An Epic Journey of MCU to Endgame (2008-2019)

Whatever it Takes..

It’s been over a decade that Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around entertaining the fans worldwide through its superhero adventure stories based on the Marvel comics and the characters created by Stan Lee.

Over a period of ten years, MCU has established many superhero origin stories in the same universe. And now, MCU has reached the point where all these stories are going for an epic crossover, where Earth’s mightiest superheroes are going to assemble to fight the battle against greatest villain universe has ever seen.

The MCU had kickstarted with Iron Man (2008), which came out on May 2nd, 2008. The script was not completely finished when filming began, since the filmmakers were more focused on the story and the action, even the makers were not sure about what they were doing, despite all these difficulties Jon Favreau, the director of the film has pulled off everything so brilliantly, that eventually had laid the foundation of what MCU today is. The casting of Robert Downey Jr. as TonyStark/Iron Man was considered very risky for the project because of his past but Jon Favreau commented: “The best and worst moments of Robert’s life have been in the public eye. He had to find an inner balance to overcome obstacles that went far beyond his career. That’s Tony Stark. Robert brings a depth that goes beyond a comic book character having trouble in high school, or can’t get the girl.”, and today we see Robert Downey Jr. as the biggest star of MCU who has ignited the never-ending flame of incredible filmography.

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From the very start, MCU hinted upcoming crossovers in the post-credit scenes, and from that point, it became a trend. So even after the film ends, fans still wait on their seats for these little scenes until the screen gets completely black. It started with the post-credit scene in the very first Iron Man film. In that, the fans were teased with the appearance of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., who approached Tony Stark for an Avengers initiative, and that’s where seeds for this greater universe were sowed. In the same year of 2008, along with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk (2008) was also released, and in this film also Tony Stark has made an appearance in the post-credit scene, which again hinted the crossover of superhero films in the near future.

Iron Man was Marvel Studios’ first self-financed movie but then in 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment for USD $4 billion. After this acquisition, the studio has not stopped yet and has delivered 21 in the saga out of planned 22 films. Avengers: Endgame is going to be the 22nd and final film in this chronology on three phases. Later, they’ve also added the 23rd film Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019), which will get released in July 2019. MCU has defined the solid style of interconnected filmmaking where different stories are running in the shared universe and concluding together in the end. The MCU has maintained their timeline of events happening in different films pretty well apart from the Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) which had some incorrect timeline as confirmed by Joe Russo in one of his interviews.

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Iron Man serves as the perfect start to the MCU and is surely the best origin story ever put to screen for a comic book character. After the success of Iron Man, the next milestone was The Avengers (2012) and before that MCU introduced the new superheroes through films like Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Thor (2011), which assembled the core Avengers team. Making the team of Avengers alive on the silver screen was one of the most ambitious projects MCU had ever done in the past. If we call Iron Man as the foundation, then The Avengers surely can be called as the backbone of this shared universe. The Avengers grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide and became the third-highest-grossing film during its theatrical run—as well as the highest-grossing film of Marvel production till the present day. And all the credit for its success goes to Joss Whedon who has co-written and directed the film, which ultimately fetched him a chance to direct Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

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MCU’s all the planned 22 films are divided across three different phases. The chronological order of these films is as follows :
Phase One: Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012).
Phase Two: Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ant-Man (2015).
Phase Three: Captain America: Civil War (2016), Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), Avengers: Endgame (2019).

In the first phase, MCU introduced the core characters through their standalone films and kickstarted the Avengers saga. Going forward, in the second phase, they not only introduced some more new characters and films having their roots connected but also discovered some deeper aspects of the existing members of the Avengers. Now, in the third phase, all the separate threads from previous films are coming together and are forming a big picture. Apart from the characters in the core Avengers team of phase one, the studio has also introduced some new superheroes like Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Guardians of the Galaxy, with similarly intriguing storylines.

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All these superheroes have already joined the fight against the Mad Titan in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War (2018). In that film, the major and difficult task was to bring together all these different storylines and characters, and that too without tampering with their appearances in previous films. But the very talented director duo Anthony and Joe Russo made it possible altogether, who has previously directed Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014) and Captain America: Civil War (2016). Russo brothers have found the perfect balance between comic and intense moments in their superhero films. They have brought the needed realism, gravity, and intensity to MCUs superhero films. Infinity War has a comparatively darker tone than any other Marvel films. Avengers: Endgame is the 4th film by Russo brothers as a director. And that is why it is going to be Epic, for sure.

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Along with the mighty superheroes, every MCU film has portrayed equally or more powerful villains – the villains which would act as the most important arcs in defining who the superhero really is. In the 1st phase of the Avengers, Loki played the villain character and threatened the Earth’s very freedom, which eventually united the Avengers. In the 2nd phase, Avengers faced the catastrophe in the form of Ultron, the AI program, which made the Avengers think about the meaning of their own existence. And Now, in the finale of the 3rd phase, the Avengers have come face to face with Thanos, the mad titan, who has an obsession with balancing the universe by wiping out half of its population.

Infinity War was the culmination of 10 years of MCU’s fascinating stories and characters. The film was titled as Avengers but the film was actually about the villainous character Thanos. The film’s storyline keeps him in the center and follows him through his quest for trying to acquire all the Six Infinity Stones, which are appeared in the previous Marvel films and are located at different places. The film discusses Thanos’ ideology in a really great way. One of his many great quotes, “The hardest choices require the strongest will.” says everything about him. And about his genocidal ways, he calls it mercy. He is so determined that he even sacrifices his own daughter for this cause. He’s not just a psychopathic mass-murderer, he also has an emotional drive, his love for his daughter, which we can see throughout the film’s runtime. He’s a villain with a good cause, the greater good, but with really evil and ruthless ways.

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All powerful Thanos was first spotted in the post-credit scene of The Avengers(2012), and later, in the post-credit scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), since then he was pulling all the strings from background, but in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), he has got the things done by himself. It is the first time in cinematic history when 22 superheroes assembled against one powerful supervillain, which was truly spectacular to watch. At the end of Infinity War, Thanos accomplishes his plan of wiping out half of the world’s population by defeating the Avengers. And now, in Avengers: Endgame, the finale of this epic saga, the fallen heroes are going to get back and fight Thanos one more time. So mark the date, 26th April 2019, and be a part of this never seen before cinematic experience.

Every single character from MCU has earned a special place in fans heart. And as Avengers: Endgame is the end of this saga, the film is gonna be an emotional ride for everyone. This may be the last film in which our favorite characters will reprise their roles (characters may die/end of their contact with MCU). Seeing all our beloved characters once again and maybe for the last time on screen really touches our hearts. And witnessing the fate of all these characters is another best thing about this film.

In every phase, MCU has evolved spectacularly, in terms of storytelling, technological advancements, mesmerizing visual effects. MCU films not only talk about superheroes and villains but also emphasize on emotional drifts of its characters, which enables the audience to root for them. It also talks about family, friends, and relationships which eventually makes it more human. Like any other films, even some MCU films are flawed, either in storytelling, or weaker script, or underdeveloped characters, despite all these factors, and as MCU is seen as a whole, every MCU film has its own fan base and has earned a place in the popular culture. Today, MCU has become the most successful and highest grossing movie franchise of all time and its gonna remain there for a long time.

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Sanju (2018) – Movie Review

One Man… Many Lives

Sanju is an upcoming biographical drama film directed by Rajkumar Hirani, written by Hirani and Abhijat Joshi. The film is jointly produced by Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Sanju is the fifth film by Rajkumar Hirani, after Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006), 3 Idiots (2009), & PK (2014). And all the films were massive hits, not just commercially but critically as well. He is well-known for his funny satirical way of narrating the stories on the crucial and sensitive topics with a subtle message encouraging idealism and humanism. His movies like Lage Raho Munnabhai had a strong cultural impact in India, popularising Gandhism. Even his both Aamir Khan starer movies have been raising issues like flaws in our study system & over-dependence of humans on God.

The film stars Ranbir Kapoor as the Indian actor Sanjay Dutt. The film follows Sanjay Dutt’s dramatic and enigmatic life, mainly through three stages, during his drug addict phase, his many love affairs, and during the phase of his life when he went to jail under TADA case.

Sanju is the most awaited and highly anticipated film of the year, and yes, after watching it you’ll realize that why there is so much buzz around it. A story that teaches you to face your hardships with courage and be unapologetic for who you are. One may think that this is the film about controversial persona, and what it possibly could have to serve, but believe me, without a question it’s worth to watch.

Totally moved by watching it, a remarkable film, salute to Rajkumar Hirani, Abhijat Joshi, and Ranbir Kapoor excels. A surprisingly versatile and notable performance by Vicky Kaushal. Paresh Rawal’s character as Sunil Dutt, a righteous and all-good father of Sanjay Dutt also stands out, he’s just flawless. A heart touching film narrated and directed brilliantly. Sanju is definitely one more gem which has been added to Raju Sir’s brilliant filmography.

In an interview with Rajeev Masand, Hirani disclosed that the story-telling procedure was “challenging as it’s not a story of an achiever” as most biopics are based on a heroic personality, yet Dutt is known for his tragedies and losses. He noted that “you can’t really tamper” and that the main scripting challenge was fitting “a very anecdotal story in a structured format”. Writer Abhijat Joshi also revealed that there was no “deliberate” attempt to make Dutt’s character sympathetic to the audience. Instead, the team realized having listened to all the anecdotes conveyed by Dutt that it’s a “very engaging, incredibly fascinating” story based on a “conflicted person, a flawed person” who “deserved empathy”. Hirani then confirmed that he has “put out the truth” which includes “good things and bad things”.

Verdict : Have faith in Rajkumar Hirani, and Just Go For it. Simply Extraordinary. 🙂

Rating : 4.4/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J76wN0TPI4

Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (2018) – Movie Review

Heroic and Patriotic.

Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (Parmanu – Atom in English) is a period action drama film directed by Abhishek Sharma. The film stars John Abraham in a lead role, who has also produced the same.

The film is based on the nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran, Rajasthan in 1998. The film starts in the era when America and the other countries have already become a superpower with the possession of nuclear bombs. America, who had been a superpower for many years, and now are trying to have a grab on the warfare happening across the world by deploying ‘eye in the sky’ in the form of satellites. And now, it’s a high time for India to be a superpower by conducting nuclear test explosions, and that too by maintaining the secrecy of this operation.

The story depicted in the film is one of the most important events in the Indian history and the people who made this event possible. In the running time of this film, practically it is not possible to include all the little details of the operation, but makers have successfully accommodated the significant aspects and delivered a gripping drama film. It has a flavor of the documentary film, but the engaging storyline and compelling performances by characters made the film thrilling and entertaining at the same time. The only problem with the film is its bombarded background sound, which felt unnecessary and overloaded at some situations, which overtakes the drama and does not let it breathe.

Verdict : Overall it’s a really good, proud, and patriotic film to watch. Go for it.

Rating : 4/5

An Epic Journey of MCU to Infinity War

Destiny still arrives…

It’s been a decade that Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around entertaining the fans worldwide through its superhero adventure stories based on Marvel comics and character created by Stan Lee. And now, MCU has reached the point where all these stories are going for an epic crossover, where mightiest superheroes will assemble once for an all to fight the battle against greatest villain universe has ever seen.

Over the period of ten years, MCU has established many superhero origin stories in the same universe. The MCU had kickstarted with Iron Man (2008), which came out on May 2nd, 2008. The script was not completely finished when filming began, since the filmmakers were more focused on the story and the action, even the makers were not sure about what they were doing, despite all these difficulties Jon Favreau, the director of the film has pulled off everything so brilliantly, that eventually had laid the foundation of what MCU today is. The casting of Robert Downey Jr. as TonyStark/Iron Man was considered very risky for the project because of his past but Jon Favreau commented: “The best and worst moments of Robert’s life have been in the public eye. He had to find an inner balance to overcome obstacles that went far beyond his career. That’s Tony Stark. Robert brings a depth that goes beyond a comic book character having trouble in high school, or can’t get the girl.”, and today we see Robert Downey Jr. as the biggest star of MCU who has ignited the never-ending flame of incredible filmography.

In Iron Man post-credit scene, the fans were teased with the appearance of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., who approached Tony Stark for an Avengers initiative, and that’s where seeds for this greater universe were sowed. In the same year of 2008, along with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk (2008) was also released, and in this film also Tony Stark has made an appearance in the post-credit scene, which again hinted the crossover of superhero films in the near future.

Iron Man was Marvel Studios’ first self-financed movie but then in 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment for USD $4 billion. After this acquisition, the studio has not stopped yet and has delivered 18 in the saga out of planned 22 films. Avengers: Infinity War is going to be the 19th film in this chronology. MCU has defined the solid style of interconnected filmmaking where different stories are running in the shared universe and concluding together in the end. The MCU has maintained their timeline of events happening in different films pretty well apart from the Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) which had some incorrect timeline as confirmed by Joe Russo in his latest interview.

Iron Man serves as the perfect start to the MCU and is surely the best origin story ever put to screen for a comic book character. After the success of Iron Man, the next milestone was The Avengers (2012) and before that MCU introduced the new superheroes through films like Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Thor (2011), which assembled the core Avengers team. Making the team of Avengers alive on the silver screen was one of the most ambitious projects MCU had ever done in past. If we call Iron Man as the foundation, then The Avengers surely can be called as the backbone of this shared universe. The Avengers grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide and became the third-highest-grossing film during its theatrical run—as well as the highest-grossing film of Marvel production till present day. And all the credit for its success goes to Joss Whedon who has co-written and directed the film, which ultimately fetched him a chance to direct Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

MCU’s all the planned 22 films are cleverly divided across three different phases. The chronological order of these films is as follows :
Phase One: Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012).
Phase Two: Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ant-Man (2015).
Phase Three: Captain America: Civil War (2016), Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), Untitled Avengers Movie (2019).

In the first phase, MCU introduced all the characters through their standalone films and kickstarted the Avengers saga. Going forward, in the second phase, they not only introduced some more new characters and films having their roots connected but also discovered some deeper aspects of the existing members of the Avengers. Now, in the third phase, all the separate threads from previous films are coming together and are forming a big picture.

Along with mightiest superheroes, every MCU film has portrayed equally or more powerful villains – the villains which would act as the most important arcs in defining who the superhero really is. In the 1st phase, Loki played the villain character and threatened the Earth’s very freedom, which eventually united the Avengers. In the 2nd phase, Avengers faced the catastrophe in the form of Ultron, the AI program, which made the Avengers think about the meaning of their own existence. And Now, in the finale of the 3rd phase, the Avengers are going to face Thanos, the mad titan, who has an obsession with balancing the universe by wiping out half of its population. And in this quest, Thanos is trying to get a hand on all the Six Infinity Stones, which are appeared in the previous Marvel films and are located at different places. All powerful Thanos was first spotted in the post-credit scene of The Avengers(2012), and later, in the post-credit scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), since then he was pulling all the strings from background, but now, in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), he is going to get things done by himself.

It is the first time in the cinematic history when 22 superheroes are going to assemble against one powerful villain, and this is gonna be truly epic. So mark the date, 27th April, and be a part of this never seen before cinematic experience.

In every phase, MCU has evolved spectacularly, in terms of storytelling, technological advancements, mesmerizing visual effects. MCU films not only talk about superheroes and villains but also emphasize on emotional drifts of its characters, which enables the audience to root for them. It also talks about family, friends, and relationships which eventually makes it more human. Like any other films, even some MCU films are flawed, either in storytelling, or weaker script, or underdeveloped characters, despite all these factors, and as MCU is seen as a whole, every MCU film has its own fan base and has earned a place in the popular culture. Today, MCU has become the successful and highest grossing movie franchise of all time and gonna remain there for a very long time.

Padmaavat (2018) – Movie Review

Obsession vs. Honour

Padmaavat (formerly titled Padmavati), is a classic period drama film co-written and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is one of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers in Indian cinema, and well known for his astonishing filmmaking styles filled with huge sets, powerful performances, soothing music, and epic storylines. The film is based on the epic poem Padmavat (1540) by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, and that’s where protests and bans on this film have started, stating that the film is deteriorating the history and hurting the sentiments of the Rajput community in India. After facing so many controversies, after making the required cuts (even the name of the film has changed), and then after getting a green signal from Supreme Court of India, the film has finally arrived at the movie theatres. The film has released in three different formats as 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D, and this is the first Indian film to be released in IMAX 3D format.

Set in 1303 AD, the film tells the story of bravery and sacrifice of exceptionally beautiful Rajput Queen Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), the wife of Rawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), a righteous king and the noble ruler of Mewar. Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh), the power-drunk ruthless Afghan ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, who hears about Padmavati’s beauty, and lays siege to Chittor fort to obtain her out of his obsession. Before Alauddin Khalji could invade Chittor, Padmavati and her companions commit Jauhar (self-immolation) to protect their honor. The story of the film is not so convoluted, but the artistic directional approach, rich set designs, finest music, and theatrical performances are worth experiencing in cinema halls.

In the final moment, the film has literally given goosebumps to the audience, the chants, the visuals, the sound, just takes over the audience. The background score of the film is splendid. The film is a truly cinematic experience with breathtaking visuals that it does not let the audience to take their eyes off the screen. The storyline of the film is pretty straightforward but the characters are compelling enough to drag the audience totally into the film. The film has some really powerful performances. In particular, hats off to the portrayal of menacing and barbaric Allauddin Khilji by Ranveer Singh, which is truly outstanding and deserves all appreciation, he steals every scene he is in, audience hates his character and likes his performance at the same time. Shahid Kapoor as the noble ruler is shining in his own moments, he can talk so much with his eyes. Deepika Padukone as Queen Padmavati is to the point, not more, not less. The supporting roles by Aditi Rao Hydari as Mehrunissa, Raza Murad as Jalaluddin Khilji, and Jim Sarbh as Malik Kafur are surprisingly impacting, and seeing all these characters coming together is a delightful treat.

Verdict : The story of Obsession and Greed versus Bravery and Sacrifice is worth watching. Bollywood at it’s best.

Rating : 4.2/5

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the fantasy adventure and 8th installment film in the epic Star Wars saga created by George Lucas. The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson. Going to watch the Star Wars film in a movie theatre itself is a mesmerizing experience, that too when a theatre is full of fans dressed in different Star Wars outfits, t-shirts, and wearables. Some from the audience waves lightsaber in the air chanting one-liners. Then as soon as the film starts with classic John Williams background score and as the Star Wars opening crawl “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away..” comes up on screen, all the fans start shouting joyfully together in the excitement which really shatters the whole theatre and literally gives goosebumps.

The film starts right where the Star Wars: Force Awakens (2015) had left off, Rey (Daisy Ridley) flies from Resistance to find and seek the help of former Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) against the tyranny of First Order run by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and his conflicted apprentice Kylo Ren/Ben (Adam Driver). On the other hand, under the leadership of Leia (Late Carrie Fisher) with Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega), to keep the hope alive Resistance is fighting against the First Order troops lead by General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie).

This is so far spectacularly the best film in the Star Wars universe. The visuals are so good and beautiful that shots literally remain in memory for a long time. The dogfight scenes between Star-fighters and Tie-fighters along with Millennium Falcon are just awesome. There are a lot of fan service moments which fills the audience well with satisfaction. Lightsaber Duels are the heart of Star Wars film, no Star Wars film can be complete without it, and this film fulfills that heart. The story of the film with little deviations here and there lands everything perfectly and that too with unexpected and surprising turns of events. All the characters played really well in the story justifying it’s all aspects. The performances of all the lead characters, in particular, the comeback of Luke Skywalker as lost but wise teacher is the best. The film touches many deeper secrets of the force and leaves the fans just thinking about it.

Verdict : Visually spectacular Star Wars film with unexpected turns of events is just an amazing experience. Worth a watch.

Rating : 4/5