The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast

The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast Episode 005

Guardians of the Galaxy:

Experienced it in IMAX 3D

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Face Front, True Believers! The universe’s most polyphallicetious Marvel Comics podcast returns to discuss the biggest hit film of the summer not associated with Michael Bay, Guardians of the Galaxy! Join Illegal Machine, Mr. Fixit and Diabolu Frank as they debate the highs and lows of Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster franchise! While we tried to keep spoilers to a minimum, you’d probably ought to have seen the movie before listening, or at least skip the podcast “chapter” beginning at 16:01, where the majority of plot landmines lie. In the second half, we open up the floor to all the Marvel Studios movies, and then a few quick draws out of the Mail Bag!

Note: We like our language NSFW salty, and there be spoilers. Episode art tumblr here.

  • 01:15 The Ill Mac gives his concise overall review.
  • 03:22 Fixit chimes in with his take. Mac might take off on a tangent at some point.
  • 11:19 So, there were some dumb parts, fanboys? Wait, Fryhole? Did I hear that right?
  • 14:00 Star Wars gets a Millennium Falcon Punch.
  • 16:33 We haven’t heard much from Frank and we’re a quarter of the way through a double length episode. I have a bad feeling about this…
  • 29:28 We offer our individual lists of Marvel Studios movies to date ranked by preference.
  • 31:00 Here’s where the train derails folks, as we jump off the lists and into a mini-review of the Thor & Hulk movies.
  • 33:43 Mr. Fixit’s list swiftly turns into a discussion of Iron Man 2 and 3.
  • 36:38 Oh yeah, Fixit’s still trying to nail that list down. So, Cap?
  • 38:54 Mac brings it back to GotG.
  • 44:22 Can we see the reboots/recasting from here?
  • 58:05 The Mini-Marvel Mail Bag!

As you can tell, we love a fierce conversation and a pretty picture, so why don’t you socialize with us, either by leaving a comment on this page or…

15 thoughts on “The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast Episode 005”

  1. Great job as always, fellas!

    I’m seeing GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY a second time tonight and after that I’ll post my own ranking of the ten Marvel Studios films later. Right now, I agree with Frank and I would put GOTG right in the middle of the pack, but that’s certainly not a nock against the movie. I had some of the same problems as Frank, too, but I’ll see if those are reinforced or negated upon another viewing.

    Until then, I have a few thoughts that occurred to me as I listened to the latest episode.

    If you want to see a great Colin Farrell performance in a movie that nobody saw, check out the movie TIGERLAND. Also, since Frank name-dropped the series, Farrell is rumored to be one of the stars of the second season of TRUE DETECTIVE.

    The wife and I walked out of the theater during the first Robert Downey, Jr. SHERLOCK HOLMES. God, that $#@% was awful!

    RUSH was a pretty enjoyable movie, though somewhat unevenly paced. A naked Natalie Dormer and Chris Hemsworth in the first five minutes secured my attention for the next couple hours when the story kind of meandered.

    The switch from longing for a big-name star to headline these comic book-based movies to warding them off with holy water and crucifixes’ is amazing. For every rumor I saw linking Johnny Depp to Dr. Strange I would hear scores of fans screaming NOOO! And you bring up the point that RDJ wasn’t RDJ when he made IRON MAN; he was a punchline. He was trying to redeem himself by showing up on ALLY MCBEAL and Elton John music videos. In fact, the biggest movie star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Sam Jackson who had roughly ten minutes of screen time spread out across four movies before THE AVENGERS.

    And yet their track record for nabbing older, established character actors in supporting roles in these movies is nothing short of phenomenal. I have no idea why Robert Redford and Glenn Close decided to do these movies–hang on, of course I do. Redford and Close aren’t stupid; they saw THE AVENGERS make a bajillion dollars, and they also see Hollywood treat actors over 40 and actresses over 30 as distant afterthoughts. Movies like this make veteran actors more accessible and more popular than any other project they could lead on their own. Denzel for King T’Chaka, anyone?


  2. Strike my previous comment about Sam Jackson being the biggest movie star in the Marvel movies. The biggest star now is Bradley Cooper who didn’t just do a fine job voicing Rocket Raccoon, but did an excellent job playing the Hollywood Game to get to this point. Since reportedly being one of the three finalists to play Hal Jordan in the abysmal GREEN LANTERN movie, Cooper has avoided association with this genre of movies. He even said in interviews that he wasn’t really interested in the superhero type of role.

    Merely providing the voice for a CG character gives him some distance from the genre and the movie in case they tanked and took a lot of careers down with them. At the same time, I think Cooper waited long enough to ink his deal with Marvel that he was able to see the visual effects of Rocket; he knew how good the animation looked and how well it would work in the film, so there wasn’t any real risk to him taking this part.

    Vin Diesel I’m still a little more surprised about unless he had some sort of agreement to appear in another role in a different film. I know he’s a promotional whore, trying to generate buzz for himself on Facebook and Twitter with pictures of Giant-Man, Vision, and even today teasing the Inhumans. Still, I think there’s more method to this particular madness, and his voice performance as Groot wasn’t all that defining. I wouldn’t have known it was him if it wasn’t advertised. This frees him up for another Marvel role in the future–and I still think it’d be hilarious for him to play Black Bolt.


  3. Okay, I think I’ve got the comments on this board fixed. Not only is your specific email in the WordPress system, but I’ve lowered the security levels to help make the process more fluid for others, including (hopefully) anons.

    Frank’s first exposure to Colin Farrell, as with most Americans, was Minority Report, but the first thing that made him look past the hype surrounding the actor was Intermission. Not a great movie, but an interesting performance. Recall Tigerland as Joel Schumacher’s recovery film after Batman and Robin, but everybody went to Phone Booth instead. The boys really ought to have a Martin McDonagh double feature of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths.

    Think Frank & Mac (and Fixit?) saw Sherlock Holmes together, and despite Fixit’s insistence that he saw it for the director, it was the least Guy Ritchie-y movie of his oeuvre. It’s been fourteen years since he’s done anything worth seeing anyway, not that it stopped us from trying.

    Anyone else find Natalie Dormer’s hotness doubled when she shaved half her head, or is that just Frank?

    In Robert Downey Jr.’s defense, he was really good on Ally McBeal and in that Elton John video. No Christopher Walken dancing to Fatboy Slim, but…

    Denzel Washington is the new Clint Eastwood, in that he’s still picking and choosing dramatic and action roles as he pleases with a guaranteed return decades into his career and despite soon being eligible for Social Security. No way he lowers himself for a lowly Marvel cameo, likely involving tribal costuming of dubious cultural sensitivity. Sadly, there are scores of quality African/-American actors who could be tapped though at highly economical rates. One does wonder if Marvel Studios recognizes that their comic fans are often history buffs with long memories, enhancing the desirability of veteran actors?


  4. Okay, my ranking of the ten Marvel Studios films. I want to preface my list by saying I don’t think Marvel has made a bad film yet. Not all have been good, but all have at least entertained me and delivered quality performances and memorable moments.

    10. IRON MAN 3 – I wasn’t happy when I heard they were basing the story off of the “Extremis” story from the comics as I wasn’t terribly fond of that source material. I think Warren Ellis and Adi Granov’s story was far too sterile and joyless for the bombastic world established by the first two Iron Man films. I have a lot to say about the villain(s) in the film, but I’ll save them for another time.

    9. THOR – I don’t think the first Thor film knows what kind of movie it should be. It straddles the two worlds and genre types better than GREEN LANTERN did, which came out the same summer, but not that much better. I enjoyed Thor as a fish-out-of-water on Earth, but the stuff on Asgard mostly bored me. At the same time, the whole half-hour subplot with S.H.I.E.L.D. had no place in this story other than to build the shared universe. Loki, too, was a big letdown; he wasn’t mischievous and his plot against Jotunheim didn’t make any sense.

    8. THOR: THE DARK WORLD – Yeah, I liked this one a little more than the original Thor. It still suffered from the same identity disorder, but this time I really liked the stuff eight of the nine realms and thought the parts on Earth were mostly boring. I’m not a Natalie Portman hater, but I find Kat Dennings a hundred times more watchable in both of these films and would rather she played a less-conventional leading lady love interest for Thor.

    7. IRON MAN 2 – The first half of this movie is terrific! I love the build-up of Vanko in the beginning, and I really loved his attack on Tony at the Grand Prix. The “Whiplash” attack was a lot more interesting to me than the “Crimson Dynamo” finale, because it was something we hadn’t seen before. I love just about everything until Tony and Rhodey fight in the suits at Tony’s birthday party. Then the back half of the movie falls apart. Again, like with Thor, I felt the S.H.I.E.L.D. subplot was really clunky. I hated Sam Jackson’s scenes until the last one, and I hated the anti-climactic reveal of Black Widow. They also gave him a quick-fix for the toxin in his bloodstream so that negated all of that built-up tension, and the stuff about Tony’s father did nothing for me.

    6. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – I just watched this one again tonight and I agree with the general sentiment that it is the most fun of the Marvel movies. The action is mostly great and the characters are charming and lovable. But Ronan the Accuser was a horribly weak lead villain, and Nebula–while interesting-looking–wasn’t much better. I also think Gamora was really underserved. I never got the sense that she was a “living weapon” or “the deadliest woman in the galaxy” when she needed to be saved so much.

    5. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER – This movie used to be my favorite of the Marvel movies, but time has chipped away at my fondness a wee bit. Like IRON MAN 2, I love damn near all of the first hour. They did an amazing job of capturing the goodness and nobility of Steve Rogers when he’s an 80-pound weakling so that I cared about him still when he became the muscled adonis. But after his first mission where he rescues the Howling Commandos, things get less and less impressive. I thought Red Skull was fine, but Hydra looked silly, like a live-action version of Cobra from the G.I. JOE cartoon (sadly, they couldn’t even get that right in the actual live-action version of G.I. JOE).

    4. THE INCREDIBLE HULK – I might be the only one who really loves this movie, but I do. It does occupy a strange, nebulous place in the Marvel movie-verse, because it’s not a sequel to Ang Lee’s HULK… but it does feel like a sequel to something. It’s not an origin story so it doesn’t fall into the same formula as Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America; it’s a fugitive story, and Marvel could do this once but another Hulk movie would have to take the tone and character in a different direction, which Whedon did expertly in THE AVENGERS. I love how all the exposition is conveyed in the opening credits. I also really enjoyed Edward Norton as Banner and I loved William Hurt as General Ross and Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky.

    * Special note: The Incredible Hulk Blu-ray/DVD includes deleted and extended scenes that are all really, really good. Usually I agree with scenes getting cut to make a movie more streamlined and efficient, but the cut scenes from The Incredible Hulk add soooo much more depth to the characters of Ross, Blonsky, and Leonard Samson. If these scenes had been included in the theatrical cut, this movie might be number 2 or 3 on my list.

    3. IRON MAN – I re-watched this and rediscovered how good it is. Of the ten Marvel movies, the first one is the tightest. There’s no fat in this flick; there is no scene or character or subplot that doesn’t work, which I can’t say about any of the other films.

    2. THE AVENGERS – I still think of this as IRON MAN 2.5. Joss Whedon definitely had a great handle on Tony Stark and it played to both of their strengths. So did Black Widow and the Hulk, who Whedon had to basically reinvent for this movie. As much as I liked Norton as Banner, I can’t deny how good Mark Ruffalo was; Ruffalo found something in the character–there are scenes when Ruffalo has his arms close to his body and looks clenched up, like he’s always trying to hold his body in check for fear of transforming. It’s awesome! On the other hand, Whedon didn’t have a damn clue what to do with Captain America or how to write him. Hopefully he’s found Cap’s voice for the sequel.

    1. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER – The filmmakers did a masterful job of recasting the tone and type of film for Captain America in the modern world. I liked Chris Evans all the more in this film; the Falcon is a favorite character, too, so I was really happy with his introduction and characterization. Black Widow gets progressively better with each film, Nick Fury finally got something interesting to do, and the action sequences here were some of the best I’ve seen. My few complaints were that in the already-crowded movie, the Winter Soldier felt like an afterthought in a movie called “The Winter Soldier” and the heroes battle plan in the third act was unnecessarily complicated and way, waaaay too collateral damage-inducing.


  5. Count, I don’t have as firmly definitive a list as yours (not counting Twitter, where I’m much more cocky in the face of impermanence. I’ll address your opinions as I roll down my list.

    Thor & The Dark World
    Of all the Marvel movies, only Thor’s sequel was outright disagreeable while I watched it the first time. I didn’t want to be there, and found a lot of possibilities in that flick squandered and pissed upon. I liked Thor the first time, but discovered I’d lost my taste for it on a second pass via Redbox. I didn’t catch Green Lantern until it hit cable, and only after it had been there several weeks/months AND my girlfriend DVR’d it thinking I wanted to see it. I didn’t hate it like most people, but I sure didn’t like it, and I’m not sure how the Thors would fare against it.

    Iron Man 3
    I dreaded the use of “Extremis” as a base, since that was the single worst Iron Man story I’ve ever read. I’ve only seen the movie once, in the theater, and had serious problems with it. On the other hand, there was stuff I liked, and maybe I’d be more forgiving upon a repeat. Least set position on list.

    Hulk & The Incredible Hulk
    I found a lot to like and a lot to loathe in Ang Lee’s picture, but either way, it was a hell of a lot more interesting an attempt than the three flicks on the back end of my list. Incredible was much safer and closer to the Marvel formula, with some swell elements but also a lot of humdrum. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen either on DVD, but I definitely skipped theatrical, so I had the most basic no-frills experiences here.

    Guardians of the Galaxy
    Probably covered this one enough. Uh… I liked John C. Reilly?

    Captain America: The First Avenger & The Winter Soldier
    I’m the most emotionally critical of these movies because Cap’s my favorite. I agree that the first one starts strong but meanders, but for me the problems start right after the origin. The “Star-Spangled Man With A Plan” section seemed to drag on when there wasn’t music playing, the Commandos section didn’t wow me, and the montage that followed gave short shrift to Cap’s entire wartime career. It picked up during the raid of Zola’s train, then felt like it rushed to conclusion from there. Meanwhile, Winter Soldier is much more consistent, but reflects darker and more cynical areas of Cap’s publishing history I’m not as fond of. I’m hopeful for someone to find a middle path between the extremes of light nostalgia and deep paranoia.

    Iron Man & Iron Man 2
    My reaction to the first viewing of Iron Man was middling, but my appreciation grew considerably over time and exposure. I actually responded better to 2 on first viewing, then it dipped a bit, but then was bolstered by my retroactive appreciation of Black Widow’s development. I’m like most people toward GotG on this movie– I’ll happily gloss over a lot of dumb stuff to get my good time on, and that very much includes the Iron Bros brawl and home movies with Roger Sterling, which I dig in spite of myself.

    I don’t agree with you at all on Whedon’s understanding of Cap. He wrote the closing scene of The First Soldier, gave us the golden “I caught that reference,” plus made sure we saw the difference between how Cap operated on the street level versus Widow and Hawkeye. I have to give Marvel a lot of credit for their advance planning, where stuff that gets criticized on first viewing becomes recontextualized when you see its place in the grander scheme. Avengers validates a lot of the choices made in Iron Man 2, and Winter Soldier shows Cap progress past the more pointed “Man Out of Time” of Avengers. Similarly, I think Age of Ultron is going to reveal that a lot of the stupidity in IM3 was placed there to reach the point of maximum Tony Stark hubris. This movie gave me a lot of joy, and I’m confident its sequel will improve upon all of its shortcomings.


  6. Groot – Good point.

    Frank – I think one of the problems with Iron Man 3 was also one of its assets; it was, essentially, The Tony Stark Show. They put a camera on RDJ and let him play. It allowed for some memorable and comical moments, but also a less than zeroed-in focus. I do agree, though, that IM3 seeded where Tony will be at the beginning of Age of Ultron, and history will remember the end of the movie more fondly after next year.

    Something I’m badly hoping for in Captain America 3 are some flashbacks to World War II showing more of Cap’s missions in Europe. I would love some kind of parallel story showing Cap assaulting Baron Zemo’s fortress in the ’40s, explained as a side-mission related to the battle against the Red Skull, playing out similarly as Zemo’s last living descendent wages a new war on Cap in the present time. Crossin’ my fingers.

    For me, Black Widow’s on-screen debut might as well have been tied up to a chair in The Avengers. She just wasn’t a factor in Iron Man 2; take her out of the movie and very little is actually changed.


  7. Count, you touched on what was probably my biggest problem with IM3. It wasn’t about Iron Man or Tony Stark, just Robert Downey Junior palling around with his homeboy Shane Black. The plot seemed to inconvenience their play time.

    I get the feeling Marvel Studios are covetous of their major villains. Even if Iron Man lacks in rogues, the first three films are Obadiah Stane, Whiplash, Justin Hammer, and Extremis while teasing out a long game for the Mandarin? Two Thor films worth of Loki with a side of Malekith? Red Skull had to be in the first Cap movie, but the sequel was second servings of Arnim Zola and Hydra. Yes, we’re getting Ultron in the second Avengers, but only after recycling Loki in the first one and offering low rent Skrull stand-ins the Chitauri while persistently dangling Thanos in front of our eyes.

    Point being, I don’t think we’re going to get Baron Zemo until after Chris Evans quits playing Steve Rogers, or if the franchise otherwise needs a bump. Despite being highly replaceable, I don’t even think we’ll be seeing Red Skull again anytime soon. Marvel gave us our one WWII movie out of common sense and necessity, but I think for some time to come, they’ll keep their eyes on the future rather than the past. The hints (since dashed) of mining the Grand Director for Cap 3 are much more in line with the Marvel method. Explore lesser, cheaper threats instead of burning through your top prospects of villainy in the early going (™DC Comics Adaptations.)

    The Widow didn’t come alive for me until Avengers, but I just really love the universe seeding, and I needed her underwhelming in IM2 to wow me with her improvement.


  8. Noted. See what I can. Would rather Mac put up his ’90s Claudio Castallini poster with belly shirt Thor, though. It’s brimming with pelvic sorcery.


  9. Great review of the movie guys…I enjoyed the movie greatly and it is up there with Avengers as the best Marvel film!!

    I like someone actually has the sack to argue that. I agree with some of the negative points but the movie was just a unexpected joy to behold.

    As for the debate on Marvel movie stars I think it is important moving forward not to use the high profile Downey types and to grow their own stars through their films. I think RDJ was what was needed first when we began the Marvel movie journey..but the movies have become the stars!

    Anyways..great show episode please.

    Hero Out

    Liked by 1 person

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