Top 10 MCU Movies article dmcain84@gmail.com

The Top 10 MCU Movies – Guest Post

This week, I’ve got a fascinating guest post for you from the fantastic dinmicheals. As a huge Marvel fan myself I ask dinmicheals to list her favourite MCU movies. They don’t correlate exactly with my own choices, but it’s not far off. Enjoy!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been one of the best things to happen to this planet in the last 10 years. There are 4 MCU movies in the top 10 highest grossing films of all time (The Avengers Trilogy and Black Panther). That is no small feat, by any standards. The MCU has spawned 18 movies to date, with many more still in the works.

Indeed, from the very first movie (Iron Man) to the latest (Ant-Man & The Wasp), Marvel has tried to raise the bar every single time. They have been treating us to fictional worlds after fictional worlds. This is my top 10 list of MCU movies. As a fan of fictional worlds and immersive fantasy myself, I understand that you may have disagreements with my list. However, I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. Here we go:

·     Ant-Man and The Wasp (Peyton Reed)

MCU Movies - Ant-Man and the Wasp - Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly

‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ has the benefit of being the latest release. However, this does not take away from the fact that the movie was a thrilling ride from start to finish. Peyton Reed takes the comedy in the MCU to a whole new level. Ant-Man and The Wasp is a comedy first, action second movie.

Ant-Man and The Wasp delivers on the quantum realm after the slight tease from the first Ant-Man movie. Furthermore, this movie shows us just how perfect Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Evangeline Lily (The Wasp) are together on-screen. They fit seamlessly together from start to finish — also, a special mention to ‘Luis and the Crew’ for their part in making the movie an absolute laugh-fest.

‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ has grossed over $622m and was the eighth highest grossing movie of 2018. Not bad at all.

·       Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi)

MCU Movies - Thor Ragnarok - Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson

At number 9 is another beautiful comedy movie and by far the best Thor movie of them all. Taika Waititi is his first Marvel movie absolutely nails it from start to finish. Thor: Ragnarok gives us a better look into the fictional worlds of the nine realms. Also, we see Thor’s emotional journey to save his home from his evil, previously unknown elder sister.

Thor: Ragnarok shows Loki at his very best, scheming and plotting his way through the movie. Also, Tessa Thompson is an absolute delight, bringing a different element and feel to this immersive fantasy movie. Last but certainly not the least, the fight scene between Thor and Hulk is worth the admission fee by itself. Stunning!!!

·       Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jon Watts)

MCU Movies - Spiderman Homecoming - Tom Holland

I honestly don’t think that if Marvel tried, that they could cast a better Spiderman than Tom Holland. He is absolutely perfect for the role. You almost forget that he is British. This was the second reboot of the Spiderman fantasy world, but it is well worth it.

The presence of Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau gives the film a delightful authenticity. We also see the effort and growth of ‘Peter Parker’ as he tries to navigate his way through high school. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a sublime introduction into the MCU fantasy world of Spiderman. I am confident that there will be sequels to come.

·       Iron Man (Jon Favreau)

MCU Movies - Iron Man - Robert Downey Junior

The number 7 spot belongs to the movie where it all started, Iron Man. Who would have thought that we would be here today, 17 movies later, reminiscing over the very first? Jon Favreau delivers a masterpiece into the fictional world of the MCU.

The casting of Robert Downey Jr. is one of the best decisions the MCU has ever made. It all started in this movie. He has made the Iron Man character his own. It is difficult to imagine that there might come a time when someone else would pick up that mantle. Until then, we cannot help but enjoy the awesomeness that is Robert Downey Jr.

·       Black Panther (Ryan Coogler)

MCU Movies - Black Panther - Chadwick Boseman

The MCU struck gold with this movie. Black Panther has been an absolute sensation. IT even made more money that Infinity War in North America. It grossed a total of $1.35bn, earning a spot in the top 10 grossing movies of all time (No. 9).  Furthermore, Black Panther is the highest grossing solo superhero film.

This movie took the world by storm. It is by far, one of the most impactful superhero movies ever made. It touches on subjects of slavery and racism in unique ways, showing us a different side. Let us not even get into the beautiful city of Wakanda, just wonderful. An immersive fantasy of the highest quality. “Wakanda Forever!!!”.

·       The Avengers (Joss Whedon)

MCU Movies - The Avengers

Into the top 5, we go. It pains me to put The Avengers so low on this list just because of how awesome the movie is. I literally cannot count the number of times I have watched this fantastic movie. It wasn’t until this movie that we all started to see the phenom that the MCU had started to become. It was an ensemble superhero movie, the likes we had never seen before.

The Avengers was just the perfect way to end Marvel Phase One. The superhero ensemble grossed a not-too-shabby $1.52bn during its theatrical run. The only Marvel movie to date with a higher gross is Infinity War. The Avengers took the world by storm in 2012. It represented a significant turning point for the MCU.

·       Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Joe & Anthony Russo)

MCU Movies - Captain America The Winter Soldier - Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansen and Samuel L. Jackson

At number 4 is the second Captain America movie by MCU darlings, Joe & Anthony Russo. This was the first partnership between Joe & Anthony Russo and the writing team of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Likewise, this partnership is responsible for four MCU movies (Captain America 2 & 3, Avengers 3 & 4).

We never started to fully understand the depths of the power of Captain America until this movie. The Winter Soldier showed us Captain America at his best — a seasoned soldier at the height of his powers. Furthermore, the fight choreography in this movie is just off the charts. That fight sequence under the bridge between Bucky and Steve Rodgers; Goosebumps!

·       Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn)

MCU Movies - Guardians of the Galaxy - Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista

We can debate for eternity whether Disney should have fired James Gunn or not. However, one thing is clear: the man sure can make movies. The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a breath of fresh air into the MCU. It was a wonderful movie that opened the avenue of space into the MCU. Likewise, this immersive fantasy movie was a laugh fest from start to finish.

The stars of this movie are the teams themselves. Each character as captivating as the other. All I can say is, I am Groot!

·       Avengers: Infinity War (Joe & Anthony Russo)

MCU Movies - Infinity War

I don’t have to say a lot about ‘Infinity War as it’s still very fresh in our memories. The ending of the movie leaves you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. Even till today, I am still in shock over the sheer number of characters that were lost to the snap. If fan theories are anything to go by, we might get to see our favorite characters again.

The anticipation leading up to this movie was simply astounding. This movie raises the stakes more than any MCU movie before it. Avengers: Infinity War is the highest grossing MCU movie, grossing an astronomical $2.05bn. Fingers crossed on if Avengers: Endgame would claim that spot. Likewise, it is the 4th highest grossing movie of all time. Amazing!

·       Captain America: Civil War (Joe & Anthony Russo)

MCU Movies - Captain America Civil War - Chris Evans Robert Downey Junior

I am sure you must have guessed it already. If this movie was not already on this list, then it must be on top. That is where I’ve placed it in my top 10 MCU movies list. I do not even know why they bothered to name it Captain America: Civil War. Avengers 2.5 would’ve been a better title. The only major Avengers members missing in the movie were Thor and Hulk. It was star-studded from start to finish.

This immersive fantasy was a masterpiece served up by the partnership of the Russo Brothers and the team of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. It is an absolute delight from start to finish. That Berlin Airport sequence – Whew! Jaw dropping!


The margins between the top 5 movies are minimal. Putting one above the other is tough. However, if I had to choose, I would say that Captain America: Civil War totally deserves its place at the top of this list. I am more than confident that the MCU would give us more amazing movies in the years to come. Thank you for reading.


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Battlestar Galactica Games

5 Battlestar Galactica Games That Need To Be Made

This week, I’ve got a fascinating guest post for you from the fantastic Bunneh3000. A fellow author and mega-geek I asked him to write a post about a geek topic of his choice and he picked Battlestar Galactica games that we all want to see. Enjoy!

Battlestar Galactica as a franchise is one that has a healthy cult following spawning from both well received TV series (late ’70s – ‘80s and the 2000s). The basic story follows the space-based remnants of the human race as they flee a cybernetic race called the Cylons, with whom they’ve had a long standing war.

Battlestar Galactica Games

Both stories emote a sense of desperation, placing the human race at a disadvantage throughout the story. The drama that ensued made for great television and the action, to this day, seems to be ripe for the video game industry to take on. Unfortunately, few games have been completed and those that have are considered ‘decent’ at best.

Of those that are decent, the most recent BSG: Deadlock game probably ties the older PS2/Xbox Battlestar Galactica game. Deadlock is a mash-up of XCOM and a turn-based style Homeworld strategy game that PC gamers can sink their teeth in. With its release in 2017, developer Slitherine will assuredly support this game with more DLC and updates to keep the game fresh and exciting for a little while longer.

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock

The old PS2/Xbox game, however, played in a kind of 3rd person style flight sim like the old Star Wars Rogue Squadron games. Outside of those two games, there’s not much to be said.

In an effort to push developers to take a chance and bring glory back to the Colonial Fleet, here are a few wish list style game types that Battlestar Galactica could flourish in!

BSG Man’s Sky

For those who have played No Man’s Sky, you either are enthralled with the immense freedom or bored with the resource gathering routine needed to improve your little ship. Here’s the Battlestar Galactica game proposal:

With the immense size of No Man Sky’s universe and the format of resource gathering, there could be an interesting Battlestar Galactica storyline that could be forged. Parts of the TV series, before the location of Earth is found, is centered around a frantic search for the resources needed to supply the fleet as it fled the Cylons.

This game could make the No Man’s Sky engine a bit less open world-y and a bit more focused. The search for resources could have Cylon away teams sprinkled in along with maybe some ‘land defense of your base’ action. Then, with No Man’s Sky’s ability to launch into space and have space battles, you could also have your grand ship combat as you race to return to the Galactica!

BSG Battlefront

While many gamers have mixed feelings about what Electronics Arts did with Star Wars Battlefront 2, the resulting game is still pretty great. The land combat is great and mixes in ‘heroes’ from the movies into the game that can quickly change the course of the battle.

Star Wars Battlefront

Imagine being able to become any of the Cylon models or Star Buck or Athena or Kat, etc. The game then would also have the advantage of being able to play space battles well (as does the Star Wars version) with hero versions of the ships as well. Then you could possibly throw in an online persistent war (with different seasons) to mix things up with the modes and all of the sudden you have the game that Battlestar Galactica Online wishes it were!

Battlestar Pegasus Effect

Here the idea is to pair the stylings of Bioware’s legendary Mass Effect trilogy with a Battlestar Galactica skin. Mass Effect was a massive and exciting action RPG game that could arguably be considered a mashup of Star Trek and BSG to a degree. In it, you were the commander of your own ship hoping to save lives against an oncoming ridiculously overpowered threat.

The game had third person action combat as well as a bit of RPG elements where you upgraded your commander as well as your ship and shipmates. You managed your crew and even developed relationships with them. This last ‘character relationship’ aspect of Mass Effect seemingly fits right in with the sometimes exhausting character to character drama that either made it or broke it for Battlestar Galactica viewers of the later series.

Battlestar Galactica Pegasus

With the demise of Mass Effect Andromeda, there could be a way to reimagine the series through the eyes of the Battlestar Pegasus. Since the TV show didn’t fully follow the Pegasus’ journey, a game of this style could flesh it out in a dramatic and fun way.

Battlestar Galactica Roguelike

So the gaming idea of a roguelike is to have a setup where the difficulty is high, death is permanent, and the replay value is high. By making every ‘playthrough’ procedurally different, you essentially make the game able to become a different experience everytime you play it. Games like FTL, Darkest Dungeon, and Enter The Gungeon all have interesting concepts that could work well.

FTL was a Star Trek styled game that played like a real time strategy game. The ‘board’ you played on was the layout of your ship. You either attacked other ships or you defended your ship from being boarded. All of these concepts are PERFECT for the BSG universe. You could be a commander ordering all parts of your ship to do certain actions based on the damage you receive and (to spice up the action) the damage your Colonial Fleet receives.

Darkest Dungeon was a D&D styled party based dungeon exploration game. It’s interesting concept was EVERYTHING that occurred could lead to members of your party developing traumatic mental and physical afflictions. They could become afraid of the dark, verbally abusive to party members, unwilling to obey your commands, as well as countless other things. Morale has a huge effect in this game and it could be an interesting game mechanic in a Battlestar Galactica game

Enter The Gungeon was more of an action shooter that stressed getting as far as you could in one life before dying and starting over again with only hard earned skills as what you can use again. In a BSG roguelike, this could be used to frustrate the player when pilots or crewmembers die, yet have the ability to grant bonuses if those characters were high ranking or found/developed useful tech.

Mash all of these up and I’m sure some indie developer could find a better than average gaming experience!

Battlestar Galactica VR

Now that we live in the age of VR coming into its own, there needs to be some sort of Colonial experience. Keep in mind, VR typically isn’t played for as long as other games to avoid ‘VR sickness’ so these ‘games’ will end up being less ambitious than the previous suggestions!

BSG Bridge Crew

Star Trek Bridge Crew showed that a fun multi-person bridge experience could work. Reskinning that came with the BSG universe doesn’t seem like it would be too hard. Essentially the concept is that each player is a specific role on the bridge: Captain, 2nd in Command, Communications, Weapons/Helm/Navigation, Engineering. (I’m certain others could be thought of but lets keep it simple).

The Captain gets his info and then must make rush decisions and give orders to everyone else. The others must use their hand controllers to push button and levers to do what the captain orders before something bad happens or to fix something bad. Sci-fi games of various space shows could probably fit this game model very well.

BSG Colonial Fleet Training

Here, you could do various Viper training missions as if you were in the cockpit. Thankfully, using a headset and not having to ‘walk around your room’ would work well with the VR headset anywhere. Missions could be short and sweet and the battles and sound could be quite immersive for a unique flight combat sim experience.

BSG Deadlock VR

Playing turn based strategy games can be hard given keyboard and mouse control schemes. If the control scheme for Battlestar Galactica Deadlock was more like a holographic war board where you could move your fleet with your hands (as your orders), then the speed of the whole experience could make things more enjoyable as well.


Do you agree with these choices?

get in touch with bunneh3000 here and tell him what you think:

bunneh3000.wordpress.com
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Twitter: @bunneh3000
Bio:
BJ “Bunneh3000” is a content creator/poet/father/husband in the geekiest sense of each word. Whether streaming on Twitch, making vids on Youtube, speaking his mind on podcasts, or writing articles, he has quite the way with words!


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BLEEP the podcast avengers infinity war podcast discussion

Bring me Thanos! An in-depth discussion of Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War was the biggest movie of 2018 – check out the discussion here

*Contains SPOILERS!*

Where is Gamora? Who is Gamora? Why is Gamora?? You can find the answer to all these questions and more in the latest episode of Bleep:The Podcast.

Did you enjoy Avengers: Infinity War? If you loved it, hated it or are left in a stunned daze then check out the detailed discussion on this episode of Bleep: The Podcast featuring Alex Tipler and D.M. Cain.

How was The Phoenix Project inspired by D.M. Cain’s love of geek culture?

How was The Phoenix Project inspired by my love of games, film and books?

Science fiction, fantasy and general geek culture have always been a huge part of my life. Growing up it was Star Wars, Marvel, anime, and a fixation with the Final Fantasy game series. As an adult, I am working my way through the great sci-fi and dystopian films and books of our time. Also, I am discovering an immense love of all things fantasy (especially those which include immersive world-building such as Game of Thrones).

When my debut novel, The Phoenix Project, was released I decided to delve into the themes and ideas within the book to see which of these geek culture influences made their mark upon my writing.

Continue reading “How was The Phoenix Project inspired by D.M. Cain’s love of geek culture?”

The-Mummy-worldbuilding-extended-universe-DMCain

Can Universal Still Build A Monster Universe?

Patrick Jackson is featured on my site today to talk about the immersive world-building of Universal Studios. Take it away, Patrick!

Can Universal Still Build A Monster Universe?

For those interested in expanded worlds and connected universes in fiction, Universal’s Dark Universe has been something to keep an eye on the last few years. The idea was for the studio to use its valuable monster properties to establish a darker version of the Marvel or DC superhero universes (especially after the recent success of Black Panther, and the upcoming Avengers:Infinity War movie). But after The Mummy failed as the first planned installment, the Monsterverse is in peril. Top producers have abandoned the project, and at this point it’s uncertain whether or not the so-called “Dark Universe” will ever come to fruition.

Continue reading “Can Universal Still Build A Monster Universe?”

immersive fantasy fiction D.M. Cain author writer

9.5/10 stars for Marvel’s Black Panther

**WARNING – THIS POST CONTAINS SOME MINOR SPOILERS FOR BLACK PANTHER**

Marvel’s Black Panther has smashed box office takings and changed the face of superhero movies forever. But what of the film itself? D.M. Cain explores whether the movie is worth all the hype.

Wakanda (the brand new location in Black Panther) is a beautiful and vibrant example of exquisite world-building. It looks incredible – as a stunning fantasy landscape, a technological wonder, but also as a country buzzing with tradition and culture. The costumes, weapons, architecture and even the people’s gestures (the crossing of the arms, the dancing before the duels, etc) all contribute to a stunning world more developed than anything we have seen in the Marvel universe to date. Continue reading “9.5/10 stars for Marvel’s Black Panther”

Han Solo movie film poster Star Wars dm cain immersive fantasy fiction

7 upcoming movies for fans of extended universes

It’s an interesting time for geeks the world over as science fiction, fantasy and superheroes take over our screens. The Marvel and DC phenomenon has exploded in recent years, showering us with a whole range of excellent (mostly excellent…) films and series to enjoy. Once, comic books were viewed as for the geeky underbelly of society, the single, lonely nerd in the basement, but that has changed drastically. Now, people from all walks of life indulge in superhero adventures and science fiction journeys.

Directors and producers have seen the huge success of these movies and capitalised on the potential, bringing the huge interlinking worlds of the comics to the big screen, drawing viewers in and get the geeky blood pumping around our bodies. The Marvel universe is a fine example of this, with each film cleverly weaving in and around the others, characters crossing paths and even fighting one another (as in the excellent Captain America: Civil War).

For the modern viewer, a single film just isn’t enough anymore. We expect more from our movie experiences and each trip to the cinema gives us not one evening’s entertainment, but rather a small chunk of something that will keep us entertained for years – a glimpse into a wider world.

Here’s a rundown of the extended universe movie treats we have in store over the coming months and years:

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Han Solo movie film poster Star Wars dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Star Wars spin-off movie Solo: A Star Wars story promises to be a rollercoaster ride of adventure, cocky smirks and general roguish scoundrel antics

Star Wars Episode IX

Star Wars episdoe 9 IX film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Following the outstanding sequel movies, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, episode IX will bring an end to the Skywalker saga. It promises to be a thrilling and yet heart-wrenching goodbye to this incredible story arc.

Avengers:Infinity War

Marvel MCU Avengers Infinity War movie film dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
The culmination of every Marvel film to date, Avengers: Infinity War will bring action on an epic scale

Black Panther

Black Panther MCU Marvel film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
A ground-breaking triumph for the Marvel universe. Black Panther’s early reviews are excellent and the movie promises to bring a mature and complex edge to the MCU

Ant Man and the Wasp

Ant Man and the Wasp MCU Marvel film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Ant Man is a fun character and his chemistry with The Wasp is great – it will be interesting to see these two together.

Venom

Venom Tom Hardy MCU Marvel film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Dark, brooding and intense at the best of times, Tom Hardy is an excellent choice to play Venom in all of his terrifying insanity.

Black Widow

Black Widow MCU Marvel film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Black Widow is an intelligently written character who happens to kick ass too. It’s about time she had her own movie.

Tell me in the comments section, which of these are you most looking forward to?

 

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Avengers:Infinity War trailer review

The new trailer for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ was released yesterday.Here it is if you haven’t seen it yet:

Here’s a quick run-down of what I made of it – the good and bad parts.

PROs:

That music ❤

1 - Infinity war trailer review Audrey Horne Twin Peaks

The epic combinations of characters:

2 - Infinity war trailer review Iron Man Spiderman Doctor Strange

Thor and Rocket together (squeeeee!)

3 - Infinity war trailer review Thor Rocket Raccoon

This amazing shot:

4 - Infinity war trailer review Spiderman

CONs:

I’m not convinced by the new style of Captain America’s shield. It has potential but I really miss the iconic circular shield

5 - Infinity war trailer review Captain America Black Panther

Personally, I’m not a big fan of Doctor Strange, so I’m hoping he’ll be used sparingly, and if he is used a lot, he’ll be used well

6 - Infinity war trailer review Doctor Strange and Iron Man

Do you agree with my pros and cons? Do you have different ideas? Let me know what you think!

Solo: A Star Wars story trailer review

The trailer for ‘Solo: A Star Wars story’ was released yesterday.Here it is if you haven’t seen it yet:

Here’s a quick run-down of what I made of it – the good and bad parts.

PROs:

  • This incredible shot:

1 - Millennium Falcon star destroyer Star Wars Solo trailer

  • ‘I’m gonna be a pilot – best in the galaxy’ – this line sent chills down my spine

2 - Star Wars Solo trailer Han

  • Shiny, clean Millennium Falcon interior!

3 - mIllennium Falcon interior Star Wars Solo trailer

  • I do like the look of Alden Ehrenreich as Han – he’s got the little smirk just right.

4 - Han Star Wars Solo trailer

5 - Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover Star Wars Solo trailer

  • Some kick-ass Falcon moves

6 - Millennium Falcon shot Star Wars Solo trailer

CONs:

‘I was kicked out of the flight academy for having a mind of my own’ – This line seems really cheesy to me. A bit like he thinks he’s too much of a maverick to play by the rules

7 - Robert Downey Jr Star Wars Solo trailer

Emilia Clarke looks sadly under-used (though I acknowledge that this is just a short trailer so it’s difficult to tell for sure)

8 - Emilia Clarke Star Wars Solo trailer

Do you agree with my pros and cons? Do you have different ideas? Let me know what you think!

Is this the most adorable and geeky thing you’ve ever seen?

Anybody who knows my family knows that we are enormous Star Wars geeks. My six year old son is already a die-hard fanatic and his six month old sister is well on her way.

So, this Christmas when we should have been making festive footprint art, we decided instead to go for something a little more… ‘us’. This is the result!

Let me know – which is your favourite? I really like Boba Fett and the little porg ❤

Star Wars footprint art

Star Wars footprint art
The top row of footprints are by my son, Deacon. The bottom row are baby Lucia’s.