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GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 7 | TV Review

We’re now just a mere few hours away from the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones, so it’s time for me to finally get my act together and review the penultimate season!

RELEASED: July 16th 2017 – August 27th 2017
SHOWRUNNER: David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
WRITTEN BY: David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman & Dave Hill
DIRECTED BY: Jeremy Podeswa, Mark Mylod, Matt Shakman & Alan Taylor
MUSIC BY:  Ramin Djawadi
STARRING: 
Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Aidan Gillen, Liam Cunningham, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nathalie Emmanuel, Gwendoline Christie, Conleth Hill, John Bradley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Hannah Murray, Kristofer Hivju, Rory McCann, Iain Glen, Carice van Houten, Indira Varma, Alfie Allen, Jerome Flynn, Joe Dempsie, Richard Dormer, Paul Kaye, Daniel Portman, Vladimir Furdik, Joseph Mawle, Pilou Asbæk, Anton Lesser, Hafpór Júlíus Björnsson, James Faulkner, Tom Hopper, Mark Gatiss, Jacob Anderson, Diana Rigg, Gemma Whelan, Jessica Henwick, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Keisha Castle-Hughes & Jim Broadbent

After six seasons, Daenerys Targaryen finally arrives in Westeros, taking up residence in her family home of Dragonstone, and beginning a war against Cersei Lannister for control of the Seven Kingdoms. Meanwhile, Jon Snow, the King in the North, leaves Winterfell in search of allies to help against the army of the dead, while the Night King continues to accumulate power as he and his armies march on the wall.

Much like season six before it, season seven of Game of Thrones delivers a lot of pay-off and fan-service over its shorter runtime. We’ve been watching these characters grow for sixty episodes, and here, we finally get to see the majority of the cast come together at some point or another, revelling in their shared history, and setting things up for both the battle against the Night King and the Wight Walkers, as well as the battle for control of the Iron Throne.

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SHAZAM: ORIGINS | ‘New to Comics’ Review

New to Comics is a segment where I look at various comic books, explaining their background, reviewing them, and breaking them down for readers unfamiliar to the medium. The title is a reference to a former university project that I carried on as its own site for several years before laying it to rest.

After finally getting around to watching Shazam!, today’s post looks at the comic book it’s based on; the New 52 reintroduction of the character: Shazam: Origins, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. 

Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Gary Frank
Year: 2013
Pages: 192

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

SHAZAM!

Real Name: William Batson
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940)

After being orphaned at a young age, Billy Batson moved from foster home to foster home, becoming more and more standoffish with each transition. Growing into a combatant young teen with little in the way of family bar Tawny the Tiger at the local zoo who featured in his earliest memory, Billy found himself welcomed into the loving Vasquez family – home to five other foster children (Mary, Freddy, Eugene, Pedro and Darla). At first, Billy’s confrontational nature made it hard for him to fit in, but after a fateful encounter with the wizard ‘Shazam’, Billy was gifted the powers of the Champion of Magic; able to transform into a superpowered adult version of himself (possessing the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury). Learning to control these powers alongside his new family, Billy found peace, purpose and a sense of belonging. Now, as a member of the Justice League and protector of magic, Billy operates as the ‘World’s Mightiest Mortal’, Shazam!

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Posted by on April 11, 2019 in Comic Books

 

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SHAZAM! | Film Review

“Say my name”

RELEASED: April 5th 2019
DIRECTED BY: David F. Sandberg
WRITTEN BY: Henry Gayden & Darren Lemke
PRODUCED BY: Peter Safran
MUSIC BY: Benjamin Wallfisch
STARRING: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Mark Strong & Djimon Hounsou

Since its premiere, Shazam! has garnered critical acclaim, and is being touted as perhaps the best film in the ‘Worlds of DC’. It’s well directed, features a strong cast and has a well-written story that hits poignant beats and pulls off funny gags with ease. It’s a good film, without a doubt. But personally, I’m not sure it lives up to the hype that everyone else seems to think it does.

Shazam! is the story of Billy Batson, a foster kid who finds himself transported to the magical Rock of Eternity – the home of the ancient wizard Shazam. With a threat to the Earth on the loose in the form of Doctor Thaddeus Sivana and the personifications of the seven deadly sins, Shazam hopes to bestow his powers on a champion who is pure of heart and spirit. But having run out of options, he instead chooses Billy. Now gifted with a superpowered adult body, Billy is forced to become a superhero and stop Sivana from destroying the world.

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Posted by on April 10, 2019 in DC, Movie & TV Reviews

 

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SUICIDE SQUAD | Blu-Ray Review

RELEASED: August 5th 2016
DIRECTED BY: David Ayer
WRITTEN BY: David Ayer
PRODUCED BY: Charles Roven & Richard Suckle
MUSIC BY: Steven Price
STARRING: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara, Cara Delevingne and Jared Leto

Where do we even go with this movie?’ is a question asked both right here in this review and also, most probably, some years ago by the people who made the film.

Because watching it, it’s pretty clear that there’s been a lot of disagreements over what Suicide Squad should be, and as a result, a lot of differing opinions over what Suicide Squad is.

Suicide Squad follows the exploits of Task Force X; a unit of super-villains created by government agent Amanda Waller to protect the world in light of Superman’s passing at the end of Batman v Superman. However, before Waller’s pet-project can kick off, one of its members, the Enchantress, turns out to be too much to handle, and with the help of her demonic brother, begins wreaking havoc in Midway City. Now it’s up to the ‘Suicide Squad’ to bring down the rogue gone rogue.

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Posted by on July 16, 2018 in DC

 

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SAGA: VOLUME ONE | ‘New to Comics’ Review

Forget Star Wars, Superman or even Doctor Who, as this week, New to Comics delves into the opening of one of the most bizarre first chapters of a comic-book we’ve ever seen. There’s magic, space-ships, ghosts, spider-lady assassins, TV-headed robots, foul mouths and a surprising amount of nudity all wrapped up in Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga: Volume 1.

Saga.jpg

Published by: Image Comics
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Art by: Fiona Staples
Year: 2012
Pages: 160

WHAT’s THE STORY?

Saga has been described as Game of Thrones meets Star Wars. It’s a cosmic odyssey, wrapped in a family melodrama, wrapped in a fantasy epic. It’s also been said to be evocative of other classic stories like Lord of the Rings and Romeo and Juliet. It’s a pretty bizarre mish-mash of genres, but its home at Image Comics means it can essentially do whatever it wants, as the character and world are owned and dictated primarily by its creator, and as such, isn’t like characters like Spider-Man and Superman at Marvel and DC Comics, respectively, where writers essentially have to return things more or less to the status quo when they’re done with them, so future writers aren’t hampered by extreme storytelling choices.

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AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR | Film Review

I haven’t quite finished reviewing all the older Marvel films yet, although I did finish watching them, so that’s half a victory. But having seen Infinity War, I’m not sure I can hold back my thoughts and feelings, so it’s review time! [Spoiler-free]

RELEASED: April 26th 2017
DIRECTED BY: The Russo Brothers
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pratt, Don Cheadle, Zoe Saldana, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Benecio del Toro, Tom Hiddleston, Karen Gillen, Idris Elba, Benedict Wong, Sebastian Stan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Letitia Wainwright, William Hurt & Josh Brolin

Wow, just wow.

Back in 2012, the world watched in awe as Joss Whedon assembled the six Avengers. In 2016, the Russo Brothers brought together twelve heroes to throw down over the Sokovia Accords, and it was even more exciting. Two years on, and the Russo Brothers now have nineteen heroes under their command (and that’s not even including the various other side-characters like Wong, Okoye and so on) and would you believe, they’ve somehow managed to pull it off again. But this time, it’s even better.

InfinityWar1.jpg

After his various lackeys fail to claim the Infinity Stones in Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos leads his children on a cosmic rampage towards Earth to finally complete his spiritual journey to gain ultimate power. With the Avengers shattered after the events of Captain America: Civil War, what hope do the remaining heroes have against this threat of unspeakable proportions, even with the help of Star-Lord and his Guardians of the Galaxy?

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Posted by on April 25, 2018 in MARVEL, Marvel Studios

 

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DOCTOR STRANGE | Blu-Ray Review

This post was originally published on my other site, NewToComics.com, but has been moved back to fit in with my MCU review series – if you’re a fan of (or want to be a fan of) comic-books, check it out!

Doctor Strange is without a doubt one of my favourite Marvel Comics characters, with one of my favourite (if not the favourite) comic books being Doctor Strange: The Oath, which some parts of Marvel’s resident Sorcerer Supreme’s MCU debut were based on. Surprisingly, though, this isn’t the first time Doctor Strange has appeared in cinematic form. If you want to check out of a review of the 1978 Doctor Strange movie, I wrote one for VultureHound some months back.

Anyway, here’s another post from the NewToComics vault, repurposed for my Moungabio Movies Marvel Marathon (check out that alliteration – this was meant to be!), 2016’s Doctor Strange.

RELEASED: 24th October 2016
DIRECTED BY: Scott Derrickson
WRITTEN BY: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill & Jon Spaits
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
STARRING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen & Tilda Swinton

Doctor Strange follows arrogant neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) after an accident leaves him unable to continue his work. Broken and desperate, Strange travels to Kamar-Taj, where he becomes a disciple of the Ancient One (Swinton), Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. As Strange quickly becomes adept in the mystic arts, he is drawn into confrontation with a sect of rogue Sorcerers lead by Kaecilius (Mikkelsen), who seeks to merge the planet Earth with the Dark Dimension.

As the first true exploration of magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange is a visually striking film, with a look quite unlike anything we’ve seen before in the superhero genre. From the Inception-like bending of reality to the various spells and energy weapons summoned by the sorcerers, the film really is a treat through the eyes. The now-famous scene of Strange being hurled through the multiverse is utterly spectacular, both for invoking the Doctor Strange mythos so poignantly and for being such a mind-bending romp.

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Posted by on April 2, 2018 in MARVEL, Marvel Studios

 

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