On DVD & Blu-Ray: October 17, 2017

The thing that will forever allow Spider-Man: Homecoming to stand apart from the previous five iterations of the webslinger is that it is very much its own movie. Homecoming stands on its own and doesn't feel the need to repeat any of the beats from either Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield's stints as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Rather, Homecoming picks up after the first Avengers film, carries us behind the scenes of Civil War, and onto Peter Parker's first solo adventure where, as a sophomore in high school, he's already been bit by the radioactive spider and learned of the abilities he's adapted since that fateful encounter. Homecoming is a movie that embraces Parker's youthfulness in its character dynamics and his eagerness to become a hero in its action scenes. Most vital though is that Homecoming isn't the origin story we've all come to know, but it is still a movie about how Peter Parker truly becomes Spider-Man. Somehow, with six credited screenwriters, it is the screenplay that stands to be one of the strongest factors in Homecoming's corner when it comes to setting itself apart from a character that has had two previous actors portray them and five previous incarnations on the big screen over the last fifteen years. Most startlingly is the fact this isn't a film based around a bad guy who is trying to take over the world or a villain who is trying to obtain a large sum of money in order to take over the world or even an antagonist who wants to steal a device that will help them take over the world, but rather this is, funnily enough, a movie that is born from the repercussions of Tony Stark's actions and one of the many enemies he's made in the process. As much as Sony and Marvel Studios have pushed the presence of Robert Downey Jr.'s Stark in the marketing for Spider-Man: Homecoming Downey Jr. is rarely on screen, but his influence is everywhere. From the opening frame of the film we are aware of the fact that this is a Spider-Man who exists well within the same world as Thor and Hulk. From what motivates our villain to act in the first place, what is born out of those motivations, and how it has come around time and time again for Stark and his peers to have to dispel them Spider-Man: Homecoming is a result of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in more ways than one which is, thankfully, very much to its benefit. Thus, what we have is a movie that is very fun, yet another enjoyable entry in what is more or less a TV series on the largest scale possible, and while Homecoming is as fun as one could hope and entertaining as all get out it never reaches a point of greatness that pushes it into the realm of exceptional. Full review here. Video review here. B-

I'm still regretting missing Girls Trip in theaters as it was indisputably one of the biggest hits of the summer and supposedly genuinely hilarious. Starring Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish as four lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, they find sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and that there's enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush...or so says the synopsis. While I wasn't a huge fan of the other "girls night out" comedy this past summer in Rough Night I've heard too many good things about Girls Trip to not give it a shot soon.

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