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Marvel’s What If…? – Season 1 Episode 2 Review

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What If…?  is the latest Marvel Studios project to arrive on our small screens on Disney +.

The animated anthology series, created by Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia writer A.C. Bradley and Marvel vet Bryan Andrews flips the script on the MCU as following the creation of the multiverse in Loki’s first season finale, What If…? reimagines famous events from the films in unexpected ways.

 

The first episode which debuted last Wednesday introduced a new character to the MCU, Captain Carter and offered an altered take on Captain America: The First Avenger. Now in Episode 2 The Watcher shows us a unique look at T’Challa who’s mistakingly put into the world of the Ravager’s and Guardians of the Galaxy which certainly offers an outlandish and awesome take on an iconic character as he’s put into a completely new environment and ultimately becomes The Star-Lord.

What you call destiny is just an equation, a product of variables. Right place, right time, or in some instances, the wrong place at the wrong time. As fate would have it, at that very moment, a Ravager spacecraft was arriving on Earth to abduct the spawn of the Celestial, Ego. But in this universe, Yondu outsourced the assignment to his subordinates.

The Watcher

What if…? T’CHALLA BECAME A STAR-LORD? 

Synopsis

The Rough-and-tumble space pirates known as the Ravagers abduct T’Challa instead of Peter Quill 

Review

What If’s …? second episode titled What If…? T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? was a really fun yet an emotional ride, I found myself smiling throughout as hearing the late Chadwick Boseman play T’Challa was incredible and heartbreaking to know that this is his final performance as the Iconic Wakandan King. Overlooking this Galactic adventure is The Watcher( Jeffrey Wright) who again addresses the “What If..?” moment that created an alternate timeline in the multiverse. 

The exact moment in Episode two happens when Yondu outsources the assignment from Ego to retrieve Peter Quill from earth which is seen in Guardians of the Galaxy. He gives this assignment to the Ravagers and they mistakenly end up abducting T’Challa and ultimately erases the events seen in Black Panther and Guardians. 

 

What I loved is that instead of giving the viewers a remake of the first volume of the Guardians movie like they did with Captain Carter for The First Avenger, we’re given an entirely new story. Episode 2 really shows What If’s…? true potential is too create these Multiverse stories that are engaging and ultimately full of heart. 

The overall story is very much entertaining with plenty of Sci-fi elements fused with comedy and action. It is Guardians of the Galaxy however it switches the point of view from Quill to T’Challa, which impacts and changes the galaxy more than you’d think. Chadwick Boseman is at the centre of the episode playing T’Challa’s version of Star-Lord, his presence is heartbreaking but is truly cherished by the audience. He voices T’Challa who’s not confined to a Throne, so Boseman is able to explore this new swashbuckling Ravager hero who has helped make the galaxy a better place as they believe that T’Challa is basically a galactic Robin Hood.

©Marvel

His charismatic presence also inspires everyone around him to do more and be better. Its astonishing to see how far his influence goes especially since he’s managed to change this versions Thanos. This goes to show as I previously said that rather replacing characters, episode two highlights certain changes that send ripples across the galaxy and ultimately show a side to characters that we never expected to see. 

Along for this galactic adventure are T’Challa’s team of Ravagers which are filled with familiar faces from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Michael Rooker( Yondu), Djimon Hounsou( Korath), Chris Sullivan( Taserface), Karen Gillen(Nebula), Josh Brolin(Thanos), Benicio Del Toro(The Collector), Ophelia Lovibond (Carina), Kurt Russell (Ego), John Kani( King T’Chaka), Danai Gurira( Okoye) and Carrie Coon, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Proxima Midnight and Ebony Maw from The Black Order.

Hey, Cha-Cha

Nebula

Speaking of Karen Gillan, this version of Nebula is no artificial machine but rather organic as in this timeline her relationship with her father is significantly changed to more of an embarrassing dad then what once was a genocidal monster. she’s in no pain so Gillan’s vocal performance is able to flirt and rendezvous with T’Challa. I Absolutely loved the heist style as Nebula’s design is absolutely gorgeous dressed to the nines and she’s now got some golden locks.

©Marvel

T’challa’s relationship with Yondu also makes this episode a highlight as Rooker and Boseman work well together as they too share plenty of emotional senes together. 

The animation has continued to be high quality and this episode features neo-futuristic colours. Its visually high quality that captures comic book moments. 

Overall, this second episode is a major improvment. In Chadwick Boseman’s final performance as T’Challa, we get everything we loved about his performance of the character. This episode even serves as a reminder that no matter what reality, Boseman’s character is sure to leave a legacy of kindness, bravery, and loyalty. The episode wraps up nicely and provides a heartwarming conclusion for this what if scenario.

©Marvel

Marvel’s What If…? is now streaming weekly on Disney+ every Wednesday.

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Animation

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania: Film Review

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Drac and the pack are back like you’ve never seen them before in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. The fourth and final instalment in the popular Sony Animation franchise is a monster fun-sized epic adventure that’s great for the whole family. It takes the story in new exciting directions whilst still retaining the classic witty and silly humour that the franchise is well known for.

We reunite with our favourite monsters for an all-new story that presents Drac (Brian Hull) with his most terrifying task yet. When Van Helsing’s (Jim Gaffigan) mysterious invention, the “Monsterfication Ray’, goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny (Andy Samberg) becomes a monster!. In their new mismatched bodies, it becomes a freaky Friday situation but on a Tuesday. Drac now stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it’s too late and before they drive each other crazy.

With the help of Mavis (Selena Gomez) and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.

SONY PICTURES ANIMATION

It has been a long time since Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation was released, as the fourth instalment in the beloved franchise was delayed due to the ongoing pandemic. But now releasing as an Amazon Original, Hotel Transylvania returns with Transformania. A noteworthy improvement from its predecessor and truly a heartfelt addition to the franchise. What I loved about the film was that through the comedy and gags it showcases wholesome messages and discussions such as coming of age, valuing differences, ageing, and ultimately looking for the good in everything. Animation is a fantastic way to convey these themes to the target audience as it has larger-than-life lovable and goofy characters.

The humour is absolutely funny. Hotel Transylvania has always been a good source of laughter as it’s filled with gags galore. kids will be cracking up non-stop as jokes for all ages feature, even some for the adults.

The animation is just mesmerising as the franchise maintains its gift for well-crafted, creepy silliness. It maintains the durability and gives Transformania an upgrade as each sequence is visually stunning. The Hotel full of monsters includes different textures such as fur, scales and slime and in contrast to that is the lush green South American Jungle Drac and Johnny find themselves in when they head off on the quest to find the cure to transform back. Along the way, though they encounter pollen, piranha, and mosquitoes, getting to see these two characters work together after the last three films establishing their differences was great and surprisingly good.

SONY PICTURES ANIMATION

Transformania also shakes things up a little with some sufficiently goofy body-swap transformations which allow the story to take a sufficient turn and perspective, especially seeing each character’s reactions and ultimately how they now view their counterparts. I loved the Human Drac design which is essentially a stripped-down Dracula who’s become instantly more vulnerable and in Dad-mode but stills retain the hilariousness of the character. Turning Drac’s Pack into humans was also a funny sub-plot as its an interesting turn of events, with Frank (Brad Abrell), Wayne (Steve Buscemi), Griffin the invisible man (David Spade), Murray (Keegan-Michael Key) and Blobby all transformed into humans and Jell-O truly make for an entertaining fun watch.

SONY PICTURES ANIMATION

The film features gleefully kinetic visuals with action sequences and the storyline showcases that progress can be made when different types of people/monsters work together.

Youtuber turned professional voice-actor Brian Hull who previously voiced Drac in the Hotel Transylvania short “Monster Pets” does such a good job throughout the movie and manages to grow into the role rather well.

For the final chapter of the Hotel Transylvania film series, franchise creator Genndy Tartakovsky returns as one of the screenwriters and executive producers. Selena Gomez will also serve as an executive producer, while reprising her role as Drac’s daughter, Mavis, alongside Andy Samberg, returning as Johnny. The film also features Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Brian Hull, Fran Drescher, Brad Abrell and Asher Blinkoff. Directed by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska.

Overall Hotel Transylvania: Transformania was a fun pleasant spooktacular surprise and perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Featuring great life lessons for the young audience and adult fans of animation alike.

Amazon Studios will release Hotel Transylvania: Transformania this Friday, January 14th globally on Prime Video.

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Animation

Blade Runner: Black Lotus | Official Trailer – Adult Swim

Los Angeles 2032. A young woman wakes up with no memories, and possessing deadly skills. The only clues to her mystery are a locked data device and a tattoo of a black lotus. Putting together the pieces, she must hunt down the people responsible for her brutal and bloody past to find the truth of her lost identity.

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Genre:

Animation, Action, Crime

Release Date:

November 13, 2021

Director:

Shinji Aramaki, Kenji Kamiyama

Cast:

Jessica Henwick, Brian Cox, Wes Bentley, Peyton List

Plot Summary:

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Adventure

Lightyear – Official Teaser | Starring Chris Evans

Lightyear is an upcoming American 3D computer animated film produced by Pixar set to be released on June 17, 2022. The film is a spin-off of the Toy Story franchise. It will be Pixar’s 26th animated feature.

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Genre:

Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

June 17, 2022

Director:

Angus McLane

Cast:

Chris Evans (Voice)

Plot Summary:

The story of Buzz Lightyear and his adventures to infinity and beyond.

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