Marvel Studios Annotations: THOR

0:01:25 – Jane Foster and Erik Selvig Jane Foster first appeared in Journey into Mystery #84 (1962). She was originally a nurse and love interest to Thor and his alter-ego Dr. Donald Blake. She later became a doctor, rather than an astrophysicist as she’s depicted in the films. Natalie Portman previously starred in V for…

Marvel Studios Annotations: IRON MAN 2

The Vankos Anton Vanko was the Russian counterpart to Tony Stark and first appeared in Tales of Suspense #46. He invented his own suit of armor and became known as the Crimson Dynamo. Vanko eventually defected to the United States and a succession of agents has worn the Dynamo armor. His son, Ivan Vanko, is…

Marvel Studios Annotations: THE INCREDIBLE HULK

0:00:55 – Opening credits, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross The Incredible Hulk ignores Ang Lee’s Hulk for a new version of the character heavily influenced by the television series, the mini-series Hulk: Gray by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, and the Hulk run by Bruce Jones. Edward Norton (who also rewrote the script by Zak…

Marvel Studios Annotations: IRON MAN

In preparation for the release of The Avengers, I wrote up these annotations for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe that were originally posted on the now-defunct Movie Metropolis. This is a detailed breakdown of all the hidden references and surprising ways in which each picture connects to one another. The first film, Iron Man, forms the foundation…

Movie Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

“They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy.” “What a bunch of a-holes.” When Edgar Wright famously departed as director of Ant-Man, the fanboy nation decried Marvel Studios for no longer being willing to take risks. After all, their entire cinematic universe was built on a risk. Iron Man was not a character in the…

Movie Review: THOR – THE DARK WORLD

It wasn’t too difficult for Marvel to get audiences to buy into an eccentric billionaire who designed a high-tech suit of armor to save the world. It was an uphill battle to get those same people to buy into a Norse god with a magical hammer that could summon lightning. Thor was the fourth picture…

Movie Review: IRON MAN 3

People always say, “Third time’s the charm.” However, that rule doesn’t always apply to comic book movies. If a franchise is lucky enough to make it to a third outing, the filmmakers have forgotten what made the series successful in the first place. Superman 3, Spider-Man 3, and X-Men: The Last Stand are glaring examples while Batman Forever was the start…

Movie Review: THE AVENGERS

“You think you’re the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark, you’ve become a part of a bigger universe…I’m here to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative. Back in 2008, moviegoers patient enough to sit through the end credits of Iron Man heard those fateful words. Marvel Comics laid out the foundation for a…

Movie Review: THOR

Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor. Summer movie season arrives with the booming sound of thunder and the blinding crackle of lightning. That raging storm heralds the arrival of Thor, the latest Marvel superhero to hit the silver screen. This isn’t the Mighty Thor’s first foray into…

Movie Review: IRON MAN 2

Iron Man was never Marvel’s premiere superhero on the comic book page, but on the big screen he’s their centerpiece. 2008’s Iron Man was a rousing success and set the foundation for creating a singular cinematic universe where Marvel’s heroes exist side-by-side. As with the majority of sequels, Iron Man 2 ups the ante with…

Movie Review: THE INCREDIBLE HULK

The Incredible Hulk doesn’t hit it right out of the park as Iron Man did, but it’s a respectable triple. Whereas Ang Lee’s Hulk was more talky, less smashy, this new Hulk is more smashy, less talky. Ed Norton pulls double-duty for this latest adaptation of the Green Goliath. He’s pitch-perfect as Bruce Banner and,…