Tag Archives: Michael Keaton

Spider-Man: Homecoming. Review. “The world’s changing, boys. It’s time we change too.”

Well done Marvel, you proved that you could make Spider-Man awesome again and that Sony should just give over all the rights to Spider-Man and just let Venom be part of the MCU now…but you can scrap the Black Cat/Silver Sable film as we don’t need it!

First off, it is easy to say that Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man we have had yet! Taking on Peter Parker is someone who actually looks like he is 15, why was that so difficult to do in the first place? He has a great presence throughout and his version of Spider-Man is the one we always really needed. I will mention more on Holland a bit later once I tell you a bit more about the movie.

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So, the first thing we get is the introduction of Damage Control (the guys in charge of clearing up the messes from The Avengers), this is what basically brings us our major villain, The Vulture. Adrian Toombs, AKA The Vulture (played rather well by Michael Keaton) is seen as just a man who wants to get what he believes is owed to him. The Vulture is not alone, he does have back-up (Two Shockers and a Tinkerer to be exact) who actually do prove themselves as a challenge for Spidey (well, not so much Tinkerer as he…well, just watch it and you will see).

We also get to see how being Spider-Man influences the everyday life of Peter Parker. He is eager to become an Avenger and finds himself with his own challenges. Feeling neglected by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. only appears in about 4 scenes, making it clear this is a SPIDER-MAN movie! Though his scenes are all great and necessary, with some funny interactions with his usual wit and delivery), Peter only wants to prove himself a hero and goes through some tough and funny obstacles to get there. It’s when Peter comes into contact with The Vulture does he realise there is some serious danger coming his way.

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While Spider-Man may not be dealing with someone who has multiple arms or joined with an alien parasite, Adrian Toombs is indeed a terrific villain and someone who really grabs you from his first moments. Overall, Toombs becomes The Vulture to get what he thinks he deserves. You do feel bad for him at one point in the movie, but that doesn’t last long.

I will just say it; Keaton’s Vulture is one of the best villain’s in the MCU so far. I would need to do an official ranking of all villains to show you where he stands, so watch out for that one!

For the rest of the cast, they do prove their worth throughout. Marisa Tomei is superb as Aunt May (and the jokes involving the men fancying her are greatly humorous) and I only hope she remains a staple of this universe. There is also great turns from Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend Ned who actually proves his worth as comic relief and a hero. Zendaya and Laura Harrier also give some strong performances with Zendaya’s Michelle getting some good laughs and being a strong character overall and Harrier’s Liz showing great determination and emotion. For the supporting cast, the one I really enjoyed seeing was Jon Favreau coming back as Happy Hogan. Happy is a great character and he was probably given the most to do in Homecoming than any other MCU film he has appeared in.

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This is a Spider-Man that is at home in this world. The characters all feel like natural pieces of this universe and the majority of them make their mark rather well. The teachers in particular bring some good laughs, most of the students are fun too. Having characters like Michelle, Ned and Aunt May shows they are certainly going to become the backbone to Homecoming 2!

For the overall feel of this film, I feel I am about to borrow from what everyone else has said, but I have to agree with them. Spider-Man: Homecoming does feel like a John Hughes movie. The comedy is heartfelt and relatable throughout. The quirky side we get of Peter Parker as a teenager in school is a great contrast to his fearless actions as the web-slinger. Jon Watts is more than welcome to come back for the sequel.

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There is a lot being pushed in this movie towards the future of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it never feels forced or convoluted (*Cough* *Cough* The Amazing Spider-Man 2). The links towards the future of both Spider-Man and the MCU will indeed be met with enthusiasm and make you want Avengers: Infinity War now! Also, look out for all the little Easter Eggs and cameos throughout.

I could talk about this film all day, but I want to end with telling you that this film beats all expectations and will make you laugh a lot! The action scenes look fantastic and the big fights between Spider-Man and The Vulture do go between comedic and dramatic with little effort. The soundtrack, look and characters of a 1980’s high school film with a superhero and a guy who steals alien weapons!

The best Spider-Man film so far!

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

P.S. Make sure you see the mid and post credit scenes, the final shot is hilarious and thought-provoking!

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5 Things I Want To See In Spider-Man: Homecoming!

With just two weeks to go until the eagerly anticipated Spider-Man: Homecoming makes its way into your local cinema, the talk over what will and will not be featured has certainly heated up. To begin with, we know that Vulture, Shocker and The Tinkerer are the villains here, but we may have more to deal with! Also, with the recent news that the Venom movie will actually be part of the same Universe as Spider-Man (and the MCU, sorta, its complicating!) we can start to think what we will actually get in the film.

With a new take on the iconic hero, it will be exciting to see him in this world of established heroes and villains and start even more threads that will weave through this film and into many more. So, what am I hoping we will see in the film? I will just say I have not yet watched the film and have no insider knowledge, this is mostly guess work!

1. This should lead into Infinity War

Depending on how this one ends, we could see a few big marks made in the MCU. It is safe to assume that Spider-Man will very much be an avenger by the time Infinity Wars hits cinema in 2018. Spider-Man will be the hero to bring people hope and be seen as a face for those to trust, even though he is one of the only heroes to not show his face.

We could maybe see Peter Parker discover an anomaly that could be Thanos or even discover the last of the Infinity Stones? Either way, we know that Spidey and Iron Man will both be gearing up for Infinity War after this movie, but it will be to see if they go there prepared…or not!

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2. The Black Suit

Now we have had teases about the Post-Credits Scene for this movie being a “must see!” which I assume is the same for all the films. But, considering Amy Pascal (the woman who suggested certain films for Barack Obama) let slip that Homecoming will indeed be connected to the spin-off films that Sony are releasing.

Before I saw Tom Hardy was cast, I had little to know interest in the film. To now know there is a connection (will talk about Venom in a future post) between the films, I am excited to see what Sony and Marvel will be delivering over the next few years.

Anyway, what I was thinking was that this post-credit scene could be what we have to introduce the symbiote to the MCU and feature a darker Peter Parker in Infinity Wars who dons the Black Suit and finds this then affects him as he tries to save the world…and then finds itself on Tom “best actor in the whole world” Hardy and then Venom is set!

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3. Vulture Will Help Bring A New Villain In

Since hearing that Homecoming and Venom are linked, I started thinking as how they could be joined together. How cool would it be if Tom Hardy actually made his debut as Eddie Brock in Homecoming? With this being possible after Spidey nearly kills Adrian Toombs (Vulture)?

Imagine this, Spider-Man defeats The Vulture with the help of the symbiote suit, but realises it isn’t the best thing to have after it sends him off in a rage and he is isolated from everyone. Maybe we could see Venom actually emerge in this movie? Probably not though.

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4. Don’t Set Up More Than One Or Two Films

This one has to be said, we don’t need teasers for loads of future films. Age Of Ultron very much teased about 5 films with its runtime, and it felt crammed. The only films I think that should really be further teased from Homecoming should be Infinity War ad Venom.

We know what films are coming and we expect a more natural and thoughtful approach to get us excited for the future. We don’t need to allure to Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok (though  a mid-credit or post-credit scene wouldn’t hurt), Ant-Man and The Wasp or any others as they will already have enough on them to make an impact.

Also, this is more to Sony, don’t try and shoehorn in every idea you have for a Spider-Man spin-off, remember how well that worked before?  We don’t need Mysterio or Kraven The Hunter films, I am happy for them to appear in a Spider-Man film, but just sort yourselves out Sony and avoid shooting yourself in the foot again.

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5. Don’t Be Afraid Of Change

This one sounds obvious, but after two Spider-Man film series that felt very close to each other, I am happy to see a whole new direction this time. Can we live without Gwen Stacy and MJ? I think so. Harry and Norman Osborn should be hinted at for a future film.

Also, we can see Peter slowly become a photographer for the Daily Bugle (and fingers crossed I would want J.K. Simmons back!), see his rogues gallery grow on screen and maybe fulfil on potential family storylines a bit quicker and make some sense instead of the Parker’s being on the run and dead…but not dead!

We are going to have a long time with this new Spider-Man and it will be great to see where he takes us. Though I feel the Green Goblin storyline will come into play soon, we can also look at so many other great villains for this Universe. Doc Ock, Mysterio, Chameleon, Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio must come up against Spider-Man!).

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Marvel and Sony have the power to make this Spider-Man the best there has ever been, and we will see in a matter of days how successful they are!

Spider-Man: Homecoming is out 5th July 2017 in the UK and 7th July 2017 in the US.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Minions. “Doesn’t it feel so good to be bad?”

Minions, they’ve been on this planet for years (since 2010’s Despicable Me that is). They are always looking to serve the most evil master they can find. After many years, they become depressed and can’t find a master who lasts long. When Kevin, Stuart and Bob travel to America, they head to Villain-Con to find themselves a new boss, this is when they’re eyes are caught on Scarlet Overkill. Scarlet, the first female supervillain, is very famous and dangerous. The Minions are then taken in by Mrs Overkill to help with her most ambitious scheme yet…the steal the crown of Queen Elizabeth II.

The film is mostly set in 1968; this paves the way for many references to that era. This is mostly presented by the film having a great presence in 60’s London with a selection of tracks from artists such as The Kinks, The Who, Donovan and their own rendition of some classic tunes with the minion vocals. The humour continues through the title characters as it did in the two Despicable Me movies. If you enjoyed the Minions before, you will love them here. The stars are overall adorable and fun. They are pure-hearted and only want to help where they can. The laughs come from many different places, whether it is the titles characters interacting amongst themselves, the visual gags or even the little cameo you see near the end. This film is good family fun, you can see how in just five years that the Minions are some of the most loved characters in recent memory.

In terms of the cast, Sandra Bullock gives some great character to Scarlet Overkill. The villain, while not as fun as Gru, still gives a good load of laughs and is very over-the-top with her plans. Jon Hamm portrays Herb Overkill, a fun character who you kind of wish we may have had more from, a laid back inventor with a pendant for creative weaponry. Also with Allison Janney and Michael Keaton filling the cast as a father and mother of a family that help the minions and Jennifer Saunders voicing a certain member of royalty makes for some more joy in the 91 minutes you are watching that film. Although the biggest praise has to go to Pierre Coffin, he co-directed the movie and was the voice of all the Minions you see in the film. This movie is a great fun ride, it may not match the heights of its predecessors, but this is a family movie that you will love. Lots of laughs and lots of Minions, definitely a winner!

Final Rating: 8/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Birdman – Movie Review. “Shave off that pathetic goatee. Get some surgery. Sixty’s the new thirty, motherf***er!”

If you are expecting to see Michael Keaton suited up mostly as the titular ‘Birdman’ in this 119 minute feature film, then you will be upset. This instead is a study on a mind which has been through change, pressure, depression and celebrity. Michael Keaton is Riggan Thomson, an actor who over twenty-years ago was a big box-office star in the Birdman films. Over the years, his status has shrivelled and he has become a washed-up actor with little options to move himself forward. Riggan finds his way to make his “comeback” is in a Broadway play he has written and that he will be starring in and directing. The play, an adaptation of the Raymond Carver story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, is seen by Riggan as his one last shot to reclaim fame. The film follows the period of time between the show in rehearsals and ends just after the official opening night of the play. During this time, he is tormented by the voice of Birdman. In his head, this voice tries to get Riggan to break free of his shackles and go and be a star again away from the stage, making him embrace the side of him that is Birdman. Riggan Thomson also begins to imagine the world around him can be controlled by his mind, which sees the viewer question if he really has powers or if his mind is just slipping.

During this time, we are introduced to the cast using this great shooting technique that director Alejandro González Iñárritu adopts. We seem to follow Riggan as he makes contact with the people who revolve around his life during this period. Zach Galifianakis is Jake, friend and lawyer to Riggan. The one friend he truly has who strongly believes in him. Emma Stone is wonderful as Riggan’s daughter Sam. She is shown to be a recovering drug-addict who is working as his assistant and seems to slip back into bad habits now and again. Other characters include the remaining cast for the play which include his girlfriend Laura, the newbie to Broadway, Lesley and the apparent over-actor Ralph. We also meet ex-wife Sylvia (Amy Ryan) who attempts to support Riggan and help him bond with his daughter; also we get method-actor/psychopath Mike Shiner who has a career of being a volatile performer (brought to life by Edward Norton in his best film role for a long time). These characters all weave into the life of Riggan and all seem to affect him in different ways. Riggan continues to use the “powers” which are apparently festering inside himself and lets loose when he can. The border of his sanity is continually tested and the Birdman persona grows stronger as time goes on. Eventually, Riggan finds he has to fight for his sanity and needs to do something to stop himself going crazy. Events happen which don’t initially seem to help, but accidental occurrences seem to reignite the interest in this former star and then things change, but will they be for the better?

Without giving too much more away, ‘Birdman’ is just a pleasure to watch. The camera work is some of the best in cinema history. The movie is made to look like one continuous shot for the majority of the running time, really placing us in the action and letting it seem like we are being given access to Riggan Thomson and the lives of those around him. It is a pleasure to see Michael Keaton really pull off such a great part, he shines as Riggan throughout and when you see him actually on-screen as Birdman, it is spectacular (though not too much, enough to give us an idea of what is happening). The idea of whether he is just going mad or is experiencing his version of the world is rather ambiguous throughout, hints do come up about what is really happening, but I think I will leave that for you to decide. The music is great and simple, mostly consisting of drums and coming in when needed. The atmosphere is set perfectly with that score which is going to iconic before too much time passes. No cast member falters here; everybody puts in a great performance. Michael Keaton is just the best man for this job, there are so many parallels to this and his actual life in the Batman franchise and the way he almost went into the shadows after that part seem just fitting for the actor. Though Birdman may not be real, there are many ways in which you feel the character has genuinely been around for a long time. Give Michael Keaton the Oscar he deserves, even if he wins it just for the scene of him marching through New York in his pants. Emma Stone is just a great actress, proving to be a real force in movies. Also I am shocked to see how good Zach Galifianakis really is, his presence in this film is just superb and other stars such as Edward Norton, Naomi Watts and Lindsay Duncan (who portrays a theatre critic) are beyond the usual quality I have seen previously. The movie was gripping, visually remarkable, funny, emotional and probably one of the best journeys I have ever had in a cinema. Many films recently I have almost drifted away and lost focus. Never before have I ever sat back in my chair, and then I had to stop and realise I was on the edge of my seat leaning closer to the screen with my unblinking eyes. I have to say it; this is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Yes I may have been a bit unsure about my overall feeling with it when I left the cinema, but I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Alejandro González Iñárritu, you have a fan for life!

Final Rating: 10/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove