All posts by Rayyan

Marvel, Starwars, DC and Film enthusiast. Sucker for streaming services. EIC at The Cine Geek, Writer at Streamr and Contributor at Cinema Reviewed.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review: A Tale of Horror and Heartbreak

This is a Spoiler-Free Review for Marvel Studios’ latest film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, marking Sam Raimi’s return to directing and Marvel’s first step into the horror genre.

Initial Thoughts

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness accomplishes the madness it promises with great horror, excitement, and emotion. It also truly shakes up the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a brilliant way, giving us by far the creepiest and goriest action in any MCU project to date. The 126 Minutes runtime provides for a great fast pace which hooks you into an exciting ride and doesn’t let go, only getting crazier and scarier as the film progresses. Benedict Cumberbatch who plays Doctor Strange and Elizabeth Olsen who plays the Scarlet Witch both give amazing performances. Xochitl Gomez is perfect as America Chavez and Benedict Wong’s Wong is as loveable as ever. A few more minutes to breathe and a more focused first half would have made the film perfect. Overall the film not only expands the MCU further but also gives an overwhelmingly exciting viewing experience and injects some much-needed freshness into the Universe.

Sam Raimi’s Multiverse of Madness

When Marvel slapped the Sam Raimi name onto the film’s Trailer it left me questioning if this was going to be a Sam Raimi film or a Sam Raimi for-hire film, but this is Pure Raimi Madness. Multiverse of Madness feels more like Evil Dead than the MCU and fans of Raimi’s specific campy horror genre will love it. As he brings his unique style and shots to the MCU and just provides a great new refresher from the typical MCU Formula. There is a lot of gore, brutal kills, and typical Raimi jumpscares which at times just make you forget that you’re watching a Marvel film. Raimi also gives us some of the best and most exciting action sequences in the MCU. It’s at those points where the film truly shines, at these big surprise moments where you’re just screaming and jumping around on the inside. THis film is also directed in a way that it never lets you off for a rest, you’re thrust in from the very first scenes and then never let off till the end. For any other MCU film, you wouldn’t have to give a single thought about bringing your kids but the horror elements and many fatalities of this film really set a new bar for the MCU in terms of Darker themes. It’s one of the few movies in the MCU which hasn’t sacrificed the identity of the talent behind it.

The Main Cast

Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff is truly the stand-out of the film and the true emotional center of the entire story. The film is a direct continuation of WandaVision and is truly necessary viewing to understand her whole arc in the film. Her performance is very heartbreaking as it is one dealing with grief and loss, her maternal love takes center focus and Olsen just excels. She takes full ownership of the character and truly embodies every single emotion, she really is the Scarlet Witch. Her ferocity as Wanda and just absolute obstinateness are just chilling. While Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange who is this rather arrogant guy, who wants to always be in control is thrust into a situation where he has to learn from others and ultimately has to pay the penance for his rule-breaking with Dark Magic, messing with the timeline, and the Multiverse in previous films. Cumberbatch also has the added weight of playing multiple different versions of himself and he is just as amazing in the others as he is in the original. Each of these variants has a very specific role to play in the film be it giving some exposition or as a setup for future events in the film. Sometimes this exposition can feel like it’s dragging, especially with how fast everything else in the film flows, but it really works to make you understand the awesome back half of the film which is truly just a non-stop thrilling spectacle. Xochitl Gomez makes her debut as America Chavez and is just perfect as the character. She has the perfect amount of cockiness, skill, and lovability in her portrayal of the character which makes all the scenes where she’s giving exposition fun. Benedict Wong is as hilarious and bad-ass as Wong as ever and being the New Sorcerer Supreme he really is under a lot of responsibility in this film and makes sure that Strange knows it which sets up a great comedic dynamic. Rachel McAdams returns as Christine Palmer from the first film but also as a variant of the character. The original Christine doesn’t have much screentime but shares a great heartfelt moment with STrange near the beginning while the other Dr.Palmer plays a much bigger and more vital role, guiding Strange through some of the challenges he faces.

The Story

The story in this film is truly a direct continuation of WandaVision, with all the major plot points and emotional weight being surrounded by either The Darkhold or Wanda. This film is about grief and what maternal love and loss can make someone do. Wanda starts off the film in grief over the loss of her kids, she was able to find peace in WandaVision but was short-lived as she lost Vision and her kids yet again, leaving her looking through the evil book ok the damned, “The Darkhold”. Wanda takes Vision’s line of “What is grief if not love persevering?” to great heart as she in her grief makes some questionable choices for love as we saw at the end of WandaVision, she was haunted by the loss of her kids. Now she is out to get what she wants and she won’t let anything or anyone get in the way of her path to her kids. While Doctor Strange is thrust into dealing with America Chavez’s problems which causes him to make some questionable decisions that he perhaps shouldn’t have made. The writing puts you in a great dilemma because you love these characters and you know why they’re making those decisions but you also see how wrong those decisions are. The story overall is quite linear and just flows. It places the focus totally on Wanda and Strange, making it all feel gelled and coherent.

Surprises

These days with fans it seems like they want every marvel movie to have 50+ cameos per film at least for it to be a good film. This film certainly gives you some great cameos but if you’re going in there for just cameos this isn’t your type of movie. This movie instead packs its surprises with the plot, the world-building, the impact on the universe, the horror elements, and the brutality. This film truly has some great surprises, which are bound to have fans cheering and screaming throughout. With lots of scenes one after the other which are straight from the comic books and lots of scenes that just put you in straight shock of what you’ve seen. The Creepiness and gore in the film certainly come as a great surprise and keep on going, to places which you wouldn’t expect an MCU film to go. Sam Raimi was given a massive toolbox to bring his horror style to and he does it extremely potently, putting the film into Evil Dead mode at times.

Final Thoughts

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the dream film for a Sam Raimi fan, not only is it his signature style but the immense toolbox he’s given allows him to stretch it all so much further. The emotional heart of the film is also very strong and heartbreaking and the places this film goes with that emotion are truly alarming. Doctor Strange is finally starting to feel the weight of all his decisions and is put in an uncomfortable situation, while Wanda is trying to deal with the loss of her kids but her grief has clouded her judgment. The film puts you in a great dilemma, which could’ve been used much better than it actually was. The fast pace of the film allows it to feel like madness as you’re thrust with one thing after another which is exciting, it does take some time to make you feel emotion but just as you’re starting to truly feel it, the film pulls further. Those moments really could have used more room to breathe to extend the film’s emotional heart and make it feel more complete and satisfying. The film however still maintains a great emotional tone and Sam Raimi really makes it feel personal with his close-ups. Sam Raimi truly makes this film a delight to watch with his unique pans, close-ups, eye shots, and just great cinematography and color grading. If you were starting to feel some MCU fatigue this is your cure, the horror, the fresh palette, and mind bendingness are sure to get you excited for what’s to come.

This new auteur-driven darker juice that this film and Sam Raimi provide to the MCU is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Cine Geek Score

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres exclusively in theaters tomorrow!

Does all this increase your excitement for the film? Do you agree with our thoughts? Let us know on our socials @CineGeekNews on Twitter and @The.cinegeek on Instagram.

Stay Tuned for our Spoiler Review and Breakdown dropping next week and meanwhile read our Review for Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight.

Exclusive Interview: Slow Horses Star Christopher Chung teases Roddy’s journey for Season 2

Slow Horses is a darkly humorous espionage drama that follows a dysfunctional team of British intelligence agents who serve in a dumping ground department of MI5 known un-affectionately as Slough House. Oldman stars as ‘Jackson Lamb,’ the brilliant but irascible leader of the spies, who end up in Slough House due to their career-ending mistakes as they frequently find themselves blundering around the smoke and mirrors of the espionage world. 

The British espionage series aired its thrilling and action-packed finale just yesterday and I was able to have a nice chat with star Christopher Chung who plays Roddy Ho in the series as he spoke about how amazing it was to play a character who isn’t subservient and spoke about his dream roles from playing Bond to a role in Shang-Chi 2.

The series has been quite thrilling so far and as a fan it has been great to speculate week by week, how was it like for you?

To watch it week by week cause I haven’t watched the whole series yet as I’ve been wanting to watch it with my wife. So having had read the scripts already and knowing what happens, I still found that at the end of every episode you’re left with this cliffhanger even though I know what’s coming to see it translated on screen is phenomenal and such a joy to be held in that suspense for a week. So I’m really looking forward to the pay-off tomorrow.

Roddy is supposed to be a bigger part of the last episode, could you expand on that and give us a little teaser?

I think Roddy’s been a big part of the whole season to be honest. I mean the whole thing wouldn’t have have happened if it wasn’t for him. That’s just the arrogance of Roddy coming out of me. I apologize, but no, I think their are certain points in tomorrow’s episode where you see that he really does kind of give the pieces of information to the group that are incredibly necessary to resolve what’s going on.

How has it been playing the character?

It was an incredible joy to play him. I remember in my first audition with James Hawes and Will Smith the writer, just saying to them what an incredible joy it was to pick up a character like Roddy and not have to be a subservient kind of beholden character that is servicing everyone else’s goals and objectives. Where i think he really gets to stand on his own, he marches to the beat of his own drum and he does exactly what he wants to do which is a really nice dynamic to play within the Slow Horses because you know in a way they’re all really trying to come together to solve this kidnapping of Hassan and bring it to a resolve. Which Roddy really just wants to get home listening to his music and editing his dating profile.

How have you felt about the direction the character has gone this season and where would you like to take it in the future?

I think it would’ve been really easy for me to have painted Roddy with a really rash and abrasive paint stroke. I think what was really great about working with James Hawes is that he’d find the light and shade between the times where Roddy is abrasive and times where he’s actually helpful to the group and justifying that for myself on why is he putting this information over and it always kind of came down to him proving himself. like he is this hotshot which he is. You know in terms of growth, there’s so many ways that I would like to see him go and the way he’s written in the book he really does start to come into his own and he really starts to take a bit more central focus. So if you want to find out more about him Mick’s written an incredible series of books and hopefully at some point if all goes well then there will be more seasons ahead.

Talking about you now, What would be your dream franchise to join or a character you would love to play?

My favorite franchise? I mean, I think the go to that everyone wants to go to would be a Marvel franchise. Who wouldn’t want to be a Marvel hero? Yeah, I think that would be lovely and also I mean its only keeping in the tone it would be awesome to be in a bond film. To be in a really long form spy movie like that, i grew up watching Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and their some of my favorite films that I always go back to.

I would love to see you ask the next Bond.

Haha, i would love to see me as the next Bond too.

You talked about Marvel superheroes so is there any specific character you would like to play?

Keeping it in my wheelhouse, I’d love to be involved if there was a Shang-Chi 2. I think Simu did such an incredible job playing Shang-Chi. I had always wanted to be an X-Men, I think Cyclops is my favorite.

That’s coming up so you never know

Yeah, you never know.

What are some things you love about Roddy?

I think the things that I love about playing Roddy is that he stands on his own ceremony and he does exactly what’s in his head. I don’t think there’s any- he doesn’t try to hide what he’s feeling, he doesn’t try and mince his words. He’s very matter of fact and he just says it how he sees it. Sometimes to his own detriment. I don’t think there is anything I don’t like about him and if there is I try not to see that cause then it’s very hard to be that character when you have judgment on how they’re presenting.

Any little tidbits you can give us on the next episode?

It’s streaming on Apple TV+ you should definitely tune in to watch it and there might be a little surprise at the end of it.

Any tease for a Season 2?

There will be a Season 2 coming out some point at the end of the year.

That’s all from me, Thankyou for the chat Christopher!

Thankyou!

Christopher was extremely humble and it was great having a chat with him. A big thankyou to Apple TV+, the DDA group and especially Christopher.

Also Read: Our latest exclusive for Marvel’s upcoming ‘Secret Invasion’ series.

Exclusive: Secret Invasion Set Photos showcase Large Bunker Set

Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion is a new series heading to Disney+ that stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull Talos—characters who first met in Captain Marvel. The crossover comic event series showcases a faction of shape-shifting Skrulls who have been infiltrating Earth for years. Secret Invasion has been one of Marvel Studios’ most secretive series thus far. Marvel has only announced a few cast members and the only information we have on the series is through set photos from when the series was filming in public across the UK.

The Cine Geek has now exclusively acquired set photos for the series showcasing an indoor exploded bunker set and some Crew merch.

A Secret Bunker Set

The Photos showcase what looks to be an old war bunker with some kind of experiment being monitored or controlled. This includes an old computer panel and lots of wires plugged into various sockets in panels. This could be an old Skrull base or possibly even an old Soviet base since we know from past set photos that a portion of the series will take place in Russia. This set also looks quite destroyed so there may have been an explosion at the scene or possibly a big battle.

Crew Bag

Cast

Marvel Studios officially announced the series back in December of 2020, with Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, and Cobie Smulders returning to their past MCU roles along with Emilia Clarke, Olivia Coleman, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Christopher McDonald, and Killian Scott making their MCU debut in the series. 

Release?

The series will most likely be ready by the end of the year or early next year. The time taken for VFX for past Marvel Studios’ Disney+ shows has been around 5-6 months and the series wrapped filming in Pinewood Studios in the UK just a few weeks ago so it would’ve had a late 2022 release. This indicates that the move was most likely made due to the abundance of flagship Disney+ shows in 2022 which has caused a massive VFX logjam. So this would to allow them to be a bit spaced out. My prediction would be a first week of January or last week of December release.

Secret Invasion will exclusively premiere on Disney+ in late 2022 or early 2023.

Also Read: Kingpin and daredevil confirmed in Echo

Moon Knight Episode 5: Spoiler Review and Breakdown

This is a SPOILER Review of Episode 5 of Moon Knight so if you haven’t watched it yet, please go and watch the episode and then read.

This episode is amazing but extremely heartbreaking at the same time. It takes some time to start kicking but when it starts it doesn’t stop. It deals with some very dark and adult themes, the likes of which Marvel has never featured beforehand which provides for an emotional journey and leaves the series on another cliffhanger, leaving only a few hints along the way on how the series may end.

This episode an awesome emotional voyage. Which breaks down Marc Spector and takes him through the demons of his past to balance his heart. We get some necessary insight and explanation into the setup for the series. Following the common episode structure of traveling through the main character’s memories for them to gain closure and stability. Similarly to WandaVision episode 8 this episode perfectly takes us through his origin of abuse, trauma and accurately portrays how a DID system is created.

But make no mistake, this isn’t WandaVision Episode 8. This is truly bonkers! Marc is dead in the underworld and his other alter Steven now has his own physical form as they both get their hearts plucked out from their chest and weighed on a boat going through the underworld. The setup alone is quite fantastical. It also keeps us guessing on the validity of the reality as we see him switching between his reality in the underworld and him in the Asylum with Arthur. Which leaves you guessing as to which is real.

However, it all takes a very dark turn. As Marc is faced by all his trauma which has him face up to everyone he has ever killed. These are things he’s hidden off and secluded from Steven and has hidden off in his mind. It really poses a question about the morality of the Fist of vengeance Khonshu turned him into.

Then comes a little boy who takes us to place which is sure to break your heart.Taking us through how Marc blames himself for the loss of his brother. Which gives us the heart breaking origins of “Laters Gators” and takes us through a cycle of abuse which caused Marc to develop DID and which was the abuse that Marc endured, hiding it all from the Steven alter. We see the crushing portrayal of how DID is created in live action as his Mentally ill mother continues to blame him for his brother’s loss and we see Marc’s painful denial to face up to the memories of his mother who physically tortured him.

Oscar Isaac and the young actor’s portrayal is just breathtaking. How they seamlessly transition between the alters. DID is caused when someone is mentally or physically abused by someone as a child. Which causes them to dissociate as to not feel the pain of the abuse any longer. They make you feel the mental, physical and emotional tone that this has had on him. And it’s painful and crushing to watch.

We also gets great scene near an Egyptian tomb which is straight from the Moon Knight comics as he is an ex military mercenary in Egypt killed by his partner Bushman, but saved by the Moon God Khonshu right before it happened, becoming his Fist of Vengeance.

The ending sees Marc’s final piece of the puzzle in balancing his heart being the death of Steven so as Steven sacrifices himself to save Marc from Egyptian sand zombies Marc’s heart balances and he’s left in the field of reeds or the Egyptian heaven.

This ending leaves me questioning how they will wrap up the series but if they manage to pull off what they’ve been doing in the last two episodes, we are in for a treat. We also have them sending a message to Layla to free Khonshu which will most likely be his path out to deal with the Gods and Monsters of the next episode.

Also read my Spoiler Review and Breakdown for Episode 5 of Moon Knight.

Disney Plus registrations open in the Middle East with exciting Pre-Launch Offer

Disney announced on March 29th that their popular streaming service would be arriving in the Middle East and North Africa from the 8th of June. They have also revealed the prices for each of the specific countries. Earlier this year Disney CEO Bob Chapek first announced the streamer’s plan to launch in the region in the Summer of 2022. Now DIsney+ MENA has officially started up registration for DIsney Plus in the region with an exciting New Offer for for early subscribers to the service.

Disney Plus MENA Website

Earlybird Offer

Disney+ announced that starting today, fans can register their interest to take advantage of an exclusive introductory offer to subscribe to Disney+ across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The annual offer means fans can enjoy 12 months of Disney+ for the price of eight months, based on the monthly subscription price at launch. You can now buy an annual subscription to Disney+ in Saudi Arabia and the UAE for 239 Saudi Riyals or Dirhams, compared to the original 299 Saudi Riyal/ Dirham deal. The Offer will be available till June 7th which is a day before launch. A countdown timer has also been added to the frontpage of the website along with a line-up of exciting new titles including the upcoming Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi and Marvel Studios series Ms. Marvel starring their first ever Muslim superhero.

Prices for MENA countries with the Earlybird Offer

How to sign up for the offer?

  • Customers should visit www.disneyplus.com to register their interest, where they can also find the full terms and conditions
  • From launch day (June 8, 2022), those who registered their interest will receive an exclusive offer link
  • This introductory offer will only be available to those who pre-register their interest by June 7, 2022, ahead of launch day

Launch Titles

The streamer is yet to unveil a full list of Launch Titles but has announced that the service will be launching with their full library of Disney+ Originals including Star Wars’ “The Book of Boba Fett” and “The Mandalorian” from executive producer and writer Jon Favreau and the highly anticipated “Obi-Wan Kenobi”. In addition, the Marvel Studios’ series “Moon Knight” starring Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life and Marvel Studios theatrical films like Academy Award®-nominated “Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings” starring Simu Liu and Awkwafina.

Subscribers will also be able to enjoy Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award®-nominated “Luca” and from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award®-winning “Encanto”, which tells the tale of an extraordinary family the Madrigals as well as Academy Award®-winning “Cruella” starring Emma Stone as the legendary “Cruella de Vil”.

In general entertainment, subscribers will also be able to watch titles including the hit original comedy series “Only Murders in the Building”, limited series “The Kardashians”, as well as “The Simpsons” and back seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy”. Meanwhile from National Geographic, “The World According To Jeff Goldblum” and Academy Award®-winning “Free Solo” will be available to view.

Users will have access to high-quality viewing, up to four concurrent streams, unlimited downloads on up to ten devices, and the ability to set up to seven different profiles, including the ability for parents to set Kids Profiles to access age-appropriate content.

Go Sign-Up for the pre-launch Offer Now on: www.disneyplus.com

Also Read: More details on the launch here.

Marvel’s ‘Echo’ Disney+ Series confirmed to begin production tomorrow

Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series Hawkeye debuted Alaqua Cox’s Echo a deaf Native American character with a deep connection to Kingpin and Daredevil. In Hawkeye she was a leader of the Tracksuit mafia and at the end found out that Kingpin was responsible for her father’s death leading her to turn on him and shoot him. The Echo series had long been rumored last year and was finally announced at on November 12th of last year at Disney+ Day. The series is scheduled to release in 2023 and was scheduled to begin filming sometime this month. Alaqua Cox who plays Echo has now confirmed in her Instagram stories that the series will begin filming tomorrow on the 21st of April.

Production Begins Tomorrow

The series had been listed on production weekly to begin filming in April so this confirms that and gives us an exciting new update the the show is all set to start production tomorrow. The Newnan Times-Herald had reported earlier in the year the series would begin filming in Social Circle in Atlanta in April so this round of filming beginning tomorrow is most likely that. They also reported that the filming would then move to Grantville in may, which is just outside Atlanta. the series will be filming from the 21st of April till mid-August as confirmed by a casting call for young actors needed for the series.

There have been many casting-calls related to the series which have asked for young and elderly Native American actors so we will most likely be getting a glimpse into the character’s origins. As we saw glimpses of it in Hawkeye Episode 3. Deleted scenes for the series also showcased more of her relationship with Kingpin as a child. Only recently we reported that both Vincent D’Onofrio and Charlie Cox would be returning as their respective characters. Hawkeye‘s end saw Echo shoot Kingpin. So how could he be returning? Fans of the comics will have noticed that his death was an exact remake of a comic book panel from the Daredevil Parts of A Hole comic book in which Kingpin gets shot in the same way but survives and is only left injured in his eye. It seems that the MCU will be adapting this story line. In the comics Daredevil and Echo have a long running relationship deeply connected to her wanting to get revenge from Kingpin for killing her father. Which is the same reason why Echo shoots Kingpin in the series. This paved the way for both characters to return in the Echo series and allows for various different arcs to be explored.

Origins

Her father was of the Cheyenne Nation and secretly a mob enforcer working for the Kingpin. They were good friends, but, at one point, he outlived his purpose and Kingpin decided to gun him down. As Kingpin was about to shoot him, he used his last words to ask that he take care of Maya. When she found her dying father, he reached out to her, leaving a bloody handprint on her face. This becomes a part of Echo’s future costume as she sought to take her revenge from Kingpin, teaming up with Daredevil. The MCU’s version of the character follows a similar story as her father still works for Kingpin but in the MCU it is Ronin, who is Hawkeye’s darker persona, who kills her father. But in the same way as the comics Kingpin is responsible for his death as in the MCU Kingpin sends Ronin after her father.

Release Date?

The Series is scheduled to wrap filming in mid-august so taking into account the regular 5-7 months of Post-production for Marvel Disney Plus shows the Echo series should premiere on Disney Plus around February-April of 2023. So I predict that the series will premiere on Disney Plus on the 12th of April in 2023.

Echo will stream Exclusively on Disney Plus next year

Also check out our Review for Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight

Moon Knight Episode 4: Spoiler Review and Breakdown

The most mind-blowing, shocking and dark episode of Moon Knight or any Disney Plus show yet was just released on Disney Plus. This is a Spoiler Review for the episode so if you haven’t watched it go and watch the episode first.

Opening Thoughts (Non-Spoiler)

So first some thoughts on the episode. I loved the pacing of this episode and just the general eeriness of it all, it keeps you gripped into the episode even when not much is happening. A surprising amount of gore and sequences straight out of a horror movie. The directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead really are at their best with horror which is so expertly directed that it is sure to make you scream.

Breakdown and Spoiler Review

So we start of with a great rotating shot, which is a classic shot of Benson and Moorhead showcasing all the Ushabtis of the other gods the Ennead has trapped. This presents a frightening message and the music by Hesham Nazih just so brilliantly punctuates the horror of this message. The Marvel Studios logo is also played with this same music continued and extended which just sets the tone for the episode.

Next we are taken back to Steven and Layla as they are being followed by Arthur’s goons and as they escape we get a great conversation with Steven and Marc as Steven denies Marc control which mirrors Marc denying Steven control in Episode 2 and 3. This also gives us a great conversation between Layla and Steven as she talks about her having agency in her choices, this truly makes her character fully rounded. We also get a great kiss between Steven and Layla which shows that she still wantss Marc’s love, also providing for a hilarious scene as Marc punches Steven of the cliff.

Next we get a sequence straight out of Horror movie which truly had me shrieking, screaming and constantly at the edge of my seat. This was the sequence which truly gripped me into the episode just the sound design with those dotted noises and the amazing horror directing, even after having watched the episode numerous times I found myself extremely stressed for Layla and just plain scared. The gore here is also just shocking as actual organs are pulled out of a man.

May Calamawy’s performance really just stands out this episode as she steals every scene, in particular her conversation with Arthur is just heartbreaking. Really shows her wanting to believe in the good Marc but also within herself feeling like she had a feeling it was true.

Breaking down that ending

MARC/STEVEN IS DEAD!!!! Noooo But wait what, where are we? WTF?! These were my reactions and I’m guessing everyone’s reactions during the ending section of the episode. As we see Arthur shoot Marc but Marc continues falling into or out of his dream as he wakes up in a mental asylum. Where we see a TV film about a Dr. Steven Grant which shows us what Steven’s creation in Marc’s mind was inspired by.- see all the ingredients Marc could have used to make up all the events of the past 4 episodes in his mind. As we see Donna as a fellow patient , we see Arthur’s goons as nurses. We see that Moon Knight itself is just a toy. We see a fellow patient make drawings of what could’ve inspired Khonshu and we finally see Dr. Arthur Harrow the head of this establishment who Marc could’ve made into a villain in his mind. We see Layla as a friend of his also a patient. The show gives us all these clues, not explicitly telling us but inferring to us that all of this was a dream, a concoction of Marc’s mind and trauma. That Marc thinks of as real as he leaps and asks for Steven. Marc is clearly very mentally broken as he can barely understand everything around him as Arthur talks to him, telling him that all this was false. This is the only part that makes me doubt that all this was fake since Arthur has been setup as an unreliable narrator. We end on Marc escaping and freeing Steven from his sarcophagus as they pass another sarcophagus also banging to let whoever is inside out. Hinting at the third alter, possibly Jake Lockley. Here we also finally get Marc’s acceptance of Steven and it is truly heart warming. As Marc longs for Steven, he needs him and the relief he feels when he gets him back is wonderfully expressed by Oscar Isaac. Next we end on an even crazier scene as a cartoonish Hippo runs in to them and says hello in the most cartoonish way possible.

I absolutely loved this episode and it is by far my favorite song f the first four. It just blends horror, emotion and surprises expertly together. It keeps you gripped with the horror and emotion and gut punches you in the end with uncertainty.

What did you think of the episode tell us now on our socials. Moon Knight Episode 4 is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus right now. Also check out our Non-Spoiler Review for the full series.

Thor Love and Thunder First Trailer Finally Released

The much awaited first Trailer for Marvel Studios’ Thor Love and Thunder has been released. The film is set to hit theaters July 8th of this year. This is the first time a first trailer has been released this close to release for an MCU film. A poster and synopsis were also released alongside.

The Trailer gives us our first look at Thor’s New Look after he became Fat Thor in Avengers: Endgame. We also get to see Thor hang out with the Guardians and an amazing final look at Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster.

Official Synopsis

The film finds Thor (Chris
Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s
ever faced a quest for inner peace. But his
retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer
known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian
Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To
combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor’s surprise inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late. Directed by Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok,
“Jojo Rabbit”) and produced by Kevin Feige and Brad Winderbaum,
“Thor: Love and Thunder”
opens in theaters July 8, 2022.

Official Poster

Look out for our Breakdown dropping shortly.

Thor: Love and Thunder is set to Premiere July 8th exclusively in theaters.

Tokyo Vice Episode 1-5 Review: A Gripping and Gritty Journey

Tokyo Vice is a new series on HBO Max Produced by Michael Mann. The series just recently released it’s 5th episode of nine. An adaptation of the 2009 real-life memoir by Jake Adelstein, the first foreigner to work as a crime reporter at a major Japanese newspaper, building relationships with both the police and the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Which provides for a great meal of Yakuza-drama, gore and bonding between friends. The cast includes Ansel Elgrot as Jake, Ken Watanabe as Hiroto, and Rachel Keller as Samantha.

The Setup

The series starts off by putting us in the present day as our protagonist Jake(Ansel Elgrot) is in a meeting with some Yakuza bosses with his Japanese partner. This provides for an abrupt and jarring first scene as no context is given and we are thrust right into the thick of it all. After the conclusion of this sequence, the series cuts years back to a younger Jake who is working hard to fulfill his dreams of being a crime reporter, giving us the necessary context and backstory. This is where the series shines initially. since his past struggles provide a more compelling storyline.

Tokyo

The series is shot in Tokyo and the way the series puts you in a 2000s era Tokyo is just brilliant. The city it portrays is never too dirty and neither too straightforward. Like many other portrayals of Tokyo in film, we see Hostess and host clubs, love hotels, picturesque alleys and a sea of neon decorating the sky. But where the series differs is the unique lens Michael Mann puts it through, he is able to define a set mood for the series one of emotion, darkness and gritt. This style really provides a great rhythm for the series. It’s portrayal of the city really levels up the series. Michael Mann only directs the pilot but the distinctive style he develops is carried on and kept intact by all the directors.

Plotlines

As we see Jake finally get his dream job and work at the biggest news trade in Japan, the series ads more of a work-place comedy nature to it’s tone. This tone can be distracting and sometime detracts from the actual plot-line, but provides a more enjoyable experience. The main plot involves jake being paired with a young Yakuza named Sato and a bar-singer named Samantha, who both of them admire. This is a compelling setup, but is never given any true focus, direction or interesting portrayal by the screenplay.

The other setup of Jake with Hiroto who is a Japanese cop who Jake is paired with to take down the larger Yakuza. Hiroto is played by legendary Japanese actor Ken Watanabe who steals every scene he is in, be it with the sheer power in his line delivery or his pragmatism. Hiroto is an honest man and a frustrated detective who is unwilling to take bribes or to stand by as the Yakuza conduct their dealings in his city. Watanabe brings the perfect balance to the character of realizing jake’s potential and how he could help him in preventing an ever closing gang war but also wanting to protect Jake mentoring him. You get a sort of father-son kind of relationship with the two. Which gives shades of the relationship between Walter and Jesse in Breaking Bad. Watanabe really bring a lot of compassion into the character and is really the only totally rounded character in the series apart from Jake.

Ansel Elgrot gives a very different performance to his previous performances as seen in films like West Side Story. He really embodies Jake’s struggles, passion, impatience, frustrations, and smarts all really well. He really finds his comfort in Jake and knocks it out of the park portraying the many sides of Jake Adelstein. His Japanese is also great, he has to deliver a lot of his lines in Japanese and excels at every point.

Cine Geek Meter

This is a great Japanese styled detective-mafia drama, often even feeling like an anime brought to life in the best way. A must watch for fans of Japanese media and also for fans of great dark and gritty detective stories.

You can watch the first 5 of the 9 episodes of Tokyo Vice exclusively on HBO Max right now, with the next 4 set to drop weekly. Our review for episodes 6-8 will be dropping this Thursday with the release of the 6th episodes. Also check out: our Review for the 4 episodes of Moon Knight.

Box Office: Doctor Strange in The Multiverse Of Madness Opening Weekend Forecast

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is the culmination of the Multiverse saga for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, continuing stories directly setup in WandaVision, Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home. So a grand box office for the film has always been the expectation from fans and box office experts alike. After tickets were finally put on sale for the film in just three hours of ticket Pre-sales being open for the film, box office analysts started to report that the film had already surpassed the previous biggest opening weekend for the year, WB’s The Batman’s 24 hour Ticket Pre-sales amount. Trades like Box Office Pro have early forecasted the film for a $165 – 205 Million opening weekend. It’s finally time for the film’s release, the previous forecasts have been increased reflecting the stellar ticket sales and online trends Marvel already announced that they had already made $42 Million in pre-sales as of last week so a big opening weekend is expected.

Our Early Forecast:

Domestic Opening Weekend – $195-225 Million

Domestic Total – $450-550 Million

Worldwide Opening Weekend – $450-500 Million

Worldwide Total – $950 Million – $1.1 Billion

Box Office Breakdown

Fandango also reported their highest 24 hour ticket pre-sales for the year, beating The Batman in this aspect too. Along with this news, the film was also able to crash AMC servers even with the early 6 am PT ticket sales start. So it became very obvious that the film was heading for a big opening weekend and a massive Domestic and Global gross to follow. Box Office analyst meJat32 reported in a tweet that the film was easily the second biggest non-avengers pre-sale start and early predictions had the 24 hour pre sales number at $15 million+. This number was already double the amount The Batman made in it’s first 3 days of ticket pre-sales, which had a $134 Million opening weekend. We have learned this week that the actual number is $19 Million+ so It’s 24 hour pre-sales numbers are only comparable to that of Spider-Man: No Way Home which mad $35 Million in it’s ticket pre-sales, the number for the Doctor Strange sequel is still far away from this but this is just an early estimate and the actual number is expected to be significantly higher. Box office Pro has thus also upped their forecasts for the film.

The film premieres tomorrow and has a lot of things going in it’s favor, trending daily along with Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch. It is also a direct continuation of the events in Spider-Man: No Way Home which was the Box Office King of the last 2 years, making almost $1.9 Billion worldwide. Doctor Strange has also become a household name since his first film, playing a big role in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame and Spider-Man: No Way Home which currently stand as the No.2, No.5 and No.6 highest box office grosses of all time. While, Wanda Maximoff of The Scarlet Witch has also become a fan-favorite character after she got her own hit series WandaVision. So the sky is the limit for the film, we should be getting some official numbers very soon which will give us a better indication of how big the film will open.

Stay tuned for all the latest updates for Doctor Strange in The Multiverse Of Madness and many more as the film hits theaters May 6.

Also check out our review for Doctor Strange in The Multiverse Of Madness.