‘TMNT: Mutant Mayhem’ or a Cowabunga of an Animated Film

Hype for films these days is always a fascinating experience to observe. As a critic I try to go into any film with an open mind and as minimal of expectations as possible but sometimes it is hard to not be impacted by the buzz- both good and bad- before stepping into the theater. Initially when I heard about another TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) movie I wasn’t that interested. I’ve enjoyed the franchise over the years but is has never a favorite of mine or one I’m particularly passionate about. Then I heard the co-director of Mitchells vs the Machines (which I adored), Jeff Rowe was the director and it was receiving a new and exciting animation style I became intrigued.

Once the trailers came out and I heard about some of the creative decisions they were making like having an all-teenage vocal cast for the turtles my excitement grew. When an unfinished screening received a standing ovation at Annecy Film Festival in June TMNT: Mutant Mayhem solidified itself as my most anticipated film of the year. High expectations…

Fortunately for this film this is a case where high expectations have actually been met and then some. I loved this film! What an authentic, thrilling, innovative, exciting animated experience at the theatre. Nothing will probably topple Across the Spiderverse’s artistic achievement but I do think this TMNT: Mutant Mayhem has a tighter script with a unique and fresh art style all its own (those worried this will be Spiderverse-light can rest assured this is raw and edgy in a way Spiderverse isn’t. They both stand on their own as wonderful animated films.)

My favorite part of this film is the our 4 main turtle characters. All voiced by actual teenagers the banter is written naturally and their relationships feel authentic to the teen experience, which is something we have never gotten in this franchise. The dialogue by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jeff Rowe is funny, charming and again authentic to the way teens today talk. It was so refreshing to teen characters that aren’t the sullen miserable specimens we so often see in film but that have highs and lows appropriate especially to these teens that are so isolated from others.

The story in this film is also solid with Ice Cube voicing a convincing villain and Maya Rudolph as Cynthia Utrom. It’s not a new arc but it was executed well and the design of the Superfly as he morphs and changes is extremely clever and inventive. The animation in general has a roughness to it that I loved with the feel of pencil sketches mixed in with CGI 3D realism. The mixture of styles and how it ebbs and flows dazzled me!

The only miss is in the character design of April O’Neil (voiced by Ayo Edebiri.) She’s supposed to be a lonely high school student but she looks a lot older than that in my opinion. The character was fine just didn’t look like a teenager to me.

I also love the pacing of this film. How refreshing to go to a superhero movie in 2023 that isn’t bloated and over-long- 99 minutes! The design of the various mutants is a lot of fun as well even if the celebrity voice cast for those characters is unnecessary. The music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross added just the right mixture of nostalgia and modernism to make the film work perfectly.

If they give it a chance families and moviegoers should love TMNT: Mutant Mayhem. It is charming, energetic and artistically exhilarating. A thrilling time at the movies! I think they’ve made something special in a very solid year for animation. Let’s make sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle!

9 out of 10

Smile worthy

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‘The Flash’ or Everything DC All At Once is Surprisingly Meh

I know the internet doesn’t like to hear this but sometimes as critics we walk away from a film feeling a certain degree of ambivalence. We aren’t moved one way or another. These mixed reviews are honestly often the hardest to write especially in a world of rottentomatoes where we must pick a side, pro or con, fresh or rotten. This is definitely the situation I am finding myself in with DC Studios’ latest film The Flash. It’s an uneven film that I’m very torn whether to recommend or not. Even as I write this review I’m debating whether the positives outweigh the negatives.

Let’s talk about those positives. First, the biggest plus for the film is the heart that motivates all the action. Ezra Miller plays 2 versions of Barry Allen and with both, the character is motivated by love and kindness. This was much better than the bland one-note motivation in last year’s The Batman movie, which I found underwhelming. I was particularly moved by anything involving Barry’s mother, Nora Allen, played by Maribel Verdú. The final scenes with her made me genuinely tear up (who can’t relate to missing someone so profoundly and wishing you could spend just one more moment with them?)

I also found the use of Michael Keaton’s version of Batman to be well done. I am not a big fan of Batman 89 (I know shocking) but I didn’t grow up with it and watched it for the first time in 2016 before Batman v Superman. I particularly found anything with Vicki Vale to be annoying and Jack Nicholson’s Joker to be quite vanilla for a supposedly legendary villain.

All that said, Keaton is personable and charming as as eccentric, off-his-meds version of Bruce Wayne and they used him a lot more than I thought they would. This isn’t just a glorified cameo but an actual role with an arc and story to his character. His bond with both Barrys is sweet to see and feels earned.

They also do the set-up of the multiverse in a pretty convincing way. Many have compared The Flash to No Way Home, and I suppose that is natural but No Way Home had the advantage of being the 9th Spider-Man movie where The Flash is essentially his origin story (I realize he is in Justice League but only briefly). It’s easier to call back to favorite memories when there are actually movies to call back to. This pays homage to lots of DC films but it feels clunkier when they are all part of such wildly divergent franchise entries. Still, the actual plot machinations to get Barry in the multiverse was well done.

And now on to the negative. The main problem with The Flash is it took so long to be made that it feels derivative of a barrage of similar superhero movies we’ve gotten recently. I realize many of those films like No Way Home, Doctor Strange 2, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Across the Spider-Verse and others are based off the Flashpoint comics this is based off, but it doesn’t feel like this movie version is adding anything new to the conversation. It leaves the viewer with a feeling of ‘that was fine but bland…”

This is particularly true towards the end when the multi-verse world is fully embraced and we get a long video game inspired sequence of ‘remember this…’ from the past. Sure we get a lot of cameos and reminders of favorite characters but unlike Keaton nothing interesting is done with them so it’s like looking through someone else’s old yearbook rather than a compelling story. (Also I thought one of the legacy cameos was in poor taste but I won’t spoil it for readers.)

I know some people don’t want to see the film because of Ezra Miller’s criminal history over the last few years. That’s fair and we aren’t required to see any movies so make your choices but as someone who loved them in The Perks of Being a Wallflower I enjoyed both their performances here and it’s refreshing to have an awkward, physically non-perfect human as a lead in a film like this. I certainly like The Flash much better than either of the Shazam movies and they both strive for similar tones.

Without any spoilers I do find the use of General Zod to be very strangely done in this film. It’s like they want us to feel warm and cozy about the throwback to Man of Steel but also completely change the narrative of that film. I am not a fan of Man of Steel but honestly the way they handle Superman in general in The Flash is very strange and Henry Cavill being missed and Zod being defeated in a very different kind of way is a choice I’m sure Snyder fans will be upset with. It was weird.

It is a little baffling how a movie with over $200 million budget could look as cheap and underwhelming VFX-wise as The Flash. Especially with how much time they had it’s hard to believe they went with some of the fake babies and CGI blur-fests they go with. In that sense, The Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and even the Snyder DC films look much better than this entry.

In the end, the emotion of The Flash wins the day and certainly people who have more nostalgia for the Keaton Batman films will probably enjoy it more than I did. It’s no comic book masterpiece like we recently got with Spider-verse but if you’ve seen that a couple times it’s fine. Barry and his Mom gave me enough emotion to say I’m glad I saw this (maybe final or is Aquaman 2 the last?) entry in the DCEU.

6 out of 10

Smile Worthy

Also can someone make a superhero movie that’s not 30 minutes longer than it needs to be? They are ALL bloated and are testing my patience!

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3’ or I Wish I Could Give Rocket a Hug

One of my hottest takes as a critic is my disappointment in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2. Unlike most people I didn’t care for the story, character choices or most of the other creative decisions. This still makes people angry for some reason and it was the beginning of my somewhat antagonistic relationship with superhero movies. They are without a doubt my least favorite genre to cover and if I could avoid them entirely I would. All that said, they are some of the biggest releasees of the year and this week we have our latest entry Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3. Would I leave underwhelmed like the 2nd or thoroughly enjoy it like the 1st? Well, Marvel fans can relax because I enjoyed this latest entry and consider it a big step up from vol 2. Let’s talk about it!

One of my favorite parts of vol 1 is the coming together of this rag-tag band of mischiefs to make a family unit. This is something lost in vol 2 with the team being divided and more concerned with individual stories than the group as a whole. This is not the case with vol 3. While they do become separated at times the focus  is on helping one of their own, Rocket, and caring for each other as a family.

I also appreciate the comedy a lot more in vol 3 than vol 2. Most of the jokes in vol 2 revolved around Drax making fun of Mantis, which got old quick. Vol 3 has more variety in the topics of the jokes and gets everyone a chance to be light hearted and funny. It was also moving to see how Rocket came to be the smart aleck he is and how he became a part of the Guardians.

The production design is excellent and the action done well. We have some new characters like Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) and Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova, who was in the Guardians Christmas Special but this is his first time in a feature film.)

Some people have said the plot is too messy in vol 3 but I didn’t feel that too much. If anything it was nice to see a movie in the MCU that sticks to its own timeline and doesn’t worry about building up other movies or characters. This is strictly about our core Guardians so I didn’t find it hard to follow personally.

Parents may want to use caution when taking their kids to vol 3. This is a strong PG13 with graphic depictions of animal cruelty, torture and some profanity. I also found the villain, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) to be a bit shrieky for my tastes. You might say a little of that character goes a long way…

Those flaws aside Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3 is a moving story of the family you choose and how the trauma we experience doesn’t have to define us, but it is a part of who we are. The music is probably the weakest of the trilogy but it’s still fun and overall an entertaining return to form for James Gunn and his Guardians.

7.5 out of 10

Smile Worthy

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[REVIEW] ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ or Where’s the Ant-Man Movie in the Star Wars Knock Off?

This may be an unpopular opinion amongst the Marvel hive but I actually like both Ant-Man 1 and Ant-Man and the Wasp. I understand their weaknesses but they were both welcome diversions from the big epic Avengers films that proceeded them with likable casts led by the always engaging Paul Rudd.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Trailer: Kang the Conqueror Is Here - Variety

I know a lot of people disagree with me about these films (especially the 2nd one which I admit has 2 weak villains but I think Ghost has compelling motivations for her actions) but it is at least reasonable to expect the 3rd entry in a trilogy to follow the basic pattern and tone of the two previous entries. So when I sat down for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania imagine my surprise to get a film completely different. Some may call that a good thing but I was underwhelmed.

In this film we get Scott Lang (aka Ant-Man) trying to teach his rebellious daughter Cassie respect for the rules but her trouble-making spirit lands them both (along with all 3 of the Pyms) back in the Quantum Realm. What then proceeds is 2 hours of Star Wars-like fighting all leading to a fight with the Exiled Kang the Conqueror played by Jonathan Majors. All of this action fit much better in the Loki show, and I don’t think we learned anything new about Kang in the film that we didn’t get in Loki, so what was the point of it all?

When they first arrive in the Quantum Realm there is some fun world building and creature designs, but it quickly becomes giant CG city-scapes and it all feels like we are stuck in a video game from 2002. They try to liven things up with a few cameos and a bizarre appearance from MODOK that I won’t go into more but after a while it felt like a slog more than the upbeat Ant-man movies I enjoy.

Maybe kids who haven’t seen a million scifi movies will like this more than I did but isn’t it interesting that the simple heist story of the first film was much more engaging than this big supposedly epic movie? Honestly to keep myself from getting bored I started imagining the food and beverage tie-ins they could do at Disneyland’s Avengers Campus (they have ‘Pym’s Test Kitchen’ there.) It’s probably not a good sign if your mind goes to Disneyland food during the latest epic Marvel movie…

It will be interesting to see what audiences think of this one. Oddly it reminded me of something DC particularly from the Zack Snyder era would have made. It has all the polish of an epic without any of the spark or engagement to keep me invested. I guess we will see but as for this critic I prefer my Ant-Man movies smaller than whatever this was…

5 out of 10

Frown Worthy

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[REVIEW] ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ or How to Say Goodbye to a King

There are so many factors going against the latest installment in the MCU, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that it’s remarkable it works as well as it does. Even without star Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing in 2020, following up the beloved original which received a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars would have been no small feet. Rewriting the script to appropriately acknowledge the tragedy naturally made it even more difficult. Fortunately, while not perfect, the folks at Marvel have presented us with a beautiful story about how we overcome the grief life provides and accept the mantle of leadership when it is asked of us. Black Panther 2 release date & trailer - Geeky Gadgets

One of the best things about the original Black Panther is the clear motivations for the characters. We understand why Kilmonger wants Wakanda to be more brazen and bold in eliminating hatful governments from the world, but we also understand why T’Challa and his Father want to remain neutral to evil and protect the vibranium and other resources in their land.

Now with T’Challa’s passing the nation is reeling with grief while at the same time trying to figure out what is the best step forward. I’ve heard some call this “woke” or “political”, which I find confusing. Of course it’s political. It’s about the leader of a nation- a political role. At the beginning of the film T’Challa’s Mother and successor Queen Ramonda speaks at the UN to try and point out the hypocrisy of the many nation-states who demand action from Wakanda while stealing the resources and people of poorer nations.

One such example is a nation of merpeople led by a classic Marvel villain Namor (Tenoch Huerta, who is great in the role) who is trying to defend his nation, Talokan, from these marauders and thieves. Like Kilmonger he sees Wakanda as an enemy of change- an isolationist country that refuses to stand up to these powerful forces trying to take away his land. They clash and it forces young Shuri (T’Challa’s sister) to decide what kind of leader she wants to be.

All of this works and is a compelling story with good acting. I particularly enjoyed the first and third act of the film and the emotional gravitas director Ryan Coogler and the actors bring to the screen. The music is also very moving and well done by Ludwig Göransson, returning from his Oscar winning score from the first film.

That said, there are some issues with the film. I did feel like some of the cinematography was dark and difficult to make out what was being seen. I actually don’t love our local IMAX and so I figured it had to do with my particular screen but I’m hearing that others experienced this too so it seems like a problem.

Also there are times the screenplay gets a bit muddled particularly in the 2nd act. There are a lot of plotlines going on and some are hard to follow especially anything with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Martin Freeman. Lupita Nyong’o is absolutely gorgeous in her scenes but they felt like more a part of the wider MCU building than for the story of Wakanda Forever. Dominque Thorne is introduced as Riri Williams/Ironheart and while I enjoyed her performance it also felt wedged in to serve the overall MCU and not this particular movie itself.

I loved any scene with Danai Gurira as Okoye. She’s rapidly turning into one of my favorite characters in the MCU and I get excited whenever she turns up whether it be in anything from  Avengers: Endgame to the What If series. Angela Bassett is excellent and Letitia Wright is outstanding as Shuri who has to grieve and make important decisions in the movie and I completely bought her character transformation by the end- literal and figurative.

It is these character transformations which will determine what you get out of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. If you need it to be a perfect movie than you’ll be disappointed. However, if you want an emotional journey for characters a lot of us have grown to care about than it more than suffices. It’s strengths certainly make up for its flaws.

There is a mid-credits scene but no post-credits, and there is also a surprise cameo I really loved but won’t spoil for you. Enjoy!

7 out of 10

Smile Worthy


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[REVIEW] ‘BLACK ADAM’ or Who Stole The Rock’s Charisma?

I’m sure the actor Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) will despise me after I write this review for his new film Black Adam, but I actually really enjoy him and his presence as a celebrity. I’ve followed him on instagram for years and have always found him to be charming and endearing as a public figure.

So imagine my surprise when I saw his latest film from DC Films and Warner Brothers and all that charisma has been sucked out leaving a bland shell of the man I’ve enjoyed for years. Others seem to be enjoying this film more than I did, but I found it to be completely inert and lifeless, especially his character.

It’s a real shame to because I actually love the whole cast. I’m a big fan of Sarah Shahi, and she’s given nothing interesting to do. I love Noah Centineo and think he is going to be a big star, but he’s barely-used comic relief,  and Pierce Brosnan can be wonderful but he feels like a warmed-over imitation of what Benedict Cumberbatch is doing in Doctor Strange.

The only performance that stood out is Aldis Hodge as Hawkman. He is given some diversity of expression. Not just constantly stoic and bland like Black Adam. He can be light and engaging with Centineo’s Atom Smasher but he can also be serious, even tragic in other scenes.

The villain is completely forgettable. I only saw it a few weeks ago and can remember little but a devil-like creature. They even have Black Adam off screen for a large portion at the end which is bizarre because that’s when e are supposed to be getting invested in his story.

There is some fun action but nothing I haven’t seen a million times before and the score by Lorne Balfe was surprisingly weak.

If I had never seen a comic book movie I guess I’d be impressed by some aspects of Black Adam but as far as developing characters in interesting ways and using its cast effectively it massively fails. If you like it than knock yourself out. Why do you care what I think?

4 out of 10

Frown Worthy

There is a mid-credit scene which is fun and made me smile

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[REVIEW] ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ or An Uneven MCU Storm

One thing I’ve noticed in the last few years is a lot of the biggest complaints I hear about the Marvel Cinematic Universe are actually the aspects I like best. For example, a lot of people seem to hate the quippy banter and I enjoy the lighter tone especially in a world where comic book movies often take themselves way too seriously. I also really enjoy the puzzle building aspect of the MCU. I like putting the pieces together from all the different movies and making it all work together. I like that a weaker film can be strengthened by a character returning in another entry or a story-thread that doesn’t come together in one film can be fleshed out in a new series or movie. I say all this merely to point out my opinion on Thor: Love and Thunder may be different than a lot of people (I don’t know) probably because my opinion on the entire MCU seems to be different.

Before talking about Thor: Love and Thunder I should say I really enjoyed the last entry Thor Ragnarok and found it to be one of the most joyous and energetic entries in the MCU. I love director Taika Waititi’s style of storytelling, and Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are the epitome of charisma as Thor and Loki. I know some people think the humor was too much in Ragnarok and to them I have to say “to each their own.” I really enjoyed it.

Now we have a new entry (the first 4th film for a character in the MCU) and it’s less successful than Ragnarok, but in the end the good outweighs the bad. I still love Hemsworth as Thor, and in this film he is recovering from his depression in Avengers: Endgame by spending some time with the Guardians of the Galaxy (not much so don’t have your hopes up there). Eventually he gets called to help the citizens of New Asgard when their children are abducted by a vengeance seeking villain: Gorr the God Butcher played by Christian Bale.

Thor: Love and Thunder: 11 Easter Eggs & Details You Might've Missed In New Trailer

Bale is excellent here as a wounded man who once had great faith in the Gods and then they let him down in a very personal and upsetting way. Some are saying he isn’t in the movie enough. I don’t agree because the scenes he’s in are powerful enough that we wouldn’t want to overdo it and lose their dramatic umph. I suspect spiritual people will enjoy his journey the most as he grapples with themes of faith, and what do we do when we feel God isn’t listening, or that He did listen and has seemingly abandoned us.

Thor: Love and Thunder” New Footage Unveiled - Sada El balad

We also have Natalie Portman back as Jane Foster except this time she is Mighty Thor and has the guns to prove it! This definitely the best she’s been in an MCU movie and her and Hemsworth finally have some chemistry, which was lacking in the previous films.

I don’t want to give anything away but Thor: Love and Thunder works best in its start and ending. I really liked everything involving the children and the way things wrap up with Gorr is genuinely moving. However, the middle is where the movie loses me. Everything involving Russell Crowe’s Zeus majorly dragged, and I found myself getting sleepy. He has a weird accent, costume and the dialogue was not engaging. I couldn’t wait for them to get out of there and back to the story with Jane, Gorr, and the kids.

The tone can be inconsistent at times and that is a fault in Taika’s writing, but I’d rather have that than other superhero movies that hit the same dark and brooding note over and over again. I’m sure it helps I’m already invested in Thor’s journey so they don’t have to do the character work other new films have to do but again that’s the benefit of the MCU.

Thor: Love and Thunder runtime just got revealed, and it's fantastic news | Tom's Guide

At the very least fans of the MCU should be pleased, and those constantly complaining about the color grading in these movies should be happy with the bright, bold color palate and a wonderful scene in a black and white world. It’s definitely one of the most visually impressive films in the MCU and my recommendation is to see it on IMAX if at all possible.

Naturally Thor: Love and Thunder will be compared to the recent Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and while MOM is messier there was never a part where I was bored like I was with the Zeuss section in Thor 4. Nevertheless, I enjoyed both of them despite their flaws, but your mileage may vary.

6 out of 10

Smile Worthy

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[REVIEW] ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ or Don’t Get Wanda Mad

One of the biggest critiques that seems to come for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is it has underwhelming villains. This is because the MCU is geared more towards families so the focus is on the heroes doing heroic stuff rather than the villains (with notable exceptions like Thanos, Loki and Kilmonger). The studios latest entry, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seems to want to change that impression with a strong, scary, and complex villain by the name of Wanda Maximoff aka The Scarlet Witch.

Director Sam Raimi makes his first superhero movie since Spider-Man 3 and adds his horror sensibilities all over the place in this MCU entry. We even get some zombie action which fans of Raimi’s Evil Dead movies will appreciate.

DS2 takes over from where WandaVision left us with Wanda abandoning Westview after her attempts to craft a perfect life fall apart and she is a desperate, angry woman. After she obtains the Darkhold (in the WV post-credit scene) she now has the power to create chaos on our planet but also in other dimensions- dimensions where she can be with her sons Billy and Tommy which she got to quasi-raise in WandaVision.

It is the combination of desperation and power that make Wanda a compelling character. Also we want to root for her because we loved her and Vision but the more unhinged she gets the harder that is to do. Very few Marvel villains have that kind of push and pull where we are repulsed by and hopeful for the character at the same time.

Then we have Stephen Strange who kind of plays second fiddle in his own movie (which I was fine with). He is outpowered and outplayed by Wanda at every turn, which makes for a desperate and compelling character. Also Strange sees him mess up and become very flawed in alternate dimensions (and in his dreams), which makes for an interesting character. Arguably he is a more conflicted character than in his previous solo outing Doctor Strange.

A new hero is introduced to the MCU named America Chavez who has the ability to jump between universes. We don’t get to learn much about her but I did like her performance by Xochitl Gomez. Marvel often introduces characters in ensembles and then gives them their own movies so this was fine for me (think Spider-man and Black Panther in Civil War). I’m sure we will see more of her going forward.

There have been some that have criticized Doctor Strange 2 for being too dependent on WandaVision but when Wanda is your main character I’m not sure how you get around that? Haven’t people been hoping the MCU would have more layered villains? Is that not what we got with Wanda? Much like Loki she’s going to swing between villain and hero but that’s fascinating and a lot of fun.

It’s also refreshing in this film to see Riami’s stamp and style all over the place- especially in the 3rd act. It was surprising and engaging and I loved the visual style of the multiverse. The cameos were also a lot of fun. They weren’t on a No Way Home level but I didn’t expect them to be.

As far as flaws, the plot did zip around a lot and it can feel messy putting all the clues from the shows and movies together but I also think that’s part of what makes the MCU special- putting the clues together and filling out the puzzle? Nothing in Doctor Strange 2 felt out of character, mean-spirited or frustrating like Spider-man Far From Home or Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2. Those are the worst films in the MCU for my money.

Why 'Doctor Strange 2' Showtimes Dominated Theaters Opening Weekend - Variety

Comparing it to Eternals, that film was messy in a different way. Jumping between timelines with 10 different characters didn’t work. With Doctor Strange 2 you are focusing on the same characters that are behaving the same but in different dimensions. With Eternals, especially Ikaris, one minute he’s a hero, the next he’s out to kill our heroes and then back and forth again. It didn’t work. Nothing with Wanda, Doctor Strange or America changes in this film despite what dimension they might be in.

With 28 films in, it isn’t reasonable to expect Marvel to make stand-alone movies. Again putting all the pieces together in the universe is part of the fun of the experience. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had a lot of pieces but it’s an enjoyable ride. Riami’s style is bold and exciting. Wanda is terrifying yet relatable and Strange is a great guide into all this madness. If by some miracle you haven’t seen it yet, catch up with the MCU and give it a watch

7 out of 10

Smile Worthy

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Blind Spot 76: ‘LOGAN’

Those who are familiar with my reviews know I’m not a fan of garish violence. It can be used well but it’s usually not something I am drawn to or love. This is part of the reason I never saw the 2017 film Logan. At the time of its release I also wasn’t a full time critic so I didn’t see films that didn’t appeal to me. This is why Logan made for a good blind spot pick and one I can finally check off my watch list!

Logan tells the story of Wolverine (or Logan) played by Hugh Jackman. The year is 2029 and mutants have mostly been eliminated and Logan’s powers of self-healing are dwindling. One day he is responsible for taking a girl Laura to Canada who has special powers. He and Professor X  (Patrick Stewart) take the journey and have all kinds of problems along the way.

My initial impressions of Logan as being an incredibly violent film are accurate. It’s one of the most violent films I’ve ever seen. However, I do think the violence is needed for the plot and it captures the spirit of a western well. The west was a brutal place and so is 2029 in this film.

I liked the bond between Logan and Laura especially as she became more animated throughout the film. Their fights with her talking in Spanish are really funny and the chemistry between the 2 works.

I also really enjoyed Richard E Grant as the villainous Dr Rice. Patrick Stewart is wonderful as Professor X as he always is but this time he is desperate and not the confident character we know and love.

All the production values are excellent in Logan and like I said it feels like a modern-day western, which is refreshing and original. The acting from Hugh Jackman is also the best we’ve ever seen from him portraying the character. It’s raw and intense and he does a wonderful job.

I still don’t think I’d ever watch Logan again because the violence is too much for my taste. However, I can see why it is considered a classic and why comic book  movie fans love it so much.

7 out of 10

Smile Worthy

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