Film, Marvel

Review: Spider-Man Far From Home

The sequel to the 2017 film Spider-Man Homecoming acts as a soft jump into the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe. It ties up any loose ends left by Avengers: Endgame, and provides what is almost an antidote to the heartache caused by it.

This film sees Peter Parker (Tom Holland) take a school trip around Europe in which his only mission is to tell MJ (Zendaya) how he feels, but this is a superhero film, not a teen rom-com so as you can probably imagine, things don’t go his way.

If you have lived on another planet, and by some chance still haven’t seen Endgame, I would probably stop reading, and head to a cinema as soon as possible, because everything from here on out will ruin that for you. Do not fear though, there will be no Far From Home spoilers here.

With Iron Man gone, questions are rising about the Avengers and who will take the lead, with much of the speculation falling upon Spider-Man. Whilst Peter Parker is certainly smart enough, it is his own self confidence that leads him to believe otherwise, all he wants is to take a break and travel Europe.
The film gives further insight to what happened during Thanos’s Snap which is now referred to as ‘The Blip’, and gives some comical explanations as to the goings on around it.

But there is only so long that Far From Home can dwell on the previous films before needing to set out its own plot. The film sees the introduction of Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a character that is filled with immense power and many surprises, serving as an awkward bro for Spider-Man and a new father figure, almost.

The film relies heavily on CGI but is visually stunning, and brings a very perplexing Marvel comic book character to life without breaking a sweat. Through most of the movie the laughs fall on Parker stumbling through Europe, making awkward chat with MJ and abandoning his superhero responsibilities , but by the end of the film it is impossible not to empathise with him!

Far From Home isn’t a perfect film, but it achieves heights that Homecoming couldn’t have even dreamed of. The conflict of the film is slow starting, bogged down in the transition from the trauma of what came before, but the visuals certainly make up for that.

There are two post credit scenes which give a exciting insight into the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe, and of course what is next for Peter Parker in his role as Spider-Man.

Have you seen Spider-Man: Far From Home yet? What are your thoughts?

Amy xo

Disney, Film

Review: Toy Story 4

It has been almost 25 years since the first Toy Story release, and beloved characters Woody and Buzz were introduced, and the fourth instalment of the franchise sees them cross paths with a scary, and very unloved doll, as well as a very loveable piece of trash.

The majority of Toy Story 4 is great, ish. It’s animation is next level, something the Toy Story franchise has always been known for. The film is filled with jokes that have not only the children but the adults laughing along too, and of course, this is a Pixar film, so there is always something that will hit you right in the feels. This movie is exactly what you would expect.

Toy Story 3 seemed to give the franchise the perfect, rounded ending, but you should never expect anything to be over in sequel-happy Hollywood.

This film sees the addition of several new characters, and a proper introduction of some that were barely introduced in the third film. Forky (Tony Hale), is a fantastic and hilarious addition to the gang, and serves well as a tool for teaching children to discover who they really are, and their purpose. Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), Giggle McDimples and the Combat Carls (Carl Weathers) also make great additions to the film, adding to both the story, and humour. Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele) take the jokes to another level, but be fooled by their fluffy exterior.
It is Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and the Vincent Dummies (Steve Purcell) that add a truly creepy element to the story. Not only are they terrifying, they want to harm precious Woody, but it is for good reason.

Whilst the addition of these new characters helps along the plot, and adds new humour, it does mean that old favourites such as Slinky Dog, Hamm and even Jessie take a back seat.

For many, Toy Story is a franchise that they have grown up with, with the main character Andy, going though similar situations in his own life at the same time as those watching the films, giving even more meaning to each of them, and hitting everyone in the feels. It is believed that the toys being passed on to toddler Bonnie at the end of film three is the passing on of the franchise to a new generation, and after watching the Toy Story 4, it is easy to see why.

Whilst this is a great film, that pushes the boundaries of animation once again, it takes a perfect ending, and opens it right back up. With that being said, it is still heartwarming, funny, and everything you would expect from Pixar. Take tissues!

Have you been to see the film yet? What did you think? Do you agree or have I completely missed the mark?

Amy xo

Film

Review: Live-Action Aladdin

This live-action remake of the 1992 hit, Aladdin is a hit, filled with flamboyant musical numbers, and lively performances. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film had a lot of people nervous. Particularly as some of Ritchie’s previous films have lacked the awe required to leave an audience feeling fulfilled. However, Aladdin is filled with clever special effects, some political debate and enough pizzaz to certainly wet the audiences appetite.

The iconic role of the Genie is played by Will Smith, another element that had fans of the animated role worried, but Smith takes the role with a cocky bravado, and many wisecracks, making the role lovable and truly his own. There are definitely some nods to Smith’s previous role as The Fresh Prince, which is a subtle nod to the 90’s, and keeps the sassy nature of the Genie without cloning Robin Williams’ take on the character.
Aladdin (Mena Massoud) is first introduced whilst picking pockets, and Massoud manages to capture his cheeky personality perfectly, whilst also adding depth and a likeability that is difficult to explain. Naomi Scott stuns throughout in her role as Princess Jasmine, again there is a depth added to the Princess that was difficult to depict in the animated character, and certainly a new air of power to her words. The terrifying Jafar, is brought to life by Marwan Kenzari, and he does not disappoint. There is just the right amount of sneering and scheming, topped with more than a touch cunning malevolence.

Whilst the live-action does feature songs from the original film, such as ‘Prince Ali’, ‘Friend Like Me’ and of course ‘A Whole New World’, it doe put its own revamped spin on the classic tracks. There are also some new tracks, and ‘Speechless’ sang by the Princess herself is musically stunning.
Whilst this is a musical, there are at times, moments where the music simply slows down the telling of the story, particularly ‘Speechless’. It comes in at a key scene, and whilst it gives Scott a chance to display her incredible vocal ability, add to the determination of her character and dedicate a moment to the political elements of the film, it completely stops the flow of the film, and makes the scene confusing.
The iconic ‘A Whole New World’ felt lacking in the Disney magic that flowed through the original, and the same can be said for ‘One Jump Ahead’, but, they were still enjoyable.

Aladdin had the potential, and for many was expected to be, a cynical repackaging of a Disney classic, but it is actually a joyful ride. It is certainly a nice was to introduce the classic to a new generation of Disney fans, or a lovely way to revisit an old favourite.

Overall, this live-action Aladdin deserves 4 stars. It was fun, enjoyable and a fantastic visual but just didn’t capture the magic of the original.

What are your thoughts? Did you love it, or is this review too kind?

Amy xo