Rapid Review: Midnight Special (2016)

14

midnight-special-poster

“Sometimes we are asked to do things that are beyond us.”
– Doak

SYNOPSIS: A father and son go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child’s special powers. – via IMDB

midnight-special

GRADE 6.5Alright, so obviously this movie got a lot of hype. I have seen both other hyped films of Nichols (Take Shelter and Mud) and I was rather underwhelmed by both. Not because they are bad, but because they weren’t as good (for me) as they were for others. I didn’t think I was going to love this movie, and thought I would feel pretty similar to his others. I was right. It was okay, but totally overhyped. I liked the way they looked at a cult (not as in depth as I would have hoped, but I always find it fascinating). I thought that the reveals and the explanations were very slow, if ever they did make an appearance, which was rather annoying. Not because I need to be spoon fed a movie, but this was just a mess and all over the show. I also have major complaints about how dark the movie was at times. And no, I don’t mean content, I really mean the lighting. I hate not being able to see chunks of a film because of that. I thought that Joel Edgerton and Michael Shannon were, as to be expected, extremely good and the movie is well worth the watch for them alone. They really carried the whole film for me. I feel that the characters were flat and there was no character development in the movie, which did frustrate me quite a bit, too. It felt a bit hollow. The movie did look really good though, I have to say. Every time I hear about this movie, I think about the Creedence Clearwater Revival song. So does my husband, so I am not alone. Midnight Special is not a bad movie, and I know a hell of a lot of people that enjoyed it immensely, but I was not one of them. I thought it was alright, but not something I will be rewatching anytime soon.

Review: Spider-Man 3 (2007)

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Spider Man 3 Poster

“Never wound what you can’t kill.”
– Venom

Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is starting to relax a little bit. His life is going well, and he finally has the love of his life, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). However, his friendship with Harry Orborn (James Franco) is completely splintered, and there seems to be no end in sight. Harry has taken up the mantle of the new Green Goblin, still swearing to exact vengeance on Spider-Man for his father’s death, as well as knowing that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

Things start to turn soon, though. Harry hunts Peter down and attacks him as the New Goblin, but ultimately comes off second best in the fight, and is grievously injured. When he regains consciousness in the hospital, he has no recollection of the events that brought him there, and his short term memory has been wiped clean. Peter does not feel the need to enlighten him, either. Soon Mary Jane is fired from her theatre production, and Spider-Man saves Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) from a careening crane, and is awarded the Key to the City. As though things were not growing distant and difficult with Peter and Mary Jane, he kisses Gwen in the ultra-famous Spider-Man kiss. Mary Jane turns to Harry, who is starting to remember.

Spider-Man 3

The overly-friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man

Peter battles with a new photographer at the Daily Bugle, Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), who is intent on getting permanent office space from J Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons). To bear this prestige, one of them has to produce a photo of Spider-Man committing a crime. A meteoric black substance has made it to Earth and has its sights set on Peter. Mary Jane has had it with Peter, but is forced to make that call final when the New Goblin makes her a pawn in his war. Peter is crushed, and does not know what to do. When the black substance eventually attaches itself to Peter, he feels much better, and his conscious is clear, though he becomes a world class douche-bag. Dr Conners (Dylan Baker) warns Peter that the substance is a symbiote, and that it will need a host to bind to, and if it gets on to Peter, it will have its wish. This helps nothing, as it is already changing Peter, and he is pushing the people around him away. He is losing touch with is humanity and making a hell of a lot of enemies.

Emo Peter Spider Man 3

An Emo kid? Some hardcore symbiote that is…

All the while there is a new threat in town, Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), a.k.a. the Sandman. On the run from the police, he gets caught in a science project, in a particle accelerator. It changes his make-up, and he can become sand, weaving it and collapsing it. He uses this gift/curse for the negative, to rob and steal – but his intentions were initially pure. Captain Stacy (James Cromwell) drops a massive bomb in Peter’s and Aunt May’s (Rosemary Harris) laps about the night that Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) died.

Spider-Man 3 Venom

“I want him dead too, Flint.” – Venom

Peter is sought out by more than one villain, and Mary Jane is again a piece that they will use to bring him to his knees. Venom rises from the symbiote’s ashes the moment it finds the relevant host, and between the Sandman and Venom, Spider-Man has his hands full trying to protect the city, find himself and make amends. Will he be able to find himself, be free of the draw that the symbiote brings with its darkness and power, and will he ever be able to fix things between himself, Mary Jane and himself and Harry?

Well, a 4/10 for Spider-Man 3. This was really one terrible flick. I was extremely unimpressed, I will say that now. An emo Peter Parker? Puh-lease, not what we need. And his hair shifting like that and some dark eyeliner did not make him any more sexy or attractive, whatever he thought would come first. The effects also left a lot to be desired, and this has nothing to do with the film’s time. The two before it looked far better. Venom was also just lacking a lot, so that was that I suppose. Mary Jane just got on my nerves again (surprise surprise), and Topher Grace was just not working for this one. The French Maître d’ (Bruce Campbell) made me laugh a lot though, that was highly entertaining. This film had the distinct feeling that too much was trying to be squeezed into a single film, and I feel that there was not enough explanation and build up given for the majority of the events and how things happened. Definitely the worst Spider-Man of the trio by far.

Review: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

7

Spider-Man 2 Movie Poster 2004

“Now… let’s see who’s behind the mask.”
– Harry Osborn

Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is done with high school and knee deep in a really horrid dead end job, though his double life and Spider-Man is going incredibly well. Crime rates are down, and he is slowly but surely climbing the rungs at the Daily Bugle (who is claiming Spider-Man is a criminal), though the jobs are sporadic and mostly insignificant. As if Peter’s life does not suck enough, he loses his useless pizza delivery job, and is having a really hard time at school as he is missing a lot of classes and his homework is always late. Dr Curt Connors (Dylan Baker) is progressively getting more and more tired of his once-star pupil.

Peter’s best friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), is intent of finding Spider-Man and making him pay for the loss of his father. He becomes obsessed with the notion of revenge. He has taken over Oscorp, and the business is very successful. Peter and Harry start drifting when Peter refuses to give Spider-Man’s whereabouts to Harry, who despises the fact that Peter is protecting what he feels to be a villain. The love of Peter’s life, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is becoming a successful star, and is dating and becomes engaged to Daily Bugle mogul J Jonah Jameson’s (J.K. Simmons) son John Jameson (Daniel Gillies). However, Mary Jane is still in love with Spider-Man, and houses her suspicions of Peter being that visage.

The ultra famous upside down kiss

The ultra famous upside down kiss

Finally Peter’s powers start to dwindle and disappear, leaving him in rather an uncomfortable predicament. He has no idea what the issue is, and a doctor that he sees for his restlessness tells him that he is at a crossroads and needs to choose what path he will take: the hero or normality, basically. Peter crumbles and confesses to his Aunt May Parker (Rosemary Harris) the circumstances surrounding Uncle Ben’s (Cliff Robertson) death, and the guilt he carries with him daily. The news hurts her, and she is already in dire straits as it is, both emotionally as well as financially. Two years of crime fighting in secret and losing his real life’s friends and family has finally come knocking to take its toll. Peter chooses a simple, plain and boring life, and things start looking up for him again.

Epic train fight

Epic train fight

Brilliant scientist Dr Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) attempts a fusion experiment that Harry is funding. Naturally the experiment would go horribly wrong, and his wife Roaslie (Donna Murphy) pays the ultimate price: her life. Bitter and angry, and the regulator between the fusion and his brain shattered, Doctor Octopus rises to tear the city apart. Peter’s giving up the crime-fighter’s life seems to have been a rash decision. He will have to re-evaluate his intentions, and choose his destiny once again, the same as he did years ago. Spider-Man has never been needed more, and Peter rises to the occasion in suited red and blue.

When revenge is not as simple as you would have hoped

When revenge is not as simple as you would have hoped

Will Peter be able to repair his shattered friendship with Harry as well as score the girl of his dreams? Will he ever really learn how to successfully balance his two lives with minor repercussions?

Spider-Man 2 earned 7/10. I really don’t know, but Kirsten Dunst’s performance seemed so wooden in this Spider-Man that I am truly shocked. It was cool how the tentacles carried Doc Ock around without him needing to walk places. Impressive. There were a few holes in the story again, but I really felt sorry for Peter at times. What got me, though (after long talks with Ricky), the scene when Harry heard his father, Norman, he heard the Green Goblin laughing. Now the thing is, Harry never knew his father was the Green Goblin (Peter ensured that), and the Goblin was a manifestation in Norman’s head. Norman is a manifestation is Harry’s head, so how is the Green Goblin laugh there? Maybe my brain is just being overly logical again… forgive me. Alfred Molina did a very good job as Doc Ock, so it was pretty cool to watch that. Worth watching but I would say the best time for it would be during the course of a Spider-Man run.

Review: Spider-Man (2002)

8

Spider Man 2002 Poster “You’ve spun your last web, Spider-Man.” – Green Goblin I decided on an old school Spider-Man rerun recently. I have not watched these movies in years. I recall It has been really fun so far, because Ricky has risen to the occasion with gusto to explore the old world of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is your average high school loser, orphaned and living with his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson). He is forever in love with the girl next door, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), but has no way of telling her how he feels. Peter’s best friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), is the misunderstood, unhappy and angry teenager who is from an extremely wealthy family, and the only person that understands and accepts Peter.

The all American photographer

The all American photographer

On a school trip to a science lab, Peter is bitten by a spider, which leads to him becoming very ill, and then noticing some extremely drastic changes in his life. His body buffs, his senses soar and heighten like he never knew was possible, his sight becomes perfect again… this is a whole new life for him, and a whole new array of opportunities seem attainable to him now. The changes distance him from his family, though, and his aunt and uncle are worried about him, and this only irritates Peter some more. His life was just starting to shape up! Sadly, things over-complicate themselves when Peter becomes lost in the dream of somehow using his new-found abilities to make a lot of extra cash to buy a car to impress the girl next door. Under the pretext of visiting the library one evening, Uncle Ben attempts to speak to Peter, and the two end up having a massive argument, and Peter goes to a wrestling ring (as he had planned, anyway). Things go in his favour, but he is screwed out of his cash by the end of it. A robbery goes down, and Peter refuses to help the wrestling boss out after he was done in. His actions lead to him discovering his Uncle Ben shot outside, and he dies in Peter’s arms. Peter seeks vengeance, and realizes that he will have to fight crime a little more, he needs to make amends. His uncle’s speech is finally given credence, thanks to his death, sadly. After graduation, Peter is crushed to find out that Mary Jane is dating Harry, and that he did not tell him anything, even though they live together after moving out of their homes respectively. Peter gets a freelance job as a photographer working for J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) at the Daily Bugle to snap pictures of the Spider-Man.

Spider-Man and the Green Goblin 2002

Such great friends at play

Harry’s eccentric, scientist and millionaire father, Norman Osborne (Willem Dafoe), administering himself a serum in desperation to retain government funding for his research on performance enhancers. Instead of the desired results he expected, a terrifying alter ego emerges: The Green Goblin. The Green Goblin starts tearing the city apart, and Peter realizes he will have to step up and become the Spider-Man to keep the people safe, and embrace what has now become his destiny. spider-man-2002-1

Now that he is to embrace his destiny, will Spider-Man be able to overcome his new identity, save the city, get the girl and make it as a photographer in the world? Tall order to fill for such a young man.

A 7/10 for Spider-Man here. I still do not think that Tobey Maguire was the best choice for Peter Parker or Spider-Man, to be dead honest. He couldn’t pull of the sarcasm and cheek very well, and he was such a loser, way more than he should have been. He was supposed to be geeky, but not the total butt of all jokes? I enjoyed James Franco and Willem Dafoe in this film. There were just a few things I was not in love with in this movie, but there were also a few decent aspects. There are a few flaws and a few strong points to this movie, I have to give it credit for that. I have been having an absolute ball re-watching them and laughing, though, but more so at the mistakes and what not. Overall, not the most terrible entry into the superhero category, but it is watchable.