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Another Daddy/Daughter Movie Review! Black Panther:Wakanda Forever

DAVE: Welcome to another Marvel Movie MonDAVE! As usual, I am joined by a guest reviewer, my 14 year old daughter Tessa…

TESSA: What’s up?

D: Um, hi. You’re a little early.

T: Sorry Dad, that’s my bad.

D: No worries. Anyway, we will be giving you our opinions on the newest Marvel movie, Black Panther:Wakanda Forever, and rating it on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest. I will, of course, be using a scale of 1-5 Dave’s, whereas Tessa (with a change up) will be using 1-5 slays.

T: Oh my gosh, it rhymes. I love that.

D: Quality stuff here folks. Also, we try to keep these reviews relatively spoiler free, but a few minor spoilers may occur. Okay, Tess, you’re up.

T: Since Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played the original Black Panther, died a couple of years ago, everyone was wondering how the sequel will be handled. The movie starts immediately with a very powerful scene, showing Shuri trying to save her brother from dying of an unmentioned illness, which she ultimately fails at. We get to see how Wakandans handle funerals, dressing in all white instead of all black, which I thought was very interesting. The audience gets to see the many ways Wakandans and individual characters deal with grief and mourning, and we see firsthand on multiple characters the effects of loss, specifically Nakia, Queen Ramonda, and Shuri. The main antagonist, Namor, also experiences loss, which turned him into what he is. This movie does a great job at showing how much losing somebody close to you can effect your mental health and who you are as a person.

D: Agreed. The emotions behind this film are very raw. Bring your tissue, you will probably need it.

While the theme of dealing with loss is prevalent, this movie is also about maturation, and in a weird way, about unity. Both family unity and societal unity are examined to different degrees. The journey of Shuri’s character may be front and center throughout this film, there’s plenty of sub text to chew on as well. Broken people and broken homes figure prominently in this story. This is one of the more character driven films in the Marvel canon, but in the best possible way.

That being said, it is still an action heavy Marvel movie. It feels much more like a traditional Marvel movie than the last few have, which isn’t a knock on the Phase 4 movies (most of which I have really enjoyed), but this serves as an excellent close to the current phase of films.

T: Another thing I wanted to mention was the acting. Obviously Letitia Wright (Shuri) and Angela Basset (Ramonda) were great, but Danai Gurira (Okoye) really stood out to me. Okoye also went through a really interesting character arc in this film, and I think Danai was really good at conveying that.

D: Oh yeah, pretty much everybody brought their A game, which is probably the best tribute they could have made to Chadwick Boseman. If the story had been there but the acting not, it wouldn’t have been nearly as touching.

There are only a few negatives I can give this film. One is that it’s a little long, but then it’s a Marvel so, duh, of course it is. I also think it gets a little bit clunky in the middle while changing between plot lines. These are minor complaints, however, because the acting, story and surprises are more than good enough to get you through.

Oh, and Martin Freeman returns as well, and that’s always a fun treat.

Okay, Tess. Final thoughts?

T: All in all, this movie conveyed a very deep message about life, loss, and love. It also introduced Ironheart, which was pretty cool. And the cut scene is super cool, as it usually is with Marvel movies. This is definitely one of my favorite movies from Phase 4, and I’m excited to see what the MCU has in store. I give it 4.5 slays. It slays the day away!

D: Cool. I agree. I give it 4.5 Daves. It Daves the day away!

T: No.

D: Slays the Dave Away?

T: Just stop.

D: Okay.

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MCU Daddy/Daughter Movie Review: Thor Love And Thunder

MonDAVE on a Friday (or whatever day you are reading this) pretty much means just one thing. That’s right, it’s another Daddy/Daughter Marvel Movie review, WITH A TWIST!

Normally I do these with daughter Tessa, but she had to bail at the last minute, so little sister Melody is subbing for her this time out. Say hi, Melody.

MELODY: Hello.

DAVE: Thanks for going with me, it was fun. Okay, so when I do this with your sister, I give her some time to write out her thoughts on the movie, and then I do mine, and we rate it on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Now that we know the rules, give us your spoiler free thoughts please on Thor: Love And Thunder.

M: Six.

D: What?

M: Six. I rate things from one to six because it’s unexpected.

D: Get your own blog for that. Anyway, what did you think?

M: The movie was an enjoyable mix of funny and serious, although the pacing of the movie was off. I felt it should have been longer because I was unmoved at the emotional parts. I did like how they brought Jane back, because I had forgotten about her. When they went back to extract the reality stone from her in Endgame I remember not knowing what was going on when that happened because once she broke up with Thor we never heard from her again (also Thor Dark World was boring).

D: It wasn’t, but continue.

M: And Korg came back so that was cool because K O R G.

D: Fair. I agree with you about the pacing. I think that those of us who are huge MCU fans will still be moved though, but you’re right the more emotional scenes would have worked better if they had a little more time to develop. I think some of the comedy would work better that way too.

It also would have helped the tonal shifts in the movie. This film has a lot to say about the nature of love and how it affects people, from both the romantic point of view and from that of a parent/child relationship. It does so in a very Marvel way of course, but it could have been a little more effective if we weren’t jumping around quite so much.

Really though, that’s all I have to complain about, so that’s not so bad. I laughed a lot, and I was very invested in Thor’s overall arc as a character. He kind of became an idiot there for a while in the previous few movies, and it’s nice to see him begin to come back around to his hero status. Ultimately this is a sweet movie with some decent action, comedy, and some cool effects. There are a few creatures made up of pure nightmare fuel, but that’s balanced out by some large goats who are pretty awesome. Also the Guardians make a brief appearance early on and that’s always fun to see.

Okay time to rate this one. I give it 4 out of 5 Daves. Melly?

M: I give it a 4.5. Even if I wasn’t very moved by the serious parts I still enjoyed the rest of it a lot.

D: And there you have it, another win from the MCU. Thanks for being my guest Melody and for filling in. See you all back here on Monday for more stuff!

MonDAVE on a Friday-y’all know what that means- Another New Marvel Movie Review!

Well, here we go again! Tessa and I have just returned from seeing Marvel’s new movie “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness” which will henceforth be referred to as “Dr. Strange 2” since that is way too long a title to keep typing out.

As usual, our scale is from 1 to 5.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 Daves.
Tessa rates it 4 Y’s. (Y, of course, stands for Yaaaas!)

Tessa, your thoughts.

T: That movie was wild. I feel like I have to go back and watch it again to be able to process everything that happened. Some things were really good and some things were really boring and unnecessary, but I actually thought a lot of the more gory stuff was pretty cool. The CGI was really good, and a lot of the world building they added in was cool too. And you know I love a good Wanda moment, and this movie contained lots of Wanda moments, even if some of her moments are downright concerning (my girl needs to see a therapist).

And now, for the stuff I didn’t like that much. America is amazing and I love her, but they gave her virtually no development or backstory or anything. She deserved way more screen time, and it’s possible she originally had more and those scene got cut, but with the content we got it was hard to root for her when we didn’t know anything about her. It was almost like they didn’t want us to root for her with how little they gave us. And yeah, she’s a side character, but she deserves a more fleshed out story than what she got. She just showed up at the beginning of the movie, and it took very little convincing to get Strange to be on her side, which didn’t make any sense. I get that we as the audience know as much about her as Strange does at the beginning of the movie, but I just wanted to see more. It felt like a missed opportunity, and she’d better show up later so we can learn more about her.

Also, throughout the entire movie I was confused about something or other. The first scene in the entire movie confused me. Bro, I’m still confused. That’s why I say I need to watch it again, because half of it didn’t make any sense. Overall, it’s not as bad as some people say it is, but it isn’t as good as some people say it is. It’s better than just okay, but not amazing, if you know what I mean.

D: I totally get your perspective and I think it’s fair, but I don’t quite agree with your final analysis.

You’re right in that the whole Wanda/Scarlet Witch storyline was very good, Elizabeth Olsen completely owns that role. She’s awesome. Benedict Cumberbatch (best name ever) is also very good in this film. He plays Dr. Strange so effortlessly that it’s easy to forget he’s acting, which is what makes him so good. I liked seeing multiple versions of the same character and the nuances he brought to each. It’s also nice to see a little more humanity creep in behind the very high wall that Strange builds around himself.

As far as the plot being confusing, I think it is a little bit, but purposefully so. I think anything important gets explained fairly well, and what is left open generally is there to add mystery and set up new adventures.

The effects in this movie were incredible too, which one would expect from not only Marvel, but a Sam Raimi directed picture too. As a Raimi fan it was nice for me to see him bring more of his bonkers style to the MCU, especially all the moments that reflected his horror work.

Speaking of, we should let people know that this while this is not a full on horror movie, there are some jump scares, a few tense moments and some scary visuals. I think using the word “gore” is a little strong, but it’s pretty in your face for a PG13 super hero movie. I mean, I thought it was cool, but small children or those who are easily disturbed may want to watch at home with the lights on, or just get a summary from a trusted adult about most of the third act. Again, it’s not super scary (it’s Disney owned after all), but there are a few fantasy/horror moments.

Having said that, I quite enjoyed the thrill ride/roller coaster movie that this turned out to be. It’s got a few flaws, but overall this is a great popcorn flick that helps expand the MCU nicely.

And we both can agree that it kicks “Eternals'” sorry butt.

T: That’s facts.

Thanks for reading everybody. See you soon.

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Yet Another Marvel Movie Review-Spider Man edition.

Well, here we are again. A special edition of MonDAVEs on Friday-so it’s Marvel Movie review time, featuring my special guest blogger, Tessa. We like to do dad/daughter movie reviews to see where a middle aged man and teenage girl agree or differ on movies we see. Tonight: Spider Man: No Way Home.

I don’t know that we can do this without spoilers but we can try. What do you think, Tessa?

Tessa: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

D: She’s a little excited.

T: Bro this movie has emotionally wrecked me. Like I feel physical pain when thinking about this movie. I finally got to see all these characters that I am emotionally attached to again! And that’s great! But what is not great is what they did to them. Who gave them the right. I said this movie will change the course of the MCU but this is not what I meant. I love the Spiderman movies so so much and I’ve been waiting for months for this movie to come out, and I’m definitely not disappointed. And I have basically nothing bad to say about this movie. I loved literally every minute of it, and I want to see it again every day for the rest of my life.

D: See? She’s a little excited.

I liked it too, but not quite that much. It’s fun seeing the Multiverse brought into play, along with all the characters that come along with it. Spider Man is, as I have mentioned before, not one of my favorite super heroes, and I do struggle with the decision to make him a teenager in the MCU. No insult intended towards the actors or anyone else involved, just not the direction I would take. All these movies start the same way which, basically is, Peter does something amazingly stupid and we spend the next 2 hours dealing with that.

T: I keep forgetting that you don’t like Spider Man. I block that out every time.

D: Well, I mean, I don’t hate Spider Man.

T: Whatever. Now is not the time to discuss this. It’s late and I want to go to bed.

D: Fair. Anyway, they do manage to make these movies smart, funny, and entertaining so no real complaints. This is probably the best of the three, with some emotional heights, as Tess mentioned, and some nice effects and action sequences. Plus, I love a good villain and this movie is chock full of ’em, which is about all I can say without getting into spoilers.

T: I know, we can’t talk about cut scenes or anything without spoilers.

D: So I guess let’s just rate it.

Tessa: 5 out of 5.
Dave: 4 out of 5.

We both recommend seeing this one, we just REALLY can’t talk about it without going all spoiler-y. So there you have it. See you next time.

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Daddy/Daughter Movie Review: Marvel’s Eternals

Once again, my special guest, daughter Tessa, joins me for a review of the new Marvel movie, Eternals which we saw over the weekend. The review scale is 1-5 (1 being the worst, 5 the best) Daves, or 1-5 Y’s, Y standing for “Yasssss!” Alright, let’s get into this thing. Spoilers? Nah. Here we go. Tessa, you are up first.

Eternals: 3.5 Y’s, 3.5 Daves

Tessa: Every phase of the MCU has a movie that’s just Not It, (cough cough Thor: Dark World) and I was expecting Eternals to be phase four’s bad movie. And was I wrong? Kinda. For the first two thirds of the movie I wasn’t really into it, but by the end it got really good. But the ending isn’t enough to save the rest of the movie. It moved way too fast, and I feel like there were many places they could’ve cleared things up, and they didn’t. Either they cut those scenes for time (the movie is already so long dude), or they never had them in the first place, which wouldn’t surprise me. There were way too many characters with weird names that were hard to keep track of and hard to spell. It would’ve been better if there were only five or so, especially since a lot of the side characters did nothing for the plot. The only character I really got attached to wasn’t even an Eternal (shout out to the guy with the camera, he was one of the best parts).

But onto the good parts, there were a lot of twists that I didn’t see coming which I really enjoyed, and the representation was immaculate. The amount of diversity across multiple fields was incredible, and I thoroughly appreciated it. At least half a point of my rating was just from the representation. But those two things don’t really make up for the many things I didn’t like. And the terrible reviews along with the fact that the movie is getting banned from theaters in multiple countries leads to bad box office ratings, and leads to a loss for Marvel. It didn’t really feel like a Marvel movie to me, it feels like a movie I’d find on Netflix, watch, and say “Well that was bad” and never watch it again. Spiderman: No Way Home has really gotta bring phase four back to what it was (although I know it will be amazing), because Eternals was just eh, and I’ve come to expect more than eh from the MCU.

Dave: Mostly same. Tess, do you feel like it would have been a better movie with a different structure? More of a linear approach, perhaps?

Tessa: Kind of. I see what they were trying to do with all the time jumps. They were trying to tell the main story and provide exposition through flashbacks throughout the story, which is a technique that pays off when it’s executed well, but here it wasn’t executed well. I think if they had put all the exposition at the beginning it would make the viewing experience easier, although it would ruin a couple twists, which were the main reason I started liking it at the end. Also if there had just been less flashbacks, there wouldn’t be as many complaints of it being too hard to follow. I know what they were trying to do, and if you think about it from that perspective it makes more sense, but it ultimately backfired and ended up just being confusing.

Dave: Agreed, but I do think there could have been a way to tell the story in a more linear fashion without ruining the twists. A flashback or two wouldn’t hurt, but you are right in saying that there are way too many of them.

I think I got into it a little bit earlier than you did, but I did spend the first hour not knowing what to think. My biggest problem is that the filmmakers didn’t take time to establish the characters before getting us into the story. I found it difficult to care for first part of the movie. It almost felt as if I was watching the second or third movie featuring the Eternals, not the first, and that I should have been up to speed already. It’s always difficult to turn out a movie with lesser known characters, and Marvel has done that extremely well in the past but they just missed the mark here.

Also, there were a handful of main characters that wound up doing essentially nothing, and were disappointing in their story arcs. But that’s probably more a matter of opinion and may be true to the original comics, but me being almost completely clueless about the source material I wouldn’t really know.

Tessa: Yeah, I feel that.

Dave: It’s not all bad news though, because the movie isn’t actually bad, it’s just not up to the standards we are used to. I did enjoy many of the literary and historical references in the movie, from the characters’ names to some of their appearances throughout the world over the years. I was intrigued by the scope of the story that was being told, just not the way they told it.

Also, there is a surprising amount of humor in this movie, I laughed out loud several times even before I was into the film. I agree that some interesting storylines were left unexplored, and I think that this could have been two really good movies, or a quality series on Disney+. But like a full series, not just 6 or 10 episodes.

Tessa: Yeah, I feel that too. I think you made a good point when you said that it’s not bad, it’s just not what we were expecting. On it’s own, it has potential. But compared to the masterpieces Marvel has churned out in the past, this isn’t as good of a movie. Maybe when they make a later appearance in the MCU, Marvel will turn the Eternals into all our favorite characters.

Dave: Right. Although the main story did wrap up, we were left with a somewhat open ending regarding what happens next and it looks like there could be some really cool stuff coming up! This might wind up being one of those movies that is appreciated more over time, and I wonder if it wouldn’t benefit from a second or third viewing. Just not in the theater. I’m also wondering if they shifted the tone a bit, like with Thor’s movies, if that wouldn’t help the characters become fan favorites too. I guess time will tell.

So, in closing, neither of us hated this movie but we didn’t love it either. We would suggest seeing it if you are a big fan of the MCU, but casual fans may not need to make this one a priority. We are hopeful though that the Eternals themselves will wind up being an essential and awesome part of the MCU in the future.

Thanks for reading everyone! Back to my usual solo nonsense next week on MonDAVEs!