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Marvel’s What If…?- Season 1 Episode 4 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.

With each episode centred around different characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, What If…? has truly told each of the stories within different genres beginning with Captain Carter set in WWII, then a space heist with T’Challa’s Star-Lord, and last week an Avengers murder mystery with a shocking twist. 



Episode four takes my favourite Bleecker Street sorcerer, Dr. Stephen Strange and sees his origin retold and reshaped in this alternate universe. The Watcher is carefully keeping an eye on Strange as although a tiny bit different, Doctor Strange’s origin story from the 2016 movie is still here. The Nexus point aka The What If…? moment is that Christine and strange never parted ways. So this means instead of Strange going to his award ceremony alone on that tragic night, Christine was with him and unfortunately now in that car crash. 

This episode does a brilliant job of showing us the circumstances that would end up making Dr. Stephen Strange a much darker sorcerer in this alternate timeline. It truly was an emotional rollercoaster and definitely gives us hints on what we can hopefully expect In The Multiverse of Madness. 

©Marvel

This episode is the most human one yet. The lessons episode four tell is that love can truly break more than just your heart , it can shatter your mind. Its a relentless heartbreaking story of love, grief and shows a fine line between devotion and delusion. 

“We have watched how one moment, one choice, can ripple across space and time, giving birth to new stories, heroes, whole universes. But what if it’s the wrong choice? What if the best of intentions has very strange consequences?”

The watcher

What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

Synopsis

A grief-stricken Doctor Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto in a dangerous effort to change the past.

Review

The core of this what If…? episode takes place after the events of Doctor Strange with Stephen using the Eye of Agamotto in a desperate attempt to save the love of his life, Christine. He becomes consumed with finding a spell that can bring her back to life. 

A montage then occurs as Strange uses the time stone by changing realities and to save Christine. Unfortunately no matter how many times he goes through the loop, Christine dies no matter what he does, this is truly heartbreaking.

©Marvel

This episode also features the returned MCU actors who lend their voices to their titular character. 

Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong and Tilda Swinton. The latter as the Ancient One who warns Strange about the laws of time travel and establishing that moments like these must happen and cannot be changed. So if Stephen did save Christine he would never find the mystic arts, never defeat Dormamu and ultimately Strange would never become the Sorcerer Supreme. 

Strange however refuses to give up and instead finds a way to defeat the laws of the universe.

Without spoiling any more, this episode perfectly represents the type of stories What If…? should continue with. It adds tons of depth and dimension to the character which ultimately is talking plenty of risks. We realise how far the manipulation of time can go, It shows just like Wanda that Stephen is so powerful that he too can alter the reality around him. Both Wanda and Strange have done this in order to safe the life of or preserve a love one. 

Episode 4 is definitely my favourite of the series so far.

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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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