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Spider-Man Homecoming Review (2017) | Importance of Being Ready

Spider-Man Homecoming portrays a very realistic view of how our friendly neighborhood Spiderman should be like. He is vulnerable because he is just a kid. He is trying to make his mark to be recognized as one of the big ones (Avengers) and yet he has so much to learn. Spider-Man Homecoming is like that realization of Spiderman about himself, his powers, his capabilities and his limitations. He faces danger head on and narrowly escapes death so many times, that it has him doubting his abilities. And it’s a good thing for his character that’s trying to become something huge.

For those who have already watched Captain America: Civil War movie they know how effortless he had made it all seem in the flick. It was almost like Spidey could beat anyone any day. And that’s probably what he was thinking too. He became smug, too confident of his powers, and in that desperation started to get ahead of himself. To be given an opportunity to tag shoulders against the elite that was really something, but to consider yourself worthy of a seat alongside, now that was too much for a teen to ask.

The movie is all about a kid trying to prove himself that he is something more, and that he be considered for future missions since he could handle it. But he faces one of the most challenging villains in the form of Vulture (Michael Keaton) who makes him believe that he isn’t yet ready for it. That forms the real basis of the tale of Spider-Man Homecoming.

Direction of Spider-Man Homecoming

The direction of Jon Watts is pretty cool and is on the lines of all Marvel movies. It is subtle at many occasions, cuts in at just the right time to keep the story chugging forward. The best part is that unlike The Amazing Spider-Man series it doesn’t rush into anything. It shows us just one rad villain, letting us retain as much focus as we want. Jon Watts lets us connect all the dots with the Avengers and Civil War so as to let us know that Spidey era was all along happening alongside. He chooses to show some of the bits cleverly using Spidey’s very own personal camera. It is very satisfying to watch.

The screenplay is brilliantly penned and there is humour almost at every corner. Jon makes sure you thoroughly enjoy the flick and all of its other aspects. He ropes in a fun character Ned (Jacob Batalon) as a sidekick making the Spidey story very much relatable.

Tom Holland as Spidey

Tom Holland absolutely nails Spiderman. People might have come to know him when he bagged his first Spidey project, but I remember him playing the kid in The Impossible. And he played his part so convincingly that I knew he was going to climb the ladder to success real quick. And lo, he is already at the peak of his career at such a young age.

still from Spider-Man Homecoming movie

His acting prowess is a delight to watch. He puts the word “amazing” in the Spider-Man owing to his perfect size, a mouthy mouth and a perfect physique. Holland is also brimming with emotions and you can see them ooze out whenever something huge is about to go down. He is a wonderful actor and has a bright career ahead. There’s not a morsel of doubt there.

Michael Keaton as Vulture (Spoilers Ahead)

It was a great decision to cast Michael Keaton as the infamous villain Vulture. He proves himself really worthy in those bird shoes yet again. He is a great actor who makes every act really convincing to watch. His character’s introduction is done pretty smartly. We are shown that he is a circumstantial bad guy. His operation is cut off when Stark’s DODC shows up at his gates taking away his job leaving him in a huge debt. He ends up selling Chitauri technology to create weapons of mass destruction and selling them on the black market to earn a livelihood. Eight years later we see him reeking of villainy as the badass Vulture.

Marvel is fond of stories that poke a finger at the politics and the government that create villains out of simple men. It is a beautiful satire that leaves us wondering on how a huge disaster could have been avoided in the first place. Also, it is a slap in the face of all those high-seated personnel who create monsters out of men. It only compels us to be more considerate and humane towards each other.

In the end, we see him protecting Spiderman’s true identity that shows us that the good still pervades in him.

If I knew who he was, he’d already be dead.

The Iron Man Angle

There is just the right amount of Iron Man in Spider-Man Homecoming to make you understand the importance of responsibility and why Iron Man thinks that it is crucial for Peter Parker to complete his education. He drops in more than once to save his ass, and teaches him life’s valuable lessons by being a fatherly figure.

If you are nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.

Even though Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) doesn’t act like one he is an idol to Peter. Peter looks up to him a lot. Even though nobody says it loud and clear, “with great power comes great responsibility” it is flung around in situational plots. A job beautifully performed by the writers.

still of tony stark and peter parker in spiderman homecoming

Eventually, when Tony is immensely impressed by Peter for capturing Vulture single-handedly, he wishes to introduce him as an Avenger. But Peter turns him down realizing that he isn’t ready yet. And we see it throughout the movie on how many times he screws up.

There are tons of times he narrowly escapes death. He even skips ahead on his Suit lessons and ends up paying the price. It is this realization that makes him understand the importance of “one step at a time”. It is overwhelming for any man to directly skip to the final lesson because he wouldn’t be prepared for surprises. And no one has succeeded ever by going unprepared.

Spidey finally understands why it is important for him to be “ready”, and focus on his studies to take baby steps into the men’s world.

You can order Spider-Man: Homecoming from here:

The Million Dollar Debate

If you would notice closely you would realize Spider-Man got his ass kicked throughout the movie. There was hardly a time when he didn’t screw up. Now that’s a weird idea for a superhero even though how sick his moves were or how cool he appeared in action, it complements the story beautifully. Besides, it was never about him being dope and not making mistakes, the movie was entirely about him making mistakes. So that he understands the value of being truly “ready”.

Nevertheless, we see the villain kicking his ass too much throughout. The final fight leaves you with a sour taste because it ends so quickly, too quickly for a boss fight. Also, figuring out his true identity wasn’t at all tough for Vulture which kind of poses a question why it is hard for people to figure out Superman‘s true identity even though the bloke just wears specs.

The way the movie ends opens a jar of villains waiting to be unleashed at the poor lad. The topmost contender is Mac Gargan. Let’s wait and watch!

The Final Verdict

Spider-Man Homecoming is brilliantly written and directed. Tom Holland simply takes it to a whole new level. With MCU trying to spin related webs to keep all the dots connected, watching this flick becomes even more exciting. With him signing 6 MCU movies the future of Spidey looks all the very more bright. Can’t wait to watch more of him.

Check out the trailer of Spider-Man: Homecoming here:

The Lost City of Z Movie Review (2016) | The Pursuit of a Dream

The Lost City of Z movie is a beautiful dramatic biopic of an explorer churned between his family, war and his dream to find an ancient lost city in the Amazon. It might have been a failed expedition in actuality but it never was any less than an intense elusive dream of Col. Percival Fawcett who never for a second doubted his resolve, and more importantly never gave up. He spent his whole life visiting and revisiting Amazon with a dogged persistence to discover what he had accidentally come across – remnants of a lost civilization.

In order to truly understand the obsession of Fawcett with the jungle, you have to first try to get into his boots. You have to understand the import of being an explorer. You have to think like one. Back in the days when there were territories yet to be explored, uncharted regions on the map yet to be mapped, finding a city or archaeological evidence used to be huge. Today it might not seem much since man has scathed every corner of the earth, and there is all this technology around waiting for us to get things done. There’s Google now! But at a time when Fawcett breathed in, there wasn’t much to support him in his manual scavenge.

Uncharted Land

The biggest truth of visiting a new place is that you are absolutely unsure of what is going to happen, or what perils you might face. That too if you are barging into a place where people do not speak your language and consider your cultural and physical differences as a sign of intrusion, it is hard as hell to find your place. There’s a scene in the The Lost City of Z movie where Fawcett and his crew are trying to explore Amazon, and end up being attacked by a tribe for trespassing. You could only imagine how difficult it is to wade through such live dangers.

To look for what is beautiful is its own reward.

Fawcett was a brave man. His obsession was a result of an unfulfilled desire. Having come so close to finding a city that he had seen proofs of existence about, it started taking its toll on him. He ended up dedicating his whole life in search of the unexplored and disappeared into the unknown with his son. He had a purpose hidden for him in the forest and if you ask me it was a life well-lived, in search of something, because half of the time we are hesitantly rambling on without a fixed purpose, and many times it turns out there is nothing really we are looking for.

About the Plot of The Lost City of Z Movie (Spoilers)

The Lost City of Z movie takes its montage from the real life of Percy Fawcett (played exceptionally well by Charlie Hunnam) as researched and written by David Grann in his book. It is a story about Fawcett’s life of the times he went out for exploration leaving his wife to take care of the children, of his newly found obsession with a supposed city in the forest, his confrontations with the Indians on his way, and then with his family on numerous occasions, his reconciliation with his son and then his final voyage into the unknown.

James Gray directs the movie beautifully capturing every minutia of his life giving apt focus to everything precarious in his sojourn. His best frames linger even during fuming conversations between Percy and his wife Nina (Sienna Miller), as she tries to find herself some time with her husband. The screenplay is absolutely brilliant and his further embellished by the poems Nina writes for her husband. They are all very powerful and insightful.

Colossal Sacrifices

The sacrifices Nina make just so that her husband Percy could go out and pursue his dream are worth an ovation. It is no simple feat and she should be remembered and honored for her patience and sacrifice the way the world today remembers Percy Fawcett for his city of Z.

Don’t go. He (Jack) will not know you when you return.

There are some powerful and dramatic bits lodged in conversations between Percy and his son Jack (Tom Holland) too. James Gray doesn’t compromise anywhere while narrating this tale keeping everything at the same pace throughout. There is ample drama for any drama lover in The Lost City of Z movie to take the monotony away.

RGS Meetings

There was a meeting with Royal Geographical Society where Percy tries to convince them of the existence of a lost city. That part is brimming with energy, as it lets us know what RGS is all about. It is apparent that RGS is a body that creates some of the best meetings ever. The RGS is abounding with allegations then and there, support whenever or whoever deems it necessary, and it could come from even a single person and be backed on the grounds of impactful points. It almost makes you feel why can’t every meeting in the world be as dynamic as RGS’s. It will open playgrounds of innovation. Exceptional stuff!

Their civilization may well predate our own. I call it Z. The ultimate piece of human puzzle. It is there and we must find it.

Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson) the explorer, is a pleasant company to have around. Fawcett trusts him beyond limit, and he proves so on so many occasions. But when his final expedition comes along, Costin decides to stay at home. It was a matter of personal choice, and despite there was a madding sense of discovery in Percy Fawcett’s head, Costin wasn’t as enthusiastic given the failures they had met in the past. Then again your mind wanders as to what if Costin had said yes to the final journey. Maybe something different might have happened with his presence, or maybe he would have disappeared too.

James Murray

Expeditions and Explorations always have someone to slow the zealous down. It holds true even in our life. If you are burning with fervour for something, and you are trying to shoot for the moon, there will always be something or someone trying to slow you down or make sure you don’t get there. James Murray was one such element in his story. He single-handedly destroyed an expedition that could have unfolded into something tangible. He was dead weight they were carrying around for the sake of humanity. It infuriates you to see him trying to bring everyone down.

The anger and the frustration you could read on Percy’s face is undoubtedly obvious. And yet he does the right thing by sending him off to survive on his own, so as to not jeopardize the welfare of his crew. But Murray played convincingly well by Angus Macfadyen, being the serpent he was, stings him in return after reuniting with RGS. With Percy refusing to apologize to him and quitting RGS in the process, you could smell justice being served on a silver platter.

You can order The Lost City of Z movie from here:

James Gray’s Version of the Ending

Percy and Jack never returned from their final expedition in the Amazon. Whilst there are hundreds of speculations about the fate they might have encountered, we have our very own James Gray’s version of the ending. While it is a hopeful end to slyly show them being held captive by a tribe that offers them something to drink, after which they are shown being lifted towards some hazy place, it would break your heart to think about the reality. Their end could have been much more painful or maybe they were held captive and never allowed to leave for the intrusion. It only disheartens you to think what could have happened to the father-son duo.

It is as if Fawcett’s life’s a book that doesn’t pan out in a happy ending. But the paragon of hopeful perseverance stays Percy’s wife Nina, who spends the rest of her life waiting, never for once giving up the idea of them being okay. We get to see her trying her level best to make Sir John Scott Keltie (Clive Francis) understand that her husband and son are alright. She even presents him with a compass Fawcett had promised to send if he found the city. It is suggestive that he did.

The final scene shows her reflection disappearing into the woods which is one stunning way of using the figurative to tell the spectators that her thoughts forever stayed with the jungle. And that later she went on an expedition of her own to search for her husband and her son. She spent the rest of her life in the forest with undying hope. That’s one of the most crushing things you will see. Her hopeful words in the end will rend your heart into pieces.

All the Bitterness

One might say it was foolish of him to go and to take his son along with him on his insane expedition. It was beyond stupidity to follow a dead dream that could have been a mere dud or a product of simply overthinking. But you have to understand the vision Percy Fawcett carried throughout his life. It was a taste of fame and the thought of acquiring something elusive and holding it between his hands. It was also a tad about resuscitating his family name.

still of Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett in The Lost City of Z movie

Even when he is in the midst of a war, and he is defamed to have failed twice in his attempt to find his lost city of Z, all he could think about was being surrounded by trees, surviving in the lap of nature. The vision that he sees of himself, in an image to settle his unrest, is literally calling him out to step out into the Amazon once again. It is as if the mysteries of the unknown beckoned him to pursue the one thing that he enjoyed doing the most.

I am here to attempt great things.

It was dangerous nevertheless, and with their final fate, it becomes almost indispensable to not let go of the bitter thought. But when you wear the shoes of Fawcett and try to relive his verve for exploration, you will realize that sitting and doing nothing about it would have hurt more.

The Final Verdict

Percy Fawecett’s life was a life spent in pursuit of something elusive, which could have been a dud shot, as many would argue, but it was more than that for the man himself. A guy with a dream, a purpose and an expectant gusto to get there.

Isn’t that the way everyone should live?

The Lost City of Z movie is capable of bringing clouds of thoughts over your head. After watching it, you can’t help but speculate about the ending the Fawcetts might have met. It takes your heart towards the family he left at home that sometimes failed to understand the vision of an obsessive man. It is so sad and at the same time so powerful that any sane man could melt.

The Lost City of Z movie makes you conjecture theories to satiate the tale of the lost men. At the same time, it makes you want to reflect his fixation with your very own dream, and whether or not it would be a good idea to spend a life trying or simply sit at home and do nothing about.

BTW Charlie Hunnam is on a roll, always in the news – a wink at King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

You can check out the trailer of The Lost City of Z movie here:

In the Heart of the Sea Review (2015)

“My soul is dead.”

A poetic and arresting take on one of the deadliest fictional water beasts.

Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea is an entirely different take on Moby Dick, a different vantage that pays tribute to the most beloved tales of all times. The plot begins with Herman Melville played by a bearded Ben Whishaw visiting Nickerson, a survivor of the Whaleship Essex that went down owing to a tragedy that befell the entire crew when they encountered a gigantic sperm whale. Melville is bent on squeezing out the horror from Nickerson’s eyes into his leaflets because he believes it to be one of the greatest stories he has ever come across.

Philbrick’s perspective is exceptional. Ron Howard cashes in on it just fine. He follows the tale with eye threatening close ups and water-shots to jackhammer the dread quotient. Wonderful whale shots have been captured. Essex-sailing, the squall, whale-hunting have been depicted splendidly. It was a joy to watch the beast breathe alive for the first time in the sea. The size of that thing! The satellite shot ensured the audience scaled it amidst puny boats.

The better part of the movie runs in a diegesis which has been brilliantly written. The score often moves around the soothing notes of a viola that makes the flick a heartwarming watch. Whales have been subtly shown, never given a proper focus, reflecting – just like you would be bewitched by its swiftness in real life. The beast is a beauty! Tiniest of details on its flank have been manifested subtly. Then there is that badass tail. Watch that beauty surge!

What In the Heart of the Sea fails to milk is the “Chase-Pollard” rivalry. It had no Rush charm to it. Coffin’s role too seemed like a cameo which could have possibly unfurled into a possible brilliant feud. The young Nickerson played by Tom Holland was simply an eye in a tale. His character adds little value to an ongoing stream. Tom is an outstanding actor however he gets lost under the doldrums of their unfortunate tragedy, and often gets overshadowed by the movie’s protagonists. Matthew Joy’s character seemed like a crucial build; however Murphy wasn’t allowed to show off his acting prowess. Flick’s editing made sure of that.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

One of the hardest choices Chase has to make when he finally gets a clean shot on the whale and he chooses not to take it. Whilst the writer leaves that bit for viewer interpretation, it is quite poetic if you really look at it. Chase was convinced they were flung into the jaws of chaos owing to the job they did. He throws the idea to Pollard in one of the finest conversations they had in the entire movie. He starts to believe everything they went through was because they were hunting and killing whales for profit. He takes the sperm whale to be an eye-opener.

He looks it in the eye and whilst the world wonders why he doesn’t budge, he silently lets the beast go thus saving his crew from another mishap. All those segments have been beautifully depicted by Ron. It is really hard to show such bits via a movie but he nails it anyhow.

Also the survival tale reeks of an emotional trauma when the crew resorts to cannibalism. It hasn’t been depicted but the words and the diegetic tone are enough to give you an idea. It is a terrible thing to have happened. Howard ensures he keeps things subtle whilst touching such a delicate topic.

Charles Leavitt’s screenplay is downright gorgeous. There isn’t a moment you don’t marvel at his beautiful words. They are drenched in literary awesomeness. There are so many points wherein I felt my ears tingle with powerful words.

I would highly recommend this movie to everyone. It is a beautiful tribute to Herman Melville and his super-rad legendary creation Moby Dick.