Spiderman: Homecoming

Spiderman

This is another superhero movie I was not looking forward to seeing. I saw all the Toby McGuire ones and then both Andrew Garfield ones (which I liked) so having to get into a new Spiderman again was not something I was pumped up to do.

What a surprise when the movie was an absolute delight. I was giggling most of the way through. Jacob Batalon steals the show as Peter’s best friend Ned, and the entire movie read so well with Peter as a high school kid and not a grown man pining over a girl. I also liked the “admiring from afar” kind of romance story instead of the typical OMG PETER PARKER AND MARY JANE. And I was on the Academic Decathlon team in high school! I remember practicing and being an alternate and then on the team – what a neat inclusion for the plot.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about this movie, and with the addition of Michael Keaton as Vulture the cast was just about perfect. The origin of Vulture’s motivation and methods is super clear and I love his sense of fairness and duty. This was a villain that you can feel sympathy for, a la Mr. Freeze. The story was also pretty airtight, I didn’t have a lot of complaints about plot holes, and the ending(s) feel real, appropriate, and not convenient (you guys know how I hate things that just “come together”).

The next Spiderman comes out after the Infinity War movies, so it’s going to be a while, but I look forward to seeing the next villain and the development of his relationship with MJ (Zendaya was very enjoyable in this role). Since it’s part of this long-term Marvel Universe, you should go check out this new Spiderman. I don’t think we’ll be changing again any time soon.

 

 

Doctor Strange

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Oh man do I love me some Bandybars Candycorn. From Star Trek to Sherlock I will go watch just about everything he is in. He’s multifaceted, he’s brilliant, and watching him act is watching a work of art come to life right in front of you. I wish we could have seen him live while we were in London, but his Hamlet had already left the theaters.

I also enjoy the Marvel movies. Wait…let me qualify: I like the initial Marvel movies, the first ones of each series. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Avengers – all the non sequels are excellent. I was nervous about this movie though, because Doctor Strange is a little off the beaten path for most fans, but he’s necessary to the Infinity Gauntlet storyline leading up to the Infinity War movies so, here we go.

gauntlet

Once you get past Butterball Clickerflick being a rich egomaniac who drives distracted and basically ruins his career, we see him get to become a real boy with empathy under the tutelage of Tilda Swinton, who is actually pretty hilarious for being a terrifying white lady. He learns to use magic through two finger brass knuckles and uses his amazing intelligence to read all the things and almost mess up some stuff by sniffing too far into things that have created the nemesis they are fighting.

read-all-the-things
Shout out to Hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com

It’s basically a movie about a magical Iron Man: the intelligence and cockiness without the high tech inventor skills, but also finding a way to hold onto his attitude while using it for good instead of assholery. Even the cape offers some levity, I think I laughed harder at the cape than anything else in the movie.

The ending is good, and there are two credits scenes, one at the beginning and one at the end. It was an enjoyable movie, but I left at the end feeling the weariness that comes from seeing the same formula, the same story, the same shit over and over.  How many Spidermen are we going to have to sit through before they get it right? Do we really need more Thor movies? What happens when this is all over? What will be the next money grab, the next multiverse of movies and sequels? J.K. Rowling is already trying to get that cash with this new Fantastic Beasts thing (5 more of them? FIVE?) and I’m just not about that life.

Despite all that it was a fun movie, and I was glad I went to see it. This Thanksgiving season when you need to get out of the house, let Benedict Cumberbatch entertain you for a couple of hours. We have tough times ahead, take your joy where you can find it.

Captain America: Civil War

Marvel truly has the superhero market cornered. From the Avengers, to Deadpool, to the tv series Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and the upcoming Punisher series enjoyment can be found at every turn. So when the next release date approached, I was very excited to experience the next thrill ride that Stan Lee had prepared for me.

I have to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed, which is understandable because this is one of those pesky “leading up to the next one” movies. Exciting, but not too exciting because we have things to introduce you to that you need to remember for later. This includes T’Challa/Black Panther. *praise hands*

T'Challa
YES GAWD I WILL REMEMBER

I honestly didn’t realize that Tony Stark had so many parent issues. The number of decisions he makes on pure reaction instead of calculation in this movie gave me whiplash. And no one ever took enough time to explain to anyone why Bucky Barnes’ situation was less than clear. It seemed like it would be pretty easy to provide evidence about the brainwashing (no real spoiler there…this story isn’t super spoiler filled).

Perhaps the most welcome and fun surprise was the sunshine brought in by the casting for Spiderman. The voice, the persona, the fact that we don’t need his origin story AGAIN (ugh), and the fact that Aunt May is like an aunt as opposed to a grandmother, all makes this fresh and new without getting bogged down in the mud. His innocence also makes him a target for manipulation by Stark, which I think he will learn and grow from in the future.

Also bringing in comedic relief was Paul Rudd, who just rocks the Ant Man character. When you go, bring orange slices. You’re going to need them. 🙂

All in all, this was another enjoyable Marvel romp, however it was slightly disconnected due to the Iron Man emotional issue catastrophe decisions, so by the end you don’t really feel any kind of resolution. That’s okay though, because this movie isn’t about resolution, it’s about leading us to the impending Infinity War. My body is ready.