Spider-Man, a Hero and an avenger: movies

SPIDER-MAN: No Way Home (2021) surprisingly resolves the cliffhanger of the previous film — Mysterio framing Spider-Man as a murderer — within a few minutes. However as Mysterio also exposed Spidey’s secret identity, this proves a problem for Peter and his friends (“MJ, are you carrying his spider-babies?”) so Peter enlists Dr. Strange to erase the world’s memory of the reveal. Unfortunately things go wrong and the spell opens the multiverse, bringing the puzzled villains from the Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield films to the MCU (as Disney already has Tom Hardy for Venom, we didn’t get Topher Grace). Can Peter stop them? Can he send them home? Can he avert the deaths he learns they’re all facing? I didn’t like the ending (too similar to the comics’ One More Day — and Peter makes a promise he doesn’t keeep) but nevertheless this was immense fun. “Are you going into battle dressed as a cool youth pastor?”

Bollywood icon Uttam Kumar plays THE HERO (1966), a superstar much like himself (I gather the Hollywood equivalent would be Cary Grant playing a movie star) who takes a train to a movie award ceremony so he can brood about the possibility his new film will be a major flop. The train trip also has him dealing with assorted hustlers, a starstruck spouse, a sick teenager and an ambitious women’s magazine publisher. This film by Satyajit Ray is a mix of character study (possibly influenced by Fellini’s 8 1/2) and Grand Hotel set-up (i.e., watching the interactions between lots of people suddenly thrown together); interesting, though probably more so if I knew Indian culture better. “’Catch fish but don’t get your hands wet’ is my motto.

LADY SNOWBLOOD (1973) is a cult classic—it’s supposed to be an inspiration for Kill Bill—about a child of rape trained into a deadly martial artist to avenge herself on the quartet who killed her mother. Gory to the over-the-top point it;while not bad, I’m not joining the cult. “The vagina goddess has graced us with a visit.”

#SFWApro. Cover by Steve Ditko, all rights remain with current holder.

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