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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Ms. Marvel: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – While there were issues with the villains, I found Ms. Marvel to be an absolute delight from start to finish.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a Mid-Credit scene at the end of the final episode, No Normal.

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

Kamala stares across at New York city.

Ms. Marvel Review

If there has been one consistent part of the MCU’s Phase Four, it has been the franchise swinging wildly all over the place, trying to find its feet in a post-Endgame world. Not all of these swings have worked. Some started strong but slipped by the end. Others tried packing everything and the kitchen sink, and some floundered around before finding their feet. However, some of these shows taking a gamble have stuck the landing. [Though I should say that it is remarkable that given these times of COVID and trying to film in this uncertainty, it is a credit to all the artists that they have all been engaging so far because none of the Disney+ shows has been bad] When I first heard about Ms. Marvel, I wondered where it would land in this spectrum. Still, after that first episode aired, I knew I would enjoy the ride.

So to set the scene, Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) is an average teenager going to school in Jersey City with her friends Bruno (Matt Lintz) and Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher), living with her family Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff), Zenobia (Mohan Kapur), and Aamir (Saagar Shaikh), and attending her local mosque where someone is stealing shoes. Like many teenagers, Kamala is struggling to find her place in the world and with parents who don’t understand her passions. One day her grandmother Sana (Samina Ahmad) sent a bunch of things, including a bangle, the perfect thing to go with Kamala’s Captain Marvel costume. The only issue is when she put it on, she started displaying powers she had never had before in a roomful of people, all with mobile phones out filming it all. 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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Thor: Love and Thunder – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it was missing some of the substance of the last film, I found Thor: Love and Thunder to be a fun romp through the galaxy.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

Thor sits under a tree as four suns set.

Thor: Love and Thunder Review

I don’t think I have made it any secret that I found Thor: Ragnarok one of the best films in the MCU, and indeed a film that I will always sit down and watch when it is on. But I thought this would be a one-off because of some unwritten rule that stops solo films after three outings. Well, call me surprised when it was announced that we were getting Thor 4 because that was probably the best news out of this somewhat fractured start of Phase 4.

So to set the scene, we open in on a parched land as Gorr (Christian Bale) and his daughter Love (India Hemsworth) walk one step at a time, praying for deliverance from their god Rapu (Jonny Brugh). But there is none to be found as Love dies from exposure. Gorr is beside himself when he hears voices in the wind and stumbles into an oasis, where Rapu is having a glorious feast and does not give a hoot about Gorr or his daughter. In that moment of horrific destruction of faith, the Necrosword appears in his hand, and he slays the god and begins a campaign to exterminate all the gods. Meanwhile, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been hanging out with the Guardians of the Galaxy, trying to find his place in the world. When Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) calls out, Thor comes to her aid and discovers that a mad man has their next target, New Asgard.

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Morbius – Movie Review

TL;DR – A soulless husk of a film that is barely made watchable by the fact that at least Matt Smith is having fun  

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There are two mid-credit scenes

Disclosure – I was invited to a screening of this film

Morbius. Image Credit: Sony Pictures.

Morbius Review

There are moments when the credits roll, and you sit back in your chair and wonder, what did I just waste my time with? Then, of course, you immediately go, well, maybe I am having a bad day, perhaps the film is targeting a different audience, or did I just miss something. But then you look around and feel the audience’s tone and discover that you are not alone with your disbelief. Well, today, we have a film that, when the credits rolled, a whole room of people collectively shrugged at the very meh-ness that they just watched.

So to set the scene, 25-years ago in Greece, two boys who needed three blood transfusions a day to live met in a clinic. The head of the clinic, Emil Nikols (Jared Harris), discovers that young Michael (Charlie Shotwell) is a prodigy and gets him into a private school, and he promises his friend Milo (Joseph Esson) that he will find a cure. In the now, Michael (Jared Leto) takes a helicopter ride to a cave in Costa Rica to capture some bats that only feed on blood. He is hopeful that inserting bat DNA into a human might cure him and Milo (Matt Smith). It works … but at what cost? Well, a boat full of mercs, at least.

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The King’s Man – Movie Review

TL;DR – A war film that does not know what it wants to say about war   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

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

The King’s Man. Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

The King’s Man Review

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the first entry into this universe with Kingsman: The Secret Service. I even liked the follow-up Kingsman: The Golden Circle, though I may be alone on that front. So when I heard that there was going to be a prequel, I was interested but also concerned because revisionist histories can land like a thud. And after watching it all, I’m still not sure.

So to set the scene, we open in South Africa, 1902 with Orlando Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and his wife Emily Oxford (Alexandra Maria Lara) arriving at British Concentration Camp during the Boer War. They were inspecting the facilities for the Red Cross and meeting Lord Herbert Kitchener (Charles Dance) when a sniper kills Emily in the crossfire. 12-years later, the world is careening towards war because a mysterious force is pulling strings behind the scenes, pushing King George of Britain (Tom Hollander), Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany (Tom Hollander) and Tsar Nicholas of Russia (Tom Hollander) into conflict.

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Spider-Man: No Way Home – Movie Review

TL;DR – In every way, this film stuck the landing, but I can’t help but feel that part of the ending didn’t sit well with me.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene and a post-credit scene that you do not have to stay for

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film

Spider-Man: No Way Home. Image Credit: Sony Pictures.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Review

It has been a while since I have seen a film with so much hype building before release like I think not even Avengers Endgame had this much pressure behind it. As I walked into this film, there was a fear that they would never be able to stick the landing because there was such wide expectations as to what this film was meant to be. However, now that I have seen and had some time to ruminate on it, I think they were able to stick the landing, which is almost remarkable.

So to set the scene, in the closing moments of Spider-Man: Far From Home, internet conspiracy nut J. Jonah Jameson (J. K. Simmons) revealed doctored footage alleging Spider-Man was a murderer, but also showing to the world that Spider-Man was actually Peter Parker (Tom Holland). The adverse reaction is immediate and vicious as public opinion shifts against Peter even though he did nothing wrong. The response is so bad that even his friends MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) can’t get into college because they are caught in the blowback. Not wanting his mistake to hurt his friends, Peter makes a trip to 177A Bleecker Street to meet Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Strange promises to cast a spell, so everyone forgets that Peter is Spider-Man, but things go badly wrong. Okay, so this is a difficult film to talk about because you can not really discuss it without getting into spoilers at a frighteningly quick pace. So with that in mind, we will give some general impressions and then dive into full spoilers.

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Venom: Let There Be Carnage – Movie Review

TL;DR – At least everyone is having fun this time around  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

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

Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Image Credit: Sony.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review

The first Venom film was a bit of an odd duck. Like you could see the gears turning in the background, and it was clearly apparent that they found the film’s tone in the editing room and not behind the camera. This led to there being moments of interest in a sea of banal origin faff. Now that they had found their tone, I was interested to see what sort of film they could make, and if nothing else, this is an improvement.

So to set the scene, at the end of Venom, the titular Venom (Tom Hardy) was killed, saving the world from the invasion of other symbionts. However, he is not actually dead but is still hiding inside Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). Still reeling from the news that Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) is engaged, Eddie is invited to hear the final confession of notorious mass-murderer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). However, when Cletus bites Eddie, he takes more than just blood, creating something monstrous.  

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Hawkeye: Never Meet Your Heroes – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a strong foundation, with exciting characters and some nuanced acting.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Hawkeye: Never Meet Your Heroes. Image Credit: Disney+.

Hawkeye Review

To be honest, if there was one of the new MCU shows that did not interest me at all on the announcement, it was Hawkeye. I am not sure what it was that cooled my reception to the series, but it fell completely flat, that is until I saw the first trailer. In an instant, I got what the show was about and went from not interested to engaged very quickly and now, seeing the first episode. I think I was right in that assertion.   

So to set the scene, it is 2012, and a young Kate Bishop (Clara Stack) is listening in on her parents because all is not right with money. But before she has time to process that, her world explodes as the Battle of New York is fought around her. It is here where she first sees Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and after the death of her father (Simon Callow), she convinces her mother (Vera Farmiga) that she needs to learn archery. Today, a now adult Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) is sneaking into Stane Tower for a bet … and accidentally destroys a bell tower in the process.   

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – Movie Review

TL;DR – The cast was terrific, the action was tight, and it was funny to boot.   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Image Credit: Disney.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Review

I walked into Shang-Chi with a little bit of trepidation. Marvel has not had a good track record when delving into this realm, with Iron Fist being the low point, but even Dr Strange didn’t get everything right. But this time, Marvel was not just dipping their toes into this genre. It was diving all the way in. Thankfully those trepidations were for nothing as they have nailed it.

So to set the scene, we open with the story of Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung), who discovered a mystical set of ten rings. These rings gave him tremendous power and eternal life, and he used that to take control across the world, both actively and from the shadows. In 1996, he started his mission to claim the one realm he had not concurred, but his expedition to Ta Lo failed with him being the only one alive. At the gates to Ta Lo, he expected to find a guardian. He didn’t expect to find one that outclassed him in every way or that he would actually find love. He and Ying Li (Fala Chen) go home and start a family, but it ends in tragedy. In the modern-day, their son Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) goes by Shaun and works as a valet in San Francisco with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina). It is a quiet life, right up until they get attacked on a bus by a bunch of goons sent by his father.

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Black Widow – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film with a great cast, strong banter, engaging action, but the third act does not capitalise on all these.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

Black Widow. Image Credit: Marvel Studios.

Black Widow Review

Back when Spider-Man: Far From Home came out in July 2019, I don’t think anyone knew just how long it would be before we got another Marvel film up on the big screen. Well, just over two years later, it is time to dive back into this world by going back to a time just after Civil War.

So to set the scene, we begin our film in the deep dark days of the far past, the 1990s. In Ohio, we are introduced to a completely average family, normal except for the fact that it is entirely manufactured and the father Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour) and mother Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) are Russian spies. They are here to steal secrets from SHIELD (well, HYDRA pretending to be SHIELD). One emergency flight to Cuba and the family is split up and forced into the Soviet machine. Years later, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is now on the run after Civil War, and it just so happens to be time for a family reunion.  

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