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The Avengers: Infinity War Recap/Review/Videos/Podcast/Awards Super Blog

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Obviously Avengers: Infinity War is the biggest movie on the planet and has resonated with fans better than any superhero movie since Vinny Chase made Aquaman the biggest swinging dick on the planet despite rolling blackouts on the West Coast due to a ridiculous heat wave. Infinity War had the biggest opening weekend ever, will likely become the highest grossing movie ever before Avengers 4 potentially takes that title next year. The good(?) people at Disney likely won’t be hurting for cash anytime soon. This statistic is Mike Trout level ridiculous, even if almost every movie was an established franchise before The Mouse got his paws on them.

Since I imagine a good chunk of Stoolies were unable to catch the movie opening weekend and it’s easy for old blogs to get buried by all the #content churned out by this site, I decided to put all of Barstool’s Infinity War related content in one easy to find super blog. Yeah this is almost a clip show blog, but if you call it a super blog, it seems extra good and important.

Nobody should worry about Stolen Valor Pageviews either. I will make sure our EIC distributes the clicks to this blog evenly among its contributors. I’m sure people have seen some of this content, so feel free to skip around if this long ass blog didn’t crash your app, computer, or Barstool’s entire technological infrastructure. The Arrested Development “Next On” graphic means that a new blog is coming down the pipe. And to the people that have already consumed every bit of this content, congratulations. You are officially a Super Stoolie that has contributed to Dave Portnoy being able to buy another house in Nantucket sooner rather than later.

Onto the #superblog!

Actually before that, lets AGAIN remind people that there are spoilers in a blog even though that should be patently obvious and the movie has been out almost two full weeks.

***SPOILERS***
***SPOILERS***
***SPOILERS***

We’ll start with some light listening, which means an almost 2 hour long podcast that Robbie Fox hosted featuring Fran, Devlin, Hubbs, and myself.

Moving along, this may shock you guys, but KFC and his jet black soul rooted for Thanos to win the Infinity War.

Robbie went around New York City to see how excited people were for Avengers on its opening day.

Robbie also gave a nerdtastic review of the movie.

Here Is My Blog About ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

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I remember the night I saw the first ‘Avengers’ movie like it was yesterday. At that point, in May of 2012, there were only five installments to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (‘Iron Man’, ‘The Incredible Hulk’, ‘Iron Man 2′, ‘Thor’, and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’), but still, it was almost unfathomable that we’d get to see the heroes from all of those films on-screen together. Nothing like that was ever even attempted before, especially on the scale that this was.

You couldn’t go anywhere without overhearing a conversation about what would happen in the flick – which comics they’d pull arcs from, what the outcome of the Thor vs Hulk fight would be, which Avengers would die, would any Avengers would make their debut – all topics traditionally only discussed in comic book stores were now commonplace on the street, in grocery stores, at restaurants, I’m talking everywhere. All of a sudden the geeky adventures I grew up worshipping were as mainstream as could be, and everyone had questions for me based on my years of preparation. It was awesome.

To this very day I look back on that month or two leading up to the ‘Avengers’ release as one of the fondest periods of my life, and luckily, I could always throw on the ‘Avengers Assemble’ motion picture soundtrack for a quick nostalgia trip back to that time.

Of course, the movie itself lived up to all of our super high expectations, and provided its audience with the most fun, lively theatergoing experience imaginable. There were so many cheer-worthy moments, laugh out loud funny jokes, and even some emotional beats that tugged at our heartstrings…’The Avengers’ really was everything we thought it could be and more. As my midnight showing emptied out though, there was only one thing on everyone’s minds: Thanos.

The post-credits scene for the film (seen above) marked the first cinematic appearance of the most treacherous villain in the history of Marvel Comics, and everyone, myself included, lost their collective minds.

“Does this mean…could it be…no, no way…wait…are they really going to make a fucking Infinity War movie?! It IS the essential Thanos’ story! But they’d need so many other heroes for that. No chance!”

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Six years, twelve films, and fourteen billion dollars later…chance.

Chance is actually a great word to describe what Marvel has done to a tee over the past decade. They’ve taken a chance, and they’ve built the largest inter-connected cinematic universe of all time featuring a bunch of heroes reckoned “too obscure” to ever grace the silver screen, who now dominate the box office. Heroes like Black Panther. Heroes like the Guardians of the Galaxy. Heroes like Doctor Strange, and even Ant-Man. They’ve gotten the rights to a hero deemed “unattainable” from an outside movie studio. A hero named Spider-Man. And every step of the way, they have been slowly but surely building to one event in particular…an event where each and every hero in their now-gargantuan arsenal would have to band together for even the slightest chance of saving the universe and humanity as we know it…and an event widely regarded as the most ambitious crossover of our lifetime: the Infinity War.

Last night, the film was released worldwide, and honestly…it was fucking perfect in every way.

I just told you guys about how I went into the original ‘Avengers’ with very high expectations and it wound up exceeding them, right? Remember that? Well, I went into ‘Infinity War’ with much higher expectations than that, and not only did it exceed them…it blew them out of the water. This movie is undoubtably the best installment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe out of all nineteen films, the best comic book movie since 2008’s ‘The Dark Knight’, and easily one of my favorite movies I have ever seen. That ain’t recency bias or hyperbole, either, folks. I guarantee you that.

‘Infinity War’ is truly as good a film as the genre has ever seen, which is doubly impressive given that on paper, it shouldn’t work as a movie in the slightest. The Russo Brothers were tasked with giving twenty-one separate heroes each their appropriate screen time, splitting them up into four or five factions and making sure none of their subplots dragged or felt inferior to the others, telling Thanos’ entire origin story while following him on his quest to find all of the Infinity Stones (also while explaining how they work without getting too exposition-y), balancing Marvel’s trademark humor with the darkest moments this universe has ever seen, and paying tribute to the film’s eighteen predecessors. The target they had to hit to make this work was incredibly small. We’re talking smaller-than-Ant-Man small, yet somehow, someway, they hit it.

Focusing-in on our villain for a second…MAN was he everything I imagined he’d be and then some! Josh Brolin’s calm, brooding demeanor fit Thanos and his dialogue so well that I feel like that dude was specifically put on this Earth to portray The Mad Titan himself. He was such a treat to watch every time he was on screen, and I really hope his performance gets the recognition it deserves alongside Andy Serkis’ resume as one of the best motion-capture roles ever. He couldn’t have done it without the script he was given as well, obviously, so credit to the Russo Brothers once again. They lifted him straight outta the pages of the Infinity War comic and didn’t allow ANY characteristic to be lost in translation. It seems like the MCU has finally carved out four villains worthy of a Mount Rushmore in Loki, Helmut Zemo, Killmonger, and now Thanos.

Overall, without spoiling anything, I’ll just say this – ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is a wonderful roller coaster of a film that’ll take you to the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows, its two-hour-forty-minute runtime flying by in a flash. See the movie this weekend if possible, because audiences will be engaged, people will be going nuts for the flick’s thrills, gasping at the shocked, and ooo-ing and ahh-ing at everything in between. ‘Infinity War’ is a beautiful celebration of the beauty of the past decade in the MCU, and it’s a movie you’ll never forget watching for the very first time.

Now, please enjoy my incredibly sleep-deprived tweets from last night as I was still processing what I had just seen.

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Alright, so here’s the deal with my spoiler section here: I’m going to talk about one specific spoiler…the big, major spoiler, and everything else is going to be held back juuuuust a few days for a special one-off podcast with Clem, Fran, and Devlin. Hope that’s cool with all of you!

The Snap

Oh…my…god. He did it. He fucking snapped. Thanos snapped and killed half of the universe’s population. There was a part of me going into this movie hoping he would, I’ll be honest. It’s hard to make an Infinity War movie without including the most famous panels from the source material…

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…but when it happened, my heart stopped beating and I simultaneously felt like I was going to throw up. It was an emotion I’m not quite sure I’ve ever felt while watching a movie. Thanos was obviously holding the time stone at the time, so I knew there was no way this could be fixed. Not in this movie, at least. The flood gates were now open, and Avengers were about to start dropping like flies. And there was nothing anybody could do to stop it from happening.

Bucky Barnes. Drax. Groot. Mantis. Scarlett Witch. Spider-Man. Star-Lord. Doctor Strange. Falcon. Black Panther.

All dead. Dead. D-E-A-D. DEAD! I had to sit there, in my fucking seat, and watch teenage Peter Parker cry in Tony Stark’s arms as he died, telling him, “Mr. Stark, I don’t wanna go. I don’t wanna go Mr. Stark.”. I watched Rocket lose Groot again. Hell, I watched mothafuckin’ King T’Challa vanish into thin air. I thought we were all good when Scarlett Witch put her love to the side for the sake of the universe and destroyed the Mind Stone in Vision’s forehead, killing him. I thought we were all good when Thor came down from the clouds and stabbed Thanos through the fucking chest with his Stormbreaker axe. But no, we weren’t all good. Either of those times.

I feel like Kevin Feige just fucked us all in our asses for the last ten years of “Marvel doesn’t have the balls to kill any characters!” complaints. Homeboy said, “OH YEAAAAHHHHHHH?! WE DON’T HAVE THE BALLS?! HOW ABOUT WE KILL EVERYONE YOU’VE EVER LOVED AND MAKE YOU AND THEIR LOVED ONES WATCH AS THEY SUFFER?!”

Consoling me by letting me know they’ll likely all be saved with the help of time travel courtesy of Ant-Man, The Wasp, and Captain Marvel isn’t helping, either, because I’ve already played out the sequel in my brain, and you know what? I think Steve Rogers is going to sacrifice himself to save Bucky Barnes. And I think Okaye is going to sacrifice herself to save T’Challa. And I think Rocket Raccoon is going to sacrifice himself to save Groot. Most heartbreaking of all, I know that Tony Stark is going to sacrifice himself to save Peter Parker.

So yeah, “They’re not really dead Robbie, reeeeelax, they’ll all be back in the next one”, isn’t really making me feel much better right now. The anguish and pain in my heart is still there, and it may be getting stronger by the second. Just an absolutely mind-blowing scene.

I guess that’s how people felt leaving ‘Empire Strikes Back’ in ’80, though, huh?

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I also handed out awards for Infinity War

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Handing Out The Awards For Avengers: Infinity War

Myself, like a kabillion other people, saw Avengers: Infinity War this weekend. And I loved it. It not only matched but surpassed the considerable hype of the last few months and days. I thought there was a chance the movie would lose its way with so many characters in it, but the Russo brothers made it a strength of the movie.

Usually when I see something I love this much, I will talk about it excessively on Twitter. But as a parent that barely has time to get out of the house, I will respect at least a 1 week spoiler free zone for the people that were unable to see the movie this weekend.

Robbie and I, as well as a bunch of other Barstool personalities will be discussing Infinity War like we did for The Last Jedi (I think this one will be a lot more positive). But that won’t be recorded until tomorrow. So I figured I would take the extra Dunkin’ Go2 trophies laying around the office and give them to the best and worst from the best superhero movie ever (I have Dark Knight as best superhero film ever while this is best superhero movie ever. Is this my way of acting like a snooty movie critic in order to avoid picking between the two movies? You bet your sweet ass it is).

Also just to clarify, these awards are not sponsored by anybody. However my Venmo (@TheClemReport) is open for business for any company looking to sponsor these awards.

UPDATE: I just got a payment from Joe Scolley, so the awards are presented by him as well as anybody else that wants to Venmo me.

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UPDATE 2: I turned down a second sponsor due to his beliefs.

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I can’t allow the awards of such a great movie to be sullied by a sponsor that supports those type of heinous beliefs. A man’s got to have a code.

UPDATE 3: Now this is something I can get behind after watching that scene on Titan.

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Now onto the Avengers: Infinity Awards Presented By Joe Scolley and Tim McNally…

Sixth Man Award: Ebony Maw (The Wizard Guy The Beat The Shit Out Of Doctor Strange)

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It’s no secret Marvel has come up short with many of their villains, even though they appear to be getting better recently. Obviously I love the shit out of Thanos. But I found The Children of Thanos were uneven except for The Wizard. Him going blow for blow with Dr. Strange was fucking awesome and talking that shit was the that The Black Order did that I remember.

Comeback Player: Captain America

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Cap is back! Just kidding. He doesn’t get an award for this movie. Captain America is clearly a system hero. The Cap without his shield is basically just a faceless grunt with a shit ton of #grit. I can’t remember one highlight he made in the entire movie. Meanwhile Bucky and Rocket Raccoon lit tits up with their tag team shooting. Sad to see the great ones falter in their old age.

Comeback Player: Red Skull

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Captain America’s original rival gets the nod instead because seeing him show up out of the blue was awesome even though I didn’t really care about him in the original Cap movie. You couldn’t put a better dead character in that role than Red Skull.

Biggest Bust: The Incredible Hulk

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That big green bitch got train run on him by Thanos in the beginning and hid the rest of the movie. Weeeeeeeak shittttttttt. As somebody that feels things below the belt whenever Hulk appears, I was disappointed by his bashfulness this movie. Then again, I’m sure Marvel saved a few million dollars in CGI keeping Bruce Banner on screen and there will be plenty of The Green Monster in Avengers 4 just like HBO saving their dragon budget for Season 8. But it still sucked not seeing Hulk on screen more, no matter how cool the Hulk Iron Man suit was.

Sexiest: Thor

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Chris Hemsworth is such a dreamboat, no matter how short his hair is or how many eyeballs are in his head. He could make the Rickety Cricket character sexy. Not much more else to add here other than I loved him getting sassy with Star Lord while also having the best comedic chemistry with Rocket Raccoon and Groot. The Guardians of the Galaxy lowkey stole this movie.

The Groot Award: Teenage Groot

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He is Groot. He is Groot. He is Groot.

Translation: He is Groot, he is funny, and he is selfless. Using his arm to make the handle of Thor’s axe was an underratedly awesome part of the movie.

Best Avengers Tweet Having Nothing To Do With The Avengers:

Incredible.

Don’t Take Care, Hope To See You Never: Hawkeye

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Dude was in both of the previous Avengers movies but couldn’t crack the rotation in the biggest superhero movie ever. Tough break. I’m sure there’s a reason for this but I honestly forgot about Hawkeye until I rewatched the first Avengers two days later.

Best Cameo: Peter Dinklage

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Putting #2 in the little person power rankings (according to this great blog by our expert in the field Zah) in your movie as a giant is subtly genius as fuck.

LOL WTF Award: DC Comics

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If the last 5 years of Marvel and DC movies have put DC in a bodybag, Infinity War lit the bodybag on fire and through it into a wood chipper which then was blown up with an atomic bomb.

***Music Break***

I guess we have to have a musical guest in this award show. Pup Punk was booked, so here are The Spinners performing “Rubberband Man” since it has been in my head since The Guardians Of The Galaxy arrived on screen to it and I am not complaining one bit.

That was the only song in the movie outside of The Avengers theme. The musical director for this movie had a PER of 9999999 (bar over last nine).

Class Couple: Vision and Scarlet Witch

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I have to admit that I didn’t know these two were together. I’ve missed like 4 Marvel movies that I plan on watching at 3 am while feeding my newborn son in the coming months. Bt I wanted to shout out to Vision for getting an awesome, beautiful woman like Scarlet Witch without having a dick. If killing me saved half of the universe, my wife would murder my ass in a cocaine heartbeat without even asking for a last kiss. Tough break for Vision having to die two brutal deaths in like 5 minutes.

Technological Breakthrough: Iron Spidey Suit

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I wanted to put this award in just because I am so happy that Spiderman is actually moving in the right direction again and the Evil Empire Disney buying 20th Century Fox will only keep the character on that path.

Dave Gettleman Quote Machine Award: Drax

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I love that big dumb asshole. Probably because I’m a big dumb asshole. But nonetheless, Drax always has a few quotes that make you crack up and this movie was no different.

Best Avengers Blogger: Clem

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Robbie has covered this movie and all things comics + movies fantastically for a while now. And I’m sure KFC’s video about the movie did a zillion views.

But I’m the one that gives out these awards and I’m still pissed I didn’t get a Barstool Award. Am I really petty enough to make up an entire award blog just to give myself an award? You’re goddamn right I am.

Biggest Boner: Gamora

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Didn’t see Gamora winning the Biggest Boner award did you? But her not realizing she could be the sacrificial lamb that could get Thanos the Soul Stone was ridiculous to see unfold. Granted I still haven’t seen Guardians 2 and realize she may have viewed her relationship with Thanos differently than he did. But still, her being thrown over the edge of that mountain was so obvious to me and everyone else in the theater. Huuuuuge boner by Gamora.

LVP: Star-Lord
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Speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy boners, Star Lord completely screwed the pooch by foiling the plot to get his glove off on Titan all because Thanos killed his girlfriend, who also happens to be Thanos’ daughter. Scarlet Witch had to murder her own, albeit dickless, boyfriend. But Star-Lord throws a hissy fit because he just HEARD through his friend that his girlfriend dead.

First Chris Pratt teaches Robbie Fox that there is no such thing as true love then he is responsible for half of the universe’s population being wiped off of the map. What. A. Dick.

MVP: Thanos

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An absolute no-brainer for the award. I don’t know if I love Thanos, hate him, or both. It takes a special kind of person to make mass genocide seem reasonable. I don’t usually like Marvel villains that operate in outer space because they don’t have any personality or soul. But I now understand why comic nerds were geeking out when Thanos was announced as the big baddie for this movie. Josh Brolin knocked this role out of the fucking park with a 150 MPH exit velo, which is a record since Clemcast started keeping track of such stats literally just now. And Thanos acting like he was on vacation after snapping away half the universe was as cool as it was badass. Love that dude.

Dr. Strange received some votes as well, but I imagine he will win it after Avengers 4.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Robin Sherbatsky

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I have loved Robin Sherbatsky since the first moment I saw her on How I Met Your Mother. Seeing her die after sitting through an hour of credits ripped my soul apart more than seeing a teenage Spiderman beg his idol not to let die. RIP In Peace, Robin*

*Until everyone somehow inevitably comes back to life at some point in Avengers 4

Writer’s Note: I’ve only seen the movie once and am currently operating on an average of 3 hours of sleep per night over the last week so if there were any other awards that you think should be added, tweet them to me @TheClemReport and I’ll add the best ones here.

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On_the_next_Arrested_Development

The new guys at Pros and Joes lent their 2 cents and 8 thumbs in a review.

Pros and Joes Review: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Years of anticipation and buildup have led us to this moment, this particular place in cinematic history:

We are releasing our second Pros and Joes Review.

Oh yeah, and the biggest movie company in the world just released arguably the biggest blockbuster of all-time. As of yesterday, Avengers: Infinity War  had made over $800M across the globe. It tied The Force Awakens  for fastest to $300M (five days) and is on track to be the fastest film to make $1B. That’s B as in Buckeroonies.

That means that there’s a decent chance you’ve already seen the movie before reading this, but for the sake of inclusivity we are going to keep any spoilers to an appropriately demarcated section at the end.

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

Frank Kaminsky:

Gladiator. The Dark Knight. Shawshank Redemption. Forrest Gump. Now, Avengers: Infinity War. Those are my top 5 movies of All-Time. I knew from the second the movie got going that it was going to be special. The hype build-up surrounding this movie was massive, and 10+ years went into the storyline of Infinity War (sometimes very hard to follow), but damn did it blow those expectations out of the water. I left the theater knowing that I had just witnessed a special movie. The movie may not get the amount of love it deserves from Marvel superfans, but to the common Marvel fan like myself it was fantastic. The action was amazing and Thanos is a badass. Cheering for him by the way. Big Thanos fan. After the success of a story build-up like this one… Avatar 2 better be great or I will slap my grandmother. No, I won’t. I don’t know why I said that. I won’t.

But maybe…

Two Enormous Thanos Gauntlet Thumbs Up

 

Matt “Dor” Dorsett:

I am Groot. I am Dor. I am Avengers: Infinity War and I’m an absolute revelation of a movie. I’ve seen it twice now, and the second time was just as amazing as the first.

Here’s the thing, I couldn’t stop comparing Infinity War to The Dark Knight after we left the movie. I feel pretty confident saying that The Dark Knight is universally regarded as a top superhero/comic book movie of all time…and I think anytime that a movie is even in the same conversation it’s going to be widely regarded as amazing. If you read our first review (thanks btw) you know that I like action and boobs in my movies. Well, hate to break it to you but no boobies in this one, and normally that would detract from my score. But when it comes to the action sequences in this movie,  Infinity War  is sporting a fucking DD cup. There’s no real warm-up, like the movie doesn’t dirty talk you or anything. It just gets right down to business from the get-go, a strategy that I am a big fan of.

Two Modestly Dressed Thumbs Up

Jack “Jacques Tulee” Tully:

My good friend Garrett said something after seeing Avengers: Infinity War  that in my mind perfectly sums up my feelings on recommending this movie:

“If you weren’t going to love it, you would’ve figured it out 18 movies ago.”

Seriously, it’s got to be pretty hard to walk out of the theater with a negative reaction to the movie. Like, what kind of asshole do you have to be to pay opening week money to spend 3 hours in the theater seeing a movie 10 years in the making, then say, “You know, that just wasn’t for me. One star.” If you’re reading this and you’re going to see the movie, you’re going to love it.

Going into it, I was worried about whether or not Marvel would be able to pull off the stakes necessary for such an epic, clusterbutt of a movie (that ones for you, Mom). You can only see the world on the brink of annihilation so many times before you start to realize that nothing that’s happening with the story really matters. I was worried that Marvel would take the easy way out and put the kid gloves on, not willing to risk the brand on real emotional stakes. All I can say is that I was fully satisfied with the end result. It did some things that I thought it would have to do, and even more that I wasn’t expecting. One of the best blockbusters I’ve ever seen, and I cannot wait to see how Part 2 wraps it up.

Two Big Ol’ Thumbs Up

 

Alex Flood:

I stated in the last blog that my biggest deciding factor on whether a movie is good or not is whether I think about it the next day. How about this one, did I think about Infinity War the next day? Not only did I think about it, I went and saw it again in less than 24 hours. As much as I hate Hollywood right now, and how much I hate that they don’t take chances on cinema the way that they used to, and for how much I love run-on sentences, I absolutely loved this movie. After we left the theater, we went into the parking lot and talked about it for 40 minutes.

The movie is a 2 hour 40 minute non-stop epic and I emphasize the word EPIC. Nobody in my theaters did so much as take a piss while the movie was going on. We were mesmerized. It’s very difficult for filmmakers to build up emotional connection with villains in movies as large as this, especially CGI Josh Brolin as the ultimate supervillain trying to exterminate half the population of the universe, but directors the Russo brothers (Winter Soldier, Civil War) knocked it out of the park with Thanos. So much so that I consider him the second best comic book movie villain of all-time after Heath Ledger’s Joker.

Two Thought About It Thumbs Up

 

FINAL SCORE:

8/8 Thumbs Up. That’s 100% of our thumbs for those keeping track at home.

SPOILERS BELOW! BEWARE!

- Best part is when they all start making out with each other in the middle of Madison Square Garden.

– That last one is for those of you that have continued reading this but haven’t seen the movie yet. Stop now. You don’t want no spoilers. A spoiler’s a guy that can’t get no love from me.

– Real spoilers now.

– Opening with Thanos beating the Hulk down easily and then brutally strangling Loki to death was just about the perfect way to start. Let’s you know they aren’t messing around.

– All the action with Thanos was awesome, but what was even more intriguing was the work put into explaining his motives. It does a great job of enforcing its core question: “What are you willing to do in pursuit of what you think is right?”

– Knew FOR SURE that the stakes were real when Thanos turns teary-eyed to Gamora and admits his love for her, just before sacrificing her life so that he could grab dat yung $oul $tone.

– Starlord with quite possibly the biggest fuck-up of all-time not keeping his emotions in check.

– Thanos snapping his fingers and creating a new reality was the absolute best ending possible. My mouth was agape as I watched all my favorite superheroes reduced to dust. “What did it take?”… “It took everything.”

– Why Spider-Man, why? WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS TO ME, MARVEL?!?

– Frank’s Quote of the Movie: “I hope they remember you.”

The movie ends with Thanos snapping his fingers, which in our opinion will go down as one of the most iconic moments in comic book history if not cinema in general. With that one simple action, half of the entire universe was dead. Marvel wasn’t afraid to be bold in this movie: the bad guy won, he won convincingly, and he did it in a way that you almost wanted Thanos to win. When the credits finally roll, you feel empty because you want the final conclusion. The great news for everyone that loved this movie, you only need to wait a year for part two to come out.

 

ABOUT THE JOES

Frank Kaminsky:  Professional NBA Player and “Big Movie Guy”

Matt Dorsett:  Average Joe and “Big Boobie Guy”

Alex Flood:  Film Buff and Skilled Opinionator

Jack Tully:  Writer and Expert by Default

 

Thanks for reading this edition of Pros and Joes Review. Follow us on Twitter @BarstoolProJoes for Podcasts and links to other blog posts. Follow us in real life for restraining orders and other lawsuits.

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Going back to Robbie, that crazy motherfucker ranked every Marvel movie.

Ranking Every Marvel Movie Ever In A Post ‘Infinity War’ World

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Before the release of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, I’d been getting a ton of tweets and messages requesting I rank all (at that point) eighteen films in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe from worst to best. Our own ads even suggested it!

I thought, “Hey, that’s a good idea”, and started rewatching the catalogue to get a grasp of where certain ones would lie, and as I was doing that, I realized that the order in which I thought I arranged the films was COMPLETELY off the mark. I found my favorite of all was originally cutting it close to break into my top five, I was alllllll discombobulated in the middle, and my bottom half…well that didn’t change much. I only actively dislike three movies in the MCU so those were easy to place.

After hard work and much deliberation, though, I think I got it. Before I reveal my ranking order of the films, though, I’ll answer the question I’ve been getting the most these past few days: “Which movies do I have to see and it what order do I have to watch them for me to understand and enjoy ‘Infinity War’?”

The most accurate answer is all eighteen films that precede ‘Infinity War’. With Marvel, you are ALWAYS rewarded with references for your dedication to the franchise, and it’s amazing. If you don’t want to watch that many movies, though, I think you could get by just watching the following flicks:

-‘Iron Man’
-‘Captain America: The First Avenger’
-‘The Avengers’
-‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’
-‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
-‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’
-‘Captain America: Civil War’
-‘Doctor Strange’
-‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2′
-‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’
-‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Obviously that’s still a lot, and you’ll still be missing out on some references and character direction still, having not seen seven of this movie’s prequels, but as long as you have a general grasp of what goes on during the others (read a quick Wikipedia summary for them when you get to them in order), you’ll best enjoy ‘Infinity War’ by watching these.

So here we go…without further ado, I present my definitive (but likely to change) rankings of all NINETEEN films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from worst to best, along with some of the comics that inspired each flick. If you’re looking to finally take that leap into the super nerdy (but awesome) world of reading the source material for your favorite superhero movies, I’ve made it pretty easy for you on where to start based on which movies you enjoyed.

19. Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Coming in DEAD LAST at nineteen on my list is Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated sequel to 2011’s ‘The Avengers’, touted to be the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, winding up more like ‘The Phantom Menace’ of it. Now, I don’t think this movie was off the mark nearly as much of Episode I was, but it constantly brought up the same question of “Why is this what they thought the audience wanted?”. From all trailers and promotional material prior to ‘Age of Ultron’ hitting theaters, it seemed like the movie would be dark, gritty, and a complete inverse of the first ‘Avengers’, and while we all loved that one, we were ready to see something different. We were ready for a complex villain in Ultron that was prepared to off a few of our squad for the sake of the story…and then he just wound up being a wisecracking clown of a robot who was just as disposable as any other cookie-cutter baddie. The film itself was incredibly disjointed, poorly introduced Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch (and killed one of them immediately), and has aged more poorly than any Marvel movie, including the one featuring a completely different guy playing Bruce Banner. By the time we got to the circling-pan shot of the Avengers fighting off an army, it seemed an eyeroll was more appropriate than a fist pump. Still, it has redeeming qualities in origin of Vision and Hawkeye’s family-man backstory (which, fuck it, I enjoyed), but somebody had to be nineteenth.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Avengers’ (Vol. 1) #54 and #55 by Roy Thomas (1968), ‘The Origin of Ultron’ by Roy Thomas Artist (1968), ‘The Bride of Ultron’ by Gerry Conway and Jim Shooter (1977), ‘The Ultron Imperative’ #1-6 by Brian Michael Bendis (2007), ‘Annihilation: Conquest’ by Keith Giffen, Christos Gage, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Javier Grillo-Marxuach (2008), and ‘Ultron Unlimited’ by Stan Lee, Kurt Busiek, Stuart Immonen (1998)

18. Iron Man 3

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An Iron Man movie with the premise of Tony Stark hitchhiking in the snow with a little kid, suit-less? Completely ripping the balls off Mandarin for the sake of a meaningless swerve? Not really my cup of tea. If not for the Iron Legion scene towards the end of the film, this may beat out ‘Age of Ultron’ for the honor of my personal least favorite Marvel movie.

Comic that inspired the film: ‘Extremis’ by Warren Ellis (2005)

17. Thor

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The first ‘Thor’ was the only movie in Phase 1 I didn’t catch in theaters, and I remember being SO disappointed in myself because of that. Naturally, I picked up the DVD the day it came out, threw it on…and fell asleep. I feel like this movie suffered from exposition vomit at every turn, where the writers felt Asgard and its society and its politics and every citizen it has ever had were must-explain stuff, making it the most boring flick the studio has ever produced. I truly have a hard time sitting through the entire thing, and have only done so twice. Thank god Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston delivered stellar performances, because if not, Kevin Feige and the powers that be may have killed off the God of Thunder pretty shortly after this.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Thor’ by J. Michael Straczynski (2007), ‘Thor’ (Vol. 1) #159 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and most of the early ‘Thor’/’Journey Into The Mystery’ books.

16. The Incredible Hulk

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So, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ with Ed Norton isn’t good…but it’s also not bad, so I guess it receives a spot at sixteen? It’s a movie I’ll never go out of my way to watch, but one I’ll toss on if I scroll past it on the TV guide. That’s more than I can say about the last three.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Incredible Hulk #1′ by Stan Lee (1962), ‘Tales to Astonish #90′ by Stan Lee (1967), and ‘Incredible Hulk #24-25′ by Paul Jenkins (1999), and a few others.

15. Iron Man 2

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Alright! Everyone take a nice sigh of relief, we’re onto the good movies in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe! From here on out, starting at fifteen with Jon Favreau’s ‘Iron Man 2′, every movie listed is one I really enjoy. This 2010 sequel introduces Natasha Romanoff (better known by alias Black Widow) played by Scarlett Johansson and sees James Rhodes take on the War Machine mantle, anchored by Tony Stark’s ongoing pursuit of Whiplash, played by Mickey Rouke. While it’s nowhere near as great as the first, I’m not gonna hold that against it because that isn’t necessarily an easy mark to hit. It’s a fun Summer blockbuster, nothing more, nothing less.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Demon in a Bottle’ by David Michelinie and Bob Layton (1979), ‘Iron Man’ (Vol. 1) #284 by Len Kaminski (1992)

14. Thor: The Dark World

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I assume my placement of ‘Thor: The Dark World’ will be the most controversial from my rankings, as most consider it the worst of the past decade, but I’ve NEVER seen that. Sure, the villain is forgettable, but most of them are. I saw ‘The Dark World’ as a VAST improvement over its predecessor, giving Hemsworth and Hiddleston a script to have fun with, making the Natalie Portman romance less cringeworthy and more relatable, and featuring some amazing action scenes with the Dark Elves. My brother and I saw this together on a whim when we realized we had nothing better to do on opening night, both of us entering with low expectations and both walking out incredibly satisfied. My fond memory of that first viewing may skew my scale, but these are my personal rankings, so fuck it, I’m allowing that.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Thor’ by Walt Simonson (Vol. 1 and 2) (1983), ‘The Mighty Thorcules’ by Greg Pak (2010), ‘Thor: The Mighty Avenger’ by Roger Langridge (2010), and a few others.

13. Ant-Man

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Ahh, the HEIST movie in Marvel’s arsenal! A criticism that many (but not I) hold against Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios is that all of their movies follow the same formula. Forgettable villains determined to destroy/have power over the world with no clear motivation as to why, heroes that lose a battle to them early on, but go on a journey full of quips and jokes to eventually overcome them, and every other one mixes in a beam shot into the sky. No film breaks that formula quite as much as 2015’s ‘Ant-Man’ starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas. Stripped down to its core, ‘Ant-Man’ is a hell of a lot closer to ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ than it is ‘The Avengers’, and Scott Lang’s suit/powers make room for some of the funnest and most unique scenarios that could possibly take place in a superhero movie. I mean, the final fight scene with Yellowjacket pretty much culminates on a Thomas the Tank Engine playset! Ah, I love ‘Ant-Man’. Can’t wait for the sequel.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Marvel Premiere’ (Vol. 1) #47 by David Michelinie (1979), ‘Ant-Man’ by Nick Spencer (2014), and a few others.

12. Doctor Strange

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Much like ‘Thor: The Dark World’, ‘Doctor Strange’ pleasantly surprised the hell out of me. I didn’t care about the character at all a few years ago, and had no plans to see the film in theaters on opening night until some miscommunication caused my buddy to buy me a ticket to his showing. I was sorta dreading it, honestly, because I’m really into space/superhero sci-fi, but not too keen on magic/medieval sci-fi, but I didn’t want the ticket to go to waste so I just said fuck it and went, and it took about five minutes for me to realize my mistake of doubting Marvel Studios. The second shit got all Inception-y and Matrix-y I was IN, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s phenomenal performance kept me so invested for the entire runtime of the movie that I got to the point of googling “How to abandon life and become a wizard” before I even drove home that night. Plus, it’s got the most unique boss fight in any of these flicks!

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Strange Tales’ (Vol. 1) #115 by Stan Lee and Dick Ayers (1963), ‘Doctor Strange: The Oath’ by Brian K. Vaughan (2007), ‘Dr. Strange: Season One’ by Greg Pak and Emma Ríos (2011), and many others.

11. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

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While underwhelming when compared to the original, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2′ is far from a disappointment. Our Guardians were back, added a few new characters to the fold, and were still their same old selves, making for a blast of an experience. I’d dig any interaction between this squad, though, to the point where I don’t think James Gunn could possibly make a ‘Guardians’ flick I wouldn’t like so long as everybody’s talking to each other. And this one had Baby Groot! S’cute!

Comics that inspired the film: Like the first Guardians film, this one takes draws from Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s versions of the team, but doesn’t necessarily pull too heavily from any specific books.

10. Captain America: The First Avenger

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It’s no secret that Captain America is my favorite Marvel hero, and a lot of that love stems Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely’s depiction of Steve Rogers in ‘The First Avenger’. Two moments in this movie define Cap’s entire character for me, and make the hairs on my arms stand up even thinking about them. One of those moments is Steve Rogers responding to the question, “Do you want to kill Nazis?”, with the powerful statement: “No, I don’t want to kill anybody. I just don’t like bullies. I don’t care where they’re from.” The other is when Colonel Chester Phillips tosses a dud grenade at a group of soldiers Rogers is alongside in boot camp, and Cap jumps directly on top of it while all others dive away from it. Those two brief sequences tell you all you need to know about Steve Rogers, a fictional character that gives me hope for real folk everywhere. The post-credits scene is so brilliantly executed as well that it bumps this flick up to a top ten spot.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Captain America’ (Vol. 1) #1 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (1941), ‘Avengers’ (Vol. 1) #4 by Stan Lee (1964), ‘The Marvels Project’ by Ed Brubaker (2009), and a few other early Captain America arcs.

9. Spider-Man: Homecoming

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After suffering through Sony’s two piss-poor attempts to reboot the Spider-Man franchise with Andrew Garfield as their Peter Parker, we finally saw what the geniuses behind the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe could do when playing in this sandbox in 2017, and BOY did they knock it out of the park. Tom Holland is the first person in the role to ever appear the appropriate age to attend high-school while defending supermarkets and banks in Queens, and he executes the mix of Spidey’s innocence and cockiness better than anyone ever has. Aunt May is obviously Marisa Tomei, an absolutely timeless smoke, and Tony Stark’s flirtation with her while he acts as an advisor to Peter is a highlight of this one, as is Jon Favreau’s performance as Happy Hogan. Michael Keaton was once again typecast as a bird here, in Vulture, and he provides one of the universe’s biggest shocks and eerie scenes all in the span of ten minutes, so yeah, you could say I dug this one.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ by Brian Michael Bendis (2000), ‘Spidey’ by Robbie Thompson (2016), ‘The Road to Civil War’ by Brian Michael Bendis (2007), and many others.

8. Black Panther

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What could I say about ‘Black Panther’ that hasn’t been said already? It’s the highest grossing superhero film ever made (soon to be beaten by ‘Avengers: Infinity War’) for a reason. It’s intense, it’s funny, it’s heavy, it’s light, and it’s everything you’d want it to be. It defies the genre to the point where many folks who’d never seen a superhero movie before bought into the hype train and gave this a shot, coming away with nothing but positive things to say. The fact that this was such a historic step in representation for pop culture is an accomplishment that will never be forgotten, as well, so that helps it juuuuust edge out ‘Homecoming’.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Black Panther’ by Christopher Priest (1998), ‘Black Panther’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2016), and multiple other incarnations of the character.

7. Thor: Ragnarok

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After a lackluster start, and a widely disappointing sequel (that I dug but most didn’t), I was surprised Marvel going back to the well for a third Thor film instead of just letting him show up in the team-up movies. I’m glad they did, though, because ‘Ragnarok’ proved that when handled correctly, Thor deserves about a billion solo films. All you need to do is just let him have fun, and in this one they did! He has an amazing fight with The Incredible Hulk, forms a friendship with a rock monster named Korg who just so happens to be my favorite side-character in all of the universe, and gets to kick major ass to the sweet sounds of Led mothafuckin’ Zeppelin. What more could you ask for? This flick also shows how successful Marvel has become, to where they took away all of Thor’s most identifiable features – the long hair, the helmet, Mjolnir, Asgard – and he remained one of the company’s most beloved heroes. NOBODY gave a fuck about Thor before Chris Hemsworth was cast as him, and now you’d be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t give their life for his.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Planet Hulk’ by Greg Pak (2006), ‘Angela, Queen of Hel’ by Marguerite Bennett (2015), ‘Thor’ (Vol. 1) #362 by Walt Simonson (1985), ‘Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions’ by Mark Gruenwald (1982), and many others.

6. Captain America: Winter Soldier

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Here’s all I need to say about this one: The Russo Brothers made the greatest Jason Bourne movie of all time starring Chris Evans as Jason Bourne. Just word replace Jason Bourne with Steve Rogers, and give that handsome motherfucker a shield. This is honestly one of the best superhero movies of all time, and it feels like I’m undercutting it by ranking it at six here, but that goes to show you the level of movies that are regularly being produced by this studio. It’s unprecedented.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘The Winter Soldier’ by Ed Brubaker (2004), ‘Secret Warriors’ by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev (2009)

5. Iron Man

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The one that started it all! I’ve seen many a lists rank this at number one, and I wouldn’t argue with that for a second. If ‘Iron Man’ doesn’t knock everybody’s socks off in 2008, we’re living in a very different reality in 2018. This movie had legitimate effects on the planet! Crazy to think about, but very true. Robert Downey Jr’s performance as Tony Stark was so impeccably remarkable in this film that it’s already considered an iconic role, and completely changed the way comic book writers treat the character. Hell, artists too! They draw Tony to look like RDJ now! Much respect and love to Jon Favreau for creating this piece of art with Feige behind him.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘Tales of Suspense (Vol. 1) #39′ by Stan Lee and Larry Lieber (1959), ‘Iron Man (Vol. 1) #166′ by Denny O’Neil (1983), ‘Iron Man (Vol. 1) #200′ by Denny O’Neil (1985), to name a few.

4. The Avengers

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Very few films have lived up to their hype in my lifetime as well as 2012’s ‘Avengers’ did. Nobody in the world had ever seen anything like this movie, a team-up four years in the making, combining multiple franchises and having six or seven superheroes interacting with each other, and Joss Whedon made the best of that wonder. Obviously this was a massive success full of amazing moments I could discuss all day, but I won’t do that. I’ve done that enough in the build to ‘Infinity War’, so just re-read what I said about it here:

I remember the night I saw the first ‘Avengers’ movie like it was yesterday. At that point, in May of 2012, there were only five installments to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (‘Iron Man’, ‘The Incredible Hulk’, ‘Iron Man 2?, ‘Thor’, and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’), but still, it was almost unfathomable that we’d get to see the heroes from all of those films on-screen together. Nothing like that was ever even attempted before, especially on the scale that this was.

You couldn’t go anywhere without overhearing a conversation about what would happen in the flick – which comics they’d pull arcs from, what the outcome of the Thor vs Hulk fight would be, which Avengers would die, would any Avengers would make their debut – all topics traditionally only discussed in comic book stores were now commonplace on the street, in grocery stores, at restaurants, I’m talking everywhere. All of a sudden the geeky adventures I grew up worshipping were as mainstream as could be, and everyone had questions for me based on my years of preparation. It was awesome.

To this very day I look back on that month or two leading up to the ‘Avengers’ release as one of the fondest periods of my life, and luckily, I could always throw on the ‘Avengers Assemble’ motion picture soundtrack for a quick nostalgia trip back to that time.

Of course, the movie itself lived up to all of our super high expectations, and provided its audience with the most fun, lively theatergoing experience imaginable. There were so many cheer-worthy moments, laugh out loud funny jokes, and even some emotional beats that tugged at our heartstrings…’The Avengers’ really was everything we thought it could be and more.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘The Avengers’ (Vol. 1) by Stan Lee (1963), and a plethora of others.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

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From the moment credits initially rolled on my showing of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, I claimed it was my favorite Marvel movie of all time. My imagination was captured in such a way I’d never seen in a superhero film, and I had more fun than I ever had, and oh, literally everything about it was perfect. Even the villain being a bit lackluster worked to ‘Guardians’ favor, because in a movie like this, we needed more time for the heroes and their relationship to develop. The “We are Groot” moment cracks the top ten in all nineteen of these things for sure, and the soundtrack cracks the top one. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized it wasn’t actually my favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though. That title belonged to…

Inspired by a plethora of comic arcs involving the Guardians of the Galaxy characters, but most specifically those written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning that began post-2008.

2. Captain America: Civil War

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You wanna talk about things being perfect, you talk about the third act of this ‘Captain America: Civil War’. The final thirty minutes of this film are possibly my favorite thirty minutes of any comic book film ever, and the device in which the Russo Brothers used to destruct The Avengers from the inside required a level of brilliance to think of I’ll never attain. Spider-Man’s introduction, Black Panther’s introduction, Ant-Man’s cameo, the legitimate thought-provoking politics behind the Sokovia Accords making ‘Age of Ultron’ not entirely useless, the airport fight, the Captain America and Bucky Barnes vs Iron Man fight, and Robert Downey Jr’s heartbreaking delivery of “I don’t care…he killed my mom.”, UGGGGHHHHHH! ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is yet another entry to the MCU that I’d consider a flawless film. I’ve seen it over a dozen times and it never gets old.

Comic that inspired the film: ‘Civil War’ by Mark Millar (2006), as well as a few others.

1. Avengers: Infinity War

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After my second viewing of the most recent installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, my rapid reaction to call this the greatest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was nothing but justified. Even more impressive than being the best the MCU has to offer, I’d say ‘Infinity War’ is the second best comic book film of all time with only ‘The Dark Knight’ in front of it. Here’s a blurb from my blog about the movie from the day after it was released:

‘Infinity War’ is truly as good a film as the genre has ever seen, which is doubly impressive given that on paper, it shouldn’t work as a movie in the slightest. The Russo Brothers were tasked with giving twenty-one separate heroes each their appropriate screen time, splitting them up into four or five factions and making sure none of their subplots dragged or felt inferior to the others, telling Thanos’ entire origin story while following him on his quest to find all of the Infinity Stones (also while explaining how they work without getting too exposition-y), balancing Marvel’s trademark humor with the darkest moments this universe has ever seen, and paying tribute to the film’s eighteen predecessors. The target they had to hit to make this work was incredibly small. We’re talking smaller-than-Ant-Man small, yet somehow, someway, they hit it.

Comics that inspired the film: ‘The Infinity Gauntlet’ by Jim Starlin (1991), ‘The Infinity War’ by Jim Starlin (1992), and ‘INFINITY’ by Jonathan Hickman (2006)

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So there you have it. Thirty-eight hundred words later, and every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been ranked, definitively…even though I’m sure a year from now my list’ll look like you shook it up and hit shuffle play. I hope you enjoyed this blog and hopefully became inspired to check out some of the comics that inspired what you’ve watched on the big screen over the past ten years. Whether you did or not, let me know what your list looks like on Twitter!

And that’s about it. If you were able to ignore work/school/responsibilities long enough to read this entire blog, thank you. Now there is only one fitting way to end this blog.

Okay that was pretty fucked up. Here is something to dry the tears flowing out of your eyes.

Oh fuck yes!!!

And in case that didn’t work or you are not a Fortnite fan, this should do the trick.

P.S. Shout out to the OG Stoolies that remember Super Blog meaning a something completely different back in the day.