Spider-Man: Far From Home

As I type this, I realise this will inadvertently contain *spoilers* for Endgame. So if you’re not up to date, maybe skip this. I don’t want Tom Holland to come to my house and scold me for ruining it for everybody. Uh, actually…

Jks. But yeah, *Minor spoilers*

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

Tom HollandSamuel L. JacksonJake Gyllenhaal

I don’t really know if I have much to say about this one. I enjoyed it a lot but agree with my husband that it feels too soon to be dipping back into the MCU. There’s a poignancy to it due to the events of Endgame but that was only a couple of months ago. Maybe giving it six months, a year would have worked better.

That said, I don’t really care that much. I jumped at going to see this on opening night because I love Spider-Man perhaps the best of all the Avengers. And Tom Holland more. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal has joined the team and how magical is that?

Far From Home wasn’t disappointing in any way – it was heart-warming and sweet, with all the time we spent with Peter and his pals being the best and most fun. So fun in fact, against the backdrop of a handful of European landmarks, that I was almost annoyed to be torn away for the elemental/Mysterio action. Give me two hours of Ned (Jacob Batalon), Peter and MJ (Zendaya) just walking around cities bouncing off one another and I’d be perfectly happy.

In case you’ve not seen the trailer: Peter is off on a European school trip with his friends and it’s come at the best time, as he’s feeling the pressure of being Spider-Man. He’s missing his mentor and the everyday rigmarole of being your local neighbourhood hero is getting to him. All he wants is the Summer off and who deserves it more, frankly.

When Happy (Jon Favreau) passes on Tony Stark’s parting gift to Peter, it soon becomes clear that his wish for less pressure is a pipe dream. The message within suggests he’s being shaped to become the new Iron Man. But is he ready?

Ready or not, he’s forced to take some action when he meets Quentin Beck, a mysterious hero from a parallel universe. Nicknamed Mysterio by the kids (by way of the Italian news media), Beck has come to fight the monsters he calls Elementals – you know the drill: Fire, Ice, Air and Earth. Mysterio seems like perfect Avengers material when you figure Nick Fury (Jackson) doesn’t actually have any on his books at the moment, so it looks like he’s along for the ride. Could he be the replacement mentor Peter’s looking for?

While I love the low-key moments, some of the more fantastical sequences really make the film – and you’ll know what I mean when you see them for yourself. I’m not going in on Mysterio/Quentin Beck (Gyllenhaal) and what he’s all about because I had that spoilered when the boys in the office were talking about his origins in the comic books. It’s an interesting premise though and I’m into it.

That’s about it. The MJ/Peter Parker will they/won’t they story-line is adorable and I really like the concept of a 16-year-old (23 IRL, thank God) wanting to be just a normal 16-year-old boy for one summer. As with Homecoming, Far From Home rocks some amazing supporting characters in the form of Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori), Betty (Angourie Rice) and teachers, Mr Harrington and Mr Dell (Martin Starr and J.B. Smoove, respectively).

Massive shout out to Marisa Tomei‘s May Parker too. What a warm, charismatic and supportive woman. I LOVE her surprise romantic interest more than cocoa puffs. I can’t wait to see what happens next and judging from the first post-credit scene. it’s going to be epic.

Film details:

Spider-Man: Far From Home
Year: 2019
Director: Jon Watts
IMDB Rating: 8.2/10
My Rating: 4.5/5

What are you watching?

Avengers: Endgame

Nothing can prepare you for the end.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe.

Starring: Chris Evans • Scarlett Johansson • Robert Downey Jr • Mark Ruffalo • Chris Hemsworth

Bruce Willis had been in the Nakatomi Plaza vent for a very long time

“Whatever it takes.”

*No spoilers*

I didn’t have adequate words when I left the theater on Friday night and I’m not sure I’ve got them now, which is probably just as well as I am terrified about dropping an accidental clanger. I won’t go into any detail to avoid that but I do want to talk about how it made me feel.

Has anyone seen that news article about the young Chinese woman hospitalised because she couldn’t stop crying when she saw it? That about sums it up. I cried from the opening scene all the way through to the end credits. I know this isn’t a surprising reaction for a sap like me but it gives you an idea of my mental state.

So yeah, take tissues. I also took a flask of tea and had to deal with the five tween boys sitting beside me making cheeky comments at my expense. Totally worth it.

“Where’s the beard, dude?”

“We lost. All of us. We lost friends. We lost family. We lost a part of ourselves. This is the fight of our lives.” ~ Steve Rogers

So what’s the verdict then?

Endgame perfectly balances humour with the feels – it’s stressful, exciting, comfortingly familiar and surprising. It’s everything I expected and more – it’s all I needed and much more. Without question it is the perfect end to Phase Three, even if the film itself isn’t perfect.

There’s one thing I really didn’t enjoy and it was a cheap shot – a lame fatphobic joke repeated over and over and although I’m not going to spoil it, I want to mention it. That’s pretty much my only beef with EG – it is very long, it is very busy – but I liked all that and I’ll be doing it all again this week.

All that time over the last decade we’ve spent in the MCU with these characters, every adventure – the Endgame is finally here and I almost can’t believe I’ve seen it now.

It’s over-all joyous. Five stars though I’m tempted to remove one for the fat phobia.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you watching?

Five Tiny Film Reviews

These are the last five movies I watched in 2018 and have been too lazy to post about – with micro reviews:

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018)

The film itself is fine but this is one of the weakest stories in the series (the first not written by Steig Larsson but David Lagercrantz). However, it does offer us a brand new Lisbeth Salander and that’s the real reason I rushed to see it. Claire Foy does a good job. I was curious about her ability to rock the look and she aces it, bringing her own grace to the character. Throw in some sweet Lakeith Stanfield action and a sadistic, vengeful little sister – and I enjoyed myself. Probably a little forgettable but I’m interested to see where this franchise might lead.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Creed II (2018)

Creed was amazing and this is good too, with strong performances all round. Tessa Thompson steals the show from everyone as the world’s most understanding girlfriend Bianca. If I were to pick on it I would say it’s a little heavy-handed on the sentimentality and the abrupt turn around at the end by Dolph Lundgren‘s Ivan Drago might be touching but it is a little barf-worthy. I didn’t hate it though and I’m always going to be there for Michael B. Jordan and any training montage he wants to share with me.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Aquaman (2018)

I’ve never been so aroused and pissed off at the same time. Unfortunately, while Jason Momoa may be the hottest human man on Earth, this film is a pile of steaming garbage and there’s no getting away from that. The dialogue is cheap, it’s light on laughs and is also boring in places, perhaps it’s biggest crime. It does have warrior sharks though so most of the rating I give is for them.

Back to the drawing board again, DC – or maybe given Patty Jenkins a call?

⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018)

Marvel, meanwhile knocks it out of the park again with this animated treat. Into the Spiderverse is fun, stylish and has a soundtrack to die for. While it’s silly in places, it works well and the blend of darkness and light works perfectly. My highlight is Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir but there’s excellent voice work from Brian Tyree Henry, Mahershala Ali and Hailee Steinfeld too.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

While this does border on just a little too saccharine for me (balloon scene particularly), it was magical in many ways. Emily Blunt rocks Poppins while bringing her own sarky tone to proceedings, the kids don’t make me want to punch them and Emily Mortimer is dreamy AF (as always). I don’t think I would have gone out of my way to see this if it hadn’t been just before Christmas but I’m glad I did. Is it as good as the original (as most people have asked)? Hard to say, I was never a Poppins purest (more of a Bedknobs & Broomsticks kinda girl) but it is a strong sequel. Definitely worth a watch if you’re not adverse to musicals and uber tweeness.

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What have you been watching?

Venom

Venom (2018)

 

I say this quite a lot but I went into this with absolutely no expectation, except that Tom Hardy would be fit. I left pleasantly satisfied and that’s because he is perfectly cast as the slightly loser-ish Eddie Brock. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, basically.

Is it anywhere are groomed as Infinity War or Black Panther? Of course not – but there’s a place for it and I enjoyed myself immensely.

Mr Hardy is a dream, an actor that sometimes makes you ponder whether he’s that technically talented – but it hardly matters, he has something a lot of other leading men don’t have and that’s the special something. And obviously I would climb him like a tree.

Tom-Hardy-Venom-2018

Hey babe

Riz Ahmed is also very good as evil Carlton Drake, a slick criminal mastermind who slowly but surely transforms into Venom’s ultra strong arch enemy, Riot. In the beginning, I had some reservations about Michelle Williams as Eddie Brock’s love interest Anne, who starts off pretty simpering. Luckily for everyone concerned, she claws it back and is actually great in the end, a heroine not afraid to get her hands dirty in a bid to make sure Eddie’s okay, even though he gets her sacked.

Support from Slate (whose character, Doctor Dora Skirth deserved better) and Reid Scott as Anne’s new boyfriend Dan is also good – but the supporting star has to be the lovely Mrs Chen (Peggy Lu).

The CGI can be a bit much to keep up with at times because there is so much going on and I don’t really know about all the symbiote science but ultimately I’m not mad at Venom at all.

My Rating

3.5/5.

Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and many more

IMDB Synopsis

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Where: Odeon Brighton
When: Saturday 28th April
Snacks: Popcorn and drink combo

*Spoilers*

My Review

Well this one is going to be a doozy to recap but I’ll do my best. Not all heroes wear spandex and hang out with Thor, you know?

In two words I think I could sum up Infinity War – “My heart” – but since this is a supposed film blog, more words are required. Here goes…

This film blew my tiny mind, made me feel excited once more to be immersed in the MCU (though to be fair this had already started with the first Guardians movies and from Homecoming to Black Panther) – something I never saw coming. Marvel Fatigue is an actual thing, a new sickness sweeping the nation but the fever’s broken and all is well again – that’s how I see it.

I want to be part of the action again and have strong feelings for so many of our protagonists – so you can imagine that this was a hard one to stomach given the way it leaves things.

Yes, yes – so many theories about the future of our favourites, I know but let’s just grieve for a little while.

Infinity War has so much going on that I won’t got through the plot bit by bit as I might normally, instead I think I’ll pick out the bits I super loved and scratch away at the tiny bits that didn’t work for me (there’s not much).

Best Bits

  • Literally everything and everyone in Wakanda, obvs. From Okoye (Danai Gurira) to BP himself (Chadwick Boseman) by way of Shuri (Letitia Wright) and M’Baku (Winston Duke) and his crew – it’s spot on. Wakanda forever indeed!
  • All the Guardians (not you Quill, see below) – particularly Drax (Dave Bautista) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper).
  • Special shout out to teen Groot (Vin Diesel) who dominated his scenes in the most subtle way – and the teenager stereotype wasn’t overdone here, even though it is so accurate (step mum of a 13-year-old, yo).
  • Thanos (Josh Brolin) the super villain with an actual heart and an almost understandable agenda, even though it’s evil and obviously hugely misguided. As with Killmonger’s raison d’être in Black Panther, there’s a social commentary being made and it’s refreshing that these motivations are a grey area. It also allows us to feel something for our antagonists, if not total understanding – and I like that feeling, frankly.
  • Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), surprisingly. He featured way more than I expected and I like him, I really like him.
  • Spiderman’s (Tom Holland) scenes were all top-notch but I really enjoyed his film references and particularly replicating a scene from Aliens to save the day (temporarily). It would also be remiss to not mention his final scene which broke my heart cleanly in two.
  • Rocket and Groot teaming up with Thor (Hemsworth), the “Pirate Angel” – this new dynamic kept things fresh and really showcased Rocket’s comic timing. See also Rocket on the battle field with Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and Groot’s initial meeting with Cap (Chris Evans): “I am Steve Rogers”. PERFECTION.
  • Cap’s beard – also perfection.
  • Peter Dinklage as Eitri. I loved the whole forging of the axe segment on Nidavellir. Glorious and funny as Hell.
  • Girl power on the front line – when Okoye and Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) rock up to fight alongside Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), I cheered and then got a lump in my throat. Female unity hasn’t exactly been a thing like this before (or before BP, that is) and I’m here for all of it – more please Marvel. Also, the line: “She’s not alone”, pass the fucking tissues.
  • Hulk in hiding is a new exploration of PTSD and I liked this too – plus we get more Ruffalo screen time and the contrast between Bruce Banner and Hulk is really interesting – I look forward to seeing the jolly green giant again but for now: oh hai, Mark!
  • Also the awkward reunion of Romanoff and Bruce – so many emotions in one simple, brief exchange.
  • We got more from Scarlet Witch and her skills which I’m here for, as well as more Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) – although I don’t think Gamora can come back, I’m hopeful they’ll find a groove for Nebula somewhere and evolve her character more.
  • Dat post-credit scene, man. “Motherfu…”
  • And so many other scenes and little details that I’ve probably forgotten to mention.

Still-of-Scarlet-Witch-from-Avengers-Infinity-War-Trailer

The Not So Best Bits

  • Could take or leave the Scarlet Witch/Vision (Paul Bettany) love-in. Wishy-washy as fuck. Also, how does he get into human form, is this a thing now?
  • Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) at the best of times but in this his petulance really came through and irritated me, not least because he fucks things up for the others. I get he’s got some grieving to do but look at the bigger picture, dude.
  • Not enough Wong (Benedict Wong) – where did he go, off to make a cuppa while the universe imploded? (Actually, fair play, that’s where I’d be).
  • It did seem just a teeny bit easy for Thanos to get all those Infinity Stones one by one (sacrificing his daughter aside).
  • No Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) or Korg (Taika Waititi)? Criminal!

So all in all, I am one happy fan-bunny (and I’m seeing it again tomorrow). While I had initial reservations about keeping up with so much, I think it was handled perfectly with little splinter groups mixing things up. Introducing new dynamics and building new relationships was a stroke of inspiration and one of my favourite elements. I can’t wait for Avengers 4 now.

All that build up over a decade and we get this: if not a masterpiece, then pretty blimmin’ close.

My Rating

5/5.

Holiday Fuck Yeah!

If anybody needs me next week, I will mostly be doing these things:

  • tumblr_lspg79Y4RD1qzgak3o1_540

    Just hanging with my mates on my time off

    First and foremost, I will be sleeping in. Or if not sleeping in late then at least turning off the alarm and waking up naturally. Which will no doubt mean I’ll be eating cereal in front of Netflix by 8 but with the option to go back to bed whenever the fuck I feel like it – which is kind of the same thing?

  • Updating my CV. I say this but I feel like it’s not a task I want to be doing in my free time, you know? I feel like I should at least be dipping my toe in the job market, seeing what else is out there. That said, I am seriously looking into night classes in web coding because I’m confident I’d be pretty good at that shit, and have been doing quite a lot of web based projects lately – so I’ll be considering my options while I have some time off.
  • Graffiti hunting. As if I’d spend my down time doing anything else. Graffitibridgeblog.com needs some attention and some of Brighton’s best artists are going to be down at the Brighton i360 this Sunday, covering 100 metres of hoarding around the building site – obvs I want to see what they come up with for myself.
  • Thinking about joining the gym. Wait, what? You read that right. I just want to get strong and feel powerful, not out of breath after walking up two flights of stairs – notice how I didn’t say “lose weight”? I’m not doing that to myself anymore. I’ll exercise to feel hench, end of.
  • Not wearing clothes. Naked is always best. Maybe not for my neighbour whose front door looks directly into our kitchen (You’re welcome neighbour).
  • Getting my Marvel on. I thought I was done with the Marvel universe, then I figured I’m just All Avenger-ed Out. Ant-Man and Fantastic Four have turned my head. Paul Rudd in leather? In. Miles Teller in anything? Donesies. Premier seats in the back row with my bae = Heaven.
  • Reading. Lots and lots of reading. This is what I’ve got on the go now, and what’s next:

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The First Bad Man by Miranda July
Triptych by Karin Slaughter
Carol by Patricia Highsmith
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (Currently reading)
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry

(Unicorn notebook from Paperchase – for ideas, innit.)

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  • I will, of course, also be blogging! By the end of my time off, I will have reviewed 2 films with Jillian. We took a week’ hiatus last week due to our pesky internet outage, but it’s now back in full effect and now so am I. Next up: Wetlands. Any film that uses the tagline “The most WTF, NSFW movie at this year’s Sundance Film Festival” has got my attention, TBH.

Have a good week, all. I know I will! *Takes off bra*