Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming

I went into Spider-Man: Homecoming similar to how I approached Guardians of the Galaxy years ago. With this character getting a third cinematic reboot, with another actor portraying him, I felt that this was getting exhausting; Spidey needed a break from movies and I felt that audiences needed a break from Spider-Man movies but when Kevin Feige seized a chance to integrate the character into the highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe-the Avengers Initiative-I thought “what the hell?”

And so, Tom Holland made his web-slinging debut in Captain America: Civil War and did a great job I might add, which led him to Homecoming, a film by Jon Watts chronicling Peter Parker’s efforts to prove himself to his mentor/benefactor Tony Stark that he is hero enough to stand with Earth Mightiest. This teenager, takes it upon himself to thwart a string of robberies orchestrated by a disgruntled and disillusioned superhero-mess cleaner named Adrian Toomes, armed with advanced weaponry derived from the Battle of New York from so many years ago.

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Image by Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures

For the weeks leading up to this, I tempered my expectations for this movie because every live-action Spider-Man movie from the woefully executed Spider-Man 3 to the underwhelming failure that was The Amazing Spider-Man franchise highlighted that the wall-crawler has indeed hit a wall when it comes to movies. Coming out of the theater, I acknowledged that I truly underestimated this movie and the players involved in shaping it; Tom Holland, Jon Watts and the screenwriting team including Watts, Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers won me over; this movie made Spider-Man great again!

The approach to actually have a teenager portray a teenage superhero paid off; the influence of classic 1980s cinema like Ferris Bueler’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club was felt; the fact that this film knew its place within the grand scheme of the Avengers Initiative was very playful and overall, the writing and execution of Spider-Man: Homecoming was authentic, fresh, relatable and fun!

Tom Holland made a believer of me when he swung into Captain America: Civil War in the red and blue suit and when the spotlight shined on him, he didn’t shrink away; he embraced this role and delivered as Peter Parker. The supporting cast of Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Marissa Tomei, Abraham Attah, Laura Harrier, Donald Glover, Hannibal Burress, Michael Churness, Logan Marshall-Green, Bokeem Woodbine and familiar faces such as Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, Chris Evans and Gwyneth Paltrow all got in on the fun in this movie.

Michael Giacchino’s score was thrilling, Salvatore Totino’s cinematography was crisp and savvy, Debbie Berman and Dan Lebental’s editing was very good, Oliver Scholl’s production design was rock-solid, Louise Frogley’s costume design was excellent, the visual effects were amazing and convincing, the story and script was sharp and smart and overall, I loved how this movie was shaped and constructed.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was funny, thrilling, creative, relevant and relatable to audiences and I thought that this movie really did justice by its title character in a way the previous films could not. Spidey set out to prove himself that he could hang with the Avengers and establish himself as a true hero and in this movie, credited to writer/director Jon Watts and star Tom Holland, he accomplished just that. Very well done and very well recommended!

Tom Hardy is a web-slinging anti-hero!

A few weeks ago, Sony Pictures announced that the Marvel character and Spider-Man antagonist Venom would be featured in a standalone spinoff set to arrive in theaters sometime next year. The fan-favorite character has already made his big-screen debut in the disappointing blockbuster Spider-Man 3, portrayed by Topher Grace, but this project is seen as an opportunity for Sony to get the character right and potentially usher in a new anti-hero universe based on Spider-Man’s rogues gallery.

News has broken that names have now been confirmed to sign on for the spinoff. Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer will direct and Oscar nominee Tom Hardy is set to star in film.

Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, the latter of whom worked on 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, wrote the script for Venom. Plot details are being kept in the black but Hardy, who is said to be a Venom fan, will play Eddie Brock, the character who first became Venom.

Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing along with Amy Pascal.

The internet is calling this casting a coup and I can’t help but agree. Hardy is an excellent actor who is a year removed from his first Oscar nomination in The Revenant and has starred in action and drama movies a plenty including Inception, Warrior, has a superhero movie under his belt already portraying the sinister Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, rode through the wasteland in Mad Max: Fury Road and will star in the upcoming Dunkirk; I can’t help but be impressed by Hardy’s body of work thus far and I look forward to seeing him give life to this tragic and deadly character. Venom is set to snare an audience on October 5, 2018.

Venom Is Coming To Theaters In 2018

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Image by Marvel Comics

First, the Marvel Cinematic Universe acquired the rights to reboot one of Marvel’s most celebrated superheroes and thrust him into the action in Captain America: Civil War. Then, New York’s favorite friendly neighborhood wall-crawler was given a new lease on life with a new actor and an upcoming cinematic adventure titled Spider-Man: Homecoming. Now, one of Spider-Man’s most deadliest adversaries has been granted an opportunity to spin his own web and tell his own story. In 2018, Venom will star in his own feature-length motion picture as a possible spin-off to Spider-Man: Homecoming.

In the wake of Warner Bros. shifting Aquaman to Dec. 21, 2018, Sony has taken the opportunity to quickly slide Venom into the vacated date of Oct. 5, 2018, EW has learned.

This is certainly a fascinating development since Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives in theaters in a few months and now, Marvel Studios must work quickly to get this film into production if it wants to stick to its release date. In fact, a Venom spin-off has been in turnaround since 2013, so maybe a script can be worked out due time.

For those unfamiliar with Venom’s character, the first time he appeared on film was in the woefully disappointing Spider-Man 3, portrayed by Topher Grace. Courtesy of Wikipedia, here is a quick character bio of the Marvel villain:

Venom, or the Venom Symbiote, is an alias used by several fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly in association with Spider-Man. Venom made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 1988).[1] Venom was originally conceived as a supervillain, but has since become more of an antihero. Venom is a Symbiote, a sentient alien, with a gooey, almost liquid-like form. As with real-world symbiotes, it requires a host, usually human, to bond with for its survival. After bonding, the Symbiote endows its enhanced powers upon the host. When the Venom Symbiote bonds with a human, that new dual-life form refers to itself as “Venom”.

The Venom Symbiote’s first known host was Spider-Man, who eventually separated himself from the creature when he discovered its true nature. The Symbiote went on to merge with other hosts, most notably Eddie Brock, its second and most infamous host, with whom it first became Venom and one of Spider-Man’s archenemies.

What Marvel will do with this character remains to be seen but he certainly has the clout to carry his own feature film. October 5, 2018 is not too far away for Venom to swing into theaters.