The Marvels review featuring Photon, Captain and Ms Marvel

The Marvels

The Marvels is the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first to make use of one of the recent Disney+ shows.

The Kree are up to their warmongering ways in The Marvels, this time they’re after the resources to restore life to their nearly dead world. As the Kree start this process our three heroes become entangled through their light based powers and keep swapping locations with each other. The first things I was told about this film, prior to seeing it was that several of the Disney+ shows are required viewing. Ms Marvel, obviously, because she’s one of the three heroes caught up in this mess. Secret Invasion because it is a direct follow up to the Captain Marvel film and likely the lead in to this film. Wandavision because that is how Monica gets her powers. Lastly I was told the second season of Loki was required as well. If you want to understand everything in the film. That is entirely false. If you are not caught up on Loki then you have nothing to worry about. To understand the midcredits scene though you should first watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

My expectations were rather high for the film. I loved the first film and thoroughly enjoyed each show that directly lead to this one. The first act helped reinforce these expectations until they arrived on the world called Aladna. Aladna is a world that is almost completely water and the population speaks exclusively through song. That’s right, for a brief moment we have our first official Marvel musical. Thankfully they move on as quickly as it starts and as I hoped it did not continue through the film.

From a sales perspective I had read that this film did the worst out of the MCU and most of the comments on why attribute that to Brie Larson, Captain Marvel herself. I seriously don’t understand why so many people in the community dislike her so much but I suspect it might be because she’s a woman that has strong opinions and doesn’t shy away from sharing them. In a male dominated society I consider this to be proof of her strength and bravery. That being said, this has nothing to do with my thoughts on the quality of the film, perhaps some people could learn to be objective about a film regardless of the cast? Visually the effects were fantastic and the story was well written. The cast were perfect in their roles, so much so that I would say that this is the BEST MCU film since COVID. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and hope to see a follow up film bringing these characters together again.

Wish from Disney Pictures

Wish

Wish is the latest animated film from Disney Pictures featuring a talking goat, a new world and a new princess-like character.

The world in Wish centers around a king who collects wishes from his people, with a goal of crafting the perfect wishes. Citizens that wish to live in the kingdom must give up their wish to the king when they turn eighteen. Monthly the king gives a wish ceremony where a lucky citizen gets their wish. Prior to her birthday and losing her wish, Asha interviews to be the king’s apprentice. The king at first appears as a kind and benevolent ruler but the trailers for the film reveal him to be the true villain and he does this himself before the interview ends.

The wishes themselves follow the same rules as those in the comic series Eight Billion Genies from Image Comics. When you turn eighteen you get to make yours but in the comic it comes in the form of a genie that is tied to you from birth. In both stories there are people that collect them in to, at least in their minds, protect their world from dangerous wishing or ideas. Ultimately it comes down to them wanting to keep the power for themselves.

The film and the world are both visually stunning with a diverse cast of characters. Disney has been steadily increasing the number of characters that fit other demographics and do so here in a way that fits perfectly with the film without making it appear that their differences were the only reason for these characters to be included in the film. The overall quality of the film was fantastic and the story was more so. This will definitely be one the family will watch again.

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Warner Brothers have released the latest Justice League animated film- Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One.

Barry Allen bounces between timelines and alternate worlds in the latest film from Warner Brothers, Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One. Ultimately this puts him in the crosshairs of the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3 and joining heroes from dozens of alternate worlds in a fight to save all of reality. The story itself is so large that it requires more than one part, just like the comic series was comprised of multiple issues and tied in stories across multiple series.

It has been many years since the last time I read the original Crisis on Infinite Earths and for this part of the story the main points are followed pretty closely while many of the details are reimagined. The best thing to come from the original story in my opinion was the Crime Syndicate. For the film, the animation quality is similar to most of the Justice League animated films and get a little wonky with some of the expressions. Ultimately the story is well told and voice acting fits each character perfectly. I can’t wait for Part Two, whenever that releases.

Next Goal Wins

Next Goal Wins

Next Goal Wins is based on a true story about the American-Samoa football team and their attempts at a comeback.

Next Goal Wins in the latest biopic in theaters, this time centered around the American-Samoa team. The team is most known for their game that they lost with a devastating 31-0. With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching they hire a coach with the intention of bringing them a victory. The premise, while true sounds exactly like that of one of my childhood favorites- Cool Runnings. Searchlight Studios and Director Taika Waititi spearheaded the project with top billing going to Michael Fassbender who plays Coach Rongen. To clarify, this is a film about a football team and not the NFL kind.

Sports movies or shows typically fall flat for me, that is unless they are full of humor. Cool Runnings and Shoresy being two of my favorites, for very different reasons and styles of course. I also am typically a fan of every film Waititi has been tied to so my hopes were higher than normal for this one. I found the film fall a little short in terms of hilarity but it was still quite enjoyable. The story was well told and I felt you got a better understanding of the characters than most other directors would have managed with the same story. If you are looking for a film to watch as a family about an underdog you want to root for then this will be a great choice for you.

Extended Family- The Consequences of Gaming

Extended Family The Consequences of Gaming

What are the Consequences of Gaming too much as a child? What effects does it have when the game is also violent? The latest episode of Extended Family looks at just that.

NBC’s new sitcom, Extended Family, centers around a family that co-parents (Jim and Julia) and take an unconventional look at divorce. The children live in a single apartment and the parents are the ones that change homes each week. That sounds like it would make for a much more stable environment for the kids at the very least. Julia does however bring her fiancé around frequently. Previous episodes introduce the rules that govern the family and how rigid they are, taking everyone into account. Conceptually I thought this was a great idea when the parents could get along. The third episode, The Consequences of Gaming, attempts to use it’s 22 minutes of running time to focus on the negative effects of violent gaming on children.

During the changing of the guard, during a longer period with the children than normal for Jim, he admits to allowing the children’s devices to watch them more than he did due to his own exhaustion. Being a parent is exhausting, I get it but the show makes it seem like being a parent is nearly impossible over the course of 14 days, especially when the children already seem to be self sufficient most of the time. I understand that doing it all by yourself can be too much at times but if the show is going to portray the kids as these exhausting energy sucking vampires then we need to see more out of the kids in the story. When calling Jimmy Jr in for dinner his father admits that he played his video games unattended for almost the entirety of the previous day because he was too tired to parent. When Julia overhears some of the violent phrases coming from their son she gets quite worried.

When I was asked to review this episode I was expecting a discussion of the effects of gaming on children and the perceived violence that can come from it. Instead we are given a couple jokes, it is a comedy after all, and the lesson the parents learn is to distract the children with fears instead. I feel like the show greatly missed the mark on what could have been a discussion on how a child still needs a parent to actually parent at times and to have open dialogue. Three episodes into this show and I feel the writing is aimed more at producing situations for witty one-liners that fall flat with an even worse delivery. The only saving grace WAS the violent comments delivered by Finn Sweeny, his delivery seemed to be the best of the cast. The trailers for the series looked promising but if we don’t get much improvement and soon this is one viewer who will change the channel.

Five James Cameron Films Get The 4k Treatment

James Cameron

James Cameron and his films are known for their eyepopping scenes and massive stories. Five of them just released with updated versions in 4k!

James Cameron has been one of the biggest names in the film industry for as long as I can remember and one of my favorites. He has been responsible for some of the greatest films. For the month of December five of his best films have updated releases. The AbyssAliens and True Lies will be available in 4K Ultra UHD for the first time ever on December 12 at digital retailers and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc March 12, 2024. Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water Collector’s Editions will also be available at digital retailers December 12 and on Blu-ray December 19.

True Lies

This was one of my first R rated films I saw and became a staple in our household for a solid decade at least. Still holds and just as fun but now it looks exponentially better on my tv.

Avatar Collector’s Edition

Avatar remains Cameron’s greatest achievement. The story, message, visuals, everything. Just absolutely perfect but now with two more versions of the film and nearly a dozen hours of bonus content. Let’s just say, it’s a massive amount of content that may rival the Lord of the Rings trilogy one day.

Avatar The Way of Water Collector’s Edition

Seems too soon to release a Collector’s Edition but the film remains a fantastic cinematic experience with 8 additional hours of material.

Aliens

One of the best Alien films to date, expanding more on the lore and probably any other film did aside from the original. Fantastic film made even better with the improved graphics.

The Abyss

The first time I saw this film it already looked a bit dated or the quality of our VHS tape was not great. This was the first film that really showed us how alien our own world could be and seeing it again in 4k really improved the experience.

The Color Purple from Warner Brothers

The Color Purple

Originally released in the 80’s, The Color Purple is one of the latest films to be re-released by Warner Brothers in 4k!

Warner Brothers have released another classic film to 4k, this time with the acclaimed The Color Purple. Following the life of Celie Johnson, later played by Whoopie Goldberg, as she deals with dealing with assault, racism, being a woman in a man’s world and more. It is based on the book by Alice Walker and is the same film that was released in 1985. The film was well received when it originally released but nearly forty years after release it’s clear that it falls short in a few areas, mostly glossing over aspects of the book that were important to the actual story. The main topics of the film make it obvious why there were so many award nominations but difficult topics are not the only important thing to remember when watching a film.

The cast were fantastic, namely Whoopie herself. It’s obvious why she was nominated for her role. The director choice begs the question, would he be “allowed” to make this film in today’s environment or would the studio choose a diversity hire? Or would this bring about some of the same derisive comments you see when Tarantino writes certain language for his cast? Regardless of how it would fare if filmed today, it was a decent enough film but the book itself surpasses it in terms of story. It does leave me curious if the remake that is on the horizon will be any better. Only time will tell.

The Fugitive from Warner Brothers

The Fugitive

Originally released in the 90’s, The Fugitive is one of the latest films to be re-released by Warner Brothers in 4k!

The Fugitive has been rereleased by Warner Brothers for home viewing on 4K compatible devices and ironically was a movie I had been thinking about looking up again to view. The timing is crazy! The film follows Doctor Richard Kimball from the fateful night where he discovers his murdered wife to trial where he is convicted of the murder, to his escape and then leading the US Marshalls to the real killer. This movie is full of mystery, suspense and a great cast. I originally saw this film when I was still in grade school, almost Junior High age. The film always stayed with me despite seeing it only a couple times since then.

Seeing it again in 4k was a treat, revisiting familiar scenes and faces and having the action clear to see (as opposed to trying to watch it on the ancient VHS my family still has somewhere), made for a great experience. I even got to share it with the wife and kids, pretty sure the wife at least had seen it before though. Surprisingly, the film held up in most regards except the trial and conviction. I don’t believe a judge or jury would have convicted the doctor based on the lack of evidence and any defender that he could afford would have already started the process of getting him acquitted, let alone allowing him to receive the death penalty. As I type it out it seems more and more ridiculous. Despite this flaw, the film DOES hold up and is still worth the watch.

CATCHING UP WITH 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS PT22

20th Century Studios

IT IS RARE FOR ME TO SEE A MOVIE WHEN IT’S STILL IN THEATERS BUT THANKS TO 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH UP ON A FEW THAT I MISSED.

Recently the fine folks at 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios- their home page is here) had sent me codes to several of the movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. Part 1 was all about Underwater and Part 2 focused on The New Mutants. Part 3 we talked about The Personal History of David Copperfield. Part 4 discussed The Empty Man. Part 5 talked about Nomadland and Speed 4K Ultra HD. Part 6 discussed The Night House and Free Guy. Part 7 focused on The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Part 8 had The Last Duel. Part 9 discussed Ron’s Gone Wrong.

Part 10 talked about The King’s Man and Summer of Soul. Part 11 discussed Nightmare Alley and West Side Story. Part 12 highlighted Death on the Nile and Part 13 talked about The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Part 14 highlighted Barbarian and See How They Run. Part 15 discussed Amsterdam and Part 16 talked about The Banshees of Inisherin and The Menu. Part 17 shared our thoughts on Empire of Light and Part 18 with Avatar: The Way of Water. Part 19 had Avatar in 4k and Chevalier. Part 20 shared The Boogeyman and  Part 21 had Theater Camp. We have returned for the final part of this series (future reviews for 20th Century will be done differently than you’re used to) with A Haunting in Venice and The Creator!

A Haunting in Venice

Hercule has been living in Venice, enjoying his retirement and decides to attend a seance where the guests start dying. Death seems to follow wherever he goes, he might need to stay home more but I digress. He has always been a man of logic and the events of this night have him questioning his stance on the supernatural. Branagh’s acting and directing are superb as always and this was a fantastic, albeit much darker addition to the Poirot-verse and I hope we continue to get more!

The Creator

This film follows the creation of Artificial Intelligence, the war that followed and a mission to eliminate the head of continued AI development. A weapon is created that could stop all further fighting, allowing AI to win and it is up to Joshua to find it and destroy it. This film was absolutely brilliant with brilliant performances from everyone. From taking an entirely original look at artificial intelligence to further proving that man will ultimately cause their own downfall, this is a must watch for sci-fi fans and anyone tired of the AI will destroy the world trope.

CATCHING UP WITH WARNER BROS PART 22

IT IS RARE FOR ME TO SEE A MOVIE WHEN IT’S STILL IN THEATERS BUT THANKS TO WARNER BROS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH UP ON THOSE I MISSED!

Recently the fine folks at Warner Bros (their home page is here) had sent me copies of some of their movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. For the first part of this series we talked about Scoob, Birds of Prey, The Way Back, Goonies 4K, Beetlejuice 4K, Full Metal Jacket, Sherlock Holmes 4K and Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows 4K. Part 2 ‘twas massive and discussed V for Vendetta 4K, 300 4K, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy 4K, The Hobbit Trilogy 4K, Blade 4K, Bill and Ted Face the Music, Tenet and The Wolf of Snow Hollow. Part 3 talked about Wonder Woman 1984, The Little Things and Judas and the Black Messiah. Part 4 discussed Tom and Jerry the Movie and Godzilla Vs Kong. Part 5 was all about Wrath of Man, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Space Jam. Part 6 had discussed Mortal Kombat and Those Who Wish Me Dead. Part 7 discussed In the Heights, The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It, Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 20 Years of Movie Magic edition. Part 8 discussed A Clockwork Orange, Space Jam: A New Legacy and Shawshank Redemption. Part 9 talked about The Suicide Squad and Reminiscence. Part 10 discussed The Outsiders, Cry Macho, Malignant, the Many Saints of Newark and the Mad Max film collection.

Part 11 talked about Dune, Matrix: Resurrections, The Batman, Dog and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Part 12 discussed Elvis, DC League of Super Pets, The Lost Boys and Poltergeist. Part 13 shared some classics with 8-Bit Christmas, Casablanca, A Christmas Story, Three Thousand Years of Longing, The Polar Express, Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Part 14 had Don’t Worry Darling and Part 15 was discussing Black Adam. Part 16 had Bones and All, House Party plus the 4k release of Training Day. Part 17 returned for the 4k release of Rocky the Knockout Collection and Magic Mike’s Last Dance. Part 18 had the Superman 5 Film Collection, Creed III and Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Part 19 discussed A Good Person, National Lampoon’s Vacation 4k Edition and Evil Dead Rise. Part 20 exclusively talked about The Flash and Part 21 focused on Meg 2: The Trench and Barbie. We are back for the FINAL edition of this series where future reviews from Warner Brothers will have an all new format. Without further ado here is Part 22 with Blue Beetle and The Nun II!

Blue Beetle

Following Jamie Reyes from graduating college and returning to help his family. This puts him working menial jobs, the most recent of which is with his sister for Kord. There he runs into the daughter of Ted Kord and tries to help her when her aunt and her thug start getting aggressive. The aunt promptly fires him but later the daughter entrusts him with the scarab. The scarab bonds with him and turns him into the Blue Beetle. This puts him back in the crosshairs of the aunt and his family in danger. The effects were fantastic but the film felt like a DC branded knockoff of Iron Man, mixed with Spiderman with an animated Deadpool mask. The writing and the humor were great and the film was an enjoyable reminder of what the DC cinematic universe could have been.

The Nun II

Bringing back the cast of the original Nun film, Irene is investigating reports that the Nun has returned. Even though in the first film she seemed to be destroyed, we knew she survived to haunt in the Conjuring films. The first film had a great sense of eeriness that took itself a little too seriously and made it a bit more comical than intended. We get a bit of that again with the sequel but the eeriness level has be increased tenfold. Overall the Nun film had still been one of the more enjoyable Conjuring-verse films and the sequel continues to improve on that.

Which of these Warner Bros films have you had the chance to see? Which was your favorite? Let us know on our Twitter!