Film Review: Marvel Studios’ Eternals

This review may contain spoilers.

Eternals reveals more about the structure of the MCU itself. This movie spans many years, and constantly has flashbacks to reveal more about the immortal Eternals. These beings have lived on Earth for thousands of years and have been present in so many different points in history. They have even seen ancient Rome! After an earthquake, Deviants start emerging again and attacking the Eternals. Ikaris joins Sersi and Sprite as they go to find their leader, Ajak. However, they arrive at her isolated home to find her killed by a Deviant. Sersi is made the leader by Ajak’s final wish. They soon begin to gather the rest of the Eternals so as to be able to fight the Deviants (only to find they have evolved over thousands of years). 

I felt that this movie offers a new perspective on some of the larger events of the MCU. Some viewpoints I hadn’t considered before and facts I hadn’t known were presented in this movie. In addition, I liked the diversity of characters, all of which had very different personalities and powers. There were numerous unexpected plot twists which I felt helped reveal or imply things before the truth came out. Although I generally enjoyed the movie, I felt like it was a little inconsistent with the way it randomly changed time periods. 

I do think that this movie is very important to our understanding of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it reveals a lot of insight about the origins of the MCU and other details of the MCU which had earlier remained mostly unseen. 

-Peri A.

Spider-Man No Way Home: Movie Review

Hi! This review may contain minor spoilers for the movie Spider-Man No Way Home, but I will try and contain them from just inside the trailers so if you haven’t seen those you should definitely check them out before reading this. Thanks!

Spider-Man movies have been around for a long time, starting back in the 2000s with Tobey Maguire and in 2012, Andrew Garfield. Now, with his debut in Captain America: Civil War, everyone has been dying to see Tom Holland play everyone’s friendly neighborhood superhero. With two amazing movies already available to stream, No Way Home has a lot of fans on the edge of their seats, waiting for the release date on December 17, 2021. Two trailers have already come out, with the first reaching a world record of 355.5 million views in just 24 hours. The trailers included lots of things for fans to talk about, like the new black and gold suit, Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Jamie Foxx’s Electro, and Rhys Ifans’ Lizard returning on the big screen as Spiderman’s villains in the movie.

In the trailer, we see Peter Parker’s life after Mysterio reveals to the world that he is Spider-Man. His life is turned inside out, and everyone seems to hate him. Because of this, he decides to go to Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum to find help, and Dr. Strange offers to erase everyone’s memory of who Spider-Man really is. Turns out this would mean his friends and family, so Peter tries to stop it, but in doing so ruins the spell and brings villains from different universes into his world. He finds out they all died fighting a different form of Spider-Man. Now he is faced with a choice: Send the villains back to die, or save them but destroy the multiverse in doing so.

I myself have already seen the movie, and I definitely recommend it. The movie is full of funny moments and hilarious dialogue between the characters, and it has a great plotline. The villains are great, especially with the original actors coming back to play their roles in the movie. Along with being funny at parts, it is a serious movie and has some very sad parts that I didn’t see coming. It is funny and emotional, and I can’t wait to see what Sony has planned for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, Zendaya’s MJ, and Jacob Batalon’s Ned. The CGI is amazing and Jon Watts did a great job of directing this film. If you have the chance to see this movie and are a Spider-Man fan, don’t miss it even if you aren’t a fan.

Overall, it is a great movie and I can’t wait to see what else Sony and Marvel include for Spider-Man-related movies in the future. Spider-Man No Way Home is definitely one of my top 5 favorite movies, so anyone reading out there should definitely see it. As of now, it is only in theatres so remember to stay safe! Thank you for reading!

-Brandt D.

TV Review: Marvel’s WandaVision

WandaVision | Watch Full Show Online

My parents are always raving about old sitcoms like The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Facts of Life or Friends.  Sitcoms, in their day, were the perfect half hour to hour where family and friends could gather for a show and a laugh with little worry.  They were children of the 70’s and 80’s, so I get it, but as a child of the 2020’s I prefer more action.  Disney Plus’ WandaVision is a perfect marriage of our mutual loves.  To add to its appeal, it comes from Marvel.  The creators of Marvel have expertly woven pop cultural references from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 2000 television with Marvel action packed story telling.  Not only that, but the writers take a deep dive into Marvel lore, providing excitement for everyone from the basic fan to the aficionado.  This ended up being a show that our family watched together, something my folks would call “must see TV,” though I am so glad I live in an era when I can watch what I want when I want.  Beware this review may contain spoilers

WandaVision begins as an idyllic 1950’s sitcom in the vein of The Donna Reed Show or Leave it to Beaver.  We are the audience watching an hourly scheduled program, of which Wanda is the main character.  How audiences found entertainment in these vanilla black and white comedies, I’ll never understand but, as pop culture goes, they reflect American values of the time.   The first episodes keep in step with the idea of a 1950’s happy home where the husband goes to work and the wife stays at home in the kitchen.  Weird, right?  We see that Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) is blissfully married to Vision, a sentient robot created by Ultron to destroy the world but who is later reprogrammed to help the Avengers.  Right away, the set up is a surprise because when audiences last saw this pair, Wanda is grieving the tragic destruction of Vision by Thanos at the conclusion of Avengers, End Game.  Here, Vision is very much alive and functional.  The couple is in love, recently married, and have moved to the perfect American small town, Westview, where they appear to be happily trying to fit in as “normal.”   At first it appears their ruse is working but there is a very peculiar and eerie undertone that something is not right.  As the sitcom transforms in rapid time from the 1950’s to the 1960’s we realize that not everything is as it seems in this little town, and by the time we reach the big hair and fluorescence of the 1980s, we learn that our protagonist has a dark secret and danger is lurking in a neighbor right next door.   We also are clued into a concurrent present day storyline, in the outskirts of Westview, that threatens to collide with WandaVision’s tranquil and out of time-sync town.

What is particularly attention-grabbing is that past Marvel characters, who were seemingly peripheral to the ultimate Marvel storyline, make appearances in WandaVision and are integral to the movement of this story.  You can’t help but almost cheer when they arrive on scene like an old friend you haven’t seen a while and remember how cool they are to hang with. I don’t want to give too much away except to say that Agent Woo has some amazing and quotable lines from this series.  If you don’t know Agent Woo, do yourself a favor and revisit Antman.  Oh and check yourself, you may not be a true Marvel fan.

WandaVision: What Big Marvel Cameos Could Happen? | Den of Geek

Without a doubt there is a blurring of lines between good and evil in WandVision which the audience comes to understand as we learn how and why Wanda escaped to Westview.  What is clear, however, is that actress, Kathryn Hahn, brilliantly sneaks up on you as the evil villain.  She is suspicious from the start but the true nature of her back-story unfolds in a wonderfully diabolical manner, drawing from historical fiction dating back to the Salem witch trials of the 1690’s.   She drives Wanda in the direction of her destiny as the Scarlet Witch.  Hopefully, this is not the last we will see of Kathryn Hayn and her mischievous character in the Marvel Universe.

Lastly there is a deeper message about running from problems and pain in WandaVision and that message is delivered via the ridiculousness and lightheartedness of the sitcom.  The sitcom is the perfect escape from the real world.  Typically, it is funny, sometimes even cheesy.  The basic sitcom plot involves the introduction of a problem that is most often resolved, with hijinks to boot,  by the end of the half hour. Who wouldn’t want to hideout in that kind of easy-natured fun, at least for a while.  Unfortunately, life is not a sitcom and even Wanda, with all of her powers, can only suspend reality for a brief time before her spell begins to bend and become vulnerable.  The pain of her losing Vision, along with the pain of her other life struggles, can’t be resolved in a half hour sitcom and trying to bury it there hurts everyone around her.  She has to embrace Vision’s lesson “But what is grief, if not love persevering?” In the end, Wanda emerges stronger, and more powerful and the audience is left to ponder her next move and also to ponder the ultimate question, “where will the Marvel Universe take us next?”

Johnson D.

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Solider

In the second movie in the Captain America series, Steve Rogers finds himself fighting his long-time best friend, Bucky Barnes. Bucky has been brainwashed by HYDRA and now goes by the name The Winter Solider.

As one of the strongest members in HYRDA, The Winter Solider puts up a strong fight. Although Captain America had no intention of killing The Winter Solider he has hopes of bringing the old Bucky back. Yet The Winter Soldiers’ sole purpose is to kill Captain America. 

The movie introduces us to a new character, Sam Wilson. Who also goes by the name The Falcon. Personally, I did not support the casting of Anthony Mackie as the Falcon because I felt as though he lacked in some areas. 

The CGI and visual effects in the movie are phenomenal. The casting of the movie was well executed. Although one thing I disliked was the lack of depth in some scenes. Yet for the time limit, it was acceptable. Overall the movie was well executed and had a nice plot. They did not drag the movie and kept it intriguing. The movie was almost flawless and I would deeply recommend it to anyone interested in action, superheroes, and marvel.

-Sanjana S.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Even Recap: San Diego Comic Con International 2019

On July 18-21st, the San Diego Convention Center hosted its biggest and arguably most fun event of the year: Comic Con. And this year, for the first time, I was fortunate enough to attend. SDCC is acclaimed for is fantastic Hall H panes, its fabulous stands of fan-made art and official merchandise, its booths of magical colorful posters and pins. Over 150,000 people attend this legendary event this year, and, as one of those lucky people, I’m going to tell you how it went down.

Now, while SDCC actually occurs in July, tickets are bought in early November and December, and are extremely difficult to get your hands on. The actual Convention takes place at the San Diego Convention Center and the Marriott next door to it. It consists of hundreds of rooms and halls in which the legendary panels and game shows are hosted, including the magnificent Hall H. On the ground floor, the huge event hall takes up the majority of the space, and this is where you will find various stands, official and fan-run, selling anything and everything fan-related.

I myself didn’t attend many panels, only 2, but both of them were fantastic. I spent most of my time doing two things: loitering around the official Marvel booth, and wandering around the event hall. Even so, it was an amazing experience. Although tickets can be expensive, I honestly think the experience is worth it if you’re a fan of anything present at the Con. And there is no shortage of options, either. The booths and panels range from superhero to anime to video games. It’s truly a place for all kinds of people to come together and celebrate the one thing they all share: obsession.

Overall, I couldn’t have had more fun at SDCC 2019. It’s truly one of the most entertaining events of the year, and I’m super excited to attend next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that… But in all seriousness, if you’re a superfan of almost anything at all, I recommend going to SDCC.

-Arushi S.