January Movie Reviews – Folio 2.0 / EU Jacksonville

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Spider-Man: No Coming Home

Spider-Man arrives to save the day – and movie theaters – in what might be the most ambitious and beloved superhero film yet. After the final moments of the previous entry, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) was unveiled to the world as the web-slinger’s secret identity. While his friends and family also face backlash from the revelation, Peter enlists the help of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) asking that the world forget he’s Spider-Man. Unfortunately, Strange’s spell backfires and causes Spider-Man villains from other realities to appear in Peter’s universe.

Superhero stories have become such an important pillar in the fabric of pop culture that for many members of the public, the origin stories of these spandex-clad characters are well known and their stories carry a lot of weight. Neither will Spider-Man, who has been a movie mainstay since the 2002 release of Sam Raimi’s live-action performance starring Tobey Maguire. And No Way Home uses its audience’s shared history and intimacy with the character in unexpected and often exciting ways. As the trailer revealed, the Visitors to the Multiverse are actually villains from previous versions of Spider-Man, such as Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) and the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) from the aforementioned Raimi Trilogy. as well as the Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Electro (Jamie Foxx) from Marc Webb’s largely forgotten films. But it’s the original villain, Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin, played by the indelible Willem Dafoe who steals the show, as he slips in to cackle reminding audiences that he’s not just the archetypal comic book villains, but remains among the best to do so in the genre.

Modern blockbusters are often promoted with the cliched lip service that they were made for fans of the original property, but No Way Home is the rare exception that can wholeheartedly claim to be made for multiple generations of Spider fans. -Man. It clears the canvas for the character’s future stories and also invigorates her past episodes.

The power of the dog

This slow-burning thriller from acclaimed filmmaker Jane Campion has become a favorite for this year’s awards season and offers a top-notch display of the talents of its excellent cast. In the early 20th century, a cruel rancher, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch), humiliates and emotionally terrorizes his brother George’s (Jesse Plemons) new wife, Rose (Kristen Dunst), and teenage son, Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee). The film moves at a deliberately icy pace, as Campion allows the initial sweetness of George and Rose’s relationship to quickly turn sour as Phil sinks his claws into his happiness. Cumberbatch delivers a surprisingly magnetic performance, playing against type as a decidedly mean and dirty individual. Dunst, who is rarely less than excellent, plays his fall into depression and alcoholism with heartbreaking control, while Plemons adds another solid entry to his impressive resume. The film subtly deals with timeless themes of masculinity and repression; As the revelations progress, the motivations of the characters become clearer. The Netflix movie is a cinematic magnum opus, the kind that traditional studios rarely produce.

alley of nightmares

Guillermo Del Toro’s sequel to his Best Picture Oscar winner, The Shape of Water follows a hustler named Stan (Bradley Cooper) on a descent into darkness as he tries to make something of himself. The film opens with Stan hiding a body under the floorboards of a decaying house, which he then burns to the ground. Stan soon stumbles upon a traveling carnival, seeing it as an opportunity to start his life over. He learns the trade of being a mystical showman and begins scamming members of the public, hoping to contact their deceased loved ones, with their money, but he eventually grows bored and begins to seek bigger scores. Del Toro is a master filmmaker and his ability to create a fully visualized world is on display here, along with his skill at composing memorable shots. Performance is also uniformly strong; however, the film cuts to a halt as Stan’s inevitable downfall takes far too long to arrive after he becomes a skilled hustler, who shows no sign of possessing an ounce of morality. Not the director’s best effort.

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