‘Battle of the Sexes’ Review

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Battle of the Sexes is a semi-biographical sports film, starring Emma Stone, Steve Carell, and Sarah Silverman. The film is loosely based on the 1973 tennis match between a 29-year-old Billie Jean King and a 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. Riggs had been a top men’s player in the 1930s and 1940s in both the amateur and professional ranks. King, who had previously rejected challenges from Riggs, finally accepted the challenge after a lucrative financial offer was made to play him for $100,000, winner-take-all. King further explained that she accepted the match not only for the money, but also for all of women’s tennis and to prove that women are equal to men. The match, dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes”, took place at the Houston Astrodome in Texas and garnered huge publicity. Emma Stone is great as Billie Jean King. The Academy Award-winning actress shows off her talent once again as she basically becomes King. Stone looks very much like a young Billie Jean King and even speaks like her. She does well in making the character more than a two-dimensional athlete. She gives the audience a look into King’s soul as she works through the complexities of her emotions, need for equal rights, loyalty to her husband, and love of tennis. The same goes for Steve Carell’s performance as Bobby Riggs. He plays a loveable yet damaged guy very well. He’s a good dad and a great tennis player, but he’s also a gambler and a hustler. He knows he has a problem, but he doesn’t hide it. Well, he mostly doesn’t hide it. He wants this happy life with his wife but is unwilling to change for her. Also, I really enjoyed Sarah Silverman’s portrayal of Gladys Heldman. She provided comic relief as well as a small dose of sincerity when needed. I wouldn’t be surprised if she got a few Best Supporting Actress nods this upcoming award season. The film’s story was easy to follow and very believable. The writer did a great job of focusing the story on the characters’ lives building up to the match instead of just focusing on the match itself. With all the ups and downs each character experiences, the audience is never overwhelmed as the events unfold on screen. Also, the director’s pacing was smooth and use of camera angles and color was phenomenal. Lastly, the editing of the older footage into the film fit in seamlessly. While watching the final match, there are times when you can’t tell if they edited the old match footage or shot new match footage. The only negative I have for this film is how it was advertised. The trailers made it seem like just a comedy, but clearly, it’s much more than that. I give Battle of the Sexes a Decent 8/10. This film offers up a fun and interesting history lesson about tennis and equality.

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‘GLOW’ Season One Review

GLOW

I know I’m a little late getting this review up, but I had a pretty busy summer. I had so many shows to catch up on, but I finally got around to watching GLOW. Based on the 2012 documentary, GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, GLOW is a dramedy about the struggling actress, Ruth Wilder, trying to make it in 1980s Hollywood. Unable to get any good roles, Ruth eventually takes an audition for ‘Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling’ (‘GLOW’). I have to say that I really enjoyed watching this show. From the first episode I was hooked and wanted to know everything about every character. Alison Brie is phenomenal as Ruth “Zoya the Destroya” Wilder. Even though I’ve seen her in films including How to Be Single and The Five Year Engagement, this is the first role where her acting ability wowed me. Some of the most comical scenes of the show involve Ruth creating her Zoya the Destroya moniker. The writers do a good job at combining comedic elements with serious situations. I felt for Ruth’s struggle as a talented and dedicated actress who just can’t catch a break. Throughout the season, Ruth has conflicts with her director Sam Sylvia and her former best friend Debbie Eagan. Brie does a great job at emoting the conflict Ruth feels as she struggles to make things right with her friend Debbie. She regrets her past mistakes, but is ready to move past them. This is hindered by the fact that her new boss and coworkers know about the drama between them. As a viewer, I wanted her to get a win, but at the same time I wanted to see how long she would have to struggle first. It is interesting to see her connect with the other girls. She works to bring them all together while coaching them to be better actors so that the show can improve. Also, Betty Gilpin is great as Debbie “Liberty Belle” Eagan. I can imagine how women could relate to Debbie’s life balancing motherhood, marital issues, and a dwindling career. Seeing how much she wishes to fix her relationship with Ruth even though she remembers why the friendship ended brings so much more depth to her character. The fact that everything isn’t completely resolved between her and Ruth at the end of the season makes me want the second season to get here even sooner. Other standouts in the show are: Marc Maron as Sam Sylvia, Sydelle Noel as Cherry “Junkchain” Bang, Britney Young as Carmen “Machu Picchu” Wade, and Chris Lowell as Sebastian “Bash” Howard. I could relate to these secondary characters because of the backstory they are given this season. I’m sure this was done on purpose as to leave more mystery for the rest of the characters to be exposed in later seasons. I give GLOW season one a Superb 5/5. If GLOW continues on the same track it could be a bigger hit than Orange Is the New Black. The shorter season and 30 minute episodes only help with its appeal. If necessary, the show can be binged in one day. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the show’s executive producer is Jenji Kohan, who is also the creator of Orange Is the New Black and Weeds.

What Misty Knight’s Bionic Arm Could Mean For Phase Two Of The Marvel Netflix Universe

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If you have not watched The Defenders on Netflix then stop here! There will be SPOILERS ahead for specific things that happened during that series. Now for those who have watched you know that Misty Knight lost her arm to Bokuto’s sword during the season finale. I believe this incident will be the catalyst that will launch the Netflix series into the greater MCU. I will add up the facts of how this event can help bring a more cohesive thread between the Netflix shows and the films.

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After losing her arm Misty ends up in a high-end hospital thanks to Danny Rand’s connections. She is not sure where her life will go from here, but she knows she did the right thing and blames no one else for the loss of her arm. Considering that we were told that she would be returning for season two of Luke Cage fans wondered how this would play out. Misty Knight lost her arm in the comics as well and received a vibranium replacement thanks to none other than Tony Stark. By now we should all know where vibranium comes from. We all hoped that this would be the case in the Netflix series as well. Well thanks to some recent photos released by Entertainment Weekly it looks like we have our answer.

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Misty Knight can clearly be seen sporting a bionic arm next to Luke Cage. If they do indeed continue to follow the comics then we may be getting a mention of Tony Stark and Stark Enterprises subsidiary AccuTech. Last mentioned in promotional material for Iron Man 2, AccuTech was known for making breakthroughs in anthropo-robotics. Considering that Tony is a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist and he has relocated to New York in recent years. It would make sense for him to be involved in helping a prominent NYPD Detective regain her right arm. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s had up close and personal experience with the Winter Soldier’s bionic limb in Captain America: Civil War.

What we do not know is if Misty is still a member of the NYPD after the events of The Defenders. Her boss threatened that she could possibly lose her job because the Defenders stole a ton of C4 and blew up a building on her watch. If she is now working outside the law, like Cage, then maybe we are seeing more clues about the beginnings of the Daughters of the Dragon. In the comics, Daughters of the Dragon is a private investigation agency that Misty starts with her close friend, Colleen Wing. At this point in the Netflix series, Misty has just met Colleen, but we see them share a tender moment in the hospital. If Netflix and Marvel does develop the Daughters of the Dragon from this, then they can easily add characters to the team. Élodie Yung’s Elektra Natchios and Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple are likely candidates.

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‘What Happened to Monday’ Review

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What Happened to Monday is a dystopian science fiction thriller film set in 2073. In this future, the world has become overpopulated, resulting in a strict one-child policy enforced by the government via the Child Allocation Act. The older siblings are allowed to live while the younger siblings are forced into cryo-sleep until the population issue has been resolved. The main characters in the film are the Settman septuplets, all portrayed by Noomi Rapace. With their mother, Karen, dying during childbirth, their grandfather, Terrence Settman, concocts a plan for them all to survive. He names each of the girls Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and trains them to act as one person when out of the apartment. They all take on the identity of Karen Settman, with Monday portraying her on Monday, Tuesday portraying her on Tuesday, Wednesday on Wednesday, and etc. Their life is as normal as it can be until Monday goes missing and the sisters try to figure out what happened to her. I have to say that Netflix has been doing a solid job on their Original Movies. The story of this film was very imaginative and fun but it is full of plot holes. The film is similar in form to an episode of Black Mirror in that it makes use of the same somber tone and social commentary. The film’s use of digital effects helps mask the clearly low budget. Noomi Rapace does an excellent job at playing all seven sisters. While inside the apartment the sisters’ choices of hair and clothing style let us know who is who. Rapace also gives each of the sisters a distinct personality that helps separate them even more when seen on screen together. While these personalities traits do not run deep into the characters, it was enough to make a difference for the film. The director does a great job allowing us to get screen time with each sister individually so that we can understand how each one feels about a world where they can’t truly be themselves. Willem Dafoe was well cast as the sisters’ grandfather, Terrence, but we don’t see much of him in the film. We are led to assume he was a very powerful and influential person, but this is never fully explored. While I praise the film for giving us time with each of the girls, it doesn’t give us much backstory into the characters. I would have liked more time with the girls when they were younger so that we could see more of their relationship with their grandfather. Also, more insight into how his character was able to keep the girls birth a secret would have been nice. We’re forced to accept it as the story progresses, but the question of “how” thumped around in my head for the rest of the film. I give What Happened to Monday a Decent 7.8/10. Again, the Netflix Original Movies continue to impress me, as they continually get better. With a little bigger budget and better writing, this film could have been excellent. Hopefully, this trend will continue as more of their films are released.

Ten Characters Likely To Show Up In Captain Marvel

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Considering that Marvel just had their panel at San Diego Comic Con yesterday it is time to go over who may be in their upcoming Captain Marvel film. They revealed that the film will be a prequel to the current MCU taking place in the 1990s. With that information we can deduce who will probably pop up in the film. We know that the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel will appear in the film, Nick Fury will appear pre eye injury, and the villains will be the Skrulls, and alien race of shapeshifters. Considering the timeline the following people would make sense.

Richard and Mary Parker

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In the comics Richard and May Parker were agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who tragically died on a mission. Considering that this film will take place in the ’90s it would be years before Peter is born, so we could explore a little about his parents. Nick Fury would be their connection to this film as they could be his “go to” agents during this time period such as Phil Coulson and Maria Hill have been in the current period.

Ben and May Parker

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If Richard Parker shows up it would make sense for his older brother Ben and his wife May to make a quick cameo. This could be a small role in the film just to add some familiarity. Considering Tom Holland has showed interest in Tobey Maguire portraying the character of Uncle Ben, it would be great if they cast him. Giving a nod to fans of the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy.

Peggy Carter

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Considering she is one of the founders of S.H.I.E.L.D., it would make sense for her to appear as one of Nick Fury’s superiors. She has made a cameo during the beginning of Ant-Man which took place in 1989, meaning she could still be active within the organization during the ’90s.

James “Rhodey” Rhodes

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This would be a great addition to the film even if it’s only in a small role. Colonel James Rhodes is a military officer and pilot in the United States Air Force. Carol Danvers was also a member of the United States Air Force, so it would make sense if they knew each other during their youth. Maybe it was her disappearance that made him so dead set on finding Tony during the events of the first Iron Man, as he couldn’t lose another friend.

Hank Pym

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Having quit S.H.I.E.L.D. in 1989 it would be cool if Nick Fury had to contact Hank Pym to get some information from him during the film. Possibly calling in a favor that needs someone who can shrink. This could allow us to see more of him in the  suit and his interaction with other S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel aside from Howard Stark and Peggy Carter.

Alexander Pierce

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Alexander Pierce and Nick Fury were once good friends. Maybe, this film could show fans the infamous Bogata mission that convinced Pierce to promote Fury to head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Also it would be great if we see him manipulating and recruiting other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to join Hydra. Perhaps he tries to convert Richard and Mary Parker only for them to reject him. Leading him to have the Winter Soldier murder them sometime in the early 2000s. That would give Peter and Tony even more in common.

Reed Richards

Reed Richards

Now we’re delving into more wishful territory. With the realization that the Skrulls are going to be the main villains of the film it would be great to get a clip of a young Reed Richards to let fans know that Marvel and Fox have reached a deal. I’m pretty sure the Skrulls belong to Fox and those characters are major villains for the Fantastic Four. It just seems like the possibility is there.

Victor Von Doom

Victor Von Doom

This is even more wishful thinking as I doubt it would happen. Reed and Victor used to be friends during their college days. It would be nice if they were shown as fellow students at M.I.T. with a young Tony Stark. Or at least we could get a mention of Latveria in the MCU.

What are your thoughts on the Captain Marvel news from San Diego Comic Con? Is there anyone you would like to appear in the film? Leave your thoughts below.