In two new films, the Big Apple endures a multiverse and a musical | Movie

As the kids say, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Sony-Columbia-Marvel-Pascal Pictures, 2021, 148 min.) Is off the chain. When I wasn’t laughing, I had a big goofy smile on my face most of the time.

If you’ve been on board through Sam Raimi and Marc Webb’s web-slinger movies, you won’t believe what you’re looking for, so I’ll be as brief and spoiler-free as possible. You wouldn’t thank me for divulging these secrets. Picking up the ending of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (2019), the whole world now knows that Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is the old Web-Head, so he asks Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell. so that the world will forget about it. But something is wrong, and many of Spidey’s past enemies tumble into New York City from the Endless Multiverse.

Do you have it all?

Thanks to a great screenplay from “Community” veterans Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers and series director Jon Watts, the first half is jaw-dropping comedy and action, and the second half really raises the stakes for life or life. death from these kinds of stories. I really appreciated that MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) were part of the dilemma and not relegated to the sidelines of the story. And since he’s my favorite Spidey villain, I was delighted to see Alfred Molina return as Doctor Otto Octavius ​​in Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2” (2004), the best film in this trilogy.

At the end, I turned to Constant Companion and said, “I don’t have any notes.” For millions of wall-crawler fans, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the perfect comic book entertainment.

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My own preconceptions got the better of me this week. I assumed that Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” (20e Century Studios-Amblin-TSG Entertainment, 2021, 156 min.) Would modernize and update the classic musical. But after one of Spielberg’s typically gorgeous opening shots passing over twisted metal and rising higher and higher to reveal a huge construction site, when I finally saw the police cars at the old and street decor, I realized that Spielberg’s version was a perfect recreation of New York City in the mid-20th century.

Spielberg’s very first musical is not a carbon copy of Robert Wise’s 1961 Best Picture, a Broadway legend and bebop jazz interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. He and screenwriter Tony Kushner (“Angels in America”) brought in executive producer Rita Moreno, strengthened her role as the children’s only mother figure, addressed transgender issues that would never have happened at Wise’s creative team, and best of all, they didn’t translate Sharks gang Spanish to English for cheap seats. Believe me, you know what the characters are saying.

Time and space make it impossible to list the names of a new group of talented children. In other words, they do justice to the enduring legacy of the series. I like to think of a whole new generation of kids playing Tony and Maria and Anita and Bernardo in their high school musical and falling in love with the theater. It is a gift that keeps on giving.

“Spider-Man” and “West Side Story” are both showing at the mall’s Regal Cinemas. Visit https://www.regmovies.com/theatres/regal-ithaca-mall/0677#/buy-tickets-by-cinema?in-cinema=0677&at=2021-12-21&view-mode=list for show times.

Recommended: “Nightmare Alley” at Cinemapolis


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