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Marvel Cinematic Universe Breakdown (Part 2)

marvel cinematic universe

Now that Avengers: Infinity War has finally been released, we were able to continue our breakdown of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). We start by catching up on Ant-Man, which we didn’t realize was part of Phase 2, followed by our breakdown of Phase 3 (so far). From Captain America: Civil War all the way to Avengers: Infinity War, we analyze, debate, agree, and disagree about the previous 7 installments of the MCU.

Question for you: Which phase of the MCU is your favorite? Comment below, email us at ataigpodcast@gmail.com, or follow us on Twitter: @AnywayCast. All feedback is hugely appreciated!

Go on…Marvel Cinematic Universe Breakdown (Part 2)

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Breakdown (Part 1)

marvel cinematic

Avengers: Infinity War is poised to take the entire world by storm this summer, so for our monthly Cinemaholics crossover episode, we’re revisiting and analyzing the first 11 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From Iron Man to Avengers: Age of Ultron, we discuss the hits and misses of the first two phases of the MCU and have a fun series of agreements and disagreements along the way…

Hosted by Sam Noland, Jason Read, and Anthony Battaglia. Featuring special guest Jack Muldoon!

Note: At the time of recording, we neglected to realize that Ant-Man technically counts as being part of Phase 2. We will discuss Ant-Man and address the mistake in next week’s episode!

Question for you: What do you believe is the most underrated MCU installment? Also, which Guardian of the Galaxy is your favorite? Comment below, email us at ataigpodcast@gmail.com, or follow us on Twitter @AnywayCast. All feedback is hugely appreciated!

Go on…Marvel Cinematic Universe Breakdown (Part 1)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Theory: Why EGO Killed [Spoilers]

This theory about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 contains spoilers (obviously). But it will still be here when you’re done watching the movie, hopefully. This theory is available as a video (above) or as a transcription (below). 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was, in my opinion, a fantastic follow-up to one of Marvel’s best movies and much better than the usual MCU sequel. But there is one aspect of the movie that has been driving me and plenty of other fans crazy with confusion, and that has to do with Ego the Living Planet, portrayed in his human form by Kurt Russell.

As you may recall, we find out in the movie that Ego is Peter Quill’s biological father, and the two share genetics that allow them to channel a powerful godlike energy. At first, Peter is thrilled about the truth of his parentage, being promised to help Ego carve out a new world of their making. But he’s instantly broken from Ego’s spell when told the full, sinister story.

Go on…Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Theory: Why EGO Killed [Spoilers]

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Review Roundtable — Cinemaholics

I’m joined this week by film critic Will Ashton and sound master Maveryke Hines to review Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We had a great discussion with a separate segment just for spoilers, but we really want to know what YOU think about the followup to one of Marvel’s most successful movies.

Later in the show, we Cinemaholics dug into some shows and movies we think you might like, including season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, Dean starring Demetri Martin, Handsome on Netflix, and season 1 of Dear White People on Netflix.

EMAIL US YOUR FEEDBACK & QUESTIONS: cinemaholicspodcast [at] gmail.com 

Go on…‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Review Roundtable — Cinemaholics

Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Doesn’t Really Care What You Think

guardians 2 review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 picks up right where its predecessor left off both story-wise and in regard to its timeline. Just a few months or so after the a-holes saved the galaxy and became a family, Peter Quill, Drax, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot embark on a new adventure that does something most sequels don’t really do. Rather than go bigger and double down on beloved set pieces of the first film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 goes smaller and more introspective.

Comparisons will undoubtedly be made to the first two Star Wars movies. The first Guardians was a rollicking space adventure that lampooned the hero’s journey (specifically the “chosen one” trope) and won a lot of hearts through surprise in its ensemble storytelling. It was A New Hope, but for a new generation. In the same way, director and writer James Gunn clearly crafted this follow-up to be Empire Strikes Back, but not really in terms of being “the dark one” where everything goes wrong so the third movie can wrap things up. No, Vol. 2 is very much a standalone sequel, as Dave Schilling poignantly put it in his review.

The story this time around follows the Guardians of the Galaxy taking on a big mercenary job for a group of gold-skinned “conceited douchebags,” capitalizing on their newfound fame as “one-time galaxy savers.” Thanks to some mischief from Rocket, however, the team is chased through a dangerous asteroid field (one of many clear homages to Empire that’s played for laughs) and forced to crash on a nearby planet.

The team splits up at that point (Empire, again) and gets hounded by some old favorites from the previous movie. Yondu and his Ravagers are after the Guardians again and Nebula has Gamora-sized tunnel vision, looking to settle their sibling rivalry over one last fight to the death. There are some other big developments, including Peter’s own struggle with some planet-sized daddy issues that were hinted at during the end of the first film, and there’s a subtler twist going on with Drax, who has become the de-facto heart of the crew in surprising ways, pairing up with newcomer “empath” Mantis for some of the film’s best moments.

guardians 2 review

In some ways, Vol. 2 is as much a paradox of space opera as it is a parody of it. The heroes of the film go to far fewer locations, the main threat of the film is more ambiguous this time around, and even the mixtape has been altered as a plot device. In the first Guardians, “Awesome Mix” was a clever musical tool used to illustrate moments when the team would gel together and prepare for their best moments. It was loud, fun, lively, and reflective of the movie’s tone. The music in this film truly acts as a “B-side” with some tracks that are less familiar, but also deeper. Gunn has crafted a personal story that departs from a lot of what fans loved about the first film by giving them something they might not have known they wanted.

For some, that will amount to major criticism over Vol. 2 being a massive departure from much of what worked in the first film. Yes, the humor is still there in force, but in almost every other respect, Vol. 2 tries hard to make you feel something new about these characters, the universe they inhabit, and what you’re generally looking at. I’m not sure space have ever looked so beautiful the way Gunn and his team see it, rivaling Doctor Strange for sheer insanity in its colorful vignettes of time and space. The paradox, though, is in how these characters are ultimately simpler than the intricate comic-lore heavy environment they inhabit, just as this story tends to be at times, for the better.

That’s probably Vol. 2‘s greatest asset. It exists solely to exist on its own terms, not as a crowd-pleaser or recapturing of previous success. Despite releasing in May, it still aims to be an “August movie.” It does what most sequels should aspire to accomplish in the same situation, especially when following one of Marvel’s best films, period. Vol. 2 is technically a better film and a must-watch for Marvel fans, but more importantly, it’s a great example of how successful a film can be when put in the loving hands of a trusted visionary who doesn’t really care what detractors may think.

Grade: B+

Extra Credits:

  • There are something like five “extra” scenes during the credits and then one at the very end. Some are pure fun while others are fantastic hints at big Marvel movies to come. The credits themselves are also good fun.
  • I didn’t speak much on Baby Groot, but that’s really just because he’s fittingly used as pure comic relief. It makes sense considering Baby Groot actually has the mind of a toddler, and any story arc they might have tried to force on the character would have felt forced and wasteful.
  • I also didn’t get into any of the film’s major flaws, and that’s honestly because they’re mostly nitpicks. The second act, for example, drags a bit and some of the twists are entirely too predictable. But it all still works enough to recommend.
  • I didn’t get a chance to list any of the cast above, so here they are: Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Kurt Russell as Ego, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Chris Sullivan as Taserface, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, and Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord.

Thanks for reading this. To get updates on my theories, books, and giveaways, join my mailing list.

Or just say hey on Twitter: @JonNegroni

2017 Summer Movie Preview – Cinemaholics

The Cinemaholics Podcast has never been this summer movie peviewy. Will, Maveryke, and I take a close look at our most anticipated releases from May to August and from from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming to Wonder Woman and Baby Driver.

We also unpack some huge DCEU rumors involving The BatmanThe FlashWonder Woman, and Suicide Squad 2. Then we finish things out by doing mini reviews for Going In StyleSmurfs: The Lost Village, and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.

EMAIL US YOUR FEEDBACK & QUESTIONS: cinemaholicspodcast [at] gmail.com 

Go on…2017 Summer Movie Preview – Cinemaholics

Ep108: Logan Jackman

logan

You can also download this podcast episode on iTunes and Stitcher.

This week on the podcast, I had a hearty chat about new trailers (LoganGuardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, and Red Dead Redemption 2). Plus, we used Show & Tell to talk about The AccountantMascotsThe Thing, and more.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Are you excited for the Nintendo Switch, and if so, what are the games you think should be made for this? (Kayla: design your own!)

Go on…Ep108: Logan Jackman

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