REVIEW: Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

MJ (played by Zendaya) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) trying to escape the public eye in Spider-Man: No Way Home — Photo: Matt Kennedy / Sony Pictures.

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.

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REVIEW: The Power of the Dog (2021)

Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee in Jane Campion’s THE POWER OF THE DOG — Photo: Netflix.

Directed by Jane Campion — Screenplay by Jane Campion.

Based on the 1967 Thomas Savage novel of the same name, The Power of the Dog is a western drama set in Montana in the 1920s, when the old American west had begun to morph into a new era. While we hear about automobiles and cities at the local inn, the surrounding wide-open landscape and barren mountains still feel distinctly western. It is clear that the world is changing, and some of these changing roles are exemplified in the film’s characters.

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REVIEW: The Mauritanian (2021)

Tahar Rahim as Mohamedou Ould Slahi in Kevin Macdonald’s THE MAURITANIAN – Photo: STX Films / Amazon Prime Video.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald – Screenplay by M.B. Traven, Rory Haines, and Sohrab Noshirvani.

Kevin Macdonald’s The Mauritanian is a legal drama based on Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s memoir Guantanamo Diary. The film tells the true story of Mohamedou’s experience as a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, in which he was subject to so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ which essentially amounts to torture. The film juxtaposes the perspectives of two lawyers — Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and Nancy Hollander (played by Jodie Foster) — who are both trying to make sense of exactly what made Mohamedou (played by Tahar Rahim) confess to crimes of terrorism. To do so, Nancy and Stuart must try to gain access to thousands of redacted classified documents.

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REVIEW: 1917 (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of 1917 — Directed by Sam Mendes.

Sam Mendes’ 1917 is a World War One-film that is inspired by the director’s grandfather, Alfred Mendes, and his stories from the battlefield. The film follows two young British soldiers — Lance Corporals Tom Blake (played by Dean-Charles Chapman) and William Schofield (played by George MacKay) — as they try to complete a mission. Blake and Schofield have been tasked with crossing ‘no man’s land’ and warning a battalion that they are walking into a German trap that may lay waste to up to 1,600 British soldiers. Continue reading “REVIEW: 1917 (2019)”

Feige Announces MCU Phase Four at San Diego Comic-Con – Special Features #54

Some people in the industry may have been questioning the future viability of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe after the incredible infinity saga came to an end recently. If Spider-Man: Far From Home didn’t convince the naysayers, then what Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios announced last night certainly did. Today, let’s talk about the Marvel Studios announcements at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. Continue reading “Feige Announces MCU Phase Four at San Diego Comic-Con – Special Features #54”

REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The review does not include spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, (dirs. Anthony & Joe Russo) but you should absolutely expect spoilers for every film that came before it in the connected universe.

“All that for a drop of blood,” Thanos, the Mad Titan, groaned in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War moments before Doctor Strange relinquished the time stone to save Tony Stark’s life. Soon the not-so-seasoned Avengers turned to dust. The teenaged talking tree, the brave wall-crawler, an African king with a seemingly impenetrable suit made to look like an anthropomorphic big cat, and a quippy, tricker-happy, 70s music-loving outlaw — all gone from one moment to the next. Those left standing were left to live with their mistakes, as the Avengers had now well and truly lost even though a Norse God, multiple supersoldiers, an eccentric billionaire, and a magical surgeon — to name a few — had fought long and hard to save fifty-percent of the known universe. They failed. If those sentences made no sense to you whatsoever, then Avengers: Endgame isn’t for you. If, however, you’ve been waiting to see — nay, obsessing about — what comes next for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, then Endgame was designed for you. It is a somber epic like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Avengers: Endgame is peerless in scope and attention to detail, as well as moving from start to finish. Continue reading “REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame (2019)”

REVIEW: Brexit: The Uncivil War (2019)

Release Poster — HBO

The following is a review of Brexit: The Uncivil War — Directed by Toby Haynes.

HBO’s latest TV-film, Brexit: The Uncivil War, comes from the director of a number of Doctor Who-episodes as well as the brilliant Sherlock-episode “The Reichenbach Fall,” Toby Haynes, who has now reteamed with Sherlock-star Benedict Cumberbatch to retell the story of the infamous portmanteau term, the solution for which still confuses and frustrates many people around the world. Continue reading “REVIEW: Brexit: The Uncivil War (2019)”

Golden Globes Predictions: Winners – Special Features #41

It’s time to get ready for the first major awards show of 2019 — The Golden Globe Awards. Though not at all as prestigious as the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes ceremony is known all around the globe as the major American precursor to the Oscars. Today, I’ll give out my own predictions for the ceremony which is being held this weekend. Continue reading “Golden Globes Predictions: Winners – Special Features #41”

Top Ten TV-Shows of 2018

The New Golden Age of Television continued in 2018 with yet another great year of television. This must be reiterated year after year — yes, even in a year without Game of Thrones — 2018 continued that age, or trend, in which television is as effective as, or even more so than, cinema. For some, television of 2018 is defined best by the return of the increasingly confounding Westworld, and, for others like me, it is best defined by limited series that kept my attention far better than most long-running shows. Continue reading “Top Ten TV-Shows of 2018”

IJR Awards 2018: Nominations, Part One of Two

Today I’m revealing the first half of the 2018 nominations for this blog’s IJR Awards (I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, but you probably already guessed that). The two legend awards (Film Legend and TV Legend) aren’t getting any nominees, instead, I’ll reveal the winners, or honorees, in the two upcoming IJR Awards 2018-posts. Continue reading “IJR Awards 2018: Nominations, Part One of Two”