Reel Corner - October 2017

Movie Classics

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“MCU” — Marvel Cinematic Universe
One Shared Universe + Superheroes + 25 Proposed Films

The underlying concept of the Marvel Cinematic Universe—the interconnected film series kicked off by 2008’s Iron Man, and now comprising ten feature films, several shorts, and one TV show, with more on the way—isn’t unprecedented in film history. The idea of characters in one film might share a universe with characters of another film has been done before, but it’s never been attempted on such a scale on which Marvel is operating.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is different; it’s a planned project assembled one brick at a time. Iron Man and its incredible popularity led to The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, which brought all the characters together on one big team.
It’s been, in almost every respect, successful. The films have been generally well-received by critics, and almost universally well-received by audiences. What’s more, having built a recognizable brand, Marvel can now take some chances. The gamble, and it seems like a safe one, is that viewers will show up to see these projects just because they are Marvel movies.

If you are new to Marvel films and your favorite comic book heroes on screen, you might want to get started by watching them in this order. After viewing these first five, you will be hooked, looking forward to the next one.
1) Captain America: The First Avenger   
2) Iron Man                   
3) The Incredible Hulk
4) Iron Man 2
5) Thor

Who is your favorite superhero?
The Reel Corner’s fav is Spider-Man. This year’s Spider-Man release takes a refreshing snippet of his early life as a teenager

SPIDER-MAN: Homecoming  |  PG 13
Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau
Directed by Jon Watts

Peter Parker tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter ego Spider-Man, and must confront a new menace, prowling the skies of New York City.

becomes the perfect teen movie that you never realized Marvel needed, complete with girls debating Thor and Spider-Man’s hotness quotient in gym class and a Captain America cheesy physical-fitness video. Peter is regularly picked on by an academic rival and our sophomore hero pines for the coolest senior in school.

Who is this new Spidey? Tom Holland, British actor/dancer who played Billy Elliot on stage. He was 19 when cast as 15-year-old teen Spidey.

Holland not only looks the part of a 15-year-old but also portrays the needed vulnerability, immaturity and jocularity of his comic book counterpart, which was sorely missed in previous movie incarnations. Previous Spidey movies had him majestically swing through Manhattan; this one has him crashing through a suburban neighborhood and scaring backyard campers.

The magic of Homecoming is it cleverly references other Marvel films and even iconic scenes from previous Spider-jams. With perfect timing, the story tosses out a big twist that ups the emotional stakes for Peter and brings his student and superhero lives crashing down on him.

He gets back up again to do the right thing, though, and as much as this Spider-Man upends the rule book, Homecoming is king at capturing the core nature of the character.


Reel Corner 2Donne Paine, film enthusiast, once lived around the corner from the Orson Wells Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts where her strong interest in films, especially independent ones, began. Supporter of the arts­—especially films—she travels to local and national film festivals including Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca. There is nothing like seeing a film on the big screen. She encourages film goers to support Hilton Head local theaters—Coligny, Park Plaza and Northridge theaters. To support her habit of frequent movie going Donne is an executive recruiter and staff development consultant. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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