Spider-Man: Far From Home and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by Jon Watts
Well now that we’re FINALLY done with Thanos (and James Gunn is back on Guardians 3), we can finally get things back on track, right? I mean sure, we needed a nice big climatic sendoff for the big stars that helped bring this franchise to life, but now that the party’s over things have got to keep going without them and the MCU, if they’ve done NOTHING else, have managed to create something that can go on even after closing the book on some of its biggest characters. Still, there’s a big ol’ elephant in the room (or perhaps SPIDER-PIG in the room!) called Into the Spider-Verse that came out between the last Tom Holland film and this one which frankly blew Homecoming out of the water. Homecoming is still great, but Into the Spider-Verse? Woo boy is that a hard act to follow! Can this Post Thanos and Post Spider-Verse entry into the MCU cement itself as the first step to the future of this franchise, or have we already seen the best this version of the hero has to offer and will be left wanting for something more? Let’s find out!!
So hey! That whole… dead for five years thing was pretty rough, wasn’t it? Well the world keeps on turning I suppose and that’s definitely true for Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as well as the entire cast from the first Spider-Man movie who JUST SO HAPPENED to be blinked out of existence as well which makes sense to me because this is a movie and everyone liked the cast from the first film. This includes Ned (Jacob Batalon), Mary Jane (Zendaya), and even Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori); all of whom as well as a couple of other students from Peter’s school are going on a European field trip. Frankly, Peter could use the time off considering how much he’s had to go through in the past… I guess it’s only been a few months for him, and after… well ENDGAME SPOILERS WILL BE IN THE REST OF THIS REVIEW SO LOOK AWAY NOW, Tony died saving the universe, he’s been having trouble coping with this whole “superhero” thing which has gotten a lot more real than just being a dude doing back flips on roofs and stopping two bit muggers. Of course nothing can be that easy for good ol’ Peter Parker because Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) along with Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) are trying to pull him into this “save the world” situation where elemental monsters from another dimension are tearing up cities all over the world, and with the Avengers kinda doing their own thing (the ones who aren’t dead at least) all they’ve got to work with is this kid and some dude named Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) who claims to have come from the same alternate dimension as the elementals and wants to help us stop them. Oh, and at some point people start calling him “Mysterio” for some reason, but I’m sure that’s fine. This is all WAY more than Peter was ready to handle so soon, but then again if he’s not ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and save the world, was he ever truly worth of being Tony’s protégé and a possible future Avenger? Can the world possibly get along fine with the new guys out there like the square jawed and overly capable Mysterio fellow to let Peter just be a kid for once? Seriously, considering where he ends up in Into the Spider-Verse, he might as well quit now. Yes, EITHER version of Peter in that movie!
Uncle Drew and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate
Directed by Charles Stone III
Has anyone been looking forward to this movie? I’m not the only one who thought this was going to be a very mediocre cash grab from that awful trailer with the bobble heads and the Sugarhill Gang song, right? Then again, I’m one of those darn Millennials who thinks that Space Jam is the height of basketball comedies, so maybe the lack of Warner Bros characters was throwing me off here but I still got a real bad feeling from this as it checks off a lot of bad comedy tropes. Old age makeup, retro soundtrack, goofy sports premise (“There’s no rule that says a dog can’t play basketball!”), all the favorites from movies that you may have liked as a kid but really doesn’t hold up now… except for Space Jam. Will this be a nostalgic throwback to the era of silly sports movies, or will this be more painful than if Tyler Perry did a Madea basketball movie? Well I’m pretty sure NOTHING would be worse than seeing Tyler Perry’s A Medea March Madness, but let’s find out!!
Down on his luck Dax (Lil Rel Howery) has been training his whole life to be a basketball player but decided to go into coaching after… the incident, and has a team that might just win a basketball tournament in Harlem known as the Rucker Classic and win a boat load of money which he’ll use to… I don’t know; pay his rent I guess. It all depends on his star player Casper (Aaron Gordon) who is PHENOMENAL on the court but kind of a douche in real life, and he’s been making eyes at fellow douche Mookie (Nick Kroll) who’s Dax’s big rival (especially after… the incident) and coached the last five teams to win the Rucker Classic. Sure enough, after draining Dax of all his money, Casper goes to join Mookie and the rest of the team just kind of goes away as well. Not only that but his girlfriend Jess (Tiffany Haddish) kicks him out of the house because she was banking on that prize money and has no use for the shmuck now that he doesn’t have a chance to win it. Left with absolutely nothing but the clothes on his back and a spot in the tournament, Dax starts scouring the area for unaffiliated ball players but has no luck and is about to give up when he sees an old man school one of the young dudes in basketball; showing him the value of fundamentals over being able to show off. The old man turns out to be Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) who was a legendary basketball player in Harlem that disappeared forty years ago under dubious circumstances, and he might just be the man Dax needs to avoid living on a park bench! Uncle Drew agrees to play for him, but only if they find the rest of his old team (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, and Nate Robinson) to play as well. And so they’re off on a road trip to find Uncle Drew’s old friends, mend some bridges, learn some lessons, and play basketball against dudes a quarter their age! Will Uncle Drew be able to show these youngsters what it means to be a TRUE player of the game while also making up for the mistakes he made all those years ago? What chances do these older gentlemen have against Mookie’s team, and will Dax be able to get past… the incident? Did you know there’s a new Shaq Fu game? I wonder if this is some sort of crossover…
Barbershop: The Next Cut and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Malcolm D Lee
I tend not to review movies if I haven’t seen the original films first; even if the connection between them is tenuous at best. Mostly it’s an excuse to keep my own sanity (*cough* Allegiant *cough*) but I think it’s fair to say that those who go see sequels without seeing the previous films are gonna be hard pressed to review it in the context of the series as well as in the context of itself as a singular film. That said, I made an exception here; primarily because this is one of those years later sequels which means they’ll likely have a refresher of sorts at the beginning to catch everyone up to speed, and also because I thought the trailers looked pretty good with a solid cast and genuinely funny moments; That and the added bonus of seeing Nikki Minaj onscreen. ANYWAY! Does this manage to bring in a new audience while also pleasing the longtime fans of the series, or will this be a disaster borne from the cast and crew’s desire to just cash in on their previous success? Let’s find out!!
The movie primarily follows the misadventures of Calvin (Ice Cube) who runs a joint barber shop/beauty shop where many of his friends work, including his wife Angie (Regina Hall). Going to work every day with the people you love, shooting the shit, cutting hair; sounds like the perfect life, right? Well it WOULD be if the shop wasn’t right smack dab in the middle of one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago! Calvin has to worry about gangsters shooting guns outside the shop, customers shooting them INSIDE the shop, and even his own son Jalen (Michael Rainey Jr) get suckered and seduced into the thug life. Can this little barber shop prove to be the catalyst for real change in the neighborhood once they decide to take direct action? Will Calvin sell the shop so that he and his family can get out of the bad neighborhood while leaving all his friends twisting in the wind? Is Cedric the Entertainer going to live up to his name for once!?