Despite what Sony keeps trying to tell you, there is no such thing as the “Sony’s Spider-Man Universe”. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was clearly part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe the whole time, even with the up in the air nature of No Way Home’s conclusion, and Tom Hardy’s Venomhasn’t had much to do yet. But Morbius, one of the most deserving victims of the multiple COVID-19 influenced delays, has finally been born. It adds nothing to the cinematic canon, the comic book movie canon, or the Marvel cinematic canon. It can’t add nothing to the Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, because that does not exist.
Long ago, back in the mists of time, the Playstation 3 had no games. This all changed in 2009, when Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was released and packed in with the console â€” admittedly a paradox when Uncharted: Drakeâ€™s Fortune was released on the same platform two years earlier â€” and Sony was saved. In this series, which is like a modernised Indiana Jones (or, more cynically, â€œa boy version of Tomb Raiderâ€), a man with a gun and preternatural ability for climbing globetrots for treasure and gets involved in a dizzying series of betrayals, triple crosses, and flirtations with the supernatural.
Tom Hollandâ€™s live action Uncharted gets a lot of this right, but it forgets that the original games are so cinematic that a movie with real people and inexplicable Papa Johnâ€™s product placement wasnâ€™t strictly necessary. These arenâ€™t quite the characters that players know and love, and Mark Wahlberg isnâ€™t the draw that he thinks he is, but Uncharted is a fun time regardless.
Few tentpole films have suffered more from the privations of the last two years than No Time To Die, which has been slated and reslated so many times that one could have been forgiven for thinking it would never see release. Star Daniel Craig, famous for his exhaustion with the productions, had to follow the promotional trail far longer than any mere multimillionaire actor should reasonably be expected to. Somehow not the Craig Bond film burdened with the most meta-narrative (a title owned by the largely forgotten Quantum of Solace, brung low by industrial action), No Time To Die is nonetheless the end of an era: Craigâ€™s swan song, a Bond vehicle that hits so many of the right notes that the ones it muffs are both glaringly obvious and largely forgivable.
In times of trouble, humanity needs hope. We need the likes of Kong and Godzilla, to ruin our cities and cause billions in collateral damage. Godzilla goes where he pleases, but Kong is historically transported against his will. Godzilla vs. Kong posits a question first asked in 1962, and recently twisted by Zack Snyder: what if two of the worldâ€™s greatest heroes came to blows? Godzilla vs. Kong is the fourth entry in what has been termed the Monsterverse, and it is easily the dumbest yet, in the best possible way. You may protest â€œthey should be friends!â€ but, as a great man once said, â€œlet them fightâ€.
If you recall Tom Cruiseâ€™s 2017 incarnation of The Mummy, you may also remember that it was supposed to kick off a shared monster continuum called the â€œDark Universeâ€, which was already cast and featured one Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man. 2020â€™s The Invisible Man, while still produced by Universal, is not that movie. Itâ€™s a Leigh Whannell (Upgrade) and Blumhouse special, which means that its budget is so vanishingly small that it should make money no matter what it does. The Invisible Man is not particularly heart warming, but rather a twitchy and paranoid gaslit thriller lead by a woman who can only take so much before she snaps.
Bonnet dramas are an institution in the UK, the way that the BBC keeps the classics alive, from Austen to Dickens to Gaskell. Sometimes the bonnets escape to the big screen, where they are necessarily concatenated but can offer either a bright sumptuousness or a gritty natural lighting, as the director dictates. While the nineteenth century could be a gloomy place, music video director Autumn de Wildeâ€™s feature debut Emma. offers a genteel rural paradise where the emotions are deeply felt, the servants audibly silent, and the houses impossibly large for only two people to live in. Jane Austenâ€™s fourth novel is brought to the silver screen for fourth time (including Clueless), and this incarnation crams the novelâ€™s charms while despatching with many of its blind alleys.
Some books are classics, but in the modern era they serve better as blue prints for adaptations. Louisa May Alcottâ€™s 1869 novel Little Women is a landmark novel, but to the eyes of today it is fragmented, moralistic, and bigoted against the Irish. In her own version of Little Women, writer/director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) takes most of the greatest elements of the novel â€” and at least part of one of the dumbest â€” and fashions them into something vibrant and new.
It is true that cars used to be more aesthetically pleasing than they are now, but equally true that they would kill you for even so much as thinking about getting behind the wheel. Ford v Ferrari, known internationally as Le Mans â€™66, hearkens back to a golden age of engineering, when the most important thing an American man could do was make a car that could go for 24 hours without exploding to stick it to the Italians. Itâ€™s a simple concept and a simple film, but Ford v Ferrari brings such talent to bear that itâ€™s never far off exhilaration.
The Shining is one of the most iconic films of all time, in horror or any other genre. It is also iconic for how much Stephen King hates it, to the extent that he eventually had to sign a document to the effect that he would no longer publicly excoriate it. But The Shining was only Kingâ€™s third novel; Doctor Sleep, which would come thirty-six years later, was his 52nd. In 2019, nearly every movie and TV show is based on a Stephen King property, and it is safe to say that he has more clout than he did in 1980. The main thing about Kingâ€™s The Shining versus Kubrickâ€™s is that they had completely different priorities and, despite their commonalities, they told different stories.
Along comes writer/director/editor Mike Flanaganâ€™s (The Haunting of Hill House) Stephen Kingâ€™s Doctor Sleep, which acts to bridge the gap: it is a sequel to both the book and the film of The Shining. It does well when it sticks to King and flounders a little bit when it comes to Kubrick, but it is a daring film, and more striking than almost any other recent King project this side of TVâ€™s Castle Rock.
It has been only four years since the Terminator series tried a new direction with the under-appreciated but terribly named Terminator: Genisys. 2019 brings Terminator: Dark Fate, a film that fashions itself as the new third Terminator film. In a series that is so heavily predicated on time travel and timelines, production can create any continuity that they want and get away with it. The main point of difference for Terminator: Dark Fate is that Linda Hamilton (Curvature) and producer James Cameron (Alita: Battle Angel) are back in harness for the first time since 1991, but it is never more ambitious than that.