Welcome to this week’s Top 10. We are under 46 hours to go until I get a chance to see Avengers: Infinity war and, honestly, there is not much else that I am focused on. So I am ready to get this week’s Top 10 list going. And in honor of the massive conclusion to the 10 year odyssey that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Top 10 Show featured the Top 10 Comic Book Movie Sequels.
We had a special guest this week. His name is Mike Black, and he sounded as if he was a big time action figure guy and a stand up comedian. He contributed well to the discussion.
This list was pretty easy to do for me as a lot of these films are ones that are my personal favorites.
#10. X-Men: Days of Future Past. The classic X-Men story came to the big screen as a direct sequel to X-Men: First Class. Instead of Shadowcat, Wolverine is the character from the future that is sent into the past to warn the previous groups of the upcoming dangers of the world for mutants. And having a chance to get rid of the continuity of the horrible films like X-Men 3: Last Stand and X-Men origins. James McAvoy was tremendous in this film as Charles Xavier who had lost his faith. Quicksilver appeared and stole the movie. The film was the best of the new cast X-Men films.
#9. X2: X-Men United. This is the best of the original X-Men series as the X-Men faced off with the mutant hater William Stryker facing off with the X-Men. Nightcrawler arrives in the opening scene, which was one of the great scenes in the series. His teleportation through the White House was something special. Plus, we had the tease of Dark Phoenix at the very end of the film. Yes, it did not pay off, but how cool was it to see the firebird beneath that water? Logan really was able to show the berserker rage in this film for the first time as well.
#8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. James Gunn’s follow-up to the awesome surprise film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 brought an amazing amount of emotion and energy. On my first viewing, I was a little uncertain about the jokes. It felt like there were too many forced jokes, but the second and following viewing of the film was tremendous. The second time I saw the film, I was able to really get into the movie more and I was able to manage my expectations. I loved the ending with Yondu and I cried every time after the first time. These characters felt familiar and comfortable and they fit together. Mantis debuts. Kurt Russell as Ego is fantastic. The relationships between these characters really was the most important part of this movie.
#7. Avengers: Age of Ultron. This is one that gets a bad rap from a lot of people and I do not think that is very fair. I love Ultron. This film has some issues, but none of them are enough to dismantle this great film. Ultron himself is wonderful with the voice of James Spader. Some people disliked how Ultron was quippy, but since he was taking after his “father,” Tony Stark, it makes sense. I loved the ending with Sokovia and I loved how the Avengers were shown as heroes, rescuing people.
#6. Thor: Ragnarok. The third Thor film really took the character and the film series into a new direction, thanks especially to the direction of Taika Waititi. The film was basically a comedy, with amazing humor. Thor winds up on the planet Sakaar wherew he finds the Grandmaster holding gladiator battles for the populace. Thor winds up facing off against the ultimate fighter, The Incredible Hulk. Meanwhile, Odin’s other daughter, Hela, had returned from the Underworld to reclaim her rightful role of Queen of Asgard. And, of course, Ragnarok is the story of the destruction of Asgard, and this actually happens. Thor: Ragnarok really reinvigorates the character without completely throwing out what was done before.
#5. The Dark Knight. This is great, but I do not find it as perfect as the rest of the world seems to do. Yes, Heath Ledger is the Joker you never thought you wanted and now will always be the measuring stick for the character. The story is strong, but I think it is more of a Joker movie than it is a Batman movie. However, I will never forget the moment I saw the “Do you want to see a magic trick?” scene. I roared with laughter, despite the theater I was in was gasping in shock. One of the best villainous moments in any film.
#4. Spider-man 2. This was my favorite film for quite a while, before the MCU came along. It was one of the best depiction of Spider-man ever, based on one of the most classic story arcs in comics, “No More Spider-man.” The doubt of being Spider-man is a key attribute to Peter Parker. Then, the train scene where Spidey fights Doc Ock and saves the train with his webbing was goose bump inducing. I have had tears in my eyes in this scene because I loved how the crowd backed the unconscious Spidey. Homecoming has surpassed this as my favorite Spidey movie, but it was really close.
#3. Captain America: Winter Soldier. The first example of the Russo Brothers directing a huge Marvel tenpole film, Captain America Winter Soldier became one of the great films int he MCU. The film was a political thriller, as SHIELD was revealed as being infiltrated by HYDRA. This is a Marvel movie that features Robert F’n Redford, for goodness sake. Cap is great. Black Widow appears and does a fantastic job as a supporting character. This was really the best we had seen Black Widow in any of the films yet. And I will always remember the gasp I heard in one theater when the Winter Soldier was revealed as Bucky. It was so cool because I thought everyone knew that the Winter Soldier was Bucky, but obviously, it was not as well known as I thought and I loved the gasp. We also met the Falcon, who became one of Cap’s closest friend. There is a great elevator fight scene as well. This is truly amazing.
#2. Logan. This was heart-wrenching. To see where our beloved Logan had wound up in his life by trying to protect Charles Xavier and get enough money to escape on a boat…only to be waylaid by the arrival of a little girl named Laura. A wild child herself, Laura was so much like him and, despite not wanting to, he had to protect her. Patrick Stewart was BRILLIANT as Xavier and he was truly robbed from an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The second half of this movie was so heart breaking. Seeing Xavier’s death was shocking and painful, but the tears really came with the reaction of Laura when she realized that Charles had been killed. And the final end of Logan brought me to tears every time. This was brutal in both the physical action and the results of the characters. As a final goodbye to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, you could not ask for a better film.
#1. Captain America: Civil War. This is my favorite of the MCU and it is right near the top of my favorite movies of all time. This is amazing as it is not only a Captain America stand alone film, but it is an Avenger film. The Airport scene is perhaps one of the greatest fights in movie history, but the end fight scene with Iron Man, Cap and Bucky, is just as tremendous. There are so many stakes in this fight and you can feel both sides of the fight. You can come into the film as a Team Cap only to leave as a Team Iron Man or vice versa. Some complain about Zemo, but I think he is one of the best Marvel villains. Zemo’s plan was to reveal the secret that Bucky had killed Tony Stark’s parents in a way to break up the Avengers. And it worked! Zemo’s plan was not as convoluted as it seemed. He was patient. Civil War was perfect to me…and I did not even mention Spider-man! or the Black Panther. The second successful film from the Russo Brothers, which led to them getting Infinity War.
Honorable Mentions; Iron Man 3, Superman 2, Batman Returns, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Kick Ass 2, The Wolverine