Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

spider-man-far-from-home-2019-reviewDirector: Jon Watts

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 129 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, Remy Hii, Cobie Smulders

Plot: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker is struggling to come to terms with his new role, and the footprints he is expected to fill. All he wants right now is to enjoy his school trip to Europe and tell MJ how he feels about her. Of course, when elemental monsters show up trying to destroy the world, his plans must be changed.

My Thoughts: After the breathtaking, nailbiting and exhausting for all the right reasons movie that Endgame was, this was definitely the right way to go next. Far from Home brings a much lighter-hearted story, although it does still touch upon the sad events from earlier this year. I don’t know why you would anyway, but don’t go and see this before Endgame, because the first 10 seconds are full of spoilers!

As one of the few who loved Andrew Garfield’s Spidey, I’ve been on the fence about Tom Holland up until recently. Now, I’m 100% sold. He really is perfect for the role, and brings all the boyish innocence that the character should have. Watching his relationship grow with MJ was one of the highlights of the movie for me, I just love how awkward they are together. I’m also so glad that MJ is smart enough to point out how clearly obvious it is that Peter is actually Spider-Man!

It’s also so great that Samuel L. Jackson is having a more prominent role in the Marvel movies recently. I think he was my favourite part of Captain Marvel earlier this year and he brings some laughs in Far from Home, too. That said, there was something stopping me from really loving the movie, and I can’t put my finger on it. It could be down to the fact I was simply exhausted (thanks, teething toddler) but I’m not sure. The mid-credits scene has got me very much looking forward to the next installment, though!

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Best Bit: It’s expected with Marvel movies now I guess, but the visuals as far as Mysterio’s powers are concerned were so, so cool. The bit that I laughed hardest at though was on the coach when Peter almost accidentally blew up himself and all his friends!

Worst Bit: I was so excited for Jake Gyllenhaal to be a part of the MCU, and his character has some really fun moments, but once it’s revealed just how his ‘powers’ work, the whole thing feels a bit anti-climatic. The fight scenes between him and Spider-Man seem to go on forever, too.

Fun Trivia: First MCU movie not to have a cameo by Stan Lee; he died shortly after filming wrapped for this movie, but never made it into this movie (most likely due to his declining health), which means that Avengers: Endgame (2019) was his final on-screen appearance. However, this movie does pay tribute to him and fellow Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 dahlias that you shouldn’t trust with the guy trying to sleep with your Aunt…

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Avengers: Endgame (2019)

avengers-endgame-2019-movie-reviewDirector: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Runtime: 181 Minutes

Main Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Brie Larson, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Evangeline Lilly,

Plot: Directly following the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Thanos’ snap with the infinity gauntlet that wiped out 50% of all living creatures. The remaining Avengers team up to try to save them.

My Thoughts: This has to be the biggest movie event of all time. 21 movies spanning 11 years. All leading up to this very moment, it’s incredible when you really think about it. Some idiot posted a leak before its release which I managed to avoid but other than that, my social media feeds have been free of spoilers which I’m truly grateful for. I felt excited, sick and nervous going in to see Endgame on Tuesday night! There are spoilers ahead for the entire movie because I have no idea how to talk about it otherwise.

The trailers gave nothing away, and please, please movie gods, let all trailers do this. There’s no better feeling than not having any clue as to what’s going to happen, or even how your favourite character is going to look! Honestly, I struggle to find the words because the movie was perfect – in my eyes at least. The focus may have been on the original Avengers but every character got their spot of the limelight and the ending was so fitting. It’s the end of an era and although some of the character arcs were devasting, it ended exactly how it should have done.

Do you know what, though? I started this post almost a week ago and I’m struggling to even put my thoughts into words. It was more than just a movie, it was an experience, and I’m so excited to see where the Marvel universe goes next!

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Best Bit: I’m going to cheat and pick two because arguably, the best scenes were the farewells that we gave to our retiring Avengers, but what Marvel does better than the rest is humour, and the scene with Thor and Korg playing Fortnite absolutely killed me. I laughed so loud I probably missed half of it, but it’s not like I needed an excuse to watch the movie again!

Worst Bit: Fat Thor! On a serious note, it’s a completely logical arc for his character to go through, but my selfish-ass wanted to perv on Thor for 3 hours!

Fun Trivia: At Tony Stark’s funeral, a teenage boy is seen standing behind Scarlet Witch and Bucky. This is Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins), the boy from Iron Man 3 (2013) who let Tony use his shed when he needed to repair his Iron Man suit.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 empty taco shells from Ant-Man. Hopefully, Hulk has a few more to share!

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Ranking the Marvel Comics Universe (MCU) Movies

With Avengers: Endgame (2019) seemingly right around the corner, what better time to look back to over 10 years and 21 movies in the Marvel Comics Universe. I had just left college when the first movie, Iron Man (2008) was released, and now here I am with a husband, a mortgage and a baby toddler! It’s been a wild ride so far and the movies aren’t showing any sign of slowing down yet.

Now I don’t know about you, but I love making lists, especially movie lists! Trying to rank all 21 MCU movies is so, so difficult, though. Not only is it a huge number of movies to work with, but let’s face it – none of them are terrible!

Take my list with a bit of a warning, I’ve ranked these on how much I enjoyed them, and I know for a fact almost, if not all of you, will disagree with my top choice! That sounded a bit click-baity actually, didn’t it? Blogger ranks all 21 MCU movies…the #1 choice will shock you!

#21 The Incredible Hulk (2008)
#20 Iron Man 3 (2013)
#19 Iron Man (2008)
#18 Thor: The Dark World (2013)
#17 Iron Man 2 (2010)
#16 Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
#15 Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
#14 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
#13 Ant-Man (2015)
#12 Black Panther (2018)
#11 Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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#10 Captain Marvel (2019)
It may be the freshest MCU movie in my mind but there’s no denying how badass Danvers is, how funny Nick Fury was and how bloody adorable Goose is.

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#9 Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Director Taika Waititi delved into the world of Asgard to bring us a third Thor movie and it was glorious. I didn’t think I would be able to cope with the new hair cut but I was smitten as always!

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#8 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
I was one of the very few who loved Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, and I was hurt that it was rebooted so quickly, but Tom Holland is a perfect Spider-Man and for whatever reason the Spidey origin story never gets old.

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#7 The Avengers (2012)
By now we’re used to seeing multiple superheroes battling together on the big screen but the moment these heroes came together as the Avengers 7 years ago was pretty magical.

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#6 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
You’ve seen I wasn’t Cap’s biggest fan when he debuted but The Winter Soldier completely won me over.

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#5 Doctor Strange (2016)
I don’t think my head has ever recovered from seeing the mind-bending scenes in Doctor Strange in IMAX. I’ve always been biased when it comes to Benedict Cumberbatch but he is perfect in this role and interacts with the other Avengers so well!

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#4 Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Speaking of which, Infinity War brought the biggest number of heroes all together in one movie. It could have been a disaster, but it worked. Sitting in that cinema audience the moment Thanos snapped his fingers was just…utterly brilliant! I don’t know if Endgame can top it, to be honest.

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#3 Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
I scoffed at the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. Who the hell are these characters? I’ve never heard of them. Why is Chris Pratt in every single movie this year? Marvel has lost the plot. Of course, I still paid to go and see it on opening weekend, and I was promptly proved wrong in the first 10 minutes.

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#2 Thor (2011)
The original Thor movie might not be in anyone’s Top 10, let alone Top 5, but for me, it was the Marvel movie that actually sparked up a love of superheroes for me, and Thor has been my favourite Avenger ever since. Plus, it’s just so quotable – it’s a daily occurrence in our house.
*Toddler throws sippy cup across the room* Me: I like it, another!
*Walking into any pet store* Me: I need a horse!

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#1 Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Yes, Ant-Man and the Wasp is my favourite MCU movie. Don’t @ me. Seriously though, I don’t know what to tell you. There’s just something about it that ticks all the boxes for me. Paul Rudd, the adorable doting father. His daughter who gives the best gifts ever. Michael Pena and his little crew. The shrinking and growing jokes that just don’t get old. I may have disappointed you, but I can’t help it!

Captain Marvel (2019)

captain-marvel-2019-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 124 Minutes

Main Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Lashana Lynch, Clark Gregg, Rune Temte, Lee Pace

Plot: When a mission goes wrong, Vers finds herself on Earth. Whilst trying to get back home, she struggles with the fact she remembers little of her past. When captured by Yon-Rogg, she sees glimpses of who she used to be, leading to more confusion.

My Thoughts: There hasn’t been a single movie in the MCU that I haven’t really enjoyed, so although I was fairly certain Captain Marvel would be great I was never really sold on the trailers so I was also a little hesitant. It was nothing to do with the character or Brie Larson herself, I was just unsure where the movie itself fitted in with the rest of the story. I certainly wasn’t one of the disgusting internet trolls who had a problem with a female lead or, ridiculously, the shape of Brie Larson’s butt. Human’s are so gross sometimes.

Anyway, I had such a good time watching Captain Marvel! Our cinema screen was absolutely packed and it was opening night in the UK so there was a great atmosphere in the room. Brie Larson was amazing – she kicked ass and she had a really dry, witty sense of humour that worked so well. This is probably my favourite Marvel movie for Samuel L. Jackson who provided most of the laughs this time around. He was so funny!

The special effects, of course, were stellar as expected. What blew me away though was the technology used to de-age Samuel L. Jackson. It was absolutely unreal – I wonder if it’ll garner any attention when awards season rocks up next year? I think what I enjoyed the most was the mystery element of Captain Marvel’s background. I knew nothing about her going in so everything was a surprise to me, and I loved putting the pieces together as the movie went on.

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Not long to go at all now until Avengers: End Game! I told my toddler to be on her best behaviour when my parents babysat her so we could see Captain Marvel. Hopefully, she put on her cutest face so they’ll babysit again soon!

Best Bit: Goose, the cat. He was straight up adorable from the moment he showed up, but I kept getting the feeling there was more than meets the eye. Then we find out that he’s a ‘Flurkin’ (sp?) rather than a cat…and then? Thanos better watch out.

Worst Bit: It took me a while to wrap my head around what was going on, to begin with. It was probably my Mum-brain not running at full capacity but I wanted a moment to pause the movie to ask the room to fill me in on what was going on.

Fun Trivia: When Talos confronts Carol and Nick in Louisiana, he sips from a fast food drink container. It is the exact same design as the cup that Jules (played by Samuel L. Jackson) sips in the scene in Pulp Fiction (1994) where they steal back the briefcase.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 retro lunchboxes, perfect for storing your most important possessions!

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

spider-man-into-the-spider-verse-2018-movieDirector: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Runtime: 117 Minutes

Main Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine

Plot: Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man after Kingpin’s use of a dimension-crossing super-collider causes 5 universes to join. Miles now has to learn to use his powers whilst also working with the other Spider people to stop Kingpin and return everyone to their home universes.

My Thoughts: I’m literally the last person in the world to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I’m sure of it. Never have I ever kicked myself so hard for not making the trip to the cinema! Believe in the hype, this movie really is as amazing as everyone is saying it is. Apologies in advance because this review isn’t going to be coherent in the slightest.

Where do I even start? I love animated movies, especially those with something different in their style, and this movie has style in buckets. It looks so cool. Cooler than its looks? The soundtrack. Every single song is perfect. Never did I ever think I would want to watch an animated Spider-Man stuck to the ceiling, singing Sunflower by Post Malone but it was a brilliant moment!

The casting choices? Spot on! I thought Jake Johnson was an odd choice before I watched the movie, but no one else could voice a lazy Spider-Man like he did. Nicolas Cage is hilarious as Spider-Man Noir. Also, does Mahershala Ali have some kind of superpowers when it comes to picking movies? Dude knows how to pick a winner for sure!

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Honestly, this movie just has everything you could want and more. It’s so funny, it has references aplenty for the comic fans, it has surprises along the way, it’s emotional, it’s just…perfect.

Best Bit: I could pick at least 10 just off the top of my head but the moment I keep replaying in my head is when Peter B. Parker is telling Miles his plan to make and steal a new ‘goober’. “I select a bagel…”

Worst Bit: The credits. I never wanted the movie to be over. Seriously though I can’t find a fault. I thought maybe Peni Parker or Spider-Ham might be annoying but they weren’t!

Fun Trivia: This film was dedicated in memory of Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, who died on July 6, 2018, while this film was finishing production. However, this was not the only dedication, as a month before the film was released, Stan Lee died on November 12, 2018. The film was dedicated to both of Spider-Man’s creators.

My Rating: A full 5 out of 5 bagels. This is the best Spider-Man movie out there. Don’t @ me.

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Venom (2018)

venom-movie-poster-2018-reviewDirector: Ruben Fleischer

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Runtime: 112 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Woody Harrelson, Peggy Lu, Sope Aluko, Wayne Pére

Plot: Eddie Brock, a once-famed reporter loses everything after trying to reveal the truth behind the ethically immoral work of Dr. Carlton Drake. After acquiring the powers of a symbiote – Eddie has to work with Venom in order to make things right.

My Thoughts: I almost skipped seeing this movie, and that would have been a huge mistake! See, when Suicide Squad came out, the critics hated it, but audiences loved it (apparently?). The same happened with Batman V Superman. I wasn’t impressed with either, and so when Venom received the same verdict, I got put off. Thank you, Twitter though, because I left it to a vote and you guys did not disappoint!

I’m reasonably well-versed in comics and superheroes but knew nothing about Venom. I haven’t even seen Spider-Man 3 so I literally knew nothing, so as far as comic-accuracy is concerned, I can’t comment. I also refuse to check this with my husband after he mocked me for pronouncing symbiote wrong – he’s such a nerd.

Anyway – I had such a fun time at the cinema seeing this. Yes, it takes far too long to get going, yes, the plot has several issues and contradicts itself. But! The action is wild, the humor is thick and fast when it finally arrives, and it was memorable for all the right reasons, and I absolutely cannot wait to see it again! Can Tom Hardy please do more lighter roles like this, please?

The team responsible for putting the trailer together for Venom need firing. They chose a scene to showcase the humorous side of the movie which is right at the very end, and without getting to know Venom it came across so weird and awkward, but when you see the movie and you have the context – it works! Thankfully more and more movie fans seem to be ignoring the critics, so fingers crossed we’ll be getting a sequel.

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Best Bit: It’s so hard to pick one because most of the Venom moments are hilarious. I think my personal favorite is Venom daring Eddie to jump out of the building, and then calling him a pussy for opting for the elevator instead. Also lobsters.

Worst Bit: The chicken. The eating of the chicken. I’ve dealt with enough sickness bugs over the last few weeks to stomach that scene. I’m genuinely feeling quite ill even thinking about it.

Fun Trivia: Tom Hardy’s son Louis Thomas Hardy is a fan of Venom, and Hardy took the role to please him: “I wanted to do something my son could watch. So I did something where I bite people’s heads off.” Louis also guided his father on how to appropriately portray Brock/Venom, since Hardy didn’t know the character very well.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 turds in the wind!

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TV Rambles: Big Little Lies, Legion & Girls

Is it just me or are having a really slow few weeks for movie releases? I’ve been struggling to find something to watch lately, which has led me to watch a fair bit of TV, which I guess is never a bad thing!

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Big Little Lies (2017)

Big Little Lies seems to be on everyone’s minds (and screens) lately. Based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty, and not to be confused with the similar sounding Pretty Little Liars, this is a 1 season, dramatic story with a murder mystery lying underneath. It also hosts one of the most incredible casts I’ve ever seen on TV, with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley & Alexander Skarsgard to name a few.

I’ve only read 1 novel by Liane Moriarty so far and I kind of hated it (Truly Madly Guilty) so I was worried about starting Big Little Lies, but the hype dragged me in and I couldn’t help myself. I needn’t have, this show caught me instantly and I binge watched the hell out of it in the end. I actually got so absorbed into these characters’ lives that I forgot about the mystery it was building up to.

That’s my advice if you want to give the show a go, just relax and enjoy every episode for what it is, rather than try and play detective. The final episode absolutely blew me away, but if I tried to over analyse everything I saw it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. It definitely lives up to the hype!

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Legion (2017 – )

I hadn’t seen much advertising at all for Legion, but it was recommended by my husband’s friends who had got hooked so we decided to give it a try. Guys – this is the weirdest TV show I have ever had the joy of witnessing. It’s produced by FX Productions in association with Marvel Television, set in the X-Men Universe. Dan Stevens plays the main character, David Haller, a man with incredible abilities that he’s unaware of, thanks to the fact he’s been in a psychiatric hospital for years to treat his apparent schizophrenia.

Seriously, I’m not messing around when I say how weird it all is. Prepare yourself to be shocked by mysterious characters not being who you thought they were, and for a giant, fat scary man to show up out of the blue. There’s also a children’s book called ‘The World’s Angriest Boy in the World’ so you know…there’s that. Honestly? I would have quite happily given up after the first episode, but it gets so much better. It’s one of those shows where every episode seems to end on a ‘WTF’ moment.

The only thing that really bugged me by the end of the season was David’s love interest, Syd. She had her uses in the first few episodes but after that she just came across as whiny and needy. She has powers too of course, but doesn’t even want to use them, and yet she somehow holds enough merit to be part of the main squad? It doesn’t sit with me, sister.

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Girls (2012 – 2017)

Okay, I realise I’m the only person in the world who likes Girls (or so it seems) but it seemed to make sense to make this post a triple whammy, and the final season has just finished! I started watching this show just before Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out so I could get to know Adam Driver better, and ended up falling in love with the show and spiraling into an Adam Driver obsession. Sigh. Why do I do this to myself?

This final season has been so full of highs and lows. I was all in for Hannah (Lena Dunham) to finally grow up and raise a child, I could have cried for joy when Adam (Adam Driver) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) to realise they’re the worst couple ever, and right now I’m just about ready to campaign for Elijah (Andrew Rannells) to have his own show.

I guess at the back of my mind though I always saw Hannah and Adam as end game. I’m hopeless I know, they were terrible for each other sometimes, but I felt like Adam was the only one to ever call Hannah out on her crap, and Hannah made Adam seem like a normal human being. As normal as Adam could ever be at least. I’ll hand it to Lena, it all ended realistically, but it was still a hard pill to swallow. I can always rewatch the first few seasons I guess.

So, that’s left me with a huge TV-shaped hole in my life! Are there any new shows out there that I have to try? Fargo starts tonight doesn’t it? Yaaaaaaas!