Archive for peter parker

‘Spiderman Homecoming’: Meet Peter Parker the Protégé

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2017 by aliciamovie

Spiderman-Homecoming

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Jon Watts

Studio: Marvel Studios

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

Web-slinging spoilers catch more than flies!

Coming off the dubious success of the previous Captain America movie, wherein Spiderman was introduced as a protégé of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), we find Peter (Tom Holland) feeling rather too large for his admittedly smaller life back home with May (Marisa Tomei). In this outing, Pete simply calls her ‘May’ and it is only the first of many odd un-Spidey-like actions he takes. Dutifully attending high school and trying to stay out of trouble while sincerely frustrated with the held-back feeling of all the good he could be doing, if only Mr. Stark would but let him. There are bad guys in Pete’s neighborhood, stealing alien tech that’s the consequence of the wider-world fights between the Avengers and other alien invaders and selling it to other bad guys, or forging new weapons and tech from these salvaged parts for their own nefarious purposes.

Pete’s been telling everyone at school and home that he has an internship with Tony Stark, when in reality, it seems as though Stark has left his protégé behind to linger in mediocrity. While Spidey is off with his spiffy Stark-made suit with the training wheels still on, rescuing cats from trees and stopping eensy-weensy thefts, the Avengers are in theory out there having mega-battles with who-knows-what kind of alien villains, and Pete is heartily sick of it. It kinda sorta helps when Pete’s best pal Ned (Jacob Batalon) finds out about his double-life and starts fan-squeeing at him day and night, but seriously, chemistry labs and the academic decathlon are nothing compared to the Avengers world. Yet the film often insists on tossing in we’ll say half of Pete’s so-called “normal” life, like your first major high school party, with the other half, like a tiny bank robbery that turns into murder by alien high tech, in a manner almost expectant of Spidey instantly able to do the necessary thing; poof. We need our Hero Spider-Man and we apparently needed him like yesterday – what’s the rush?

I totally get wanting to fly again after Spiderman’s cameos in the previous movie, but come on fellows. Most of the fans and the general MCU folk want Spider-Man to join the Avengers for whatever varied reasons, but you can’t expect him at a Toby Maguire level if he never had time to be at an Andrew Garfield level. And that’s another place the movie just feels weird – the apparent age of the Spider-Man and his support cast, you know, the high school kids, the girly crush and the best friend who suddenly morphs into ‘the guy in the chair’ level tech mastery. Many of the characters in the film are in an awful hurry to grow up, but that’s unfair to those familiar characters and especially to our beloved web-slinger himself. Spidey trains extra-hard to live up to what he thinks Stark’s expectations of him are, far beyond the point of risking his own safety, and crucially, no real regard for how his actions may affect his loved ones. No Peter Parker-Spider-Man I ever heard of did that (there are other comic book incarnations of Spider-Man now too). Why insist on sticking him in with the Avengers at this young age, and more bogglingly, why cast Tony Stark of all people in the missing-father role? It is what it is; onward we go.

The bright spot in an oddly endearing little fan-film version of Spider-Man we have here, is Michael Keaton as Vulture, and Adrian Toomes. I always thought Keaton’s double performances were some of the best Batmans I had ever seen, and his astounding job in the recent gem Birdman was quite good, so casting him in this beleaguered father role was a very smart move. He took what was essentially, let’s be honest, a boring leftover villain from the glorious 60’s only ever meant to forward the Avengers plot, and made him fun and maybe even a little relatable. How many of you can honestly say, with access to that kind of tech and a bunch of imagination, that you wouldn’t make another version of Vulture, or something like it, for yourself?

Every Spidey film has to have a gigantic “Spidey saves the day!” moment, and Homecoming is no different in this regard. But crossing the epic Spidey-Vulture fight with the high school academic decathlon field trip imminent-elevator-death scene was kind of ridiculous. And the very end scene where Pete finally goes to visit Tony Stark in the new HQ, was once again, mostly all about Starks attempts at mentoring. Does Pete’s decision mean he won’t be in the next Avengers movie? I highly doubt it.

Catch the web-crawler and his flying pals in ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’, in theaters now!

The Amazing Spiderman 2

Posted in Action, comedy, Comics, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2014 by aliciamovie

the-amazing-spiderman-2-new-poster

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Marvel Enterprises

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Director: Marc Webb

Review Rating: 7.5

Warning! All kinds of Spoiler-laden Review here!

Everyone’s favorite wall-crawler is back, to tackle nerd-turned-villain Electro, a rather crazy Harry Osborne as Green Goblin, and even a crazed machine-wearing Rhino!

Whew! Why, why, why so many villains in one movie? That’s three for Pete’s sake (get it?!), even the third movie of the previous Spiderman films didn’t go there. Maybe it’s because of the manner in which the movie was laid out story-wise. Often what plot there is, is breathlessly explained before Spidey has to dash off to yet another terrific web-slinging scene where he effortlessly trusses up bad guys while swooping through the air hanging by a thread! But is that fair to Spidey? Hardly. Nor is it fair to Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone), who is quite determined to continue dating Peter, despite the inherent spider-related dangers involved. Peter loves Gwen, and she loves him, their on-screen chemistry really is great. But skipping a girlfriends-family-dinner due to safety concerns, or missing Gwen’s valedictorian speech because he’s saving New York yet again, doesn’t make for a solid story, it’s just polaroids of the stuff Spidey’s stressing over. Our beloved wall crawler deserves better.

So Peter’s (Andrew Garfield) finally graduated high school, barely. Gwen’s already working, for Oscorp, big surprise. And somewhere in Oscorp, there’s this utter nerd who’s practically invisible to everyone else, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx). Apparently a genius at things like power grids, Max gets starry-eyed when he’s saved by Spiderman, and his infatuation turns into full-blown fanaticism when, forced to stay late on his birthday at Oscorp and fix the power grid, Max gets his poor self involved in an accident that turns him into the bitter blue pill to swallow, Electro! But poor Max is confused and lost, and when he goes to Spiderman for help, in a huge electrical bonfire of a “look at my new powers! oh crap – the police!” scene, rampant destruction is sizzling all around him, and Max decides, as Oscorp hauls him away, that yes, if he can’t be famous, he’ll be infamous. Spidey betrayed him (I had to ask, how you figure that?) and now Electro will get his revenge, just as soon as he can break out of Oscorp’s basement. Which leads us to…

Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan) was nowhere to be found in the first Spiderman reboot. Nor was he ever mentioned, as I recall. Well, whatever. He’s back from wherever he went off too, to see his father dying from what is generally termed the Osborne curse, some sort of physical malady that literally turns them into a goblin-like creature. … Okay? Sure, we’ll go with that. Osborne Sr. has just passed on from the curse, Harry thinks he’s just going to be taking over the company lickety-split (boy is he in for a rude shock), and there’s only one thing standing in his way: Harry thinks he needs, wait for it, Spiderman’s blood in order to stop his families legacy from destroying Harry from the inside-out! Well, we can’t do that, it’s far too dangerous. Hell, Spidey even drops in on Harry in full costume and tries to explain, only to get ejected and reviled for his trouble. It’s not as though Harry Osborne is used to rejection, but his reaction is a bit much. We’re gonna…let me see if I have this right – break into Oscorp, steal the spider venom of the original spider-creatures that Peter’s own father was working on, and inject ourselves in the hopes that that will do something against the Osborne curse. Well, it did something all right. And the Goblin legacy is born, complete with outfit and flyer jacked from Oscorp on the way out! Where is he going? Why, to go confront Spiderman for yet another betrayal (boy Pete just can’t catch a break from all these betrayals), immediately after Spidey’s amazing electrical combat with Electro in the cities power grid! But wait. Gwen, being the iron-determined girl she is, has chosen to be with Spiderman in these moments of confrontation, and she pays the final price for it. Tossed off a roof that’s imploding, Spidey is desperate to save the woman he loves with all his soul, no matter what it might cost him. The manner of Gwen’s death, as portrayed in the film, can be interpreted as the same as Stacey’s original death, but a watered-down version. Which is such a damn shame, their love and her death deserved more, than just a blip of a funeral and hey it’s been a few months and everyone is still depressed, where did Spiderman go?

And that is the one thing that ASM 2 has truly going for it – Spiderman himself. Whenever Peter puts on that mask (not the outfit mind you, we see him often shucking his tights with burns, acid holes and other who-knows-what-that-was stains), he literally becomes another person entirely. The best scenes of the movie are where Spidey swoops in to save the day, and always and forever has a kind word for each and every downtrodden schmo he just rescued. Spidey makes a point of making every single last person, all those faceless saps just existing and going through the motions out there in New York, feel like they matter, and to Spiderman too. That truly is amazing. The graphics are terrific and all, and yes, watching Spidey fly through the air with the greatest of ease about New York’s skyscrapers is awesome, but it’s these small moments of Spidermans kindness that truly get us.

So Peter is in mourning and the movie is about to end, in sadness and despair. Right? Wait! What happened to Paul Giamatti as Rhino? *le sigh* He got tacked on in a minute fourth act, that’s what. Rhino, in his badass mech-rhino suit, is rampaging down a city street, and there isn’t diddly the police can do. Where is Spiderman? He needs to be reminded, yet again, about that whole “with great power comes great responsibility” deal, but not by this method. Every little boy (and girl too, why be biased?) should emulate his hero, but not to the point of donning a costume with no powers whatsoever and stepping out to confront the mechanized monster. The Amazing Spiderman does don his mask and swing in to save the day, of course, but damn after this if he hasn’t finally earned some rest! A Heroes work is never done.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by aliciamovie

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Marvel Enterprises

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Director: Marc Webb

Review Rating: 8

A new imagining on the favored comic book story, Peter Parker finds himself with new spider-related powers, trying to save the mad Dr. Connors from himself!

I liked the first Spider-Man with Toby Maguire, I did. 2 was stretching it a bit, when they came out with the humanizing (oh the irony of the word) of the character, which usually means humiliating them as much as possible. And 3, I’m sorry, I have to agree with most people I know, Spider-Man 3 was just awful, for many varied reasons I’m not going into now. This new version of Spider-Man, I was leery of, having never heard of Andrew Garfield, and why do we need yet another Spider-Man movie anyway? This re-imagining of the story answers that why in a big way: because they did it better. This Spider-Man is truly indeed amazing: he revels in his powers, he cracks jokes as he whips up the bad guys in spider-silk, and did I mention this version of Peter Parker is a total badass and still remains a high school student throughout the entire movie? Oh yes.

Gwen Stacey is the love interest, she’s played by Emma Stone, and I just adore her. It’s also a smart move on the filmmakers’ part: Stacey was Parker’s first love in the comic books after all. Rhys Ifans is Dr. Connors, one-armed scientist who becomes the wayward Lizard sort-of villain, and this version of a villain for Spider-Man is the reluctant and apologetic bad guy, which I’m totally down for. Denis Leary, the mad-mouth-man himself, is Captain Stacey, Gwen’s father, disapproving and stern, and yet helpful when the situation requires it – kind of like real life, if you think about it. The introduction of Sally Field as Aunt May, may have been a bit of a misfire – I always saw Aunt May as much stronger than what they portrayed her as in this movie, but then this is the beginning where she loses her husband and has to find her strength first. And then there’s Uncle Ben, acted by the legendary Martin Sheen – he gets the best one-liners for anyone not mutating in the movie, and I totally felt him in that role.

So Peter Parker is a huge science nerd here in high school, and he and Gwen are already dancing around the proverbial bush as far as dating and making out. Fortunately for him, Gwen works as an intern at the Oscorp labs Peter tries to break into, where Dr. Connors takes a shine to him. Dr. Connors starts off as a man with a missing arm and a dream large enough to compensate for it, regeneration, like lizards and the like are capable of. Peter helps him realize that dream after getting bit by those dern super spiders the Doc just happens to have in the lab, and Dr. Connors goes from mild mannered to megalomaniac in a far too easy transition. We all know what happens to Uncle Ben and Parker’s subsequent reaction to it, that’s old news and yes they did include that story, it’s kind of pivotal to Spider-Mans backstory, and that’s fine – it’s not the pivotal plot of the story, and I am glad of it. Rather, Peter wants to use his newfound powers to stop and actually help Dr. Connors refuse the rage of the Lizard-man attempting to overtake him. This new Spider-Man (who’s hardly a man yet, being in high school through the entire movie, but still) is a total badass who has no conflicts about using his powers to aid his city and the people therein. Gwen Stacey is fully aware of the newfound Spider-Man in this very first movie, and I all kinds of approve of that move, as she does. There is a fair amount of Spidey wandering around without his mask on, which makes me wonder why he bothered with the iconic costume look in the first place, but every time he unmasks it’s for a damn good reason, so I excuse it. The CGI is awesome of course, we all knew it would be, but I was concerned it would be so over the top as to look fake – fear not, loyal viewers, it’s looks spectacular. The fight scenes between the Lizard and Spider-Man are epic and everything, but they didn’t rush through the rest of the movie to get there, nor did they focus too hard on the humane aspects as to make the fight scenes seem limp. I don’t want to give much more away other than that, so please, take Moxies word for it – this new Spider-Man earned the title of Amazing.