Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Movie Review

Grief and fear are two very potent emotions. They have the power to control our actions and if we give them power, our destiny.

The latest addition to the MCU universe, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, uses grief and fear as the emotional base of the narrative. The sequel to Doctor Strange, the movie starts with the wedding of Doctor Steven Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) colleague and ex, Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). The festivities seem to be going well until predictably, the city is attacked by a monster. Its target is America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a young lady with abilities to travel through the multiverse.

Together with his friend, Wong (Benedict Wong), he has to keep America safe from Scarlett Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). She wants to use the girl’s powers to get back to the fictional children she created within the world of WandaVision. Nothing and no one who will stop her from getting back to her boys. The only person who can save the world and the multiverse is Doctor Strange.

This movie is absolutely amazing. I would even go so far as to say that I would rank it in the top 5 of MCU movies. Making a sequel to one story is hard enough. Making two of them and marrying them into a larger tale is twice as hard. I loved the surprising horror elements, the underlying emotions that drove the characters, and the ending that is absolutely perfect.

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Do I recommend it? Absolutely. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was top ten lists of movies come the end of the year.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is presently in theaters.

P.S. As usual, stay for the mid-credit scene. There are two of them, so I recommend staying until the very end.

Nine Days Movie Review

Humans have been asking existential questions about life and how we came to be since the beginning of time.

The new film, Nine Days, presents this conundrum to the audience. Will (Winston Duke) is a cosmic gatekeeper of sorts. His job is to sort out which souls are sent to Earth to be born and which stay in their present form. With a new batch of recruits coming to his door, he relies on his friend Kyo (Benedict Wong) for companionship and advice. Among those that are eager to live are Alex (Tony Hale), Emma (Zazie Beetz), and Kane (Bill Skarsgård). Will has nine days to parse out the candidates.

In addition, he spends his days keeping an eye on those he has previously send to be born via a bunch of old school televisions. Taking copious notes and recording their actions on VHS tapes, he starts to obsess over a violin virtuoso named Amanda.

While most of the candidates are accepting of Will and the process, Emma asks questions that start to challenge him.

The acting is fantastic, especially from Duke and Beetz. As Will, he is so held together that when he explodes, he really explodes. Speaking in clipped tones in which every syllable is enunciated, you can feel the emotional energy it takes to keep the lid on. On the other side of the scale, Emma is so free-spirited and full of life, that you just want to take that ride with her, regardless of the destination.

The problem is that the film drags on. Whatever existential question that the narrative is supposed to ask is never truly answered. By the 2/3rds mark, I was bored and ready to see the credits roll.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

Nine Days is presently in theaters.

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