Spider-Man: Far From Home is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics’ character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and the twenty-third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Jon Watts, written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Parker is recruited to face elemental threats from another dimension while he is on a school trip to Europe. I really had no interest in seeing this version of Spider-Man but wanted to write about the film hoping it would be of some interest. I didn’t love it; see my thoughts explained in the last paragraph below.
Spider-Man: Far From Home opens in Ixtenco, Texas, with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) investigating an unnatural storm. While there, they encountered a horrifying creature, Earth Elemental. Quentin Beck / Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a master of trickery and illusion who also claims to be a superhero from Earth-833 in the Multiversearrives, arrives and successfully fights off the creature.
Meanwhile, in New York City, the Midtown School of Science and Technology restarts its academic year to accommodate the students who were among those resurrected in “the Blip” eight months earlier. The school organizes a two-week summer field trip to Europe, where Peter Parker (Tom Holland), still distraught over Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) death, plans to confess his growing feelings for classmate Michelle “MJ” (Zendaya). Despite being forewarned by Harold “Happy” Hogan (Jon Favreau) that Nick Fury is trying to contact him, Peter, looking forward to his school vacation, chooses to ignore the call. Avoiding any communication with anyone from Stark Enterprises, Peter and his friends travel to Venice and are among those attacked by the Water Elemental, which proceeds to wreak havoc on the city. Mysterio arrives and destroys the creature while Peter secretly attempts to help.
When Tobey Maguire was featured as Spider-Man, the aura was more adult-oriented. With each change of the Spider-Man actor, the aura changed to reflect a more youthful audience. While the film was full of adventure, excitement and well-acted, it’s gotten a little too youthful for me. The silliness and cockiness, often a big part of being a teenager, no longer appeals to the likes of my generation. The plot has more twist and turns than one could imagine. I didn’t particularly like Fury’s attitude as he tried to convince Parker to be a man by stepping-up and participating, now that the world has changed as a result of “the Blip”. I felt going after Peter Parker to help fight the Elementals was ridiculous, as he could have asked a different agent. I’m sure the kids will love Spider-Man: Far From Home — it has grossed over $603 million worldwide, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2019 and was positively reviewed, with critics calling it a “fun and satisfying sequel” and praising the performances of the cast, particularly Holland and Gyllenhaal. If you haven’t seen Infinity: Endgame, you should see it before Spider-Man: Far From Home, as many spoilers are through-out the film. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged cobie smulders, earth elemental, Harold "happy" Hogan, jacob batalon, jake gyllenhaal, jb smoove, jeff bridges, jon Favreau, Julius dell, maria hill, Marisa tomei, Martin Starr, may Parker, Michelle "mj", mysterio, ned leeds, nick fury, peter parker, Quentin beck, robert downey jr, Roger Harrington, samuel l jackson, spider-man: far from home, the blip, tom holland, tony stark, water elemental, Zendaya
Solo: A Star Wars Story, or simply Solo, is a 2018 Space Western based on the Star Wars character Han Solo. Directed by Ron Howard, it was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the second Star Wars anthology film following 2016’s Rogue One. A stand-alone installment set prior to the events of A New Hope, it explores the early adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca. I was excited to see Solo based on trailers and my Star Wars history but wasn’t that happy about how Solo turned out. While I continued to be entertained, I didn’t feel as touched or as involved in the story as in the past. Could it be that there are too many Star Wars movies giving one the feeling that it’s just a competition piece without rhyme or reason? A money grabber, if you will.
On the shipbuilding world of Corellia, orphaned children are made to steal in order to survive. A young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and his girlfriend, Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) escape from a local criminal gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with a stolen sample of coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return and rescue her, he then joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. Han is given the surname “Solo” by the recruiting officer.
In the meanwhile, three years have past and Han has been expelled from the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination. While serving as an infantryman during a battle on the planet Mimban, he encounters a gang of criminals posing as Imperial soldiers led by Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson). He tries to blackmail them into taking him with them, but Beckett has him arrested for desertion and thrown into a pit to be fed to a beast – a Wookiee named Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo). Able to speak Chewbacca’s language, Han persuades him to work together to escape their confinement. In need of extra hands, Beckett rescues them and enlists them in the gang, which includes Beckett’s wife Val (Thandie Newton). They then plot to steal a shipment of coaxium on the planet Vandor. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up with their leader Enfys Nest (Erin Kellyman), resulting in the deaths of two crew members and the destruction of the coaxium. Beckett reveals he was ordered to steal the shipment for Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt.
At this point, the film picks up a whole new adventure. There are many twist and turns and some surprises you won’t see coming. Solo is an excellent story with far fewer characters than some of the earlier Star Wars productions. You might note the character Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) who was formerly played by Billy De Williams has been replaced with a younger actor. Also, Han Solo was originally played by Harrison Ford but is not played by Alden Ehrenreich. Over all I think Solo is missing the grandiose feeling usually displayed in these type of movies but still is a very good film. Solo is definitely not worth seeing in 3D but is worth seeing in the regular standard format. Check it out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alden ehrenreich, chewbacca, cloud riders, donald glover, dryden vos, emilia clarke, enfys nest, erin kellyman, han solo, jon Favreau, joonas suotamo, l3-37, lady proxima, lando calrissian, linda hunt, paul bettany, phoebe waller-bridge, qi'ra, rio Durant, solo: a star wars story, thandie newton, tobias beckett, val beckett, woody harrelson, wookiee