Quiz – Chris Pratt – Not the New Kid in Town Anymore

Chris Pratt became a hot item after the first Guardians of the Galaxy hit the big screen. Follow that up with the revival of the dinosaur franchise with Jurassic World, throw in an animated starring role voice for the Lego Universeand you’ve got the busiest guy in show biz. And don’t forget one-off sci-fi gems like Passengers! Hope you have fun with my 10 question quiz.

Quiz – Chris Pratt – Not the New Kid in Town Anymore

Thanks for stopping by. I’d kind of like it if you’d share my quiz with lots of people, because it makes me look good when my boss sees my shares, and in a year or two I may get a raise. 😉 Thank you again, and I hope you enjoyed the newest Lego film: The Lego Movie 2: the Second Part.

– RunPee Mom aka Ginger G.

The Cast of Voices for The Lego Movie 2 – The Second Part

Movie Review – The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

Movie Review – The LEGO Movie

Movie Review – Passengers

Why You Need to Care About Carol Danvers – Captain Marvel Facts and Film Updates

brie larson as captain marvel for the mcu
Who is this young woman, and how can she possibly fight Thanos?

Have you noticed the Captain Marvel trailers dropping for the upcoming March 8, 2019 film, set within the (admittedly large and dense) Marvel Cinematic Universe? There’s a lot of speculation on who exactly Ms. Marvel is, how she’s going to fit into the Avengers ongoing storyline, why the movie will be set in the past, and what we need to know before we see the flick. Rest assured, you don’t need to catch up on years of Captain Marvel comic books to follow along — we’ll tell you the few things we think will help get you up to speed.

There are some slight spoilers here, but nothing to fret over if you’ve seen the trailers at all. (Skip this post if you want to be completely in the dark.)

RunPee writer Golden Man, of the Oscar-awards oriented blog Etched In Gold, lists these cool details to help you better understand Carol Danvers (AKA Captain Marvel):

— In the comic books, Carol Danvers was known as Ms. Marvel, until taking over the mantle of Captain Marvel in 2012.

— The movie draws inspiration from the 1970s comic storyline The Kree-Skrull War.

— Skrulls are the villains in the movie. They have the ability to simulate other people (like the old lady on the train in the trailer).

— There are rumors this movie will plant the seeds for a future film based on the 2008 Secret Invasion storyline, where Skrulls impersonated many famous characters from the Marvel universe.

— The movie is set in the late ’90s. This basically makes it a prequel to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

— In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Samuel L. Jackson confirmed we will find out what happened to Nick Fury’s eye in this movie.

— A young Agent Coulson appears in the movie. (That is Clark Gregg taking off his sunglasses in the latest trailer.)

— This movie makes the first time Marvel Studios has used de-aging effects on actors for an entire film (for Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg).

— Lee Pace’s character Ronan the Accuser (who menaced the Guardians of the Galaxy in Volume 1) will reappear in this movie.

— Lashana Lynch plays Maria Rambeaux. In the comics, her daughter Monica also takes on the mantle of Captain Marvel at some point. (She is also known by other superhero names.)

— Captain Marvel is confirmed to be appearing in Avengers: Endgame.

— While a sequel is likely, Marvel is remaining super secretive about Phase Four and no movies have been officially announced beyond Spiderman: Far From Home.

Here’s the first Captain Marvel trailer to get you started. It’s less than two minutes long, but packed with great (albeit lightning-quick) details  — things you’ll understand better after reading our tips:

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops – Comments and Speculation

Avengers 4 Endgame – First Trailer Review

A Slightly More Than Casual Fan’s Reaction to Avenger 4 Trailer 1

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

Movie Review – Guardians Of The Galaxy – The Marvel Movie that Changed Everything


Bio: Golden Man loves comedies, romantic films, superhero movies, and awards bait. He blogs about the Oscar race all year long at Etched In Gold.

Greet the Morning with Groot – Mr. Blue Sky Video and Lyrics

baby groot in guardians of the galaxy dancing to mr blue sky
The cutest dancing tree in the galaxy.
One of the most memorable scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the opening credits, as the adorable Baby Groot dances to ELO’s hit song “Mr. Blue Sky.”

What makes this scene so engaging is Groot’s complete obliviousness to his team mates-slash-parents’ danger as they fight a seriously deranged space monster. The Guardians get beat to hell as Groot grooves along, manically chases space rodents, and  then waves to Gamora mid-fight. Gamora kindly takes the time to say, “Groot, get out of the way! You’re going to get hurt. Hi!” in between blasting at the nasty tentacled slime beast. It’s a hoot. You can’t beat this stuff. (I’m SO going to miss James Gunn by the time we get to GotG Vol 3.)

I wrote a previous article about how the first song on my daily morning playlist is Deadpool’s fabulous opening scene, set to Juice Newton’s Angel in the Morning. Now I’m writing to report Mr. Blue Sky always follows on the heels of that softer tune, and gets me ready to dance around and greet the day.

Here’s the absolutely precious opening scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for your viewing enjoyment. Why can’t all movies be this much fun?

These are the lyrics to Mr. Blue Sky, so you can sing along while Baby Groot does his joyful boogie:

Mr. Blue Sky

(Electric Light Orchestra – 1978)

Sun is shinin’ in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped rainin’ everybody’s in a play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day, hey hey
Runnin’ down the avenue
See how the sun shines brightly in the city
On the streets where once was pity
Mister blue sky is living here today, hey hey
Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Hey you with the pretty face
Welcome to the human race
A celebration, mister blue sky’s up there waitin’
And today is the day we’ve waited for
Oh mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Hey there mister blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you
Hey there mister blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you
Mister blue sky, mister blue sky
Mister blue sky
Mister blue, you did it right
But soon comes mister night creepin’ over
Now his hand is on your shoulder
Never mind I’ll remember you this
I’ll remember you this way
Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Hey there mister blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you

Guardians of the Galaxy Song – Guardians Inferno Video and Lyrics

I think this is our long-awaited Dance Off.

The Guardians of the Galaxy, Vols 1 and 2, are already beloved movie icons, both inside and outside the geek crowd. As a big part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, their reach extends from Disney theme parks, with the hugely popular Guardian’s Breakout ride, to this little gem of a disco parody song called The Guardians Inferno.

It’s a catchy tune, and watching the video is great fun. Almost every character (plus erstwhile  director James Gunn) are featured in shiny, tight, glittery, and frankly outlandish outfits that wouldn’t stick out on the dance floor in the 80s.  Mutton chops and afros make an appearance too. If you’ve seen the movies, you’ll understand why David Hasselhoff (AKA Zardu Hasslefrou) sings this song — and if you know anything about Marvel comics, you’ll adore the Stan Lee cameo at the end.

Try to see if you can spot these characters from the films:

  • Gamora
  • Kraglin/Rocket
  • Drax
  • Nebula
  • Mantis
  • Star Lord
  • (And also director James Gunn)

Lyrics are below. And by the way, a “procyon lotor” is a raccoon. But you probably guessed that. 🙂

Here are the lyrics to this hugely amusing bonus treat:

Guardians Inferno

(Song byThe Sneepers, 2017)

Getting down and dirty with a procyon lotor
Got no people skills but he’s good with motors

That weird thing by his side’s an infantilized sequoia
The two of them walk by, people say “oh boy-a”

They ask me why I’m bringin’
A baby into battle
That’s really irresponsible
And getting them rattled

I say “give me a break
Get off of my back damn, it”
I didn’t learn parenting
My daddy was a planet

Zardu Hasselfrau, Zardu Hasselfrau, hey
Zardu Hasselfrau, Zardu Hasselfrau, hey

In these times of hardship
Just remember…

We
Are
Groot.

(Songwriters: James Gunn / Tyler Bates. Guardians Inferno lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company)

Guardians of the Galaxy Ex-Director James Gunn to Direct Suicide Squad 2

We are still Groot.

In a surprise move that, in hindsight, should not be so surprising, DC snapped up erstwhile Marvel director James Gunn.

The director who helmed the beloved Guardians of the Galaxy films was fired last July from GOTG Vol3 for offensive Twitter jokes posted over a decade ago, stirring up ire and confusion from legions of fans. The entire GOTG cast got involved, tweeting support for Gunn and asking Disney to reconsider their stance. One actor, Dave Bautista (Drax), stated he would quit the MCU if Marvel didn’t use Gunn’s script for Vol3.

It’s been an emotional road for fans since then. I was at the San Diego Comic Con the day Gunn was slated to speak, and it hit the entire convention like a blow. He didn’t appear at all, which made a lot of sense: this knee-jerk move most probably broke his heart. GOTG was his baby, and he made Marvel a lot of money. [pullquote]Gunn took a little-known cosmic corner of the Marvel Comics universe, one with a walking tree and a talking raccoon, and made a joyously exuberant space epic that even non-geeks adore.[/pullquote]  He’s so intimately connected to his characters that he was brought in for Avengers: Infinity War to write all the Guardians’ lines, keeping the tone tied to the GOTG flicks.

Word is that Marvel, now owned by Disney, will still use Gunn’s script for the conclusion to his trilogy, but this hasn’t been confirmed. The feature was slated in the MCU roster for 2020, but is now considered on haitus. In other words, no one knows anything. There might not even BE a third Guardians film, after all is said and done.

Which leads us to the DC Extended Universe. Suicide Squad was intended to be DC’s equivalent to the MCU’s Guardians movies, with rollicking tunes and irreverent characters who are “something good, something bad: a little bit of both.” Unfortunately, SS really wasn’t very good, and became another dead end in DC’s bid to catch up with the MCU.

Gunn coming on board will change things. With the Wonderwoman films course correcting the entire franchise, and the anticipation awaiting December’s Aquaman film, this could be just the kick in the pants DC needed to compete for the hearts of fans. They certainly made a smart call to add Gunn to their universe.  He’s expected to bring to Suicide Squad 2 what he lent to the Guardians films: a freshness, good tunes, witty dialog, and a rousing sense of adventurous fun.

Stan Lee – His Marvel Cameos are a Secret Character

stan lee smiling portrait
The man is seriously always grinning. Excelsior!

Notice how every Marvel movie, whether in an obvious bit or a tiny moment, has a unique and fun Stan Lee cameo?

Fans came up with a theory and Marvel/Lee  finally confirmed it…he actually has a ongoing, arc-based role as a Watcher Informant. His job is to keep an eye on the galaxy’s superheros and report on them, while maintaining his cover as “just some old dude.”

Here’s his “big” moment  (actually, in a 2-parter, so you will need to view both to “get” it) from Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, where he gives the latest update to his Watchers.

Part One:

Part Two:

Another, most amusing clue, comes in the recent Avengers 3 – Infinity War, where he crankily asks a school bus of children if they’ve never seen a spaceship before. (Poor quality is from leaked footage – sorry. But still cute.)

What would we like to see? How about in his next MCU film, maybe Ant-Man and The Wasp, that he actually has a larger part, and we learn a bit about who/what he is…and has an actual task to do?

The man is 95, so we think if his character is going to “come out” as it were, better sooner than later. He may not make it to Avengers 4.  That would be a real shame. And Avengers 4 will have enough characters to juggle, that it’s probably not the best time to roll out Stan Lee’s big moment. We say, make it now.  🙂

UPDATE (11/12/18) : Unfortunately, Stan Lee passed away today and he didn’t have that sweet extended scene I hoped for in Ant Man & The Wasp. He does have a fun small cameo, though.  Business as usual. There’s a possibility Lee has cameos pre-filmed for 2019’s Captain Marvel and Avengers 4. We can hope. Stan Lee, you are missed already. Thank you for envisioning such a creative and detailed universe. 🙁

UPDATE (11/13/18): IGN.com reports  Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 co-director Joe Russo confirmed the late Stan Lee already filmed his Avengers 4 cameo, with a few surprise other movie moments in the can. So we’ve got that to look forward to. #RIPStanLee #Excelsior!

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

At this time, there are exactly 19 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ant Man & The Wasp is coming soon (to make an even 20) but that tale will probably be a self-contained story: a palette cleanser after the lingering after-effects of mighty number 19, the Avengers Infinity War.

You probably already know Infinity War is the culmination of 10 years of cinematic storytelling, with a cast of literally dozens of named characters. To catch up to this point, one would have to sit through several days of non-stop movie-going…] starting with Iron Man 1, the film that kickstarted it all. A lot of fans converged in New York City for 31 hours of Marvel goodness, and I hope they brought their Peetimes. (Note: the NYC screening only played 12 films for their marathon, so you’ll have to do the math yourself for a grand pre-Infinity War hours-long total of all 18.)

But, what if you don’t have time for a full re-watch before IW leaves the theaters? Or — Ragnarok forbid! — maybe you’re kind of an MCU newb. (Clue: if you don’t know what MCU stands for, you might be a rookie.)

RunPee is here to help. If you had to, you could get by with a five-film preview and be more or less up to speed. Here are those five, plus a few extra honorary mentions if you have some extra time/inclination. This slim five movie line-up means you’ll miss a few important origin stories, but for the ones I skip, things can be summed up in one or two lines. You’ll see.

Five Must-See Films, with No Spoilers

  1. Iron Man 1 – Iron Man started it all and changed how we saw superhero films. It’s easy to forget how amazing this was when it first hit the screens. Understanding the complex character of Tony Stark is so important to understanding the series, and it’s hard to adequately explain why. Cap is simple — he’s a super soldier and a natural leader. Thor is simple — he’s the Norse God of Thunder. Hulk…is Hulk (I assume you know about the Hulk). But you have to walk a while with Stark to see his importance to the entire universe, and why so much of IW centers on him. If you have to skip any of these five films though, this is the one to overlook.
  2. Avengers 1 – You don’t really need the origin stories of Cap, Hulk, or Thor to understand Infinity War. Avengers 1 preps things so nicely for the original set of superheroes, and lays the groundwork for EVERYTHING ELSE to come. Do not miss.
  3. Captain America: Civil War – If you skip this one, you may as well not bother with Infinity War. This ensemble piece covers several new origin stories, brings together a huge cast in preparation for an upcoming even  larger cast, and paves the way towards understanding what happened to “break-up” the original team. MUST SEE.
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1 – Another film that you cannot skip. A lot of IW is devoted to the Guardians. If you don’t know who these beings are, IW won’t hit the emotional beats it sustains for everyone else. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun.
  5. Thor 3: Ragnarok – This film most immediately leads into Infinity War. As in, it ends literally moments before IW begins.  Thor 3 brings a lot of disparate story points together, explains why Thor is so broken when we see him next, continues the storylines of both Loki and The Hulk, and sets the stage for everything to come. If you miss this one, a major part of the IW resolution just won’t make sense. And also, like GotG, this one is super fun.

———————–

Six Honorary Mentions (If you have the time), and what you need to know if you skip them (with spoilers to get you caught up — be warned): 

  1. Avengers 2: Age of Ultron – The second Avengers ensemble piece explains who The Vision and Scarlet Witch are. What you need to know: The Vision is an artificial intelligence being with an infinity stone implanted in his forehead, created by Ultron (and Stark, and Banner – it’s complicated, but not important). Scarlet Witch is infused with the same powers of the stone. All this is referenced in both Captain America: Civil War, and in Infinity War itself, so missing the Ultron bit won’t hurt you.
  2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Bucky was Cap’s best friend in the World War II days, he’s been injected with super soldier serum (just like Cap), has a Vibranium arm (instead of a shield), and was brainwashed into being a bad guy (unlike Cap). This information is more or less re-tread in Civil War, so you’ll be okay without this one. Skippable for our purposes.
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 – This is a direct continuation of the first GotG film, with a few character additions — Baby Groot replaces Original Groot (which we see at the end of Volume 1), Mantis is a new Guardian (and has the power to make you sleep or wake up)…and Star Lord kills his father (for very good reasons). Oh, and Nebula comes to terms with her sister Gamora. It’s all about ‘family’. Now you’re good to go. ]Of the six movies listed here, this one has the most plot points you’d appreciate knowing for IW.
  4. Dr. Strange – All you REALLY need to know is that Strange is a Wizard and wears the Time Stone. Infinity War does a great job rehashing those two points in the first few scenes. Bonus: there’s also a brief but fun Strange introduction in Thor: Ragnarok. So, yeah, unless you are a huge Cumberbatch fan, you can safely skip this to prep for IW.
  5. Spiderman: Homecoming – I hated leaving this affable and fun entry off the main list, but since we get a very nice introduction to Spidey in Civil War, you can safely pass on his stand-alone film.
  6. Black Panther – Like Spiderman above,  leaving out the story of Wakanda kind of hurts. The thing is: Civil War does a fantastic job introducing T’Challa’s Black Panther and the idea of the Vibranium-tech-based nation itself, and why the Winter Soldier can be found there. Cool as this movie is, you’ll be fine without it. You’ll understand why a large portion of IW occurs in Wakanda, because a main character tells you outright.

Keep in mind, I’m not listing which movies are the best in the MCU, nor saying that the rest are unimportant or uninteresting in their own right. This is just to get you to a place you can potentially watch Infinity War and not be totally,  hopelessly lost. Have fun, and let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments. Movie-watching is subjective. Which five would you say are crucial?

To help you get ready:

The entire MCU Movie Order – Several Options for your pre-Avengers Endgame Watch or Rewatch

Lyrics and Video to Blitzkrieg Bop from Spider-Man – Homecoming

Every Stan Lee Cameo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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. [pullquote]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.[/pullquote] 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.
—————————————————–

Well, there’s our short list, ready for you to add your opinions to. What are we missing? Where do you disagree?

Best Movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Up to Thor: Ragnarok)

Here’s RunPee Jilly’s list of the best-to-worst films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since so many of these movies are good, and there are so many of them, I’ve chosen to rank the films by “tier”. Top Tier, Middle Tier, and Bottom Tier. (And one that is simply Bad.) I’m not going to stress over exactly which ones are better than the others within the tiers.

Keep in mind this list only goes as far as The Black Panther at this point in time. This is pre-Infinity Wars. Keep mindful also: this is my personal opinion of the best/worst MCU films — I expect everyone will have their own list. Scribble down your top to bottom tiers in the comments below.

Top Tier

These are the BEST MCU offerings, IMO (of course). The most cohesive plots, solid connections to the through-story, best character pieces (whether solo or in ensemble form), prettiest filmation/scenery, and most enjoyable films that hold up to re-watches. [pullquote position=”right”]Notice that the ensemble pieces largely wound up on top.[/pullquote]

  • Avengers: Assemble — (Top notch; Joss Whedon got everything right. Including Shwarma, mmmmm.)
  • Captain America: Civil War — (Basically an Avengers ensemble piece, and perfectly executed. The airport set piece is as good as the hype surrounding it. More like this, please!)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1 — (My personal favorite movie in the entire MCU. And one of my new top five all-time films. I need this movie when I feel down. The humor, characters, music, and general story are everything I look for in a fun, feel-good, groovy film.)
  • Thor 3: Ragnarok — (I have to admit, I didn’t think anything in the MCU would approach the likability factor of GotG 1. Well…this one does. Chris Hemsworth is hysterical, for one thing. And while ostensibly a solo film for Thor, it’s more like an ensemble piece for the spacefaring MCU characters. I expect the Grandmaster’s ship  – nay, now Thor’s ship – is how we scoop up the Guardians in time for Infinity Wars.)
  • Spiderman: Homecoming — (Everything in this movie went right. And the villain, usually the sore spot in the MCU, just rocked it! <—- finally)
  • Black Panther — (Beautiful scenery, good characters, solid storytelling and a compelling connection to the larger universe).
  • Iron Man 1 — (The movie that kickstarted the entire decade’s-worth franchise…and rebooted the bank-ability factor to a personable, funny, and charismatic star that redefined how Superhero films could be writ. [pullquote]Can’t forget this moment: “I am Iron Man.” And the world leaned back in their seats, satisfied.[/pullquote])

Middle Tier

  •  Captain America: The Winter Soldier — (I know. This one is top tier for many. As a spy movie, it’s just not to my taste, and this is MY list.)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 — (I wanted to place this one in the top tier, but will concede it doesn’t hit all the marks it should have. If the first GotG is perfect, this one does show up and make the effort, in spite of not quite getting somewhere great.)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron — (Another one just shy of greatness. I wanted to place it top tier, but there are just better ones to choose from.)
  • Ant-Man — (not an ‘epic story’, but fun ‘small tale’ with decent humor and a strong likability factor.)

Bottom Tier

  • Thor 1 — (Not a bad movie; just not awesome. The MCU was still figuring out their formula.)
  • Thor 2: The Dark World — (This one is easily one of the least exciting Marvel films, but on a rewatch it’s better served.)
  • Iron Man 2 — (Dull.)
  • Iron Man 3 — (Dull again, bummer.)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger — (It’s okay. Like Thor, movies with Cap improve as his trilogy progresses.)
  • Dr. Strange — (I wish I could place this one higher. It’s just a bit derivative and…well…strange. Not likable or particularly exciting…but we HAD to have the Gem of Amarra in place for Avengers: Infinity War).

Just Bad

  • The Incredible Hulk — (Edward Norton’s outing is the bottom of the MCU barrel. I can’t even sit through this film in its entirety. I’m ashamed to admit it…but, well, there it is. I love Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, but anyone else falls flat.)

Movie Review: Thor 3 – Ragnorak (Jilly’s POV)

Thor 3, AKA Ragnarok, was incredibly engaging and hard to tear my eyes from. It’s now in my top tier of MCU movies, beaten only by the first Guardians of the Galaxy. [pullquote position=”right”]Hemsworth’s slightly dim but mighty character is a joy, from his 4th wall-breaking open, to the mid-credit end, and the man’s got surprisingly perfect comedic timing. [/pullquote]Who knew? Turns out Hemsworth really can carry a movie on his muscular back, with more than raw beauty to show for it.

I wasn’t expecting too much going in, but admittedly the bar was so low with Thor 1 and 2 (especially 2). The director used Thor wisely in his 3rd, and presumably final, solo film. Although it’s essentially a buddy movie about Hulk, too. Just like Captain America 3: Civil War is basically an Avengers ensemble movie, right? It works.

Along these lines, I have a few alternate titles for Thor: Ragnarok that I think would work even better (unless you are a huge Norse Mythology fan). List whichever you prefer in the comments section:

  • Thor: God of Hammers
  • Thor: Gladiator Edition
  • Thor: The Funny One
  • Revengers (like the Avengers, with added dysfunction)
  • Hulk 2
  • Thor and Hulk: Road Trip to the Devil’s Anus

What’s unusual about this film are the villains. They aren’t bland meanies, like most superhero supervillans; they’re actually okay.  Damning with faint praise, I know. Cate Blanchett does a decent job with what she’s given (I sense there were more scenes left on the editing floor). The Ragnarok fire demon was fine – he wasn’t intended to be more than a burning lava monster, from cold open to the unusual climax. And Golblum isn’t even a “bad” guy — he’s just an amiable meglomaniac with a harem and God Complex. He reminded me of The Collector. I hope we see them both again.

I do feel bad for Hela…there could have been a lot more depth to her arc. I guess she needed to get in line for scene time after Loki and Odin and Heimdall (who, thankfully, had something to do this time around). I’d be super happy with a Heimdall movie, for reals. The man was wasted, although the teaser suggests more to come. Saying anything more would enter spoiler territory, so let’s just move along.

Finally, Loki was appropriately used, and is more understandable — this director “got” what the God Of Mischief is about. Loki is like the “Scorpion” in the parable with the fox (Google it) — it’s true to his nature to sting. Yet he does try (when it suits hims, natch) to be a hero. He wants to be better, and if you recall from the first Thor movie, both brothers had some moral growing to do. With Thanos mad at him, we can guess which side he’ll lean on now. [pullquote]Loki has always been a scene stealer, as well as a PITA to boot, but here I’m fully onboard with his character. He can be a positive force, if he’s just accepted and understood — that’s become super clear, finally, in Ragnarok.[/pullquote]

I’m really stingy with my A grades, and the last time I gave out a full A+ was the 2017 space cruise ship flick Passengers. Strangely enough, my favorite MCU film is still the original Guardians of the Galaxy. The blue and purple villains were underwhelming though, and I can only give GoTG a A- grade in good conscience. (I’ll link to that article when I write it.)

But, we’re still talking about Thor here, and Thor 3 manages to pull a win from their previously low Marvel tier buttocks.

And yes, I rank Marvel movies by tier: Great, Good, Okay, and Fetid…and Thor’s been scraping the bottom in his stand-alones,  til now. I credit the director — who also played the delightful Rockman — for understanding what Thor should be used for, along with Hemsworth for embracing his slightly slow but funny godhood (“Because that is what heroes do!”), Ruffalo for being freaking awesome in his dual roles, and for the writers giving us something happy in these dark times…YES. Thank you for the color, the fun, and for Goldblum. He’s the perfect weirdo to be the Grandmaster, and I hear he smartly improvised most of his lines, playing himself, as usual. Go Goldblum, go.

And now I’ve got The Immigrant Song, by Led Zepplin, stuck in m head. It’s a good choice, so that’s okay by me. The reprise was certainly welcome, and the audience clapped at it. I was a happy movie goer that day, and saw it this three more times in the cinema later. Watch it in the theater, and watch it again on DVD.

Movie Grade: A+

Want more? Read Dan’s review of Thor: Ragnarok

And our Thor 2 – The Dark World Rewatch Review

Or the Complete Compilation of Thor 3’s Deleted, Bonus, and Blooper Scenes