No, the Def Leppard song isn’t in the new movie, but the third and final installment of James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy brings on the heartache in a big way. This one hurts.
I don’t think I’m giving too much away to tell you that Rocket’s origin story is intense – he’s a talking raccoon with cybernetic implants and a past he won’t talk about.
I’m sure some will say the depictions of Rocket’s early years are too disturbing, but the truth is that animal experimentation is real, so in the interest of awareness, I’m OK with it, even if it was difficult to watch. (Go to navs.org if you want to know more about ending animal testing.)
Of course, the film isn’t just about our favorite feisty hero; there’s a lot going on in this movie. It’s loud, it’s chaotic, and it’s the Guardians so it’s also fun and funny and heartwarming. It’s also dark and heavy. (Of the three Guardians movies, this one is the most disturbing and violent. Don’t bring young children.)
If you love these characters, prepare to feel all the feelings.
That was my spoiler-free review. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, come back and read the rest of this later.
While I did like this more than the latest Thor, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man sequels, I did not love it as much as I loved Guardians Vols. 1 and 2. For starters, it was too dark and creepy. If you’re going to put in animal torture, then maybe don’t also add a bunch of other awful stuff, like the genocide of an entire planet (Counter-Earth), or company headquarters (Orgocorp) built from biological material that looks like nasty human skin, or the horrific and disgusting face under the High Evolutionary’s mask, or … well, you get the idea.
It was arguably a little too violent for a PG-13 rating. I like bad guys getting what they deserve – and the Beastie Boys – as much as anyone, but there was an excessive amount of gun violence, even for a Marvel movie.
And the number of times a main character appeared to be beyond saving was way too high. I thought Rocket was a goner more than once, and I thought we were going to lose Drax. And Peter. At what point are you emotionally manipulating your audience more than you’re entertaining them? I had a feeling this would be a tearjerker, but I didn’t expect to be almost sobbing for half the movie.
I loved Cosmo (good dog!) and the way that the film continued to develop friendships (Mantis’ defense of Drax, Nebula caring for a heartbroken/intoxicated Peter, etc.). I also liked that they tied up a lot of storylines. Rocket got closure (and we find out why he likes to steal batteries), Drax got to be a dad again (and danced!), Peter went to see his grandfather on Earth, etc. Last but not least, the audience got to feel included in the end because we, like the Guardians, finally understood what Groot was saying. That was a nice bow that wrapped up the package.
I saw the new Marvel movie “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” a few weeks ago, but I haven’t had a chance to write lately. Let’s get started: I really like Paul Rudd, and the first two “Ant-Man” films are some of my faves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But if you watch Marvel movies, you know that even if Ant-Man isn’t your favorite, you’re still going to see this movie. In that respect, Marvel is really smart. They know that we are going to see all of the movies and series in this franchise because if we don’t, we are going to be confused.
Some of the criticism I’ve seen surrounding this latest sequel is of the “it’s confusing if you haven’t seen all the films” variety, to which I say of course it is. That’s their goal. The movies are meant to be viewed as an episodic series, a series with multiple characters – and directors.
The director of the Ant-Man films is Peyton Reed, a comedy guy, and he was great at making the first two Ant-Man films funny. Unfortunately, this one is not as funny. First of all, Michael Pena (Luis) was missing from this film. The director’s explanation was basically that there were already a lot of characters in the film and there wasn’t room for Pena, which seems strange to me considering the inclusion of some other non-essential characters (no offense, guy who plays Baskin-Robbins manager).
Also, even though the special effects were great, the Quantum Realm sort of veers into the territory of silly, with its Star Wars-y aliens. I know I should love that stuff since I write a science-fiction blog, but I think Marvel isn’t really at its best here. It almost felt a little … Sharkboy and Lavagirl.
I’m not thrilled about the direction the MCU is headed with this concept of multiverses. It seems like a minefield of plot holes. But maybe they can pull it off. We’ll see.
Having said all that, I didn’t hate it. It was still fun and funny, just not as good as the previous Ant-Man movies.
More Marvel news
I have higher hopes for the next “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, which is coming May 5. This may be the last Guardians film, which I’m sad about because they’re my faves, so I hope they at least go out with a bang.
The release date for “The Marvels” movie has been moved yet again, this time to Nov. 10. Bummer! Disney is reining in Marvel’s output. It was originally reported that six (new and returning) Marvel series would be released on Disney+ in 2023, but that has changed. Even “Echo” and “Ironheart,” which have already wrapped, are being put on hold. Now it looks like the only ones we’ll see this year will be “Secret Invasion” and Season 2 of “Loki.”
According to a February article in The Hollywood Reporter, “The pullback on Disney+ is coming amid an industrywide shift in rethinking the best way to achieve profitability in streaming.”
So, it’s about money. (I know, it’s shocking.)
I already mentioned HBO’s “The Last of Us” in my last post. It was really good, and I recommend it, if you haven’t watched it yet. I liked that the zombies aren’t super scary – and I love it when sci-fi proves that the scariest thing of all is really other humans. Pedro Pascal is amazing, as always. Apparently, some people complained that there wasn’t enough zombie action but there was enough for my liking and like I said, it’s not about zombies – it’s about human nature, and it was very moving. I laughed, I cried, I immediately wanted more. Enough said. Go watch it. Just don’t watch it with your kids or they’ll probably be scarred for life. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The new season of “Carnival Row,” on Amazon Prime, is out now, and it’s just as terrible as the first season. Why is this show so bad? Well for starters, it doesn’t make sense. There’s so much illogical plot stuff going on, I can barely keep up. If I ever actually had sympathy for rich successful actors, it would be for the stars of this ridiculous show. I haven’t finished watching Season 2 but I’m not sure I will.
What can I say about Season 3 of “The Mandalorian”? Hmm. It’s better than the Obi-Wan show. Because Grogu. And Pedro. I love Amy Sedaris, and Katee Sackhoff. But the plot isn’t blowing me away so far.
The story with the other Mandalorians is sort of boring, and I am not sure what is happening with Dr. Pershing. Are we supposed to care about him? Am I just being nit-picky? Maybe it will get more exciting in the upcoming episodes.
Lately I find myself being annoyed by their helmets. Just bugged in general because wouldn’t your face get all hot and sweaty under there? And more specifically, I want to see Pedro’s face, and also, is Grogu going to have to wear a helmet? Because NO.
The second season of “Shadow and Bone” (Netflix) has been released but I haven’t had a chance to see it yet. I have heard it’s good, so I’m looking forward to it.
“Willow” fans disappointed to hear the show has been cancelled will be happy to hear that it actually hasn’t. It’s reportedly just on hiatus. (The full explanation can be found on writer/producer Jon Kasdan’s twitter.)
If you are in Southern California, the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale is coming up, on Saturdays and Sundays from April 8 to May 21. The themed weekends this year are pirate and marketplace weekend (April 15 and 16) and RennCon™ weekend (April 29 and 30).
Please note that if you bought tickets during their “Holidazzle” sale, you may only use them through April 23.
The New York Renaissance Faire starts in August, and the Bristol Renaissance Faire (in Wisconsin) begins in July. Go to renfair.com for more info.
Is it really 2023? Being a member of Generation X, I imagine 2023 as a destination in a time travel movie from the 1980s, not the actual present time. I guess I’m getting old.
There are a lot of science fiction, fantasy, and superhero movies scheduled to come out this year, which is exciting for all of us nerdy folks. Here are some on my watch list (in no particular order):
Tickets are already on sale for “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” in theaters Feb. 17. The sequel will be the first film of Marvel’s Phase Five. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer will reprise their roles and Kathryn Newton will play Cassie Lang, Scott’s daughter. The trailer, set to a trippy version of Elton John’s “Yellow Brick Road,” got me hyped up for this movie, so hopefully it won’t let me down like certain other Marvel sequels from 2022.
The “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” trailer also got me hyped up, with Spacehog’s ’90s hit “In the Meantime.” The Guardians soundtracks are usually full of 1970s tunes from Peter Quill’s Walkman, but now we are moving into a new era (remember when Kraglin gave Peter a Zune?). Although I’m sad that this will probably be the last Guardians film, it looks like it will be a good one. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Elizabeth Debicki, and Sylvester Stallone reprise their roles, Will Poulter has been added to the cast as Adam Warlock, and Chukwudi Iwuji is the High Evolutionary. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel reprise their roles as the voices of Rocket and Groot, and Maria Bakalova voices Cosmo the Spacedog. It’s scheduled to be released on May 5.
An adaptation of the Jaroslav Kalfar novel “Spaceman of Bohemia” is coming to Netflix in July. “Spaceman” is about a Czech astronaut (played by Adam Sandler) on a solo mission to explore a mysterious cloud of space dust. The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Paul Dano, Isabella Rossellini, and Kunal Nayyar.
Marvel seems to be dominating in theaters this year – or at least dominating my must-see list. Brie Larson and Iman Vellani will reprise their roles as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel in “The Marvels,” on July 28. The cast also includes Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. I think it’s interesting that so many characters introduced in Disney+ series are going on to the big screen. For example, we’ll see Kang from the “Loki” series in the new Ant-Man film (or I guess the one from Loki was a Kang variant?) and Kamala and Monica (from “Ms. Marvel” and “WandaVision,” respectively) in this one. It’s a smart – and sneaky – move by Disney to get us all to subscribe, so that we will be caught up when we head to theaters.
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is based on the Suzanne Collins novel and is a prequel to the other Hunger Games books and films. Tom Blyth portrays young Coriolanus Snow (the president played by Donald Sutherland in the other movies). The film also stars Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman, Peter Dinklage, and Viola Davis, and is scheduled to be released on Nov. 17.
Coming to theaters on June 2 is the computer-animated sequel “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” The theme of parallel universes seems to be a trend lately, and the Spider-Verse is another one doing the multiverse thing. Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld reprise their roles as Miles Morales/Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman.
The next film on my list is from the people who brought you “A Quiet Place” (Scott Beck and Bryan Woods). At first glance, “65” looks kind of – how can I put this? – stupid. A sci-fi thriller with astronauts and dinosaurs? Hmm. But it has Adam Driver. That’s how they get you. “65” is in theaters March 17.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is (obviously) based on the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons and stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Rege-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, and Hugh Grant. The effects and setting in the trailer are impressive, and it looks like it might be a really fun fantasy film. Or it could be a huge flop. Guess we’ll have to, um, roll the dice on this one. The film premieres at SXSW March 10 and will be in theaters March 31.
Films with release dates TBA
Another sci-fi film on the SXSW slate is “If You Were the Last,” starring Anthony Mackie, Natalie Morales, Zoe Chao, and Geoff Stults. It has been described as “When Harry Met Sally” in space. Make of that what you will.
The Zack Snyder movie “Rebel Moon” (Netflix) was inspired by Star Wars and Akira Kurosawa films. The ensemble cast includes Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Ray Fisher, and Djimon Hounsou. Snyder has said he hopes the movie will become a “massive IP and a universe that can be built out.” Sounds very ambitious. I’m excited at the prospect of something original and new. It could be really cool. Or it could be really boring. Like “Dune.”
Sci-fi rom com/satire “The Pod Generation,” starring Emilia Clarke and Chiwetel Ejiofor, premieres at the Sundance Film Festival today (Jan. 19). Directed by Sophie Barthes (“Cold Souls”), the film may not be released in mainstream theaters, as it’s an independent movie, and it might not be released this year at all, but I will keep you posted. It looks interesting.
There were supposed to be new Star Trek and Star Wars movies in theaters this year, in June and December, respectively, but it doesn’t look like either of those will be happening. Hopefully we will have more news on those soon.
After we finished “Paper Girls,” which we loved, my daughter and I were looking for something similar to watch together. Our contenders were “The Wilds” and “Runaways” (both of which we only watched one episode), and “Parallels” (Disney+) which we declared the winner of the three. We binge-watched all six episodes of Season 1. A French series dubbed in English, “Parallels” follows a group of teenage friends who are accidentally separated into parallel universes during testing of a nearby particle collider. (Rated TV-14.)
A new series on HBO, “The Last of Us” is based on a video game and stars Pedro Pascal as Joel, a survivor of a creepy zombie plague. I’ve only seen the first episode so far (it just came out on Sunday), but so far it’s really good. The epic first episode walks us through the events before the apocalyptic plague hits, Joel’s harrowing fight to get out of the infected city with his daughter and brother, and the dismal aftermath. (Rated TV-MA.)
Franchise series expected in 2023
Star Wars series coming to Disney+ this year: “Ahsoka,” “Skeleton Crew,” and the third season of “The Mandalorian.”
New seasons of the three (live-action) Star Trek series are also coming this year: the second season of “Strange New Worlds,” Season 5 of “Discovery,” and the third and final season of “Picard.”
Marvel series coming to Disney+ this year: “Secret Invasion,” “Ironheart,” “Echo,” “Agatha: Coven of Chaos,” and the second seasons of “Loki” and “What If …?”
Hey sci-fi people! I’m finishing up my end of the year roundup, right under the wire. I haven’t seen everything, obviously, and other than lack of time, the main reasons for that are: I don’t really love horror (in case you’re thinking, “What about ‘Nope’?”) and also, I don’t subscribe to every streaming service. It’s getting a little out of hand, all these increasingly expensive streaming services, am I right? But that’s a complaint for another post.
Here are my awards for sci-fi and fantasy films of 2022:
Favorite Movie of the Year: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Was it perfect? No. Is it going to win Best Picture award at the Oscars? Probably not. But I loved it. It was beautifully done, and after the disappointments that were the Thor and Doc Strange sequels, “Wakanda” was just what I needed. It was exciting and unpredictable without being too silly (“Love and Thunder”) or too creepy (“Multiverse of Madness”). It was a great tribute to Chadwick Boseman and a great addition to the MCU, but also a good movie in general.
Wackiest movie: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is getting all kinds of nominations for the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards, which is cool, and I love Michelle Yeoh; she’s one of my favorite actresses. This absurdist movie about parallel universes was so frenetic and crazy I don’t think I will watch it again, but it was definitely something, even if it wasn’t my favorite.
Favorite dance scene: “After Yang.” There were a lot of good dance scenes in movies and TV this year. I loved the dance-off in “Umbrella Academy,” and Frenchie and Kimiko’s old-timey musical number in “The Boys.” Wednesday Addams’ self-choreographed goth dance on the Netflix series even went viral. But the one that gets my vote is the family dance competition in the opening credits of the Colin Farrell film “After Yang.” I like funny, what can I say? Unfortunately, there isn’t much humor in the rest of the film, about a family dealing with the loss of their humanoid robot companion. Quiet and melancholic, “After Yang” is the polar opposite of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” in its pace.
Movie that Put Me in a Funk: “Three Thousand Years of Longing.” Speaking of melancholy, this movie about a djinn (Idris Elba) released from his bottle by a professor (Tilda Swinton) gave me the sads. It didn’t earn big box office bucks, which I suspect may have been due to poor marketing, but also the way the story is framed: The bulk of the film is taken up with the djinn telling the professor stories of how he ended up in the bottle. I love Swinton and Elba, and I wanted to love this, but the djinn’s stories aren’t all that interesting, and they take up the whole movie so there’s no depth to the relationship the djinn and Alithea have with each other. I want more from a movie that’s supposed to be about magic and storytelling. What can we learn from a being that has been alive for thousands of years? Humans are awful, and loneliness sucks? I already know that. When the credits rolled, I didn’t feel charmed. Just depressed.
Most impressive effects: “Avatar: The Way of Water.” I just talked about this film in my last post, so I won’t go into detail. I also recently found out it’s being boycotted, and perhaps justifiably so. A topic for a different post. I’ll just say the controversy doesn’t change the fact that the effects are indeed impressive and leave it at that.
Sci-fi and fantasy series
I watched more series than films this year, and there were a lot of good ones. There were also some that were OK but could have been better. Here we go:
Started Out Boring but Turned Out to be the Best New Series of the Year (aka “The Expanse” award) goes to “Andor,” on Disney+. I think a lot of Star Wars fans got burned out on the barren desert boringness of “The Book of Boba Fett” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” Expecting us to get excited about a prequel of a prequel was a big ask. The first couple episodes had me feeling “whatever” about it, but by the end, I was blown away by this series. Diego Luna earned a nomination as the title character, and Andy Serkis was intense as Kino Loy, a floor manager in a prison complex. And I’m still thinking about that Stellan Skarsgård speech. Great writing, great acting. More Star Wars like this, please!
Season 2 Which was Even Better than Season 1: “Undone,” on Amazon Prime. I have sung the praises of this awesome show multiple times, so I won’t go on and on but if you haven’t watched it yet, this is your reminder. It has cool animation and time travel and Bob Odenkirk. Runner-up: “Russian Doll” on Netflix.
Series That Should Get a Season 2 but Was Cancelled: “Paper Girls.” The Amazon Prime series is an adaptation of a comic book by the author of my favorite comic, “Saga,” Brian K. Vaughan, who describes “Paper Girls” as a cross between “Stand by Me” and “Terminator.” Four paper delivery girls living in 1988 are swept up in a time travel conflict and transported to the year 2019. One of my favorite comedians, Ali Wong, plays one of the girls as an adult in 2019. I really liked this one; it’s too bad it didn’t get the marketing or renewal it deserved. (I assume it’s because all of Amazon’s marketing budget went to the next series on this list.) Maybe “Paper Girls” will get picked up by another streaming service. Fingers crossed.
Most Expensive Series that Should Have Been Better: “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” on Amazon Prime. This wasn’t really bad, and in fact I will watch Season 2 since I did like the last couple episodes. But overall, it was a bit of a snooze fest, which it shouldn’t have been, considering it cost more than all the LOTR movies combined. The total reported price tag for Season 1 was $715 million. Yikes. Runner-up: HBO’s “House of the Dragon.”
Best Musical Scene: Everyone’s favorite dungeon master Eddie Munson on “Stranger Things” playing “Master of Puppets” to lure the demon bats away from his friends – the ultimate guitar hero! The actor who plays Munson, Joseph Quinn, is really playing the guitar in that scene; he practiced the Metallica song for months.
The long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s epic 2009 sci-fi/fantasy film “Avatar” is finally in theaters. We saw it last night, and we loved it! But not everyone had positive things to say about it. I’ve seen some less than favorable reviews, with critics complaining about the film not being original or deep enough, which I guess is a fair point? The plot is a recycled version of the plot from the first movie, and the characters are clichéd (rebellious teenagers, snarling Marine colonel, etc.).
If you’ve seen the first movie – one of the critics in question admitted she hadn’t – then you know the point is not the story. You aren’t going to see this CGI movie in IMAX 3D expecting to be blown away by the plot. You’re in it because it looks cool. It transports you for three hours to another planet. It’s not “Citizen Kane.”
I know everyone says “Avatar” is a glorified version of “FernGully” or “Pocahontas” but how glorious it is! It’s no wonder the villainous Earth people want to move to Pandora. Who wouldn’t? The water is clean and phosphorescent; the forest is lush and magical.
In this sequel, we are introduced to the reef people, a separate clan from the one in the first film, which introduced the forest people of Pandora. And I know I mentioned in my last post that I have an issue with mer-people but 1) these people don’t have underwater homes so it doesn’t count, and 2) Cameron has said that one of the reasons this was so long coming was because he wanted to get the underwater effects just right, and it looked amazing! It may not be award-winning writing, but visually, it’s just about perfect.
Having said that, I didn’t hate the plot. It’s not subtle in its messages about environmentalism and colonialism, but so what. They’re good messages and bear repeating.
It’s possible this sequel struck a chord because, like me, Jake and Neytiri are now parents of teenagers, so I related to their worries. I was invested; the stakes are high and the action sequences are intense. It was breathtaking but it also had humor, and heart. It’s not going to change your life, but it has everything you want in a sci-fi/fantasy/action movie. If you liked the first one, you won’t be disappointed.
“Avatar 3” is scheduled to be released in December 2024.
Under the Gunn
I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, “WTF, James Gunn?” First we find out that he’s not going to direct any more “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, and now he’s taking over at DC, and the first order of business is apparently to ax the best things DC had going for it: Henry Cavill playing Superman and Patty Jenkins directing the Wonder Woman movies.
Jenkins has reportedly left the third Wonder Woman film over “creative differences.” This came as a shock as the first one was, in this fan’s opinion, DC’s best offering thus far. I can only hope Gal Gadot follows Jenkins to something bigger and better.
Cavill fans were already upset by the announcement in October that he will no longer be playing Geralt of Rivia after Season 3 of “The Witcher,” expected in mid-2023. (Season 4 will feature Liam Hemsworth in the role.) There have been many rumors, but an official explanation has not been given. It was suspected that his return to his Superman role could be the reason. But now we know this isn’t happening either, as Gunn is taking Superman in a different (younger) direction. Cavill announced last week he is working on a “Warhammer” franchise which will be on Amazon. Mystery (sort of) solved.
I don’t know much about “Warhammer” but as long as I get to see Henry in something, I’m happy.
More stuff …
In other Witcher news, a four-episode prequel miniseries, “The Witcher: Blood Origin,” starring Michelle Yeoh, will be released on Netflix on Dec. 25. I love Yeoh, so I will be watching this one. I was happy to see that she and her wacky sci-fi flick “Everything Everywhere All at Once” have been nominated for Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Movie awards. Yeoh is also in the aforementioned third installment of “Avatar,” coming in 2024.
If you are looking for something to binge watch, check out the first season of the fantasy series “Shadow and Bone” before the second season comes out March 16. This one is also on Netflix.
One last thing I want to mention is the new trailer for “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” Check it out.
I had really been looking forward to “Thor: Love and Thunder.” I had high expectations, as it has the same director (Taika Waititi) as “Thor: Ragnarok,” which is one of the most fun, and funny, films in the Marvel franchise. Unfortunately, this new one is not as good as “Ragnarok.”
It was cool to see Thor, Valkyrie, Jane, and Darcy (briefly) again, and my inner (Slash-obsessed) teen was really happy about all the Guns N’ Roses tunes. And there are some funny moments, and some “Yay!” moments, but if you’re taking little kids to see this, or you’re in the mood for a feel-good movie, you might be a little bit disappointed.
My main complaint about “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is that it is basically a horror movie. I thought the Thor sequel would be more light-hearted and fun, and it is, but it is also darker than I expected. One might think the fun parts balance that out, but instead it comes across, to me anyway, as sort of disjointed.
My more detailed criticisms (which follow the photo) are full of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen “Thor: Love and Thunder” yet, maybe just skip down to my review of “The Boys.”
OK if you’re still with me and haven’t seen “Thor: Love and Thunder” yet, you’ve been warned. Spoilers follow!
Christian Bale is creepy and depressing as Gorr the God Butcher, and I know he’s supposed to be creepy because he’s the bad guy, but his origin story is unsettling, and his abduction of the kids is pretty dark. Isn’t it sad enough that Jane Foster is dying of cancer? Now there are monsters stealing little kids from their beds?
Almost as much of a bummer as the horror elements are the tired jokes. (The first time Korg botches Jane’s name is funny. Come up with a different joke after that.) Remember in “Endgame” when the writers thought it was funny to make fun of the fact that Thor got fat – like 12 times? That’s how I feel about the love affair between Thor and Stormbreaker. It’s amusing at first, and I know Natalie Portman has a reputation for not having chemistry with any of her co-stars but this script doesn’t help matters by whipping up more tension between Thor and his ax than between its human characters.
I was excited about Jane becoming Mighty Thor, and I stupidly thought they were going to be bringing her back for more than just this one movie. Mjolnir gives her powers but doesn’t cure her cancer? No; in fact, it actually hastens her decline. (Apparently, this is partially taken from the comics, the explanation being that the transformation purges her body of toxins, including the chemo.)
I love that we get this whole back story of Thor and Jane’s relationship, and that she turns into a superhero, and that she and Thor get back together, but then … it’s over. Then to add insult to injury we discover the love and thunder of the title refers not to Thor and Jane, but to Thor and the villain’s bratty orphan daughter! I guess it is supposed to be adorable, but it feels rushed and unearned. I guess I’m just bitter because I wanted Jane to have the happy ending with Thor.
I wanted a win for at least one of the bad-ass women in this film. Valkyrie is sidelined about halfway through the movie! I’m over this trend of women getting fridged and/or killed off. Is Jane’s role in this simply to sacrifice herself and to teach Thor how to open his heart to love? We already had Black Widow sacrifice herself in “Endgame.” And in “Multiverse,” Wanda was killed off (and was also a victim of character assassination). That’s just off the top of my head – and only in the last three years of Marvel movies.
Maybe I’m being unfair. I know it sounds like I hate this movie, but I don’t. I’ll watch it again and I’ll probably like it more the next time, and I’ll say I was too harsh in my review. Maybe.
Iloved Frenchie and Kimiko this season. They are so pure and sweet with each other, and I really want them to live. Previously, my fave character on “The Boys” was Billy Butcher. (Don’t judge!) I even found Frenchie slightly annoying before, but now I’m 100% team Frenchie/Kimiko.
Unfortunately, the comments I keep seeing online about this show look like “Who cares about these two? Let’s get back to the supes.” Um? You don’t want to see Frenchie and Kimiko snuggling, but you’re OK with supes shrinking themselves to fit into someone’s uh … nether regions? You don’t want to see Frenchie and Kimiko singing and dancing, but you’re OK with yet another exploding head? What about the Deep doing stuff with an octopus? More than once?! Also, I don’t understand anyone who is turned on by Soldier Boy or Little Nina. And “Herogasm” made me nauseated. It’s possible (I mean likely) that this show isn’t for me. But. Homelander needs to die and I’m not going to stop watching until he does.
Speaking of singing and dancing, how much did you love the dance battle at the beginning of this season’s “Umbrella Academy”? As in “The Boys,” it was all in the imagination of one character, but it was still awesome.
I think the writers did a good job of handling Elliot Page’s storyline. Vanya is now Viktor, and the other siblings are supportive, which is nice.
I am not loving the Sparrows, but I guess we’re not supposed to like them. I really loved Season 2 of this series, and so far, Season 3 isn’t quite as good, but I’m only halfway through, so maybe it will get better.
‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’
When the first few episodes of SNW aired, I was kind of bored. “Discovery” was the new Trek, as far as I was concerned. SNW is just a spinoff! Right? Well. It reeled me in and now I’m all in with Space Daddy, er, PIKE, new Spock, Una, Chapel, La’an, New-Uhura (New-Hura?), Ortegas, M’Benga, and T’Pring.
There is much discussion in the fandom as to why this show works so well. Is it because it is episodic? Is it because it is so similar to the original series? Is it because it isn’t trying so hard to be, for lack of a better word, “woke”? Does it matter? It’s fun. Enough said.
Aside from the animated series (“Lower Decks” and “Prodigy”), which will be back this year, there are no release dates yet for any new or returning Trek series. “Discovery,” “Picard,” and “Strange New Worlds” are expected to return in 2023.
Coming up in August on Disney+ are the Marvel series “She-Hulk” (Aug. 17) and “I Am Groot” animated shorts (Aug. 10), as well as the Star Wars series “Andor” (Aug. 31). The “Game of Thrones” prequel series “House of the Dragon” premieres Aug. 21, on HBO.
Now that the crazy whirlwind that is “Moon Knight” has concluded its first season, we can talk about it what it all means.
What does it mean? I still don’t know. But I love that Marvel’s Disney+ offerings are so different from each other. We have the amazing adventures of Bucky and Sam, Wanda and Vision play house, a very Hawkeye Christmas, the Asgardian god of mischief, and now Oscar Isaac channeling an Egyptian god. I don’t like them all equally, and that’s fine. There is something for everyone.
I personally prefer the lighter, funnier side of Marvel (“Ant-Man,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”) rather than Marvel’s darker, creepier offerings (“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”). “Moon Knight” leans more toward this dark side. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed “Moon Knight.” It is interesting and suspenseful. But the best thing it has going for it is Isaac’s performance. He really brings this immense talent to every role, and he is perfect in this.
It was recently brought to my attention that a lot of Marvel heroes have been at war with some version of themselves lately. We see this in “Moon Knight,” “Loki,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” etc. I’m not sure if this is a coincidence, or if it’s a commentary on how our greatest obstacle is often ourselves. Something to think about.
Next up, Marvel series-wise, is “Ms. Marvel,” which will premiere on Disney+ on June 8. I’ve been reading the comic books, and they are pretty good. This new character will be the first Muslim superhero in the MCU, which is cool.
We are seeing more diversity lately in Marvel movies and series; there are more female, Black, Latino, Indian, LGBT+, and deaf superheroes, and it’s about time! White dudes dominated the screen for the first 17 MCU films, and they were great and all, but it’s so refreshing – and important! – to see not just characters but main characters who represent people of different ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and abilities.
The new series “She-Hulk” is coming out on Aug. 17, and stars Tatiana Maslany who was amazing in “Orphan Black.” Mark Ruffalo and Tim Roth, who are also wonderful, will appear in the series (as the Hulk and the Abomination). The trailer just dropped on Tuesday, and it looks, um, what’s the word I’m looking for? Entertaining. See for yourself:
There are a lot of new Marvel series coming in the next couple years, including “Secret Invasion,” “Ironheart,” “Armor Wars,” and a series set in Wakanda. A Halloween special and a Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas special are also still scheduled to be released this year as well.
There are also two spinoff series in the works: one starring Kathryn Hahn as her character from “WandaVision,” called “Agatha: House of Harkness,” and “Echo,” starring Alaqua Cox who played Maya Lopez in “Hawkeye.”
In Marvel movie news, there are still six more Phase Four films coming out in the next couple years. The next one is “Thor: Love and Thunder,” out July 8. Then we have “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” on Nov. 11; “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” and “The Marvels,” scheduled to be released next year; and “Fantastic Four.”
In Star Wars news, the Obi-Wan Kenobi series will premiere May 27, on Disney+, and will star Ewan McGregor, who also serves as executive producer for the show, set 10 years after the events of “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.” Hayden Christensen will also reprise his role, as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. There are six episodes.
Other Star Wars series coming to Disney+ are “Andor,” “Ahsoka,” “The Acolyte,” and Season Three of “The Mandalorian.” There is also talk of a “Lando” series, but there isn’t much information yet on this series.
If you are caught up on “Star Trek: Picard,” you know things have taken a turn for the batsh*t crazy. Q shows up in Season 2, and of course chaos ensues, as it does whenever Q shows up. And the Borg Queen shows up, and chaos ensues, as it does whenever she shows up.
There’s some time travel, some unresolved childhood trauma, and an alternate universe plot – all manner of completely bonkers stuff happens is what I’m saying, and I’m not sure yet how I feel about it because what is happening on this show?! That’s all I’m going to say about that.
“Star Trek: Discovery” got a bit crazy as well, in its fourth season. (When the universe as you know it might be ending and your rogue boyfriend is partially responsible, but you want to give him another chance!) But one of the cool things that “Discovery” has going for it is that every season goes in a completely new direction, and even though there were some WTF moments, I still am looking forward to seeing what direction it heads in Season Five.
“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” premiered on May 5, and it’s OK but it isn’t really blowing me away. To be fair, I’ve only seen the first two episodes so far, and there are some new, interesting characters, so I’ll keep watching and maybe it will get better with time.
Another spin-off of “Discovery,” called “Section 31,” is still reportedly in the works and will star Michelle Yeoh, reprising her role as Philippa Georgiou. There has also been talk of a limited series based on Khan Noonien Singh, and another set at Starfleet Academy, but it has been announced that no new Trek series will be released before at least one of the current series concludes its run.
There are now 12 Star Trek series (including the animated ones) and they are all available on Paramount+. You can also watch all 13 of the Trek films on Paramount+. And … a new, J. J. Abrams-produced Trek movie is in the works and is expected to be released next year.
In “Grishaverse” news, Season 2 of the Netflix series “Shadow and Bone” (based on the YA fantasy novels by Leigh Bardugo) is reportedly in production. If you haven’t seen the first season yet, now’s a good time to catch up before the Season 2 release, expected sometime this year.
The series follows a cartographer named Alina Starkov (played by Jessie Mei Li) who discovers she is a Grisha, gifted with magical powers.
I had never heard of the books or the series before I saw the first episode, but I found this fantasy world, with its interesting characters and beautiful costumes, very intriguing, because let’s face it: It’s nice to go somewhere new, rather than visit the same boring destination over and over. Like, say, Tatooine.
“Stranger Things” will be back May 27. There are actually two release dates; Netflix will release the second half of Season 4 on July 1. There are nine episodes, and at over an hour each, they are longer than those of previous seasons. In a recent interview, the Duffer Brothers (the series’ creators) said the season finale will be over two hours long. Stock up on popcorn!
Season Three of the Netflix series “Umbrella Academy” will be released June 22. If you haven’t watched the first two seasons of this show, based on the comics by Gerard Way, I highly recommend it.
Photo at top: “Ms. Marvel,” Disney Platform Distribution.
Stories about parallel universes and multiverses can be problematic. The concept of the butterfly effect posits that something as seemingly insignificant as a butterfly flapping its wings can put huge changes into motion. If this is true then if all of us are even a little different in a potential other universe, how could we even exist in another reality? If the other “you” is different, then wouldn’t your parents’ alternates also be different, and if so wouldn’t they not have even had you in the first place? Or if they did, would they have the same you? Even siblings with the same two parents have different gene combinations. It doesn’t make sense. These stories defy logic and physics and are plagued by minor inconsistencies at best, and gaping plot holes at worst.
Science fiction asks us to set those pesky issues aside and instead delve into the philosophical questions alternate realities present. Or at least just enjoy the ride. Of course, it’s easier to do that when the story is good.
I have been looking forward to “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” because Doctor Strange is one of my favorite Marvel characters, and “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” because I love Michelle Yeoh. (Yeoh is no stranger to parallel universes; she plays two different versions of Philippa Georgiou in “Star Trek: Discovery.”)
Another thing these films have in common other than multiple universes is that they are not for kids. The Doctor Strange sequel is dark and creepy. It may have the same rating (PG-13) as “Ant-Man” but it is darker and creepier than “Ant-Man.” (Did I mention it is dark? And creepy?)
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is rated R, and for good reason. There are things in this movie I wish I could un-see. Enough said.
Does EEAAO live up to the hype? Well if you like quirky, raunchy movies that make you say “What the f–k did I just watch?” then you will love it. I made my sister go see it with me and she said it was like “an exhausting acid trip,” which is as fitting a description as any for this frenetic, absurdist film, but we also found it laugh-out-loud funny, and even touching. I don’t want to give any spoilers, in case you are still interested after everything I just said. Yeoh was awesome as always, as was the rest of the cast, including Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
I had heard the Doctor Strange sequel was more horror-themed this time, and I suspected I would not like this about it, and I was right. If the horror aspects of the film were the only things I didn’t like, I could maybe forgive it, but I didn’t like the plot either. I am not going to give spoilers. If you like Sam Raimi’s other stuff (“The Evil Dead,” “Drag Me to Hell”), you will probably like this and if you don’t, well. We can’t win ’em all, I guess. (It’s entirely possible I am just bitter because in our universe, Stephen Strange isn’t a sorcerer, or even a surgeon. He’s an actor, and there are no superheroes. Boo.)
For alternate realities on a smaller scale, and on a smaller screen, check out “Undone” on Amazon Prime, and “Russian Doll,” on Netflix, both of which recently released a second season. I loved the first and second seasons of both shows, which feature women struggling to control their time-traveling abilities.
In the first season of “Russian Doll,” Natasha Lyonne’s character, Nadia, gets stuck in a sort of “Groundhog Day” time loop, and in Season Two, she discovers a portal to the past. Alma, in “Undone,” also finds herself traveling back to the past.
In both series, the protagonists are seen as mentally unstable (but are they?) and both attempt to change the fate of family members, often at their own peril. I could talk about what that says about how society views women, and the sacrifices women make for their families but I’m not really sure that’s where they were even going. Make of it what you will.
I have already reviewed and sung the praises of the first seasons of “Undone” and “Russian Doll,” so I won’t go on and on. I actually found the second season of both series even more compelling than the first. Like most alternate reality stories, they were occasionally confusing and sometimes asked more questions than they answered, but they got so much right that it was easy to overlook the complications.
Southern California day trips
There are two weekends left this year of The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale. My hubby and daughter and I went a couple weeks ago for the first time in several years. The traffic getting into the park was a pain; I missed the bird show they used to have, with hawks and vultures, etc. (we want birdies!); and there were not as many bands this time around. But most of the same vendors and attractions were there, and we still had fun.
The Wisconsin and New York faires are still to come this year. Go to http://renfair.com for more information.
We also recently went to see the Hayao Miyazaki exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. You can’t take photos inside the exhibit itself, but we got a few in the hallway, and photography is allowed in the other galleries at the museum.
This place just opened last year (next to LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Boulevard, if you want to make a whole day of it). It was our first time there and we loved it. There were tons of movie props and costumes, a terrace from which you can see the famous Hollywood sign, and a cute gift shop. The Miyazaki exhibit runs through June 5. For more information, visit academymuseum.org.
Ren Faire and Academy Museum photos by Earth to Shawna
When I read that people are divided over “The Matrix Resurrections,” that fans either love it or hate it, I knew I would be in the second group. I wanted to be wrong. I wanted to like this movie. But unfortunately, my prediction was correct.
It started out fun and funny, and I hate the word “meta,” but it was that too. But the writers apparently didn’t know where to go from there. It was almost as bad as the new “Bill & Ted” movie, and every bit as pointless. I love Keanu, but how did no one who read the script think to say, “Can’t we do better than this?” The plot was so dull and boring, I nearly fell asleep before it was over.
The fact that they kept showing clips from the first film should have been a clue that they were relying too heavily on nostalgia. They even named the deja vu cat from the first film Deja Vu, in case we didn’t feel saturated in deja vu already.
That cat was the best thing in the whole movie, which is all you really need to know.
I finished watching Season 2 of “The Witcher” and it was over much too quickly. I’m a tiny bit obsessed with this Netflix series. I’m not going to pretend that it’s as good as say, “Game of Thrones” (and when I say GoT is good, I assume you know that I mean except for Season 8), but it is probably just as fun to watch. I love this show, and without ruining the whole plot for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, I will explain why.
Exhibit A: Henry Cavill. Actually, do you really need another reason? He’s dreamy. Enough said.
OK, OK. That’s not all. There’s also some great girl power: Princess Cirilla is learning how to be a warrior, and there’s also a sorceress named Yennefer. The stories are great, the costumes and scenery transport you to another time and place, and there’s just the right mix of action, suspense, romance, and scary shit to please any sci-fi/fantasy fan.
It’s also funny. Yes, it is intentionally funny and it (mostly) succeeds at that. One of my favorite scenes has Jaskier the bard defending one of his songs when someone criticizes it by saying it’s too complicated – he didn’t realize there were different timelines until the fourth verse, etc. Obviously referring to criticism directed at Season 1 of “The Witcher,” Jaskier continues the fourth-wall break by insulting him right back, basically telling him that he can’t do any better so he should shut up.
I also love the anachronistic speech. Geralt saying stuff like “Where the fuck are my swords?” is probably not supposed to be funny, but gets me every time. Same with every character who can say “fire fucker” with a straight face.
I have a few minor gripes about this show, one of which is I am sort of over the tired trope of “the one.” The one that was foretold of in the prophecies, the prince who was promised, the dragon reborn, blah blah blah – every show/book/movie has a different name for this special chosen one. Thankfully, this series doesn’t beat you over the head with it; there’s plenty of other stuff going on. But destiny does figure into the plot, which is a little annoying. (Maybe it’s just me?)
My recommendation to anyone who watched Season 1 when it was released but hasn’t yet seen Season 2: Watch Season 1 again before watching Season 2. I had forgotten some of the characters and plot points since it has been so long between seasons. (Season 1 came out in December 2019.)
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’
Spidey is not my favorite: I am not a big fan of Tobey Maguire; I sat through nearly every previous Spider-Man movie somewhat grudgingly; and I normally find Tom Holland’s Peter Parker too earnest. I prefer Tony Stark’s sarcasm. But it took multiple viewings of the Captain America movies before I came to appreciate (and love) Steve Rogers’ wholesomeness, and Peter Parker is finally growing on me too.
I loved that Doctor Strange is in this movie, but I didn’t love that Peter thought it was perfectly acceptable to ask him to interfere with the space-time continuum simply because his buddies didn’t get into their college of choice. It was even more annoying that the doc agreed to help him. And then Peter didn’t go along with Strange’s solution of sending the supervillains back to their own universes – um, what?!
But then Ned used the sling ring to find the other Peter Parkers and things got kinda cool. When Andrew Garfield showed up and then Maguire, it reminded me of what I loved about “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which until now was the best Spidey film, and darn it if I didn’t get a little teary-eyed by the end of the movie.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will be released on May 6.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” will be in theaters July 8.
“Wakanda Forever” has a Nov. 11 release date.
(All release dates are subject to change.)
Also expected in 2022 are the Disney+ series “Ms. Marvel,” “Moon Knight,” “She-Hulk,” and “The “Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.”
“Star Trek: Picard” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” are alsoplanned for the new year.
Note that the mid-season finale of “Star Trek: Discovery” is Dec. 30; Season 4 returns Feb. 10.
Let’s get straight down to business: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” It was great – I loved it. It was almost (I said almost!) as good as “Black Panther.” Even though they are very different, it’s hard not to compare the two – they both are origin stories that star minority leads: “Black Panther” was the first MCU film with a Black lead, and “Shang-Chi” is the first Asian superhero. Both films also feature never-before-seen magical places. (I won’t get into that because I’m trying to make this review relatively spoiler-free.)
Simu Liu is great as the title character Shang-Chi, the son of Wenwu (Tony Leung) who is the wielder of the 10 rings, ancient relics which give power to those who possess them. Shang’s BFF Katy, played by the always-funny Awkwafina, provides moral support and comic relief, and Meng’er Zhang is great as Shang’s sister, Xialing.
Michelle Yeoh, as Shang and Xialings’s aunt, is fantastic as usual. I loved her in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” and oh yes, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”! You know you’re good when you land not one, but two roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Besides being visually stunning, there is never a dull moment in this movie. It sucks you in from the start, and takes you on a crazy ride. It’s sort of a hybrid between an action flick and a fantasy. It’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s not terribly deep but the cast, the story, the costumes, and the CGI are all amazing and come together to make this a worthy addition to the MCU, especially when you factor in the cameos from other Marvel characters. (And if you’ve seen the Marvel One-Shots short film “All Hail the King,” you will not be surprised to see Ben Kingsley, reprising his role as Trevor Slattery, who first appeared in “Iron Man 3.”)
I know “Free Guy” looks like a silly movie – a combination between “Wreck-It Ralph” and “The Lego Movie,” and well, it is. But it’s funny and it has heart and it was better than I thought it was going to be. I probably would not have gone to see this in the theater except for the fact that it was our anniversary and there was not much else to do. But we were pleasantly surprised.
I’ve loved Ryan Reynolds since I saw him in “Deadpool,” so already the movie had that going for it. It reminded me of the Amazon series “Upload,” except instead of a virtual afterlife, “Free Guy” takes place in a video game. Reynolds is Guy, an NPC (non-playable character). Guy’s run-in with a player named Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”) sort of “awakens” him and he begins to stray from his program. Craziness ensues.
You don’t really need to be a gamer to enjoy the movie (but it will help you recognize certain YouTubers who make cameos). The movie also stars Taika Waititi as a narcissistic game developer, and “Stranger Things” fans will be happy to see Joe Keery as his employee.
It’s not going to blow your mind, but if you’re on the fence about this one, just go see it. It’s fun.
What If … ?
I know I talked about how much I loved “Loki,” and also “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” I even liked “WandaVision” (but not as much as the other two). Now we have “What If …?”, an animated Marvel series which explores alternate outcomes. What if Agent Carter had taken the super serum instead of Steve Rogers? That’s the question posed in the first episode, and although it was a little campy, I actually liked that episode. Unfortuantely, it went downhill from there, and so far, this is my least favorite Marvel series on Disney+.
(Warning: Spoilers follow!)
In the episodes that followed the Captain Carter episode (at least the ones that I’ve seen so far), the superhoeroes we’ve come to know and love act completely against character. In episode 2, the series explores what would have happened if T’Challa had become Star-Lord, and we see Nebula, who is normally a total bad-ass, reduced to a blonde bombshell who calls T’Challa Cha-Cha.
I also found certain plot points to be somewhat nonsensical: T’Challa forgives Yondu for lying to him about his real father for no reason. In “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” Quill forgives Yondu for lying to him about his real father but there’s a very good reason (his father was a bad guy). I get that T’Challa is a good person and that it’s this goodness that made his Star-Lord a savior, rather than the screw-up that Peter Quill is, but come on.
Also acting against character is Hank Pym who (in the third episode) becomes a murderous villain after his daughter Hope is killed. And Doctor Strange, in episode 4, loses his love, Dr. Christine Palmer, and becomes obsessed with bringing her back. Our favorite sorcerer’s willingness to absorb creepy entities is out of character but even worse is the assertion that Dr. Palmer’s death is an “absolute point” in the timeline – an unchangeable event that leads to Strange’s defeat of Dormammu. There is no timeline in which she doesn’t die. Um? Except for the one (in the film) in which Christine is alive and well, right?
Episode 5 gives us … zombies. If it isn’t disturbing enough to see our Avengers devolve into brain-eating monsters, the insult added to injury is Vision sacrificing humans to feed his zombie love Wanda. This seems completely out of character, but by this point I guess it was par for the course. (I admit I’m not a fan of gore; horror fans probably loved it.)
Another thing I did not like was the fridging of two women – in two consecutive episodes. In case you haven’t heard me gripe about this before, fridging is a plot device in which a character, often the hero’s love interest, is killed off or incapacitated for the purpose of motivating the hero. The most obvious example of this is in the Doctor Strange epsiode (Christine’s death is the motivating factor for his trip to Kamar-Taj). But I would argue that Hope’s death also qualifies, since it’s the catalyst for Pym’s unexpected villainy.
Actually, Doctor Strange sort of becomes a villain as well – because of his unwillingness to accept that he can’t change the past (in which she dies) – but only after her death leads to him saving the world first. So I’m not really sure if the writers are making a commentary on fridging leading to villainy or if this is just textbook fridging. Considering these are the same writers who turned Nebula into a femme fatale, my guess is the latter.
I get that the whole point is to switch up the stories but I expected the alternative timelines to at least make sense. The Captain Carter one did; it was plausible that Peggy would take the serum instead of Steve, and the ensuing events made sense. The following four episodes didn’t seem to follow logic.
There are four more episodes left in the series, and I haven’t given up. The possibilities in a multiverse are endless; there is potential for some great stories. Maybe “What If …?” will yet fulfill it.
Photos: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; “Free Guy,” 20th Century Studios; “What If …?”, Disney+.