Cinema Dispatch: Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Jon Watts

It’s been a rather underwhelming year for the superhero genre which once towered over the world.  The Pandemic has pushed the release schedule around several times which means we’re waiting longer for these movies, and to me, the MCU is having trouble finding their voice after Endgame put a pretty definitive end to the original story arc.  Frankly, the best we’ve gotten from the MCU in the last two years have been the Disney+ shows that may not always hit their marks but definitely have a lot of interesting ideas that probably wouldn’t work as a movie; even with these things being overly long for the most part.  Still, it’s hard not to get excited about another Spider-Man film; especially one as specifically targeted to my generation as this one is.  Does it manage to pull us out of the MCU funk and deliver on all the ludicrous promises the trailers have made, or is this going to be as convoluted and pointless as the Clone Saga; or even worse, One More Day?  Let’s find out!!

Following the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has been revealed to the world as their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and this newfound celebrity (and infamy) has thrown his life into chaos.  Investigations from the government, a bunch of weirdos throwing bricks through his windows, and a very awkward school environment where half of them want to see him become their mascot and the other are hurling conspiracy-laden insults at him.  See, this is why you need to be rich or a soldier to do the Superhero thing; either commit to it full time or pay people to go outside for you!  It gets to be such a burden that Peter begs the MCU’s cool uncle Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to use his wizard magic to erase his identity from the mind of everyone in the universe.  Let’s just say that it had mixed results as the world doesn’t forget his identity, but there are now a bunch of villains running around who seem to know him; including Doctor Otto Octavius who has four robot arms (Alfred Molina), Max Dillon who has electricity powers (Jamie Foxx), Dr. Curt Connors who’s a lizard man (Rhys Ifans) Flint Marko who spends most of the movie as a human-shaped sandcastle for whatever reason (Thomas Haden Church), and of course Norman Osborne who still suffers from pretty severe mood swings (Willem Dafoe).  Now if you’ve kept up with the Spider-Man films for the last twenty years, those names should seem pretty familiar.  Sadly the Spider-Man of this universe didn’t get to see those movies, so he has to discover who all these people are, why they became villains in the first place, and if this confluence of inter-dimensional fan service can actually turn into a good thing for all involved.  Will Peter Parker, with the help of his friends, his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and his sorta-bodyguard Happy (Jon Favreau), be able to stop these guys from tearing apart this universe and perhaps even get past their overwhelming hatred of wall-crawling superheroes?  Who else may have found their way into this universe, and what can they do to either help or hamper Peter’s attempts to fix everything?  So is J Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons) also an inter-dimensional buzzkill, or is there no universe that can escape his ludicrous conspiracy theories and get-rich-quick schemes?

“Looks like they already turned you into an NFT.”     “Seriously?”     “Yup.  And it sold for five-hundred grand.”     “See THAT’S the kind of evil-doer I should be fighting.”
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Cinema Dispatch: The Boss Baby

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The Boss Baby and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation

Directed by Tom McGrath

Well gee, THIS sure looks like a gem.  Just… why?  Wasn’t Storks enough!?  How many baby movies do we NEED!?  Look, the trailers were terrible, the premise is hacky, and the casting of Alec Baldwin as a talking baby seemed like something you would do in a Saturday Night Live sketch.  Point being that NOTHING about this movie didn’t look like the cynical machinations of Hollywood hacks and I was not looking forward to it.  Still, movies have managed to surprise me in the past, and it’s not like this could be as bad as it looks… right?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with little Timothy Templeton (Miles Chirstopher Bakshi) who’s the only child of Ted and Janice Templeton (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) and he loves all the attention that he gets because of it.  Unfortunately for Tim, daddy forgot their condom… I mean the secret agency of babies in the sky is sending down one of their agents (Alec Baldwin) and he now has to deal with a new boss in the house.  Get it?  Because babies are so BOSSY and DEMANDING?  Cheeky metaphor aside, it turns out that the baby is here for a specific reason and not just to fuck with Timmy.  Apparently the secret agency of babies in the sky are under threat by an incoming invasion of super cute puppies (okay…) and The Boss Baby ends up needing Tim-Tim’s help in order stop them.  If the duo can stop the super cute puppies (so I guess they have to kill them?), he’ll go back to the secret agency of babies in the sky, and he’ll go back to being an only child.  Can the siblings put aside their rivalry long enough to ensure they never have to see each other again?  Will The Boss Baby learn something about family on this ridiculous journey to destroy puppies?  Why… why does this movie want us to dislike puppies!?

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“This is clearly a case of Baby Displacement!  We need to form our own Baby Ethno-State in order to preserve the sanctity of our cuteness!”

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