Marvel Cinematic Universe

Movie Released: 5/6/22

Movie Seen: 5/6/22

Review Published: 6/17/22

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the second solo film for Doctor Stephen Strange played by Benedict Cumberbatch. This film is directed by legendary director Sam Raimi and is one of the best examples of a director's style showing through. Raimi known well in the horror film genre brought a thrilling and disturbing twist to this film never before seen in a Marvel movie. However while the style is very much in line with the director it creates a tonal shift with the more lighthearted, comedic, and action packed movies we're used to seeing in the MCU. This movie is a weird case of leaving with more questions and not knowing who to blame, the direction by Raimi was exactly what I expected and the acting from Cumberbatch as well as the supporting cast was also very well done. The unfortunate downfall of this film is drastic tonal changes and pacing. The "multiverse" was also barley explored in a film with multiverse in its name. Considering when we last saw Doctor Strange was just this past December (2021) in "Spider-Man No Way Home" and that was one of the most well executed multiverse stories of recent memory this film just felt underwhelming. The acting by Cumberbatch as well as Elizabeth Olsen and Xochitl Gomez were all standouts and they all managed to balance what they were given as best they could. It's possible me like a lot of other fans set expectations really high for this film possibly too high and that is what led to it feeling underwhelming. There are lots of things to love about this film from the direction being something we've never seen to the visuals and acting but the downfalls of the pace and tone will never get it beyond middle of the road for me in the MCU. I would recommend you still see it if you're a MCU fan but make sure you approach it with the right expectations.

Final Score - 6/10

Movie Released: 7/8/22

Movie Seen: 7/10/22

Review Published: 7/15/22

Thor: Love And Thunder

"Thor: Love and Thunder" is the 29th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the fourth solo film for Chris Hemsworth's Thor making him the Marvel hero with the most solo films in the MCU. This film pushes past Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Captain America with three movies each. This movie also marks the return of Natalie Portman as Dr. Jane Foster only this time she reaches the true height of her comic book counterpart becoming "The Mighty Thor". This film also brings another Academy Award winner into the MCU with Christian Bale as the villain Gorr The God Butcher. This film much like "Doctor Strange: In The Multiverse Of Madness" earlier this year is very much a specific film to the director. This is very much a Taika Waititi film and that can be considered a good thing or a bad thing. In my opinion this film leans a little too much into the ridiculous humor and seems to take everything excepts Bale's scenes as a joke. The supporting cast of this film also seems to be either nonexistent or unimportant to the final outcome of the story. Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi), Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and Zeus (Russell Crowe) while in the movie don't seem to bring anything of substance or consequence to the film. The worst example of this is the Guardians of the Galaxy who are in the opening of this film for maybe ten minutes and have next to no screen time, action, or dialogue. The film focuses on Thor, Jane, and Gorr and everyone else seems to be there to pad run time. There are things to like about this film and I enjoyed this film more than Doctor Strange: MOM. The visuals and soundtrack of this film are two of its strongest points and push the limits of the typical Marvel film. Christian Bale also delivers a standout performance as Gorr and will be in the conversation about the best comic book and MCU villains sooner rather than later. While this film isn't perfect and won't be the first MCU film I go to for rewatch it is an enjoyable watch and a important film for the few characters it focuses on.

Final Score - 7/10

Movie Released: 11/25/22

Movie Seen: 11/25/22

Review Published: 11/26/22

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is fun which is exactly what it’s supposed to be. It bridges the gap between where we last saw them in “Avengers: Endgame” to where we will see them next in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”. The choice to make Mantis and Drax the main characters is interesting to me them being my least favorite in the previous films. Unfortunately Peter, Rocket, Groot, Nebula and Kraglin are all just kinda there with Peter being the main catalyst for the story but not actually taking much part in it. Yondu while present in the special is only shown in random animated segments that feel out of place in my opinion and seem to break the story up in a unnecessary way. The set design, music and comedic style is all what we’ve come to expect from the MCU Guardians films which is high quality. SPOILERS AHEAD… the development that Mantis is Peters sister is an unexpected addition but something I surprisingly don’t hate and it feels much more natural than I expected. The message of this special and the “meaning of Christmas” that is expresses is all very well done and using Peter being from Earth as a way to communicate the Christmas spirit is a good way to get a holiday special with some good characters. The “Special Presentation” format that Marvel has begun using is a great strategy to catch up or introduce new characters without having to make a full movie and I hope this format continues on Disney + into the future. While this may not be an every year holiday watch for me it was an entertaining way to get a holiday adventure with some likable characters. Worth a watch if you like the Guardians and want a fun holiday themed adventure.

Final Score - 7/10