Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I’m Looking Forward To

April 10, 2013 at 9:49 am

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

Marvel set out to create a massive cinematic universe and delivered on that promise.  Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger & Thor told separate stories but everything led to The Avengers.  To say that Phase One was a success is an understatement.  It’s not everyday you get to see 4 major franchises come together so brilliantly.  Bring on Phase Two!

How will Tony Stark overcome the events of The Avengers in Iron Man 3?  What threat will the Dark Elves pose against Thor in Thor: The Dark World.  Captain America continues to adjust to the modern world in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  We will meet a new team of cosmic heroes in Guardians of The Galaxy.  Last but not least, The Avengers take on the Mad Titan Thanos in The Avengers 2.

It’s an amazing time to be a Marvel fan.

Here are 10 things I’m looking forward to in Phase Two:


The only thing that kept Captain America from being my least favorite Phase One film was Iron Man 2.  The reason is because of the origin story.  It took a really long time before we finally got a look at Cap in action.  Understandably, it was a necessary story to tell and I understand that.  I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to but he exists now.

Thanks to The Avengers, we got many glimpses of what The First Avenger can do…  And it’s pretty awesome.

I can’t wait to see a full Captain America movie without the need to establish his origin.  It’s time for a full tilt, action filled hero fest!

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To


The final battles in Iron Man and Iron Man 2 weren’t the greatest in my opinion.  I doubt Iron Man will fight The Mandarin in a fist fight but there’s no way the finale won’t be massive.  Just look at all the Iron Man suits in the second trailer:

I think Iron Man 3 will kick start Phase Two in a BIG way and I can’t wait to see it.

COUNTDOWN | Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2

8. SO…  LOKI…

How will Loki fit into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe after his action in The Avengers.

“….  Sorry?”

I think he will still be a force to be reckoned with especially with Thor distracted by Maleketh.  I’m also curious to see if Loki mentions anything about his connection to Thanos and what lies ahead.  Love him or hate him, he has answers…  And I want those answers.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To


Which major characters will appear in other movies?  Are The Avengers truly disassembled until The Avengers 2 in 2015?

We really got a sense of what Marvel had up it’s sleeve when Nick Fury appeared at the end of Iron Man.  Whether it’s Tony Stark in the Incredible Hulk or Hawkeye in Thor you never knew who would appear next.

That trend will most certainly continue in Phase Two.  Part of the fun will be catching all the subtle references they will include in the next slate of films.


We’ve already seen glimpses of New York after the events of The Avengers as well as the effect it’s had on Tony Stark.  I can’t wait to see how the world has changed after Loki opened a portal and unleashed an alien army on the world.

What’s different?  How has humanity evolved now that these threats have been revealed?  What do people think of The Avengers now?  I think the majority of the answers will be dealt with in Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

But what about the rest of the universe?


It’s very unlikely we will see The Hulk again until The Avengers 2 premieres.  He isn’t getting a standalone movie any time soon but I think saving him is a good move.  Watching Hulk punch giant alien snakes in the face was part of the fun of The Avengers.  We may see Bruce Banner pop up at some point before then but I’m willing to wait.  It’s going to be awesome when the Hulk is unleashed again.


No one will ever leave at the end of a Marvel movie again.  We all know the extra scene is coming.  A teaser of what’s to come.  A few moments that connect these movies together in ways that frustrate and delight fans.  (I say frustrate because the wait for answers can be painful.)

When we last left a Marvel movie, they gave us a glimpse of the villain who will be the center piece of Phase Two…  Thanos.

The ending of Iron Man 3 is rumored to introduce The Guardians of the Galaxy.  I know it’s a lot to ask but it would be nice if they at least mentioned Thanos.  Either way, I’m really looking forward to the bonus scenes.  Especially double bonus scenes like this:


A brand new Marvel franchise!?

I don’t know much about The Guardians of the Galaxy but I’m looking forward to learning more about them.  A Marvel movie directed by James Gunn set in space with talking Trees and Raccoons might seem risky but I’m excited.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

XTRA | I’m glad I don’t know anything about Guardians of the Galaxy

The very idea that Marvel’s is expanding their universe is exciting enough.  What’s more exciting is the connection this movie will have with Thanos.  It will no doubt lead directly to The Avengers 2.

I'm glad I don't know anything about Guardians of the Galaxy | Preview


Who doesn’t love a good villain?  When Marvel announced The Avengers people wondered who the villain might be.  It was ultimately revealed to be Loki but it wasn’t his plan.  It’s always been Thanos.  We may not have seen him but he’s been around the whole time plotting against humanity.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

It’s unprecedented to have not one but many films to set up a villain.  Especially one as powerful as The Mad Titan Thanos.  I’ve read about the history surrounding the character and his connections to The Avengers & The Guardians but what will the cinematic version of Thanos be like?

Will he impact the events of the films leading up to The Avengers 2 directly?  Or will he take a back seat and allow pawns like Loki take center stage.  When will we see him again?  What’s his plan?

…  I want answers!!!

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To


It took years to set up the events of Marvel’s The Avengers and we are in for another long but entertaining ride.  Along the way, we’ll catch up with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the rest of shield.  We’ll get updates on Bruce Banner and the ‘other’ guy.  We will meet the Guardians of the Galaxy and learn more about the looming threat known as Thanos.

Through all of these fantastic adventures we will all be wondering how it will all end.  How will these films connect?  What does Marvel really have planned for Phase Two?

Everything leads to The Avengers 2 and it’s going to be an amazing adventure indeed.

Phase Two is about to begin.  Cinematic history is about to be made.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

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Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2

March 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2


…  And I thought the first Iron Man 3 trailer was explosive!

The latest trailer begins with Tony Stark as we’ve never seen him.  Weakened.  Scared.  The trailer then evolves into an action packed look at a movie poised to kick start Marvel’s post Avengers universe.  The road to the Avengers 2 has truly begun.  Before we get there, Iron Man has to pick himself up and deal with the deadly Mandarin.

How?  Looks like it’ll take just about every suit he’s every built!

Here are 5 of my favorite moments from the new Iron Man 3 trailer:


While I’m not a fan of Sir. Ben Kinglsey’s Mandarin voice, he is a formidable and intimidating foe.  That one line paints a picture of a ruthless villain bent on creating chaos for Tony Stark and co.  It’s almost time!

Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2


Extremis technology allows Tony to control his armor with his mind.  This new armor can wrap itself around Tony whenever he calls.  You can see it in action a number of times during the trailer.  I can’t wait to see it on the big screen.

Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2


It was a given that this movie would be full of action and eye candy.  What will truly make this film worthy of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is Tony Stark’s journey.  From the looks of this image, he’s in for one hell of a beat down in the third installment.

Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2


Extremis technology plays a huge part in Iron Man 3 and there’s no greater example than an army of remote controlled suits.  Awesome.

Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2



Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2

When the concept art below leaked on the internet I thought it was awesome but I didn’t think we would see it in Iron Man 3.  Needless to say, this badass armor is front and center in the trailer’s final moments.  I’m happy I was wrong.

Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2

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Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer #2

The Top 5 Movies of 2012

January 13, 2013 at 9:58 am

The Top 5 Movies of 2012


2012 is over and I’ve finally caught up enough to make my ‘best of’ picks.  There are some movies I regret missing but overall, I saw more than 30 movies released in 2012.

Before I mention my top 5, I wanted to acknowledge some awesome movies that just missed the cut.

ARGO | Review

LIFE OF PI | Review



TED | Review

Click here for a complete list of all my 2012 reviews.



Click here for my review.

Skyfall narrowly edged out Django Unchained purely because of the nostalgia it brought back to the Bond franchise.  Casino Royale is one of my favorite movies period but Skyfall felt like a better reboot.  Classic James Bond movie.


Click here for my review.

I was blown away by Looper’s style and originality.


Click here for my review.

A smart and fascinating look behind the scenes of one of the most important events in recent memory.


Click here for my review.

The end of an era.  Though the film didn’t rise above The Dark Knight, it still wrapped up a legendary film series I’ll cherish forever.


Click here for my review.

I saw The Avengers 3 times in 7 days.  Two of those were matinee viewings before work…  By myself.  I absolutely adored The Avengers.  It was, by far, the most fun I had in theaters in 2012.

Bring on 2013!

Click here for the review archives.

Click here for The Bottom 3: The Worst Movies of 2012

The Top 5 Movies of 2012 | The Athletic Nerd

Top 10 Summer Movies 2013

January 7, 2013 at 9:00 am

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


It’s that time of year!  The season where all the Oscar contenders are released, discussed & analyzed.  It’s a phenomenal season for film fans.   While I attempt to catch up on my enormous ‘must watch’ list, I’m still thinking about next summer.  It’s never too early to get excited for the next wave of summer blockbusters.

I chose these 10 films for two reasons.  First, they are scheduled to be released between May 1, 2013 & August 31, 2013.  Second, they look awesome.  Simple enough.  Let’s get to it!

Which summer movies are you looking forward to in 2013?

Note: I’ll be updating this page as the official trailers are released.

Let the hype begin!

Honorable Mention: Oblivion (Opens April 2013)

10. KICK ASS 2

June 28, 2013

Kick Ass was a ton of fun having gone in with no knowledge of the comic.  It was packed with over-the-top violence and the sequel is sure to deliver more of the same.  AND They’ve added comedy heavyweight Jim Carrey to the mix.

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


July 3, 2013

I’m a big fan of new franchises and Gore Verbinski has launched several.  (I wish he was still bringing Bioshock to the big screen.) There’s no doubt The Lone Ranger will be visually stunning and full of amazing action.  It’s just a shame they forgot to REALLY include the titular character in the first trailer.  I get the thought process behind the marketing.  Johnny Depp is a global star after all and it certainly looks like he has created another memorable character.  But Armie Hammer is an after thought here.  It’s a minor complaint as I’m sure he has plenty to do in the film.  But seriously, Depp does look awesome as Tonto.

[Update] We got a second Lone Ranger trailer that features The Lone Ranger!  Much better.


August 9, 2013

District 9 was absolutely incredible.  I can’t wait to see what Neill Blomkamp has in store for us next August.  Not much is known about the film outside of the people who saw and raved about the comic-con footage so here is a synopsis:

“In the year 2159 two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard line government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.”

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


May 24, 2013

The original Fast & Furious came along right around the time I got my driver’s license.  Now, I never pimped my rusted 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier but I did love the movie.  Then 2 Fast came along and ruined everything.  I completely skipped Tokyo Drift but something funny happened.  The 4th installment came along…  And I liked it?  It wasn’t anywhere near the level of the first but at least the whole gang was back.

Fast 5 changed the game and took the franchise in a completely different direction.  They added The Rock and suddenly, the Fast & Furious series became a heist franchise.  I thought Fast 5 was great especially with the revelation in the end credits.  Why not?  I like the characters.  I like the new direction.  Bring on Part 6.

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


June 7, 2013

A while back, I wrote an article detailing two important streaks on the line when After Earth is released.  Will Smith’s hits vs M. Night Shyamalan’s flops.  One of them will end.  I’m sure many people will bet that Will Smith will be starring in the latest Shyamalan dud…  Or maybe he won’t.

Signs is my favorite movie period.  I always get perplexed looks when I admit that but it’s true.  That movie came along at the right time and stuck with me.  I’ve been waiting a long time for another classic to come from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan.  (The Last Airbender was certainly not it.)

But I really love the concept behind After Earth:

“In After Earth, one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (played by Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.”

Which streak will end?


June 26, 2013

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was awful.  In my opinion, it was the worst movie of 2009.  So why is Wolverine so high on this list?  They are essentially ignoring the first solo movie completely.  Nice.  I love the character and the idea of a bad ass Wolverine adventure is still exciting.  Especially one without plot holes and Deadpool.  Can you even call him Deadpool?

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


May 17, 2013

I highly enjoy J.J Abrams movies. (Not to mention the excellent TV series he’s created.) Mission Impossible 3 is still my favorite of the four,  Super 8 was actually my favorite movie of 2011 and I adored Star Trek.  Honestly, I was never a Star Trek fan until the new film came along.  It’s not that I didn’t like it, I just never got around to watching it as a kid.  At that time, it was Next Generation so I really had no exposure to Captain Kirk & Spock at all.

Star Trek was a blast to watch even with all those lens flares.  I can’t wait to see what J.J does with the franchise now that the characters & rules are established.  Of course it is a J.J Abrams production so we know nothing about the project yet.

XTRA | Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer #1

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


May 3, 2013

The Avengers took the Superhero genre to astonishingly new heights.  Marvel pulled it off…  Now what?  Phase Two!

XTRA | Top 10 Moments: The Avengers

The Marvel Cinematic Universe rolls on with a much darker Iron Man.  This trailer may go down as my favorite of 2012 unless another comes along to dethrone it.  It’ll be tough to beat.  Right off the bat, Tony Stark mentions the devastation left in Loki’s wake after his army was defeated.  Now Tony is haunted.  It’s the perfect time for one of Iron Man’s deadliest foes to appear on the big screen.  The Mandarin.  Right off the bat, you can see that Tony Stark is going to get beaten down in this film.  I can’t wait to see how he picks himself up.

XTRA | Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer 1


June 14, 2013

I didn’t like Superman Returns at all.  Where was the action?  Why was it so long?  Much like Wolverine, I’m glad Zack Snyder is rebooting the Man of Steel from scratch with a more realistic approach.  It helps to have Christopher Nolan on board.  Will Superman fill the void left now that Nolan’s remarkable Batman trilogy is over?

In a word: Yes.

I think Man of Steel will be the Superman movie fans have been dreaming of for decades.  The first trailer is proof:

[Update: Second Trailer has arrived]

XTRA | Top 5 Moments: Man of Steel Trailer #2


July 12, 2013

Guillermo Del Toro + Giant Robots + Equally Giant Monsters = My most anticipated movie of the 2013 summer movie season.  By far!  I’m so excited I can’t stand it.  Del Toro is truly blessed with an incredibly visual and COOL imagination.  I think Pacific Rim is poised to become of the coolest movies of all time and I don’t say that lightly.  Giant robots are going to fight giant monsters!  ……….  And Guillermo Del Toro is responsible for the mayhem!

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July 12!  July 12! July 12! July 12!

“When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end.  To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge.  But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju.  On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past.  Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.”

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview

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5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

November 29, 2012 at 7:43 am

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

Growing up, I was always interested in showing my family the latest technology. Imagine playing with an iPad having been around when television was just getting warmed up.  I’m starting to get that feeling myself.  I still remember our first modem and what it meant.  Back then, I used to log in to a primitive forum that only let you online for an hour a day.  Even then, I was interested in movies.  That was the first forum I visited and the majority of my hour was spent discussing movies.

Technology kept getting better.  The world got faster modems, better websites, more engaging content and up to the minute second information.  Just before I graduated high school, I remember scouring the web for any piece of information I could find on The Matrix sequels.  I had to know details immediately.  This desperate search led me to many of the websites I still visit every day.  Since that time, technology evolved and movie news has never been easier to consume.

Now I look back on how I used to get my movie news and I’m blown away by how far we’ve come.  Now there are thousands of websites and blogs out there.  The internet has a pulse and I’m no longer solely a reader,  I’m a contributor. It’s so much fun.

Looking back, I decided to focus on 5 announcements that blew my mind and kick started my addiction to movie news.

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My favorite Superhero.  When I found out that Sam Raimi was creating a live action Spider-Man movie I was speechless.  CG technology was exploding and the very thought of live action web slinging was too good to be true.

I still get goosebumps watching that trailer.  It’s Spider-Man!  I still can’t believe it’s been over 10 years since Peter Parker changed the Superhero movie forever.  I also can’t believe the series has already been rebooted but I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man and I’m looking forward to following the ‘electrifying‘ sequel.

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements


“Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Nick Fury, Black Widow & Hawk Eye are on stage together!”

Marvel had done it.  4 movie franchises would come together in the biggest Superhero movie of all time:  The Avengers. Years later, I’m still stunned they not only pulled it off but exceeded expectations.  The ‘official’ hype began with a press conference at Comic Con in 2010…

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

XTRA | Top 10 Moments: The Avengers

I loved The Avengers but beyond that, I loved following the film’s development.  I loved the Easter eggs they built into the movies that preceded it.  What threat could possibly exist that would challenge these larger than life heroes?  I was actually sad after I saw The Avengers.  I had so much fun reading about the film.  Then I remembered PHASE TWO!  Another round of phenomenal Marvel movies is on the way and it all leads to The Avengers 2 in 2015.

Until then, we must wonder what Thanos will do to make these heroes assemble again.

XTRA | I’m glad I don’t know anything about Guardians of the Galaxy


The Lord of the Rings.  Three movies that I watch at least twice a year.  That includes the hours of amazing special features included in the extended editions.  LOTR is a remarkable achievement and an adaptation that captured the imaginations of millions around the world.  I absolutely adored The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The next logical step was the Hobbit but the film was plagued with legal issues causing endless delays.  Not to mention the concern fans had knowing Peter Jackson planned on handing over the keys to Middle Earth to another filmmaker.  Those concerns were alleviated when they announced that Guillermo Del Toro was on board.  Unfortunately, the production ran into more delays and Del Toro departed.  Heart break once again…

Until Peter Jackson himself stepped up and vowed to return to Middle Earth.  That was an unbelievable announcement.  Then they announced three movies instead of two!  Another trilogy directed by Peter Jackson featuring the same dedicated team of filmmakers.  A dream come true.


“They are making a sequel to The Matrix!? …  Hold on…  There is going to be two AND they are filming them back to back?”

The Matrix Reloaded.  Some people love it, others think the original should have been left alone.  Even those who hated the sequels were still curious at some point. Where will the Wachowski’s take Neo next?  I was obsessed.  I read every article I could.  I was searching for Matrix news before I checked my own email on a daily basis for months.  How could they possibly continue such a complex story? (Insert Architect joke here)

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When The Matrix Reloaded came to an abrupt end, I was even more addicted to news and rumors.  Thousands posted theories on what could happen next and I read all of them.  Speculation was as endless and I was addicted.  The Matrix Revolutions delivered a fitting end even though it wasn’t as spectacular as I hoped.  The Matrix will always be my favorite but I loved Reloaded because it inspired the movie nerd in me.

The day I found out they were making two sequels changed everything…

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5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements


I thought we had seen the last of the galaxy far far away…  I didn’t hate Episodes 1,2 & 3 but they definitely didn’t rise to the level of the original trilogy.  I never imagined that one day, we would FINALLY get true sequels to Star Wars.  Then Disney announced the acquisition of LucasFilm.  One single press release literally blew up the internet.  The hype began instantly and speculation will dominate movie websites until the day Star Wars Episode VII is released in 2015.  This doesn’t even include the sequels and spin offs the mouse house is planning.

I don’t normally cover news on my blog but I couldn’t resist.  It’s Star Wars Episode VII!

What will it be about?  Will Luke Skywalker and the rest of the original cast return?  Who will direct it?  When will we find out more!?

XTRA | Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up

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There’s also an interesting battle brewing in the Summer of 2015.  Which film will gross more?  Star Wars 7 or The Avengers 2?    The culmination of Marvel Phase 2 and a sequel movie fans have been waiting decades to see. (Disney wins the Summer 2015 box office battle by the way.  I’m prepared to make that call now since they own both franchises.)

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements


I grew up searching for my favorite movies and devouring the articles I found.  Every new trailer, tv spot, poster, synopsis, casting announcement, set pic and interview makes me smile.  I’m addicted to movie hype.  Today, it’s easier than ever to find information on the movies you can’t wait to see.  Technology has indeed come a long way since I was young.

However, one thought makes me smile more than all of the massive announcements combined: Back then I used to search for articles.  Today, I write my own.  It’s funny how people evolve just like the technology we use to tell our stories.

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