Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok is the best Thor movie to date, in my opinion. We get some good comedy and action along with dire consequences.

Thor: Ragnarok combines several storylines from the comics (Contest of Champions, Planet Hulk, Ragnarok) and gives us one of the funniest Marvel movies.

I was excited to see what Taika Waititi would do with this franchise. I loved What We Do in the Shadows.

Thor:Ragnarok does a nice job of clearing the field and leaves the Asgardians with almost a reset.

Thor begins by defeating Surtur and returning to Asgard. Where he sees a nice little play about the death of Loki. He quickly reveals that Loki has been impersonating Odin and they head to Earth to pick up Odin.

We get a little cameo from Dr. Strange. Odin tells the brothers of their unknown, older sister, Hela and she makes her appearance. Thor and Loki attempt to fight Hela, but she crushes Mjolnir and throws them both out of the Rainbow Bridge.

Thor falls out of a portal onto the GrandMaster’s planet and is forced to fight. He comes across the Hulk and a couple of Asgardians. They plan to return to Asgard to fight Hela. In the meantime, Hela has invaded Asgard and slaughtered a good portion of the population.

I do not want to go any further into the plot. But this does lead into Avengers: Infinity War.

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Taika Waititi

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

I love this third iteration of Spider-Man. It had the right amount of humor and action. We get to see the beginnings of the Parker Luck as Peter has to make choices about doing things with his friends or patrolling as Spider-Man. The Vulture is way more sympathetic than I thought he would be.

I tried to go into this with my expectations lowered, but recently re-watching Civil War took that notion away. Thankfully my high expectations were met and exceeded.

Plus – no origin story! We do not have to live through Uncle Ben dying and imparting the life lesson on Peter. At most, we get Peter telling someone that he was bit by a spider. That’s it.

Mid-Credits scene was good. But the after credits scene is a game changer for the MCU.

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Bokeem Woodbine, Kenneth Choi

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 is all about family.

GotG2 opens on a fun action scene set to music off the Awesome Mix 2. This sets us up nicely for the B Plot group that will be after the Guardians. This setup brings Nebula into the mix and introduces us to Star Lord’s biological father, Ego.

Ego the living planet. Ego is portrayed beautifully by Kurt Russell.

We also get more Yondu in this installment. We see him with a more traditional look as well.

GotG2 brings the laughter and some tears. I have not laughed more at a Marvel Studios film. There were multiple instances of someone cutting onions in the theater. Very surprising for the light-hearted franchise in the MCEU.

Ego and Star Lord’s relationship is at the heart of this movie. And all the implications along with it.

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, Sylvester Stallone, Sean Gunn

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Logan

I caught Logan and it gave a nice cap to the Fox X-Men series and High Jackman’s run as Wolverine.

Logan definitely earns its R rating. Plenty of violence and foul language (some from an unexpected source) with brief nudity. I would not recommend bringing young children to see this movie.

We are introduced to a world 29 years removed from the events of the first X-Men movie. A world seemingly without mutants and a Wolverine showing the effects of aging and a slowed down healing factor. We get introduced to Laura (X-23) at the same time Logan does.

At first Laura seems like a normal if mute little girl. Until she is not. She turns into a little Tasmanian Devil , Whirling Dervish of destruction. Easily more violent and vicious than we have seen Logan before. Then, we get the road trip from Hell with Logan, Laura and Professor X.

This movie leaves the door open for more future films in this series, but also leaves it at a good finishing point. Barring the Deadpool franchise, I would love to see a reboot of the X-Men movies with different people at the helm.

FYI, There are no mid-credit or post-credit scenes.

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant, Jason Genao

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Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange does an excellent job of introducing magic into the Marvel movie universe. Since they treated Asgardians as aliens with technology, I was not sure they were going to get mystical.

Doctor Strange is the story of a highly-skilled, arrogant surgeon who has a terrible injury to his hands. He goes through every conceivable medical treatment possible before turning to … other options. During the course of his training, he has to face off with a sorcerer who has turned his back on the Earth and is welcoming Dormammu – think mystic Galactus.

The special effects are everything you would expect from a Marvel Studios production now. The reality bending effects did make me a tad dizzy at points, but they did their job at disorienting people.

There is a mid-credits scene and an after credits scene you will want to stay for.

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Benjamin Bratt

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