Samaritan – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a perfect film for Stallone, but it becomes hampered by many factors, including one of the weakest villains in an age.    

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this film.

Joe on his back after getting hit by a car.

Samaritan Review

As we come crashing towards the end of the year, there is still a genre dominating the cinema landscape, superheroes. However, while the DCU flounders and is about to go through a massive rejig, and even the MCU has lost a touch of its lustre, there is space for someone else to do something grand here. With that in mind, we head to the good v bad narrative of the Samaritan.  

So to see the scene, two boys discovered they had extraordinary powers a long time ago, but while learning to control them, people got hurt, and soon the town came and lynched the boy’s parents in a fire. While one boy became Samaritan, a protector, the other became Nemesis, driven by their thirst for revenge. After duelling for years, Nemesis leads his brother into a trap to save the town. Samaritan sacrificed himself to take his own brother down. People still wonder if Samaritan died that night, but Sam Cleary (Javon’ Wanna’ Walton) knows he is alive, or at least hopes so. But when he gets caught up with Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk) and Reza (Moises Arias) and gets stuck in the middle of a beatdown, only one person can save him, his neighbour, the surprisingly strong Joe (Sylvester Stallone).

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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A absolute delight that understands how not to outstay its welcome through charm and joy.   

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy in Knowhere

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review

When you hear the word ‘Holiday Special’, there can be a certain dread. That is because history is littered with failed examples, sometimes infamously failed. In my experience, they are, at best okay. However, today we have a model that might buck that trend.  

So to set the scene, back in the past, we find a young Peter Quill (Luke Klein) and Kraglin (Sean Gunn) setting up their own little Christmas tree on the Ravanger spaceship when Yondu (Michael Rooker) walks in and trashes it because it shows weakness. Back in the post-Endgame, post-ditching Thor present. The Guardians of the Galaxy have bought Nowhere and have started bringing it back to its former prime. However, the gang feels that Peter (Chris Pratt) is still sad about losing the love of his life. Well, it is Christmas time, and Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) have a plan, let’s kidnap Kevin Bacon (Kevin Bacon).  

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a profoundly messy film, but at its heart, it is about grief, and what is grief, if not messy?    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film

A funral procession

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

When it comes to comic book films, even the most jaded person would have to admit that the first Black Panther movie was a cultural touchstone. It would have been difficult to live up to that first film at the best of times, but we can all agree that the passing of Chadwick Boseman is as far as you can get from the best of times. How do you even proceed after that? Well, this is the question we will be exploring today.

So to set the scene, we open in a lab in chaos. The King of Wakanda, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), is dying, and his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is trying everything possible to try and save him. Still, all the technology in the world could not stop the inevitable. The whole kingdom grieves their lost king, but for Sovereign Queen Mother of Wakanda Ramonda (Angela Bassett), it is a wound that cuts deep. One year later, after a continuous meeting in the United Nations, America found what they think was the second source of Vibranium at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. A Navy Seal team is there to secure the site from potential attacks from other nations. However, instead of an attack from above, they should have prepared for what comes from the deep.

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Black Adam – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a film where nearly anything of interest was sandblasted off to give us a bland expedition with some moments of interest.     

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.

Black Adam floats in the ocean.

Black Adam Review

I came into this film with a lot of trepidation. To say that Warner Bros has had a challenging year with its merger would be an understatement, losing nearly any goodwill they had with them. Add to this that the DCEU has struggled with very straightforward hero narratives. How would they go with an anti-hero? But if nothing else, the charisma of Dwayne Johnson is strong, and if anything can help a film, it is that.

So to set the scene, 5,000 years ago, in 2,600 BCW, in the land of Kahndaq, Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson) was chosen by the wizards to stand up to the local despot. SHAZAM, and the palace explodes. In the present, Kahndaq is still under the control of occupiers, and Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) is trying to hide treasures from the Intergang mercenaries when she finds Black Adam’s tomb. He is finally let free, but all that time has not blunted his desire for revenge and rampage. Seeing a potential threat, Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) and the Justice Society Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) try to show him a different path or at least get him to surrender peacefully. But then, the Black Adam is not peaceful.   

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She-Hulk Attorney at Law: Whose Show is This? and Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – Probably my favourite of the Disney+ Series so far, and the first to make the most of the narrative medium it was on.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

She-Hulk Attorney at Law Review

How do you tie up a season that has been so joyfully chaotic as we have gotten so far? Do you bring back Wong (Benedict Wong) because everyone loves Wong? Do you add a splash of Daredevil (Charlie Cox) because people can’t get enough of him? Do you bring in a secret cameo that didn’t get spoiled in the first trailer for the show? After watching it, I can tell you that you did not expect to land where were ended up. In today’s review, we will first look at the season finale and then take a broader look at the season as a whole.

So to set the scene, after trying to take She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) down all season because they don’t like that she is a woman with Hulk powers. In Ribbit and Rip It, the group of assholes finally found their moment to strike when Jen was getting an award for being a good lawyer. While that was happening, they broadcast intimate images taken without her permission, trying to slut-shame her with revenge porn. In that moment of complete degradation of privacy, She-Hulk lashed out at the televisions showing the abuse, but now people see her as a monster, and cue old-timey opening titles. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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She-Hulk Attorney at Law: Ribbit and Rip It – TV Review

TL;DR – Banter, Courtroom Fun, an Idiot Super, and a walk of shame, perfect  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

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

The Los Angeles skylight at sunrise.

She-Hulk Attorney at Law Review

Because we were away at PAX Australia last week, we are only just catching up with things now, so this will be a short mini-review of what I thought was a fantastic episode. Oops, spoilers. I thought it was a good episode.

So to set the scene, Jen (Tatiana Maslany) really likes the outfits that Luke Jacobson (Griffin Matthews) has been making for her that work, no matter if she is Jen or She-Hulk. However, this week, her boss Holden Holliway (Steve Coulter), is making her represent Leapfrog (Brandon Stanley), who claims that Jacobson’s outfit failed him. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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She-Hulk Attorney at Law: Just Jen – TV Review

TL;DR – It’s time for the wedding episode with an unexpected guest.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

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

Just Jen Attorney at Law

She-Hulk Attorney at Law Review

As we reach this middle part of the season, it has been nice to see She-Hulk revel in these smaller character-driven episodes. Where we get some time to get to know what drives the characters and what their motivations are. The good thing this week is that this episode is all that, but also a little bit more.

So to set the scene, while things are going well for Jen (Tatiana Maslany) at work, an unexpected package has put a pause on things. She has been invited to Lulu’s [her high school best friend but since then, they have drifted apart] wedding. This was a moment to show just how well she was doing. Only Lulu (Patti Harrison) insists that there should be no She-Hulk at the wedding. Back at work, Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga) and Mallory (Renée Elise Goldsberry) have to work for a client that calls himself Mr. Immortal (David Pasquesi) because all his ex-wives and ex-husbands just found out he is alive. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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She-Hulk Attorney at Law: Mean, Green, and Straight Poured into These Jeans – TV Review

TL;DR – This week’s smaller episode focused more on setting the stage for the fight going forward.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Titania's ad for her new perfume.

She-Hulk Attorney at Law Review

Looking back at the halfway point in the show, I have to consider how well She-Hulk Attorney at Law nailed the premise from the start. Every episode has been a tight 30min-ish romp through the MCU that also works as a pitch-perfect law procedural. With that strength in mind, we take a kind of pause this week as the show reorientates itself towards that back end of the season.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s Is This Not Real Magic? Jen (Tatiana Maslany) was served with a legal summons to stop using the name She-Hulk because Titania (Jameela Jamil) had trademarked it. On the one hand, Jen was never comfortable with the moniker She-Hulk, but then she is confronted by someone else using it everywhere she goes. But when Holden Holliway (Steve Coulter) makes it clear that she will be out of a job if she does not fix this, well, it is time to send in the lawyers. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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The Sandman: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a genuinely odd series bouncing from one story to the next with the power of a tsunami, yet somehow it all flows together into a grand gothic fairy-tale.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Warning – Contains scenes of abuse and scenes that may cause distress.

The Sandman looks into a sunrise.

The Sandman Review

In 2019, I wrote an article on how we entered a New Golden Age of Science Fiction on Television. However, in the last twelve months, we have gotten, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, House of the Dragon, Shadow and Bone, The Wheel of Time, The Witcher, and more. It is such an incredible rise that I think I need to update my article and explore the new Golden Age of Fantasy on TV, and the next entry into this world is the dark gothic fairy-tale set in the modern world.

So to set the scene, humans go about their day in the real world, but every night they dream, but for some reason, they feel that The Dreaming realm is somehow less natural just because it is filled with dreams and nightmares, and they wake up in the ‘real’ world every morning, well most of the time. The Lord of this Realm is Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), one of the seven Endless, powerful beings that shape all forms of reality. In 1916, when one of his nightmares, the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook), goes rogue, Morpheus takes a rare trip to the ‘real’ world to take care of the matter personally. However, at that moment, an incompetent aristocratic occultist called Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) delves into spells he does not understand because he wants to capture Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) to bring back his beloved son, who was killed in Gallipoli. Still, he gets Morpheus and binds him under his mansion for 106 years. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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She-Hulk Attorney at Law: The People vs. Emil Blonsky – TV Review

TL;DR – Three episodes in, and She-Hulk shows that Disney+ and Marvel have finally nailed what it is to be a Marvel TV Show.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

The super-max prison.

She-Hulk Attorney at Law Review

In the transition to MCU projects on Disney+, one of the big issues that have popped up in the past is that the stories may have been there, but fitting those stories into the TV format might not have been as successful. TV is a very different beast from a feature film, and you have felt that they have struggled to make that leap at times. However, after these first three episodes, I think we can be confident that they have nailed it with She-Hulk.   

So to set the scene, during Superhuman Law, Jen (Tatiana Maslany) struggled to find her place in the world after being fired by the DA’s office. However, she is given a new opportunity when she is offered a job by Holden Holliway (Steve Coulter) at the law firm GLK&H. the only issue is that her first client would be Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) or, as he is more commonly called, Abomination, the guy that once attacked her cousin Bruce (Mark Ruffalo). Knowing she had a strong case for parole, she took the job just moments before footage of Abomination having his cage match in Shang-Chi was leaked to the press. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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