Tuesday, July 9, 2019

"Spider-Man: Far From Home" is a Triumph, a Must See!

Spider-Man: Far From Home arrived in theaters last week facing impossible expectations. In story continuity, it directly follows Avengers: Endgame, released just a few months ago to record-breaking box office success. In terms of Spider-Man stories, it follows the visually and narratively dazzling Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which is still possibly the most ambitious Spider story to ever hit the screen. And in terms of its own internal story continuity, it follows the thoroughly enjoyable Spider-Man: Homecoming, an admirably human film that followed up the big, world-spanning action of Captain America: Civil War by scaling down the action and taking a more personal focus on protagonist Peter Parker, aka the teenage hero Spider-Man. Marvel Entertainment has had a long series of triumphs lately, both in its main, Disney-produced Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and in the affiliated Spider-Man movies produced by Sony Pictures under a separate license. That sets the bar for Spider-Man: Far From Home almost embarrassingly high.

But the film clears that bar seemingly without effort. It’s an out-and-out triumph, an adrenaline blast of pure action and emotion that lives up to its predecessors and ably forwards the MCU story in memorable and even touching ways.

Far From Home — which Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed is the final film of the MCU’s “Phase Three,” an arc that started with Civil War in 2016 — takes up the story where Endgame left off, both addressing some of its story concerns and processing some of its big emotions. Tony Stark’s death is being felt worldwide, as spontaneous memorials spring up in the form of everything from stylized murals and urban shrines to cheesy YouTube “in memoriam” videos like the one that opens the film. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has been particularly hard-hit by his mentor’s death and by the feeling that he’s expected not only to carry on without him, but to live up to his legacy and even to replace him in some way. Though the film doesn’t heavily underline the point, he’s clearly processing a fair bit of trauma over what he went through in the Avengers movies. He’s ready to take a break from superhero life and be a teenager again for a little while.

But he’s walking back into a world that’s been radically changed by Thanos’ universe-dividing snap back in Avengers: Infinity War. Endgame restored the people Thanos snapped out of existence, but the world had to adapt to their abrupt reappearance after five years. Far From Home deals with the ramifications only in the briefest and most comedic way, but it’s clearly a backdrop for the world Peter reenters where some of the people in his high school have aged five years, while others are exactly as they were before “The Blip,” as the gap is now called. Fortunately for Peter, apparently, all of his nearest and dearest — including his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), his best bud Ned (Jacob Batalon), and his crush MJ (Zendaya) — were blipped away and are effectively unchanged since Homecoming. He has the chance to pick up where he left off, especially when his science class heads out on a European field trip where he hopes he’ll be able to spend personal time with MJ.

Unfortunately for his plans, there’s a new hero in the world: Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), an interdimensional traveler whose alternate Earth was destroyed by mysterious raging elementals. Those creatures are now showing up on Peter’s Earth, and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) wants him to help Quentin — immediately dubbed Mysterio by Peter’s classmates — fight them before they destroy everything. Much like in Homecoming, where Peter was torn between some approximation of a normal life and his perceived great responsibilities as a hero, in Far From Home, he keeps just wanting Quentin to handle the problem so he can get a little downtime with MJ. But that proves impractical for any number of reasons, including the fact that the elementals and his class trip keep clashing for increasingly hilarious reasons.

Anyone familiar with Spider-Man’s character gallery will have some idea of where this all goes, but they’ll have a harder time anticipating the sheer verve of the playful, thrilling way it plays out. Writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers (who previously teamed on Community, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and The Lego Batman Movie) draw directly on some ideas they brought out in Homecoming, particularly that Tony Stark, while a hero to the world, is still a flat-out villain in other people’s eyes. They draw cleverly on past MCU movies to build up their backstory in ways designed to have MCU fans roaring with recognition and open delight.

Paul Rudd is Boarding Jason Reitman’s "Ghostbusters"

Paul Rudd is in final talks to join Sony’s Ghostbusters. The Ant-Man star will reportedly play a teacher in a small town.

The film is a new chapter in the Ghostbusters universe written by Ivan Reitman and Gil Kenan. The story centers on a single mom and her children. Carrie Coon is in talks to play the mom. Finn Wolfhard is in talks to play her son. Mckenna Grace rounds out the family.

The sci-fi comedy's been a huge priority for the studio, where it’s been secretly developed using the codename “Rust City.” When Reitman was announced as director in January, a teaser trailer and release date were ready the next day.
Cameras rolls this season for an anticipated release next summer.

Henry Cavill To Play Sherlock Holmes In Legendary’s "Enola Holmes" Adaptation

Henry Cavill is set to take on the role of the iconic detective Sherlock Holmes in Legendary Entertainment’s film adaptation of Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes Mysteries novel series. Millie Bobby Brown is attached to star as the title character, while it was just announced that Helena Bonham Carter is set to play Enola’s mother.

Harry Bradbeer is on hand to direct the film from a screenplay by Wonder scribe Jack Thorne. Brown and Paige Brown will also produce under their PCMA Productions company along with Legendary.

Launching in 2006, the book series, which spans six novels, revolves around mysteries investigated by Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes’ much younger sister Enola, who proves to be a highly capable detective in her own right.

Alex Garcia and Ali Mendes will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Cavill, well known for portraying Clark Kent aka Superman in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League, will next be seen starring in The Witcher for Netflix.