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*Disclaimer! No spoilers until the end. I will warn you when they come*

Spider-Man: Homecoming is the story of Peter Parker, a name most moviegoers should be very familiar with by now. After teaming up with Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War, Peter has been maintaining a loose contact with him as he continues his super-heroics. After coming across the sinister Vulture, Spidey sets out on a mission to stop him. All the while, Peter is being hounded by Iron Man to take things slow before taking on supervillains. He also needs to maintain his academic career and social life in a balancing act that causes some serious issues for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

I’m sure most people gathered this much from his brief appearance in Civil War, but Tom Holland is hands down the best Spidey put to film. That isn’t to say Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield didn’t do fantastic jobs in their own right, but Holland just did that much better. He strikes the perfect balance between Peter Parker and Spider-Man and still manages to show off some impressive acting chops despite some goofy scenes. There’s one scene towards the end in particular where he shows off this ability, to the point that I even started to cringe at how much pain his character was in.

Going in, I thought the high school and coming-of-age elements would bother me and feel out of place, but they were the most unique part of this movie. Watching a superhero struggle to maintain two different lives/identities is definitely a played-out trope. That being said, the dynamic between all of the characters in Peter’s life as a student or as a superhero made them seem more realistic and very entertaining to watch.

Speaking of realism, the Vulture is one of the most relatable and human seeming villains in the MCU. Not only did Michael Keaton play him in a way that was truly understandable and desperate, he also managed to feel incredibly intimidating at the same time. He’s an incredibly memorable addition to the MCU’s roster of villains and is the best villain they’ve had in a very long time.

**Spoilers Ahead! Read at your discretion**

I’m also glad that they didn’t spend too much time on Peter’s origin in this film. There are a few nods to it, like mentions of the radioactive spider and to Aunt May being distraught over something (a reference to Uncle Ben). However, there is no “with great power, comes great responsibility” speech, at least not directly. The lessens that Iron Man tries to convey to Peter basically fall in line with this ideology, but he never outright says it. It comes across more as common sense than an overly-preachy and out-of-character lessen, which is entirely in line with Stark’s character.

That being said, the lack of an origin story is one of the weaker parts of this film. Yes, most of the audience knows the story already from the ridiculous amount of interpretations we’ve seen recently. That being said, this film ends up being entirely too reliant on the MCU in order to tell its story.

It is part of the MCU and that is a fact that should be celebrated, but there were several instances where the plot moved forward as a direct result of characters like Tony Stark, his assistant Happy, the Chitauri, Ultron, etc. Some of these cheeky references worked fine as just fan service, like with the Captain America tapes. However, the entire plot focuses on the bad guy selling weapons based off Chitauri tech and Ultron bits and then ends with a fight over Stark tech. If you didn’t watch the Avengers films, you’ll be somewhat lost, which ruins the immersion you’re supposed to feel when watching a movie like this. This isn’t a very inclusive way to start a new series of films, which Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to do. This is a small complaint, though, and the main plot is comprehendible enough for most people.

Regardless, Spider-Man: Homecoming was a solid movie and I highly recommend everyone go out and see it. MCU fans will love how it fits into the overarching storyline and casual moviegoers will be entertained regardless.

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I spend most of my days working towards my Writing and Rhetoric degree at the University of Central Florida, but I spend a lot of my down time keeping up to date on the best TV, movies, and video games the industry has to offer. Here I put all of that extended time to use discussing each of them in-depth.

Geek Culture

‘Amazing’ Final Fantasy Movie Inspired The Marvels Director

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Generally, The Marvels is good. It has a 59 on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t great, but it’s better than Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and Disney+’s Secret Invasion. Perhaps director Nia DaCosta’s video game inspirations contributed to that.

The American filmmaker said Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children influenced her latest film at a press junket with IGN. “It’s just an amazing movie, with great fight scenes and a great ending sequence with the main character being thrown into the sky by all the other characters,” she said.
Despite poor reviews upon release in 2005, Advent Children has become a Final Fantasy cult classic. DaCosta seems to agree that the film is a classic. PlayStation exclusives also influenced the Marvels.

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In the interview, she said she didn’t want the superhero film to look “too much like a video game” but did draw from Sony’s biggest franchises, like The Last of Us and Horizon Zero Dawn. “For me, it was from the best games, the best stories that you get, that sort of inspires me to play, and I think inspires people to watch movies like this,” she said.

Since movies have shaped video games since their inception, it’s interesting to see the dynamic slowly changing. Now that technology and interactive storytelling are more complex, filmmakers are looking to PlayStation for inspiration.

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Geek Culture

Netflix raises prices again after strong subscriber growth

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Netflix reported third-quarter earnings and is doing well. Revenue increased as the company added 9 million subscribers worldwide.

Netflix is also using this opportunity to raise the prices of some of its U.S., U.K., and French plans to differentiate ad-free plans from its entry-level ad-supported plan. New subscribers to the most expensive plan will pay $22.99 per month.

Let’s step back and examine Netflix’s current situation. Netflix cracked down on password sharing in its home market and dozens of others in May. The third quarter is the first full quarter under the new rules, so we can see the effect of password sharing.

The company removed the basic tier in the U.S. and U.K. two months ago to simplify its offering. People must pay a lot to remove Netflix ads.

Reports suggest that many customers are experiencing subscription fatigue and considering canceling some streaming subscriptions, but Netflix still has room for growth, especially with advertising revenue.

The company has 247.15 million subscribers. The number of subscribers increased 8.76 million this quarter. Netflix subscribers haven’t grown that much since Q2 2020, when Covid lockdowns were enforced worldwide.

Netflix earned $3.73 per share on $8.5 billion in revenue this quarter. As ads plan subscribers rise almost 70% quarter-over-quarter, ads are contributing more to the bottom line. Nearly a third of new subscribers use ads.

Netflix shares are up 13.75% pre-market ($393.79 per share) on good news for shareholders. However, subscribers will be unhappy because the company will raise prices for some plans again in three key markets. Full breakdown here.

In the U.S.:

  • Standard with ads: $6.99 per month (no change)
  • Basic (no longer available): $11.99 per month (up from $9.99)
  • Standard: $15.49 per month (no change)
  • Premium (with 4K streaming): $22.99 per month (up from $19.99)

In the U.K.:

  • Standard with ads: £4.99 per month (no change)
  • Basic (no longer available): £7.99 per month (up from £6.99)
  • Standard: £10.99 per month (no change)
  • Premium (with 4K streaming): £17.99 per month (up from £15.99)

In France:

  • Standard with ads: €5.99 per month (no change)
  • Basic (still available in France for now): €10.99 per month (up from €8.99)
  • Standard: €13.49 per month (no change)
  • Premium (with 4K streaming): €19.99 per month (up from €17.99)

New subscriptions start at these prices today. Bills for existing subscribers will rise in the coming weeks.

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Geek Culture

Last of Us HBO Showrunner Quietly Removes Name from Troubled Borderlands Flick

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When your writer—one of Hollywood’s hottest—tries to hide their involvement, it’s a bad sign. The Borderlands film’s original script was written by Craig Mazin (The Last of Us, Chernobyl), who recently asked the WGA to use the pseudonym “Joe Crombie” instead of his name.

We hope this means Mazin considers Joe Abercrombie, Lord Grimdark, the grittiness GOAT, but that theory is unproven. Since Mazin wrote the script in 2015 for Eli Roth to direct, a steady stream of writers has been brought in. Aaron Berg, Chris Bremner, Sam Levinson, Zak Olkewicz, Tony Rettenmaier, Juel Taylor, and Oren Uziel have put around 70 fingers in the honey pot.

The name change likely avoids confusion. Mazin probably doesn’t want to be blamed for Jack Black/Claptrap madness, but he wants to keep his rights.

To clarify, the Borderlands film finished filming in 2021, but Roth was replaced by Tim Miller (Deadpool) in January.

When this surprising star-studded film (Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, Cate Blanchet) limps out, what are your expectations? We think this was supposed to coincide with Borderlands 3’s 2019 release, but it’s overshot the mark.

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