A shapeshifting mediocre spy-thriller disguised as a Marvel action TV show.
So, I need to address my own personal elephant in the room first: the nature of taking a storyline that easily could have been it's own Thanos-level threat and making it a grounded miniseries focusing strictly on the non-super super spy side of the MCU. My biggest fear when this show was originally announced was that they wouldn't be able to make the stakes big enough without feeling too awkwardly empty of 'thems what do the Avenging.' Honestly, I haven't had those fears assuaged yet.
That said, our first episode, titled "Resurrection," does provide a fairly decent spy thriller featuring familiar characters. Nick Fury is called down from his position in space by Maria Hill and his green shapeshifting pal, Talos. Along the way, we meet a cheeky MI6 leader looking to smoke out some Skrulls, a plot set to trigger war between Russia and America, and more "hey do you remember that history we have together that either happened off screen or so long ago that we have to remind the audience about it" dialogue than you can shake an Adidas track suit at. The action was good, with some fairly well choreographed fight sequences; though, not as well executed as Marvel has done in the past. Samuel L. Jackson does extraordinarily well as Nick Fury, as always. He was born for this role, and I hope he knows it. Everyone else does fine, but most of the acting seems fairly muted. The characters barely seem like they want to be there, occasionally just mumbling lines almost inaudibly, and whole sections of dialogue just seem bizarrely confused as to what emotions the audience is supposed to take away from it.
As for the plot, the premise is fairly light. Skrull rebels are mad that they don't have a planet, decide to take earth by sowing chaos around the globe. Skrulls are immune to radiation, so I guess the plan is have America and Russia nuke each other into oblivion and then build a new Skrull planet on the ashes. Pretty shoddy plan considering what the world would look like after a nuclear holocaust, which I feel probably should have been researched during the development phase. I guess the nuclear power plant the rebels are hiding in doesn't have WIFI. Anyhoo, the rebels want to use a dirty bomb at a Russian cultural festival and somehow implicate the US in such an act. How they intend to do that, we haven't seen yet, we've just seen them explode a bunch of stuff and some Skrull played weird mind games with Nick.
Okay, I'm being harsh, but I do believe the series has time to improve. We just need to develop the story and the bad guys a bit more. Currently, they feel a little reminiscent of the baddies from Falcon & the Winter Soldier, in that their main motivation simply seems to be that they got mad at some point and couldn't shake it. Writers: people need more motivation than just being angry and/or slightly peeved (honestly most of the people in this show just look like they're wearing uncomfortable shoes). If moderate anger leads to terrorism, then the developer of Getting Over It would have been locked up years ago.
Overall, I'm luke warm to the series so far. Only one episode in, so time will tell, but it just wasn't a super strong start for me. Had some funny moments and great Nick moments. Some cool action. Beyond the little tidbits though, the real meat of the series just felt undercooked. Or half-cocked. One of those. And as for my initial fear I mentioned above, it seems like the response to making the stakes not big enough or too big to not be an Avengers level threat was to just make the stakes kind of... not exist in any capacity? Or feel very vague at least. Honestly, if you told me this script was written by ChatGPT, I'd believe you.
Speaking of: the AI intro was also garbage. Not worth cutting out paying jobs for.
Episode 2 comes out June 28th. We'll meet you back then to see if things have shaped up. Ha.
Are movies even allowed to be this good?
Coming into this film, we knew it was going to be a challenge to try and top the original, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. But hot damn, they achieved. Incredible art, an engaging storyline, cameos and references and fan service, oh my! It's like watching the live-action world blend with the comic world in a majestic symphony. Well done, Sony (but don't get comfortable, we still know what you did to Morbius...).
You're emotions are about to get PUMMELED...
In all honesty, Marvel hasn't felt quite on their game lately. The majority of the recent films have felt just okay and a couple even outright disappointed us (looking at you Thor... sigh...).
Not this one. An emotional rollercoaster that can absolutley wreck your tear ducts, this one is well written, well directed, well acted, and serves as an incredible finale to the Guardians' storyline. Definitely go see it, but also come well prepared with a box of tissues.
Dragons and unicorns and cyclopses, oh my!
Sometimes, a movie that has smaller ambitions gives us a bigger payout, and that's exactly how it feels with Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Rather than trying to build a whole new universe, this movie is telling a straightforward story with a relatively contained cast, and it makes all the difference for the fun, relatable narrative.
Small heroes, big impacts on the MCU.
You know, it feels really good to be able to come here and talk about a Marvel movie and actually feel really happy with the outcome. After a couple real bummer-inos, this new installment of Ant-Man introduced some really great characters, some long-lasting villain implications, and a good bit of depth to a majority of the established heroes. Heck, Marvel, it's almost like you DO know how to make a movie.
In a different universe, this movie came out 2 months earlier, and did GREAT in the box office...
So, this movie came out almost 3 years ago at this point, but because of the dreaded panini, it really fell under the radar for most folks (it literally released in mid-March 2020). We recently had a chance to check it out, and decided to share our thoughts on this pretty decent Vin Diesel flick that should have gotten way more love than it did. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong company, wrong circumstances.
A little alien magic for your holiday season!
We're not saying this short flick is going to replace your yearly rewatch of A Christmas Story, but it is a holly jolly joyful little romp to brighten your season. With the focus on Mantis, we get a delighfully goofy and heartwarming tale about saving Christmas for Starlord. Oh, and Kevin Bacon is awesome, even if he IS just a stupid actor.
A tasteful memorial and a path to move forward.
There was a lot of speculation around how they would incorporate the loss of Chadwick Boseman and his rendition of T'Challa into the MCU, but it was done gracefully and with a lot of empathy. Beyond that, the movie itself is well done - great acting, beautiful visuals, and a solid story - even though there were some small but pronounced holes that could have made the film better with a little more fleshing out. More than anything, we're just proud the MCU has started to really figure out how to mix up the tone of their movies; we've come a long way from the Tony-Stark-ization of every character, and that's something to be celebrated, for sure.
It's more than just weird sky punches.
I wouldn't say that the rock has brought something hugely new and different to the genre, but I would say he's helped create a super fun, action-packed popcorn movie that's definitely worth seeing on a big screen. Oh, and it DOES have some implications for the rest of the MCU so, you know, be ready for that.
Black & white makes it all alright... or at least TV14.
It's a Halloween spooky special from your fright-night friends at Cover B! This week we're covering the recently released Werewolf By Night, a Marvel & Disney+ short horror film that does an incredible job stylizing itself after the old-school genre films. You know, except randomly for the "not-TVA" folks. Which... well, we'll tell you all about it. Time for some spooks!
Cover B Podcast
Chris & Tee host this weekly comic-focused show, providing insight on new comics, entertainment news and more.