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Spider-Man: Homecoming Review


This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion, but there are plenty of reasons not to miss this one. Most notably, this is the first Spider-Man movie that's part of Marvel's Avengers franchise, which places it in a larger story with lots of cameo possibilities. But more importantly, young British actor Tom Holland seems to have been born to play the role, infusing the entire film with cheeky teenage energy. And it's also one of the funniest, most complex blockbusters of the year.

The film opens with overexcited home videos Peter Parker (Holland) made of his adventure with the Avengers in Civil War. Now he's plunged back to the dull reality of being a high school student living with his sparky Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). He has a crush on classmate Liz (Laura Harrier), but faces rivalry from the school's alpha male Flash (Tony Revolori). And after a night out playing superhero in his Spider-Man costume, his nerdy best pal Ned (Jacob Batalon) is a bit too thrilled to discover his secret alter-ego. Meanwhile, Peter is annoyed that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his assistant Happy (Jon Favreau) are ignoring his calls, especially after he warns them that he has seen winged bad guy Toomes (Michael Keaton) dealing illegal alien weapons around New York while plotting something nefarious.

Director Jon Watts (Cop Car) cleverly maintains a nimble teen perspective throughout the film, which makes it feel more like a comedy than an action movie. And instead of snarky one-liners, the laughs come from character-based humour, most notably Holland's brilliant reactions to everything that comes along. One memorable sequence, which kicks off the final onslaught of action, is both hilarious and terrifying at the same time, perfectly balanced thanks to a knowing revelation, Watts' subtle direction and Holland's hugely engaging performance. And each breathtaking action set-piece pushes the character forward in positive ways.

Continue reading: Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

Ghostbusters Review


It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with a then-original mix of comedy and supernatural action. Intriguingly, this new film is neither a sequel nor a remake; it's a reboot of the franchise, which loosely adapts the original 1984 premise to all-new characters. Thankfully, the screenplay is smart and funny, and the cast is flat-out hilarious.

It opens as university professor Erin (Kristen Wiig) sees her hopes for tenure evaporate when a book she wrote years ago with her childhood pal Abby (Melissa McCarthy) resurfaces, affirming their belief in ghosts. So Erin seeks out Abby, and discovers that she's still researching the supernatural, now with the sharp-witted gadget maker Jillian (Kate McKinnon). With spirit sightings on the rise in New York, the three decide to launch a ghost-busting business, joined by city expert Patty (Leslie Jones) and bimbo receptionist Kevin (Chris Hemsworth). But the apparitions popping up around the city are getting increasingly malevolent, and it's clear that an apocalypse is brewing.

The basic plot is lifted from the original movie, which is referenced in virtually every scene. Most of this is rather distracting, because a more original storyline would have been a lot more involving and the in-jokes will be lost on younger audiences. But it's fun to see the original cast members turn up here and there in random cameos.

Continue reading: Ghostbusters Review

Leaked Sony Emails Reportedly Reveal Spider-Man Must Be 'Straight And White'

Andrew Garfield Sony Amy Pascal Donald Glover

If you’ve ever thought Spider-Man on the big screen was just a little too boring or ‘safe’, then we could just be about to explain why. In the latest round of leaked Sony emails the long list of contractual obligations that the Spider-Man character allegedly must meet for film is revealed, including that he must always be white, male and heterosexual.

Spider-manAndrew Garfield played the most recent incarnation of Spider-man on the big screen.

The published emails reportedly start by listing the superhero’s ‘mandatory character traits’, which the character ‘must always strictly conform to’. The list includes him being a white, male who does not abuse alcohol, does not smoke tobacco, does not sell/distribute illegal drugs, does not use foul language beyond PG-13, does not have sex before the age of 16 and is not a homosexual.

Continue reading: Leaked Sony Emails Reportedly Reveal Spider-Man Must Be 'Straight And White'

'Lego Movie' Directors To Helm Animated Spider-Man Film

Amy Pascal

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the now revered directors behind The Lego Movie, have been hired to helm a Spider-Man animation, to hit theaters in July 2018. The duo will produce the movie with Ari Arad, Matt Tolach and the recently departed Sony chairman Amy Pascal.

The Lego MoviePhil Lord and Christopher Miller were lauded for their work on The Lego Movie

The movie, announced at CinemaCon on Wednesday by Sony chief Tom Rothman, will exist independently from the projects in the live action Spider-Man universe, all of which are believed to be moving forward as planned.

Continue reading: 'Lego Movie' Directors To Helm Animated Spider-Man Film

Amy Pascal On Sony Departure, "All I Did Was Get Fired"

Amy Pascal

Amy Pascal had conceded that she was "fired" from Sony after the debilitating cyber-attack on the company that saw the leak of numerous high profile movies and, more damagingly, email conversations between Pascal and numerous individuals connected with the company.

Amy PascalAmy Pascal says she was "fired" by Sony

Pascal, who is setting up her own production company, spoke for the first time about her departure from Sony during an interview with journalist Tina Brown at the Women in the World conference in San Francisco on Wednesday (February 11).

Continue reading: Amy Pascal On Sony Departure, "All I Did Was Get Fired"

Sony Could Reopen Spider-Man Talks With Marvel

Andrew Garfield Amy Pascal

Sony could go back into negotiations with Marvel concerning the Spider-Man character following the departure of Amy Pascal as chairman. It is probable that Sony Pictures chairman-CEO Michael Lynton will tinker with projects include The Amazing Spider-Man 3 but sequels to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo are very much in doubt.

The Amazing Spider Man 2Andrew Garfield's The Amazing Spider-Man 3 has been pushed back until 2018

The biggest decision will indeed by how to handle the Spider-Man franchise. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did decent business at the box-office but was slaughtered by the critics. There had been talks of letting Marvel Studios take some control of the direction of the character and with Pascal out of the picture, Sony may be open to renegotiating with the superhero studio, according to Variety.

Continue reading: Sony Could Reopen Spider-Man Talks With Marvel

Amy Pascal Departs Sony, But Studio Will Pay For New Venture

Amy Pascal

Amy Pascal, the woman who worked her way up from production executive to chairman of one of the world's biggest movie studios, has stepped down from her role at Sony following the company's recent cyber-attack and email hack. Ms Pascal, who has overseen over 300 Oscar nominations, will start her own production company that will launch in May.

Amy PascalAmy Pascal is starting her new venture in 2015

Sony was temporarily debilitated by the cyber-attack which led to the leaking of numerous pre-release movies and which led the studio to suspend its North Korea comedy The Interview. 

Continue reading: Amy Pascal Departs Sony, But Studio Will Pay For New Venture

Ryan Gosling Interested In Joining 'Ghostbusters 3'

Ryan Gosling Amy Pascal

Ryan Gosling is interested in taking the only major male role in Paul Feig's Ghostbusters 3, while Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone are also being sought for parts. In a leaked email thread between Amy Pascal and talent manager Ilene Feldman - which reads like a love letter to Gosling - it emerges that the Hollywood actor is keen to join the movie.

Ryan GoslingRyan Gosling arrives at LAX Airport

"Ryan absolutely loved you," Feldman told Pascal in an email dated October 3, 2014, "Said it was like speed dating because he was late after hitting every wrong gate on the lot. Not it should turn to marriage. He really wants to do something with you."

Continue reading: Ryan Gosling Interested In Joining 'Ghostbusters 3'

George Clooney's 3am Emails Over Terrible 'Monuments Men' Reviews

George Clooney Amy Pascal

George Clooney lost sleep and sent a flurry of early morning emails to Sony boss Amy Pascal after critics ripped into his World War II movie The Monuments Men. In the latest Sony email leak, it is revealed that Clooney was worried about how Sony head honchos would react given the hugely anticipated movie appear to be taking a critical mauling.

George Clooney                                                                                        George Clooney headed up the cast in The Monuments Men

On January 29, Clooney emailed Amy Pascal with the subject line "it's getting worse," and requesting "protection from all the reviews."

"Let's just make it a hit. I haven't slept in 30 hours. And it's 7am," Clooney added. 

Continue reading: George Clooney's 3am Emails Over Terrible 'Monuments Men' Reviews

Amy Pascal's Job On The Line After Strange Obama Race E-Mails

Amy Pascal

Amy Pascal's job could potentially be on the line after the latest emails in the disastrous Sony hack revealed a strange conversation in which Pascal and producer Scott Rudin appeared to mock President Obama's race. It is worth noting that Pascal is a serious Democratic Party donor.

12 Years a SlaveAmy Pascal and Scott Rudin joked about Obama watching the slave movie 12 Years a Slave

In one passage, Pascal asked Rudin what she should ask the President at a Democratic party fundraiser organised by DreamWorks Jeffrey Katzenberg. "Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?" asked Pascal, referring to the Quentin Tarantino movie Django Unchained, about a freed slave. The producer responded: "12 YEARS", with Pascal replying: "Or the butler. Or think like a man? [sic]."

Continue reading: Amy Pascal's Job On The Line After Strange Obama Race E-Mails

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Amy Pascal Movies

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Peter Pan (2003) Movie Review

Peter Pan (2003) Movie Review

The time is right to rekindle our relationship with J.M. Barrie's perpetually adolescent adventurer, Peter...