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

JUMPCUT’s Top 10 Films Of 2017

As we prepare for our annual award show, The Odysseys, we asked our wonderful team to list their top 10 films of 2017 and we’ve created the JUMPCUT Top 10 list based on their input. The votes were nail bitingly close, and there’s been plenty of discussion this year amongst the team!

You may recall that last year we posted up our ‘Top 10 Most Anticipated Films Of 2017‘, which featured the likes of ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Logan’, ‘Dunkirk’, and at the #1 spot was ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, and whilst appearing on some of our team’s personal Top 10 lists, did it make it onto our Top 10 of the year?

Just missing out out making our ultimate top 10 are the following honorable mentions:

and now, for the part you’ve most likely quickly scrolled past everything else for: JUMPCUT ONLINE‘S official top 10 films of 2017 are:


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#10 – IT

One of a number of adaptations of Stephen Kings work to grace a screen this year, ‘IT’ made a record breaking entry to the box office by more than doubling the record takings for a horror film’s opening weekend. Bill SkĂĽrsgard’s performance as Pennywise the Dancing Clown is not one that’ll leave your nightmares any time soon. With the film arriving on home release shortly, we highly recommend taking Pennywise home with you!

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#9 – Wind River

Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut was nothing short of heart racing. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen ditched their MCU costumes for something a little warmer as they investigate the death of a young girl in Wyoming, on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The investigation leaves the audience guessing right up until the third act, and when the truth hits it doesn’t pull it’s punches.

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#8 – Thor: Ragnarok

If a couple of years ago you’d have told us that a Thor film would end up our ‘Top 10’ of the year least, you’d forgive us for not believing you. Whilst the first two instalments of his solo outings are rather lacklustre and dreary, in comes Taiki Waititi to shake things up and deliver one of the best entries to the MCU to date. With lots of colour, humour, and a dash kiwi charm, Waititi left his mark all over the God of Thunder – as well as introducing us to everyone’s instant new favourite, Korg, who is played by Waititi.

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#7 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

‘The Last Jedi’ topped our list last year for most anticipated movie of 2017 and boy did we have a wait on our hands. Now it’s been released worldwide, the latest entry to the ‘Star Wars’ franchise has divided many fans on it’s approach to some of the characters and it’s plot. It’s fair to say that our team, which consists of a number of huge ‘Star Wars’ fans, had quite a bit to say on this film (in a pleasant, civilised, and GIF-happy manner might we add) and it may actually come as a surprise to some of them that it made our list!

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#6 – Baby Driver

If the toe-tappingly catchy and action filled trailers weren’t enough to get you to see Edgar Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’ in the cinema, then we sure hope you’ve corrected your mistake and watched it since it’s home release following it’s wave of praise online. Not only is the film insanely brilliant, the soundtrack ain’t half bad either.

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#5 – La La Land

The UK started the new year hearing nothing but praise for ‘La La Land’. The U.S theatrical release date was in December, whilst we had to twiddle our thumbs and wait  here in the UK until the following month. By the time it was released, it had already won a jaw-dropping amount of awards and was also in the running for a number of Academy Awards, including ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Film’ (let’s not get into that). 11 months later and the film still sits highly on the top of a lot of our team’s list, and we daren’t tally up how many times we’ve all watched it since!

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#4 – Get Out

With a production budget of just $4.5 million, ‘Get Out’ broke records and all expectations when it grossed over $251 million worldwide during it’s run in cinemas. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut was greatly received and is arguably one of the most talked about films of the year. Daniel Kaluuya has received numerous nominations and awards as the lead of the film, and rightly so. Another one we recommend ticking off your list before the year is out!

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#3 – Logan

James Mangold stepped back into the director’s chair to direct another Wolverine solo film, but this time the claws were well and truly out for his R-Rated return. ‘Logan’ showed us Wolverine like we’ve never scene him on screen before. The neo-western take on Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Logan was a perfect send off for the actor and the character, as well as a superb introduction to Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney (aka X-23). ‘Logan’ proved to be an emotional farewell, but also left us with a glimmer of hope that we could potentially see X-23 in her own film in the future.

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#2 – Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan’s latest film was hyped up to no end that some of us were certain our expectations were too high and would never be met. Those doubts were quashed upon viewing the film (numerous times for some of the team) and although the story, told from three perspectives (land, sea, and air), had very little dialogue, the way in which is was shot, and the perfect accompanying score, were enough to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through.

Sometimes I still hear the ticking…. 

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#1 – Blade Runner 2049

Aaaaand if you hadn’t guessed by now – Denis Villeneuve’s neo-noir sci-fi masterpiece ‘Blade Runner 2049’ sits at number one for this year’s list. With some breathtakingly beautiful cinematography and set pieces, an ear-pleasingly gorgeous score, and strong performances from Ryan Gosling, Ana De Armas, Ryan Gosling, and the rest of the supporting case, there was nothing we didn’t love about this film – although unfortunately it appears that the general audience may disagree with us as it didn’t perform all too well at the box office!

 


There you have it! ‘Blade Runner 2049’ claims the #1 spot this year for us here at JUMPCUT. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this list and what your Top 10 looks like!

In case you missed it, we also wrote up our ‘Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2018‘ – We wonder if any of those will feature in our end of year top 10 next year….

Feel free to leave a comment below, or tweet us your Top 10 to @JUMPCUT_ONLINE 

Thor: Ragnarok

Year: 2017
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo

Written by Sarah Buddery

The staggering achievement of Marvel Studios in creating a cohesive, overlapping, and constantly evolving cinematic universe is something which – pardon the expression – should really be marvelled at. Undoubtedly helped by the wealth of interesting and beloved characters it has in its impressive back catalogue, the signs of growth are more evident than ever in the latest offering, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.

Helmed by under-the-radar (but soon to be household name) New Zealand director, Taika Waiti, ‘Ragnarok’ is like none of the other 16 movies that preceded it. Fans of the off-kilter and quirky sense of humour in previous directorial films ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ and ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ will know what to expect, and everyone else? Well you’re able to get a full-on Waititi slap in the face and you are going to love it.

The first ‘Thor’ film had a great natural humour to it with its fish-out-of-water narrative, but the disappointing ‘Thor: The Dark World’ took itself far too seriously, suffering from weak villains and a clumsy style. ‘Ragnarok’ is Thor on acid, embracing the weirdness of the character in the best possible way. The Thor of the comics is absolutely nuts, and finally we have a Thor film which feels 100% suited to the character.

The comedy is the strongest it has ever been, and dare it be said that it even challenges ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in that department. There’s zingers left right and centre, genius cameos and characters, physical comedy and oh so much more. Chris Hemsworth has never been better as the God of Thunder; his comic timing is absolutely impeccable and it is great to see him having so much fun where the character has previously been a little stuffy.

On the whole, the cast is absolutely fab with returning members being better than ever, and the new additions feeling like they have always been there. There is a reason why Loki is everyone’s favourite Marvel villain, and whilst not the main villain of this piece, he has plenty of screentime and Tom Hiddleston is, as always, a delight to watch. As Goddess of Death, Hela, Cate Blanchett is absolutely wonderful, but perhaps doesn’t get as much exposure as she deserves in this film; just one of its minor drawbacks.

Always the highlight of every single film he is in (that is a fact!), Jeff Goldblum chews every single bit of technicolour scenery as The Grand Master, and was clearly having huge amounts of fun. Having impressed in ‘Creed’, Tessa Thompson is wonderful as Valkyrie, and she kicks so much ass. Mercifully there is no romantic subplot (it would’ve felt massively shoehorned in), and it is so great to have another badass female hero, and a female main villain as well, for the first time in the MCU.  

The 80s vibe runs through the gloriously unique soundtrack, with synth seamlessly mixing with a more traditional superhero score. Also used in the trailer, it is so good to hear Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ used, and to amazing effect as well; let’s face it, this song was made to be used in a ‘Thor’ movie! Visually, ‘Ragnarok’ is one of the most arresting Marvel movies so far, with some particularly striking slow-motion wide shots, mostly in the flashback scenes and fight sequences. This technique is used sparingly enough so as not to become annoying, and it shows just how diverse a director Waititi is.

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is madder than a box of frogs and all the better for it. It does suffer from feeling a little disconnected from previous MCU films, but when a film is this much fun, it almost doesn’t matter. With Waititi’s stamp all over it (and the character he voices, Korg, unquestionably stealing the show!), ‘Ragnarok’ feels refreshingly different and is a much needed injection of fun, particularly for those who are feeling the so-called “superhero fatigue” from oversaturation of comic book movies. A strong contender for one of the best MCU films, and arguably the most fun, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is absolutely unmissable!

Sarah’s Rating: 9.0/10

The First ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Reactions Are In!

The first reactions to Taika Waititi’s ‘Thor: Raganarok’ are in and the majority are hailing it as a hit! Whilst the review embargo is yet to be lifted, the social media embargo lifted a few hours ago!

A number of reactions hail MCU newcomer Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie, as the standout in the film, with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk also getting his fair share of love. Cate Blanchett is also being praised for her role as Hela, with lots of critics admiring her role as the big-bad and that she looks like she had a lot of fun doing it.

As I’d hoped, Waititi is being praised a helluva lot for injecting his style into the MCU and into the character, and whilst it does appear that this third ‘Thor’ film is mostly self-contained, I hope that Waititi’s influence and style for Thor stick as we lead into ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and see Thor team back up with the Avengers, as well as all the other heroes we’ve come across in MCU so far.

A fair number of critics are also hailing it as the best ‘Thor’ film to date!

Below are a selection of early reactions: 

Hela Wreaks Havoc In The First Teaser Trailer For Thor: Rangarok

Right out of nowhere the first teaser trailer for the upcoming third instalment of Thor has been released and it gives us our first proper look at the the tone and plot of the film. 

In this teaser, we see Hela (Cate Blanchett) giving Thor a run for his money as she catches and then destroys his Mjolnir, rendering Thor basically powerless. We also see Hela up against an army of Asgardians, which she the lays waste to.  Subsequently, Thor is captured and made to fight in an arena where he is pitted against fellow avenger ‘The Hulk’ – much to Thor’s delight it would seem! 

As well as a better look at Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, we also get our first look at Karl Urban as Skurge and Idris Elba’s return as Heimdall. We also get a couple of shots of Loki, who we know Thor will team up with at some point in the film to try and find their father who is stuck on Earth. 

Since being announced as the director of this film, I’ve had high hopes Taiki Waititi would do Thor justice, and from the look of this teaser I will not be disappointed. Already there are a lot of people on Twitter comparing it to the likes of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in tone and style, but is that necessarily a bad thing? What I’m taking away from this teaser is that Thor is finally going to get the love he deserves from fans of the MCU, where he’s only really shined in the ‘Avengers’ films, and less so in his solo outings due to poor plots and villains. It’s an exciting year to be a film fan, and even more so for lovers of comic book movies. 

What are your initial thoughts on the trailer? Are you sold on Thor’s new tone? 

The official synopsis for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is: 

Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok — the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization — at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger — the Incredible Hulk!

Written by Tom Sheffield

Official Thor: Ragnarok Synopsis Released By Marvel

“In Marvel Studios’ ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!”

Marvel’s synopsis for the third Thor film confirms we’ll see Mark Ruffalo’s Incredible Hulk go head to head with Thor in a intergalactic gladiator arena, an idea straight from the ‘Planet Hulk’ comics. We’ve known for some time that the ‘Planet Hulk’ comics would have some influence in this film, especially since Hulk’s armour went on display at last years San Diego Comic Con. 

The last time we saw Thor, he was enjoying a beer in New York’s Sanctum Santorium with Doctor Strange, who had just agreed to help him find his father on the promise that both he and Loki leave Earth once Odin is found.  We last saw Hulk flying off in a  Quintjet at the end of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, and his whereabouts since then has remained a mystery. Hopefully this film will give us some more details as to how Hulk ended up at the arena and what else he’s been up to.

Cate Blanchett will be playing the role of the “all-powerful new threat” , Hela, who we can assume is the reason why Thor and Loki team up to find their father. Joining Blanchett as new members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are Tessa Thompson, who is playing Asgardian warrior Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum will make an appearance as Grandmaster, and Karl Urban will portay Skurge, a villain in the film. 

Taika Waititi is in the director’s chair for Thor’s third solo outing, his previous films include ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ and last years  brilliantly heartwarming and hilarious “Hunt for the Wilderpeople“. After the mixed reception of both ‘Thor’ and ‘Thor: The Dark World’, I think Waititi could be the director to deliver us the Thor film we deserve. His directorial style, humour, and passion for the films he makes are a recipe for success and I’m incredibly excited to see the result. 

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is released in UK theatres 27th October 2017