[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.

[EXPRESSO] Morbius (2022) | Dr. Acula, MD

The “Sony” side of the Marvel movies now moves from fairly popular and well know Venom to a lot more obscure one, Morbius. General audiences sure aren’t familiar with him, myself i barely know of him as a saw a high quality collectable statue as an upcoming item years ago.

Which is good, makes sense to make movie about lesser known characters from the huge roster of Marvel’s back catalogue (with beloved popular actor Jared Leto in the lead to also ensure huge turn-out) and this one if nothing else follows the trail of the two Venom movies, as in it’s an anti-hero, the doctor Michael Morbius, plagued by a rare blood disease and wanting to save everyone with his illness, Morbius takes a desperate gamble in a remote cave with bats.

What seems to be the long awaited cure turns out to be also a curse, as he start developing a craving for human blood and powers akin to a vampire bat.

If Venom was a reminder that superheroes movies could be sketchy but still entertain despite having a lot of problems, Morbius it’s a throwback to the early to mid-2000s era of the genre, as in, despite a lot of money in effects and a fun premise, they often turned out irremediably boring as shit, lifeless despite the fantastical elements, and a pile of hot garbage overall.

Formulaic, tiresome, boring everything, from plot to characters to themes, even the shitty fights way too overreliant on FXs (complete with an underwhelming final confrontation), Morbius has it all, takes itself seriously, and sequelbaits hard to boot.

You don’t always need to be good or perfect, but when everything it’s so shoddy, trite and not very interesting, at least you could be entertaining.

This is sadly just boring garbage. Pity. 😦

[EXPRESSO] The Batman (2022) | Nigma Notions

After fighting the dreaded villain known as COVID19-Man, Batman is back to the silver screen, now being played by Robert Pattinson in what it’s essentially another “reboot” of sorts, since the plot of The Batman goes back to basics, depicting the reasons why millionarie Bruce Wayne uses his wealth to moonlight as the masked vigilante of the “Batman”, his encounter with Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), and has him face the villain known as The Riddler.

The main difference is that this time Bruce Wayne’s past (including e his legacy as a Wayne) plays a bigger role, as we were lead to think by the trailers and promo materials, but thankfully this re-establishes the character without being an origin story, and depicts Batman as a more tragic and frail force of justice, as now his family’s legacy comes into play into the corrupt nature of Gotham itself.

The good: Gotham’s depiction is amazing, the brooding and even more dark tone is perfect, the mood overall it’s great and matches the more grounded approach (which of course reminds one of Nolan’s work on the caped crusader), the cast is stellar and giving out great performances, with Pattinson making for a really convincing and more obsessive Batman.

Shame that the narrative ultimately suffers not being as strong as it could, thanks in part to the kinda messy script that falls victim to overstuffing, with ¾ climaxes and the movie being pretty much 3 hours long. It’s not boring, actually it’s fairly captivating, but it feels like they crammed almost 2 scripts into 1 because superhero movies are expected to be very long these days.

I still recommend it, despite the aforementioned flawas, because it’s refreshing to a superhero movie done with vision in mind more than a spreedsheet of pre-made and rounded-edged lego blocks.

12 Days Of Dino Dicember #4: Attack Of The Super Monsters (1982)

It really IS Christmas time, because today we’re doing a movie that’s both dinosaurs and vintage tokusatsu cheesiness from the 80s. How can you go wrong? You simply can’t.

Add drill spaceship to the mix and you really can’t go wrong.

Though it’s worth pointing out this is actually an edited down TV series (i suppose it’s just the first 4 episodes of the series mashed together, as it was a common practice at the time), Dinosaur War Aizenborg, itself quite the interesting piece of media, as it’s an hybrid anime and live action show, with sentai style rubber suit and stop motion puppets action for the dinosaurs and giant monsters, but animation for the humans and most regular animals, played over live-action miniature sets.

Continua a leggere “12 Days Of Dino Dicember #4: Attack Of The Super Monsters (1982)”

[EXPRESSO] My Hero Academia The Movie: World Heroes’ Mission (2021) | God Loves, Hero Kills

We’re at the third theathrical movie for My Hero Academia, and that itself it’s a testament to the popularity of the franchise, if nothing else. Make no mistake though, i quite like MHA.

That “disclaimed”, there are certain expectations that inevitably come with a movie based on a popular shonen manga series that still on-going, even though MHA started the modern trend of having the movies’ original stories being considered (somewhat) canonical by its creator.

I’m not gonna explain the premise of MHA here for time sake, but i will say it’s quite fitting how the plots of the movies for a series inspired by american superhero comics… borrow liberally from their heritage. Like Heroes Risings, the plot it’s heavily “X-Men inspired”, this time about Humarise, a sect of people that believe the power of the Quirks (the superpowers almost everyone in this universe has) will eventually get out of control and bring about the end of humanity.

So they plant bombs filled with a special gas that makes Quirks go berzerk, and pin the blame of their terrorist attacks on Izuku Midoriya and his new friend Rodney, having him and the Pro-Heroes at large intervene to stop Humarise’s agenda…

While the plot on paper should make the story more cinematic than before, in practice not so much , as most of the movie its spent with Deku and Rodney on the run, so the world spanning mission and the many heroes are put on the background, all for a new ally character that’s ultimately quite clichè, slightly better than the villain, not really interesting in characterization or design.

The script also suffers from more of the usual “shonen anime film”-isms, not exactly inspired.

It’s decent overall, but it’s the weaker MHA movie so far in pretty much every aspect.

[EXPRESSO] My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero iOS | Smarthphone Smash!

So i missed my chance to play it and review it when it first launched here, but figured now, when the third My Hero Academia movie just released, would also be a sensible “fit”. So here it is.

There’s plenty of licensed anime games on mobile, a plethora, doesn’t matter if its popular or something like Karakuri Circus, there’s always a chance of an anime/manga series resurfacing as a free to play smarthphone title, because that’s were the microtransaction zillions are made.

And also because if the official licensed version don’t appear quickly, some bold faced obvious ripoffs will surface on the App and Play Store.

So of course there’s a mobile game for the uber popular MHA, with MHA The Strongest Hero, which does give you the very basic gist of the series and it’s setting, a world where 80 % of the population has superpowers, and sadly protagonist Izuku Midoriya happens to be in the latter 20 %, until a fated encounter with his idol superhero, All Might, changes his life forever…

It gives you the basic gist but it has its own story and it’s more focused on provide you with missions to do, in order to level up, scrounge resources, upgrade stuff and get addicted to the gacha.

But honestly it’s actually kinda impressive, it has various open ares you can actually explore, talk to characters, accept side quests and whatnot, it looks quite good and the main bulk of the game, as in combat missions, are actually satisfying thanks to a very solid and fun combat system that reminds me of the one in Honkai Impact 3rd, even better, with a lot of moves and systems based around each character’ superpower, making each feel different enough to play as.

Yeah, this is surprisingly pretty good!

[EXPRESSO] Eternals (2021) | Creators – The Past USA

I’m tired. The fatigue is back, and we have barely started with “Phase 4”.

Maybe it was inevitable, but we’re without a doubt at the point where the benefits of having this MCU thing in place don’t properly outweight the drawbacks, more a creative cage than anything.

And i will say this: at least Shang-Chi had a story with a conclusion, this one leans too much into being more of a set up to a sequel than its own thing.

This time we have the titular Eternals, basically immortal alien gods that came to Earth 7000 years ago but conveniently were told not to interfere with any conflicts that didn’t involve the “Deviants”, the Eternals’ evil – and of course – monstrous looking ancenstral counterparts.

And through social media we learned of a certain spoiler, one that sounded like a fake pre-emptive shitpost to create buzz for a Marvel license most people didn’t really knew well. It wasn’t.

Chloe Zhao of Nomadland fame directs and writes, the cast its great, the usual Marvel tiny concessions to appear diverse and inclusive more than they actually are… there as usual, same for the various issues stemming from the assembly line formula that this one tries a bit to shake off.

The big problem is the characters, as they don’t have any chemistry, despite being built as a “family” ensemble that have known each other for literally thousands of years… they seem to have just met on the set, with some top billed actors sleepwalking it big time, not helped by the unfocused narration, huge exposition loads, and the script just kinda assuming i know and already care about these characters that are kinda obscure for most viewers. Me included.

Overall, Eternals it’s alright, at least better and more interesting than Shang Chi.

[EXPRESSO] The New Mutants (2020) | Teen Mutant Nightmares

FIY: seen in a theather in Italy with social distancing measures, mask and stuff.

Aside from the bad timing (at least for US viewers), i’m glad it’s finally out, as The New Mutants had a troubled production history, and was in development hell for years, enough that i wouldn’t have been surprised if some months ago Disney pulled the plug on theproject all together. And it’s a theatherical release because of the years old deal (Fox was still un-absorbed) that forced Disney to put in cinemas first.

Quite likely the truly last remnant from the X-Men movie series as conceived by Fox, this is an interesting proposition even if it didn’t have this unfortunate production history, because it’s a superhero horror movie, we definitely don’t get many of those.

The plot centers around 5 young mutants, who have been brought to a special asylum in order to help them get a better control over their powers… but it soon turns out they have been locked, to be studied and observed. The group will have to confront their fears and unite their efforts if they wanna escape from the mysterious doctor that keep them locked like rats.

A lot of articles drew comparisons to the Nightmare In Elm Street III: Dream Warriors.. which i didn’t saw, but even with some general horror knowledge, these comparisons make sense, in ways i won’t explain because inherently spoilers. But even so, in this form sponged of direct connections with the X-Men movie series, The New Mutants is a pretty cool movie that balances well the teen drama (and romance) with the superhero and horror elements. Teen horror, i feel the need to point that out, so don’t expect much in the way of gore, but you get some cool action scenes and likeable characters.