Lando Calrissian is the proud owner of the Millenium Falcon in Solo: A Star Wars Story and the actor who portrays him, Donald Glover, decides to show us around the famous ship.
Summary: Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th July 2017
Australian DVD Release Date: 18th October 2017
Country: United States
Director: Jon Watts
Screenwriter: John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Jonathan Goldstein, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jon Watts, Steve Ditko (original comic book), Jack Kirby (original comic book), Stan Lee (original comic book), Joe Simon (original comic book)
Cast: Isabella Amara (Sally), Tunde Adebimpe (Mr. Cobbwell), Abraham Attah (Abe), Michael Barbieri (Charles), Jacob Batalon (Ned), Garcelle Beauvais (Doris Toomes), Christopher Berry (Randy), Hannibal Buress (Coach Wilson), Michael Chernus (Phineas Mason/The Tinkerer), Kenneth Choi (Principal Morita), Kerry Condon (Friday (voice)), Jennifer Connolly (Karen/Suit Lady (voice)), Tyne Daley (Anne Marie Hoag), Ethan Dizon (Tiny), Robert Downey Jnr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Tiffany Espensen (Cindy), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Donald Glover (Aaron Davis), Laura Harrier (Liz), Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian Toomes/Vulture), Stan Lee (Gary), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Jason), Selenis Leyva (Ms. Warren), Hemke Madera (Mr. Delmar), Michael Mando (Mac Gargan), Logan Marshall-Green (Jackson Brice/Shocker #1),Nitin Nohria (Dean Crimson), Gwenyth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), John Penick (Mr. Hapgood), Tony Revolori (Flash), Angourie Rice (Betty), Martin Starr (Mr. Harrington), Marisa Tomei (May Parker), J.J. Totah (Seymour), Gary Weeks (Agent Foster), Bokeem Woodbine (Herman Schultz/Shocker #2), Zendaya (Michelle)
Runtime: 133 mins
Kyle McGrath’s Spider-Man: Homecoming Review:
Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the title character and his alter ego Peter Parker on his early steps of becoming the hero he yearns to be. After being enlisted by Tony Stark/Iron Man to assist in Captain America: Civil War (2016) Peter Parker is dropped off home, given a shiny new Spider-Man costume and pretty much told “don’t call us, we’ll call you”. Ambitious to prove himself worthy of being an Avenger he sets out to fight crime wherever he can while also struggling with the pitfalls of being an otherwise normal high school kid. His enthusiasm may soon gets the better of him when he discovers an underground operation in dealing weapons made from the stolen technology leftover from previous Avengers battles.
The elephant in the room with Spider-Man Homecoming is that this is the 3rd big screen incarnation of Spider-Man since 2002. This time the web crawler officially being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The previous films each had their ups and downs but the general consensus seems to be that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films were better with Tobey Maguire making a better Peter Parker whereas The Amazing Spider-Man films found a better Spider-Man performance in Andrew Garfield with some other fan preferences such as Gwen Stacy as a love interest rather than skipping straight to Mary Jane Watson and mechanical web-shooters rather than organic (a distinction I never cared about).
Spider-Man Homecoming brings some new interesting things to the table while some others feel weaker. I believe Tom Holland walks the line quite well and works quite well as the younger less experienced and still in high school Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
Otherwise the films visuals and musical score felt a little generic never coming close to standing out as well as Sam Raimi and Danny Elfman did all the way back in 2002. Speaking of which the CGI of Homecoming itself looks not much better after 15 years of technological progress, often characters looking like something from a computer game or the transition between CGI to live action, such as Michael Keaton’s character leaving his “Vulture” wingsuit, appears quite jarring. Most of these large CGI sequences seem to take place at night too, it could have just been poor lighting in my cinema but it was extremely dark and felt like a possible shortcut with CGI usually looking more real with less lighting.
The film’s story itself reminded me of Kick-Ass be it without the style or comedy of Matthew Vaughn & Mark Millar with Peter trying to be a “friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man”. I found this to be an interesting new take on the character and something we’ve not yet seen in the MCU: a small time loser hero trying to do his thing in the shadow of giants like Thor, The Hulk or Captain America.
With any reboot certain changes had to be made so that the filmmakers aren’t just making the same film again. Flash Thompson Esther than being a stereotypical jock bully and symbol of everything Peter wished he could be is now a weedy little prick. The once elderly aunt May is now “hot aunt May” as the characters like to remind us and the less said about the new “MJ” the better.
Other major changes are that this is not another origin story. Rather picking up in the middle of Peter’s journey of self discovery as a super hero. An issue here is that while films like Tim Burton’s Batman or even the MCU’s The Incredible Hulk showed you don’t NEED to do an origin story to introduce your hero, you still do need to introduce them and Homecoming really does not. The feeling is that Spider-Man’s powers and back story don’t need to be given much thought because they’ve been done to death already. Well too bad. This is potentially people’s FIRST Spider-Man film and outside influences shouldn’t play any part in it. Not giving a proper set up because everyone should already know is like not introducing Harry Potter correctly in the film adaptation of Philosophers Stone because “well everyone’s read the book right?”
Peter’s character development this time comes more from his desire to prove himself than his feelings of guilt over his indirect involvement in his uncle’s death like before. This was an interesting change but to be honest the time Peter spends in this naive phase goes on way too long and most of the film seems to be him rescuing people from disasters he himself caused or his selfishly helping people in the first place only because he seeks glory and to be considered one of The Avengers. This would be like if Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins stayed in “scared angry man with a gun mode” until nearly the end of the film.
I think Peter himself is obsessed so much with the Avengers as a symptom of this film being obsessed with being considered part of the MCU. Again it’s an interesting way to approach at first but the Avengers just overshadow EVERYTHING in this film. Even the film’s title itself seems to more reference a “return home to the MCU” than anything in the film itself. The very first thing you see is a child’s drawing of them and the very last thing you’ll see is a post credits cameo from one of them and rarely 10 minutes will go by without some reference to them. Spider-Man’s motivation revolves around them, the film’s antagonist revolves around them and Tony Stark while barely making much of an appearance in the film is still focused on more than Michael Keaton as The Vulture leading to him feeling like a lackluster villain. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad he didn’t just want to turn the whole city into birds using a gas or something but when his entire scheme is spending 8 years stealing Avengers related tech, turning it into odd weapons and selling it out of the back of a van to random street thugs under bridges I have to ask “who cares?”.
The worst part of this is that the movie barely feels like it stars Spider-Man at all. Even his suit is some sort of Tony Stark designed super tech nonsense which only manages to downplay the ACTUAL superpowers Peter is supposed to have. Effectively he’s a super strong, super agile kid in a suit with a bunch of gadgets. It may as well also be what allows him to walk up walls as it does everything else for him!
If the film can’t go 10 minutes without an Avengers reference it also can’t seem to go 30 seconds without making a funny. In some kind of spray ‘n pray approach to comedy Homecoming is so afraid of being seen as taking itself too seriously that it hardly ever allows a scene to end without some gag tacked on just for the sake of it. Comedy relief only really works if you allow tension to build in the first place and when there are multiple gags happening it just drives a truck through the middle of a scene that’s designed to have you on the edge of your seat. Then when the big heavy scenes come along such as Michael Keaton trying to be intimidating they just don’t work. The film hasn’t earned that response from the audience because any other time it came close to a similar tone someone immediately then had to slip on a banana peel.
Spider-Man Homecoming unfortunately doesn’t hold a candle to Sam Raimi’s 2002 film. It’s lacking as an introduction to this new Spider-Man and feels too focused on latching on to the hugely popular MCU films to be comfortable in telling its own story and too eager to make its audience laugh to build any drama for its underdeveloped characters. As an addition to the mountain of superhero films it’s entertaining enough and different enough to warrant a viewing but not interesting enough to be very memorable.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Spider-Man: Homecoming Reviews: N/A
Summary: Mike (Channing Tatum) has been out of the stripper lifestyle for three years, and while his furniture job is doing well it’s not exactly flourishing. Add that to the fact that he is having some personal problems and it doesn’t take Tarzan (Kevin Nash) and Richie (Joe Manganiello) much to convince him to join them once again for their last hurrah.
It seems like Dallas has left the group for good and now the boys have decided that they will go out with a bang at a stripper convention. But not all are pleased to see Mike return, and some are downright insulted that he wants to ‘freshen up’ their routine for the last performance. With not everything going right though Mike soon finds himself on a road trip that sees him become attracted to Zoe (Amber Heard) while also having to come face to face with a ghost from his past, the powerful but seductive, Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith).
Australian Cinema Release Date: 9th July 2015
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Screenwriter: Reid Carolin
Cast: Elizabeth Banks (Paris), Matt Bomer (Ken), Stephen Boss (Malik), Kimberly Drummond (Caroline), Alison Faulk (White Shadow), Donald Glover (Andre), Raeden Greer (Charlotte), Rhoda Griffis (Julia), Ann Hamilton (Diane), Amber Heard (Zoe), Carrie Anne Hunt (Megan Davidson), Crystal Hunt (Lauren), Gabriel Iglasias (Tobias), Patrick Kearns (Slick Willy), Mary Kraft (Jessica), Andie MacDowell (Nancy Davidson), Joe Manganiello (Big Dick Richie), Jane McNeill (Mae), Kevin Nash (Tarzan), Juan Piedrahita (Salvador), Adam Rodriguez (Tito), Carla Shinall (herself), David Silverman (Scott), Jada Pinkett Smith (Rome), Michael Strahan (Augustus), Channing Tatum (Mike), Vicky Vox (Tori Snatch)
Runtime: 115 mins
When the first Magic Mike film was announced way back in 2012 a fear (and much laughter) spread across the film loving world. Channing Tatum was starring in a movie about male strippers, it seemed like it would end up being a storyless excuse to get some male flesh on the screen and would end up being one of the worst films of the year. Yet it proved to be something very different as director Steven Soderbergh made it a gritty film exploring the sex industry and the personal make-up of those involved in it. Now comes Magic Mike XXL the sequel which has a lot less fear revolving around it, but sadly if you are expecting a film like the original you are going to be sorely disappointed because this film has everything wrong with it that people were expecting could have gone wrong with the first film.
Really alarm bells should have been ringing before walking into the cinema. No Steven Soderbergh in charge this time round, instead he acts as cinematographer while Gregory Jacobs (a man with two B-Grade movies on his directional resume), and then the news that neither Matthew McConaughey, Cody Horn or Alex Pettyfer were returning either. Then just to add insult to injury Aussie star-on-the-rise Margot Robbie pulled out of her role before shooting began. So why was there such an A-List avoidance of the sequel, because obviously those stars picked up the script and read it.
To be blunt Magic Mike XXL is simply a bunch of music videos with male grinding joined together by a flimsy bus trip that tries in vain to make it seem like the screenwriter didn’t just write lines like “Mike takes his clothes while women throw cash at him.” The screenplay here is lame at best and it seems that both director and screenwriter knew that and instead just tried to do overlong scenes of dialogue in the near-drowning bid to try and give this film some artistic credibility. But the scenes are so long they become boring, the characters so under-developed that become disinteresting while the lack of any sexual chemistry between Mike and his supposed love interest Zoe means the film just fizzles out with no resistance.
In fact the lack of character development in this film is frightening. Screenwriter Reid Carolin (who did funnily enough write the original film) sets up all these interesting little titbits about the various characters but then never fully cashes in on them. I mean come on, a stripper who wants to be a singer, the moment of realization that Mike has danced with Tarzan and didn’t even know he was a Gulf War veteran, both plotlines are a goldmine for a screenwriter but here Carolin just seems to throw them up in casual conversation and then forgets about them.
The weak script here also dangerously lets down the cast. Recently people have been uttering lines like ‘hey maybe Channing Tatum can act’ well here his only worth seems to be to look pouty and take his top off. As a result Tatum comes across looking like a a dumb himbo who has nothing to offer Hollywood at all, it’s like he has flashed back in time and is once again the type of actor who is only hired for his good looks and not his acting ability. Still at least he comes off a little better than the female cast because sadly Amber Heard, Andie MacDowell and Elizabeth Banks are all wasted in their roles and you can only wonder why they agreed to do the film in the first place. The only actress that does get a meaty role is Jada Pinkett Smith whose character of Rome is interesting enough for her own film, especially considering once again the screenwriter here leaves us asking more questions about her than what are answered.
Aside from its soundtrack Magic Mike XXL is a complete let down. Gone are the edginess and the witty script that made the first film so different and instead we are left with a film void of much storyline and just held together by a few dance sequences that aren’t even as impressive as what you would get in a Step Up movie. Avoid, especially if you loved the first one.
Other Subculture Entertainment Magic Mike XXL reviews: You can also read our Magic Mike XXL review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.
Summary: Alexander’s day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. Though he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 4th December, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Miguel Arteta
Screenwriter: Rob Lieber, Judith Viorst (book)
Cast: Tara Brook (Receptionist Abby), Joey Capone (Jimmy), Steve Carell (Ben Cooper), Jennifer Coolidge (Ms. Suggs), Mekai Curits (Paul Dumphy), Alex Desert (Mr. Rogue), Kerris Dorsey (Emily Cooper), Eric Edelstein (Mr. Tonucci), Andrew Franklin (Captain Hook), Sidney Fullmer (Becky Gibson), Jesse Garcia (Dwayne), Jennifer Garner (Kelly Cooper), Donald Glover (Greg), Jonah Goldman (Actor John Darling), Burn Gorman (Mr. Brand), Ben Greene (Joaquin), Martha Hackett (Mrs. Gibson), Reese Hartwig (Elliot Gibson), Katelyn Hilario (Actor Wendy Darling), Joel Johnstone (Logan), Samantha Logan (Heather), Rizwan Manji (Mr. Cellars), Lincoln Melcher (Philip Parker), Dylan Minnette (Anthony Cooper), Mary Mouser (Audrey Gibson), Megan Mullally (Nina), Ed Oxenbould (Alexander Cooper), Alina Phelan (Sheila), Bella Thorne (Celia), Toni Trucks (Steph), Dick Van Dyke (himself), Elise Vargas (Baby Trevor), Zoey Vargas (Baby Trevor)
Runtime: 81 mins
Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day review on www.filmreviews.net.au
Other Subculture Entertainment Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day reviews: For our full Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day review make sure you check out The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #108.