Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The First Marvel-Made Spider-Man Film is a Swinging Success: Our Review of "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017)

Director: Jon Watts 

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey, Jr., Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green

Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments

Run Time: 2 hours, 13 minutes

Synopsis: Months after helping Tony Stark (Downey, Jr.) during the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker (Holland) is doing his best to balance his dual-life being a high school student and Spider-Man. In the process of trying to impress Stark in hopes of joining The Avengers full-time, Peter stumbles upon a gang - lead by Adrian Toomes (Keaton) - that's selling black-market weapons powered by Chitauri technology, and decides to take things into his own hands.


Andrew: Hello dear readers! In what may be a bit of surprise it turns out Two Tickets For... is not dead, it's just been dormant. We've been absolutely terrible at reviewing the movies we've been seeing and we'll try our best to get back to reviewing on at least a semi-regular basis. That's our goal, especially since 2017 is turning out to be a pretty good year for movies!

For now though we're back because we were fortunate enough to see an early screening of one of this summer's more highly-anticipated blockbusters - Marvel and Sony's Spider-Man: Homecoming!

Sarah: Yes we did! Spider-Man: Homecoming is the sixth and newest installment in Sony's on-going attempts to bring Spider-Man to the silver screen, but unlike Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy with Tobey Maguire or the two Amazing Spider-Man films starring Andrew Garfield, Spider-Man: Homecoming was produced by Marvel Studios!

A: Yes! Marvel worked out a deal with Sony where Marvel would actually control the creative process and make the film while Sony got to keep marketing and distribution rights. In the process Marvel gets to use Spider-Man in other Marvel Studios films and Sony gets to have some other Marvel characters appear in their Spider-Man films. A fair deal, if you ask me.

Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland (The Impossible) as Peter Parker, reprising his role from 2016's Captain America: Civil War. This new Spider-Man movie is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and includes appearances from some other MCU characters such as Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his bodyguard/chauffeur, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau). But this is a new Peter Parker, a younger version than Maguire or Garfield's...

S: Maybe not necessarily a younger version, because he's still in high school in the other movies, but Holland himself is younger.

A: Right, Holland was only 20 when they filmed Spider-Man: Homecoming as opposed to Maguire being 26 and Garfield being 28 when they first portrayed Peter Parker/Spider-Man, respectively. Though this film does state at one point that Peter is only 15 years old as opposed to being a high school senior like Maguire's version was at the beginning of 2002's Spider-Man

S: That's true.

A: Anyhow, this is a film I know I've been looking forward to because it was a Marvel production instead of a Sony one. Sarah, now that we've seen Spider-Man: Homecoming what did you think of it and how did you feel it fit into the MCU?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Two Tickets For... Predicts the 89th Academy Awards Winners!

Andrew: Hello dear readers! As you may know, the 89th Academy Awards are airing tonight on ABC. You may not know it from our lack of reviews the past year, but we DO still see a ton of movies and we've seen most of the Oscar nominees this season.

So that said, Sarah and I carved out a bit of time this afternoon to go through all of the categories and their nominees, picking who we think will win and who we think should win. For each category we'll list the nominees and then our picks. For some awards we'll write up little blurbs explaining our thought process. Let's see how well we do tonight!

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Machester by the Sea

Will Win - Sarah: La La Land   Andrew: La La Land
Should Win -  Sarah: Hell or High Water    Andrew: Hell or High Water

Thoughts: It's really  looking like La La Land will wind up running away from the majority of the awards tonight, and it's a fantastic movie no doubt. But Hell or High Water was the film we saw in 2016 that we thought was the best, period. Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges all give career-best (or near career-best) performances, you can cut the tension with a knife throughout the film, and it's a very acute look at the hardships many Americans deal with on a daily basis - with a cinematic approach to how two brothers decide to face their personal hardships. If we had votes they would go towards David Mackenzie & Taylor Sheridan's crime Western. But La La Land is obviously winning.

Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Will & Should Win - S: Damien Chazelle   A: Damien Chazelle

Thoughts: The only one of these five films we didn't see was Hacksaw Ridge, and any other year I think there might be a real fight to be had here, but La La Land should be such a steamroller that it'll be a big surprise if Chazelle doesn't walk away the winner. To be fair, 3 out of the last 4 Oscars have seen a Best Picture/Best Director split, but we're confident Chazelle's sharp eye and strong hand over the musical he's worked so long on will be awarded.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My How the Time (and Bullets) Fly: Our Review of "Underworld: Blood Wars" (2017)

Directed By: Anna Foerster 

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Charles Dance, Lara Pulver

Rated: R for strong bloody violence and some sexuality

Run Time: 91 minutes

Synopsis: Called back into action with the promise of clemency for her prior crimes, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) returns to her Coven to train a new army of vampires as they look to defend themselves from Marius (Tobias Menzeis), a dangerous and organized Lycan leader. Not all is as it seems however, forcing Selene and David (Theo James) to seek out a distant Coven in the hopes of surviving - and possibly ending - the long-running Vampire/Lycan war.


Andrew: Hello dear readers! Yes it's true, we are BACK with a review for the first time in a few months. Quite honestly we've been looking for an inspiration to get us back into our movie reviewing groove again. Then we started seeing commercials for Underworld: Blood Wars, the latest entry in the Kate Beckinsale-led Underworld franchise and we just knew we needed to review it. How could we not when the first FIRST review we did five years ago here on Two Tickets For... was for Underworld: Awakening?

And so we're back! Sarah, in general we actually quite enjoy the Underworld movies for what they are: stylish and ridiculous action films about the war between vampires and Lycans (the series' term for werewolves).

Now that we've seen Underworld: Blood Wars, what did you think of the latest entry in the series?

Sarah: Well it was definitely something! This new installation to the franchise was a little lacking for me. While we were sitting there I started to think that there was a lot of talking happening. They kept going back and explaining everything that has happened over the course of all the films. For some reason it just seemed like a lot of talking. When I go see the Underworld  movies I go for the action, not the deep intellectual stimulation. While there was some action, it just was lacking in comparison to the previous films. 

Am I being too critical? What did you think?