A lot of What If...? comic stories are total downers. A bunch of real bummer buzzkills, bro! But why can't everything just be chill for once? Sometimes it's just nice to have an alternate reality that doesn't harsh my vibe. I'm running out of incredibly dated slang, but the gist is that "What If Thor Was an Only Child?" is essentially a frat bro comedy about Earth's biggest party ever, and the party poopers who are ready to nuke the site from orbit.
What If…? – Season 1, Episode 6
You would kind of think that "What If Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?" would be one of the first episodes of the series, since the first full trailer for the show opened with that moment. But nope! The episode that effectively nullifies the entire MCU comes two-thirds of the way through the first season. Not that I'm complaining, as the first 5 episodes have some really solid entries. But I just really wanted to see more Killmonger, you know?
What If…? – Season 1, Episode 3
In the comics, What If? stories don't typically have happy endings. Sure, there are exceptions like "What If the Thing Had Continued to Mutate?" (What If? #37, 1983) where Ben Grimm ends the story back in his human body and his girlfriend regained her ability to see. But in that same issue, "What If the Beast Had Truly Become a Beast?" sees Hank McCoy get dropped off in the Savage Land--a jungle filled with dinosaurs--because he had lost all of his intelligence and humanity. The first two episodes of What If...? definitely had their sad moments, but things generally worked out better than in the MCU. Peggy Carter had the training to better foil Hydra, and T'Challa had the charisma to change the universe. But then we have this episode, "What If the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?" which is a murder mystery. The victims? Just about every Avenger. Better grab a flashlight, 'cause it's about to get real dark!
What If…? – Season 1, Episode 2
Death is an inevitable part of life. We all ultimately die, and once you're dead there will be a collection of "the lasts" left behind: the last conversation you had with someone; the last meal you had; and for actors, the last project they worked on. In honor of the life of Mr. Stan Lee, comic writer and creator of too many characters to name here, Captain Marvel opened not with the normal Marvel logo, but a memorial montage of him. And then there's Chadwick Boseman, star of Black Panther who died one year ago of cancer. While Ma Rainey's Black Bottom might technically be the last project he worked on, What If...? is the last media he was in to be released, and this is the MCU's chance to memorialize him and the amazing work he did. Bit of a downer intro, huh? Well all that hangs over "What If T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?" making it a space heist comedy with a background aura of sadness.
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)
Previously, I watched Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a made-for-TV Star Wars spin off for kids that was... fine. It was fine. I've definitely seen worse kids movies and worse Star Wars films. But then there's its sequel, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. While the first film is a story of togetherness--children teaming up with teddy bears to save their parents--the second film is darker, but also no longer fine. Kinda bad, in fact.
Some days the best laid plans fall through, and for that I'm glad we have short films. I'm not saying that every time I review a film under an hour long it's because I'm scrambling at the last minute to find something to post the next day... but I'm also not not saying that will be the case. Anyway, I at least took the time to look up some horror short films, and Zygote came highly recommended. Was it worth 22 minutes of my time? Absolutely!
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)
It wasn't my intention to avoid the main Star Wars movies; it's just that covering all nine is an event all to itself. And then the question becomes in what order do I watch them? Chronologically (1-9)? By release (4-6, 1-3, 7-9)? Flashback mode (4&5, 1-3, 6-9)? And what about Rogue One and Solo? But that's a problem for future Chwineka, and fuck that guy. Today we're talking about Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a made-for-TV kids film featuring everyone's favorite Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi characters, the ewoks. What, you didn't love the ewoks? Well too bad.
What Happened to Monday (2017)
Once upon a time, my husband's favorite movie was Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a video game-themed comedy based on a comic (graphic novel, technically). That makes sense if you know him and I like that movie, too. Then he watched What Happened to Monday, and this dystopian sci-fi thriller became his new favorite. The only thing the two movies have in common is a focus on the number 7. After finally sitting down and watching it, did I also like this film? Well... not really. Sorry, babe.
Black Widow (2021)
I've been going back and forth on whether to just go full spoilers when talking about Black Widow, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie in two years. When I covered all the other movies earlier this year as part of MCU March, the assumption was that people had already seen those films so I gave a summary as a refresher then talked about all the plot points I wanted to talk about. But Black Widow comes out at a weird time, where on one hand people are cheering that COVID is finally over, while on the other the Delta variant is becoming more widespread. Not a lot of people are willing to spend two hours in an enclosed space with strangers and Disney+ is charging $30 to be able to watch the film in your house. In the end I went with very light spoilers because I'm betting a lot of people are waiting to see this, which is a shame since it was good.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
I would like to start this post with a bit of a public service announcement: The Matrix Revolutions is the third film in The Matrix trilogy. I know this may be pretty obvious to some, but I hadn't watched these films in nearly two decades, and since Revolutions and The Matrix Reloaded both came out in 2003--albeit 6 months apart--I was confused as to which one came first. So if you're finding this post and haven't read the one on Reloaded, there's nothing I can do to force you to go back, but I do build off stuff I talked about in that review. We good? Welcome back to Pride Month, which I am celebrating once again by talking about a movie that followed a very queer coded film, but is predominantly straight. Oops.