REVIEW: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ spins a satisfying web

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s incarnation of Spider-Man fought in the Avengers’ Civil War and the Infinity War, but those end up paling in comparison to his multi-layered challenge in “No Way Home.”

The hero’s alter ego is Peter Parker, once again portrayed by Tom Holland. The movie begins with a news program revealing the webslinger’s identity via a hoax video produced by the villain Mysterio.

In the video, Mysterio not only revealed that Spider-Man is Peter Parker, he also claimed the hero used drone technology to wreak havoc on London. Parker soon has supporters and haters surrounding him 24/7, which pushes him to find a solution. That solution is visiting Mystic Arts Master Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and asking if there’s a spell to make people forget Spider-Man’s identity.

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REVIEW: ‘Eternals’ is a low grade MCU entry

Director ChloĆ© Zhao had had a great track record with 2017’s “The Rider” and last year’s “Nomadland,” the latter winning Academy Awards.

Unfortunately, her venture into the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t as good.

This MCU entry features characters older than all of the heroes audiences have been introduced to since 2008. Those characters are the Eternals, a race of warriors with special powers created by a being known as Arishem. Their purpose is to protect life across the cosmos from dark creatures known as Deviants.

Their latest mission brought them to Earth at the dawn of humanity, where they defended mankind for centuries from Deviants across the planet. The movie picks up with the Eternals in the present day, living among humanity and waiting for future orders from Arishem. However, their now normal lives are upended when the Deviants, long thought defeated, come back.

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REVIEW: ‘Venom’ sequel offers below average action, humor

Eddie and Venom are back for another action film, or maybe a relationship-based sitcom. It gets kind of hard to tell.

“Let there be Carnage” is the sequel to the 2018 film “Venom,” which once again focuses on digital journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), who is host of an alien parasite, Venom. Venom and Eddie try to get along, but the two begin getting on each others nerves and their symbiotic relationship starts becoming strained.

Meanwhile, serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who Eddie has interviewed a few times, is set to get the death penalty. Before his death, though, Cletus does a last interview with Eddie and in the process, Cletus comes in contact with Venom. The contact mutates into a new symbiote named Carnage, which gives Cletus the power to break out of prison, with vengeance in mind against all who’ve wronged him.

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REVIEW: ‘Shang Chi’ is sufficient, but not sensational

In 2008, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie featured the Ten Rings as an antagonistic organization.

More than a decade later, we finally get a look at the group’s true leader, and his family.

Tony Leung stars as Xu Wenwu in “Shang-Chi,” a man who has lived for centuries thanks to his 10 magical rings he wields. For most of his life, Wenwu had been focused on conquest, leading an army known as the Ten Rings. However, this changes when he meets Ying Li, a woman from a mystical land.

Wenwu ends his warrior ways as he gets married to Ying Li and they have two children, one being Shang Chi (Simu Liu). However, following the loss of a family member, Wenwu once again takes his old mantle while also training Shang Chi to be a skilled warrior. But when the time comes for Shang Chi to go out on Ten Rings a mission, he opts instead to leave his family and the Ten Rings organization and start a new life in the United States.

At the movie’s start, though, Shang Chi’s old life comes calling.

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REVIEW: ‘Suicide Squad’ succeeds under Gunn’s direction

Considering there was another movie released just a few years earlier, I figured they would have come up with another title to set this “Suicide Squad” apart than just adding a “The.”

But it works for Ohio State, so, maybe it’s fine here.

The Suicide Squad” follows a new group of convicts turned mercenaries working for government official Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) for a chance of reducing their sentence. This group includes a pair of top tier elite assassins in Peacemaker (John Cena) and Bloodsport (Idris Elba), as well as a human shark hybrid (voice by Sylvester Stallone), a woman who has a device to control rats (Daniela Melchior) and a man who can shoot colorful energy bolts (David Dastmalchian).

Along for the ride with this Suicide Squad team is their government chaperone Col. Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and the infamous Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). This time around, the crew is tasked with taking down the dictator of a remote island who has fallen into control of a dangerous scientific research facility.

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REVIEW: Deviation from spy genre breaks ‘Black Widow’

The concept of family was brought up so many times, I thought I was in the wrong room watching “F9.”

“Black Widow” takes place between “Captain America 3” and “Avengers 3,” when Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) was on the run from the American government because of the Sokovia Accords conflict. Romanoff manages to go into hiding, but it’s not long before her past life catches up with her.

It turns out Yelena (Florence Pugh) who posed as Natasha’s sister in an undercover family, needs Black Widow’s help. The organization that created the Black Widow program, known as the Red Room, has developed a dangerous mind control system and Yelena is hoping to put an end to it. Knowing they need some additional help, the duo recruit other members of their undercover family, the father Alexei (David Harbour) and mother Melina (Rachel Wesz).

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Eight Great Black Widow Moments

In the last decade, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, has appeared in eight Marvel Cinematic Universe films. After her career as a spy, she joined the superhero team the Avengers and was integral in several battles during the Infinity conflicts.

There have been a lot of superb spy moments in the Marvel movies, but these eight are my favorite. I’m of course going with eight because of spiders having eight legs. Seemed appropriate.

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REVIEW: ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel mostly falls flat

Before fighting Doomsday and Steppenwolf, Wonder Woman emerged in the 80s to battle corporate greed.

“Wonder Woman 1984” opens with the Amazon warrior now fighting crime while also working at the Smithsonian. At her job, where she goes by Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), she meets a researcher named Barbara (Kristen Wiig). Early in the movie, Barbara comes across a stone that supposedly grants wishes.

Barbara, who’s rather insecure, wishes to be just like Diana. Diana, meanwhile, wishes for her lost love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to be resurrected. Despite thinking it’s just a legend, it turns out the stone actually works for the two. It also works for a desperate businessman named Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) who has aspirations of more power. These three wishes end up bringing the characters into conflict.

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DC FanDome: Breaking down hype and hesitation

There was a ton of movie news over the weekend and a lot of it came from DC’s virtual convention titled FanDome. The event had trailers and details released on several upcoming superhero movies.

From Batman to Flash, there’s a whole lot to breakdown from FanDome. So, here’s my recap on the whole thing.

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REVIEW: ‘Birds of Prey’ is fun, but doesn’t soar high enough

There’s a feeling with this movie that the creative team said ‘we have Harley Quinn, let’s just slap a movie together around that character and it will all work itself out.’

Unfortunately, that doesn’t really happen here.

“Birds of Prey” picks up after the events of the 2016 movie “Suicide Squad” and audiences soon learn that Quinn (Margot Robbie) is no longer together with the criminal mastermind Joker. She’s not exactly able to enjoy her new single life right away, though, as Quinn soon learns that there’s a lot of people, whether it be random individuals or hardened criminals, who want her dead. Now that Joker isn’t with her anymore, those forces have a clear path to Harley.

One of those criminals is Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), who also goes by Black Mask. As Black Mask’s feud with Quinn develops, other characters are drawn in, including a detective named Renee (Rosie Perez), a mysterious assassin in Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and a dangerous singer trained in combat who goes by Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell). Eventually these figures all become tied in a web that leads back to a young pickpocket named Cassandra (Ella Jay Basco), who stole a jewel that everyone in Gotham is after.

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