WandaVision: The Full Series (Season 1?) – TV Review

TL;DR – A show that intrigued me from start to finish

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.

WandaVision: The Full Series (Season 1?). Image Credit: Disney+.
WandaVision: The Full Series (Season 1?). Image Credit: Disney+.

WandaVision Review

While Marvel has dabbled in long-form storytelling tangentially connected to the MCU before with the Agents of Shield and the Netflix universe of Daredevil and others, these were always created in a sort of cauterised and closed off worlds all to themselves. This, of course, reflected the internal Marvel divisions of the time where Kevin Feige headed the film department, but Ike Perlmutter controlled the TV. Well back in 2019, all of that shifted as TV shifted under Feige’s control, and for the first time, all of it was under one house. Our first look at what that will be has come in the form of WandaVision, which we will look back on the full season today. 

So to set the scene, we open sitcom entrance style where we see Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) arriving at a new town of Westview. A newly married couple is settling into a small town where they are pretending that she is not a witch and he is not an android, but an average couple. Everything is going well until their neighbour Angus (Kathryn Hahn) comes over and helps Wanda plan her ‘anniversary’, which leads to a dinner party that hints more is going on in the sleepy town of Westview. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

Continue reading

WandaVision: The Series Finale – TV Review

TL;DR – A beautiful conclusion to a fascinating series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this episode.

WandaVision: The Series Finale. Image Credit: Disney+.

WandaVision Review

When we started WandaVision all the way back with Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience, I’m not sure we knew where we were going to end up. However, after many twists and turns, we are here in the finale. With that in mind, let’s dive into the final episode of Marvel’s first real attempt at long-form storytelling in the MCU.

So to set the scene, in last week’s Previously On, we got a trip down memory lane as Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) tried to work out how Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) was able to build the world from scratch. We found out that Wanda is actually the fabled Scarlet Witch because she can create matter out of nothing as she did with Vision (Paul Bettany). Of course, she makes this reveal while threatening to kill Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne), which bluntness the reveal’s overall reverence. Meanwhile, Vision is flying back after having his history told to him by Darcy (Kat Dennings), Fake Pietro (Evan Peters) captured Monica (Teyonah Parris) snooping around the house, Agent Woo (Randall Park) is the only good guy left outside The Hex, which is essential because SWORD has activated the cataract program which reinitialised Dead Vision’s body creating White Vision (Paul Bettany). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some MAJOR [SPOILERS] ahead.

Continue reading

Pacific Rim: The Black – Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a show with a lot of potential that would have worked a lot better had it not stumbled in critical places.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.

Pacific Rim: The Black. Image Credit: Netflix.

Pacific Rim: The Black Review

When you hear that there will be an American Animation TV Series, done in the style of a Japanese Anime, based in the Pacific Rim universe, and then set in Australia, well, that is an exciting combination if I have ever heard it. Good or bad, you want to see how it works. With that in mind, let’s dive into this fascinating if flawed world.

So to set the scene, we open in the days after chaos erupts across Australia as rifts open up the centre of the continent. After a valiant fight, it becomes clear that Australia is lost, and the call to evacuate is put out. Everyone had five days to reach Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, or Sydney. While trying to help with the evacuation, one Jager team stays back to stop the Kaijus because their children had yet to leave. They tried to get to the evac point, but they were too late. Instead, they took the group of civilians back to their home base Shadow Basin which was also destroyed. The parents left everyone behind in an oasis and leave to go to the coast to get help. Five years later, Hayley (Gideon Adlon) and Taylor (Calum Worthy) have a fractured relationship as their parents never returned. However, one day Hayley fell down a metal hole and discovers that not all of Shadow Basin was destroyed, with the Atlas Destroyer Jaeger and its AI Loa (Erica Lindbeck) still there. But that discovery becomes a beacon for all the danger in the world. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

Continue reading

WandaVision: Previously On – TV Review

TL;DR – This week walks us through the past as it ratchets up the emotion

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a Mid-Credit Scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this episode.

WandaVision: Previously On. Image Credit: Disney+.

WandaVision Review

Last week I came into the episode with so much lift only to feel pretty meh about most of the episode right up until the last five minutes when it took it its delightful but yet menacing turn with “It Was Agatha All Along”, which coincidentally has been stuck in my head all week long. With that being said, it means I went into this week’s and also penultimate episode with a little bit more hesitation than I had all season up until that point.

So to set the scene, throughout last week’s episode Breaking the Fourth Wall, we got hints that something was about to come to ahead. Wanda’s (Elizabeth Olsen) magic was misfiring, Vision (Paul Bettany) was getting his life told to him by Darcy (Kat Dennings), Monica (Teyonah Parris) made it back inside The Hex gaining powers in the process, and Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) took the twins and did something with them while revealing that she is actually Agatha. This week, we start by jumping back in time to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1693, where we get to see a very different witch trial take place? Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some MAJOR [SPOILERS] ahead.

Continue reading

Judas and the Black Messiah – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a film that continues to show that Daniel Kaluuya is one of his generations best actors      

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Judas and the Black Messiah. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Judas and the Black Messiah Review

There are moments when a film is perfectly timed with what the world is going through, and after the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest movement, it was the perfect time to take a look back in time at the Black Panther movement. This film delves into a difficult time and explores the intersection of revolution and government control in America.

So to set the scene, we open in the FBI’s halls as its Director J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen), who is railing against a Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya) of Chicago who has the power and charisma to unite many of the different anti-government movements across the country. FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) is looking for a way to get a mole into the local Black Panther organisation that Hampton leads when William “Bill” O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield) falls into his lap after being caught impersonating a federal officer, and now they have their Judas.    

Continue reading

In The Land Of Lost Angels – Movie Review

TL;DR – An intimate exploration of a crime as it unwinds across the days.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

In The Land Of Lost Angels. Image Credit: The Filmbridge.

In The Land Of Lost Angels Review

In my exploration of cinema outside of my traditional Anglosphere, today I have another first. I think my previous investigation of Mongolian Cinema began and ended with watching The Hu on YouTube. Today, I take the first steps to fix that by looking at this brooding work of cinema.

So to set the scene, we open in the dark of a Los Angeles night. Ankhaa (Tumursukh Erdenemunkh) is on the phone back home telling everyone not to worry because his new job pays well, but clearly, this is not quite the truth. Along with his friend Orgil (Iveel Mashbat), they go through the motions of setting something up, including purchasing a gun, much to Orgil’s surprise. You are not sure where this is going, right up until they grab Scott (Mike Cali) from his car and slap a ransom note to the window.  

Continue reading

Tribes of Europa: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a fascinating world that I think that we have only just scratched the surface of.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

Tribes of Europa: Season 1. Image Credit: Netflix.

Tribes of Europa Review

When you think of post-apocalyptic shows or movies, you think of drab banner expanses of nothing where only the best like Mad Max Fury Road can make shine. But that is one of the many different pallets of the world could take. In Tribes of Europa, we get a very different type of post-apocalypse, even if there are some familiar elements.

So to set the scene, in 2029, a worldwide blackout called Black December destroyed civilization as we know it on the planet. The Nation-State as we know it today crashed a burned with thousands of micro-states emerging in their wake. In 2074, those micro-states have started to war over the former lands of Europe or, as it is now called, Europa. It is here where Liv (Henriette Confurius) and her family Kiano (Emilio Sakraya) and Elja (David Ali Rashed) see a plane crash while out hunting an event that would shift the balance of the continent. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

Continue reading

WandaVision: Breaking the Fourth Wall – TV Review

TL;DR – A difficult part 1 of a show that you won’t know how well it lands till next week.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a Mid-Credit Scene

WandaVision: Breaking the Fourth Wall. Image Credit: Disney+.

WandaVision Review

If there is one thing about WandaVision that we could say, it is that each week has pushed the boundaries of the show. Time after time, I was left feeling in awe about what I just watched. Well, this week, I’m not sure about that, and I don’t know if that flows from the structure of the episode or its content.

So to set the scene, and the end of last week’s All-New Halloween Spooktacular!, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) was forced to dramatically increase the size of the Hex to save Vision’s (Paul Bettany) life as he had left the protection of The Hex and had started to disintegrate. This absorbed most of the SWORD base and personal sitting just outside, including Darcy (Kat Dennings). As we crash into this week, we have jumped into the 2010s, but something is not right as parts of Wanda’s house start reverting back in time. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some MAJOR [SPOILERS] ahead.    

Continue reading

The Little Things – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A film where the lack of consistency and drive leave you wondering what went wrong.   

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Little Things. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

The Little Things Review

There are times when you see a cast list and a concept, and you have a level of excitement because all of these factors should lead to a solid film. However, this is not always the case as there can be a myriad of reasons what a film does not stick the landing. Well, today we look at just such a movie filled with Oscar-winning actors that all seem to be in different films.

So to set the scene, we open with a young lady driving home down a dark street in an isolated stretch of the Southern Californian countryside. Then a car approaches from behind and forces her off the road near a diner. As she bangs on the closed doors for someone to hear her, the assailant opens the boot of his car to retrieve a bat and duct tape. The next day we come to Joe “Deke” Deacon (Denzel Washington), a Kern County Deputy Sheriff, and someone clearly too old to be in such a low position. He is tasked to drive back to his old posting in Los Angeles to pick up some evidence for a court case. When there, he is roped back into his old homicide department by the new guy LASD Det. Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) because there is a murderer on the loose.

Continue reading

Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie – Movie Review

TL;DR – An improvement on this style of story, but an odd juxtaposition holds it back.   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie. Image Credit: Netflix.

Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie Review

 

One way that Netflix has tried to differentiate itself in an increasingly bifurcated market has been the implementation of ‘choose your own adventure’ films. These echo back to an old style of storytelling, but while the nostalgia has been interesting, none of them has been able to nail the technique so far. However, if anyone has a shot at it, it would be Bear Grylls for the entertainment factor alone.

So to set the scene, we open in a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa, where we find Bear Grylls (Bear Grylls) running from a lion only to reach his car to find it locked. We then jump back earlier in the day to find Bear inspecting a fence to see that something had broken through and that the fence that should be electric is not working. You have to fix, the power, find a baboon, and stop a lion all before a storm comes in.

Continue reading