The Magic of Great Advertising

Theres simply nothing better than a dazzling and highly effective commercial. It just really gets you going! Okay, there’s probably a few things in life that are better, but not many. Moose for example, are definitely better. I’m a huge moose guy, but thats for another blog (or 20).

Honestly though, I truly admire the ability to bring a product, or an idea to life through creative concepts and powerful visuals. A movie trailer can make or break the financial success of a film. In many ways, a marketing campaign for a specific product can do exactly the same. I’d guess that 90% of the advertisements consumers see on television or elsewhere go overlooked. Maybe it’s because we’re in the middle of a conversation and we’re simply ignoring the mediocrity thats currently playing on the TV. Or maybe it’s because the advertisement is simply blending in to the hundreds of other commercials we’ve seen that day. That’s why when a truly great advertisement shows up on the TV screen and gets us to pause the pointless conversation we were in the middle of, I can really come to appreciate it.

Can I really be the only person who see’s a fantastic commercial, and then goes onto Youtube and searches for it? I don’t think so! There honestly have been certain commercials that I search for on Youtube after having them catch my eye. Some of these ads, I’ve probably watched 20 times on my own. Is that crazy? Maybe. Don’t act like you’re not also crazy though. We’re all crazy! Nobody’s perfect okay! Not even our Lord and Savior, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr….. Jk he’s obviously perfect.

How important is the music choice in a television commercial you ask? Great question. The answer is that the music is big, very big. Like I’ve said in past blogs, music has the ability to make you believe that what you’re watching on screen is a whole lot better than it actually is. Song choice in an advertisement can immediately grab the consumers attention, and have you darting to Ask Jeeves what the hell the name of that song was. Ask Jeeves! Remember that jolly guy who knew everything? Good stuff, and I obviously use Google like the rest of you. Plus, Jeeves retired, and his retirement is well deserved. Go off into that beautiful swift sunset, my friend.

There are certain companies that repeatedly ace their music choice when it comes to TV ads. Apple and Google are two of these companies. These two tech giants also happen to produce my favorite advertisements, and probably yours as well. I’m going to include examples below of two commercials that perfectly blend together breathtaking visuals with an absolutely perfect song choice. There are a few things to look out for when watching them. Notice how everything that is happening on screen perfectly matches up with the music. Maybe its the choreographer in me, but watching visual synchronization to powerful, innovative music is always a true eye catcher. Yes, I’m a dancer. And no, not ballet. I choreograph hip hop routines, okay? Leave your judgements at the door! But yes, I do ballet as well. Moving on! The other thing to watch out for is the simplicity of the text, or the copy being shown. Important information in the form of simple and straightforward descriptions of the product. Count me in.

First up, this TV advertisement for the Apple iPhone X.

Holy guacamole. Was that not the best thing you’ve ever seen? Pretty sure that song is also the GOAT. I’ll take ten iPhone X’s please.

Next up, a TV advertisement for Google Play. Behold.

Yas, yas, and YASSS! This commercial is straight magic. I’ve seen it a hundred times, and every time it feels like the first time….

Like the Apple ad, everything you’re seeing on screen is perfectly matching up to the music (great song choice again). I’m talking editing! I’m talking transitions! I’m talking captivating visuals! This ad is almost entirely based on music and visuals, and then at the very end you get a brief, yet informative description as to what Google Play is. Fantastic.

I’ll take ten Google Plays please.

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My First Ever Trip to Old Yankee Stadium

Baseball season is here!

It’s actually been here for a while. It’s sort of half over actually. Anyways, the Red Sox and the Yankees are back on top of the baseball world this year. The two best teams in the league are once again battling it out in the A.L. East. The two rival franchises return to form has me reflecting on the golden years of these two heavyweight teams battling it out. Story time!

So I first came to New York City back in 2007 during my freshman year at Manhattanville College. Going into my first semester I had one priority, and that was to somehow attend the pivotal Sunday Night Baseball matchup between the Sox and the Yanks that was shaping up to be the game of the year. Both teams were tied for first place in the division, and the pitching matchup was leaning toward Roger Clemens vs Josh Beckett.

Most young college students probably go into their freshman year with various priorities, some more common than others. My top priority to see a baseball game probably wasn’t the most common. However, I’m a baseball nut and this game felt like it was for all the marbles. Also, it was one of my last chances to ever take in a ball game at the original Yankee Stadium before they tore it down.

After being in college for no more than a week, I ventured down toward the old Yankee Stadium (which was far superior to the new stadium, given its history). I wanted to go alone so that I could truly experience all the idiosyncrasies the historical stadium had to offer. Just kidding, I couldn’t find anyone to go with.

Off I went, to the Bronx all alone to find the Evil Empire. I should also mention that this was my first time ever riding a New York subway-the first of many magical experiences! ๐Ÿ˜’. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. My only plan was to ask the warm and kind citizens of New York City for directions as I went. I was literally a baby gazelle venturing into the jungle all alone and completely vulnerable. I was there for the taking.

There I am ^. Happy, hopeful, and delicious. I somehow found my way to the stadium, and pranced out of the subway doors and down the stairs to the beautiful and fruitful streets of the Bronx.

I had about $150 with me, and no ticket. My only plan was to scalp one off the street. There were literally signs every 20 feet about NOT scalping tickets, as 90% of the time they are fake. I looked around for someone selling tickets-someone who seemed honest and dependable. After not much luck, I heard a deep voice behind me ominously whisper “you need tickets?” I turned around, and slowly out of a dark corner came a man who very much resembled a real life version of Cobra Bubbles from Lilo and Stitch.

(Cobra Bubbles)

Lilo and Stitch is a fantastic and highly unappreciated movie, so I looked at this guy in his pitch black sunglasses and said to myself, “that’s my guy”. A match made in heaven. I told him I would love tickets if he were to be so kind. He then once again ominously whispered in his deep voice, “meet me inside the deli in 5 minutes”. I couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Venturing into the deli, I found Bubbles and gave him a friendly wave. He didn’t wave back. He walked over to me and stood by my side. Then, without looking at me, he slowly put out his hand that had the ticket in it. I asked him how much, and he replied “$100”. Without hesitation, I gave him his well deserved money and off I went!

Feeling like a million bucks I pranced through the streets toward the stadium. Looking down at the single ticket I noticed the face value was $12. Not to worry. Even though I just paid $100 for a $12 bleacher seat, all I could think about was the fact that I was going to finally step foot in one of the most historical stadiums in the world. A stadium that had played a pivotal role in my childhood. This stadium basically represented the birthplace of evil in my mind, and it was something I needed to experience before it was gone forever. The smell of sausages on the grill and vendors yelling out to pick up your program. Manny Ramirez, Roger Clemens, David Ortiz, Jeter, Beckett, Rivera! All the legendary players flying through my mind, filling me with anticipation.

I finally got to the gate to hand the stadium employee my ticket. Reaching out, I handed it over. Bending over, the employee scanned the ticket, and the scanner made a worrisome “beep beep” noise. Fake. It was a fake! Cobra Bubbles how could you?! How could Bubbles do this to me? I thought we had something special! Leaving the line, I walked away completely defeated.

For some reason I only had cash with me, and now Cobra Bubbles had pretty much all of it. I simply didn’t have enough to buy another ticket. Walking in no specific direction, all I could think about was how close I came. Peering inside the small openings of the stadium from the outside, I now looked at the field as an unattainable dream. I was so sad.

I even considered finding Bubbles, tapping him on the shoulder, and saying “excuse me sir, but you sold me a fake and I’m not pleased!”

As I walked around aimlessly, I noticed something peculiar. The scanners being used to admit fans into the game began making odd noises. After investigating, I learned that for some miraculous reason, all the scanners were suddenly having issues, and the stadium employees were now instead forced to simply rip fans tickets in half. There IS a God! I quickly ran to a different gate so that I wouldn’t be recognized and handed the man my fake ticket. He ripped it, and I walked through the gate and into Yankee Stadium.

I felt like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music as she sprints up the picturesque foothills of the Alps, spinning in circles and belting out a beautiful song.

Hearing the roar of the crowd upon looking down on the the same field that has served as the site of some of the most legendary moments in the history of sports was something I’ll never forget. However, I soon discovered first hand why this place had so long served as a modern day Mordor (LOTR reference. The films are a masterpiece and I hate you if consider them “nerdy”).

There were literally fights in every section of the entire stadium at all times throughout the game, and that is no exaggeration. I saw about ten police officers in the upper deck barreling down the steep stairs uncontrollably in the midst of an all out brawl. Fans getting carried out on stretchers became commonplace as unbelievably disturbing verbal abuse served as a soundtrack to the game. I did get to see Clemens pitch in one of his last games ever, along with all the other legends on both sides of the rivalry, so that was pretty special.

All in all though, it was actually kind of a nightmare. Cheering for your favorite team in its most hated rival’s stadium is never a good idea. Also, sitting amongst the classy individuals of the bleachers in the most heated game of the year probably amplified the whole experience. In saying that, my main takeaway from the trip to Yankee Stadium was actually about something else:

Against all odds, I overcame Cobra Bubbles.

Lions Kill up to 3 Poachers in Africa

Apparently, up to three poachers were killed by lions while hunting rhinos yesterday. Wild stuff.

Imagine having to do something with the danger of potentially being eaten by lions? Now, I understand that these dudes were poachers, which essentially makes them bad guys, and they obviously are terrible people for attempting to kill several EXTREMELY rare rhinos. Is it Karma? No. People who claim this is Karma aren’t really thinking about the situation. Karma would be if they went to jail for a long, long time. Being eaten by lions is a whole other thing.

I’m the biggest nature enthusiast in the world. I won’t even kill a bug, so the thought of insanely endangered rhinos being illegally hunted in a game reserve is extremely disturbing. However, being mauled by a pack of angry lions is worse than anything you could wish on anyone. It’s the absolute worst case scenario. So let’s just talk about lions and how impressive they are.

Lions are the king of masculinity, and God am I a fan. They don’t back down from anything. In fact, the males actively seek out the greatest possible threat (leopards, hyenas, other lions) and face it head on to protect the pride.

Their confidence sometimes reminds me a bit of myself. Just the other day a man threw popcorn at my friend and I got very upset (internally). I didn’t act, so I understand I didn’t exactly display the toughness of a Lion, but a Lion would’ve crossed the line. I’m sure a Lion would get very upset if you threw popcorn at his good friend, and guess what? I got very upset as well, so we have that in common.

Imagine the moment you realize that you’re going to be killed by lions. It’s impossible to even come close to imagining that type of fear, until you’re there in the moment. The whole time you’re overwhelmed with the hope that you’ll make it out alive, when you hear a sound that makes you think that the actual devil might be standing behind you. Turning around, you see this face:

Pants absolutely filled with poop, and still actively pooping. Pretty sure seeing this face behind you is worse than the devil. Really? Is this really what you would wish on someone? Seeing this face just before it charges and rips you and your friends throats out? Worst. Case. Scenario. That face looks like the most dangerous animal on the planet has been possessed by the Chucky doll. No thank you!

Spiders are the Devil

If you don’t fear spiders, then I really don’t know what to say to you. They’re universally feared by 99% of humanity (fact) for a reason. They. Are. Evil.

All this summer heat has me worried about two major things:

1. The amount in which I sweat, and how fearful I am of those around me taking note of this. It really is an issue. I’ve been battling swass issues since junior high and it’s no laughing matter. I’ve never truly recovered from the incident of April, 2007. I brought it up, so I’ll give you the highlight. I was on a boat in Texas with a bunch of beautiful people. Many of my friends were already on shore, waiting for my boat to approach the dock. I stood up (probably to help someone in need, as I am often one to do) when I heard my friend from the shore scream out “Holy shit! Hahaha dammmmn look at Wanders’ swass!” As everyone joined together in laughter.

*swass; commonly known as swamp ass.

2. The second thing the summer heat has me worrying about is bugs. Now, I live in New York City where the cockroach reigns supreme and unchallenged, but it still has me reflecting on my deeply disturbing battles with spiders from my days in the suburbs (also, roaches are no joke. Fuck. Roaches). In the summer, creepy crawlers climb out of their dark caverns to the underworld to raise hell here on the surface, and take advantage of angelic beings such as myself.

Spiders are quite possibly my greatest fear (granted, I have many fears). Just take a look at them. Absolutely everything about them screams fear. The way the big ones just fucking sit there, completely still. The mere sight of a spider has me desperately doing everything in my power to instantly remove myself from the situation. My brain instantly shuts off and my body goes into crisis lock-down mode, and there’s no telling what might happen.

Back when I was around 18 and living in the suburbs, I had a run-in with an angry inter-dimensional beast. I was alone at my house with one friend over at the time. Realizing I needed to grab something upstairs, I ran up to the bedroom to get whatever it was I needed from under the bed. Getting down on my hands and knees, I reached out to grab it. My hand made contact with the item when I noticed the unthinkable. There, right next to my hand was a spider, completely still and soulless. This spider was the size of my fucking palm, and you could tell it was FURIOUS. How dare I put my hand so close. As it looked directly at me with its eight eyes, my brain shut off (per usual) and my heart began to melt with fear. My eyes went black and my nips disappeared. I retracted my hand, slowly backed up, and screamed/moaned some barely recognizable noise I’ve never made before to my friend downstairs, hoping for a rescue. After getting no response, I made the same rescue noise again “mmmmaaahhhh” but louder so he could hear me. Finally my brain rebooted and remembered this demon creature is called a spider, so I yelled “spider!”, at which point my friend came up the stairs.

We came up with a quick game plan and knew it had to work, as we would only have one shot at this thing. Obviously, I’m going to have nothing to do with the execution of this plan, as I’ll only hold my friend back. He moved the bed to the side and grabbed a heavy boot. Perfect. There, lying motionless, was my worst fear. The spider didn’t even move because he didn’t have to. He calls the shots and does whatever the fuck he wants. And now, we dare approach him again? The pure rage that was now developing within the beast was palpable to everyone in the room. If he were to get away, it would without a doubt be the end of me. I hid behind my friend as we approached, unable to look away. I was well aware of the fact that at any point, that massive spider could leap ten feet into the air and land directly on my face. My heroic friend lifted the boot high in the air, and with the power of a thousand suns, struck the boot to the ground with a thunderous bang! My body slowly but surely returned to normal. It was like that scene in The Lion King after Scar is defeated and slowly the grey barren wastelands that were once Pride Rock slowly begin to turn back into a green paradise. The rivers begin flowing downstream, washing away the bones and skulls of a once nightmarish and lawless land.

We both celebrated as I hailed him as a hero. He lifted the boot, and the spider wasn’t there….

The spider was free, furious, and vengeful.

To be continued…

Why Jurassic World is the Worst Thing Thatโ€™s Ever Happened to Me (and you)

(Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World)

My facial expression pretty much looked exactly like Bryce Dallas Howard’s in that photo^ while I was watching Jurassic World. Trying to hold it together on the outside while my soul completely died on the inside. And just real quick; how long are we going to pretend like Bryce Dallas Howard isn’t an alien disguising itself as a human actress? Alright whatever, let’s get past that and just talk about the atrocity that is Jurassic World.

The pain and suffering this film caused me came close to not only ruining the rest of my life, but also possibly ruining everything about my past as well. The original Jurassic Park that came out in 1993 is my heart and soul, and would be my favorite movie if Hook didn’t exist, but that’s for another blog.

Jurassic Park of 1993 was a transcending film. It felt so incredibly real, terrifying, magical, and emotional all at the same time. The movie filled my childhood with a true sense of wonder and adventure.

Look at that picture! That t-Rex looks real! It’s pouring rain! Fear!! Steven Spielberg’s crowning achievement featured giant, life-size animatronic dinosaurs flawlessly mixed in with cutting edge CGI technology. Steven Spielberg’s ability to create agonizing tension through brilliant filmmaking defines his career at its best, and was on full display in this film. However, literally everything that is so incredible about this film is equally represented in its polar opposite form in Jurassic World.

In the 2015 recent installment, the dinosaurs looked fake as shit! Well, I’m willing to look past that because I’m sure they make up for it with a powerful story and character development, right? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

For a while I actually pushed Jurassic World out of my mind. Pretending like it didn’t exist was my only way of coping with the pain. Unfortunately, I’m now forced to face the truth. Not only does it exist, but apparently a lot of people bought tickets to see it, so it must be addressed. Breaking point came when I saw an innocent little child walking down the street with a Jurassic Park shirt on. Normally it is my instinct to nod at a person with that shirt and internally recognize them as an incredible individual. As my heart warmed and I walked closer I noticed that it was instead….a Jurassic World t-shirt…

Lord have mercy on my soul.

In the briefest moment of pure instinct, I nearly lunged forward and ripped the shirt off the young boy to save him from his doomed soul if he were to wear that t-shirt monstrosity much longer. Instead I stood there as my heart sank into darkness, fearing what is possibly happening to the youth of today. Also, in hindsight it wouldn’t have been a good look for me to tear the shirt off a young boy in front of his mom, leaving his cold and pale skin vulnerable to the harsh and bitter New York air.

These kids only know Jurassic World. This thought haunted me.

So, because I’m forced to, I’ll dissect Jurassic World and tell you why it’s not only the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, but to you as well.

The 2015 film was god-awful in every possible way that a film can be bad. Lets start at the earliest stage. Why, why would Steven Spielberg green light this project when he knows it’s going to be a disaster? Money. That’s the first stake to my heart. So they hire Colin Trevorrow to direct it, because fuck it! Why choose a good director? Why even choose a director who’s maybe possibly displayed one ounce of directorial chops in his career? That’d be crazy right?! Lets just go with Colin fucking Trevorrow!! Whoever the hell he is! He directed one low key, fun, hokey-pokey movie about a girl and guy who time travel for no reason whatsoever. I’d say he’s ready to tackle a billion dollar epic science fiction classic! So that was the next stake in my heart. Next, let’s hire a screenwriter and slip some acid into his morning orange juice, lock him in a room and tell him to start and finish the script by the end of the day. Boom, we’ve got a script. Now let’s cast some real, authentic actors who are going to be able to bring this script to life, because we’re dealing with dinosaurs here, so the better the actors ability to bring the script to life and make it seem realistic, the better. Lets take a look at who they chose:

Ah, yes. This kid was chosen for his acting ability I’m sure. Looks, a chiseled jaw line, and fantastic hair had nothing to do with it. Wtf!!! Does this rosey-cheeked Twilight looking actor belong in a Jurassic Park movie?!? Don’t kill me yet, I’m sure they make up for it with other castings.

Wtf is that?!

I’m talking about real, emotional, layered actors here. Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neil, Laura Dern, Samuel L Jackson, Richard fucking Attenborough!! Credible actors who burn your eyes out with their ability to bring a script to life. But we’re making Jurassic World now, so let’s cast that little shiny child who could also possibly play a middle aged female secretary.

Okay now kill me. Bryce Dallas Howard…

I’m sure she’s probably a nice person, but every movie she’s ever been in has been complete garbage! She also looks like she might stare directly into your soul and hold it prisoner in a dark and evil dimension for all eternity.

Casting complete. A job well done.

So one thing you’ll notice about Jurassic World Is that it’s incredibly bright. Everything is shot during a sunny day, featuring actors with bright shiny cheek bones. So none of this really screams authentic. How could the filmmakers possibly make up for so many miscues? By hiring the right musical composer of course. Even in a shitty movie, a great musical composition can actually distract the viewer into thinking the movie is much better than it is, so it’s really the last pre-production decision that can save the film. Jurassic Park featured THE John Williams in his prime. The greatest film composer of all time, composing his greatest achievement ever. The music of Jurassic Park Is the greatest thing these ears have ever heard, or ever will hear. Being the movie music enthusiast that I am, I can listen to John Williams music on its own and be moved to tears. Obviously, Universal and the Jurassic World team can’t hire John Williams (because he would undoubtedly spit in their face if they even dared ask him to compose for this F-list movie), so they’re left with many other options given the extremely high budget they have to work with. What do they decide? They do the unthinkable…

They hire my life nemesis, Michael Giacchino…

Oh my god, my life is ruined just like that. My rivalry with Giacchino is one rich with history, going all the way back to his days composing for the show Lost. Just before every commercial break his music would slowly crescendo into a cliffhanging whommmmmMMM!!! Then it’s over, and we all go “woah! Can’t wait to see what happens next!” and nothing ever does (that’s probably mostly on JJ Abrams, but I’ll blame Giacchino). He has the ability to come up with one or two catchy themes, which has apparently been enough to get him endless work. If you listen, his theme music he did for the recent Star Trek movie featuring Chris Pine, can be heard in ALL of his scores. He never changes it up!! Change it up Giacchino change it up!! He knows about 5 notes on the piano, and they were on full display in the Pixar film, Up. That movie was fantastic, and the simple, cotton candy piano theme was a good fit for the feel of the film. However, when that score won “best original soundtrack” at the Oscars over James Horner’s breathtaking, chill inducing, high-flying Avatar soundtrack, something inside me snapped. The Avatar soundtrack was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I’ll dissect it at another time, but the outcome on that chilly February night watching the Oscars, left Giacchino as my enemy for life.

Director? F. Casting? F. Music? F. And yeah, those actors didn’t suddenly turn into Anthony Hopkins once they were cast, so the acting was a true F as well.

Jurassic World is the worst thing that’s happened to YOU because it’s starting to set the norm that cutting corners is okay. If people like that little innocent and confused child I saw with the Jurassic World t-shirt keep showing up to see these films, then they’ll keep getting made. It’ll only result in big and epic movie releases that keep cutting every possible corner that used to be the backbone of the great Hollywood summer blockbuster. Before special effects became what they are today, filmmakers were forced to do diligent, hands-on work to make something come to life. So much work went into the creation of the animatronic dinosaurs of the 1993 classic, that it really made you think they could be real. On top of that, Spielberg constantly had it raining to help add to both the sense of dread, and believability that these dinosaurs were in fact there in front of you. Aside from that, the film would’ve been interesting without any dinosaurs in it because of its extensive character development. You cared and loved these people. Because of the sense of attachment the filmmakers created, the viewers were so incredibly engaged and hopeful of their survival.

In Jurassic World, I could give a shit if that little middle aged female secretary child makes it out alive. The viewers just don’t care. The filmmakers can’t wait to just show you the next dinosaur (that looks incredibly fake). Dinosaurs everywhere! Forget story! More more more! Also, the filmmakers had one last great idea; to create a new dinosaur, because apparently there aren’t enough options out of the million that already existed. You don’t think Steven Spielberg could just simply make this film a good movie without having to create a whole new monster?? Wtf is the thinking?! And then there was that fat guy who wanted to turn velociraptors into trained military weapons. Cue Giacchino’s cotton candy piano theme! My. Soul. Is. Dying.

Jurassic World is a monstrosity in every way that a film is put together, and it is teaching us to accept the bull shit that Hollywood puts out there in an effort to simply make money. Steven Spielberg, how could you? This shit used to be dark, and dangerous. Laughing and crying. John Williams music making you feel like your holding Jesus Christ’s hand as he looks at you in the eye and tells you you’re a great and noble person. Not this Jurassic World F-list film, featuring bright sunny days and millions of dinosaurs around every corner. Child actors who make you want to cry (not in a good way) and Bryce Dallas Howard, stiff as a bone, walking around in high heels looking half dead! I’m telling you, the viewer to not stand for it! We want real, respectable movies we can tell our kids about, and not this bubble gum bull shit!!!

I’m just thankful that was the end of the Jurassic franchise, and I can get over it just like you get over any death; with time. They wouldn’t actually make another film and call it Fallen Kingdom would they? Sweet Lord Jesus…

I’m not going to watch it because I know what it’ll do to me. And by not watch it, I mean I will definitely watch it. ๐Ÿ˜ข

I can’t look away, it is my curse…

Ranking the 19 Marvel Films

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has enjoyed the success of 19 films over the past decade (some better than others), so let’s rank them of course!

*Before I begin, I want to note that I understand that people have done this list before. However, this is the correct one. Behold:

(Spoilers ahead)

19. Iron Man 3

This movie stunk. The worst part about making a list like this is that you have to start by describing the worst films first, and that’s exactly what this one was: the worst marvel film. The film was roughly a million hours long for no reason. It’s literally one of the longest films in the MCU. Guy Pierce’s character was ridiculous. Ben Kingsley was even more ridiculous and unnecessary. By the time they made the third installment of Iron Man, Director Jon Favreau was sadly long gone, and it showed. Shame.

18.

The Incredible Hulk

Any franchise that intends to continue its story arc over the next couple of years, but change its MAIN actor in the process, automatically gets a few points knocked off right off the bat. Every Hulk movie that’s ever been made has been absolute garbage, and this one is really no exception. This adaptation is slightly watchable, but looking back now, I really just wish they had cast Mark Ruffalo from the very beginning.

17.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was an odd mix of humor and chopped-up, subpar storytelling. While the film was one of the funniest in the MCU, it was somehow also one of the very worst. The film had me nearly crying with laughter, but also fighting the urge to turn it off to save me the frustration of watching another terrible movie. I’ve always felt like the Guardians of the Galaxy movies flirt with the likes of successful films like Men in Black, but continually come up short due to half-ass character development. Yondu has been someone who repeatedly treats Peter Quill like trash, yet we’re supposed to suddenly adopt the idea of him always being an empathetic father figure Quill never had, and somehow feel emotionally attached to him. Also, everything about Ego the Living Planet was a disaster.

16.

Thor: The Dark World

It’s incredibly hard to be objective here and admit that this film was actually very bad. Why is it difficult? Because I love Thor in every way possible; he’s sort of my real-life hero. However, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor was held hostage in a pretty shitty movie, and that’s unfortunate. The Dark Elves were a cool idea, but just weren’t done right. Natalie Portman and her crew on Earth just seemed so unnecessary and strange. Introducing the reality stone though makes this film one in which you should probably watch if you want to ultimately understand the ever-important story of the infinity stones. Nonetheless, The Dark World features the perfect Thor in a bad movie. Shame.

15.

Iron Man 2

So now we’re getting into films that aren’t bad, they just weren’t great. Iron Man 2 could’ve been great, but teetered a little off course. Landing Mickey Rourke as the pivotal bad guy in a super hero movie is like winning the lottery. Rourke agreeing to the film and the filmmakers screwing it up is like a pitcher throwing a 90 mph fastball down the middle and the batter hitting a boring single. It should’ve been a home run. On top of that, they also had Sam Rockwell in the film, who is one of the most talented actors in Hollywood, and also one of my favorites. Rockwell’s wit and acting chops were on display in this sequel, but it was yet another example of the filmmakers being given gold, only to do nothing with it. One of the main things that bothers me is when a film seemingly comes so close to being incredible, but falls short.

14.

Ant-Man

Ant-Man could’ve and probably should’ve been a hell of a lot funnier with someone like Paul Rudd as your lead actor. It’s an entertaining movie, but I just have a thing against Ant-Man where I feel like he’s really unnecessary in the overall story arch of the MCU. What the hell do we need this guy the size of an ant for? According to everything I’ve read about the comics though, it sounds like I may be wrong. The fact that he controls and works with actual ants is insanely stupid, but the film still works, I guess. I just thought the movie was okay, but I was hoping for more.

13.

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War definitely felt forced. Pretty sure we don’t need a thousand super hero’s fighting each other for absolutely no reason. That’s the problem with this film. The whole time the audience is asking itself, “but why are they fighting?” Also, I can’t get too heavily invested in a story when I know for a fact that everything is going to be okay in the end. Nothing is going to happen to either Iron Man or Captain America, so the stakes just aren’t there. It’s like suddenly Marvel decided they were going to have a super big budget and pay for an unnecessary amount of their stars to face off in this installment. However, Civil War does introduce us to the Black Panther in a very cool way, and for that reason alone, I’m in. He turned into my favorite character in the film, which really had me excited for his own movie which was yet to come out at the time. Also, this movie did feature some top notch action sequences.

12.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

I have to be honest here, I really didn’t see this one coming. The last thing I wanted in my life was another Spider-Man movie. When I heard that Marvel had bought the rights to the character, I really thought it was a bad move simply because we had already seen like six other Spider-Man movies in the last decade. Spider-Man: Homecoming works though. It was an incredibly funny and entertaining film. Peter Parker is truly lovable, and is really brought to life in his own unique way by actor Tom Holland. Michael Keaton’s villainous character is kind of weird, but still gets interesting when he turns out to be the father of the girl Parker loves. Overall it’s really a fun, feel-good movie, and a great addition to the Marvel arsenal.

11.

Doctor Strange

The first time I saw Doctor Strange I actually didn’t really love it. However, upon second review I have to say it’s won me over. Maybe I originally had problems with it because they hired my nemesis, Michael Giacchino to do the music, but even that I eventually came around to somewhat being okay with. I can go on an endless rant as to why Giacchino is the worst thing ever and why he’s my nemesis in life, but that’s for another time. God, does the guy only know 5 different notes on the piano?! Change it up a bit! Anyways, the movie features some absolutely incredible visuals and action sequences to boot. Benedict Cumberbatch is legit and always brings it, and so to does Tilda Swinton. Doctor Strange’s presence in the Marvel universe is one of extreme importance, which ultimately adds a good amount of weight to not only his character development, but the movie as a whole. Well done Marvel. And as for Giacchino, you get to live to see another day, I guess.

10.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

So they’re really all good films from here on. Captain America’s nobility always gives me the tingles, and here he is again, being noble as fuck. Saving the world is second nature to him, and he does it all with a heart that rivals the great heart of our time: Tom Brady. Amazing action sequences define this film, and we are introduced to Bucky (The Winter Soldier) who is another great addition to the MCU. A cool and appropriate dark and low-key movie score drives the overall feel of the film, which is a huge compliment from me since I was put on this planet to enjoy (or hate) original movie soundtracks. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo do a fantastic job making this film feel real and of great consequence. I’m a fan.

9.

Guardians of the Galaxy

This is another movie that I didn’t love after my first viewing, but have eventually come around to really like. Unlike its sequel, this one really is a good mix of humor and engaging story telling. I will say that they fail to develop the characters as much as I would’ve hoped, but the film still really works. They’re a bunch of misfit idiots whose incredibly chaotic plans somehow seem to always work out, while having the viewer laughing out loud throughout the whole experience. The reason the film is so high on the list is that it’s a movie that can easily be watched over and over. It also featured Lee Pace’s rock star performance as Ronan the Accuser.

8.

Thor

Not everyone has the original Thor as high on their list as I do, but they’re wrong. They’re wrong because they fail to properly appreciate the physical excellence that is Chris Hemsworth. Okay they’re not wrong for that reason, but it might be part of it. This film is a brilliant entrance into the galactic side of the MCU. I’ll admit, I wasn’t crazy about the ending, but the first time we see Asgard and all its glory is mesmerizing. Brilliant cinematography mixed with a heavenly score by Patrick Doyle truly have you thinking of Asgard as a beacon of hope and a righteous protector of the nine realms. Director Kenneth Branagh, who hails from a Shakespearean background, brings a certain amount of weight and credibility to this film. Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, and Chris Hemsworth are all wonderful in their rightful roles. The ending was subpar though, I’ll say it.

7.

Black Panther

Black Panther was an incredible film. However, it wasn’t nearly the movie that everyone made it out to be. What I mean by that is that it was by no means the best Marvel movie ever, and for some reason that’s what many people said. It was very very good though. The cast was perfect with one exception; Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger. In the midst of an incredible film lead by sensational and powerful performances, was an actor straight out of a C-list movie. I understand that Killmonger grew up on the streets and is acting a certain way for a reason, but at times the role called for true acting ability that Jordan simply did not have. For this reason, the actor was out of place. The rest of the film was sensational, from incredible cinematography, groundbreaking performances from Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright, to a mesmerizing original soundtrack. Black Panther broke though several cinematic boundaries, but was by no means the best of the nineteen films.

6.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Most people have The Winter Soldier above the original film, but not this guy. I love this film for a few reasons. First, we learn what makes the future leader of the Avengers so special; his heart. The always incredible Stanley Tucci reminds him to always be guided by the power of his heart just before he dies of his wounds, and it’s a powerful moment. Second, I love the fact that the story takes place during the events of World War 2. It’s such an interesting idea to throw a super hero into the mix. Alan Sylvestri absolutely shreds the music, which is typical. Hydra and Red Skull were both really cool and slightly strange, but Hugo Weaving is able to bring any character to life, and he did just that. Cap saving the world for the first time, but definitely not the last. Good stuff.

5.

Iron Man

Iron Man is where it all started. Probably none of these nineteen films would exist if it were not for the success of this movie. Robert Downey Jr establishes himself as one of the best casting decisions in recent cinematic history. Jon Favreau absolutely kills it as director. The whole being captured by terrorists thing, and breaking out of the caves as Iron Man is maybe the most memorable moment in the MCU. Once again, this film sort of has a strange ending due to a slightly weak villain, but nonetheless packs a serious punch.

4.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

This is where the films start to get seriously epic on this list. Director Josh Whedon once again does an amazing job of putting all the super heroes together to fight off a seemingly impossible foe; Ultron. The only thing I’ll say is that the film might take itself a little too seriously, but other than that it’s a smash. Actually, there’s one more thing and that’s that Danny Elfman’s score is trash. Bring back Sylvestri! (they do, thank God). Seeing all the heroes fighting together and not having it be a hot mess of editing is always an accomplishment, so well done Marvel.

3.

Avengers

The top three films on this list are seriously better than the other sixteen. Avengers is one of the very best superhero movies I’ve ever seen. Before I saw it, I really wasn’t sure they were going to be able to work all these characters in together and have it work, but man was I wrong. Sylvestri blew my nips off with his power score. Testosterone flying around in every direction as Iron Man battles Thor as soon as they meet. Thor fighting the Hulk who is finally portrayed in an interesting and engaging way. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is beyond electric. Seeing the Avengers finally putting their egos aside for the greater good and fighting together at the end is what dreams are made of. Above all else, Avengers is probably one of the most re-watchable movies of all time.

2.

Thor: Ragnarok

Yes. Yes. Yes. Thor: Ragnarok is nearly a perfect film. Thor has reached peak Thor which is all I could ever ask for. He’s being pushed to the absolute brink in a desperate attempt to save Asgard and its people, and fulfill his destiny of becoming the true God of Thunder. Director Taika Waititi’s new take on the character is an absolute grand slam. The movie is a perfect mix of incredibly important and emotional moments, mixed with some of the best humor Marvel has given its audiences. Oh, and throw in The Hulk fighting Thor in a gladiator style battle and you’ve got my favorite movie. Check that, lets add the most lovable person ever in Jeff Goldblum and we’ve got an all time movie. Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, Anthony Hopkins, and Cate Blanchett as Hela are all perfect. The casting, directing, editing, cinematography, music, and overall story are everything you could ever want in an epic science fiction film.

1.

Avengers: Infinity War

Impossible. It’s impossible to do what Marvel and the Russo brothers did with this movie, but they did it. I can’t undersell the level of difficulty here in not only preventing a movie of this magnitude from being an absolute disaster, but propelling it to being the greatest super hero movie of all time. To assemble this unprecedented number of A-list actors, all with their own incredibly important story arcs to complete, and give them all their own screen time (without forcing it) is impossible! Josh Brolin’s Thanos is everything you could ever want out of a character they have been building up anticipation for over the last ten years. Forget Thanos though. Just from a cinematic standpoint, to have this truly unprecedented level of anticipation behind a movie, and have it not only deliver, but go well beyond any expectations is unheard of. Okay back to Thanos. Just incredible. The directors ability to actually get the audience at times to sympathize with a character who wants to wipe out half the life in the universe is so incredibly amazing to me. The editing is maybe the best I’ve ever seen. Each scene effortlessly transitions into the next scene. Everything that is happening is so important it’s ridiculous. Alan Sylvestri’s score! Infinity War is the opposite of Civil War. The whole film has so much weight to it, that my palms were sweating the entire time. It’s somehow the funniest Marvel film ever, while also being the most emotional and disturbing. It also featured one of the most surprising endings I’ve ever seen, that left audiences with their jaws on the floor for the entire credits. Oh and also, Thor in Wakanda. My God….