The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special (2022) Review

So I recently watched The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and I thought it was mostly good. James Gunn is back to deliver this first look at what the guardians have been up to since we last saw them in Avengers Endgame. I know they were in Thor Love and Thunder but that was more of a cameo and we didn’t get much of them in it. This special was written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Dave Batista as Drax, Pom Klementeiff as Mantis, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, and Kevin Bacon as Kevin Bacon. The Guardians, who are on a mission to make Christmas unforgettable for Quill, head to Earth in search of the perfect present (longline from letterboxed). This was a fun special that puts more focus on the relationship between Mantis and Drax and gives Mantis a bigger role in Quill’s life. Most of the special is a fish out of water comedy focusing on Drax and Mantis on Earth. Even though it is a fun part of the special, its also one of the weaker parts for me. I found myself pausing often and doing other stuff during this part. I do like how the whole reason for this special is a classic Christmas special trope of trying to give someone a good Christmas and remember what that is like…..even when they never forgot. This special really gives a lot for Mantis as a character as we get to see her do a lot more than we’ve seen her do in the movies. She gets to be funny as always, but we get to see her be angry and drunk and silly and do things action wise that we’ve never seen her do. Pom does a great job and you can tell she has a great time on this. In terms of performance the other best one is probably Kevin Bacon, you can see he probably had a great time doing this. Everyone else is good and serves their roles well, they’re just not in it much. I didn’t mention Drax earlier because I feel like there’s nothing all that new with his character and performance from what we’ve seen before. Having said that, I did enjoy how much he loves the inflatable Elf. Everything else with this special was good in terms of technically, like the music was good and I enjoy the songs made for this special, the little action is good, the effects are good, the sets look great. This is where we’ll get into my issues with this special. The first issue I have is that the fish out of water portion didn’t work great for me, as I said I found myself pausing and going elsewhere instead of watching it. The second issue I have is that it’s too short. They want to do a lot with this, but they don’t have the time to do it. It really feels like they had some time while filming the third movie that they decided to make a holiday special with it. It feels like it was shot in probably a couple weeks around shooting the third movie. For me this is a detriment to the special because its pretty noticeable, and because of that its not as satisfying as it probably should be for me. A good example of this for me is in the last half of the special, I don’t want to spoil it but I feel like the turn around wasn’t given enough time. One conversation is all it takes to go from being kidnapped to being friends and performing a song about Christmas. 

Over-all this was a fun special, not great but over-all a good watch. I give it One Thumb up, it’s an ok watch for this time of year. 

She-Hulk (2022) Review

So She-Hulk is finally done. I can say over-all I thought it was a good show. I have my issues with it, but over-all had a good time with the series. She-Hulk is a Marvel streaming show on Disney+ starring Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk andGinger Gonzaga as Nikki Ramos. The Show is based off of the Marvel character of the same name. There will be spoilers in this post as a lot of my episode thoughts were written in the moment and contain them. It’s also difficult to talk a lot about what I think about the show without them. First, lets look at my episode first reactions. 

Episode 1: That was a good premiere episode. A good amount of comedy that is a good adaptation of the more popular versions of the character in the comics. A Funtime seeing Bruce again. The episode focuses on the differences between Jenifer and Bruce and their experiences at Hulks. Bruce experts her to have the same experience he did with his journey to being the way he is now. But she has had a different life and a different way of being a Hulk. I know a lot of people were upset by her but they have lived different lives and are forgetting that Hulk as a personality existed before the gamma exposure, whereas Jennifer  hasn’t had that. And in their life differences Jennifer has had more experience with having to control her emotions and herself, at least so  far in the show. There could still be a difference in personality at some point. She doesn’t want to be a superhero but we see in the end that it may be inevitable. The show keeps the 4th wall breaking nature of the character which in interesting to me. Good performances, good effects, cool to see more of what Bruce was up to during The Blip and  a good fight scene between two hulks. Over-all a good episode.

One thing to notice after rewatching the episode is that there might be a personality change there, like she does get more emotional and angry when in hulk form. And I think the reason Bruce is the way he is in this episode is that his form is a merging of both hulk and bruce, and so because of that the hulks impulsiveness and jealousy is rubbing off on Bruce.

Episode 2:  A fun episode with some good comedy, an good continuation of the story and the start of what Bruce was talking about coming to ahead with Jennifer being fired and no one hiring her except for a law firm that is opening a superhuman law service. It has some weird timeline implications, like how did the Abomination footage from Shang-Chi make it out? It will be interesting to see where the show goes from here.

Episode 3:

Another fun episode. A good episode continuing the She-Hulk dealing with press storyline, as well as finishing the current blonsky stuff. We get a view at some behind the scenes stuff for the future with the wrecking crew showing up. A fun episode with some fun storylines and character work. Although one thing I will say though is that this is the first episode where I could see some weird stuff with the effects on she-hulk. I don’t know if it was the suit she was wearing or what, but it just felt weird.

Episode 4: 

Another fun episode. I like how it showed what a  day is like in Jen’s life a lot, her dating life as Jen and as She-Hulk. It was a funny episode with some of the humour falling flat, if you don’t like drunk girl humour than you won’t like this episode. Madisynn was a fun character though, and her relationship with Wong was funny. Wong was great again in this episode, getting more of his personality and the things he enjoys. Donny Blaze was a funny character and gives a good reason why the mystic arts is kept the way it is in the MCU. We got some fun action, and good to see  She-Hulk get involved in it more. Over-all a fun episode with an interesting ending. 

Episode 5:

Another fun episode, we get more court stuff and getting a bit into the sadder part of what it is being a hulk. And how there is two identities there, and getting a bit into the differences between them. We’re starting to see the comic Jen a bit more with how in the comics she is mostly in hulk form due to preferring how she feels as a hulk. We also get to see Titania back and suing for name use, which is an interesting  idea to  run with for a super hero show. We a also get a teaser for the next episode with the costume maker who designed Jen suits for her to wear as a hulk, where we see a certain blind lawyer’s alter ego’s costume. 

Episode 6:

Another fun episode, we get more court stuff but without Jen as the B-Plot with an interesting character that uses them in a fun way. And Jen is at a wedding for a high school friend and uh-oh Titania is there to cause trouble. Its an interesting episode showing us more why Jen is growing to like being She-Hulk with the way her friend treats her throughout the wedding weekend.  We also get the first view of a possible relationship Jen could have with someone who likes her as Jen and as She-Hulk. We also get the first view of where this show is going with the introduction of the Intelligencia website that is actively working against Jen, and was behind the wrecking crew attack on her. Seeing the possible future of why Bruce wanted her to train and why Bruce was warning her about her life going forward. With the Intelligencia i wonder if this will be the first reintroduction of Tim Blake Nelson as The Leader since we now know he’s going to be in the next Captain America. Over-all a fun episode.

Episode 7:

Another really good episode. I think so far it’s the best episode. We get to meet some fun characters and the return of another into something I wasn’t expecting. The episode had an interesting opening showing the development in the relationship between josh and jen. We get to see Emil Blonsky again, this time at his property for healing. It was really fun to see this hippy version again, and it also shows that his  development has stayed with him and he is actually doing it. The other characters in the therapy group are fun. We get to see Jen working on the difference between her and she-hulk, and coming to terms a bit with it. It lays the foundation for what could eventually happen in the show with the group giving her advice. The reveal at the end is heartbreaking with where it could go and how we could see the comic Jen come into play. I definitely feel that this episode could be a bit of a response to the eventual criticisms of the show from the writers with the more overt character development for jen and her relationship with she-hulk. We get a bit more intellegencia stuff with that ending and the beginning of the endgame of this season as I think there are only 2 episodes left. Excited to see where it goes and another great episode.

Episode 8:

The penultimate episode is a pretty good one. We get some fun stuff with Jen having to defend a client in the wrong, that caused his own problems. Leap Frog is an ok character, definitely a commentary on these types of lawsuits. But that’s not what we’re here for, it’s finally the Daredevil episode! He’s good in this, it is a  more comedic version of the character but not much so. It’s still the daredevil we know and love but put in a more comedic situation than dealing with what he typically does. His chemistry with Jen is great, the fights are ok. The intellegencia also make their big move exposing what they have on Jen and violating her privacy trying to make her seem like another rage-filled Hulk at the gala. Next episode is going to be interesting as it’s the finale and has to wrap everything up. 

Episode 9:

The finale episode of the season. Its a good finale. It wraps up some of the plot lines throughout the season in a fun way. I do have a few issues with it though, as I feel like going for the joke finale might not work as well for me considering all the emphasis placed on certain things throughout the show. While what they went with works for the character and the type of show it is, I don’t feel like it is satisfying enough to me. I’ll get more into it in the full season thoughts but I do kind of feel that it’s a cop-out ending. I think a lot of the problems I have with it are things that are being saved for other stuff down the line. Outside of that, I did find the marvel studios scenes funny and interesting how they’re poking fun at themselves. The ending was fun and surprising that they would bring THAT character into it here, and also we see that Jen isn’t the only 4th wall breaker with that ending stinger. Over-all a good finale.

As you can see I did really enjoy the show. I don’t know if this is gonna end up as “structured” my reviews normally are but here we go.

The story and format of the show was interesting and a first for marvel. Going fully in with the legal sit-com genre that does really work for the show and the character. It’s definitely different than pretty much all the other marvel shows we’ve gotten so far on Disney+, and does show that these different genres can work for marvel characters. Not everything has to be action oriented with these shows, and you can do a lot more with the characters than has been shown so far. 

The show does have a bit of a through-line story, but is mostly a by-the-week show. Everything does have continuity from each other but each episode has a different story that like a sit-com mostly wraps itself up at the end. The main focus of the story though is on Jen and her journey into being a Hulk. How her life changes for better and for worse, and how she slowly learns how to cope with it all. There are some biggish storylines that happen in the show that don’t really get resolved by the end. Knowing marvel these will likely be brought back in the future with where I think the Hulk stories will be going in the future. 

Lets move on to the characters and performances, though here I’m mostly going to talk about Jen as she’s the main focus of the show and the one who changes the most. Tatiana Maslany is honestly perfect as Jennifer Walters, otherwise known as the titular She-Hulk. She perfectly embodies the workaholic, awkward side of Jen, as well as the more confident and strong-willed side of She-Hulk. Her character arc throughout the show is an effective one for the type of show it is, and for the character it is. She goes through the journey of self acceptance, a similar journey that Bruce went through with his Hulk in a much faster pace. Jen doesn’t exactly have another personality in She-Hulk form and is almost always in control. To me though, She-Hulk is a different personality in a way, it’s still Jen at the wheel, but it’s a different version of Jen in a way. She’s more confident in herself and her body as She-Hulk,  she has more fun than in Jen form. We see how much of Jen’s life is different because of She-Hulk, in so many different ways. Jen learns a lot throughout the show of what it means to be a Hulk and to deal with the new problems that she wouldn’t have dealt with otherwise. It’s also to me why I didn’t get mad like a lot of people did after the first episode and the way Jen talks to Bruce who has been dealing with this for a long time. While she doesn’t have the exact same issues Bruce does, he has been dealing with these things for far longer than Jen has. To me, we do see this throughout the show, that Bruce was right in some aspects. Heck the connecting threads of the show are everything that Bruce was warning Jen about. She has a target on her back, people want her spot her powers her name and want her dead and gone. So much of her arc is learning through this and learning to accept her hulk self and even the name of She-Hulk. We slowly see her learn to accept herself and her faults and finally take control of her life. 

Everyone else did a great job and were great characters. It was fun to see what they did with Emil and the Abomination and it was interesting to see how they have made him similar to a Hulk as well that he can choose between his human and abomination forms. It was cool to see Bruce again and see how its not just Bruce in the smart Hulk form as there are moments we see the other hulk personality come out at points. Nikki was a fun character and good friend. It was cool to see Daredevil again and I felt like they handled his character well in it. I know people can have an issue with the way he was handled, but he is not in a serious situation in this show. Wong was awesome and hilarious as always. 

For me the comedy of the show worked really well. It was silly and goofy and meta at times. Ok not at times it was frequently meta and got very much so at the end. A lot of the comedy had to deal with making fun of “alpha” men or men with that mindset. A lot of the antagonists in the show are those guys, to the point they made the ultimate antagonist of the show basically 4Chan and the other internet troll types who target and harass women in those ways. I enjoyed the way the show used the meta humour, with almost once an episode of Jen talking to the audience about the show and poking fun at itself. Then the finale goes all the way with it, full John Byrne She-Hulk comic with it. I don’t want to spoil it, but it goes almost full Blazing Saddles with it. That was a fun way to end the show, straight up poking fun at themselves and the negative commenters in the audience. 

The music choices and score of the show are good, some fun tracks that fit the show. The action of the show is mostly ok, it’s there and its serviceable for a show that’s not about the physical action. The effects are mostly good, it is a bit iffy at times but works well for the most part. 

Now for my issues with the show. For me the show just didn’t hit right. I mean part of it is that I’m, not too big on the genre, but I feel like part of it was that it was a superhero show that didn’t want to be a superhero show. Like you can really see this in the finale. But again that’s apart of it. It’s not a superhero action show and i think that is one of the reasons the show can rub people the wrong way. Outside of that I think my biggest issue is the length of the show. Its a very fast show, no episodes go longer than 35 mins WITH credits so each episode is barely 30 mins long. They do  a lot with that time, but I feel like the show could have actually been longer. I think having more episodes could have helped the show develop over time and even give us more time with the character. Even an extra episode would have helped to me to give us more time with Jen at her lowest point before the finale. Maybe even do the original fake finale than Jen decides to do what she does in the actual finale. That’s where another issue is, the finale is kind of unsatisfactory for me ( as you can see in my first reaction to it). It’s a cop-out ending while still being a fun way to end the show. Its not just the meta stuff for me, but it’s the meta stuff that basically skips over all the stuff that’s been going on in the show to leave off with a kind of happy ending. You don’t get a confrontation and all the stuff that happens in the prior episode is reversed. 

Over-all I do have to say though that She-hulk is a pretty good show for what it is. I give it One Thumb up !

Werewolf by Night (2022) Review

So I just finished watching the Marvel Disney+ special presentation Werewolf by Night. The special is directed by composer Michael Giacchino and stars Gael García Bernal as Jack Russell, and Laura Donnelly as Else Bloodstone. The special is based on the Werewolf by night comic character created by Gerry Conway, Michael G. Plug, Roy Thomas, and Jean Thomas. This is the perfect time of year for a special like this. Seeing as we’re in the spooky season of October and Halloween, this is a special that fits perfectly around it. Also I will warn that if you haven’t seen it yet, there will be spoilers of things that happen in it. Though there won’t be many as there isn’t really too much to spoil. 

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this special. Everything about it put on this kind of nostalgic feeling of classic monster movies, with the production quality and value of a modern marvel project mixed with classic B-movies. It’s not too serious, but also doesn’t treat itself like a joke. It is a faithful representation of those styles of movie with a modern flair. From the setting to the story to the music it’s all faithful and great. They really put some effort into this, you can tell they love those old movies. The performances were all great, Bernal and Donnelly did great jobs as their characters. I feel like Donnelly might have had more to work with as she gets more action in this special whereas Bernal waits a bit until the second half. Another character worth mentioning is MAN-THING (regressing the urge to make a Swamp-Thing animated series intro reference here). He was handled great in this special, a mysterious figure that we don’t know much about in the MCU (yet) but his relationship with the main characters is fun, and I like how he turns around if you know his name. He was adapted pretty much perfectly. I don’t know much about him from the comics but from what we’ve gotten it’s perfect. 

I think Giacchino was a great choice for this, he is a first time director but you can see his influences in it. He makes some great choices in it in terms of the action and handling the lighting of the special. Visually the special is great, the b&w look of the special is great and doesn’t cover anything. The lighting really works for this, it’s a little dark and moody and spooky but doesn’t drop down to be too dark to see anything. Even the scenes where the light is slowly fading during some of the big set pieces of the special, it all works and looks great. Doesn’t detract from the overall feel. The action was pretty good, I feel like the only issues I had with it was with Else Bloodstone as she felt a lot like the spy type action we get from the black widow type characters. At least her first fight really reminds me of the opening fight in Captain America: Civil War. Doesn’t help its a similar silhouette to that scene.

 Other than that the action is great, the Werewolf stuff at the final act was awesome. The stand-out moment being that scene in the kind of hallway when the door is closing with the light going down with it. We get some cool werewolf action, a hallway fight, and some surprising gore. I’m relatively shocked that  they were able to get away with what they did in this special. It is pretty brutal in some scenes, some stand-outs being the aforementioned werewolf stuff, as well as the man-thing kills. Those were awesome and everything I hoped they would be, as they brutal and pretty horrifying from a certain view. I do feel like they were able to get away with this because it’s a Disney+ special in b&w so there’s no red blood. The music is great throughout the special, composer Giacchino does a great job at making the music feel like it fits right in with old universal monster movies. It has the right amount of suspense and dread, as well as bombast and fanfare.

The effects work is all great, being that outside of the colour grade there isn’t too much but still a good amount of digital effects. Such as the main man himself Man-Thing, who is a perfect adaptation of the comic book design. The colour does enhance the effects though as the digital blood doesn’t really take you out as much as it might if it was coloured red. I love how they handled the transformation scene, showing him changing in silhouette as the camera dollies in on Elsa’s shocked and scared face. The design of the werewolf is great as well, he looks like a classic wkolfman, but with a bit more hair, a more human featured face, and the facial tattoos of Jack. I love how they went with a classic dude in a suit for a lot of the werewolf stuff instead of full digital, I always love a good monster costume. 

My issues with this special are few in between. My first one is that outside of the motivations they show us, the main characters don’t really go in a arc in this. I can see why they didn’t as this is just kind of showing off these characters and establishing their relationships for the future. I kind of wish there was  a bit more of a  story reason for the end change into colour. Although maybe its done to show that these characters and events are in the main MCU and will becoming back eventually out of this situation. These are probably just symptoms of my biggest issue, that the special could have been longer. I feel like if it had more time we could have fleshed these characters out more. Although I guess that will be for the future.

I mean we’re going to see these characters again eventually. It establishes and builds up a new magical artifact, with potential connections to other stuff in the MCU. A new side of the universe is shown off of darkness, horror, and monsters that we will be seeing more in the future with Blade and possibly Black Knight. Man-Thing will especially be important in the future if he serves the same role as his comic counterpart does, with all the multiverseal stuff going on at the moment. 

Over-all Werewolf By Night is a great special that is a lot of fun and perfect for this season we’re in. If you like old monster movies I can’t recommend this enough. Two-thumbs up ! It’s worth a watch and might be on my halloween watch-list going forward. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) Review

So I just finished the show, over-all it’s an okay show. I’m still not sure exactly why I feel the way I do about this show, but for me something about this didn’t click to me. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Disney + series set in the Star Wars universe following the titular character played by Ewen McGregor. This season is set 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, with Obi-Wan in exile on Tatooine to keep watch over Luke Skywalker. He is forced into action after Princess Leia of Alderaan by an inquisitor of the empire for her nefarious means. I keep referring to this show as this season over this show or this series as we don’t know if there will be more seasons or not. There could be as there is talk of another season being a possibility. I’m not sure if I want another season as the story they wanted to tell is done for the most part, at least in the way they want to tell it, there’s not much more they can do. I do have some ideas for what they could do with a second season, but thats for another time. Also there will be spoilers in this review of things that happen in the show, if you want to go in blind than wait until you watch the show. To begin, we’ll look at the first thoughts I had after watching each episode.

Episode 1:

A good start to the series. Establishes a galaxy that has been under the empire’s rule for 10 years now, with Obi-Wan been depressed and wanting to stay hidden. Establishes the villains of the season, as well as the season Arc that Obi-Wan is on. It’s a good start to the series with good visuals, good music and great acting. 

Episode 2:

An ok episode. Some cool moments as well as giving us a little action, and seeing what a Jedi can do hand-to-hand. Some contrived plot lines with Leia not believing Obi-Wan which is a good idea, but also a little annoying with how it’s there to pad the episode and expose Obi-Wan a bit. We also get the first confirmation of Obi-Wan learning that anakin is alive. Other than that it’s fine.

Episode 3:

A better episode, still ok though. It’s got a kinda cool lightsaber fight scene between Obi-Wan and Vader. Still iffy to me about having them meet before A New Hope. Although it’s kinda ok I guess as it’s I think 7 years or so before ANH. It’s cool to see Vader again. Leia continues to be ok in this episode. Reva is ok as well. We get some world building seeing how the rebellion has slowly started. Over-all another Ok episode. So far this show has looked great, but character and story wise has felt weird. I just think this didn’t need to have Obi-Wan adventuring around. Its like they wanted another mandalorian but didn’t really know what to do.

Episode 4:

I don’t know how many times I’ll say this, again a better episode, but still ok. It’s got some ok action, some good story stuff. The character interactions are good, but mostly amongst the empire stuff. We get to see more of the path but its weird as there’s an argument that ends too quick. Its not giving stuff time to breath and get to know characters. Like there’s a death in this episode that I don’t really care about as it’s a character we don’t know or have met before (to my knowledge) and they try to treat it as a big loss to the characters, but I just don’t care. We had maybe a scene before hand with the character but not much else. I get they want to establish that Leia and Obi-Wan know each other before ANH but so far this has not been the way to do so. Maybe there should be something else to make it more interesting but it’s just meh for me so far. 

Episode 5:

Now that was a good episode. We get the tension of the empire bearing down on the base where people are staying. Where there have been people waiting for months to leave. We have the revelations of the pasts of Tala and Reva. We have the mirrored story of the sparring battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin during his Padawan days around the clone wars, with Reva’s story throughout the show and the revelation that she’s hunting Vader for what happened on Operation nightfall during Order 66. We also get the death of Tala and her droid friend which was kind of sad, just wish I cared more about them. I like the stories that the battles told, especially the flashback between Obi-Wan and Anakin along with the fight between Reva and Vader. It’ll be interesting to see how the series finishes with that reveal that Reva saw the damaged transmission from Bail Organa, and now knows about Luke on tatooine. We’re getting the beginnings of why Obi-wan stayed on tatooine which is good. The fights in this episode were great and the best of the show so far. The flashback battle is great and reminiscent of the battles in the prequel trilogy, but not as flashy. The battle between Vader and Reva is just pure greatness. We get Vader being this force pat mei (like from Kill Bill Vol 2) style figure just enjoying a battle with Reva, playing with her. It’s really good and I really enjoyed it. It made the episode for me. I do say that’s one thing I’ve been enjoying about this series, the influence of kung fu movies as we get a lot more unarmed combat than i’m used to in Star Wars. Although i guess one issue I had with it, other than some of the iffiness of the de-aging effects, is just how lucky Reva is in this show. She’s gotta be the luckiest character in the history of Star Wars. Although i’ll cover more of that in the full series review. Over-all an enjoyable episode, let’s hope the finale keeps this momentum up.

Episode 6:

That was a good episode, not as good as the last episode but a good episode nonetheless. It wraps up the stories and arcs good for the most part. The fight between Vader and Obi-Wan was better than their battle in episode 3, although I did have issues with it. It was cool to see the callbacks to earlier fights and to earlier episodes, but I kinda wish Obi-Wan wasn’t so powerful in the second part of the fight. I mean at some point Obi-Wan straight up overpowers Vader. Although the suit was damaged to a point. I did like how creative the uses of the force were in this fight, like we see Vader do some cool stuff here. I also liked how we get the mixture of Hayden and James Earl Jones’ voices when the helmet is damaged. Although I find it weird that Obi-Wan left Vader when they could have left it earlier with Vader thinking Obi-Wan was dead. Although the argument could be made that in that fight Vader still isn’t used to the suit which could distract him and allow Obi-Wan to win. I mean I get why Obi-Wan wins as Vaders greatest weaknesses are glowing red lights on his chest. It was cool to see Obi-Wan be shown to do these feats of force power. The Reva stuff I had an issue with as how did she get to tatooine so fast while injured. The episode starts off with her on tatooine already even though this is basically a few minutes after the last episode from what we know. I mean how does she get to a ship in time to get there, I kinda wished they showed that as it was weird. Other than that her stuff was interesting this episode, the last vestiges of the rage she held leaving her when she can’t bring herself to killing Luke. Showing she can change. The episode has a good send off with Luke saying goodbye to Leia, meeting Luke, and finally seeing Qui-son’s spirit. It was cool seeing him again. Over-all a good episode in the series, but doesn’t keep the momentum of the fifth episode. And that’s the end of the show (first season at least).

As seen here there is something about the show that just did not click with me for some reason. I wonder if part of it is that it feels pretty similar to a bit of what Fallen Order did, we have a jedi in exile that cut himself off from the force to hide from the empire forced into action as he’s hunted by an inquisitor. Plus the inquisitor in Fallen Order feels like a better character to me over-all which I will get into later. For now let’s move on from this tangent to my thoughts on the story and plot of the show.

I feel like that could be one of my major issues with the show, that the story could have been handled differently. Something about it didn’t work for me over-all, and I still can’t figure out why. I get what they were going for, with Obi-Wan being exposed to the burgeoning galactic rebellion slowly forming to fight against the empire, establishing a prior relationship with Leia, and a rematch with Vader. I think that could be one my issues with it, that Obi-Wan and Vader fighting multiple times wasn’t necessary. Although i guess for Obi-Wan’s development throughout the show it is necessary. I think it could have been handled differently. Also there are way to many plot conveniences in the show, especially surrounding Reva. Other than that there’s not much else I want to say about the story, so lets move on to the characters.

The first character I want to focus on is Ob-Wan Kenobi himself, played by a returning Ewen McGregor. He his phenomenal as always in this role, we get to see him transition from this depressed jedi trying to lay low and wallow in his guilt, to the beginnings of the Obi-Wan we see in A New Hope. His arc throughout the show is about moving past his mistakes with Anakin into the future. He begins the series cut off from the force, to hide himself away, and its through this adventure that he brings himself back to the force and moving on from the past. This also allows him to be ready to learn more about the force from his master. 

Next I’ll talk about the Third Sister Reva, played by Moses Ingram. Her character is interesting, but there is something missing from it. Her performance is good for what she is given, but I have issues with the character. i kinda wish what happened in her happened a bit earlier so that we get more time with her eventual turn and letting go of her trauma. I feel that we don’t see enough change in her character to justify what happens in the last episode, Even though we know why she is doing what she does and that plays a part in her decision, it still could have used more time. One other issue I have with this character is that she seems to be the luckiest character in the show. I mean most of it could be explained as Vader letting her continue until she decides to attack him, but it is still an issue. Plus how does she get to tatooine in the last episode, I have an issue with that as we begin right after the end of the last episode and she’s already found a way there and where Luke is. It’s too convenient to me. 

Next character I’ll talk about if Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker as played by Hayden Christensen and voiced by James Earl jones. He’s a stand out character in this series as we get to see more of the things we love about Vader. He’s powerful, intimidating, badass, and a presence that the shoe needs. There were a few things to do with Vader that I didn’t like, but most of the stuff with Vader I did like. Especially everything in episode 5 was great. The performance was great as well.

The other characters and performances were all good for the most part, Leia was mostly good throughout the show. The only thing with her is that there are a few times where she does something because they need her to do something, we see this especially in episode 5 when she’s in the vent for the hanger controls. Tala was ok, we didn’t get enough time with her for us to care but for what she was there for she was ok. Everyone else was good too.

The show looks great for the most part. The cinematography is mostly pretty good. My only issue is that in night or dark scenes it can be too dark. There are a number of times that I could barely see a thing (although that could also be because of the how I watched the show and the time I watched it). The effects were mostly pretty good, the lightsabers looked great. The action can be great, mostly in the last couple of episodes, but over-all pretty ok. I liked it when they got creative with stuff, like the Reva Vader battle, and the force powers used in the last episode. But over-all something was off with it. The music and soundtrack was ok, not very remarkable. 

Honestly that’s probably the best way to describe the way I feel about this show. It’s ok, unremarkable for the most part, and that something is off about it. It could be the pacing, or the writing, but whatever it is it makes for an ok show. I give it a thumb leaning to the side. If the last episode was better it would have gotten a thumb up. But two episodes i enjoyed out of 6 does not make for a good show. Watch it if you want to.

Moon Knight (2022) Review

So I finally finished watching Moon Knight. Over-all this was another great Marvel Disney + series. It’s the most separate series from the rest of the MCU. We only have a few different mentions of MCU stuff but other than that it’s basically the first separate series from the rest of the MCU. No characters from other areas of the MCU pop up, it’s a little refreshing to be honest. There will be spoilers in this review as the show has been over for a couple weeks now, and people The show stars Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant, Ethan Hawk as Arthur Harrow, May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly, and F. Murray Abraham as Khonshu. The show tells the story of Steven Grant and Marc Spector and their journey to figure out what is going on between themselves as they try to stop Arthur Harrow from releasing the inprisioned  Egyptian god Ammit, who wants to judge the people of the world on whether they are worthy of living or not. The story the show told is really interesting as it’s both the end of Marc’s time as Moon Knight, but also the origin story for Moon Knight. The way the show tells this story is really good as it keeps the mystery going just long enough to keep it interesting but also to keep it moving. To see this, here are my thoughts of each episode written after I watched them.

Episode 1: The Goldfish Problem

 A pretty good introductory episode. Introducing us to most of the characters and the first inklings of whats happening. This first episode introduces us to Steven Grant, a guy who works at a museum gift shop with a penchant for the ennead, the Egyptian pantheon of gods. It takes a little time to introduce us to him and his routine and showing that there’s something going on with Steven. Eventually it throughs us and the character right into the fire with him waking up from “blackouts” in the middle of some bad situations. That scene in the village and the subsequent chase scene were really cool and an interesting way to introduce the character into the wider world he is a part of. Everyone gives a great performance in this episode. The music is pretty good and the effects are good for the most part. I like the slow build to the ending with the first view of the suit and the slow introduction of Marc and Khonshu. This is a good start to the series. 

Episode 2: Summon the Suit

 A good continuation from the last episode. We get introduced to more of the world with seeing Mark’s wife Layla. We get more information about Marc and his relationship with Khonshu, as well as Harlow’s shtick and plan. It’s pretty interesting seeing just how many people are under his spell and I can really see why. Except for the whole able to kill a person with a touch thing. Classic change the world death cult leader stuff. I like that we get to see more of Khonshu and Mark in this episode. We get an idea of the limitations the gods of egypt at least have without an avatar or vessel. We get to see more action this episode, it’s pretty good and creative. It’s interesting how they make this pantheon fully mystical/magical with magic weapons and invisible beings that only avatars or such can interact with and see. Like the fight between Steven and the Jackal is pretty fun and full on like Supernatural with most of it being Steven fighting a to everyone else invisible enemy. The Mr. Knight suit looks incredible in live-action and is very comic accurate. I like the suit summoning stuff and it makes me want a full on tofu style moon knight show, even though this already is technically a tokusatsu show. The music continues to be great, really liking the Moon Knight theme. Over-all a good continuation of the show.

Episode 3: The Friendly Type

Another great episode. We see more of this side of the world with the avatars of the other gods in Egypt as well as the first mention of the wider MCU world with the mention of Madripour. It’s the first time we get a full episode with mostly Marc in it, we get to see from his perspective what losing control of the body is like, as well as the first inkling of another personality in the body. Some good action in this episode as well as a kinda emotional scene with the imprisoining of Khonshu. We also get to see more of Harrow’s abilities as a manipulator and knowledge. We also get to find out more about his past, and a little bit about his past with Khonshu. It also confirms the damage that he claims Khonshu did in the time he was an Avatar of the god. Over-all a good episode. 

Episode 4: The Tomb

Wow, another great episode. This was a great classic adventure episode. Taking cues from classic adventure movies such as Indiana Jones and The Mummy. This episode features some stunning cinematography, set design, and great performances. We get more about the past between Marc and Layla, as well as the truth between the two finally coming out. The last 13 minutes of this episode is crazy. The Shot of Marc falling into the water is some straight up art-film level stuff. The part in what I guess is the afterlife in the asylum making us second guess what is happening is great stuff. Plus the reveal at the end is a great moment. We even get some hints at another personality that is just under the surface after Steven is freed. A great episode over-all

Episode 5: Asylum 

My goodness, I know I’ve said this a lot but this was an amazing episode. The most emotional episode of the series so far. Just an incredible work. This episode gets to the heart of Steven and Marc’s relationship and reveals the truth of their history and how Steven came into being. Some incredible performances in this episode, especially from Oscar Isaac. Having to play the most emotional reveals and revelations of both Mark and Steven is just incredible. The effects are incredible, and it’s ingenious making the characters having to relive their past to move forward is a really smart move. I like having the idea of Doctor Harrow being there to force Steven and Marc into this and to help them balance their scales to get into the afterlife. And a really emotional end for Steven at the end of this too. Just sad to see him go, but he facilitated a role and has now kind of fully fulfilled it. Incredible stuff. One more episode to go, let’s hope it ends strong.

Episode 6: Gods and Monsters

AND IT ENDS STRONG. What a finale, one of the best in the marvel shows so far. A great finale to this story and a great way to establish where the character(s) are going forward. A great finale with some great action, including a big Kaiju battle between Amit and Khonshu. A great ending and a mystery to go forward with the realization and confirmation that there is at least one other personality inside of Marc and Steven, one that has been hinted at throughout the series with the random blackouts followed by mass bodies. A great finale for all the characters, with Marc and Steven coming together and being able to switch around at will without blacking out. Seeing Layla as the avatar of Twaret was great, Harrow’s ending coming full circle with the asylum from the last episode was great. And the full reveal in the post credits scene of Jake Lockley was crazy and very well done. I can’t wait to see what they do with these characters going forward. Over-all a great finale episode to an over-all great series.

I feel like this is the first series where the length helped it, maybe it could have used a couple more episodes, I feel like it doesn’t need them though. We get enough time with the characters to establish them and their relationships and motivations well. It doesn’t feel like a longer movie, and it also doesn’t need more episodes to feel more complete like I did with most of the past Marvel shows. Admittedly I haven’t seen Hawkeye yet so I can’t judge that. But I feel like the show was paced well, moved slow enough for the relationships, but fast enough to keep it fresh and interesting. The tone of the show is great as well, a bit more of a darker tone than we’ve seen in the past, which fits for the character, the subject matter, and where the character will appear in the future.

The characters and performances are all amazing. Everyone does and incredible job with the material and likely had a lot of fun with what they got to do in this show. 

Oscar Isaac is a stand-out in this show with what he gets to do with Marc and Steven. Each character is given different traits and quirks to separate them from each other and Oscar is incredible as both. I can only imagine how hard it would be to play multiple characters like this switching between each other as many times as they do. Even the character introduced in the mid-credits scene felt different from the others. Even playing with how uncomfortable he was when Khonshu was taking over his body during the court scene was impressive and funny. The character arcs he goes on in this show are great too. I think it was a smart move to have Steven be discovering this stuff in the early half of the season as he serves as the audience surrogate, learning about this new world he’s in while also having more knowledge of the situations they find theirselves in than Marc does. They have a really good arc in this show, learning to come to terms with their past and accepting the truths of their lives.  I even like the idea that in The Tomb they have an easter egg for where Steven’s name comes from before it’s fully revealed in The Asylum. I like how through Steven, Marc learns to become more honest and truthful and to be able to forgive himself for his actions int he past. While Steven is able to become more confident in himself and his abilities through Marc. It’s going to be interesting to see where the characters move going forward with the reveal of Jake Lockley, the secret third personality, being Khonshus new avatar takes them in the future. 

May Calamawy was great as Layla as well. She did a great job with what she was given and also got some moments to have some fun with the role. She is a badass character who comes to learn the truth behind her relationship with Marc, as well as learning the truth about Marc with Steven and even a bit of seeing Lockley in action. Her character arc was pretty good, and she has really good chemistry with Oscar in both roles he plays. 

Ethan Hawke was great as Arthur Harrow. In both ways he plays him he does a very good job as him. His turn as Harrow in Arthur form was really good as this cult of personality cult leader. You can really believe and buy what he is saying, especially with how they show the cult he leads being a “better” way of life. But like all cult leaders, there’s a darkness waiting underneath of the pain that Khonshu caused him when he was his avatar. His turn as Doctor Harrow is also really good, as a doctor that does seem to care about his patients and wants them to succeed, even though we don’t exactly get an answer as to what is happening in that realm. 

Everyone else did a great job as well in their roles. They played their roles well and brought life to them.  F. Murray Abraham as Khonshu was great, his voice fit the character very well and had the right amount of power, anger, and sass to it. 

The technical aspects of the show were great as well. I really liked the way they depict the blackouts for the characters, and how they depict when another personality/character takes over the body. The cinematography was incredible in this show. Very colour and well framed and brought a sense of style to the show that we don’t really see in the MCU as much. The grading of the show is great, not drab and muted like it used to be in a lot of marvel films. The effects are all pretty good in the show, most working well if maybe a little iffy at times. Over-all they’re great. A stand-out moment of affects was when Khonshu and Mr. Knight were turning the sky backwards in time to see the constellation on a specific night. Although this raises the question of when are these big visual events going to be brought up in the future. I mean there’s this moment, that everyone saw, than there’s the moment of Arishem coming to earth in The Eternals, to the multiverse stuff in Spider-Man (unless the spell also made the world forget about all that stuff). 

The gods shown in the show all look good with how different their designs are, the underworld stuff looks great. I thought it was really interesting how they’ve now brought up something from the comics in that the gods of the different pantheons all work very differently. The ennead Egyptian gods are all very mystical in nature and need avatars to have their power to work in the physical world, while the gods of Asgard are very physical and exist in the physical world. The Moon Knight costume stuff looks great too. The costuming, props, and set design are all great as well. I was a little hesitant at first with the main moon knight costume, but I’ve come around to it. I like how it does have a bit of ceremonial armour to it, while also having the bandages to look like a mummy. While the Mr. Knight costume is so good looking. A great adaptation of the suits from the comics, also I can’t wait for the moon knight marvel legends to come out even if we have to wait till next year to get them. If everything was on green screen than they did a great job making everything look real and like an actual set. The music from this show is incredible as well. Great amounts of sad and quiet moments, as well as the big epic moments. I really like the epic music motif of the main Moon Knight theme. 

I know some people out there may be a little perturbed by what I’m about to say, not everyone but some people will be. This is the most toku a marvel show has been. A lot of the costume’s in the past have had a lot of people compare them to power rangers and kamen rider type costumes which I’ve seen people be mad at. To me this show brings those comparisons to the forefront. To do a bit of education to people, toku is short for tokusatsu, which is basically the Japanese word for live action special effects. So yes Moon Knight and all of Marvel is technically tokusatsu. It’s a discussion that I’ve seen people have lately on what does took mean, yes it’s tokusatsu as the base meaning of the word describes a majority of media out there. So a lot of people have been discussing what makes toku, well toku. To me the short version of the word toku is the format/genre of the shows. I feel this way as toku shows and movies to me feel different than live action superhero shows and movies from elsewhere. To me Kamen Rider and let’s say the Marvel shows are both live-action super hero shows, but they feel different enough in make, story, and character wise. Toku isn’t even Japan specific either as there a number of these types of shows being produced around the world, including here in North America with Power Rangers. Now i got a little distracted there, and the reason for that is I feel like Moon Knight is the closest that Marvel has come to making a straight up toku series. It’s got a main hero that can say a phrase to summon a suit to transform into a super hero, it’s got a hero with multiple forms, the hero has a similar power source as the villain, there’s a giant creature battle. To me these are all things that toku is. Ok I’m going to move on from this conversation now, it’s turned into a bit of a tangent. 

Over-all I really enjoyed this show, it’s a great watch and makes use of the format to it’s strengths. Moon Knight is a great watch and I can’t wait to see what happens with the character in the future. Watch it soon, 2 thumbs up!

What If? (2021) Review

So I finally watched What if? Over-all I found it to be a great show. It was an interesting look into the kinds of things we could see going forward in the marvel Disney + shows. I finally finished watching it during a current bout of illness (mild covid) and finally had the motivation to finish watching the show after taking a little break for holiday stuff. What If? Is an Anthology series taking a look at the now wide-open multiverse of possibilities shown through the eyes of The Watcher (Jeffery Wright) an ultra-powerful cosmic being who has taken an oath of non interference, until another dangerous cosmic being forces his hand. 

Episode 1: What If… Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?

A great start to the series. This episode is a new version of the Captain America story, but with Peggy Carter becoming the first Super Soldier instead, with Steve taking the role of a photo Iron Man type called the Hydra Stomper. It was cool seeing Peggy doing all the Captain America stuff, but with it being animation allows her to do more creative and impressive things than what we’ve seen Steve do. I didn’t know how I would feel about the art and animation style when I first saw it, but I really enjoyed it. Fluid motion and looks amazing. The performances were pretty good. It was a great first start and I can’t wait to see more.

Episode 2: What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?

Another great episode. This episode is a version of the Star Lord story where T’Challa is taken instead of Peter Quill. It’s an interesting episode seeing how different things are with T’Challa instinctively helping the universe to the point of Thanos becoming an Ally. I’m surprised the Dark Order joined the collector, but it was interesting seeing the collector being a full villain. The voice acting was very good, the animation was incredible as well. Very colourful and interesting. Over-all another good episode and I can’t wait to see where the series goes next.

Episode 3: What If… The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?

Another great episode. The first episode with what could be seen as a depressing story. Which is similar to the comics as they get depressing a lot. This episode focuses a lot of telling a different version of the major first parts of the founding of the avengers, but instead of it going the way it’s supposed to they end up dead. The episode sets up a mystery asking who is doing this and how they are doing it. It’s pretty interesting seeing the first example of a hero gone villain with the reveal that it’s been Hank Pym the whole time to get revenge on Fury for the death of Hope. This all ends with Loki coming and deciding to take over the earth reciting the speech he gave in Marvel’s Avengers. The performances were good, the episode was interesting, the animation was great. Another good episode.

Episode 4: What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

Another great episode, and also another depressing episode. It’s episodes like this that what if was made for. This episode is asking the question of what if Dr Strange lost his heart (his love Christine) instead of his hands. It’s a really interesting episode as it’s the first one where the story we know is only at the beginning. After the recap we get a new story with a split timeline in the universe, one where strange stayed at the sanctum sanctorum, and another where strange tried to save Christine and became obsessed with doing so. Leading to him falling down a rabbit hole of absorbing the power of possibly millions of mystical beings and eventually leading to the destruction of his universe. The performances are great, it’s the second time we see what a character is willing to do to get his goal, even becoming a monster in the process. This is also the first time we see the watcher be acknowledged by the characters in the show. The first glimpse of the endgame of the season. Over-all a great episode. 

Episode 5: What If… Zombies?!

This was a good episode. It was intriguing to see how they were going to do the Marvel Zombies adaptation, and it’ll be interesting to see how the spin-off handles it. This episode focused on the survivors of the quantum virus trying to find a cure. It was interesting to see that while the zombies couldn’t talk, they could still fight and use their abilities like they did when alive. It was cool seeing how the characters were used in the episode and what their roles were. This episodes has a bit of a hopeful spin to it….until we see Zombi thanks with an almost completed infinity gauntlet, as this takes place during infinity war. A good episode over-all.

Episode 6: What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?

This was another good episode. It was interesting to see how deep this version of Killmonger’s plan went and how much he fully succeeded for the time being. It was cool to see him interact with these moments in MCU history like the origins of Iron Man. The way this sets itself up as a story about Tony and Erik was interesting, and shows even more how determined he is for his goal to succeed. Over-all a good episode with a good cliff ganger for the future.

Episode 7: What If… Thor Were an Only Child?

This was a really fun episode. Perhaps the first almost fully comedic episode of What If, where Thor doesn’t have Loki as his adoptive brother and becomes a massive partier….to the point it’s possibly endangered planets. This is the biggest change in what if so far and it’s fun to see the difference in the characters here, like Loki and Thor are friends and all the different characters that show up as part of the planet wide party. This is the most complete story in the show so far, it has a defined beginning middle and end. It has a good character arc for this version of Thor who learns his lesson and becomes a better person for it. The fight with Captain Marvel was awesome and very well animated. This is a stand-out episode for the animation style as it’s incredible as always, but the variety of characters and situations really fits here. This also has our next big view at the endgame of the season, with the introduction of Infinity Ultron intruding on this universe. Possibly the first example of true universal transportation seen in the MCU as far as I’m aware. Over-all this was a great episode, very enjoyable. 

Episode 8: What If… Ultron Won?

This was an insane episode, another huge difference in characters, also depressing, but also hopeful. The biggest view of the endgame since it’s the second last episode, and what it sets up for the final episode is huge. It establishes the threat we first saw at the end of the last episode, and also makes us question what we know about the multiverse and even the infinity stones. Infinity Ultron is insanely powerful and able to do so much in this show. He has the powers of himself, vision and the infinity gauntlet. His fight with the watcher throughout the multiverse was awesome. Another episode that shows why it’s great this was an animated series. The set up for the watcher deciding to get involved is awesome and bringing in the help of strange supreme was great. Over-all another great episode.

Episode 9: What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?

This was a great finale to the series. We get a view of what the characters have been up to since we last saw them in their episode, as well as a view at a world we haven’t seen yet. That was interesting how Gamora in the Thanos armour wasn’t in an episode this season, I forget why but I think I remember seeing them say they didn’t have the time for it. It was really cool seeing these characters interact, for the most part, Killmonger didn’t interact with the others much. Which kinda disappoints me as Black Panther Killmonger interacting with Star Lord T’Challa. The fight between the Guardians of the Multiverse (as the watcher calls them) and Infinity Ultron was amazing. It was creative and the way they defeated him was interesting. It was a pretty good finale to the first season.

The characters and acting in the series is top notch. Most people returned to their characters, including being the last time Chadwick Boseman played T’Challa before his untimely passing. Everyone did an amazing job, giving the feel of their characters, but also making sure they feel different enough. The characters and their storylines where great, even though a lot of them got depressing. I know that was a major thing in the comic stories, where the end is usually everyone dies. I think the ones I enjoyed the most story wise are 2,3,4,7. 

The visuals are top notch. The art and animation style are incredible and colourful. It’s incredible to watch. My favourite episodes for animation are 2,4,7,8,9 as they make the most use out of the medium. I also like how the series isn’t afraid to get dark, brutal, and gory with its subject matter. The music is pretty good as well, giving us something new as well as something familiar (not unlike the series itself). 

Over-all I think this is a must watch and would recommend it. I don’t know if you have to watch them all, but i still say watch them. Two Thumbs Up !!

At the end here I’m putting some cool posters they made for the show, I would have put them with their episodes but the way I went is more unified.

Loki (2021) Review

This has been a long time coming, but here is my Loki review. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it but with the extra time away makes extra time to mull over my feelings for the show. Luckily enough I did record my thoughts on each episode after they aired for my original thoughts on each episode. 

First, let’s establish the show (even though everyone probably knows already). Loki is a Disney Plus series that stars Tom Hiddleston as the titular character, Owen Wilson as Mobius, Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer. The series is set some point during the Avengers’ time heist from Endgame, and is about the Loki that escaped from that movie with the tesseract/space stone and his adventures through time with the TVA. Now we’ll move on to my original thoughts on each episode.

Episode 1: Glorious Purpose

A great premier for this series, setting the tone going forward. It introduces us to the Time Variance Authority (TVA for short) and what they do. This episode does a great job establishing how they have kind of made Loki a fusing of the Avengers and Original timeline versions, having him learning about what they original version of himself went through and what he did. Getting it out of the way to continue on with the series. We are also introduced to Agent Mobius who is pretty cool so far.

Episode 2

Another great episode of the series, showing us more of the TVA bureaucracy and just how much they know. Our first introduction to the opening “antagonist” of the series, and a  bit of her motivation and plan. We get to learn more about Mobius as well. We also see more of Loki coping with learning about his future. 

Episode 3

Another great episode. This time more buddy cop with the budding relationship between Loki and his variant, now known as Sylvie. We get to see more of her skills and abilities, as well of what Loki can do. We get to learn a bit more about her plan, as well as the first cracks into what the TVA truly is. 

Episode 4:

Another stellar episode. More time with the TVA, including more about what it truly is. We get more of Mobius and him slowly realizing what the TVA is. We get some huge reveals and moments in this episode, as well as the first post credits scene of the series. It is incredible. And my god that post credits scene, which helps reveal more about the TVA as well. 

Episode 5:

Theres only so many times I can say that an episode is great, so this is another great episode. We get to learn more about how the timeline works and where every single thing the TVA has pruned has gone. We meet a ton of Lokis with focus on Classic, Kid, and Alligator Loki. It was interesting to see how a society has kind of been established on a trash heap of a world. I feel like this episode did for Loki as the finale did for Wanda in Wandavision in showing that they are more powerful than they and we realize. Some great moments and can’t wait to see what happens in the finale.

Episode 6:

An incredible finale for an amazing show. This episode sets up where marvel is going for the next stage of the films. This episode doesn’t really offer a conclusion to the story, other than Loki realizing that everything they have been working for in this show maybe shouldn’t happen. This episode was insane for everything it established, but is essentially one big exposition dump for everything we’ve seen and everything we’re about to see. It ends the series on a note of what’s to come, along with the first confirmation of a second season.

As you can see from my first reactions, I thought the show was very good. I think the storyline and plot was good and worked for what they were doing in the show, but I feel like it could have used a few more episodes to give us more time with the characters, and to help establish this world a bit more. I wanted these as the show fundamentally changes everything at the end with the reveal that Kang has taken over.

Over-all this show was great. The character arcs all worked really well, and the performances were amazing. I was going to go more in depth for the characters and what I felt about them, but instead I’m gonna write a little bit about each character as I can get a little bogged down in figuring out what to say about the characters.

We’ll start off with Tom Hiddleston as Loki. He was amazing as always and really had a task here as he kind of has to play a whole new version of Loki, while also keeping the things that made his 2012 version Iconic and his 2018 version interesting. I found it interesting how they brought 2012 Loki up to speed with all the development he received in the later movies. I like how in the end he realizes the weight of what is happening and what is about to happen and he can’t stop it. He had good relationships with a lot of the characters.

Next is Owen Wilson as Mobius who is also really good. I like his laid-back nature, but can be serious as well. I like how he is set up as someone who’s been with the TVA for a long time, but eventually starts to question everything about it. His relationship with Loki was pretty good, I just wish we got more time to see that evolve throughout the show and got more time with them. I also wish he got his jet ski.

The last character I will focus on is Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie. She was great throughout the show. She was badass, charming, and interesting. I liked her backstory as a Loki variant that was chosen to die for something so small. Her quest for answers and revenge lead her down the rabbit hole of the TVA and eventually to breaking the multiverse and allowing Kang to take over. Her romance with Loki was interesting, kinda weird since they’re essentially the same person. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with her in the future.

Everyone else was great. The variant Lokis were cool, he who remains was cool and interesting as this guy that seems crazy due to everything he knows, as well as his variant being one of the next big bads going forward is interesting.

The action was pretty good for what we got. The effects were really good. The set design was all good and interesting for the amount of different locations used in the show. The costuming was good as well, as well as the technology the characters used throughout the shot. They were really interesting in how they worked and what their abilities were. The music was amazing and I feel like will become the theme for Loki characters going forward. 

I really enjoyed the way the show played out as you didn’t get a sense of where it was going for a while. I just wish there were more episodes to flesh it out more and give it more time, especially since this is the series that establishes the idea of variants and there being able to be more than one version of a character in the MCU. This was our first true step into the multiverse and established the idea of multiversal imbalance with the incoming Kang War, which as we’ve seen recently in Spider-Man as well as will see in the next Doctor Strange movie is very important. 

This show plants the seeds for the future, is a fun watch, and tells an interesting story that will be very important for the future going forward. I give it two-thumbs up. It’s well worth the watch if you haven’t seen it yet. 

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021) Review

It’s been a while. Seeing that it’s the Christmas season, to celebrate I’m going to release a bunch of reviews of things far out of date and relevance! Over the next week or two I’ll be trying to release reviews of things that I haven’t reviewed yet. Including Loki, What If and Hawkeye, as well as a certain little movie that recently released about some spider-person. 

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is a Disney Plus television series that looks at Sam Wilson/Falcon’s (Anthony Mackie) journey to decide to take up the mantle of Captain America after a government chosen choice, John Walker (Wyatt Russell), is shown to be troublesome. I apologize for waiting so long since this show finished to write this review, I’ve finally gotten the motivation to do this review. I enjoyed the show while it was airing, but I only did first thoughts for the first 2 episodes, so this review will primarily be an overview of what I thought of the show looking back on it this far away from having watched it. I know this is past the time that people were talking about the show, but I’m still doing it to get my thoughts out there. 

The story is relatively good for the show. It’s about the insecurities of the characters and how they deal with them. I think this is where the show is the strongest as everyone of the characters we get to see throughout the show is dealing with something. A major theme or idea for this show is mental health which it handles well, for the most part. It’s mental health issues, how people deal with them, and how to overcome yourself when it’s needed most. 

I think the characters were mostly all handled pretty well in the series. They all have some great moments and good arcs. The performances were all pretty good. Let’s go into some more specifics.

Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon/Captain America is really good throughout the show. As one of the protagonist (maybe even the main protagonist) a lot of what happens in the show, and what the story kind of focuses on is around him and his feeling about being given the captain America mantle by Steve Rogers in Endgame. Everything in the show goes towards him eventually taking up the shield and deciding to make his own Captain America instead of being a government approved Captain America. Throughout the whole show we see why he struggles with taking up the mantle, from money problems after being snapped for 5 years, to learning that there’s a black super soldier that suffered for doing some of the same things Steve did. In the end we see why Steve chose Sam to carry the mantle. He has an interesting relationship with Bucky, as we see their relationship evolve from bickering with each other, to true friendship. 

Sebastien Stan as James Buchanan Barnes/Bucky/Winter Soldier is also really good throughout the show. He brings his typical snarkiness/dark reflective nature to the show. I enjoy how they decided to make his arc throughout the show is him making amends and trying to repay for his actions as the winter soldier. While doing this he also deals with his own issues with Sam, as Bucky and Sam don’t have the same relationship that Bucky had with Steve. He’s still feeling the affects of his past and the fact that for basically the past decade he’s been hunted, frozen, in hiding, and dead. This is his first time where he’s just able to have a bit of a normal life in 80+ years. We get to see Bucky open up about his feelings, as well as having fun and a good time with Sam and his community and family. 

Wyatt Russell as John Walker/Captain America/US Agent is also really good in this show. He’s the perfect soldier, a man who has served his country to the best of his ability in the way they taught him. We get to see how this may not be the best way to create an American hero, as the way his government taught him created the problems that led to his downfall in the series. It was really interesting to see a normal human be given this mantel, and so entering this new world of super soldiers and super terrorists. We get to see his descent into taking the last serum for himself. We get to see a lot of what makes him tick, and how he wants to do the right thing, but his training makes him maybe go the wrong way. We see how he still has a good heart, but he’s willing to go to lengths the others aren’t willing too. One thing about his character I enjoy is that it makes me wonder how this all would have gone if Sam and Bucky were more open to working with him throughout the show instead of constantly shutting him out. 

Everyone else in the show was great as well. Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley was incredible in his epsiodes as a former super soldier showing the issues with the system. His character helps Sam make the decision to become Captain America. Daniel Bruhl as Baron Zemo is a standout in the show and is a lot more fun as character this time around. Sharon Carter was kinda cool, the reveal was kinda meh though. The Flagsmashers were interesting villains, but they have their issues as villains and it’s kinda hard for me to point out my issues with them. They just feel off to me.

On the technical aspects, the show looked good. Kinda bland, but had some moments. The effects were good, and the music and sound design was ok. The fight scenes were pretty good and memorable. The big fight between Bucky, Sam, and Walker was a stand-out.

Over-all this was a good first season. It had its good moments and some ok ones. It could have been a lot better. If you haven’t seen it yet I’d recommend it. 1 Thumb up. 

WandaVision Follow-Up (Spoilers)

So after making that post yesterday about the show, I thought a bit and a bunch of questions came to mind, so here’s a follow up. 

When or how did Monica break through Wanda’s control, cause she said that she was under Wanda’s control but acts like she still was when the kids were born. She didn’t go in undercover so how did she mention Ultron and all that stuff. Was that when Wanda started to lose control over the world? 

How did Wanda not know about Agatha until the end? Was she that good at pretending that Wanda didn’t notice? 

Did Agatha go there before Wanda was there to set up shop, or did she bend the rules around her home to put the basement in? Was Agatha the one to give Wanda the visions of the dead characters or was that just Wanda losing control?I mean a little bit of Agatha comes out when she talks to Vision as the “real” Agnes with her laugh and how she doesn’t react like the other people do that have been under control for a while.

How much of this was unconscious for Wanda and how much was a conscious decision? When did Wanda learn it was her and that she had control over the world? Was it from the beginning or when it got to the 70s? We keep seeing her saying that she didn’t know what was happening and how she has control over it, yet we see her exert immense control over it, with being able to exit it and to expanding the world. I wonder if a part of it is the power taking over her in some way. 

How did she not know that Pietro was a fake? Was it that she wanted to believe so bad that she let it go? Or why didn’t she make Pietro like she did Vision and the twins? If he’s a fake, how did he still have the same super powers? Did Agatha give them to him or what? How did Fake Pietro have a knowledge of what was happening, did Agatha give him knowledge as well? It’s interesting as he has a rough knowledge of their past, but doesn’t know the exact details. I wonder if Agatha is using Pietro to talk to Wanda in some way, like he knows about the sitcom thing and how she’s controlling everyone. I guess we’ll never know. He makes jokes about things that someone shouldn’t be able to in Wanda’s world, like with Monica mentioning Ultron.

Did the mindstone give Wanda her powers, or did it just awaken her latent abilities? Did being around when the snaps happened hepled awaken her potential, or was that letting the grief get to her? 

If Agatha saw what was happening and came to see, why didn’t Doctor Strange come to check what was happening as well? I mean it was going on for a while, there would be enough time for him to find out, I mean he showed up when Loki was on earth in Thor 3. 

Will this lead to an almost reverse house of M, as this was kind of an adaptation on a story where Wanda and vision have children that are found out to be pieces of mephisto’s soul (parts of the soul of essentially the devil, comics for ya) with Agatha being Wanda’s teacher that she defeats in that story. I mean Wanda’s barrier gave Monica abilities, or at the least awakened latent abilities? So will something in the future lead to Wanda being the cause of the emergence of Mutants? I mean with the power that 2 infinity gauntlet snaps and Wanda losing her shit with her new abilities could cause that.

Will The twins come back, and how? Are they out in the multiverse somewhere (with the tease at the end) or will they be reincarnated like in the comics? 

What will happen with White Vision going forward? Will he end up with Wanda? How is he different from OG Vision since he doesn’t have the Mindstone?

Why did the director want to make Wanda out to be a villain, he had OG vision the whole time? In reality he didn’t really push her to do what she did, so why do it? Did he do it to test out the new version? Or did he do it to get the energy to power the new vision? Does the new vision have all the same abilities, or did he lose any mind abilities?

Will Wanda be the one to reforge the infinity stones? I mean in her world she recreated the Mind stone pretty well, especially since her recreated Vision was the same being and she couldn’t control him. Or will Wanda be apart of reforming the infinity stones since Endgame established how important they are to the universe? 

Now I will go onto some not really theories, but some speculation.

I think that Fake Pietro originally had a different origin but it was changed to what it was at some point. I think that Wanda will be an important character going forward, and could even be one of the main focuses of the next phase. I think that something will happen to that will cause Wanda to use her abilities to introduce Mutants into the MCU, but this would happen further down the line when Marvel is ready for that. 

I think that a part of Dr. Strange 2 will be finding Wanda’s children in the multiverse. I think that White Vision may have a part in it. 

It’ll be interesting to see where things go from here and if we’ll see the angry side of  Wanda come out again, like there’s a part of the show where she is kind of villainous and it’s interesting that we don’t see it much.

In terms of a sequel or second season, I don’t really see there being a second season of the show as it would be hard to follow up and explain what’s happening, unless someone else is doing it to Wanda for some reason. I mean I would like to see how the could do a series like this for different genres of shows (like supernatural mystery, action, superhero shows etc). I just don’t see how they can do it again. 

I still think the show is pretty good, it just raises a bunch of questions that might not have answers.

If anyone has any ideas or wants to talk about these, leave a comment below!

WandaVision (2021) Review

So i just finished binging my way through Wandavision and here are my first thoughts. So I decided for this one to do it episode by episode with general and over-all thoughts at the end. Warning, there will be spoilers in this. 

Episode 1

I love how much it matches the style of the 50s sitcom series, from music to comedic style, to commercials to everything. The performances are incredible and I like how slow it establishes everything in how off things are. 

Overall I think it’s a good first episode that establishes something is off and we don’t know what. Especially with the ending setting up stuff for the future of the series.

Episode 2

I like how this episode establishes itself as a bewitched inspired, with that intro.

I like the use of colour in the first two episodes as well as it really establishes when something is off, as well as the camera angles and how Agnes is there every time. I enjoy how there’s always something happening. That goes right back to normal. STRUCKER HYDRA WATCH. I really love when the weird stuff happens

Move onto the 60s time of sitcoms with colour.

Over all I think this episode isn’t as strong as the first, it still has some great moments and performances and all that. But it relies a bit too much on awkward humour which I’m not a big fan of. Still had some great off-putting moments though. On to the next episode 

Episode 3

The theme song this time is around is hilarious as you can tell something is off with it.

I like how whenever something happens that Wanda doesn’t like it changes.

It gets weird at the end too which I love. Overall a great episode with good weird stuff happening with the most revealing so far about what’s happening so far.

Episode 4

Starting off with the blip and the introduction of sword into the universe. Crazy that they’ve shifted a bit from the craziness of the show. A bit more MCU ish. Feels where things get serious. Feels like setting up the stuff we’ve seen throughout the series with the drone and Geraldine being Monica Rambaeu. Also cool seeing Darcy back. Feels the most MCU down to aspect ratio, colour grading, etc. Weird we’re getting an explanation episode this early, explaining a lot of the strange things we’ve seen so far. The first bit of reality we’ve seen, even in the sitcom world. Wanda definitely has something to do with this. This is a great episode, I didn’t feel the time go by at all in it. 

Episode 5

Gotta love 80s sitcoms. Again some weirdness happening. I love how the themes tell us a bit of what’s happening like how Wanda doesn’t exactly know the theme song, just making it up as it goes. Snap back to reality, of Monica. Our first view of a lot of these as grief. We can tell something is off with Agnes as she doesn’t notice things and does stuff out of the control. We’re seeing more weird stuff happen in the series. 

Big things are happening in this episode. This is where we start seeing Wanda as both protagonist and antagonist, that let her grief get the better of her, that she is learning how to deal with her grief. I love the use of the ways of the show for the story. I love how Vision is the one for reality and to seeing reality in how he doesn’t remember anything before Westfield, due to being dead. And that cameo in this episode of who we think it is crazy. Overall a great episode 

Episode 6

Love how the intros reflect what is happening on  the show. Including the malcom in the middle styling. The Halloween episode costumes are hilarious. I love the mixing of  sitcom and reality. Gotta love that injoke reference. I like how Agnes seems to be like vision in how she’s able to see reality, in how she tells vision he’s dead. I like how Pietro knows to. And with the random flashes of the dead versions of the characters. Another episode where stuff gets serious. Another great episode with some crazy moments.

Episode 7

 I already love the use of the modern sitcom to help Wanda get through the feelings of grief a bit. I do love how the modern sitcom is when Wanda starts losing control a little bit. I love how the commercials also are Wanda questioning herself as well. Monica confronting Wanda and seeing that Agnes has a part in this is pretty crazy and can be seen almost since the beginning. This episode is the full reveals of Agnes is Agatha Harkness in the show in full control of everything, messing with everything in this show. Also that song is so catchy too. Overall a big oh shit episode with one of the biggest reveals of the season. 

Episode 8

Interesting to see Agatha’s history and backstory, as well as seeing a different kind of magic than the kind seen in Dr. Strange. We also get to see the first full look at Wanda’s history as well. We also get to see why she’s in a tv world. This episode also shows how the infinity stones still have a part to play in the universe, with showing Wanda a vision of her future in a way. I like how while going though wanda’s life with Agatha in a way was helping Wanda move through and past her trauma. I enjoy how we also get to see Wanda and Vision’s relationship develop. Heyward is also a big of a reason for what has happened. We also see how Wanda did it and how she made vision. Her grief for the better of her. Also he’d finally seeing the set and reality of it is an amazing scene. Oh shit at the chaos magic and scarlet witch stuff. Overall another amazing episode with the biggest reveals of the show and some incredible things. And the insane cliffhanger at the end.

Episode 9, the finale

Here’s where the big super battle happens. Not a fan of the joke of who Pietro really is. I like how Wanda defeats Agatha and how Wanda has to sacrifice everything she’s ever wanted to make it right. Over-all this is a good finale to a great show.

General thoughts over-all.

I felt this show was an amazing example of what marvel on Disney + has to offer. It’s a creative look at a character that has been in the forefromt of a lot of the recent major events in the MCU, but didn’t know much about. This series fixes that by letting us see Wanda and be with Wanda for the length of 9 episodes. Being a TV series allows us to get to know Wanda better than we have this whole time. 

I really enjoyed how the series used and matched the tropes and expectations of sitcoms throughout the years as a way to examine this broken character. How things get stranger and more interesting as the series moves on and develops. I think they did an amazing job with matching the aesthetics of the years with some specific references to the sitcoms that have inspired the show. I also think that it makes good use of those tropes in when they’re set to show the slow decline of the world they’re in. The best example is using the interview angle of a lot of modern sitcoms to show Wanda’s decline and Vision’s questioning. I think that mixing between reality and the world wanda created is a good move in showing how powerful she is and the possible ways that Wanda could go in the future. 

I think the pacing and the story they’re telling was done very well. This is a story about grief and how you handle it, with Wanda showing what can happen when you don’t have a healthy way to deal with it. And it just so happened to cause others Trauma as well, especially after the blip. 

I think the show did a great job with the characters. Wanda is the stand-out of the series as we get to see how she has been affected by everything, and how she wants to keep a sense of a normal life that she can’t really has. The show also keeps that running theme of Wanda accidentally doing something that affects a lot of people. She is definitely going to be a major player going forward into phase 4. 

Vision is another stand out character as we get to see more of him, as well as his slow understanding of nothing is as it seems, including himself. 

Agatha or Agnes was a fun character when she was acting as a part of the show, but still was a good character when she went full villain. 

Monica was another great character, with her wanting to help save Wanda from herself and from her boss. It was interesting to see her origin story for her abilities that would eventually come. 

It’s fun to see Jimmy Woo and Darcy Lewis back and I think they made a great use of the characters, serving a purpose to the show other than being comedic relief. I hope that x-files type show comes out of it. 

In terms of performances everyone did an amazing job. The mixing of real self and show self and all that was just incredible. I also loved how they were able to match the performance style of each type of sitcom which must have been difficult. Some stand-out performances for me were Wanda, Vision, and Agatha. Elizabeth Olsen did an amazing job with the character, and how she could switch between the different versions of the character within the same scene. I think the same thing with Paul Bethany and Kathryn Hahn. They both did incredible jobs, with Paul playing double duty as Vision and White Vision. Everyone else on the cast also did amazing. 

It’ll be interesting to see what makes it out of the series (here’s hoping Billy and Tommy come back like they do in the comics). Another aspect of the show I enjoyed were the commercials and the intro themes. There are a lot of references there into just how much Wanda is trying to cover herself. THey’re all also funny in their own right. I also loved the kicks reference they snuck in there.

The use of effects in this series was amazing, sure some of the more cg stuff is a little weird, but everything else was amazing. The use of colour to show a bit of reality early on, and the use of the shifting aspect ratios was a brilliant choice to show the difference between the show and reality. 

The music was pretty ok, and the use of licensed music worked well for me. But it does fall a bit into the MCU prat-fall of not being too memorable. 

Now on for some stuff I would have liked to see and some stuff that I felt could have been done better. I would have liked to see a Doctor Strange cameo at the end to fully set up the next Dr. Strange movie, maybe that’ll happen in Loki though. I wasn’t too fond of the joke of who the fake Pietro really is. I kind of wish they did something more with him. I mean he has superseed in Wanda’s world so. Other than that there was some stuff I just wasn’t feeling as much, and I’m not exactly sure what and why.

Over-all this was a great series and a great example of what the MCU shows have to offer going forward. I’d say it’s worth a watch and I give it two-thumbs up!

Also good luck getting that Agatha song out of your head.

Also I would recommend it all at once so that way you can’t ruin the show for yourself with theorizing why stuff is happening or who a character is.