The (not so) Amazing Spiderman.

I would be the millionth person to say that the Andrew Garfield Spiderman is the worst, but I wasn’t sure what I’d heard was true, so I gave both movies a watch.

And I started the first one with it not seeming so bad…until it got further in, and I started wondering why they changed everything, why all the action scenes looked fake, and why they removed a very important part of Dr. Connors backstory. And then that stupid promise at the end of the movie…

I began to wonder what Gwen Stacy saw in this version of Spiderman and Peter Parker. Sure he did that one nice thing for that one kid, but after that he was consistently a jerk.

After I finished it I decided that the writers had shamelessly ripped off Raimer’s trilogy by copying a lot, but at the same time stripping it of any real meaning. Peter tries to do what Maguire’s version always did and convince the lizard not to be evil, but he lacks the passion for it and it only lasts about half a minute. Big whoop.

He also tried to be quippy, but whoreve wrote his dialogue lacked inspiration.

Gwen Stacy is a much more likable character. I like MJ as played by Kirsten Dunst, I consider her the perfect cast, but Gwen is nice too. I’m used to superheroes being paired off with different people now. I have no problem with Gwen except that she falls for a guy who seems like a jerk. Who keeps sending her mixed signals. Couldn’t she do better?

And when I’m asking if someone could do better than Spiderman, that’s a serious red light.

It’s worse than Homecoming, and I thought that has stripped Peter Parker of his maturity and spiritual undertones.

It’s funny, when I read the Spiderman comics, I didn’t really find Spiritual undertones. It talked about fate a lot. Even though it was written by Jewish guys, it’s not as poignant as Mr. Miracle, Superman, and some of the other big names. But I always trusted Spiderman to bounce back and do the right thing, and give it another try, and I always felt he really cared about people in his own simple teenage–young twenty something way.

I like the big guns of the superhero world just fien for what theyh are. I think we need both the over the top, and the regualr good guy in fiction, because we need to be reminded obthof hwat we could be and what we are.

Spiderman may swing from buildings, but he always felt more grounded then the others. You’ll see him on the floor or on walls more than in the clouds, and so he has a closer perspective of things. That’s what makes his love of humanity easier for us to see.

And the original trilogy nailed that perfectly. It was willing to believe in the goodness of people. Even J. Jonah Jameson. That people change, that they are willing to step up and help even Spiderman. Even someone they don’t know. That love is worth the risk in the end.

MJ’s speech to Peter Parker at the end of Spiderman 2 when she asks “Isn’t it about time someone saved your life?” puts everything into perspective. The reason even superheros need people, because saving your  life isn’t’ always about literally saving your life. MJ means that Peter is a person, who needs to keep their heart going, just like everyone else, and deserves the chance to do it. Even if it’s risky.

And the Amazing Spiderman just does not get it. It seems to blindly feel Peter Parker should have a girlfriend but it can’t justify why.

However that’s the lest of its problems. Aside from ruining his relationship with his aunt and with Harry, and making Harry really, really annoying and unstable; these two movies did something I found horrifying, and I mean in a real way, not just to my cinematic sensibilities.

Whenever you are working with Super villains you run the risk of making them either too appealing or too repulsive. Too repulsive and they cease to seem like actual people gone bad.

In this case the villains were repulsive. Electro was nutty before he got mutated. But Dr. Connors and him both did something I hate. The “embracing the monster” trope. The Green Goblin did the same thing, only when Norman Osborne slips over the edge he actually fights it…briefly, and then we are shown that his strength of character is too small. he won’t resist the goblin.

Dr. Connors on the other hand is immediately devoured by his Lizard formula, he doesn’t fight it. He embraces it and feels no guilt even when he reverts back to human form.  There is no choice anymore.

Electro is kind of the same, only he just likes being powerful and visible to everyone, and turns on Spiderman on a dime, because of stupid unhelpful cops. (Gee, at least in the trilogy the cops were nicer and non stereotypical.)

In Spiderman 3, Eddie liked being evil. But Eddie had been harboring wicked thoughts before the space goo took over, and he clung to it. Max seems like he’s only ever a victim of circumstance.

And in the end , I just appreciate the Raimer trilogy’s refusal to take the victimized attitude toward evil, and toward being special that so may media releases are taking. That attitude is disgusting.

Like Diana says to Cyborg in the new Justice League, his powers can be gifts. It really is his perspective that makes the difference. I liked Cyborg because he didn’t spend the whole movie whining about being a monster and slipping off his crackers. He gave it his best instead.

Which is why I still like Justice League despite its flaws. and  I now realize just how good we had it with the Raimer trilogy and how hard it is to find directors and actors who are truly passionate about the character enough  to make something meaningful out of it.

And that’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

Infinity Wars–2

There will still be spoilers, but if you read the last post,  you probably don’t care or you’ve already seen it, so we should be good.

So clearly there were a lot of deaths to talk about in this movie. My first question is if they were all necessary?

thr heartbreaking ones wee definitely Gamorrah’s, Spiderman’s, and Vision’s. Even if like me you never liked Vision, it was still pretty sad to see Scarlett Witch first kill him and then watch him die again  thanks to Thanos. That does make it seem meaningless.

But Thanos sacrificing Gamorra in order to get the soul stone that was both repulsive and emotional. Though personally, I don’t think she’s dead. I think she’s in a coma, because a fall like that shouldn’t have killed someone so enhanced, plus the whole thing felt like a cop-out of sorts. And there was that vision of her he had at the end, I think the Soul Stone has Gamorra in some sort of suspended animation. (Ask your nerd friends if you don’t know what that is, it’s a comic thing.)

Gamorra is so coming back, so it wasn’t so bad with her. And Spiderman too. Vision, probably.

But do their deaths add anything to this movie?

Spiderman’s? Not really. It adds to Tony Stark’s many issues to watch his yong protegee dissolve,a long with a bunch of other people. But it doesn’t have a lot to do with the movie’s themes.

But with the other two I have more to say. An ongoing theme in this movie was sacrifice. Thanos wants to sacrifice half of all the life in the universe just so the other half can go on to survive and thrive. he claims that when he did this, with Gamorra’s help, the planets went on to be lush and people no longer starved.

I guess Thanos has never heard that we actually have enough food for everyone on this planet, we just do not distribute it. Killing half the people is more likely to make that worse, not better. Collapsing civilization as we know it will cause more starvation as people struggle to put their systems back together. I don’t know what fantasy world Thanos is living in…one of his own device it seems. Since he can alter reality.

however, if he could alter reality, why not turn all the garbage dumps in the universe inot farms? Why not make the landscapes more fertile? Get rid of the Sahara? That’s just on Earth, but you can imagine in this world it would apply to all the inhabited planets.

Thanos is gong to live forever anyway, if he was so benevolent, he could have worked something out that wouldn’t have thrown off the balance of the universe.

It’s laughable that he blames his won planet for rejecting him, sure Thanos, that’s why the gravity and orbit was off, it had nothing to do with messing with the forces of nature. Just keep telling yourself that.

Now it doesn’t take much thinking to see the inherent problems with Thanos’es solution, but my beef with  this movie was that it’s more thinking than any of the good guys did.

In what is becoming the predictable Marvel fashion, no one in this movie had a good counter argument for Thanos. Gamorra clearly thinks what he is doing is wrong, but she only calls it murder, she does not go farther into it. Are we just meant to assume that murder makes it wrong?

And I would agree that murder is wrong, and this kind of genocide is insanely evil, but I would not just say that. I would have a reason for it.

I only know Murder is wrong becuase I know that God is life, I know that we are made in His Image, and that he forbids murder and it is never a good idea to disobey God. Because His rules govern the universe. That would be what I would say to Thanos.

But when Thanos is laying out his whole twisted philosophy, all our supposedly brilliant heroes can do is stare stupidly at him in horror, and then say they’re going to stop him. Well great, but why? So far we see no reason to think he’s wrong…other than it seems an overly complicated solutions compared to just rearranging things so there would be more resources.

Thanos’es philosophy matches that of many people in the real world, which as I said to my family, is the really carry thing about him. That he’s big purple, and powerful isn’t a problem, its that he represents real ideology.

Even scarier is that lots of people think that we are over populated. They don’t even question it. It’s not actually true. Our cities are over crowded, but the world itself still has plenty of room. Plus people are dying everyday, all the time. We kill each other so much, we don’t need some big bad guy to do it for us. We have enough of those already.

Vision tells Ultron he is on the side of life, and that is all the Avengers can seem to come up with in this movie. Never, ever, let people die.

Ironically, Vision is the first to realize that death can be necessary. Thanos is right about that, but murder is not. Self Sacrifice is not the same thing at all, to lay down your life for your friends or the greater good, that’s a noble thing to do. No one should disparage that. Gamorra tries to do this, and to his credit, Peter Quill was going to do as she asked and kill her before Thanos got the information out of her, but Thanos stopped him.

Captain America is so hesitant to let anyone die, at least since the Winter Soldier, or Ultron. Which is silly. He’s a soldier, he should understand the necessity of sacrifice to stop evil.

Then Gamorra herself fails when she sees Nebula being tortured. Now, I give her a bit more leeway since it’s just terrible to watch that, worse than a quick death scene. But then Quill later blows their chance to depower Thanos when he finds out Gamorra is dead…and Nebula didn’t whack him over the head because…?

yeah, there are some issues I have. Thanos makes his sacrifice, I agree that he didn’t really love Gamorra, but he thought he did. What he considers love, of course it was never going to be her if it came before her and the stone.

The Dr. Strange says he will sacrifice Tony ad Spiderman to protect the stone, and he doesn’t. Perhaps he has his own reasons for that, but it seems the movie is saying that the Avengers cannot let people die or else they would not be the Avengers.

That’s…stupid.

You have go consider stakes. It is not evil to let someone sacrifice themselves in a war, especially not if the whole galaxy is at stake and they can help.

There is simply no point in risking your lives as often as the Avengers do if you are not prepared to let someone lose it if they have to. You cannot live dangerously and fear death.

I am not saying we should be heartless and not care. I think on the contrary we care more when someone goes out nobly, and there is some meaning in it. Better that then the pointless carnage at the end of this film.

See, if three, or four people had laid down their lives willingly, half of the population would have been spared. Think about that.

Yet again we wonder who our real heroes are, if they cannot even make that kind of sacrifice.

Whosoever seeks to save his life shall lose it, an whoever loses it for My Sake and the Kingdom’s shall find it.

Jesus said that. And I think it fits. Int eh end if a few good guys had died for the sake of all, then more good guys would have survived.

Hopefully the second movie will clear all this up. Because life does not have true value unless it valued but  not so much that it cannot be given up.

Until next time–Natasha.

Infinity Wars!

It’s finally time! I have it in writing that I have been anticipating this since before Justice League came out. (See Expectations for the New Justice League.)

 

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(Image from Google and WallpaperAbyss)

                                Infinity Wars!

Spoiler Warning. Seriously. Do not read further if you are planning to see it.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk.

I would like to preface this by saying I still prefer Justice League, but that is completely my own bias and I am not saying it was a better movie, I am also not saying it wasn’t. You’ll have to figure it out.

So, the Avengers movie where people finally died, right? (You were warned.)

Not that I believe for a second that any of them are staying dead. My bet is that they will all come back, and then some of them will die again just so Marvel writers can say there were lasting consequences. I mean some of these people don’t have their quota of three movies in yet, so we know they’re coming back.

But if you walked in not knowing what to expect, unlike me, since I saw spoilers, which I regret now, then the death toll of this movie would have knocked your socks off and not in a pleasant way.

I actually almost choked up when Gomorrah and Peter Parker died. I don’t like Peter so much in this new version, but he was 15, and it’s just hard to watch a 15 year old dissolve into ash even when it’s a movie.

You might wonder if I think that these deaths added stakes to it? Yes and no. I think it guaranteed we would all come back to see the sequel. Of course now we want to know what happens.

I guess MArvel has the right to market what they know will sell.

Forgive my cynicism, but I still can’t believe it really happened or that it will last. Especially with such a serious out.

But you might want a little more detail. If you aren’t going to see it, here’s the plot in a nutshell.

After Thor Ragnarok, Thanos shows up, slaughters all the Asgardian we spent the whole of that movie trying to save–including Valkyrie we presume–and then kills Loki off like a sucker and sends Thor floating into deep space, where he is later rescued by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Whoa t first aren’t sure what to make of him. but as soon as he explains about Thanos, Gormorrah is all set to do whatever it takes to keep Thanos away from the remaining Infinity stones. Thanos has two, thanks to Loki. The purple one and the blue one if I remember correctly.

Meanwhile, Dr. Strange has called Tony Stark in to tell him of their impending doom. Strange has the Green Time Stone, and he says he must keep it away form Thanos, he’ll need help, and Tony needs to assemble the Avengers. Of course since the whole mess from Civil war, Tony isn’t on speaking terms with half of them. And naturally his typical selfish behavior is to hesitate because he’s afraid to call them up. Just when he’s going to finally dial Cap’s number, Thanos’es five horsemen of the Apocalypse show up. Only, it’s just two of them for now. (Yeah, they aren’t really explained any better in the movie, they are just there, and they’re despicable.)

They fight, Spiderman hears the commotion, and dives out his bus window to get in on the action, much to Iron Man’s consternation. I was a little sad that Zendaya didn’t get even a cameo int his, but I figured she wouldn’t have been in it long enough to make it worth paying her.

Anyway, Doctor Strange gets taken by Squidworth (As Iron man dubs one of the buddies) and out into this weird acupuncture trap. Iron man goes after him, Spiderman follows, kind of by accident. Then Iron man gives him his Iron Spider suit to protect him from the atmospheric conditions. Once he realizes he’s stuck with Spiderman he says “Congratulations kid, you’re an Avenger now.” Nobody cheered by the way. Even Peter just looks happy for second then you can tell he realizes this may not be a good thing at the moment.

To make a long story short, they go to Thanos’es planet, upon Iron Mans suggestion, to face him. Eventually they are joined by half of the Guardians of the Galaxy. After getting their rear ends handed to them by Thanos and losing Gomorrah, the Guardians cam there to find him, I guess. I’m not sure they even said why.

Then back on Earth, Vision and Wanda have finally started their relationship. Not married of course, though they should be to be comically accurate. And yes, it was as out of left field as Black Widow’s and Hulk’s. But at least it had a basis in the comics first. Then the horsemen of the apocalypse show up to take Vision’s Infinity stone. The other Avengers show up, Cap, Natasha, Falcon, and they kick their rear ends. Then they all go join Rhodes, or War Machine if you prefer, to go to Wakanda and try to get the stone removed from Visions forehead without destroying him.

And if you think you’re confused, imagine watching it.

The horsemen show up in Wakanda with an army of alien drone dogs things, we find out Thanos was behind the Chitarri invasion of earth, and he’s been in Iron Man’s head for years, and presumably Loki’s too. Everyone put s up one heck of a fight. Thor shows up after a trip to a magical forge guarded by peter Dinklage (sorry, a giant space dwarf. Their words, not mine.) He’s got his ax now, and some people know he had an ax in some renditions, including the old animated movies of the Avengers, so that was a bit of eye candy for us geeks.

Rocket and Groot helped him, by the way, so now they’re on earth. I will say, when they all showed up and Thor blasted the bad guys, everyone in the theater started to slow clap. I think my family began it, but we all couldn’t help it. Thor really is awesome.

Then Thanos shows up and kills half of them. The end.

Not really, but you’ll have to read the net installment to get the rest of my take on it.

See what I did there?

Natasha will return in Infinity Wars part 2.Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Loki, War Machine, Vision, Scarlett Witch, Falcon, Bucky, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Spider-man, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Teenage Groot, Mantis, Nebula, 4K

 

The Legends and the Myths.

Oh my gosh I feel like it’s been weeks since I posted, sorry, I have big college projects swirling around. BU tI am going to take some time to attend to this today!

Can you tell it’s my first time dealing with finals?

Anyway, I have plenty I could write about. The trick will be picking one thing. I’ve been researching superheroes of all things to write a paper on it.

Professors have come a long way; I imagine if 20 or 30 years ago I suggested superheroes as the subject of a research paper, my professor would have given me a look and said “That’s not a real subject.”

But now, it totally works. And with the Infinity War Craze of the past two weeks, and the subsequent Deadpool 2 craze, what more proof do you need that superheroes are relevant?

I haven’t seen either by the way, but look for a review of the first one sometime in the near future.

Though I think I will still prefer the cinematic inferior Justice League to all this glamour of the Avengers. At heart, I still prefer even a partially good DCU flick, to a saturated MCU one.

Enough about that, the point is, superheroes are difinitely in. And those of us who are not in the swim about them maybe should undertake to know at least a little about what fans are crazy about.

Chances are you know someone who is nuts about superheroes. Likely you know someone who is too nuts about them. IF you’re like me, you don’t buy all the merchandise or see every film in theaters, bu you keep up with the comic books world at least enough to know the context of most of the stories.

I read the original Spiderman comics, which hold up even today, and the Silver Age Superman ones, 50s-60s, and of course the 70s Mr. Miracle. I have yet to find a Wonder Woman comic, but I would love to check that out sometime.

Funny story, I remember getting a Wonder Woman comic from the Library back before I could even read. Actually I think my mom got it just because I was looking at the picture. And I started at the words and really wished I knew what they were saying. But all I got twas the vague idea that she was a kid growing up with her mom.

And I can’t believe I didn’t remember that when I read “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie, since he had the same experience with Superman.

I’ve always wanted to find that comic, which I now realize had to be the original one, and read it knowing the words. SO in a strange way, comics have been a part of my reading experience almost from the beginning, and Wonder Woman has intrigued my also.

And my mom was not a superhero person, and still is not except by proxy, since she has to listen to us go on and on about it. My mom is smart, she has learned over the years to take at least a mild interest in everything we get obsessed with so that she preserves her sanity.

Superheroes will always be considered somewhat ridiculous, even by the people who love them. Not because they are ridiculous as a characters, but because the idea of one is just odd to us. A caped costumed character is funny. The whole underwear on the outside thing. By the way, did you know that they looked more like that because men used to wear suspenders that kept their pants up higher? When supers were created, that look would have been more normal and wearing nothing over that are would have been indecent. It’s not about underwear at all.

And yes Wonder Woman wore a swimsuit, but even then there were worse ones.

Still, it’s funny to dress in a flag. The pint is, they aren’t meant to be taken seriously.

That’s why we love them. You don’t have to believe they are real in order to get real ideas and emotions from them.

As I have pointed out to others, superheroes are for those who dream. They are a modern mythology. And I would have to acknowledge this even if I hated them, because there is no getting away from it. They are ubiquitous.

I think I love superheroes more than I care to admit on this blog, but I don’t love them just for their flashy fighting and quippy dialogue, though I enjoy that.

I love them because in nowhere else  in our modern world do I find so many characters held up to a real standard for good. And they challenge us to meet that standard. I love the heart behind many of them, the honest look at hardship that many of the creators had to take in writing them out. Mostly, I love myths.

And I’m a dreamer. Without fail, people who dream that I know, they like superheroes.

People who do not dream don’t, or are at best ambiguous.

I’m not kidding, I know people as old as my dad who like superheroes, but they are dreamers; and I know people who think they’re stupid, they aren’t dreamers. And those who are ambiguous also don’t dream.

IS it possible to be a dreamer without liking supers? I am sure it is. But  I do not think it works the other way. What use are superheroes with their outlandish exploits if you do not wish to accomplish things that seem outlandish to you?

Fairy tales will always be mocked by those who do not secretly wish they were true…even those who do. But as Anne of Green Gables has said, the world needs fairies, it cannot do without them.

All that means is not that we need fairies as a fantastical creature to tell stories about, but that we need fantasy. Which fairies famously represent.

We need superheroes in the same way. Whether you are a dreamer or not, you need dreamers. The ones who keep this world afloat.

They are the legends and the myths today, and they keep us linked to older myths and stories. We need that, we need to keep our imaginations alive. And if that looks like a comic spread with some speech bubbles, so be it. I’ll take that over pure realism, that stuff can be soul killing.

Until next time–Natasha.

 

 

Deadpool and Man of Steel.

Who’s excited about Infinity Wars?

I am not as enthused as I was, Marvel is burning me out. I am a DC person at heart.

With that in mind this week I checked yet another Marvel movie, and another DC movie off my “yet to see” list.

Deadpool and Man of Steel.

They could not be more different stories. One refusing to take anything seriously, the other taking itself perhaps a bit too seriously. No one in Man of Steel developed a sense of humor till the last few minutes of the film. Which proves how desperately the franchise needed the Flash. You go Barry, save the DCU.

Comic relief doesn’t have to be as plentiful as in Marvel, but it is a staple of superhero movies and for a good reason The franchise cannot be taken too seriously, or it falls apart, people nitpick. With the advent of the Dark Knight, and Iron Man, fans have gone to a whole new level of criticizing or worshiping their heroes, but the disappearance of real humor is a telltale sign that we may be forgetting these are just stories.

I know I know, this coming from the person who wrote about relationship goals based on superheros.

Well that’s the point, only a fictional relationship could possible be evaluated without the humanity of he two people getting in the way. They might have flaws, but it will never bug you as much if the person isn’t real, and you can look past it. Learning to do that with your real spouse/significant other is a lot harder, but it’s important.

With that said, did I then love Deadpool?

Heck no. I kept an open mind, I’d heard it was awesome. And though the R-rated material was not enjoyable to me, it wasn’t what killed it.

Fans, you may not want to read the following:

Deadpool was lazy. The writing was lazy. Cussing can be used creatively to emphasize someone’s personality, or the kind of stress they are under, but Deadpool substituted cussing fr a  personality.

I know nothing about what this guy likes or dislikes beyond a few superficial facts But all Marvel characters (except Spiderman and Antman and Thor) suffer from that syndrome, so it wouldn’t ruin him, I suppose.

I also love Ryan Reynolds, for the record, and there were a few moments when his natural comedic gifting came out, but only a few.

Deadpool is vulgar, gross, sick, but not without some good qualities as a person. He really loves his girl, for whatever reason, I guess they are two of a kind. He really tries to do what’s best for her.

The movie was turning into Beastly for a while. Then we go back to R-rated violence and humor.

But Deadpool is still a weak character. Though he makes fun of Marvel tropes, he relies on them for us to even like him. Otherwise, why would we? Remove the Fourth wall breaking, and naughty mouth that makes us all feel like big boys for watching, and you are left with the most average or even sub-par superhuman I’ve ever seen. (Maybe Titan from Megamind has him beat.) I mean, what does he even do that makes him likable? He saves his girlfriend, but if I want to watch gun-slinging violent damsel in distress movie, there’s a few dozen westerns that would beat this out, especially for dialogue.

No, I’m sorry, saving the girl can’t justify everything.

Most of our superheroes are getting high kill rates, and Deadpool embracing that is not helping anything. It’s not a good thing.

Let me tackle Man of Steel now.

I admit I liked this movie okay. It was better than Deadpool. It is chronically serious. All DC movies have been except for Suicide Squad. It’s their style, love it or hate it. I don’t love it exactly, I need to laugh every now and then Superman, but I do appreciate DC trying to put some real morality in it. And that they do not treat moral decisions as something to joke about.

Because right and wrong is not a joke, and cannot be settled on a joke.

I won’t be saying anything new if I say that Superman seeking religious advice is unique, and humble. Superman has always been a humble and they kept that in the movie. They also kept Lois Lane’s conscience, which was nice. I miss her sarcasm but Amy Addams has never been the type of actress to sell that character, so I guess it can’t be helped. She still did a good job of nailing Lois’es reckless, meddling side.

Pa Kent was the worst part though. Ugh. Talk about the anti Uncle Ben. And Pa Kent used to be more likable.

Krypton was never something I cared to see more of, in the comics I got tired of gong back to it. It was too idealized. Too perfect.

The movie touched on the arrogance of such a world, but the thing about planned parenthood, was unnecessary and felt too much like the Matrix. (Yet another lesson about messing with DNA, geneticists, I hope you’re listening.)

But in the end Superman is a sympathetic character. We feel bad for him. True the guy tends to make the same face most of the time, but I think it’s the script’s fault. Most of his scenes are serious, he kind of has to make that face. And he does lighten up a few times.

The comparison of superman to god is a running theme. but Superman himself knows he’d not a god. To have god-like powers without god-like wisdom is to be only a monster. Like Zod. Unless you humbly submit to the higher call of Good, and then you are a hero.

So as imperfect as Superman is, at least he gets that. he’s learning. DC characters all seem to be learning and rowing. And I am looking forward tow hat they come up with in the future. But Deadpool and the rest of the snappy but empty characters, they might get people laughing, but will they ever get them thinking?

I can’t say, but I don’t see it so far, so here’s to the Flawed but Learning people!

–Natasha.

Spiderman Homecoming.

Did the title make you groan or was it intrigueing?

Or maybe both?

Yes, in keeping with my record off seeing movies months after they come out, I’ve finally given this one a watch. Now I wasn’t feeling too well at the time (and I’m still not actually) so perhaps that affected my impression of it, but I doubt it.

Because I don’t think it sucked, per sec.

If you thought it did, I completely understand, but also if you thought it didn’t.

Normally I would pick a side, but this movie really defied you to do that.

I’ll be upfront, this was not Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman in any way, shape, or form.

That is a negative for me, though it won’t be for everyone. I love the profoundness and even the occasional campy-ness of the old trilogy, and the strong moral themes. I think the casting was perfect. And for a nineties trilogy (or whenever it was) the special effects aren’t half bad.

If there’s a downside to that series I don’t know it, but it doesn’t follow that any break from style would be a negative.

One thing I miss from the trilogy, though I wouldn’t chalk it up to a negative, is the wisecracking Spiderman I loved in the old comics. And this new movie…does not have that.

Sorry, this Spiderman is a lot of things, but he’s not good at the quips. His repartoire had the wittiness of a VLOG…because it usually was a VLOG. As a VLOG (that’s making video logs of your life for you none YouTubers) it was okay. Not the worst thing I’d ever see on the internet. But as superhero quips, Hulk has had it better.

But there is more to Spiderman than wise cracks, there’s also emotional depth.

And the movie….doesn’t have that until about halfway through, and then in small amounts that don’t really seem to last.

I mean, sure Peter gets chewed out by Tony Stark and almost cries; and gets his suit taken away; and can’t be Spiderman anymore; but except for when it gives you painful flashbacks to getting chewed out by your parent or teacher when you were in high-school, the most emotion you feel is “What a wuss.”

And this Peter is, sadly, a wuss. He’s not the biggest wuss ever, I mean, compared to a lot of guys, he’s pretty cool…in a nerdy, annoying way. He spends the first chunk of the movie annoying both Tony and the audience with his hormonal energy and bouncing around and not following instructions and basically just sucking at being Spiderman.

If you’ve seen Maguire’s version, you just shake your head or roll your eyes watching this dork.

And I have nothing against the actor, Tom Holland is not bad, and he’s kind of cute some of the time, I blame the script.

And my other complaint is that for a movie with so much young talent, like Zendaya, who is not my favorite actress or anything but I know she has comedic talent, it wasted it. Zendaya was perfect for this more ironic form of MJ (who I don’t mind because this Peter is not the sensitive type and the old MJ wouldn’t suit him at all) and she had like six lines. Six! What a waste.

So you may wonder why I am so ambiguous about whether this movie is good or not if I disliked so much.

Well, it is inferior to the old trilogy in almost every way. But it’s an okay film, maybe even a good one if you’re into teen action films.

Because that’s what this is, it’s Avengers for young teenagers. I mean 13-15 year olds who may not be as up on the darker side of the adult Avengers, (and that’s a maybe.) The language unfortunately rules it out for anyone younger than 13 otherwise I’d say this was a good movie for your preteens who are into the Marvel hype.

I want to say that I don’t think teen action flicks are bad movies. I’ve seen plenty and I’ve like most of them. I even saw a Ninja Turtles movies once, that I thought was pretty cool, and I’ve watched weirder ones than that. (Aliens in the attic was my favorite for awhile. I was young.)

And this movie felt like Ninja Turtles with Spiderman. Replace the warthog or whatever he is with Tony Stark and Happy as the serious-yet-still-humorous mentor character, combine four slightly different teenage turtle personalities into one character who varies from sort of serious; to completely goofy; to whiny; to incautious and reckless.

Add in the comedic quality of one of those movies, which have funny moments but are mostly slapstick/awkward situational comedy.

And you have Homecoming.

It’s like a Junior Marvel film.

If Marvel is going to start making junior spin offs to their own movies, I’m cool with that, they aren’t hurting anybody. But I would prefer they use less famous superheroes as the teens, because the ones who already have better, more profound movies are too good to throw away on B-quality films.

I should touch on the message:

The message is that you should not try to grow up too fast. That it’s okay to stay at the level you can handle until you’re more mature.

And while I agree with that message in some ways, it goes against the grain for me to tell teens to underachieve.

While I think no teen should have to go through what Peter Parker went through, the sad truth is many of them do. Teens who have no lost people close to them, or been betrayed terribly by friends or family are the exception, not the rule.

Peter is clearly a better person deep down then the movie would make him out to be at first, I saw sparks of a noble character in their. In a very annoying package.

But mos teens are an un-tempered, annoying, package of good potential. I can’t fault a film for being honest; but that version of teens is not the whole truth, because it’s a recent development. Teens used to be young adults, and that it was Maguire’s Spiderman was. It helps that in his first movie he goes from high-school to college, and frankly if he hadn’t, the maturity he achieved would have been harder to believe.

But it’s attainable.

I don’t think I would tell my kid to be like this Spiderman, and that’s the biggest test of any young hero. Even though they often are reckless and immature, some are better at learning from their mistakes.

Peter does learn, and I won’t say he made the wrong decision at the end of the film. I would question what we were supposed to take away from a two hour film showing all the reasons why being a superhero is just too hard for some people.

Okay, yeah, we get it. But how does that help us? Did it make a more enjoyable movie?

Still, for what it is, it’s fine. I won’t begrudge you your liking of it if you liked it. But if you like the old trilogy and don’t like seeing superheros changed, and if you like profound meaning in your films, then don’t watch this.

That’s all I have to say about it, until next time–Natasha.

P. S. ( DCU fans keep an eye out for Justice League, that should be next on my list.)