Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Director: Jon Watts

Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers (Screenplay) Steve Ditko, Stan Lee (Comic Book)

Starring: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Samuel L Jackson, Jon Favreau, Angourie Rice, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori

 

Plot: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: An Entertaining Jumble

 

Story: Spider-Man Far from Home starts when Peter Parker (Holland) and his classmates MJ (Zendaya), Ned (Batalon), Flash (Revolori) and others head off to Europe for a scientific school trip, Peter’s plan is to finally tell MJ how he feels, but things don’t go to plan.

Peter finds himself recruited by Nick Fury (Jackson) to help new superhero Quentin Beck known as Mysterio (Gyllenhaal) fight a new threat that is attacking cities in Europe, trying to decide if he is ready to tackle the added responsibility of being a superhero.

 

Thoughts on Spider-Man Far from Home

 

Characters – Peter Parker has two main storylines going on in this film, one side of him is the high school student that wants to tell the girl he likes his feeling, nervous and social awkward. The second one sees him facing the reality that he was hand picked to step up and help save the world, a decision which sees him wanting to just take a break from. Watching Peter balance the two is interesting because the high school one was the weaker side, the superhero side is very interesting to follow. Nick Fury is also adapting to life after the snap, where he isn’t in the same level of control on everything going on in the world, he wants Peter to come and work for him and doesn’t like being told no. They did try to recapture certain elements of the chemistry he had with Captain Marvel too. Quentin Beck is the new superhero dubbed Mysterio because of his powers and ability to defeat the elementals that have started attacking the major cities, he offers Peter a chance to discuss his position with having powers like nobody else has since Tony’s death. MJ is the girl of Peter’s dreams, she is very different to both versions of MJ we have seen before, being very distant to the rest of the class, but always manages to capture Peter watching her.

PerformancesTom Holland does do a very good job in the leading role, if it was just the high school side of the film, he does struggle at times, but it is the human effect of being a superhero that completely makes you believe what he is going through. Samuel L Jackson does what we expect from him in a supporting role, as does Zendaya who does everything without standing out. Jake Gyllenhaal though, he was a joy to watch especially in the second half of the film, he just takes his role and runs with it.

StoryThe story here follows Peter Parker on his high school trip that gets interrupted to help try and save the world from a new threat, testing him to see if he is ready to replace Iron-Man. This like the character of Peter Parker can be broken down into two simple positives and negatives, the high school trip stuff, is there, most of it gets pretty boring quickly, it is here to help show a human life that he could have though. The superhero side of the story is the highlight because it does get to show how the once confident Peter is starting to question if he is ready to step up after seeing the consequences to what has happened to people in their lives. The villain is a surprise and while I won’t get into details, it is very entertaining to watch and could be one of the best they have bought to a stand alone film.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in this film is brilliant to watch, it blends with the special effects and doesn’t turn into anything as ridiculous as it could be when you see the fights. The sci-fi element of the film does address the dangers of technology being in the wrong hands once again, but it all works for the story being shown here.

SettingsThe film gives us the basic European settings, we have Venice, Prague, Berlin and London, you know well know locations that have large populations which could get destroyed.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film did seem flawless, we do have large scale, dust, water and fire monsters used for battles which all look like they could be real along with certain twists in the story which only add to the effects.


Scene of the Movie –
What is real?

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of the high school stuff.

Final ThoughtsThis is a real mixed bag of a superhero movie, it could have been fantastic, only it gets too carried away dealing with the high school world which does drag things down.

 

Overall: Entertaining enough.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Crime – B – Bandits (2002) Movie Rob’s Pick

Head over to Movie Rob’s website for more reviews

“You’re gonna knock over a bank with a Magic Marker? What are you gonna do, write on ’em? ” – Terry

Number of Times Seen – Twice (6 Feb 2002 and 2 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Two escaped convicts start a bank robbery spree where they kidnap the bank managers the night before and then spend the night at their house before traveling to the bank to steal the money in the morning.

My Take on it – This is a film that I saw not long after it came out and didn’t recall much about it besides the fact that it starred Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchett.

It’s actually quite a mediocre heist film since it tries much too hard to make this feel as if it’s story is one that could be “ripped from the headlines” and also feel pertinent to Reality TV, which was in its infancy at the time.

The chemistry between the characters is quite weak and the fact that Willis and Thornton don’t feel as if they are on level ground also hurts things since the characters are meant to be equal.

Blanchett’s character is quite annoying the whole way through and it’s pretty difficult to believe that she is able to have a romance with one of these men, and they want us to believe that she has one with both of them.

This love triangle just doesn’t work on any level.

The story itself is quite repetitive and they rehash things much too often instead of trying to break new ground along the way.

This film should have been much shorter and that might have been better if edited together.

The movie fails to decide whether it wants to be seen as a comedy or as a crime thriller and in the end it feels as if it is neither especially when there are too many scenes that play off as being overly melodramatic for their own good.

Bottom Line – Very mediocre heist film that tries too hard to feel as if it is “ripped from the headlines” during the beginning of the days of Reality TV.  Willis and Thornton don’t work very well together because they never seem to feel as if their characters are on equal levels. Blanchett’s character is quite annoying throughout and its very hard to believe the love triangle that comes about.  The story itself feels too repetitive and things could have been shortened a lot because they try to reestablish things that they previously established.  The plot gets a bit too melodramatic for its own good and fails to make the decision of whether they want this to be seen as a comedy or as a crime thriller and in the end, it seems like neither.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Billy Bob Thornton has a phobia of antique furniture in real life, and the producers wrote it in as part of his character. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)

Crown and Anchor (2019)

Director: Andrew Rowe

Writer: Andrew Rowe, Michael Rowe, Matt Wells (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Rowe, Matt Wells, Natalie Brown, Robert Joy, Stephen McHattie, Ben Cotton, Jonathan Watton

 

Plot: A raw look at the effects of childhood trauma through the eyes of two estranged cousins.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Filled

 

Story: Crown and Anchor starts when police officer James (Rowe) returns home for his mother’s funeral, with his estranged drug abusing criminal cousin Danny (Wells) having already dealt with the formalities. James isn’t happy and stays away from most of the family apart from Doug (Joy) who informs him of a drug problem in the town.

James decides that he wants to look to end the problem in the town, getting Danny out of the problem he has found himself in and finally facing the childhood trauma they both went through.

 

Thoughts on Crown and Anchor

 

Characters – James is a police officer with a violent side, he keeps his isolated working out listening to aggressive metal music when off duty, he did suffer a trauma as a child and with his mother’s passing things have only gotten worse for him, returning home he wants to fix the drug problem in his hometown which will see him clashing with his cousin. Danny is the druggie criminal who has just lost his job, he has turned to crime for money to support his family, only to learn this has started to cause more problems with the security of money coming into the family, along with James he suffered a childhood trauma which is why he has reacted the way his has too. The rest of the characters we met are family who have their own stories about the cousins and the crime boss who wants to stay in power, with plenty of threats through the film.

PerformancesMichael Rowe and Matt Wells are both our main performers, they are both intense with their roles from either side of the law, we get to see the emotional impact that both have with what has happened to them in the past. The supporting cast all work for this film without getting tested to the levels of the leads.

StoryThe story here follows two relatives that suffered a childhood trauma and have gone in completely different directions in their lives, while still battling the demons that they are suffering through from their past. This story does try to show how reluctant men are to talk about their emotional traumas they have suffered in life, turning to different vices to help them, be it drink, drugs or violence, we get to see how they can become distant because of their action. One of the weaker sides of the story comes from the pacing, which does make the opening part of the film feel like it is dragging along and it is getting into the truth which is what we want to learn the most about in the film.

CrimeThe crime side of the film follows the two cousins that have gone either side of the law, using their positions to commit crimes, with the police officer going across the line, while the criminal falling deeper into the criminal world he has been drawn towards.

SettingsThe film is set in one city which has seen a drug problem start to take over, one man wants to stop this to save his family, it shows us just how different worlds can be created for these people to be living in.


Scene of the Movie –
Lucky shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slow starting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow paced film that does want to tackle a couple of serious issues going on in the world, we have strong leading performance to keep everything going strong through the film.

 

Overall: Nice drama even if it has a slow start.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – B – Body (2015)

Director: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen

Writer: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen (Screenplay)

Starring: Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, Lauren Molina, Larry Fessenden

 

Plot: A night out turns deadly when three girls break into a seemingly empty mansion.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Thriller

 

Story: Body starts as three friends Holly (Rogers), Cali (Turshen) and Mel (Molina) who are on a girls night including drinks, drugs and partying on Christmas, the night ends up taking them to Cali’s Uncle’s mansion.

When it turns out the house isn’t belonging to who Cali claimed they get a visitor searching for the intruder but the accident finds him falling down the stairs and the girls needing to figure out a way of covering up the accident.

 

Thoughts on Body

 

Characters/PerformanceHolly is the quiet girl with the most promising future of the three, Cali is the popular friend that always gets the other two in trouble who believes she is every boys dream. Mel is the friend from the respected family that finds herself in the middle of all the decisions the two need to make. It would be fair to say these are not the best people in the first place which struggles to make us care about them.

Performance wise, the three girls all do a solid job through the film but we are left still not caring about the characters they are playing.

StoryThe story follows three friends who start with one illegal action which spiral out of control as we get to see the true actions of these people. This is a good character study in places but it does just end up falling into the problem as we don’t care about characters involved.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of the story shows us what the characters would be getting up if they were in a situation the girls find themselves in.

SettingsThe film takes part inside one house which works for the story as we are left to see what the characters do to overcome the problem.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good character study but doesn’t make you care about the characters involved in the story.

 

Overall: Clever attempt at a character study.

Rating