Avenger Superhero Powers, by Category

With a metric ton of heroes, superheros, powered beings, and skilled fighters to keep track of in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,  it’s easy to forget not everyone is an innately god-like, supersensory fighting machine. At least in the X-Men Universe things are simple: you’re either a normal human, or a mutant with super skills. (Or Deadpool, but we won’t go there.) 🙂

In the MCU, you don’t even have to have “powers” at all to be a superhero. You can be rich, or smart, technologically equipped, well-trained, or a genetically-blessed normal being – and still be an Avenger, Revenger, Guardian, SHIELD Agent, or any other general “defender” group. 

Here’s a breakdown of the MCU superheroes we’ve seen ’til now and how their skills could be categorized. (Note 1: Spoilers ahead through Avengers 3: Infinity War.) (Note 2: Ignore the end of Infinity War and where some of these characters might be/not be.) (Note 3: I’m not listing anyone according to talent or power-ranking. That would be too complicated to get into and should be a piece unto itself.) (Note 4: This list only covers MCU movies. There’s no way to mention Marvel comics and have a reasonably manageable article). (Last Note: I have a few anti-heroes here, with some anti-villains rounding things out…but this article is mostly reserved for the good guys).

Got all that? Begin!

God-like Superheroes: Born This Way

Thor – The top of this list must start with Thor. He’s a god. Whatever Jane Foster said about powers vs tech, it’s clear that he was born a god, with the innate power to controll lightning. He’s got super strength, star-harnessed  weapons to help him fly and fight (wielding Stormbreaker, he can open the Bifrost to teleport), and the ability to survive in the vacuum of space without a suit or oxygen. He’s 1500 years old but still young. Thor’s not the the brightest Avenger, but he’s definitely the mightiest. (At least through Infinity War). His weapons are super-powered and can apparently only be wielded by other gods. He doesn’t use technology to augment his skills. Thor with a gun? Sorry; can’t see it.

Loki – Although a frost giant by birth, Loki was raised a god among gods in Asgard. I can’t explain this at all, but he has innate, god-level powers for deception, misdirection, teleportation, and trickery. He can hide things in other dimensions and retrieve them. He wielded a super-scepter-weapon harnessing the power of the Tesseract (housing the Space Stone) and is probably as old as Thor – they were raised as children together. I’d say he can keep his self-described god status.

Heimdall – Another Asgardian, he has the ability to call forth the Bifrost for teleportation (even without the Rainbow Bridge), has foresight, and the ability to see the Nine Realms and everyone in them, simultaneously. More of a protector than a fighter, his talents land him in the category of god-like. Call him a demi-god.

Sif – I don’t know enough about about this fine warrior to place her, but she’s Asgardian, a childhood playmate of Thor, and highly regarded. Also, probably sill alive. She could be called into play if Thor summons the Bifrost. Are all Asgardians god-like? I really don’t know.

Valkyrie – This isn’t actually her name, but a job description for minor gods in Norse mythology. We see her in flashback-action defending Asgard, and presumably brought slain warriors to Valhalla before Hela decimated her platoon. At this point she’s a busted up drunken gladiator hunter, but retains her fighting skills, cunning, and weapons expertise. She’s also a space pilot, and know how to ride winged horses (cue The Immigrant Song). Even soused on booze, Valkyrie captured Thor and took him to the Grandmaster. No small feat. 

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Superpowered Superheroes: Characters with supernormal, non-tech-dependent skills

Scarlet Witch – an Infinity Stone gave Wanda Maximoff powers strong enough to propel her to the superhero elite. She’s not a trained fighter and she doesn’t depend on technology, but damn if her powers aren’t at the top of any ranking. Anything the Mind Stone could do is at her command. Additionally, she seems to draw strength from emotional connections – perhaps another element drawn from the Mind Stone.

Spiderman –  Though he has a brand-new tech-powered robotic suit courtesy of Stark Industries, his main skills are a part of him. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker became so immensely skilled, useful, and strong, that as he grows to adulthood he may well become one of the most powerful superheroes. In this iteration of Spiderman, his powers include slinging webs, incredible calisthenic skill, the ability to stick to and crawl on any surface, tingling “spidey” senses, and the proportional strength of an arachnid. He’s naturally clever and smart. Parker’s also pleasant, polite, personable, and a pleasure to be around. Don’t underestimate the power of sheer likability. 

Hulk – Like Spidey, a chance encounter transformed his DNA enough to give him internal powers. Unfortunately Dr. Bruce Banner can’t access these powers, and his rage-monster alter ego is barely controllable. But Banner alone is still a super-genius with 7 PhDs. He now wears the Hulk-Buster suit, which would put him in the tech-only category….but we all know Hulk is still in there. After his encounter with Thanos, the big green weenie is just afraid to come out. 

Black Panther – The hero mantle can be assumed by different people in various lineages in Wakanda, but there’s more than technology at work. Actual spiritual and physical powers are conferred by the heart-shaped flower, derived from the Vibranium meteorite.  Although the immense technological superiority of Wakanda helps, there’s something more at work.  I’d call Black Panther an enhanced human with amazing tech, and the might of an entire Vibranium-based fighting army at his disposal.

Captain America – His skills stem from a super soldier serum. The various Vibranium shields are just a bonus. While his strength and skills don’t approach the other heroes in this category, he has innate bravery  and the tactical/leadership skills to supplement his power level. Call Cap an enhanced human.  He MIGHT have something else going on; he was able to move Thor’s hammer a tiny bit. It’s a funny moment, but perhaps that moment could indicate something more.

Winter Soldier/The White Wolf – Same as Captain America, only with a Vibranium arm to supplement his super-soldier serum, highly-developed fight training, and a lot of skill handling automatic riflery. 

Mantis – She’s an alien with unique skills, but I think we can assume all her people are like that. We don’t know and apparently she doesn’t either – all Mantis says is that Ego raised her from an egg.

Dr. StrangeLike his name, this is a strange case: you can study your way to super-dom! Being a super-genius helps, but the outlandish reality-bending and teleportation skills are the doctor’s own – no weapon or Infinity Gem required. The sentient cloak is a merely a bonus, more like a wizard’s ‘familiar’ than a super suit. Think about this: Strange barely bothered with the Time Stone when he had it! The man is way overpowered.

Wong – Basically a less powerful version of Strange. There should other disciples around, but we haven’t seen them lately.

***

Tech-Only Powered Superheroes – Superheros only because they have Supersuits

Iron Man – Tony Stark. Take off the suit, and what do you have? “Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist…” Stark is unusual. He lacks bad-ass fighting skills (compare him to Black Widow), and depends on computer targeting to fire his arsenal (unlike Hawkeye). So, why is Iron Man so important to the Avengers, a top superhero among even god-like beings like Thor? Even THANOS knows of Stark, and respects him. There’s a whole slew of lesser characters in super-suits listed below. I’m going to take a leap and say it: personality. As with Steve Rogers, Stark has an essential trait that can’t be duplicated. If Captain America is an unique super soldier through sheer determination, Tony Stark has an alpha-male charisma that won’t be rivaled.

War Machine – Like a larger, clunkier Iron Man, Rhodey can fly and shoot canon weaponry. He’s also got a government job granting him some powers of authority. I appreciate that his disability is both acknowledged and a non-issue. Like Professor X, it won’t keep him out of the action.

Falcon – Basically a sleeker version of War Machine, with smaller guns but more flight maneuverability, and a cool “pet” drone. I always thought he would take over the Captain America torch, but for now, that option seems to be off the table.

Ant-Man, The Wasp – A duo of suit-only superheroes…more or less.  Ant-Man can also control ants – who knows why –  and navigate quantum states. The Pym Particle might not even be scientifically quantifiable, so there may be more than tech at work. I hope the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp film sheds more light.

Nebula – A cybernetically-enhanced individual with superior fighting skills, Nebula might have a bit of an edge over normal humans, but she’s still not as good in a fight as her  unpowered “sister” Gamora. We’ve seen her journey from Chaotic Evil, to Chaotic Neutral, and into Chaotic Good. Hero territory. If she’s a Guardian now, she and Rocket will have to learn to work together.

Yondu – I know I’m pushing things including the grumpy blue Ravager leader, but that arrow of his was extremely cool. Groot welcomed  Yondu as a Guardian at the end. Now Kraglin‘s got the arrow; I hope we see him master it and join the team officially.

***

Well-Trained But Unpowered Superheroes – Heroes with no innate abilities or high-tech powers: their abilities can include superior genetics, skilled fighter training, or good use of weaponry. 

Black Widow – Despite her status as a top flight Avenger, Natasha Romanoff is “merely” a very skilled, well-trained human. She doesn’t even use large weapons, preferring small pistols, quarterstaffs, and whatever is within reach (like, say, a wooden chair) to bash foes. Nat’s intelligence seems to be normal, but her cunning and adaptability is off the charts.

Hawkeye –  Clint Barton might be the weakest hero in the MCU. He’s amazing with a bow, but not a skilled a melee fighter.  No suit, Vibranium tech, supernormal powers, or genius intellect. Just that high-powered bow. I’ve heard he might emerge with a new super persona, but at this point, we don’t know. 

Shuri – I include her because she’s said to be the smartest person in the entire MCU, and this includes a galaxy with Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, and Dr. Strange in it. She’s got tech skills like no one else. She works with Vibranium. As Black Panther’s sister, Shuri has the lineage to take up the Black Panther mantle, with the accompanying super-human physical and spiritual skills to boot. That would add her to the superhuman AND super-suit category, but for now, her formidable mind and Vibranium skill-set makes her a well-trained but unpowered lesser hero.

Star Lord – Let’s not mention him screwing the pooch in Infinity War, but discuss his heroic qualities instead. Peter Quill is a fine pilot, cunning, good with plasma guns, and an accomplished thief. He held his own in one-to-one melee combat with Gamora. He’s also undeniably brave, and makes clever use of some interesting tech (including a space helmet and dual ankle flight jets). All this, but he’s STILL essentially a human with space guns, an MCU Han Solo. With his father’s DNA, he briefly held the Power Stone without blowing himself up or destroying Xandar. He IS half god, after all. Since his godding skills were brief and limited to forming little balls of light, I won’t be including him in the god-like category.

Gamora – Thanos calls her the fiercest woman in the galaxy, but her skills aren’t superpowered: she’s just very well trained. Much as I love Gamora, I really don’t know if she or Black Widow would prevail in a fight.

Drax – The big guy likes knives, and isn’t afraid of taking on a far more powerful opponent. While that sounds like bravery, it’s mostly because he’s a little dim. He also can’t follow orders, and is sometimes a liability to the Guardians.

Korg – He’s a large rock gladiator, and one would guess that endows him with a certain durability and strength.  We’ve never seen him fight yet.

***

WTF Category

The Vision – I don’t know where to put The Vision at all. He’s not even alive. That said, he’s powered by the Mind Stone, has the combined technological might of Stark and Banner, boasts a Vibranium body, and uses the computational data speeds of JARVIS and Ultron. He even lifted Thor’s hammer. Yeah: Vision is a top-level super contender. Honestly, this character needs his own category.  I don’t know how else to place him. I’d love some better ideas.

Rocket and Groot also defy categorization. Groot has the powers of a tree – but he IS a tree. Rocket has cybernetic enhancements, but those don’t seem to impart him with more than the ability to have human-intelligence, human-dexterity, and the ability to talk. He’s not a melee fighter, but is brilliant with guns. He’s a good pilot and highly agile physically. The sarcastic raccoons’s strategic abilities are top notch, and he can make a bomb out of spare parts and gum. Rocket may be a small non-super-sensory being, but he also comes with a very dangerous counterpart: Rocket and Groot are essentially a unit. I still don’t know where to place them.

The Collector – If we ignore the comics, we have almost no background on Taneleer Tivon. We know he’s an Elder. What does this mean? Does Immortality imply godhood? Just how old is he? We don’t even know his alignment. (Chaotic Neutral?)

The Grandmaster – Well, he’s no hero, but he doesn’t seem to be a villain per se. He could be another Elder, like The Collector. I’m starting to scrape the bottom of the MCU bargain bin, so I’m going to quit while I’m ahead.

Who did I miss? I know I’ve left characters out. Like Quicksilver, Okoye, or any one of thousands of people living in Wakanda, for that matter.  Who else? Who did I get wrong? Tell me below and I’ll give you credit for any changes I make.

Read More on RunPee.com:

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Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Movie Review – Overboard (2018)

I’m not sure why anyone felt a need to remake *Overboard*. The 1987 original has a sparkling and famous cast, led by Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel. It was sweet, it was funny, and despite the kind of casual sexism often shown in that era of movies, was a small cult classic. I loved it. I still love it and watch it when I need cheering up. But, remember, as major hits from the past go, this is still minor-league. It would be like remaking *So I Married An Axe Murderer*. Both are cute, fun little romps, perfectly made — but not exactly in the realm of important films of the 80s.

I can see re-doing *Ghostbusters* , a major movie from that time, still on any complete must-see movie list. That remake was gender-flipped, and featured good natured cameos from almost everyone in the original. Which leads me back to *Overboard*.

Someone must have noted when the gender swapped *Ghostbusters* made enough of a splash to justify its existence, and thought the concept would work for other old properties. Cue *Overboard*.

Does it work? Yes and no. With the gender reversals and current climate of correctness, it’s a lot less sexist. It also features a large Latino cast to balance out all the blond girls. The good mom (Kate, by Anna Faris) finds love and  a father to her girls; the selfish alpha male (Leo, by Eugenio Derbezlearns to be warm, caring, and responsible…so the message is nice and the audience walks out happy. There are legitimate laughs along the way, mainly via Leo struggling to learn construction under the benevolent hazing of his co-workers. I smiled a lot. This should all be fresh and new for audiences not raised on the original.

What doesn’t work is how underwhelming this version is. It’s not as charming as it hoped to be, and the cast doesn’t have that ringing chemistry of the first. The family moments feel rushed and unearned. Kate’s “nurse” story lacks the cool cleverness of Kurt Russel’s “Wonders of the World Golf Course” scenario, and the children don’t have enough anything memorable to do. The side-plot with Leo’s rich family is simply dull. That’s way too bad; the antics of the crew on the “Immaculata” were wildly entertaining.

On all these levels, *Overboard 2018* doesn’t come close to adding anything interesting that a remake should. Only the character of Leo is consistently amusing, but with his role doubling for the formidable Ms. Hawn, the actor really doesn’t stand a chance in comparison.

If you’re a huge fan of the 1987 original, you might enjoy this reboot. It’s nowhere near as charming, but has its moments. There are many lines lifted exactly from the first, with expressions and tones carefully rendered the same way (ie: “Sometimes dads leave”). A lot of memorable shots are nicely echoed (as in the quiet, tension-crackling scene of the limousine driving toward Elk Cove ). It’s fun to find these elements honored and recreated.

One thing I would have enjoyed: there should have been cameos from the original cast scattered around, as they did with the aforementioned ghost busting movie. If they didn’t want to be that self-referential, they could have slipped in cameos to the extra scene during the credits. I was mystified by the cameo absence. Evoking exact phrases and scenes from the ’87 version showed that they weren’t hiding their roots. And it would have lent a respectful sense of fun for actors and viewers alike.

Enough about comparisons. I’ll grade this movie a B- on its own merits: it’s likable and fun enough for an easy afternoon at the theater. If you want to see something much more touching, that’s rollicking and straight out funny, with far superior acting, rewatch the original.

Movie Grade: B-

Read more: 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Avengers Polls – Surprising Results

To get fans talking about all the awesome movies the Marvel Cinematic Universe created over the last ten years (Wow, think about that – a decade of superheros in one big over-arcing story), I posted a series of Avengers based Twitter polls. The results are intriguing, and in some places, surprising!

Take a look at these fun MCU polls, and tell me how you would have voted on them yourself, in the comments below.

 

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Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

13 Scenes from Star Wars you won’t have missed if you had RunPee

May the 4th Be With You.  Are you celebrating Star Wars Day? Excited yet for the upcoming May 25th, SOLO: a Star Wars Story? You don’t want to miss a single scene in a new Star Wars film, but with the RunPee app,  suffering will not be your lot in life. We’ll tell you when you can sneak out for a quick bathroom break.

To honor Star Wars Day, here’s a list of iconic scenes you wouldn’t have missed if you had the RunPee App. Suffice to say, SPOILERS LIE AHEAD, MATEY. Stop right here if you aren’t up to speed through The Last Jedi.

We will start, of course, with the best moment in cinematic history…

  1. “Luke, I am your Father.” I didn’t see that one coming, but it made total sense once I heard it. People argued Obi-Won couldn’t have been lying, but that turned out to be a misdirect (from a “certain point of view.”) – The Empire Strikes Back
  2. “I love you.” “I know.” From Empire, again. Harrison Ford improvised this line, to make one of the greatest responses to a declaration of love ever (when I got married, it was after such an exchange happened — Yes, fact).  – Empire
  3. When Obi-Won put up his lightsaber, and Vader killed him. Or did he?  We never did find out what happened to his body, nor exactly how powerful he became. Force Ghosts don’t seem that exciting. But it was a cool moment, nonetheless. – A New Hope
  4. When Anakin and Luke both lose a hand – this is a Skywalker thing in middle movies, apparently. Maybe someone will lose his or her hand in The Last Jedi.  Empire, & Attack of the Clones
  5. The Pod Race – make fun of The Phantom Menace all you like, but this is still a fun, exciting sequence, showing how exactly the Force can guide your reflexes. “Yipee!?” Just relax and enjoy the pretty set piece.  – The Phantom Menace
  6. Dual of the Fates – again, from Phantom, we get an indelible scene, where Darth Maul expertly wields a double-ended lightsaber to fight off two powerful Jedi Knights/Masters. It didn’t end so well for Qui-Gon, but the music, the room’s closed shield moments, and the character emotions — all so very raw and powerful. While Qui-Gon meditates, Darth Maul paces like a hungry tiger. It’s a great showcase for one of John William’s  great iconic themes. Go listen to it on YouTube right now – it’s still amazing. As far as the Prequels go, this is as good as it gets.  – The Phantom Menace
  7. When Rey uses the Force to escape her restraints – such a joy to see Rey learn to use her Force abilities, making Daniel Craig’s storm trooper untie her and leave his weapon behind. Funny as sh!t, and crucial to the plot. Yes, please, more like this!  – The Force Awakens
  8. When the Death Star explodes (for the the first time). You know you cheered. I still do. When the Millennium Falcon flies out of the sun and Luke uses the Force to guide his torpedoes, movie magic happens…set to the powerful John Williams version of The Mars Theme. “Whoohoo! Come on kid, let’s blow this thing and go home!” – A New Hope
  9. When Vader sees his son with his “Own Eyes”. Yeah, I kind of cried. So much that needed to come to pass in this epic happened in these few short moments.  – Return of the Jedi
  10. The entire rescue sequence with Jabba. This is great stuff, and the last time we really saw the Original Trio make it work. – Return of the Jedi
  11. The classic Cantina scene. What can I say? Everyone loves it. Nothing really significant happens here, but I would never want to miss this bit. The Force Awakens recreates this scene somewhat at Maz Kanata’s smuggling den, and that’s cool too. – A New Hope
  12. When the original Death Star enters Scarif’s stratosphere for one real reason – to punish Orson Krennic. He’s on the radio tower gangway, looking towards the sky, and sees his own weapon aimed directly at him. Yes. It’s a frightening moment, even though we don’t like Krennic. What a fantastic and iconic scene, with a weapon we really thought we couldn’t be moved by again, after all these years. – Rogue One
  13. The best sequence in Episode 8 by far is the dual fight with Rey and Kylo Ren. I’d already call it iconic. They way those two crazy kids mirror each other reeks of sheer beauty. The final ‘battle’ between Luke and his nephew is sleek too — with a twist I should have seen coming  but didn’t — but not as satisfyingly intimate as the new kids fighting off Supreme Leader Snoke. Like this movie or not, those battle scenes gave us true Star Wars.  – The Last Jedi

What did I miss? Add your favorite scenes in the comments below.

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Where the Cast from the Original Overboard is Now

When I saw the original Overboard in 1987, I was delighted with its wit and charm. It had a lightness, a sense of playful adventure, and a sweetly romantic conclusion. It made me laugh. It made me happy. Although the plot was implausible — and vaguely sexist even for the 80s — I was willing to overlook that in favor of the likability factor. There was an adorable chemistry between real-life, then-couple Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel.

Hawn did an especially bang-up job playing three distinct periods of character growth (her rich, petulant brat persona was an especial treat). Russel’s character also grew (from overgrown man-child to almost-responsible adult), but Hawn owned this film.

The three children almost stole the show themselves. That can be a real trick. Kid roles can torpedo an otherwise good story by being too cutesy, whiny, or obnoxiously precocious.  Here, the director made sure everything worked. For a small and implausible movie like this, that’s kind of rare. Call it a minor cult classic. 

I still play Overboard whenever I need a little pick me up, placing it into a small category of flicks I can replay over and over as the years go by. It’s a great “background movie” too. So, light and inconsequential as it is, it’s a personal favorite. When I realized a new Overboard was in the works, I was nervous. Reboots do that to me. Understanding it’s a gender-flipped version helped a little. (It worked for Ghostbusters, which may not have been great, but was light on its feet and was worlds better than Ghostbusters 2.) The new Overboard might not come close to bettering the original, but it could at least it might not suck. “Not Awful” has become an acceptable new category in this age of remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, sagas, and long-term franchise building.

The new actors for the new Overboard seem cute enough – although I’m curious why Kate Hudson (Hawn’s real-life and look-alike actress daughter) didn’t take up her mother’s role. We’ll see if the new guys have any chemistry, and if the story has enough grounding to stand up in today’s era.

In the meantime, what exactly did happen with the original cast?

Wikepedia’s 1987 Overboard entry lists the actors’ names, but apparently the kiddos didn’t go on to do much after this: only Jared Rushton, as Charlie Proffit (one of the twins), saw enough action to fill a filmography list.

Besides Hawk and Russel — who are STILL headlining major roles (as early as 2017’s Snatched and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2),  mainly the late, award-winning Roddy McDowall, and still-acting Edward Herrmann, Katherine Helmond, and popular character-actor Michael G. Hagerty continue to make a “splash” (pardon the pun). Here’s a You Tube video detailing where the original cast sailed off to (sorry again):

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

A Quiet Place – Jilly’s Movie Review (with SPOILERS)

I thoroughly enjoyed A Quiet Place, even though I can’t stomach horror movies. Thank Thor RunPee Sis craves those films, or I don’t think we’d have Peetimes for them. But, you know what? A Quiet Place isn’t really straight-up horror — or more accurately, it’s a sub-unit of such: scary suspense. And those are perfectly fine viewing for movie-goers who don’t enjoy being frightened witless, or mentally disturbed after bedtime. I can do suspense.  After all, Alien  and Signs are among my favorite films. Take heart, and see this movie if you’re unsure.

Silence. Shhhhh. Both showings I attended were dead quiet — the hearing-a-pin-drop kind. When one person rustled their bag for popcorn, the room en mass shot dirty looks at the unwitting assailant. I’ve since read this spontaneously happened across theaters every night, every time. One person directly in front of me made two near-silent coughs and took herself right out of there. Good call. We might have just as silently killed her for it. Such was the magic of attending this kind of movie, a rare theater-only experience. (Only films like Avatar, Titanic, and  the first Jurassic Park are really the main theater related “experiences” I can offhand recall.)

If this was an art-film made to showcase a dialog and soundtrack-free production, or an old-timey silent film, I wouldn’t be interested. The only things I could previously appreciate was a silent (and also scary) TV episode of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. As it was, I was entirely, and enjoyably, gripped.

Our only exposition are the many news clippings tacked on basement walls, things panned too quickly to really read. Are the aliens Death Angels of God? Aliens from a Meteorite? Subterranean creatures from a cave in Mexico? It’s enough. It doesn’t matter. More important are the words scrawled on the family white board: THEY HUNT BY SOUND. THEY ARE ARMORED. Local Area has (3) confirmed.

That’s all one needs for the story, and we’ve guessed most of that by this point.

Like in Signs by M. Night Shylaman, we get a one-family take on a War of the Worlds theme, and it really works. The stakes are upped — as we see by the nightly lighting of fire beacons, they may only be small pockets of humanity left. We’re talking a few local outposts with the intelligence and ingenuity to live in silence indefinitely.

And more pointedly, we see up close several reasons WHY this family does so well. There’s a well-equipped barnhouse bunker as a birthing room and sanctuary, and a sound-proofed box for their soon-to-be squalling baby, equipped with working oxygen supplies. There’s enough tools and sundries for any end-of-the-world scenario. Who needs zombies when you have this?

Outside the bunker, the family knows to walk barefoot and not make sounds in surprise or pain. All common pathways outside are deeply lined with sand, any squeaking steps in the house are clearly marked for avoidance, and red lights are strung about to announce an attack. The father keeps loud rockets in his pockets to draw off intruders. He knows you can speak under a waterfall, how to set traps for fish, and where to forage in the empty towns for supplies he can’t make himself.

He also, almost too fortunately,  knows how to construct high-tech hearing aids. And this is also where A Quiet Place treads too close to Signs, where the daughter has an extremely fortunate habit of leaving undrank glasses of water everywhere in the house. In A Quiet Place, it’s all about a coincidentally “different” daughter again. Their daughter was deaf and the family knew sign language? Impressively useful. How convenient the father kept tinkering with better hearing devices?  Yeah, yeah. But you know what — in the entire world, surely this scenario would occur somewhere. We just follow the family that has it going on.  While it’s less comedic (read: never) than Signs, it’s a story that actually makes more sense.

So they’ve got things mostly covered. It sounds…doable. They manage for at least a few years. And that’s where things get going, in deadly earnest. In spite of all their planning, Emily Blunt’s character breaks her water early. She’s alone in an unsound-proofed area, in a tremendous state of pain and terror. We remember (from the prologue) that the family was used to grabbing pain killers from an empty pharmacy. But then, more than a year goes by. Blunt’s character didn’t take any pills when her contraction begins and never gets the chance later. That’s a difficult enough birth under normal circumstances.

But her suffering has to be silent; absolutely so. No moaning, screaming, nor normal crying. She bleeds out in a bathtub with an lethal alien crawling about the room. This is gripping storytelling. I went in a second time to watch this scene, because Blunt portrays her character’s experience entirely, compellingly, with only eyes and expressions. Her hands grip her womb, seemingly to keep the baby safely inside, or push it out quickly, to somehow protect her baby from the consequences of its first cry.

This is one versatile actress. Remember when Blunt’s big debut was as a supporting break-out character – that self-absorbed mean-spirited assistant from The Devil Wears Prada? Her main goal in life was eating just enough cheese cubes to keep from passing out (the better to carry off size 00 couture from Paris). Her smaller roles became leads, including an aggressively skilled warrior in Edge of Tomorrow, and a pathetic, grief-stricken soul from Girl On A Train. These are wildly diverging roles she carried off with deftness and verve.

In A Quiet Place, there aren’t great set-pieces or sparkling dialog to carry the film. It doesn’t offer much in the way of visuals, either.  (It’s a somewhat claustrophobic movie, as a clearly Hitchcockian-inspired flick would be.)  Blunt shoulders nearly the entire movie with no more than a few words of wistful, pain-wracked regret. These rare lines don’t serve to propel the action or plot: they’re just quiet moments of drama.

John Trasinski (as the father that is – directorially he’s superb) does a fine job too, but this isn’t his movie. His character’s climactic sacrifice, however, lends a tragically necessary gravity to the story. Life ends, life begins. There’s no happy ending, just the reality of survival.

The denouement confused me at first. As they watched their land’s video cameras, I thought the rest of the family was about to be overwhelmed and snuffed out. Talking about it among the RunPee family showed me it’s actually a thread of hope. Now that this family knows how to kill the aliens, they can wipe out the local pocket (tow more left) of intruders. They can reach out the the local families (right, as seen by bonfire) and show them how to do that too. And from there, hope for what’s left of humanity can spread. I’d watch that sequel.

Which leads me to announcing there is a sequel, or maybe a prequel in the works. The Quiet-Verse has lots of stories to tell. If there’s a franchise to be had here, I can only hope all involved want to craft any subsequent movies as perfectly as they did this one. Earning a rare A+, all a normally reluctant horror-phone can say is:  see this film.

Movie Grade: A+

RunPee Dan’s (Unspoiled) Review of A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place 2 Announced

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Avengers Infinity War – Characters Missing in Action, Whereabouts Unknown

Some characters’ whereabouts from the immensely popular Avengers – Infinity War aren’t shown by the end of the movie, leaving fans wondering where they might be, and if they’ll show up again. The film has a massive cast already, but with ten years of epic saga-ness under their belt, not everyone could be onscreen for Avengers 3.

Stop reading right here if you haven’t seen the movie yet. Just stop. I’m about to talk specifics.

I’ll say it again. SPOILERS AHEAD for Infinity War! Do NOT read past this point if you haven’t seen Avengers 3 – Infinity War.

Okay, to make this more clear, I’m about to talk about the controversial ending to Infinity War. Here we go: a lot of deaths happen to a lot of heroes. I’ve seen the movie four times now, and in between sobs I’ve noted who remains and who doesn’t, and wondered about the offscreen fates of who might be left to carry the fight in Avengers 4. (Which is as yet still untitled – apparently the final Avenger film has a big spoiler right in the name.)

We simply don’t know if the offscreen characters made it or not. I’m going to take a leap and suggest that most of the ‘rest’ survived, probably with a token few who we’ll never know about.

So, at this point, here are the named characters that are either MIA or simply have their fates unknown at this time:

Captain Marvel – Not a huge guess to say she’s just fine. Someone answered Nick Fury’s page at the bitter end.

Ant-Man and the Wasp – Their next movie takes place before the Infinity War, but they’re probably going to be around to join the remaining Avengers next year. Otherwise, why bother giving them another movie?

Hawkeye –  Since the original Avenger team members survived, it’s probable Clint Barton will still be around to come out of house arrest/retirement. (Why did the original Avengers make it? Coincidence? Fate? …At this point, we don’t know.)

Pepper Potts – We also don’t know anything about Tony’s fiance, but she’s worn an Iron Man suit before. No reason she can’t put one of Tony’s old models on if she’s needed for next year’s battle.

Shuri – She was right there in Wakanda, but we didn’t see her fate. I’m betting the MCU’s “Smartest Genius” made it, even if her brother didn’t. She’ll probably be around to team up with Okoye and M’Baku…and likely Nakia, T’Challa’s girlfriend, and the Queen Mother (whose fates are also unknown).

King Eitri – The giant dwarf from Infinity War still has crucial knowledge about mighty weapons (and the Infinity Gauntlet in particular). He’s a pretty big dude (“dwarf” status aside). Those iron fists could come in handy, and he’s got to be really lonely on that broken Forge Spaceship by now. I hope Thor didn’t just leave him there.

Sif – With almost everyone from Asgard destroyed, including Loki, Heimdall, Thor’s entire family, and the Warriors Three, Thor’s remaining Asgardian friend could be literally in any of the Nine Realms. Thor can call on his shiny new axe  Stormbreaker to bring this warrior back for the final fight.

Valkyrie – Her absence confused me most of all. She was RIGHT THERE with Thor and the “Revengers” at the end of Thor Ragnarok. Didn’t she get on the big ship with everyone else? Maybe she snuck off in her own vessel, or the Grandmaster’s ship, and headed straight to the nearest intergalactic bar for an epic bender. She was such a huge breakout role in Ragnarok, that killing her offscreen and unnoticed is probably just not going to happen.

Korg (and his little pal Miek) – Same as above; the rockman’s probably an offscreen survivor. It helps that Korg is played by Ragnarok’s own director.

The Grandmaster – Not a hero or a true villain, his last whereabouts are in Los Angeles, living with Thor’s ex-roomate Daryl. That’s if you count the Team Daryl You Tube one-off as canon. I’ve noticed you can never actually count Jeff Goldblum’s characters out, even if they’ve been said to die (Jurassic Park comes to mind). Maybe the Grandmaster will be still around to melt people that annoy him.

Jane Foster – Thor’s ex-girlfriend was infused with the Aether/Reality Stone once. If she’s around, she might have some connection to it still. The actress reportedly doesn’t want to work with Marvel anymore, but who knows? Then there’s the other members of Jane’s science team: Darcy, her intern, and, of course, there’s…

Erik Selvig –  Aside from his Thor connections, he fell under the spell of the Tesseract/Power Stone in the original Avengers film. He’s been a likable character and tech-helpful.

Phil Coulson – I haven’t kept up with his role on Agents of SHIELD, but since he started in the movies, Phil could be pulled back in.

Wong – As far as we know, he’s still guarding the Sanctum Sanctorum. He has enough mystic power of his own to join the Avengers, if he’s willling.

The Nova Corps – With half of planet Xandar’s populace killed offscreen, pre-film, there could be a few named characters reprising their roles from Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1. Nova Prime, maybe. I’d love to see Rhomann Dey again. That guy was fun. Um…the Broker could be around too. A lot of people appeared on Xandar.

Speaking of the Guardians, only Rocket pulls through. Nebula could be considered a Guardian by now, but there are other named characters who may be around. There’s Kraglin, Yondu’s right hand man and current owner of the Arrow. I expected him to have joined the Guardians, after accepting Star Lord as his new captain at the end of GotG, Vol 2. It was surprising he was nowhere to be found. With the actor, Sean Gunn, being Guardian director James Gunn’s real-life brother (and body actor for Rocket), I’m going to bet he made it through the Snap-pocalypse.

Then there are the other Ravagers, like the little group surrounding Sylvester Stallone’s Starhawk character. They could be a thing.

Adam Warlock – The Sovereign isn’t the nicest lady in the MCU, but she’s not evil. And she’s got a whole planet of people who, presumably, have still half their population left. Her “son” Adam was teased at in GotG Vol 2, and he’s supposed to be pretty powerful. If they follow up on that extra scene in the credits, he could be a major new super being.

“Happy” Hogan – He’s been a supporting player for Tony Stark and the Avengers, and could continue to help the team. 

Vulture – Yeah, he was a bad guy in Spiderman – Homecoming, but he’s not totally evil. He mainly wanted to support his family. And he owes Spidey big time. Last seen in prison, he refused to name Peter Parker as the young superhero. He could be a good guy in the coming days.

Aunt May – She knows her nephew is Spiderman, but we don’t know her reaction yet. She doesn’t have any powers, but she might still be alive and well for Spiderman: Homecoming 2.

Ned –  Spiderman’s best friend and official “Chair Guy”, he had a cute little cameo in the bus scene. And speaking of the bus scene, there’s…

Stan Lee – Unless the actor dies, he’ll probably keep reprising his ever-present bit roles, which were finally revealed as an overarching “Superhero Watcher Informant”. Maybe he’ll have something more substantial to do next time around. I’m not counting anyone out.

Notice I’m not including anyone from the MCU television shows, unless they’ve been notable in the Marvel movies. Apparently, we’re not going to see any significant cross-over into future films. I’m not even going to mention the comic book characters. This article is pretty long and somewhat esoteric enough.

Okay, who’d I forget? There’ve been a lot of “named” characters in these 19 movies, and I’m not an encyclopedia. Tell me what you think in the comments below. 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

A Quiet Place 2 Announced

Shhhhhhhh. No, really, don’t make a sound. Not even when we announce that A Quiet Place has a sequel scheduled already! (Confirmed by Paramount.)

A Quiet Place offers an interesting concept for movie-going – people constantly report that their theaters were dead silent. Through the whole movie. Apparently this is a great cinematic experience and not to be missed. I’d call this film a sleeper hit.

Right on the heels of the surprise rise of A Quiet Place, Den Of Geek reports A Quiet Place 2 is in the works already. They say the story could continue where it left off, or could be about another family entirely.  There are many options to explore in the Quiet-verse.

How do you live, when your life depends on total silence? Could you do it? Even clicking the keys on my laptop makes sound. I have a fan on as I work: Alexa belts out my morning playlist. The coffeepot gurgles, percolating, while the dog barks and whines, begging for bacon that pops and sizzles on the stove. I take all this for granted.

Our spoiler free review of A Quiet Place gives this film an A, and reports the tone is more like a cross between Alien and Signs (both being top notch films). RunPee Creator Dan says, “Every scene felt like it was hand crafted, over and over, until it was perfected. There isn’t a wasted second in a single scene.“. My spoiler-full review awards A Quiet Place a rare A+ ( I was slightly more impressed).

With the care, commitment, and attention to detail by the director, cast, cast and crew, we can hope any sequels or prequels will add to the richness of this dystopia, and not just toss out a trashy cash cow.

Want more details on the sequel? CinemaBlend provides some details with major spoilers in the article, while Emily Blunt and John Krasinski discuss what they know and how they feel in this clip:

A Quiet Place Review – No Spoilers

A Quiet Place Review – With Spoilers

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Black Panther Fashion in the Real World

Black Panther style is making waves on and off the runway, according to sources around the world. Literally. In fact, if you Google “black panther fashion clothes” it turns up 4,780,000 results. There’s a whole lot of fashion photos, style ideas, fashion tips and general garment excitment, all based on the fictional Wakanda, a high-tech and super-powered country hidden the mountains and fields of Africa.

When I saw Marvel’s Black Panther on opening night – to a sold out audience – I noticed how many theater-goers were dressed in fantastical and traditional  African garb. I even noted it in my Black Panther review. These looks are clearly being celebrated in a new, more high-profile way than ever before. Marketplace’s article even mentions how clothing stores had to jump to respond to people wanting to get their outfits ready to see Black Panther; people were independently planning around a sort of celebration of the first major Marvel superhero based in Africa.

It seems like futuristic African styles are on the rise. In a big way. I know I’d wear a lot of them; these are clothes drenched in color, texture, drape, and detail. These are just beautiful garments — some reaching the level of art. Even sources like Vanity Fair and the runways of New York Fashion Week are taking note.

Here are some top articles about Wakandan fashion gracing the internet’s stage right now: 

Black Panther Style Inspires Fashion

32 Black Panther Fashion Looks on the Runway

The Secrets Behind Black Panther’s Spellbinding Fashion

How to get your Black Panther Look

Fans Flock to Theaters in Traditional African Attire

And take a look at some of these luscious fashion videos:

 


Read More on RunPee:

 Black Panther Review

Other Marvel-Related Articles

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Prettiest Live Action Movies

Here’s a fun topic, a list of the “prettiest” ever live action movies. They have to be gorgeous on their own merits, plot aside. I’m looking for outstanding visuals. What qualifies as pretty? Lots of color, slick visual or computer generated effects that stand up through time, creative set-pieces, stylish direction, and lavish location scenery. If you leave a theater thinking, “Wow! That was stunning,” then it’s a contender.

You’ll notice that most of the following are in sci-fi and fantasy genres, which is a viewing bias some of us at RunPee have. Help out in the comments so I may add more to this ongoing list. NOTE: Linked titles go to our movie reviews.
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Well, there’s our short list, ready for you to add your opinions to. What are we missing? Where do you disagree?

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)