Sit Down and Watch Some WandaVision: WandaVision Review

I’m a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as is most of the globe at this point. (Is that an overgeneralization? Maybe. But I’m making it anyways!)

So no matter what the MCU elects to churn out to the masses, I’m going to watch it. I’m going to immerse myself in the trailers and the lore discussions and the review videos afterwards. It’s a whole process.

When I first saw the trailers for WandaVision, I was mightily intrigued. The show appeared to be doing something it had never tried before. Both Wanda Maximoff and the Vision were seen in these sitcom roles from various eras of television. This would be mystifying enough if it weren’t for the fact that the character of Vision was considered dead at this point.

What follows is going to be a spoiler-free review on the off chance you haven’t seen the show yet. (Though given that it’s been about a month since the last episode released, you really should have checked it out by now.) And yeah, I know I’m covering the show way later than I should. But, I mean, I am a Below Average person. It’s part of my descriptor. Might as well cover shows in a Below Average fashion, right?

WandaVision uses perhaps the most interesting vehicle I’ve yet seen to tell a Marvel Cinematic Universe story. It follows the familiar structure of sitcoms to tell its tale, so much so that you might not understand what’s going on at first.

Any fan of the MCU will enjoy this show as it offers a unique perspective into certain events that were never really explained in the films, and the sitcom angle is really quite fascinating. Newcomers to the MCU should definitely not start here, as the appeal of many moments in WandaVision rely heavily on past occurrences in the movies.

However, the people who will truly appreciate WandaVision are those who both love the MCU and have a deep-seated affection for a good sitcom. WandaVision is an homage to the art of the sitcom, and even though I’m not overly familiar with every sitcom on the block, even I could recognize the trends and stereotypes it was poking fun at.

Character development in WandaVision could have been something that was washed over thanks to the shiny appeal of the sitcom trappings, but several fan-favorite MCU characters get to display how the events of both Infinity War and Endgame have affected them. I’m just going to go right out and say it: Wanda in particular is the one to watch.

Unfortunately, and this is perhaps one of the most prevalent MCU weaknesses across the board, the “villain” suffers from rather unclear motivations and power mechanics. You are introduced to their story in a single episode, and no big explanations are provided.

The most intriguing aspect of WandaVision is how it sets up Wanda’s future in the MCU. The implications are major, and if you’re a fan of the universe, you will feel the potential ramifications of the show’s ending ripple throughout your mind more quickly than a snap of Thanos’ fingers.

Personally, I enjoyed the show, but it’s not my favorite outing into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s not something I will go out of my way to rewatch. That said, I heartily appreciate what the show set out to accomplish. It went for something new, and I think it largely succeeded.

Besides, I love campiness and I love super heroes, and WandaVision has both in spades.

I rate WandaVision a bewitching-good-time-that-spells-an-interesting-future-for-the-MCU.

Avengers: Endgame Review–Oh, I’m So Old

If anything has made me notice how old I am, it’s the passage of time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which is kind of sad, media-driven, and pathetic now that I think about it.

Iron Man first released in 2008, and Avengers: Endgame came out in 2019.

That’s eleven years later.

That’s eleven years of my life.

Like anyone else who has been watching these movies since their youth, I was really hyped for Endgame. I don’t want to call it the culmination of years of super hero films again because I’ve done that so many times for work (I write about films, TV series, comic books, and video games) already.

But yeah, Endgame is the ultimate culmination of years of super hero films.

My local theater does not have reserved seating available yet, so when you buy an advanced ticket to a showing, seating is first come first served.

Side note: Danny, I swear to god, if you make one comment about “small towns,” I will punch you. Well, not really. But I’ll figuratively punch you.

I bought my ticket to see Endgame weeks in advance, and when the premiere date finally arrived, I made sure my schedule was clear for the entire day, showed up at the theater at 6:45 in the morning, and waited for my 6:00 p.m. showtime.

As you can probably surmise, I am a dedicated MCU fan.

This review is thus going to be biased as hell.

But I have established this with you guys beforehand, so I think that gets me off the hook.

Also, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, there will be SPOILERS ahead.

The best thing about Avengers: Endgame is how much tribute it pays to the history of the MCU.

One of the things I didn’t like about Avengers: Infinity War was how little time was given to each hero. I understood why this had to be, since Infinity War had to cram so many heroes and so much plot in such a short amount of time, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t wish for more breathing space for my favorite characters.

Endgame gives these characters some breathing space. With that three-hour runtime, the film allows the original Avengers to have these awesome character moments. Like when Black Widow is just sitting in Avengers headquarters, dealing with the aftermath of the Snap, and she starts to sob. That was beautifully acted out, and if the plot had been rushing along like a runaway train, it wouldn’t have happened.

The movie also pays homage to the original Avengers by having them revisit some of their prior stories.

Let me explain.

The basic premise of Endgame revolves around time travel. When Scott Lang is freed from the Quantum Realm by a fluke, he realizes that time passes more slowly there than it does in the regular world. He figures that the Avengers can use this knowledge to travel back in time and reverse the effects of the Thanos Snap.

With this knowledge at their disposal, the Avengers make a time machine and travel back in time to moments where they can collect the Infinity Stones and bring them back to the present. Once done, the Avengers will use the Stones to bring back everyone dusted by the Snap.

Not only does this plan allow the Avengers to be the heroes the world needs them to be, it gives us as an audience a chance to go back to the good old days. We get to see the Ancient One from Doctor Strange again when Hulk goes to collect the Time Stone from her. We get to see Frigga again when Thor and Rocket go to Asgard to get the Reality Stone before she dies. We get to see the Battle of New York when Cap, Iron Man, and Ant-Man finagle a way to get both the Mind and the Space Stone during that time period.

It’s a mega trip down nostalgia way, and if the movie wasn’t already making you prone to tears, these memories might just push you all the way to Sob Street.

Oh, I should also warn you the movie can be very cry-inducing. When I went to go see it, there were a bunch of people ugly-crying all around me. It was fantastic.

The beginning parts of the movie show the Avengers and the world coping with the loss of half of all life. That’s a downer right there. Two of the Avengers, Black Widow and Iron Man, sacrifice themselves to save the world, and that’s a kick in the emotional balls if there ever was one.

Luckily, the movie is also chock-full of humor and epic moments.

My favorite funny part was when Iron Man, Captain America, and Ant-Man were spying on their past selves, trying to find an opportune moment to steal the Space Stone. Iron Man makes a comment about how Cap’s old costume is not doing his ass any favors, and then Ant-Man pipes in, telling Cap not to worry, he thinks his ass looks great, and, in fact, that’s America’s ass.

Can we just stop and appreciate the character of Ant-Man for a second?

Aside from the original Avengers, Ant-Man is one of the few heroes who gets to go on this time-travelling adventure, and I’m glad he did. The other Avengers are our heroes. Ant-Man is us if we got to tag along.

The best epic moment, in my opinion, is not when everyone who was brought back from the Snap joins the fight. That’s second best.

The best moment was when Captain America picked up Thor’s hammer and started using it.

That’s right, folks. The moment we’ve all been waiting for happened.

The theater I was in shook with the roars and cheers of excitement and approval when we saw who was carrying Mjolnir. It was a big fan-service moment, but goddamn it, I don’t care! Service me, Marvel! Service me!

As for the bad qualities of the film, that basically revolves around the time travel aspect.

Time travel is a double-edged sword in stories. It can give you wild situations that provide engaging and unique plots, but it can also become a convoluted mess right quick.

The time-travel rule in Endgame starts out fairly straightforward. Going back in time and altering the past does not affect your future. What it does is create an alternate timeline, a branching path from the original. This is why the Avengers had to go get the Infinity Stones and bring them to their present instead of just murdering baby Thanos.

But if this is the case, then boy, did the Avengers leave a mess of alternate timelines in their wake. In one timeline, Loki stole the Space Stone and is now god knows where. In another, Thanos and his entire army is just gone. In yet another, Captain America lived a different life and now he’s an old man.

That last one still has me scratching my head.

But these temporal gripes do not stop me from liking the movie. I loved Endgame. Even if it didn’t make sense sometimes, it still came across as a loving send-off. It’s like a good-bye message on your high school yearbook from your best friend who maybe didn’t do too well in their English classes.

You can feel the love oozing from every scene, and I wanted to bask in that love for every minute of the movie, even though I made the mistake of drinking a Coca-Cola ICEE during the first half and my bladder was set to explode for the last thirty minutes of the movie.

I rate Avengers: Endgame an if-you-have-been-there-since-the-beginning-of-the-Marvel-Cinematic-Universe-then-this-movie-was-made-just-for-you-and-like-every-hero-in-the-film-it-won’t-let-you-down.

A Marvel or a Blunder: Captain Marvel Review

Captain Marvel is not as bad as the haters are saying it is, but it’s also not as good as its fans are gushing it is.

It’s somewhere in the middle, and that is totally okay with me.

In fact, I think it’s marvelous.

Side note: MARVEL-ous? Get it?

I went to see Captain Marvel with low-ish expectations. Color me fatigued, but I’m just sick and tired of being blatantly spoon-fed “strong female characters.” Give me strong characters who just so happen to be female. You get me? And Captain Marvel’s marketing campaign seemed to just want to shove that whole message down our throats

Imagine my surprise when the movie gave me what I wanted: a Captain Marvel who was a bag of snark and action. just like your average, ordinary Marvel super hero. Freaking made my day.

Anyway, let’s start this review off with a brief summary.


Vers is a Kree warrior-in-training with no memories of her past. She’s part of a team that performs covert operations against the Skrulls, an alien race that is waging war against the Kree. Skrulls come across as vicious mother-flubbers, and they have this nasty ability to shape-shift into any form they want. After a rough encounter with some Skrulls, Vers gets separated from her team and crash-lands on Earth. Apparently, there is a person of interest to the Skrulls on Earth, and Vers is determined to get to them before the Skrulls do. However, Vers is immensely surprised to discover that she had a life on Earth. This revelation changes everything Vers thought she knew about herself (including her real name, which is Carol Danvers) and the war around her. She teams up with Agent Nick Fury (pre-eye patch), her old friend Maria Rambeau, and some unexpected alien allies in order to save an entire alien race and her very own sense of self.

Not a bad premise, huh?

I’m going to start with the things I liked about Captain Marvel, then I’ll go into things that didn’t please me as much.

The Positives

  • The Skrulls: I swear, those guys are the best part of the movie. I first read about Skrulls in comic books. I was extremely delighted to learn they were going to play a major role in Captain Marvel. I was even more delighted when I saw the movie itself. At first you think the Skrulls are going to be the ultimate bad guys of the films. Their ability to shape-shift seems to add to their lack of trustworthiness. But that is a total misconception, and the movie handles it perfectly. The Skrulls are on the losing side of the war against the Kree, and they are five hundred times more likable. The lead Skrull, Talos, is by far the most moving character in the whole film.
  • The humor: Ever since Thor: Ragnarok, I’ve been a little bit worried that Marvel movies might throw out moving stories in favor of the ever-present joke. Thor: Ragnarok was in no way a bad movie. In fact, it’s definitely the best Thor movie out there (so far). But I have to admit, I did get tired of all the jokes that were tossed around like party favors. Captain Marvel reached that sweet spot where there were the right amount of jokes. Not too much, not too little.
  • The action: Sometimes in action movies, you have no clue what’s going on. Marvel movies have usually been spot-on in their action scenes. Whereas films like those from the Transformers series end up looking like a mess, leaving audiences extremely confused about the blur of motion on the screen. Captain Marvel included crisp and clear action. It was easy to follow what was happening, and it looked good.

The Negatives

  • Captain Marvel’s reactions: I was wildly pleased with the fact that the movie focused on the indomitable nature of the human spirit more than the indomitable nature of the female spirit. (I don’t mean to offend anyone by that. As a member of the female portion of humanity, I think females are pretty awesome. However, I get annoyed when people keep pushing this strong female message because it feels like another form of sexism to keep mentioning it. No one ever makes a big deal about strong male characters. Strong male characters just are. True equality would mean that strong female characters just are, too.) However, despite the movie hitting this nail on the head, there is something a little too shallow about some of Carol’s reactions to what is going on around her. If I had found out a person I trusted had lied to me and stolen six years from my life, I would be thoroughly pissed and outraged. And I would be hurt. And lost. Brie Larson as Carol never seems to convey that kind of depth of emotion when this happens to her.
  • The soundtrack: Marvel continues to be a disappoint for me with every passing soundtrack that does not include a memorable theme song. DC reigns supreme on this count. After you see Captain Marvel in theaters, I dare you to try humming her theme. You can’t, because it’s not memorable.
  • Plot conveniences: This is a flaw that a lot of science fiction and action movies can have. It’s when certain circumstances are glossed over in order for certain other circumstances to occur. For instance, in Captain Marvel, Nick Fury figures out what bar Carol is travelling to based on…a store she stole some normal clothes from that was miles away? Captain Marvel has these flaws just as much as the next movie. They’re irritating, but they were not too huge.

So overall, the movie was not bad. I’m not going to say it’s the best Marvel movie, but it is definitely way better than some of Marvel’s other movies. (Anybody else remember The Incredible Hulk?)

I rate Captain Marvel a take-the-plunge-and-see-the-movie-so-you-can-judge-for-yourself-whether-or-not-you-like-it-because-it-is-becoming-impossible-to-get-impartial-reviews.

The Trauma Continues in Ant-Man and the Wasp

SPOILERS! If you haven’t seen Ant-Man and the Wasp, BEWARE! There is going to be a massive spoiler ahead.

Just another quick reminder: I’m not a professional reviewer of anything. I get carried away by my feelings and do not really cite much evidence for why a movie makes me feel the way I do that is not tied to personal experience. Keep that in mind.

Ant-Man and the Wasp came out yesterday (as of me writing this, not necessarily as of this getting published), and it was all right. I had a good time watching it, but honestly, it’s nothing new in terms of the Marvel formula. It wasn’t horrendously bad, but it wasn’t surprisingly phenomenal. I’d rate it a watch-it-once-because-it’s-a-Marvel-movie-and-you-know-you’ll-have-fun.

It’s set after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Scott has been released from that super-max super-hero prison we last saw him in, and instead, he’s on house arrest. He can’t leave his house for anything, not even to be Ant-Man (especially not for that). He also is not allowed to be in contact with Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne, both of whom are on the run after Scott used their technology to help Cap.

Of course, it’s right around when Scott’s arrest is about to end when Hank and Hope need his help to find Janet van Dyne, Hope’s mom and Hank’s wife. She’s been lost in the Quantum Realm all these years.

There are some baddies who try to get in the way of Scott, Hank, and Hope, but no one can stand against the mini-might of Ant-Man and Wasp.

A couple gripes I had with the movie:

  1. Bill Foster is simultaneously portrayed as both a good guy and a bad guy. Bill Foster is a former co-worker of Hank’s, who they go to for help. He eventually reveals himself to be the one helping the super-powered villain, Ghost. Despite aiding Ghost, you find out Bill has good intentions. I like misdirection as much as the next moviegoer, but it felt like messy misdirection to me. Like they were only making you think he was bad while it was convenient for him to be an antagonist.
  2. The rules for the Quantum Realm keep changing on me. When the Quantum Realm was first mentioned in the first movie, they made it seem like a place no one could survive in and remain sane. But in this movie, I guess you can?

All that aside, the movie is a fun adventure, full of action and laughs, but come on, it’s nothing we weren’t expecting.

What I really want to talk about is that mid-credits scene.


Hank, Jan, Hope, and Scott are all on the rooftop of a building by some complex machinery. They’ve built a quantum tunnel that will be able to transport someone to the Quantum Realm and then pull them back out. Hank, Jan, and Hope all want Scott to turn super tiny, like quantum tiny, with a little tube so that he can bring back some “healing energy” from the Quantum Realm. (The healing energy is presumably for Ghost, who needs it to remain stable.)

(I thought we were all agreed that the Quantum Realm is a bad, bad place. Oh well.)

So, basically, Hank and his family will press a button in the regular world, Scott will shrink to Quantum sizes, then, once he collects enough energy, they’ll press the button again and Scott will be pulled back to regular size.

I could tell that everyone in the theater was waiting for the other shoe to drop as soon as the credits started rolling. We were all (relatively) fresh from the trauma of Infinity War. We knew that there was no way Marvel was just going to ignore what happened with Thanos in this end credits scene.

We were not wrong.

Scott, teeny-tiny in the Quantum Realm, calls to be pulled back to the regular world, but there’s no answer. We cut back to the rooftop where Hank, Hope, and Jan were, and all we see are three clouds of drifting ash. There was an audible gasp from the audience.

Goddamn you, Thanos.

I hadn’t realized how much Infinity War had emotionally scarred me. Seeing those ash effects again made my stomach drop to the Earth’s core, and my heart started pounding a crazy beat of dismay for poor Scott Lang, WHO IS CURRENTLY STUCK IN THE QUANTUM REALM.


I think they’re doing this on purpose.