Jordan H. Manigo

journal

The journal of Jordan H. Manigo; art director; designer; storyteller; nilla wafer enthusiast 

 

Cinephillia || Entry Number Three || Spider-Man: Homecoming

Cinephilia is the term used to refer to a passionate interest in cinema, film theory and film criticism. The term is a portmanteau of the words cinema and philia, one of the four ancient Greek words for love. A person with a passionate interest in cinema is called a cinephile or cinemaphile.

So yea...film "reviews," thoughts and ramblings. Although I'm hesitant to call them reviews since, I'm not a critic, just a guy who studies and loves the art of visual storytelling and all of its faculties. It might become a consistent thing...maybe not. I'ma try it out and see how this goes. K?...K.

Thanks!



Mostly just throwing out things I subjectively liked only, since I don't have time to get into too many technicals. *NO SPOILERS* *NO TRAILER THIS TIME...GO IN BLIND*


So yea; here we go:

In my OPINION...THE BEST Spider-Man film, so far. In fact, the ones that came before don't even exist to me anymore and feel dated by comparison. Tom Holland is THE definitive Peter Parker in my mind now.

Everytime I tell myself, “I'm tired of superheros.” (And ultimately I am. I don't even read superhero comics anymore) Disney / MARVEL surprises me and manages to convince me of how much potential still exists. This felt fresh to me aaaand I hope they can keep it up post-Infinity War.

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Not perfect but still a tight, small scale, self-contained slightly above street level story, unconcerned with setting up future MCU instalments, and not involving any sings of a world ending skybeam of death.

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An origin story sans the traditional trappings of an origin story, complete with a new expanded version of the "Great power" montra, in the form of "If you're nothing without the suit then you shouldn't have it."

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I loved both costumes and the story driven function each served. The practical solution for justifying moving eye lenses, ala the comics, was a nice design touch.

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The Harry Potter meets Ferris Bueller / 80's teen comedy approach — taking Peter back to high school (9th grade?...10th grade?) — feels like an angle that should have been a no-brainer from the jump. (I acknowledge that Sam Rami's films came about in a different time.) It almost makes me wish I was a 12 year old again so that I could enjoy this from that perspective.

(No seriously...pitching this new version of S-P as roughly, Harry Potter, with superheros — this film ostensibly being, "Year One," — is a really cool idea to me, just from a brand / franchise building standpoint.)

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Displaying the ethnically mixed environment of a melting pot like New York and casting people who actually are, and or look/act like kids!

In Kevin Smith's review of Homecoming, he noted the audacity of the line, “He's just a kid,” in reference to a then 75 year old Toby Maguire, from Spider-Man 2, and how this film makes that train scene a tad ridiculous in retrospect.

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Funny in surprising ways. The film did one thing with SP, during his day to day goings on, involving a carjacking that was hilarious-as-balls and something I never expected to see in a superhero film.

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Zendaya's character was also hilarious and I really love the role she's playing. She reminded me of Daria somewhat. I wish the film was more straightforward about who she's CLEARLY meant to be, but whatevs. She also has a nice joke (not joking?) about slaves that was mad unexpected for a Disney/MARVEL film.

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The easter eggs and world-building (aka setting up future villains and character arcs) stuff was subtle and non-distracting.

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The movie did a really good job of getting me to feel just how somewhat irresponsible, often mundane, tedious and dangerous being a superhero is for a character who is essentially a child, in a way that I've personally never seen before, outside of something more akin to Kick-Ass. BUT also raises a lot of questions for me about the kind of person Tony Stark is to pull a kid into that world.

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The emphasis on the fact that despite what Peter can do, he is still just a kid who's clumsy, naive, annoyingly hyperactive, an over reaching chronic screw up and gets genuinely scared (a trait showcased in several very effective 3rd act scenes in particular) really spoke to me.

Wherever Peter became distraught, saddened, frightened, etc I found myself feeling those things too.

*sidenote: One of those 3rd act scenes I'm talking about is the best Vulture / Spider-Man scene in the film and it doesn't involve costumes or fisticufs of any kind!*

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For the first time in...idk...ever, in the MCU? Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture was smart, relatable and genuinely frightening villain (if I were someone's Peter's age, at least), whose motivations and actions I completely understood and kind of empathized with in a weird, Corrupt capitalistic / prohibition breeds Mob mentality / I have friends who were shit on by the system all their life and turned to selling drugs to feed their families, kind of way. The guy was basically Walter White

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Needless to say, I will be buying this movie on blu-ray and watching it with the director's commentary ON.