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PODCAST: Grae Drake Of Rotten Tomatoes

The Senior Editor of Rotten Tomatoes chat about the virtues of Spider-Man Homecoming as well as look at the other Spidey films. We also cover the other summer films like War Of The Planet Of The Apes, Valerian and more. Visit this great site.


Partial Transcript:

Grae Drake On Spider-Man (Sam Raimi) :  Well the first Spider-Man into the was amazing. Not just the clever title Amazing Spider-Man. The technology was spectacular. Tobey Maguire I thought was a very good Spider-Man. Yeah but you know if you’re holding that one up against this current one I think that totally Spider-Man: Homecoming fits Peter Parker a little bit better.

Grae Drake On second and third movies (Sam Raimi):  Yeah they were great. They were they were good movies. I mean the third one they stumbled a little bit and then but I’ve always enjoyed their interpretations of Spider-Man to varying degrees. I think they’ve always done a good job with this character but with Spider-Man: Homecoming you know Tom Holland and Jon Watts is the director they just completely nailed it. And that’s also in part thanks to Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Stark because his swagger and his confidence as a character is really well juxtaposed against Tom Holland’s young Peter Parker. I think those two are great together. And so part of what makes this Spider-Man great is that in comparison to older cooler characters he really feels even more like a dumb goofy nerdy kid and that that’s something that we’ve never really seen.

Grae Drake on Tom Holland: Tom Holland has always been a really good actor. A young kid and I always forget that. And I think he’s perfect. I never I I previously thought that I liked those other Spider-Man movies but I loved this one. I don’t even like care about Spider-Man and this movie made me care. I think Tom Holland is so fantastic. Everyone in this movie is younger and Hollywood is younger. Well I like a really like Marisa Tomei And I think that she really brings like a fun side to this character that we’ve previously only seen in like a very fragile grandma basically. She’s so vibrant .You know that it just raises the intensity and fun of the entire movie. So I thought she was a great choice.

Tony Tellado: Do you think the movie would have done well without Tony Stark ?

Grae Drake: It’s hard to say because at this point the two characters are linked. You know they’ve just done so they’ve they’ve done so well writing them together so it’s hard to say but I know that part of what makes this Spider-Man great is the presence of Tony Stark as his foil.

Tony Tellado: I love Downey and you know I certainly hope you hear rumors that you might be done with Iron Man but I certainly hope not because that would be very tough shoes to replace. I mean he just embodies.

Grae Drake:  Oh no kidding that I’ve. Oh my God I feel so bad for anybody that takes it over for Robert Downey Jr..

Grae Drake On R-Rated Superhero Films:  I think what this is indicative of is people being forced to be creative with their storyline because we’ve seen so many superhero movies and especially origin stories and oh no the world is in trouble it’s starting to become not interesting and they’re going to see the law of diminishing returns start to apply. So they’re having to get creative and start exploring different aspects of what this story could be and that’s why Logan was interested in because it was something that’s never really been tackled before in the superhero genre of real life parallel, life aging and elder care. And child care and it was I thought it was so fantastic. It really shows James Mangold has a vision for a really interesting story and War For The Planet Of The Apes is the same deal. It’s really amazing how the movie bridges being a fun action picture with being about an internal struggle of a very emotionally rich character. The war in the title doesn’t just refer to what’s going on between apes and humans. It’s about what’s going on inside of him (Caesar) . It’s so compelling that Fox gave them time. It’s no coincidence that both of the movies that we’re talking about right now are from Fox Studios because they’re obviously giving their filmmakers the resources and the chance and the time to tell us stories that are off the beaten path. And I hope that other studios you know follow suit in that because otherwise superhero movies are going to get so boring.

Tony Tellado: That’s one of the things that you know with your with your ratings it looks like if you were to pick the movie it is summer right now it probably would be War For The Planet Of The Apes. I mean it’s it’s the frontrunner right now and I guess it would be Spider-Man: Homecoming and then maybe Wonder Woman would be the top three.

Grae Drake:  They’re all very highly rated absolutely. but there are smaller movies that are every bit as good and different ways that are actually higher rated that they might not have as many reviews or they might not be in as wide a release which is why I love how at the end of the year we give out the Golden Tomato awards but we have different categories. You know every everybody gets a shot because you know a small movie like The Big Sick is extraordinary and is never going to get the same amount of reviews as you know Batman V Superman. That’s not possible. So it’s you know it’s nice to be able to look at all of them through a lens that you know puts them all on the same playing field.

Tony Tellado: Valerian is not doing very well in the in the scoring right now. I think only at 70 percent. But I guess as far I mean visually it looks absolutely amazing. As The Fifth Element which just celebrated its 20th anniversary.  I guess the critics aren’t totally onboard with that one yet.

Grae Drake:  Luc Besson is such a visionary director. It is so stunningly beautiful. It is jaw dropping in every frame. Boy did they cast it wrong.Oh it hurt. Oh my God. I really like Dane DeHaan even in movies like Chronicle. Kill Your Darlings. He is such an interesting actor but he is not necessarily an action movie superstar which is what this movie called for . This movie was looking for Chris Pratt in Guardians of the galaxy. And Dane DeHaan doesn’t fill those shoes. Yeah. And he is up against Cara Delevingne , who I think actually is a very good actress. I think she’s very interesting. I think that she was struggling with the tone of the script. I thought that it wasn’t really very well-written because I never knew exactly what the movie wanted to be,so I just sort of tuned everybody out and just looked at the pretty pictures.

Check out Rotten Tomatoes for movie and TV reviews.


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