REVIEW: WandaVision – “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Chuck Zlotnick / Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

The following is a recap and review of the sixth episode of WandaVision, available exclusively on Disney+. Expect story spoilers and general Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers. 

In the sixth episode of WandaVision — titled All-New Halloween Spooktacular! — Tommy (played by Jett Klyne) and Billy (played by Julian Hilliard) get ready to celebrate their first Halloween inside the Hex with their family, including their mysterious “uncle,” Pietro (played by Evan Peters), who Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen) seems slightly suspicious of (perhaps because he, well, has been ‘recast,’ as a character in the previous episode said). Meanwhile, Vision (played by Paul Bettany) has decided to lie to his family and explore Westview on his own. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!””

Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Feb. ’21, Pt. I: ‘Fantasy Island,’ ‘The Way Back,’ and More

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Ben Affleck in ‘The Way Back.’ — Photo: Richard Foreman / Warner Bros.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I take a look at a couple of films that I didn’t get the chance to watch in 2020 — specifically Fantasy Island and The Way Back. But I also give you my thoughts on two 2021 documentaries — the latest Netflix true-crime docu-series and a Marvel Comics documentary film on Disney+. Continue reading “Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Feb. ’21, Pt. I: ‘Fantasy Island,’ ‘The Way Back,’ and More”

REVIEW: WandaVision – “On a Very Special Episode…”

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

The following is a recap and review of the fifth episode of WandaVision, available exclusively on Disney+. Expect story spoilers and general Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers. 

In the fifth episode of WandaVision — titled On a Very Special Episode — Vision (played by Paul Bettany) starts to question everything about the reality inside Wanda’s bubble universe, while Wanda and Vision’s twin boys age rapidly. Meanwhile, Monica Rambeau (played by Teyonah Parris) wakes up and immediately starts to work out a way that they can enter into the bubble universe without being altered by its time period. But S.W.O.R.D. is about to find out that Wanda (played by Elizabeth Olsen) doesn’t like intruders. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – “On a Very Special Episode…””

REVIEW: Palmer (2021)

Justin Timberlake and Ryder Allen in “Palmer,” now streaming on Apple TV+. — Photo: Apple Original Films / Apple TV+.

Directed by Fisher Stevens — Screenplay by Cheryl Guerriero.

Fisher Stevens’ Palmer follows Eddie Palmer (the titular character played by Justin Timberlake), a former high school football star, who was just released from prison. Eddie goes to live with his grandmother, Vivian (played by June Squibb), and soon he seeks out a job as a janitor at a local school. Vivian tends to watch over their young neighbor, Sam (played by Ryder Allen). Sam, a flamboyant young boy who likes to play with dolls, is soon left with no guardian in sight when Vivian passes away and his mother, Shelly (played by Juno Temple), leaves town. Though he is initially reluctant, Eddie decides to do the right thing and become the temporary guardian for a young boy who keeps on challenging Palmer’s own prejudices. Continue reading “REVIEW: Palmer (2021)”

REVIEW: The Dig (2021)

Carey Mulligan, Archie Barnes, and Ralph Fiennes in ‘The Dig.’ — Photo: Larry Horricks / Netflix.

Directed by Simon Stone — Screenplay by Moira Buffini.

Back when I was just a very young teenager, my school had arranged for me to receive (what I guess you would call) on-job training for a week with a team of Danish archaeologists. I had had a natural interest in archaeology, and therefore I was thrilled when I got the chance to learn from them. Over the course of that week, I archived a lot of items, I spoke with the archaeologists for quite some time, I got an early look at a history museum’s recreation of a Viking ship (if memory serves), and I even got to take part in an actual excavation. For this reason, I had a particular interest in Simon Stone’s The Dig, a Netflix original film about a historic excavation in England in 1939, and I actually really enjoyed watching it and learning about Basil Brown and Edith Pretty. But I will say that this period drama is probably a little bit too slow for your average Netflix subscriber. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Dig (2021)”

Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Jan. ’21: ‘Cobra Kai’ and ‘Uncle Frank’

Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, and Peter Macdissi in ‘Uncle Frank,’ — Photo: Brownie Harris/Amazon Studios

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I take a look at Alan Ball’s latest film, Uncle Frank, starring Paul Bettany and Sophia Lillis, and I talk about how I’ve binge-watched the delightful YouTube/Netflix Original Series, Cobra Kai. Continue reading “Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Jan. ’21: ‘Cobra Kai’ and ‘Uncle Frank’”

REVIEW: The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020 – TV Series)

Photo: Eike Schroter / Netflix.

Series Created by Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House; Doctor Sleep) — Available on Netflix.

I’ve been a huge fan of Mike Flanagan for a couple of years now. He is a horror-focused filmmaker, who hasn’t yet made a huge misstep. Instead, he has actually made some of the previous decade’s very best horror films. Gerald’s Game was one of the best and biggest film surprises of 2017, and his sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, was phenomenal. On Netflix, he has also been given the chance to create, direct, and shepherd the outstanding horror series The Haunting of Hill House, which was such a runaway success that it became an anthology series. The Haunting of Bly Manor is the next chapter of that great horror anthology series, and, even though it is not as good or memorable as Hill House, Bly Manor is another great entry in Flanagan’s increasingly impressive horror oeuvre. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020 – TV Series)”

REVIEW: WandaVision – “We Interrupt This Program”

Teyonah Parris and Elizabeth Olsen in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Chuck Zlotnick / Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

The following is a recap and review of the fourth episode of WandaVision, available exclusively on Disney+. Expect story spoilers and general Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers. 

In the fourth episode of WandaVision — titled We Interrupt This Program — we are introduced to Monica Rambeau (played by Teyonah Parris), as the show switches perspective and shows us the events of the first three episodes from the perspective of the outside world. Monica Rambeau is ‘Geraldine,’ the neighbor who was thrown out of the bubble universe after having mentioned Ultron to Wanda. In this episode, when Monica disappears after having investigated a missing person’s case, FBI, S.W.O.R.D., and several scientists set up a base outside of Westview, New Jersey for the purpose of figuring out what exactly is going on. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – “We Interrupt This Program””

REVIEW: The New Mutants (2020)

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‘The New Mutants,’ Still Image — Photo: Claire Folger / 20th Century Studios.

Directed by Josh Boone — Screenplay by Josh Boone & Knate Lee.

For a while there, it seemed like Josh Boone’s The New Mutants would never see the light of day. They wrapped principal photography in September 2017 and originally planned for an April 2018 theatrical release, but, right when Disney executives were working overtime to acquire Fox, the film was delayed over and over again. The film which had been developed by 20th Century Fox was ultimately released by Disney’s 20th Century Studios in the middle of a global pandemic. It felt like the film was quietly being swept under the rug, which may not be far from the truth as the film was the final film from the Fox-era of X-Men. Originally, I was very interested in the film after having seen the early marketing material, which made The New Mutants seem like a true horror film. Now that I have finally seen the film, I can say that the early trailers were more memorable than the film, which is messy and poorly paced. But I will say that it definitely isn’t the complete and utter trainwreck that the constant release delays may have led you to believe. It’s not good, but it certainly isn’t the worst Fox-developed X-Men film. Continue reading “REVIEW: The New Mutants (2020)”

REVIEW: WandaVision – “Now in Color”

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Teyonah Parris in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

The following is a recap and review of the third episode of WandaVision, available exclusively on Disney+. Expect story spoilers and general Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers. 

In the third episode of WandaVisionNow in Color — the now-pregnant Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen) is losing some control of her powers, as her pregnancy progresses extremely fast. Meanwhile, her husband, Vision (played by Paul Bettany), is trying his best to read up on what is expected of him and Wanda during the pregnancy. However, as Wanda’s pregnancy causes the whole neighborhood to lose power, Vision starts to notice that something isn’t right in the small town of Westview. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – “Now in Color””