NOTE: The latest updates are at the bottom of this post.

Odin help me.

By the time you read this, I will be on my way to “The Ultimate Marvel Marathon.” It’s 11 films back to back to back; all the official entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from 2008’s Iron Man to this week’s Avengers: Age of UltronBy the time the final credits roll, I will have sat through — and hopefully written about — approximately 27 hours of superhero movies.

There won’t be many surprises. I’ve already seen every movie in this marathon at least once, and I’ve seen a couple upwards of four or five times. In fact, I attended the previous “Ultimate Marvel Marathon” before the release of the first Avengers movie. That was actually a lot of fun (except for the woman I sat next to who repeatedly took pictures of the screen and posted them on Facebook), but it was also only about 14 hours. At more than double that, this Ultimate Marvel Marathon is pushing the limits of mental and buttock-ular endurance. By any measure, this is a titanically stupid idea.

But I love titanically stupid ideas, and more than that, I love masochistic moviegoing. I’ve attended one 24-hour movie marathon before, and it was a surreal, fascinating experience. There’s something magical about testing yourself, and going beyond what you think you are capable of doing. Some people train for years to run actual marathons. I’m lazy and unathletic, so I’m doing this instead.

It’s not entirely clear what the Wi-Fi situation will be at the theater, but I’m going to do my best to update this post as frequently as I can, ideally between every single movie. I’m going to write about the films, the experience, the atmosphere, and the slow degradation of my sanity. Basically, it should be really fun for everyone but me.

This is the full film lineup:

And here are the supplies I’ve prepared:

  • 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • 3 granola bars
  • 3 cereal bars
  • 1 bottle water
  • 1 bag of Vitamin C drops
  • 1 box Tylenol (for allergies)
  • 1 bottle of hand sanitzer
  • 1 stick of deodorant

(I still need to buy one of those airplane neck pillows, and possibly some pharmaceutical grade heroin, just to take the edge off during Thor: The Dark World.)

(I kid, I kid.)

(No, but seriously: I’m not a big fan of Thor: The Dark World. Any way we could swap that out for a second screening of the first Captain America?)

Someone on Twitter is telling me folks started lining up for the marathon at 9AM, so I need to get out of here, grab a neck pillow and get in line. The madness is about to begin.

UPDATE #1, 4:41PM - I arrived at 4:15, more than 90 minutes before the marathon begins. The theater is already more than a third full. The AMC Lincoln Square is running the marathon in its Loews auditorium, a large theater with a balcony and some of the best projection and worst legroom in New York City. Getting here early was a strategic move; I was able to get a seat on the outer aisle in the upper deck, where I’ll at least be able to stretch my legs a little. I can’t imagine going 27 hours straight in one of the middle seats here. It would be a nightmare.

For attending this event, I was given this:

That seems about right.

So far I have seen two guys in Captain America hoodies, four guys in Captain America T-shirts, one guy in an ill-fitting Captain America Halloween costume, and one guy with a light-up Iron Man shirt. I’m not in costume, but I did get a neck pillow, so I’m definitely feeling really good about the way my life has turned out right now and in no way regret what is about to occur.

UPDATE #2, 8:28PM - There is a MySpace joke in the first Iron Man.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is such an omnipresent part of popular culture at this point that it’s easy to forget how much time has passed since the first Iron Man; seven years. As well as the film holds up, and as fun as it still is, it’s also very much a product of an era that’s already fading away. In the opening scene, a soldier asks to take a selfie with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. But he doesn’t call it a selfie. And he takes it with a digital camera instead of his cell phone. And Tony Stark’s cell phone has a flip-up screen. And he makes jokes about not wanting to see the pictures on MySpace. This Iron Man belongs to another world; one that’s clearly defined by the period after 9/11. He’s not fighting Norse gods or sentient robots; his enemies are Middle Eastern terrorists and war profiteers.

Some of the dialogue might be dated, but the effects in this movie still look great; I was impressed how cool the early scenes of Tony Stark testing his Iron Man suit and flying around still are. The visceral thrill of discovery and the pure freedom of flight pulse through the first two acts of the movie. A lot of the credit for the film’s success belongs to Downey, who makes Tony Stark so charming and likable, even in the early scenes when he’s a pompous, unreliable d-bag. Tony Stark has a real arc here too, and not just the reactor kind; his evolution from unfeeling capitalist to selfless hero progresses naturally and satisfyingly through his story.

One touch I never noticed before: The town Tony flies to for his first outing as Iron Man is Gulmira, the home of Yinsen (Shaun Toub), the man who helped him design his armor. Tony’s transformation to hero isn’t complete until the end of the movie, when he decides to buy Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) some time while he sacrifices himself to take out Iron Monger (Jeff Bridges) the same way Yinsen buys him some time while he sacrifices himself to help Tony escape from the terrorists in the first Iron Man suit. From selfish to selfless; that’s a theme that Marvel’s still exploring to this day, right through Avengers: Age of Ultron. But I’m getting ahead of myself; The Incredible Hulk is next.

(One interesting aside: There were lots of cheers and applause throughout the screening for the big moments and introductions throughout the movie. That wasn’t surprising. What was surprising was the character that received the biggest cheer: Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson.)

UPDATE #3, 10:40PM - They should have called this The Overcompensating Hulk.

Ang Lee’s Hulk was too artsy for mainstream audiences and too fartsy for comic-book lovers. And the Hulk himself was ridiculed for his lack of detail and Shrek-ish features. But The Incredible Hulk swung the pendulum too far back in the other direction. This is a dumb slugfest with no grace or wit; the closest this movie gets to anything resembling intelligence is a chase scene in a library. And this Hulk is way too detailed; his muscles have muscles and he’s weirdly lumpy and bumpy (he also looks nothing like Edward Norton, unlike The Avengers’ Hulk, who absolutely resembles Mark Ruffalo). The Abomination is even worse. He looks like a bony booger. I get that he’s an “abomination,” but this guy is just an eyesore.

It’s no wonder The Incredible Hulk is the green-headed stepchild of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If not for the superfluous Robert Downey Jr. cameo and a couple oblique mentions of a World War II Super Soldier program, I suspect Marvel would pretend it never happened. Supposedly there’s some rights issues with Universal holding up another solo Hulk movie, but it’s pretty clear that this is a tough character to nail. He’s a wonderful supporting player in The Avengers but on his own he’s kind of a drag, and all the emotion you build up in Bruce Banner dissipates when the human actor vanishes into the shoddy special effects — and the effects are really shoddy at times in The Incredible Hulk. 

If we want to read deeply into these Marvel movies, there is one theme that unites the first two films in this marathon: Both are about idealistic scientists trying to keep incredibly powerful weapons out of the hands of warmongers. What they don’t have in common: Iron Man is a lot of fun and The Incredible Hulk is an incredible chore.

(Side note: The Incredible Hulk is the only Universal movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It opens with this big foot chase through a Brazilian favela. Three years later, Universal released Fast Five, which opens with ... a big foot chase through a Brazilian favela. Also, Vin Diesel kind of looks like a very pale Hulk. Two strange coincidences!)

UPDATE #4, 12:45AM - One guy in the audience flew all the way from California to attend the marathon. He must have spent hundreds of dollars on a plane ticket. Are the Marvel movies not available on the West Coast? I’ve always assumed they were.

So, Iron Man 2. It was about 40 minutes into this one when I realized all these Marvel films have the same two villains: the brainy guy and the brawny guy. There’s always the smart dude, usually a businessman or a military guy (or a businessman with ties to the military) with brilliant ideas and evil schemes and then the enforcer who works as his muscle. In Iron Man there’s Obadiah Stane and Raza, the leader of the Ten Rings. In The Incredible Hulk there’s General Ross and Abomination. And in Iron Man 2 there’s the sniveling, jealous CEO Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) who funds Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) in his quest to destroy Tony Stark and the entire Stark family heritage.

I guess the idea is to create tension for the hero in and out of their secret identity, but it just tends to dilute the drama. Iron Man 2 is a classic example. Rockwell’s actually pretty great as Justin Hammer (the fake tan right down to the inside of his palms is a great touch) and he’s a nice foil for Downey, but Rourke is ... not. Honestly, I can’t figure out what he’s doing. He’s Russian? He loves his bird? He has the weirdest fingernails I’ve ever seen? It’s very confusing.

Oh Iron Man 2, why can’t you be more like Iron Man 1Iron Man 1 is sleek and compact, like the Mark III armor. Iron Man 2 is clunky and hastily assembled like the Mark I. There are too many subplots, too many supporting characters, and too much time spent establishing future movies. Downey isn’t even as good this time around; he takes Tony Stark on this great emotional journey in the first Iron Man, but he’s practically back at square one when Iron Man 2 begins. The end battle where Iron Man and War Machine (Don Cheadle, sorry Terrence Howard) team up is very cool, but I’m still foggy on why Tony lets Rhodey take the Iron Man armor in the first place, and then why he lets him keep it. I guess he’s just a really good pal.

In fairness, some of my confusion might be due to the fact that it’s almost 1AM and I’m still watching Marvel movies. 3 down, 8 to go. On to Thor.

UPDATE #5, 2:59AM: Thor put me to Odinsleep.

Not for the whole movie. But shortly after Thor’s sojourn on Earth began, I nodded off. Help me out, did I nap through the part where they explain why a movie set on a mystical, timeless realm of Norse gods ends with a Foo Fighters song? No? Weird.

It’s also weird how much I enjoy Chris Hemsworth’s haughty Thor and Tom Hiddleston’s scheming Loki and how little I enjoy the Thor movies. This one’s fine, but given how great that central relationship is, and how much I do enjoy some of the stuff on Earth (Thor likes coffee!) it’s weird how blah it is overall. Maybe the problem is how much of it feels like a blatant reskin of Iron Man: An arrogant, aggressive man with daddy issues comes into his own and learns valuable lessons about pride, power, and responsibility. Thor does all that stuff well enough, but Iron Man did it first, and better.

Still, as meh as I am on Thor, Thor: The Dark World was the film I really disliked when I saw it the first time. It was probably my least favorite Marvel movie besides The Incredible Hulk. We’ll see if a second viewing changes my mind.

It is now 3AM. Four movies down, seven movies to go. Avengers: Age of Ultron feels like a very long ways away. But one of my favorite Marvel movies is up next.

UPDATE #6, 5:10AM - A good movie is a good movie at any time, under any circumstances, in any viewing conditions. And even as the fifth of eleven films, even from three to five in the freaking morning, Captain America: The First Avenger is a good movie. One of the very best Marvel’s made, by my reckoning. Wonderful characters, superb performances, nice strains of romance and comedy, outstanding costume and makeup design, strong action, effective music, and seamless cinematic universe building; it’s got it all. Even before The Avengers, this is the movie where the groundwork all starts to come together.

Unfortunately, it seems like Captain America was the movie a lot of folks at the Ultimate Marvel Marathon chose to take their big nap. The AMC Lincoln Square was littered with more bodies than a Hydra base after a Cap rescue mission.

Oh no! They got Deadpool! Who will save us now?!?

It could be seeing all the movies together, or it could be sleepless delirium, but I am still spotting stuff I’ve never seen in all my earlier viewings. In the case of Captain America, I never realized Cap’s quips to the Red Skull (an awesome, Herzogian Hugo Weaving) — “Is that the best you’ve got? I can do this all day.” — is the same thing Steve Rogers says to the bully who beats him up outside the movie theater in the very first scene. Cap also had me thinking about Iron Man 2, and the scene where Justin Hammer accuses Tony Stark of building a sword but calling it a shield. And here Cap’s great weapon is a shield. (Of course, there’s S.H.I.E.L.D. too.) Swords and shields, and who wields them and how, continues to be the main ideological question these movies try to answer.

It’s really just a rushed third act that’s holding Captain America back from being the clear number one movie in this mega franchise. Otherwise, it’s pretty terrific, and I really dig Joe Johnston’s clever nods to movies past; the film opens with Close Encounters of the Third Kind, quickly shifts to Raiders of the Lost Ark (the Red Skull even mentions “the Fuhrer digging for treasure in the desert”), and ends with A Matter of Life and Death. Saddled with maybe the toughest character in the Avengers lineup, Chris Evans took a supposedly bland Boy Scout and enlivened him not with snark or grit, but simple human decency. He’s a big guy standing up for the little guy because he knows what it’s like to be one. He’s downright inspiring, which is exactly what Captain America should be.

The lights are dimming again, so I’m going to go try to revive Deadpool before The Avengers. Like Cap says, I can do this all day.

UPDATE #7, 7:47AM - My Marvel Phase One rankings:

  1. Iron Man
  2. The Avengers
  3. Captain America: The First Avenger
  4. Thor
  5. Iron Man 2
  6. The Incredible Hulk

Those top three are clustered pretty close together, then Thor’s a notch below that, then Iron Man 2 and Incredible Hulk are a notch below that (with Iron Man 2 getting the edge mostly on the basis of the final action sequence and Downey). So essentially, I only feel like I wasted half of the last 14 hours.

Rather than talk about The Avengers for the gabillionth time, here’s a few stray notes from the first half of the marathon:

  • Downey’s trick to command any scene: Just start talking over people. It never occurred to me before what a Robert Altman character Tony Stark is. Downey goes full Altmanesque in a few sequences, where he renders dialogue almost totally incomprehensible. It’s making me want to rewatch Short Cuts.
  • What was going on with Edward Norton’s hair in Incredible Hulk? Almost every exterior scene in Brazil, plus a couple of interiors, he’s wearing one of the worst and most obvious wigs I’ve ever seen in any Hollywood movie. It looks like he just stepped out of the Hair Club For Men, and he should demand a refund. Has anyone ever found out what happened here? Edward Norton has hair. Did he get it all chopped off before reshoots or something?
  • My favorite weird thing from Thor: Thor can fly, but he rides a horse to the Bifrost. Dude, why you so fancy? And is that a God horse or a mortal horse? Pretty sweet gig for a regular horse, chilling in Asgard.
  • Maybe it’s Agent Carter adding a bit of retroactive sheen, but Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter is a better character than I remembered, and her relationship with Steve Rogers is wonderfully melancholic.
  • Nick Fury is basically just Samuel L. Jackson with an eyepatch and without profanity.

We’re now on our longest break of the marathon; we’ve got 45 minutes before Iron Man 3. I think I’m going to go get a bagel, stretch my legs, and maybe have myself a good, healing cry. Phase Two, here I come.

UPDATE #8, 11:01AM - Through seven movies, only two characters have gotten booed at the Ultimate Marvel Marathon: Bill O’Reilly and Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin.

This character and his big twisteroo clearly remains a controversial one. Personally, the Mandarin rug-pill in Iron Man 3 doesn’t bother me, at least not nearly as much as the lack of screen time given to the other bad guy, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who’s yet another riff on the same evil capitalist from Iron Man and Iron Man 2, only with a lot less depth or development. I’m also not a fan of the way Tony and Rhodey massacre all those poor Extremis dudes in the big final battle. A few scenes earlier, Tony established that these human bombs were unwitting test subjects of Killian and his technology. Then right before the finale Tony goes out of his way to save every last person tossed out of a crashing Air Force One. Then suddenly at the climax it’s all “disable with extreme prejudice.” It just seems really out of character.

(Also: Not a lot of suspense with a bad guy named “Killian.” Everyone named Killian is evil, just like everyone named Jeeves is a butler.)

Otherwise, Iron Man 3 is a lot of fun. Much gets made about all the teasing in Marvel movies, but the real secret of these films isn’t the future. It’s the past, and the way the build-up of continuity can create these giant and beautifully organic storylines over years. Compare Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3Iron Man 2 is all about setting up future stuff; introducing Black Widow, explaining Howard Stark and his connection to S.H.I.E.L.D., establishing the Avengers Initiative. It’s not very satisfying. Iron Man 3 is all about taking what’s come before and using it to deepen Tony’s character. At the end of The Avengers, Tony saw some terrible things. And it left a mark. Iron Man 3 is about dealing with that stuff. Iron Man’s real super-power isn’t his amazing technology; it’s his limitless self-confidence. Anxiety is his Kryptonite. In Iron Man 3, a big hunk of it lands right on his chest. It’s the difference between an appetizer and a main course.

Iron Man 3 isn’t quite as quirky as I remembered, but it does have enough idiosyncratic touches from writer/director Shane Black to keep things interesting (I love how much Tony Stark hates his cute kid sidekick). Honestly, after seven films, I’m still having fun. I think I’m just getting my second wind! I feel like I could do anything right now!

:::Looks at schedule, sees Thor: The Dark World is next:::

Welp, there goes that.

UPDATE #9, 1:10PM - Like I said, there goes that.

Thor: The Dark World made me very aware of the difficulties inherent in making superhero sequels. First movies in these franchises can coast along on the thrill of the new; after decades reading comics, it’s exciting just to see Thor throw his hammer or fly through space or use the Rainbow Bridge. Sequels have to find new ways to make the old stuff fresh again, and they’ve got to do it after their heroes have already completed their character arcs. In Thor’s case, he’s already learned the error of his cocky ways. The options for a second film are to either make him forget those lessons (like Iron Man 2), find a new wrinkle (like Iron Man 3), or just keep things static and focus on plot rather than character (like Thor: The Dark World). Frankly, the more interesting guy at this point in the series is Hiddleston’s Loki, who’s torn between many allegiances and jealousies, but he’s a marginal character through most of this film.

The other problem with The Dark World — aka Thor and the Wacky Comic Relief Sidekick Brigade — is the magic MacGuffin, an Infinity Stone known as the Aether, which is poorly defined and controlled entirely by coincidence. There’s all this stuff about a Convergence and the Nine Realms and a Dark World, but mostly it all just seems like excuses for pretty generic action. Obviously, these franchises need to continue, but the end of the first Thor is so lovely, where Thor sacrifices his own happiness to protect his people, that it’s a shame to erase that so quickly.

The mood here at the Ultimate Marvel Marathon generally remains pretty light, if a bit weary. The obligatory cheers for each character and Stan Lee cameo seemed particularly quiet during Thor: The Dark World, though that could have as much to do with the quality of the film as the lateness of the hour. There was one intense moment during Iron Man 3, when a woman in the balcony got fed up with a guy looking at his cell phone in front of her and charged down and screamed in his face to turn it off, but in the intermission before Thor 2 they seemed to work things out. Ten bucks and a pound of Vibranium says this is what starts the big fight between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers in Captain America: Civil War. Speaking of which, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is next.

UPDATE #10, 4:05PM - Hail Hydra. (And hail spoilers for most of the Marvel movies except Avengers: Age of Ultron, so be warned.)

Iron Man. Pepper Potts. Captain America. Bucky Barnes. Nick Fury. Loki. Agent Coulson. Groot. Even Tony Stark’s Dummy Robot.

All of these characters have died and come back to life.

(And those are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head. I’m probably forgetting others.)

I recognize that this is, in part, just Marvel movies being faithful to Marvel Comics, where death is about as permanent as a manicure. And in small doses, it’s not terribly noticeable or worrisome. But viewed all at once, it’s glaringly obvious that these films cheat death on a massive and absurd scale. Sure, these are frivolous, escapist adventures. It’s still nice, though, when frivolous escapist adventures feel like they’ve got some genuine stakes. That’s tough to accomplish when everyone’s immortal.

There’s more shield imagery and metaphors in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where once again the issue up for debate is the degree to which security is worth compromising society’s values. S.H.I.E.L.D. is revealed to be controlled by Hydra, and their new, more aggressive unit is called S.T.R.I.K.E., another riff on the sword vs. shield line from Iron Man 2. The villain is Alexander Pearce (Robert Redford), another smiling white guy in a suit who claims to be a realist in a world that needs to be rebuilt, possibly by tearing down the old one. Captain America is the counterpoint, the idealist who refuses to cave to fear and the desire for absolute power. (Dr. Erskine taught this guy well.)

That’s the central dynamic in a lot of these movies; large corrupt organizations trying to squash extremely ethical loners who refuse to follow orders and instead obey their own moral compass. That’s Iron Man refusing to sell his technology to the U.S. government (and going in to Gulmira without authorization), that’s Thor taking the fight to the Dark Elves, that’s Bruce Banner refusing to hand the Hulk over to General Ross, that’s Cap dismantling S.H.I.E.L.D. even though they supposedly work, like him, to protect our nation, and that’s Star-Lord keeping the Infinity Stone instead of handing it over to the Ravagers. Whether this is a deliberate theme producer Kevin Feige believes in, or it’s just a successful formula Marvel found and decided to repeat forever I leave to you to discuss. As for me, it’s Guardians of the Galaxy time. (Ooga chaka ooga ooga.)

(Also: Who invented the “World Security Council”? These guys stink. Do people vote for these jokers? They cause nothing but problems in every movie they’re in. )

UPDATE #11, 6:28 PM - Officially now, I have been watching and writing about Marvel movies for more than 24 hours.

So I got that going for me.

Honestly, I’ve been here so long, it doesn’t even feel weird anymore. This is just my home now. (Someone tell my wife for me. I don’t want to have that conversation.) Disorientation has clearly set in. A guy walked passed me on the way out of Guardians of the Galaxy rubbing his face and muttering over and over “My brain hurts.” Another attendee just said “I don’t remember what ‘outside’ looks like anymore” to no one in particular. That made me laugh.

The theater’s filled back up in anticipation of the big finale, but during Guardians there were still a few stragglers passed out in the hallway. Actually the fewer people doing it, the creepier it looked. I swear, I thought I stumbled on a crime scene here.

(I actually walked over and checked to make sure this person was still breathing. They were.)

In retrospect, it’s crazy that Guardians was as big of hit as it was. True, it does ape the style of popular films like Star Wars. But it’s easily the toughest pill of any Marvel movie for a non-comic-book fan to swallow. Space stations made out of dead alien heads, talking space raccoons, sentient walking trees, a soundtrack of ’70s easy-listening hits; it’s some seriously weird stuff. Fun, but weird.

With the lights back on in the auditorium for the last time, I’m looking around at the crowd and realizing I’m one of the few guys not wearing some kind of Marvel swag. I see Hydra shirts, Avengers shirts, lots of Cap shirts, light-up Iron Man shirts, and plenty of assorted Marvel shirts. Attending a Marvel marathon is clearly the fashion opposite of going to a concert, where the last thing you want to be is “That Guy.” At the Ultimate Marvel Marathon, everyone is That Guy.

My other big takeway from this viewing of Guardians actually came from this viewing of Thor: The Dark World, which has the post-credits scene for Guardians. Watching the two back-to-back(-ish, Cap 2 comes in between), the Thor 2 tease makes absolutely no sense. Why would the Asgardians give their Infinity Stone to the Collector (Benicio Del Toro)? Based on the evidence in Guardians, he is clearly not a trustworthy guy. Also, it’s strange that the whole of Guardians is about him acquiring and then losing the purple Infinity Stone, when he already has the red Infinity Stone in his possession, and no one mentions it (or how easily he got it). This just reinforces my belief (one I know I’m in the minority on) that most of these post-credits scenes add nothing to the experience — when they don’t actively contradict the other films. They should be done with more care or not done at all.

Okay, that was the nerdiest paragraph I’ve ever written in my entire life. I think I need to go lie down — but not before I watch Avengers: Age of Ultron. And not before I write one more update to tie a bow around this whole wild experience.

(Side note: While the character design in Guardians is really cool, the look of Ronan the Accuser still bugs me. Why is his face covered in Oreo cookie dust?!?)

UPDATE #12, 9:56 PM - My butt kind of hurts.

Otherwise, though, I feel pretty good. All things considered.

I already wrote a review (and did a video review) for Avengers: Age of Ultron last week, so I’m not sure there’s too much more to say. The one line that did resonate with me more on second viewing (and after ten other movies) was something near the end of the film (that I don’t really think is a spoiler): “This,” one character says, “is what S.H.I.E.L.D.’s supposed to be.”

That seems like the journey I’ve been on for the last 27 and some odd hours: figuring out what a hero’s supposed to look like. If nothing else, by the end of Age of Ultron you know it. And that’s not a god, or a dude with a cape or a big gun. It’s anyone, big or small, who devotes themselves to helping others and making the world a better place. That’s not exactly a hip notion, but that’s one of the great things about Joss Whedon’s Avengers movies; they make the unhip hip.

My Marvel Phase Two rankings:

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  4. Iron Man 3
  5. Thor: The Dark World

And my full MCU rankings:

  1. Iron Man
  2. The Avengers
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  4. Captain America: The First Avenger
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy
  6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  7. Iron Man 3
  8. Thor
  9. Iron Man 2
  10. Thor: The Dark World
  11. The Incredible Hulk

Am I happy I did this? Sure, why not. How often do you get to watch 11 movies in a row on no sleep and three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Plus, a lot of you guys were reading these posts and tweeting me as well along the way; I didn’t have any company at this thing, but I wasn’t alone, and that made it way more fun than it would have been otherwise.

I must give credit to the staff of the AMC Lincoln Square for making the whole thing as painless as it could possibly be; they were friendly, attentive, and enthusiastic throughout the whole event. Every movie looked and sounded perfect (even if Age of Ultron is way better in 2D than 3D). The snack bar never closed, the bathroom was clean at 5AM, and, in a feat that would even impress Tony Stark, the theater remained cool and non-smelly.  On my way out of the auditorium, they handed me one of these:

It’s fake gold and it spins. It ain’t much, but dammit I earned it. See you in 2018 for the 40 hour Avengers: Infinity War marathon. Sounds like fun to me.

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