Map-It – Mapping Infinity: The Cartography of the MCU (2019 Update)

TL;DR – Today with the next Avengers release imminent we take a look at where on Earth we have visited during all of Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three

The Avengers Image Credit: Marvel

Article

Today Avengers: Endgame was released in cinemas, and well since I like maps and I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I thought it would be interesting to update our map out where the MCU has visited during its three phases from Iron Man in 2008 to Endgame in 2019. This means that there are some slight spoilers for Endgame here, but only their locations which don’t really give anything away, but if you are super cautious please be aware.    

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked from Best to Last (2019 Update)

Back in 2018 we had a look at ranking all the current Marvel Cinematic Universe films from best to last. We at least, what ranking they were for me. Well I have just walked out of Endgame and as there are no more films (that we know of) left for 2019 it is time to revisit the list.

With these lists, I don’t rank them 1-10 as I feel that does not adequately reflect my feeling about each of the films and where they fit in relation to each other. As you can see in our X-Men countdown (see here) what we do is the group the films into categories Fantastic, Great Good, Ok, and Trash.

Fantastic are those films which get as close to perfect as we can on this side of Heaven, with compelling characters stories and visuals. Great are those films which I thoroughly enjoyed but they did not move me emotionally. Good are solid films that while they have some issues they still work and are still enjoyable. Ok are films that work, they have some good moments, but you can start to see some of the flaws that almost scuttle the film. Trash are those films which just don’t work, whether it is the story, the characters, the visuals, or a combination of all three, they are simply letdowns.

Also within those categories, I have listed the films not in a ranked order but in chronological order of when they were released.

So let’s dive into a world of gritty spy thrillers, fun heist films, moral tales on not watching your AI experiments as you steal alien technology, high school drama, a Technicolour Dreamcoat, and the greatest collection of Chris’ since the invention of the word Chris.

Also be warned, at the time of writing two of these films are still in cinemas, so be careful with [SPOILERS].

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Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame (Full Spoilers)

TL;DR – Now all together “Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, barrrrr bup bup barrr baaar bomp barrrrrrr, Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, Baaaaaaaar”

Score – 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit sequence and a hint at the end

Review

Wow and here we are. Honestly, when I sat down to watch Iron Man in cinemas all the way back in 2008 I don’t think I really comprehended just what it was that I was watching. I didn’t know it would spawn a 20+ movie franchise that would take us into the past, into the deep reaches of space, and create one of the biggest events in movie history. In many respects, it feels like this is my generation’s Star Wars moment, and I have not seen queues like this to go see a film in a long time. Well, today we take the plunge and see if they can work out one of the biggest cliff-hangers in movie history and can this be a film that gives closure to the films that came before it.

So to set the scene, at the end of Infinity War the one thing they were trying to stop happening actually happened, as Thanos (Josh Brolin) obtained all the infinity stones after ripping the mind stone out of Vision’s (Paul Bettany) head and snapped his fingers. All at once across the galaxy, 50% of everything turned to dust and we had that gut-wrenching moment as everything literally fell apart in people’s hands. Indeed Peter (Tom Holland) looking desperately at Tony (Robert Downey Jr) pleading that ‘I don’t want to go” is one of those moments that just stays with you and it stays with the cast. Because as we start everything is in a bad place. Tony is trapped with Nebula (Karen Gillan) on a ship running out of fuel, air, and food, and those Avengers that survived are counting the losses on Earth where no one has been left unaffected. However, one should never give up all hope, because you never know when deliverance will come from an unlikely place, and then hope is lost again. Now with today’s review, we will be doing something a little different. In this review, we will be looking at all of the film so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. This is for people that have already seen the film and want to explore the ending of Endgame. If you have not seen the film and would like to see a no spoiler discussion Endgame you can go HERE. Also if you have already read the no spoiler review and want to skip to the discussion on the ending, it is the chapter starting with the big [SPOILER WARNING] below.         

Before we dive into the story and character aspects of the film, I want to first take a moment to talk about the production side of things. In this film, they have left nothing on the table when it comes to the lighting, production design, and effects. That opening scene as Tony is sitting in the ship waiting to die while bathed in a light blue light from the nearby stars was one of the most beautiful lighting techniques I have seen in quite a while. This extends throughout the entire film, with harsh contrasts at times, natural light in places, relentless oppression in other places. Every part of the film is well designed, even when they are using sets from the previous film, it has been amended to make it feel right in the new context.

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Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame (No Spoilers)

TL;DR – Now all together “Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, barrrrr bup bup barrr baaar bomp barrrrrrr, Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, Baaaaaaaar”

Score – 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit sequence and a hint at the end

Avengers: Endgame. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney.

Review

Wow and here we are. Honestly, when I sat down to watch Iron Man in cinemas all the way back in 2008 I don’t think I really comprehended just what it was that I was watching. I didn’t know it would spawn a 20+ movie franchise that would take us into the past, into the deep reaches of space, and create one of the biggest events in movie history. In many respects, it feels like this is my generation’s Star Wars moment, and I have not seen queues like this to go see a film in a long time. Well, today we take the plunge and see if they can work out one of the biggest cliff-hangers in movie history and can this be a film that gives closure to the films that came before it.

So to set the scene, at the end of Infinity War the one thing they were trying to stop happening actually happened, as Thanos (Josh Brolin) obtained all the infinity stones after ripping the mind stone out of Vision’s (Paul Bettany) head and snapped his fingers. All at once across the galaxy, 50% of everything turned to dust and we had that gut-wrenching moment as everything literally fell apart in people’s hands. Indeed Peter (Tom Holland) looking desperately at Tony (Robert Downey Jr) pleading that ‘I don’t want to go” is one of those moments that just stays with you and it stays with the cast. Because as we start everything is in a bad place. Tony is trapped with Nebula (Karen Gillan) on a ship running out of fuel, air, and food, and those Avengers that survived are counting the losses on Earth where no one has been left unaffected. However, one should never give up all hope, because you never know when deliverance will come from an unlikely place, and then hope is lost again. Now with today’s review, we will be doing something a little different. In this review there will be no spoilers, you will get my general impressions of how it all worked, however, I won’t mention any plot details that happen after the first act. Also, if you really want to be spoiler free, don’t examine the credits below. If you have seen the film and would like to see a full spoiler discussion of the ending you can go HERE.        

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Movie Review – Captain Marvel

TL;DR – This is a film filled with wonderful characters, fantastic action, and some of the best banter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

Captain Marvel. Image Credit: Marvel.

Review

It feels like it has been an eternity since Thanos snapped his fingers and destroyed the world in Infinity War. Since then we have been wondering wanting to know what happened, however, in the closing seconds of the film Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) pulled out a pager and sent out a signal calling someone to help. Well, today we get to see just who had that pager, and just who is behind the red and blue.

So to set the scene, we open with Vers (Brie Larson) asleep on the Kree homeworld. She rarely has a restful night’s sleep because her dreams are punctuated with wars she cannot remember. Well, there is one way to get over a lack of sleep and that is to wake up your commanding officer Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and have a good old-fashioned sparing session. Well as old fashioned as one can be when you are on an alien planet, have no memories from before six years ago, and oh you can shoot fire out of your hands. The Kree are fighting a losing war against the Skrull, a race that can mimic anyone down to their DNA, who infiltrate worlds and work their way up until they can take them over from the inside out. After training, she is finally brought to the Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening) the AI that runs the Kree Empire and given her first mission. With the rest of the Starforce including Yon-Rogg, Korath (Djimon Hounsou) and Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan) they are to infiltrate a planet that has just fallen to the Skrulls to extract an undercover agent as Ronan (Lee Pace) provides cover fire with an orbital bombardment. Well, that’s the plan but plans rarely quite work out as nicely as we would like.

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TV Review – The Punisher: Roadhouse Blues

TL;DR – This does what any good first episode of The Punisher should, it shows Frank minding his own business until someone comes swinging in to wreck his life.  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Punisher: Roadhouse Blues. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Starting the episode for the first time provoked two very different emotions, the first is that I was not ready to see Stan Lee’s name even though I knew it should be there, and also the way things are going I am starting to watch the last season of The Punisher. You know you try to ignore any external factors when reviewing something, but whether you want to admit it or not, sometimes they barge in on you. So is this the last season of The Punisher, who knows, probably, well if it, if this episode is any indication, they are going down swinging.

So to set the scene, we open in on Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) covered in blood racing down a street only to get cut off. Surrounded there is only one thing Frank can do, he pulls out a machine gun and removes the problem. Cut to two days earlier, and we see Frank enjoying the music in a bar in a small town in Michigan. He is laying low after Season One staying one night here and there, making sure not to get noticed. But in a moment of happiness, it all gets messed up. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Movie Review – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

TL;DR – A masterpiece in animation, in incorporating comics into film,and exploring all the emotions, a must watch.      

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene and the credits are a technicolour dream coat

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Image Credit: Sony/Marvel

Review


When I first heard that they were going to do a new Spider-Man animated film outside of the MCU I honestly didn’t have a lot of hope. It felt like a plan of a company that is trying to scramble while not doing anything new with a property that had stagnated for years. Then they announced that the story was from Phil Lord, and that piqued my interest, and then that first trailer dropped and I knew instantly that I was going to have to eat my words. Now that I have seen the movie proper I can honestly say that this is not only one of the best films of the year, but it might be the best superhero film I have seen in a while. This has been a bumper year for Spider-Man with Infinity War, the Spider-Man video game from Insomniac Games, but Into the Spider-Verse is the crown achievement and I have never been so glad to be wrong.

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