50-Word Review of “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness” [SPOILER VIDEO ADDED]

A lot and yet so little

If you are only thrilled by a movie because of its middle and mid-credit-sequence cameos, are you really thrilled? If those two were taken out, this would be a sub-par effort because all of the nuance and lessons of WandaVision were sacrificed in order to create a decent horror showcase.

I didn’t know John Krasinski was this popular. Most of my cheering was because the FF was finally entering the MCU. Seeing Krasinski, the Geek Web’s choice for Mr. Fantastic, meant that my Marvel dreams are well on the way!

SECOND VIEWING REVISED THOUGHTS:

“In this movie, he makes a tiny little journey from being a very proud superhero to being someone who learns a modicum of modesty and learns that other people can be trusted, too,” [director Sam] Raimi says. “He’s not the only one that can do the job. It’s about coming to understand that others have worth and he’s not better than everyone.”

The film was better the second time when I figured this out and accepted that the above was its only thematic thrust. My real problem with the movie is that it wasn’t worth stomping on the character nuances of its best TV show to date to get there. Strange’s growth comes at Wanda’s expense. We’ll see if the Marvel Master Plan is worth this.

CONGRATS to Black Power Media….

….for its daylong telethon for Dhrouba bin Wahad. I have long thought he is an important Black decolonized political analyst and public intellectual and I think, as an important Black Power-infused thinker, he is beyond worthy of both support and assessment.

114-Word Review of “The Batman”

The Darkest Knight

Those who know and love the top stories of the last 30 years or so of Batman comics–particularly those of the last 15 years–will think this is two-thirds of a masterpiece and forgive the exposition-ish info dump at the beginning of the third act. The film’s last part attempts to serve the needs of both epilogue and the now-customary post-credit let’s-set-up-the-next-two-films. This outing is so powerful it will make you forget any Batman film not named The Dark Knight. After this soon-to-be trilogy, the only future film direction I’d see is Batman Beyond because it would be the only part of this soon-to-be 90-year-old character that will not be mined by then.

106-Word Review of “Being The Ricardos”

Pre-feminist positioning

Yes, the impersonations are far from perfect. No, regardless of what you’ve heard or read, the acting is great–particularly J.K. Simmons as William Frawley/Fred Mertz. Yes, it’s amazing to see that two of the smartest people in Hollywood in the early 1950s were a has-been movie-star white woman and a Latin signer, actor and bandleader. Although it takes the now-standard liberties with the truth, this whole flick is about how innately intelligent and savvy they were–how both were five steps ahead of everyone else. In the end, this docudrama shows, if not argues, that they were too smart and too powerful for each other.

66-Word Review of “The Matrix: Resurrections”

Through the looking glass, again

To choose is to be fully awake, no matter where you are. A very meta, refreshingly simple story about two super white people and their Black, brown and yellow friends. By stripping the story to the core, it becomes hyper-accessible and enjoyable. But I get the feeling that this franchise’s time has past–that Neo is no longer new, Trinity no longer the magic number.