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According to a 2021 report, just 6% of all films are directed by Black directors. Thanks to calls for more inclusion and representation in Hollywood within the past couple decades—and now more than ever in recent years—Black filmmakers are helming some of the biggest releases at the box office. Though the work of tearing down the barriers erected by centuries of systemic racism is never over—still no Black directors have won Best Director at the Academy Awards, and Steve McQueen was the first Black filmmaker to win Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave only a decade ago—there are myriad historic firsts to still be celebrated in the 21st century, and should encourage everyone to look back through history to surface the essential, yet often overlooked Black stories from the early days of cinema. From compelling social justice documentaries and historical dramas to innovative horror films and hysterical comedies, these are just a handful of must-watch films from Black directors that are available to stream right now.
Coming off the recent release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, there’s no better time than now to revisit the films that paved the way for the creation of the MCU and Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. Of course, Raimi’s Spider-Man movies aren’t just worth checking out because of their lasting influence on the superhero genre. They also happen to be three of the most thrilling and lovingly crafted blockbusters of the 21st century so far.
When Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films were initially made, they were cutting-edge examples of what the modern-day superhero movie could be. Twenty years after the release of the trilogy’s first installment, it’s genuinely awe-inspiring to see just how well the films themselves hold up. Most of the visual effects in the trilogy look just as good today as they did back in the early 2000s, and the action sequences scattered throughout the three films are just as thrilling to watch.
That’s especially true of the trilogy’s two greatest setpieces: Spidey’s showdown with the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) at the end of 2002’s Spider-Man, and his train fight with Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) in 2004’s Spider-Man 2. Both sequences remain some of the most engaging action scenes that the superhero genre has ever seen. In particular, Spider-Man 2’s train sequence still stands tall as one of the most well-edited, paced, and staged fight scenes in comic book movie history.
But more than anything, what makes Raimi’s Spider-Man films so impressive is how they manage to feel massive and small at the same time. Their setpieces don’t take place on giant CGI monuments or across entire cities but in crumbling houses, broken down buildings, and unfinished high-rises. The plots of the three films are all firmly rooted in the emotions of the trilogy’s central characters, which is something that many superhero movies nowadays often fail to achieve.
Streaming calendar sorted with the biggest new shows and movies on all the top services
Looking for new movies and shows to watch in February 2022?
We’ve got everything you need to know: from Pam & Tommy to Jack Reacher & Leatherface (which sounds inevitable, come to think of it).
Up and down the month, there’s new TV series’ and long-awaited movies that are finally streaming. Apple TV Plus has two series in this list, and they both look good (viable shows to watch while you wait for Ted Lasso season 3, to make your subscription matter).
Because, yes, while one of our editors is canceling Netflix, the service is doing its best to keep your business. It’s adding multiple new series this week that have the potential to make it to our best shows on Netflix list.
Netflix’s warning of sharply slower subscriber growth tells us anything, it’s that Reed Hastings needs a new formula. The Netflix co-founder built the company into the leading video-streaming firm with a low-priced offering in a new market. But Netflix is now the priciest offering in an extremely crowded market.