It is the best time ever to be a superhero movie fan

I’ve been watching superhero films for a long time. Since I could walk. Once I saw Spider-Man back in 2002, I knew I was hooked for life. There’s something about the message and morals that superhero movies portray that stick with me much more than any other genre of films. In 2017, it’s hard to argue it’s the absolute greatest time in history to be a fan of the genre.

While some people argue that superhero films are becoming too over-saturated, I highly disagree. While the film industry is pumping out more superhero movies than ever, each film is breaking the mould of the genre, and every movie has its own feel to it. For instance, the early Thor and Captain America films did feel a little stereotypical. But with Thor: Ragnarok looking like a brand new feel to the series and Civil War being a triumphant milestone for the entire genre, it appears Marvel Studios (and DC Entertainment) have found a way to keep the genre moving forward. There’s no better example than the Guardians of the Galaxy; a comic series that was relatively not known of by the general public turned into a worldwide sensation overnight with their own standalone film back in 2014. Why? Because the film was amazing, but also because it took many un-contemporary approaches to the genre and made a unique story that hadn’t been told before.

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It’s this formula that has been taking over the superhero movie genre for the past 5 years, even before Guardians of the Galaxy was released. With Logan being released in March, it gave the Wolverine character, who has been on the silver screen for the better part of the last two decades, a unique tale, and a new look to the character. Even with The Wolverine, Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the iconic character has changed many times since the original X-Men movie was released in 2000. Let’s forget about that origins movie though.

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Back to 2017, this theory is still in full swing. With Spider-Man: Homecoming, including Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther on way, Marvel Studios in particular, is finding unique ways to tell some fantastic stories through their comic heroes. While DC is still lagging behind a little bit with Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman gave the brand a sense of hope moving forward as well.

With the Infinity War set to smash the box office into pieces in 2018, it appears the genre isn’t going anywhere, any time soon. And that, is a great thing.

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GLOW’s storytelling is triumphant

Netflix Originals are becoming the standard for TV shows, and with another gem in GLOW, cable television companies like HBO and AMC are falling further behind in terms of quality content on demand. Created by Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch, GLOW is based on a wrestling show, but dives deeper, and covers women’s rights, equality and the crazy time that was the 1980’s. If you’re a fan of wrestling, 80’s aerobics fashion and Marc Maron saying “my ex-wife” every ten minutes, GLOW is the show for you.

It’s very clear from the opening episode that there’s a focus on women’s stereotypes back in the 80’s. Alison Brie stars in the series playing Ruth Wilder, a tacky actress who can’t find good work in Hollywood. In the opening scene of the series, Ruth auditions for a role in a film. However, she reads the male lead’s lines in the script, as they get all the air-time and “good roles” in the films, while women simply played arm candy or the house wife. After getting shut down for the role, a producer guides her to an audition for “something different” that’s “not porn.” So, off Ruth goes, and winds up in a gym with Sam Syvia (Marc Maron) and auditions for GLOW; Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.

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Ruth’s stint originally does not pan out. That is, until Debbie Eagan (played by Betty Gilpin) storms into the ring after finding out Ruth was sleeping with her husband. The pure emotion between the two sparks a vision in Sam’s head, and the main event for GLOW is set. However, there are many barriers stopping Sam from his master plan. Like wrestling promotions in real life, egos and personal agendas put the show on the brink of even happening.

If you’re a wrestling fan like me, this series does leave something to be desired in terms of the actual wrestling portion of the show. It was odd seeing Brodus Clay randomly turn up in the show, and I didn’t even recognize Carlito without the huge puffy afro, it looks like he put on some serious pounds to do this show.

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Indie performers like Joey Ryan, Kharma (who I didn’t recognize until I looked up the cast list that she was in the show,) Alex Riley, Brooke Hogan (not a wrestler but the daughter of the most famous wrestler of all-time) and Lucha Underground star and former WWE champion John Morrison. The show has the talent, but the show never really focuses solely on the wrestling. So if you’re tuning into GLOW to watch lots of wrestling, sorry.

I did think there was some hilarious parts in this series, the first rehearsal show in particular. There was a little bit left to be desired in the ending of the show, it felt like there was some unanswered questions, specifically with Arthie and Rhonda’s final showdown. It appeared there was going to be some conflict between the crowd and the wrestlers, and then it seemed the show just swept it to the side for the next match on the card. Even backstage, Arthie was devastated by what had just occurred, but forget that, onto the next match!

The ending of the first season leaves no doubt, there will be season two, and if I had to take a shot in the dark, it shouldn’t be too long before we see the second season on Netflix.

In closing, GLOW was a unique series that focused on women’s rights and stereotypes, and successfully depicted a group of misfit actresses who would do anything for work in Hollywood during the mid 1980’s. If you’re in it for the wrestling, it will feel underwhelming for you, but the storytelling and laughs will keep you interested. I don’t think it’s as good as the ratings it’s getting, but it’s good enough to get a second season.

7/10

Dunkirk does not disappoint

I’ve been a fan of Christopher Nolan ever since a young Bruce Wayne fell down a well 12 years ago. Since then I have grown a passion for film and subsequently have watched all of Nolan’s films several times. Dunkirk was my most anticipated movie coming into this year, and I am happy to report I am not disappointed.

Nolan has delivered another classic.   

Dunkirk is Nolan’s first non fiction movie, and for his film he chose a story that hit close to home. Set near the start of WW2 in 1940 as the allied troops flee from the advancing german armies in northern France after the capture of Paris and neighboring countries, they are forced to the beaches of Dunkirk with no escape in sight. As they wait to be picked off by german bombers we see the nearly 400,000 men fight to leave by any means necessary. Codenamed Operation Dynamo, Winston Churchill ordered the activation of the civilian reserves in order to help bring the thousands of soldiers home.   

Filmed as 3 different storylines that unfold simultaneously, the movie starts as we are dropped right into the action with unknown un-introduced character, this is a common theme throughout the movie. We follow him for nearly 15 minutes as he wanders around the war torn beach trying desperately to find find a way home. This first scene short on the actual beaches of Dunkirk, France sets the tone for the rest of the film, as a realistic, tense, and subtle movie, with very little dialogue. This scene is followed by an introduction of a family setting sail to rescue the stranded soldiers across the English Channel. Soon after we see a group of British fighter pilots flying in formation on their way to Dunkirk, in order to defend the fleeing ships from the German Luftwaffe air forces.

As the movie unfolds these storylines interact in unexpected ways throughout the non-linear progression of the film.

Rather than introducing each character with a thought out backstory for you to latch onto Nolan films it as if you are soldier on the beach with these men, this means no small talk, no “I got this girl waiting for me back home” type of scenes. Instead Nolan shuffles through the various story lines being careful not to focus on one character for too long to avoid slowing down the whole movie. In order to hammer in the inexperience of the soldiers Nolan cast 19 year old first time actor Fionn Whitehead for the lead.

The scenes with combat are handled tastefully, as this film is a PG 13 there is no gruesome shots like in Saving Private Ryan for example, the camera instead focuses on our character’s reaction to the various bombings and shootouts.

The action scenes come mostly in the form of dog fighting scenes which are shot brilliantly allowing us to follow where all the planes are at a given time while also showing us what the various pilots see as they battle the German forces.

The characters in the movie show all sides of war, whether it be a shell shocked young man wanting desperately to return home, a valiant soldier doing anything to help his brothers, or a General trying anything to get his men home. This film is also careful to never show us anything the characters on screen don’t know. For instance other films might have shown a German submarine looming in the water prior  to a scene on a boat as to keep you in suspense as to when the submarine will come into play, Nolan decides instead to never show anything but our characters point of view creating dread and panic as you watch praying that there escape from France will be successful.

Shot by Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema whose work can be seen on the films Interstellar and Her this film is beautiful, from the long shots filled with thousands of extras along the actual beaches of Dunkirk, to the spectacular air battles, this film is best enjoyed in IMAX as 75% of the film was shot with their massive cameras.

This film is not perfect however, at times it can slow down especially near the middle of the film with a drawn out boat sequence, at other times the editing was a little intrusive and distracted from the action taking place. There was also a couple of characters that seemed a bit useless or out of place.  

I recommend doing a little background research prior to going to see the film to understand this significance of the events taking place as it is a WW2 event that few know about but many more should as it was an event that changed the course of history and likely lead to the Nazis failure along the western front.  There is a terrific video from Colin Moriarty I highly recommend on the topic.

At an 1 hour and 46 minutes Dunkirk doesn’t overstay its welcome, instead delivering a well paced thriller of a war film. I highly Recommend Dunkirk to any fan of Nolan’s or WW2 films. It is fantastically shot and grips you from the start and tells an incredible true story few in North America know about.

9/10

War for the Planet of the Apes a fitting end for a fantastic trilogy

When first announced, it was considered pointless, unnecessary. However, the revamped Planet of the Apes trilogy ticks off all the boxes in today’s cinematic standards. The latest release, War for the Planet of the Apes, is a fitting end to the trilogy. With an opening box office weekend of $102.5 million and a score of 83/100 on metacritic, War for the Planet of the Apes looks to be the most successful and widely regarded as the best in the trilogy.

What stood out for me in this film more than the previous two was the soundtrack. While I haven’t watched the 1968 Planet of the Apes film in a very long time, I could hear the inspiration of the original film in the background of many of the tense scenes in particular. I couldn’t put my finger on which parts of the movies had the soundtrack mixed together, but in the opening half hour alone, my attention turned to the music, and I got the nostalgic feeling of the 1968 film.

Obviously, it wasn’t the soundtrack that gave this film such a high rating, it was the storytelling and the CGI, which I might add is getting scary good. Many of my good friend on twitter pointed out the fantastic work by Andy Serkis, bringing Caesar to life.

I don’t disagree with them, I believe Serkis should be nominated for some sort of award for his outstanding work as Caesar throughout the trilogy, and War for the Planet of the Apes might just be his best work since he played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy years ago.

What hooked me on this film (and the whole trilogy for that matter) is the emotional rollercoaster that flows through the entire film. If there’s anything that this trilogy has done right, it’s been to grab at the heart strings and show the true heartbreak that comes with war and conflict. War for the Planet of the Apes cranks that notch to eleven compared to the first two films, and while I’m never much of an emotional person when it comes to watching a movie, it almost, almost got a little dusty in the theatre in a few parts. Without giving too much away, this movie is very much a revenge story for Caesar, and I felt the heartbreak, the anger that consumes him and carries the plot for the movie.

Another thing that was a nice change of scenery from the past two films was the comic relief brought in by Steve Zahn’s ‘Bad Ape.’ Despite some pretty dark moments in the film, Bad Ape provided the movie with some lighter moments in the midst of pure destruction. It was a minor part in the movie, but something that was welcomed.

While the second film centers in more on conflict between apes, War for the Planet of the Apes returns to the first film, where there’s more action between humans and apes. Much like the first film, Caesar and company are accompanied by a human, in this case, a little girl, who puts the entire plot and conflict into perspective. Woody Harrelson was a fantastic villain in this movie, and like most films in this day and age, wasn’t just a bad dude. The reason why he does what he does makes quite a lot of sense, and while it’s not all politically correct, you can see the angle he’s coming from, and resonate with some of the things he’s saying. However, much like Caesar, hate and revenge consumes him and brings him to make some questionable choices. This all comes to a head in the final act of the film.

In terms of directing, Matt Reeves did a fantastic job of living up to some pretty high standards set by the first two films, and the cinematography beautifully displayed the tragedy and brutality of war. For DC fans, this film should be a sign of good things to come, as Reeves is set to direct the stand-alone Batman film, which is still in pre-production.

SPOILER ALERT AHEAD, DO NOT CONTINUE READING UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE FILM

Okay, so one thing I didn’t quite get in the direction of the film was the usage of Gabriel Chavarria as ‘Preacher,’ A.K.A. the soldier with the crossbow who we’re introduced to at the beginning of the film.  He’s spared by Caesar in the first battle, sent back to the Colonel as a message of peace, and he’s the one who puts the final arrow into our protagonist? Maybe it’s a metaphor that humans will always seek global dominance as the lead species, but to me it would’ve seemed more fitting if Preacher turned on the Colonel, who was doing some pretty dictator-like things to the apes who spared Preacher in the first place. Nonetheless, the sequence where Preacher is about to end Caesar before he gets blown to bits by Donkey (who ends up being the traitor in the end, I guess) just seemed out of place for me.

Another thing that my pal Hayden Trupish pointed out after seeing the film on our podcast was the film was slightly predictable, notably when The Colonel is talking about how he had to kill his son because of the Simian Flu/Primal thing that consumed him, to most it seems pretty obvious that The Colonel too would contract this virus before the film ends. I’m pretty oblivious to this kinda stuff, but looking back now, it does seem pretty predictable.

Also, wasn’t that army at the end of the movie a slight bit of overkill? The attack choppers, thousands upon thousands of men charging the base. Where did all those guys come from? How did they all survive the flu? It seems like it’s not fully a ‘Planet of the Apes’ if there’s still military-style armies rolling around by the thousands with air-defence missiles waiting for them. And then one avalanche wipes the whole army out? Sure.

Like the past two films, this movie doesn’t give much context to the worldwide situation regarding the Simian flu or James Franco’s character. Obviously, the epidemic began in San Francisco, and spread across the United States and into North America as a whole. But what about Europe? Africa? Asia? None of the films really give context as to how the rest of the world handled the situation. Obviously, the apes across the water can’t be lead by Caesar, are they just left watching as the whole world slowly dies out from this epidemic? Plus, the ending is slightly open-ended, and while I don’t want another trilogy or a movie to follow this one, it still leaves that slight doubt that there could be trouble in paradise for the Apes that do find their paradise.

AND I CAN’T NOT FIND OUT ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES FRANCO. I DON’T CARE IF HE’S NOT A HUGE PLOT POINT, JUST TELL ME HOW HIS PART OF THE STORY ENDS.

It’s something I’ll probably never know, but it will bug me every time I watch these films.

SPOILER ALERT ENDS

Overall, War for the Planet of the Apes is an emotional, fitting end to the trilogy, and the best film of the three. Though there is some predictability and not enough context to some plot points, the movie in general is a great experience whether you’ve watched the first two films or not.

7.5/10

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Behind the Scenes Breakdown

I was wrong about a lot of stuff to do with the  D23 Expo last weekend, however the one thing I got right was a behind the scenes piece for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

It’s probably the best piece of material that was presented during the conference that was also subsequently released to the public. Yeah, I’m talking the ridiculousness of me not being able to see the supposedly bonkers Infinity War trailer, but you didn’t click on this to read me rant about how much it sucks that I can’t afford to fly to Anaheim and stand in line for a day just to watch a trailer.

If you haven’t seen the piece yet you can find it right here.

So let’s get to talking about this great behind the scenes segment.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD.

The trailer begins with a couple quick shots of the film’s set at Pinewood Studios in London. We see some shots of members of the crew working on the set of the Millenium Falcon, some shots of makeup and air artists working on Chewbecca, R2-D2, C-3PO and BB-8. Nothing really stands out in these first shots except for one of what appears to be ‘beehive’ looking sets.

So we know a little about these sets from leaked set photos. These ‘beehives’ are on the planet Ahch-To, which is the same planet where most of the first teaser trailer takes place and where Luke is at the end of The Force Awakens. It’s believed that a large portion of the film takes place on Ahch-To. I think that these ‘beehives’ are homes where the planets inhabitants used to live but have long been abandoned. I presume much like many others that Luke fulfilled his task of finding the first Jedi temple and that it reside’s somewhere on this planet. I believe that the previous inhabitants of this planet where among the first Jedi and they lived in these huts. That’s all on Ahch-To for now, more on the planet later on in the article.

This is my favorite moment of the entire piece. This shot is an absolutely gorgeous image that I’m sure will only look better when we see it from the primary camera. This shot takes place on one of the new planets featured in the film called Crait. The planet was first mentioned by director Rian Johnson during Star Wars Celebration back in April. We still don’t know much about the planet but we do know that the red material shot is a mineral that is mined at Crait, the mineral is what the planet is known for along with a layer of salt that covers the surface of the planet. We also know that the planet is home to a former base of the Rebel Alliance from the original trilogy of films. This shot matches up really well with a shot we saw in the teaser trailer of a couple new ships flying across the surface of the planet. Johnson has said that Crait plays a big role in the film and will feature a key battle between the resistance and the first order.

While this shot doesn’t disclose much information about the plot or characters of the film. It’s still an important shot. I would guess that the completed version of this shot takes place within the first two minutes of the movie with this being the direct follow-up to Rey presenting Luke with his lightsaber at the end of the Force Awakens. The other interesting element of this shot is the trackers of the fingers of Mark Hamill, this just confirms that they will be using CG to once again create Luke’s robotic hand. Rumors from the film’s set suggest that Luke first asks Rey “Who are you” and she responds by handing him the lightsaber. While it’s certainly not an answer to his question the fact that Rey is in possession of Luke’s original lightsaber is sure to establish a base line respect between the two.

With every Star Wars movie we are introduced to new planets and The Last Jedi will be no different. The aforementioned Crait will be one of the new planets in this film but so will Canto Bight which is the planet I believe is picture here. This comes from the filming the crew did in Dubrovnik, Croatia in March of 2016. Interesting fact the Croatian city has also been used in Game of Thrones for scenes taking place at King’s Landing. Not much is known about the exterior scenes that will take place on Canto Bight but as for the interior scenes, read on to find out.

Nobody is talking about this shot and it’s making me really upset, it goes by pretty quickly in the trailer but it’s a big information dump in one image. This is, in my opinion, Supreme Leader Snoke’s throne room. If you look really closely at the back it looks like a throne and it appears to be a figure standing or sitting on that throne that resembles a full body suited Andy Serkis. A number of elements of this scene make me believe it’s Snoke’s throne room. First, the strong red background. It seems as if all the marketing so far for this film are showing that Red plays a big role in the film, the colour has been featured prominently in every bit of marketing material since we first learned the title The Last Jedi. Second, it looks eerily similar to throne rooms that we’ve seen in the past in Star Wars films, in terms of how wide the room looks. Third, the shot immediately proceeding this shot was of a masked Kylo Ren stepping onto a walk way, this shot looks as if it’s a perspective shot for the former Solo.

The second of my selected images that takes place on the Jedi temple planet of Ahch-To. I believe this image just shows more of the training that it’s believed Rey will undergo in this film under the tutelage of her master Luke. What is interesting to me in this film is that it shows Rey continuing to use her staff which became prominent as Rey’s weapon of choice in The Force Awakens. Online speculation is rife with people believing that her staff is somehow going to be incorporated into her lightsaber when she finally builds her lightsaber either in this film or in the next. Many people will forget that Luke used his father’s old lightsaber in the first two films before building his own prior to the events of Return of the Jedi.

I have a pretty good ear to the ground when it comes to knowledge about Star Wars however this shot surprised me. It shows that they were shooting scenes utilizing water, and some shots underwater. I have yet to ear about an element of the film which occurs underwater. This could simply be a quick sequence of Rey falling into the water on Ahch-To. Which is what I believe it represents because the stunt double in the shot is wearing an outfit which is very similar to the one worn by Rey in the early part of the films. Still this is a shot that surprised me and I found it interesting.

This shot has created a lot of online speculation since it was released. Many people believe that it simply shows Rey training, which like I’ve said above looks to be a major part of the film. There is however a group of people who believe that this is an image of Rey running away from or towards someone. While I don’t want to say too much and this point in the article as there are two other images below that lend more credence to the belief that it’s Rey in battle. This could potentially be a shot from a rumored scene involving Rey, Luke, Kylo Ren, and the Knights of Ren.

Speaking of the main villain in the first film this is our best look at Adam Driver’s former solo, Kylo Ren. We prominently see a brand new scar stretching across Adam Driver’s face which he received at the hands of Rey in the third act battle between Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren in the Force Awakens. While we can’t see in this particular shot we have seen in other promotional material how Kylo’s eyes have begun to take on the yellow-orange-ish tint that flickered into Anakin’s eyes after he was dubbed as Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith.

Benicio Del Toro! Del Toro is one of the new characters in the film who has been mentioned a lot in the film’s marketing and even appeared on stage at D23. Del Toro becomes just the third academy award winning actor in the history of the Star Wars franchise. Del Toro, Lupita Nyongo, and Alec Guinness all won Academy Awards for acting before joining the Star Wars family (Natalie Portman, also a member of the Star Wars family won an Oscar in 2010 but it was after all three of her Star Wars films had been released). Del Toro is playing what is described as a mysterious character who we first meet on Canto Bight. The name of his character has not yet been revealed by the team behind the film but director Rian Johnson has said that on set they referred to the character as DJ, a nickname interpreted by many to mean Dark Jedi.

And with the rumor that we first meet DJ on Canto Bight, we finally get to see the big set piece that we reportedly visit Canto Bight for – the Casino. The big opportunity in The Last Jedi for Lucasfilm to flex their muscles in regards to creature creation, makeup, and visual effects as we visit the Canto Bight casino. Rumored to be a big part of the second act of the film, some of our favorite characters are speculated to be visiting Canto Bight while looking for someone and that person is … DJ. It’s a part of the journey that Finn, Poe, and new character Rose will take during the events of the film. The city of Canto Bight is being described as a casino city and this is our best image of the ‘high class’ of the Star Wars world that we will run into when visiting the new planet.

This is the point where you are reading and asking yourself what the hell is this guy talking about, why has he chosen probably the least interesting creature in the entire featurette and singled it out, well because this creature is actually important to the plot. The creature above is known as a Porg, a creature who calls the aforementioned Ahch-To their home. The Porgs are rumored to fall into a similar role, if not a little more limited as the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. They are creatures native to the planet who are very important to the eco-system of the planet. They are said to have a strong connection to the force, much like the planet itself. I believe that the Porgs will feature provide a fun side story for both Chewbecca and R2-D2 who are also both on Ahch-To at the start of the film.

This is probably the only image that during my first viewing of this sizzle reel I actually paused it and had to analyze it, we’ve been led to believe that there are two stories in this film. The story involving Rey and Luke and the one involving Poe, Finn, and Rose. Now of course these two were going to intertwine in the movie, that’s how movies work. However, we didn’t know how or where – we still don’t know the answer to how but we might know the answer to where because of this shot. The background in this scene suggests that the final act of the film where Rey comes and back from her training takes place on the planet Crait. The two big hints in this shot is the fact that Rey actress Daisy Ridley is wearing a new costume in the scene suggesting that some time has passed since we last saw her. The passage of time is important because we know that this movie picks up right where The Force Awakens ended. The second hint comes in the greyish film on the ground and rocks around them. We know for previous shots of the planet Crait that it is covered in the same grey-ish film which the filmmakers are calling salt. Both these hints point to Rey and Finn being involved in battle between the Resistance and the First Order taking place on the mineral rich planet.

POTENTIAL MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

I wanted to give one more spoiler warning because this could be a big one for the film.

I’m going to make this brief cause I know my editor doesn’t want to read any spoilers. These photos show both Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver training and what’s most interesting is the fact that both Ridley and Driver are training against multiple opponents. Rumors from the film’s set seem to indicated a scene that takes place in the movie basically as a follow up to the controversial ending of The Force Awakens where Rey with hardly any training was able to handle Kylo Ren. It’s believed that the scene features Kylo along with members of the Knights of Ren travelling to Ahch-To and battling with Luke and Rey. The scene reportedly features Luke against five or six members of the Knights and Rey versus Kylo Ren part two. These pictures while they don’t specifically show anything reinforce the idea that something along these lines does take place in the film. Ridley is using a lightsaber like prop against three enemies, while Driver is using prop against two enemies (Luke and Rey.)

Those were the 14 biggest elements of the behind the scenes feature that stood out to me when I was watching.

What stood out to you? Let us know in the comments.

Spider-Man: Homecoming the perfect beginning to a new era

With two previous versions in recent history, Marvel had their work cut out for them when they were set to include Spider-Man in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe. And as always, Marvel Studios delivered. Casting Spider-Man as a high-school geek once again and straying away from the cool, skateboarding Spidey we got with Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland is a perfect fit for the role of Peter Parker in the new universe. Quirky, corny, funny, he’s got it all. It’s easy to see why they chose Holland to be the face of the franchise moving forward. Michael Keaton is just as fantastic as The Vulture. I’d go as far as saying that Vulture is the best Marvel Villain aside from Loki. It’s easy to see why he does his villainous acts, and you can tell that Keaton knows a thing or two about doing superhero movies.

In terms of the plot, it’s a nice change of scenery that we don’t have to go through the whole ‘bit by a radioactive spider’ scene that we have in the previous two versions, although I’m sure they’ll have to touch on it down the road. I do like that we didn’t have a gigantic Avengers feel to the story. It’s friendly, neighborhood opposed to galactic and world-saving, which is a nice change of pace. The choice of villains was also very well done, with Vulture and Shocker being the two villains picked out for this particular movie, rather than leaping out of the gates with someone like Hobgoblin, Doctor Octopus or Venom.

The one thing I didn’t notice in the film that my good friend Nathan Hutton pointed out to me afterwards was the setting of the film. While it is set in New York City, it barely feels like it’s ever in New York, opposed to the first trilogy where it’s heavily emphasized. I’m hopeful that in the next Spider-Man standalone film, they focus a little bit more on the city and where Spider-Man does his work.

While we’re on the slightly negative side of things, I’ll bring up my other issue I had with the film. Now I’ve promised myself to keep the movie spoiler-free so I won’t use any names, but I wasn’t very happy with the handling of some of the minor characters. While they stuck to the script with Peter Parker, they really messed with the origins and backgrounds of a few other characters, which as a long-time Spidey fan, had me a little sour. I’m okay with minor tweaks to characters, but rehauling a character entirely is a little much for me. You’ll get my point if you’ve seen the movie and you should know who I’m talking about.

Now, the suit was something that originally I wasn’t a big fan of, but after a while, it has grown on me. While I still think the suit Andrew Garfield dawned in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the best ever; this new, sleek, modernized suit is pretty cool. The moving eyes add something that the suit has lacked and used heavily in the comics with the character. I’m not a huge fan of the black that intertwines with the rest of the suit, and I’m also on the fence about how high-tech it is. Regardless, it’s unique, which is a fresh of breath air for the character.

Overall, I’m excited for what’s next for Peter and the gang, and I hope they keep the stakes relatively low for now until the Infinity War is over and Spider-Man becomes the definitive face of the franchise. I really hope they continue to give screen time to villains that haven’t gotten to shine on film yet, such as Mysterio, Kraven, Scorpion etc. In closing, Spider-Man: Homecoming was the most unique version of the character yet, and one that’ll be dominating the box office for at least the next decade.

8.5/10