I was on holiday, so I’m going to talk about what I watched last week. I’ll be talking Stranger Things 4, Umbrella Academy 3, Thor: Love and Thunder, Minions: The Rise of Gru and more. In fact the only big Summer show I have yet to catch is The Boys newest season. That’s next up on my watch list. However this past week of relaxation has allowed me to catch up with a lot of shows I simply didn’t have time for, plus a couple of theater trips with the family.
I’d mention Obi-Wan Kenobi as one of the big Summer shows, but I’ve already talked about that extensively with episodic reviews. Ultimately Kenobi wasn’t awful, but it could have been great and was let down by some shoddiness in the script and the execution. Damn shame.
Where I will begin is the show/movie that has impressed me most this season and that’s Stranger Things 4.
Stranger Things 4
After having thoroughly enjoyed Part 1, Part 2 was always going to be my first pick when it hit at the beginning of July. For me, it was a great finale. As the shows goes I feel like the entire team hit their stride in Season 3 and this has carried through into Season 4 and lets hope the final season 5. Season 2 had a few issues, but I was still a fan.
Surprisingly Stranger Things 4 was left in a more hopeful way than I thought it would and still things look pretty bleak for our cast of Hawkins heroes. I’ve read a few criticisms of Season 4 and whilst I might be able to understand those points of view, I did not share them. I felt like Stranger Things 4 was a creepy, exciting rollercoaster full of heart. Best show/movie of the season for me so far, though as I said above, I’ve still to rate The Boys.
Umbrella Academy 3
Took me a minute to watch Umbrella Academy 3 and by then I had already heard a lot of non-spoiler criticisms by the fan base who binged it straight away. Most of those criticisms centered around lack of world-building and strange character logic at play. Yet, here I am wondering if those people actually watched Season 1 and 2 and didn’t get those same feelings? I think that’s just the way this story is told, completely from the point of view of the main characters and therefore we don’t get a good view outside of the way they see things.
Maybe I therefore went in with slightly lower expectations but I enjoyed Season 3 as much as the previous two. Saying that, I would not call myself a mega fan, it’s just decent entertainment for me. So yeah, Umbrella Academy 3 isn’t going to blow anyone anyway, and the final boss level Guardians that were teased were a bit crap in the end for me. However I still had fun, and wouldn’t hesitate to tune in for Umbrella Academy 4 when it inevitably happens.
Thor: Love and Thunder
I loved and thundered the movie….That sounds weird. However, I know Love and Thunder was not as popular among all the MCU fans as perhaps Marvel Studios would like. For a start there are those who disliked Ragnarok, if that’s you, I don’t think you’d like Love and Thunder either. However if like me you found Ragnarok to be one of the best MCU movies to date, then you’ll at least have fun.
Love and Thunder isn’t quote the lightning in a bottle that Ragnarok was. However that’s due to Taika Waititi trying to generate a lot of emotion in the movie and those undertones really worked for me. I found Jane’s story tragic, and I was absolutely sympathetic towards Gorr’s story. I don’t want to get into spoilers here, but I am excited to see a new dynamic of Thor be explored more in the inevitable Waititi trilogy capper.
However, It won’t be for everyone. If you are not a Waititi fan, then I don’t know what to tell you other than, maybe wait for home release for Love and Thunder?
Minions: The Rise of Gru
I’m not exactly a huge fan of the Despicable Me movies, nor Minions. However I do have a 7 year old daughter who is and thus off to see The Rise of Gru we were. The best praise, and worse criticism, I can give this movies is equally the briefness. It’s not a long stay in the theatre, you’ll be in and out before you know it. However you may then also wonder if you watched a movie or an extended episode of any animated show on Network TV. Honestly, there’s nothing in this story which screams cinema release to me.
Yup, you’ll laugh at some of the antics of the Minions, but at the same time the plot is so all over the place its unreal. Equally it’s extremely predictable so within half an hour you’ll know exactly what to expect from the rest of the story.
For a movie subtitled The Rise of Gru, there is an unnerving lack of Gru and his rise to villainy. Maybe other than the last 5 minutes? The Minions sequel knows what the majority of its audience wants and that’s the Minions being silly and getting into silly situations. If that’s also what you love to see, then maybe you’ll love The Rise of Gru. I myself laughed from time to time, I didn’t get bored, but I also didn’t come out feeling like I’d watched a movie.
Nothing special here, but a return to formula. My daughter liked it, but I’m not sure she loved it.
Ok, Ms. Marvel isn’t finished yet, but I’ve been enjoying it weekly so far. I just caught up in the last two episodes and its…alright? We are kind of in that middle period of a Marvel show where things slow down so we can get a big finale. So far, I enjoy Ms. Marvel more than I thought I might. However it’s hardly Emmy winning TV on show here.
Still, I am entertained, and that’s kind of the point. I’ll give a full review of that show upon the finale’s release.
Only Murders in the Building
Such a quick turnaround I am so happy we are getting more Murders in the Building again so soon. Loved Season 1 and so far I have loved the first three episodes of Season 2. New Murders and new mysteries in the Arcona see our intrepid trio at the Sherlock game again. As with season 1, it’st just joyful TV to watch.
Whether they can land the ending like Season 1 remains to be seen? However, so far, I am loving Season 2 of Only Murders in the Building.
I guess there’s not much else to say. I’m going to now be using my more limited spare time to catch up on The Boys latest Season. I also need to see Maverick, but no one wants to see it with me sadly in the family. What do you think of all the Summer’s big movies and streaming shows so far? What do you think of my takes on these projects?
Next up is the Fall streaming wars and that will mostly come down to the battle of the fantasy juggernauts, House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power. Can’t wait.
As always, leave a y thoughts you have below or discuss wit the gang over on our Discord server.