REVIEW: Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings (2021)

Simu Liu as Shang-Chi in SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGENDS OF THE TEN RINGS — Photo: Marvel Studios / Jasin Boland / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton — Screenplay by Destin Daniel Cretton, Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984), and Andrew Lanham.

The future of the movie theater industry has been the source of much debate in film fan circles during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. Films have had their theatrical release delayed, some films have been released on premium-video-on-demand, such as Disney+ with Premiere Access, at the same time that they have been released in theaters, while, in the United States, most if not all Warner Bros. films from 2021 have been released in movie theaters and on HBO Max for no additional cost on the very same day, which was the case with The Suicide Squad. So, in addition to the fact that movie theaters have to accept the ongoing pandemic, movie theaters now also contend with subscriptions, streaming services, and premium-video-on-demand.

Now, it would appear that movie theaters have also begun to fight back against this trend with the one thing they can do, which is to refuse to release a studio’s film in theaters. Strangely, although it, unlike Black Widow, has not been released on Disney+ with Premiere Access, major theater chains have stuck by their Disney boycott with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In Denmark, I think only about ten theaters are showing it currently, which is a real shame because Shang-Chi is rad and well-worth the price of admission.

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REVIEW: Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) and her nemesis, Namaari (voiced by Gemma Chan), face off amid the snowy mountains of Spine. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Raya and the Last Dragon” in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on March 5, 2021. — Photo: Disney.

Directed by Don Hall (Big Hero 6) & Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting) — Screenplay by Qui Nguyen & Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asians).

Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada’s Raya and the Last Dragon is an action-adventure film set in the fantasy land of Kumandra, which is inspired by Southeast Asian cultures, that has been divided into five tribes — Fang, Heart, Talon, Spine, and Tail — named after their placement on a giant river that flows through all of Kumandra. These tribes don’t see eye to eye, and they all covet a magical orb that was once created by dragons that have since been turned to stone by evil spirits known as the Druun. The Druun have disappeared because of the creation of the powerful orb, which is now protected by the Heart tribe, led by Chief Benja (voiced by Daniel Dae Kim) who still believes that the tribes can reunite and bring new life to the once glorious land of Kumandra. Continue reading “REVIEW: Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)”

REVIEW: Gemini Man (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a review of Gemini Man (in regular 2D, 24fps) — Directed by Ang Lee.

Digital de-aging is a trend in Hollywood that we should probably get used to. Disney’s Marvel films have used this technology to make actors like Michael Douglas look fresh-faced and young. Disney has also shown that they are unafraid of bringing deceased actors’ likenesses back to the big screen like they did in Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Gemini Man, though not a Disney film, is a major motion picture blockbuster built on this not-so-cheap trick. Continue reading “REVIEW: Gemini Man (2019)”

REVIEW: Doctor Strange (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Doctor Strange. The reviewed film was seen in IMAX 3D.

At this point, people expect a lot from Marvel Studios. Doctor Strange is the fourteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and most of these films have been pretty well-received. Still, Doctor Strange is a bit of a risk, seeing as it is introducing magic and beings from other dimensions to the universe.

While Doctor Strange has to introduce its own corner of the universe with just this film, Marvel Studios has been releasing these films in a smart way. Marvel Studios has, essentially, been preparing moviegoers for this kind of film with Thor, Ant-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
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