TV Review – Wandavision Episode 8

Wandavision Episode 8 (Disney+)
Written by Laura Donney
Directed by Matt Shakman

By the end of this episode, I concluded that this might have been the best thing ever made in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ll admit, Wandavision has been a little hit & miss for me. The plot has seemed fairly clear-cut despite my desire for more twists and turns. It looks like the story will end up being much more straightforward than fans would have guessed. Even the Pietro reveal gets undercut by Agatha this episode, squashing some fan theories that sprung up with his appearance. What worked so well about this episode is the depth of character & emotion it gave to Wanda Maximoff. In the films, she’s been continually sidelined as a supporting player, but finally, she has received the spotlight she deserves.

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 7

Wandavision Episode 7 (Disney+)
Written by Cameron Squires
Directed by Matt Shakman

Episode seven of Wandavision reveals many things, but I would argue it is not one of the best-written episodes in the bunch we’ve seen. It’s honestly a little clunky and awkward at moments and clearly was flagged as one to push the plot forward without doing much character development. These sorts of episodes are likely to be the standard from now on in the MCU shows because I doubt they will spend much time letting characters sit around and talk. While I love the reveals we got, it also felt like The Vision’s delay was as much a part of the in-universe mechanisms around Wanda as it was the writers padding out the show to hit nine episodes.

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 6

Wandavision Episode 6 (Disney+)
Written by Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron
Directed by Matt Shakman

The sitcom world of Wanda Maximoff reaches the early 2000s, so we get a pretty brilliant Malcolm in the Middle homage. Of all the sitcom nods in the series so far, this one felt the most confident, in my opinion. Having the twins narrate directly to the camera was a beautiful touch, and Pietro felt like a variation on Malcolm’s older brother/Francis character. The show does a pretty excellent job balancing the in-sitcom story and SWORD plot happening outside the illusion. Once again, there are hints and teases towards the finale, which is three episodes away now.

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 5

Wandavision Episode 5 (Disney+)
Written by Peter Cameron and Mackenzie Dohr
Directed by Matt Shakman

Wandavision did something I didn’t see coming. But we will get to that in a moment. We’re now past the mini-series’ halfway point, and I think the overall premise is straightforward. As I’ve said for a while now, Wanda is the main problem here, possibly with some outside manipulation. We see some security footage of Vision’s body being reclaimed by her, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was spurred on by promises from some supernatural being we haven’t met yet. But that wasn’t the biggest surprise of the episode.

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 4

Wandavision Episode 4 (Disney+)
Written by Bobak Esfarjani and Megan McDonnell
Directed by Matt Shakman

I’m going to be a little snarky here. I am genuinely baffled by people on social media acting surprised or wondering what the twist in Wandavision is. I don’t feel like the show has hidden much from us that can’t at the least be easily inferred. I may be biased because I carved out a large chunk of dedicated brain space for comic book knowledge & tropes long ago. Everything we have seen so far, including this most recent episode, feels is telegraphing the plot beats to the audience. It felt obvious to me who the villain was in this mini-series from the second episode or so. 

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 3

Wandavision Episode 3 (Disney+)
Written by Megan McDonnell
Directed by Matt Shakman

As promised by the trailers, this episode moves us into yet another era of the American sitcom. This time around, we’re in something around the late 1960s/early 1970s. The faux theme song has hints of The Partridge Family, while Wanda & Vision’s house’s interior is a definite nod to The Brady Bunch. We’re also introduced to the fact that Wanda is experiencing an accelerated pregnancy, going through trimesters in a matter of hours. This is something the couple tries to keep hidden from the neighbors along with their powers, but it proves difficult when Wanda’s powers go haywire as she goes into labor.

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TV Review – Wandavision Episodes 1 & 2

Wandavision (Disney+)
Episodes 1 & 2
Written by Jac Schaeffer
Directed by Matt Shakman

Many people genuinely love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I am glad they have movies they can rewatch and enjoy like that. I wouldn’t count myself as someone enamored with superhero movies of any kind, though I do always give them a viewing. I am entertained by them, but I don’t think too much about the films when they are over. The most I revisit them is with my niece and nephew, who they honestly are intended for. The people who should get the most excited about superhero movies, Star Wars, and the like are little kids. 

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Movie Review – The New Mutants

The New Mutants (2020)
Written by Josh Boone & Knate Lee
Directed by Josh Boone

And so the 20th Century Fox X-Men franchise comes to a strange, pitiful end. Dark Phoenix came out last year and appeared to be the intended conclusion, made and edited with the end of the series in mind. However, multiple delays and then COVID-19 caused The New Mutants to make a three year trip to the big screen. The signs that the X-Men film series was over were apparent years ago with X-Men: Apocalypse, a movie that seemed conflicted about what is trying to be or how it would fit in the post-MCU landscape. I would argue that, despite a few highlights along the way, the X-Men film series was always disappointing and felt like it belonged to another era gone by.

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Movie Review – Venom

Venom (2018)
Written by Jeff Pinkner & Scott Rosenberg, and Kelly Marcel
Directed by Ruben Fleischer

Sony ran everything off the rails with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After handing over partial control of Spider-Man to Marvel, you’d think they would just coast on that and let the money come in. However, they began looking at the other characters they got as part of their licensing deal and settled on making a Venom movie and a Miles Morales animated picture. While the Miles Morales decision made sense to me, I was a little confused about a solo Venom picture. The Venom character exists as an evil version of Spider-Man, a trope that is present all throughout comic books (Superman:: Bizarro, Green Lantern:: Sinestro, Flash:: Professor Zoom). To feature Venom without the character, he’s defined in opposition to doesn’t sound like a formula for success.

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Movie Review – Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 (2014)
Written by Jordan Roberts, Robert L. Baird, and Dan Gerson
Directed by Don Hall & Chris Williams

In 2004, Pixar released The Incredibles, a superhero film ahead of the curve with Iron Man and the MCU not launching until four years later. My first thoughts after the end credits rolled were that Brad Bird and company had succeeded in making the best Fantastic Four film, which would be proven correct when Fox released the groaningly terrible FF live-action movie in 2005. Bird understood the core essence of these characters and about the fundamentals of what drives kids of all ages to lose themselves in an afternoon of comic book reading.

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