TL;DR – Well, Tom Holland’s charisma can only go so far in fixing this dull mess
Rating: 2 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to see this film
Uncharted Review –
Some memories stick with you as you grow up. For me, one of those memories is the family sitting around the tv watching my brother play Uncharted as we enjoyed the unfolding story and looked out for any hidden items. Given how successful and loved this video game franchise is, I am not alone with having attachments to this game, but I was also a little wary of disappointment walking into this film. The casting was a choice, and nothing around the marketing had imbued any confidence with the film, and I can now see why.
So to set the scene, we open with Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) getting kicked out of a cargo plane and then run over by a car. But fifteen years earlier, a young Nate (Tiernan Jones) and his brother Sam (Rudy Pankow) break into a museum to steal a map but are caught by guards. Sent back to the orphanage, Sam will be sent to jail, but he escapes leaving Nate behind. Currently, Nate is a bartender who pickpockets his clients when a strange man called Sully (Mark Wahlberg) walks into the bar and offers him a link to the past.
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.
There has been a couple of attempts in recent times to do the ‘what if the fantasy realm that you know was set in modern times’ and well, on the whole, they have been bad. But as a concept, it is solid, so I have been wondering if anyone would be able to pull it off. Well if anyone can do it, it is Pixar, and boy did they.
So to set the scene, Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) is just an average teenage elf, winning math awards, learning how to drive, avoiding his brother Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt) and trying to find friends. He is trying to find his place in the world with his brother, who is a bit of a screw-up, and his mother Laurel Lightfoot (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who is trying her best with the chaos. On his 16th birthday, their mother surprises them with a gift from their late father Wilden Lightfoot (Kyle Bornheimer) which turns out to be a magic staff and a spell, one that can bring him back, but only for one day.
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 – 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.
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.
TL;DR – This is without a doubt the Marvel film so far, it gets the action right, the story right, the characters right, it is a fantastic film that I highly recommend.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
P.S. There is a mid and end credits sequence
Ok wow, what a film and so far the best film for 2016 and indeed the only one so far to get a 5/5 score. After the recent poor outing of Batman v Superman, I was wondering if Marvel could actually pull this off. Can they contrive a plausible reason these characters would be fighting, actually manage all the characters in a movie that is totally not Avengers 3, but let’s be honest, this is totally Avengers 3. However, I needn’t have been concerned, the Russo Brothers are masters of their craft and they show it here in spades. Ok to lay out how this review will go, the first part will just give a general spoiler-free analysis, and then in the second part we will be going full spoilers, there will be a warning so you can skip it if you have not seen the film.