Movie Review – Spider-man: Homecoming

Spider-man: Homecoming

Spider-man Homecoming

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, and more.

Directed by: Jon Watts Screenplay by: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers Based on the Comic Book by: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Cinematography by: Salvatore Totino Music by: Michael Giacchino

Premise: After getting a new suit and helping out during the Civil War, Peter is dying to help again. Unfortunately, he’s not getting any callbacks. But he makes do by going out every night and helping people where he can. But after tangling with a group of robbers using alien technology, he’s told to stay out of it. But Peter can’t let it go. (Rated  PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Tom Holland does a nice job as Peter Parker. Michael Keaton did a fresh and cold spin on Adrian Toomes to great effect.  (His talk on the way to the prom and his picking up on things was almost creepy!) Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau brought some lovely additional dimensions to the story. Nice work by all parties.

Additional kudos to Jacob Batalon. He was adorable as Peter’s friend. He brought a lot to the film as well.

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: The special effects department was kept very busy in the movie. They came up with some neat human and alien technology hybrids – vulture’s gear is a prime example. Toomes looked creepy in the mask and glowing green eyes. Brrr.

Tony’s Spider-man suit was fab! More gadgets and gizmos than James Bond. Wait till you see all the awesome ways Tony has given him to use his web thrower. The suit is just too cool!

The cutter machine at the bank, the shock puncher, and the phase gadgets were excellent. If Toomes had been a little less messed up in the head, he could have helped bring some super amazing advances to the world.

The ferry scene and the Washington Monument scenes were great. The destruction at the bank and the deli were well done, and we even get bus wars! The group looked to have had a lot of fun with the Stark plane as well. There were some terrific bits in that sequence. Tons of neat stuff for out viewing pleasure.

3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: They started the movie right – with a mutated version of the cartoon theme song! Booyah! It got me right in the mood. 🙂 Then the beginning sequence (shaky cam, but not for long – yay!) where we see Peter picked up and taken to join Tony and the others in Civil War.  Priceless!

With six people credited for the screenplay, I was amazed it came out so good. Toomes motivation wasn’t well grounded but wasn’t bad enough to be jarring. No way he didn’t make a ton of cash from his illegal sales. You’d think he would have saved some. 😛

Tons and tons and tons of adorable moments. (Guy in a chair!) The introduction of the Captain America tapes was a genius idea! This is especially so because they take the gag all the way to the end of the credits! (So stay until he shows! :P) I laughed myself silly at the last one. 😛 The comments from teachers and others in different parts of the movie were also rather humorous and came up when you least expected them.

I was a little puzzled that they decided to make Peter fifteen years old. That seemed a little young. Plus he didn’t look fifteen. Seventeen would have been much more believable, and he would have still had all the same problems. 😛 Spidey is super tough, so his getting knocked out by a small tap at one point seemed a little convenient, but it was a minor nitpick.

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: CGI mixed with real stunt work gave the audience all sorts of fun to enjoy.

5) Music – Total Thumbs Up: Like I mentioned before – Michael Giacchino had me at the groovy version of the original 1967 Spiderman cartoon’s theme music. Some snazzy tracks and great action tracks. It added to the enjoyment of the film.

Conclusion: This Spider-man reboot is well worth seeing. All the small and fun moments truly make it a delicious film. Great effects and cool gadgets are ‘frosting on the cake’. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians Of The Galaxy vol. 2

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, and more.

Directed by: James Gunn Written by: James Gunn Based on the Marvel Comics by: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Cinematography by: Henry Braham Music by: Tyler Bates

Premise: After finishing a job for the Sovereign, the Guardian’s find themselves in trouble when Rocket filches some of the goods they were paid to protect. Saved by a stranger, the group meets Ego, Peter’s father. But the Sovereign are not about to let the Guardians’ transgression remain unpunished. They hire others to do the work. And as Peter finally embraces the fact he’s found his father, Gamora realizes something about Ego is not quite right. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Lots of lovely and strong performances from all members of the cast. All the weird and sometimes clashing personalities are fun to watch. Several emotional scenes were beautifully carried out by all parties. Michael Rooker deserves added attention for his intense and emotional conversation with Rocket – and for pulling off a metallic 50’s hairdo with style! 😛

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: There were lots of great effects and visuals in the film. Mantis’s antenna and her bug like eyes were so well done, you never doubted she looked like that.

All the Sovereign people were gold from head to foot, and it looked natural. Their throne room, gadgets, and remote controlled ships looked great. And the giant tentacle monster? Awesome!

Ego’s palace was gorgeous. His ship and the molding platform were lovely. The moment reconstructions in the egg like receptacles were neat and loved that they had a different texture than everything else. There were several body repair sequences, and these were fab! The view of Ego from orbit said it all.

The big fight on Ego’s planet was spectacular. And kudos on making Kurt Russel look young and long-haired once more! He looked great! 🙂

3)  Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: On several levels, the plot for vol. 2 is a lot darker than the original film. The main point of this one is discovery. Discovery of self, of what’s been there all along, of things you never knew you possessed, and fear of acknowledging emotional needs. Every single character has a revelation of one form or another. Many are not ones they are happy to find out about, even as they bring a sense of growth, depth or even a bit of peace to their souls.

There are a ton of wonderful little moments. The opening section ties directly back to the beginning of the first film as well as the end. Adorable!

Several major items that have shaped Peter’s life are made clear. Things are not always as we assume.

I did think some of the action was less believable this time around. While our heroes are intrepid and hearty, some of this went way beyond. Almost like overcompensating for the darkness and going too far with the size of the action. This took away rather than added to the film.

As always, be sure to sit through the credits. Not only is the cool backdrop of a record album ala Jefferson Starship entertaining, so are the “I am Groot” word plays, and the multiple extra scene snippets! 🙂

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Most of the stunts are CGI-assisted, but no less fun. Some of the gags were taken to a much higher level than the last film, which stretched believability quite far. Still impressive to watch though. 😛

5) Music – Total Thumbs Up: While all the great 80’s music and visual 50’s music homage was fun, I was a little disappointed that they used those almost exclusively rather than more music by Tyler Bates. Some of this they made up with the neat, nostalgic treatment of the original theme by the Steepers in “Guardians Inferno.” Very disco and reminiscent of Meco and their cool renditions of Star Wars music and other popular science fiction soundtracks of the time.

Conclusion: While not as good as the first, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 is still worth a watch. Darkness and discovery, as well as lots of humor, awaits!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)