James Gunn’s first live-action project after his return to Marvel Studios and his crowning as the King of DC is a Holiday Special starring Mantis and Drax in their quest to save Christmas.
In a sea of Disney+ shows and films, it’s important to be a special. The special format itself was launched with the arrival of Werewolf By Night, instantly gaining praise across the board from fans and critics alike. This special like Michael Giacchino’s Werewolf By Night is a detour from the MCU, not staying with the classical MCU tone, but instead embracing its own genre-specific tone. While the previous one was a classic 60s Monster film, The Guardians Special is a classic Christmas special filled with great songs, Christmas cheer, emotions, and humor to make your heart feel warm.
The special starts like all classic Christmas specials do with some animation to set up the story, as shown in the trailers something ruins Christmas for Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill. Mantis feels bad about this and recruits Drax on a duo adventure off to Los Angeles to give Peter a gift of a lifetime in the form of his childhood hero Kevin Bacon, who inspired him in his dance-off to save the universe in Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.1. The special gives us a compelling setup and builds up the family dynamic that we have known to love with the Guardians. It’s what made the Guardians special in the first place, they only have each other to care for. mantis cares for peter and feels heartbroken that peter can’t relive his childhood traditions, especially after a surprising revelation early on in the special which makes her feel guilty. A better name for the special would be “Mantis and Drax’s Christmas Adventure” since the rest of the Guardians are barely involved. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it allows the story to be more focused and organized, however, it does leave one wondering how much more fun we could have had if Groot and Rocket were more involved than just one scene.
Another great aspect of this special is that even though it’s separated from anything in the greater MCU, it still moves the MCU narrative forward with some great worldbuilding which surprisingly even full seasons of previous Disney Plus shows have failed to do. We get to see what The Guardians have been up to since dropping off Thor in Thor: Love And Thunder. Gamora is still nowhere to be seen, the Guardians have found themselves a new pastime in Knowhere, and Groot has grown trunk and root.
Pom Klementieff’s Mantis is the MVP of this film, her comedic timing is perfect, and she genuinely seems heartbroken and is given all the time to shine. Dave Bautista is as lovable/annoying as always, giving us his classic Drax. The headline character, however, is Kevin Bacon who gets a perfect MCU introduction and is an integral part of the special instead of just acting as a plot device or cameo. He has his own motivations, and his own action set pieces and is given all the time he needs. Along with this, we get a great native Knowherian band who like all specials deliver the opening and final music performances. The final music performance sees Kevin Bacon join them in an amazing and heartwarming performance.
This special is all you need to get back into the Christmas Spirit in spectacular and exciting fashion.
The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special hits Disney Plus Tomorrow on November 25!
A big Thank You to Marvel Studios and the team behind Werewolf By Night for making this early review possible.
Who is the “Werewolf by Night”
No this is not Andrew Garfield’s return to the MCU. Werewolf By Night is a new breed of MCU project inspired by horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, Marvel Studios’ chilling special presentation aims to evoke a sense of dread and the macabre, with plenty of suspense and scares along the way as we explore a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The eerie tale follows a secret cabal of monster hunters who—on a dark and somber night— emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader. In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees find themselves thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic—a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster. In the comics Jack Russel gains his Werewolf form due to a curse put on his family using the Darkhold. Jack Russell first appeared in “MarvelSpotlight” #2, in February 1972. The “Werewolf by Night” series of comic books began in September 1972.
Welcome to The Supernatural
From the first few seconds of the special, it is made clear that we’re in for something different to what we’ve previously seen in the MCU. To start off, the usual marvel opening credits start playing, however it has been changed to suit the aesthetic of Werewolf By Night which is in black and white, a great choice by the creative team, and Director Composer Michael Giacchino. Who also scored the current Marvel Studios intro, now alters this score with a new spookier tone.
The special opens by introducing us to Gael Garcia Bernal (Jack Russell). Quickly, setting up the events which are to proceed by introducing us to the competition being held for the mighty and legendary bloodstone, the supposed macguffin of this story. After which we meet the other two standout characters in Monster-hunter Elsa Bloodstone played by Laura Donnelly and her mother Verusa played by Harriet Samson Harris, both of them are portrayed authentically and provide a great conflict and diversion to the main plot.
Similar to previous Marvel projects it drops us in the deep end with no origin story which is fantastic and great to see what the characters can do in these situations. Being shocked by their powers and abilities never gets old. The action scenes were like never before seen by the Marvel team and if it wasn’t in black and white we would say this is the most blood we have seen in any Marvel project to date! As stated by Giacchino the team behind the special expected it to receive an R rating, and believe that they were saved due to the black and white color palete.
The story develops at a decent pace to which from the trailer we learn they are competing for the highly acclaimed Bloodstone which I can only compare it to a hunger games scenario, to which the more the story develops the more we learn about this standalone project and their characters. Man-Thing is also another great addition to the MCU, he’s not what he seems and ends up being a real highlight of the entire event. Giacchino’s intentional campy direction is stellar and does perfectly in balancing the Comedic with the horror, making you laugh and feel scared within the same scene.
Overall the whole team from Werewolf By Night from the actors all the way to the show runners deserve a well deserved applause as this for me is Marvels most daring project to date and will be highly met with great accolades from the fans. I thoroughly enjoyed this new format and hope that Marvel continues to expand its range in different ways but also expands this new supernatural side of the MCU. This is also an amazing Feature Directorial Debut for Giacchino, who undoubtedly will find more director jobs coming his way.
Moon Knight has been one of Marvel Studios’ most successful and most critically acclaimed Disney Plus shows, second to only Loki in its total viewership. Fans instantly fell in love with Steven Grant, Marc Spector, Layla EL Faouly and Khonshu, sit seemed like a Season 2 announcement was inevitable. However, 4 month shave now passed and there is still no word on a potential second season or spin-off.
Oscar Isaac’s Stunt Double in Cairo Teasing Moon Knight Season 2
A few weeks ago Oscar Isaac and Moon Knight director Mohamed Diab teased fans by saying that a Season 2 was in the works through a TikTok video from the 2 in Cairo. Now Oscar Isaac’s stunt double on the series Daren Nop, who also happens to be in Cairo right now, has done the same and teased production for Season 2.
In this picture Daren stands between ancient Egyptian ruins with markings, similar to those seen in Moon Knight and titles the story “Where are you Khonsu? We have to make the season 2 bro”. This is a clear tease to fans for Season 2. On it’s own this picture may not seem like much but given the fact that both Oscar and Mohamed Diab are also in Cairo at the same time as Daren, the stunt performer. It becomes very suspicious as to what may be in the work in regards to a potential Season 2 for the series.
At the same time there have been many rumors from credible sources stating that Season2 is indeed happening. So it starts to feel more and more likely that a potential Season 2 or maybe even a Layla El Faouly spin-off starring May Calamawy may be in the works. The new season already has a very intriguing set-up with Season 1 ending off with the confirmation of Jake Lockley’s existence, and with Marc and Steven thinking they were in full control. Jake Lockley was seen still working for Khonshu and in the last moments of the series shot Arthur Harrow. We could get an announced at this years D23 expo Marvel Studios presentation on September 10th, at 10 AM PT. So it is possible we may not have to wait too long for a Season 2, and if a Season 2 doesn’t happen there’s always the Werewolf By Night project, Blade or a Midnight Sons project for Moon Knight to appear in.
Watch Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight on Disney Plus right now and catch Blade exclusively in theaters November 3, 2023.
This is a Non-Spoiler Review for Marvel Studios’ Ms.Marvel the live-action adaptation of one of Marvel’s most popular recent comic-book characters. I would like to thank Disney for providing access to the first 2 episodes of the series which made this review possible. Kamal is an Urdu word which means wonderful or amazing and it really works perfectly in summarizing my thoughts on the series and Iman Vellani’s perfect performance as the character. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly a spectacle.
Ms.Marvel or Kamala Khan also happens to be Muslim and Pakistani. So for someone like me who also happens to be both those things, the promise of this series brought about both great excitement and fear. The fear of it all really just stems from how poorly Pakistanis, Muslims and South Asians have previously been represented in Hollywood. Yes, sure the creative team is Pakistani but is that really enough to overcome decades of poor representation? After watching the first 2 episodes I can gladly say, Yes! This really does authentically capture the feeling of living in a Pakistani household. Obviously, it’s not perfect but it surely is a big step up from previous South Asian and Muslim characters in Hollywood. Even the MCU itself has been guilty of misrepresentation and stereotyping, with the only Muslim characters previously seen in the franchise being Terrorists all the way back in Iron Man (2008) and the South Asian character being nothing Karun in Eternals (2021) who himself was nothing more than a side-joke.
Fun, Fun and more Fun!
Every time a new Marvel series comes out the same statement “nothing like we’ve seen before in the MCU” is used, fans online may disagree but this statement is entirely true, because none of the MCU shows have been similar to the other. They’ve all brought in a new flavor to the universe, be it the weird sci-fi multiverse aspects in Loki or the sitcoms in WandaVision or the exploration into mental health with Moon Knight. So what is Ms.Marvel‘s new flavor? The flavor of fun, which instantly gets you excited for the future of the MCU, also reminding you of everything that has happened previously in the universe. Even though it doesn’t have any returning MCU characters, other than a familiar DODC agent in the post credits of the first episode, Ms.Marvel feels the most connected to everything we’ve seen in the MCU till now. The series also makes great use of cartoons, street art, and thought bubbles, adding a great new dimension of the series. Which not only makes everything more enjoyable to watch, but also gives you a look into the fantasies in Kamala’s mind, resulting in the series feeling more like it’s comic-book counterpart.
One of the things I was most excited to see was how the Pakistani family household would feel. Would it feel stereotypical, oppressive and lifeless, like Hollywood would have you believe, or would it be the full of life and real family that I see at home everyday. I’m very happy to say that it does very much feel like a real Pakistani Muslim family. Be it Aamir reciting Ayat U-Kursi (verses of the Quran) in the morning, her Dad’s unfunny jokes, reciting Bismillah before her driving test or the 100s of random decorations sprinkled throughout the house, this feels like a Khan household. The use of classical and modern Pakistani Music also goes a long way to make it all feel very authentic. Mohan Kapur and Zenobia Shroff are great as Kamal’s parents. But Iman Vellani, truly just steals the entire show, you can feel every bit of her excitement and nerdiness. Both her and Aamir perfectly embody to typed of Desi Muslim kids who were raised abroad. One thing that could’ve been given a better look at was the accent work for Kamala’s Mom and dad, as it doesn’t represent a Karachi accent, where they are supposed to be from or a typical Pakistani English accent. This is really just a nitpick but is distracting to me, as someone who can instantly differentiate accents. Another big letdown is Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher), in the comic book Nakia is a strong proud Muslim activist who is a big part of Kamala’s journey in self acceptance. While, in the series she is a mere shadow of the character she was in the comic. What we see of Nakia is mostly great, however, we don’t really see much of her. She doesn’t serve a purpose to the narrative and is there just for the sake of being there. This is from jsut the first 2 episodes so hopefully her arc has more importance to the narrative in the next 4 episodes.
Islamic representation was by far the factor I was most worried about, going in. The Islam in the series is definitely the best representation of the religion we’ve got in pop-culture. But that isn’t a very high bar however, due to years of racism, stereotyping and islamophobia. The series does well to flesh out each of the Muslim characters as actual Muslims. Aamir reminding everyone to pray, Kamala reciting Bismillah before her driving test, Nakia wearing her hijab with great power and the many discussions in the Mosque make her community feel like a real Muslim community. It is by no means perfect, but it does feel authentic. Changing small things like music playing while they are praying in the mosque could really make it feel better. One other thing was the exploration of Eid in Episode 2. This was pointed out to me by Vin of The Cosmic Circus, it’s not made clear if this is Eid Al-Adha, celebrated after Hajj (The annual pilgrimage to Makkah), or Eid Al-Fitr, celebrated after Ramadan. It is only referred to as the “lesser Eid”. Which makes it seem like it is referring to Eid Al-Fitr which is commonly referred to as small Eid and takes place after Ramadan. Where the confusion comes in is that no reference is made to Ramadan and no character is ever shown to be fasting. Since then Mo Hoosen from Streamr had pointed out that this was indeed Eid Al-Adha which is after Hajj.
So it seems that this was actually Eid Al-Adha which is very reassuring, because missing on something so basic and vital would’ve brought the series a few pegs down. , but it is what Hollywood has previously accustomed us to expect. I will be talking more on the specifics in my spoiler-breakdown on Thursday.
Sana Amanat who is also an American-Pakistani raised in Jersey City is the showrunner, with British-Pakistani Screenwriter and Comedian Bisha K. Ali, who also wrote episode of Loki, serving as Head-Writer. Oscar-Winning Pakistani Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is also involved and will be directing 2 out of the 6 episodes. Recently, Sharmeen Spoke with Mohammad Kamran Jawaid of the Pakistani publication Dawn-Icon Magazine where she highlighted the intricacy and importance that was placed on making the series feel authentically Pakistani. Ms.Marvel has always been a cultural icon, connecting with teenage girls across the world, specifically with South-Asians of all ages and genders, who really haven’t been exposed to much positive or authentic representation in Hollywood. As a Muslim and Pakistani myself I have never felt and truly represented in any form of mainstream media. With G. WIllow Wilson and Sana Amanat’s Ms.Marvel (2014) graphic novel being the rare mainstream media to ever feel authentic to my experiences as a Pakistani. It truly represents the Pakistani experience living abroad, which can connect with anyone who has ever struggled with their identity. As someone who was born in Pakistan but has lived abroad for most of their life, the story immediately resonated with me and I hope it with resonates with others like me and those from different backgrounds.
I would like to thank Disney and The DDA group for providing access to the first 2 episodes of the series which made this review possible.
Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series Hawkeye debuted Alaqua Cox’s Echo a deaf Native American character with a deep connection to both Kingpin. Streaming exclusively on Disney, the origin story of Echo revisits Maya Lopez, whose ruthless behavior in New York City catches up with her in her hometown. Production is officially underway on Marvel Studios’ Echo, coming to Disney+ in 2023. Previously the unforgiving gang leader was determined to make Ronin, aka Clint Barton, pay for killing her father. Then later shifting her hate to the man who she has known as her Uncle for her entire life in the form of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin. Production on the series begun just 2 weeks ago, so it’s great to see that quick progress has been made. The series is also set to mark the return of Charlie Cox as daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin as earlier in the year we made a discovery of a cast listing which confirmed their appearance in the series.
Who is Echo?
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.
Streaming exclusively on Disney, the origin story of Echo revisits Maya Lopez, whose ruthless behavior in New York City catches up with her in her hometown. She must face her past, reconnect with her Native American roots and embrace the meaning of family and community if she ever hopes to move forward. Echo also stars Chaske Spencer (Wild Indian, The English), Tantoo Cardinal (Killers of the Flower Moon, Stumptown), Devery Jacobs (FX’s Reservation Dogs, American Gods) and Cody Lightning (Hey, Viktor!, Four Sheets to the Wind), with Graham Greene (1883, Goliath) and Zahn McClarnon (Dark Winds, FX’s Reservation Dogs).
Kingpin has a deep connection to Echo, as seen in Hawkeye, acting as a father figure for her. However, fans may be wondering how he would return after his death in the series finale for Hawkeye. 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.
Echo stars Alaqua Cox as the title character with Vincent D’Onofrio and Charlie Cox returning as Daredevil and Kingpin along with Chaske Spencer (Wild Indian, The English), Tantoo Cardinal (Killers of the Flower Moon, Stumptown), Devery Jacobs (FX’s Reservation Dogs, American Gods) and Cody Lightning (Hey, Viktor!, Four Sheets to the Wind), with Graham Greene (1883, Goliath) and Zahn McClarnon (Dark Winds, FX’s Reservation Dogs).
Episodes of the series are directed by Sydney Freeland (Navajo) and Catriona McKenzie (Gunaikurnai). Executive producers are Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Stephen Broussard, Richie Palmer, Marion Dayre, and Jason Gavin (Blackfeet). Co-executive producers are Amy Rardin, Sydney Freeland, Christina King (Seminole), and Jennifer Booth.
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 the series hsould premiere on Disney Plus on April 12, 2023.
She-Hulk is one of Marvel Studios’ most highly anticipated upcoming Disney+ series now officially set to premiere on Disney Plus on August 17th, featuring Bruce Banner’s cousin Jennifer Walters. The series was first announced back at the 2019 D23 Expo by Kevin Feige. Shortly after during the 2020 Disney Investor Day, Feige announced that Tatiana Maslany would be playing the titular role of Jennifer Walters, with Mark Ruffalo reprising his role as Hulk and Tim Roth reprising his role as The Abomination, (last seen in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings).
Disney UK Confirms August 17th Release date
Previously rumors had come out which stated that She-Hulk would come out later in the year but I had predicted an August 10th release due to its production information. Disney UK has now listed the series for an August 17th release date.
This is great news since this means that the series is just 3 months away from release. It also means that we should have the first trailer for the series on June 6th which would be 72 days prior to release which is Marvel’s tradition with Disney+ shows and their trailers. This also shows that the series will explore a blood-transfusion between the 2 characters and how Jennifer gets her powers.
Reasons For This date
The series was undergoing reshoots in Atlanta in march, amidst rumours of a possible Jessica Jones appearance. Given the confirmation of Ms. Marvel‘s release, the series will clearly premiere after Ms. Marvel. The show is currently set to end on July 13th, after which the Star Wars series Andor is expected to release. So – if Andor should release afterwards on July 20th, She-Hulk might premiere 2-3 weeks later, on August 3rd or 11th. She-Hulk has also been confirmed to have 10 episodes, so this would have it ending on October 5th. Recently, a Brazillian News website Chippu has also claimed that they had heard that the series would premiere in August, adding more credence to our August 3/10 prediction.
However, recently a rumor has come out which has cast doubt on the date and instead states that the series will debut in late 2022 or early 2023 due to high amounts of VFX left to be done, which would place it in any time between November and January. This rumor is from a less trusted source so should be taken with a grain of salt since no evidence or past rumor has suggested a release that late. Anything is possible but our August 3/10 date seems the most likely till now. This release window has now been confirmed by Disney UK for just a week later on August 17th.
Kevin Feige announced that Tatiana Maslany would be playing the titular role of Jennifer Walters, with Mark Ruffalo reprising his role as Hulk and Tim Roth reprising his role as The Abomination, (last seen in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) announced on Twitter that she would be playing the fan-favourite villain Titania. Set photos also revealed pictures of Jameela’s stunt double with Mark Ruffalo. Her casting was previously announced back in June last year and was described as “a glamorous social media influencer, Kardashian-esque with a dark side, alongside Jamil, Ginger Gonzaga (Kidding) will play Walter’s currently unnamed best friend, Renee Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton) will be playing a character called Amelia, with Josh Segarra (Arrow) is confirmed to be appearing, playing a currently unknown character.
She-Hulk will be streaming exclusively on Disney Plus August 17th.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is the next Star Wars series scheduled to be hitting Disney Plus in just two weeks. The series has been the most anticipated Star Wars series among fans for some time since it marks the return of Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen after 17 years. The series is set 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat: the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as an evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.
Arriving May 27, Obi-Wan Kenobi its first 2 episodes together on Disney+ on 27 May. Currently the series is having it’s press tour where during an interview Hayden Christensen spoke about the fight sequences in the series.
Prequel-Inspired Fight Sequences
Hayden Christensen recently spoke with Empire Magazine and gave details about the amazing sequences in the series:
“We’re more in line with the prequels than we are with how the fights are in the original trilogy. These characters have aged, but not that much yet.”
This is exciting to hear as it shows us that the series will be dealing with the direct problem sleft at the end of Revenge of the Sith.
“He’s always going to be struggling with the loss of Padmé. He’s got Anakin buried deep down inside. There always has to be that element of Anakin there, because he does eventually find redemption in the end – through the love of his son, no less. So there has to be that bit of him in there for Luke to be able to access. There’s a lot going on.”
This is great to hear since it shows that we will get to see a side of Vader who is deeply conflicted and is learning the ways of the Sith at the same time
With both Christensen and McGregor returning it is inevitable that we see a confrontation between Darth Vader and his old master Kenobi. The first concept art for the series gave us glimpses of this confrontation, now new promo art has given us an even better look.
This confrontation promises to be an emotion one, most likely left for the end of the series. However, with the posters and promo art teasing the fight so much it may appear even earlier in the series. The series will follow Kenobi as he looks over Anakin’s son Luke and is in hiding being a Jedi from the Empire.
Preparation for The Series
The series released a final trailer last week which gave us a new look at Kenobi’s return and a first live-action look at The Inquisitors who audiences were first introduced to in the animated Star Wars: Rebels. So it may be helpful to catch up on the series before Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres. It may also be helpful to watch The Clone Wars animated series which gives a lot more depth to the relationship between Anakin and Kenobi. We may even revisit some sequences from the series in live-action since Hayden Christensen is also returning. Watch the full trailer for the show below.
This is our Review of the Disney+ original film Sneakerella, set to stream exclusively on Disney+ on the 13th of May. Set in the vibrant street-sneaker subculture of New York City, Sneakerella is a high-energy, music-driven movie that puts a contemporary twist on the “Cinderella” fairy tale.
Messy, But Fun
Sneakerella is the latest in the extensive history of films that tell the classical Cinderella story with a modern twist. This iteration of the trope tries to appeal to the younger generation with cool pop-culture references and “Sneakers”. The film is a blast at times but it’s general inconsistency of quality and tone greatly take away from the experience. Yes, it sounds like a laughable concept and it is, but it’s important to remember that it is definitely a concept that could appeal to kids. The film does well in that aspect in a way that it ends up being a Disney Channel movie rather than something you would want to advertise your shiny subscription service with.
A Cinderella Story
Sneakerella follows our Cinderella character El a teenage boy who is an aspiring sneaker designer from Queens who hides his artistic talent from his overburdened stepfather and two mean-spirited stepbrothers who constantly thwart any opportunity that comes his way. His Prince Charming comes in the form of Kira King, the daughter of a basketball star and sneaker tycoon Darius King. With a little nudge from his best friend and a sprinkle of Fairy Godfather magic, El finds the courage to use his talent to pursue his dream of becoming a ‘legit’ sneaker designer in the industry. The film’s plot itself is quite messy and the way the film starts is a disservice to some of the more fun and heartfelt moments throughout the it. Sneakerella adds its emotional touch with the classic Cinderella loss of parent plot point, in this case El has lost his mother. His passion for sneakers comes from her so this allows the audience to feel for him. The film really shines when it focuses on those classic Cinderella tropes where showcase the differences in the lives of El and Kira. To the point where after watching it made me log onto Disney+ and re-watch Cinderella.
A Blast for Kids
Yes, it sounds like a laughable concept and it is, but it’s important to remember that it is definitely something that will appeal to younger viewers. Both El and Kira are quite lovable characters so it really endears you into both of their dreams and wishes. The film does well in that aspect in a way that it ends up being a fun Disney Channel movie rather than something you would want to advertise your shiny premium subscription service with. There are a lot of flashy, colorful and creative scenes with paint and sneaker which are truly mesmerizing and fun to watch. The friendship between El and Sami and how they navigate his crush on Kira naturally lends itself to be great for kids to enjoy and relate to.
Runtime and Music
A lot of extra plot lines are forced in to the film for a more modern, really taking way from the narrative. The film is also quite long, having a runtime of nearly 2 hours. Which really isn’t needed and just takes away from the film. A faster pace would’ve definitely been able to iron out the films messy plot into a more linear story. The music in the film is great, almost feeling like a Linn Manuel Miranda soundtrack akin to West Side Story and In The Heights at times, but never really at that level. With the film’s rendition of “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” being a clear highlight. The music has a lot of energy combining multiple genres like rap and hip hop into the soundtrack. This provides for a high energy package.
Sneakerella is a truly bizarre concept of a film which provides a blast of a journey which may be entertaining to kids and teenagers but really doesn’t provide much for adults. The plot itself is never able to grip you in and the writing really falls flat at times. This is what Disney Channel movies were mocked for being, having great music, poor writing and a messy plot.
Watch Sneakerella exclusively on Disney+ May 13, 2022.
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.
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+ 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
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.