A New Marvel Legend Arrives

Great news for comic book fans, because the brilliant Oscar Isaac cannot tell the difference between his waking life, and dweeeams! That’s right, Moon Knight has finally started every Wednesday, and it’s great fun. With perhaps the most engaging opening episodes of any Marvel Disney+ show (and an uncannily good North London accent from Isaac), this a series that keeps you guessing by following an unreliable narrator as he tries to work out what the hell is going on in his life, and why he keeps missing days in his memory.

The unreliable narrator is often a staple of great fiction, and it’s a welcome addition to the MCU’s variable narrative complexity. What better way to establish a sense of mystery than have us question the eyes through which we are following the story? That is one of the greatest aspects of the unreliable narrator, but also can be its downfall. The sense of mystery can’t overwhelm the narrative, otherwise it will frustrate it; if we must constantly doubt what we see, how can we trust in a resolution that will feel satisfying, particularly if Marvel plans to use the character beyond the series? I hope Moon Knight manages to maintain its sense of intrigue without sacrificing its integrity. At least with the extensive creative talent involved (Ethan Hawke, Oscar Isaac, Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead and Mohamed Diab to name but a mere few), bold brilliance is likely. Fingies crossed. 

In Defence of Morbius

A little superhero heavy this week, I know, but the last few weeks haven’t been the most exciting in the cinema. That said, I am going to (kind of) defend Morbius (Daniel Espinosa), which has been receiving quite the critical and financial kicking in the ribs.

In my opinion, this is unfair. Not the financial part, because the movie is shocking, and I absolutely would not recommend you spend any of your hard-earned money on seeing it in the cinema, nor would I want to encourage Sony to make more crappy films like Morbius. I would, however, recommend you watch the film when it arrives on Netflix, as it should in the not-too-distant future thanks to the studio’s distribution deal with the streamer. My recommendation here stems precisely from how shocking the film is: it is one of the most utterly bizarre, weird, and perversely entertaining films I’ve seen in a while. I had a great time watching it, because of how utterly baffled I spent so much of its viewing time. What the hell is Jared Leto doing now, I would ask myself? Why does he flit between melancholic Edward Cullen to smug jokester in the space of a scene for no reason? Why do we keep being introduced to new and increasingly random powers he seems to already know about despite them suddenly developing offscreen? Why is he not even hiding his weird bat experiments that can be seen throughout the hospital (I wonder if part of the delay in release was because of the link to rumours of COVID bat experiments—takes Leto’s method acting to a whole new level of disturbing)? 

It’s a bit baffling to me that Leto continues to be cast so prominently in films. I don’t think I know many who would consider themselves a fan. When I told some friends I was going to see the movie, almost all of them (except my plus one, who enjoyed the film so much that he paid to see it again) told me that they didn’t want to see a movie with that guy in a leading role. Sure, that’s a small sample study, but it seems that he’s not very bankable to my generation at least, and with the 15A rating, the film is aimed at us and our younger siblings.

After the huge success of the latest Spider-Man film, it’s clear that Sony wants to explore their previously disconnected Marvel properties’ potential link with Tom Holland’s spandex, but perhaps it’s better that they don’t. You can still have a giggle though, if you can get past the depressingly amount of money spent on another movie that’s pants. Case closed. 

What’s Onscreen

Derry Girls is back with a triumphant return on Channel 4 on Tuesday evenings, and is free to watch, along with the previous series, on their streaming service. This is the last season of the show, which manages to be both heartfelt and hilarious. Tears are inevitable. 

After the bonkers, but incredible (unlike Morbius) The Lighthouse, Robert Eggers is back with his new movie, The Northman, out on April 15, which is a loose adaptation of Hamlet but with Vikings, and filmed in Northern Ireland during Coronavirus. Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, Olwen Fouéré, and Björk star. Need I say more?

After its Irish premiere at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven) will also be on general release on April 15. For fans of erotic thrillers who were left low and dry by what was promised by Deep Water (Adrian Lyne), this won’t leave you disappointed. As if Witchfinder General (Michael Reeves), Black Narcissus (Powell and Pressburger), and Suspiria (Dario Argento) went on a really hot date that you get to sit on. There is still plenty that is difficult to watch in Benedetta, but Verhoeven manages to keep the dramatic unpleasantness some of those other films are known for relatively disconnected from the erotic thrill of this one.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Tom Gormican) is released in Irish cinemas on April 22, and sees actor Nicolas Cage play actor Nicolas Cage getting mixed up in a lot of random shit that seems very Nicolas Cage. In conclusion, it looks fantastic.