Directed by Sam Raimi – Screenplay by Michael Waldron.
Let’s be honest here. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), arguably the most popular film series of our current time, is really more a series than a selection of films. Martin Scorsese has referred to superhero films like those as theme park rides (which I still contend isn’t as dismissive as it has been received by the internet), and, with its cliffhangers, easter eggs, references, and overarching character arcs, it is becoming increasingly difficult for these films to stand on their own. Some of these Marvel movies, for better or worse, don’t even try to stand on their own (like Avengers: Age of Ultron). Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness is one of those films.
This is a list of the best films of 2021. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is a little late, but pay it no mind. The film industry in 2021, like 2020, was still impacted somewhat by the COVID-19 Pandemic, though obviously not as much as 2020 was. It was a year that, to me, showed a lot of problems for the theater industry, as it was starting to look like film fans had become comfortable waiting for films to hit streaming services rather than to see them in theaters. Because exactly what films became hits last year? Like others have noted, they were pretty much all franchise films. In a way, it feels like HBO Max may have made it easy for American audiences to let go of the moviegoing experience, but, hopefully, the movie theaters will thrive again soon.
This year, like I’ve sometimes done in the past, I’m splitting up my blog’s awards into two parts. The second part is all about cinema, while this first half concerns video games, music, superhero entertainment, and, chiefly, television. As you’ll see, one show in particular really blew me away in 2021. I should also say that I’ve classified shows like The Book of Boba Fett, Station Eleven, Yellowjackets, Mayor of Kingstown as 2022 shows, so they are ineligible for this edition of the IJR Awards. In any case, let’s get to it.
Today, I am revealing the first half of the 2021 nominations for my blog’s annual awards (I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards [IJR Awards]). The nominations that I will reveal today concern the television, video games, superhero, and music categories. The second half of the nominations — the film categories — will be revealed later in the month.
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.
Great news, True Believers! Sony Pictures and Disney’s Marvel Studios have just, via a joint press release, announced that, for now, they will continue their partnership and let Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) stay in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. Together they will co-produce a sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home set to be released on July 16, 2021, and, the press release adds, Spider-Man will also appear in a future Marvel Studios-film. Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS: Spider-Man Will Stay in the MCU”→
Bad news, true believers, Spider-Man may be out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First reported by DEADLINE, it appears that, in trying to negotiate the terms of a deal to extend Sony and Disney/Marvel Studios’ partnership in producing films starring Marvel’s web-slinger, Sony has refused to return to the negotiating table. Sony owns the film rights to the character, but, since February of 2015, Sony and Marvel Studios have had a partnership that led to Spider-Man’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, as well as the creative direction — guided by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige — for the Sony solo-films Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home which were both co-produced by Marvel Studios and featured Disney-owned characters such as Iron Man and Captain America. Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS: The MCU May Have Just Lost Spider-Man — UPDATED”→
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”→
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)”→
In July, Sony and Disney duke it out for the box office bucks. Though there are a lot of really interesting films that I’m looking forward to this month, I’m focusing on two blockbusters in this edition of Box Office Predictions. Can a live-action remake dominate the month that also gives audiences the follow-up to Avengers: Endgame, or will another superhero movie define a month of the year? Continue reading “Box Office Predictions – July 2019”→