Discuss and rate the last movie you watched

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Boy Erased (6/10)

I kinda feel bad that the rating's so low, because there's nothing really wrong with this film. I mean, I have given higher rankings to films than I my level of personal enjoyment would otherwise dictate (e.g. American Animals and Bohemian Rhapsody). Still, while the film doesn't really do anything wrong, there's not much in it that really stands out either. It's just...okay.

If I had to think of a parallel to this film, it would be Spotlight. Both films are based on true stories. Both films are without a traditional three act structure. Both films are without significant emotional climaxes, and neither really stray off the beaten path. There's no sense of traditional story structure to them. Now for some, that's good, but even if I get why this is the case, I don't necessarily enjoy it. And even with that said, the pacing of this film is weird. Like, a lot of time is spent in flashbacks, but there's no real pattern to them as to when the flashbacks occur, or how long they go for. And as for the more harrowing scenes in "gay conversion therapy"...well, they are harrowing, but not so harrowing that I feel compelled to rank the film that higher. The text at the end of the film concerning the practice is more harrowing than anything the film actually shows. It certainly didn't tell me anything about the practice that I didn't already know or at least infer.

So, yeah. On one hand, I don't begrudge this film for existing. I think this is a story that's worth telling. But the subject matter by itself doesn't necessarily make the film that compelling due to its structural and pacing issues.

Natemans:
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - 3/10

J.K. Rowling, there's a difference between writing a screenplay and a novel.

Well if this film bombs, hopefully WB will make another Tolkien Middle Earth movie. And say what you will of the Hobbit movies they did made a big enough profit.

But there has to be someone worthy to make a movie based on Silmarillion stories like Turin Turambar and Beren and Luthien.

trunkage:
Kubo and the Two Strings - 8/10

Watches it with my kid and now she's obsessed. Which is alright becuase I showed her Coraline a few months ago, so that's been on repeat. Now Kubo is on repeat. I've always liked Doctor Who and how many times the defeat the enemy through talking. Kubo is the same way, defeats the enemy through the power of love.

It has a lot of loss in the movie, Kubo loving his parents twice and having to go it alone. But he was pretty much alone from the start. I think my daughter picked up that her life is pretty easy in comparison.

Beautiful animations, and sets up the quest through a story passed onto him that he thinks is a folk tale. Regina Specktor does some music for the movie, who I've liked for a long time.

Parents, it's a bit scary. Need to be 5+ and able to deal with spooky kids stuff like Coraline

If you've done Coraline and Kubo, you've got to do Paranorman

Palindromemordnilap:

trunkage:
Kubo and the Two Strings - 8/10

Watches it with my kid and now she's obsessed. Which is alright becuase I showed her Coraline a few months ago, so that's been on repeat. Now Kubo is on repeat. I've always liked Doctor Who and how many times the defeat the enemy through talking. Kubo is the same way, defeats the enemy through the power of love.

It has a lot of loss in the movie, Kubo loving his parents twice and having to go it alone. But he was pretty much alone from the start. I think my daughter picked up that her life is pretty easy in comparison.

Beautiful animations, and sets up the quest through a story passed onto him that he thinks is a folk tale. Regina Specktor does some music for the movie, who I've liked for a long time.

Parents, it's a bit scary. Need to be 5+ and able to deal with spooky kids stuff like Coraline

If you've done Coraline and Kubo, you've got to do Paranorman

I tried. I think I'll leave it for a couple of years. She found it a bit intense

trunkage:

Palindromemordnilap:

trunkage:
Kubo and the Two Strings - 8/10

Watches it with my kid and now she's obsessed. Which is alright becuase I showed her Coraline a few months ago, so that's been on repeat. Now Kubo is on repeat. I've always liked Doctor Who and how many times the defeat the enemy through talking. Kubo is the same way, defeats the enemy through the power of love.

It has a lot of loss in the movie, Kubo loving his parents twice and having to go it alone. But he was pretty much alone from the start. I think my daughter picked up that her life is pretty easy in comparison.

Beautiful animations, and sets up the quest through a story passed onto him that he thinks is a folk tale. Regina Specktor does some music for the movie, who I've liked for a long time.

Parents, it's a bit scary. Need to be 5+ and able to deal with spooky kids stuff like Coraline

If you've done Coraline and Kubo, you've got to do Paranorman

I tried. I think I'll leave it for a couple of years. She found it a bit intense

Fair enough, it does ride the horror train quite hard sometimes. I just like the ending for the same reason you liked Kubo; no magical deus ex machina, no "power was inside you all along", no all-powerful artefacts, he just uses his power to talk to ghosts to talk to a ghost and logics her down

Xmen Apocalypse

Look... Not a bad movie. Not a good one either. There are way too many characters and should have probably been brought up one by one like the MCU.

How are humans now not going to kill every mutant on sight? Even if some helped, just one loose mutant can destroy the planet.

Nigtclawer is back baby. That's awesome. Apocalypse being trapped instead of manipulating behind the scene doesn't work for me. Angel being an asshole either, as it diminishes his arc before becoming Archangel.

6/10

trunkage:

How are humans now not going to kill every mutant on sight? Even if some helped, just one loose mutant can destroy the planet.

That's kinda like rabbits saying they're going to take out the hunters.

Sure, there might be more rabbits, but they can do jack point shit.

Also, what I want to know is what's going to become of Cairo. Like, did they demolish Apocalypse's pyramid or something? Did it become the eighth wonder of the world, a pilgrimige site for mutants or somesuch?

Mission Impossible: Fallout 76 New Far Mothership World
7/10

Expert action film craftsmanship on display. The plot is straightforward but also too complicated. For me, Ethan Hunt walks off way too much injury during the movie to keep me "buying" it. Even so, the film takes measures to keep you interested when at a similar point in a lesser movie you would turn your brain off. Vanessa Kirby, though not much of an actress, is hot as heck.

They Shall Not Grow Old (8/10)

Okay, despite the high ranking, I have to ask, why was this given a cinematic release? I mean, I'm not complaining per se, but nothing about the film really screams the need for it. Considering this was made for the Imperial War Museum, it's the kind of film that you could easily sit down and watch at said museum if you had the time or inclination. Not that I've ever actually been to said museum, but I've been to my share of others, and seen similar films, so, yeah.

Still, that aside, I have to applaud the film on a number of levels. First is its use of colour, and the technique involved in it. Fun fact, it actually starts out as black and white, with a small screen. The screen steadily grows wider, but it stays black and white. Finally, after about 10 minutes, it slides into colour. It's a technique I really apppreciate, as I feel if it just started off in colour, you might think that this was a recreation, not the actual thing spruced up. It does a great job of drawing you in, and by extension, humanizing those on camera. That does a good job of tying in with the other element of the film, in that while it's technically narrated, every piece of narration is taken verbatim with interviews from veterans and/or people alive during the era. It helps string the narrative of pre-war, to training, to deployment on the front, to live on the front, to one of the battles on the front (it doesn't specify which one, but it's close to the war's end), to the armestice, to returning home. This isn't really a new technique, of using interviews and letters verbatim to tell a narrative, but it's an effective one. This isn't really the kind of film I'd reccomend if you're looking at WWI from a historical sense, but if you're looking at the experience of the individual soldier, then it's a very effective one.

So, yeah. Technically, apart from the colour aspect, the film doesn't really do that much new. Still, what it does, it does very well.

Ratchet & Clank (5/10)

Back in 2016, I predicted that this would be the year when the videogame movie curse was broken. I mean, Angry Birds, Assassin's Creed, Warcraft, Ratchet & Clank? All cinema releases, all big budget, what could go wrong? Well, what could go wrong was that Angry Birds was the worst movie of 2016 that I saw, Assassin's Creed was one of the worst movies of 2017 that I saw (saw it in January 2017), and Warcraft...okay, I liked Warcraft, but it's not a good movie by any means, and had the advantage of me already being invested in the setting. Ratchet & Clank however, was a movie I never got round to seeing until now, at which point the question must be raised whether it broke the VG movie curse.

Spoilers, it didn't. At all.

RAC isn't as bad as Angry Birds or Assassin's Creed, but it isn't good either. It's average. Painfully, painfully average. The story is average. The theme, such as it is, is underdeveloped. The action is often lethargic. The humour got about two laughs out of me, with the rest being bland or cringeworthy. FYI, if your humour consists of pointing out your own cliches, it doesn't change the fact that they're still cliches. The villain's motivation boils down to "I'm going to destroy planets to make the "perfect planet" for reasons that are never explained." Also, Quark is a terrible person that no, isn't sympathetic, and doesn't deserve any kind of comeback tour.

That's...kinda really all I have to say about the film. It's so average and so boring that I can't really muster anything more than a paragraph. Given that it hints at Ratchet's backstory (e.g. no-one's heard of a lombax, and it's established he was found as a baby), I can't help but wonder if sequels were planned (certainly there's an after-credits teaser), but based on the film's reception and box office, fat chance of that happening. So, no, this film isn't good. Not as bad as some of the other VG films released in 2016, but that isn't saying much. I suppose the question can be asked as to whether you'd get more out of this if you were a pre-existing RAC fan. To that I say, "probably," but as someone who isn't, that's just a guess. It kinda shines a light on my appreciation of the Warcraft film, the sad truth that if I wasn't a Warcraft fan, it would probably be looking at a 5/10 instead of the 6/10 I originally gave it.

So, yeah. All I can say is that unless you're a RAC fan or have easily entertained kids, don't bother with this film. Animated or otherwise, there's so many better options available.

Hotel Artimus
Was for some reason expecting a low-key muted film going in to this, and was surprised to see it as a more stylish affair focusing on interplay between a small cast in a single enclosed environment, in the spirit of films like Free Fire, Dredd, Identity and so on. Perhaps closer to Dredd with the near future 'society and the outside world is not happy but the police are wearing their finest authoritarian hats so it should ok if you ignore all the suffering' backdrop. Either way, it's a style I personally find quite appealing.
There was a box blurb quote along the lines of "superbly smart dialogue" that instantly sets off a couple of inner cynicism alarms, as that has various interpretations, not all that flattering. And when the characters started rolling out a few lines more at home in a Joss Whedon script, my brain cried "noooooooooo...not that kind of 'smart' surely??" Luckily that's reserved only for their introductions and briskly thrown aside to focus on the situation at hand. The quoted critic probably did mean that, to be fair. And for that they shall burn eternally for their sins inside the toasty confines of the Furnace of Justice nestled deeply within my damaged psyche.
Jodie Foster is great, supporting cast including Jeff Goldblum, Bautista and Sterling K Brown all are doing well also. It's all fairly shallow but entertaining. Nice that the main character presents struggles with anxiety and agoraphobia, except that it's made less interesting when the person has mostly logical reasons their fears. The arc involved is woefully underdeveloped too, though fits with the shallow nature of the film I guess. Was an acceptable time passer nonetheless.

Leave no Trace
Two impressive performances by Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie (especially Thomasin) as a father and daughter living wild in the woods still within the visible borders of modern civilisation. There's evidently history not being said around their past and the father harbours issues with PTSD amongst other issues. There's not really any fault I can pick with it as a whole. It's pretty great. But there is a personal musing when I see a small isolated community of really friendly American folk, that if they happen to be solely on the fairer side of melanin count...would they continue to be this friendly to me if I happened to be a person with a more generous helping of melanin travelling around their parts? It's nothing against the film, it's just something I wonder about when I sees it and causes a sort strange guarded feeling that can't be shaken.

Hidden Figures
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer (Octavia is a wonderful name btw, am very jealous) and Janelle Monae star in this telling of the first NASA black female mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson respectively in a time defined by racial segregation and prejudice. Leading performances are expectedly high quality, lots of various emotions and there are still details that surprise me with the smaller mannerisms that manifest through prejudice in social situations. It total, it's a mostly feel-good film that is easy watching with charismatic cast where it remains simple yet no less important for it, perfect for a Sunday afternoon or any time really. Not sure there's any criticism I can think of currently.

Mission Impossible: Fallout canvas bag
Ok, saw this a while back and thought it was ok at the time. However, a DVD release means a second watch after all the awe of "ooh the action looks so authentic" has long since faded. And that's where a less flattering opinion began to surface. First off, the main positives have more than been shared by public consensus by this point, which I do agree with such as the action is very well staged and exciting, along with a soundtrack that only heightens the experience. But beyond that, this could easily be summarised as;

"Isn't Tom Cruise

just totes

SO

FUCKING

AMAZING!?"

Well, technically his onscreen character, Jack Reacher or whatever the fuck...but that IS just Tom Cruise, so the distinction isn't important. Every female character appears to view him with barely suppressed lusty awe and intrigue, while every male would throw their own children in front of a speeding bullet heading towards him. The dialogue is uninspired cliche, the story has no stakes because when you're that fucking awesome, everything sorts itself out really. I can only see this as acceptable if it's decided to take the complete piss out of its' own identity, but the poe-faced eagerness behind Cruise's performance is saying otherwise, even as unconvincing as it can be at times. This is Mary Sue taken to the extreme, yet nobody gives a shit when it's mister manly man. All the while there a films with a female lead who do present flaws, yet are torn asunder when they show even 10% of this competence as nothing but Mary Sues. What a load of bullshit. Simon Pegg's alright though. He's Pegging as usual. Next film I hear is looking to have Cruise do his stunts in spaaaaaaaace! So can't wait for that gimmick to run its' course.

Baby Driver

Well, compared to Drive, it doesn't have much personality, atmosphere, writing or good characters. Clearly trying to ape Lock, Stock or something similar and fails miserably. I know that he's name is Baby but it doesn't mean he needs to talk like one. The love interest is just motivation and literally doesn't react to all the death happening around her. Tried to pack this one with well known actors thinking that would just cure the problems of the story. I did like how the story was peppered with moments of Baby chose a better choice and being rewarded but it didn't make sense when sometimes he didn't and treated some poorly.

So we lost Wright on Antman, and this was his vision for that project? Well, no big loss. It's not better than the Antman we got. I remember liking things like Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. This is just not as fun or flavourful like those.

Just an adequate movie that I keep comparing to other, better movies. 6/10

Mandy
Supposed to put this in last post, but happened to get distracted by life. This was suprisingly not as "exploitationy" as the marketing soaked in red/black and various critics seemed to imply. Which isn't a bad thing. I was mentally preparing for a lot worse on the visceral gore side of direction and it was a relief that the focus is more on atmosphere and style than shock value. The direction is dreamy and more colourful than the marketing would have i believe. It's channeling the 70s so much we have King Crimson proudly thrown up on screen during the intro like a welcome mat knitted from spliffs and mullets. The only disappointment was that, for a revenge film, the inevitable revenge deaths are unexciting and sadly unsatisfying, through uninspired direction; a curious departure from the rest of the film's direction. Perhaps this is also meant as a homage to the 70s with such action not being presented imaginatively due to various factors. But there is usually a handy rule where an imminent death can be set up by showing an object or environment beforehand doing innocent environment/object things that later comes back around to saving the protagonist during a heated moment of fatal disagreement. Not, instead, pull a surprise underground canyon of convenience out of their buttocks for the protog to throw the dazed and disgruntled Mad Max-ian psycho into.
Despite that personal quibble born of twisted desires, still a recommended watch.

(one last observation is that this and Mission Impossible: Canvas Bag both use lense flare as a stylistic choice, yet there doesn't appear to be any hordes of people bemoaning them. I got nothing against the flares for style to be honest, but am wondering why these cases are considered fine. Lack of established "passionate" fanbases perhaps?)

McElroy:
Vanessa Kirby, though not much of an actress, is hot as heck.

Shame she isn't much of a character either.

"Hey, remember Max from MI1? Well, here's her daughter. This is a plot point that's completely irrelevant to the film, but hey, fan service."

Xsjadoblayde:

This is Mary Sue taken to the extreme, yet nobody gives a shit when it's mister manly man. All the while there a films with a female lead who do present flaws, yet are torn asunder when they show even 10% of this competence as nothing but Mary Sues.

While I'm not that fond of Fallout, assuming you're referring to Rey from Star Wars, there's a difference. Fallout's the sixth Ethan Hunt film. Even in the first film, we can assume that he's already an experienced IMF agent. In contrast, Rey's quick mastery of the force is practically stratospheric.

Rey's at least a more interesting character than Hunt, but Hunt has in-universe precedent for his abilities. Rey? Not so much.

Under the Silver Lake

Those mildly surreal mystery thrillers about Los Angeles have, by now, pretty much become their own subgenre. The Long Goodbye, The Big Lebowski, Inherent Vice, Southland Tales, Mulholland Drive, arguably Chinatown... it's a very specific type of movie and D.R. Mitchell, director of the (pretty good) horror movie "It Follows" tried making one. Under The Silver Lake is, all things considered, a decent movie, mostly on the virtue of following the roadmap other movies have laid out. There's nothing exactly transgressive about it, which I think, is what seperates it from most of its better peers. It's a haunted mansion ride displaying all of LA's most popular spooks, some corrupt elites here, some coded messages there, throw in a serial killer or two... but hardly anything that could actually shock its viewer. When it takes us behind the diner one may see the white outlines of a dead body, some used heroin needles and some long dried splatters of blood, but that creature with the blackened face that can cause a man to break down just by looking at it has long since left.

It's still an entertaining enough movie, does a fine job building suspense when it needs to, has some neat visuals and a pretty great musical score... the only major mistake it makes is one sequence late in the movie where it goes a bit too far in explaining one of its mysteries that would have been much more intriguing, had it been left more ambigous. But does it live up to its pynchonian ambitions? Not really, it lacks that uncomfortable implication that the person who wrote it actually knows things. But it's a fun way to kill some time and it's probably gonna make my Top 10 movies of the year simply on the virtue of lacking competition.

I've been rewatching the Marx Bros. Just did Horse Feathers. Funny enough, but some real serious plot problems. Like Dr. Hackenbush is secretly a horse doctor, pretending to be a therapist who prescribes horse downers for patients with anxiety. Fair enough.
One of the other characters buys a racing horse, one of the fastest yet, but it has anxiety and doesn't like to run.

...and nothing ever happens. Hackenbush never spends time with the horse, never gives it medication, nothing. Its like they cut the middle of the movie out and just stitched the beginning and ending together.

Hawki:

McElroy:
Vanessa Kirby, though not much of an actress, is hot as heck.

Shame she isn't much of a character either.

"Hey, remember Max from MI1? Well, here's her daughter. This is a plot point that's completely irrelevant to the film, but hey, fan service."

And both actresses are named VANESSA. What an arc.
Hot stuff though.

Grinch (2018)

This was very bland. I liked Illuminations Lorax. But this has lost all heart that was present in Lorax. I also now wonder how good Despicable Me 1 would have been without the minions being the comedic relief. As this has no comedic relief. I laughed once. My daughter laughed a couple of times. That's it.

Don't bother, go watch Jim Carey if you need a Grinch hit

4/10

Bright (5/10)

Similar to Venom, Bright is a film where, if we're going by sites like Rotten Tomatoes, critics hated it, while audiences loved it. Similar to Venom, I find myself somewhere in the middle. Unlike Venom however, I can't say I liked Bright. There's a plenthora of stuff that's wrong with this film, but if I had to sum up its greatest fault, it's that it's BORING.

That aside, like I said, there's a lot wrong, and a lot of it comes down to Bright trying to do multiple things and stretching itself thin as a result. In a sense, Bright is effectively three films on one, none of which really work. There's also the issue of worldbuilding (or lack of it), and this affects all three of these 'mini films.' So, to start off, let's look at what Bright's going for, namely analogy for prejudice. In this world, where nine races exist (only four of which we see, and only five of which are named), orcs are basically the stand-in for minorities. Mainly African-American, but you could concievably stretch the analogy further. Of the three types of film Bright effectively is, this is arguably the most effective because it starts off with the film, and it doesn't pull any punches in its subject. Orcs are treated horribly in this world, and there's the sense that if you're treating an entire species as the scum of the Earth, then chances are they're going to act like it. This comes down to active racism, to passive racism. If the film actually commited to this, it would probably be pretty decent - good, even. However, when we consider the worldbuilding, I have to ask...why?

Okay, so basically in this world that's exactly like our world but has fantasy races in it, 2000 years ago, there was "the Dark Lord" who did dark things, and was defeated by the Army of Nine Races. Turns out the orcs fought for him, which is why, 2000 years later, everyone else (or at least humans) has a hate-boner for orcs. Except the Army of Nine Races was led by an orc, and it's heavilly implied that this Dark Lord was an elf, so...why does everyone hate orcs then? I mean, sure, I get some of that prejudice, but it's very specific prejudice. You might be able to imply that it's because elves are the top dogs in this world that they're able to escape it, but prejudice against "the elite" exists in the real world, but here? Nup. Everyone hates orcs. Also, it's at least implied that inter-human prejudice still exists (apparently Mexicans "still get shit" for the Alamo because that's a thing that still happened), but it's never really addressed. Like I said, Bright could have worked if it committed to racial allagory, to the extent that I could overlook the gaffs in worldbuilding. However, they become more pronounced as the film goes on.

So, cut to the second type of film, and that's the whole "cops on the run" thing. So, our human and orc protagonist come across a magic wand (yes, really), that puts them in the sights of corrupt cops (all human), gang members (all human), and the feds (all human bar a single elf). So, um, wasn't this meant to be a fantasy setting? Y'know, nine races...no? Anyone? Again, "good cops on the run from bad cops and gangs" isn't inherently a bad story (even if it's a cliche), but when you're presenting it in the same vein, with only an orc and a crazy girl elf for company, there's a noticable shift from the fantastical to the mundane. It's also at this point that racial allagory stops being the focus. Oh, it's there, it pops up, but it's never examined. Bright trades one focus for another.

It's also in this realm that Bright's 'second film' is also interwoven with its 'third film,' namely the return of the "Dark Lord" as a cabal of elves (the Inferi) want the magic wand back to do bad stuff. These elf assassins vary in strength as the plot dictates, where all three of them are able to take out an entire SWAT team with no effort but struggle to take out the protagonists (who are regular LAPD) because, I dunno, plot armour. So, on one hand, we have a high stakes game of keep away where the wand is basically a magical nuke (least according to the script), with elves, and Dark Lords, and orcs, and everything else. On the other hand, this is all in Los Angeles, which apart from lip service/sign service, looks exactly like LA of the current day. It's at this point that two things become clear. One is the issue of worldbuilding. Like, at least for 2000 years, this world has had a different history from ours. C. 17CE (funnily enough, Christianity appears to still exist) there was a world war of some kind, but world history progressed the same. Orcs speak Orkish, elves speak Elvish, humans speak English and Spanish. The United States exists, but is it run the same way? Can only elves be president? What about other countries? Why are there multiple human ethnic groups but apparently only one type of orc, one type of orc, and so on? Who are the other races? Like I said, if this film focused on being racial allagory, I could take these things on faith (e.g. we can infer that WWI and II still occurred, and orcs fought in them but weren't recognised for it), but when you're dredging up the history of the setting, how similar the setting is to our own can't be ignored.

On another note, this film isn't well directed. The final fight is lazy in its action and directing. There's a number of awkward cuts that indicate that scenes were put on the cutting room floor. There's a sub-plot with our orc cop saving an orc kid who refuses to shoot him when they reunite, but our orc cop is shot anyway by orc kid's dad, and resurrected by elf girl. So, they keep the setup, but negate the payoff. And as it goes on, it's just...so...BORING. I got bored with the constant gunfights, I got bored with elf girl's lack of any real character (yes, she has a name, it's irrelevant), I got frustrated by the film being a mess. And it's a shame, because it didn't have to be. But Bright wants to be numerous things and it doesn't pay off.

Y'know, there's some films that I have dim views on that I wouldn't mind sequels to, if only because I feel the sequel could improve on the original. For Bright though, while it is getting a sequel, I don't particuarly care. It's just...dull. Not bright, it doesn't shine, it's just dull. And boring. And poorly directed. And a mess.

Shame. :(

Mortal Engines (7/10)

So, this has been critically panned by the critics. Unlike stuff like Bright for instance, I'm not really with them on this. Because while I can certainly understand some of the film's flaws, it's not to the extent that I feel it should be panned as much as it has. I have a bad feeling that this film is going to bomb, which would suck, because while the books it's based on are still an option, I'd have loved to have seen more of this world.

That aside, let's start with the one thing that most people have actually praised, and that's the style/aesthetics/worldbuilding (to an extent). Course a lot of this lies with the original author, but Mortal Engines certainly presents a dynamic, interesting world. So, after an apocalypse 1000 years ago that altered the very layout of the planet, humanity is in a variety of states. There's some mobile cities (that include London) that rove around the world (or at least Europe), effectively sucking up resources and preying on smaller mobile towns. Cannibalism and slavery are real dangers in the Outlands. To the east there's the Anti-Tractionist League, where fertile lands are protected by an impassable wall that no mobile city can face (Great Wall of China anyone?) That's in addition to a floating city in the sky, and various other nuggets of lore. I'm guessing that the books are able to go into more depth (reportedly stuff's been changed as well), but the setting does a good job of providing us with the lore that we need to know, and letting our imaginations fill in the rest. By extension, the film looks beautiful, whether it be said Great Wall area, London as a mobile city, the sky city, or the "magnificent desolation" of the Outlands, how we see how London's tracks have just carved through the landscape. There's arguably an ecological theme running through the story, but if so, it's kept in the background. Anyway, it's steampunk, and it's gorgeous looking steampunk.

On a minor note, the OST is quite good as well. Like, I can't really remember the tunes off the top of my head, but I remember them going very well with the film itself. The kind of thing that makes me want to check its OST on YouTube or somesuch. Like, when we see these epic landscapes structures, and epic music goes with the epic visuals, then it makes for an epic time. Or something.

Right, so, those are the things that I like unequivocably, now let's talk about the more mixed stuff. Much as this movie is still very much a positive for me, I can at least appreciate some of the issues some have.

First, the plot. Now, the thing is, the plot itself isn't bad, even if towards the end we're riffing off Star Wars (bunch of pilots have to destroy a super weapon that'll destroy their base, which culminates in a bullseye shot and the protagonist fighting her father). However, the pacing of the plot does feel kinda off. I think it would work for a book, but here, it's kinda hard to segregate the sections of the film into a traditional three act structure. That's not to say the plot lags per se, but it does kinda chug along. This didn't bother me too much, but I can appreciate how it might bug others. What's noticable is that the protagonist's goals aren't necessarily in opposition to the antagonist's goals, they just kinda intertwine. Again, this didn't kill the film for me, but it's noticable. But on the subject of the plot, with some complaints being that the film takes itself too seriously, I have to ask a) what are you smoking, and b) what's wrong with a fantasy adventure story taking itself seriously? These kinds of films are a rarity nowadays, least they can do is have gravitas.

That said, there's some kinda "what?" moments. Like, when our not!rebels are about to destroy London, and our hero guy points out that thousands of innocent people will die...well, where are these innocent people? Because the Londoners seem quite happy about invading and murdering hundreds, if not thousands of people themselves. So when they kinda surrender to said enemy after attempted invasion, and leader of not!rebels extends the hand of friendship...yeah, not buying it.

There's also the characters. Now, okay, a lot of them have archtypes, and there's a bunch of supporting characters towards the end that you're meant to feel for, but aren't that fleshed out. I mean, our main heroes are a boy and girl who start off hating each other. And if you haven't guessed by just reading that sentence that this has changed by the film's end, then go back to primary school and demand a refund. Still, this is a fantasy adventure story. I can deal with archtypes if the characters are engaging, and yes, they are engaging. Least they're fun. Least I care when stuff happens to them.

Going through this, you might be able to say that the film is suffering from cliche, that apart from its worldbuilding and visuals, there's not really anything spectacular for it. And while I can understand that, my position on cliches is that they're fine if the work transcends them - as in, is good enough that one doesn't notice too much. And while I did notice, the film is good enough in all its elements that I didn't mind too much. At the end of the day, I enjoyed it. It's escapist fun, and as escapist fun, it does a good job. Whether that counts for anything is something that I can't say, because I've got a terrible feeling it's going to bomb, which will mean less risks, and more safe bets (e.g. superhero stuff). Still, least the film doesn't end on a cliffhanger, so if this is the only Mortal Engines adaptation, it's a pretty good, or at least fun one.

Hawki:
While I'm not that fond of Fallout, assuming you're referring to Rey from Star Wars, there's a difference. Fallout's the sixth Ethan Hunt film. Even in the first film, we can assume that he's already an experienced IMF agent. In contrast, Rey's quick mastery of the force is practically stratospheric.

Rey's at least a more interesting character than Hunt, but Hunt has in-universe precedent for his abilities. Rey? Not so much.

Well, if there was only the one or two examples in mind, it wouldn't have even been a concern in the first place and certainly not worth bringing up. I was thinking more of trends throughout gaming and film media backlash, generally online (though books appear to have sidestepped this rather effectively for reasons I shan't speculate on) that crop up. Rey was/is probably more prominent an example due to the simple fact of 'star wars' but it wasn't what i had in mind at all.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (5/10)

Let's get something out of the way - no, it isn't as good as the 2016 Jungle Book film. It isn't as well paced, the CGI isn't as good, the story's less tight, and we have to deal with another child actor that does a less-good job (not bad, but still, it's noticable). I may make references to the 2016 film because there's a lot of similarities (in no small part due to the same source material), but even then, even if not for the 2016 film, this one probably wouldn't have ranked any higher than a 6 at best.

The thing is, you can pretty much point the exact moment when this film starts to fall apart. I'll tell you what that point is in awhile, but if we're dealing with the film up to this point, it's...fine. Again, has similar beats, with Mowgli living as a 'wolf' (and in a nice touch is seen running on all fours), who want to keep him safe from Shere Khan. Both Bagheera and Baloo serve as his mentors. He's picked on by the pack, but has friends in Bhoot, an albino wolf. On the subject, I should mention the CGI. It's...pretty decent. Not nearly as good as the 2016 film, but decent. The animals look a lot...'harder,' I guess? As in, many of them are seen bearing scars. A few threads are set up here, namely:

-The wolves have to pass a Running of the Pack Trial - if they fail, they don't have the right to take part in hunts.

-Man is spreading further into the jungle, carving up more and more land for cattle farming.

-Mowgli is hinted as having a special destiny, and may be the only hope the jungle has of saving itself against the encroachment of Man.

-Shere Khan has been killing Man's cattle, which has resulted in them calling in a hunter.

Plot point 1 is resolved within the first half of the movie...Mowgli fails. Even when he gives up running on all fours and uses his human abilities to his advantage (e.g. climbing trees), he still loses. Similar to the 2016 film, there's the whole idea of Mowgli discovering his abilities as a human rather than a not-wolf. Unlike the 2016 film, it's far more underdone. The idea/theme is given lip service but not much else. As for those other three plot points, keep them in mind.

It comes to pass where Mowgli dishonours the pack and flees to the Man Village, where he's captured and put in a cage, treated as a wild child. And it's at this point that the film has its slide into mediocrity. Oh sure, there's been gaffs up to this point. The film has sufferred in comparison to its predecessor, but it's managed to hold its own. However, here, it plummets in every sense of the word.

Thing is, the Man Village segment just isn't interesting. There's no actual characters to deal with. This works in a sense, in that Mowgli can't speak Hindi (or any other human language), but we get one human character (Lockwood) and not really anyone else. And with Mowgli being tormented in the cage, again, not nearly as interesting as the animal characters. I've seen comments and claims that this film is darker than the 2016 film, and while that's technically true, it's darkness that doesn't really have any meaning behind it. It's dark for the sake of being dark, with little thematic resonance, and what themes it does have aren't really fleshed out. Because it turns out that hey, Lockwood ain't that nice a guy - he hunts for sport as much as anything else. In this, the film kind of hints at a parallel between Khan and Lockwood, in that both hunt for sport, both upset the balance of the jungle, and both have to die (which they do). However, there's a few problems with this, namely:

-Shere Khan is hinted as having a plan behind his actions in provoking Man's wrath, but this never really comes to anything. He does it because he's a jackass apparently.

-Mowgli does kill Shere Khan with the help of elephants and his animal friends, but it's pretty clear in this context that the jungle creatures could kill Khan if they really wanted to. Compare this to the 2016 film, where Mowgli facing Khan is the culmination of his character arc - Bagheera's whole "fight him like a man" line where he uses human ingenuity and tools. Here, he just gets elephants to surround Khan, and kills him. Yay...

After that, Mowgli goes back to the wolfpack. Apparently his great destiny was to kill a tiger. Note that even if this is restoring balance with the deaths of Khan and Lockwood, it does nothing to solve the issue of Man's continuing encroachment on the jungle. Like, maybe it's hinting at a sequel, but I doubt it.

So, yeah. Kind of a mess.

Devil Wears Prada

Seeing as pretty much everything about this movie's subject (the fashion industry) isn't geared towards me (forced at gunpoint by my gf to watch it,) I don't think it'd be fair to give it a specific rating, but one thing I did note is that it largely... had no point? At least not as a comedy; there was no real character growth; no one was really changed for its story; it's just a movie about fundamentally bad people doing shitty things.

Spoiler-y synopsis: Young, wannabe journalist "girl next door" (Anne Hathaway) gets a supposed dream job as the assistant to high-profile fashion magazine executive (Meryl Streep.) Turns out, Streep is a turbo bitch, unreasonably demanding, unappreciative, impatient, viciously mean, etc. Hathaway puts up with her nonsense for a while before determining via some really shitty advice from others within the magazine to essentially "quit whining," that in order to obtain the very least of human dignity and respect, she needs to act the part, i.e.: change her image, accommodate every request, stay on call 24/7, etc. She does so, and over the course of the next hour or so, she ostracizes all of her friends, utterly ruins her relationship with her "good guy" boyfriend and undercuts a coworker to net herself an exclusive trip with Streep to a Paris fashion show whereupon she sleeps with another guy only to wake up the next day and have Streep acknowledge how much alike they are now. Hathaway FINALLY has her come to Jesus moment and walks away from the job and hops on the next flight home. Once home, she puts in for a job at a lesser publication and is told, much to her surprise, that she'd received a glowing recommendation from Streep. She sees Streep on the street soon after; Streep "acknowledges" her with a cold, forcibly dismissive stare before getting in her car and going on her way; Hathaway smiles to herself, Streep smiles to herself, fade to black.

For a supposed comedy, this movie left me with a really shitty taste in my mouth. The idea that people like Streep's character actually exist was particularly unsettling, but more so that people like Hathaway's character, those whose personal integrity is for sale, exist; it'd have better served as a dark drama, or a black comedy at best. I know, the film could have had Streep do the whole "and the Grinch's heart grew the sizes that day," and that would have been tired and predictable, but also a lot more, I dunno, wholesome, maybe? I feel like the writers were trying to make Hathaway's journey "zany and wild," but when she simply ended up where she started out after fully indulging in the vices of the hell of her own making with no tangible consequences, it just seems tasteless. At least movies like The Hangover show consequences, i.e.: yeah, they chose to get fucked up in Vegas, but they blacked out, someone's missing a tooth, and now they have to find a way to return the fucking tiger they stole from a heavy weight boxing champion who's all but threatened to kill them. (Oh, and their best friend is missing, maybe dead.) Hathaway got off with a rote "I'm so sorry" to her boyfriend (who called her on her shit well before) who implies an undeserved "all's forgiven." Maybe the film might have worked a bit better had Hathaway not taken to "the high life" so well and easily; maybe they could have shown more struggle than her occasional, short-lived regret at missing appointments in her personal life or had she not actually slept with the guy her best friend caught wooing her five minutes after the afore mentioned wooing scene? Hard to sympathize with a shallow, predictable whore.

Meh, just not for me, I guess. I knew that going in, but when something I couldn't care less about actually manages to disappoint me, I can't help but make note.

Aquaman. Felt closer to a pulpy adventure serial than a superhero movie, which was good enough for the mid-section. Takes itself way too seriously at times. Black Manta is boring... can't think much of anything else right now. It was alright. Basically Thor: Ragnarok (gladiator fight and scheming half-brother included) by way of a (better) Ant-Man and Wasp. Momoa and Heard have way better chemistry than Paul Rudd and Lost chick, or Thor and Jane.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (9/10) -

Really loved this. Gorgeous animation with a funny yet compelling story and interesting characters.

Natemans:
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (9/10) -

Really loved this. Gorgeous animation with a funny yet compelling story and interesting characters.

Better then Homecoming?

Johnny Novgorod:
Aquaman. Felt closer to a pulpy adventure serial than a superhero movie, which was good enough for the mid-section. Takes itself way too seriously at times. Black Manta is boring... can't think much of anything else right now. It was alright. Basically Thor: Ragnarok (gladiator fight and scheming half-brother included) by way of a (better) Ant-Man and Wasp. Momoa and Heard have way better chemistry than Paul Rudd and Lost chick, or Thor and Jane.

Explain what you mean by taking itself seriously at times?

Samtemdo8:

Johnny Novgorod:
Aquaman. Felt closer to a pulpy adventure serial than a superhero movie, which was good enough for the mid-section. Takes itself way too seriously at times. Black Manta is boring... can't think much of anything else right now. It was alright. Basically Thor: Ragnarok (gladiator fight and scheming half-brother included) by way of a (better) Ant-Man and Wasp. Momoa and Heard have way better chemistry than Paul Rudd and Lost chick, or Thor and Jane.

Explain what you mean by taking itself seriously at times?

Pretending it's more dramatic, emotional or at any rate important than what it really is during specific parts of the movie.
This is a movie where if the protagonist goes to Africa, 10 seconds of Africa by Toto plays. You're not allowed to try and grow out of that silliness.

Natemans:
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (9/10) -

Really loved this. Gorgeous animation with a funny yet compelling story and interesting characters.

It'll be awile before I'm able to get a full review out, but suffice to say, I agree with both the sentiments and the score.

Samtemdo8:

Better then Homecoming?

For me, yes.

Granted, I think Spider-Man 1 & 2 are also better than Homecoming, so...

Spider-Verse gets the #1 spot. Homecoming gets the #4 spot.

Samtemdo8:

Natemans:
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (9/10) -

Really loved this. Gorgeous animation with a funny yet compelling story and interesting characters.

Better then Homecoming?

Oh hell yes.

Hawki:

Natemans:
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (9/10) -

Really loved this. Gorgeous animation with a funny yet compelling story and interesting characters.

It'll be awile before I'm able to get a full review out, but suffice to say, I agree with both the sentiments and the score.

Samtemdo8:

Better then Homecoming?

For me, yes.

Granted, I think Spider-Man 1 & 2 are also better than Homecoming, so...

Spider-Verse gets the #1 spot. Homecoming gets the #4 spot.

Yep, same

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (6/10)

This may seem an odd choice of movie for me. Basically, Netflix subscription was about to expire, wanted a short movie that I could see before that happened, cross-referenced my "to watch" list with what Netflix had, focused on short films, and came up with this. A DreamWorks film that no-one ever really talks about anymore. Having seen said film, I can get why. That said, there is some stuff I can talk about here, for good and ill, so I'll get to it.

Thing is, looking at Sinbad in the context of when it was released, it does fit into an interesting period in the history of DreamWorks and animation. In the context of the former, it was the last 2D film DreamWorks ever released in cinemas. How you feel about that is up to you, but looking at DreamWorks up to this point, it's arguably the last of the first era of DreamWorks. Granted, it came after Shrek, but it's right before Shrek 2. Shrek may have been the start of DreamWorks making it big, but I'd argue that Shrek 2 is where they really cemented their style going forward (for good and ill). Sinbad does have elements of this, but it's still got a lot in common with stuff like El Dorado or even Prince of Egypt. While it's far more lighthearted than DreamWorks's early offerrings, it at least takes its story and setting seriously (whereas something like Shrek is all-out sattire).

If we're looking at this in the context of animation at the time, the 2000s saw a shift away from 2D animation in cinemas towards 3D. Like other works (e.g. Hercules and Titan A.E.), Sinbad has 3D animation for some of its elements, but is primarily 2D. For Hercules, it was the hydra. For Titan, the ice-ring chase. Here, it's some of the creatures, specifically two. One of them sticks out like a sore thumb, one of them doesn't. So if you're looking at how theatrical animation shifted from the early 90s to the late 2000s, this is an interesting snapshot. But enough about that, let's deal with the film itself. Basically, a case where above-average presentation can slightly elevate below-average plots and characters.

Sinbad...isn't that good. Like Aladdin, it's cobbling from Arabian mythology. Like Aladdin (the character), Sinbad is a thief with a heart of gold who wins the heart of a princess. Unlike Aladdin, this arc is trite, predictable, and nothing I haven't seen before. Sinbad is an adventure film first and foremost...and has little to offer beside that. Hero gets quest. Hero goes after McGuffin. Hero and heroine bicker a lot, but they really like each other and discover "true wuv" by the film's end. Hero is "kewl," and we're constantly reminded that he's "kewl." It...it isn't childish per se, but it's just so...so...BASIC. Again, something like Aladdin or even Hercules are taking ancient stories and putting a spin on them, but that spin at least made them interesting. Sinbad doesn't. And notably, while this is era 1 DreamWorks, it's showing elements of era 2 DreamWorks when it comes to stuff like pop culture references. For instance, there's a line where Sinbad says "that's why women shouldn't drive" and treats it ship like a car in regards to Marina scratching the paintwork. You heard it here first folks, people "drove" ships in the ancient world. Oh, and speaking of the world, if this is an Arabic story, why is Eris (a Greek goddess) the villain? Indeed, speaking of Eris, we see that she can impersonate anyone, or even manifest herself as a giant in the mortal world. So if her goal's to destroy the world, why all the secrecy? What does the Book of Peace actually do apart from giving Syracuse balmy weather? Like, was it in perpetual shadow BEFORE Eris stole the book? Like, can we get this book and solve our climate change issues? I don't mind Eris's motivations being so basic (she's the goddess of discord after all, kickstarting the Trojan War for shits and giggles for instance), but her 'power level' is inconsistent.

So, yeah. Sinbad's plot and characters are pretty basic. Also, towards the end, I get the feeling the animators or writers or whoever were running out of time, because things just kinda happen, and it feels rushed.

So, yeah. Sinbad is a basic story with basic characters pursuing basic goals. Based on that alone, it might get a 5/10. Still, as I said before, this is a case where average story is buoyed by above-average animation, so let's get to that. This film is, simply put, beautiful to look at. This comes down to a number of factors. For one thing, when it comes to action (and there's a lot of action), the movement of all the characters is extremely fluid. Some 2D animation fight scenes can be stiff (likely because of how long it would take to animate), but this isn't one of them. Sinbad, being as "kewl" as he is, is a great athlete (kinda remidned of Aladdin again, or even Prince of Persia) and a great swordsman, and this comes across in said action scenes. Eris similarly is beautifuly animated. While she's a basic character, she looks...kinda incredible. As in, the way her hair moves, the way she impersonates Sinbad (summons a puppet and 'posesses' it). The way she moves so lithely. There's a sense of grace and menace all at one with her. And by extension, there's the realm of Tartarus, which is basically a giant desert with various ruins in it, the sands constantly moving like the sea would. It isn't Tartarus as we imagine it traditionally, and we don't see it for that long, but by god is it stunning to look at. And of the two CG creatures, while out kraken looks out of place, we also get a giant snow bird of some kind that blends in seemlessly with the 2D setting. As stated, Sinbad, the film, is beautiful to look at. Even now, DreamWorks has shown it can be creative when it comes to animation, that while it uses 3D animation, it can combine 2D elements (e.g. Kung Fu Panda) or styalize the 3D (e.g. Trolls). It's just a shame that with this film, the animation is far above the content of the movie it's animating.

So, that's Sinbad. Ranking it, it's kinda mid-tier DreamWorks for me; not nearly as good as, say, Shrek 2, Prince of Egypt, or Dragon, but better than Shrek 3 or Shark Tale for instance. It's...fine, at the end of the day. It's popcorn. Popcorn that doesn't leave you feeling full, but it's popcorn with plenty of butter and sprinkles that at least makes it pretty to look at.

trunkage:
Xmen Apocalypse

Look... Not a bad movie. Not a good one either. There are way too many characters and should have probably been brought up one by one like the MCU.

How are humans now not going to kill every mutant on sight? Even if some helped, just one loose mutant can destroy the planet.

I remember watching X-Men 2 years ago and at one point storm destroys a couple US government fighter jets using a tornado or something. The first thing that came to mind is "So you just destroyed US government property and attacked the US military. Exactly how does the government not have a case for rolling up to the Mutant school and trying to shut it down/arresting everyone for possible treason?"

I don't remember everything around it but the fact that mutants in the series routinely put lots of people in danger(often intentionally) makes it really hard to buy the "Unjustly Persecuted" angle it keeps trying to push. The new films might be worse, since like a handful of mutants nearly started WW3 expressly for the point of creating more mutants(and killing all the normies) and Future Past invovled Magneto Trashing half of DC trying to kill the President.

True Blood tried to do the same thing with Vampires it and felt much the same way.It's especially egregious when both try to draw LGBT parallels since both Mutants and Vampires actually are dangerous.

Dalisclock:

trunkage:
Xmen Apocalypse

Look... Not a bad movie. Not a good one either. There are way too many characters and should have probably been brought up one by one like the MCU.

How are humans now not going to kill every mutant on sight? Even if some helped, just one loose mutant can destroy the planet.

I remember watching X-Men 2 years ago and at one point storm destroys a couple US government fighter jets using a tornado or something. The first thing that came to mind is "So you just destroyed US government property and attacked the US military. Exactly how does the government not have a case for rolling up to the Mutant school and trying to shut it down/arresting everyone for possible treason?"

I don't remember everything around it but the fact that mutants in the series routinely put lots of people in danger(often intentionally) makes it really hard to buy the "Unjustly Persecuted" angle it keeps trying to push. The new films might be worse, since like a handful of mutants nearly started WW3 expressly for the point of creating more mutants(and killing all the normies) and Future Past invovled Magneto Trashing half of DC trying to kill the President.

True Blood tried to do the same thing with Vampires it and felt much the same way.It's especially egregious when both try to draw LGBT parallels since both Mutants and Vampires actually are dangerous.

I'm currently watching Gifted, holy crap is that the same problem. Yep, innocent mutant get rolled up in these witch hunts against them but they're killing heaps of people and the consequence is placed onto the innocent

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (9/10)

ITSV (calling it that for short) is, as of this time of writing, the best Spider-Man film I've ever seen, and the best film I've seen all year. Of those two statements, the first is pretty definitive. The second is reasonably definitive as well, in that it's not thematically deep or anything, but by god is it fun. Like, really, really, REALLY fun. Also helps that the character and plot has meat to it, and the film's amazing to look at as well.

Because of this, I'm actually going to start by listing the film's shortcomings, after which you can assume that everything else is awesome. So, let's get to that:

-Of all the "Spider-People" we have in this film, they're not developed equally. Like, if we're using a tier system, Miles is tier 1 - he's the main protagonist, he gets the most significant arc, and most events are seen from his POV. Peter and Gwen are tier 2, in that while they're supporting characters, they do get significant characterization and to an extent, character development. That leaves us with Peni Parker, Spider-Ham, and Spider-Man Noir, who are all tier 3. They're there, they get the briefest of introductions and backstories, but they're far more incidental to the actual plot. They add to the film, sure, but it appears that not all Spider-People are equal. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as trying to develop all the characters equally could have sunk the film, but it is noticable that some of the characters get far more development than others.

-While the animation is pretty good, it can be inconsistant at times. For instance, when Miles is bitten, a clever thing happens and the film shifts to be more like a comic book, using speech bubbles or using multiple frames. However, this isn't a total shift, and it doesn't happen all the time. Not that it should have happened all the time, but again, it's noticable. Also, some of the characters (intentionally) don't look like they belong in the same world; the tier 3 characters are most notable in this case. While this isn't an issue when they're on their own or in fight scenes, when all of the characters are together, it's noticable, and not in a good way. Like, your eyes are trying to adjust to the different styles of animation in front of you, and it takes you out of the movie. Also, with the particle accelerator sequences, thins can get a bit too trippy for its own good.

-The film sometimes forces in action or humour. As in, at times, it feels that the slow, somber moments aren't given enough time to 'breathe.' This doesn't happen too often, but it does happen.

Still, all of these are nitpicks. At this point, I could say that everything else is awesome (which it is) and you should go see it (which you should), but I'll just give some general thoughts on the film in certain areas.

-The action is great - it's the best of any Spider-Man movie there is. Animation's always had the advantage over live-action in action sequences IMO, least when the action relies on lots of movement. And, yeah. Action scenes are great. 'Nuff said

-Characters are great also. I mentioned the idea of character tiers earlier, so let's go through them. Miles is an engaging character. I can't comment on how accurate he is to the comics, but here, while he's got some similarities with Peter, he feels distinct in his own right - he has a different family dynamic. He has different interests (Peter's more into science, Miles is more into art). It's striking that he doesn't get his own suit until about 90% of the way through the film, and everything up to that point is him getting used to his powers. He's the main character of the movie, and an engaging one at that, and in many ways, the relationship between him and his father is the heart of it.

-Of the tier 2 characters, they also benefit from this. Peter has his arc, along with touching character moments, such as when he meets the Aunt May of Miles's universe (his own being dead), or the MJ of this universe (having divorced her in his universe). He's exactly what the trailers sell him as - an older, jaded Spider-Man. If you're guessing that his arc revolves around him acting as a mentor to Miles and basically rediscovering himself as a hero, you'd be right, but the film is paced so well that the transition is subtle and barely noticable. There's no single moment for Peter, his transition happens over time, and...well, when we first see him he's basically a bum who just wants to get back to his own universe. By the end of it, he's slid into a natural leader for the group. As for Gwen, it's dubious as to whether she gets an arc or not - part of her backstory is that due to the death of her universe's Peter, she shut herself off from those around her, but if that's the case, we don't really see that in the film itself. Still, it could be argued that she's simply broken out of her shell by the end of it. There's also hints of a 'thing' between her and Miles (though it's up to interpretation, and it's dubious whether that counts as an arc or character development), but, yeah. If Gwen has an arc, it's less pronounced than Peter's or Miles, but regadless, she's still a fun character to have around. Same as Peni, Spider-Ham, and Noir, even if they get far less screentime and development. And while a minor note, the non-hero characters are also good - Aunt May for instance doesn't get much screentime, but in the context of the scenes she's in, she leaves an impact.

-Concerning the villains, I've seen a few reviewers complaining about Kingpin concerning lack of development and I don't really get why. I mean, okay, he's not the deepest character in the world, but his motivations go beyond "I wanna get rick" or whatnot, and thematically, they tie in with the character arcs of the protagonists. There's also a major secondary villain that I won't spoil (as said villain hasn't appeared in any of the trailers), but suffice to say, this villain is also fun to have on, if only because the fights are rad.

You may have noticed a theme with the character stuff that the arcs the characters are undergoing (e.g. Miles and Peter) aren't exactly new or unique. Still, the movie flows so well, and they're done subtlely enough that it isn't really an issue.

So, yeah. Spectacular movie. Pun possibly intended.

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