Tag Archive: Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4


Review by C.J. Bunce

Oh, ye of little faith.  Those initial trailers didn’t do justice to the seamless conversion of Tatiana Maslany, the Emmy Award-winning star of Orphan Black, as Jen Walters, Esq. transformed into Marvel Comics’ famous She-Hulk.  Not only was the greening CGI as spot-on as the de-aging marvels we’ve seen in several Disney movies and TV series this century, like Michael Douglas in the Ant-Man movies, producer Kevin Feige and showrunner Kat Coiro delivered all the backstory TV viewers need in only 30 minutes instead of spending another entire season on an origin story.  Leaning into the humor instead of giving audiences another heavy drama, the new Disney/Marvel series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is probably the most comic book-y series Disney has delivered–an awesome triumph for fans of the character and lovers of fun comic reads.  A faithful re-creation of 42 years of the brash and bold cousin of Bruce Banner, it’s a particularly strong reflection of Mike Mayhew’s run of comic book cover art, and you couldn’t ask more from a half-hour series opener.

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He’s certainly the most overdue of 80 years of Marvel characters to make it into the live-action world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, created by writer-artist Bill Everett in 1939, was Marvel’s first mutant and the leader of the undersea world of Atlantis, frequently forgotten in recent years because of his DC Comics counterpart, Aquaman.  That’s Namor and Everett above as depicted in a fantastic tribute by artist Alex Ross.  Along with Captain America and Human Torch, the original Big 3 included Prince Namor.  He’s also the first superhero anti-hero, so it probably makes sense Marvel is sneaking him into the MCU as they did Silver Surfer in the second Fantastic Four movie.  Audiences internationally who have not followed the comics of eight decades past or only know of the character in spotty revisits over the years will now meet him this year in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as what appears to be the villain.

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Leaning into the humor instead of giving audiences another heavy drama, the new Disney/Marvel series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, also reflects some improvements on its CGI, which wasn’t quite as convincing in the first trailer.  In the pages of the comics, Tatiana Maslany’s title character is known by day as Jennifer Walters, Bruce Banner’s cousin, who gets a dose of Banner’s blood after an accident.  This gives her slightly different, less overcharged reactions, but the big difference is she’s fully green–not turning back to her normal self like Banner usually did.

And Tim Roth is back as Emil Blonsky from that CGI-challenged Hulk movie everyone forgot about, 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. 

Check out the San Diego Comic-Con trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law:  

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Director Sam Raimi was constrained by the comic books with his three Spider-Man movies, but Kevin Fiege and Marvel Studios let him unleash everything for his latest superhero movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness The result is fantastic, the most ambitious crossover mash-up and blend of comic book characters to hit the screen since X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Loki writer Michael Waldron was the right choice to create this seamless masterpiece of twisty storytelling, and adding music by Batman 1989’s Danny Elfman is the icing on a (dark, funny, horror-themed) cake.

Finally, the multitudes get to witness the madness of the multiverse for themselves–the film arrived this week on Disney+.  Is it the best Marvel Studios ensemble movie yet? (spoilers ahead)

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You’ll like her… when she’s angry.

We couldn’t have been more excited when we heard–way back in 2020– Disney+ tapped Emmy-winning Orphan Black lead actress Tatiana Maslany into the Marvel Universe as She-Hulk.  Finally we have the first trailer.  Now called She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the series appears to lean into the humor instead of giving audiences another heavy dramatic effort.  Instead of green paint and make-up, the show opts for CGI, which isn’t quite convincing in this first trailer.  Look closely and it’s not so much the green tint as the CGI hair.  But they have plenty of time to finish this better in post-production in time for the actual summer premiere.

Check out the first trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law:  

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Spider-Man: No Way Home is coming to DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K in two weeks, arriving April 12, and now available on “Early Access” Vudu, Movies Anywhere, and Prime Video.  The movie trailers last year already revealed the return of the best of the Spidey villains (including arguably the best of all Marvel Comics villains) with the incorporation of earlier Spider-Man movies’ Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin, Alfred Molina as Doctor Otto Octavius, Thomas Haden Church as Sandman, Jamie Foxx as Electro, and Rhys Ifans as Lizard.  But there are plenty more reasons to get this movie for home viewing–it’s available for pre-order on physical media now here at Amazon.

So for those who haven’t seen it yet (it didn’t approach the Avengers: Endgame box office so we know they’re out there), is it worth seeing, and how about the special features on digital, Blu-ray, and 4K?

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“We should tell him the truth.” 

With one voice Marvel Studios seems to being telegraphing a merger at least between Sony’s Marvel and Disney’s Marvel.  That’s in the first trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness via the unmistakable voice of one Patrick Stewart, one of the actors behind Professor X aka Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men in the longest consistently running superhero movie franchise.  But is it our Charles, or some Mirror Universe Charles?  After the juggling between Sony and Marvel for Spider-Man: No Way Home, the sky is certainly the limit.

Take a look at this long trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:

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Just as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has been a great relief to fans of the character after so many years of just not getting it right, moving upward to replace Tony Stark as leader of the new Avengers, Sony Pictures seems to be bringing it all crashing back down to earth.  Earth of the past.  Or that’s how it looks in the latest trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, with the full pantheon of villains–ghosts of Spider-Men past–make their way into the Multiverse of Madness, revealing the true leader of the Avengers is probably Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

As much as any movie has been able to keep its secrets in the past few years, it’s hard to beat the surprises in the epic fantasy film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the first film of Phase IV of the Marvel Cinematic Universe without an Avengers headliner.  And when I say fantasy, I mean it–it’s got it all, a combination of the magical realm of Doctor Strange, the ancient, secret country hidden from the rest of the world like Black Panther, a mix of Asian lore, Shakespearean family squabbles (including a famous, Oscar-winning Shakespearean actor), and a plot–and dragons–right out of The Lord of the Rings (after all, Ten Rings are better than One Ring, right?).  It has action, it has ties to the old and new, and, thanks to co-star Awkwafina, it’s the laugh-out-loud funniest of all the Marvel movies.  And it’s finally arrived on Disney+ so mass audiences still staying away from movie theaters finally have a chance to see what they missed.

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The first two episodes of Marvel’s Hawkeye series are less than two weeks away.  After the mental anguish of this year’s first round of Marvel streaming series–depression and loss as the themes of WandaVision, self-doubt and imposter syndrome as the themes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and regret and hopelessness as the themes of Loki–Marvel fans have earned themselves a fun Marvel series, and Hawkeye looks like it will fit the bill.

In yesterday’s quick Disney Plus Day event, the streaming service previewed what should be another fun series, as critically acclaimed Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany looks like she finds it easy being green as the title superheroine of She-Hulk.  It’s a little harder to see what angle will be taken with Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight A deadly war of the gods with Egypt as a backdrop feels and looks like Isaac in X-Men: Apocalypse.  And Iman Vellani stars in Ms. Marvel, which looks a lot like Marvel’s version of DC Comics’ Stargirl.  New announcements include series Echo starring Alaqua Cox, Ironheart starring Dominique Thorne, Agatha: House of Harkness starring Kathryn Hahn, and Secret Invasion starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn.

Take a look at another great Hawkeye trailer, and our first glimpses (barely) at She-HulkMoon Knight, and Ms. Marvel below.

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