• ERIC BUTLER

Before they were Marvel stars - Part 2 The Chris-es ..

So this week we're going to take a peek at the 3 Chrissssssss(how many S's do I need to add?) Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pratt all boomed as leading Marvel men. However, there are some gems out there that you should see ... Let's start with Captain America.


Of the 3, Chris Evans has the largest amount of choices, 58, and made for the toughest decision to narrow it down to 3. He's great as Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, Not Another Teen Movie is hilarious, and I could have pointed to another comic-based movie The Losers, but instead, you get the following ...


#1 Snowpiercer

So yes, technically it came out after he began his stint as Captain America, but it's so different from the Marvel movies and characters, I'm counting it. The movie is an adult dystopia, and a look at just how divided a group can get when faced with a class-based system. The film is terrific and inspired a show on TNT so it's more well known than when I stumbled across it back in the day. Stream it on crackle, plex, and Redbox with ads.


Blurb - In a future where a failed climate change experiment has killed all life except for the survivors who boarded the Snowpiercer (a train that travels around the globe), a new class system emerges.

#2 Before We Go

Chris Evans not only stars in this movie but also directs. It's one of my favorite looks at the beginning of a relationship as they both are dealing with major changes to their "norm". He and Alice Eve have great chemistry, and you can feel the love they have for this little indie movie. You can stream it on tubi, VUDUfree, and freevee(Amazon's new w/ads streamer).


Blurb - Two strangers stuck in Manhattan for the night grow into each other's most trusted confidants when an evening of unexpected adventure forces them to confront their fears and take control of their lives.

#3 - Street Kings

Before David Ayer tackled Suicide Squad, he did a lot of cops and robbers-style films. I think this is one of the better ones. The cast is amazing. It's a rent/buy-to-stream but worth it.


Blurb - An undercover cop, disillusioned by the death of his wife, is implicated in the murder of an officer and must struggle to clear himself.


 

Next up we have Cris Hemsworth, the Mighty Thor. He's so good as the God of Thunder, and I'm excited to see where they go with the 4th film. Now I could have included The Cabin in the Woods, but it was just in the 2012 top 10 horror list so I skipped it here. There's also Star Trek but he's in that for like 2 minutes, so I decided to pick a few that might have slipped by but came out during the early Thor and Avengers days.


#1 - A Perfect Getaway

This is one of my favorite movies. I love Milla Jovovich and Timothy Olyphant, but the rest of the cast is near perfect in this film by the creator of Pitch Black & Riddick. If you like suspense, you will love this movie. Stream it with Starz or the freevee app.


Blurb - Two pairs of lovers on a Hawaiian vacation discover that psychopaths are stalking and murdering tourists on the islands.

#2 - In the Heart of the Sea

This had all the makings of a Christmas blockbuster but like most ocean-based epics, it fell short. I have a soft spot for movies and shows based during this period and with the ocean as a major member of the cast. Also stars Spiderman's Tom Holland so it won't make his list. Check it out on HULU.


Blurb - A recounting of a New England whaling ship's sinking by a giant whale in 1820, an experience that later inspired the great novel Moby-Dick.

#3 - Bad Times at the El Royale

Written and directed by Daredevil's show creator, Drew Goddard, this movie has the feel of a classic whodunit. If you enjoy tons of twists and turns, and some fun performances from some big named stars, then you should enjoy your trip to the El Royale ... no matter which side you decide to visit. Stream it with FXNow.


Blurb - Early 1970s. Four strangers check in at the El Royale Hotel. The hotel is deserted, staffed by a single desk clerk. Some of the new guests' reasons for being there are less than innocent and some are not who they appear to be.

 

Last up is Star-Lord himself, Chris Pratt. He has a weird career, you can draw a line and say after this point he's a superstar leading man but on the other side, he was a small role/comic relief kinda guy. I was going to suggest Passengers, and if you haven't seen it you should. Also, he is great in Parks and Recs.


#1 - The Lego Movie

Chris Pratt shines as the voice of Emmett. It's a super funny movie and it gave us Lego Batman so that's a win by itself. It's a rent/buy-to-stream.


Blurb - An ordinary LEGO construction worker, thought to be the prophesied as "special", is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the LEGO universe into eternal stasis.

#2 - Moneyball

This is a Brad Pitt movie but Pratt plays an important role as Scott Hatteberg. The movie is well done, and the book it's based on is fantastic. If you love baseball, I'd suggest the book, but if you are a casual fan or just know about the sport, go with the movie. Stream it on HULU and AMC+.


Blurb - Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.

#3 - Delivery Man

Pratt has a bigger role in this one as Vince Vaughn's comic relief/sound-board. It's one of those feel-good comedies, Vaughn likes to slip between his harder Rated-R comedies and it works. You'll have to rent/buy to stream this one.


Blurb - An affable underachiever finds out he's fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them file a lawsuit to reveal his identity.



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