October 1, 2019

Alcohol-Free Beers (Part Seven)

(View previous instalments here)

A very special instalment here – for my birthday, Karen and Bernard bought me a 24 pack of alcohol free beers from the Nirvana brewery. Nirvana, like Big Drop, are a UK craft brewery dedicated completely to alcohol-free beer.

Karma (hoppy pale ale)


This was the first one I opened. It erupted out of the bottle like a geyser, causing a small puddle on the table. Once I wrangled it into the glass, it was magnificent to drink. This one’s up there with the Infinite Session pale – it’s very smooth with a nice well-balanced range of flavours throughout. I think that what will end up letting this down is simply the cost of it – it’s £2 per bottle plus postage on top of that, whereas picking up something like Infinite Session in the supermarket works out at more like £1.30 for a similarly sized can. Still, there’s no reason why I couldn’t buy a box of these, keep them in the garage, and dip into it occasionally when I fancy a bit of a change.

Sutra (classic IPA)


Compared to the Karma, this doesn’t quite please me as much. The flavour is a little sharper, and not in a good way. My main objection to this was a mild smell of cabbage. Only very mild though – it’s nowhere near as offputting as the stale cigarette smoke smell of Big Drop stout, or the damp dog of Thornbridge Big Easy. But it’s there, and it’s enough to slice a sliver off of the overall score.

Tantra (pale ale)


This beer is aiming for a more “Old Speckled Hen” type traditional pale ale. As is so often the case with alcohol-free beers, if you try to go malty then you end up with that sweet worty flavour instead. Fortunately, this one doesn’t do too bad a job. While it would be startling and a bit unpleasant to someone not used to alcohol-free beers, it’s not too overpowering once you get used to it.

Kosmic (stout)


This is definitely the best alcohol-free stout that I’ve had so far. It’s not perfect – I prefer my stouts to have a creamy mouthfeel, whereas this one is a bit on the fizzy side – but it’s eminently drinkable. It’s a little bit sweet and malty, but not to the point of being sickly like some of the other main offenders. It’s possible that, now that I’m getting used to the alcohol free beers, my tolerance for that worty flavour is rising slightly.

Paulaner Hefe-Weißbier


Time for a little intermission! Yes, we interrupt our sampling of the Nirvana box, before I’ve had a chance to try all five, because I found myself out at the Castle Tap in Reading. In fact, this night was a bit of a bender – I had two Nanny States at Valpy St Bistro before we moved on to the Castle Tap, where I had a Big Drop Pale Ale (which I’ve reviewed before, and is still just as lovely) and one of these, a Paulaner wheat beer.

This reminded me very much of the Patronus from Lidl, with that very dense fruity flavour. However, I must admit that I struggled to finish my pint. I can’t be sure whether this was because it was even denser and sicklier than the Patronus, or if it’s actually exactly the same beer but with a different label, and I was just feeling a bit full up from it being my fourth drink of the night.

Anyway, huge night out, total legend, smashed off my face, wheeeeeey! Lads!

Ananda (buchabeer)


Here’s something very different, very different indeed. This is created by blending their Tantra pale ale with green tea kombucha. I’d never had kombucha before, so I had no idea what to expect. The overall result here is very sour – not toe-curlingly so, but the basic effect is that of something not dissimilar to pineapple juice. It’s interesting if you fancy something sweet, sour and fruity, but given that it doesn’t taste like beer and doesn’t have any alcohol in it, to all intents and purposes, it’s not beer. Obviously it contains some of their Tantra pale ale, so yes technically it is beer, but given that it neither walks like a duck nor quacks like a duck…

Pete
September 29, 2019

The MCU Project: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

You may recall that we began this project after Bernard and I had been to see Endgame, and realised that not only were we missing a bit of background, but that other people in the cinema genuinely cared about the fates of these characters. It was fine as a bit of standalone school holiday entertainment, but apparently we could get more out of it if we tried harder; and here we are. Nobody can say we haven’t been trying.

So, do we care? We are nearing the end, and the Event that has been hinted at in post-credit sequences and accidental podcast spoilers is approaching. For those who are following this with as little attention as I have, here is what I have gleaned about what is going on in this movie:

The Infinity Stones are powerful devices giving the owner control over time, reality, life, death etc etc. Thanos is a supersized bad guy who plans to collect them all in order to cull half the population of the universe, in order to make better use of resources.He explains this with such deep sincerity that we understand that, like a Tory Prime Minister, he genuinely and inexplicably believes that he is doing good.

The Avengers are a motley collection of heroes whose superpowers come from such varied sources as deity, mysticism, and exposure to radiation or similar. Their role is to protect the planet/universe, but because they are all such mavericks and largely without military training, they often cause as much chaos as they resolve, and hence are largely outlawed and unwanted by the authorities. Male Avengers vie with each other to be the Alpha1 and female Avengers kick ass in super-tight outfits, with never a complaint about chafing.

This movie is a series of action sequences in which various members of the crew meet other members with whom they have not interacted before, most notably any scene with Peter Quill and Peter Parker, or Thor (“Pirate Angel”) and Rocket (“Rabbit”). These are the moments where the best of previous movies is paid forward, making it worth the bother of sitting through all the earnest exposition and endless fighty bits.2 At one point, Dr Strange advises Tony Stark that, “it’s not overselling it to say that the fate of the universe is at stake.” But the thing is, it is overselling it. These movies are at their best when we can enjoy the journey, knowing that the destination is the prevention of an outcome so immensely catastrophic as to be meaningless. In most cases, the outcome is inevitably prevented in the end; but not in all cases. And the journey is most enjoyable when it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Various lives are traded for various infinity stones, as the Avengers repeatedly fail to grasp the trolley problem. This theme is repeated so frequently as to become tedious, unless you’re emotionally invested in all these relationships, which I’m just not, as you may have figured by now. I could go on, but not without spoiling the ending, in which, gasp, something totally unexpected happens.

Special mentions should be made of Steve Rogers’ very nicely trimmed beard; and Tyrion the Giant. I wouldn’t say you should watch it just for those things, but they helped.

  1. with the adorable exception of your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman []
  2. I particularly enjoyed the fight scene in Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, when they destroyed a Costa Coffee where I once had a very nice hot chocolate while waiting for the sleeper train. []
Karen
  • Comments: 1
  • I was a little distracted by how much Steve Rogers looked like Commander Waterford in The ... - Pete
September 28, 2019

The MCU Project: Thor Ragnarok [2017]

One of my favourite parts of Thor, is the part which was turned into a meme, Thor has been captured on Xandar by the Grandmaster, played by Jeff Goldbum, is where Loki meets Thor, Jeff Goldbum asks Loki who Thor is and Loki says, “I have never met this man in my life”To sum up the plot, Thor has been gone for ages, Loki is now king, weird sister Hella (who is the goddess of death) appears and says she is the heir to the throne, she turns out to be about as bad a leader as Boris Johnson and threatens the entire population, her with an axe, but Boris Johnson, with food and medical shortages.

We also see the Hulk / Bruce Banner / Mark Buffalo and Doctor Strange / Steven Strange / Benebatch Cumberdict and, as a hologram video message thing, we see Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff / Scarlett Johanson (I cant think of a funny name)

You can barely tell around 80% of the movie was improv because it was so good. You can also see, when Hella and Skurge are in the basement underneath the castle in Asgard, you can see the Tesseract and the Infinity Gauntlet, both items used in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. When Thor becomes a gladiator, he has his signature long hair cut short. In ancient Roman history, slaves who were sent to gladiator school and trained as gladiators had their hair cut short.

Bernard
September 16, 2019

The MCU Project: Captain Marvel [2019]

The project is coming closer and closer to the end. With more and more references to “The Event”, it looms like a slithery sea creature or perhaps a foul odour. Due to the team-based nature of this review series, this is the penultimate review that I will be contributing. The time has flown by.

Captain Marvel was released earlier this year, and at the time I remember being vaguely aware of a certain amount of the usual kerfuffle that seems to surround any big-budget film with a female lead. You know, lots of people saying “I’m not sexist! It’s just not a very good film and she’s not a very good actress!” When’s the last time you saw someone say that about a film with a male lead? Exactly. Anyway, I put it down to just the usual fragile white men being fragile, and paid it no more mind.

The opening of the film introduces us to Vers (pronounced “Veers”), a highly trained soldier for the Kree empire, another of those alien races that are basically humanoid shape with one small difference, usually something bumpy on their head, though in this case, their blood is a delightful shade of bluey green. She’s under the tutelage of her mentor, who’s not only humanoid-shaped, but looks like the spitting image of Terran actor Jude Law. He’s teaching her that to fight she must learn to control her emotions, to not use her awesome super powers at every available opportunity, but instead fight with her fists like some sort of dummy. There’s an obscure reference to “your past which fuels you” – one of these days it would be hilarious if a film dropped a line like this, and then just never did anything with it. You know, make it clear that so-and-so has a mysterious past that defines them as a person, and then just completely “forget” to fill it in. Actually, now I write it down, an example comes to mind: Book in Firefly. His mysterious backstory is never revealed in the TV series (though apparently it does get filled in in one of the official comics).

Vers and her mentor and the rest of the Kree soldiering team go on a mission to rescue one of their agents who has infiltrated a group of Skrulls, who are the enemies of the Kree. This is a dangerous mission, and it is stressed that it’s important to follow the protocols TO THE LETTER. Vers checks her cuticles and mumbles “yeah, whatevs.” She’s a maverick, and I use this specific term because it sets up a joke in the next paragraph.

The mission goes somewhat awry. The Skrull are shapeshifters, and one of them turns into a shami kebab. Vers doesn’t notice that there are now three shami kebabs on her plate, not two, and hilarity ensues. They capture her and start sucking out her memories using the same memory-sucking machine that all these villains seem to have access to. This gives us a delightfully convenient opportunity to share some of Vers’ memories with her. But are they memories or dreams? In one of them, we see Vers working on an air force base, and it’s eerily reminiscent of Top Gun, even down to the colour filter used on the lens. This is now the bit where I make the joke that “maverick” was setting up, but I haven’t thought of one yet, so I’ll either come back and fill it in later, or just leave this rambling sentence in place and hope that it elicits a little pity laugh.

With this flashback montage we discover a key element of what makes Vers who she is – all her life, she’s been patronised because she’s a girl, and told that she can’t do things because she’s a girl. All this stuff is clearly going on on Earth, so the big open mystery now is: why is Vers apparently a Kree? Please to be explaining the blue blood? Or are the memories not to be trusted? Tantalising.

Vers manages to escape the Skrull, and flies down to Earth in a fantastic spacesuit with a brilliant helmet that somehow protects the form of her hairdo, so when the helmet does it’s fold-away trick, her hair just ploofs down into place without any awkward tufty bits or flat spots. I want one. The escape pod is a less impressive feat of engineering, and completely burns up on re-entry, unceremoniously dumping her into a branch of Blockbuster video, which tells us that this film is either set in Bend, Oregon, or the mid-nineties. The appearance of a digitally-youthened, ocularly-complete Nick Fury, heavily implies the latter.

I’ve reached the point in my review where I realise that I’m just giving a commentary of the plot, and feel the need to disrupt the flow, so let’s take a carefully-timed tangent.

The fact that this film is set in the mid-nineties does provide the opportunity for some gentle humour. Dial-up internet, beige box computers, Windows 95 doing its chunky grey thing, all of these are played for laughs. It’s quite a sweet film, all things considered, with 90% of it being Captain America levels of seriousness, but interspersed with occasional moments of comic relief and some really touching interactions between the characters. DYOCNF serves many roles in this film – on the one hand, he becomes Vers’ good friend, but he is also the relatively-naive SHIELD agent to act as the audience surrogate for Vers’ exposition. One of the most “fuck yeah” comic moments is when Vers follows a Skrull onto a train, and once she’s identified the form into which the Skrull has shapeshifted, a magnificent fight scene ensues.

We also at one point meet a cat, called Goose (which I refuse to believe is not another deliberate Top Gun reference). DYOCNF is clearly a cat person, but the Skrull seem to believe that it is a terrifying creature that will kill them all. Silly Skrull, eh? Anyway, the cat stows away on their ship and you just know that all sorts of funny feline shenanigans will ensue. Cat lovers are really getting their money’s worth with this film.

As the film reaches its denouement, various truths emerge, including Vers’ true history and the realisation that not all those around her are as they seem. She also discovers that her powers are greater than she initially thought, and once she’s unlocked those (the standard MCU “level upgrade” moment that happens in a few other films where the hero usually gains access to new tech) then none of her foes stand a chance, and it all starts to feel a bit unfair, but undoubtedly very superheroey. For some inexplicable reason, she allows the main bad guy to escape, when she could have annihilated him effortlessly, but I guess that’s one of those situations where the long-term plot requires it. The film ends with some huge setups for The Event, as well as a moderately satisfying but somewhat mundane reveal of how Nick Fury lost his eye, and how The Avengers Initiative got its name.

I really enjoyed this film and was near-glued to the screen throughout. It had a pitch-perfect blend of action, humour and gravitas, with no overlong expositionary dialogue, and relatively few immersion-breaking violations of the laws of science and logic. I suppose it’s true that if you look at Vers’ story in isolation, there’s nothing terribly innovative or surprising there, but it’s the interactions with other characters which give this film its edge.

I’m feeling very eager for Infinity War and Endgame now.

Pete
  • Comments: 1
  • It's all about the cat though, isn't it? sidenote: Goose is my wife's favourite character... - swisslet
September 11, 2019

The MCU Project: Ant Man and The Wasp [2018]

Ant Man and the Wasp [2018] is the second Ant Man movie from the MCU oeuvre, and you may remember how much Pete and Bernard enjoyed the first movie, and how I fell asleep. So I bring to this movie a sense of confusion, and spend the first 15 minutes feeling completely lost.

It begins with a recap scene in which Fully Grown Michael Douglas (FGMD)1 loses his wife (not Catherine Zeta Jones, although IMDB tells us that he wanted her to play this part, but Michelle Pfeiffer) when she goes sub-atomic in order to save something from something. In the next scene, Scott Lang/Ant Man2 is being an amazing dad in a cosy domestic setting, and we learn that he has three days remaining of his house arrest. I take it we all know what that implies for the plot of the movie?

Yes, shortly after learning this, we see him leaving the house in his pyjamas in the company of a woman who doesn’t like him. She assures him that their business will be concluded by lunchtime.

There follows much minification and embiggenment of cars and houses and salt cellars. Suddenly the woman who doesn’t like Scott Lang/Ant Man needs to be rescued, and FGMD hands Scott Lang/Ant Man a “prototype” Ant Man suit, with a glint in his eye such as the one seen in the eye of Willy Wonka when Violet Beauregarde eats the dodgy chewing gum and turns into a giant blueberry. Hilarious mis-sized antics ensue.

This is purported to be an Action Comedy, and does indeed have some amusing moments. My favourite was when Bernard pointed out how much Larry Fucking Fishburne resembles Dr Pockless3. Have you ever seen them in the same room? I haven’t.

At one point, Scott Lang/Ant Man asks the question, “do you guys just put the word ‘quantum’ in front of everything?” which is a good demonstration of how futuristic technology is discussed, using nonsensical combinations of words that viewers are never intended to understand. I was particularly intrigued to know how Michelle Pfeiffer’s mascara survived 30 years in the quantum realm. I consulted Pete and Bernard, both known to have a better grasp of science than myself, and they replied “because it’s the quantum realm.” I asked them why, then, did she age (a bit)? “Shuddup,” they said.

Three out of the four female characters in the movie have serious daddy issues; and given that the entire premise of this film is the rescuing of a female character, it’s clear that the marvellous minds at Marvel learned nothing from Black Panther about female empowerment. The smaller rescue of FGMD’s daughter Hope (the one who doesn’t like Scott Lang/Ant Man, although there is a tedious romantic subplot shoehorned in, so it turns out that she protested too much) is an important plot point, and the other adult female character Ava/The Ghost also has to be saved.

Nonetheless, I managed to keep my eyes open and pay, ooh, let’s say about 60-70% attention to this movie, which makes it one of the more enjoyable of the project so far.

  1. seriously, you’re going to have to read Pete’s review of Ant Man to make sense of this []
  2. or Scott Lang/Ant Man/Crap Bag, but that’s a bit of a mouthful []
  3. and not only for his sartorial elegance []
Karen
September 2, 2019

The MCU Project: Doctor Strange [2016]

Doctor Strange, a doctor if you didn’t know or guess.

For being a doctor I would think he would be a very safe person because he saw how bad it was for his patients and I don’t think he would want to end up in the same predicament so it suprises me when he is driving down a road in a very fast car on his phone. You don’t have to be good at maths to realise Fast car + Driving down road + Public road + It’s on a cliff  + On phone = Fast car hits other car on public road which is on a cliff because on phone and if you put that to the power of 1 you get a fast car rolling down a cliff face.

It turns out his injuries provide him disabled and he cant move his hands properly so he goes to Kathmandu in Nepal to get his hands fixed by The Ancient One who also teaches him how to twist the world and other magical stuff.

The editing for the battles are very interesting as most of the battles involve shaping the space around the people and creating complex angles, it’s quite easy to lose yourself trying to figure out what is happening as things are being turned on their heads and twisted into strange objects.

I like the scene where one of the assisting teachers hands Doctor Strange some paper which says “shanballa” on it, Doctor Strange asks, “What’s this? Some sort of spell?” but the teacher replies with “No, it’s the WiFi password, what do you think we are, savages?” which I feel really shows how Marvel Studios are trying to give everything a fun sense of modern into it.

Bernard
August 25, 2019

Alcohol-Free Beers (Part Six)

(View previous instalments here)

One of the nice things about visiting a different region in the country is seeing a different range of products on the supermarket shelves. Heading up to Yorkshire for the week yielded some new options for alcohol-free beers, and 3 of the 4 beers in this review came from Morrisons in Skipton.

Guinness Pure Brew

This is a lager, and let me put it this way – if I were set the challenge of “tricking” someone into drinking an alcohol-free beer without them noticing the subterfuge, then this might be the one I’d use. It just tastes like a good lager, nothing weird or objectionable about it whatsoever. There is a tiny trace of that sweet wortiness, but it’s only noticeable if you really concentrate. This is definitely right up there with the Brooklyn Special Effects at the top of the lager charts.

Brewdog Punk AF

I was quite looking forward to this one, as the Nanny State is such a good beer, but I found this one a little disappointing by comparison. It’s got quite an interesting smell, but once in the mouth it’s just a very fizzy, tangy, hoppy IPA which feels thin and unsatisfying.

There’s a curious thing though – as I’ve mentioned before, I initially started drinking alcohol free beer with the intention of replacing some of my alcohol intake, but a couple of months back had to cut out alcohol entirely due to a very specific and unpleasant physical reaction. I had 4 cans of Punk AF, spread across 2 nights, and on both occasions I experienced symptoms of that physical reaction. This suggests one of two things – either the connection between the physical reaction and alcohol consumption isn’t as clear-cut as I originally thought, or this beer has significantly more alcohol in it than any of the other alcohol-free beers I’ve reviewed. Either way, I’m definitely not going to risk touching this stuff again.

I’m also a little sour on Brewdog on the whole. The more I read about their scummy business practices, the more I want to give my money to another brewery.

Thornbridge Big Easy

I was quite excited to try this one, as it’s fairly rare to get an alcohol-free beer from a smaller brewery (unless it’s one that exclusively does alcohol-free). Sadly, it was a bit of a disappointment – this is a very hoppy pale ale, with a lot of that thinness and metallic quality that I came across in some of my earlier forays into alcohol-free beerery. While drinking it I was just completely overwhelmed by the sensation of it fizzing in my mouth, and any trace of flavour was left floundering. Which is a shame, because what flavours I could pick up on were reminiscent of the Infinite Session pale ale, which is an absolute triumph. Big Easy also has a very offputting aroma of damp dog.

Infinite Session IPA

I had high hopes for this one, as the brewery’s “Pale” is one of my all-time favourite alcohol-free beers. However, and maybe unavoidably, this one fails to match up to that standard. In what seems to be a theme in this batch of reviews, it’s just a little bit too thin and harsh for my tastes, and is lacking in smooth mellow flavours to give it a bit of body and round out the profile. It just veers too much towards being plain carbonated water. Of the three pale ales that I’ve reviewed here, it’s by far the least objectionable, but it’s still pretty borderline whether I’d buy this one again or not. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Pete
August 24, 2019

The MCU Project: Spiderman Homecoming [2017]

I approached this movie with some trepidation. “Oh goody, ” I thought, “yet another Spiderman. I’m bored of all the Spidermen.” It feels like Spiderman gets movie-rebooted about every 6 weeks at the moment. Which baffles me, because it doesn’t seem like he’s really that interesting a character. The endless Batman reboots are a little less annoying, because at least he’s a somewhat complex character, but Spiderman just seems really superficial and bland. I can’t recall the plot of a single Spiderman movie. All I really remember is lots of swinging through cities, and intermittent jokes about shooting a substance from his wrists that is somewhat reminiscent of cum. Those never get old.

Anyway, but here we are. The opening scene of the film confounds all expectations by being… dun dun dun… a flashback! This one doesn’t go too far back though, just to the aftermath of the first Avengers movie, and it shows Michael Keaton and friends cleaning up the site of Tony Stark’s skyscraper. There’s lots of alien tech there, and some people in suits make the mistake of annoying Michael Keaton, hereafter referred to as “Roose Bwayne” because I want to. In a fit of pique, he instructs his lackeys to keep all the alien tech instead of turning over to the authorities. EIGHT YEARS LATER they’ve managed to decipher its secrets and Roose Bwayne now has his own wingsuit, a little bit like Falcon’s but a little more “budget” in appearance. The usual environmental clues are in place to hint that he’s not going to be the good guy. While wearing this suit he goes by the villain name “Vulture” but I’m going to refer to him as “Batman” just to fuck with your heads.

There then follows a very cute little sequence which shows alternate clips of Captain America: Civil War, in which, as you may recall, Spiderman was press-ganged by Tony Stark to fight on his side. These clips are shown from the perspective of Peter Parker’s phone camera, in which he acts like a perfect 15 year old, and chats non-stop like a YouTuber. This sequence is expertly put together, and nicely sets the stage for the style of humour you can expect from the movie. The frequency and level of the humour are in a similar ballpark to Iron Man, though obviously with a slightly more teenage focus. A lot of the comic relief comes from his friend Ned, who is a colossal nerd but utterly adorable.

After the events of Civil War, Tony Stark tells Peter Parker to go back home, and await further instructions. Months pass, and nothing. Peter pesters for his next mission, but it never comes. In the meantime, he does a little local crimefighting, often doing more harm than good through his clumsiness. While intercepting an ATM robbery, he encounters Roose Bwayne’s team of thugs and their tech. He feels that this is very important but Tony still won’t take his calls. Spiderman then stumbles upon the alien tech again, when he encounters one of Roose Bwayne’s henchmen attempting to sell it to a guy who looks suspiciously like Donald Glover. Spidey chases the henchmen through the suburbs, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake, until Batman (see above) pops out of the sky and ruins his day. One Deus ex Iron Man later, and Peter’s safely back home, being tucked into bed by Aunt May who most definitely isn’t an old lady this time round.

Peter did manage to pick up one of Roose Bwayne’s guns though, and decides to try and investigate its secrets. However, the bad guys are able to trace its location, and they come to collect it. “Two can play at that game, ” thinks Peter, and pops a tracker on them in turn.

All this time, he’s been using the Spiderman suit that Tony Stark gave him way back in Civil War. With the help of Ned, he discovers that the suit’s been in “training wheels” mode, and so they bypass this lockdown. What could go wrong, eh? The suit now has a sultry female voice, and gradually we are introduced to its advanced features.

There then follow a couple of impressive action set-pieces, one in the Washington Monument and another on the Staten Island Ferry, where Spiderman has to rescue his friends and a ferry load of passengers successively, and the laws of physics are generally brushed aside whenever they get too inconvenient. Once again, Iron Man has to come in and save the day, and Tony Stark decides Peter can’t be trusted with all this responsibility and takes the suit back. Peter goes home once more, and his local crimefighting projects are severely hampered. He seems to be settling into this lifestyle, when something quite unexpected occurs, and he’s thrust back into the fighting ways once again. I will say no more on the plot, for fear of spoiling the culmination.

My feelings about the representation of women in this film are hard to clarify in my own mind, let alone on the page. There are no female main characters. There are a decent number of female supporting characters, and while Peter’s girlfriend serves as just a love interest who needs to be rescued, the rest have a bit more depth to them. His friend Michelle, in particular, is superb and steals every scene that she’s in. So, on the whole, could be better, but could be a whole lot worse. I’ll leave it at that.

So, what’s the conclusion? Well, the plot is pretty much as expected – just an excuse to tie some action sequences together, and I fully anticipate that in a few weeks I’ll have forgotten pretty much everything that happened, just like any other Spiderman film. The action sequences didn’t make me go “wow” like some of the films had, but they were perfectly entertaining, and the humour was pitched about right too. So, it’s a decently entertaining and amusing film, but there’s nothing that really elevates it above the pack. While the phrase “with great power comes great responsibility” is never stated explicitly, it’s pretty obvious that this idiom is intended to be one of the thematic foundations upon which the plot is built.

Pete