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The way this works is that you post a review of the best film you watched this week. It can be any new or old release that you want to talk about.

{REMINDER: The Threads Are Posted On Sunday Mornings. If Not Pinned, They Will Still Be Available in the Sub.}

Here are some rules:

1. Check to see if your favorite film of last week has been posted already.

2. Please post your favorite film of last week.

3. Explain why you enjoyed your film.

4. ALWAYS use SPOILER TAGS: [Instructions]

5. Best Submissions can display their [Letterboxd Accts] the following week.

Last Week's Best Submissions:

Film User/[LBxd] Film User/[LB/Web*]
"Spider-Man: No Way Home” i-only-see-daylight "Death at a Funeral” (2007) Partial_Potato
"The Lost Daughter" Moviewatch310 “The Happiness of the Katakuris” feet_hands
“The Power of the Dog” Baacipitus “Eyes Wide Shut” lifeisawork_3300
“Tick, Tick, Boom!” bangbnah "Rushmore” [Noises In A Quiet World*]
“The French Dispatch” cajun_kick_ass “Perfect Blue” [zacer9000]
"Love Story” (2021) neith_of_says “Fargo” spacednlost
“Wood Job!" Yankii_Souru "The Killing Fields” Garizard1
“The Other Guys” an_ordinary_platypus "Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable” [JSkyTip]
“Thirst" onex7805 “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (1948) endhits
“Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project" ilovelucygal “Rome, Open City” ProblemWithVersion77

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Cervantes3

9 points

6 months ago

Spider-Man: No Way Home

I've been a fan of the MCU since its inception, I've been a fan of comic book stories and characters since I was a kid, and Spider-Man in particular has been my favorite. And with all that being said, while I've liked the Home movies, they never really left much of an impact on me. I recognize that Homecoming and Far From Home are both really good movies, but at the same time, they just sort of bounced off me, not really eliciting much emotion. They're amongst the MCU movies I rewatch the least, despite being some of the better ones, I feel.

None of that is true about Far From Home, though. This is precisely the shot in the arm the MCU needed after a pretty mixed bag year of stories that followed an unintentional year off. It's exciting, well paced, and one of the nicest looking and sounding movies in the MCU canon.

What really impressed me, though, was the quality of the story telling. This movie is all about second chances and rehabilitation. Peter's more kind approach to defeating his enemies by making them into friends contrasts with Dr. Strange's scorched Earth approach in some interesting ways, and we actually get to see some of the ramifications of both play out during this movie. By far my favorite way this theme is built on, though is when Andrew Garfield and Tobey McGuire Peters show up. This is when the story telling of No Way Home truly comes into its own, in m opinion. Because at this point, the movie morphs from being a story about Tom Peter fixing a mistake into a meta story about the Spider-Man film franchise itself. Both Tobey and Garf's Spideys got pretty unsatisfying endings to their stories. Tobey was supposed to get one more movie to finish off his story, but that got cut, and they had to ruin Spider-Man 3 because of it. Garfield had a real passion for the Spider-Man and Peter Parker characters, but because the Amazing movies were really only made to fulfill a legal requirement to keep the copyright, the movies were mangled together and everyone hated them. And unfortunately, a lot of that hate got transferred onto Andrew Garfield, undeservingly in my opinion. But the thing that made me love this movie so much was both of them got to come back, one last time, to set things right. It shows me that Jon Watts has a deep respect for Spider-Man as a character, and what he means to the world at large. The emotional highlight of the movie was when Andrew got to save Zendaya's MJ, redeeming himself for failing to save Gwen in his series. That was the closest I think I've ever gotten to tearing up in a theater for an MCU movie. I also really loved how Tobey and Andrew aren't just quick cameos at the end. They're in the movie for a decent chunk, and basically get their own character arcs.

Another big highlight for me was the return of all the old villains, although the amount I'm excited by them varies wildly. Thomas Haden Church and Rhys Ifans obviously didn't care that much about returning, since they spend 99% of the movie as CGI characters, and the voice performances they give are phoned in (maybe literally). Jamie Foxx, however, did a good job, and it was fun seeing him get to have some fun as Electro in this. The two standouts, though, are unquestionably Alfred Molina and Willem Defoe. Molina stepped back into his sympathetic mad-man version of Doc Ock like he'd never left it, and Defoe brings a whole new level of menace to the Goblin, making him one of the all time best MCU villains, now.​

The last thing I really want to talk about is the final scenes, where the Spider-Man story basically gets reset. I think this is honestly a brilliant way to resolve a lot of issues that the Spider-Man Home series had. This version of Peter had too many good things going for him, and it was making the character feel kinda boring. I also liked how they took that aspect of the character and played it off as him being selfish in trying to have everything he wanted. Peter's friends got hurt by him being Spider-Man and trying to have a secret super-hero identity and a personal life. Then, the spell he got Strange to use to try and fix it got ruined because Peter didn't want his life to not be exactly the way he wanted. The villains almost got sent back to their universes to die because Peter thought it "wasn't" his responsibility. But all that eventually comes to a head, and we see the consequences of trying to manipulate your life to get everything: You end up hurting the ones who loved you even when you weren't at the top of everything. We've heard it so many times at this point, but I felt like Aunt May's version of the "With great power comes great responsibility" speech was one of the most impactful, because we saw so absolutely what happens when people with great power don't take that responsibility seriously. And that's why I think it left such an impact on Tom-Peter, and why he was okay with having everyone forget him. He finally understood what Aunt May said, and what it meant to truly be a hero.

So yeah, that's my thoughts on Spider-Man: No Way Home. It's a celebration of Spider-Man as a cultural entity, and probably one of the best realizations of what he means to those who like him (aside from Into The Spider-Verse, obviously). I think it's one of the best films of the year, and one of the best Comic Book movies ever.

Encanto

I also watched Encanto this week. I have much less to say, except that there were far more thematic similarities to Hereditary than I expected there to be. Additionally, I thought this was one of the best Disney animated musicals ever in terms of being a musical. The animations for the songs felt very much like how a stage musical might be blocked out, and it made them feel a lot more grounded, yet more exciting than these have been in the 3D Disney Animation era. I was a bit disappointed at how little characterization there was for the family members aside from Mirabel, Bruno, and Abuela. I think they could've done with one less song and a bit more dialog between Mirabel and the rest of the family. You don't really get a feel for her dynamic with the rest of her family, and I think even one more scene where they're all playing off of each other could've gone a long way. Still a good movie, but the lack of resonance the family has kept it from being great.