BQB here with a review of Marvel’s latest. SPOILER WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!
With the tragic, untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman at the much too early age of 43, Disney/Marvel had some giant shoes to fill when deciding to carry on with the popular Black Panther franchise. They could have recast the role, rebooted the movie, gone the prequel route focusing on past panthers or what have you.
Would any of that have satisfied fans? Most likely not. Thankfully, writers/producers/director etc. stayed faithful to the original film by handing down the Black Panther claws not to a new cast addition but to the most likely heir, Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright.)
When King T’Challa passes, the royal family of Wakanda is devastated. Meanwhile, around the world, a vibranium arms race ensues, as various nations test Wakanda’s limits, believing that the loss of the Black Panther leaves the country vulnerable, and that plunder of the raw material that can lead to deadly technological devices and weapons is possible. To their dismay, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), now Wakanda’s ruler in the wake of her son’s loss, turns out to be an effective leader, able to foil many a plot to heist the precious metal.
As it turns out, there was another nation built on vibranium all along. Superpowered merman Prince Namor (Tenoch Huerta) leads an underwater dwelling civilization of ancient mer-people who were happy to remain hidden underwater for centuries until the world’s lust for vibranium leads to the construction of a vibranium detecting machine that leads U.S. operatives to search for it in the ocean.
Fearing his nation will be wiped out if he does not wipe out the world first, Prince Namor vows to strike first, and has the ability to reduce all nations of the world to rubble and ash. He urges Wakanda to join him as an ally, but warns they’ll be the first to destroyed if they decline. As you can imagine, from there, the war is on.
MIT student scientist RiRi Williams (Dominque Thorne) joins the cast as a female Iron Man (Iron Woman?), Julia Louis Dreyfus, heretofore only seen on Disney Plus shows as CIA Director de Fontaine (more or less the new Nick Fury) is front and center while Martin Freeman reprises his role as Everett Ross, the Wakandans’ CIA BFF who feeds them intel.
First movie faves such as General Okoye, M’Baku and Nakia (Danai Gurira, Winston Duke and Lupita Nyongo) all return.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. It is very much a Shuri-centric movie and it is her challenge to figure out how to pick up her brother’s mantle and defend Wakanda, not in his way but in her way, coming into her own. At three hours long, the film is a time commitment though to its credit, it didn’t feel like it. Coming up on 3 weeks in theaters now, it still remains strong.
Truly, Chadwick Boseman’s passing was a blow to many, not just to his fans, but obviously to the family and friends who loved and knew him best. There were many directions Marvel/Disney could have taken, even just letting the franchise go, but it was too popular and they found a way to keep it going while remaining respectful to and honoring Boseman’s legacy.
Spies! Lies! Something else that rhymes with -ies!
BQB here with a review of the first three episodes of Andor, Disney Plus’ new Star Wars series.
I’m just going to say it up front. It’s OK. It didn’t wow me, but it didn’t zow me either. I’ll keep watching it, but like the recent Obi-Wan, it didn’t blow much wind up my proverbial skirt.
The series is a prequel to Rogue One (ironically, the best and arguably most unsung Star Wars creation amidst a slew of Disney’s SW duds the past decade.) As you may recall, in that film, Diego Luna played Cassian Andor, a rebel spy so committed to the cause that he is willing to commit almost any heartless act, up to and including straight up murder, to further the rebel cause.
How did he get that way? This series aims to tell that story.
At first, the idea of this series seems silly. Aren’t there more popular, longer running characters we’d like to know more about? Where are the Lando Chronicles? The Leia Adventures? Skywalker: A Life?
Ah, but Disney has dipped its toe into those waters. A film where a younger actor played a younger Han Solo didn’t go over well (irony is I liked it). CGI Skywalker is interesting for a brief moment until you wonder how long it will be before all movies are just CGI renderings and actors are out of a job (feel free to discuss whether that would be a good thing.)
An interesting part of Rogue One is it showed a more vicious side of the Rebel Alliance than we are used to. In any rebellion, rebels must ask themselves if the victory they seek is worth the loss of life that must occur to achieve it. So OK, I’ll buy into the story of how one rebel was so angered by the Empire that he became a badass intergalactic spy.
All that said, the whole thing seems adulty. Not as in naughty, for this is still Disney, but as in a plot only adults might be interested in. Three episodes in, there are no light sabers or space battles. It’s light on the aliens. There is a silly droid. Most of the action comes in the form of a shootout in the end of episode three.
The plot? Cassian Andor was once Kassa, a member of an indigenous tribe of the planet Kenari. When his family discovers a crashed Empire ship that was up to no good (illegal mining apparently), the Empire kills the tribe sans Kassa, who is saved in the nick of time by scavenger Maarva (Fiona Shaw), who whisks the lad away to Ferrix, where she raises him as his adoptive mother.
Years later, an adult Cassian searches for his sister, who he believes escaped Empire forces. He checks a brothel where he believes she might be, um, you know, working, but has no luck. Alas, he gets into a spat with a couple of security company goons. Said goons picked the wrong fight with the wrong guy, leading Cassian to go on the run, right into the hands of Luthen Rael (Stellan Skaarsgaard), a clandestine spy recruiter for the Rebel Alliance.
It’s all very interesting. However, I think it might suffer from the fact that the plot might be too heady for kids, yet the subject matter might be too silly for adults.
SIDENOTE: The inclusion of a brothel in the first scene raised my eyebrow. True, no sex is shown. No debauchery is shown. It was part of the script that it was an off night and few customers were there. Still, it seemed out of place for a Disney show.
When George Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney years ago, I thought maybe did so in order to keep Hollywood from doing nasty things to it, i.e. to not make an X rated flick with wookies having wookie sex or Jedis snorting space coke or what have you. Then again, I remembered that Lucas was the one who stuffed Leia into that Slave Leia outfit so he probably doesn’t have a lot of moral authority to stand on.
So, I guess my complaint is less about Disney bringing down Star Wars and more about Star Wars bringing down Disney. The deeper we get into Star Wars, the more inevitable it becomes that we see characters engaged in depraved activities. “Spice” has already been used as a code for drugs in prior Disney SW productions. Meanwhile, while characters have appeared in scantily clad outfits going back to the early films, this is the confirmation that beings in the SW universe not only do it but pay to do it.
IDK. I just think Disney needs to remember it is first and foremost a producer of entertainment for children. I know adults love SW too, but we have to think of the kids first and have plots that are suitable for the younguns. Ergo, no space brothels, even if it’s dark and deserted and the business of said space brothel is only alluded to.
We already saw Disney wrestle with a darker plot line and fail miserably in The Book of Boba Fett. Freaking Boba Fett fights a war to become the head gangster of Tatooine, only to be against all crime, which is a great example to set for the kids but doesn’t bode well for a show about a space criminal.
Maybe Disney needs to just stick with family friendly Star Wars base crimes. Smuggling, but only done to help the rebels, for example.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. I think we are at a point where we have to realize Star Wars in its infancy was more about awesome special effects, and that Vader carried most of it. The further we get from those early films, the less interesting it all becomes. Perhaps some genius will figure out a way to make it interesting again. To Disney’s credit, the Mando series was a winner.
BQB here with a review of the super silly She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
I have to admit I waited a week or two before diving into this, largely because of the social media tomfoolery over it. Various memes and posts suggested the primary focus was going to be an assertion that every woman secretly has an angry green rage monster brewing inside them that they keep at bay at all times because society treats them so harshly, the flip side being that all men live on easy street and la dee da through life with nary a problem.
Though I know women have it rough in many respects, I always thought social media is a place where nuanced arguments go to die. It is very much an either/or place. Post that you love cookies and everyone will accuse you of despising muffins. No, you just happened to really love cookies at a particular moment in time and wanted to share your love of it, but that doesn’t mean you hate muffins or gasp, even cupcakes. Mmm cupcakes.
At any rate, the world is a harsh place like Sisyphus of Ancient Greek legend fame, we all have our own comically massive boulder to push up our own neverending hill forever and ever. Me complaining about my boulder was never meant to imply you don’t have your own boulder or that my boulder is bigger than your boulder or what have you. Sometimes we just need to complain about our boulders and have people listen. Other times if we complain about our boulders, people might, just might either get out of the way or even help give our boulders a little push in the right direction.
Ultimately, we have to stop talking past each other and too each other and social media is a place where that rarely if ever happens.
Bottomline: She-Hulk is a lot of fun in my book. It’s a comedy. It’s light yet mixes in the action and it recognizes and arguably even fixes one of Marvel’s longest running problems, namely that The Incredible Hulk (and other variants by proxy) is an awesome, fan favorite character when part of an ensemble, but when heading up a stand-alone film, he’s box office poison.
Much of the problem, at least with the first two attempts at a Hulk flick in 2003 and 2008 is that said films usually focus heavily on the science (gasp I know, right?) and Banner running around avoiding the law and government agents who want to catch him and study him and avoiding getting angry for fear of losing control and going into Hulk smash mode and then when Hulk is the Hulk he is a big dummy so it’s hard to direct him toward productive activities.
Long story short, She-Hulk embraces the “women have it way tougher than men” narrative to, well, make the long story short. We know how Batman became Batman, we know how Spidey became Spidey and we know how hulks become hulks, so thankfully the show didn’t spend an entire season on an origin story, or rather, at least one in which She-Hulk comes to grips with being a lady hulk.
Instead, the show is a parody, lampooning the superhero genre.
The plot? SPOILER ALERT. Overworked attorney Jessica Walters (Tatiana Maslany) goes on vacation with her cousin, the one and only Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). When a frigging spaceship cuts them off in traffic because that’s life in a world where superheroes exist, Bruce cuts his arm, his hulk infected blood accidentally squirts onto Jessica, and now she’s infected with hulkism and has to live her life as a goddamn frigging hulk.
Sounds like a pain in the ass, right? Bruce whisks his cousin away to a secret island facility, advising her that her life as she knew it is over. Apologetic and solemn, he councils her that as he once did, she too will go on a multi-year journey where she learns to control her rage and learn to use her hulkism for good. Daily training and exercises and…yeah, blah, blah, blah, not so much. Turns out like all women, Jessica was always great at controlling her rage and only male hulks have to sit around and do yoga to learn how to keep from going into unbridled hulk smash mode.
I mean, yeah, it openly embraces the women rule and men drool motif but come on, it’s funny. It’s done in a humorous way and I don’t know about you, but I really didn’t want to watch five seasons where Jessica lives in a cave, outcast from society until she finally learns to control her anger and channel her hulk and neither did you.
Turns out, she doesn’t want to be a superhero either. Yeah, she has a special power now. She can turn into a super strong and enormous lady hulk at will, but she has no interest in running around with the Avengers. They don’t even get paid, she opines, and she has a career as a lawyer to get back to as well as law school loans to pay off.
And so, she returns to her practice, content to hide her hulkism until she learns that old adage “with great power comes great responsibility.” When a supervillain breaks into court one day, hellbent on murdering the entire jury box, Jessica realizes she can’t in good conscience not hulk out and save the day and so She-Hulk she comes to be.
Given the shaft by the legal industry (the bastards don’t want the liability of a She-Hulk on the payroll), she is hired by a major law firm to head up their new superhero law division, because you know, people with super powers tend to destroy a lot of shit so someone needs to handle the legal fallout of that. Her first case? Handle the parole hearing of Abomination (Tim Roth reprising his role as the villain from the 2008 film), a real conflict of interest as the dude tried to kill her cousin, but he swears he’s better now.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. This is an example of a show trusting the fans to already know what they need to do and delving right into the nitty gritty, rather than boring us with hours upon hours of origin. It dives right in and comes out swinging. It’s funny. It’s got a lot of action. At a half hour per episode, it’s even short and sweet. It’s your own personal Rorschach test. If you think the “women have it tougher than men” narrative is right, then it’s reinforced. If you think it’s wrong, then it’s poked fun at. Ultimately, it is all handled with good humor.
Bonus sidenote: I really enjoyed the scenes with Jessica’s family. Who hasn’t gone to a family dinner only to be peppered with nonsensical questions, to be heavily criticized and talked over and yeah if you had hulk powers, your family would be constantly demanding that you lift their heavy stuff and fix things for them all the time.
Space. It’s big, huge, and a never-ending source of comedic fodder.
BQB here with a review.
I have been meaning to check this show out for a long time and finally have, after noticing it was available through Disney Plus.
I’m six episodes in. My first impressions:
#1 – Critics call it a Star Trek rip-off but it’s an obvious Star Trek parody. Seth MacFarlane, the man behind the raunchy, constantly pop culture lampooning Family Guy, is obviously a big Trekkie, and relishes the chance to cosplay a spaceship captain. If you take Star Trek, then add in the ability to make crude jokes, you’d get this show.
#2 – I get why some might call it a rip-off in that it goes beyond the humor to build adventure of its own. If you stay for the funny, you’ll get plenty of serious. In my binge session thus far, I’ve seen Captain Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) and crew rescue an agrarian society living (unbeknownst to them) in an ecosystem built into a massive spaceship, a historic ship dealer who travels back in time to steal spaceships of the past and sell them to collectors of the future, and a battle to prevent a hostile alien species from getting their hands on an aging device. All of these sound like they could be straight out of Trek, so when you see the Trek like uniforms, the Trek like military organization, the Trek like set up of the ship, it’s hard to not feel like MacFarlane didn’t just hijack Trek, change a few things around, then add in plenty of dirty sex jokes.
#3 – Speaking of sex jokes, while I enjoy it, Disney Plus really isn’t the place for it. I get Fox and Disney are part of the same company now and apparently Disney Plus is breathing new life into the series by offering a sequel New Horizons, which is basically just a continuation of the show. However, young kids shouldn’t be watching it. It’s probably fine for teenagers, but if you’re one of those parents who subscribed to Disney Plus so you could park the kids in front of it while you do housework, eh, take another look.
All in all, Trek is the granddaddy of all space opera. Many would say Star Wars, but SW just changed the game by introducing badass special effects. Trek was the first who challenged us to go where no man has gone before. (There are probably others who would say Lost in Space or other 1950s offerings beat them all.)
At any rate, Trek is a 20th century view of what military style space travel would be like. The Trek ships are set up more or less like a large ocean going vessel, so one might argue that Trek doesn’t really “own” that concept. Then again, when you watch The Orville, when you see the captain, you think Kirk, the science officer, you think Spock, the engineer, you think Scotty. Then again, does Trek own the concept of a captain, a science officer, an engineer and so on?
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Enjoyable. In the end, I don’t think this takes anything away from Trek, and if anything, it’s a humorous love-letter to Trek. Maybe if Trek had been more open minded about captains finding their wives in bed, messing around with blue goo spurting aliens, MacFarlane might have made a deal to create Funny Trek. Ultimately, he did, with just the names changed to protect the innocent. Come for the funny, but stay for the space drama.
I gotta be honest, the last few installments of this franchise were rather lackluster, IMO. I found that sad because the original, about professional supervillain Gru who, with the assistance of his little yellow goofball minions, learns he has a heart of gold, despite being encrusted in an evil layer, is a pretty great flick.
Then you had Despicable Me 2 and 3 and Minions and eh, though they had their moments, they were by and large forgettable cash grabs.
And while this film is, as all films are, about sucking up more moolah, it does have the heart of the original.
It’s the 1970s and young Gru (Steve Carrell) dreams of becoming a great supervillain. By accident, he is invited to interview with evil villain group, the Vicious Six. Shenanigans ensue and low and behold, Little Gru ends up taking his favorite villain band on with the assistance of his all time favorite villain, Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin in perhaps the voice over role he was born to play).
Oh, and the little yellow schmucks are forever in the background, moving the story forward.
I could stop this review here, but I feel a need to comment on the whole Lightyear fiasco. I probably shouldn’t because I haven’t seen Lightyear but apparently, no one else did either (rimshot – too soon?)
All I can comment on is the Lightyear trailer seemed rather serious for a kid’s movie. Conservative commentators have been lambasting it as an example of “go woke, go broke” but I have a hunch Disney just went way too serious with this one. Buzz Lightyear, after all, is part of the Toy Story franchise. The running joke is that he is a very serious spaceman with a big ego who takes himself way too seriously and thus suffers big time mental anguish throughout the franchise as he comes to grips with the fact that he isn’t a super awesome astronaut but in fact, just a piece of plastic. His lasers are just little lights. His rockets are just easily lost plastic projectiles. He yearns to explore the greatest reaches of the galaxy but alas, just exists to chill in Andy’s toy box.
There was a Lightyear cartoon show that lampooned Buzz’s egotism and bumbling “I’m so awesome I don’t realize I accidentally trip over everything and luck my way into awesomeness” style and a modern day film that captured this style might have been better received. So going serious with a gritty, spaceman having to save the day with an interstellar twist where all his friends grow old while he goes on missions, eh. Too dark for this usually jovial character.
Compare it with this Minions movie that raked in boku cash while Lightyear tanked. From the opening scene where a young Gru clears out a sold out theater by detonating a fart gas bomb so he can get a better seat at a 1970s showing of Jaws (in a gas mask), you know this is a movie designed to make kids laugh, heck, to even make adults laugh.
I’m not saying there isn’t room for serious kids’ film. Frozen, for example, is a kids’ movie with serious themes that was done well and left room for silliness along the way.
All in all, this is me predicting that Dreamworks is on the way to eating Disney’s lunch if Disney keeps going on this serious, no room for fun path. Gru includes a preview for an upcoming Puss in Boots flick which also seems quite hysterical and as it plays up jokes about Puss having to break out of a horrible life of being one of a crazed cat lady’s hundreds of pets to resume a life of adventuring, you just get a sense that Dreamworks understands the first rule of a kids movie is make ’em laugh. No one at Disney seems to understand that these days.
BQB here with a review of the new Disney Plus series, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Failure. It’s a stink that’s difficult, if not impossible to wash out and sometimes it can be so heavy that it burdens us down, crushing us underneath it’s smelly weight. What do you do when you tried, literally tried to do your best and yet somehow, due to unforeseen circumstances, your world came crashing down? Do you try to rebuild it or do you just learn to live with the disappointment?
Here, we see Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of a handful of Jedi and the last remaining Jedi Master, eeking out a meager existence on Tantooine, sticking to the shadows, living in a cave while keeping an eye on young Luke Skywalker from afar. Ten years have passed since the fall of the republic and he has given up all hope of defeating the empire. He keeps his force abilities hidden, refusing to practice them for fear that he will be revealed.
For being a Jedi is dangerous in this new age. “The Jedi hunts himself” is the motto of the inquisitors, force wielding agents of the empire assigned to hunt down the last remaining Jedi. They do so by putting the innocent in harm’s way, and alas, hidden Jedi feel naturally compelled to use their power to come to the aid of those in peril. In so doing, they expose themselves and are taken out by the inquistors.
But there’s no honor among thieves or inquisitors as they war among themselves to be the one who captures the prize that is Obi-Wan Kenobi, the last known legendary Jedi Knight in existence. A power struggle erupts between the Grand Inquisitor (an unrecognizable Rupert Friend of Homeland fame), Fifth Brother (an unrecognizable Sung Kang of Fast and Furious fame) and Third Sister (Moses Ingram who is recognizable as the only one who didn’t get caked on with prosthetics and makeup.)
Downtrodden and defeated, Obi-wan is asked by an old friend to come out of exile to take on a dangerous mission of great importance. Can he do it? Should he do it? He’s been out of training for a decade so the overall question is can he do it?
So far, the series is off to a great start. I’ve read some bad reviews but I really feel the show captures the overall feeling of dread that Obi-Wan must have felt at this dark time with some parallels for real life, i.e. how does one move on when life worked out so badly? No, none of us ever trusted a Jedi apprentice only to realize we were fools who gave them the training they needed to become Space Hitler, but surely we all have done something that we thought was a good idea, only to suffer financial loss, emotional loss, we ended up less than whole and realized we have no choice but to go on rather than waste time on trying to fix something that is irretrievably broken. Somehow, Obi-Wan must find a way to save the day as only he can but continue to live during a time when days saved are bleak at best.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Step aside, Baby Yoda. It’s Baby Leia’s time to shine.
Sometimes, some crimes, go slipping through the cracks but these two, gum shoes…are bringing the reboot back?
BQB here with a review of this uber meta movie.
If you’re a middle-aged person, chances are you loved a little slice of networking programming called “The Disney Afternoon” when you were a child. It all started with Ducktales and when young audiences of the late 1980s/early 1990s couldn’t get enough of Scrooge McDuck taking his duck nephews on globetrotting adventures, sure enough pretty much every other House of Mouse character got a reinvention for what was then considered the modern age.
You had TaleSpin, which featured the Jungle Book characters flying planes in search of derring-do and of course, Chip and Dale teamed up with an Australian adventurer mouse (Monterey Jack), a high-tech fixer of all things mouse (Gadget) and a mute fly (Zipper) to create their own detective agency.
Like everyone else now of a certain age where we’re too old to go back but too young to stop moving, I thought that simpler time of afternoon programming, where literally every other kid was watching the same thing so they could bond over it because there was nothing else to watch, were long over.
Thus, I found myself scratching my head in confusion when ads for this flick began circulating. Reboots of old shows/movies so often fail because that media was a product of a different time, so trying to breathe new life into a story that has its roots in the past can be an exercise of Weekend at Bernie’s-ian proportions. Eventually, Hollywood stops trying to drag the corpse of an old franchise around like the fly ridden meat puppet that it is and moves on to something else.
So, I have to admit, this movie surprised me…in that it’s pretty good.
Who is it for? That’s the million-dollar question, and frankly, a question I ask whenever an old show is rebooted. So often, Hollywood turns these reboots into a Frankenstein monster that the kids don’t want because the concept doesn’t appeal to the younger generation and the adults don’t want because it doesn’t embrace the essence of what made the show great a long time ago.
Ah, but leave it to the Lonely Island boys to find a humorous way to make something that appeals to everyone.
But first, I have to present the following points:
#1 – There is a world where humans and cartoons live together.
#2 – Cartoons are not animated. Cartoons are performed by cartoon actors, just as any other movie is performed by human actors.
Still with me? Hold on:
#3 – The Chip and Dale you know and love from Rescue Rangers were, in real life, actors who coincidentally have the voices of comedians John Mulaney (Chip) and Andy Samberg (Dale.) The voices from the old show? That was just Chip and Dale (actors) doing silly voices while playing fictional versions of themselves. Remember, they’re a duo of performing chipmunks who met in high school, went to Hollywood after graduation, and became famous performing a funny chipmunk act with characters of the same names, so famous that Disney greenlit their Rescue Rangers show and the rest is history.
Alright, now that you’ve traveled down that Matrix-like cartoon rabbit hole, you can start to wrap your head around this flick. Chip and Dale, the actor-munks, are now, like the kids who watched them back in the day, middle-aged-munks. It’s been years since they broke up and they are settling in with the grim reality that life probably will never be as exciting as they dreamed when they were young. (You know, just like the middle-aged adults who watched the munks when they were kids are doing right now.)
Blah, blah, blah, some stuff that I won’t give away happens and it is up to Chip and Dale to save the day, which will be new for them, because remember, they never actually saved the day in the past. They were just acting. But now they can’t just act. They must do, for they must get to the bottom of a mystery most foul and reunite with their old RR buddies (also toon actors) in the process.
Sounds ridiculous? Yes. Yes, it does, but, I’ll give it props because a) the middle-aged adults who loved RR as kids will get a kick out of it and b) their kids will enjoy it too because remember, at the end of the day, these toons are for the kids. Or are they? Toons for adults have been around so long it’s hard to know anymore but at any rate, with a PG rating, this is one the whole family can enjoy.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. My one criticism is if you ask who were the actors who played Chip and Dale before Rescue Rangers, you know, the chipmunks from the old 1950s cartoons where they just ran around and squeaked and stole apples and stuff from Donald Duck while they made his life a living hell, the whole premise falls apart, though I suppose they could explain that in the sequel, or the reboot. Don’t forget, a Rescue Rangers reboot is theoretically possible outside of this movie because the “real life” versions of Chip and Dale from this movie are just actors, after all.
I know it sounds like you need a flow chart and a slide rule to follow this movie, but don’t worry about it. Just turn it on, enjoy, and wonder how the heck you got so old. Curse you, time!
BQB here with a review of Disney/Marvel’s latest Disney Plus show.
OK, let me get this straight. For some reason, the Hollywood suits think we need to see Bruce Wayne’s parents get shot outside the theater a hundred times, that we need to see baby Superman crash land his baby spaceship in the Kents’ backyard a hundred times, and that we need to see Spiderman’s Uncle Ben get shot by the crook he let get away a hundred times.
Yet, for some strange reason, Moon Knight, perhaps one of the most obscure, known mainly to hard corps, straight up gangsta comic book nerds, needs no introduction. Here, we just jump into the action where Oscar Isaac plays Steven Grant, a wimpy museum gift shop clerk who, for some inexplicable reason, has been exhibiting strange, bizarre behavior. His body seems to have a literal mind of its own, for one minute he’s fine and the next, he finds himself in dangerous situations – gun fights, car chases, running away from monsters. A mysterious voice keeps telling him to hand his body over to some dude named Marc and somehow its all tied in to Egyptian lore with Ethan Hawke serving as a villain who, guided by an ancient goddess, doles out death as punishment for alleged crimes people have yet to even commit.
Wow. That was a mouthful.
I have a hunch that this season is going to be an origin story in and of itself. We see a brief sequence with the titular Moon Knight at the end of this episode but apparently, the writers decided to start with the action already underway and I assume they will Tarantino their way back to the beginning where we learn why Steven keeps losing control of his body, who is Marc, and who is the voice speaking to him.
It’s just…I don’t get it. Even in the most recent caped crusader flick, “The Batman,” Bruce Waynes’ parents deaths was heavily alluded to. While never shown, their demise was a central plot point so it’s just like, it seems that there must be always a Hollywood suit somewhere who is very concerned there might be one schmuck in the movie theater who was frozen in a block of ice 100 years ago, then thawed out by scientists, and then he left the lab and went straight to the theater and there’s a great concern that this thawed former ice man will have no idea how Batman’s parents died so we better mention it.
But Moon Knight? The character that only the prom dateless knew about up until Disney Plus put the show into production? A tale that seems very complicated with Egyptian gods and magic and body sharing and so on…yeah, we’ll just jump right in and let the viewers figure it out. No need to start at the beginning and move in a straight line at all.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Oscar Isaac becomes an entirely different person, although this takes place in England and not to goof on our friends across the pond but sometimes with the accents I feel like I need an English to English translator. Worth a watch and I’ll tune in for episode two.
Wowie zowie, 3.5 readers! Talk about a fantastic season finale!
BQB here with a review.
I stand corrected. I have been complaining that the B of BF stunk with a lot of blah blah blahing and not enough action but it turns out the show was just throwing us breadcrumbs that really pay off in a major way in this episode.
Even so, Mando and Grogu remain the dynamic duo of this universe, though the Boba-ster did get his moment, though he really is at his best when his helmet is on and he is blasting his enemies rather than talking to them.
It was a fight to the finish on the streets of Mos Eisley, with Boba “I turned over a new leaf” Fett and Mando taking on the Pike Syndicate and stopping their evil spice trade for good. Remember kids, space drugs are bad, mmkay?
Sidenote – not to give away a spoiler but that thing Boba did at the end, why didn’t he just do it at the beginning? So the show could happen I suppose.
There was even legit character development. All of the little bit players got a moment that showed us who they are.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Rogue One was great. Solo, I think, was better than the bad rep it got. The saga sequels had their moments but by and large were unintelligible with the plot being an afterthought. The Mandos, be it Mando who is a true believer of Mando-ism or Boba, a cynic who just likes their armor, are carrying the Star Wars franchise on their beskar protected backs.
Why does it always sound like the guy singing that “hah!” in the theme song is having a hernia?
BQB here with a review.
I can’t help but notice the two best episodes of The Book of Boba Fett had very little to do with this new fangled “I want out of bounty hunting” version of Boba Fett. They transferred all of his bad ass stoicism to The Mandalorian and now Mando gets all the cool episodes.
BTW, these past two episodes were visually stunning, filled with gratuitous fan service (cameos by R2, CGI Luke, Cad Bane and Ahsoka from the cartoons) but more importantly, graced by plotlines that make me think Disney might finally be getting the hang of building a post-Empire universe…maybe. We’re not there quite yet but it’s looking good.
Here, Mando tries to visit his teensy weensy BFF Grogu or the Artist Formerly Known as Baby Yodo. G-Spot is knee deep into his Jedi training from a CGI’d up Young Master Luke, and as Ahsoka warns Mando, Jedis can be badass space monks or they can be part of a family but they can’t be both. (Sidenote – why did this scene make me wish I’d abandoned my extended family and become my own personal version of a kickass space monk years ago? Is this orange tentacled babe (Rosario Dawson) right? You can be awesome or you can have a family but you can’t have both? Hmm.
Moving on, CGI Luke was cool yet not overly convincing last season. They have it done better this time around though I noticed much of the action occurs with the camera zoomed out of Luke so perhaps a body double did the far away action scenes?
SIDENOTE: As CGI rendering continues to make old actors young, or rather, rebuilds their youthful bodies anew, are actors/actresses getting worried? As this tech improves, what’s to stop the studios from just giving all the human talent the boot and creating movies featuring CGI humans rendered entirely from scratch? Maybe someday some zit faced teenager will render an entire Oscar worthy film on his laptop. (Come to think of it, most of today’s “Oscar worthy” films look like they were rendered on a zit faced teenager’s laptop but I don’t mean that in a good way.
Cameo from Timothy Olyphant was fun.
Finally, the plot centers around Mando and others coming together to help Boba Fett fight off the Pikes, i.e. a syndicate of alien spice runners. Double sidenote – In Star Wars, “spice” is totes code for drugs, but since it’s a kids show, if your kids ask you what spice is, you can tell them all the aliens are just fighting over a yummy food topping. (Honestly, you adults who want to retain your innocence can feel free to assume they are fighting over a yummy food topping and what? You already thought they were fighting over a yummy food topping? Oh um…hey! What’s that over there? Squirrel!)
My main question is if The Fettmeister is against the drug (er yummy topping) trade…but he also wants to solidify his position as Tatooine’s top crime boss, um…what other crimes will he be ok with? Because seriously, if he wants to be a crime boss and he’s not cool with spice (oregano or otherwise) then what crimes will he support? Murder? Extortion? Space whores? I knew it. He’s totally pimping out space whores.
Or maybe not. It is a Disney Plus show, after all, so don’t think about the space crime lord’s space crime too much. (It’s space whores.)