Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

REPOST: Wandavision, created by MARVEL Cinematic Universe: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Just over three weeks have passed since Thanos was defeated and half the universe was snapped back into being.  Wanda and Vision are pursuing an idyllic life in the rural town of Westview, New Jersey.  But things may not be what they seem as the couple’s world changes bit by bit from vintage black and white sitcom to modern television.  What is going on with Wandavision?  And is everyone safe?

General Information:

-Genre: Mixed Sitcom, Superhero

-Creator: MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters and story created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, and John Buscema

-Length: 1 season, 9 episodes (episodes vary in length from 29-49 minutes for a total of around 6 hours)

-Rating: TV-14 (mild violence, mild use of alcohol, mild frightening and intense scenes, superhero action, use of witchcraft and the occult in the context of superpowers, very mild innuendos of sex in the context and style of vintage sitcom tropes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription)

-Main Cast: Elizabeth Olson, Paul Bettany, Debora Jo Rupp, Fred Melamed, Katheryn Hahn, Teyona Parris, Randall Park, Kat Dennings, Evan Peters

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

Episode 1: Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience

Such an excellent rendition of 1950s sitcom cinema. From the sets to the costumes and even the time period effects the whole episode just screamed vintage television.  Everything seemed to fit the 1950s like they were intending but with some twists.  It is so nice to notice the small details like the costumes that set the two of them apart from the others around them.  I hope that they are going to continue this through the series.

I am loving the fact that they have made the effects fit the aesthetic of the episode!  They are on the side of cheesy which is exactly what they would have been in the 1950s. From the flying plates to the entire kitchen exploding.  All practical effects. The costumes are completely on point.  Most of the other characters are in darker colors and patterns but Wanda and Vision are in lighter and/or solid colors.  It’s a very subtle way to show that they are somehow different or Other in the world they are in.

There is a subtle red tint to the whole episode.  Like the black and white isn’t the true black and white of old television.  I wonder if this was intentional or not.  I do like that they changed the aspect ratio of the episode to take on the feeling of watching it on an old 3:4 television.  It adds to the authenticity of the episode.

The set is also incredibly familiar.  Like it was pulled directly out of a sitcom from the 1950s.  Leave It To Bever…or maybe The Dick Van Dyke Show.  I’m not sure exactly but it is incredibly familiar.  They just did such and incredible job with putting everything together.  If I wasn’t familiar with the characters, it honestly could have been on television during that time period.

There seemed to be a little break in the illusion at the end of the episode at the dinner party.  Something is defiantly going on.

Also the fact that there are commercials is so great.  Little nods to things like Vision being called a human toaster and Stark Industries.

Episode 2: Don’t Touch That Dial

I loved the 1960s Bewitched vibe going on in this episode. 

The costuming and sets are still on point and it is really cool to see how they continue to set Vision and Wanda apart in their clothing.  From the pants that Wanda is wearing to the fact that vision is in slacks and a sweater.

The commercials are great too. More mentions of side bits and characters.  Baron Von Strucker as a pocket watch.  Interesting choice.

I’m also really interested about how the overarching story is going to play out since we got to see some of the out of place items in color.  The move to color television near the end of the episode is interesting too. I had to look it up and found it interesting that in Europe color TV was mostly standardized in the 1960s.  The symbol on the side of the helicopter was familiar too.  I’m not sure where I have seen it…maybe in Captain Marvel…or another more recent MARVEL film.

The moments throughout the episodes that are inherently 1960s are just lovely and are very distinguishable by those who are familiar with this era of cinema.  From the laugh tracks to the music playing to the animation of the intro and Vision’s insides to the effects that Wanda uses to make the magic act more “normal” for everyone.  Its really interesting to see the cracks that are forming in whatever is going on in the world. From the cut in on the radio and the blood to the little moments in the act that they have to cover up.

Wanda being pregnant at the end is really interesting too.  I know that Vision and Wanda have two children in the comics…eventually.  I’m kind of surprised it is happening this early in the show.

And what was with the beekeeper….and the rewind.

Episode 3: Now In Color

Woohoo. We have hit the 1970’s.  So many little homages to this era of television and wonderful little tropes like the overflowing washing machine and sink, getting the nursery ready, the pipes in the ceiling bursting…

The commercial in this one is funny too.  Hydra Soak.  So silly. 

I loved the little “camera trick” of Wanda putting something in front of her belly and SUDDENLY no one could tell she was pregnant. The doll from the Brady Bunch makes an appearance.

And the sets continue to change along with the clothing.  The Brady Bunch house makes a BIG appearance here.  So distinct. The effects are still right up there with the practical and fitting the time period that the episode is set in. 

 And those moments when Vision is on the verge of figuring out what is going out are just getting worse and worst. I’m honestly not sure what will happen when or if he actually figures out what is going on.  She wound it back again… like she doesn’t want Vision to figure out what is happening.

And who is Geraldine.  She seems like she doesn’t quite fit with everything that is going on around Wanda and Vision… the other characters have a certain affect to them.  They seem rehearsed. And when something goes “wrong” they panic.  But Geraldine.  She seems out of place.  She knows more about Wanda…and Pietro.  And apparently Ultron.  Who is she and who does she work for?

And now we are in wide screen… what is going on?

Episode 4: We Interrupt This Program

Oh goodness…now we get to see what is actually going on outside of Wandavision.  I’m beyond impressed with all of the subtle little things that they show is doing to show different times and different styles.  The morphing of the margins to indicate what realities we are in.  Its nice to have gotten the background of what is happening in the real world.  But now I have questions…

Monica RAMBEAU?!?! As in MARIA RAMBEAU’s DAUGHTER? As in CAPTAIN MARVEL??? And S.W.O.R.D????

And the town doesn’t WANT him to go in?  What the hell is that about?

And what made the force field…was it Wanda or something else?

Are the episodes continuing beyond what we are seeing?  Darcy does say “once an episode”… and “Monica has a speaking part NOW..” like there is way more that we aren’t seeing.   Do we see all of the important details, but Wanda is broadcasting to the outside world? Why are we only getting one season of 6 or so episodes?  I want to be as invested as Darcy is on this. I want to see more of the details of what is going on.

This very much feels like it’s a way for Wanda to deal with that happened to Vision.  As we clearly see with the moment of her truly seeing Vision dead….

This is really just bonkers.  But the twins are really cute.

Episode 5: On A Very Special Episode….

1980s here we come. Maybe with the early 1990s thrown in.  Defiantly enjoying the cracks that are happening and seeing how Wanda is dealing with the grief that she is obviously struggling with.  The last five years since the first snap.  Losing her twin brother…losing the love of her life…. The final battle with Thanos.  It’s clearly taken a toll and we are seeing how she is dealing with it.

I’m still really loving the nature of the sitcom and how, as we move through the decades, we are getting more and more of that feeling.  Very Who’s the Boss vibes in this one.  And we get to see a lot more of the issues that Wanda and Vision are having despite the fact that things seem to be going alright overall.

Reality is kind of starting to hit really hard for Wanda.  It’s really interesting to see all of the little breaks that are going on and just how dangerous Wanda really can be.  I’m really worried about what is going to happen when Vision finally sees what is going on with the whole world they are trapped in.

Wanda is insanely powerful.  She is literally rewriting reality. Very smart for Monica to try and use the technology from the time period the “show” is in to try and infiltrate the Hex.  The amount of power she has is off the charts…and Monica stands up for her which is incredible.  She knows that Wanda is just grieving.

Poor Vision.  He can’t remember who he was…who he is.  She obviously isn’t all powerful if she can’t give him back that.

She RECAST Pietro?  Nice little nod to the times MARVEL has done things outside of Disney…

Episode 6: All-New Halloween Spooktackular!

The late ‘90s Dennis the Menace and Malcom in the Middle vibes in this one.  I love the “breaking the 4th wall trope”.  it’s something that we have continued to use in cinema to this day especially in television.  The whole “reality tv” or “kids’ program” idea that is going on with this shows that the kiddos are going to be so much more important in the long run to this whole show.  I hope that they are actually alive and not just a figment of Wanda’s imagination.

The COSTUMES! They are in the costumes from the comics!  I love that they made a nod to this in the show.  The original Scarlet Witch Costume is one of my favorites…and is one of the most covered of the female superhero outfits.  And Quicksilver’s is great.

The Claymation “go-gurt” commercial is incredible.  And is a little terrifying.  But I defiantly remember commercials like that.

The further that Vision goes out of the center of town the less of an active hold that Wanda has on things.  Its basically a ghost town out there with everyone doing just enough to stay alive.

Something about Hayward is hinky.  I’m not liking the fact that he is hiding things from the team.  He obviously has more to him than meets the eye.  That coupled with the fact that he won’t listen to and kicks Monica, Jimmy and Darcy out of the facility do not bode well with what is going on overall.  Does he even care about what is actually happening or just on getting Vision back?

Agnes is also suspicious.  There is something about her that doesn’t seem right…its off… I’m not sure why.  But now Vision has so much more information than Wanda ever intended.  I’m not sure if this was all just an act or if Wanda really has a good grip on her as a person.

Is this Monica’s Origin Story?  It would be super interesting if they compacted everything she goes through to become Spectrum (and eventually taking on the mantle of Captain Marvel).

Oh no.  Vision cannot step past the barrier.  This isn’t going to end well for him if he tries.  We get to see the twins get some of their powers as well.  That is an interesting twist to see.  The fact that they writers included them at all, let along gave them their powers.

Now to see just how powerful Wanda really is… dang…. That is one way to save Vision…

I’m also super interested in how Darcy is going to help with everything along with Monica and Jimmy.  It’s just a very multi-layered situation that is going to take a lot to unfold.  I really am not liking Hayward. 

Episode 7: Breaking the Fourth Wall

Modern Family!  Not my favorite sitcom but kind of cool to have the feel of the Office… very typical of the sitcoms that went on in the early 2000s.

I love that the kids are in the colors their comic counterparts are dressed in.

Wanda is obviously incredibly stressed.  Its clear she can’t hold onto the whole world she is built (and now expanded).  She is about to lose it.  The things under her control are starting to revert or change through the time periods she has created shows for.  She isn’t broadcasting any more. And she is super depressed.

And, of course, the commercial will be about depression meds… oh yay.  Nexus.  Very Doctor Strange.

Ooo…Billy can’t hear Agnes.  She’s “quiet”.  That is interesting.  The “Ralph” trope is great…and hilarious that it is still going on.

Did we just get Spectrum’s origin story?  I hope so.  Monica is badass.  Carol was right when she told Maria she got the bravest kid.

Go Darcy!  I hate that she has to be the one to tell Vision what happened to him and his past.  That is not something I would want to have to do because its so much.  He and Wanda have been through so much.

Hmmm…. who and what is Agnes up to? Where are the kids?  And what is in the basement?

Oh yay… this is very occulty. And magic spell ish.

“Who’s been messing up EVERYTHING? It’s been Agatha all along!”  Catchy tune.

An after-credit scene: Pietro is a bad guy too…or at least being manipulated by Agatha.

Episode 8: Previously On

It’s the “flashback” sitcom episode.

I guess we are going to get a lot of different backstories here.  I like that we are still getting some of the traditional sitcom tropes even in the “real world”. Every good sitcom that is getting cancelled has a “flashback” episode.

Agatha is definitely not a good witch.  She has stolen her magic in the worst way possible.  By betraying her coven.  That is so not okay.

It’s remarkably interesting that the rules of magic apply in the MARVEL world.  I don’t know much about how magic works in the comics, but the ideas seem to be the same as what I’ve learned as a Pagan.  Only witches that make the protection spell (be it out of runes or standard spell work) can use their magic within the circle.  Quite noteworthy that the writers of both the comic and the show might have pulled from real witchcraft to get the rules.

Wanda is on another level.  If Agatha (who has been studying for over 300 years) cannot fathom the amount of brute power that Wanda has.  She must really be full of raw strength and talent.

Now we are going to get Wanda’s origin story.

Yeah…this is going to hurt.  We know the basics from the movies but to actually see how loving her family was.  How much they cared about each other and tried to make the home happy and warm despite what was happening outside in their country.  It makes sense how and why they were radicalized.

Agatha has some interesting takes on who exactly Wanda is.  But I’m not sure how correct she is with the observations.

 Its not clear in the movies if Wanda had powers before Hydra and Strucker got ahold of her.  All we know to this point is that she was experimented on and somehow ended up with the powers she has.  The Mind Stone works in mysterious ways.  It could have given them to her by unlocking part of her brain that we all have inside.  Or it could have just opened the door to drawing what she was predisposed to be.

Oh maybe we will get to see what actually happened on that tape that Hayward manipulated.

That is beyond manipulative.  Not just the fact that the video was manipulated to show Wanda as the aggressor.  There was so much more going on.  He had to have planned out the timing and having Vision being decommissioned at that exact moment.  There was FIVE years to do that.  We know Wanda was snapped away…so why did it take S.W.O.R.D FIVE YEARS to decide to decommission Vision.

So much raw emotion.  I can’t believe that she and Vision had bought land for a home.  Away from everything else.  They had plans.  They wanted to grow old together away from everything.  Their love was and is one of the things that I hate got taken from us with Thanos and his stupidity.

Agatha knows just where to hit Wanda too… there is definitely more than meets the eye with her and this idea of a Scarlet Witch.

After Credit Scene: WE GET WHITE VISION????? WHAT THE HELL?!?!

Episode 9: The Series Finale

This is going to be fun.

We have several battles going on.  Vision vs. White Vision.  Wanda vs. Agatha. Monica vs. “Pietro”.  The Boys vs The Military.  Jimmy vs. Hayward… which may be my favorite battle in the show.  We will see how everything pans out.

And we have now seen RALPH… another little “sitcom is ending” trope.

The boys are coming Wanda! 

Ah….so much in this episode.  I guess I’m going to have to go battle by battle overall.

Wanda and Agatha first: Agatha is horrible.  She is great at manipulation.  She is great at physical magic and psychological torture.  At least Wanda tries to be good and let people out of the Hex. And tries to destroy Agatha.  The magic is incredibly strong.  And we are finally getting Scarlet Witch…the real one.  Damn.  Get wrecked Agatha!  This is why you don’t teach people lessons… then they can use that knowledge against you.

Vision and White Vision: Oh.  Vision with the LOGICAL argument.  The Ship of Theseus argument.  One of my favorite logic arguments. What truly makes something that thing?  If the ship is being destroyed by rot and being replaced plank by plank when no original plank remains will it still be the Ship of Theseus?  And if the rot were taken from the planks and the ship reassembled free from rot is it the Ship of Theseus?  Are they both the ship and yet not the ship?  So what make the ship real.  What makes us real?  Fascinating argument and leaves room for Vision to return…and to be with Wanda later.

Monica and “Pietro”/Ralph: Monica just needs to take him out…and there she did.  Bam.  Where is she off to next.

The Boys and the Military: So well done… and I love that Monica showed up and helped to save them.

Jimmy and Hayward:  I love that Jimmy bluffed his way to getting ahold of Hayward.  Thank goodness the FBI was able to get to where he needed him.  WOOT! Darcy finally made it!

I cannot get over the fact that we all knew Wanda was going to be Scarlet Witch but she never actually was called that until now.  Her costume is INCREDIBLE…and her powers more so.  She’s beyond powerful.  I wonder how that will play out in the future.

Oh this is going to hurt.  One last bedtime.  One last goodbye. As she sets everything to rights.  I hate that the boys aren’t “real”….they were just her creation just as her Vision was.  Thanks. I didn’t need my heart today.

After Credits Scene:  I’m psyched that Jimmy is doing well with authority.  And that Darcy just took off.  Hopefully, we get to see more of her.  Ooooo…that’s a good set up for Monica. Major implications that she is going to become Spectrum and show up in Captain Marvel 2.

After Credits Scene 2: Wow.  Nice set up for Doctor Strange and the

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, MARVEL, Read Me

The Kid Who Collects Spider-man (The Amazing Spider-man #248), written by Roger Stern: a Comic Book Issue review

Synopsis:

Timothy Harrison is a one-of-a-kind kid.  9 years old, bright, funny…loves Star Wars, The Mets and he COLLECTS Spider-man.  In fact, he has the largest collection of Spider-man memorabilia of anyone in New York.  A trunk full of articles, photographs, film reels…even flattened bullets from a robbery that Spider-man thwarted. 

What he doesn’t have is his greatest wish.  The chance to meet Spider-man FACE TO FACE.

General Information:

-Genre: Comic Book, Superhero

-Author/Illustrator: Written by Roger Stern, Illustrated by Ron Frenz, Terry Austin, and Christine Scheele, Lettered by Joe Rosen

-Number of Pages: Full Issue- 24 pages, Story- 11 pages

-Main Characters: Spider-man, Timothy Harrison (The Kid who Collects Spider-man)

-Where to Read: Marvel Unlimited! (iOS and Android), support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

This is by far the best Spider-man story that I have ever read.  It may even be the greatest story of Spider-man ever written.

Timothy Harrison is absolutely lovely.  He’s a great kid.  Like any other 9-year-old kid he loves a lot of great stuff like Star Wars and sports, and superheroes.

But what really gets me is how connected Peter Parker is with him is such a short time.  When he appears in Tim’s room of course there is the disbelief that any kid would have when confronted by their favorite person of all time.

I love the moments between Spider-man and Tim in this short story.  The two of them interacting is just pure innocence and perfection.  Between the web swing and looking through all the memorabilia that Tim has and Peter recounting some of the stories for him is just so cute.

But when Peter actually took off the mask and showed Tim who he was…that was when I lost it and I knew that something wasn’t right.

And when my heart fell apart.

The writers and illustrators for this story did such a good job piecing everything together to have you fall in love with and feel so deeply for Tim in such a short amount of time.

11 pages of a comic and your heart is shattered when you learn that he has cancer and dies after meeting Spider-man.

And that is a beautiful and incredible talent to have.

So, there you have it.  The greatest Spider-man story ever written, at least in my opinion.

Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, MARVEL, Read Me

comiXology: The Comic App for Those Who Want a Little of EVERYTHING!

So far today we have talked about two incredible comic book applications developed by MARVEL Comic and DC Comics.  If you want to know more about those then see our articles:

Marvel Unlimited: The Comic book App for Marvel Fanatics

DC Universe Infinite: The App for DC Comic Lovers

But what if you can’t decide which you want more… or you only want to pay for one monthly subscription for now but enjoy comics from both as well as a variety of other companies and artists as well as original stories just for that app? 

Look no further than the comiXology app (created and run by Amazon).

Over 30,000 comic issues at your fingertips from classics like Batman, Iron Man and Archie to modern graphic novels like Sandman by Neil Gaiman, manga like Cardcaptor Sakura, and even original comics like Snow Angels, Hailstone and Youth.  There is a little bit of something for everyone in this app!

With spotlight features like trending characters, same day access to certain physical releases and even specific days themed to comics and characters there is a lot to be excited about with this app!

Like the others it is intuitive and allows you to zoom in to focus panel by panel which is so helpful for those of us that struggle to concentrate on just one thing at a time when looking through comics.  I’ve been using it for about 2 months (ever since I got my Amazon Prime membership) and I’m loving it so far!

They even offer member discounts of 10-15% off all books from DC, MARVEL, Image, Dark Horse and tons of others if you want to purchase books that aren’t available through the unlimited membership access.

If you have an Amazon account, its even easier to access comiXology!  You get 30 days free when you sign in with your Amazon account and then it is just $5.99/month after that to access all the great comics and stories!  If you are already an Amazon PRIME member this service is accessible in your unlimited account along with Prime Video and Amazon Unlimited Music.

So, take a look through and get a taste of everything with comiXology!  This way you don’t have to choose!

To download the app: comiXology

Note: This is not a sponsored post.  It is just my experience and some information to get comics right into your hands with the click of a screen.

Posted in Blog Posts, MARVEL, Read Me

DC Universe Infinite: The App for DC Comic Lovers

Ready Player One is full of moments that I couldn’t really imagine when the book came out a decade ago.  Technology continues to make great strides but it was the fact that Wade had access to so many pieces of media and pop culture at his fingertips that was absolutely fascinating to me.

It is applications like this that make this a reality.

As with many other comic book and literature apps this one is chock full of entertainment.  So much that one person wouldn’t be able to read it all in a single lifetime…and it would fill entire libraries let alone your own home.

DC Universe Infinite (available on Android and iOS) gives you access to the world of DC Comics.  Right in the palm of your hand.  Over 25,000 individual issues of comics from classics to newer releases.  There is always something new coming onto the app…in fact there is something new nearly every day.  You just have to wait about 6 months after the physical release of the comic issue for it to pop up on the app.

This app gives you that ability to zoom in on panels with a quick double tap, see comic issues and pages in high resolution (including the classic and vintage issues), and even request new releases…though there isn’t a guarantee that what you are looking for will become available quickly or at all.

I haven’t been using this app as long as I have the Marvel Unlimited app, but it is just as wonderful.  It is easy to search for specific characters or even issues of a comic.

 Plus, they put a spotlight on LGBTQ+ characters for Pride Month!  It was super cool to be able to just click in and see characters that were like me… because representation matters.

I will be excited to see if this trend continues for things like Black History Month… I love that comics have always had diversity but are now making sure to highlight those moments in their history. 

DC Universe Infinite even separates out specific storylines for you to access.  Like Crisis on Multiple Earths which was a fan favorite that spanned multiple decades of Justice League America.  If you didn’t know the issue numbers, it might be difficult to find.  But it has all been separated out for you on the app.  And that is really great for people like me who are coming in well after the fact.  In this case almost 30 years after the latest issue and nearly 60 after the first iteration of the story.

You can even make lists of favorites and download issues to read offline if you don’t want to use cellular data to read.

If you would like to download the app yourself, you can here: DC Universe Infinite

You get 7 days of unlimited reading for free then access all the issues for $7.99/month from then on.  You can cancel at any time.

Note: This is not a sponsored post.  It is merely my experience using the application as well as general information.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Avengers: Endgame, created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Twenty-three days have passed since Thanos snapped half of life out of existence in his attempt to bring peace and prosperity to the universe.  Twenty-three days of being scattered to the edges of the universe with no hope of getting home, when Captain Marvel finally rescues Tony Stark and Nebula from space.  Once reunited with the remaining Avengers they form a plan to get the stones back from Thanos.  When they arrive…it is to find out he used the stones to destroy them, effectively making it impossible to reverse what has been done.

Five years later everyone has settled into an existence of sorts.  They are doing their best with what is left over from the Snap.  There is a routine…a semblance of a life. When suddenly Scott Lang appears from the Quantum Realm.  Believed to have been snapped from existence his reappearance and subsequent crazy idea to utilize the Quantum Realm (and the remaining Pym Particles he has at his disposal) to travel back in time to grab the Infinity Stones and change the outcome of the Infinity War.

But the idea will take the whole team…which means bringing Tony Stark and Bruce Banner out of retirement.  With the help of Iron Man and Doctor Hulk things might be able to go right.  If only they can get what is left of the Avengers back together…even if it means having to track down vigilantes, find old equipment, and jumping through time in order to bring back those that were lost.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 181 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthoby Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Benedict Wong, Jon  Favreau, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

This movie makes me have all the feels.

Between the snap and everything that goes down in Infinity War to the ending fight when we get to see Captain America prove once and for all that he is worthy of Thor’s hammer… it is a roller coaster from start to finish.

The time jumping in this movie is handled so well.  Usually its all about “not messing up the timeline”, “butterfly effect” stuff.  But the idea that you might just be able to correct the timeline by returning what you took to the moment (and place) you took it from is just ingenious.

There is so much emotion in this movie.

But it is honestly the culmination scene…the big fight…that does it for me.

You get to see everyone working together…fighting together. Showing that we are more powerful as a team than being against each other.  There is nothing stronger than people working together for hope and peace and prosperity.

But it is all the little moments that were captured that make the film amazing.  And everyone really got a moment. Which is so difficult to do with so many different characters.

The musical Infinity Gauntlet is perfection.  How everyone is passing it to get it to Ant-Man and Wasp.  When Captain Marvel appears and tears the ship apart.  We get a glimpse of Rescue, of Stark and Parker reuniting, and even of Captain America wielding both Thor’s hammer and axe.  Characters we never thought we would see…and ones we will get to see later.  The women protecting not just our sweet Peter Parker but taking on the entire army with no hesitation. 

So much goes on in the midst of the battle it takes a few watch throughs to catch everything.

And of course…Tony and the Stones.

It is so satisfying to see Thanos fade from existence.

But the moment with Pepper as Rescue with Tony at the end…its heartbreaking.  After all the loss and sacrifice over the course of the films…its just so hard to lose him after having just lost Nat.

The reunitions in the real world are wonderful too.

I am so excited to see where everything goes from here between the new proposed films and the new show format of 6 hours (or about 2-3 movies) to tell the story arches that are coming up.

We love you 3000.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Spider-man: Far From Home, created by Sony in partnership with Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Back in New York City the newly snapped back Peter Parker is back at school.  He is back with his friends, ready to tell MJ how he feels about her, and excited about the school field trip to Europe during the upcoming summer vacation.  He is ready to dive back into his life…because mourning the loss of Tony Stark and being Spider-man are kind of a lot to deal with right now.

When the trip to Europe goes awry with a Water Elemental attacking the city of Venice, Peter has to make a choice to protect his classmates.  Fury confronts Parker, who has been ignoring his phone calls, to give him a gift from Stark… access to E.D.I.T.H., and artificial intelligence that can help him control all of the Stark databases as well as a ton of weapons and tech.

With all of this at his disposal, and a little meddling from Director Fury, the chill trip to Europe that Peter was hoping for may not happen.  Especially when he is forced to work with a new superhero to fight other Elementals that seem to be popping up.

Maybe he will be able to get some time alone with MJ…or maybe there is something in the universe to conspire against everything that he wants…

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by Sony in partnership with Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 129 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (to Buy/Rent), iTunes (to Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J. B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Jake Gyllenhaal

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I didn’t like this one as much as the first. 

That could be for a lot of reasons.  Don’t get me wrong it’s still a really great film and I still love Tom Holland’s Peter Parker best of all the live action variations.

There is a lot going on but also not a lot.  And some teen angst that I’m not super down with (though Peter and MJ are adorable in this).

Overall, it’s a good film and Jake Gyllenhaal as the bad guy is always fun.  I’m still excited about the next one so in the end the movie did its job.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Captain Marvel, created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Its 1995 and on the other side of the galaxy the Kree Empire is training their latest members of the Starforce, a group of warriors who are trained to go undercover in the war against the Skrulls.

When Vers, a newer member of the Starforce who is suffering from amnesia, goes undercover and is captured by the Skrulls.  As they probe her mind for information memories of Earth surface.  As she escapes their hold Vers ends up crashlanding in Los Angeles where things go from bad to worse.

Confronted by young members of S.H.I.E.L.D., she ends up in the middle of a Skrull attack and an investigation that could lead her to all of the answers she has been looking for since she suddenly appeared in the Kree Empire and started her training.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 124 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild violence and gore, profanity, mild use of alcohol, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel l. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Dijmon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Jude Law

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

One of the most controversial films in the MCU.

And you know what… I love it.

Carol is unapologetically herself.  She is bold, brash, and overly confident.  She is the product of training that is meant to keep emotion out of their soldiers.  She is just…Carol.

And that really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

But come on! This film is so good.  ‘90s nostalgia that they captured perfectly.  A young Nick Fury.  An early S.H.I.E.L.D.  A sweet baby agent Phil Coulson.

And the introduction of the Kree…and the fact that sometimes you are just fighting on the side you’ve been taught about.  But there are two sides to every single story.  And sometimes the one you were taught is not necessarily the right one.

Plus, it introduces Monica.  And if everything goes the way it should…she is going to be a really fun character in the long run.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Ant-Man and the Wasp, created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Two years have passed since Scott Lang was involved with the Avengers.  Two years since he was placed under house arrest.  And two years since he last saw Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne. 

Only days away from being released, Scott contacts Hank because of a dream he had about Janet, Hank’s wife lost long ago to the Quantum Realm.

Upon hearing of this contact Hope and Pym take it upon themselves to kidnap Scott in order to get his assistance in finding Janet in the Quantum Realm as he is the only one who has been sub-atomic and come back from it.

While trying to buy a part for the quantum tunnel the trio begins to build in their quest to bring Janet back, Hope is attacked by a strange, masked woman.  During the fight, in which Hope dons her mother’s Wasp suit and Scott steps in as Ant-Man they notice that their attacker seems out of phase with the current reality…

It seems that things are about to get very complicated as the Ghost, Sonny Birch and his crew as well as Pym, Lang and Hope all are vying to get the technology needed to make all of their dreams come true.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 118 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild violence and gore, mild profanity, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

An all-around great addition to the Ant-Man world.

It has all of the craziness of the first film.  We get some great action.  We get big and small…. all the little CGI moments that I was obsessed with in the first movie. We get the character of Ghost.  Along with all the warnings of messing around with the Quantum Realm…and time in general…which I’m sure is going to be important later…hint, hint, nudge, nudge.

The further we get into the MCU the more that little moments have big meanings for things later on in the universe.

How the writers keep track is kind of insane.  But you know.  They are great at what they do.

Just a generally fun and action-packed film.  Super enjoyable and a great example of how the MCU continues to CONSISTENLY create great entertainment.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Avengers: Infinity War, created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Thanos has finally achieved the start to his grand plan…one of the six Infinity Stones.  If things go according to plan, he will be able to find the other five.  And then nothing will stand in the way of his destiny and grand plan- using the stones to create ultimate peace and serenity in the entire universe.

As he and his children move through the universe to acquire stone after stone they run into a variety of different situations. 

The Avengers must group together with many others from the Guardians of the Galaxy to the Black Panther in order to stop Thanos.  If they don’t then the world as we know it may cease to exist.

But when everyone is scattered far and wide across the universe getting back to Earth may be a bit tricky.  Will they make it in time? Or will Thanos be able to enact his plan?

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 149 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthoby Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

So many moving parts.  Just so many moving parts.

I honestly don’t know how Stan Lee and Jack Kirby kept everything straight in the YEARS of comics they wrote to get to this point.

And the film captured it so well.

With such a wide variety of characters coming together at different points in the universe all to make everything happen the way it does.  Everything really comes down to choice.

The writers have done and incredible job with this (and with part two) keeping everything straight and making sure that the story isn’t difficult to follow even with so many different bits and pieces going on at all times. 

We see the development of characters, and the choices they make under the stress of the situation.  We see their deepest fears and regrets.  And we see the world changed because of an extremest view on how to bring peace to the universe-not by working together and celebrating our differences and helping each other…but by simply destroying half of all life in the universe.

I mean…I guess it works after you can get past the chaos of losing half of all the people you care about in the world.  And how many more after that to the after-effects.

The amount of thought and discussion that goes into comics just continues to astound.  I think people who enjoy the movies (since they are more mainstream) and teased people who loved the comics for being geeky and nerdy are realizing just how much is going on in the worlds within those pages.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Geek Chic, MARVEL

Black Panther, created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Wakanda is a country shrouded in mystery.  Thousands of years after a meteorite landed in Africa…thousands of years after the first “heart-shaped herb” was ingested….thousands of years after the first Black Panther was created… Wakanda is a mystery to the rest of the world.

A country with massively advanced technology, rich cultures, stunning cities, and beautiful people…masquerading as a third world country.  Until the death of King T’Chaka changes everything.

Now the new King, T’Challa, must be crowned and make his own decisions about what to reveal to the world at large about their prosperous little haven.

But when an old enemy…and a new player come into action and threated to expose everything… T’Challa must decide quickly on what is best for him and all of Wakanda.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 134 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, very mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I’m not really sure how to start this review. 

I haven’t rewatched this film since Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer.  And I didn’t think it would affect me as much as it did.  My mom passed from the same disease.  I didn’t think seeing him on screen in such an incredible performance would make me so emotional…but it did.  Because his passing is going to change the rest of the Black Panther films forever.

I hope they live up to how exquisite this one was.

As a cis, white, woman I don’t ever fathom to understand the pain and trials of being black.  But this movie, for me, was a chance to realize how little I knew about African and Black cultures.  And to know that I had to start educating myself on the things I don’t know.

From the costumes to the discussions this film is absolutely breathtaking.

And it is one that I encourage every white person (I mean really everyone at all) to watch and really truly LISTEN to what is going on.  What Killmonger talks about.  What the Wakandas discuss.  What is going on with the battles…the talks…the charity and outreach.  The experiences.

There is so much that happens in this film.

And its not just all really cool tech and battles.  Though those are really awesome.  Especially when the women get involved.  Can we talk bout how cool the Dora Milaje are?  Such an incredible team.

And did I mention the costumes?  Just the color and depth and textures.  I love the fact that African textiles were used…and that the costumer actually did research and got people involved who knew more about the traditions (and if I remember correctly hired and purchased from lots of local artisans) for the intricate and gorgeous costumes that are used throughout the film.  As well as doing some really cool things with technology (and 3D printing) to create other garments that have traditional roots but are completely Wakandan.

I cannot speak more highly of a MCU film from start to finish.  Black Panther really is the complete package.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.