Senior writers review Marvel holiday show, movie
January 11, 2022
Review, Podcast: ‘Spider-Man’ makes history in ambitious crossover
Click play above to listen to episode seven of the “Over the Popcorn Bowl” podcast reviewing the movie hosted by seniors Gabriella Winans, Amanda Hare, Christi Norris and Alyssa Clark. Continue reading below for a review written by Winans and Hare.
Author’s Note: The podcast and written review both contain major spoilers for “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
As “Spider-Man: No Way Home” tickets opened, every fan rushed to buy them, crashing every movie theater’s website. It took three hours of agonizing waiting in an AMC virtual line, but I finally got my tickets for opening night.
The movie, without a doubt, was worth the wait. It was definitely the best movie of 2021 and one of Marvel’s best. I was quite literally on the edge of my seat the entire movie, and seeing the three Spider-Men together was an experience I will never forget. Every actor and actress in the movie did amazing, and the movie’s humor made it even more entertaining.
As usual, I loved Peter Parker. He made a few poor decisions in the beginning, but he definitely grew out of that. I really just loved how this movie handled Peter’s character development. It really made him his own independent hero, not “Iron Boy Junior” as the critics have called him.
It really made Peter’s whole character arc come full circle, because, in the end, nearly every superhero, especially in Marvel, has to make a decision of whether or not to sacrifice themselves. We see Peter grow from being a high school kid wanting to ask a girl to a dance to making decisions that will impact the entire universe.
I enjoyed how they handled the conflict between his life as Peter Parker and his life as Spider-Man, and I really thought the ending was perfect to settle that. He gave up his whole life as Peter Parker to save the world, but also to completely focus on being Spider-Man. I don’t know how they can continue his story from here though, since that seemed like the perfect ending to the story to me.
Peter and MJ always hit differently for me. Something about their relationship and their progression in this trilogy has seemed so special from the beginning. I love how we got to see them navigate their next steps in life, and seeing the way they both opened up to each other, when they really had no one before. I love their bond, and I really want to see more of them again.
MJ and Ned were truly something else. Ned has always talked about being Peter’s “man in the chair” or the person who helps him, so it was so fun seeing both him and MJ in that role. They have a great bond, and I loved seeing them lean on each other when everything with Peter was kind of in limbo.
However, the other Spider-Men definitely stole the show to me. Their dynamic was great, and they were just hilarious. I loved how they supported Tom Holland’s Peter and the fight scene with the three of them was honestly so cool. It was just really exciting to see the other Spider-Men that everyone kind of grew up with on the screen, and it’s nice that Andrew Garfield is getting recognition for his movies now.
The villains did such a great job as well. The Lizard and Sand-Man didn’t really have any effect on the plot, however, if they were given a larger role the movie would have become too convoluted. I loved Doc Ock’s arc and how he ended up saving the Peters from Electro, and I thought Electro was great as well.
The Green Goblin was the best by far though. Willem Dafoe absolutely killed the role. The personality switch between Norman Osborn and the Green Goblin was so clear. Even though his character wasn’t very scary compared to previous villains, the way Dafoe portrayed him was terrifying.
May’s death was devastating and just so well done. Her last words and Peter crying over her body while the police closed in and Happy saw from a distance was perfect and incredibly sad. The effect of her death was well done as well with Tom Holland’s Peter wanting to kill the Green Goblin and the other Peter’s stopping him from making the same mistakes they did.
Overall, the movie was an absolute masterpiece. My expectations were sky-high, but the movie still exceeded them. I can’t wait to see where Peter’s story goes next.
Review: ‘Hawkeye’ surprises viewers in fun TV show
Author’s Note: This review contains minor spoilers for “Hawkeye.”
The one Marvel TV show I wasn’t excited for was “Hawkeye.” I didn’t care much about Clint Barton, played by Jeremy Renner, who is the superhero Hawkeye. However, the moment I saw the trailer, I knew I’d love it. The Christmas theme and the dynamic between newcomer Kate Bishop and Clint that was shown in the short trailer somehow already had me hooked.
From here, I only got more and more excited. And, when the show finally began, it did not disappoint.
The show quickly became one of my favorite Marvel shows – tied for favorite with “WandaVision.”
Before the show, I did not care about Clint. He was pretty much a side character to every other Avenger, and the only thing I liked about him was his friendship with Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson. But, in the show, Marvel dove in way deeper with Clint’s character, making him much more likable.
First, they finally showed him being hard of hearing – like he was in the comics – and showed much more of his family, especially with the conflict of choosing to be with his family for the holidays or fighting the villains.
Kate, played by Hailee Steinfield, was someone I unexpectedly loved as well. I always love seeing the MCU introduce another iconic duo, but Kate and Clint’s dynamic was really special to me. I don’t think we’ve seen an interaction of a fangirl and her favorite superhero working together in Marvel before. Plus, Kate’s character is developed enough to stand on her own, which makes me like her even more.
As always, Yelena Belova stole the show. Florence Pugh is consistently wowing us with this character, and after Yelena entered the show at the end of Episode 4, titled, “Partners, Am I Right?” her scenes were by far the best. I’ve been so excited to see her again after “Black Widow,” and Yelena definitely did not disappoint. I don’t think we’ve seen a character with her kind of charisma yet, especially considering her darker past, so it was fun seeing her meet and interact with Kate, who’s her same age. She was hilarious, and had a great dynamic with Kate and Clint.
I also especially loved how the show had many tributes to Natasha, something I felt the MCU hadn’t done yet. It was so nice hearing her be recognized as the hero she really was, since she often doesn’t get the recognition she deserves. She was acknowledged many times by Clint, but the inclusion of Yelena in the show made it even better. Yelena dealing with how her sister died and how it wasn’t Clint’s fault was an important point in her character development that I’m glad we got to see.
My opinion on Jack, Kate’s almost stepdad, greatly changed with the last episode of “Hawkeye.” I really just hated him beforehand because I was figuring he was the bad guy, but Marvel did a great job painting him as the sort of “red herring” leading up to the finale. I love the fact he was fighting with Clint and Kate by the end of the series, and his love for his sword was a great addition to his character’s personality.
The show was just overall fun, with entertaining details such as the New York City LARPers, “Lucky the Pizza Dog” and “Rogers: The Musical.” The show was very light-hearted, which definitely matched the holiday theme. I think one of the best parts about the show was just how likable Clint and Kate were. I can’t wait to see them – and Yelena – in future works.
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