MADAME WEB – Review by T.J. Callahan

The fourth installment of Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man Universe has spun into theaters and it doesn’t even have Peter Parker in it. That’s because Madame Web is a character from the Spider-Man comics, like Morbius and Venom, not from Spider-Man himself. This film is the origin story of Cassandra Webb, a NYC paramedic who, after an accident, discovers that she not only has a mysterious past, but also psychic powers that come with it. Not all of Madame Web is silky smooth though. Some helpful elements aren’t quite woven securely into the fabric of the story. As blockbuster superhero movies go, this is Marvel Meh, but as a stand alone film with minimal backstory and no sneak peek at what’s to come, Madame Web, with its PG-13 rating, gives young impressionable women strong females to look up to.

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MADAME WEB – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Madame Web, Sony’s latest entry in its ongoing Spider-Man universe, is a tangled mess. Not winkingly fun enough to be camp, it’s an embarrassment of dull action, sloppy plotting, and a protagonist who seems like she wishes she were anywhere else. The context of Madame Web as a film is more interesting than anything onscreen. Sony legally must churn out something related to Spider-Man every few years or lose the movie rights to the friendly neighborhood web-slinger. Sometimes that generates pop culture magic, but Madame Web essentially kicks the rights issue down the road until another project like this year’s Kraven the Hunter arrives, further enmeshing Spider-Man within Sony’s clutches. Although Spidey can’t legally untangle himself, viewers at least can tap out—and should.

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SELAH AND THE SPADES – Review by Diane Carson

Writer/director Tayarisha Poe, in her feature debut Selah and the Spades, dramatizes a time that will resonate strongly with high school groups and those familiar with the battles of those years. The title 17-year-old senior Selah is queen bee of The Spades, a clique in conflict with the other four factions at elite Haldwell boarding school in Pennsylvania.

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