And Then the Credits Roll…

Do you sit through all the credits? Most fans of Fantasy/SciFi films do. This is particularly true of the films in the Marvel Comic Universe (MCU). Most of the films have a teaser, a cliffhanger, or introduce a character that will star in the next film. I like a little heads up from reviewers and friends if there’s a good reason to sit through a credit sequence. My particular favorite was a quick flash of the Avengers hanging out eating sandwiches; not a plot twist, just a fun moment of the Super Heroes relaxing. I have friends who won’t go see Spiderman: Far From Home because they haven’t seen Avengers Endgame. This newest, Jon Watts-directed Spiderman film happens AFTER the sequence of events in the Endgame film. So can you see this film if you missed the other film and should you wait for the last credit to roll?

First, you CAN see Spiderman: Far From Home if you haven’t seen Avengers Endgame but only if you at least know the general plot line of that film. If you’ve stayed away from reviews, don’t ever listen to teenagers talking and/or you live remotely with no WiFi–okay, maybe wait to see the re-release of that last film. It’s just eclipsed Avatar in dollars made at the box office (not counting Gone With The Wind). So you have your chance…

Second, stay for the mid-credit sequence if you’re a big fan of Spiderman films and for the second reveal at the very end if you like plot-twists and surprises. If you’re like me, wondering why the studio needs to keep reinventing this character…you can skip the wait. I enjoyed this version and find Tom Holland charming and Zendaya’s sarcastic take on Mary Jane refreshing. I’m also a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, Jon Favreau, and Marisa Tomei, so I enjoyed seeing them on screen. The young actors who play the sweethearts of the film are a delight. And any film that wants to portray the Dutch as lovely people is A-OK in my book.

Was the plot silly? The action sequences too long? Did the characters act in ways that made little sense save to advance the plot? Well, of course! It’s a 2-hour film crammed with visits to other countries so that the “heroes” can wreak havoc to some recognizable landmarks. The excuses for there being no other Avengers available to help this teenage boy fight an International-World-Threatening-Villain are as lame as the chaperones sent on this high school trip. Yet if you endured the 3-hour Avengers Endgame and the dark, dark plots of that film and the one before it…this will be a relief. A light comic romp with some well-drawn characters. Not as enjoyable as the animated Into the Spiderverse, or half as clever…but a good bet that the MCU is back to having a little fun.

Drinks with Films Review: 3 cups of tea (out of 5), a tip of the hat to the London Bridge

“Love is Strange” and the rating system is even stranger!

There are films that you forget the moment you leave the theater.  There are movies that linger in your mind for days.  And occasionally, there are lovely pieces of cinema that leave you quietly weeping in the theater and make you want to invite everyone you know to Go See It!

But for Love is Strange, you can’t.  Because this tale of love separated by Catholic hypocrisy and the trails of one family trying to cope with a lack of privacy (and the greater problem–a lack of communication) is rated R.  Only in America would a scene of two men in a loving marriage sharing a bed and a few chaste kisses warrant a protection from teenagers seeing it alone!  Please, go enjoy wanton violence and destruction in Transformers (PG-13!) but stay away from films that might increase your understanding of gay love.

Stepping down off my soap box.  Please take your teens to see this.  There is a subplot involving a moody teen that will interest them with an amazing performance by the young Charlie Tahan.  His scene at the end of the film will break your heart.  This quietly affecting story of long-term love; a partnership that has survived the test of infidelity but now must face homelessness, is a far-better life lesson than the teen soap operas The Fault is in Our Stars or If I Stay.  John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are endearing and Marisa Tomei is the working mom who must try to navigate this challenging situation.  Beautifully-acted with no need for car chases or mysteries, director Ira Sachs has crafted a wonderful movie.  Love is Strange deserves to be seen by a wide audience.

Rating: 4 glasses of wine

Bechdel Rating: passes