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Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame 2019

Even though it’s only been out for a little over a couple weeks, it feels like everyone has already seen this movie considering that it’s about to top Avatar to become the second highest grossing movie in the US of all time. The MCU in general has become the biggest franchise of all time in short order, offering up 22 movies over the course of only 10 years, and while most of the films follow a similar overall formula, the specifics of each film tends to vary wildly among secondary genres. The MCU films are safe, and yet they still manage to take chances, whether it’s giving unknown characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy a chance to shine, or what it does in this movie: it spends time to show the audience how the characters react to loss. This film feels like a culmination of all the previous MCU films in more ways than one, it revisits moments from earlier movies, and it generally offers closure for the majority of the original six Avengers in a rather satisfying way. And while the official spoiler has ended, I am still offering my typical spoiler warning from here on out.

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Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War 2018

While I’m a bit late in writing this as I did actually watch it on opening weekend and even recorded a Lambcast on the movie, and even though I wrote most of this first paragraph back when I saw it the first time, it took me quite a while to revisit it as I am catching up on the films I missed reviewing over the course of 2018. The movie bills itself (or at least many others have billed it this way) as a movie ten years in the making since the introduction of the MCU proper with the first Iron Man movie. This brings together nearly all of the heroes that we’ve seen in the previous movies to come together to fight their greatest foe yet with the power to destroy the universe with the snap of a finger. It’s difficult to fault this movie much as it follows a similar arc as the first Avengers movie only on a much larger scale. There’s higher stakes, more characters, more action and death, but it balances them all just as well as the first team-up movie and much better than the second. And while most anyone interested in seeing the movie at all has already seen it, there will be spoilers from here on out.
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Marvel Superhero Adventures: Frost Fight

Marvel Superhero Adventures: Frost Fight 2015

Just when I thought I had watched every Christmas related superhero movie they had to come out with another one. And in typical Marvel fashion, this one flew under my radar until it was actually released even though they did apparently announce the title at NYCC. It was just released digitally earlier last week and like most of Marvel’s recent home video releases it is very family friendly. But they have also switched animation styles yet again, going away from the anime and the cell-shaded CGI in favor of their TV style animation similar to Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy, though with only a few of the same voice actors. It does a nice job of tying Santa Claus into the Marvel universe, but it’s mainly just a very disjointed series of battles and/or gags with a very common holiday story at the end.
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Next Avengers

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow 2008

After going through the first two Marvel animated Avengers movies I jumped ahead a bit to watch the only one I actually hadn’t seen before now. I’ve actually heard decent things about this one that follows the children of the Avengers after they have been spirited away with Tony Stark to the Arctic Circle to avoid the detection of Ultron who has now taken over about half of the world. Most of the Avengers are dead, but before they died they paired off and had kids, and now their kids have to band together to defeat Ultron. And even though it doesn’t really make sense when you put it into words the movie actually does work with the concept and make it seem at least partly believable.
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Ultimate Avengers 2

Ultimate Avengers 2 2006

While I’m still moving at a bit slower pace than I planned to, I’m still moving through the animated Avengers movies before writing down a full fledged review for Age of Ultron, though if you can’t wait to hear my thoughts I was on a recent Lambcast where I discussed it with several other Lamb members. The sequel to the animated Ultimate Avengers brings back the entire cast along with newcomer Black Panther. The sequel tries to amp up the action, the danger, and the consequences but it’s difficult to do with the way this cast of characters is portrayed. It doesn’t help that the Chitauri aliens aren’t any more interesting than they were in the first film. The result it a lot of the same old same old that just doesn’t have a big payoff at the end. There’s nothing terribly wrong with this film, but it doesn’t do anything new, fresh, or exciting throughout its entire runtime.
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Ultimate Avengers

Ultimate Avengers 2006

With the popularity of my one-sentence review of Age of Ultron, I decided that I would leave you hanging a bit more and bide my time to give my full thoughts on the latest Avengers movie. Also, since I didn’t cover quite as many animated films last month, I thought I would instead take a look at the other animated Avengers movies that came out before even the first Iron Man movie when Marvel was working with Lion’s Gate to produce a series of animated films which would later tie-in with some of the live action movies. But they actually went the opposite route and began with the big team-up film instead of giving everyone their own separate introduction. It was based on the Ultimates universe and while it does share quite a few things with the Cinematic Universe, there are plenty of departures as well. It has been years since I’ve watched this, and I’m a little sad to say that it doesn’t hold up, especially after seeing them all realized so much better in the flesh, or at least most of them.
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Is Marvel’s strategy a bad thing for superhero films?

The other day I came across an article whose argument was basically that the Avengers have ruined the Hollywood concept of a superhero movie. Essentially, the fact that all of the lead up movies to the Avengers were all connected-yet-separate and then there’s this big movie that tied them all together which became a huge thing. And now it’s happening everywhere. DC is doing it by bringing in Batman, Wonder Woman, and who knows who else in the second Man of Steel movie, Sony is doing it with Spider-man with two more sequels in the works and they just announced that their two spin off movies are about Venom and the Sinister Six. Even Fox is getting on board with The Wolverine teasing Days of Future Past which connects the First Class franchise to the first trilogy and have already announced Age of Apocalypse in 2016, not to mention the fact that they’re also supposedly tying the Fantastic Four into that universe somehow. The question is basically asking if the days of the stand-alone superhero movie are gone and these movies are becoming more like comic books, only a part of a much bigger whole that will only end when the money stops. Not only that, but it’s becoming the only model, and that’s a bad thing. Personally, I think it’s a good thing and for more reasons than just getting more superhero movies, which I’m all for too.
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Superhero Shorts: Disassembled

Superhero Shorts: Disassembled

Welcome to this week’s edition of Superhero Shorts where I take a look at a different superhero themed short film and get the creator of the film to answer a few interview questions. This week I’m talking with Junaid Chundrigar and his animated short film Disassembled. While the Avengers movie was all about how the heroes assembled together to form their team, this is what happens on a bad day when they get disassembled. It’s very Robot Chicken-esque with a bunch of very quick mini-scenes. And it’s not just the Avengers that were featured in the movie, it also features several other famous Marvel characters, many of whom I believe were also Avengers at some point in time. As always, you can watch the short right below, or you can watch it at Junaid’s YouTube Channel

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Who Would Win in a Fight #2

Who Would Win in a Fight #2

Agent Coulson



It’s time for another round of Who Would Win in a Fight. This time there are no handicaps, just a pure hand to hand fight. In one corner there’s everyone’s favorite member of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson, which if you doubt his fighting abilities, be sure and check out the short film A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer. In the other corner is the Green Hornet’s sidekick Kato. Once again, there’s no simple poll voting, you’ve got to explain your choice in the comments.

I’ve also got updates for the other games I’ve been running lately. I’ve got another Invasion of the Lambs screenshot game over at the LAMB. And if you haven’t yet, be sure and check out this site’s Facebook page for daily updates on the articles as well as a daily minimalist poster game. Here’s the leader board:

Dylan – 2
Morgan – 1
Dust Raven – 2
Silver Emulsion – 1

Avengers Redux, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Try the Theater

It may sound odd, but I haven’t been to a theater in about four years. The last movie I remember seeing was Wall*E, back when Jena was too young to really enjoy or remember it, shortly afterwards we ran into some major money troubles and have only recently gotten to the point where I think we’ve just about fully recovered. I was originally going to title this blog “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Theater” so that should give you a little preview of how things went. We went down to the local AMC twelve screen, the only theater in our relatively small midwest town outside of a single screen theater that shows mostly independent movies so we could watch the Avengers.

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