Spider-Man Isn\’t Quite Amazing, but At Least He\’s Home


Spider-Man: Homecoming is the second reboot in five years of the character, and features Tom Holland reprising his role as the titular hero from last year’s Captain America: Civil War. This time we skip over all the origin stories and Uncle Ben’s death and get right into Peter Parker trying to be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, until a new supervillain named Vulture (Michael Keaton) threatens New York City with dangerous weapons. Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. also star as Jon Watts directs.

I love the character of Spider-Man. He’s no Batman (duh) but when done right there is something about a sarcastic teenager in red, white and blue spandex that is just impossible not to find enjoyable. Sam Raimi’s first film back in 2002 redefined the modern superhero genre (and literally changed the start date of the summer movie season from Memorial Day to first weekend of May) and Spider-Man 2 is universally accepted as one of-if not the-greatest superhero films of all-time. The third film then had a mixed response while the Andrew Garfield reboot series (if you want to call two films no one liked a “series”) were a colossal misfire that resulted in Sony negotiating a deal to give the character back to Marvel, and it will be interesting to see how history remembers those two outings. But enough Spidey history, let’s get talking about this latest rendition.

Just like in Civil War Tom Holland shines here. He is just so darn charming, innocent and likable, and that’s just as Peter Parker. His Spider-Man has all the quips that Garfield’s was missing (saying “wait a minute, you guys aren’t the real Avengers!” to a group of bank robbers in Halloween masks) and he is just so much fun and it is clear that Holland himself is having a blast in the role of a lifetime.

The supporting cast are all great, too, with Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as Tony Stark aka Iron Man, acting both as a bridge for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this reboot series as well as Peter’s father figure since we don’t get an Uncle Ben this time around. Downey isn’t in the film all too much (every scene he has is in the trailer) but he is as sarcastic and witty as one may hope. Marisa Tomei has some genuine moments as Aunt May, and chooses to make this version of the character a little more nerdy and “try hard” (and clearly younger) than Rosemary Harris’ elderly, always worried take.

Michael Keaton is arguably one of the better villains that the MCU has seen, although that bar isn’t set too high. A blue-collar worker screwed over by a rigged system, Keaton doesn’t want world domination he just wants to make money while getting back at the elites. He gets some scenery to chew and has one genuinely tension-filled scene but overall he feels slightly underused, but it was still great to see him in a villain role, and continuing his mini-career renaissance of his.

There really isn’t too much action here to speak of, a lot of the film focuses on Peter trying to balance high school and being Spider-Man, and he isn’t always punching men in big flying monster suits; more often than not he’s stopping bike thieves and helping give old ladies directions. When the action does hit it is as clean and fun as any film with a $175 million budget and the Marvel brand slapped on it can expect to be, and is all the more impressive coming from a director who had only made small indie dramas (see Watts’ Cop Car if you haven’t).

What holds this back from the levels of Raimi’s first two films is a bit of a sloppy narrative here and there. The film isn’t always focused on Vulture and his plan, it just cuts back to him every now and again for a while to remind you that eventually we’re going to get to a big confrontation with him and Spider-Man. There were six screenwriters on this and it’s clear, sometimes the balance between big-budget superhero blockbluster and coming-of-age comedy are seamless, other times they’re jarring.

The film’s trailers also ruin *a lot* so if you have managed to avoid seeing the four of them up to this point, try to keep it that way. Scenes will be going on and suddenly you’ll realize you know exactly how things are going to play out because the trailers all spoil it.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a welcome return to form for the titular character and a nice little side-entry into the MCU. When I saw Spider-Man 2 in theaters as a 10 year old it was the first time I was ever truly left speechless by a film’s greatness; and although Homecoming isn’t perfect, it does bring me joy knowing that today’s kids finally have a Spider-Man worthy of being looked up to and enjoyed, because leaving them with Andrew Garfield’s would have been a travesty.

Podcast #73 – Brad Bird, Iron Man, DC Schedule Revealed


Starting off the podcast we only had a little bit of Star Wars news which included Brad Bird‘s decision to not direct EP 7, and something awesome that happened on Rebels. In comic book news Iron Man will appear in Captain America 3! Dare Devil’s suit (Netflix) has also been revealed. It’s not red. We discussed Wonder Woman, Batman, and some BS controversy about Spider-Woman.  Lastly, DC has released their movie release schedule that goes up until 2020!

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbdUs2x9Xo8?list=PLaigPlClFFkMp88mFFioItQQKEO5dk_u2]

Robert Downey Jr. Will Appear in Captain America 3 to Begin \’Civil War\’

Civil WarOne of the most popular and best-selling Marvel story lines in the past decade will be coming to the big screen, and chances are it’ll be the overall story for Phase 3.

Tonight Variety reported that Robert Downey Jr. is in final negotiations to appear in Captain America 3 to kick off Marvel’s Civil War storyline on the big screen:

The actor is in final negotiations to play billionaire Tony Stark in the third installment, which is slated to begin production in the Spring for a May 6, 2016, release. Downey is already set to suit up as Iron Man for next year’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “The Avengers 3.”

The deal is significant for the Marvel cinematic universe considering the plot will pit Stark against Captain America’s alter-ego Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, as they feud over the Superhero Registration Act, which forces anyone with superhuman abilities to reveal their identities to the U.S. government and agree to act as a police force for the authorities.

Stark supports the program, but Rogers does not, saying it threatens civil liberties, causing sides to be taken and Rogers, among others, to go on the run to avoid arrest. The moral question and battle with his Avengers teammate essentially makes Stark a villain of sorts in “Captain America 3,” providing Downey with a meaty role he could play out into future Marvel films, including a fourth “Avengers.”

This is also the first we’ve heard of him possibly appearing in Avengers 4 as well. Could they be saving Thanos for the fourth Avengers, and instead have Avengers 3 focus on Civil War? Or Avengers 3 could resolve the Civil War storyline by combining it with Thanos, forcing the heroes to put aside their differences to save the universe.

But how will Marvel do Civil War without Spider-Man? That’s an interesting question.

Now Robert Downey Jr. Says \’There\’s no plans for an \’Iron Man 4\’\’

Iron ManThe last few days have been crazy when it comes to a potential fourth Iron Man movie. In just the last twenty four hours we’ve seen a denial, a confirmation, and now there’s another denial.

Just a couple hours after Robert Downey Jr. appeared on the Ellen show and said “negotiations” have happened for an Iron Man 4, he went on Letterman and said “There’s no plans for an ‘Iron Man 4′”. When Letterman asked if there’s a script, he said “But they do have a plan and I think they’re gonna announce it. You know, they’re very secretive about it.”.

Here’s a video of his appearance. Maybe Marvel wasn’t happy about the negotiations comment on Ellen, thus this new denial?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r98Tb4MUyVI&w=630&h=354]

Robert Downey Jr. is Open to an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Appearance

Tony StarkThis morning Robert Downey Jr. hit Reddit to do an AmA and outside of some cool news such as a Sherlock Holmes 3 is still in the works, but the biggest reveal Marvel fans probably want to know about has to do with television.

At one point in the AmA a redditor asked him what on-going television show he’d be willing to do a guest star on, and he replied:

“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Before you get too excited, he clarified that earlier when someone asked him a similar question and said:

“Nothing is impossible. But there might be a fair amount of red tape involved in something like that. I love Clark Gregg, and am pleased the show is doing so well.”

Red tape? Could you imagine the ratings win Disney could have if they could swing a Tony Stark appearance on the show right during sweeps? I’m sure ABC is salivating at the idea.

Marvel Has No Plans For \’Iron Man 4\’

Iron Man
No Iron Man 4? Good.
Even though it was pretty much expected, over the weekend Robert Downey Jr. confirmed that Marvel currently doesn’t have any plans to make a fourth Iron Man. Even though the character will have appeared in six movies by 2018, when the third Avengers film is released, people still seem to think that Iron Man is the only Marvel series that matters…even though it’s long since been eclipsed at the box office by other Marvel properties including Guardians of the Galaxy.

Downey confirmed the non-plans to Variety while he was promoting his new film The Judge:

There isn’t one in the pipe. No, there’s no plan for a fourth ‘Iron Man.’

People love to berate Hollywood for producing nothing but sequels, but then get all shocked when there won’t be a fourth Iron Man movie right away. Many of these same people bitch and moan that Marvel isn’t introducing new characters, such as a female superhero, but then want a fourth Iron Man. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have fewer sequels, and then have Iron Man 4.

Marvel has plans to introduce new characters in Phase 3 including Doctor Strange, The Inhumans, Black Panther, and yes even Captain Marvel. By next May there will have been five movies with Iron Man in them. Lets give new characters a chance to shine. After all, Iron Man was always a C-list character in the comics prior to the movies…

Thanos Isn\’t in \’Age of Ultron\’, He\’s the \’Next Big Thing\’

Thanos is in Guardians of the Galaxy, its sequel, and Avengers 3 but not Age of Ultron
This weekend’s Marvel panel as the San Diego Comic Con has sparked even more confusion over the future of Thanos and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Due to Josh Brolin showing up at the end of the panel, to officially confirm he’s Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and many people having selective hearing; there’s a belief that was confirmation of him being in Age of Ultron. It wasn’t that at all.

What most people didn’t choose hear is how Robert Downey Jr. introduced Brolin. He called Thanos the “next big thing”. You can see this for yourself in Marvel’s official video of the moment. This was meant to tease people to the next big threat the Avengers will face after they deal with Ultron, which will be Thanos in the third film.

Thanos isn’t in Age of Ultron, the story has no cosmic element (outside of possibly featuring the Time Infinity Stone). It’s entirely Earth-based, without aliens such as Thanos being involved. Ultron, his Iron Legion, Baron von Strucker, and even Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are the villains in Age of Ultron. There’s no part for Thanos in the story Whedon is telling next May.

The Mad Titan is in two parts of this weekend’s Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s in the flesh early in the film, and as a hologram later on. The next time we’re likely to see Thanos in a movie is the Guardians sequel on July 28, 2017 before he makes it to Earth to fight the Avengers in the third movie.

Jon Favreu says we won\’t see Iron Man cameos in Thor

If you waited until the credits finished rolling at the end of Iron Man 2, you would have seen the hammer, which sets us up for the new Thor movie. We’ve now seen Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer, but will we see Robert Downey Jr. in either of those two upcoming films?

Favreu states that outside of the Easter eggs he’s been laying down, we won’t be seeing Tony Stark in anything until the Avengers movie is released.

“[Downey’s] not in Thor, he’s not in Cap which are the two movies for next Summer.” He continued, “I’m not sure where ‘The Avengers goes. There is no shooting draft written yet. It’s gonna be a big undertaking for Marvel to actually incorporate what happened in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America [and] The Hulk. All that has to inform one unified vision in The Avengers. It’s a very exciting prospect. And certainly, Tony Stark is not going to be involved in any of the movies until that one.”

Check out a clip of Favreu talking about how Captain America’s shield made it into the last movie.