Archives for posts with tag: Spider-Man

Grade B +

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a successful, fresh start to one of the most loved, Marvel Comics character.  Playing a 15-year-old Peter Parker/Spidey is Tom Holland, who is perfect for the role, and better at it than any other actor who played the webslinger in previous movies and tv specials (yes, there were live-action, Spider-Man tv specials a long time ago).  After coming home from his epic battle in Europe (“Captain America: Civil War”), Holland is back in Queens, NYC, itching for a new mission from his mentor, Tony Stark/Iron Man (played by Robert Downey Jr.).  But his dream of another epic fight doesn’t come, and Holland is forced to do street level superhero stuff while juggling the cruelties and confusion of High School.

Then one day, Holland comes upon a weapons deal that leads him to a gang of criminals who deal in modified, alien tech.  A gang that is led by The Vulture.   A gang that will test the teen-aged superhero in every way. With his pleas for assistance from Downey Jr. seemingly going unanswered, Holland takes it upon himself to stop The Vulture from stealing more alien tech that will kill many more lives.  But the cost of saving lives may cost Holland his own.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is the final scene of the movie.  I won’t spoil it, but I will say it was shocking and very funny.

Let me address a big problem many fans/moviegoers had with this movie: Spider-Man’s lack of his “spider senses,” which warn him of dangers.  I do believe he does have his spidey senses; but it is done in a very subtle way.  In the comics and cartoons, Spidey says things like “My spider senses are tingling…”  Well, we can’t have that in the movie, because it’ll just sound retarded.  When Spidey is dodging bullets or items being thrown at him, we just have to assume part of him doing that is because of his spidey senses.  And yes, I know Spider-Man gets hit quite often in this movie…that’s not proof of his lack of spidey senses.  In the comics and cartoons, Spider-Man takes hits also, despite having spider senses that warn him of immediate danger.  He’s not perfect, once in a while he gets hit.  Also, remember that in this movie, Spider-Man is 15-years-old, and still adapting to his newly-found powers, powers that sometimes overwhelm his senses.  His suit addresses that sensory overload, but not completely.  So, bottom line, this isn’t an issue for me.  Moving on…

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a very good movie that I think will satisfy most fans of this character.  Tom Holland once again kills it with his portrayal of a teen version of Spider-Man, as does Downey Jr. with his flawless take on Tony Stark.  Add to this lots of huge, action sequences, numerous funny moments, an interesting villain, great special effects…it all adds up to a very memorable, Spider-Man movie.

I do have to mention a huge shenanigan though: a plane full of extremely valuable/dangerous items is flying solo, no guards inside, no automated Iron Man soldiers, no military escorts?  It just relies on a stealth tech, and it has a “blind spot” that The Vulture takes advantage of?  Get the hell out!  But for this huge, glaring shenanigan, I would have given this movie an “A” grade.   It doesn’t ruin the movie, of course; but it does take quite a bit of the shine off.

— M

Grade A

When the Avengers accidentally kill civilians during one of their battles in Africa, the U.N. puts limitations on the superheroes’ actions, dictating when, where and how they are to fight the enemy.   One half of the Avengers are on Team Captain America (played by Chris Evans), believing that they should not surrender their autonomy to the committees of the United Nations.  The other half of the Avengers are on Team Iron Man (played by Robert Downey Jr.), believing that even superheroes should be held accountable, and it’s better to accept the U.N.’s rules now, rather than be forced into it at a future date when more draconian measures may be used against the Avengers.

Further complicating matters is a terrorist attack that is being blamed on The Winter Soldier (played by Sebastian Stan).  Stan, a former spy/assassin/brainwashed, all around bad guy with superpowers, is on the run from every law enforcement group, including Downey and his group of Avengers.  Evans, best friend of Stan, will do everything in his power to find Stan first and shield him from those who would want to kill him and/or put him in prison for life.

Downey warns Evans and his group to stand down, and if Evans does not comply, Evans will be seen as a criminal and will be treated as such.  And thus, the civil war between the Avengers starts.  On this corner, we have Captain America, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, The Winter Soldier, and Ant-Man!  On that corner, we have Iron Man, War Machine, Vision, Black Widow, Black Panther and…Spider-Man!  May the best team win!

One of my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when we first meet a very young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (amazingly played by Tom Holland).  I thought Andrew Garfield was great at playing Peter Parker; but Holland kills it, playing the role so perfectly that he stole the whole show.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Captain America: Civil War” of course goes to the battle sequence between Team Evans against Team Downey.  This is absolute heaven to every reader of Marvel comic books.  It’s like eating the most indulgent dessert wrapped up in layers of more dessert, and then getting seconds and thirds!

“…Civil War” isn’t just a feast for the eyes and ears, it’s also a commentary on the legalities, complication, and ramifications of certain countries doing military ops in other countries, whether sanctioned or not.  Read between the lines and one can see a critique of America’s military actions on foreign soil.  For those who are just looking for entertainment, this third Captain America delivers, and then some.  The things we love in previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are found here: action, adventure, witty banter, strong social commentary, buff guys and gals in tight outfits, heart, soul, and first rate special effects.

— M

It’s rare for the second movie of a trilogy to be better than its predecessor.  “Spider-Man 2” joins that rare club.  I really like this movie.  I’ve already stated most of my reasons for liking Spidey in my “Spider-Man” blog; but I forgot to add one more thing.  Spider-Man and I are built almost the same way.  Wait, why are you laughing!  I’m serious!  Well…I’m much shorter than Spider-Man, but proportionately, we’re very similar.   If there was a mini Spider-Man suit, I’d look pretty awesome in it!  Unlike Peter Parker, I didn’t get help from a radioactive bug — I had to work out.   For 27 years to be exact.   But it’s worth it, because I’m healthier than the average guy my age, and I look good in Under Armour compression shirts.   Hey, it’s not bragging if you can back it up!

Back to Spider-Man.  In this movie, we experience the strains that Peter Parker goes through as he saves the world while his private life falls apart.   Now living on his own in a tiny, broken down apartment, cash is more important, and usually elusive.  He works as a pizza delivery guy!  Can you imagine a guy who can rule a small country working a job like that!  He barely sees those whom he loves, has a hard time holding down even menial jobs, and is failing his classes — because he’s too busy fighting crime.  It’s no surprise that he has some kind of mental breakdown that manifests itself as the loss of his powers.

In one memorable, movie moment, Parker looks out of his apartment window and asks himself why should he have to sacrifice what he wants, what he needs.  This is a young man who is in a lot of mental anguish.  He wants to do the right thing and use his powers for good, as his dead, uncle Ben would’ve wanted.   “With great power comes great responsibility,” Ben once told him.  But should he spend the rest of his life being an unpaid public servant (who is sometimes hunted down by the law) and let his dreams die?

In another memorable, movie moment, Spider-Man — his mask removed — uses all his strength to stop a speeding train full of passengers from crashing through the end of the line barrier.  At the end of this effort, he passes out, and is caught by some of the passengers, who gently lift him over their heads, passing him along from hand to hand until they can lay him down safely in one of the train cars (it reminds me of paintings of Jesus being carefully taken down the cross by the ones who love him).   The passengers look at his face while he’s still passed out, and one remarks that “he’s just a kid.”  Yes, and he has the whole world upon his young shoulders.

Adding to that weight upon Parker’s shoulders is his realization that his Aunt May — who raised him as a child — is about to have her house foreclosed by the bank; and Parker is unable to help her financially.  He finds out about May’s money problem during his birthday party held in May’s house.   To make matters — and his guilt — worse, May gives him $20 as his present.   Parker is about to refuse, and May screams at him to take what little she can offer, so…he does; and allows his Aunt May to preserve a little bit of her pride.   This is the most memorable, movie moment for me.  What must it feel like to be the most powerful, unique human in the world and not be able to help the woman who raised you keep her house?

I know a woman who is as generous and beautiful as Aunt May.  It’s my mom.   And if her house was in jeopardy of being taken away by the bank, and I had Spider-Man’s powers, I wouldn’t let it happen.  If I had to rob that same bank that wants to take her house, then that’s what I would do.  It would make me a criminal, and it would bother my conscience greatly.  But I can never repay all the things my mom has done for me, so if I have to sacrifice some of my ethics and stoop to the level of a common criminal in order for my mom to keep her house, then that’s what I’ll do.  With great love comes great responsibility.

M

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