Category Archives: 20’s movies

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 2022

I keep telling myself that I’m not going to let this site lay fallow, and yet this is the second big release after The Batman that I’ve sat on. Of course not nearly as much as I’ve sat on The Batman as I still haven’t blocked out the three hour block of time to watch that at home on HBO Max. I managed to see this film in theaters on the second Sunday of release which as of writing this first paragraph was over a week ago. Meanwhile, I am hard at work on season 3 of It’s Time to Rewind and my new musical show Lyrical Innuendo. Despite all of this, I did enjoy the film. One of the biggest complaints that I had heard about the movie before I saw it was that it was “too Sam Raimi”. And while I can understand that argument, that’s honestly what I enjoyed the most about this film. It was that Sam Raimi horror with a little bit of comedy sensibility that permeated throughout the entire film along with some of that Spider-Man 2 pathos that helped endear us to the often self-important Doctor Strange. The new characters were nice, the Easter Eggs were occasionally surprising and I will be discussing them in the main portion of the review so if you somehow haven’t heard about them by now, you will be spoiled if you keep reading.

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Morbius

Morbius 2022

I’m honestly a little surprised that the first theatrical movie that I watched in 2022 was this one. Not only that, but it was this one despite the fact that the critically and fan acclaimed The Batman came out just a couple weeks ago and I let that one pass me by. It was for a couple reasons, one is that we do have an infant in the house so getting out to the theater is a little more difficult, even moreso for a nearly three hour movie. It was a little less guilt-inducing to pop out of the house by myself to watch a film that my wife had zero interest in that only ran for about 90 minutes. And I’m saying all of this because of how maligned this film was even years before release. It didn’t help that it was more or less supposed to come out sometime around 2020, was delayed six separate times and only half of those were delays due to covid. The trailers, the delays, and just starring Jared Leto himself were all plenty of potential turn-offs. But despite all of those, the movie still made a middling amount in the box office. Which by all accounts is more or less what the studio was expecting as it’s not an MCU movie or even a big name Spider-Man character. With all of this anti-hype surrounding the movie, I went in with fairly low expectations, and I must admit that I enjoyed my visit to the theater. I can’t sit here and call this film a good movie, but it hit some personal high marks and the low marks didn’t get too deep under my skin. And as is the case with new release movies, I will be discussing the story and end credits scene so beyond lays spoilers.

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Batman: Soul of the Dragon

Batman: Soul of the Dragon 2021

It’s been a couple months since I subscribed to HBO Max with the intention of catching up on several of the animated DC movies that I’ve missed out on these past couple years but I only just now got around to watching the first one. There wasn’t any specific reason why I picked this one out of the others that were on there, it just stood out as being a little bit different than what I’ve come to expect in these animated movies and in that respect, it very much was. This was done in the style of the 70’s with a bit of classic Bond mixed with Bruce Lee and some exploitation cinema all mixed together. Not only that, but despite the fact that this is labelled as a Batman movie, ninety percent of the film is all about Bruce Wayne and Batman only shows up for one scene near the beginning, then for the climactic end battle. The story beats were a little on the cliched side, but it was cliches done with love and it was a lot of fun overall. This is still a relatively recent release so there will be spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

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Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home 2021

I ended up missing the past couple movie releases due to the arrival of a little bundle of joy that’s taken up much of my time lately. But I just couldn’t miss out on the latest Spider-Man movie especially with the multiverse aspect coming into play. And I’m very glad that I was able to see it as soon as I did. I’m not big on the anti-spoiler culture that has permeated a lot of the nerd fandom lately, I was just excited to see it as soon as possible. Plus I signed up for the latest Lambcast discussing this and every other Spider-Man film so I had an extra reason to see it. I’ve enjoyed every Spider-Man movie to some degree or another with my least favorite: Amazing Spider-Man 2 still being ranked as a fun-but-very-flawed film so I was happy to see them all come together in this film. There was plenty of fanservice to be had, but for the most part, it was all done with a degree of reverence, plus it all made sense to further the story or the characters. There were some more changes to this MCU Spider-Man timeline to help differentiate Tom Holland’s Peter Parker even more from the others than they already have but I loved this entry in this long-running and varied franchise. And as there are plenty of spoiler fanservice elements, beyond this paragraph will definitely be spoilers.

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Invisible Sue

Invisible Sue 2018

It’s been a little while again since I’ve been able to watch and review a superhero movie here, pretty much all of my free time is split between work, a newborn, and the podcasts which I’ve been sharing on this site. But I did find this movie on DVD at the dollar store a couple months back with absolutely no information about what the movie is outside of the name of the film and the fact that the cover has a girl in a superhero mask. Apparently it’s a German film, but similar to the Antboy release, the only available audio track on the DVD is the English dub. At least partially due to the fact that it’s more of a family friendly film. I would be curious to see this in the original German as I remember that it helped out my viewing of the Antboy sequels. As it is, it’s a pretty basic kids adventure movie with a little bit of super powers and gadgetry thrown in the mix. It doesn’t do anything badly, but it never really pushes the excitement level past the halfway point.

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Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 2021

This is only just the start of the squeezed MCU timeline as this is the second of four MCU films coming out this year that started with Black Widow just a couple months ago, Eternals in a couple more months, and Spider-Man: Far From Home to end out the year. Many of these MCU films are generally split down the middle more or less. Half of the film follows a more or less typical Marvel movie format with light comedy mixed throughout and a big end battle filled with explosions. The other half of the film gets to branch out into many different genres like spy thriller, war movie, sci-fi comedy, what have you. This does that to a certain extent, but it feels like the split was closer to 70-30 in favor of a martial arts/Wuxia film and I am all on board for that shift. After Black Widow’s moderate disappointment in that it followed the Marvel format a little too much, I absolutely loved every minute of this film from his audience surrogate friend slash potential love interest to the sympathetic villain to the fantastic-yet-still-unique CGI-filled climactic final battle sequence. And as this is a new release, as with all my reviews there may be spoilers ahead so if you want to go in fresh be warned.

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Secret Society of Second-Born Royals

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals 2020

As I was browsing through the new content on Disney+ I did find two superhero-esque movies on there that I hadn’t reviewed yet. One of them was Flora & Ulysses and the other was this movie. Both feel very much like Disney Channel Original Movies like a slightly modern update of something along the lines of Up, Up, and Away and for the most part, that’s exactly what this one feels like. While I was watching it, I was reminded of a dozen other movies that played out scenes very much like this one only the other movies did them way better. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this film or its characters, but everything just felt very generic and uninspired. On top of the cliche of making royalty seem like something that’s magical or mystical rather than a simple power grab that in modern times has largely evolved into celebrity figureheads with no real power yet cash in on their heritage.

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Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984 2020

Even though not a whole lot of films came out last year, this was the biggest one that I overlooked. The reception was very mixed, with some people enjoying the new take on Wonder Woman, but many people weren’t very fond of this movie which is a very different version of Wonder Woman as her first movie. And this is despite having practically the same creative team behind both movies. Instead of taking place in World War I, it’s taking place in the 1980’s and all the kitsch and nostalgia associated with it. The tone is much lighter and there is a stronger undertone of magical reality than what was present in the first film. And even though I watched it several days ago, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the film as a whole. I generally enjoyed many parts of it, but I severely questioned several decisions throughout the film.

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The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad 2021

It still feels kind of good to be going back to theaters despite the returning dread for the unusually large group of unvaccinated masses that may force the rest of us back into some form of lockdown or at least a return to mask wearing. But besides all of that I did make it to my local theater rather than spending the $15 or however much it is to get a month of HBO Max and watch this film at home like so many people out there decided to do. I did quite enjoy the experience and I even shelled out the extra cash to see this on an IMAX screen though I was slightly underwhelmed as well as slightly nauseated from the opening scene. The picture was very clear and sharp, but I didn’t feel that much of a difference between a regular digital projection, and at least this specific IMAX screen. It’s also unclear as to how well the movie is doing in terms of popularity as most of the critical reviews as well as most personal reviews from people I know have been extremely positive, but the actual box office numbers are quite low. It’s likely largely a factor of the HBO Max availability at no extra charge with small contributions from the Covid resurgence and the poor reception and unclear differentiation from the previous Suicide Squad film. But all of that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, what really matters is that I had a grand time watching this film and am ready to discuss it in full, including the large number of gruesome deaths that take place. So if you’d rather be surprised by who lives and who dies, read no further. The rest of you, enjoy.

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The New Mutants

The New Mutants 2020

Of all of the superhero movies of the past few years, this one was probably talked about more than it was actually watched whenever it eventually came out. It had a hugely trouble production as the studio seemingly didn’t have a lot of faith in it compared to Fox’s other mainline projects Deadpool 2 and Dark Phoenix so it got pushed back, they did some reshoots, Disney bought Fox so it got pushed further, the pandemic happened so it got pushed back even further, they wanted more reshoots but too much time had passed for their younger cast. And the articles around the project are confusing, as some say that the director wanted more horror, yet the first round of reshoots were supposedly to add more horror. And yet what the movie really could have used was, you guessed it, more horror. In the end, it didn’t fail at the levels of something like Fant4stic, but this was clearly a result of studio meddling that left us with a B- movie when there is the skeleton of an A movie.

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