Directed by Jon Watts — Screenplay by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers.
Next year is the 20th anniversary of the first-ever live-action Spider-Man film, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, which catapulted an already immensely popular comic book and animation character into big screen superstardom. A lot has happened since then. At this point, three different actors have played Marvel’s beloved wall-crawler on the big screen, and all of them have devoted fanbases. This, Spider-Man: No Way Home, is the third solo film in Tom Holland’s tenure as Peter Parker, but it is so much more than that as trailers have revealed. Rest assured, this is a spoiler-free review that will not reveal anything you wouldn’t already know from promotional material. Promotional material — trailers and posters — have revealed that No Way Home will feature villains (and the actors that originally played those villains) from the previous two Spider-Man sagas and thus connect the different cinematic universes. It is a massive crossover event for Spider-Man fans. My one worry going into the theater was that this movie might be too big to work, but, ultimately, I don’t think that is the case. Because at its heart, this is very much a Spider-Man movie, and I think they manage to balance the various elements of the film remarkably well.
The following is a review of Spider-Man: Far From Home — Directed by Jon Watts.
Do note that this review includes spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
Isn’t it crazy that Tom Holland has already played Spider-Man in five movies? Holland hasn’t even been Spider-Man for as many years as Tobey Maguire was, and Maguire only appeared in three films. Even though Tom Holland’s first solo film only came out two years ago, a lot has happened since Tony Stark first took Holland’s Peter Parker under his wing and presented him with a snazzy suit powered by Stark Industries technology. Avengers:Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame happened. Parker was snapped out of and back into existence, he lost his mentor, and, somehow, five years went by in the blink of an eye for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Continue reading “REVIEW: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)”→
The following is a review of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman
The late, great, legendary film critic Roger Ebert opened his review of my favorite Spider-Man film, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, with the line: “Now this is what a superhero movie should be,” a sentence that feels pretty appropriate to use today when describing the first of, likely, many theatrically released Sony Pictures Animation Spider-Man-related films because Into the Spider-Verse is a special movie in virtually every way imaginable. Continue reading “REVIEW: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)”→
The following is a review of VENOM — Directed by Ruben Fleischer.
Last year, director Daniel Espinosa’s sci-fi film LIFE was released to mixed-to-positive reviews. I liked that film much more than I thought I would, and I was impressed with how such an under-the-radar sci-fi film somehow had a cast with A-list stars in it. Back when we were still only waiting for LIFE to be released, a fun fan theory surfaced online: what if LIFE was actually a prequel to the then-upcoming Sony Spider-Man spin-off film known as Venom?Continue reading “REVIEW: Venom (2018)”→
The following is a review of Spider-Man: Homecoming – Directed by Jon Watts.
There is a great iconic comic book line that all movie lovers know these days. I am, of course, talking about the classic Uncle Ben quote: “With great power, comes great responsibility.” It is a line that was delivered well by Cliff Robertson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. However, it was also poorly paraphrased in the disappointing reboot — Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Continue reading “REVIEW: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)”→
The following is a spoiler-filled retro review of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. It was written in 2016.
I remember liking Spider-Man 3 just fine, when it was released. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and it definitely wasn’t as good as the first two Raimi Spider-Man films. But it was fine, right? Then, when I rewatched it when it was released on home video, I realized that maybe I had been too easy on the film.
Today, after having rewatched it nine years after its theatrical release, I can safely say that Spider-Man 3 is as bad as people say. But I still like it more than both of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man films. Let’s talk about the film that made Sony reboot their Spider-Man franchise. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: Spider-Man 3 (2007)”→
The following is a spoiler-filled retro review of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. It was written in 2016.
I vividly remember watching this film with my mom when it was first released. We both loved the film, and I just remember talking about it for hours. Talking about it when we were walking to the car, talking about it inside the car on the way home, and talking about it when we got home.
It’s not that Spider-Man 2 blew my mind. It isn’t one of those films that changed everything, not like I think the first Raimi Spider-Man did, or like The Dark Knight or Iron Man did. But it was just so much fun. It was everything a Spider-Man movie could and should be. It did what you want a superhero movie to do. It entertained people of all ages, and, in my opinion, it has aged really well over the years. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: Spider-Man 2 (2004)”→
The following is a quick spoiler-filled retro review of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
Great directors like James Cameron and David Fincher had been interested in making a film about Marvel’s famous wall-crawler, but it was up to the famous horror-director Sam Raimi to show the world just how special this character was, and he really did. Spider-Man is one of the most important superhero films ever made. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: Spider-Man (2002)”→
The following quick review of The Amazing Spider-Man was written in August 2016.
Five years after the release of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, Sony restarted their Spider-Man–film franchise instead of making the fourth Raimi film. This new reboot had to reintroduce his origin, and the writers had chosen to make the Lizard the villain. For a while, it looked like it was going to be the exact Spider-Man story I had always wanted. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)”→
This short updated review (2020) of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) includes some story spoilers.
Today I want to talk to you about success. What makes a movie successful? Is it the merchandise it sells, the box office numbers, or the score on Rotten Tomatoes? I gave this much thought when I first saw Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014, and I think I know why. I have always loved Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man films. I think Raimi really understood how to make the most of the characters and the universe, the music is obviously iconic, and I think the tone of the films is pitch-perfect. Then, along came the final installment in Raimi’s trilogy and it, frustratingly, didn’t work as well. It was undoubtedly a bloated film. However, when I look back at that third film, though, I am not all that sad. You see, I always looked at those three movies as the story of a friendship. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)”→