It took me a bit to think how I felt about Eternals mostly due to it feeling like a very weird mishmash of ideas that are either not fully developed, done poorly or done very well. I got excited for this one mostly due to Chloe Zhao being attached to the film as the director, after seeing her films and her previous film Nomadland which went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. The results for what Chloe Zhao can do with an MCU film is very promising and something I would love to see…sadly we only get a bit of that here. For starters the film itself relies on the characters which is perfectly fine, the problem is a lot of them aren’t that well developed at all. I do want to make it clear that one of the movie’s biggest strengths is the diversity, as a lot of people have pointed out it is very refreshing to see and it’s very commendable. Of the cast that stood out Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani (although he sort of gets the short end of the stick towards the end), Barry Keoghan, Lauren Ridloff Brian Tyree Henry and Harish Patel all did a pretty solid job in their roles given what they worked with. Unfortunately just isn’t there to support some of the characters, as much as I liked Angelina Jolie’s character Thena she is given development but for the most part she’s kind of reduced to the “strength of the team” element, Lauren Ridloff’s character Makkari I truly wish was given actual development perhaps maybe in the future MCU films, still she’s a fun character despite given very little development. Brian Tyree Henry’s character Phastos got a ton of development and he’s by far one of the best, there’s a lot to like about his character plus there’s some actual quite emotional moments with his character. Kumail Nanjiani’s character Kingo and Harish Patel I thought were actually some of the strongest parts of the film, the jokes the duo both tell are actually quite amusing as opposed to the other jokes in the movie that really hold the movie back. Barry Keoghan’s character Druig I thought was very interesting, I do wish they did a little bit more with his character but for what they did I thought it was decent. It will be very interesting to see what they do with him going forward. Lastly there’s Gemma Chan’s character Sersi who I really thought was your traditional main hero type character, it wasn’t anything bad just not anything special. Hands down the best part about Eternals is the filming, it’s absolutely gorgeous and is the best MCU film when it comes to filming. What kills Eternals is that it still feels like a product, it’s a shame because I remember a little bit after Nomadland won best picture I remember reading a few articles saying “Chloe Zhao will have creative freedom for Eternals” yet it only feels like she only got a little bit. There were quiet moments for the characters and actual meaningful conversations between them. However the plot being a complete mess, the villains being incredibly dull and a lot of the traditional Marvel humor that they like to shoehorn into the movie doesn’t feel like creative freedom at all. I truly think Eternals would have worked better as a series, it would give each of the characters a lot more time to develop, it’s very unfortunate with the way Eternals turned out. Because somewhere in this movie there is a good movie, it’s just unfortunately crammed in with a lot filler and missed ideas.
Shang-Chi was definitely a surprise for me, from the trailers they really played this like your typical MCU origin story that was going to just sort of exist and that would be the end of it. That is not the case with Shang-Chi in fact it does far far more than just being an origin story! The cast does quite an incredible job Simu Liu, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Meng’ er Zhang and Michelle Yeoh especially! Speaking of which Tony Leung Chiu-wai is great as the villain which is Mandarin. He’s one of the better MCU villains that actually got development although it could have been a bit more. The action scenes are what really make this movie, particularly the combat which a ton of scenes use martial arts. One scene in particular (if you have seen it you will immediately know which one I’m talking about) is truly beautiful, the filming, the acting and marital arts. It all adds into that scene to truly make it standout and turn it into something the MCU really hasn’t done before, Shang-Chi also does have a lot of heart as well as there are some very touching moments between the characters. Writing wise the first two acts in particular are very strong, some of the best of phase four in the MCU so far. The flaws come in with the final act which while it’s definitely not bad, it feels a little bit rushed at times and sort of falls apart in a lot of moments. The CGI has it’s weird moments where it’s quite great while in others it doesn’t look so great. But overall Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a huge surprise for me, director Destin Daniel Cretton did a very solid job with this film! Definitely check it out!
Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings is now in theaters!
Loki is the third of the MCU shows on Disney+ and it’s hands down the best one yet, it took me awhile to finally sit down and actually come up with a review for this show due to figuring out what I ultimately felt about this series. Let’s start with the performances which I thought were all really strong, Tom Hiddleston once again does a fantastic job as Loki and arguably the best he’s played Loki in the MCU so far. I personally thought he was on a whole other level here, it’s possibly due to the script that gives Hiddleston a lot to work with and turn much as he can into something truly interesting. Hiddleston’s chemistry with Owen Wilson in particular was a standout whenever the two were on screen together there was bound for jokes that were actually quite great, some interesting back and forth dialogue and some character moments. Speaking of which Owen Wilson does quite a great job here, I’ve always liked Wilson being in more dramatic roles, what’s interesting in this case is how the balance of comedy and drama really works. One doesn’t over due the other both blend very well together and this is the type of series it really works, finally there’s Sophia Di Martino who does quite a fantastic job I’m very excited to see what they do with her character as the MCU goes forward (as well as Season 2 of Loki). She really brings a lot to the show and her chemistry with Hiddleston is top notch, each of the episodes felt different and unique to one another. I will admit the series did take a bit to get going towards the beginning but once it got off the ground it stayed in the sky, the final two episodes in particular are some of the highlights. Everything that it’s been building up to starts to happen and then we finally get to the final minutes of the last episode…which is easily some of the best the MCU has ever done. It has a huge reveal and a “oh crap!” moment that really shows that phase 4 of the MCU has just begun. Loki is what is going to cause some movies that are coming out soon or next year to take place. It’s truly an effective moment that really changes everything. Overall the series itself is quite fantastic, this is definitely something to go into without knowing too much, it’s definitely one of the most interesting parts of the MCU so far!
All the episodes of Loki are now available on Disney+
This is another case where studios will make a sequel out of almost anything, The Hitman’s Bodyguard was generic action comedy that had good actors in it (Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson) they had great chemistry but that was about it. The sequel Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is more less the same thing, except a few new cast members are added and the jokes aren’t as funny. Morgan Freeman definitely phones it in and it’s very telling from his role, the chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson is at least still decent enough. There are jokes that do land but the problem is that it takes awhile to get to said jokes, a lot of this movie is just a whole lot of nothing. The action is fine I guess but it really isn’t anything to write home about. I really don’t have much else to comment on, as I said it’s almost the same thing as the first movie only that this one is slightly weaker.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is now available on all VOD Platforms!
Batman The Long Halloween, Part Two is almost identical to it’s predecessor only that this one has more action than drama. Which is exactly what I expected and quite frankly what most people were expecting, like it’s predecessor the voice acting, animation and the dark atmosphere are all really strong and make this movie standout as well. Despite having a lot of action there is also a lot of great character moments that do help in the character development area, the action scenes were quite great as well. Not much else to say, as I said everything I said about the first movie can be applied to this one, so if you loved the first movie you will definitely love this one.
Batman The Long Halloween Part Two is now available on all VOD Platforms!
I know it’s very cliche to say “who asked for this”but it most definitely applies here, Rock Dog was some bad animated movie that came out in 2017 and soon after it’s release it disappeared. I guess someone thought it was a good idea to make a sequel which is ultimately a very pointless one. The animation is extremely cheap it heavily reminds me of those Youtube kids videos animation which is not a good thing, the movie reuses tons of character models as well. The writing is garbage and the story is very predictable, what else do I really need to say? It’s Rock Dog 2 a sequel that nobody asked for.
Rock Dog 2: Rock Around The Park is now available on all VOD Platforms!
A Black Widow solo movie was an obvious choice to happen at some point….it’s too bad it happened way too late. With that said Black Widow is one of those MCU movies where I lost interest for quite some time until maybe a couple weeks before it’s release when I became interested. Black Widow unfortunately does very little to change up anything in the MCU, I’ll start with what I really liked because I certainly don’t think this is a bad movie by any means. The opening I thought was actually pretty well done combined with the cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit (which was actually used in the trailer for The Gallows) was pretty great and a very dark atmosphere to it….it’s just a huge shame the rest of the movie couldn’t live up to that. Florence Pugh gives a fantastic performance and is the reason why I would say to check it out if you want. She has so much power in her role and really delivers whenever she’s on screen, she continues to show why she’s one of the best actresses working today. I will give Black Widow this it definitely makes me excited to see Florence Pugh’s future in the MCU. Finally there’s a few action scenes which I liked nothing mind blowing but a lot of fun and then the end credit scene which I won’t spoil but I found it interesting. Now on to the problems I had with Black Widow, for starters the movie itself felt like it was playing way too safe to the point where it starts to dip into below average territory. The pacing was dreadful combine that with the running time that goes by painstakingly slow and it becomes a very uninteresting movie. The writing while it does have it’s moments is really nothing special at all, the biggest problem however is with the villain “Taskmaster” which is another case of the MCU taking a fantastic villain that has so much potential and completely failing. The only way I’m going to be able to talk about this is if I give some slight spoilers so skip if you haven’t seen it! Anyway the reveal of Taskmaster is completely ridiculous it’s a character who had a total of 3 lines in the entire movie, I am all for changing the character however said character must have actual development and build up which isn’t what happened here. It’s the equivalent of Roy Burns being reveled as the killer in Friday The 13th: A New Beginning a character who had a total of one scene (as far as I remember). So seeing this happen in Black Widow is very baffling to be quite honest, finally there’s the rest of the cast which all do a fair job but nothing absolutely spectacular Rachel Weisz I will say other than Florence Pugh is another standout! Overall Black Widow is one of the movies in the MCU that really could have been more, however they went with the safest option. Being safe is not always a bad thing and I get the MCU is going to have it’s not so good movies like any other franchise. However by the end Black Widow only leaves you with being excited for Florence Pugh and not much else.
Black Widow is now in theaters and on Disney Plus Premier Access!
It seems like every single person and their grandmother is throwing their hat in the ring when it comes to superhero movies, so here’s Ben Falcone’s attempt at one because why not? Thunder Force starts out promising enough but then quickly falls into the typical Ben Falcone Melissa McCarthy comedy, every single element, joke and more are in this movie that were in his previous movies. Thunder Force might not be as painful as Tammy or as bad as Superintelligence but oh god that doesn’t mean anything. Octavia Spencer does a fine enough job heck even Melissa McCarthy isn’t too bad this time around. The problem is the writing plus just how forced and terrible it really is, all of the jokes are the exact same thing it’s either Melissa McCarthy falling over (wow we have never seen that before!) or a joke that goes on for a painfully uncomfortable amount of time to the point where it just gets awkward. Jason Bateman gives a “it’s so bad it’s funny” performance which I guess is welcoming because the rest of this movie is just not funny. The superhero elements aren’t anything interesting either a lot of it is just very surface level which is fine I wasn’t expecting anything incredible. But the movie doesn’t do anything fun with it, there could have been something here if there was an entirely different handling this movie. But it’s basically another Ben Falcone plus Melissa McCarthy comedy…
Before I begin as always this is a NO SPOILER REVIEW! So first a bit of background history, as you know Zack Snyder stepped down from filming Justice League due to his daughter’s tragic suicide. Joss Whedon took over and what came out was a movie that was missing a lot of scenes, felt rushed, was way too tonally different in different parts of the movie and was overall a gigantic mess. The Snydercut took awhile to come out but luckily it did, some people may not know this about me but I’m a huge fan of lost media and seeing it be found. The Snyder Cut fits into that category very well, with that said before going into this movie I was a lot more interested in the movie as I was excited for it. But I love surprises and the Snyder cut really surprised me, I was originally a bit concerned about the running time but this is some of the fastest four hours I’ve sat through. Some major differences from this movie and the 2017 cut are a lot of Cyborg and The Flash’s character development which is absolutely incredible. Especially with Cyborg, Ray Fisher knocks it out of the park and brings such a emotional and powerful role into the film, his story is really fleshed out and makes you care about Cyborg. Where as in the 2017 cut Cyborg just felt like an afterthought, the same can be said with Erza Miller they did a great job in their role and brought a lot of life in The Flash’s character! The rest of the cast does a really solid job as well except for a few….Amber Heard’s role shows once again that she can’t act, luckily she isn’t in the movie for that long! The other being Jared Leto who still is not a good Joker, he’s barely in it luckily but those few minutes he is there doesn’t help him out. Part of the problem is Ben Affleck and Jared Leto have no chemistry whatsoever so the whole dialogue just felt very awkward. One of the best things about the Snyder Cut is Steppenwolf’s character development, which was nonexistent in the 2017 cut but is shown quite a lot here. It does a good job of making the audience take him seriously as a villain, plus when you add Darkseid into the mix you got yourself some great villains! The action scenes are a lot better as well, much more detailed, much more story to them and context as well. Which leads me to why the Snyder Cut is much better…context. The 2017 cut felt like a bunch of out of context scenes mixed together which is why it was a complete and total mess, but you get the full context here, the full reasons why certain events are happening, why certain characters chose certain actions and so much more. The difference is night and day that the Snyder Cut is basically it’s own movie. The only main criticism I have with the movie is I do feel the epilogue went on for a little too long and you did feel the length of it during that segment. They could have trimmed the epilogue a bit and kept everything else, because that’s only my major criticism. The rest of the film is quite incredible, I’m not the biggest Zack Snyder fan out there (this is definitely his best film since the Dawn Of The Dead Remake) but I have always appreciated him as a person and always found him interesting. He did such an incredible job here and I can’t wait to see what he does next, I’m glad his vision eventually got released even if it did take awhile. I highly recommend checking this one out!
Synchronic is a very decent Sci-Fi Thriller that really shows some huge talent from Anthony Mackie and surprisingly Jamie Dornan as well as the rest of the cast! The direction from Justin Benson director of The Endless and Spring (both fantastic films) does a really great job of creating a very solid and thrilling atmosphere. Synchronic does take awhile to get going, but once the movie gets going it’s a very fun experience. The writing is a lot of fun with some great moments that build the atmosphere, while Synchronic might be weaker than The The Endless and Spring it’s still a solid movie that I recommend checking out.
Batman Soul Of The Dragon is the newest DC animated movie, I have a love and hate relationship with these movies. They either go in one or two ways either they are good or they are bad. Soul of the Dragon is pretty alright it has some decent action scenes and some pretty decent characters to back it up. The movie is heavily flawed however, the animation is really not that great. Especially when you compare it to a lot of the other DC animated movie’s animation this looks just terrible in comparison. My other huge issue is Batman is just sort of there, sure he does get involved in the story but he really doesn’t do much. I wouldn’t mind this that much if the villains were interesting…sadly they aren’t. They are the most generic villains you could think of, it’s a huge shame because I understand what the movie was trying to go for. Which was something very simple but unfortunately it doesn’t quite hit. Soul of the Dragon definitely is not a bad movie, it has a ton of fun moments and as I said some of the other characters are interesting this is just one of those DC animated movies that really does not standout all that much.
I think the biggest question that should be asked here is “What the hell happened?” Wonder Woman (2017) I thought was a very strong film and for awhile was my favorite of the DCEU (until Birds Of Prey came but Wonder Woman is still my second favorite) I was very open to the idea of a sequel but that’s until the trailer hit where I knew they were going to go a completely different route from the first film. Way more cartoonish and removes a lot of the silent and strong character moments that the first movie had. I’ll start with what I liked, by far the best thing this movie has going for it is the score. Hans Zimmer did quite a great job with it and the music does match certain scenes. There’s a few action scenes I liked while not exactly great they were fine enough to have fun with, Kristen Wiig I thought actually did her best with what she had to work with (even though her performance was honestly not good) Pedro Pascal at least seems like he’s having fun with role, he’s not good don’t get me wrong the role does not match him at all. But at least he’s trying his best….everything else is just very disappointing. The first 10 minutes really suckers you into believing that you are going to be getting something similar to the first film but that’s not the case. Gal Gadot just did not do a good job here, I’m not exactly sure what happened in between the first movie and now but the difference is very noticeable, Gal Gadot just doesn’t bring the strength she had in the first film. There were nowhere near the amount of strong emotional moments that helped the first movie, a lot of it felt bare minimum character moments that don’t really don’t add to anything. Kristen Wiig as I said before I thought was fine enough…that’s until she turned into Cheetah, I understand they had to throw a well known villain into the film. But good lord Wiig’s transformation to Cheetah appeared at the last 15-20 minutes of the film, it really felt like an afterthought like it wasn’t even planned to be in the movie but someone said “we need to throw in a well known villain” writing wise there is absolutely nothing here that brings anything new to the table, it’s the same typical comic book movie writing that’s been done to death. The writing lacks character growth, no real progression or anything memorable. I almost forgot to mention Chris Pine who looked like he did not want to be on set, sure there were moments when Pine and Gadot had some chemistry together but those were very far and few in between. I really wanted to like Wonder Woman 1984 I really did, but there was way too much sticking out like a sore thumb that can’t be just ignored. This is what happens when comic book movies do the absolute bare minimum and don’t try to do anything else.
Secret Society Of Second Born Royals is basically X-Men for a much younger audience mixed with a ton of Disney Channel original movie elements. There really isn’t a whole lot to comment on, the acting is what you would expect…terrible outside Peyton Elizabeth Lee which is hands down the best part about this movie. The writing plays way too safe to the point where it becomes predictable and really bad. It really doesn’t do anything besides repeating plots that’s been seen in far better movies. The third act feels very rushed, it feels like they had no more ideas so they went with the most predictable third act they possibly could. While the movie is very bad and I highly recommend not watching it…for the most part for a very young audience it’s harmless enough. The biggest problem with it is it really serves no purpose, it’s outclassed by X-Men and Sky High and is overall very forgettable. This could have honestly been so much worse but that doesn’t make it anything worth looking into.
Tate Taylor is a very unbalanced director it’s nice that he tries several different genres but most of the time his attempts turn out terrible. Sure he’s had some success with Get On Up (which is really great) and The Help (although I am not a fan of The Help but it is one of his better movies) but then you have stuff like Girl On The Train where it’s clear that creating a thrilling atmosphere is his struggle (Ma is at least fun and does a bunch of things right) Ava is one of those movies where if you have seen at least one action movie you have already seen this one. Jessica Chastain (for whatever reason is in this) is definitely the best part about it, but honestly she isn’t even that good in it either. Ava tries to copy off of almost every action movie that has been releasing in the last 3 years have a few recognizable stars and have one of them be the badass character. The problem is the action in this movie isn’t good, it does nothing to separate it from the crowd. The score consists of mostly one song just played over and over again in different styles, trust me it gets very annoying quickly. It would be one thing if the song was you know good..but that’s not the case here, it’s a piece of music that really isn’t that exciting or interesting. Ava is also yet another action movie trying to be John Wick but completely fails at it, mostly due to the action scenes which as I said before aren’t exciting at all and have no depth. The character development is barely in there and just filled with cliche characters and the writing just isn’t there to back the movie up. Overall Ava is a terrible action movie, give this one a pass.