The Wheel of Time | Trailer

  • Writer: Robert Jordan (Novels), Rafe Judkins (Showrunner),
  • Directors: Uta Briesewitz, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Wayne Yip
  • Stars: Rosamund Pike, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, Zoë Robins, Barney Harris, Madeleine Madden, Daniel Henney

The Wheel Of Time premieres on the 19 November 2021.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings | An Ode to Asian Cinema with a Marvel Spin

After Marvel has been killing it with their TV series Wandavision, TFATWS, and a surprising entry with Black Widow, the studio is back is another block buster directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy), who and co-wrote it with Andrew Lanham (The Kid) and Dave Callaham (WW84). The movie stars Simu Liu (Kim’s convenience) in the title role with Awkwafina (Nora from Queens), Tony Leung (The Grandmaster), Fala Chen (The Undoing), Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians), Florian Munteanu (Creed II), and Meng’er Zhang rounding out the cast.

Premise: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Shang-Chi is drawn into the clandestine Ten Rings organization, and is forced to confront the past he thought he left behind.

Review: This movie being about a superhero of color, some people might be tempted to compare this movie to Black Panther, but unlike Asian cinema black cinema is not as expansive and widely known. So where Ryan Coogler‘s built upon black cinema, Destin Daniel Cretton paid homage to the various Asian films has while creating his own world within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Cretton seamlessly mixes western and East Asian movie production styles in Shang-Chi.

The plot is quite compelling, it focuses on the family and a good chunk of it is on the antagonist that we get to know and understand fully. The rest of the MCU is referenced to point out that it’s all connected but this movie is mostly self-contained and centered on Shang-Chi’s family. There’s enough cool world building for the film to stand on its own, because the story spans throughout time with many flashbacks establishing each characters. The mix of different production styles and genres allow each of the action sequences to have a unique look and feel.
The fight choreography is an absolute joy to watch, it’s next level, because they really lean into the martial art aspect of the film. It also looks new and fresh with great cinematography and visual effects. However, the bigger and crazier the fights gets, the more it looks like any old Marvel VFX action sequence instead – meaning it’s good but not as exciting as it once was. I’m talking about a particular sequence in the third act, it’s cool to look at, if you can follow it. Since it’s Marvel, there’s humour throughout but it’s used well, it doesn’t take away from drama and gravitas of the film.

The cast is top notch, they are great and each are given cool character moments throughout the film. Simu Liu and Awkwafina make for a great duo, Leung is amazing, and the rest of the ladies are simply great.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a fun action movie with many surprises making it a top MCU film.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

August readings | Night Frights

Title: Nightbooks
Author: J. A. White
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Fantasy, Horror, Fiction
Page count: 320 pages
Published: 24 July 2018

My review (soon) | Book | Audiobook

Title: Role Model
Series: Game Changers #5
Author: Rachel Reid
Genre(s): Sports, Romance, MM
Page count: 323 pages
Published: 10 August 2021

My review (soon) | Audiobook

These books are also available on The Book Depository, or you can get them from the links above at no extra cost to you

Spider-Man: No Way Home | Trailer

  • Writer: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee (Comics), Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers (Screenplay),
  • Director: Jon Watts
  • Star: Zendaya, Tom Holland, Jon Favreau, Benedict Cumberbatch, Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons

It’s more a teaser than anything else, because this trailer teases a lot of characters and plots. It picks up right where Spider-Man: If you’ve somehow avoided most of the spoiler filled rumors this first look at the movie is perfect. Because we have Dr. Strange and Dr. Octopus clearly shown in it, there’s also the Green Goblin’s bomb at some point, and for those with a keen eye the electricity bolts and the sandstorm hints at Electro and Sandman. Since I expected all this I’m more excited for the confirmation of some of these rumors than what I saw in the video.

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The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf | Lore, Gore and Tears

The world of Netflix’s the Wither is expanding with this animated film, a spin-off to the series, staring Theo James (Divergent series), Lara Pulver (Sherlock, True Blood), Graham McTavish (Outlander, The Hobbit Trilogy), Mary McDonnell (Major Crimes), Tom Canton (The Witcher), and Matt Yang King (Trese).

Premise: Before Geralt, there was his mentor Vesemir, a swashbuckling young witcher who escaped a life of poverty to slays monsters for coin and glory. But when a strange new menace begins terrorizing a politically-fraught kingdom, he must face the demons of his past.

Review: I need to get this off my chest but watching this, I disturbed by two things: The first a lot of the voice cast are in Castlevania and it was a bit distracting at the begining. The other thing is that I realized that the Witchers themselves and their world is very similar to a favorite anime of mine name Claymore. Norihiro Yagi‘s dark fantasy manga series is basically a gender swapped version of The Witcher. My mind is blown. I watched season one, even knew the games a little bit but this never occurred to me until now. If you have a chance, at least check out the Claymore‘s anime it’s great.

Anyway, right of the bat I love how the plot unfolds. Timeline-wise it’s close to how the show’s first season goes, but more importantly it shows how Vesemir evolved. The movie gives us a lot of back story on the Witchers that the show’s first season didn’t provide, but it sheds light on the reasons behind some of the prejudices against Witchers. It’s not as simple as they’re hated because of who they are, even if they’s some of that. There’s a rich history here, some juicy and easy to grasp geopolitical maneuvering. Being an animated movie the Witchers seem to be more powerful and otherworldly than Cavill does in the series. There are also more monsters and gory details.

This animated movie really builds to quite the climax, with amazing action sequences that are very well designed, good twists, and a bittersweet ending. I enjoyed the film and learned a lot about the lore.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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