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Movie Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man: Far From Home

It’s difficult to review Spider-Man: Far From Home in its totality. Doing so would spoil so much of what makes the film great. The movie is easily the best Spider-Man film to be released. We’re not counting Into the Spider-verse for that debate. It also challenges the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s really that good.

The film picks up post Avengers: Endgame. Not only does it directly address events from that film, but it also answers many of our questions stemming from it. So many scenarios are thrown out about the impact of the snap. So many quick comments. And so much of it is addressed with humor and realism. And that’s the brilliance of the film.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is able to add massive amounts of worldbuilding and details through simple quick sentences. It’s a movie that’s smart in how it delivers information to the audience. It’s also clearly aware of the weight on its shoulders.

Here’s a spoiler… for Avengers: Endgame

The film deals with the fallout of the death of the heroes, particularly Tony Stark. It questions what’s Tony’s legacy and who will take up the mantle? And that responsibility is thrown on to the shoulders of Peter Parker. Tony saw something in him and that’s addressed here. Helping explore that is Happy Hogan who takes on a more involved role that’s almost fatherly.

End spoiler…

The film itself is about elementals who have come from another dimension to destroy our planet as they’ve done to others. Enter Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio, a mysterious person from a different Earth. He’s a soldier out to stop the elementals who destroyed his world.

It’s also the summer and Peter and his fellow students are off to Europe. There, Peter wants to tell MJ how he feels about her.

You’ve got action, you’ve got mystery, and you have a very cute high school romcom all rolled into one.

The film does an excellent job of using all of its cast. Other than a few students who don’t get much to do, even secondary characters get added depth. Flash Thompson has more added to his character out of two small moments than all of the previous Spider-Man films combined. That’s how smart the film is. We know more about him due to a text he sends and an interaction at the end and it all makes us understand his character. Those two moments are maybe 30 seconds combined and involve one sentence.

Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers are the writers for the film and Jon Watts directs, just as they did for Spider-Man: Homecoming. They clearly get these characters and this world and nail it in every way. Throw money at them and keep them around for as long as possible.

Every actor shines too with Zendaya particularly coming out of her shell from the first film and Tom Holland really showing some depth in acting with emotional moments. Jacob Batalon, as Ned, is given so much more to do and is so entertaining with every line delivery. Martin Starr and J.B. Smoove delivering so much humor to moments. Jake Gyllenhaal feels like he’s just having so much fun with what he’s given. He chews the scenery in a great way. Everyone is amazing and shines. There are no weak parts.

The film’s greatest strength is in every small detail in the script and on the screen. It has a lot on its shoulders with so much to do and it succeeds. It wraps up the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe phase and sets up what’s next. Boy does it. It does the impossible at every turn and delivers a summer popcorn film with humor, depth, and heart. The film has it all and I can’t wait to see it again in the theater.

Overall Rating: 10

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Spider-Man: Far From Home Gets Its First Post Endgame Trailer. Spoilers Within!

Spoilers within the video!

The new trailer for Spider-Man: Far from Home is here and not only are there some spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, there’s an interesting reveal within!

Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!

Spider-Man: Far From Home is out July 2nd.

Mary Jane Watson Isn’t Just Any Redhead

Zendaya_by_Gage_SkidmoreCertain racist fans are angry that Marvel and Sony have reportedly cast a black actress as Mary Jane Watson in the new Spider-Man movie because “Mary Jane has to be a red head”.

Aside from the fact that some black people have red hair.

Aside from the fact that red hair dye exists and lord knows an aspiring actress is probably going to care a lot about fashion

Aside from all of that, if you’ve actually read Spider-Man over the years you’ll know that Mary Jane isn’t just a redhead.

Here are some of her defining traits:

She’s outgoing, ambitious, creative, artistic. Not particularly intellectual but she’s certainly no dummy. She’s not shallow.

She’s an actress both on and off the stage often putting up a confident and carefree facade even at times when she’s full of fear and doubt.

She wishes she was as carefree as she pretends to be.

Recent canon established that she grew up poor — that’s how she ended up living with her grandma and not her parents.

All along, Marvel comics had intended Peter to end up with Gwen Stacy, the “good girl” as his one true love. Mary Jane had just been added as a plot twist to bring Peter’s romantic plot-lines some tension. Mary Jane was written as a more independent woman and they realized that this made MJ a more interesting and dynamic character in their stories. Stan Lee said “we finally decided to let Peter end up with her, but it was … as though the characters had taken over!”

Mary Jane PanelBack in the Silver Age Marvel’s characterization of the Gwen Stacy/ Mary Jane Watson / Peter Parker love triangle often veered towards a sexist Madonna/Whore complex. Gwen Stacy was the shy, studious “good girl” and MJ was the outgoing party girl.

Fans really responded to Mary Jane. More so then Peter’s intended true love, Gwen Stacy. Yes, MJ’s a hot redhead but they also liked her because she had a fun personality and seemed like someone you’d want to grab a drink with.

So why are certain fanboys today reducing her to the color of her hair?

Some writers haven’t actually conveyed her personality in their work. Sometimes they just write her as Peter’s dream girl with no inner life. Many artists have reduced her to her looks. Or her thong. And her trademark red hair IS legitimately iconic.

But countless writers have written her with a pretty damn consistent personality, not just in decades worth of comics but in many cartoon shows and movies.

Our sexist culture and the generally fetishistic nature of a lot of super hero art explain why certain readers don’t notice MJ’s personality even when she is well written.

So if you think that the only thing that matters about MJ is her hair you are reading the wrong comics. Or maybe you are objectifying the real women you interact with too.

Maybe do something about that?

Addendums: I haven’t read a new Spider-Man comic in years. But if Slott et all have completely erased her personality since I last picked up an issue, that would sort of prove my point. But I suspect she’s still the same old MJ fans have loved for decades.

Also, Rob Wilson tweeted me that the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series played the study-party dichotomy without making it “Madonna/whore Complex” and did an admirable job calling out Peter on his BS. That sounds like great progress.

It’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for the Next Webslinging Film

It’s CinemaCon where studios are showing off upcoming films and revealing their plans and today Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman along with the new Spider-Man Tom Holland revealed the new Spider-Man film’s title, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

This film is the first of the partnership between Marvel and Sony, the character will debut in May’s Captain America: Civil War. Spider-Man’s solo adventure will hit theaters July 7, 2017.

The character will be fighting alongside Team Iron Man in Civil War and when Peter Parker is introduced he already has his powers, so, no need for an origin story in his solo film.

The movie also stars Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Zendaya as a high school friend of Peter’s and Robert Downey Jr. will also make an appearance as Tony Stark.

The five films that have already been released just by Sony have earned a total of $3.9 billion and average $792.7 million a film making it one of the most lucrative superhero franchises and characters.

Around the Tubes

scalped_1It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone excited for? We’ll have our picks in a few hours, but until then, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – Vertigo Series ‘Scalped’ Gets Pilot Order – Hope this gets picked up.

The Comichron – February 2016 comics sales estimates online: Dark Knight III #3 tops 146k copies – For those that enjoy what sales numbers there are.

The Outhousers – Zendaya Cast as Michelle in Upcoming Spider-Man Reboot – Well ok then.

The Consumerist – Supreme Court Won’t Hear Appeal In Batmobile Copyright Case – Not surprising.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Lucky Penny Vol. 1