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

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.


‘The Lost City of Z’ suffers from its length despite its potential.

The Lost City of Z tells the story of Percy Fawcett who ventured into the Amazon in search of a myth. What he discovered became legendary.

What an extraordinary film that’s another example of length making it almost insufferable. It’s a much preferred watch compared to, say, the new Transformers atrocity currently in cinemas that holds a similar length. In saying this, however, it would’ve been nice if the film were historically accurate but again, this may be asking too much with the current state of the film. The quality of filmmaking here is noticeable and therefore much more appreciated for what the film is worth.

Ever since his days in Twilight, there’s no doubt that Robert Pattinson has improved though he still remains somewhat stale. He has a long way to go but has also come a long way so far. The star leading the film through the Amazon Jungle in Charlie Hunnam carried the weight of the film on his shoulders with much more ease than with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in which he awkwardly stumbled through. Whatever happened between those two films was a noticeable difference as he really proved himself to be an amicable actor. It was also such a different side to him that we saw in Son’s of Anarchy.

It is worth the run time and if you’re looking for something to watch, amid the slew of trash (or lack there of) gracing our screens at the moment, The Lost City of Z is something to consider.

Film-O-Meter: 6/10.

‘In The Heart of the Sea’ is an exhaustive effort to watch.

In The Heart Of The Sea is based on a whaling ship preyed upon by a sperm whale in 1820 and stranded its crew at sea for over ninety days and thousands of miles away from home.

This film, based on the novel of the same name by Nathaniel Philbrick, has the makings of epic action-adventure and somewhat fails to ever realise this potential. It tells us the basis of the story it inspired, of the Essex Tragedy of an 1820 whaling expedition gone wrong. Between the clashing of egos and bad navigation decisions, we see a portion of the Moby Dick story that was left out of the story many of us know.

In The Heart Of The Sea may seem like the classic retelling of man against nature, the film hardly let you fully connect with its story or connect with the characters, holding the audience at a fair distance away as only observers and quite often merely being a visual marvel. The film suffers with deciding whether it’s about man against the mythical beast that would be Moby Dick or a philosophical look at the darkest parts of our being. And although there is a depressingly sombre tone draped over the film, the lack of engagement hardly makes the creature terrifying.

Despite the close attention to detail and the cinematography enhanced with visual effects to pull me through the more laborious moments, it’s somewhat disappointing attempt at what it could have been.

Film-O-Meter: 5/10.

Entertaining, despite its flaws.

Captain America: Civil War
 tells the story of a political interference in the Avengers’ activities that causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.

With the two new additions of Black Panther and Spiderman, who were impeccably cast if I might add, they were swiftly brought in with cheers from the crowd and finally for once, actually portraying a comedic but not cringeworthy Spiderman who had more of a major role than originally expected or shown in the trailer. Black Panther’s backstory was brought in with believable backstory and great motivation to show why he’s doing what he’s doing without the need to oversaturate him in the film.

The action sequences didn’t make you feel tired or overwhelmed, and that’s a big deal especially if you saw it at midnight like I did and didn’t need anymore reasons to fall asleep halfway through the film. Like all the reports that I’d been hearing, the airport sequence was by far the best sequence of the film providing adequate screen time for each of the characters, often making you laugh so hard you were in stitches, and providing a building entertainment.

Marvel continues to prove itself in creating thoroughly entertaining films in a booming franchise unlike the multitude of failures to create a franchise that DC has struggled with for many years – with the exception of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films.

Even though the Captain America solo films got off to a shaky start, they continue to prove themselves as tentpoles for the franchise and probably some of the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Infinity War is definitely in good hands and have more faith they’ll do more good with the next Avengers film than the failings of the previous outings.

Film-O-Meter: 9/10.