Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a perfectly okay film, it is not one of Marvel’s best, playing it safe, but solid visuals and cast bring it together.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film.

Wanda/Scarlet Witch floating over some candles

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review

Back all the way in 2016, pre-covid times, Marvel released this new film based on a wizard and full of magic. That first Doctor Strange film was full of beautiful visuals and a bunch of fun once Benedict Cumberbatch found his feet. Since that time, we have had 18 different entries into the MCU, and now it is time to jump back into the weird world.

So to set the scene, since the fallout from Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has tried to find some normalcy even though he is famous after the events of Endgame. However, he has to deal with the legacies of his actions or inactions,  including being a guest at Christine Palmer’s (Rachel McAdams) wedding and not a part of it. To say it was awkward, well, that is an understatement. Thankfully the wedding is interrupted by screams from the street as there is a disturbance in New York. Which turns out to be a giant one-eyed tentacle monster chasing after a girl. This is normal for an Avenger, and Wong (Benedict Wong) shows up for the team-up. The only difference is that Strange has seen this girl before, in his dreams, and she was there when he died.

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Moon Knight: Gods and Monsters and Full Series/Season – TV Review

TL;DR – After a while, the show has finally hit its stride, and while I wish it had happen sooner, it was good while it lasted.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

End Credit – There is a mid-credit scene in Gods and Monsters.

Marc and Steven in the Duit

Moon Knight Review

We have come to the end of the complete series of Moon Knight, or indeed just its first season. At this point, it is hard to tell. However, as we have reached the end, it is time to look back at the final episode and how it wraps the series up, and how the season worked from start to finish, all as we explore the world of Egyptian Mythology, Mental Illness, and the underground artifact trade.

So to set the scene,  we follow up from The Tomb & Asylum with Marc (Oscar Isaac) and Steven (Oscar Isaac) being very much dead after being shot in the chest by Harrow (Ethan Hawke) in the tomb of Alexander the Great. There is a chance of getting out, but that fails when Marc gets lost in the Duat and turned into a statue, while Steven finds himself in the Field of Reeds. Meanwhile, back in Egypt, Layla (May Calamawy) has tagged along with Harrow’s entourage, looking for a moment to kill him, when the goddess Taweret (Antonia Salib) speaks to her from dead corpses telling her to free Khonshu (Karim El Hakim/F. Murray Abraham). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

Steven and Taweret in the Field of Reeds.
Oscar Isaac helps sell every moment of this some times absurd film. Image Credit: Disney+.
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Mapping Infinity: The Cartography of the MCU Spider-Man: No Way Home Update – Map-It

TL;DR – We continue our goal to map the Marvel Cinematic Universe by mapping Phase 4 up to Spider-Man: No Way Home

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

Mapping Infinity

Back in 2018, when the Black Panther can out, I took the first attempt to chart the MCU. That first Map was quite basic compared to the work I would do with cartography going forward, but it is a nice step on my cartography journey. We updated the Map in 2019 when Endgame came out, and already New York was getting dense, but we have yet to look at Phase Four. Well, that is something we fix today.       

From the Map, the first thing that should be clear is that we have only charted the locations visited on Earth (Earth-199999 or Midgard, or Terra or Planet C-53, to be specific). So, my apologies to Xandar and Old Asgard in advance that we will not be looking at the greater galactic universe. But it does mean that every film is represented in this Map, though Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 only make one entry.   

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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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The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: Truth – TV Review

TL;DR – It takes what could have been a boilerplate story, and elevates it with emotion and strength.

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.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: Truth. Image Credit: Disney+.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Review

If there is one running theme that we have been seeing so far in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, actions have consequences that can ripple out. We have seen that pop up time and time again, but this week it reveals itself in sharp contrast after the events of The Whole World is Watching and the desecration of a symbol in a moment of anger.

So to set the scene, we pick up right after the closing frames of last week’s episode with John Walker (Wyatt Russell) running from the scene covered in blood and still brandishing the murder weapon. He is trying to justify the unjustifiable when Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and Sam (Anthony Mackie) catch up to him in a warehouse. They both know that after what happened and that John’s best case scenario at this point is that he is not court marshalled, but his tenure as Captain America is over. As they try to talk John down from the cliff and disarm him of his shield, John sees what they are doing and attacks without abandon. 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 Falcon and The Winter Soldier: The Whole World is Watching – TV Review

TL;DR – This episode is like a storm approaching over the horizon. You see it coming, you feel the wind, you know something bad is about to strike, but you are not prepared even then.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no End Credit Scene

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

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: The Whole World is Watching. Image Credit: Disney+.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Review

Many people feel that comic book films are nothing but popcorn trash, just there to fill in time with some pretty colours and then send you on your way. However, when we look at just the Marvel Cinematic Universe [and there is a whole lot more than that], then that statement simply does not hold water. We just watched an entire season of WandaVision exploring the legacy of trauma and what that does to a person. I mean, Thor: Ragnarok is all about post-colonial societies and how they whitewash and inevitably have to rectify with the darkness of their pasts. Sometimes, that means tearing the state down completely. Then it should be no surprise that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier set in a world trying to recover from a great cataclysm would have something of relevance to say, and this week they were most explicit about it.    

So to set the scene, at the end of Power Broker, Bucky (Sebastian Stan), Sam (Anthony Mackie), and Zemo (Daniel Brühl) had arrived in Latvia in the hopes of tracking Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) down. However, they were not the only ones on the hunt because as they arrive at their safe house, Bucky spots Wakandan tech lying around and traces it back to Ayo (Florence Kasumba), one of the Dora Milaje. As she is one of the people that helped Bucky get rid of his programming, she is most upset that he was the one that broke Zemo out of jail. However, as Zemo is just ‘a means to an ends’ Ayo will give Bucky eight hours, and then she is taking Zemo for herself. 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 Falcon and The Winter Soldier: The Star-Spangled Man – TV Review

TL;DR – It deepens the world and brings on the banter.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no End Credit Scene

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

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: The Star-Spangled Man. Image Credit: Disney+.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Review

There are few times that I have seen the internet come together and agree on something. Well, at the end of last week’s episode New World Order, we had such a moment when the world united and went, “That is not my Cap!”. This week we start unpacking that thought (because some of the cast have the same feelings) and look at a world on the precipice.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s episode, the world was introduced to a new Captain America, John Walker (Wyatt Russell). This week we open with a homecoming of sorts as John returns to his old high school with all the pomp one can circumstance. The sight of him wearing Cap’s shield finally forces Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) back together, if only to bicker all the way to Munich. 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 Falcon and The Winter Soldier: New World Order – TV Review

TL;DR – it starts on a high and then mellows into the world we will be in for the rest of the season

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no End Credit Scene

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

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: New World Order. Image Credit: Disney+.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Review

When I think back to my all-time favourite Marvel Cinematic Universe film, at the top, or at least very near, it has to be the Captain America Trilogy with Winter Soldier and Civil War being real highlights. With the end of Endgame, there were many threads in these films that never got resolved. Today, we take the first dive into a show looking to fix that issue, one odd-ball partner cop show episode after another.   

So to set the scene, we open in the skies over Tunisia. Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is needed for a significant extradition job to secure an Army Colonel from a terrorist group. As he intercepts the plane, Sam discovers that it has already been hijacked and has to fight his way on-board before the plane reaches Libyan airspace. Meanwhile, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is in therapy as part of his pardon. But the nightmares of his past as The Winter Solider still haunt his dreams. But there is a rising threat across the world as those looking forward to striking in the blip’s chaos make their first moves. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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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.

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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.

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