Watched – 14 July 2017

We’re now halfway through July and in the throes of a fantastic string of summer movies. This week I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming.

You’d think that being at home and not doing much of anything would allow me to have watched some more stuff but it just didn’t work out that way. Staycations can be quite tiring, especially when you have kids.

Spider-Man: Homecoming – 4*

I liked Homecoming (quite a bit) but didn’t love it, which I found surprising being as Spider-Man is my second favorite super hero.

The character work is excellent and Holland and Keaton are great. Holland is the total package as Peter/Spider-Man and Keaton, well he continues to prove that he is one of the best actors of his generation (not that he needs to) bringing real heart to his performance as Toomes. I didn’t find the amount of Tony/Iron Man to be overbearing and it fit within the context of the narrative (as Peter’s mentor/father figure), and when he needed to disappear from the story (for the finale) he was.

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I wasn’t wowed by any of the action pieces. They were good enough but they weren’t mind-blowing to me. And maybe it is the fact that we are a decade in to Marvel’s MCU process combined with the fact that this is now the sixth live action Spidey film in 15 years but, nothing really stood out and I felt that I had seen some of it before (the ferry scene was very reminiscent to me of the train scene in SM2). I just haven’t been wowed by a Marvel film since maybe the first Guardians film. I still think they are really good, solid popcorn films but I’m beginning to get burnt out on the formula.

The Lion King – 5*

There really isn’t much to say about this classic. We ended up watching it as part of a family movie night where the five year old got to pick the movie. It is a great film that was part of that dominating string of late 80s/early 90s Disney films. It isn’t my favorite or even my second favorite of that string but that just shows how strong that five years or so was for the studio.

GLOW – 4*

Wow. Just wow. GLOW is an excellent comedy with a focus on the characters. At the beginning it is easy to slip the characters in to stereotypes. She’s the moody one. She’s the dumb one. She’s the sexy one. But as the show grows, so do the characters and they begin to break out of their stereotypes and become fully fleshed out characters that you begin to root for. By the end, even though I knew where it was going, I was emotionally invested in the characters and their drive to get this ridiculous little upstart wrestling television show off the ground.

However, I have a nostalgia for the actual GLOW promotion. I grew up with it as a kid and remember it fondly. My wife on the other hand did not have this attachment to it, and in what I view as high praise from her, was the fact that she wanted more of the show after it was over. And she seemed a little put-off that we were now watching Kimmy Schmidt (a show we also both like) instead of more GLOW.

Castlevania – 3*

For as much as I love animation as an art form. I am very much not an anime person. I have some that I do enjoy, Robotech, Record of Lodoss War, etc… but for the most part I’ve never really gotten in to it. I do however like Castlevania and so the idea of an anime series on Netflix kind of intrigued me. It’s also kind of perfect.

You are probably scratching your head because my rating says three stars. And yes, I don’t love it but at just four episodes under 30 minutes each, the show is the perfect length of get in/get out storytelling.

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There are some problems with it. The biggest being that these four episodes seem to be a prologue to the true story. The season ends with the three primaries finally being united but no where close to engaging with Dracula. Of course, you weren’t going to get a dramatic battle with Dracula at the end of season one but the big bad Vlad takes a back seat for much of the series after episode one. His presence is always felt but he’s not really there.

75% of season one focuses on drunkard Trevor Belmont and his fight against another evil, a corrupt delegation of the church, as he tries to save a group of innocents from the evil Bishop’s designs. It is fun. It is gory. It is certainly not for kids. And I’m hungry for more. It just isn’t great.

That is it for this week. Next week I should have War for the Planet of the Apes. Let me know if you’d like me to watch something and more importantly what you thought about some of these if you’ve seen them.

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