Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Director: Jon Watts
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Based on: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko‘s comic
Sequel to: Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far from Home
Cast: Tom HollandZendayaJacob Batalon, Marisa TomeiJon Favreau, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict WongTony Revolori, Jamie Foxx, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Andrew Garfield, Tobey MaguireAngourie Rice, Martin Starr, Hannibal Buress, J.B. Smoove, J.K. Simmons, Rhys Ifans, Charlie Cox, Thomas Haden Church
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 20.12.2021

Plot:
Now that the world knows that Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is Spider-Man, Peter’s life is thoroughly screwed up. Although things could be so very good now that both his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and his finally-girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) know the truth. Not to mention Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). But things just can’t work that way anymore, and so Peter asks Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for a spell to make the world forget about Spider-Man’s identity. Things don’t work out the way he’d hoped, though, and the mess becomes even bigger than before.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is entertaining as hell, a cross-over of epic proportions and proof of that Spider-Man is never allowed to be happy ever. In short: it gives you one hell of a ride.

The film poster showing Spider-Man (Tom Holland) on a pile of rubble, surrounded by metal tentacles and the Green Goblin in the distance behind him.

[Slight SPOILERS follow]

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Eternals (2021)

Eternals
Director: Chloé Zhao
Writer: Chloé Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, Kaz Firpo
Based on: Jack Kirby‘s comic
Cast: Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Ma Dong-seok, Harish Patel, Bill Skarsgård, Harry Styles, Patton Oswalt
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 18.11.2021

Plot:
Three thousand years ago, a group of humanoid aliens were sent to Earth to protect it and its humans from the deviants – monsters that love to eat them. Led by Ajak (Salma Hayek), they are a fierce group of warriors, all with their special talents. 500 years ago, they got rid of the last deviant and dispersed, waiting to be called back to their home planet. Sersi (Gemma Chan) ended up in London where she is dating the human Dane (Kit Harington) after a break-up with her fellow Eternal Ikaris (Richard Madden). Sprite (Lia McHugh), another of the Eternals, lives with her. Things appear pretty settled – until they are unexpectedly attacked by a deviant that already drew Ikaris’ attention. It appears that the Eternals have to come back together as their mission isn’t over yet.

Eternals gets many things right, even if it doesn’t fit easily with the rest of the MCU. Be that as it may, I enjoyed a lot about it, but not without some reservations.

THe film poster, showing the ten Eternals standing on a river shore in their armor.
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Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Director: Andy Serkis
Writer: Kelly Marcel
Based on: David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane‘s comics character
Sequel to: Venom
Cast: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, Peggy Lu
Part of: (as of now) Marvel movies
Seen on: 21.10.2021

Plot:
Eddie (Tom Hardy) and Venom have found a way to live together. Kind of. Eddie’s life is still a mess after everything that happened and he slowly tries to get back into working as a journalist but that’s easier said than done with Venom in tow who keeps crying for brains, and for Anne (Michelle Williams) although Eddie does his best to let Anne live her new life. When serial killer on death row Cletus (Woody Harrelson) asks for Eddie, personally, to share his life secrets with him, Eddie gets the chance he has been waiting for. But the encounter with Cletus doesn’t exactly go smoothly and when Venom gets involved, something stays behind with Cletus that really shouldn’t.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage leans into the strengths of the first film and gives us (almost) all the romance you could wish for. The not-so-romantic parts still don’t work perfectly, but I did enjoy myself again.

The film poster showing Eddie (Tom Hardy), the right half of his face covered by half of Venom's face.
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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Writer: Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham
Based on: Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin‘s character
Cast: Simu Liu, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Wah Yuen, Florian Munteanu, Andy Le, Benedict Wong, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 6.9.2021

Plot:
Shaun (Simu Liu) tried to built a life for himself, away from his father Wenwu (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung) and Wenwu’s private army, the Ten Rings – including actual ten rings that give Wenwu awesome powers. And for the last decade, Shaun has been pretty successful in his endeavor. Not even his best friend Katy (Awkwafina) suspects that there is more to him than a party-loving valet. Until a group of fighters led by Razor Fist (Florian Munteanu) attack Shaun and he has to finally confront his past, his family, and his future. Not without Katy, though.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a thoroughly enjoyable film with a good mix of fighting, emotions and humor. I had a very good time with it.

The film poster showing Shaun (Simu Liu), his father Wenwu (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung) looming large behind him, wearing the ten rings. The two can be seen fighting as smaller figures in the front. Other important characters are arranged around them.
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Black Widow (2021)

Black Widow
Director: Cate Shortland
Writer: Eric Pearson
Based on: Stan Lee, Don Rico, and Don Heck‘s comic character
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, Ray Winstone, Ever Anderson, Violet McGraw, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, Olga Kurylenko
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 19.7.2021

Plot:
After becoming an international fugitive for violating the Sokovia Accords, Natasha aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) should be lying low and disappear for a while. And she’s fully prepared to do so. Instead she receives a mysterious package and is attacked for it. Trying to figure out what’s going on, Natasha realizes that her younger sister Yelena (Florence Pugh) is trying to bring down the Red Room where they were both trained. Despite initial difficulties, the two join forces. But they need the help of their former parents, Alexei aka the Red Guardian (David Harbour) and former Widow Melina (Rachel Weisz).

I didn’t expect all that much from Black Widow, I have to admit (it was the fat joke in the trailer that killed my excitement a little, and the fact that I’m no great Scarlett Johansson fan), but I have to say that the film was absolutely enjoyable and definitely among the stronger films in the MCU.

The film poster showing Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) very big, grabbing a sword on her back, with the other characters much smaller arranged around her. The background is the Black Widow sign in red on white.
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Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

Spider-Man: Far from Home
Director: Jon Watts
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Based on: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko‘s comic
Sequel to: Spider-Man: Homecoming
Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake GyllenhaalMarisa TomeiJon FavreauZendayaJacob BatalonTony RevoloriAngourie Rice, Remy HiiMartin Starr, J.B. Smoove, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Cobie Smulders, J.K. Simmons
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 10.7.2019

Plot:
After everything Thanos and the Avengers have done, Peter (Tom Holland), aka Spider-Man, returns to high school. But there really is no going back to normal anymore. Still, they make an attempt that includes a class trip to Europe. Peter is excited, hoping to find a possibility to finally ask out MJ (Zendaya). But instead Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) contacts him, asking him to take on a new threat in the shape of elemental monsters. Peter should team up with Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a new superhero and the only man to fight the monsters and come out alive so far. Juggling class obligations, friends and a secret monster fighting mission may be a little more than Peter can handle, though.

Coming after Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home has its work cut out for itself. Endgame was a big finish that left a lot of characters with a lot of pain, but Spider-Man has always been the more light-hearted, more comic relief character. But I thought that the film handled that challenge pretty well. It was entertaining, that’s for sure.

The filmposter showing MJ (Zendaya), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Peter in Spider-Man gear (Tom Holland) and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) standing in a V-shape with Peter at the front.
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Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Brie Larson, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Evangeline Lilly, Tessa Thompson, Rene Russo, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian StanTom Hiddleston, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Letitia Wright, John Slattery, Tilda Swinton, Vin Diesel, Jon Favreau, Hayley Atwell, Natalie Portman, Marisa Tomei, Taika Waititi, Angela Bassett, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, William Hurt, Cobie Smulders, Sean Gunn, Winston Duke, Linda Cardellini, Frank Grillo, Hiroyuki Sanada, James D’Arcy, Jacob Batalon, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Redford, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Samuel L. Jackson, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, Ty Simpkins, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 1.5.2019
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Content Note: fat hate

Plot:
It’s been a while since Thanos (Josh Brolin) changed the entire universe. People are coping, but how well varies from person to person. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), for one, didn’t realize at all what was happening, having spent years trapped in the quantum realm. But now he has finally been able to return to find the world very much changed. He seeks out the remaining Avengers, believing that the quantum realm may just be the very thing to help them undo what Thanos caused.

Avengers: Endgame basically had no choice but be epic (the sheer number of people and characters alone!) and it certainly delivered that. It does feel like a worthy end to the series, even if not everything about it works or is as good as it should be.

The film poster showing the main characters in a montage.
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Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Writer: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Based on: Roy Thomas and Gene Colan‘s character
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Clark Gregg, Stan Lee, Don Cheadle, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 11.3.2019
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Plot:
Vers (Brie Larson) is one of the warriors on the Kree planet Hala, led by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). They are fighting against the Skrulls. Vers is a skilled fighter, but she struggles with keeping her emotions in check and she also lost her memories, some of which may or may not be haunting her in her dreams. After yet another skirmish with the Skrull, Vers crashlands on Earth where she draws the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D., in particular Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Together they try to find out about Vers’ past, but also to find a way to fight the Skrulls that keep coming.

I am very content with Captain Marvel. It may not be the best of the Marvel movies but it is very good and a Marvel film with a woman at the center (and a woman directing) was more than overdue anyway. More of this please.

The film poster showing Vers/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in her Captain Marvel outfit, energy flowing through her.
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Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Based on: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby‘s comics
Sequel to: Ant-Man
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, T.I., David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 27.7.2018

Plot:
Scott (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest for going to Germany and helping out the Avengers. At least that gives him a lot of time to spend time with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Meanwhile Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank (Michael Douglas) are trying hard to find a way into the quantum realm where they suspect Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) to be. The only other person who ever made it there is Scott. When Hope and Hank manage to briefly create a tunnel there, Scott receives a message from Janet. That quickly, he finds himself back in the Ant-Man suit, skirting the last days of his house arrest and trying to help.

Ant-Man and the Wasp was a whole lot of fun and definitely worked better for me than the first Ant-Man film. It still feels like a sideplot in the entire MCU, but a very entertaining one.

The film poster shwoing the main characters of the film.
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Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth OlsenPaul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Sean Gunn, William Hurt, Letitia Wright, Carrie Coon, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Anthony Mackie, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 2.5.2018

Plot:
Thanos (Josh Brolin) has reached the final stages of his plan: he will collect all of the Infinity Stones and with their power reshape the universe after his own ideas. The hunt for the stones makes him cross paths with the Avengers on Earth, as well as the Guardians and the Asgardian refugees in space, leading to them coming together in a desperate effort to stop him and his plans.

Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of more than a decade of films. That alone makes it a momentous, if not to say monumental film. And it’s not bad per se, but it does feel like a step down from the recent absolute highlights that were Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok.

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