Tag Archives: Movies

Why I Dislike the Ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home

As you may expect, the following contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

For the record, I get why the ending was what it was, at least to some degree. I’ll discuss my some of my thoughts regarding that in this post. Nevertheless, I very much dislike how the movie ended and think it should have been done differently. This appears to be a somewhat controversial view given how much people seem to have loved the movie, but it’s my view nonetheless. It was surprisingly difficult to find a published article that wasn’t annoyingly cheerful about how the movie ended, but I did find one and will be using it as a jumping off point for this post. I recommend reading the following article by Mark Millien before reading further: Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Ending Is Brutal – But Peter Parker’s Betrayal Is Worse.

I’ll start with noting that I’m the sort of person who almost exclusively reads books and watches movies that have happy, or at least optimistic, endings. I have a variety of reasons for this and may write a post on why, but this is a disclaimer I should point out early on. So the fact that Spider-Man: No Way Home’s ending was depressing was already a big negative blow to it.

Yes, I get why they did it this way. For starters, often happy endings feel forced, out of character, and/or out of touch with reality. Super hero movies are pretty hit or miss for me, largely based on whether or not they take things further than my suspension of disbelief will allow (that could be another whole post…). The latest Spider-Man movies (Homecoming and Far From Home) managed to straddle that border between reality and fiction so well that they were easily eligible to become one of my top ten super hero movies. Even No Way Home managed to keep me tuned in throughout the entire movie (despite some things, like developing cures for the villains so fast, being absolutely ludicrous). When it came to the ending, I do appreciate how realistic it was. Peter’s suggestion to Dr. Strange to make everybody forget Peter Parker was an excellent solution to a terrible situation, a sacrifice that was heartbreaking but believable. There may have been a better way, but, in the heat of the moment, they did what they could and it worked. From a realism perspective, I really like that solution (although the article I referenced above brings up some other points worth considering).

My big problem with the movie is Peter’s decision to leave MJ and Ned to their fates of forgetting him. Yes, there is a sort of logic to it. After all, according to J. Jonah Jameson, “Everywhere Spider-Man goes, chaos and calamity ensue. Everything Spider-Man touches, comes to ruin.” It is quite obvious that this has gotten into Peter’s head by the end of the movie, especially with the death of his aunt. So, when he sees Ned and MJ happy and safe, there is a sad sort of logic to leaving them to their peaceful lives of never having known him. Especially for someone with martyr complex, like Peter may have, it can seem to perfectly reasonable to go into “a life of crippling solitude” (referencing Mark Millien’s article) if it means protecting those they care about. But though I see why Peter did it, I think it would have still been both in character and better for the movie for him to have reconnected with them.

Regarding Peter’s character, the preparation for that moment at MJ’s work started early in the movie. Throughout it, we frequently see Peter’s attempts to protect his friends and family, and we frequently see them pushing back, saying they want to stick with him and showing that they mean it by being there for him through thick and thin, even though they themselves don’t have any super powers. When Peter decides to leave Ned and MJ alone, it’s not a beautiful act of self-sacrifice. It’s him succumbing to his self-doubt, to his lack of trust in others, to his faulty belief that everyone would be better if he wasn’t around. What a horrible thing to happen to this character we have grown to love and care about.

Alternatively, imagine if he did reconnect with them. Imagine the moment when he confronts his self-doubt, his distrust of others, his faulty belief, and decides to not let those things rule him. Instead, he decides to trust MJ and Ned, their wishes, and their character. He decides to honor MJ’s request of him and his promise to her. He becomes a better person, more capable of working with others than ever. Yes, it would have taken more work to get him there. The foundation of such character development was laid throughout the movie, but a bit more would be needed before such a transformation would believable. Some more work would also have been needed at the end of the movie to show this happening without rushing it, all while laying the groundwork for the next movie. But it would have been worth it. The payout for such fantastic character growth would have been worth the extra time and effort it took to choose this path for Spider-Man rather than letting him spiral.

This brings me to why the Far From Home is my favorite superhero move, with Homecoming near first place as well: the dynamic among the characters is fantastic. I love hearing Peter play off of Ned, MJ, May, Happy, Iron Man, Mysterio, etc. The conversation is funny, genuine, and, overall, a delight to watch. This dynamic is a large part of what I love about the franchise and why I was looking forward to the newest movie, and I gotta admit, Spider-Man: No Way Home delivers on this promise in spades. The banter among the three Peter Parkers was especially fun to watch. Overall, the interaction of the characters with each other and with Peter is what makes the Spider-Man movies so great.

However, the ending of No Way Home ruins that. Instead of promising more fun with Peter and his friends, the promise for movie 4 is serious, sad, and lonely. Why should I even bother with it? I feel like the writers misunderstood what many of the fans wanted out of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Yes, there are plenty of people who were avid fans of the previous Spider-Man movies, and yes, I think the writers did a good job of bringing in nostalgia for them while making the movie enjoyable for those who don’t care about the old movies, such as myself. But when you remove one of the fundamental reasons why people love the movies, well, that’s going to be difficult to bounce back from.

Somehow, Spider-Man Far From Home has managed to be a huge hit. From what I hear, it’s largely those who are coming back for nostalgia. So from a business perspective, it seems like they made choice that worked out well (I can’t bring myself to say it was a good choice). But we’ll see how many people come back for the fourth. My dad swore off Spider-Man due to the ending of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but we got him to watch Far From Home with us in theaters because of the trust that Homecoming gave us. Whelp, yesterday, after after watching No Way Home in the theater, that trust is gone, at least for me.

At the end of No Way Home, MJ makes Peter promise to seek her out and remind her of what she had forgotten. In that scene, though, she also promises to figure out what had happened if he doesn’t tell her. We don’t know the details of how Dr. Strange’s spell worked, but, like Mark Millien mentions in his article, MJ and Ned probably have huge gaps in their memory. I usually hate spoilers, but I’m going to ask for them before watching movie number four. I no longer trust in the Spider-Man franchise. My theory is that the next movie will include MJ’s hunt for the truth, concluding with her figuring it out. Frankly, if that isn’t the case, I’m not sure if I’ll bother watching the fourth movie or any that come after it.

Opening Photo by Hector Reyes on Unsplash

Deeper Movies

Have you ever watched a movie and thought that even if it was good, it was very shallow? For example, most real villains don’t do evil for the sake of evil. Something that I thought would be interesting would be if someone took a simple movie and made it a lot deeper. For example, they could show the villain’s back story, have the hero not be able to take down 20 ninjas by himself, have there not be 20 ninjas in the first place when they can use guns, etc. Just get rid of all those “that would never happen” things and replace it with something more interesting. Maybe retroactively make the movie into a book, since they say “the book it always better than the movie” (not including those little movie picture books for children and the like).

~ George

Money Code

Just a little idea I had a bit ago

In a movie about two criminals, one criminal send the date of the next heist to the other using a money based code. They send a check with the date of their next heist in the check’s value (e.g. $6.23 – 6/23/__). At the end of the movie, after pulling off an elaborate heist, one criminal opens his vault to find a that everything is gone besides a check for $4.01. April Fools Day.

Interesting Observation: Movie Titles

I noticed (somewhat) recently that there are a number of movies that have one word titles,yet seem to convey more of an idea than a specific item. Here’s a list of what I’ve found so far:


  • Epic
  • Frozen
  • Up
  • Brave
  • Enchanted
  • Tangled
  • Divergent
  • Taken


  • Inception

Note: when considering if a movie falls under this category, proper nouns (like Rio or Hercules) don’t count; in fact, if it isn’t an idea or an adjective, it doesn’t count (Planes and (The?) Incredibles don’t count because they are things, not ideas) . Also, must be rated PG-13 or lower to be on this list.

I find it quite interesting how much more the title can mean if you think about it. Frozen, for example, can mean the obvious reference of everything being ice, or a reference to a frozen heart (which could mean Anna (literally), Elsa (lack of emotions), or Hans (cruel)), or maybe even frozen in time, which the castle might as well have been for so many years.

Epic is harder; there is no obvious reference so I looked up the the word. Epic can mean “grand in scale,” and how Epic would our normal world seem to the M.K. after she was shrunk to the size of a mouse?! Then there is how Epic the fight for the forest is, that only once every 100 years can an heir be chosen, allowing the forest to continue. Then there is the definition meaning “a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the history of a nation.” This movie gives you a sense of the history of the Leafmen and the forest, and that if only someone would write their story it would be an Epic.

(Yes, I know I’m probably over analyzing the titles, but it’s fun, so I’ll continue)

Up: Obvious reference = way too many balloons, house in the sky, you know it already. But it can also be a reference to how Russell (the boy scout) wakes Carl Fredricksen (the old man) “up” from his tired life, cheers him “up” from his dreariness, never gives “up” on him, and, in the end, looks “up” to him as a father figure. I like the title much more now than I did a few minutes ago.

(I’ll skip Brave and Enchanted for now, because it’s been forever since I’ve seen them. I’ll also skip Taken and Divergent because I haven’t seen them yet)

Tangled: Yes, she has long hair that probably gets “tangled” all the time (although you don’t see it in the movie). This clearly fits the definition of “twisted together untidily”. But so does so many of the relationships in the movie: Rapunzel (that took me forever to spell right) and her “mother” don’t fit together so well, and you can sort of imagine the “mother” twisting her way into Rapunzel’s life, although she does keep the relationship pretty tidy; a better example would be Flynn Rider and the horse, who never wanted to be with each other, yet were thrown together against their will; and then there was Flynn and Rapunzel, whose emotions are so “tangled” that they don’t know what to do with each other. Tangled can also mean “complicated and confused; chaotic”, if you want to think about that.

Inception (my favorite movie along with The Dark Knight): It turns out that Inception is a noun, unlike the others on this list (which are, at this point, all adjectives), but it’s sort of an idea, so I think that it still will work. Inception is “the establishment or starting point of an institution or activity”. The movie is about the inception of an idea. There are, however, a few starting points. The start of the the inception process (lol, the starting point of establishing…) is a critical part of the film. You wonder, “Will Cobb risk everything for this?” It also has the start of Adriane’s ventures into the mind, which she will definitely do more of in the future. And, ultimately, the movie is about the beginning of the end of Cobb’s exile from the U.S. and his children, who he desperately hoping to see again.

That was fun; if you see any new movies that fit the conditions, feel free to comment on them!

~ George

The Planets in Star Wars

My family an I just watched Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and I enjoyed it more than I ever had before by thinking of how amazing the galaxy of Star Wars is. Having just finished reading Orson Scott Card’s book Speaker for the Dead, I have an even greater appreciation of what an interstellar society would be like.

What I thought was most interesting about the film was something its makers probably didn’t intend. When Qui Gon Jinn left the space ship and set foot on Tatooine without any preparation I realized just how much technology it would take to make it safe to do that. Think about it. What is the likelihood that so many planets have the perfect atmosphere and gravity to support not just humans, but aliens from thousands of different stars?

This is a feet of massive scale. Somehow, the sentient species of the galaxy have managed to make every planet compatible with every species in the entire galaxy! This could be accomplished by a combination of a few things that we currently know of.

Massive Terra-formation (the changing of the planet itself) would be required, ranging from increasing or decreasing gravity, changing or even creating an atmosphere, and maybe even moving the entire planet, so that the planet is the “right” temperature. And they would have to do this to almost every single planet they encountered, because face it, not very many planets would be even close to being able to sustain human life.

Now that there are planets that are uniform, every species needs to be uniform. Large changes in the very genetic nature of the aliens would be required. Every species of sentient life form (and some non-sentient life forms) would need to be genetically modified so that it could breathe the same air as every other species, survive the same level of gravity as every other species (so as to not be crushed because of stronger gravity or accidentally destroy everything because of weaker gravity), and endure the starkly different levels of radiation than their home planet would usually have. Biotechnology would be able to help in some cases, but not in every case. Biogenetics and Biotechnology would also be used to make every species more adaptable to different climates, because there is no way that every planet would be the exact same.

In addition to modifying the body, the brain, or whatever passed as a brain for different aliens, would also have to be genetically changed. Vastly different species would surely speak in vastly different ways, and something would need to be done for aliens who don’t “speak” like “normal” aliens do, instead using various forms of communication from body language to physic thought. There would also need to be a huge change in the culture and way of thought for some species. With vastly different cultures would come vastly different ideas, and many cultures would be completely incompatible with a uniform galactic government, among other things, with some cultures whose sole focus would be warfare and other cultures which would have no concept of government.

And even after all that, I haven’t even started to talk about what it would mean to have a planet with an aquatic center, or why everyone knows English, or what a moon sized spaceship would be. Star Wars has suddenly become a lot more interesting to me 🙂

~ George