There is a lot to cheer for in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

Tom Holland in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming”

“Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option” – Tobey Maguire as “Peter Parker” in 2002’s Spider-Man

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What are those numbers?  They are the ages that Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and now Tom Holland were when they first portrayed “Peter Parker/Spider-Man” on the big screen.  It is one of several reasons why Spider-Man: Homecoming is so good.  Hollywood continues to insist on casting actors long past their teen years to play characters of high school age.  Remember a 33 year old Stockard Channing in 1978’s Grease?

But in choosing Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), director Jon Watts (and producers Kevin Fighe and Amy Pascal) made it much easier to believe that “Peter Parker” is indeed the awkward teen trying to adjust to being endowed with incredible superpowers.  It adds an element that was missing from the two prior translations of the comic-book hero to the big screen.

Read moreThere is a lot to cheer for in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

‘Iron Man 3’ proves the third time is a charm

"Tony Stark" (Robert Downey Jr) tinkers with his Iron Man suit in "Iron Man 3"
“Tony Stark” (Robert Downey Jr) tinkers with his Iron Man suit in “Iron Man 3”

[rating = 4]Starring:  Robert Downey Jr., Gwynneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, Stephanie Szostak, William Sadler, Paul Bettany, Ty Simpkins and Miguel Ferrer
Writer(s):  Shane Black and Drew Pearce, based on the Marvel Comic Book
Director(s):  Shane Black

In bowling, throwing a strike usually means you hit the target perfectly.  Three straight shots where you hit that target perfectly and make strikes is known as a “turkey”.  Iron Man 3 is certainly NOT a turkey, but it is the third straight film in the franchise that hits the target, perfectly.

Read more‘Iron Man 3’ proves the third time is a charm

‘The Avengers’ is a work of superhero beauty

Scarlett Johansson in 'The Avengers'
Scarlett Johansson in ‘The Avengers’

[rating=4]Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson
Director(s): Joss Whedon
Writer(s): Screenplay by Joss Whedon; Story by Josh Whedon and Zak Penn

There are six certifiable heroes, each worthy of a feature film, each played by a superstar actor capable of carrying a feature film.

But there is no “I” in team. And there is no “I” in Marvel’s The Avengers, either.

Read more‘The Avengers’ is a work of superhero beauty

‘Iron Man’ gets the job done with thrills and fun

[rating=3]Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb
Director(s): Jon Favreau
Writer(s): Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway

Robert Downey Jr. is 'Iron Man'
Robert Downey Jr. is ‘Iron Man’

Kicking off a movie season that just keeps getting earlier, Iron Man rocks and roars into summer as the latest Marvel comic book film to score big at the box office. Former Oscar nominee Robert Downey, Jr. stages a blazing comeback as Tony Stark, bad boy weapons expert turned hero, by donning a mechanical super suit that’s powered by the world’s classiest pacemaker. The suit is Downey’s most constant costar throughout the film as Iron Man flits back and forth between close-ups of Downey and then of the suit flexing and flying, thus ensuring maximum audience drooling.

Read more‘Iron Man’ gets the job done with thrills and fun