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AVENGING APRIL: Avengers Movie Marathon Part 2

By @hmsbeefnuts

So last time we met I had just watched Ironman, The Incredible Hulk and Ironman2, three films that lead up to the now so close I can taste it The Avengers. Our next two films were to prove tricky prospects for Marvel, as they were a little bit different to the technology based heroes we had seen so far. Magic and history were to be prominent in both Thor and Captain America, and if these films didn’t work, then Marvel had a big problem with The Avengers. Thankfully, these films turned out more than just OK, but more on that later. The feat that Marvel seemed to have pulled off here is really quite staggering. A five film build up to a film that could be one of the most ambitious films ever undertaken. I think that all the heroes have worked very well on their own, but how are they going to work together? It’s a question that I will have to leave hanging for now, but it shall be answered very soon. So without further delay, lets crack on with the God of Thunder, The Mighty Thor…


A bit of a change this, not only in tone, but for the Marvel Universe as a whole. Thor widens the scope of The Marvel Universe, and introduces a less technological, more mystical force. I love Thor, I think Brannagh hit the nail directly on the head, and knocked it right out of the park. On paper, and outside of comic books, Thor is not an easy character to realise. How would a Norse God fit in with genetic monsters and super advanced weapon suits? Quite well as it happens. Brannagh treats the subject seriously, but with a healthy dose of humour, and everything works out great. Chris Hemmesworth is immense as Thor, that guy put in some serious gym time, but he is able to portray Thor’s early arrogance, and also his later more humble nature. The supporting cast are also excellent, Loki in particular is a worthy villain, and played excellently by Tom Hiddleston. Natalie Portman looks like she is very much in awe of Hemmesworth, that’s either some awesome acting, or she was genuinely knocked out by Hemmesworth’s abs.


The story goes a little like this. Thor is about to be crowned Lord of Asguard, so his Father, Odin, played by the awesome Anthony Hopkins, can complete his Odinsleep. The ceremony however is interrupted by Frost Giants, trying to steal back a relic Odin took from their leader ages ago. Easily defeated by the guardian of the relic room the Destroyer. Odin is satisfied that nothing more should be done. Thor is of a different opinion. Gathering his brother Loki, the warriors three and Lady Sif, Thor travels to Jordenheim to face the Frost Giants. Things don’t go too well, and Odin has to save them, but afterwards, banishes Thor to Earth powerless, in order to teach his son a lesson.


Thor manages to crash land into Natalie Portman’s science team, and then the adventure continues on Earth and Asgaurd, with Loki taking the throne, and Thor trying to find some humility in order to regain his powers, by lifting up his mighty hammer Mjolnir. A smackdown with Loki at the end is suitably epic, and sets up The Avengers pretty directly. Stan Lee cameo this time features the great man trying to drag Mjolnir with his truck, less than successfully. He isn’t the only cameo however, as we also are introduced to Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, one of our Avenger team. Coulson is also present and an after credits scene involving Loki, Nic Fury and a Cosmic Cube is a nice little tease for both The Avengers, and our next movie. I wonder where that Cosmic Cube came from? Hmm.

Thor is an excellent film. Probably my Third favourite Marvel movie, but that just speaks to the quality of the films thus far. My favourite Marvel Film just happens to be next, so lets jump to it, these films aren’t watching themselves…


Love, love, love, this film. If it wasn’t for a certain Dark Knight who frequents the nastier parts of Gotham City, this would be my favourite superhero film. I love the period setting, love Chris Evans in the role. The costume, and how it is slowly put together is a thing of beauty. I love that we have the USO Show bits, and most of all, I love the character of Steve Rogers. Peerless in honour, and as a man, what makes Cap so interesting is that, in a team with a Norse God, a Hulk and an arrogant playboy Billionaire, he is very much the right choice to lead them. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Lets start at the beginning.


Steve Rogers is a tiny guy, with health problems, who wants nothing more than to join the fight against the Nazis. His health prevents him from enlisting numerous times, until a chance meeting with a scientist, now working for the American Government, after escaping the Nazi regime, changes Steve Rogers life forever. It turns out this scientist, Dr. Abraham Erskine, has developed a super soldier serum, and although it has been used before, for the wrong reasons, resulting in Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull, Steve Rogers is chosen as the test subject after a few months of training. Tommy Lee Jones is his commander, sexily aided by the lovely Hayley Atwell as a love interest. Rogers is given the serum, transforming him into Captain America, but a spy of HYDRA, kills out scientist, and it is decided that Steve is too important to risk his life in war, and is best used as a Promotional device. USO Shows beckon, until one day, Steve has had enough. He wants action, and when he learns that his best friend has been captured, along with a whole regiment, he, along with ………. and Howard Star, (that name sounds familiar), mounts a rescue operation.


Captain America becomes a great hero of the war, winning many battles, before a final showdown with Red Skull himself on a HYDRA bomber headed to America. A  defeated Red Skull is sucked into another dimension, which looks a lot like some scenes from Thor, and Cap is left to down the plane in the Arctic, saying goodbye to his love Peggy Carter. How sad. Of course, this isn’t the end of the tale. Howard Stark manages to find the source of HYDRAS power, a Cosmic Cube, but cannot find the downed plane. However, 70 years later, a metal structure is found in the Arctic, along with a mysterious red, white and blue shield. Cap wakes up in modern day New York, confused, dazed, and more than a little heartbroken that he never got to make the date with Hayley Atwell, more than understandable, I think you will agree. Nic Fury enlists Cap for a new project he is working on, and the rest, well we shall see. Oh Stan Lee cameo? He appears as a general at a ceremony, and our after credits treat is a teaser for The Avengers.


Captain America is a fantastic film. I think Joe Johnston is one of the most under appreciated directors working in Hollywood today. His films are always worth watching. I initially thought that casting The Human Torch as Captain America was a mistake, but Chris Evans is excellent in this. He really brings the heart and soul of Cap to life. I literally can’t wait until I get to see The Avengers, in the next few days. Early word has been positive, and after such a line of quality films, Marvel surely can not drop the ball now? I will be watching The Avengers on 28th April, a Saturday, that’s like tomorrow. I can’t wait, I am so excited. Avenging April now comes to a close, it’s been fun people, I hope you have had as good a time reading these articles, as I have writing them. I hope you all enjoy The Avengers when you go and watch it. I hope I will too. Let me know what you have thought about these Avenging April Articles, and how you found The Avengers. See you in May, Hmsbeefnuts out.

Avenging April: Avengers Movie Marathon Part 1

By @hmsbeefnuts

Avenging April keeps on Assembling here at All Geek To Me, we are close now, very close, and it is more than a little exciting. As a lead up to the big event on April 27th, I have decided to go back, dip into my Blu-ray collection, and watch all of Marvels Avenger based films, in sequence; in order to drive me into fits of excitement and refresh my memories of said films. I chose to watch the films in the order they were released, Kicking off with Ironman, The Incredible Hulk, Ironman 2, Thor and last, but certainly not least Captain America. Before we start, I would like to say that I watched all of these movies theatrically, and I had not seen some of them since. I enjoyed all of them the first time I saw them, and I was looking forward to seeing if they held up.

I had originally wanted to watch all the films back to back, but having a life and the need to do other stuff prevented this. I think if you have the patience to watch all these films back to back, good luck to you, and perhaps if I had booked a few days off I could have done it, in the end, it took three sittings, not because I was bored or anything like that, but just because of time constraint. As such, I managed to watch Ironman and the Hulk in one sitting, Ironman 2, and then finally Thor and Captain America. I will say that all these films work wonderfully together, and that although incredibly ambitious, Marvel has pulled off an amazing feat of film making, lets hope that they can reach the next step, and knock The Avengers out of the park, surely they have done so? Right, on with the marathon…


A great way to kick off the marathon. I love Ironman. Jon Favreau hit the mark with this one, and set up the Marvel universe at he same time. Ironman hasn’t aged at all, and in fact, stands up far better than its mish mash sequel, but more on that later. Tony Stark is a weapons manufacturer, who learns a harsh lesson when a terrorist group, The Ten Rings, kidnap him and force him to make a Stark Industries Jericho Missile. Oh, and during his abduction, he is almost fatally wounded, and left with shards of metal worming their way to his heart. A revolutionary Arc Reactor later, as well as a pretty cool metal suit of armour, decked out with flame throwers and rocket boosters, and Tony is on his way home, and to a very different life.

The sense of fun in this movie is palpable, the Stan Lee cameo, mistaken for Hugh Heffner at a party. Downey Jnr. Is a fantastic Stark, cocky, sure of himself, but very very likeable. When we actually get to see Ironman in his Mark III armour, its an exciting and breathtaking spectacle. Bad guy duties are well played by Jeff Bridges, as Ironmonger, and Tony’s partner. Supporting roles are well cast too, Fav’s as Happy Hogan, Gwyneth Paltrow in her best role in ages as Pepper Potts and Terrance Howard as James Rhodes, as well as a few Agents of Shield. The impressive thing is that even at this point, Marvel were building up to The Avengers, a project that must have seemed a long way off at the time.

Ironman is one of the strongest superhero films, and at this point, one of my favourites. The Blu-ray pops off the screen and I very much enjoyed watching it again after quite some time. The film flies by, and what is after the credits? Oh. Hello Nick Fury, what?!? I remember watching that moment for the first time, mind blowing. I literally can not wait for April 27th right now. Anyway, enthusiasm is high, time to change discs…


Of course Marvel did try to make a Hulk film before this one, and it was absolute shit. Hulk dogs? Ergh. The Incredible Hulk is a far better film, and even though I’m no fan of Ed Norton, or Liv Tyler, this part sequel, part re-boot is a fun ride. The Stan Lee Cameo? A man who drinks some soda infused with Bruce Banners blood, leading to an unfortunate Gamma related incident, genius. The film kicks off with a credits sequence explaining how Bruce became the Hulk, basically a quick rehash of some events from the first film, and perfectly acceptable. The film proper kicks off with Bruce Banner on the run in a favela in Brazil. He is trying to find a cure, and working in a bottling plant. He is also trying to control his heart rate, and thus, stop the Hulk from appearing. The gamma incident mentioned above leads General Thunderbolt Ross to his location, and sends a crack team, including soldier of fortune Emile Blonsky after Banner. A chase through the favela, a few anger making incidents, and Blonsky gets a good look at Banner alternative form.

Blonsky gets General Ross to inject him with a ‘super soldier serum’, which hasn’t been used for a very long time, wonder where they got that from? Round two ends with Blonsky near death, but by the end of the film, a dose of Gamma makes Blonsky a far more powerful opponent.


Hulk is a bit of a change of pace. At its heart, it is a sad story of a man who can not control his destiny, can’t be with the woman he loves, can’t live a normal life. Thankfully the meat of the film has quite a lot to do with Hulk smashing stuff, and I thought the effects held up very well. This adds to the Marvel universe by having Tony Stark meet with General Ross at the end of the film, to talk about some sort of super team thing, I wonder what he could mean? We also learn that by the end of the film, Bruce has learned to control the Hulk, and can seemingly change whenever he wants, Might come in handy if an alien force invades New York, or something.

It is also worth noting that on the Thor Blu-ray there is a Marvel One Shot, called The Consultant. A meeting between Agent Coulson and another Shield Agent, discussing an directive from above about perhaps trying to enlist Blonsky, or at least his new form, to join The Avenger Initiative. However, it seems they aren’t too keen for him to join, they decide that they need to send The Consultant to talk to General Ross, as he is rude, cocky and will not be listened too. Of course they are talking about Tony Stark, and this is why he turns up at the end of The Incredible Hulk. There plan seems to work, and Blonsky remains under lock and key, I’m sure they will be able to find some other hulking green monster to join their team. I like what Marvel did here, just filled in a little bit of story, the One Shots are a fun little extra. This one also seems to suggest that the event of the Hulk take place concurrently with certain events that occur in New Mexico, interesting.


A days break and we reconvene for Marvel’s first major sequel. Ironman 2 is a bit of a mess to be honest. Thanks mainly to the fact the script wasn’t fully written during filming, however, that’s not to say the film isn’t very good, it is, it just doesn’t quite reach the heights of Ironman. Right, Stan Lee Cameo, this time he is introduced to Tony as Larry King, a nice little nod to the first films cameo. This time, Stark is established as Ironman now, and is responsible for a long period of world peace, however, not all is going well. The government want his suits, the arc reactor is slowly killing him, and the son of a former partner of his father, Howard Stark, has developed his own arc reactor, and has a vendetta against Tony. I fight at the Monaco Grand Prix, goes Tony’s way, however, it also puts our new big bad in contact with another arms manufacturer, Justin Hammer, which will no doubt cause trouble for the Invincible Ironman.

Tony also loses one of his suits in a fight with his best mate James Rhodes, soon to be War Machine. Pepper Potts is now CEO of Stark Enterprises, giving Tony time to work on a new arc reactor, that will not kill him. Oh did I mention Nick Fury is more prominent in the sequel, a scene at a doughnut shop is particularly good. Stark Enterprises also has a new employee who may become more important later. Natasha Romanov, AKA, Black Widow is moonlighting as an assistant, and also kick a fair amount of ass, and looking absolutely beautiful whilst she does it. Ironman 2 has a lot going on, perhaps too much, but it does come to a satisfying conclusion.

Once again, Ironman is left to face a group of Hammer Drones, and a very pissed off Whiplash, thankfully, War Machine is with him to lend a hand. Ironman 2 isn’t as confident as it’s prequel, but it is still a lot of fun and very exciting. What Ironman 2 does best is strengthen the Marvel Universe, this is very much a set up film for The Avengers, with nice little nods to Captain America, a few members of the Avengers that won’t appear in the film, and most importantly, in the post credits sequence, Agent Coulson makes his way to New Mexico, and finds an item that might be of use to a certain Norse God. Probably the worst of the Marvel films, although I still enjoyed it immensely, Ironman 2 works better as a tease for what is to come…

So that’s it for part 1 of my Avengers Movie Marathon. Join me later in the week for Part 2, where we will be watching Thor and Captain America.

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