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. 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) Review

SO I saw Black Panther Wakanda Forever opening weekend and it’s taken me this long to gather my thoughts. It was a great movie. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers in this review as its a movie that should be seen. Black Panther Wakanda Forever is directed by Ryan Coogler and stars Letitia Wright as Shuri, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Tenoch Huerta as Namor, and Dominigue Thorne as Siri Williams. After the death of King T’Challa, Wakanda must navigate a world gunning for its resources as well as a new power entering the scene of Talokan and Namor. Its really interesting to see how this movie utilizes elements from the first Black Panther movie to help its story and characters deal with the untimely death the character T’Challa, and by extension the death of Chadwick Boseman. It uses these similarities to help the characters and the audience grieve together, as their loss hit a lot of people hard in similar ways. This feeling continues throughout the whole movie and really colours the way the characters act and are motivated throughout. I think it is a great decision to have the movie be this way as it really helps create this sense of vulnerability within Wakanda and to outsiders, and especially to Namor and his new world of Talokan (this universe’s version of Atlantis, which could still exist somewhere). Talokan was an interesting world, different from anything else we’ve seen in the MCU. 

I’ll get a bit more about what I mean the movie uses the formula and elements of the first movie to enhance the story of this one. The movie follows a similar plot structure in that it begins with a cold open of people doing things and than a superpower attack on a military installation of some kind, we get scenes of wakanda talking to the world, introduce the villain, wakandans travel to find someone, there’s a car chase, introduction of a new world to the mcu showing off the people and the culture of this new world, freedom leading to war, a major attack on Wakanda that leaves it in the mercy of the Jabari tribes, herb stuff, that leads to the black panther driving to the jabari to lead the charge. Its a good way to keep that link with the first movie, while allowing it to tell its own story while dealing with the grief that the characters and actors feel.

The characters and actors in this movie are all great. Letitia Wright was great again as Shuri, really got a lot of interesting stuff to work with in this movie character wise. She hasn’t fully moved past her brothers death and blames herself for it. She has lost her faith and becomes angry and vengeful which is an interesting place to take the character considering her family. Angela Basset was great as Queen Ramonda. Tenoch Huerta was great as Namor, perfectly enrapturing the feeling and personality of the character even with the big changes they make to the character. He’s a stand-out character in this movie and gets a lot of great moments. Everyone else does a great job in their roles.

The effects are mostly great throughout this movie, Talokan looks great. Namor mostly looks great throughout, the only iffy spots are the panther suit in this. The fights were great throughout, Namor hasn’t really been nerfed and is shown to be very powerful. The final fight was pretty brutal for a marvel movie which I like. They way they depict his powers is great and the weapons of the people of Talokan are great as well. The music was amazing again.

Over-all this was a great marvel movie that should be seen on the big screen. Two-Thumbs Up !

A bit of a blog update now. I’m going to try to be more consistent again, the halloween thing almost worked out but I wasn’t able to post a last review for it. Than this took me longer to write than I wanted too as I was busy the weekend I saw the movie and got sick and wasn’t able to write anything. Should have some holiday stuff coming up though.

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. 

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) Review

So I saw Thor Love and Thunder recently and I had a good time with it. Thor: Love and Thunder is the 4th Thor movie in the MCU and stars a returning Chris Hemsworth as Thor Odinson, a returning Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor, Taikai Waititi as Korg, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, and Christian Bale as Gorr the god butcher. “After his retirement is interrupted by Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer who seeks the extinction of the gods, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg, and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who now inexplicably wields Mjolnir as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.”

I have to say that I enjoyed this movie. I enjoyed the story they told and the way they told it. This is a movie about relationships, hence Love being part of the name of the movie. You have the return of Jane into Thor’s life, as well as the return of Mjölnir into his life as well. The way the movie reestablishes their relationship is really fun as we get to see how their relationship was before they eventually broke up, and we also get to see how it deteriorated since we didn’t get to see that happen before. It’s really interesting to see how it affected Thor and how it allows for his journey throughout this movie. One thing I will say though is that I wish the movie was a little longer so that we got to see them together more and to see how Thor changes in it. 

This is a movie about Thor learning to love again, starting to move past the trauma of the past few movies and seeing a bit of the old Thor again. He’s fun throughout this movie and has a lot of good moments. Chris Hemsworth is amazing as always as Thor and you can tell he’s having a blast in this movie. This is a really interesting movie for Thor as his journey in it is almost entirely emotional. It’s about him coming to terms with the way he feels and as I’ve said reopening his heart to be able to care about people again. This also brings him around on his inheritance arc he’s been on for the last few movies, won’t say much more to avoid spoilers. 

I also enjoyed the other characters. It was good to see Jane again and interesting how much of her comic story they took and I enjoyed the changes they made as it created this interesting symmetry with Gorr. You can tell Natalie Portman was having a lot of fun throughout the movie and she was pretty good as the mighty thor. 

Gorr was a great villain, equal parts intimidating and scary, as well as kind of fun and over-the-top. He’s pretty sympathetic and I can see why he does what he does in the movie compared to the comics as a lot of the gods in this universe are massive pricks who really don’t care about their followers. Christian Bale is great in this and brings a good amount of scariness and ham to the role. 

Valkyrie was great as always and so was Korg. The other characters were all fun and had good performances.It was cool to see the other gods in the MCU and where we could be going forward with them. It was interesting to see how much of the movie was focused on kids and how the movie was about saving the kids of Asgard. 

The visuals of the movie were mostly pretty good, with some iffy CG here and there when it comes to Thor’s helmet in the movie. It looks off in the trailers and it doesn’t look any better in the movie. Other than that the locations and monsters are all great looking and different. The use of music throughout the movie was great, great use of needle drops and the focus on Sweet Child of Mine by Guns’N’Roses was really well done. The comedy was for the most part good, some stinkers and I think the stuff with the goats was focused on a bit too much. If you don’t like Take’s work you really won’t like this movie though.

Going off of that, I have a few issues with the movie, a lot of nitpicks and things that I wanted to happen. My major issue is that I feel like the movie should have been longer to give things more time to breath and to give us more scenes with the characters interacting. I feel we should have gotten more time with Jane and Thor in this new stage of their relationship before the ending. Plus I think it would have improved the movie if we got more time with Gorr and the characters to show how the events make Thor and Gorr change to the way they are in the end. 

Over-all Thor: Love and Thunder is a fun ride of a movie with some glaring issues. I can see why its one of the more mixed MCU Movies, but I still think it’s good. I give it One and half thumbs up ! 

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!

Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness Review (2022) (spoilers after main review)

I finally saw the movie on Saturday, I say finally as it’s been pretty difficult over the past week to avoid spoilers. The movie is a blast, a real thrill ride. I will start the review soon, but there will be spoilers after the end of this review. There’s a lot that happens in it that I don’t want to spoil, but still want to talk about. I will try my best to give a lot of space between the main review and the spoilers as I feel like this is a movie you need to go into as blind as you can. 

Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Doctor Stephen Strange, Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, Benedict Wong as Wong, Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo. The movie sees Doctor Strange diving head first into the increasingly crazy multiverse of possibilities (as seen recently in Loki, What If?, and Spider-Man No Way Home) when a seemingly regular day is interrupted by the arrival of America Chavez, a girl with myterious magical abilities to traverse the multiverse, as she is being hunted by magical monsters trying to take her powers. 

I really enjoyed the way this story was told and the way it developed. It was kind of surprising the places it went and how early it did. One thing to say about this movie is that Doctor Strange is in it more like a Mad Max style character, he’s a protagonist, but the movie isn’t really about him. It’s more about the establishment of a new hero in America Chavez and a kind of finale for the current character Arc that Wanda has been on since Wandavision.

Doctor Strange does work in this movie, even if he’s more of a vessel for the stories of the other characters. He still goes on a bit of an arc as it’s kind of about him learning and realizing that he can’t have everything, and that he has to accept that as it could result in a lot of bad things happening. We saw something a little similar with a variant of Strange in What If? with Strange Supreme. He continues to learn that there are consequences to actions. He learns from the situations of the other variants that appear in the movie. Benedict Cumberbatch does another great job as Stephen Strange. He gets a lot more to work with in this movie, with having to play multiple versions of the role, and is great in them all. 

The Scarlet Witch is great in this movie. She has changed a bit from the last time we saw her. I don’t want to say too much but it does fit in with what we saw at the end of Wandavision during the Post-Credits scene. I mean I could say some stuff as it’s clear from the marketing that she is the antagonist of the movie. Her reasonings are kind of understandable, especially with the way the Darkhold works in this multiverse. We also get to see just how powerful she is as the Scarlet Witch, even more so than we did in Wandavision. She can also be legitimately terrifying in this movie, there’s some sequences where she is actually scary. I can see people being upset with the way she goes in this movie, just judging from the way people saw her in Wandavision. Especially as for some people it could feel like a left turn, or something that is happening a little too early in this version of the character. Elizabeth Olsen is a stand-out in this movie with what she does and the versions she plays. I feel like she had some fun her with what she gets to do in it. She’s able to play every emotion the character has in this movie very well and effective. 

America Chavez is another stand-out character in this movie. They did a great job establishing her as a character and how she might work in the movies going forward. This movie kind of serves as her coming of age story, as its her learning to trust again and becoming more confident and in control of her abilities. Gomez does an incredible job with the character, bringing the right amount of pathos to it with what she’s been through at such a young age. 

Everyone else in the movie did a great job. Wong was fun as always and even had some badass moments, Mordo was good. I won’t say anything else about performances as the cameos all did great and I don’t want to spoil them. 

The music was pretty good in this movie, Danny Elfman did a great job and brings the right amount of tense scariness alongside the heroic bombastic moments. The effects are all great in this movie, they had a lot to work with and everything looks great. America’s portals all look amazing and keep that glassy look that What If? had established for people with the ability to traverse the multiverse. The multiversal travel scenes were all great, showcasing some really crazy alternate universes out there. The magic showcased in the movie is all great, a lot of creativity here with the sorcerers and their spells. Wanda’s magic looked great as well. Theres a specific battle scene that was really fun and creative with the way it used magic with music. It’s a real stand-out fight in the movie. The action in general in the movie works very well and is pretty good throughout. There’s a specific scene I will not talk about until the spoiler section as it’s another standout scene. The cinematography and direction in this movie is all great, has Sam’s hands all over it. I think it really helps the movie to have a director like Sam Raimi helm it. He brings the right amount of horror elements, as well as bonkers stuff in it. He also brings a lot of evil dead stuff to the movie, which is all great. 

Over-all Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness is a fun romp through the multiverse. See it in the theatres, if not for how good it is, do it for the cameos. 2 Thumbs Up ! Coming next, my Moon Knight review !

SPOILERS

Wow a lot happened in this movie, if you don’t want to be spoiled this is the last chance to avoid seeing anything else that happens in this movie. Also this part is gonna be full on train of thought word vomit being typed out. Which admittedly isn’t to different than my regular reviews

My goodness Sam Raimi was the best choice to direct this with how it went. Scarlet Witch is full Evil Dead, terrifying villain in this. Like the scene where she attacks Kamar-Taj and slaughters a majority of the sorcerers there, to the scene where they show why the Mirror Dimension should not be relied on even more after Spider-Man. How the Witch is able to use it against them and the scene where she emerges out of the, I think it was a gong, is insane with how she comes out. I think its interesting that Marvel let Raimi and Waldron turn Wanda into a full villain after the success of Wandavision, but I don’t think it’s the end of the character, even though it kind of feels like one. She’s fully a villain in this one, I mean she basically possess another version of herself and slaughters a lot of people and robots. I do like how its that that shows her how far she’s gone and how they end up defeating her. Showing to her that she can never truly be the mother she wants to be with what she’s done and what she was willing to do. 

Although I do wonder what the Derrickson version of the movie would have been, maybe it would have featured a character we hear about in this movie for the first time. It was cool to see Mount Wundagore for the first time in the MCM. With that we also get the first mention of the creator of the Darkhold and the Scarlet Witch, Chthon. I think one of my issues with the movie would have been solved if Chthon was more apart of the movie, a true corrupting influence over anyone who touches the darkhold. It would have helped explain why Wanda seems to have changed so much since Wandavision, other than just the influence of the Darkhold itself. Especially since it’s so corrupting in every universe, every universe version that has touched it has become worse. We get to see in live action something we only saw in What If? as well, with showing what happens when a universe has an incursion and is destroyed.

Speaking of Incursions, we get introduced to the people that discovered it, one universes version of the illuminati. This one made up of the cameos spoke of earlier. We get to see Maria Rambeau as Captain Marvel, the live-action debut of Haley Atwell as Captain Carter (also from what if), Mordo as Sorcerer Supreme, The MCM Debut of Reed Richards (here played by John Krasisnki), The return of Ansen Mount as a comic accurate Black Bolt, and the MCM debut of Charles Xavier played by the legendary return of Patrick Stewart. He’s even in a cartoon accurate yellow hovercaair too ! It was cool to see these characters here, even if they’re here to up The Witchs body count. This was an incredible scene, with Reed getting turned into Spaghetti, Carter getting cut in half (impressive considering what she survived in What If?), Rambeau being crushed by a statue, and Black Bolt going out like a chump. That was kind of sad to see such a powerful character go out the way he did, but then again the inhuman don’t matter much to the current MCM stuff. Especially after the response to the Inhumans show. Though to do multiverse stuff we can always see them come back. 

I do enjoy how a through line of the movie is that you can’t always get what you want, it’s a major part of both Stephen and Wanda’s development in this movie. We get to see 4 versions of Strange in this movie, 5 over-all in the MCM if you count Strange Supreme from What If ? and every single one has had bad luck in their relationship with Christine, every single one does not end up working out. We also see the Darkhold’s influence in how it’s corrupted at least 2 other Stranges. 

It was cool to see how Evil Dead it got, we got at least a couple scenes of this. There’s new designation of the main universe matching the comic’s 616 Witch dream walking into the illuminati universe version. Then there’s the one with the dead body of the Strange seen at the beginning of the movie, being possessed by the 616 Strange and resurrected due to having his soul in him. That was cool to see a full on Deadite looking strange doing magic with the damned guardians I guess you can say.

Now coming back to issues, dream walking introduces some (god I hate to say this) plot holes into the movie. With the Darkhold’s ability to dream walk into other versions of ourselves, why wouldn’t Wanda just do that to be with her children again. She’s doing this all for them, even though for 616 Wanda they don’t really exist at least not yet. Also another issue is that the first time we see her she is still doing a hex, which can go against her development from Wandavision. Which is why I wished that we had more of Chthon in it as than we could have a reason why she’s doing what she’s doing. Maybe Chthon is possessing her in some way and that’s why she is so dark in this movie, and why she decides to destroy all versions of the Darkhold. Maybe Chthon is trying to get the Witch to get America’s powers to be freed from the dimension it’s in. It would help with how hearing and seeing the children can kind of break her out of her spell. 

I can see where people have issues as it does feel like the character skipped some portion of their story with Wanda. But I think it’s important to remember that it can’t be too different than what Marvel wanted to do originally with this movie as they still signed off and allowed it to happen and to go the way it did. Again I don’t think that this is the last we’ll se with her, we’ve seen her survive worse and even then, multiverse baby!

Thats it for spoilers, again it’s a great movie and I can’t wait to see what happens in the future with these characters. And I hope Sam Raimi stays around for the eventual sequel. I can say that this does give us a glimpse into something that is likely coming in the future with Secret Wars, and how America could be a major part in that in some way.

Ok this is really it for spoilers, again great movie, go see it.

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. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home(2021) Review

So I just got back from seeing Spider-Man and it was amazing. I’m gonna try to keep this short so I avoid spoilers and possibly later on at some point have a spoiler post. I was considering doing them at the bottom of this post but I would rather do a separate post with them in it This is a film that you really need to go into with no prior knowledge of the story to get the full experience from the film. I try not to pay attention to a lot of what is said out there, especially during the making of the movie and I still had some stuff ruined for me. It’s still a really good movie though, with a lot of strengths. 

The story and plot were really good and went into interesting ways that I was not expecting. It was really interesting to see how this movie in a way broke down Peter as a character into his basics and is going forward with that. It’ll be interesting to see where the series takes him in the future, with the way it leads him and the rest of the characters at the end of the movie. 

The characters were all great in this movie. The heroes, the villains, the friends, everything was great. I really enjoy what they did with the characters and where it leaves them at the end of the movie. I find it interesting how we got more of Dr Strange than I was thinking we would get. He was very interesting as the hard mentor trying to teach Peter a lesson that he needs to be taught on his own. Peter in this movie is amazing. Probably Tom’s best performance as the character with how much shit he goes through. I would call this movie almost the full origin of the Spider-Man we all have known with the way he ends the movie. I enjoy how the situation in the film is almost entirely his fault and he becomes the solution. 

Everything else in the movie is great as well. The score is great, the effects are great, the cinematography is really good. The fights scenes are incredible. The fights are brutal and Peter really gets beat up in this movie. The rest of the action is really good as well. The humour in the movie also worked pretty well for me. It really fit the tone of the universe as well as the characters. 

I really enjoy how they turned Jonah into an Alex Jones type figure. 

Over-all I’d say Spider-Man was really good and is well worth the watch. It’s a fun ride that goes in ways you don’t expect and creates an interesting head to the Spider-Man Home trilogy. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite movie of the year (I think that’s Dune at the moment), or MCU/Marvel movie, or even Spider-Man movie but it is up there. 2 Thumbs up, go see this when you can. Admittedly with the current COVID situation that might not be a while for some people. 

I left this for the end because it doesn’t really have to do with the movie itself. My biggest issues with the movie are more to deal with the experience surrounding the movie. The theatre experience over-all was mostly ok, the audience cheered and clapped at certain points which can be fun, though the people next to us talked the whole way through. My other biggest issue is that this movie is a victim of the internet. I’ll probably do a post on this someday, but the constant need for people to find out every little detail about this movie kind of ruined the experience a bit as in the end so much about the movie is out there and I kinda hate it. Like let people be surprised we don’t need to know every single thing about a movie. 

Also I lied earlier I’m gonna spoil a bit through raving about what happens…….So Spoilers incoming.

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It was really cool to see a lot of the old spider-man movie villains back. We get the best of both worlds with not having to establish new versions and it really works in the movies favour. Seeing Molina back as Doc Oak was great and by god was Willem Dafoe incredible as The Goblin. He’s a highlight of the film as both Osbourne and Goblin. He beats the breaks off Peter and is amazing. His new costume is amazing as well, without the helmet it allows Dafoe to really play it up and is probably scarier in this movie. I love how in both their fights they Power-bomb each other and Gobby even gives Peter a spine-buster Arn Anderson would be proud of. I really like the use of the older spider-men and how it’s like they are taken from their time now. They have a great chemistry together and it’s cool we get to some updates to them and how their lives have gone in the time since their last appearances. They’re also where a lot of the comedy comes from, and their stuff works really well in the movie. I kinda want a Disney + series or some sketches where Maguire and Garfield are reacting to the adventures that Hollands spider-man has gone on. 

I like how this movie is a much better version of One More Day, it takes the main concept of that storyline but does away with all the aspects that make it infamous. I also like how it uses the story to turn Peter into the one we know and love from the comics, but here it’s kind of new as this is his first time this way. He’s broke, alone, living in a shitty apartment with a homemade costume. We get to see them do science stuff together and it’s so good. 

The Dr Strange stuff is really good here as it ties into the current major idea of this phase so far which is the multiverse. We get some cool imagery and Peter even uses his neediness to his advantage in the fight with Strange. I also like how the trailers do hide some of the stuff from the movie in it so they don’t fully give away everything. The post credit scenes are pretty interesting, one is kinda funny but leaves us with something interesting (which will be interesting to see where it leads going forward) and the other is a teaser for Multiverse of Madness which is INSANE. 

But yet overall a great movie and end to the trilogy.