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.
Directed by Doug Liman — Screenplay by Patrick Ness & Christopher Ford.
On paper, this should be a huge hit. It’s a science-fiction action film starring Tom Holland of Spider-Man fame and Daisy Ridley of Star Wars fame, they are surrounded by a more than capable cast including the incredible Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round), and the film was directed by Edge of Tomorrow‘s Doug Liman. And yet this is a film that has been through quite a lot of behind-the-scenes work. It has gone through several rounds of rewrites and expensive reshoots, and it, reportedly, was the victim of poor reception at test screenings. After having had its release delayed several times, Chaos Walking is now here, but while it has all the ingredients of a film made for me, it just doesn’t work as a complete package.
It’s finally time to reveal what films, shows, songs, performances, and games were my absolute favorites of the year 2020. Look, I know what you’re thinking, we’re already in July of 2021. But, to be perfectly honest with you, the last twelve-to-sixteen months or so have for obvious reasons made everything a bit unclear to me. Let’s just say, it was a weird year, as was also evident by the fact that AMPAS decided to push the eligibility window for their recent awards ceremony (which both honored 2020 films and select films from early 2021). I’m not doing that, though. I still have my strict year-end deadline, but, unlike the last seven I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, I’m announcing both the nominees and winners of each and every category in this very post. So strap in, folks, and let’s talk about the best and most memorable culture of 2020.
Directed by Antonio Campos (Christine) — Screenplay by Antonio & Paul Campos.
In a year such as 2020, where a global pandemic has changed our lifestyle drastically and paralyzed the entertainment industry, major new releases from streaming services such as Netflix end up meaning quite a lot. The release of The Devil All the Time is one that I have been looking forward to for quite some time, as it is an adaptation of a popular novel by a relatively seasoned filmmaker and since it features an absolutely incredible and star-studded ensemble cast. It is a dark, bleak, and depressing film that will likely divide audiences, but I have to say that it had my complete interest for the entire run-time. It isn’t necessarily a film that will be remembered years from now, but it is a dark and gripping slow-paced drama about violence, religion, and America. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Devil All The Time (2020)”→
The following is a review of Onward — Directed by Dan Scanlon.
Onward is the 22nd Pixar Animation Studios film, as well as Dan Scanlon’s second Pixar film as a director after 2013’s Monsters, Inc.-sequel titled Monsters University. In recent years, Pixar has been focused on making sequels — such as Toy Story 4 or Finding Dory — to several popular original films, but 2020 was meant to be the first time in several years where the animation studios’ two films — Onward and the upcoming Soul — were both new original films. Continue reading “REVIEW: Onward (2020)”→
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”→
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 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)”→
The following article contains spoilers for previous Spider-Man films & Avengers: Infinity War.
I think Andrew Garfield is a very talented actor — I love many of his films — but when he played Peter Parker, he was never my Spider-Man. I grew up with Tobey Maguire’s performances as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and a part of me will always see him as ‘my Spider-Man’ — no matter what happens — but today I want to talk about why I think Tom Holland is already starting to take his place. Continue reading “Great Responsibility: Tom Holland is Spider-Man – Special Features #22”→