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Okay, Spider-Man: Far From Home.

 

 

I was on the fence for this one. I didn't really expect they could capture lightning in a bottle again, but they just effing did it. I loved the movie and it's been a while since I exited the theatre in a state of such utter excitement. In fact, the first Spider-Man film was probably the last time I did!


I have been waiting for Mysterio to get his moment in the spotlights for a while. He's an interesting villain, and one that is way more dangerous than he's usually given credit for. Read the Old Man Logan comic (brilliant in its own right) and you'll know what I mean. Having said that, the trailers seemed to put a hugely different spin on the character, and I suspected they might do some sleight of hand with this, but it seemed all too plausible this movie would head into multiverse stuff. Given that the recent Spider-Man animated film pulled this off with flair, and how the MCU-audience is pretty much primed for anything right now, it wasn't out of the question.

But I was secretly hoping Mysterio would turn out a big hoax, the failed magician of yore, trying to fool everyone. And, err, BOY DID THEY GO THERE. The big reveal scene in the second half was just so awesome and provided exactly the same thrill Michael Keaton's Vulture did when he opened the door to Parker's classmate in the first movie. Far from feeling obvious or repetitive, this was such a joyous moment to drink in. And staying true to the story too - a multiverse storyline with interdimensional beings isn't nearly as interesting as a two-bit conman trying to bamboozle the whole world, and the stakes, while bigger than before, are still largely about Peter's friends surviving and his struggle with growing up as a superhero.


So hotdamn. Surely, SURELY they won't be able to pull this off a third time, a few years from now? Spider-Man is already right up there with the Captain America trilogy as the best thing coming from the MCU and it might just supersede it.

 

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I haven't seen that movie yet, but here's my guess, which MIGHT be a spoiler?

I watched the trailer about 6 months ago and I JUST THOUGHT LAST WEEK "Hey isn't Mysterio's whole gimmick that he's a special-effects artist with terrible working conditions?? Man it's a shame that in this movie he just shoots beams from his hands and flies around, that's not as good."



 

and it wasn't until yesterday that someone said to me "Well maybe he's doing special-effects, you don't know."

 

It hit me like a slap in the face. Of course. It's fucking Mysterio, OF COURSE HE"S FAKING IT!! THAT"S HIS WHOLE THING!! So I watched that old trailer again, and they are absolutely watching Mysterio through a TV screen.

 

I am so dumb, I got tricked by a cartoon villain.

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I applaud you for it, sir, now go see this goddamn movie.

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I watched Spider-Man Far From Home (the new one). I can agree that it's way fun! It's a fun movie to sit in, it has a similar vibe to the previous one. Some fun jokes!

 

I loved seeing Jake Gyllenhaal onscreen in this movie as well. Similar to casting Michael Keaton as The Vulture, he's an actor that's been around for 20 years. We've seen him get his ass kicked and be a weird killer in so many movies that it brings a well-traveled man-of-experience vibe to the performance when you put him next to Tom Holland as Spider-Man. That really added to it, and this move where all the adults in the Spider-Man universe are super contemporary actors, but the kids are total unknowns, works really well I think.

 

 

I basically liked all of it. So funny that they addressed the 5-year dusting head-on. So fun that Mysterio is a trickster. Jake Gyllenhaal looks great! Those hallucination scenes? Veeeery fun!

I think the writing was a little heavy-handed and corny in spots. Mysterio's reveal, Spider-Man's guilt and a couple jokes could've been more smartly written; but I recognize that many high-schoolers are watching this, I'm almost 30, so I don't mind that much.

 

Phew, was I glad that "The Elementals" were not a real thing! We were both leaning to each other saying "I HOPE this is a hoax!!" when he was laying out the multi-verse. Boy Nick Fury's gotta step down as commander here, cos he is getting fooled by everyone!

 

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Yessss. And what I also like is that this is pretty friendly world so far. Both Vulture and Mysterio had a soft spot for Peter (adding to the Spider-Man Has Tons Of Dads line of writing), and I really liked that. They're not super evil menaces, Mysterio's heartbroken (in a nutso way) that he'll have to hurt that charming, goofy kid. Vulture positively wanted to adopt Peter!

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Did you type spoiled instead of spoiler on purpose there, @Roderick?

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Oops, super sorry about that! I wrote in a bit of a hurry and then didn't check. I'll be more careful next time!

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I really liked the new spider man. 

 

especially the JJJ reveal at the end, which I had said I hoped to see but didn’t expect to, just before walking into the theater

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I also enjoyed Far From Home.  I won't go into my usual rant of nitpicking a lot of the bits.  One thing I do like in both this and Homecoming is their version of MJ.  I like that she's a little strange and not the super hot most popular girl in the school she (and Gwen Stacey and Liz from Homecoming) have previously been portrayed as, but she's still an awkward teenager.

 

One thing I did like about Mysterio was that his costume was a straight up mocap suit.

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Aside from Iron Man 3 (which is just a legit good move) and Thor: Ragnarok (which is just so funny!), Spider-Man: Homecoming was my favorite Marvel movie, and I enjoyed Far From Home quite a bit too. I always love the humor and these movies along with Black Panther have had the best villains in the MCU. Basically everything with Mysterio, from that crazy fight sequence to his costume, was great. I prefer it when post credit sequences are just funny jokes but the two post credit sequences in this movie are pretty good anyways. I generally just like Spider-Man as a hero because he's always flippin' and floppin' around and quippin' and boppin' on the bad guys, so that's always a lot of fun (although it's not great that he turns into a CGI person pretty much any time the action starts happening). J. B. Smoove also has an excellent role as "guy who has no reason to be in the movie except to drop a one-liner, who is supposed to be played by Hannibal Buress but we forgot to have him sign a multi-movie contract." Every movie should have someone who's basically a walking punch-up draft of the script.

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Yeah, I liked J. B. Smoove too.

 

Had a rather puzzling conversation with someone who was disappointed and/or vexed with Far From Home. She hadn't kept up with any of the other Marvel or Avengers films, so she was confused about what had happened and considered it a spoiler, even. Iron Man suddenly dead, where did Spider-Man get a nano suit, the Blip, etc. Initially, and mostly still, my reaction was that you couldn't blame the movie that you hadn't been following the whole MCU. Spider-Man has appeared in no less than five movies at this point, and especially the Avengers movies will always be watershed moments that drastically shake things up.

 

This is something that's uniquely peculiar to the MCU, and in keeping with the way (Marvel) comics are written - with lots of crossovers. So, that's the deal, that's what you sign up for. But then I also feel she's right in feeling left out. In no other case would it fly to have a direct sequel leave such a gaping hole in the series. (This was true, though somewhat less so, for Civil War as well, which hinged primarily on the Sokovia stuff in Age of Ultron). It's clear the MCU is shaking up how we perceive and experience movies, but is it unfair to expect traditional storytelling cues and then be disappointed, going from Spider-Man 1 to Spider-Man 2?

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I think it's unfair in that Marvel is doing something very specific and it's understood that, despite the titles, these films are all chapters in a single story. I also think it's understandable, if one isn't au fait with the Marvel set-up, to have assumed that Spider-Man 1 -> Spider-Man 2 would not have huge story jumps. 

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Yeah it's a funny point. It's more important if you imagine someone watching these movies in 2030, outside of our zeitgeist.

Going from Spider-Man Homecoming to Spider-Man Far From Home is the MOST WEIRD things get with missing plot. Even theoretical Thor-only fans could presume that The Hulk in Thor Ragnarok is an old friend from other muscley adventures. I could imagine someone watching Spider-Man Far From Home in 2030 though and just waiting for all that "blip" exposition to pay off, but it doesn't!!!

 

It's a funny symmetry that Spider-Man famously did this in the comics when he suddenly appeared with the black suit, and a tiny box said "Go and buy 'Secret Wars #1' you jerks!"

 

I think Marvel are assuming that these movies will ALWAYS be considered as part of a package, even years from now, and I think they're basically right. I appreciate the gamble just because it's a unique play. Another example that we can look back on is the VIEW-ASKEWNIVERSE, where Clerks, Chasing Amy, Mall Rats, Dogma and others share a history. I think any maniac who's watching Mall Rats in 2019 (also featuring Stan Lee) probably knows this, so you could say that this proves the idea works in the long run.
It does detract from watching Mall Rats, because I don't know what the hell happened in Clerks 2, so you could also say that this proves it's a bad idea in the long run.

 

I dunno, it's weird.

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I think "unfair" is a weird way to describe it.  If you wanted it to be "fair", then the complaint should start with Tom Holland's Spider-Man intro.  This iteration completely skipped the origin and instead just assumes you know who he is and how he came to be.  I've seen people complain about this but I've seen way more positive feedback on it because it cuts out a lot of slow and somewhat boring exposition and allows the story to move much faster.  I don't think the expectation of background familiarity is unfair, especially considering that this plot thread has been going on for more than a decade now.

 

Somewhat related, I think they've done a pretty clever thing in Peter and Tony's relationship here.  Tony is essentially this version's Uncle Ben and Far From Home does a nice job of hammering in the "with great power comes great responsibility" lesson that's the cornerstone of Spider-Man.  I was afraid that since they skipped that entire thing this Spider-Man would lack the same moral quandaries and convictions.  Having Iron Man fill the Uncle Ben role lets them keep the spirit of the character without retreading familiar ground yet again.

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Oh, it's totally smart. And Far From Home once again features a father figure for Peter,

 

this time one that completely betrays him. I hadn't caught up with the With Great Drones Comes Great Responsibility thread, but it makes sense.


Because of how this is playing, I have a vague and based-on-nothing hunch that the next film will deal with Peter's dead parents. Just because it fits with his search for parental figures and it hasn't been done in the movies before. I'm also sure it would in no way look like anything in the comics, where his parents were secret agents and return as weird robot impersonators.

 

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I doubt that's what the next film will focus on, since the previous two Spider-Man films right before the MCU ones (The Amazing Spider-Man and TAS 2) were partially focused on that. Incidentally, since I'm mentioning those movies, I'll also mention that I enjoy both of them. I'm a big weirdo because nobody else seems to, but I think Andrew Garfield does a really good job, he has excellent chemistry with Emma Stone, the "Spider-Man swinging around New York" sequences are the best out of all the movies, and although he doesn't get much to do, Jamie Foxx is a great pick as a villain for the second movie.

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1 hour ago, TychoCelchuuu said:

I doubt that's what the next film will focus on, since the previous two Spider-Man films right before the MCU ones (The Amazing Spider-Man and TAS 2) were partially focused on that. Incidentally, since I'm mentioning those movies, I'll also mention that I enjoy both of them. I'm a big weirdo because nobody else seems to, but I think Andrew Garfield does a really good job, he has excellent chemistry with Emma Stone, the "Spider-Man swinging around New York" sequences are the best out of all the movies, and although he doesn't get much to do, Jamie Foxx is a great pick as a villain for the second movie.

 

I didn't see the second one but I totally agree about the first one.  I liked that movie quite a bit, above the Sam Raimi ones (even 2 which I feel is overrated).  The thing that really endeared me was the scene where he stops the car thief.  His quipping, sarcastic banter is exactly what I wanted out of Spider-Man.  Tom Holland is doing a good job but there's something about Andrew Garfield's performance that I miss.  I was also into Dennis Leary as Captain Stacey.

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16 hours ago, TychoCelchuuu said:

I doubt that's what the next film will focus on, since the previous two Spider-Man films right before the MCU ones (The Amazing Spider-Man and TAS 2) were partially focused on that. Incidentally, since I'm mentioning those movies, I'll also mention that I enjoy both of them. I'm a big weirdo because nobody else seems to, but I think Andrew Garfield does a really good job, he has excellent chemistry with Emma Stone, the "Spider-Man swinging around New York" sequences are the best out of all the movies, and although he doesn't get much to do, Jamie Foxx is a great pick as a villain for the second movie.

 

Did not know that, since I've only seen the second Andrew Garfield one. Which... wasn't particularly good in my opinion! I like Jamie Foxx just fine, but yikes. To be fair I remember very little of the movie, it was way too messy.

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I went and saw Peter Spiderman Far From Home this weekend. I liked it!

 

Favorite parts: 

- Non-spoilers

1. I was absolutely immediately impressed with this movie when the open happens and the Columbia pictures logo superimposes and then transitions into the statue to open the movie. A+

2. Lots of great jokes!

 

Spoilers



1. I saw someone talk about 'Mysterio's illusions' and that tiny bit was enough for me to unravel the whole movie which mostly bummed me out. I was excited when i first saw the trailer and asked my husband about Mysterio and he told me that it would be more fun for me to see the movie not knowing what his deal was and someone took that from me.

2. Even knowing what the twist was going to be, i enjoyed trying to pick up on any foreshadowing they do of the betrayal. When peter meets jake gyllenhal he stands over the table that did the projection of his other earth story and is lit from below which gives a very ominous tone to this scene, like when you hold a flashlight up under your chin

3. The jokes with Ned & Betty were great. I love the whirlwind dating that can only last for a school trip. I loved JB Smoove's obsession with witches. 

4. I love Zendaya as MJ. She's so deadpan and funny. Great casting, great performance.

5. The in memoriam for the avengers cracked me up. I loved the touch of the super low res picture of vision and the getty images watermark. A+ joke

 

I have skipped multiple marvel movies that didn't interest me. the last few have been at least interesting enough that I haven't felt the desire to skip one, but I don't really feel like outside of infinity war + endgame there's any set of movies you have to see in order to see any of the others, as long as you're willing to just trust that anything you don't get was addressed by one of the many other films. They do a fairly good job, I think, of letting the audience dip in and out at will. You don't have to watch the dr strange movie to understand his character, you just need the 30 second intro at his house. i'm a very easy movie watcher though. i just walk into a movie and let it wash over me for however long it takes and then do all my critical thinking afterward. i'm willing to give up a little handholding in exchange for multi franchise world building. you can do more interesting and complicated things if every movie doesn't have to reintroduce you to the world and characters every time

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Pity the Mysterio thing was spoiled for you, but I will say that to at least, as someone who knew Mysterio and had been actively waiting for a Mysterio movie, there was still enough reasonable doubt left that Marvel juuuuust might do something radically different with this character, that I was only 95% confident they'd pull a twist.

 

With that in mind, I was also just super impressed and interested in how they pulled it off, in how they would translate an ultimately very cheesy villain into the more grounded MCU. That was the joy for me (beyond Gyllenhaal's amazingly charismatic performance). Seeing it a second time, I still got a rush at the 'reveal' scene in the bar, where Mysterio pulls the biggest grin and for the first time his heroic theme music warps into a delightfully impish piece of music.

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Finally saw Away From Home today.
 

Things I liked -

Spoiler

the Mysterio 'hallucination' sequence; bringing back the BAG OF SCRAPS scientist from Iron Man 1

; the end action scene (for once, I could tell what was going on and where everyone was, and it had some character beats. Spidey still didn't get to do much past his basic move-set, though).

Things I didn't like - pretty much everything else. All of the comedy was dreadful, the script is flabby and aimless and doesn't gather any energy for the first hour or so, the action is mostly dull and muddled, the exposition is clumsy, and SLJ obviously didn't have much time booked because there's some really sloppy editing papering over cracks in his scenes.

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I rarely see superhero movies, but decided to watch Spider-Verse because of its high placing on Letterboxd that doesn’t seem to drop as quickly as usual for new movies. It’s really well animated, occasionally just brilliant, but I to me the story and the actor’s deliveries felt occasionally too generic or scripted.

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I'm starting to think of super-hero movies as similar to martial-arts films. No matter how well received it is, it is still going to be a super-hero movie.

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I don't know exactly what that means, but I think there are some martial arts movies that aren't martial arts movies, like The Matrix or Rush Hour.

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It means that most of the movie is going to be stunts with quips and some physical humor.

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