We certainly didn’t need another reboot of this franchise, but we got one anyway, and as it turns out…it’s pretty good. In contrast to the dark and brooding Marc Webb entries, Homecoming keeps things refreshingly lighthearted. Tom Holland plays a different kind of Spiderman; he’s naïve, innocent, earnest, vivacious, enthusiastic, slightly obnoxious, and lovable. In other words, he’s a teenager—one who has as much trouble finding a date for the school dance as he does fighting bad guys.
It’s the levity that really makes this movie work. It’s packed with jokes, and makes fun of itself at every turn—making for a Spiderman movie that feels at least somewhat-grounded in reality. Naturally, the film is littered with over-the-top action set pieces. They succeed at quickening the pulse, but fail to leave a lasting impression. Thankfully, the movie is largely concerned with what young Peter is doing when he’s not fighting.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing new to see here, but it’s a pretty entertaining 2 hours. I’m even excited for the next installment, and for someone who’s got a serious case of superhero fatigue, that’s saying something.
Verdict: 3 out of 4 stars
This Sundance hit stars Kumail Nanjiani as a Pakistan-born aspiring comedian who begins dating an American grad student. His family is pressuring him to have an arranged marriage, so he breaks up with his girlfriend. She soon falls into a coma, and he has to navigate this medical crisis alongside of her parents, who are played by a wonderfully hilarious Ray Romano and Holly Hunter.
It’s a premise that’s so unique and specific that it feels like it must be true…and it is. Kumail and his now-wife wrote the film based on their own incredible courtship.
"The Big Sick" is incredibly honest and empathetic, and is particularly insightful about cultural and generational disconnect. But, this is in many ways, a traditional romantic comedy, one that actually is really romantic and funny.
This is a warm, generous, joyous movie that will have you laughing as you wipe away tears. It’s a total crowd-pleaser, and one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen in a very long time.
Verdict: 3.5 out of 4 stars
Produced and distributed by Netflix, Okja is a fable about a young girl trying to stop a powerful multi-national corporation from abducting her best friend, a super-pig named Okja. This is the latest film from Bong-Joon Ho, the visionary director of The Host and Snowpiercer. The South Korean director is known for mixing different genres, and here, he’s at his most playful. Okja is at once a socially conscious tale of globalism and corporate greed, and a sweet and enchanting children’s fantasy-adventure. Think Pete’s Dragon but with dark comedy, startling violence, and a political bent. It’s precisely this mixture of tones and styles that makes Okja so refreshingly enjoyable.
Eventually, it becomes clear that Ho isn’t fully equipped to tackle this tonal juggling act. But, even if his eyes are bigger than his stomach, much of what he’s created feels totally unique in a film era where original ideas are in short supply.
Recommendations for movies to watch on Netflix and Amazon in July.