There’s nothing quite like Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a film that feels more like a big-budget HBO mini-series in terms of format, but with all the whiz bang pop of a billion dollar summer blockbuster. It’s certainly bloated, though it’s coming out at a time when audiences are more starved than ever when it comes to cinematic spectacle. It’s about as ambitious in its labrynth of costumed subplots as something like Captain America: Civil War, but it’s a far more coherent and narratively rewarding picture than a lot of what Snyder has produced before, particularly compared to the mess of misery that was Dawn of Justice.
It’s been a week since the exciting conclusion to “WandaVision” graced our screens. The Disney+ original series captured the attention of new and old MCU fans alike with its first bizarre and eye-catching premiere on January 15, and not much has changed eight episodes later. Every episode was wrought with fan theories, speculation, and nail-biting anticipation for the next week. And now, it’s over. The sun has set on yet another chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and “WandaVision” certainly went out with a bang. The finale featured some of the best action sequences and most crushing emotional moments in the entire (limited) series. The stellar acting from the cast, including Elizabeth Olsen, Kathryn Hahn, Teyonah Parris and Paul Bettany, only helped catapult the positive reception of the finale, and it helped cement “WandaVision” as one of the must-watch shows of the year.
We’re only a third of the way through “WandaVision,” but if this recent episode is any indication, we can expect an avalanche of strange occurrences and sudden twists to occur every single week. Episode 3 of “WandaVision,” aptly titled “Now in Color,” comes to Disney+ with another 40 minutes of laughs, love, and absolute madness. The show starts off how the second episode ended, in brand spanking new technicolor!
For those unaware, “WandaVision” is the newest project from Marvel Studios, and it’s the first in a long line of miniseries that all share a connection to each other and the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. It follows everyone’s favorite odd couple — Wanda Maximoff and Vision (last name not included) — after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Back when this idea was first announced, it was met with excitement from some and exhaustion from others. I’m only a little bit ashamed to admit that for a while, I landed on the latter.
We’re assembling some surprise guests to review Avengers: Endgame, starting with a spoiler-free discussion of the blockbuster event that’s already breaking box office records. Afterward, all of our spoiler hesitations disappear with a snap, and we have special guests Alisha Grauso and Matt Donato on deck to help us process basically everything this saga by Marvel has been building up to for over a decade.
Avengers: Endgame marks the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. At least…until Spider-Man: Far From Home comes out in a few months. Regardless, there are 22 films in this sprawling quilt of franchises, and not all of them are made equal. In this bonus episode of Cinemaholics, I spend a grueling two hours with Sam Noland collaborating and debating a definitive ranking we can both put our names on.
The set up and payoff structure of the Marvel films beginning with Iron Man in 2008 may never be fully realized. These stories will continue on for as long as audiences continue to be fans of the material, so any definitive ending for a saga of episodic films requires a conclusion to at least one prominent idea, not necessarily an entire world of characters and their respective potential as branched franchises. This is why Avengers: Endgame is a film deftly committed to playing out the first and last revelation of such a film series. Tony Stark is Iron Man. And the Avengers are the Earth’s mightiest heroes. Everything else in Endgame is secondary, including its villain.
Keeping your emotions in check means maintaining a semblance of control. Don’t be hysterical, don’t lose your cool, don’t show your feelings or risk being called weak. This is what the titular Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson) is struggling with when we first meet her training on the planet Hala, far from the Earth we know in more ways than one.