Entertainment

Now Playing: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

It’s so mad, you will absolutely sh*t your pants

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now in theaters. If you’re curious to know what to expect before you grab a popcorn and enjoy the film, here are some thoughts from two of our members who saw the movie early.

Rodneil: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is so appropriately titled because the movie is pretty strange for a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) entry and it gets pretty downright mad in some parts.

Before diving in, there are a few other movies and shows that are must-watch prior to watching the film. Obviously, there’s the first Doctor Strange movie, then there’s Spider-Man: No Way Home just to keep you updated and give some context about the multiverse. Wanda Maximoff AKA the Scarlet Witch plays a big part in this movie so the Disney Plus series WandaVision is a must-watch. Then, there’s also the What If animated anthology series for examples of what events in other universes can look like.

It’s a lot. But if you’re a fan of the MCU at all, it’s safe to say you’ve been able to follow along with the movies nicely. The last two shows can be tricky though, since they are only available on the Disney Plus streaming platform. And that’s not available everywhere just yet. You can try using ExpressVPN to gain access to the shows. But we know our readers are quite resourceful and we’re sure they’ll find a way.

Now that all of that has been established, the next key information you need to know is that this movie is directed by Sam Raimi. He is most famous for helming the Tobey Maguire starred Spider-Man films of the 2000s. But his film roots saw him direct a bunch of horror movies in his earlier directing years.

His horror background comes out in full effect in one of the most tense sequences in the film. Naturally, we won’t spoil it, but it’s so perfectly executed that you might even wonder if you’re actually watching an MCU film. It’s easily one of the highlights of the film that even mentioning it here won’t lessen its value at all.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, what exactly is the movie about? It follows Doctor Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. We’re immediately introduced to another key character of the movie — America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). She’s the key cog in this movie since her powers allow her to travel through multiverses. And the film’s main villain wants that power.

The rest of the movie is just Strange and Chavez trying to prevent her powers from being stolen. As seen on the trailers, the Illuminati does make an appearance here. In the comics, the Illuminati is a council of top-tier heroes who make “difficult decisions” in certain situations. They famously sent the Hulk to space which kicked off the Planet Hulk storyline. In the MCU, they make their first appearance as multiverse variants. And what can I say, you will absolutely sh*t your pants in the uncanny and fantastic members-reveal of this version of the Illuminati. I’ll leave it at that.

Other than the horror aspect, this might be the MCU’s bloodiest film to date. Some scenes are straight up stuff you don’t normally see in the MCU. Parents trooping to the cinemas with their children, be ready to cover your children’s eyes.

Overall, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is an enjoyable flick. The MCU actually tries a few different things here, thanks in large part to director Sam Raimi. Here you’ll find a good mix of the usual MCU formula mixed with unexpected styles that work quite well with the story. I also think it steers clear from the usual MCU pitfalls of a forgettable villain and a third act that’s just a big CGI battle. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of CGI here but it enhances, rather than distracts from the heart of the story.

P.S. Elizabeth Olsen who plays the Scarlet Witch is superb in this movie.

MJ: I’m no fan of Marvel films, but I’ve been deeply immersed in the storyline — thanks to friends who try their best to invite me during screenings.

I got a ‘pretty’ privilege, being able to watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as early as May 3rd, which was the first-ever screening in the Philippines and across the globe.

It coincided with the reopening of the IMAX Theater, giving me the opportunity to watch the esteemed film in 3D. Moreover, it was the first time I went out of my home to watch a movie in theaters since the pandemic struck. Strangely, it was an eventful experience.

Hearing the chants, screams, and uproar out of excitement inside the cinemas brought back memories of Avengers: Endgame — what was considered the closest thing we’ve got to world peace.

The enthusiasm of every moviegoer with me during the special screening carried over the expected hype for Doctor Strange. What we’ve seen from the breathtaking trailer is entirely different from what you’ll see when you watch the film.

It was a mixture of action, adventure, thriller, and a bit of a drama. There was a rollercoaster of emotions — heart racing from excitement, shrill screams, and gut-wrenching punches caused by earnest lines from Doctor Strange, America Chavez, Wanda Maximoff, and even Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams).

It got me pondering about my decisions, mostly themes relating to the film’s plot about different universes. In short, multiverses. Did I make the right decision? Am I really happy right now? Did the other me on Earth-838 end up with the person I considered as the one that got away?

Emotions aside, the film was rich in funny banters that balanced the intense and raw scenes that exhibited Elizabeth Olsen’s prowess in acting. Whoever cast her did a great job because we have a Scarlet Witch to adore.

Despite not being able to thoroughly follow What If and WandaVision, my date during the advanced screening gave me a YouTube recap highlighting the most important moments that might be helpful in keeping up with the film. Indeed, I was able to catch on to the characters introduced since my memory was refreshed and I gained important information about the story preceding the plot.

What could possibly shock you is how closer Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is to a horror film than your familiar Marvel flick. Regardless, it’s a fun movie to watch with or without someone else. The visuals are breathtaking, and the story will surely keep you on your toes throughout the duration of the movie.

If I wasn’t invited for a special screening, I would still go out of my way to watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, even if I wasn’t a fan. But after watching, I think I’m starting to consider myself one.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

Entertainment

Sony confirms ‘Horizon’ and ‘God of War’ shows are coming

And a Gran Turismo show

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After years of terrible video game adaptations, the entertainment industry just can’t get enough of them in the past year or so. Shows and films based on popular video game titles are setting the world on fire. If Sony’s latest investor’s meeting is anything to go by, it looks like we’re not done with the genre. Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War are reportedly getting TV series soon.

Sony had a lot to say during its latest meeting. However, amid all the announcements, the general implication was simple enough to understand. The company wants to expand and grow its branches outside of console gaming. That plan includes adapting more of its exclusive properties into television.

Reported by analyst David Gibson on Twitter (via IGN), Sony has officially confirmed development for a Horizon series on Netflix, a God of War series on Amazon, and a currently untethered Gran Turismo series.

Unfortunately, the presentation did not reveal any other details for the upcoming shows. Plot and casting details are still an unknown.

All three titles, especially Horizon and God of War, are part of Sony’s prized possessions. An adaptation for any of these titles is huge. However, it’s always a hit. Most recently, Sony allowed an Uncharted film to show in theaters, and the response was… mixed. While the sheer number of video game adaptations are impressive, their quality is definitely all over the place for now.

SEE ALSO: Sony might stop releasing PlayStation 4 games by 2025

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Entertainment

Stranger Things 4: 4 Big Things To Expect

Every Ending Has Its New Beginning, Indeed

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Writing this specific article makes me remember my early days in GadgetMatch where I wrote two special articles about Stranger Things 3 — especially because I’m the biggest fan in the team (been a fan since Season 1).

After almost three years of (patiently) waiting, we’ll finally be able to watch Stranger Things 4 on our screens again!

Special Screening in Cinema 11

Seven days before the actual release of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1, Netflix Philippines invited us for a special screening of its first episode — right at Power Planet Mall’s last cinema booth, Cinema 11 (y’know, Eleven 🥁).

Wear anything “retro”, they say

The littlest set details outside the cinema made me cherish the good ol’ days of the First Season of Stranger Things from 2016. From those bright neon lights, a retro-styled photobooth, and ST4-branded popcorn box, soda cup. Even the “swag set” full of ST4 goodies that imitated the look of the spooky creel house, This also reminded me of how the series (as well as the fanbase) expanded entirely until it became a hit globally.

A single photobooth access plus a single swag set for that single Stranger Things fan, please

Although I went there all by myself, I still enjoyed every bit of the screening. To best describe everything, here’s my Instagram Reel roundup of it:

4 big things to expect

After watching the first episode of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 for about an hour and fifteen minutes, there are four things I think we should expect in the series.

1. Out with the old, in with the new?

After the devastating phenomenon that happened in Hawkins last season, several characters have moved into a new town. The Byers, together with El(even) in mind. That also means Will and El have to deal with a new set of people in a seemingly unfamiliar environment.

Other characters have remained in the OG town, though. From the Wheelers, SinclairsDustin, Joe, Robin, and even Max, they have continued with their lives despite being stuck in the same ol’ town. And oh, as the gang turned from kids to teens, do expect some dramatic changes in the way they act — especially after what happened.

P.S: There’s a new school club, too, that’s hilariously fun and cool despite its degrading image to the eyes of many.

2. Familiar and unfamiliar faces

Other than the remaining original cast from Season 1, a new season also means expecting new characters on the block. Apart from new schoolmates, there are also people that might help the initial set of kiddos who have saved Will from the darker underworld a.k.a the Upside Down.

The first few minutes of the episode was also revealed through Stranger Things’ YouTube channel showing how the Hawkins Laboratory had more than 11 Eleven-like superchildren that are being tested and experimented — until everything fell apart because of one superchild that ruined how things work inside the lab.

3. Jim isn’t dead

Jim Hopper’s sudden disappearance after the closing of the Upside Down had a lot of fans shaking their heads. Most (including myself) have speculated that he already died. Well, we can’t afford losing one more main character after the death of Bob from Season 2. Plus, Billy and Alexei just last season.

Fortunately, Jim, in his new haircut, appeared on the official trailer of Stranger Things 4. And just as shown in the first episode of the first volume, his presence can be felt — just from another side of the planet.

4. Another monster to kill

The Demogorgon and Mind Flayer are two of the most wicked supervillains ever existed. Whether that may be in the history of Hawkins or just in the eyes of people.

But the two evil creatures aren’t the end of the gang’s fate. A new town means there’s a new monster, too.

As shown at the end of the official trailer, the new horrendous creature is in human form. It can manipulate the mind of the affected individual — even the dimension where s/he’s at. While I won’t be specific about what happened, it sure is a powerful, demonic creature. It can truly make someone disturbingly psychotic and literally broken inside and out.

Biggest season ever with super-sized episodes

After watching the first episode of the first volume, I can say it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. First it was thrilling, then it became a full-on comedy show. Next thing you know, you’re already mindf*cked with what’s happening. I always say this but still, hands-down to the team behind Stranger Things for making the fourth season more exciting to watch (despite being borderline creepy and horrifying).

Image by GadgetMatch

The First Volume of Stranger Things Season 4 will be released only on Netflix on May 27, 2022 (Friday) with seven episodes. Most episodes are reported to be as long as a full-length film.

On the other hand, Volume 2 with a whopping total of nine episodes will be released after two months: exactly July 1st — just four days before the independence of the United States of America.

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Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

People are switching

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The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.

According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.

Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.

Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.

In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

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