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SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE | Film Review (/The Problem with Miles Morales)

Bit of a hefty title, I know. But I actually saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse like a week ago, and after seeing it wasn’t sure I really had anything to say that others hadn’t said already. But now, I’m finally ready to jot down my thoughts in what is mostly a review, but also my opinion of the character of Miles Morales across the various mediums.

RELEASED: December 14th 2018
DIRECTED BY: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman
WRITTEN BY: Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman
PRODUCED BY: Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller & Christina Steinberg
MUSIC BY:  Daniel Pemberton
STARRING:
 Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicholas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber & Chris Pine

When this movie was announced, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. Sure, I love Spider-Man, and I’m always down for a solidly animated movie, and heck – I’ve yet to see a Lord & Miller joint that I didn’t dig. But there was still one glaring problem slap-bang in the middle of that trailer that stopped me from getting invested: Miles Morales.

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Posted by on December 22, 2018 in Movies

 

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VENOM | Film Review

RELEASED: October 5th 2018
DIRECTED BY: Ruben Fleischer
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Pinkler, Scott Rosenberg & Kelly Marcel
PRODUCED BY: Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach & Amy Pascal
MUSIC BY:  Ludwig Göransson
STARRING:
 Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott & Jenny Slate

I had spectacularly low hopes for Venom, which no doubt helped going into the film. The fact that Sony seemed intent on pushing forward with their own Spider-Man universe despite all evidence suggesting they didn’t know what they were doing was the first worrying sign. Then, the suggestion that this universe wouldn’t actually feature Spider-Man was another mind-boggling factor. Finally, the film’s terrible marketing campaign cemented my thoughts that this would be a bad movie.

I had gone from anticipating a film featuring a character from a franchise I love, to being morbidly curious about how bad this film would actually be.

Venom follows Eddie Brock, a reporter disgraced after asking too many questions about the sinister ‘Life Foundation’, headed up by Carlton Drake (I actually had to look up his name just then, even though I only saw this film the other day. That is a bad sign. But let’s continue…). Having obtained a group of alien life-forms known as symbiotes, Drake recklessly hopes to upgrade humanity so they can one day live off-world. But in trying to out Drake’s schemes, Brock is bonded with one of the aliens, and becomes a monstrous anti-hero. Together, he and his symbiote become determined to stop Drake at all costs, as his unchecked schemes could mean the end of mankind.

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Posted by on October 6, 2018 in Movies

 

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PS4’s SPIDER-MAN: Being Greater

I don’t think I’ve ever 100% completed a game before. There are games that I’ve attempted to do it with, but eventually lost interest in, like the Batman: Arkham games. Not because I stopped caring about the games so much as some of the tasks can eventually become quite tedious.

But having bought Marvel’s Spider-Man at full price, I wanted to get my moneys worth (especially as the only other game I’ve bought full price since games became £40+ is Star Wars Battlefront II, so they have to be pretty special to actually warrant me spending that kind of dough).

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In playing Spider-Man, however, that didn’t seem like a daunting task. The way the game is set out, and the way the various achievements (or Trophies, as they’re known on PlayStation – I personally preferred ‘Achievements’, but whatever) work meant that it was rarely, as I said before, tedious.

So having just completed the game and earned the Platinum ‘Be Greater’ Trophy, I thought I’d go through some of the trophies I’d collected and use them as prompts for things that I may not have covered to a great extent in my review. There will be spoilers.

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Posted by on October 3, 2018 in Video-Games

 

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SPIDER-MAN | PlayStation 4 Review

With Batman: Arkham Knight being one of the first games I played on my Xbox, I figured that it would make sense, having now made the jump from Xbox One to PlayStation 4, to make Spider-Man my first new game, and as such, have spent the past week playing through it in all it’s glory. So now it’s time for my review!

There will be some spoilers for this game. I won’t go all out, but I may mention certain characters who don’t appear in the trailers, for instance.

RELEASED: September 7th 2018
DEVELOPED BY: Insomniac Games
PUBLISHED BY: Sony Interactive Games

When I was younger, one of my favourite games was Spider-Man 2. The feeling of being able to swing around New York City as Spider-Man was unmatched. Since then, while I haven’t played all the Spider-Man games that have been released, the one’s I have played haven’t quite come close to matching that euphoric feeling of being Spider-Man. Off the top of my head, the open-world aspects of Ultimate Spider-Man and Web of Shadows had similarities, but felt lacking in other regards. Similarly, games like Shattered Dimensions didn’t reach the heights set by that original game. Now, of course, Spider-Man 2 wouldn’t hold up quite as well, but that’s no longer an issue, because Marvel and Sony’s new game, the simplistically titled Spider-Man, is everything Spider-Manwas and more.

Featuring an original story from veteran Spider-Man comic-book writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage, alongside Insomniac’s in-house team, Spider-Man sees a twenty-three year old Peter Parker, a college-graduate now working as a laboratory assistant for Otto Octavius, helping him perfect his prosthesis work. Meanwhile, in his ‘other life’ as the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’, Peter has finally managed to bring down Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, alongside his police chief ally Yuri Watanabe. But with the Kingpin now locked away, other forces, such as the nefarious Mister Negative, have set their sights on New York, and it’s up to Spider-Man to stop the city from falling into chaos.

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Posted by on September 24, 2018 in Video-Games

 

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CIVIL WAR | ‘New to Comics’ Review

This post was originally published on my now defunct site, New to Comics.

New to Comics is a segment where I look at various comic-books, explaining their background, reviewing them, and breaking them down for readers unfamiliar to the medium. The title is an reference to a former university project that I carried on as its own site for several years before laying it to rest.


Mark Millar was a pretty hot commodity at Marvel during the 2000s, so this week, we’re returning to look at some more of his work. You’ll know the basic story from the hit 2016 film. It’s Avenger vs. Avenger. Friend vs. Friend. Captain America vs. Iron Man. It’s Marvel’s Civil War.

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Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Mark Millar
Art by: Steve McNiven
Year: 2007
Pages: 196

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

Captain AmericaCAPTAIN AMERICA

Real Name: Steven Grant Rogers
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)

As it became obvious America was destined to join the war that had consumed the world in the late 1930s, Steve Rogers became determined to do his part for the war effort. Continuously rejected due to his sickly stature, Steve was eventually found by Dr. Abraham Erskine, and enlisted into the army under ‘Project: Rebirth’. Injected with a serum of Erskine’s own design, Steve was transformed into a super-soldier; his body and mind enhanced to the peak of human potential. But tragedy struck, as Erskine was assassinated, leaving Steve the first and only in the proposed wave of super-soldiers. Fighting on the front lines as Captain America alongside his sidekick Bucky Barnes, Steve was eventually lost at sea, and frozen for several decades.
Eventually awakening in the modern era, Captain America returned to the spotlight as a symbol of hope and American power; his new mission – to protect both America, and the world, from any and all threats as the leader of the Mighty Avengers!

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Posted by on September 19, 2018 in Marvel Comics

 

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THE ULTIMATES, Vol. 1 | ‘New to Comics’ Review

This post was originally published on my now defunct site, New to Comics.

New to Comics is a segment where I look at various comic-books, explaining their background, reviewing them, and breaking them down for readers unfamiliar to the medium. The title is an reference to a former university project that I carried on as its own site for several years before laying it to rest.

This week, we’re looking at the modern retelling of the Avengers’ origin, and the first appearance of ‘Samuel L. Jackson’ Nick Fury.

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Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Mark Millar
Art by: Bryan Hitch
Year: 2002
Pages: 160

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

HulkTHE HULK

Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962)

Dr. Robert Bruce Banner was one of the world’s foremost experts on nuclear physics, with his vast knowledge and prowess in his field taking him into the employ of the United States military, in the hopes he would gain funding for his other, more humanitarian projects, in turn. There, Banner was stationed under Airforce General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, who had him work on an experimental Gamma Bomb. During this time, Bruce met and fell in love with Ross’ daughter, Betty Ross, starting a relationship that would endure despite Bruce’s dark future.
When the day came about to test his new bomb, Banner was horrified to see a young man, Rick Jones, had broken onto the testing grounds. Sacrificing himself to save Rick, Banner rushed onto the grounds and pushed Rick into cover, but was caught in the explosion. His cells irradiated by the Gamma radiation, Bruce was cursed with a monstrous, dim-witted alter-ego with God-like strength; becoming an anti-hero of sorts, ‘the strongest one there is’… the ‘Incredible’ Hulk!

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Posted by on September 5, 2018 in Marvel Comics

 

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Ranking all 20 MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE movies

Having seen and reviewed the most recent film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and the Wasp, it’s time to do a ranking of all twenty MCU movies, from worst to best. I did a similar thing over at Cultured Vultures (my answers are actually a little different over there), picking out my top five at the time, but my editor thought doing all of them may be a bit much.

Luckily, no such rules exist on this blog! Let’s get into it:

20. THOR: THE DARK WORLD

Thor

The reason writing a post like this can be fun is because between when I first watched the film and the present day, my opinions can change substantially, as you may notice further down the list. Unfortunately for Thor: The Dark World, no such change has happened. It’s still pretty bad.

Thor is one of my favourite Marvel characters, so after loving the first film and Avengers, I was very excited for his second solo outing. Needless to say, I was disappointed. While there are some touching emotional moments, the majority of this film is bland, messy and has perhaps the worst villain in the MCU. No offence Christopher Eccleston, I still love you.

19. IRON MAN 2

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Another strong contender for worst movie in the MCU. While not terrible, Iron Man 2, like Thor: The Dark World, is similar in that it tries to do too much (more, in fact, than Thor) and the end result is a bloated mess.

However, considering this is a film featuring the MCU’s original quipster and the character that launched the whole franchise, it’s main fault is that it’s actually quite boring. Sure, you have that big explosive fight at the end, but considering what this film is trying to achieve, it ironically ends up being all style, no substance.

18. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

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Harsh? Maybe. But Ant-Man and the Wasp just hasn’t clicked for me like it has other people. When I’m watching a superhero/comedy film (like Deadpool) and I can count the times I’d laughed throughout with minimal effort (like Deadpool 2) then that’s a pretty bad sign, and unfortunately that was also the case here.

Furthermore, the mass of writers who all seemingly wanted different things means that this film, despite having the chance to be the vision of one director, struggles to be one interesting and cohesive narrative.

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Posted by on August 27, 2018 in Marvel Studios

 

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