The Best Marvel Cinematic Universe Plane Jump Scenes

A couple weeks ago Paramount launched a massive campaign for Mission: Impossible – Fallout centered around Tom Cruise’s willingness and ability to do his own stunt work. One of the key sequences featured in the campaign was his HALO jump, something that was used on the IMAX poster, was the subject of a number of featurettes and more.

Watching Cruise and the rest of the cast and crew endlessly talk about how he engaged in several jumps to get all the shots necessary for the film – efforts he was joined in by the requisite technical crew – got me thinking about other notable “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane” moments on film. Specifically, I started thinking about how that device has been one used a number of times in various entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That’s a niche subset, of course, as plenty of other action/adventure movies have similar scenes. But Marvel Studios loves having its characters engage in a little skydiving, so here are four such moments from the first 10 years of the MCU.

Iron Man 2

Tony Stark doesn’t do subtle and that includes making an entrance at the revived Stark Expo. So when he wants to get everyone’s attention he jumps out the back of a cargo plane and flies down, dodging (mostly) the fireworks being set off below until he finally makes the super hero landing on stage amid a line of dancing girls in Iron Man outfits.

The scene is notable for a couple reasons. First, it shows how brash Stark has become in the years since outing himself as the hero. Second, the trailer shows Pepper Potts dramatically kissing the Iron Man helmet before throwing it out the back, sending Tony out to retrieve it. That’s not how it plays out in the film, though, as he just jumps with helmet on after a bit of flirtation with Pepper.

Captain America: Winter Soldier

By the time of The Winter Soldier, Cap has already established himself as a hero in the modern age and found a purpose through working with SHIELD. Joining a strike team that includes Black Widow to rescue a ship that’s been taken hostage by terrorists at sea, Cap of course leads from the front, diving – sans parachute – into the ocean to stealthily board the ship and prepare the way for the rest of the team.

There is, of course, the dialogue between two other team members about whether or not he was wearing a parachute when he jumped that establishes how tough Cap is. But it’s his exchange with Widow before jumping that really stands out for me as it helps establish *who* the character is. Talking about his love life, or lack thereof, is everyday workplace banter and it shows that Natasha is what might be called his “work wife.” The exchange displays how even extraordinary people sometimes have ordinary conversations and lives that have to be fit in and round their adventures.

The Incredible Hulk

With Abomination rampaging through Harlem, Bruce Banner has finally convinced the military that’s long been hunting and trying to control him that he can be useful. So they fly him toward the chaos. Still in human form, he intentionally falls out of the craft, assuming the adrenaline spike from doing so will trigger the transformation into the Hulk, something that doesn’t go quite as planned, but it all turns out alright in the end.

One of the main themes with the Hulk is that the change into the creature is often outside of Banner’s control. In the movie he’s spent years trying to keep it from happening and regretting when it does. Now he *wants* to change and can’t, something that will come up in later movies. It also sets the stage for Banner’s line in The Avengers about having tried to kill himself, only to have “the other guy” emerge and survive.

Black Panther

Over the course of the movie we see time and again what kind of man, king and hero T’Challa is. Right at the outset it’s established he’s not only conquered his fear but he’s done so in part thanks to his belief in the technology and skills of those around him. That’s why when he’s about to raid a convey of human traffickers he doesn’t hesitate to be spit out the bottom of the plane he’s in, falling (again without parachute) toward the ground still able to disperse other weapons and ultimately land where he needed to be.

What’s great about this is that, as I said, he’s completely confident in the way he’s leaving the aircraft, showing no fear and no concern about his fate. That winds up being in stark contrast to how he freezes when he comes face to face with his ex-girlfriend, who’s been undercover as a victim of the traffickers and who isn’t as grateful as he expected for the rescue.

What did I miss? Which one is your favorite?

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Picking Up the Spare – Sorry To Bother You, Skyscraper and More

Sorry to Bother You

The movie has generated a metric ton of stories such as this about code-switching and “white voice.” Annapurna Pictures leaned into that by releasing a featurette with Patton Oswalt and David Cross, who provide some of the white voices used by black characters in the film.

Star Lakeith Stanfield has engaged in a bit more media, including appearing on “Kimmel” to promote the movie.

Skyscraper

It was apparent in the film’s campaign, but the distinct lack of sense of humor was one (at least potential) reason the movie didn’t perform up to expectations at the box-office. While I haven’t seen it, the problem likely stems from how it adds the element of putting the hero’s wife and children in the middle of the action. That increases the stakes, but it also makes a wise-cracking protagonist odd and out of place. You’ll note that Die Hard, which the movie clearly was aspiring to be, avoided that.

Dwayne Johnson and director Rawson Marshall talk here about Neve Campbell’s character, who was all but missing completely from the campaign.

This is an interesting profile of Johnson and the clout he wields, including his formidable social media presence.

Also, the movie has come under some scrutiny as another example of Hollywood casting an able-bodied actor to play a disabled character, which is part of a bigger conversation around representation.

Avengers: Infinity War

While Marvel Studios isn’t at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, LEGO is bringing a life-size version of Thanos to the convention.

Ready Player One

The theatrical run is over for the movie but it’s freshly out on home video platforms and media, so Warner Bros. has brought costumes, props and a VR experience to San Diego Comic-Con.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

It’s not a big push, but Disney/Lucasfilm are including a life-size replica of the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit as seen in the movie to the Star Wars booth at San Diego Comic-Con.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot

Amazon released a bunch of new posters on Twitter that are much better than the low-effort theatrical one-sheet.

Jonah Hill showed up on “Kimmel” to talk about the movie and working with Phoenix.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

Cher announced she has recorded and will release a whole album of ABBA covers to capitalize on her involvement with the movie and her time once more in the spotlight.

Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper both hit late-night talk shows to talk about working with Cher and even kind of the rest of the movie.

The producer of the original stage show had a chance to weigh in on the musical’s legacy, and the movie’s director talked about the cameos by two of ABBA’s original members.

Universal worked with an influencer marketing agency to coordinate a shot-for-shot remake of the original video for “Mamma Mia!” the song featuring a bunch of YouTube personalities.

Black Panther

Shuri, T’Challa’s sister and the breakout favorite character from the movie, is reportedly getting her own comic series.

Eighth Grade

Writer/director Bo Burnham continues to make the media rounds to talk up his movie, which is gearing up to be a word-of-mouth success. Also many people have pointed out this disconnect, which is that a few words and scenes that are going to be familiar to anyone in junior high have given the movie a rating designed to keep out anyone who’s actually in junior high.

The Equalizer 2

Denzel Washington addressed directly how this is his first sequel and why he’s long avoided doing them and how he tried to bring the feeling and emotion back to the character. Also, he and costar Ashton Sanders talk here about their on-screen dynamic.

Deadpool 2

Yeah, the Comic-Con stunts promoting the movie’s home video release are just about what you’d expect.

Picking Up the Spare – Solo, Black Panther

Solo: A Star Wars Story

A substantial profile of Harrelson here that touches on why he decided to get involved in a big movie like this and how it fits into his overall career.

Screenwriters Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan talk about working together and how they wanted to stay true to what audiences knew about the title character while also adding new elements to his background.

There’s a lot of Solo-related content coming to various Star Wars video games.

Black Panther

Angela Bassett spoke about working on the movie and what it meant to her as part of THR’s Actress’ Roundtable conversation.

The movie took home the top prize at the recent Golden Trailer Awards.

A Kid Like Jake

Jim Parsons spoke more here about the gender identity issues and other elements of the story. And Claire Danes hit the late-night talk show circuit to talk about the movie.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Picking Up the Spare – Life of the Party, The Seagull, Deadpool 2 and More

Life of the Party

Writer/director Ben Falcone talks here about creating the story of the movie with wife Melissa McCarthy.

The Seagull

Star Annette Bening and production designer Jane Musky walk through the house that serves as the main setting of the story.

Deadpool 2

Lots more has happened since my recap column went up at THR.

There’s a Deadpool-sponsored “80s Smash Hits” playlist at Spotify that’s totally in keeping with the character’s musical tastes and which basically sounds like the radio I grew up on.

The Merc showed up on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” to try and get on the show to promote the movie and yeah, Ryan Reynolds might be a comedic genius.

Fox was one of the first advertisers to use Snapchat’s new unskippable six-second video ads to make sure that audience was aware the movie was coming out.

Carl from “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” briefly came back in a commercial aired, of course, on Adult Swim where he claimed he was Deadpool.

Another IMAX-exclusive promotional spot featured a lot of new footage from the movie.

Jeff Beer at Fast Company has his own recap of the movie’s marketing efforts that’s worth checking out, as does John McCarthy at The Drum.

Beer also caught a couple secret messages from Deadpool in the metadata of the site for Trolli, the gummy company that had a 7-Eleven-exclusive cross promotion with the movie.

Social media monitoring and management company Sprinklr analyzed online buzz for Deadpool 2 and compared it to both the first Deadpool and this year’s Avengers: Infinity War. Here’s how things stacked up:

  • Avengers – Infinity War (3/25/18-4/25/18): 1.3m mentions of #AvengersInfinityWar or #Avengers
  • Deadpool 2 (4/10/18- 5/10/18): 534,600 mentions of #Deadpool, #Deadpool 2 or #DP2
  • Deadpool (1/10/16- 2/10/16): 395,000 mentions of #Deadpool

Walmart offered a bunch of Blu-rays of movies like Logan, Office Space and others with slipcovers featuring Deadpool recreating the posters of the movie.

The jabs at Avengers continued in this video, where Deadpool recounts the first 10 years of his own cinematic universe, a decade that wasn’t quite as jam-packed as that other one.

Additional interviews have come out with the movie’s director and screenwriters, all of whom talk about how they approached the character and story. There was also a feature on Stefan Kapicic, who plays Colossus in this film as well as in the original, about his performance, how you never see his actual face and more.

Justice League

Henry Cavill says what everyone else was thinking last year, that it was a ridiculous conceit to hide Superman in the movie’s marketing since not only was he on the publicity tour but *of course* the character was going to come back. Plus, he was on like 22% of the marketing materials anyway, especially the cross-promotional stuff.

Avengers: Infinity War

More on the partnership with Little Free Library here.

Black Panther

There’s a new – and very cool – video for “Pray For Me” from Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd featuring footage from the movie as well as some slick animation.

Speed Racer

Speed Racer is the movie everyone champions on Twitter, heralding it as a genius film under-appreciated in its time. The 10th anniversary of release is bringing with it a whole new wave of stories like this along those lines.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Picking Up the Spare: Black Panther, Jumanji and More

Black Panther

Star Chadwick Boseman will host an upcoming episode of “Saturday Night Live” and it’s about damn time.

Marvel has announced a new series starring the Dora Milaje, the female bodyguards and protectors featured prominently in the movie, though it should be noted the publisher had one before the film came out that it canceled, so…

I kind of get what Scott Mendolson is talking about here with Black Panther being a juggernaut that has stood in the way of other movies like A Wrinkle In Time and Tomb Raider, but…like…isn’t that for the free market to decide? I’m not sure what exactly his point is, that Hollywood should make movies that aren’t as good and which don’t appeal to underserved audiences? He seems to think that blockbusters tamping down smaller films is alright but not if the ones caught in the wake are also supposed to be hits, which I’m not sure is a coherent take.

This is the now the most-Tweeted about movie of all time.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

There’s an escape room in Los Angeles based on the movie that takes you inside a video game brought to life and requires teamwork to solve.

The home video packaging features Snapcodes that unlock World Lenses taking you inside the action.

Tomb Raider

Kate Erbland at Indiewire has a great story on how the outfit Lara Croft sports in the movie actually kind of looks like it’s practical and functional, something she says is thankfully becoming more common the more female heroes we see on screen.

Misc Movie Marketing News

This Rolling Stone piece is similar to what I wrote earlier this week about how soundtracks are the current hot music discovery platform, with labels and agents fighting to have their clients included in the same way they’re fighting to have them added to Spotify playlists.

A recent Variety summit allowed a collection of movie marketing professionals to talk about the industry, including how having a great movie helps a lot and how the quick spread of word of mouth on social media is hard to overcome.

More analysis and commentary on the success of I Can Only Imagine and how it speaks to the state of the faith-based movie audience at Indiewire and The Week.

There’s been a wave of “patriotic” films about the military that don’t always reflect the realities of war but serve as something closer to advertising. I get that these are all recent examples, but I wonder how old some of these writers are and if they’ve ever even heard of Top Gun.

Not specifically movie-related but the entire Monty Python catalog, including all episodes of “Flying Circus” are coming to Netflix later this year, so…

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Soundtracks Could Be Uniquely Positioned To Succeed

For the last couple months movie soundtracks – especially those for The Greatest Showman and Black Panther – have been dominating the album charts. That, as the THR story points out, is just the latest example of a trend that’s also included collections for Coco, the Fifty Shades movies and a number of others.

Some of the reasons behind this resurgence are identified in the story, including how they include songs by some of the biggest music talents around right now. Thus it has ever been. The Top Gun soundtrack did that with Kenny Loggins, Cheap Trick and Berlin. All you need is 15 to 20 good pop hits, after all.

There are at least a few other factors that make movie soundtracks uniquely suited to thrive at a time when music sales overall are dropping year after year after year.

They’re Branded Playlists

black panther soundtrackOne of the big reasons Spotify is so popular is its playlists. Artists and their representatives fight hard to be included on the biggest ones, those with the most subscribers. If you open the app it’s going to recommend playlists to you well before it starts showing albums. The company has even recently tested a playlist-only stand-alone ad-supported app to encourage the kind of themed, hour-long listening they offer.

So what is a soundtrack like Black Panther but an expert-curated (in this case by Kendrick Lamar) themed playlist? This is exactly the kind of music experience people are looking for and by attaching it to something that’s culturally relevant in and of itself, it becomes an even hotter property.

They’re Souvenirs of the Experience

Movies are one of the few mass cultural experiences you don’t take anything away from. You might save your ticket stub (if you even got a physical ticket these days) or bring home a collectible popcorn bucket you’ll quickly throw in the recycling bin, but you don’t exit through the gift shop. For the most part, though, you can’t leave with a tangible reminder of the experience. You’re not even given the opportunity to immediately get the digital or physical home video release (which I think you should).

So a soundtrack becomes the one avenue through which you can relive the movie in any way. Turn on the album and you’re transported back to that moment in the movie when X happened to that musical cue. You can replay it in your mind while belting out a particularly inspirational or powerful tune.

They’re Attuned To The Culture

greatest showman soundtrackThe Black Panther soundtrack wouldn’t have been as big a hit if it didn’t have Kendrick Lamar’s name attached and if he hadn’t worked to assemble a bunch of top-notch talent. The Greatest Showman’s soundtrack wouldn’t have been as big a hit if it didn’t feature a song that seemed like a rousing empowerment album but which has been kind of misinterpreted. The Empire Records soundtrack wouldn’t have been such a hit if it didn’t capture the mainstream alternative genre quite so perfectly.

These albums become time capsules of a sort, speaking to the moment they’re released in immediately and then reflecting back what was to future generations. “What was music like in 1987?” someone might ask, to which you could reasonably respond with the Say Anything… soundtrack and feel that while it might not be perfect it’s going to lead the person in the right direction.

They’re Basically Mixtapes

Along the same lines as the playlist point above, soundtracks convey a message. That’s mainly about promoting the movie they’re associated with, but it’s more than that even. The music is meant to represent the characters, stories and style of the movie in a way that’s relatable. So they serve the same purpose as the mixtape you lovingly assembled for the girl you had a crush on in high school, whether you gave it to her or not.

I’d expect to see more moments where soundtracks dominate the album sales charts, at least in those moments between massive releases from artists like Adele, Rihanna and Taylor Swift. They check a lot of the boxes for what will keep working as streaming continues to put distance between it and physical media, offering something unique to listeners they can’t get anywhere else. If this kind of activity continues I could even easily see them being withheld from streaming services like Spotify by the labels to goose sales not seen anywhere else.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Picking Up the Spare: A Wrinkle In Time, Thoroughbreads, and More

A Wrinkle In Time

Great stuff here about how Ava DuVernay immediately sought to make the lead of the story someone who looked different than the usual fantasy film lead, found star Storm Reid and was trying to be more optimistic and hopeful with the story.

Reid gets her own profile based on her breakout performance.

Some of the movie’s posters out in the real, physical world have been part of a test by Facebook of a new augmented reality experience based on trackers. In this case those add effects like those seen in the movie to the poster.

Dundee

The fake movie campaign is apparently being seen as a big boost for Australia’s tourism industry over the next few years, which was exactly the point.

Thoroughbreds

Considering how large a role the house where the action takes place seems to have played in the story it’s only nature that it get a high-end profile of its own.

There’s also a new interview with writer/director Cory Finley.

Mother!

Writer/director Darren Aronofsky made the subtext of the divisive film the text in a keynote address at SXSW, laying out exactly what he was going for, apparently hoping it will get people to revisit or rethink their initial opinions.

The Death of Stalin

How do you create satire in an era where satire is being outpaced by reality three times a day? Armando Iannucci covers that and other issues in this interview about the movie.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Interesting perspective here on whether or not the film holds up a decade later, including how it seems to fit in surprisingly well (in most regards) with today’s cultural climate of female empowerment and men needing to embrace and express their emotions.

Black Panther

One analyst thinks that, as massive a hit as the movie currently is, Disney could have actually done better if it had made it available day-and-date on a proprietary streaming service. Interesting idea, not sure if I completely agree.

Tomb Raider

I totally missed this CNET interview with Alicia Vikander that’s actually much more substantive than most of the other press she did, allowing her to talk about the roots of the character, how the actress was happy there were no guns involved in the action and more.

Oh look, the internet is still a terrible place as “fans” of the game series criticize Vikander for not having an artificially-sexualized body type. What jackweeds.

The source code on the movie’s website may have revealed the release date of a new video game, which it totally was.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

A new profile of breakout star Kelly Marie Tran talks not only about her role in that movie but also what’s next for the actress and how she views the industry as a whole.

I Can Only Imagine

While I didn’t cover the marketing for the movie (it just fell by the wayside), there are a couple stories at IndieWire and The L.A. Times that are worth reading in how Roadside Attractions engaged in some new tactics to try and reach a faith-based audience that’s become more selective about what movies it supports.

Love, Simon

A nice profile here of co-star Natasha Rothwell, who plays one of Simon’s teachers in the movie. And another with director Greg Berlanti where he once more talked about the central themes of the movie’s story plus one more where he discussed his requests regarding the marketing of the movie.Also, new interviews with author Becky Albertalli and costar Keiynan Lonsdale,

Flower

A new interview with star Zoey Deutch has her talking about how she took the role in part because it offered the kind of nuanced, morally ambiguous character women are offered too infrequently.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

All the Comic-Con Movie Trailers You Might Have Missed

2017’s edition of San Diego Comic-Con is now in the books. As with many such years, there was a plethora of movie news that came from many of the major Hollywood studios as they seek to hype their upcoming releases. Some of those are just months away from hitting theaters and these promotions are about creating near-term action. Others are a year or more away and the news and other material coming out of SDCC is about getting fans hyped for a movie well in the offing.

If you weren’t able to stay tuned in to all the events coming out of San Diego, here’s a recap of the new trailers that debuted there as well as other announcements related to some highly-anticipated releases.

Justice League

Just as I suspected, the new trailer (technically a “Comic-Con Sneak Peak”) for Justice League opens with Wonder Woman kicking some terrorist butt. We get some setup that the world is missing its heroes, which is bad news since a major threat has just arrived. In addition to lots of action there’s a reference to there being “No Lanterns” here to protect Earth. Superman’s boorish behavior in his last two movies is retconned to be a more uplifting presence to the world and it ends with a pretty big hint that he’s coming back. The whole cast (minus Henry Cavill) also appeared at the DC booth to sign a new poster that very much looks like, but doesn’t seem to actually be, Alex Ross artwork. WB also showed off some Aquaman footage, formally announced Wonder Woman 2, said the troubled Flash solo movie would be called “Flashpoint” and lots more.

Ready Player One

This first look trailer gives you a decent idea of what’s going on in the movie, concerned mostly with establishing the setting more than the plot. There are lots of cool shots and some narration about The OASIS and what it represents. Once you’re in the VR world it leans heavily on nostalgia with shots showing The Iron Giant, the DeLorean from Back to the Future and more. It’s also incredibly heavy on hyperbole, calling Ernest Cline’s source novel “The Holy Grail of pop culture” and director Steven Spielberg a “Cinematic game changer.”

The LEGO Ninjago Movie

It’s a pretty short trailer that accompanied a panel featuring most of the cast and crew, but it’s still pretty funny. Not a whole lot new is shown, just a bit more of the daddy issues Lloyd will have to face as he tries to stop his evil warlord father.

Thor: Ragnorak

Marvel Studios is apparently going all-in on selling this as a buddy comedy featuring Thor and Hulk as the vast majority of the action here centers around the two of them. The trailer that was revealed at Marvel’s panel features lots of one-liners along with the idea that Thor is putting together a team of Hulk, Loki and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson, who wins the trailer hands-down) to stop Hela from destroying Asgard and unleashing Ragnorak. God bless director Taika Waititi.

Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Ant-Man and The Wasp

All of these movies were part of Marvel’s big Hall H presentation. Footage from all three was shown but Marvel has said it won’t be released officially online, serving as an exclusive for fans. The audience apparently got a good look at all three, though, and heard the news that Michelle Pfeiffer would play Janet Van Dyne in the Ant-Man sequel, which is a great choice. There was also the announcement that Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, would actually be set in the 90s, with the story involving the shape-shifting Skrulls in some way.

You can view some of the posters and other promotional art released at San Diego Comic-Con in the gallery below.

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