[EXPRESSO] Doctor Strange in The Multiverse Madness (2022) | Mystics From NY

FIY: I’m one of those that didn’t watch Wandavision before heading into this for many reasons (including not really caring nor intending to pay or use Disney +), and i was right in assuming that i didn’t need to… as they give you just enough info to follow the plot of this movie without spoiling that show or anything. It’s a perfected science of its own at this point.

THAT out of the way, i was honestly looking forward to this one, having liked a lot the first Dr. Strange movie, and having Sam Raimi on board as director for the sequel did please me indeed.

The plot sees Dr. Strange deal further with the concept of the multiverse, as a girl with the power to travel to different parallel universes appears in NY being followed by an eldritch monster, sent by Wanda The Scarlet Witch to kidnap the girl. Helped by his fellow mystics and the new girl, Strange will have to find a way to stop Wanda while traversing various realities in the multiverse…

While it starts a bit ho-hum, it does “gear up” and delivers on the expected package of magic, mystical brawls, multiverse jumping (used for what could or could be not “cameos”, let’s just put it like that), wizard duels, and i’m glad Raimi was allowed – to the extent a Marvel movie will find comfortable – to lean more on the horror elements and how he likes to handle them, which helps this entry in standing out a bit more.

Overall, Dr Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, does deliver on the title, it’s pretty fun, and it thankfully not bloated as some other Marvel movies in terms of runtime.

Nothing “great”, but i quite liked it.

Mileage might and will vary, as usual.

Paripi Koumei / Ya Boy Kongming! (2022) [ANIME FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

(Impressions based upon the first 3 episodes)

I stumbled by chance into this new anime, and i feel it was meant to be, given my love for Romance Of The Three Kingdoms i’m not gonna skim over a new anime with good ol’ Zhuge Liang (AKA Kongming) as the protagonist, especially since it’s not a historical tale, but a sort of isekai-ish story where, after his death by illness in the Wuzhang Plains, sees him reincarnated as his young self in modern Shibuya during Halloween.

He gets drunk as a skunk and enjoys the party life that night, then the next day he’s helped by a young girl, an aspiring singer called Eiko, realizes what actually happened to him, and decides to help her back by serving as her “career strategist”, but first he needs a job to secure some “war funds”.

Luckily Eiko works and sings at a club run by a huge ROTTK nerd, so “ya boy” Kongming is hired as a barman.

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Jump Force PS4 [REVIEW- FUNERAL] | To The Digital Graveyard With You!

One might wonder why review Jump Force now, as it got “internet spanked” quite enough when it came out in 2019. Aside the fact i don’t need a reason to do so… Namco Bandai gave me a big one, by announcing they would remove the game from digital storefronts, alongside the 2 season passes, the DLCs characters and content by february 8th 2022, with online functionalities and features shutting down entirely by August 24th 2022, this on all platforms.

Now, i know this would be reason for joy to many, but i’m an archivist at heart, and while i won’t miss the microtransaction laden bullshit, i find it silly that they didn’t even managed to make a complete edition of it with all the content on disc, only the Deluxe Edition on Switch with the Season Pass 1 content baked in the cart.

So years in the future you won’t be able to play the Season Pass 2 characters at all, which isn’t exactly a loss given the game wasn’t good to begin with, but it’s even more soon-to-be legally lost content. The loss of the online functionalities was inevitable, to a point, but the rest not so much.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #7: Valley Of The Dragons (1961)

Stock footage. The quintessence of cheap filmaking since its very beginning, the saviour of many low budget productions for decades, constantly growing over time and often very fuckin free, etc.

It’s and always will be a constant for visual media, but there are case when you can take it too far, like the infamous Gamera Super Monster, the final Showa era Gamera film, composed almost entirely of stock footage from previous movies in the series. Sometimes you can indeed go even cheaper, but shouldn’t, unless you wanna risk destroying any goodwill, fanbase or prospects.

Though this isn’t the case, with Valley Of The Dragons we have instead the story of trying to adapt the Jules Verne novel Off Of A Comet/Career Of A Comet, which was actually not published in US territories at the time, due to it being very anti-semitic.

A very loose adaptation mostly made to chase the success of previous film adaptations of Verne’ stories…. and because producer Donald Zimbalist wanted to have it heavily based around the stock footage from One Billion BC, as he owned the rights to that.

In its own way, this is also pure cinema at heart.

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[EXPRESSO] Spider Man: Far From Home (2021) | Multiverse Mayhem

I feel kinda bad for this part of the new Spider Man series because… yeah, let’s get this out immediatly, Marvel themselves already did it years ago as one of the best animated movies i’ve seen in a while, a miracle all the way that worked as well as it did also thanks to be being not bound to the fucking MCU. And that is finally getting a 2 part sequel too, really looking forward to those.

This one…. yeah, whatever, guess i’ll have to watch it so we can get over it, might be even fun.

This one follows directly from the ending of Far From Home, where Mysterio revealed Spider Man’s real identity being Peter Parker and framed him as a murderer. As he, his friends and family have trouble living with this false stigma, Peter asks Doctor Strange to cast a spell in order to make everyone forget that Peter Parker IS Spider Man, but something goes wrong and multiverse portals invade this reality/continuity, bringing a lot of well known faces from the Spider Man series……

Given the existence of Into The Spiderverse and me not liking too much the new MCU Spider Man movies…. you can color me surprised, because this one was incredibly easy to mishandle, but to my surprise it manages to balance the fanservice and the many villains with a story that actually makes this Peter Parker go through some decisive character development, with a lot at stake and some meaningful consequences.

It’s “also” quite fun, with some funny moments that actually don’t feel forced, there just because the Marvel algorhythm requires some quirky (but not TOO quirky, risque or creative) comedy bits.

Definitely the one i’ve enjoyed the most out of these MCU Spider Man movies, and arguably the better one overall.

Extinction PS4 [REVIEW] | Mockbust On Titan

Remember this one? Most likely not, i don’t blame you if you didn’t even out this was out when it released in 2018, at least until it entered – deservedly so – that year’s “Top 10 Worst Games” list, only to immediatly fade into the miasma of obscurity, where it should really remain.

But since i like raising the dead for a laugh and try to make people remember the lessons of old, in the hope there will be something to learn and so avoid wasting money on stuff that was launched on the market to no fanfare. And if it nothing else, it’s fun to reignite some old dumpster fires.

In the case of Extinction, the main takeaway is that you shouldn’t be afraid of anything you wanna put out on the market, not because you should dump whatever garbage you want, but because it’s hard to say you shouldn’t do what you want, as games like these somehow managed not only to get released, but to get the full boxed retail and “multiple tiers editions” treatment.

Be bold, ye children of the Yellow Turbans, i guess this is the takeway. Don’t be garbage.

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[EXPRESSO] World Flipper iOS | Pinball Isekai RPG Action

“Flipper” it’s a short-term for pinball outside of America, FIY.

And i’m fairly sure we didn’t have a pinball RPG gacha game before, i remember there was a spin-off of FF XV of sorts for smart devices, but whatever, it’s a far more alluring proposition in a overly satured market of idle games, mild rpgs, and everything in the middle.

The plot it’s basically an isekai tropes salad, but the faux 8 bit graphics are nice enough, presentation is decent, and doesn’t bombard you with too much plot or terminology right away.

Gameplay is a bit different than expected, as it’s not set up as a traditional pinball affair, with the heroes acting as single “ball” but also able to dash while launched to attack the nearest enemy, and launch skills with a pretty typical but pretty good control scheme for touch devices.

There is a bit of depth, with enemies exposing weak points at certain times, the more combos you get in a row powering up your shot to make the team spring a stronger attack, there’s Fever Mode, and overall there’s quite enough to keep it easy to play in short bursts but not mindless.

Of course, this comes with the inevitable free-to-play trappings, events, upgrade trees/maps, but the less annoying ones, just energy consumption and gacha for characters using the main premium crystals/gems, one with gacha advantages for using gems obtained by poning up cash.

But still, it’s not that bad, and honestly it’s good, good fun, way more captivating than expected, even disregarding the obvious methods to try hook you in, World Flipper it’s one of those free-to-play games that you end up back into because you actually wanna play it.

A rare sight, even aside it delivering to the underserved niche of pinball games.

Wario Ware: Get It Together NSWITCH [REVIEW] | Bugfixing Bonanza

Since i have been waiting a lot for Nintendo to resurrect the Wario Ware series, especially since they kinda blew it on Wii U with Game & Wario and since then we got simply a collection on 3DS (which is still better treatment other not-major Nintendo franchises got in decades), i was quite ready for a new one to come out, and then bam, Nintendo Direct, new Wario Ware. Yeah boi!

This one i preordered at a slightly lower price, because 50 bucks for a Wario Ware seemed a bit much in this day and age, but we’ll get to that later.

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[EXPRESSO] Free Guy (2021) | Life Service

So while we wait for the multiple movie projects spawned from that time online users deliberately made Gamestop’s share value drop (IF they happen at all), another thing that felt already dated the moment it was announced it’s finally out, Free Guy.

While it’s surprisingly not that out of touch as i expected (the fake in-game graphics looking like those crappy mobile ads for free-to-play games is a nice touch), i won’t deny it does sound like something that shouldn’t work as anything more than a sketch on Mega64.

So, what’s the plot? Ryan Reynolds lives his routine of bank teller nicely, until he decides to break it (inspired by a new woman player that he falls in love at first sight), gets They Live-style glasses, and learns that he’s just a random, generic NPC in a open world game called “Free City”. Or he was, at least. Guy then decides to become a hero for the city and its fellow virtual inhabitants, and becomes essential to the other protagonists, a couple of indie game developers trying to prove that a big videogame company CEO ripped off their work for his Free City game.

For a movie that takes many elements from other movies, ending like a weird amalgamation of Wreck It Ralph, The Truman Show, and The Lego Movie, it’s nice that is not as cynical conceived and executed as it may sounds, there’s actually some heart to it.. when the movie manages to focus and stop itself from doing weird “references-corporate pop culture flexes”, pandering to stereotypes, or trying to reach for super-safe narrative and emotional appeal.

It’s a decent movie, bit of a mixed bag, one that includes a slightly miscast Ryan Reynolds doing a Jim Carrey style character and a really overacting Taika Waititi.

Not bad.

[EXPRESSO] Monster Hunter (2020) | Isekai Hunt

Yeah, we just got this one in theathers now, once again delayed due to the pandemic.

Preface: i know a bit about Monster Hunter, but not that much, as the franchise it’s one of those i should be really into, but somehow it never clicked with me.

But still, you should know what to expect: it’s another big-budget live action adaptation of a Capcom IP directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, as the Resident Evil movie series did bring a lot of buckaroos, so let’s do it again, and of course cast Milla Jovovich as the lead, i would be surprised if the director didn’t cast his wife for these roles.

And let’s get this out of the way: yes, it could have took place in the fantasy world alone and still deliver on the monsters and action, but nope, so in order to make it more “palatable” to all audiences, let’s have a US military unit get isekai’d into the Monster Hunter world, finding the guns useless on these giant monsters, and having to adapt to dual blades, maces and more “primitive” weapons that actually can damage these things. All while roaming a mostly desert land, searching for a way home.

And sequels.. that WILL probably be made.

To be honest, while the plot is a shining example of Hollywood cowardice and spineless scripts, the movie itself it’s not that bad. It’s dumb as a brick, written as such, but the CG for the monsters looks good, there’s a bit of horror, it adapts fairly ok a lot of elements from the games, preserving the basic gist of the thing, and it’s entertaining.

Not good, not smart, but entertaining enough, like MOST of the director’s Resident Evil movies. Also, it has Ron Perlman with a hilarious “afro Meatloaf” hairdo. XD