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Thread: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Jon Watts 2017)

  1. #1
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    SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Jon Watts 2017)

    JON WATTS: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017)


    JON FAVREAU, ROBERT DOWNEY JR., AND TOM HOLLAND IN SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING


    A zippy little guy

    The newest Spider-Man is doing well at the box office and with critics but it's hard to be enthusiastic. The series is the victim of a corporate merger completed two years ago, whereby Disney, Marvel Studios and Sony made a deal to share the franchise. When that happened, the third Spider-Man with Marc Webb at the helm and Andrew Garfield starring was cancelled, and the new Spider-Man was found. Must Robert Downey Jr. horn in everywhere? Apparently Stark Enterprises have taken over the boy, and leased out his spider suit to him, which is now fitted with a huge array of electronic, computerized functions and powers he did not create. Tony Stark is now a passive-aggressive withholding dad to Peter Parker, who is now played by the zippy, boyish Tom Holland. He isn't a boy: he's 20, playing 15. But when his predecessor, whom I much preferred, took on the role he got only to play in two movies (the third cancelled as the fourth with Tobey Maguire was), he was already 29, and over 30 when he played the role next.

    "Homecoming" is dominated by Michael Keaton, whose revived career we're all happy about. He plays this angry man realistically and believably. It's one of the best performances in a comic book movie. But his working class victim turned crime boss, Adrian Toomes AKA Vulture, whose sale of alien-augmented weaponry Peter AKA Spidey must stop, hijacks the picture. Apart from the intrusive, and in-the-wings-dominant Tony Stark AKA Iron Man role Downey Jr. owns, there is a girl, of color this time, Michelle (Zendaya), who gets shortchanged, so far, and a right hand man for Tony, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) and an overweight best pal for Peter, Ned (Jacob Batalon). Ned and Peter are supposed to be whiz kids. But to update them for the modern generation, they talk in a 100-word vocabulary made up mostly of "Wow," "awsome," and "dude." Technically this Peter Parker is smart, but mostly he's more gee-whiz than whiz, and as a personality - he's too much in a hurry to have much of one, really. Everything about him is aspirational.

    Peter's strongest swear word is "crap," which, of course, is far from up-to-date. But this has been kept kid-rated, and doesn't even have any cruelty or violence apart the large-scale epic, climactic, CGI kind that's de rigeur for comics superhero movies.

    Even if Garfield was a bit old, he can project great emotion, as you can see in his two stunning star roles of 2016, in Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge and Martin Scorsese's Silence. And the cast included Emma Stone, and the chemistry was so strong it led on to a serious real-life romance. Some of the other cast included: Paul Giamatti,Martin Sheen, Rys Ifans, Sally Field, Irfan Khan, C. Thomas Howell, Campbell Scott. Later came Paul Giamatti and Dane DeHaan and Felicity Jones. I miss them but I also miss the scenes between Andrew Garfield and anybody, especially Emma Stone, and his long sailing swings through the urban air. It doesn't seem this Peter has time to show the joys of being a Spider-Man. His use of webs is fast and utilitarian. He shoots out strings of web. He jumps over things. He does back flips. He splats out big blobs of web to trap bad guys. The whole urban art of arachnid air travel and the catching of wrongdoers is hijacked by the Michael Keaton story. Peter has an Aunt May, as usual, played by Marisa Tomei here, but she's gone before you notice her.

    Let's face it: there is no viable bad guy this time. Keaton's Adrien Tomes is good-bad.
    Only a little of the original Spider-Man has been preserved here. You see a lot of shots of a kid flying through the air in a Spider-Man suit, and that covers for the absence of some of the more basic elements that have been cleared to make way for the new conglomerate, the "the Marvel Cinematic Universe."

    Spider-Man: Homecoming, 133 mins., debuted in Los Angeles 28 June 2017. US theatrical release 7 July 2017.


    TOM HOLLAND SUITED UP AS SPIDER-MAN
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-07-2017 at 08:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Chris has rushed his commentary without much in the way of explicit criticism

    If Chris's commentary is his final one on this movie, it's one of his briefest. He also seems to avoid stating in explicit terms what he thinks or feels about this movie. He suggests it through his observations here. I had a rather strong reaction to this film and as Chris, I will remain opaque on the matter.

  3. #3
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    I've "rushed" my criticism because I want it to be out on opening day, and because I am pretty busy writing reviews of films in the NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL, currently happening (June 30-July, 16 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater. For my Filmleaf NYAFF 2017 coverage: click.

    I made it pretty clear I did not enjoy the new Spider-Man as much as the earlier ones. I am a particular fan of Andrew Garfield, but recognize that the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire versions are outstanding. I said at the outset here it's "hard to be enthusiastic" about the picture. I don't mean to say it's bad. It just didn't charm or thrill me. You are welcome to remain "opaque" and consider me to be so since I don't present many explicit criticisms except to say what the movie is - the effect of its new corporate Disney-Marvel-Sony restructuring on what's in the movie.

  4. #4
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    Thanks again Chris. I think I'll see this tonight.
    I'm not crazy about re-booting Spider-Man yet AGAIN. I liked Andrew Garfield in the role. Holland doesn't seem like a vast improvement.
    I don't understand how Spider-Man has slipped in cinematic stature since Sam Raimi. This character is BULLETPROOF. Yet they keep fucking it up. People are tuning out...Spider-Man will always draw viewers, but STOP JERKING OUR CHAINS!
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  5. #5
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    See what you think. Glad you liked Garfield. I did, a lot.

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