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

 

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Director: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller

 

Plot: The second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” series featuring the adventures of Magizoologist Newt Scamander.


Tagline – The fate of one will change the future of all

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple World Building

 

Story: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald starts with Grindelwald (Depp) escaping prison pulling his forces together as he is going in search for Credence Barebone (Miller) who is now on the run, the Ministry want Credence bought to safety, which gives them a chance to offer Newt (Redmayne) a way to travel internationally.

Tina (Waterston) has been selected to go in search of Credence, which ends up giving all parties interested in search for Credence, the one person who has the power to killed Dumbledore (Law).

 

Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

 

Characters – Newt still considered an outside in the magical world, he is offered a chance to redeem himself to stop Grindelwald from gaining too much power, he still has the connection with the fantastic beasts, is trying to redeem his relationship with Tina and prove himself to the Ministry. Grindelwald has escaped his prison and is now looking to raise an army for a war against the non-magics, he knows how to take down the biggest threat ad is working to get Credence on his side. Tina has moved away from Newt after reading something incorrectly, which sees her leading the investigation into Credence’s location. Dumbledore has a connection the Grindelwald, one that means he can’t track him down and he selects Newt to help him search for his old friend. Credence is the young man that everyone is searching for, he has power that others simply can’t control, he doesn’t know who to trust in any way, leaving him on the run as he wants answers to who his parents are. Leta Lestrange is the former classmate of Newt, she has been put in a position where she can make up for her own mistakes in the past, while dealing with her own secret.

PerformancesEddie Redmayne is solid enough returning to his role, there are moments where he is annoying though. Johnny Depp was solid too even with all the issues around him being cast in this film. most of the cast are just basically solid, nobody does anything to stand out in this movie.

StoryThe story continues the adventures of Newt as he must learn why Grindelwald is searching for Credence. We do see both sides bring drawn out in a war between the two sides, with the different wizards needing to learn pick a side. Where we do have a lot characters we do seem to lose focuses on just what is happening within the bigger picture, as this is only an early chapter in series, it des feel like a building story rather than one that has a beginning or end, which also disappoints. We do however know that the Harry Potter franchise was similar with this, giving us moments which will be used for latter moments in the franchise.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of the film does take Newt to new locations with more of his fantastic beasts which is fine, though it just feels like more of the same with the magic being more about who wants power over clever little tricks.

SettingsThe film does use a couple more settings with Paris and London being involved, most of the locations are used to show the secret places where magic can take place.

Special EffectsThe effects are not as strong as previous films though, we have seen a lot of different moments through the film, with this being more of a let-down over anything else even with some of the beasts looks amazing.


Scene of the Movie –
Cats chasing down Newt.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters to follow.

Final ThoughtsThis is an average chapter in a franchise which has gone on for a while now, it has good moments and tries to save itself with a twist, which is here for shock value over any meaning.

 

Overall: Simple chapter building.

Rating

 

 

Good Kill (2014)

Director: Andrew Niccol

Writer: Andrew Niccol (Screenplay)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood, Jake Abel

 

Plot: A family man begins to question the ethics of his job as a drone pilot.


Tagline – If you never face your enemy, how can you face yourself.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Look at the Side Effects of Modern War

 

Story: Good Kill starts as we meet our unit, Major Thomas Egan (Hawke) who leads the younger unit, Zimmer (Abel) Christie (Kenin) and new team member Airman Vera Suarez (Kravitz) who are drone pilot watching over Afghanistan taking out persons of interest that would be threats to America.

Thomas wanting to return to active duty must work with Colonel Jack Johns (Greenwood) with this plan, but when the CIA want to conduct operations with the unit, the whole unit must face difficult decision when follow orders.

 

Thoughts on Good Kill

 

Characters – Major Thomas Egan is a former active duty soldier, he served his time and now he works on drone unit, killing the enemy from a computer screen back in Vegas, he wants to return to active duty and soon his latest missions involve morally questionable decisions which only leaves him questioning his own role in the war and his personal life. Molly is Thomas’s wife, she like having her husband close to home and is finding her husband feeling distant from her. Airman Suarez is the newest member to the unit, she questions nearly every decision they must make, not sure whether they are doing the right thing at all.

PerformancesEthan Hawke is great in this leading role, he makes his character feel distant which helps us understand his mindset where things are not going the way he feels comfortable with. January Jones is fine in her role without being a complex with her performance. Zoe Kravitz continues to show she is coming along to become a major name in the acting world.

StoryThe story follows the life of a drone pilot who used to serve in active combat, we see how he wants to get back into this because he doesn’t enjoy having to do the kills from a distance. This shows us a new type of PTSD which soldiers will be facing when having to kill from their own land, it also shows how the soldiers will not open up about the horrors they are seeing and being involved in.

War/ThrillerThe war elements of this film shows us how the war can be fought from behind closed doors rather than the battlefield, it shows the effects of this too.

SettingsThe film is set in and around Vegas, showing the war is now being fought from the air being controlled back home.


Scene of the Movie –
Thomas final actions with the drone.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While we see how Thomas is affected, I feel we had just as much time to focus on Suarez coming into this world.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at the modern warfare, it shows how difficult the battle has become, but the effects will still haunt the people.

 

Overall: Good thriller on modern war.

Rating

 

 

Dope (2015)

dopeDirector: Rick Famuyiwa

Writer: Rick Famuyiwa (Screenplay)

Starring: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Zoe Kravitz, Forest Whitaker, Rakim Mayers, Kimberly Elise

 

Plot: Life changes for Malcolm, a geek who’s surviving life in a tough neighborhood, after a chance invitation to an underground party leads him and his friends into a Los Angeles adventure.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Where is the Hype?

 

Story: Dope starts as we meet Malcolm (Moore) who lives with his single mother and considered a geek with his two best friends Diggy (Clemons) and Jib (Revolori) who are not like the rest as they want to have their own punk band while getting good grades as they are looking to escape their rough neighbourhood.

The threes lives will change forever when local drug dealer Dom (Mayers) invites them into an adult drinking party where the high school students get their first experience of the drinking culture and the gang culture. The three’s life is turned upside down when they get caught in the middle of a drug deal gone bad as they learn about the other side to the drug world.

Dope is a film I only ever heard great things about and I found myself thinking really, what is the real hype about this film. It has a coming of age feel about it while also have a wild crime story. I found the over use of the ‘N’ word completely unnecessary for this film and takes away the creditability of this film. I do think the actors all do a great job and I do think the character arc Malcolm goes through to be brilliant I just found all the stereotypes to be almost insulting to us the viewer.

 

Overall: Great character arc but poor dialogue usage takes away from final story.

Ratingcard

 

 

Divergent: Allegiant (2016)

alligentDirector: Robert Schwentke

Writer: Noah Oppenheim, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage (Screenplay) Veronica Roth (Novel)

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniels, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Q

 

Plot: After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago, to finally discover the shocking truth of the world around them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just End It Please

 

Story: Divergent: Allegiant starts with Evelyn (Watts) closing the walls, has something to do with the last one. Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) are on the outskirts and Four is going to try and change the mind of Evelyn. When Evelyn starts acting the same as the former leader Tris and Four along with the other friends Caleb (Elgort), Christina (Kravitz) and Peter (Teller) plan their escape.

Over the wall they only find destruction before being rescued by David’s (Daniels) people the Bureau of Genetic Welfare who created the world they started in. This time Tris gets the chance to save the world not just a city, but can she trust everyone around her this time?

Divergent: Allegiant is the third instalment of the franchise with at least one more to go, great. This time we meet yet another group of people who want control of the city that Tris ends up having stop. The plan seems very familiar oh yeah it is the basic plot of Batman Begins, wanting to spread gas in a city to kill/infect everyone. I am getting tired of these because what happens is they hire a well-respected actor only to make them the BAD GUY yet again. Simply put this is nothing new.

 

Actor Review

 

Shailene Woodley: Tris having opened the box to the outside world last time escapes the city only to learn that the city is part of an experiment to find genetic perfection which is why they search for the Divergent in the first place. Tris is the most powerful Divergent, purest if you like that must represent the success of the experiment.  Shailene is working her way through the contract where we know she can do better.tris

Theo James: Four for is the boyfriend, fellow Divergent and son of the new dictator of Chicago. When he escapes he finds himself being separated from Tris for not being pure finding it hard to adjust to the change. Theo improves from last time out but let’s face it his body got him this role.

Naomi Watts: Evelyn is the new dictator in Chicago that has continued in the ways the ruler before had, she is ready to fight anyone who goes against her. Naomi is wasted in this role where you would expect to see a lot more from her.

Jeff Daniels: David the running the Bureau of Genetic Welfare who have been watching Chicago for years, he sees Tris as the first case of purification to come out of the city proving their experiment has been working at last. Jeff is the star of the show without being too impressive.david

Support Cast: Divergent: Allegiant has a big supporting cast with some returning and a few more added but it is hard to keep up with who is work with who.

Director Review: Robert SchwentkeRobert gives us some very good shots but the story is very bland.

 

Action: Divergent: Allegiant has very basic action sequence you would expect to see now in the young adult genre.

Adventure: Divergent: Allegiant continues an adventure I guess.

Mystery: Divergent: Allegiant add mystery to where everything is going but really is milking it now.

Sci-Fi: Divergent: Allegiant brings us into a sci-fi of the future but too bright for the bleakness.

Thriller: Divergent: Allegiant doesn’t really keep us on the edge like it should have done.

Settings: Divergent: Allegiant continues to expand the world in this universe without really giving us enough.
Special Effects
: Divergent: Allegiant has some good effects without being anything breath taking.

Suggestion: Divergent: Allegiant does improve on Insurgent but still going the wrong way, skip. (Skip)

 

Best Part: Peter is so funny.

Worst Part: More of the same.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Hunger Games Mockingjays.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

Tagline: Break the boundaries of your world

 

Overall: Yet another bland sequel to a franchise which has gone on too long.

Ratingcard