The Wrong Lessons Hollywood Will Take Away From Spider-Man: No Way Home

Can you guess who?

I only saw 1 film on the cinema in 2021, Spider-Man: No Way Home.

I got a warm feeling about it early on, you could say it was a “tingle”. Oh Jackson, you are getting into those hideous tabloid habits and dad jokes, {ironic eye roll}.

Before getting down to business, you must know something about me. I’m a “normie”. I hear the collected spits on the cobblestones of geek. My insincere apologies. I don’t read the comics. I’ve only ever read 1 comic book in earnest with a cheerful smile on my face. It was a “Megazine” of Judge Dread. It was a great edition, but only one. The only way I’ve interacted with Marvel and DC is through the silver screen, cartoons shown on TV and some computer games. I do ingest a lot of information from dweebs online, the fanatical, the foaming at the mouth types. I am a dualist when it comes to films, I look both at the content and the quality of the story. If a film entertains me it’s a win. There are films that people slay for many reasons but I often don’t agree. There are TV series that people burn to the ground in their reviews, that I don’t agree with. There is subjectivity with everything. I’m of open mind, I’ll give it a go.

There are some things I know will be shit before I’ve even committed 10 minutes of wasted time to. I can see it clearer these days. I’m a tele addict, I’ve watched more films than anyone should. I’ve watched a lot of shit on Netflix and Amazon Prime recently, and its not good shit. So I was up for No Way Home, because I knew one thing would be present, nostalgia.

Of course, this article will contain Spoilers. So I recommend that you watch the film first before reading or if not planning to watch, plough on.

I didn’t enjoy the first 2 of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man incarnations in his own films. They relied too much on somewhat idiotic kid humour of the current era, the kind of witless humour that doesn’t really work for me. I did see potential wrapped in there but something was holding it all back. You could say that Peter Parker of Disney MCU didn’t get an origin story. We didn’t go through the rigmarole of the way he discovered his powers. In a way that was an interesting change because, we’ve seen it twice before, and we know the setup already, we didn’t really need to see it again. We got a more youthful Aunt May (and I have always rather been into Marisa Tomei) who we didn’t know was going to fulfil a greater purpose in this third film.

Sumptuous. Marisa Tomei. Nom nom. Sorry ladies.

So what wrong mistakes can “they” make?

Who is they?

The royal they?

I always do this. I don’t specify whom enough. I leave you guessing but you need to know. “They” are a collective of TV and Film makers. You could call it Hollywood, but Hollywood is unspecific a bubble. There are more entry points for media now, beyond simply the cinema and television channels (provided through terrestrial, cable and satellite). There’s streaming as well. You could throw this at the studios, an example; Sony, Disney, Universal, Paramount/Viacom/CBS but they only distribute and front what production teams make. They have pull, but they don’t make films directly. They put the money in and make sure it gets advertised but, they don’t make the film. This royal “they” refers to the establishment of filmmakers. The current crop of writers, producers and directors, but also those who have stakes and say in what happens.

Sony did the grunt work on this. But more specifically Amy Pascal’s team. They blended in a lot of their previous works from both Tobey Maguire’s 3 film run and Andrew Garfield’s 2 film run. It was nice to see them both back, because they were both great as Spider-Man in their own era (even if some of the films were proper dogshit). It was eyebrow raising because essentially it makes the Sony universe canon with the Disney universe, a bridge of sorts, and that hasn’t happened before. The only time I can think of a franchise retaining all of its constituent parts but moving between companies is the Chronicles of Narnia (the first 2 by Disney, the last by 20th Century Fox). It is that uncommon.

All great Spider-Men.

I felt that Andrew Garfield was dealt the roughest hand because Amazing Spider-Man 2 made a cash grab failure. It tried to setup too much without actually succeeding in being a good film. I liked it, but the ending felt hollow. It made the same mistake Tobey’s third film made. I never liked Dane DeHaan’s version of the Green Goblin, and really couldn’t picture him leading the sinister 6. To top it off, Paul Giamatti looked terrible in the Rhino suit. So, with that aborted run, it was good seeing Andrew back. Sony have a habit of ending things on a dull note. It wouldn’t have taken much to have fixed the next instalment, AS3. Their heart wasn’t in it, neither was it in making a decent 4th film for Tobey. In both runs they made a stupid move of trying to incorporate too many threads instead of following 1 compelling villain to make sequel bait.

They also sprinkled in a little piece of Venom, but nobody wants to talk about that… …kindly.

(I kinda love Venom. Topher Grace venom was super meh, but Tom Hardy Venom, yeah, I enjoyed that.)

Mistake 1: Big Leaps

So that’s the first mistake. Trying to blend in stuff that doesn’t fit all that well. There were what I classed as “Big Leaps” in no way home. Stuff that was thrown in that left you scratching your head. Many asked this one question in their reviews;

“How does Electro know Spider-Man/Peter Parker?”

He never knew in Amazing Spider-Man 2. Are we to believe that this version of Electro is from a slightly different universe? It makes your head hurt just thinking about it.

“How does Venom/Eddie know Spider-Man/Peter Parker?”

He knew him in the Tobey-verse and there’s something to say that all symbiotes are linked through the multi-verse, they are a multi-dimensional threat. But that was never explained or hinted to. You simply get Venom licking the screen at the end of let their be carnage when they are transported to this alternate Earth and he leaves a bit of goo on the counter, mucky pup.

So anything that forces you to take too big a leap for convenience is not good.

Mistake 2: Continuity Shifts

I’m sorry to say this, but this is something that American writers in particular have issues with. Continuity in films. Not so much Comics, but films. In No Way Home you have a single cameo of a character that we were all hoping would be there;

Matt Murdock aka Daredevil reprised by Charlie Cox.

Charlie Cox was great as Daredevil. Shame he didn’t get a movie, but here’s to hoping.

Daredevil was a great series that ran on Netflix. Since Disney launched its streaming service there have been some major tumultuous times between Netflix and Disney. Netflix essentially had to stop what it was doing with all of the spinoffs in what I class as the Hell’s Kitchen group. My favourite of the bunch was The Punisher but I certainly did like Daredevil. Charlie Cox felt like a much better fit than Ben Affleck for this role. Because of the rights issue and the fact that Netflix weren’t about paying the exorbitant licence fee to keep these characters going, it all ended.

Those who aren’t up with it all wouldn’t know that they all stopped because of that fact. These Netflix Marvel series were a streaming wars casualty. That includes; Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Iron Fist (much maligned) and the Defenders. I had issues with some of these series, some of them felt very heavy on exposition and far less on action, some of them didn’t have such a great story each season. Iron Fist had the biggest issues as Danny Rand was very unlikeable, he was outshone by his co-star and this culminated in the Defenders not hitting the high notes like it should have.

Another recent sprinkling of a previous character was in the Disney+ series Hawkeye, where Kingpin is revealed for the briefest moment then seemingly killed in the street (though we never see a body, and the rules are that if you don’t see a body, they likely aren’t dead). This Kingpin was modified and I will explain why in a moment but it was the original actor of Vincent D’Onofrio. It was nice seeing him back.

Aaron played the original in the Disney MCU, Evan played the version in the Fox universe.

Marvel/Disney had made a previous idiot mistake in WandaVision (another D+ series) where the actor Evan Peters shows up at the front door, and we think we are getting the X-Men Quicksilver, when in fact this is a Disney/Marvel “Ralph Bohner” in a new body, which is not what we wanted. It was the wrong subversion of our expectations (something that Rian Johnson was famous for in The Last Jedi). I think it is safe to say that the X-Men Quicksilver was a serious hit. Evan Peters was hilarious in that role. Not giving us that was a major problem. And considering that Disney now own Fox, it was a reprehensible act, or brain dead in my opinion. But the Director and Writer for that show were clueless about a lot of things including Mephisto who should have played a part in Wanda’s spiral into chaos. Wasted opportunity. Wanda doesn’t work right anyway right now because her father (and Pietro’s) is Magneto and the X-Men haven’t been realised yet.

Directors and Writers, always do your homework.

What is this modification? Basically it’s a rights issue. Any of you familiar with what has happened with Star Trek and how CBS have had to modify the direction of it will know that they had modify 25% of the look and feel of the show to not land themselves in trouble with their rival sister company (Paramount) who still hold the film rights and the old look of the show. It all dates back to Les Moonves, a guy who hated trek and wanted to bin it at the first sign of failure. He was gifted that opportunity when Enterprise started to falter hard in the ratings. When JJ Abrams and Bad Robot/Secret Hideout with Alex Kurtzman (and associated idiot* writers) got their hands on the property, it has been a general AAA heresy ever since.

*This is an insult to idiots, I apologise. It is far worse than that.

Continuity wise, shortcuts and wrong conclusions will be drawn, stuff that will make people unhappy. I guarantee it.

Mistake 3: Ritualising artistic interpretations

X-Men, let’s talk shall we.

I’m a big fan of X-Men, more so from the Cartoon series that ran in the 90s as that was my teen era. I re-watched it many times. The theme tune should be defacto for the series but never was.

I always had a major issue with the Fox licence of X-Men for a few reasons;

  1. Scott aka Cyclops was done extremely dirty. It’s fairly clear to see that there was no love for Cyclops. He was straight up murdered by the Phoenix. That didn’t happen in the comics. Cyclops was the leader and he was a freakin’ badass. He could quite often beat Wolverine in a fight, he was that much of a baller. The Director and Writers seemed to really hate him. His power was insane, he was what you might class as a glass cannon if you were trying to put him into a class of fighter (the mage type). The beam was very iconic and they just tried to turn it into an expensive brand of sunglasses product placement with Rayban. Bah!
  2. Wolverine was made smarter and taller than he actually was, and became defacto leader. Logan wasn’t that smart, he was an animal underneath, hence the Wolverine moniker. He was also a lot shorter. I did like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but Logan was shorter in the comics, not Tom Cruise short, but fairly short. The X-Men used this compact size to their favour, tossing Wolverine around like a cannon ball, that wasn’t so easy with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. You were also meant to draw some height difference between Wolverine and his arch rival Sabre Tooth.
  3. Liev Schreiber was a good Sabre Tooth, but not right. The sabre tooth you know and love is tall and blonde and always has the sabre teeth and black eyes on show with a discernible hunch back and fur. Sorry Liev, you were too good looking bub. There was a version of Sabre Tooth that looked right, but he was as dull as dishwater. Sorry bub.
  4. Storm was rubbish. No offence to Halle Berry, I think she was given nothing to work with. Storm is one of the most powerful X-Men and is also decidedly African. She should have been depicted as such with the accent. With the mild reboot she was better, but still not right. Storm is a charming woman without a lesbian haircut. She’s also the heart of the squad and always will be. Come on peeps!
  5. Raven/Mystique came in two forms. There was some distinct consistency shift between Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence. Rebecca was gorgeous and mischievous. Jennifer didn’t want the full body makeup and subverted the role. Neither of these were a true Mystique. She was more on a level close to Emma Frost and I don’t feel that either of the choices made for them really hit the right note. Also, no skull belt, what are you doing like?
  6. Rogue was never developed sufficiently. Ana Paquin had nowhere to go with this. She is a very important element of the X-Men. She started as a villain, and that’s how she gained her flight ability, but she was not allowed to soar at any time during the Fox run. She was always the damsel. That is not Rogue. Rogue kicks ass, sugar!
  7. A lack of the Cajun wonder that is Gambit. They tried to bring him in once but didn’t commit. Gambit, I would admit, is difficult to cast just right. You need someone of the right age, the right height, and with a good Cajun accent who could have a great chemistry with Rogue. He has to be very charismatic and a charmer, mon chéri. They floated Channing Tatum for the role, but no, that is not Gambit. Taylor Kitsch was close, but still not quite there.
  8. Yellow costumes. It has to be yellow. The black costumes are no good, they look so generic and Fantastic 4, they are a different franchise entirely. Yellow please. A big X on the chest (boobs if they’ve got them).
  9. The Juggernaut. They never quite got him right. Vinnie Jones wasn’t bad, and was quite funny in the film he was in, but Juggernaut is a special villain that you need to do right. He has a significant menace and is very iconic. They portrayed him again in Deadpool 2 and they got the size right, but he still wasn’t quite right. He’s not indestructible, but he’s not that much of a dumbass either. He’s not easy to beat by himself even against the entire team of X-Men and he’s even more dangerous with allies, especially when they have a strategy devised by Magneto. As a side bar: I’m worried with Disney’s track record with Villains. They always go either weak sauce or pantomime and rarely let villains linger more than 2 films (with Thanos as the exception).
  10. Race/Gender Swapping characters. It didn’t happen so much in the X-Men films but in Deadpool 2 they changed Domino from white to black. Domino is White with a black spot on her face, sorry. If you don’t want to use the characters as formed, make a new one. I don’t mind that at all. Just don’t subvert an old one for politics. It’s not like I had an issue with the actress. I thought she was pretty good, she just wasn’t Domino, it’s that simple. This could be a whole article in itself but for purposes of keeping this one short I’ll leave it there. I think we are all wondering why they didn’t make Morena Baccarin’s character Domino. It would have been so easy, she was in the tube already in the first film. They should have gone that way but they didn’t. I think this might have been down to Directors changing between films. I didn’t enjoy the 2nd Deadpool as much as the 1st, so on that front I don’t think Ryan made the right call.

So, that’s just a list of 10 things. But there are so many more micro changes that weren’t right. That didn’t hold to the theme, that didn’t strike the right note. You are banging an A on the piano ivories but are getting an F.

The temptation with a nostalgia film like NWH is that you can edit and adjust things if you need to. But because they are universes that don’t need to be tinkered with because they stand aside from one another, why do you need to change anything at all? And that is also a trap. Just because it was done a way, doesn’t mean it was right, and just because you want to change it doesn’t necessarily mean it is right either.

OG Domino

What makes me concerned with the X-Men coming to Disney Marvel, is that they will do a number of things to the cast that I know I’m going to be unhappy with. They will race/gender swap roles in line with their woke ethos, they will tame and neuter some of the villains, they will de-power at least one of the X-Men like they did with The Hulk by making him somewhat redundant (it won’t be a her that is made redundant because burn the patriarchy). No thanks!

I think that Fantastic 4, conversely, can only improve as the bar Fox set was stupidly low which may lead to Disney complacency. Fingers crossed they get the mix right with that one. And is it too much to ask that they make an aesthetically pleasing version of the Thing? I realise he becomes an almost solid rock monster but could it be a Korg like pleasing monster? They did Korg and Rocket so well, I’m hopeful. Miles Teller, stay at home please, you tit.

Spider-Man is the Anomaly

It is anomalous because of a unique situation it finds itself in.

Yet another legal situation that is situated with the Marvel universe and the owners of a property.

Sony owns Spider-Man, all of the associated villains, and a few other select characters that are associated with Spider-Man.

Sony have a sharing relationship with Disney where Spider-Man essentially is on loan and Disney work him into their universe.

You should know this already, but if you don’t you do now. This calamity came about because Marvel were in serious financial trouble and had to pay the bills so sold all of their character’s intellectual property rights to the highest bidders. Disney took a bunch, Fox took a bunch and Sony took the crown jewel. Spider-Man is perhaps the biggest jewel in the crown in terms of Marvel, the most beloved of characters so whoever picked this up would be in a commanding position. I’m sure that Disney hate this reality, they can’t fully enjoy the full cash fruits of the biggest fan draw. You wouldn’t believe how far down Spider Man has affected Sony. If you look at the PS3 and PS4, Spider-Man has an almost direct influence on the styling of those consoles with the font used. It goes that deep into Sony’s Ethos because it makes them that much bank.

Fact: Sony will never let Spider-Man go, ever. In order for Disney to get it back, they will have to buy the Sony Corporation as they bought 20th Century Fox and all associated rights.

Disney Marvel can’t make a film incorporating Spider-Man or any of his associated cast without Sony’s permission. Sony take a distinct cut if he or any of his supporting cast appear. What some may not know is that the first villain we saw Peter take on in Homecoming, the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton (my favourite Batman), is on loan to another property (Morbius). Tom Holland is on Sony’s Payroll.

It makes a good safety net. If either Disney or Sony make a huge mistake, it can be wiped away by some creative moves from either side of the fence. The reason this sharing deal came about was because Sony knew after Amazing Spider-Man 2 that they had messed things up and needed a win, so decided to partner with Disney to get the good will coming back. Now the twisted hand of fate has turned, and Disney is the one struggling with their new direction while Spider-Man, and the growing momentum around his franchise, are gaining traction.

Love it. Looking forward to the sequel(s).

I cite Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse as a high point for Sony, it signalled to me that they were willing to put in the effort again. It’s exciting. No Way Home was very well done. It had a few issues but none so glaring that it detracted from the enjoyment of the film. I think the Director did great, as did the writers in incorporating such a long list of items into a cognitive plot. It was a return to what we know and love about super hero films done right. But I’m not sure it was Disney more than Sony right this time. Sony not over-woking the shit out of it helped and the marketing campaign was genius.

Failures have already been sighted

Something that perhaps wore the sheen off this happy moment was seeing that the Matrix 4 absolutely bombed. I wasn’t onboard as soon as I knew that Laurence Fishburne wasn’t back for the gig. Having seen him alongside Keanu in John Wicke 3 Parabellum, there was no reason to leave him out. He dodged a bullet, bullet-time style there.

Wheel of Time. A fantasy plot with magic. Apparently a lot of the characters have been altered, a lot of the situations have been modified, it doesn’t run quite as the book did. There were 2 episodes that were total snooze fests in the season for me. There was a handy bit of what I call “Melm” that I wasn’t expecting but amused me but overall it left me feeling deflated by season’s end. I got a bit of a man-hate vibe throughout but I liked the cast. I hope that they move ahead with a season 2 as I’d like to know what happens next, but am concerned that Amazon will have bad numbers and pull the plug, which will be a shame.

Didn’t mind it, but purists did. Pro-tip, if you set this whole thing after the events of the Manga/Anime, you would have avoided all of this negativity. You idiots. You could have done anything! Literally. It was all there for the taking. You blew it. Disappointing in the extreme.

Perhaps the biggest failure of all, and the one I save until last is Cowboy Bebop. You know it was going to get an honourable mention. I watched 3 episodes of the Anime before it started, but it didn’t enamour me I’m afraid. Either they hit me good or they wash right over me in terms of anime and this was one of those. Sacrilege you might cry, but I find the fusion of American/Japanese culture doesn’t always sing to me like it sings to an American or Japanese. There’s standalone films like Redline or Akira that are awe inspiring. I really enjoyed Sword Art Online and do enjoy various Gundam iterations to mention just a very small amount of the huge offerings available. The live action show of Bebop was all over the place and terrible to boot. It didn’t help that one of the stars went attacking the fans. I really think they should write a clause in the actor’s contract where they don’t provoke fans, a code of conduct on social media. Oh, there were so many things that didn’t land in that show, even from the perspective of a normie. I don’t have to be coloured by a dweebasaurus rex’s view to tell you that as a sci fi series, this show had some real problems. The visuals were awesome, but the writing and direction was terrible. If it had been setup differently so that John Cho was the cousin of Spike and he inherited the Bebop, they could have gone places. It would have been awesome. But no. We get trash instead. I was actually rooting for Vicious to just kill everyone. Deep sigh… And I’m a normie, so…

I find Elena Satine’s lips bugged me the whole time. Too much plastic babe. Too much.

Hollywood’s Problems

Risk Averse

They’ve got nothing new that they are willing to risk anything on.

There are simply too many rebooted, retraced, “sweded”** franchises of old making a comeback that were best remembered back in their time.

** Be Kind, Rewind Reference. Love that film BTW.

Even Ghostbusters Afterlife with all the good will of sweeping away the stank of Ghostbusters 2016 didn’t do as well as hoped. Because it’s not new. Not pushing new boundaries. It’s too safe.

I’ll give you an example of three films that worked back in the 80s that they wouldn’t even try to make today;

  • Explorers (1985)
  • Flight of the Navigator (1986)*
  • Spacecamp (1986)

They could do a variation of these again but I doubt they would recapture the spirit of the originals because they were just that; original. It would all be heavy CG and identity politics bullcrap, you know it.

I’ve been to the future, that film you were re-making better not be shit!

*Flight of the navigator is in the works for a reboot by the rather lovely Bryce Dallas Howard. I hope she does a good job on it.

Blaming lack of ingenuity and form on the current crop of winning movies

It’s the weakest argument. I’ve seen a lot of prominent Directors, Writers and Actors say as much, but what moves have they got to topple this? They are willing to make the mistakes of old with movies that don’t work anymore and wonder why they don’t work.

You’ve got to give the customer what they want. And if you don’t know what they want, you can’t decide for them. You have to get down with the people (those oh so smelly people) and discern what they like. There is an actor/director that knows his shit. Quentin Tarantino knows a film. He was a normal like us, he knew films backwards and forwards. He knows what people like. He studied his craft. He did the legwork. There are people drifting into the Director-sphere who don’t know dick about dick. They lost touch with the real world a long time ago.

Communist/Socialist/Marxist Indoctrination

Excuse this mild rant, you might want to skip this one if you’re a filthy pinko. Or maybe you should read.

It’s there. You don’t want to see it but it’s there. Marx has his cock and balls stamp all over it. We fought this thing called a cold war against the Soviet Union, but more so the Communists. America had a history of not liking the Red army up until a point. Britain has always been fighting the communist fundamentalists who pose as socialists.

When did you get so soft around the grey matter that you thought letting the Hollywood Establishment becoming a cesspool of “wrong-think” was a good idea? I don’t get it. The Communists are terrible to the Jewish yet they are happy to foot the bill for this propaganda? It doesn’t compute. I realise that Hollywood was always a breeding ground for Whackjobs, Deviants, and Criminals but this as well? The Feds should just shut them down already for being pinkos. But I suspect a lot of pinkos already infiltrated the feds like everything else. I realise that is a hideous outdated term, not one you hear much unless in an uncensored film from back in the day. But you are the ones who brought this shit back.

There are degrees of left but you should realise that when you hit far left, which many have, you are as bad as someone on the far right. The problem is what you deem as far right, is barely past the centre line, you are so far left. As with Acid in high concentrations, Alkaline is just as deadly. Millions have died at the hand of Socialism and Communism. The first people that are terminated after they come to power are the loose of tongue, the troublemakers who got them there. Dissent is not appreciated, you end up in a police state working shit jobs, living in shit houses and are not allowed to complain about it. Your wife might be taken away to service an officer. Your husband may be sent to a gulag. You are stripped of your religion and your identity. Does that sound familiar? It should do, but you’re not seeing it. Wake up.

The Cult of Ideology

It’s a battleground. There is a realisation that people are ever more averse to advertising and that they seek safe havens. So we aren’t even allowed to enjoy our time spent in relaxation anymore. The programming follows us. We are not allowed to watch much without some blunt as a brick message about how somebody is oppressed. I go to my entertainment expecting escape, not being dragged back into tabloid or broadsheet bullshit.

It does, doesn’t it. If you can’t live without ads, you aren’t doing it right.

Look how the various news agencies and big corporates moved to YouTube, which used to be a sanctum that didn’t have to rely on such antiquated establishments. How things change with money.

Identity Politics

The pronoun gang. The acceptably PC. The representation. Fuck off with that shit already. In many things you are equal already, but being that close you always want more, you want to be over equal. You want the moon on a stick and you can’t have it.

I’m tired of seeing Diversity hires who are talentless. We need to return to Meritocracy soon. You’ve got to be there because you are “good”, not because labels can be attributed to the film and posh end wankers can talk up to their retarded posse on how “squiffy” it all is.

They don’t go to watch your shit even if you appease the bell-ends of Twitter. They are not the paying audience. Your shit is doing badly because the shit you are selling is not the shit we want. Quid pro quo, you fucknoses!

Future is Female

It’s insulting and emasculating. Without men there is no future, likewise with women. It’s a binary deal, we fuck, there is future. Simple. I solved the mystery.

You don’t want simple. You want the drama. You want the tumult. You suck.

You want the penny and the bun when you can only have one of those options. You buy the bun with the penny or you keep the penny in your pocket. You don’t get both.

Future is Female just looking at Kathleen Kennedy as the perfect example of failing upwards. Not even the CEO can remove her for her abject failure. That’s a pretty fucking sweet deal. She must have a lot of incriminating evidence on some of you deviants at Disney for that to carry on. It’s weak. Do better but it is already too late for Star Wars, you done fucked that already and are making it worse with shit like how you treated Gina Carano, and how Rosario Dawson was left to fend for herself.

When you see a jar of sausages, you should assume cock.

How about invite the idiot that is Phoebe Waller-Bridge to make a hideously woke Indiana Jones car crash. Didn’t we already suffer from the crystal skull? Get a fucking clue already. God Sake’s. That’s on you Kathleen. How many more failures can you spin? You tit.

Feeble Wally-Bridge, 3 times winner of the NPC awards. Gifted Indiana Jones and the Ziggurat of Human Faeces. Already fucked up Bond. NPC overachiever and establishment fucknose.

Spider-Man NWH made some good decisions

They opted to not get too murky with Andrew or Tobey’s Spider-men adventures outside of the films and where they ended. All you know is that Tobey’s Spider-Man is still with Mary Jane and that their relationship is complicated, and that Andrew’s Spider-Man followed a dark and destructive path after Gwen Stacy died. They didn’t fill in any of the potential gaps with villains they defeated which leaves a mega scope for Tom’s Spider-Man to still happily explore either in the MCU or in the Sony-verse. Less is often more.

Running with the Green Goblin as the head villain was inspired because essentially Norman Osborne’s alter ego is a psychopath and will always be so, even at the cost of self preservation. He’s also the most physically capable of going toe to toe with Spider-Man.

They left Spider-Man having completed what is essentially a trilogy origin story. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man grew significantly as the hero we know and love in this film. He definitely ascended to the right place. He had to sacrifice everything to protect everyone. That is something Tony Stark would have been very proud of.

Andrew Garfield earns redemption. I always liked him as Spider-Man but Amazing Spider-Man was a difficult sell, mostly due to the second rate villains in both films. It had beautiful shots and cinematography but Sony got greedy a lot sooner than with the Raimi renditions previous. It’s a shame. Anyone who knows the comics would have known that Gwen Stacy was on borrowed time. It was good to see MJ (Michelle Jones / Watson) get saved by the Amazing Spider Man, it was a perfect choice that closed the circle. I really felt warm thoughts about Zendaya after this film, the chemistry between her and Tom was pretty awesome. Ned (Jacob Batalon) was great, I think he’s been the unsung hero throughout this trilogy. I’m hoping to see him in many more things in future, I think he could be a great actor. But if we don’t see him in much more, I hope he got plenty out of the experience both in terms of enjoyment and money.

This was a well thought out film. I think the creators (Stan Lee and Steve Ditko) would have loved it. I can imagine some of the other studios rubbing their hands together thinking that they can dust off some old properties and do similar, but I fear that they’ll go about it in a lot more ham fisted fashion. It took a fair bit of skill to craft this, and there are some weak ass Directors in the paddock right now (and some even shitter writers).

Stan Lee (left), Jack Kirby (centre), Steve Ditko (right) with thanks to Comicbookhistorians.com

The Acid Tests To Come

Disney, having bought out Fox, now owns even more of the Marvel properties that were scattered to the winds. They now have X-Men and Fantastic 4.

Both X-Men and Fantastic 4 have had some really unhappy treatment in the Fox era and I would say that the Fantastic 4 has had the single most shoddy handling of all. It’s a “Make it stop, my eyes are bleeding!” situation with Fantastic 4 which is a shame. I liked the first rendition more. Jessica Alba is one of my official real life waifus and I liked her as Sue Storm. Doctor Doom in that two film run was one of my favourite actors of the time (Julian McMahon). The second run was beyond hideous, especially because I really hate Miles Teller but also because the film was butchered and beyond terrible. Though people like to blame Josh Trank, there were some ridiculous edits to the film that totally torpedoed his vision for it. They rushed it out for legal purposes to get a movie out under the licence to prevent it defaulting back to Disney (oh how the turn worms).

Chris Evans (Johnny Storm), Michael Chiklis (Ben Grimm), Jessica Alba (Sue Storm), Ioan Gruffudd (Reed Richards), Julian McMahon (Doctor Doom)

Somehow, they are going to introduce at least the X-Men in the second Doctor Strange Film (Multiverse of Madness), and it will be interesting to see what happens. I mentioned mistakes above, I really hope they don’t enforce some of the stylistic/artistic choices that aren’t appropriate to the spirit of the comic. I’m already worried to know that America Chavez will have a prominent feature in that film. There are a number of characters from the newer/fresher era of Marvel that didn’t sell well or wash well at all with the fans. There were some champions of them, but they are very much the political agenda flagbearers that may signal the end of the line for Marvel making good money out of these films. America Chavez is a Mary Sue but not only that, she has two mothers (there was no man involved in the miraculous conception). It’s so inclusive, its not inclusive at all. It’s classic brain dead Disney not reading the room, or reading it and doing the opposite for the lols, and its getting real old.

I think they’ve started to notice as well. Shang Chi and the Eternals didn’t do very well and I would hazard that the next one won’t do as well as they hope. For Shang Chi it was a little more unfortunate because the West after the Pandemic had soured so much to China having known the origin of the outbreak. China had also soured its relations with the West realising that their situation was getting bad and Winnie the Poo-Xing getting a death stare from the party over his hideous handling of this situation. Chang Shi got booted the fuck out of there. In addition, the main character “didn’t look Chinese enough”. They seriously weren’t interested in the film, there was no appetite for the Baizuo surrounding it.

Gemma Chan, will you marry me… I’m sorry, getting carried away. We go way back, to Humans and before. She was in this insane advert, I knew then… Waifu material. Got the imaginary ring and everything.

Eternals sampled some futtbuckery in with some assorted identity olympics then compressed that into a 2 hour plus soufflé of shit CG, heavy blue screen and weak saucery. Considering the cast they had, and the high accolade of the Director, this was an epic face plant. They didn’t learn their lesson after the abortion that the Inhumans series was. Trying to introduce too many people in too short a time doesn’t work. DC haven’t learnt this lesson at all but Marvel had a good run up until around about Black Panther/Captain Marvel where they were pumping out relatively decent and entertaining movies. I am one of the few people that quite enjoyed Captain Marvel (despite how Mary Sue the character is and how they did Nick Fury dirty with the idiotic explanation as to how he got that eye patch). Black Panther to many, was the level of black they really clamoured for, but for me, it was half arsed.

Genuine Opinion: Great actor, will be missed!

Considering that film will be Chadwick Boseman’s only entirely Black Panther film, it is super disappointing. I really like Black Panther, he’s a great character but Disney are swapping him out for a chick? There wasn’t even any chance to redeem that poor film.

There was a reason for that all girl scene in End Game. It’s called the A-Force and it sits on, and predicates on Female is Future undertones. There is no space that men can inhabit alone, there has to be a woman there watching, sneering.***

*** Contrary to what you might be thinking as a woman, I don’t hate women. I seem to be increasingly on the wrong side of women as of late as are many men. White men are being erased from media. Fuck you is the first pair of words that comes to mind.

My suggestion. Why not simply re-cast Chadwick respectfully, as was done for Dumbledore. Nobody would have an issue with that, I’m sure, as long as the replacement was decent and made the role his. I’m not saying that I dislike Shuri, I actually really like Laetitia Wright, she has amazing energy as a person. She can light a room with her smile, it’s infectious. She seems really pleasant and I’d love to meet her. That said, I don’t think it is the right way to go because it diminishes Shuri as a character and she is strong in her own right. I think they way it would be settled would be by means of a fight, that would be a fun film for sure.

Because Black Panther isn’t a specific person, it is the person who embodies the spirit of the Panther so there is scope. It could work whatever they choose. I just hope they do a better job on Black Panther 2. The Black Panther/Killmonger fight sequence was beyond terrible, thanks in large part to the unrealistic CG. Keep it as close to live action as you can please Marvel.

Opportunity

With the potential of the MCU running out of good steam, this does allow other films to creep in. But, as I mentioned, Directors can’t rest on their laurels and make the same old shit they used to. Times have changed as has the market.

As Ridley Scott, you can’t rock up and make a shit re-imagining of a classic Aliens film any more. It won’t fly. You should have let someone else have a turn. Neill Blomkamp was working on Aliens 5 for a few months until the project got blown out of the water. I missed seeing a proper continuation of the franchise because you wanted to make your crap. We could have had potentially two great additions to the franchise by Neill, had you not stuck your twat nose back in the trough. We could have had Ripley back kicking arse again. Thanks Ridley, you bell-end. The only saving grace is that I got to see Noomi Rapace, and she alongside Gemma Chan and Jessica Alba is one of my real life Waifus. That is the only thing I can take away from your crap, you messed up your own franchise out of, and I quote from Star Drek “Sheer Fucking Hubris” (Another piece of wank I’ve got to salvage some mileage out of).

Ridley, you old prick. Thanks for nothing. Here’s what we could have won if you let Neill do his thing.

During the Me2 movement, and Harvey Weinstein being indicted, fingered, and removed from power, those classic films that are made to “Oscar” have not been as present as they used to be. There isn’t this establishment knocking those films out of the park anymore. Those same greasy tired faces with their greasy hands around the Oscar. I think this is a great thing. We have all grown weary of films posted in the last knocking of the year that have been targeted for greatness, that got old. It just so happened that it took some deviancy and a change in how it is seen, to end the gravy train. You can’t suck a dick and get on any more, well, not without signing a 20 page document first and having a minder present (a little off-putting but I’m sure Gwyneth would sign on the dotted).

All in good jest, allegedly.

People will also see that you can make a billion dollar box office smash. You’ve just got to set it up right first. But will they will either learn that lesson or not, it doesn’t seem to matter to those at the sharp end of the craft but it really should.

Hopefully these same people see that if you dial back on the preach, it doesn’t rile up your audience. That maybe you could have a trans actor in the role, if you simply shut the fuck up about it and didn’t make it a thing. You want those badges and clout points but you should strive for better films, memorable, rewatchable, entertaining, thought provoking. For that you need people who earned their spot on Merit. What a world shattering suggestion (sarcasm at 12).

The Bigger Grumbles

Take a look at the composition of The Expanse. It is chock full of diversity, the whole rainbow is there but it’s not thrust in your face. They’ve got a job to do and they have to have at it. Mustered and ready for duty. The Expanse and shows like it, are what you need to aim for. Karate Kid, the series, is good. I’ve just finished watching Season 4 on Netflix. The last episode was very satisfying and I love the trajectory it sets us on for season 5. The fact that it is still cooking with gas in season 4 is how a series used to run back in the day. There are so many abandoned projects that went bad in Season 2 because you started to drop all of the dungbeetle messages. Don’t do that anymore! Don’t make all your efforts in vain! Please! It is sad to see productions fail. I mean, Cowboy Bebop was hideous but I still wanted to see if you could redeem yourself for a season 2. It didn’t get that far. Perhaps a win for the audience’s time. But for you…

Take one and hand it out (preferably at film school)

You know, I didn’t mind that Faye was gay or at least bisexual. I didn’t mind the engineer being in the bunk. It’s just all of the way it was put together that didn’t work, I’m talking the whole series from aft to stern. Julia wanting to control it all is not even close to what happened in the Anime. I’m not sure what you were trying to achieve with it all. It might have been better if you had set this with different but quirky characters in the Bebop universe that you could have made unique stories for because, and this is a spoiler to those unaware, Spike dies at the end in the original anime. That’s as far as he goes. You could have had three other bounty hunters that knew the Bebop crew, something else, anything else. Maybe they inherited the Bebop or one of the iconic ships from it. Doing a re-tread, or a subversion re-tread of the original is not the way to go. Why aren’t you learning this? You’ve got to think about this and then think about it again.

As gorgeous as Scarlet is, this wasn’t going to work. You remember that Mephisto comment I made further up? Do your homework! Don’t re-tread blessed ground with live action. Disney, two words; Lion King.

Just look at another production Scarlet Johansen was in, Ghost in the Shell. A blow by blow re-tread of the manga didn’t work. And it didn’t have anything to do with the supposed “race washing” that occurred. It was the fact that you stayed so close to the original that it was devoid of anything artistic. You didn’t add anything to it. Most people would rather watch the animation. That Ghost in the Shell film should have been something further down the pipe, something out the other end, beyond. There was a time where the Major had transferred her soul to a child’s body, now obviously for many reasons that wouldn’t make a great film, but you could have started your ghost in the shell film with her migrating to another shell. Just a small suggestion maybe?

Associate Netflix/Amazon Prime/Apple TV/Hulu/dipshit stream employee, step away from the bong stand, don’t inhale, don’t pass go, don’t collect 200 grams of premium green. You penis!

People at Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ alongside other streaming platforms need to know when a pitch is dogshit. You can’t fling that turd at the wall and see if it sticks, you need to go deeper in your dive. You need to stop giving fucknoses blank cheques. You need to take accountability, and oversight of productions. You need to have a specialist who is a fan, give it a deep once over before green lighting it. It can’t be a quick sign of a piece of bog roll (toilet paper) in a bong smoke filled room to greenlight these woke productions because you are sold on the clout uptick. It can’t work that way, it’s not sustainable. You can’t keep churning out 1 season failures and expect subscription payers to go along with it. You can’t keep re-starting franchise films because they didn’t land. There’s this thing called fatigue you see. We can’t get excited about a property if we know your heart isn’t in it, if it’s just another flash in the pan, another bottle of Bollinger you pissed away during your three month shoot.

The tache that ruined it all. Henry Cavill, legend among men. Adored by women. Super-tache.

I’ve got no confidence for DC films at present time. DC is so inconsistent that it is a literal waste of my time to get excited about any project they make. Warner Brothers seemingly don’t care about their assets. I only peruse winners afterwards now. That’s where I’m at with DC. That is not a winning strategy. DC could have gone Marvel’s winning route if they had paid attention, instead they’ve tried to shortcut the formula at every step along the road. How you wasted Henry Cavill, one of my favourite Supermen since the OG Christopher Reeve (Requiescat In Pace) with your idiotic bollocks is beyond me. The fact that you have now released him to chase some ridiculous switch up (with a beautiful woman who is made to look hideously androgynous in her super suit) is maddening to me. The fact that you’ve left a husband beater to happily enjoy round 2 and destroy the great work and reputation of the first Aquaman film (a film I absolutely loved) is insulting not only to my intelligence, but to my faith in you as a company that has any kind of integrity. Cutting out the creator of Harry Potter because she deems to have a different opinion to your corporate line, that’s some 1984 shit right there, considering how much she has netted you over the last 2 decades, that’s how you show your gratitude. If you don’t respect those that work for you, why should I respect you? How much of a lesson do you need to get it? How hard do things need to hit you in the wallet for you to wake up in the true sense, and not the appropriated sense? How far are you going to take this? How far will your shareholders let you take this? They are the real mugs if they let this continue as a habit. You are not getting my money until you change.

There’s one thing I miss from cable shows where they did something that helped out a little in a long 22/23 episode season. At the half way point they would stop at the mid-season and determine the audience reception then when coming back off the break they would try to put some pep and try and arrest some elements of the show before it destabilised. Often this mid season correction would solve some problems that could tank the show (not always, but most of the time). You don’t get that option with streaming because the series length is so short now that you only get as much as 10 episodes (but 8 seems to be the common number). Often the streamers set either the whole season to binge, or the first three episodes and one new every Friday as an example. But the problem is, you’ve filmed the entire season already, it’s in the can. You can’t go back and tweak it. You can’t shove in a few episodes to put it right. Once it’s going the wrong way, it’s locked in. I know for a fact that WandaVision was rushed out of the gate to fit in with schedules and it suffered for that, it wasn’t the cohesive end product it should have been. When you get a particularly shit episode in a small batch of 8, it really upsets a series. Trust me. The less you have to compare, the larger and more glaring the issue is. When you have a bad episode in a 22/23 episode run, you can move on and see past it. Just bare that in mind. I like shorter series because they are more cohesive but, every episode has got to come out of the gate swinging.

With films you have the issue of progressive echo chambers that you do test screenings to. That’s the only way you can keep on pushing and squeezing the woke out without any qualms. And if you aren’t prepared to listen to real people, you are never going to get it right. You have to know that social media isn’t a good yard stick of what people want. It’s a hub of fundamentalists and freeloaders blowing a lot of hot air out of their ass, howling at the moon and dunking on people. It’s a rabble, a mob of the kind of people you’d want to die first in a civil war. The chaff, the riff raff, the drongo. You need to find ordinary people, your target audience. You need to connect with them, if they smell a bit, wear a peg if it bothers you that much getting down with the masses. Because if you come back with even a pinch of salient information, it’s better than the dogshit you are making right now.

Terror! When the Golden Globes was moderately fun.

Ricky Gervais’ last performance at the Golden Globes was from the heart. It was a magnifier to how ridiculous Hollywood has become but the situation is worse than you think. Do you know why so many daylight robberies are occurring in Los Angeles right now, in broad daylight? Because things are fucking bad right now, and you can’t flaunt your wares in a situation like this, it’s not safe. That’s not an acceptable line, but you’ve created this atmosphere by being shit weasels. There is no shame in being modest. Alec Baldwin killing a person because he didn’t check his gun properly with a test fire, and used a weapon that was knowingly prone to misfires, is by definition amoral. As an actor, you have to be responsible for your own actions even if you have three or more assistants in your entourage. You can’t leave everything to a wet behind the ears weapon specialist on a set where union workers walked out due to safety concerns. The buck stops with you Alec. People like you have to recognise the real world instead of living it like a pantomime.

But hey, those are just grumbles….

What is the saying? Hope for the best, expect the worst. Hmmm. I’ll leave it there.

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Blogger, Writer, Hero, God, Modest…

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Jackson Noel Davies

Jackson Noel Davies

Blogger, Writer, Hero, God, Modest…

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