Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Sam Raimi
Before this latest phase of Marvel movies, you would have sounded like a broken record listing off all the great things about it before giving it an above-average score, but the last few movies have wavered a bit in quality with the only real standout being the latest Spider-Man; the one that leans heavily on nostalgia for movies that weren’t even made by Marvel Studios. Still, even prior to the Post-Endgame MCU there was an easily identifiable formula for these things and even the best of the Marvel movies didn’t deviate much from it; including the first Doctor Strange movie which definitely benefited from its mind-bending vision but still fell into a lot of the same pitfalls of other Marvel films at the time. Now it’s sequel time with a veteran director behind it, so perhaps this will be the one to successfully break the Marvel mold and do something unique with it instead of just another really enjoyable entry in the catalog. Can this bridge the gap between the great simplicity of the pre-Endgame MCU and the more experimental phase it finds itself in now, or will it tear itself apart trying to fix what isn’t broken? Let’s find out!!
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) may not be the Sorcerer Supreme since taking that five-year vacation, but he’s still hanging out at the Sanctum Sanctorum and just kinda working on himself. You know, get to know the REAL Doctor Strange, especially since his ex-girlfriend Christine (Rachel McAdams) is getting married and so he no longer has someone to pine after. Geez, this is starting to sound a bit sad. Maybe an interdimensional threat that could rip apart the universe would give him a bit of structure and a clearly defined goal to go after! Well as luck would have it, a young woman named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) is being pursued by the kind of monsters you’d find in a D&D handbook, and it turns out that she has the unique gift of being able to travel through dimensions. Well… sort of. She can’t exactly activate it at will but it always seems to get her out of trouble at the last second, though her luck seems to be running out as the malevolent force that’s pursuing her seems to be getting very close and she’s even gone to a few different Doctor Strange counterparts in those other universes without much luck in stopping this threat. Now it falls on our Doctor Strange to put an end to this sinister chase and stop them from taking her powers for their own nefarious end. For this task, he enlists the help of the current Sorcerer Supreme, Wong (Benedict Wong), as well as Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) who’s been off on her own since that whole Wanda Vision thing happened. Can Strange uncover the identity of this malevolent force that’s out to hurt America, and will he like the answers that he finds? What does Wanda hope to gain from all this, and will it be enough to make her whole after losing so much? I bet they wish they could escape to a dimension where Everything Everywhere All At Once came out the month after this instead of the month before.
Blinded by the Light and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures
Directed by Gurinder Chadha
See, I was confused about this movie when I first heard about it because of the title. Blinded by the Light is a Manfred Mann song, right? I’m not the only one who thought this? Well apparently it WAS a Springsteen song first which either goes to show my utter lack of musical knowledge or just how much THE BETTER VERSION has overshadowed the original. Seriously, they play the Springsteen version at one point, and I was pretty much meh on it. The song NEEDS those chopsticks! ANYWAY! Since Boomer Music is all the rage these days we were surely going to get the Springsteen movie at some point, and for someone like me who barely knows anything about the guy (Baby We Were Born to Run, Born in the USA, and… well that’s about it), this might be the perfect way to educate me about his place is musical history while also telling a compelling narrative about an immigrant family in Thatcher’s Britain since this is apparently based on a true story about a guy I’ve never heard of. A movie about a musician I know nothing about told through the life story of a person I know nothing about. Probably should have done some homework ahead of time, but regardless of all that; is this a good movie about the music that inspired a man to live out his dreams? Let’s find out!
Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra) is your typical Pakistani teenager living in Britain in the late 1980s; facing discrimination from skinheads in the neighborhood and barely getting along with his family at home. His father expects him to get a high paying (and very boring) job once he graduates from college and until then he studies, he works lousy jobs, and he stays away from all the white kids having parties and premarital sex; the only solace from the drudgery being the poems and essays he writes every day. Not for mass consumption of course since his father would never approve, but it’s at least SOMETHING that makes him a little bit happier. If only there was someone out there who can open his eyes to the world he’s missing out on! If only there was a… musical artist let’s say, who understands his plight and can reach him on an emotional level that nothing else has before! Well luckily for Javed, he meets someone at school named Roops (Aaron Phagura) who tells him about… The Boss. Have you heard the good word about The Boss? Well in case you hadn’t heard, The Boss is Bruce Springsteen and he writes music that transcends generation, nationality, and race; so much so that this sad Pakistani teenager gets a new lease on life after two cassettes worth of rock and roll goodness! Can Javed turn his life around and start to follow his dreams instead of living up to the expectations of his father? How will his family react to his new taste in music and the rebellious attitude that comes along with it? Can he REALLY pull off the sleeveless flannel look? Then again, can any of us?
Avengers: Endgame and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
My displeasure of Infinity War is well documented in both my review and the follow up piece I did, so I was frankly not looking forward to this one. Still, the two films they’ve done since then, Ant-Man and The Wasp as well as Captain Marvel, were really great entries in the genre and confirmed that Marvel could still make a great film if they wanted to, and if nothing else it’ll be worth ripping off this Band-Aid once and for all and letting things get back on track before Thanos butting his ugly purple head in. So hey, if I HAVE to be here I might as well try and find something to enjoy about it! Is this the perfect conclusion to not just Infinity War but to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it currently exists, or does the first iteration of this franchise and these characters continue the utter disappointment from the LAST time we saw them? Let’s find out!!
After the events of Infinity War which (SPOILER ALERT) ended with Thanos (Josh Brolin snapping his fingers and wiping out half of all living creatures in the universe, the remaining Avengers are stuck in a world on the brink of collapsing and with no real way to fix things. I mean, they could go after Thanos and kick his head around a bit, especially now that Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) is here to provide some cosmic backup, but would that even fix anything at this point? The real question is whether or not those people can be brought back, Thanos or not, and after some time with no ideas they get a visit from one of the lesser known among them Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) who might just have the answer they’re looking for what with his experiences in the Quantum Realm and all that entails. The remaining Avengers which include Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), uh… whatever name Rhodes is going under now (Don Cheadle), as well as honorary members Rocket (Bradly Cooper and Sean Gunn) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), and a barely held together Hawkeye (Jeremey Renner), now have a mission in place (and a rather odd one at that) to bring things back to the way they were before, but it’s incredibly risky and could actually make things worse if they DON’T succeed. At even less than half their usual strength since everyone is still dealing with the trauma of what happened can The Avengers manage to pull off one more spectacular feat of heroism against the one foe they couldn’t overcome? What dangers will they have to face along the way, and are all of them able to confront them with steadfast determination and the will necessary to succeed? If this IS gonna be the last one of THIS specific kind of Marvel movie… maybe we could get a Star Wars crossover? I mean it’s now or never, right?
Christopher Robin and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Marc Forster
Disney’s recent attempts to cannibalize its previous properties into live action features have been decidedly mixed, and more so with me than with other critics it seems. Maleficent was one of the best movies that came out that year, but with The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast following it up… well let’s just say that this latest outing isn’t coming out with the highest of expectations from me. Still, there’s a lot of talent involved and like Maleficent it’s not a simple remake of another film; rather it’s a reimagining of the material to fit with modern sensibilities and current societal issues. That may sound pretentious, but kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for and if Disney wants to make something that’s at least SOMEWHAT challenging for its core demographics, I’m sure not gonna stop them from trying! Does this story about a grown Christopher Robin manage to get us to the heart of what made Winnie the Pooh such a timeless classic, or is this movie just as cynical and jaded as the man they’re telling the story of? Let’s find out!!
Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is a young boy who spends many afternoons playing the Hundred Acre woods with his friends Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, and Owl (Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Nick Mohammed, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Sara Sheen, and Toby Jones) and of course, Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings as well). However, these idyllic summer days must ultimately come to an end as life has a way of pushing you away from childish things and he heads off to live his life; going to boarding school, dealing with loss, fighting in World War 2, and eventually marrying the love of his life Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and having a child they name Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). All this time however, The Hundred Acre Woods has managed to go on with him; albeit a bit more gloomy from time to time with Pooh still waiting to see if his best friend will ever come back. Well he might have to wait a bit longer as Christopher has to deal with problems at work and with his sniveling boss (Mark Gatiss) who’s forcing him to make ridiculous cuts which could include the jobs of a lot of people if he doesn’t find places to make them elsewhere. Things come to a head as he’s forced to work over the weekend that he had already scheduled to spend with his family in his childhood home and after even more stress and heartache he finds himself in a small park outside his house… where a familiar bear managed to somehow wander into. Will Winnie the Pooh manage to help Christopher Robin find a modicum of peace in his life? Can Christopher learn what’s REALLY important in life before he loses everything? Just how much honey does Pooh need to eat!? He doesn’t even have a digestive system!!
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite and all the images you see in this editorial are owned by Disney, Marvel, and Capcom
So with the announcement of a new fighting game, particularly one that has as much fan service potential as this one, the number one question on everyone’s mind is who they’ll be adding to the roster. Well, since I have my own little platform to scream from, here’s my list of the ten characters they should add to the new game! Oh, and if you notice a lack of Capcom characters on this list, well you should probably read what I wrote about the game’s reveal trailer.
Honorable Mention: Agents of Shield Stage
Look, I love Coulson too, but the characters in this show don’t have enough going for them to take up a spot in this game. All together though, there’s definitely enough there for a really cool stage on the Globemaster where you could have Coulson and Melinda cheering on the action while Leo and Jemma are doing science stuff or whatever. That’d be pretty cool to see, and they’d be able to fit all sorts of Easter Eggs in the background for the big Agents of Shield fans out there! You’re not gonna be able to fit everyone from the MCU in here as playable characters, nor should you, but there are still plenty of ways for them to be a part of this game otherwise.