Spider-Man: Far From Home

2019 PG-13 ACTION 2h 9min

CAST — Tom Holland, Samuel L.

Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders,

Jon Favreau

DIRECTOR — Jon Watts

BASED ON— Characters appearing in Marvel Comics

A fun, Marvel-ous outing awaits those ready to venture far from home. It’s summer vacation, and Peter Parker’s class is taking a science tour of some of Europe’s top destinations. Peter looks forward to kicking back with his friends and just maybe getting to know MJ, the girl of his dreams, a little better. Plus, the idea of having a break from the pressures of being Spider-Man sounds pretty good. But this summer may prove more eventful than Peter planned. Across the globe there have been numerous attacks by creatures drawing their energy from different elements of the earth, creatures of fire, water, etc. Thankfully a new hero named Mysterio has been there to douse the proverbial and literal flames before the creatures gain too much strength. Nick Fury and his officer Maria Hill have been on the case, Fury seeing the need to call in some superheroic big guns now flying around; or in this case, swinging around. Fury approaches Peter in hopes of recruiting him to fight for the people of Earth, joining the mysterious Mysterio in the fight against the Elementals. But what does Peter want? He wanted to have an unforgettable summer with his friends (and Flash), experience what foreign locales have to offer. But is it in his nature to turn his back on those in need? Would his late mentor Tony Stark agree with his choices? And what about this Mysterio? Is he really all he seems, or has the wool been pulled over everyone’s eyes? Action-packed, scattered with some pretty big laughs, this is an irresistible, undeniably fun addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Entries as of late have been either epically huge of blandly mediocre, but this not-too-big, not-too-small film has a balance of entertaining elements that feels just right. A true return to form for the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.


The Lion King

2019 PG FANTASY 2h 18min

CAST — Donald Glover, Seth

Rogan, Chiwetel Ejiofor,

Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner

DIRECTOR— Jon Favreau

Visually stunning yet somewhat hollow interpretation of the seminal Walt Disney Pictures classic. King of the African pride, Mufasa and wife have just given birth to a young lion cub named Simba, future ruler of all he surveys. But the journey takes a bit longer than Simba anticipates. As Mufasa teaches him the ins and outs of ruling the domain, including paying respect to creatures great and small, Mufasa’a nefarious brother Scar seeks to usurp the throne, and if that means committing murder, then so be it. While Mufasa is out patrolling his domain, Simba, who just can’t wait to be king, engages Scar in conversation regarding the future, which prompts Scar into action. While discussing the pride lands with Mufasa, Scar has his hyena underlings begin a stampede of wildebeests in which young Simba is caught in the middle. Mufasa comes to the rescue, with Scar ostensibly aiding his older brother, but in fact causing Mufasa to plunge to his death. Even more so, Scar convinces Simba that he was the cause of his father’s demise. Devastated, Simba exiles himself beyond the pride, leaving the nefarious Scar to rule the Savannah with an iron claw, no one any the wiser as to the true nature of Scar’s newfound ruler ship.. Meanwhile, Simba exiles himself from his homeland, gaining all manner of friends who never expect his true heritage. Finally, enough is enough. Simba’s future mate tracks him down and convinces him to return to his now desolate homeland, a wasteland, really, in order to confront his uncle and maybe restore the pride lands to their former glory. But he must first confront Scar’s army of loyal scavengers, eventually coming face to face with his murderous uncle. Shown with captivating, sumptuous imagery, this film may prove entertaining until the story actually sets in. All quibbles aside, this is a feast for the eyes (if not the story itself). All in all stop by for the spectacle, just don’t expect much by means of the plotline, which, while similar to the original, just doesn’t live up to the now 25 year-old animated fable. Final note: though purportedly based upon the Biblical accounts of faithful men Joseph and Moses, the viewer may want to take these notions with a grain of salt.

RATING: ** 1/2

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