TL;DR – In every way, this film stuck the landing, but I can’t help but feel that part of the ending didn’t sit well with me.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene and a post-credit scene that you do not have to stay for
Disclosure – I paid to watch this film
Spider-Man: No Way Home Review –
It has been a while since I have seen a film with so much hype building before release like I think not even Avengers Endgame had this much pressure behind it. As I walked into this film, there was a fear that they would never be able to stick the landing because there was such wide expectations as to what this film was meant to be. However, now that I have seen and had some time to ruminate on it, I think they were able to stick the landing, which is almost remarkable.
So to set the scene, in the closing moments of Spider-Man: Far From Home, internet conspiracy nut J. Jonah Jameson (J. K. Simmons) revealed doctored footage alleging Spider-Man was a murderer, but also showing to the world that Spider-Man was actually Peter Parker (Tom Holland). The adverse reaction is immediate and vicious as public opinion shifts against Peter even though he did nothing wrong. The response is so bad that even his friends MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) can’t get into college because they are caught in the blowback. Not wanting his mistake to hurt his friends, Peter makes a trip to 177A Bleecker Street to meet Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Strange promises to cast a spell, so everyone forgets that Peter is Spider-Man, but things go badly wrong. Okay, so this is a difficult film to talk about because you can not really discuss it without getting into spoilers at a frighteningly quick pace. So with that in mind, we will give some general impressions and then dive into full spoilers.
TL;DR – At least everyone is having fun this time around
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review –
The first Venom film was a bit of an odd duck. Like you could see the gears turning in the background, and it was clearly apparent that they found the film’s tone in the editing room and not behind the camera. This led to there being moments of interest in a sea of banal origin faff. Now that they had found their tone, I was interested to see what sort of film they could make, and if nothing else, this is an improvement.
So to set the scene, at the end of Venom, the titular Venom (Tom Hardy) was killed, saving the world from the invasion of other symbionts. However, he is not actually dead but is still hiding inside Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). Still reeling from the news that Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) is engaged, Eddie is invited to hear the final confession of notorious mass-murderer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). However, when Cletus bites Eddie, he takes more than just blood, creating something monstrous.
TL;DR – As the swan song for the Phase 3 it delivers of nearly every front but mostly in heaping amounts of charm
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene (you 100% need to stay for the mid-credit at least)
To be a bit honest I had some concerns about this film before I walked into the
cinemas. I quite liked the first Spider-Man
and the films since has showed that Tom Holland was one of Marvel’s best
casting choices. However, this film was coming off the double whammy of being
the follow up to both Endgame
and also the first film since the revolutionary Into
the Spider-Verse, and they are tough acts to follow. However, literally
five minutes into the movie I knew I was in for a good time, but I didn’t know
was how much of an impact this film would have on the greater landscape.
So to set the scene, we open with a quick recap of everyone who dies in Endgame, so if you have not seen it yet
get ready for that band aid to get ripped off real quick. It also gives a
little perspective as to how the world adapted to what they now call the blip
with half of the people disappearing then reappearing 5 years later. It looks
like most of Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) friends got snapped and have to
suffer through doing the school year all over again. Well after all the stress
of Endgame, Peter is happy that he is able to take a break because he and his friends
MJ (Zendaya), Jacob (Jacob Batalon), Betty (Angourie Rice) and unfortunately Flash
(Tony Revolori) are going to Europe on a school trip. However, before he leaves
Happy (Jon Favreau) arrives at his aunt May’s (Marisa Tomei) charity dinner to let
Peter know that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is looking for him and Peter does
the only normal thing and ghosts Nick Fury. Well you can guess how well that
TL;DR – A masterpiece in animation, in incorporating comics into film,and exploring all the emotions, a must watch.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene and the credits are a technicolour dream coat
When I first heard that they were going to do a new Spider-Man animated film outside of the MCU I honestly didn’t have a lot of hope. It felt like a plan of a company that is trying to scramble while not doing anything new with a property that had stagnated for years. Then they announced that the story was from Phil Lord, and that piqued my interest, and then that first trailer dropped and I knew instantly that I was going to have to eat my words. Now that I have seen the movie proper I can honestly say that this is not only one of the best films of the year, but it might be the best superhero film I have seen in a while. This has been a bumper year for Spider-Man with Infinity War, the Spider-Man video game from Insomniac Games, but Into the Spider-Verse is the crown achievement and I have never been so glad to be wrong.
TL;DR – There are moments when Venom comes together and is a really entertaining film. However, those moments are spread in-between a dull story with some bland action, and an anti-climactic ending.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene, and a post-credit trailer thingy (that you should totally stick around for)
I don’t think I have seen a film that gave such a bad first impression in quite a while. As a rule, I try to avoid trailers where possible, because of both the spoilers and also because they could taint my view of the film before I have even walked into the cinema. But even with that policy, it was hard to escape the “like a turd in the wind” quote, one of the worse lines of dialogue uttered in a blockbuster film in recent memory. Add to this the filmmakers are trying to build a universe around just Venom, after failing to do the same thing with Spider-Man. All of this was a recipe for disaster. However, walking out of the cinema I have to admit I might have been a bit too harsh on Venom … well, only just a little bit.
TL;DR – Infinity War brings everyone together and then tares them apart leaving you with a foreboding as to what will happen next, but also an excitement as they try to work it all out.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars (this is a tentative score, it might change after Part 2)
Post-Credit Scene – There is an end credit scene
It should be no surprise that I have been eagerly awaiting the new Avengers film. In preparation not only did I map out the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see here) but I also ranked every film released in the build-up (see here). However, if I am to be perfectly honest, part of this stemmed from a nervousness, could they stick the landing, could they create a story that would give justice to all the desperate characters they were involved, could they actually bring on Thanos? Well as you can probably tell I have seen the film now, so I can now answer those questions … sort of. Now a quick note today, there will be [SPOILERS] for several of the recently released Marvel films including Thor: Ragnarok (see review) and Black Panther (see review). As well as this, I will try to avoid most of the major spoilers until a paragraph at the end when we discuss the ending, but because of how quick the film moves this is just a general [SPOILER] warning if you have not seen the film yet.
When I was putting together my map of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see here) as a way of ignoring the fact that Infinity War is coming this week and I’m not ready, I knew that at some point that I would have had to look at the MCU as a whole. There is always trepidation when looking at lists like this because first how do you actually nail down your top five and then not want to change it moments later. As well as this, these are deeply personal films for people and my list is not going to look anything like your list, maybe, maybe not.
TL;DR – Today I explore and muse on the current Marvel Exhibit at GOMA in Brisbane
One surprisingly warm winter day I went for a walk from the Central Business District across the River and down to Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct nestled along the river front. Among the brutalist style buildings that include the Lyric Theatre, State Library, and State Museum is GOMA or the Gallery of Modern Art. Now I am not just here because winter in the subtropics is a beautiful time of year to go for a walk, no I’m here to explore one of the exhibits they have on at the moment, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’. Before we start just a heads up that there will be more than a few images in this article so you may want to double check that you have your phones on wifi, not mobile data. Continue reading →
TL;DR – A brilliant relaunch of a much-loved character, which tells an origin story without telling an origin story
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a Mid and Post Credit scene.
So here we are with our first big standalone Spider-Man feature now that he is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before we go on, we should probably take a moment and talk about how amazing it is that we actually got Homecoming at all. Indeed a lot had to fall into place to make this work. I’ve not seen companies work like this, and as well as this since, well maybe since Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Props have to be given to both Sony and Marvel to being able to put aside their differences and making this work, because that would not have been an easy set of negotiations, but they have made the integration almost seamless. So let us begin as we swing into the world of high school proms, alien weapons, explosions, and award conversations about life changes when you become a teenager.