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TV & Movies

Spiderman : Far From Home Review

I’ve been a huge MCU fan since the very first Iron Man movie back in 2008. With Avengers : Endgame being released on digital this week, I wanted to write a brief article about some feelings I had about the latest MCU outing, Spiderman : Fair From Home.

*** Be warned, from this point on there could/will be spoilers ***

Let me be clear – I absolutely loved this movie. Where the first Spiderman was pretty good, it felt like there was just a little too much of Peter moping about not Happy not taking his calls. Far From Home rectifies that, pushes Peter forward as a character, builds out the world and more.

Director Jon Watts, who returned from Homecoming, does a wonderful job of showing Peter’s struggle to balance his life between being a high school kid and a superhero. Homecoming tugged on this thread a little, but FFH makes it a focal point. For me that is a defining trait of Peter Parker. I also applaud the decision to take Peter out of New York. It makes for a nice change of pace and scenery.

Tom Holland brings Peter to life again (literally following Endgame) but with a dilemma we haven’t seen before. Without Tony Stark around, Peter is left to deal with things on his own. The prospect of not having Iron Man as safety net seems to terrify him. He’s not ready to step up and be the new Iron Man, instead looking to pass that responsibility to anyone who will take it. The character development of Peter in FFH is so well done – it felt like we literally saw him grow up and accept his place as a full fledged Avenger in this movie. There is a scene later in the film that involves AC/DC which would make Tony Stark proud.

I would be remiss to not mention Mysterio, who I felt like was just as good if not better than the Vulture. Knowing Mysterio’s arc from the comics gave a little away, but Marvel did a great job of weaving his story into the MCU tapestry. Jake Gyllenhaal was perfect in his role as Quentin Beck/Mysterio. He really sells both sides of his character, who makes a wonderful ally and villain for our beloved wall crawler.

The supporting cast was great too. Peter’s classmates and teachers provide their comedic relief, including a touching video tribute to the Avengers at the beginning of the movie. Ned and Betty Brant’s story was fun, although it came really close to being played out too much. We learned a little more about MJ’s character, but I feel like Marvel has to make a decisi...

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TV & Movies

Show me the Plus!

I will admit up front that I’m definitely not the biggest sports fan in the world. I am however a cord cutter, which means it’s quite difficult to get access to sports content. Being from the Midwest I was raised on basketball, and I still follow both the NBA and NCAA. I also enjoy the occasional MLB game and in rare moments will even watch an NHL game. For the past couple of months I tried subscribing to ESPN+ to see what it can offer to the cord cutter who doesn’t need sports, but still would like to have them around.

First off the basics – ESPN+ is a streaming service, priced at $4.99 per month in the US. As a disclaimer, I paid for my ESPN+ subscription out of my own pocket; I received no compensation from Disney and/or ESPN.

Since it costs only $4.99 per month it’s one of the more affordable services out there. However the big question is – what does ESPN+ offer to a cord cutter? For what I would consider a typical American sports viewer the answer is not very much.

ESPN+ will show you some games that are broadcast on ABC, but any content from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 or the myriad of other ESPN cable properties, is not available. What you get is a smattering of minor league or international sports. The only basketball games available were European leagues. Even NBA summer league games required a cable subscription. The service does seem to have a fair amount of UFC content, but of course any major events still look to be pay-per view. I don’t follow UFC enough to know how good the ESPN+ coverage is; if you do it might be worth checking out.

There is one daily MLB game you can watch, but it suffers from the same issue as the app. You’ll miss lots of games if you are located close to a team and that one game is blacked out. Living in the Midwest, I am blacked out from any Reds, White Sox or Cubs games despite living hours away from any of those teams. This amount to frequent blackouts. On the bright side the ESPN+ game is a different game than the free game. It’s not been available for me to test, but during the NHL season they likewise offer a hockey game of the day on ESPN+.

The one exception to this seems to be soccer. I don’t follow the sport personally, but my girlfriend does and she was familiar with several teams that were playing. They claim to offer every out of market MLS game – so for soccer fans ESPN+ might be worth the cash.

Besides that, it’s slim pickings – with ...

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