TV Shows

Loki Episodes Ranked

Loki has always been my favourite MCU villain and I doubt anyone else will take that spot for me, so of all the MCU shows to be released this is the one I’ve been waiting for. I’m a huge fan of time travel and alternative universe theories so this show was always going to tick all my boxes. So here are all 6 episodes, ranked from worst to best (although they were all great, so more like least awesome to most awesome), by yours truly! Spoilers ahead of course…

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Episode 2: The Variant – I’ll admit, for the first half of this episode I was getting slightly frustrated by all the dialogue. It was expected and accepted in the first episode, but it was starting to get a bit much. However – the scene in the store in the future? Fan-bloody-tastic. I didn’t expect to see this other Loki so early on, it really felt like some final episode level of drama!

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Episode 1: Glorious Purpose – Talk about information overload! I purposely avoided trailers and any news for the show before its release though, so that’s on me. This was such a great set-up episode though. Loved the introduction and the explanation as to what the TVA is. I’m a sucker for time travel and alternate timelines so I was drawn in immediately. It’s also so nice to see Owen Wilson again!

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Episode 3: Lamentis – I didn’t want this episode to end. This was like, Mandalorian levels of despair when the credits started to roll. I could watch Loki and Sylvie bicker for hours, and the singing on the train? Loki getting to smash a glass and shout ‘ANOTHER’ was the absolute highlight. The chatter on Twitter and Reddit also reinforced the fact that I love these weekly releases. When a whole season drops online it’s impossible to talk about it. You’ve either binged the lot and are waiting for others to catch up, or you’re desperately trying to get through the episodes to avoid spoilers.

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Episode 4: The Nexus Event – Oh, this episode really grabbed the pace of the previous one and ran with it. I’m glad in a way I fell behind and had to watch 4 and 5 back to back because that cliffhanger ending would have killed me! Just like Mobius…that death totally took me by surprise, although it wasn’t long before I realised he wasn’t really dead. I loved the bad memory time loop that Loki got trapped in, such a cool concept. Also, why am I totally on board with Loki falling in love with himself…herself? They’re both just so charming.

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Episode 6: For All Time. Always. – I had no idea what to expect from this episode, other than the fact I was pretty sure the timelines were going to be unleashed. What an emotional finale, though! How far Loki has come, and grown since the Loki we used to know. “You can’t trust, and I can’t be trusted”. That line actually broke my heart. And I feel so guilty, because for a split second I didn’t trust him either, I put my hands over my eyes because I was expecting him to stab her in the back (figuratively) and well, I just proved his point, didn’t I? I’m so excited to see what Season 2 brings, it’s so great to have Loki back!

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Episode 5: Journey Into Mystery – On any given day I could change my mind about whether Episode 5 or 6 is my favourite, but this one has to be up there with the greatest things to ever come from the MCU. Alligator Loki? I want one. A massive brawl of Loki’s fighting each other after double-crossing them? Love it. But Richard E. Grant as classic Loki conjuring Asgard itself and finally finding glorious purpose? That laugh just before he met his end? I am HERE for it. What a paradise of easter eggs, too. I spotted a couple myself, read about at least 5 more on Reddit, and I’m sure by the time the series is over there will be full lists somewhere. Oh, and was that a variant Pizza Planet van?!

Movie Reviews

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

hitmans-wifes-bodyguard-movie-review-poster-2021Director: Patrick Hughes

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Runtime: 99 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Richard E. Grant, Gary Oldman, Tom Hopper, Caroline Goodall, Blake Ritson

Plot: Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is on sabbatical after the events of the first movie, he’s taken a vacation in Capri (like the pants) and he’s given up guns. That all comes crashing down on him very quickly when Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) turns up, guns blazing, to recruit him to help free Sonia’s captured husband Darius (Samuel L. Jackson).

My Thoughts: These big movie releases are really sneaking up on me. It felt like winter and lockdown 3 were never going to end and now here we are, slap bang in the middle of summer! It’s always good to see Ryan Reynolds on the big screen though, even if the movie isn’t good I know I’m in for some fun. Which, as it turns out, is exactly how last night panned out for me. The original Hitman’s Bodyguard movie was decent, but nothing new, and this sequel is…eh. The plot sucks, let me be blunt. It’s textbook comedy/crime/action down to the letter, but the main trio make it worth it.

You’ll be bitterly disappointed if you were hoping for a clever storyline with some jaw-dropping action scenes, but if you’re up for an hour and a half of Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson kicking ass and being sarcastic a$$holes, then this is the movie for you. Ryan Reynolds gets to be his usual sarcastic self, Samuel L. Jackson gets to say his favourite ‘M’ word at least a dozen times, and Salma Hayek is surprisingly the biggest potty mouth of them all, and they have great chemistry together. I would actually be up for a third movie if it ever happened just for them.

It’s a shame that the plot sucked, but I wouldn’t trade the humour for a better storyline. The movie doesn’t try to be anything more than a fun night at the cinema with a bucket of popcorn. It follows that stereotypical kidnap, revenge, someone you thought was good turned out to be bad, heroes save the day business. All in all, worth a watch if you know what to expect!

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Best Bit: Ryan Reynolds just has no shame, does he? I laughed so hard when his character got thrown into a giant wall of Aviation gin (his own company, if you didn’t already know). I was expecting references to Wrexham Football Club and Mint Mobile to come next. Or did they happen and I just missed them?

Worst Bit: So, when The Change-Up (2011) was released, it was my favourite comedy ever for a long time and I watched it a lot. I mean, A LOT. So much so that Alan Arkin will now forever be known as Ryan Reynolds’ Dad in my mind. So you can imagine my excitement when the mystery built over who Michael Bryce’s father was! The actual reveal was even better though, Ii have to admit.

Fun Trivia: Ryan Reynolds has said of being slapped around in this movie: “In Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, I’m slapped in the face twice by Salma Hayek and once by Samuel L. Jackson. For the record, it was Salma who didn’t pull the punches. Not even once. I can still feel the sharp sting of her tiny hand working its way into my soft Hollywood cheekbones. May God have mercy on her soul.”

My Rating: 3 out of 5 guns that Michael will absolutely not touch, because he’s on sabbatical!

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Movie Reviews

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

star-wars-rise-of-skywalker-review-2019Director: J.J. Abrams

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Runtime: 141 Minutes

Main Cast: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid

Plot: The final episode in the Skywalker trilogy, following on from the events of The Last Jedi. Rey continues her Jedi training to defeat the First Order whilst Supreme Leader Kylo Ren threatens to wipe out any threat to his power.

My Thoughts: So…hey guys? It’s a loud and angry place to be, social media right now, but you can always count on me for having an unpopular opinion and loving the latest Star Wars movie. I don’t hold a grudge at all against anyone who hated Rise of Skywalker, there was never going to be an ending we all loved, but I do think it’s hilarious that there’s an uprising of Last Jedi fans now. Where were you guys 2 years ago? Anyway – this post is going to be SPOILER HEAVY, I’ll warn you now.

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I loved it. It was a wild ride from start to finish. The pacing was nuts, there’s barely any time to breathe. I’ve seen it twice now and the second time felt even faster. I guess everyone had their image of what the ending would look like, and I got mine, and some, and even though I’m completely heartbroken, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always knew deep down Kylo Ren wouldn’t live to see the credits of the final movie, but I didn’t expect to get to see Ben Solo in action. That’s credit to Adam Driver, show-stealer-extraordinaire, who never ceases to amaze me with his performances. Do I wish Ben Solo survived? God yes, but it would never have made sense. He couldn’t exactly go back with Rey and hang out with the Resistance, could he? He’d have had to live in exile.

Speaking of the Resistance, YAAAAS to my boys Finn and Poe being back together again. Them being apart was my biggest gripe of The Last Jedi. And Rey? I don’t feel like her being a Palpatine was a retcon, to be honest. If it was revealed in the second movie, we’d know for sure Palpatine never died, because otherwise what would be the point? You need surprises in each movie, I guess. I don’t know – I don’t make movies, but I wasn’t mad at that choice. It was wild to watch Rey accidentally use force lighting though!

Leia was so, so well done. It was absolutely the right choice to make do with archive footage, and it didn’t seem out of place at all. Her death hit me hard, and then Chewie’s reaction destroyed me. The moment we thought Chewie was dead was well done, too. The first screening I was in everyone gasped out loud, and the second time there was just this uncomfortable silence. I can’t tell you the reaction to the Ben Solo moment because I was crying ugly tears into my IMAX glasses.

I could go on forever, but I’ve already babbled for longer than I usually do. The bottom line is, it worked for me, I laughed and I cried and I got an ending that felt right to me. That can’t be said for most I know, but I hope you can appreciate my reasons for loving it.

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Best Bit: It’s impossible to pick one. I mean, Ben Solo, just being Ben Solo! Running through those ruins just like his Dad, taking out bad guys with a blaster. His smirk once he was given a saber by Rey and taking down his own knights. I WISH we could have seen more of that cheeky character.

But also? HUX WAS THE SPY. Hux is like, my second favourite character in this series. Him being the spy was silly but goddamn hilarious. I’m sorry to anyone in that first screening because I actually screamed.

Worst Bit: There were scenes in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi that I could happily do without, but nothing felt unnecessary here. My only real gripe is how useless Rose was in this movie. It didn’t make sense for her to have a huge role in the previous movie but have nothing to do here.

If you’ll allow me a silly complaint – who turns down Poe Dameron? TWICE?!

Fun Trivia: During the massive crowd celebration scene, C-3PO says that this event happens once every 42 years. This was the time between the first Star Wars movie to be released in 1977, and this film, the last of the sequel trilogy, released 42 years later.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 porgs who also needed more screentime this time around.

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Movie Reviews

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

can-you-ever-forgive-me-movie-poster-2018Director: Marielle Heller

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Crime

Runtime: 106 Minutes

Main Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Ben Falcone, Jane Curtin, Christian Navarro, Brandon Scott Jones

Plot: Lee Israel is a Biography author struggling financially. She’s rude at best and has burned every bridge her agent has ever built for her. At her lowest point, she forges letters penned by famous people and sells them in order to pay her rent and look after her sick cat.

My Thoughts: You know those movies that just sneak up on you from nowhere and steal your heart? That’s what Can You Ever Forgive Me did for me this week. I’d never even heard of it until the Oscar nominations came in and both Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant cropped up for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. I’ve seen many of McCarthy’s comedies and find them to be very hit and miss, so I was really interested to see her in a more serious role.

Lee Israel is the perfect character for her to play. She’s mean, she’s rude, but she has a cracking sense of humour and that’s where McCarthy shines. Her chemistry with Richard E. Grant is just wonderful to watch, they honestly seem like they’ve been friends for years. The story itself is kind of predictable (it’s based on a real-life story as well, of course) but you don’t go into this movie to be surprised.

So colour me surprised and happy. Whilst I would LOVE both of these actors to take home their respective rewards later this month I’m not sure they’re in the runnings, but I urge you to give this one a watch if you haven’t already.

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Best Bit: The banter between Lee and Jack is a highlight for sure, but their last meeting is the best by far. Just as I’d finished wiping my tears away one of them came out with a quip so sharp I ended up laughing out loud!

Worst Bit: When Lee came home after Jack was house sitting for her. I won’t go into specifics for spoiler reasons but I can’t deal with things like what happened there. It makes me all sad.

Fun Trivia: At the premiere of the film, Richard E. Grant happened to meet Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy) and asked her what she would have done had Lee Israel been standing in her court. Judy said that she would have given her a light fine because she did not kill anybody and, besides, the people dealing in celebrity memorabilia are possibly a little dodgy themselves.

My Rating: 4 and a half typewriters which may or may not have been used for illegal activity.

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