Tag Archives: chiwetel ejiofor

Xochitl Gomez Joins Doctor Strange 2 in an Unknown Role

Xochitl Gomez

Deadline is reporting that Xochitl Gomez is joining the cast of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Benedict Cumberbatch returns in the title role with Sam Raimi taking over as director. Marvel Studios has not commented on the casting.

It is expected that Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor will also return to their roles for the sequel. New to the film will be Elizabeth Olsen who will reprise her role as Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff. That character will get the spotlight in the upcoming television series WandaVision which will tie into the Doctor Strange sequel.

Due to Gomez’s ethnicity, age, and the fact that the film has to do with the multiverse, speculation is Gomez will play America Chavez. Speculation is fueled further by Chavez being a member of the Young Avengers, a team that Scarlet Witch’s kids are a part of as well. Those characters are expected to debut on WandaVision. Chavez is an extra-dimensional character who can hop through dimensions, has super strength, and flight as part of her powers.

Xochitl Gomez most recently starred as Dawn Schafer in The Baby-Sitters Club television series. She’s appeared in numerous shorts and on television shows with 19 credits so far.

Movie Review: The Old Guard

The Old Guard

The Old Guard‘s concept is pretty simple. A group of immortals walks the Earth as a pack of mercenaries and an evil corporation wants to find out what makes them tick and develop a new drug from their gift. A new immortal is discovered and dragged into their shadowy world. Based on the comic series by Greg RuckaLeandro FernándezDaniela Miwa, and Jodi Wynne, and published by Image Comics. The film stars Charlize TheronKiKi Layne, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and is written by Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythwood.

There’s a lot of fantastic elements to The Old Guard. Most of those concepts get a little bit of depth but all feel like there could be so much more done with all of the elements. But, even with that, the film is beyond enjoyable with some fantastic action sequences (not enough of them really) and some solid character connections.

Lets go through bits of the film to discuss what does and doesn’t work:


The relationships – This is one of the best aspects of the film. The team is hundreds of years old and that’s a key aspect of so many members of the team. They have either formed bonds with each other or long for the loss of their friends and family of the past. Two team members are in a rather mature/different type of relationship having bonded over centuries. Team members have died (yes immortals can die) and then there’s the loss of family. It’s all on the table and the actors deliver the pain and love you’d expect in each situation.

The goal of the “evil” corporation – The evil corporation wants to use whatever genetic gift that keeps these individuals alive for medical purposes. Though they go about it in an evil way, and probably would do evil corporate things, the overall goal isn’t too out there. There’s something to debate about possibly being able to save the world but not doing so. There’s also moral debates about testing on these individuals since they can survive the testing in theory.

Choices weigh down on characters – The body count rises throughout the film and the idea of the blood on the hands of the immortals is a feature. There’s the concept of fighting their way through life. There’s the idea of living with family for as long as they can before their immortality is realized. It’s an interesting balance and discussion of choice of actions. The concept of killing one is difficult enough but also think about that body count rising over decades? Try to figure out what you’d do knowing you’ll see your friends and family die? Do you spend it with them? Or, do you run?

The theme of the film – The film ends in an interesting way. It’s not a spoiler to say the film is about leaving a footprint. Early in the film, there are moments that touch upon these individuals attempting to stay anonymous but the bigger question thing isn’t their anonymity but instead their impact for the better. That plays deeply into why the evil corporation wants them


There’s absolutely issues to the film. It foreshadows things a bit too much. You can predict what’s coming down the road with a bit too much easy. It doesn’t diminish the story at all and there’s reasons the foreshadowing happens, to explain the world and rules, but still, it feels a bit forced and a bit too obvious.

The Old Guard is an entertaining film that doesn’t use its twist in too many ways to make the concept not seem interesting. It also adds just enough reasons as to why it doesn’t. It’s the rare action film that has some moral questions underneath and themes to it that makes it a bit more than the fantastic action sequences. It would absolutely work better as an extended television series but from everything teased it looks like we’ll be getting more of the film series down the road. Here’s hoping as it’s an enjoyable two hours to kick back and relax to.

Overall Rating: 8.0

The Old Guard Gets a Second Trailer

The Old Guard has a new trailer. The Netflix film is an adaptation of the series by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernández, Daniela Miwa, and Jodi Wynne, and published by Image Comics. The film stars Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and is written by Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythwood.

Netflix Reveals a Look at Charlize Theron in Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández’s The Old Guard

Netflix has released our first look at Charlize Theron who leads a group of mercenaries in The Old Guard. The film is based on the comic series from Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández and published by Image Comics. It comes to Netflix on July 10. The film is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and also features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, and Kiki Layne.

The Old Guard is the story of soldiers who never die and are trapped in an immortality without explanation.

The comic series debuted in February 2017 with the first volume running for five issues. It was followed up with a second volume that debuted in December 2019, running five issues as well, and is set to wrap up July 15.

You can read the first issue for free.

Movie Review: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil poster

Maleficent in 2014 made a killing at the box office. It was a critical success, and (along with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland) set off Disney’s current craze of remaking all of their IP as live action blockbusters. So the sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was a sure bet, right? Yes and no.

Angelina Jolie returns as the eponymous and misunderstood queen of the fey. Elle Fanning is back as her adopted daughter, the Princess Aurora. Prince Phillip has proposed to her, so now it’s time to meet the parents! Michelle Pfieffer sinks her teeth into the juicy role of Queen Ingrith, who bears a giant grudge against the magical moor lands and all magic users. This great feud breaks out between her and Maleficent. It’s like if Joan Crawford and Bette Davis’s squabbles were also all a pretense for war. There are certain elements in this film that seem to condemn the military-industrial complex. . . or at least its equivalent in a pre-industrial medieval setting.

Maleficent also discovers her heritage as she discovers a near-extinct species of dark fey that once lived all throughout the land but who have hunted by humans and driven into hiding. Their tribes are divided between wanting to pursue war or peace with the humans, with the peace faction being led by Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the war faction led by Borra (Ed Skrein).

The giant action sequences and production design of this film are phenomenal. The only problem is that it’s the personal interactions between Pfieffer and Jolie that are the best parts here. The giant action scenes where they are literally fighting one another are altogether less interesting.

While visually stunning, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is missing some of its edge. I loved the first Maleficent. It’s an amazing film that dared to turn the essence of a classic Disney tale on its head. It features a strong feminist message about not pitting women against each other. This sequel feels like nothing but pitting powerful women against each other.

Still, the aesthetics of the film are amazing. Maleficent’s costumes and makeup/CG-enhancements make her absolutely stunning to look at. Maybe it’s the wings, maybe it’s those cheekbones, maybe it’s the CG-coloring that makes the green magic swirl in her eyes, but it’s gorgeous.

While maybe not as good as the first, like most modern sequels this film does it bigger and brashier. That’s not necessarily a good thing. If you’re a fan it’s a good enough reason to go ahead and make sure you see this on the big screen.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Movie Review: Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange PosterLike a good magician Doctor Strange focuses on the spectacle rather than the substance giving us a visual feast that lacks much depth. follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Based on the classic Marvel character, Doctor Strange was created by Steve Ditko in 1963 first appearing in Strange Tales #110. Known for its trippy visuals, the movie is a basic adaptation of the character focused on special FX as opposed to the story itself.

After having watched the film, it struck me that the movie and character is very much a mystical Iron Man sharing a lot with that character’s first movie and its main character Tony Stark. Both characters are narcissistic womanizers who live fast and play hard, each with their own god complex and only accepting perfection. Each character is injured and seek help to heal themselves eventually getting a suit of armor to help them survive and fight their battles. In Iron Man’s case it’s a literal suit of armor and with Strange it’s an armor of spells… and a cloak. So, Iron Man, but with Christopher Nolan’s aesthetic from Inception.

Directed by Scott Derrickson the film bends reality literally as buildings shift and characters jump around space as if it’s a game of Portal on acid. All of that is impressive and the strongest part of the movie. It distracts you from a main character that doesn’t grow a whole lot and generally unlikeable as a person and a supporting cast that doesn’t have a ton to do.

The content of the film remains pretty faithful for the character hitting the right moments and keeping the basics. Magic is given a bit more of a scientific explanation, and characters and locations are changed a bit as well (which is a whole other issue).

Benedict Cumberbatch does a fine job in the lead role. Lets face it a lot of the film is him being a dick and the rest is his waving his hands and arms in the air casting spells. But, we see a little growth for the character, but there’s still issues that make him generally unlikeable. An example is his inability to take responsibility for the results of his actions. He’s right and do what he wants, then maybe apologize later. It’s a similar role Tony Stark plays, but Stark has a deeper back story and has absolutely grown through his films (and that is a difference, one film from a half dozen).

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, and a wasted Benjamin Bratt are all in supporting roles and generally their talent isn’t used enough. Ejofor is used the best and his Baron Mordo will be a character that should be very entertaining in films to come. Swinton’s role is the mystical guru and her line readings are like a child telling you there is no spoon. McAdams plays flustered or confused for most of the film while Benedict Wong stands out among the bunch. Mikkelsen’s villain is rather boring and he’s a step up and change from the usual evil businessmen that populate previous Marvel Cinematic films. There’s line readings, but the acting isn’t there. I rarely felt realy emotion.

The story itself we could debate if there’s a bigger meaning involing religious extermists, but maybe that’s a discussion for another time.

The movie is amazing visually as the world shifts and turns and 3D is a must. This is the first film I think I’ve seen where the 3D is an absolute and you should skip the 2D. And it’s the visuals you’re going for. They are the draw of a film that feels like it suffers from Marvel’s usual first movie blues. It’s entertaining, but we’ve seen so much better.

Overall Rating: 7.65

Doctor Strange Begins Production With the Full Cast Announced

With some set photos leaked over the past week, Marvel has announced that Doctor Strange has officially begun production. Along with that bit information, they’ve also announced the cast.

The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and  Michael Stuhlbarg with Mads Mikkelsen and Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton. The film is being directed by Scott Derrickson.

Doctor Strange follows the story of neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions.

As part of “Phase 3,” the film opens U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016.

doctor strange movie