In anticipation for the Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, I rewatched the entire MCU thus far (minus The Incredible Hulk, which is not cannon). Of course, now you have to watch the Disney+ series in order to fully understand what’s going on: WandaVision, The Falcon & the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, &, most recently, Moon Knight. I’ve already seen Multiverse of Madness, so I thought I’d do a superlative/ranking post for the films (too much to unpack in the shows). I’ll do this in timeline order, which is how I did my rewatch this year. For the most part, this works, aside from some of the mid- and post-credit scenes.
Overall, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a solid solo film that manages to be entertaining, funny, and heartfelt. The emotional core of the movie was the most surprising element for me, and I’m excited to include it in my yearly MCU rewatch, and for Shang-Chi (and Awkwafina’s Kate) to appear in future installments.
Shawn Levy’s Free Guy is yet another film whose release was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — well over a year, in fact. Its star, Ryan Reynolds, has been [seemingly] ceaselessly been promoting the movie on social media since the first trailer was released.
It’s fair to say that Black Widow has been one of the most anticipated movies of 2021, and not just because of the pandemic, which delayed its release for over a year (going two years without a Marvel film is very difficult for a MCU nerd like myself, but thankfully there are several being released this year alone). This is the first [and only] time Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff gets a solo film, despite having been around since 2010’s Iron Man 2.
Over the Moon is one film that is competing for the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar this year, although it doesn’t stand a chance against Pixar films Soul and Onward, as well as the acclaimed Wolfwalkers. And, that’s not just because it’s a Netflix animation production, but mainly due to the fact that it’s not a good film.
I was looking forward to seeing another performance from George Clooney, who has been busy the last few years having (and raising) his now three-year-old twins with his humanitarian lawyer wife, Amal. I was curious to see him direct himself, and to see him to do so with a sci-fi story; The Midnight Sky is based on a book, which I haven’t read, but I can imagine it’s better than the movie.
I knew very little about the Ireland-set animated film Wolfwalkers prior to viewing it; I’d heard great reviews, with some people even saying that this film is better than Pixar’s latest, Soul, and could potentially beat it for the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar this year. And, while I found Wolfwalkers to be highly entertaining, heartwarming, and inventive, I’m not sure it has enough originality to surpass Soul.
Soul has had to deal with multiple delays; first, it was meant to be released last summer, about six months after Pixar’s previous film, Onward. Then, it was pushed until late fall, and finally, it was decided to release it solely (sorry for the pun!) on Disney+.
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I actually enjoyed Wonder Woman 1984, and I feel like people are being way too harsh on the sequel to the hit that made Israeli actress Gal Gadot a star. Sure, it’s a bit convoluted and probably too long — I don’t mind longer movies if the runtime is warranted — but I thought that it was better than almost everyone has been saying.
I wasn’t originally planning to watch James Cameron’s The Abyss when my brother and mother started watching it on Christmas Eve, but because it’s an Oscar winner (for Visual Effects) and features Ed Harris in the leading role, I couldn’t say no. For one, I’m trying to catch up on past Oscar winners (and nominees); also, Harris is continually watchable, even when the film isn’t all that good.