Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)


The World’s Changed, Boys.  Time We Change Too

It doesn’t seem correct that the last time I wrote a written review for a movie was over 2 years ago, but I’ll take your word for it, WordPress.  Well, I figured if I wasn’t going to have a video ready for this week, maybe I could write a review instead.  And what luck!  I happen to have seen a movie today!  So I’ll just go ahead and give you a few words about Spider-Man: Homecoming, written by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, directed by Jon Watts, and starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, and Jennifer Connelly.

Peter Parker (Holland) is Spider-Man.  …Probably should’ve put a Spoiler Alert warning in the intro…  Anyway, he fights bad guys.  But not as much as he thinks he should.  The tailor of his suit, Tony Stark (Downey), disagrees and thinks he’s not ready.  Well Peter goes and does it anyway, getting in a little over his head when he starts getting closer with a gang of former salvage employees turned criminals and lead by the flying suit wearing Adrian Toomes (Keaton).  Other stuff happens, Tony tells Peter to get naked, Peter starts wearing a hoody with steampunk goggles, happy ending.

The general shittiness of my tone when describing the movie is not an indicator of my feelings about it.  I really enjoyed this movie.  I just don’t wanna give anything important away on accident.  I wanna do that when I goddamned good and ready!  I’m so happy Marvel got their mitts back on Spidey because they did it just as well as I hoped they would.  It just felt so much like Spidey!  More than it has felt like Spidey in quite a long time.  His jokes were good (Sorry Andrew Garfield) and at no point did he have a cringe-worthy dance scene in an emo black suit (Sorry Tobey).  It was more fun than serious, but succeeded on both fronts when it aimed to, which is something the DC Universe should take note of, especially with how well Wonder Woman did it.  The movie keeps our friendly spider more grounded and small, working out of a neighborhood setting one could say.  It doesn’t get too big for its britches, even though Peter wants it.  It’s better this way.  Spider-Man should handle his own business, and then occasionally get involved in the bigger, crossover type things like they do in those picture books people like so much.  He should have his Peter Parker troubles and have to perform a balancing act with his secret Spider-Man troubles, and in this movie he does!

The movie, however, was only ALMOST perfect.  It’s hard to put a movie together without flaws, and the minor ones in this were definitely forgivable, but worth noting because it’s very difficult to make jokes about good stuff.  The biggest one for me was the whole MJ thing.  One thing that really stuck in my craw about the Dark Knight Rises was the whole Robin thing, and the MJ thing in this movie reminded me of that.  You have this character that you’ve created for the movie and that’s fine.  But why have a big reveal at the end that the character we’ve been watching in the whole movie shares a name with something we know?  Like, am I supposed to get excited that John Blake’s real name is Robin?  Even though he’s not Robin and won’t be Robin and no Robin has been named John Blake?  So it’s just a moment of the filmmakers saying, “Remember that beloved character!?  …Well, this isn’t them.  But, y’know, it’s kinda cute… right…?”  Well that’s how the MJ thing felt in this movie.  Didn’t ruin anything, mind you.  I just thought it was unnecessary.  I also felt like this movie came dangerously close to getting in over its head with the characters.  I know Marvel is excited to get to play with these characters again, but when I looked through the Wikipedia page for the movie after the fact, almost every bit character in the movie was meant to be bigger characters from the comics.  They had Prowler (apparently), the Tinkerer, the Scorpion, one version of a guy that would become Venom, and TWO Shockers!  There was also electricity in some of the scenes, and that will probably be revealed to be Electro at some point.  It didn’t hurt anything for me really, but maybe slow down a little.  You can have bit players in a movie and it won’t hurt my feelings that the dude that sold Peter a sandwich wasn’t Kraven the Hunter.

I can’t say I have much to say about the action and visuals in the movie.  They were all great.  I thought they would be and my psychic powers were confirmed when they were.  …NEXT!

The casting was phenomenal.  We’ve met a lot of these people before and already knew how good they’d be so not a lot of surprise there, but they either met or exceeded expectations.  Tom Holland didn’t have it easy jumping into such an iconic character, but felt even better when we got to spend more time with it.  And being Spidey ain’t easy.  The first hardest thing about being Spider-Man is not beating Flash’s ass.  The second hardest thing would be having those abs and wearing a shirt to high school.  These are both things that would’ve been much different if I were Spider-Man.  Perhaps my uncles did a poor job imparting wisdom to me.  …Plus they’re both alive, which seems like they really let me down.  But Holland was Peter Parker and Spider-Man both at the same time perfectly, which is something I don’t think I could say about any other Spider-Man I know.  Michael Keaton was also expectedly fantastic.  He had solid motivation and reasoning and one of the most important things to get right about a villain is their motivation.  A bad guy who is bad just to be bad is boring.  This is a family man that got screwed by Damage Control and went a little overboard afterwards to take care of his family.  And he was intimidating AF!  The way they had him put together the Peter/Spidey thing was masterful and believable.  And his line comparing the way he got rich with the way Tony Stark got rich was also perfect.  Jacob Batalon as Ned and Zendaya as Michelle were both great comic relief, without overdoing it.  I felt a little annoyed with Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau in this movie, though.  They did a great job, but their role in the movie was to get mad at Peter for trying to handle something even though he constantly tried to let them know about if first.  Something is about to get hijacked!  Call Happy!  …He hung up on me.  Better handle it myself.  “I TOLD YOU NOT TO!” says Tony.  “I also had the other thing handled and you didn’t need to get involved…but I guess I forgot to let you know I called the FBI.  …Probably would’ve let you know that you didn’t need to get involved if I told you, wouldn’t it…?”  Also, I really enjoyed Jennifer Connelly as Karen, Peter’s AI suit companion.  I didn’t know it was her until after the movie, but they had a lot of cute interactions.

Y’know, I always say I don’t have much to say about movies I enjoy and that’s why I don’t write reviews for them.  Guess I showed me!  I can talk way too much about anything!  Next up: Sports!  But Spider-Man was lovely.  A perfect balance of a Peter story and a Spidey story with only minor annoyances that don’t take away from the overall enjoyment, with great action and comedy and wonderful performances to realize those things.  Go out and see this movie!  You have my blessing!  Spider-Man: Homecoming gets “You were on the ceiling!” out of “If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”

P.S.  Rest in Peace, Joan Lee.  This movie and character may not exist at all without your support.

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)


The War Between the Sexes is Over.  Men Won the Second Women Started Doing Pole Dancing for Exercise

I felt like it was necessary to follow my reviews of the Rocky franchise with something entirely not-Rocky.  This, of course, led to me renting Warrior from RedBox.  But we’ll get to that in a couple of days.  After a bit of a near death experience I had today, I felt like I needed something life affirming.  And, after my roommate Richard yelled at me for suffering through my crippling pain in silence and driving myself to the ER without telling him even though I had to walk past his room to get to my car, he was able to suggest just the right movie for me.  And it was one that came out within the last 50 years, unlike most of the movies he watches.  Let’s see if this movie affirmed my life in my review of Crazy, Stupid, Love, written by Dan Fogelman, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Jonah Bobo, Analeigh Tipton, Joey King, Beth Littleford, John Carroll Lynch, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon.

Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) sits down to dinner with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore).  He orders the salad and she orders a divorce.  Emily confesses that she cheated on him with a coworker of hers, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon) because she was unhappy with their marriage.  Cal does not take it well.  He starts frequenting a bar, getting drunk and talking loudly about his divorce.  Eventually, this catches the attention of Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), who decides to make Cal his pet project, turning call into a womanizer just like him.  Under Jacob’s tutelage, Cal’s first conquest is a teacher named Kate (Marisa Tomei), which will more than likely never come back to haunt him.  But Cal’s is not the only love story that’s not going well.  Cal’s 13-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bob) has fallen in love with his babysitter, 17-year-old Jessica Riley (Analeigh Tipton).  Jessica is having none of the younger Robbie, much preferring the much older Cal, who is in turn having nothing to do with that jailbait.  Jacob also begins to have feelings for a girl named Hannah (Emma Stone).

This is a flawed movie, to be sure, but it’s one I found genuinely likeable.  There were parts to the story I took issue with, but there were also plenty occasions in this movie that caused me to burst into laughter, something most movies don’t have the ability to do (intentionally, at least).  And it did indeed have a happy, life affirming ending.  It didn’t go for the silly convention of tying everything up in a pretty little bow and giving us the happily ever after, but it was close enough and better for it.  Let’s talk about the story first.  I appreciated it for being a really good and deep look at a crumbling marriage and how it affects those around it.  The alcoholism, the depression, the denial, all of these things came into the picture.  In comes the guy that seems to give the character what he really wants with a bunch of strange tail, but all he actually wants is his wife.  It seems to lead you down the path of believing that love is a lie and there’s no such thing as soulmates, but it flips the script on you for the end.  And the part right before the ending was a fantastic and hilarious way to smash together all of the different storylines, but it will require a ::SPOILER ALERT::  Near the end is when it’s revealed that Hannah, who is dating Jacob, is the first child of Cal and Emily.  Cal was casually flippant about the idea that Jacob was settling down with a girl before he knew that this girl was his daughter.  And he had seen too much of Jacob’s sluttier behavior to let that go down.  Of course the rest of the family would like to know how Cal came to know Jacob, but that would cast a negative light on Cal.  The “love triangle” between Cal, his son Robbie, and the babysitter Jessica comes to a head when Jessica’s parents finds that she’s taken nude photos of herself with the intent to give them to Cal.  Jessica’s parents show up and attack Cal as they’re all still working with the Jacob and Hannah situation, and this reveals Robbie’s love for Jessica and Jessica’s love for Cal, which causes more problems.  And then top it all off with David Lindhagen walking in to return Emily’s scarf to her, and shit just goes down.  This was definitely the emotional climax of the movie, and it felt like it should’ve been wrapped up with a good bit of dialogue immediately after this.  That’s not the way they went with it.  They went back to depressing for a bit before bringing us back to a happy ending.  It took a little longer, but it was still satisfying.  But it also was one of the best examples of a big problem I had with the story, but this does not require spoilers so ::END SPOILERS::  I’ve noticed a dangerous trend recently that is at least partially upheld by this movie.  It seems that, in the opinion of the masses, men are stupid and bad and women can do no wrong.  It felt like Cal was getting blamed for everything that was going wrong in this movie.  Yes, I grant that he may have been emotionally disconnected in the relationship, but that’s hardly an excuse to cheat on him.  Then, when it comes out that Cal slept with 9 women after their separation, Emily gets all mad at him.  First of all, we’re separated right now, so it’s none of your gundamned business.  Second, have you forgotten that you also had sex with someone else, but didn’t have the good sense to wait until we were separated?  This kind of stuff got on my nerves, but the movie still managed to be really good and really funny.  Any movie that makes a joke about how shitty Twilight is will be considered alright in my book.

I cannot think of any performance in this movie that I didn’t love.  It’s a star-studded cast and I expected no less from them.  They didn’t disappoint.  Steve Carell has shown us his comedic side and his dramatic side plenty of times before, and he pulls of both here fantastically.  I also like seeing him play drunk, because it’s usually really funny.  Ryan Gosling is probably the reason women would want to see this movie, and he gets his shirt off and shows the world that I am his body double.  Julianne Moore is Carell’s opposite in that she’s known for being a fantastic dramatic actress, but has done some good with comedy as well.  Emma Stone is great times to look at, and does a great deal of comedy as well.  I tend to always find her very charming.  Analeigh Tipton had unconventional good looks in this movie, but is still very attractive.  I kept thinking she looks like a younger, brunette Riki Lindhome, and that’s alright by me.  She also gives a very real performance in this movie.  I think Marisa Tomei tended to steal the show every time she was on camera.  She wasn’t in the movie that often, but when she was she was pretty hilarious as she completely flipped out over thinking Steve Carell had lied to her to get her in the sack, although I’m fairly sure he didn’t.

This movie borders on being a bit of a chick flick, but I found it to be a really good movie nonetheless.  It was well-written though it does seem to hate men, it was incredibly funny in parts, and the performances were all fantastic.  I definitely recommend this movie to you, as a watch, rental, or purchase.  I’ll probably purchase it myself at some point.  Crazy, Stupid, Love gets “Seriously?!  It’s like you’re Photoshopped!” out of “The perfect combination of sexy and cute.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.