JUMPCUT’s Top 5: Marvel Cinematic Universe

With ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ practically within touching distance, we asked our team to vote on their favourite films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). We’d like to make it clear that this list doesn’t reflect any of the team’s personal lists, but is in fact based on the results of a voting system we used. The team would love to discuss their favourite MCU films, so feel free to join in the discussion on Twitter – @JUMPCUT_ONLINE 

Our journey to ‘Infinity War’ started 10 years ago with ‘Iron Man’ as we watched Tony Stark create a suit of metal whilst being held hostage in a cave. Since then we’ve been introduced to a whole range of different heroes, we watched a skinny kid from Brooklyn become Captain America (thanks to a little super soldier serum), a dramatic and never ending sibling rivalry between Norse Gods, a walking, talking stick sacrificing his life for a bunch of criminals he’s known 5 minutes and making everyone cry, only for his son to then make everyone go ‘awwww’, and a King running round in a cat suit to protect his country.

Before we announce our Top 5, we also asked our team to tell us their least favourite film from this iconic universe. The team’s overall pick may not come as too much of a surprise, but there are a couple members of our team who had this film in their personal top 5 lists and are very unhappy about this particular result!

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JUMPCUT’s Least Favourite

Thor: The Dark World

The second film in Thor’s trilogy saw the God of Thunder go toe-to-toe with Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), a dark elf who threatens to bring darkness to the Nine Realms as he wields the power of the Aether. After coming into contact with the Aether, Thor must save Jane, and the rest of the world from it’s dark power. A highly forgettable sequel, which even Christopher Eccleston recently admitted he hated being a part of, and not enough of Jaimie Alexander’s Lady Sif if we’re being completely honest! 

We also asked our team to vote for their most anticipated upcoming MCU film (which has been confirmed) and beating the likes of ‘Avengers 4’, ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’, and ‘Black Panther 2’ is…

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JUMPCUT’s Most Anticipated

Captain Marvel

This week the cameras began rolling for Brie Larson’s solo film debut as ‘Captain Marvel’. We will of course see Captain Marvel make her first appearance in ‘Avengers 4’, or maybe even ‘Infinity War’ if rumours are to be believed! Either way, we’re excited to see her in action and become the first female superhero in the MCU to have her own solo film (Way overdue Marvel! *angrily shakes fist*). 

Without further a do, here’s our Top 5 MCU films based on votes from our team!

JUMPCUT’s Top 5

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#5 – The Avengers (2012)

I can already hear the trumpets blaring as the camera circles Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye as they came together to stop Loki and his chitauri army from invading Earth. ‘The Avengers’ was a box office smash in 2012, four years after we witnessed the start of the MCU with ‘Iron Man’ and the post credit scene that built all our hopes up after we witnessed Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury tell Tony Stark that he wasn’t the only superhero in the world and gave everyone goosebumps when he mentioned the ‘Avengers initiative’. This was it. This was what we had been waiting to see and it didn’t disappoint!

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#4 – Black Panther (2018)

‘Black Panther’ is currently on it’s 5th week at #1 at the box office and is the first film to hold it’s top spot since Jame Cameron’s ‘Avatar’. We first met Black Panther in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ where he became an instant fan favourite. ‘Black Panther’ takes place just days after the events of ‘Civil War’ as Chadwick Boseman’s T’challa is sworn in as King of Wakanda following the death of his father. Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) has other ideas and returns to Wakanda to challenge T’Challa for the throne so he can run things his way. The film boasts a fantastic cast, stunning visuals, and one of the best villains the MCU has seen. Michael B. Jordan absolutely killed it as Killmonger and is the second Human Torch to be redeemed by the MCU.

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#3 – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Coming in at #3 is this bunch of a-holes. The success of this film came as quite a surprise to many, but with a catchy soundtrack and some stunning visuals, James Gunn actually did it! Who would have thought that a film with a smack-talking raccoon and a talking stick would bring a tear to your eyes, both with laughter and from pulling at your heart strings. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ took us to out to the stars where we met a whole host of new races and faces, and it was the perfect set up to learn about the Infinity Stones, which fans  (and Thanos) have been keeping a very close eye out for ever since…

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#2 – Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Compared the other solo films in the MCU, it’s fair to say that Thor never really got the film he deserved, that was, until Taika Waititi delivered us ‘Ragnarok’. After being left out of the events of ‘Civil War’, many had wondered where Thor had gotten to – but it turns out he had bigger (and greener) problems on his hands! Waititi injected a lot of colour and humour into ‘Ragnarok’ and also blessed us with Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster and of course, Korg. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie was a very much welcomed addition to the ‘Revengers’ team and we’re keeping our fingers crossed Valkyrie doesn’t become one of the many fatalities we’re expecting to be forced to witness in ‘Infinity War’! 

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#1 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Our #1 may not come as much of a surprise to many, especially because it didn’t feature anywhere earlier in our Top 5 list, but ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ sits proudly at the top of JUMPCUT’s favourite MCU list. With some fantastic fight choreography and the proud owner of one of the more memorable scores of the entire franchise, ‘The Winter Soldier’ kept things grounded (for the most part) as we learned that S.H.I.E.L.D had been compromised and Hydra had their hands on the steering wheel the whole time. But that’s not all Steve Rogers had to deal with, no sir. It also turns out that his best friend Bucky is still alive… and trying to kill him. Steve’s friendship with Bucky has always been at the heart of his trilogy but could Thanos put an end to it once and for all in ‘Infinity War’?

And that’s it! That’s our top five films of the MCU. How does your Top 5 compare to ours? We’d love to here your thoughts over on Twitter – @JUMPCUT_ONLINE

Top 10 Most Anticipated Blockbusters of 2016

Written by Daniel Chadwick

Big event movies aren’t dead yet…Sure, we live in a Golden Age of television right now; stretching from ‘Fargo’ to ‘The People vs O.J. Simpson’ through to the recently finished, iconic ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Mad Men’. But let’s not count out the blockbuster yet. There are so many exciting and thrilling movies on the horizon.

 2016 alone has six superhero movies that stand out, alongside dozens of other big-budget extravaganzas. But this self-described movie nerd is here to highlight the best and brightest blockbusters of 2016.


10. Sausage Party

It’s been a while since we got an R-Rated animated movie (unless you count the likes of Anomalisa and South Park) and Seth Rogen’s latest venture looks like it might be a standout hit. I personally have loved some of the TV-MA shows on Netflix such as ‘Archer’ and ‘Bojack Horseman’ so I’m quite excited for this. After seeing that NSFW trailer count me in.


 

9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Many will find it shocking to find a Star Wars movie at the lower end of my top 10, but I’m still not convinced. Yes, ‘The Force Awakens’ was a step in the right direction, and far better than any of the prequel trilogy, but Star Wars still doesn’t have my complete trust back, especially considering this movie is rumoured to include no Jedi and is a spin off. For now I’m reservedly excited.


 

8. Finding Dory

The only kids movie on this list, ‘Finding Dory’ is the only sequel I’ve wanted from Pixar besides the follow up to ‘The Incredibles’. Dory is voiced brilliantly by Ellen Degeneres and seeing all the band back together for this sequel only gets me more excited. Finally we’ll get some insight into the standout star of ‘Finding Nemo’.


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7. Assassin’s Creed

This, in my mind, will be the definitive video game to movie adaptation. Justin Kurzel has proven himself as a visually astounding director (see Macbeth, also with Fassbender and Cotillard) and he also knows his action set pieces. This franchise is rich for interpretation and Michael Fassbender can do no wrong in my book. Bring Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons in and I’m fully on board.


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6. Suicide Squad

After the disappointment (for some) of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘Suicide Squad’ carries huge responsibility for the DC Cinematic Universe now, and I think it will be a big winner for Warner Bros. The trailers have been fantastic and it looks like it could be the anti-hero movie that comic book fans have been waiting for. It also could be Jai Courtney’s first good role… ever, so that in itself makes this movie one to watch.


 

5. Star Trek: Beyond

I’m a massive fan of the new ‘Star Trek’ movie series and this new addition looks to be in the spirit of the rest of the series. ‘Star Trek’ used cool music from the 80’s long before ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ did, so screw the haters of the music in the ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ trailer. Bring on the man, the myth, the legend Idris Elba as the main antagonist of the movie. I can’t wait to get back together with the crew of the Enterprise.


 

4. Doctor Strange

Marvel’s first attempt at handling magic looks to be very unique, and the first origin story to come out of Marvel since ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. It also dives deeper into the Quantum Realm which we were introduced to in ‘Ant-Man’. Throw in Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejifor, and this movie promises to be one of the best Marvel ensembles seen in a standalone character film.


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 3. Jason Bourne

The return of Jason Bourne, the most bad-ass spy that has ever graced the silver screen. Matt Damon is back alongside Bourne extraordinaire Paul Greengrass to present the life of Jason Bourne years after the events of ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’. This offers a potentially interesting look into domestic surveillance and the big role surveillance now plays in spying on people. Will Bourne be out for justice? Does he finally remember everything as he said in the trailer? I can’t wait to find out!


2. Passengers

Two of Hollywood’s biggest stars get together in this sci-fi epic about a man (Chris Pratt) who wakes up from cryosleep 60 years early on a trip to a distant colony. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone he wakes up another crew member (Jennifer Lawrence). Directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), this movie takes a unique look at space, this time offering us a romance in space. We haven’t even seen a picture yet, never mind a trailer but looks like a potential Oscar contender while being a movie with a huge budget.


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1. Captain America: Civil War

There really couldn’t be any other. As a huge Marvel fan, this movie has been on my radar for years and after seeing the countless trailers I’m counting down the days. It’s been called ‘The Godfather’ of superhero movies and I believe that 100%. This movie is going to make me laugh, jump up and down and cry. Introducing us to Spider-Man and Black Panther, it wouldn’t be a surprise if ‘Civil War’ turns out to be Marvel’s best movie yet.


What do you think? Let’s start the debate in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter 

Captain America: Civil War Trailer Shows Off New Spider-Man

Social media was sent into meltdown last week when this new ‘Captain America: Civil War’ trailer dropped. The reason? Well, this trailer gives us our first look at the new Spider-Man and his appearance has proved to be very divisive indeed.

One thing’s for sure, this trailer has got us even more pumped for Marvel’s latest Avengers reunion. See if you can spot all the comic book influences too, they’re pretty cool! 

What do you think about Spider-Man’s new suit? Are you excited for ‘Captain America: Civil War’? Most importantly, are you Team Cap or Team Iron-Man? Let us know your thoughts and pledge your allegiance.

Captain America: Civil War hits cinemas in the UK April 29th 2016

Marvel Sign Up Ejiofor

Fantastic news for Marvel Studios fans and anyone (like me) that thinks Chiwetel Ejiofor is the hottest man in film right now. ‘Doctor Strange’ is set to be the next production from Kevin Feige in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase III, after ‘Captain America: Civil War’, which started shooting a couple of months back. Ejiofor is being cast as the evil Baron Mordo with other notable casting rumours linking Tilda Swinton to the role of The Ancient One. But Britain’s man of the moment, Benedict Cumberbatch, is the only one that’s been signed up to play the lead man in this Scott Derrickson directed movie. You’ll have to wait until autumn next year to see this one though.
Written by Wan Tyszkiewicz

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes

In 2012, Joss Whedon brought together the band of Marvel superheroes known as The Avengers, for the hugely successful ‘Avengers Assemble’. Financially, there are very few films to match the success of ‘Avengers Assemble’, grossing $1.5 billion to make it the third highest grossing film of all time (behind Titanic and Avatar). With a budget of $220 million, that’s a pretty nice little profit. Critically, the film has garnered 31 awards and 65 nominations, as well as ranking in the top 200 films of all time on IMDB. Marvel and Disney’s partnership has produced an incredibly successful, lucrative global phenomenon which has seen the superhero genre dominate the box-office in recent years. With both Marvel and DC boasting a hectic schedule slate over the next five years, the power of the superhero movie shows no signs of stalling. But is it all getting a little too much?

What is it about superheroes which very rarely allows us to leave the obsession behind with our childhood? My own love of superheroes started as early as I can remember, with my favourite, Batman. I wanted to be a hero just like him, I had the outfits and the toys, I watched the cartoons and the films religiously, I was hooked. Far from neglecting this addiction, it has thrived as I have grown older and discovered more and more superheroes. I always harboured a certain reluctance, even ignorance, to the world of Marvel, aside from The X-Men and the detestable Spider-Man movies of the early  2000s. But then, in 2008, along came Robert Downey Jr. and Iron-Man to save the day, inspiring me to delve deeper into Marvel’s rapidly expanding cinematic universe, to find Captain America and Thor.

With the world adequately educated on the stories of these three heroes, the Avengers were ready to assemble. Throw in The Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Director Nick Fury and you’ve got yourself a formidable team. For me, there is something about a super-team joining forces which really excites me. ‘Avengers Assemble’ was a truly amazing film; it’s exciting, fun, full of action and more importantly, it was NEW. A truly groundbreaking film, in terms of visual effects of course, but also a pioneer in the genre of superhero movies itself. To give the world a live-action film, featuring all the best characters Marvel has to offer, this was something special. Even with the resounding success of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, it is hard to deny that ‘Avengers Assemble’ took the superhero movie to the next level and placed itself firmly at the heart of a thriving market.

Three years later, and the world is dying for more from The Avengers. The sequel, ‘Age Of Ultron’, arrives in UK cinemas on April 23rd, with the USA having to wait another week on top of that. We have been treated to three pretty special trailers, to tantalise our excitement for the grand spectacle, but what exactly do we know about ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’? Taking its title from a 2013 comic-book story arc, the film seemingly diverts from the graphic novel plot in many ways, in which the villainous Ultron has already ravaged planet Earth and New York City in particular. Ultron is created by Tony Stark, as the final step towards artificial intelligence, but his creation turns rogue and targets humanity for annihilation. In the comic-book, Ultron is portrayed as being exceptionally powerful, and whilst it seems he will still have a devastating effect on NYC, Joss Whedon has admitted that he had to tone down the robot’s powers for the movie.

Everyone is back for this one, even the dastardly Loki, plus Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch and an appearance from The Vision. The multiple trailers for ‘Age Of Ultron’ depict an army of AI robots, led by Ultron ravaging New York City and causing a lot of trouble for the Avengers, in scenes which resonate with the Sentinels from ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’. The aspect of the trailers which has caused most excitement though, is the appearance of The Hulkbuster, another of Stark’s controversial creations. The Hulkbuster is Stark’s way of saying “I don’t trust you man” and it seems The Hulk doesn’t take too kindly to such a precaution, with the two pitted against each other in a destructive battle. There are clear tensions amongst the Avengers, and the Hulkbuster underlines this, tensions which Ultron is delighted to manipulate and exacerbate, whilst enjoying a reign of mass-destruction. But the good guys will win in the end, right?

If Marvel’s upcoming schedule slate is anything to go by, then yes, the good guys will prevail. The post-Ultron schedule is headed by ‘Captain America: Civil War’, which will place Captain America against Iron-Man in another internal battle within the troubled Avengers team. With Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury and more set to return for the Captain America sequel, we are left with no uncertainty as to the survivors of ‘Age Of Ultron’. By providing us with details of this film, before we have even had the chance to enjoy the Avengers sequel, Marvel have removed all elements of surprise and suspense from the experience. Only The Hulk, with no standalone film to come and no cast list released for 2018’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, is at risk of being killed off in ‘Age Of Ultron’. Unfortunately, the financial benefits of Marvel’s marketing campaigns means that we can no longer enjoy a little mystery and ambiguity surrounding our favourite films, but then again, we hardly expect the good guys to lose.

Ultimately, all of the upcoming films in Marvel’s cinematic universe SHOULD be incredible and I am personally very excited for ‘Age Of Ultron’ in particular. Indeed, I can’t recall being this excited for any film before. Maybe it’s a good thing that we know what is in the pipeline, I mean, the more the merrier when it comes to the superhero movies. This may be Joss Whedon’s farewell to the franchise, but ‘Age Of Ultron’ is set to be even better than its predecessor, an unfathomable thought. Long live the superhero movie!

Hawkeye To Feature In Captain America Sequel

Next year’s Captain America sequel, the highly anticipated ‘Civil War’, is fast becoming a little post-Ultron Avengers reunion. We already know that the story will revolve around a conflict between Cap and Iron-Man. Joining them will be Captain America regulars Black Widow, Nick Fury, Bucky Barnes and Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, as well as an introduction to Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.

With Spider-Man joining the Avengers universe, we will also get to meet our new Peter Parker, whoever he may be. But today, Marvel announced that Jeremy Renner will also appear in ‘Civil War’, returning as Hawkeye. Renner was set to appear in ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ but had to pass due to conflicting schedules, but I imagine this bumper sequel is something he couldn’t miss out on. I just feel sorry for those that haven’t been invited to the party, sorry Thor and Hulk.

See ‘Captain America: Civil War’ in UK cinemas April 2016.

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes

The Oscars 2015: Winners & Losers

What a night! What a long night! From this side of the pond, watching The Academy Awards live was hard work, but ultimately a satisfying and worthwhile experience. The 87th annual awards show was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, but I have a feeling we may have witnessed his swansong appearance as the presenter of the show. Aside from a theatrical, energetic and rather funny opening gambit, Patrick Harris quickly sunk into an apparent depression, barely even cracking a smile (even at his own jokes).

On a positive note, we were treated to some truly great acceptance speeches, from Patricia Arquette’s rousing feminist speech, to Graham Moore’s emotionally charged display, culminating in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s modest show of gratitude. The highlight however, has to be John Legend and Common, with their powerful, moving rendition of their track ‘Glory’, which won the award for Best Song. The performance, swiftly followed by the award, drew tears and a standing ovation from the crowd, with the emotive connotations linking the song to the story of ‘Selma’ and Martin Luther King’s drive for racial equality.

All of the eight nominees in the Best Picture award managed to get their hands on at least one of the little, gold statuettes, but it was ‘Birdman’ who stole the show with wins in the major categories. ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ swept the board for design-oriented categories, whilst ‘Whiplash’ also enjoyed three victories. Richard Linklater will probably be the most disappointed, with many fans taking to social media to vent their anger and disbelief at The Academy’s oversight.

Here’s how the night unfolded:

Lupita Nyongo takes to the stage to present the award for Actor In A Supporting Role. This category was pretty much sewn up weeks ago, by J K Simmons for his role in ‘Whiplash’ and there were no surprises this time.

A quick-fire double for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ as they check in with the awards for Achievement In Costume Design, and Achievement In Hair & Make-Up. A lot of people saying ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ should have took the latter.

Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor present the award for Best Foreign Language Film to Polish flick ‘Ida’. Director Pawel Pawlikowski ignores the get-off-the-stage-now music and completes his rather long acceptance speech.

The award for Best Live Action Short goes to ‘The Phone Call’ whilst Best Documentary Short is given to ‘Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1’. More of those long acceptance speeches.

Sienna Miller and Captain America present the awards in the sound category. Sound Mixing goes to team ‘Whiplash’ and Sound Editing to ‘American Sniper’. I feel Sienna Miller may have rigged the votes on that one.

Last year’s winner of the Supporting Actor award, Jared Leto takes to the stage, head to toe in baby blue, to present the award for Actress In A Supporting Role. Another relatively predictable win as Patricia Arquette takes home the award, for her role in ‘Boyhood.

The award for Achievements In Visual Effects goes to ‘Interstellar’, rightly so. Disney’s ‘Feast’ scoops the award for Animated Short, whilst a stunning Zoe Saldana and Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock present the Oscar for Animated Feature Film to ‘Big Hero 6’.

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ makes it a hattrick of wins, taking the award for Achievements In Production Design. Swooping down to grab the award for Cinematography, with a strong indication that more are to follow, ‘Birdman’.

A big win for ‘Whiplash’, taking the award for Achievement In Film Editing, is preceded by the ever-emotional In Memoriam montage. A pair snubbed by The Academy this year, Jennifer Aniston and David Oyelowo step up to present the award for Documentary Feature to ‘Citizen Four’. This is all soon forgotten as John Legend and Common raise the roof with their performance of ‘Glory’, which takes the award for Best Song soon after. Common poetically describes Selma Bridge, “this bridge was built with hope, welded with compassion and elevated with love for all human beings”. A truly powerful performance and speech which is worth watching.

The last of the relatively minor categories, the award for Best Original Score goes to, you guessed it, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. Screenplay appreciation time, with ‘Birdman’ taking the award for Original Screenplay and ‘The Imitation Game’ writer, Graham Moore, recognised for his Adapted Screenplay.

Time for the big four. Richard Linklater took 12 years to create his epic ‘Boyhood’, but that counts for nothing apparently. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu steals the show again, taking the award for Best Director and claiming to be wearing Michael Keaton’s “tighty whiteys”.

No such surprises in the category of Best Actor In A Leading Role and Best Female In A Leading Role, with Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore picking up the awards we all knew they deserved. Last but by no means least, the big one, the award for Best Picture. Before the big night I had ‘Boyhood’ down to take this one, but as the night went on I think we all realised that it was, of course, going to be ‘Birdman’ and Inarritu who would scoop the number one prize.

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes