IR TV Review: MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – EPISODE 3 (“Alien Commies From The Future”) [ABC-S7]

The texture within the 7th season of “Marvel’s Agents Of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is paying tribute in a sense to the science fiction movies before it, even way back into the mid-century. it is a genre track that well worn but something that works quite well despite its certain harks to “Doctor Who” with its reveals. The episodes again interspace alot of lore in the Marvel universe while also playing with the simply notion of time without really touching it per se. This episode “Alien Commies From The Future” harks to another science fiction government conspiracy trope though this reviewer will not reveal the time period pre-air to keep it a surprise. It is interesting seeing the cast adjust particularly in style to the different time periods. Chloe Bennett really seems to blend in in stride which could speak to a completely different approach in a genre story for her in the future. All the other actors are good but her perspective has a little more weight to it. There is an interesting character reference within the episode which is played more than little overtly. The Chromocons are still messing with time but the method to the madness of the jump is a little more revealed. The motivations and what holds back the team becomes more and more specific. However the MacGuffin of the episode is unclear even after it happens though the after effect offers a foregone conclusion. The humor seems to also be played much more on the tongue in cheek side especially with Coulson giving the episode a bit of bounce with banter.

B+

By Tim Wassberg

IR Film Review: CAPTAIN MARVEL [Marvel/Disney]

Considered the pinnacle of power in some ways in the Marvel universe, Captain Marvel’s perception reached a fever pitch after the ending of “Infinity War” because of the intention that Carol Danvers is the savior that will save the wiping off on the universe that Thanos did. After watching the progression but especially in the final minutes per se, one sees how the reversal of fortune could possibly work. The only issue is that, in all fairness, it is very hard to follow up the emotional and textural wallop that was “Infinity War” which worked very much on all levels. Captain Marvel seems at times almost cartoonish comparatively. Granted it is an origin story but throughout much of the film’s first half it feels esoteric in many ways and meandering in others. While the two directors (Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck), who have made many indie films together, seem to handle the action quite well, it again feels at times too cartoonish and melding aspects of one corner of the Marvel Universe with “Guardians” and the other side with “Avengers” without really existing in most. The de-aging of Sam Jackson makes him almost the sidekick here which is interesting playing back to that mid-90s vibe allowing him for some great comic bits.

Brie Larson is trying her best and her workout regiment obviously shows that she is up for the task but the tone related (also because some of the dialogue is quite stilted) makes the staccato of the acting seem monotone in a way. It be seen very primarily in the scenes between her and Annette Bening which even in her brief elements, makes the acting look flawless and effortless. The tonality also of Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos, without giving anything away, has some balance but the focus is a bit off, which again might be directing. Little technical elements of 1990s Los Angeles also don’t fit but is a small detail in the bigger picture (i.e. the light rails as well as an underground tunnel in Union Station). Finally the aspect of Jude Law’s character although key to the story feels empty and again stilted at times compared to the effortlessness of Dumbledore in “Crimes Of Grindewald” just a few months ago. The resolution pushes the story forward of course and the texture of 90s songs both works and doesn’t because unlike the mix tape of “Guardians” it is not integral to the story as far as meaning. “Captain Marvel” bridges the gap but doesn’t necessarily do it fantastically, only adequately.

C

By Tim Wassberg