Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse might just be the best Spiderman movie ever, and the animated movie of the year. Spiderverse offers a stylized animation with eye popping visuals, true heart, great action, and a fantastic plot which sets it apart from all of it's proceeder Spiderman movies and offers a new spiderman that is here to stay.
This is an original story centering around Miles Morales, voiced flawlessly by Shameik Moore, and his journey from regular new kid in school to the new Spiderman. Spiderverse starts with Miles leaving his parent's house to go to Brooklyn Academy. Having a tough time he goes to see his Uncle, Uncle Aaron played by Mareshala Al, a decision that will change his life. He gets big by his own mutated spider and the movie then kicks into high gear and doesn't look back. Noticing the many changes happening to him he goes back to where it happened and sees Peter Parker battling it out to stop Kingpin from using a machine that will tear a whole into the space time continuum, creating access to other universes. Peter saves Miles and sees that he's like him, and sets him on a mission to help him destroy the machine. But before this happens a slew of spider people get sent to Mile's universe. A new Peter Parker, Spider Gwen, Spider-Noir, Spider Ham and an Penny Parker get sent to Miles' universe.
Miles and Peter's relationship of mentor and student is a beautiful thing to see on screen and one of the stand out parts of the movie. Peter voiced by Jake Johnson was hilarious as a grizzled and older Peter Parker. The New Girl Alum, Johnson naturally offered the most laughs and the some of the moments with the most heart in the movie. It was nice seeing sparks of Miles and Gwen's romantic relationship and Haliee Steinfeld played the role perfectly. And Nicholas Cage offered a dark, brooding, and equally hilarious Spider Noir the way only Nicholas Cage could.
Spiderverse was nothing short of an awe inspiring and truly fun time at the movies, and for an animated movie it was full of jaw dropping action and still managed to balance a great original story, and a theme of anyone being able to be a hero. Definitely see this in the theater!
Daredevil Season 3 is the first 10/10 entry being reviewed on my site. Season 3 masterfully dove into a broken and lost Matt Murdock after the explosive events of "The Defenders". Here we see
Charlie Cox's Matt, who has always been extremely strong in his faith, have it shaken to it's core and nearly broken entirely. His faith in God, his friends, his allies, even his purpose were all extremely tested and for the first half of Daredevil we see a Matt so dark and brooding you would think it were a DC show.
Besides the fascinating exploration of Matt, season 3 also introduces some key new characters in Ben Poindexter, Ray Nadeem and Sister Maggie. Ben Poindexter, aka Bullseye, was played to perfection by Wilson Bethel. He brought to life an extremely mentally unstable, deadly and skilled character who even put fear in the "Man without fear".
Joanne Whalley's "Sister Maggie" had the joy of having one of the most captivating story arcs. Playing Matt's estranged mother and who's reemergence fueled the fire that burned within him of anger and abandonment even more to where it almost consumed him.
Jay Ali's "Special Agent Ray Nadeem" was a great addition as well, playing a federal agent who means well but is no match for the will of Wilson Fisk. And speaking of Fisk, somehow Vincent D'Onofrio keeps making Fisk better and better. With a demanding performance that is so true to character it's scary. Fisk steals every scene he's in easily and we even see Fisk slowly turn into the character we all know and love to hate "Kingpin". Also, hearing Daredevil actually called Daredevil instead of the dreadfully long "The Devil of Hells Kitchen" and hearing Fisk called "Kingpin" is more satisfying than one might think. Seaon 3 also dove more into already established characters like Karen, Foggy, and even Karen's boss Mitchell Ellison, which was a nice touch.
Season 3 offered the most ambitious "Hallway Scene" ever done with a 10 minute long hallway fight that somehow put to shame the Hallway fights from the previous seasons. Season 3 had the most brutal and amazingly choreographed fights that we've seen, great dialogue and acting, and a flawless story line. I was so glad that we actually see Matt fall and manage to get back up unlike the other netflix counter parts, like Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Who also found their characters being broken, losing their way, but they never really found their way back. I'm glad Matt found his way back, thus giving us a complete story of redemption.
In all season 3 is a 10/10 worthy addition to the Daredevil Saga and I'm looking forward to the future.
Venom, sony's first spinoff of the spiderman universe came out with a slew of mixed reviews and I'm here to tell you that it's better than the bad reviews are saying but not by that much. Venom centers around Eddie Brock, famed San Francisco reporter. He sets out to interview scientist, Carlton Drake at his corporation the Life Foundation. Brock realizes that Drake is not the man he says he is, and his company is a lot more evil than how it appears. At the life foundation Drake is researching symbiotes and will unlock their potential at whatever and whoever's cost.
Tom Hardy did a fine job making Eddie Brock his own and seeing Venom in action was actually pretty great, when you could actually see what's happening. Big CGI fights at night don't really work out that well, like Transformers 1 and the first Hulk movie for example, so the finale didn't feel as satisfying as it could have been. But while Tom Hardy was great as Brock and Venom, the antagonist Riz Ahmed's Carlton Drake and Riot wasn't as good. He simply wasn't Riot long enough for us to really see Riot as a strong threat and his plot didn't feel like it was ever going to work. Throughout the movie Venom fought cops more than he actually got to fight Riot, and when he actually did get to fight Riot it just wasn't that good of a fight.
As a regular movie goer who is not a big comic book fan, Venom will be just fine for you. As a comic book fan there are some things that might bring the movie down for you. I myself am not a fan of the "Villain without the hero" movies. They have this way of taking a known villain and having him save the world, like Suicide Squad. Starting Venom off without Spiderman completely takes out his growth from Villain to Antihero. And in this movie Venom is just a hero now, a world saving hero who "only hurts bad people". Because of this any beef he has with Spiderman in the future will never reach the levels of hatred from the comics. There are more questions and issues I have that I have but I won't spoil it. Feel free to talk to me in the comment section.
"Venom" had a solid story, action and acting, It just didn't have enough of an edge that would have really made this a really memorable movie. In all it's not so bad but just not that good, but it is an enjoyable time at the theater.
"My Hero Academia: Two Heroes" is a movie that falls within the continuity of the anime, between season 2 and 3. The movie takes All Might and Deku to America when All Might receives and invitation to the I-Expo on I- Island. The I-Expo is the world’s leading exhibition of Quirks and hero item innovations. Because of the scale of this Expo, to Deku's hilarious surprise, the rest of the UA class each find their way to get there as well. All Might introduces Deku to his former partner and scientist, David Shield and his daughter Melissa. Melissa manages to get the class tickets to the party before the expo and that is when drama ensues. The island is taken over by villains with a goal none of us were ready for, and a startling leader. "Two Heroes" followed suit of the anime and was full of heart, comedy, and action that might be some of the best the anime has ever offered us. The climax is the stuff of "My Hero Academia" fan dreams, and alone is well worth the price of admission. "Two Heroes" has cemented the anime as one of the most popular and best anime's of our time. If you are a fan of the show or even someone that hasn't seem the show but wants to start, this movie is a must see.
Netflix's newest addition to it's slew of hits comes in the form of an animated, action packed film called "Next Gen". Next Gen is set in a future where robots are used for everything and they're Steve Jobs-esque creator and head of the company manufacturing them, Justin Pin, voiced by Jason Sudeikis, may not be what he seems. The film centers around a young teenager "Mai" voiced by Charlene Yi. Mai went through a pretty rough childhood dealing with a broken family and as many can relate, had a rough time finding out how to deal with the anger she was feeling. In her anger towards everything and everyone she stumbled across a different type of robot, a robot built for a very specific purpose (cough "Irobot"). This robot voiced by "John Krasinki, who has just been flexing his acting muscles, showing everyone he is much more than just Jim from The Office, and Mai struck up a friendship and found themselves in the middle of Justin Pin's plot. Besides the surprising amount of action, Next Gen is full of heart, due to the amazing performance from Krasinksi and Yi. Next Gen is a stunning movie that if animated movies with a good plot, that make you feel feelings, and keep you on edge during a fanstasic climax, then Next Gen is for you.
A Simple Favor starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively is a surprisingly enticing thriller powered by the compelling performances of both stars. Dire Paul Feig had all of the elements to make a great thriller but just fell slightly short on the thrill part. The story is about Anna Kendrick's 'Stephanie Smothers' a stay at home mother who just can't seem to get enough of volunteering. Whether it's volunteering her time at her son's elementary school or her efforts on her vlog for other mothers she just can't stop helping people. She meets 'Blake Lively's' mysterious 'Emily Nelson', through their sons at school and strike up a budding friendship rather quickly. The story takes a turn when Emily asks Stephanie "A Simple Favor" to pick up her son but then seemingly goes missing and Stephanie's life is changed. The film then goes on a roller coaster of twists and turns keeping the viewer on edge. This was an extremely enjoyable film that I just wish pushed the boundaries of the actual thrills a little more, but still a great watch.
Netflix's newest animated series, "The Dragon Prince" is a must watch for anyone who was a fan of "The Avatar: The Last Airbender". Aaron Ehasz, one of the writers of Avatar, has managed to make another epic tale where similarities in tone, comedic beats, and style are extremely apparent in the best of ways. Dragon Prince is set in a world where elves, dragons, magic, mythical beasts and mages exist. The story centers around Jack Desana's "Callum", who also voiced Sokka in Avatar, as the adopted prince of the king of the magical land of Xadia and young mage, the crown prince Ezran, and elven assassin, Rayla. The three of them have banded together when they stumbled upon the last dragon egg, thought to be destroyed, and set out on a journey to return the egg and bring peace to Xadia. In it's 9 episode season 1, it has managed to form a solid story with compelling characters and has left us wanting more. Hoping season 2 comes soon.
Ozark season 2 didn't start out as fast paced as season 1 but when it picks up it doesn't slow down. Season 2 showed Jason Bateman's Marty Byrde's family go deeper down a dark path. Each member of his family finds themselves slowly going from the innocent, unwilling, and desperate family of season one to the criminals that employ them in season 2. While the family sees themselves each getting colder and more comfortable doing criminal activity they also find themselves in more danger from various groups than they did in season 1. The Cartel, the mob, the feds, the Snells, and Ruth Langmore's father, Trevor Long's Cade, each have their own agenda and reason for wanting the Byrdes. Season 2 did a great job of further character development, introducing a slew of new characters, and sadly getting rid of some older characters, exciting us for what's to come in season 3.
The newest installment in the Predator saga, "The Predator", not to be confused with the original's "Predator" is all flash and no substance. The Predator, is about a rogue Predator that escapes to Earth only to be intercepted by a far more evolved Predator. The alien race has been studied by Stirling K. Brown's villainous, Traeger's, team of scientists for some time in the shadows, and Boyd Holbrook's character, a sniper who sees first hand what this creature is capable of, gets himself, his family, and his team caught between them. It is a fairly strong story but it doesn't dive into the characters enough for us to really start to care about them. Instead it focuses more on the action, which still in some scenes didn't live up to expectation. It was still a fun, popcorn movie, that is enjoyable. It's just a movie with not much to say. This Predator, like 2010's "Predators", did end leaving the audience to believe there will be future installments. Let's see if we get a sequel that is a little better.
Iron Fist Season 2 has managed to turn arguably Netflix's worse Marvel shows into one of it's strongest. With an extremely strong and fast paced first half, the second half slowed down considerably after Davos' plan succeeds. Episodes 6 through 10 focus more on the character development of Danny, Colleen, Davos, Ward and Joy Meachum, and Misty Knight. You can see each of these characters amazingly grow into the characters that they will be in the future installments. Danny embarks on a journey to become the best Iron Fist he can be, Colleen becomes an unwilling hero, The meachums both deal with their personal demons, and Davos becomes more villain, that self appointed savior. The finale takes the show in a surprising direction, similar to Luke Cage's Season 2. The ending showed Danny as well as Colleen in a way that made us all excited for season 3.