak in the epic moment, before we’re back in the midst of action. And the Avengers meet the two new ‘enhanced’ beings - Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch - at the end of that same sequence. Age of Ultron doesn’t hit the ground running; it just takes off. 

  • Schedule for Day 3, 18 April:

    Avengers: Age of Ultron

    AntMan

    Captain America: Civil War

    Doctor Strange

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    Spiderman: Homecoming

Day 3 updates:

There’s a random sequence in Homecoming, where Tony Stark seems to be in India (which as usual looks like a scene from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.) It’s either this, or the destitute Calcutta they created in Avengers; either a riot of colours or poverty.

The introductory sequence of Spider-Man is a very cool montage of the events surrounding Peter Parker’s brief role in Civil War.

Guardians 2 already seems exhausting. It’s still fun, but it’s also just more of the same. The first time around, it was fresh. Now, not so much

The mid-credits scene has Doctor Strange and Thor having a drink.

Doctor Strange: The protagonist Stephen Strange is a bit of an insufferable prick. You don’t sympathise with him even when he has an accident.

Fourth film of the day: Doctor Strange

There isn’t much depth in Civil War, even though it’s largely fun throughout.

After teasing Wakanda in Age of Ultron, King T’Chaka and Prince T’Challa finally appear in the MCU

One thing good about Civil War. It’s a long film, but it’s relentless from the word go.

There are no aliens or Infinity Stones in this film, but Ant-Man still rates quite highly for me in the entire franchise.

Ant-Man’s tiny perspective ends up giving the film some of the most imaginative sequences you’ve seen in the MCU.

Marvel’s finally rectifying their gender imbalance with Ant-Man.

Ant-Man is all kinds of cool from the start. Who’d have thought Phoebe’s husband would one day play a Marvel superhero?

Age of Ultron often struggles with the weight of its own ambition.

Wakanda finally gets a mention in MCU!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe really blew up in public consciousness after The Avengers, so with Age of Ultron, Kevin Feige, Joss Whedon and team really needed to step things up.

*

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 watched 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.

*

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 18, 2019 21:58:10 IST

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