Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Writer: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman (Screenplay) Phil Lord (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoe Kravitz

 

Plot: Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man of his reality, crossing his path with five counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.


Tagline – What makes you different is what makes you Spider-Man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The New Best Spider-Man Film

 

Story: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse starts as we meet Peter Parker who has been fighting crime for 10-years-now, we jump to Miles Morales a kid from Brooklyn who ends up at private boarding High School a place he doesn’t fit in, with fellow new girl Gwen Stacy.

When Miles is bitten by a spider, he starts to see changes in his body, which seems him come face to face with Spider-Man who is trying to stop an inter-dimensional device from being activated by Kingpin. When Peter Parker is killed, Miles starts to learn his own power which will see him meet Spider-Man from different dimensions including Spider-Ham, Peni Parker, Spider-Man Noir and Peter B Parker, each has their own enemies, but this latest one has put all their homes at risk.

 

Thoughts on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 

Characters – Miles Morales is a kid from Brooklyn his dad is a cop and he is being pushed into a boarding school, he still has a streetwise side to him which sees him bitten by a spider that will change him into the next spider-man. He must learn to control his abilities if he ever wants to be the hero, and now he has five other versions of Spider-Man who can teach him his place in this world. this is his origin story, similar to many we have seen, only he has come from a different background. Peter B Parker is the oldest Spider-Man, he has lived a life fighting crime, seen his personal life go sour and now he gets t be one of the Spider-Men that helps Miles learn his powers. Gwen Stacy is the new kid in school who just so happens to be from another dimension where she is Spider-Gwen, she is the newest of the visiting Spider people who tries to help Miles too. We have three other versions of Spider-Men, with the Noir one which is a private investigator from the 1930s, Spider-Ham a pig version and Peni Parker from the future, each has their own kill which will help in the fight. We do get villains with Doc Ock working for Wilson Fisk, known as Kingpin who is using the collider to create the fracture in the universes.

StoryThe story here shows the origin of Miles Morales, the new Spider-Man as h must learn to control his powers, but he must learn quickly with the help of Spider-Men from other dimension as they go into battle against a villain in Kingpin that is putting everybody’s home in danger. This is an origin story, only it bypasses the simple first battle which we often see, even though it does build the character of Miles the same as other superheroes. This is easily the most ambitious superhero story you will ever see, which we can get away with in the animation side of the film. the story also gets to poke fun at other origin stories as well as previous films in the universe which give the story the heart required to make you care about the characters and just what they are going through.

Action/Adventure/Family/Sci-FiThe action in this film is massive with giant battles which put our characters through their best abilities, which is the adventure side of the film as they go in search for the answers on how to get home. The sci-fi side to the film takes us through the idea of multiple dimensions that heroes could exist in.

SettingsThe film does give us different looks at New York as we see the different dimensions the characters have come from, this gives us different comic book concepts of the city too.

AnimationThe animation is interesting, to start with it looks weird, but it grows on you making you feel like you are watching a rolling comic book strip, each version of spider-man does have a unique look too.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its hard to catch all the jokes.

Final ThoughtsThis is an ambitious animated superhero movie that takes everything to a new level with different Spider-Men, it has laughs and hearts throughout.

 

Overall: Massively Ambitious that delivers.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – T – Tag (2018)

Director: Jeff Tomsic

Writer: Rob McKittrick, Mark Steilen (Screenplay) Russell Adams (Article)

Starring: Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb, Hannibal Burgess

 

Plot: A small group of former classmates organize an elaborate, annual game of tag that requires some to travel all over the country.


Tagline – Based on a True Story. We’re Not Kidding.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh Out Loud Funny

 

Story: Tag starts in the month of May, the same month five friends Hoagie (Helms), Bob (Hamm), Chilli (Johnson), Sable (Buress) and Jerry (Renner) always play a game of ‘Tag’ the problem is they have normal lives and for the 30 years of playing they have never managed to tag Jerry. This year he wants to retire from the game, which brings the other four out to bring their best game.

The four are joined by Hoagie’s wife Anna (Fisher) who takes things too seriously and reporter Rebecca Crosby (Wallis) who believes this could be a major story as they all head home for the wedding.

 

Thoughts on Tag

 

Characters – Hoagie is one of the gang, the one that still takes the game of tag the most serious willing to take fake jobs to get his friends, he joins his wife who keeps him determined to get Jerry this year. Bob now in a successful businessman who is being interviewed at the time of the beginning of the game this year and now his story will help bring the game to the life of the public. Chilli is the stoner of the group, his life hasn’t gone well with his marriage, business and career not going well. Sable seems to be the guy trying to put his life back together, we don’t learn too much about his life away from the gang, but he does get plenty of laughs. Jerry is the one from the group that has never been caught, he has turned the whole game into a mission to prove he can escape and plan ahead of anybody who comes for him. Rebecca Crosby is the reporter that is writing a story on Bob, only to get learn of the game of tag that makes for a much bigger story. Anna is Hoagie’s competitive wife who would be the be the best player in the game if she was allowed to play.

PerformancesEd Helms, Jake Johnson, Jon Hamm and Hannibal Buress have great chemistry which shows in their performances, we get laughs from all of them without one getting more than the others. Isla Fisher is the strongest actress in the film because the characters are not used to the full amounts in the film. Jeremy Renner is the highlight in the film because he goes against the typecast we know and hits the comedy moments throughout.

StoryThe story here follows the story of five friends that have been spent 30-years playing tag once a year for a month and this time the four are determined to get the one that has never been caught. This is clearly and early message about brotherhood and remaining friends for a lifetime, it gave the guys an excuse to just go and see their friends. We do get moments that I feel do go too far when it comes to getting involved in the game, but the idea of the game is just as crazy as it sounds. I did like the fact this story showed us how life can get in the way of friendship the older we get and this gives us a reason to keep in contact with them, brining a moment of happiness to a life that could be going in a bad direction.

ComedyThe comedy in the film is great, though it easily has moments that will upset people because certain jokes could be slightly too offensive, the chases will get the most laughs.

SettingsThe film takes the friends in their home town which shows the important message behind the game which gives us a nice feeling.


Scene of the Movie –
The concept of friendship.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain moments are too dark.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great comedy that people will enjoy the most part of the message of friendship, it has great performances from everyone involved too.

 

Overall: Must watch comedy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – D – Drinking Buddies (2013)

Director: Joe Swanberg

Writer: Joe Swanberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Ti West, Jason Sudeikis

 

Plot: Luke and Kate are coworkers at a brewery who spend their nights drinking and flirting heavily. One weekend away together with their significant others proves who really belongs together and who doesn’t.


Tagline – A comedy about knowing when to say when.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Comedy Goes on Too Long

 

Story: Drinking Buddies starts as we meet the co-workers from the brewery Kate (Wilde) and Luke (Johnson) who get along in and out of work, they enjoy a drink together, but both have their own relationship, Luke with teacher Jill (Kendrick) and Kate with Chris (Livingston).

The two couple decide to go away for a weekend together where the relationships will be tested and we get to see just who has feelings for who between the four.

 

Thoughts on Drinking Buddies

 

Characters – Kate is the PR woman at the brewery, she hangs out with the guys drinking after work, she is in the early stages of a relationship but doesn’t have much planned from it. Luke is the co-worker that is closest to Kate, he has been in a long-term relationship but avoiding the marriage conversation. Jill is Luke’s partner, a teacher that doesn’t enjoy drinking as much as Luke and wonders what could have been from her life.

PerformancesOlivia Wilde is good in this role, she can play the free spirit that is needed well and work well with Jake Johnson that handles the comic moments well. Anna Kendrick is good as the girlfriend, you believe her in the more serious situation of the film.

StoryThe story focuses on two co-workers that enjoy drinking but have their own relationship, we see how when time goes by the relationships become strained and their own feelings become much clearer, there isn’t too much more in this story, it is trying to show us everyday problems that everyday people might have.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy comes off well for the most part, with most part being improv that relies on the actor’s abilities.

SettingsThe film keeps us looking in the everyday locations which shows us how lives can change so quickly.


Scene of the Movie –
Drinking on the beach

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does drag in the second half of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that uses the idea of everyday life with relationship both romantic and with co-workers, argument can cause problems, but friends will always find a way to make up.

 

Overall: Simple comedy that isn’t the most inspiring.

Rating

 

 

The Mummy (2017)

Director: Alex Kurtzman

Writer: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman (Screenplay) Jon Spaihts, Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet (Screen Story)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B Vance, Marwan Kenzari

 

Plot: An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: American Mummy in London

 

Story: The Mummy starts as we get the traditional history lesson about what Princess Ahmanet (Boutella) did to become the cursed woman from Ancient Egypt. Roll forward to present day Iraq where treasure hunting soldier Nick Morton (Cruise) and his partner in crime Chris Vail (Johnson) move in on an insurgent controlled town. In this town they make a discovery which bring archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Wallis) to work with the army to bring the discovery back.

When the discovery of Princess Ahmanet selects Nick as her latest choice to raise Set the God of Death to life to reign terror on Earth, Jenny brings Nick to Dr Henry Jekyll (Crowe) to find a way to stop this ancient terror from rising once more.

 

Thoughts on The Mummy

 

Characters/PerformanceNick is a solider that enjoys treasure hunting for his own profit, he is a selfish man but once he works with Jenny we see a different side to him as he also gets to cheat death. Dr Jekyll is a character we know from history but this time he seems to be a leader of an organisation that fights evil. Jenny is the archaeologist that has searched for Princess Ahmanet for her whole life and now she gets to fight something she never thought. Princess Ahmanet is our ancient Egyptian that has been raised from the dead to bring her terror back to Earth, this character is the highlight of the film but you still want more from her. Chris Vail is basically the friend from American Werewolf in Paris.

Performance wise, Cruise disappoints here, he is miss-casted because he doesn’t pull of the confused out of his depth to the level we are used too in these films. Russell Crower, well as a supporting character he does struggle to make an impact. Annabelle Wallis is fine but you just don’t believe must of her characters decisions. Sofia Boutella once again shows she is very capable of these roles which need unique body movement. Jake Johnson tries the comic relief but it doesn’t click every time.

StoryYou know the Brendan Fraser Mummy, well this is incredible similar story just in modern times, we have one very well-designed moment and that is showing how the extremists are destroying monuments which can cover Nick’s tracks. Otherwise this is one of the most painful origin attempted stories of recent years, we have a villain which should be one of the most interesting of the year but almost becomes second fiddle to the bigger universe that the film wants to create. Nothing here is overly memorable, original or worth seeing again.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action sequences are a mixed bag, we have the plane crash which we all saw in the trailer but otherwise it is Tom Cruise 101 with running, sand storms and losing fist fights. The adventure side get sucked out of the film once we hit London and the fantasy side of things just doesn’t come off believable.

SettingsThe Iraq setting was fine for me, but we don’t focus on that area long enough which most of the film taking place in England and mostly London and seriously how many times can we destroy London on film?

Special EffectsThis is yet another mixed bag for me, certain moments look great but other moments come off painfully CGI.

Final ThoughtsThis is a failed attempt of a Universe builder, it is miss-cast with Cruise, this should have gone to a younger name that could work in the universe for years to come and a character in Nick that is remotely interesting. I will accept that this was needed to bring the modern era for this bigger picture which does clash the ancient world with the technology world but we don’t focus on that enough.

 

Overall: Disappointing action film that focuses on Easter Eggs over producing us a story.

Rating

 

 

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

logDirector: Colin Trevorrow

Writer: Derek Connolly (Screenplay)

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Jeff Garin, Mark Duplass

Plot: Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Guaranteed to Please

Story: Safety Not Guaranteed starts with Darius (Plaza) a young woman who has always struggled to fit into her social situations. Darius is working as an intern at a New York magazine run by Bridget (Rajskub). Jeff (Johnson) decides for his next assignment to investigate an advert in the paper asking for someone to go time travelling with them. Jeff takes Darius and Arnau (Soni) on the assignment across country.advert

The three discover the man who has placed the advert Kenneth (Duplass) who works in the local grocery store and small house. Jeff’s attempt to get to know him backfires as he really has just returned to the town to try and hook up with an old fling. Darius has much better luck when Kenneth starts doing a background check on her before inviting her into his idea as he has a constant fear of being followed.

As Kenneth and Darius get to know each other we learn that both would like to go back and change things from their past. First the two have to get the final parts to make the mission possible. We continue to see Kenneth and Darius bond as the time to go time travelling gets closer but how real is his story anyway.

Safety Not Guaranteed does what you want to see in all indie films, it takes the charm of a romantic comedy and mixes in an element you would never imagine working, time travel. Granted this film isn’t anything to do with actual time travel it focus on the characters who believe things haven’t gone their way in life and not sitting back any longer. I really enjoy these types of films they show you don’t need to rely on easy comedy, they show that you can have a sci-fi element without going with a mad budget. This films shows how to bring together five very different characters to help each other come out of their shells and show their true colours and isn’t that what we all want to see in life? This film will be one story I will recommend to anyone because of the simple character development used through out. (8/10)

Actor Review

Aubrey Plaza: Darius is a young intern who has never really fitted in anywhere in here life but when she gets taken along for one of the stories she ends up having to be the one to get to know the man who believes he can travel through time. We see how Darius grows as a person the more she learns about Kenneth. Aubrey gives a great charming performance where you can feel that she is an outsider. (8/10)daris

Jake Johnson: Jeff is the lead reporter on the story who has used this trip to try and hook up with and old high school girlfriend. He pushes Darius into continuing the story after he makes an unprofessional approach to learning about the story. Jake gives us a performance where he starts off as the unlikeable character but soon he is just as vulnerable as the rest. (7/10)jeff

Mark Duplass: Kenneth is the man who claims to be able to travel back in time, he placed the advert to find someone he can trust to go back in time with and until he meets Darius and we learn about his motives. Mark gives us a committed performance as you believe every word his character speaks or at least that he believes he believes speaking the truth. (8/10)kenneth

Karan Soni: Arnau is the fellow intern that gets bought along on the investigation to find out the truth about the advert. Karan is the supporting character who easily shows how isolated Darius could be. (7/10)

Support Cast: Safety Not Guaranteed has a limited supporting cast that mainly are here to show what is true in the stories being told and how the characters believe things are currently going in their lives.

Director Review: Colin TrevorrowColin does a great job directing this indie gem I can only wonder what he will give us for Jurassic World (Which I should have seen by the time this is posted). (8/10)

Comedy: Safety Not Guaranteed manages to give us funny moments, granted no moments that will make you laugh out loud but we get good moments that will give us a chuckle or too which is all the film really needs. (8/10)

Romance: Safety Not Guaranteed plays the romantic angle without throwing in our face, we learn early on that all the characters are single and haven’t had much luck in love, as the film continues we see how they all get a chance for love but can secrets ruin everything? (8/10)

Settings: Safety Not Guaranteed keeps the most part of the setting in the small town which really gives us a feeling of normality to the strange character being introduced to us. (8/10)

Suggestion: Safety Not Guaranteed is one for all the indie fans out there to enjoy, it is one that I would most people to have heard of but maybe not all given a chance too. (Watch)

Best Part: Guessing what is real.

Worst Part: Not knowing where the adventure goes.

Funniest Scene: Stealing the lasers, it is an easy laugh but so effective.

Favourite Quote: Kenneth The mission has been updated. I’m going back for you now. All right. Do you trust me?

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could, but it hope it never does.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $4 Million

Budget: $750,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: What would you change if you could go back?

Overall: A real treat that will leave you with a smile what more could you ask for in a film?

Rating 80