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Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1 Review: Stranger in a Strange Land

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The following review contains spoilers

Boba Fett has been a beloved Star Wars character ever since his debut in the infamous Holiday Special and made his big onscreen appearance 41 years ago in The Empire Strikes Back. We then later on learn about the origins of the renowned bounty hunter in Attack of the Clones and in the Clone Wars animated series. The appearance of Boba Fett in The Mandalorian season two was also a welcoming surprise as last we saw of the bounty hunter was when he fell into the Sarlacc pit during the events of ‘Return of the Jedi”. 

How did he survive? well, that’s the very first thing covered in the opening of the series premiere which splits its time between flashbacks to what happened after Fett’s downward slope into the pit, as well as the events following The Mandalorian season 2, in which Boba (Temuera Morrison), alongside his loyal assassin Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) navigate the galaxy’s underworld when they return to the sands of Tatooine to stake their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime Syndicate. 

Chapter one reminded me why I love Star Wars as this episode gave me the classic, vintage feels mixed with Lawerence of Arabia and The Godfather, as both Fett and Shand take down the seedy underbelly of Tatooine. Directed by showrunner Robert Rodriguez and written by Jon Favreau, take a reflective approach in order to fill in the gaps of Fett’s past in which he’s scarred by. 

The opening chapter of the series entitled “Stranger In a Strange Land” shows that Fett still needs medical treatment for his escape from the acid-filled Sarlacc pit as we see him lying inside a Bacta Tank, which provides brief flashbacks to his birthplace Kamino and to the Geonois arena where his father Jango Fett was killed By Mace Windu. 

We also see flashbacks to recent events especially his escape which is executed quickly as he’s shortly running out of time. Boba breathes fresh air from the supply of an expired and eroded Stormtrooper whilst punching a hole through the Sarlacc’s thick stomach. He fires his flamethrower through it and tunnels his way out onto the surface and emerges in front of the wreckage of Jabba’s sail barge. 

Photo: Lucasfilm

After being left for dead and enduring the pain and suffering of being slowly digested, Fett encounters Tatooine’s infamous residents. First Jawa scavengers steal his armour and leave him for dead again. Then becoming dehydrated, Tusken Raiders discover him and force him into subjugation. What follows is an unfortunate escape plan as he survives a brawl with a Tusken Massiff. 

Meanwhile in present-day Tatooine, Boba Fett and Fennec Shand start to secure their hold on crime lord Jabba the Hutt’s former territory, though conflict begins to simmer between the two as Fennec recommends that a more violent rule will surly guarantee a more stable transition of power . However Fett takes a far more measured approach by working by a code of honour that somewhat excludes torture or killing to send a message as “Jabba ruled with fear, I Intent to rule with respect”. 

Photo: Lucasfilm

Fett awakens from the tank as he dons armour and receives visitors in his newly claimed throne room, where a torture droid ( voiced by Matt Berry) announces guests who bring tributes to him as a gesture of being under Fett’s leadership. An Aqualish hands over a tribute of New Republic credits, Dokk Strassi, a Trandoshan leader Fett once worked for, offers a Wookie pelt, two Gamorrean guards pledge their loyalty and a suspicious display of respectfulness comes from Madam Garsa Flip (Jennifer Beals) who is the proprietor of The Sanctuary an upscale Mos Spa Cantina. 

Photo: Lucasfilm

Many of Jabba and Bib’s former subjects are prepared to bend the knee to Boba Fett, well not all of them. As Mos Espa mayor not only fails to show up to the palace in person but sends his majordomo (David Pasquesi) to collect tribute from Fett and as Fett and Shand leave the Cantina they’re ambushed by many assassins with batons that can stun you and energy shields. What follows is a badass parkour pursuit as Fennec kills one and captures the other though we’ll have to wait till next week to see who the assassins work for and who especially is the Mayor??.

This episodes big fight sequence is a battle between a six-legged sand monster that is very reminiscent of classic star wars and feels like a Ray Harryhausen stop motion puppet. This victory in the eyes of the Tusken Raiders makes Boba a made man as the Tusken leader hands boba a gourd which is a sign of respect or acceptance into the tribe. 

Photo: Lucasfilm

Wen truly shines as the cunning enforcer/assassin Fennec Shand her skillset is utilised throughout this first chapter. She’s a compelling lead and delivers her lines ruthlessly. 

And Morrison’s portrayal depicts a man that’s been though hell and now onto more of a redemptive path. His delivery and humour truly flesh out the character. Fennec surly feels obliged to Fett because he saved her but chapter one also implies that she would do things differently if she were the crime lord. Life on Tatooine is hard as honour amongst thieves thrives thrives amongst the town. 

The episode also features an epic theme, from Ludwig Göransson who also composed both seasons of The Mandalorian.

Overall Chapter One “Stranger in a Strange Land” is certainly a promising start and offers us glimpses on where the Book of Boba Fett could ultimately be heading as it features action and Star Wars nostalgia. 

The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” is streaming now on Disney+. Future episodes premiere on Wednesdays.

 

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Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Review | A Lighthearted Legal Comedy

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You’ll Like Her When She’s Angry She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is a fun lighthearted legal comedy that establishes itself within the MCU. It explores the complicated & comical duality of the character which is relatable & is fully self-aware whilst also breaking the fourth wall.

Synopsis

In Marvel Studios’ “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” Emmy® Award-winning actress Tatiana Maslany stars as Jennifer Walters—an attorney who specialises in superhuman-oriented legal cases. She leads the complicated life of a single, 30- something who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch super-powered hulk.

The nine-episode comedy series welcomes a host of MCU vets, including Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination, and Benedict Wong as Wong, as well as Jameela Jamil, Josh Segarra, Ginger Gonzaga, Jon Bass and Renée Elise Goldsberry. 

Created by Stan Lee and John Buscema, the character was first introduced on Feb. 10, 1980, in “The Savage She-Hulk” comic series. She-Hulk went on to become a member of the Avengers in 1982 and was featured in the “Fantastic Four” series beginning in 1984. Writer/artist John Byrne infused the character with her signature fourth-wall-breaking sense of humour in his “Sensational She-Hulk” comic series that ran from 1989- 1994, and the character has made regular appearances in various forms ever since.

Review

“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” is the seventh live-action series from Marvel Studios that’s debuting on Disney+ it explores the complicated and comical day-to-day life of Jennifer Walters who must navigate the fallout as well as the dynamics of becoming superpowered- both as herself but also as She-Hulk. We also get to see a commentary of grounded topics being portrayed as she advances into her career while making time for dating, catching up with friends, and going through workplace prejudice, in fact, a lot of the humour comes from these grounded scenarios. Walters learns that balancing her new duality and powers isn’t as easy as it seems. And as I mentioned earlier these aspects of her character as so relatable to the audience watching. She is driven to become a lawyer by a passion to dispense justice and create a more equal society. 

Jen aka She-Hulk is a character that’s full of contradiction, she’s completely fixated on work, and yet has this huge heart. Throughout the series, you’ll see that she loves being She-Hulk, but at the same time resents it. The series perfectly captures Jennifer’s courtroom antics and episode one titled “A Normal Amount of Rage” fully establishes the character and her world through an episodic story. 

Tatiana Maslany is INCREDIBLE! and such perfect casting, Maslany takes the character to a whole new level and makes the role her own. She-Hulk is so different from anything we’ve seen in the MCU, she brings so much humanity and complexity to the character that you no doubt feel for her. I also love that throughout she breaks the fourth wall and interacts with the viewer, she certainly has a sense of humour and I also love that she’s super confident in herself. Ultimately her story is a modern legal comedy about a professional woman in her 30s that’s navigating her professional career and personal life. 

Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer “Jen” Walters, Ginger Gonzaga as Nikki Ramos, and Drew Matthews as Dennis Bukowski in Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved

Adjusting to Life as a Superhero

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law reveals that Jennifer gains the Hulk’s incredible strength following a serious car accident and her subsequent efforts to help her cousin, who happens to be none other than the Hulk, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). Ruffalo returning to his iconic role becomes her unwanted mentor and this series has given us the best version of Smart Hulk that we’ve seen so far. We witness how much of his life has been affected by the Hulk as he doesn’t want his cousin to struggle with her newfound powers like he did, after all, she saw what happened to her cousin and how it ruined his personal life in a lot of ways. So in the beginning, she’s very resistant to them but both quickly realise that her Hulk is very different from Banners. 

I loved the family dynamic the two actors had throughout the first episode. The script is well-written as it perfects sarcasm and banter but also this lovingly antagonistic sort of sibling relationship between them both. The characters have obviously been brought up and grew up very close so it was fun to see them make fun of each other and fight as there’s plenty of action. And for the first time, Ruffalo gets to share the stage with Maslany who’s in the same mocap suit. 

Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk / Bruce Banner and Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer “Jen” Walters/She-Hulk in Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL

Expanding The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Joining Maslany in the cast of the series are a host of talented performers—some portraying fellow attorneys, some acting as clients, plus a few family members, friends and surprises.

Nikki Ramos is Jennifer Walters’s closest confidante and paralegal, providing unending support and most sage advice in both personal and professional matters. Jen can always rely on her fun, sarcastic and always fashion-forward friend who’s not afraid to colour outside the lines. Ginger Gonzaga is another fabulous addition to the show and she fills the character’s stylish shoes gracefully. She is certainly the best friend to have around as through work Jen can get fixated so Nikki consistently reminds her that there is a life outside of her job and to embrace the She-Hulk side of herself, her wardrobe is cool and edgy and she is a paralegal. 

Making an entrance at the end of episode one was Jameela Jamil’s character, Titania a narcissistic social media influencer who also happens to have superhuman strength. 

Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL

The series also has messages on the responsibility of those with powers and the people that possess them. Do they refrain from using their powers or do they have a duty to protect those without abilities? 

 Cameos, post-credit scenes, and references do feature as “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is extremely self-aware and self-deprecating. 

Verdict

“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is easily one of my favourite MCU shows, it does a great job at establishing itself within the timeline and truly takes advantage of a universe where anything can happen. We witness superheroes in a grounded world post-blip as the series gives a new perspective, especially from She-Hulk’s point of view. There’s something for everyone to enjoy as it’ll pleasantly surprise people with a smashing start. Can’t wait to see where the next episode goes!.

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PREY Review | A Brutal, Primeval Emotional Survival Epic

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PREY is one of the best entries in the Predator franchise. Director Dan Trachtenberg has crafted a brutal, primaeval & emotional survival epic powered by Comanche tradition which features a fierce performance from Amber Midthunder who kicks Ass as the animalistic Predator becomes her PREY!

Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, “Prey” is the story of a young woman, Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior. She has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains, so when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to prove herself a worthy hunter. The prey she stalks, and ultimately confronts, turns out to be a highly evolved alien Predator with a technically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries.

.© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

“Prey” stars Amber Midthunder, newcomer Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope, and Dane DiLiegro as the Predator. The film is directed by Dan Trachtenberg and written by Patrick Aison with a story by Patrick Aison & Dan Trachtenberg based on characters created by Jim Thomas & John Thomas. It is produced by John Davis, Jhane Myers, and Marty Ewing, with Lawrence Gordon, Ben Rosenblatt, James E. Thomas, John C. Thomas, and Marc Toberoff serving as executive producers.

The Predator franchise which is now a collection on Disney+ began with the 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and was directed by John McTiernan. It told the story of an elite set of mercenaries who form a team and head to the jungles of South America on a recovery mission. However, they find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior with an arsenal of high-tech weapons.

In “PREY” we witness the first time this creature comes to earth as the alien Predator lands his spacecraft in the Northern Great Plains in 1719, it’s looking to hunt for sport. The land however is inhabited by men, women, and children of the Comanche tribe, many of them skilled at hunting and are warriors themselves. What I thoroughly loved about “PREY” is that it shows how committed director Dan Trachtenberg and his crew were in creating a film that provides an accurate portrayal of the Comanche world at the height of their empire. This truly brings a level of authenticity and showcases the true experiences and the lives of its indigenous people. This phenomenal cast is comprised almost entirely of Native and First Nation talent.

.© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Amber Midthunder brings a fierce and powerful performance to the role of Naru, a highly skilled Comanche warrior raised in the shadow of the legendary hunters who roamed the Great Plains. When danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her band and faces the supreme test when the prey she stalks and ultimately confronts turns out to be an alien Predator. Smart, confident, and resourceful, she is familiar with every inch of the surrounding landscape and its natural predators. Naru means “fight” in Comanche, which is more than appropriate for this character. She has strong ideas and opinions about things, her future, and her life. Her wants are quite different from what other people would assign to her or imagine for her, Midthunder truly leads with power.

.© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Taabe, a young Comanche warrior played by newcomer Dakota Beavers truly shines in his debut. The leader of the band of Comanches, War Chief Kehetu is played by Julian Black Antelope. Aruka, Naru’s mother is played by Michelle Thrush. Aruka along with the rest of the older Comanche generation, wants her daughter to follow a more traditional path.

This primal David vs Goliath story also features the animalistic Predator, brought to life ferociously by Dane DiLiegro. This creature is a highly advanced alien seeking the strongest opponent. The Iconic Predator is the ultimate adversary, and one of the fiercest hunters in the universe, especially with its high-tech weaponry, cloaking, and heat-seeking abilities. This iteration of the character is more creature-like as it takes 300 years prior to the original.

“PREY is full of different kinds of Predators. The Comanches, hunt and fight for survival. Everything that they hunt is used and nothing is wasted for example they use every part of the buffalo and are also thankful for the spirit of that animal that’s able to nourish them, clothe them and ultimately is used for everything that they needed in life. Their fighting style is powerful and the costuming is traditional with authentic colours which ensures historical accuracy. They also have to be comfortable for the actors who do a good deal of horseback riding.

.© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Principle photography on “PREY” began in June 2021 at the Stone Nakoda Nation near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The entire production was filmed outdoors, with all the phenomenal exterior shots utilising the magnificent terrain of the Calgary landscape. The cinematography and the use of natural light were outstanding. Cinematographer Jeff Cutter has truly captured the epicness of dawn and dusk and embraces and respects nature. The earthy colours of the Comanche are black, red, and white and this colour pallet is well utilised through their face paintings. The score by Sarah Schachner is suspenseful and thrilling.

VERDICT

Overall It’s been 35 years since “Predator” first captivated audiences, and now fans have a chance to see the Predator in action once again. However, this particular “Predator” film truly revitalises the franchise with a deeply personal story and a thrilling hunt for survival.

Prey will be available to stream on Hulu and Disney+ Internationally on Friday, Aug. 5.

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Nailing It — First Official Clip From Marvel Studios’ She Hulk | Disney +

Jennifer Walters navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered Hulk.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

August 17, 2022

Director:

Jessica Gao

Cast:

Tatiana Maslany, Mark Ruffalo, Charlie Cox

Plot Summary:

Jennifer Walters navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered Hulk.

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