‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is not just another rehash, it’s a film of it’s own.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming
 is set several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.

If you think it was a franchise that had been done to death, much like DC’s Batman, it’s the friendly, neighbourhood web slinger in Spider-Man. It wasn’t long ago that we saw Andrew Garfield’s incarnation in The Amazing Spider-Man
in 2012 and it’s sequel two years later in 2014. Before that, in the early noughties, we had the hilariously bad and over the top Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire and to be honest, nothing will be able to beat those incarnations of Spidey, from Peter Parker attempting to figure out his web slinging powers atop a New York City building or the ever hilarious emo dancing incarnation.

What makes Tom Holland’s take on the famous character is that he makes it feel fresh and new, without rehashing the “Uncle Ben” story, assuming you know the tale already. And going into this film, it would honestly be a surprise if you didn’t. With the effects up to the ever excellent Marvel standard, Holland brings a humourous new light to the character that’s a mix between Maguire’s and Garfield’s. The film has both it’s serious and humours moments, doing well to balance them out.

This new series proves that it’s going to be a winner and it’s so good to see that Sony has finally lent the character back to its original owners. Now, if only they’d do that with the X-Men franchise, we could finally get some more Hugh Jackman as Wolverine as Jackman has stated that if Wolverine was apart of the MCU, he would continue playing his character. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? He’s like the Robert Downey Jr. to the Tony Stark — Jackman isn’t just playing Wolverine, he is Wolverine.

Anyway, getting distracted here.

The good thing about Homecoming is that the MCU have had a good amount of time previously to get the ‘superhero genre’ right and with the successes of Deadpool and Logan proving that superhero films have grown so much into their own genre, Homecoming is amongst some of the first to becoming more interesting if they were more than ‘just another superhero movie.’ Homecoming also wasn’t as dark as it’s previous Spider-Man’s as well as many other superhero films of late, which was nice because we got to see a younger, more childlike version of the character really growing into his own skin and really acts as a coming-of-age film. It was a nice little break from all the seriousness of the MCU up until this point and now we have Thor: Ragnarok for a little more comedic relief before delving back into Black Panther and the Infinity Wars duology.

The film’s efficient and lets the actor’s act, which is a rare thing in blockbuster movies because it’s usually, for example, just Tom Cruise running away from things or an overabundance of effects driven sequences where where we don’t get any emotionality and when we do, it feels fake and forced. Homecoming is a definite step up in Marvel villains where Michael Keaton’s Vulture is as compelling and as complicated as he should be. And as the saying goes, you either die a hero or live long enough to a villain. Thank God Keaton did in his case.

It was also really nice to see some familiar faces like Chris Evans’ Captain America/Steve Rogers popping up in school training videos and in the *spoiler alert* post-credit scene where he mocked all of us who stayed until the very end; Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts appearing for a few seconds at the end of the film; along with Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan and Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark having no more than about ten minutes screen time in total.

Though it may feel like you’re tired of seeing that there’s another Spidey film, this one’s no doubt worth your money and time.

Film-O-Meter: 8/10.

‘Birdman’ is a beautifully versatile film.

Birdman. A film I was looking forward to from the moment I saw the trailer. And it lived up to expectations. The film was thrilling, exciting, and kept you interested right the way through.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a film about washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero who must overcome himself and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in attempts to reclaim his past glory.

Performances from leads Michael Keaton and Edward Norton were taught with emotion, especially in Keaton’s performance leading up to the final moments before the audience in the theatre where I almost cried my eyes out. Each of the roles were expertly cast and even with minor roles played my the likes of Naomi Watts, shone through. Emma Stone, who played Keaton’s daughter, also performed well but maybe not with the energy and emotion as the rest of the cast. Overall, however, each performance was strong and played their part in heightening the anticipation and strength of the story.

It’s a phenomenal film, on par with another one of my award season favourites Whiplash. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu was truly ambitious with the technical performances; the cinematography was another aspect of the film that truly astounded me. The usage of the films one continuous take was very well executed, and didn’t tire you out in it’s continuity and lack of cuts.

An interesting part, it hought, of the film was the voice inside of Riggan’s (Michael Keaton) head and the importance of Riggan’s “powers.” The reason why I found his “powers” of particular importance was whether or not they were real or imagined, and the presence of Birdman’s voice inside of Riggan’s head contributed to that. Either way, whether you think they are imagined or not, combined with his inner voice, are the source of his angst. It makes us truly think about who we are and what we tend to ignore or repress in our everyday lives.

And as a final note, if you have a chance to listen to the soundtrack, make sure you do. The drum score elevates the story, showing the versatility of the drum kit in telling a story in itself.

Film-O-Meter: 9/10.

‘Spotlight’ hasn’t received the recognition it deserves.

Spotlight tells the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Honestly, Spotlight is one of the better investigative dramas in the past few years. A cinematic world of magic has been created with an in depth and intensive look at this real and disturbing world. Each character feels authentic; each scene equally important as the next builds as such; and from the beginning to the end, you’re held on a tight string.

The film is impeccably cast with Mark Ruffalo really showing his acting chops, his performances beating out the previous (excluding that of The Avengers films). He builds his character from the ground up and becoming more involved in his work, taking us through the story. Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton support Ruffalo in his search for the truth and Liev Schreiber, with only minimal screen time, gives a impressionable performance and like that of Stanley Tucci, is hidden under the look of the time and will take a moment or two to recognise who they are.

Spotlight hasn’t received the recognition it deserves.

Film-O-Meter: 8/10.