Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

 

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Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Teen Fiction

Date Published: March 25,2015

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Ratings: 3.1/5

 

My Review

 “It was okay, I guess”.

I read the first few pages of this novel at Fully Booked. It wasn’t sealed and I needed to kill time as  I wait for my parents to pick me up, so I sat down on the carpeted floor of the bookstore, leaned against the bookshelves and started reading…’just to kill time’. To be honest, the first few pages were good enough to make me wonder about Simon’s story and his  life now that he’s carrying the burden of being blackmailed by Martin but not to the point where it intrigued me so much that I stood up, added it to my cart and bought the book immediately before I left the bookstore. It was just one of those books that seems interesting enough to be a ‘filler book’. I have a list of  novels I really want to read and I wanted to prioritize those books first.

A month after Manila International Book Fair 2017, National Bookstore had a sale—a fucking sale where books are 30% off. So, even though I already bough five books from MIBF the previous month, (and still haven’t read any because of uni) I still threw some of money away to adopt more books. And that’s how I adopted Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (It’s 30% off so I had to). A lot of my prioritized novel were still sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read when I decided to read this one first mostly for the reason that a movie adaptation of this novel is coming this year and I wanted to have read the novel before seeing the movie.

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Hey 2017, Thanks.

“Hey, 2017! Thanks, you weren’t that shitty after all.”

You were a blast and I just want to thank you for these amazing surprises and discoveries as well as all the opportunities and risk I took during your reigning year:

  • January 2017: Started ABC’s Daily Journal 
    – Though I didn’t keep it up during the latter half of the year because my schedule and load work hindered me from updating, it was still fun (and tiring) to keep a journal, scrapbook style.

 

  • January 2017: Paper Towns Movie and Movie Soundtrack
    – I had a major hangover for this movie

 

  • January 2017: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
    – “This is the movie that didn’t glamorize cancer. It’s beautiful. This is the movie that tells us life is full of unexpected turn of events and it is short. This is  the movie that left me in awe. It’s beautiful.” (Read my review here)

 

  • January 2017: “I Am Smart in My Own Way”
     – another article of mine got featured on candymag.com. (Read it here)

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Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

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Title: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Author: David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Teen Fiction

Date Published: May 23, 2006 (Original Publishing Date)
August 28, 2008 (Random House Children’s Book)

Publisher: Random House Children’s Book

Synopsis: It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date

Ratings: 5/5

 

My Review

 

There’s something about night adventures, city lights, New York City and profound heart-warming and breaking quotes that I can’t seem to get enough of. It’s like the perfect formula for an epic one night adventure in the city that never sleeps between two complicated but strangely connected characters.

I fell in love with the movie adaptation first, I wanted to read the book as soon as I found out that it was adapted from a novel written by two well-renowned and talented authors, David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. Despite several hindrances that prevented me in purchasing the book on an earlier date (I was either totally broke or there were no stocks available), I didn’t stop pursuing the book. So when I saw it during Manila International Book Fair 2017, I hastily snatched the book from the book shelves, I’ve got money and the version of the novel that I wanted was available, so I definitely didn’t let the opportunity pass.

It took me a month before I started reading the novel and two months before finally finishing the roller coaster one night story of Nick and Norah and I mostly blame university for the reading slump. My question is, is it possible to fall in love with the same thing twice? I definitely fell in love with the novel version of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist two years after falling in love with the movie adaptation.

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Justice League (2017)

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Director: Zack Snyder

Producers: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns

Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon

Based on: Justice League by Gardner Fox

Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Ciaran Hinds

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 120 mins. (2 hrs)

Production Companies: DC Films, RatPac Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: November 17, 2017 (USA)

Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash — it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Rating: 4/5

 

My Review

I’ve been a huge DC fan ever since I was child and I am not just jumping on the bandwagon of becoming a superhero fan just because it is ‘in’ right now. I remember watching the animated TV series of Justice League every morning on Cartoon Network when I was still a kid. I remember how giddy I would become when the opening credits for that animated TV show starts. So being a young adult and a fangirl of DC comics,  seeing one of my favorite childhood shows become a live action movie was exciting.

I have been anticipating this movie since it was announced and my excitement grew and grew especially with the release of Wonder Woman earlier this summer plus all the hype that happened in San Diego Comic Con 2017, not to mention all the merchandise and promotions invading almost every store, fast food chains and even small franchises.

I spent the first few hours of November 16th browsing the internet and going back and forth Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to read some news about Justice League. Hours before I could even watch it, a lot of negative reviews about the film circulated the internet. I was furious about the harsh criticism the movie was receiving and I can’t help but turn to twitter to express my rage about how some critics are biased assholes (sorry for the profanity). They’re not entirely wrong though, Justice League isn’t perfect and yes it does have a weak villain but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and some Marvel movies have weak villains too but how come they get away with it? It seems like the critics have an immense liking for hating DC films. I even saw several tweets from Marvel fans saying that critics hating on DC feels biased.

I am aware of the negative critical response DC films received over the years, the streak ended with Wonder Woman but, I couldn’t say the same with Justice League, it has minor flaws but it’s definitely entertaining making it a step towards the right direction.

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#FILEDFunOnFleek Art Exhibit

 

For the past few months I’ve been sending some of my works to online magazines and websites to get my artworks, photographs and writings featured but no such luck came to me and all I received were emails saying I didn’t make the cut or nothing at all. Nevertheless, I didn’t let it hinder me from finding more opportunities to get my works out there and inspire people through my works.

Last Monday, November 6, I was stressed and in a hurry to compile all of my blockmates YouTube links for our Job Interview Activity for our Media and Information Literacy subject and send it to our professor by 5pm. Of course, like I anticipated it, some sent their link later than my deadline. After pouring my disappointment in our class group chat and while waiting for the others to send me their links, I decided to check my email and make a draft explaining and apologizing to our professor why I wasn’t able to send the complete list on time.

Tapping the mail icon on my ipad, I instantly saw two unread emails but something caught my attention, one was from an odd email address that is surely new to my eyes; it wasn’t from the usual email addresses I receive containing newsletters and updates. It was an email from marketing@filed.com.ph. My heart fluttered because I wasn’t expecting a reply. I sent my artworks to the team on the day of its deadline and I wasn’t even sure my works are worthy to be placed in an exhibit after not making the cut for Woman Create’s 365 Wonders planner and ALPAS Journal’s literary magazine.  And then I remembered ALPAS Journal’s email regarding my job application last summer and my submission for their second issue informing me that they won’t be able to move forward with my application and that they won’t be able to include my works in the upcoming issue of ALPAS Journal.

I tapped to read the whole email and while it was loading, I lowered my expectation and expected the worst. During those few seconds I said to myself, “Maybe this is another email informing me that my works didn’t make the cut, I am so used to rejection that I won’t be surprised if that email states that my artworks won’t be included in the art exhibit”

So the email finally loaded and as I read through the message, my jaw dropped. I stood my from my seat and spun around like Hermione during the Yule Ball scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire after spending a wonderful night with Viktor Krum. I read the letter twice just to make sure and process all the details. Once I knew that I wasn’t dreaming and the email is legit saying that filed is happy to take care of the printing and inviting me to drop by the event to see my works displayed, I ran into the next room and asked my mom if I could go to Century City Mall in Makati to go to the event on Saturday. Her eyebrows knitted and I knew she was about to question my reasons since first, I have no idea where the venue is and second, she already has plans on Saturday. But her face lit up once I told her that Filed included my artworks for their Planner Launch Art Exhibit.

It was the day of the event and though I wanted to be a walk-in to register and listen to the inspiring and talented speakers who will give talks about business, freelance, branding, blogging and entrepreneurship, I sacrificed it and skipped it to attend my classes.

On our way to the event, we experienced a lot of bumps and bad luck. We had to go through severe traffic caused by road blocking for the ASEAN Summit 2017. It took us three hours to arrive in Makati Circle, from there we went walking around in circle trying to find a ride to Century City Mall.

 

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We arrived at the venue at 4:30. I instantly saw my visual artwork of Holland Roden. After taking a few pictures, I was kind of disappointed because we went through all that trouble just to see a miniature printed form of my artwork but then I saw my watercolor typography of a quote from Rainbow Rowell’s book, Eleanor and Park and my heart jumped seeing it and right beside it was the collage I made for our Contemporary Philippine Arts from the Regions class. Finally, at the very top right corner of the wall, I saw my newly edited artwork of Wonder Woman/Gal Gadot.  I was smiling from ear to ear seeing all four of my artworks displayed in an art exhibit.

It was the first time my artworks got included  in an art exhibit and I would definitely like to thank Filed for making one of my goals in life come true; getting my artworks displayed in art exhibit. It was an exhausting day but the heat, the traffic, the long walks and the pain of my aching legs were worth feeling the euphoria of seeing my artworks displayed in an art exhibit together with my fellow artists as we inspire and bring happiness to the attendees of the events through our artworks.

Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

 

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Title: Falling Into Place

Author: Amy Zhang

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Teen Fiction

Date Published: September 9, 2014

Publisher: Green Willow Books

Synopsis: On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

Rating: 3.9/5

 

My Review

Falling into Place is one of the books that got me expeditiously hooked just by reading the synopsis at the back. Amy Zhang’s way of writing the pitch for Liz Emerson’s life got my interest and had me wanting to know more about the reason behind Liz Emerson’s decision to crash her Mercedes into a tree. Is her life really that miserable for her to commit suicide? Will she survive? Will she live?

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Farewell to Teen Wolf

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This weekend is the most heartbreaking weekend for fans of MTV’s hit TV Series, Teen Wolf. It’s time to say a final farewell to the beloved show.

Teen Wolf aired on MTV back in 2011 and to be honest, I wasn’t part of the fandom since the very beginning because during that time, I was too busy obsessing over Tween Magazines and Disney Channel TV Shows to give any care about a show called Teen Wolf. Gods, I want to slap my 12-year-old self, she’s missing a lot in life. But that doesn’t mean that I am not a true fan because being a true fan means you’re with the fandom until the very end.

The show already finished airing Season 3B and on its way for a 4th season when I decided to watch the series. The curious fangirl in me wanted to know why this show is becoming so popular. What makes it so intriguing for viewers? Why the hell is everyone going crazy over this actor named Dylan O’Brien and his character, Stiles Stilinski?  It was all over my Tumblr dashboard that I even started shipping Stydia  before I watched Teen Wolf. That’s the impact the show has on me.

Eventually, I became part of the fandom. I became a die-hard fan for this show about a teenage boy’s journey as he navigates his life as a high schooler and a newly bitten werewolf (As if high school isn’t difficult enough).  I became hooked by the end of the pilot episode. I spent the whole summer of 2014 binge watching season one to three and I immediately fell in love with every sarcastic remark Stiles gives, with every outfit Lydia wears, with every story arc and with the bond the characters share.

Teen Wolf gave us six thrilling seasons in the last six years. While some were definitely well crafted, well written and well though of, some seasons—especially the last few were kind of made just for the sake of having viewers. The writing became dull and choppy. Nevertheless, the show is amazing as a whole. Below is my official ranking for all the seasons of the series.

Ranking Teen Wolf Seasons

  1. Teen Wolf Season 3A
  2. Teen Wolf Season 3B
  3. Teen Wolf Season 2
  4. Teen Wolf Season 6A
  5. Teen Wolf Season 1
  6. Teen Wolf Season 6B
  7. Teen Wolf Season 4
  8. Teen Wolf Season 5

When Jeff Davis announced that Season 6 is the last season of Teen Wolf back in San Diego Comic Con 2016, it was like a bomb thrown at us (the fans) and we inevitably can’t dodge it. I knew that one way or another the show will have to end but I didn’t expect it to be so soon. I expected the show to reach 7 or 8 seasons at most. The news was hard to process as I continue to watch the trailer for Season 6A and the only thing running through my mind is that how can this be the final season already?

I’m not prepared.

Nobody is.

It’s been a year since Jeff announced the tragic news and now, we’re only a few hours away from the series finale. THE SERIES FINALE, YOU GUYS! (Curls in the corner of my room and cry my eyes out).

Teen Wolf will always have a soft spot in my heart. It is one of the TV shows that made me realize that I want to work on a TV set/production someday. The only thing that breaks my heart is that I won’t get to experience working on the set of Teen Wolf because by the time I graduate college, it’s over. It’s done. It’s finished. I feel so downcast knowing that I won’t be able to work with the whole cast and crew of Teen Wolf but hearing that they’re planning to have a spin-off of the show gives me hope that I might still be able to experience working in the Teen Wolf universe but still, working for the original is better.

((This might sound embarrassing or inspiring or weird but I already wrote my own story for any additional Teen Wolf seasons. It started out as an idea for a fan fiction but I realized my story can be a good story arc for a 12 episode season. Is it weird that I added original characters and one of them is a direwolf?))

I never want Teen Wolf to end but, alas, all good things must come to an end, right? Looking at it, I am thankful that they still gave us one final season and didn’t immediately cancel the show without having to say a proper farewell.

I am not yet ready to say goodbye to a TV Series that made feel like I am part of something, like I am there—fighting alongside the pack, solving mysteries with Stiles and Lydia, saving Beacon Hills from different threats and just plain enjoying fun moments with the pack and as a resident of the town known as the beacon for all things supernatural.

Please tune in to the series finale of Teen Wolf, even though I know it’s going to be heartbreaking to watch, I’ll stay with the pack until no matter what.

 

 

 

All Time Low: The Young Renegades Tour (Manila 2017)

The first time All Time Low set foot on Philippine soil  and performed in front of thousand Filipino Hustlers was in year 2011. Their second time around was two years ago, August 12, 2015. It was heartbreaking to know that my favorite band will perform (together with The Main as an opening act) at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City and I won’t get to see them. Academics, killer and exhausting practice for our Sabayang Pagbigkas prevented me from going. But now, it’s their third time here in the Philippines and I didn’t miss it for the world.

The concert was part of my 18th birthday celebration. Originally, I was supposed to go to Coldplay: A Head full of Dreams Tour but sadly, the concert tickets were sold out even before 2017 came. April 4, 2017 was the day I promised myself that as long as I have money and time, I won’t be #TeamBahay (a term used by Filipinos when you’re not going to an event) for any concerts ever again. My social media accounts were blowing up with Coldplay AHFOD Tour in Manila posts. I never felt such jealousy in my life so when news broke that All Time Low, my fave band is performing in Manila for the third time around, I grabbed the chance and had one of the best nights of my life.

Short prologue prior to concert night, I was anxious (as fuck) because academics kinda got in the way. The night before, I found out that backpacks were not allowed inside the arena, this caused me to ditch my backpack and opt for a small shoulder bag. Thinking about it, this is kind of hassle to my part since I’ll be attending classes before heading to the arena, meaning I have to play Hunger Games with my school stuff—which supplies do I have to ditch and which stuff do I bring with me. Next, I need to get my registration form from the UST SHS Office but office hours resumes at 1:15 pm and my class ends at 12 noon, so I have to wait a little longer before I leave uni. I also have PE class on Tuesdays, from 3-5 pm. It was supposed to be our first swimming class for the semester and I’m nervous about missing out on swimming lessons and techniques. I decided to skip swimming class even though the show starts 7:30 pm and my PE class ends at 5 pm because traffic in the city is unpredictable. But God is good all the time and all my worries went out the window when it was announced that classes were suspended because of monsoon rains.

I arrived at the venue at 3 PM and it was already packed with Hustlers, hustling their way inside the arena. (Yes, pun intended). You can easily identify the concert goers judging from the outfits—denim jackets, denim jackets everywhere!

It was already past 5 PM when I decided to get in line and holyyyy it was damn long line. It was almost seven when I got into the arena and arrived on my seat. My first thought when I sat down was, ‘Wow the show haven’t started yet and I am already broke’. I bought an All Time Low light up crown and the official poster of The Young Renegades Tour and you guys know what? I am broke but happy.

At exactly, 7:30 PM, the band, As It Is came out on stage and started the show. To be honest, I wasn’t really familiar with the band. I’ve heard some of their songs once and that’s it. I really wished it was The Maine performing up there or even Tegan and Sara but after seeing them perform live, they made me think otherwise. I promised myself that as soon as I got home, I’m gonna download their songs and rock out to the tune of their music.

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It was a long wait before All Time Low finally took the stage. The lights went out, the screen on stage started showing visuals, the band came out on stage and then Last Young Renegade’s tune erupted and everyone went wild.

All Time Low Young Renegades Tour Set list:

  • Last Young Renegade
  • Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)
  • Runaways
  • Backseat Serenade
  • Dirty Laundry
  • Nice2Knou
  • Missing You
  • Cinderblock Garden
  • Vegas
  • Something’s Gotta Give
  • Therapy
  • Weightless
  • Life of the Party
  • Lost in Stereo
  • Good Times
  • Kids In The Dark
  • Drugs & Candy
  • Dear Maria, Count Me In

When Last Young Renegade was being played, I felt like I was on cloud nine. I was filled with so much euphoria all I can think about that time was how I am very lucky to see my favorite band live. It was exhilarating living in the moment, dancing and singing with the band and fellow hustlers after a lot of things tried to prevent me from going.

‘I am here. I can’t believe I’m really here’

Confession time: I almost teared up when Therapy was played. Therapy is one of my go to songs when I feel sad, alone and when nothing feels right anymore and hearing Alex Gaskarth play it live, it’s really emotional–it’s sentimental.

I really wished they played ‘Somewhere in Neverland’, ‘If These Sheets Were the States’, ‘Afterglow’, ‘Chemistry’ and ‘Ground Control’ (and low key hoping Tegan & Sara would come out and surprise us) but there’s always a next time sooo wink wink

When Alex announced that they only have three more songs left, I was like: ‘Wait, what? It’s almost over? That can’t be!’ I guess it’s true that time flies by so fast when you’re having a good time. Alas, all good things must come to an end.

The show concluded with everyone singing Dear Maria Count Me In at the top of our lungs and being showered with confetti. And I. Want. More. The band didn’t have an encore, but one thing’s for sure, when they come back in Manila for a fourth show, oh my, Dear Maria, count me in.

 

Baby Driver

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Director: Edgar Wright

Screenplay: Edgar Wright

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm,
Jon Bernthal

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Rating: R-13

Running Time: 113 minutes (1 hr & 52 min)

Release Date: June 28, 2017 (USA)

Synopsis: Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. After meeting the woman (Lily James) of his dreams, he sees a chance to ditch his shady lifestyle and make a clean break. Coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby must face the music as a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Rating: 3.8/5

 

My Review

To be honest, I wasn’t really planning on seeing this movie on the big screen despite the numerous positive reviews I’ve read on the internet. Rotten Tomatoes gave this film a score of 95% and labelled it as ‘Certified Fresh’. IMDb gave it a 8.2/10 while Metacritic gave it a rating of 86%.

The first reason why I decided to skip this one out once it hit theaters in my country is because I’m kinda short. I’m an eighteen year old girl who basically threw all my money on Wonder Woman movie tickets, Wonder Woman shirt, SpiderMan Homecoming movie ticket, art materials, fandom stickers and merch and Papemelroti products during the first half of my summer and now I’m left with little amount of cash. Second, I’m not really a big fan of the ‘crime‘ movie genre and would rather save up for movies like ‘Justice League’ this coming November. But hey, I won three movie invites to Jack TV’s Special Screening of Baby Driver and who couldn’t say no to that?

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Spiderman: Homecoming

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Director: Jon Watts

Screenplay: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris
McKenna, Erik Sommers

Story By: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley

Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Jon
Favreau, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 133 minutes (2hr 13 min)

Studio: Marvel Studios

Release Date: July 7, 2017

Based on: Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

Synopsis: Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man when a new threat emerges.

Rating: 4/5

 

My Review

We first saw Tom Holland as Peter Parker A.K.A. your friendly neighborhood Spider Man on last year’s Captain America Civil War and since his debut in the said film, everyone is psyched to see more of Tom Holland play this iconic character and now, a solo movie about the web-slinger hit theaters last July 6 and  it’s already making headlines everywhere.

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