Admit it: you've always wanted to see a throwdown between Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) and General Zod (Michael Shannon). Not only would the epic battle span two superhero universes, it would bring together two of the best actors to don tights onscreen. And that's exactly what audiences will finally get when "99 Homes" is released in theaters.
...Except they're playing different characters. And it's not a superhero movie, it's about the collapse of the housing market. But otherwise, it's basically Zod vs. Spider-Man for the fate of two universes.
Okay, that conceit out of the way, let's actually talk about "99 Homes," which played as part of a specially curated series of movies that have premiered at other festivals, here at the Sundance Film Festival. Written and directed by Ramin Bahrani, the movie focuses on a realtor who specializes in foreclosing on homes -- the ever so slightly on-the-nose named Richard Carver (Shannon) -- and one of his victims-turned-protege Dennis Nash (Garfield).
First they fight, and then, true to any superhero story, team up... Except the twist here is that Carver may not be the villain, and Nash may or may not be the hero of his own story.
Ostensibly, the movie is a gangster flick with Shannon turning Garfield into a made man, set on the backdrop of the real estate market's bubble bursting. But really, it's just a big old awesome acting showcase for two fantastic performers -- and the audiences here in Park City agreed:
Shannon has been reliably menacing his whole career, so seeing him in the "godfather" role isn't too much of a stretch, though it is as always delightful to watch. The revelation really is Garfield... Though we loved him as Peter Parker (seriously, in our ranking of every Spider-Man movie, we called him the "definitive big screen Spider-Man"), it's incredible to get to see Garfield truly stretch himself as an actor again; mainly because he's really, really good.
But hey, if you're just looking for Spider-Man? He spends a good deal of the movie juggling two identities, and even changing into a costume -- granted, it's a suit, but still -- when he's out on his job.
Also he sticks to walls and has a girlfriend named Gwen Stacey. Just kidding.
The movie doesn't have an official release date yet, but Bahrani told the crowd at the Eccles theater that Broad Green Pictures would probably have it in theaters around March. Until then, we'll just have to make due with that mash-up we made of "Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "Man of Steel."
"99 Homes" is currently playing at the Sundance Film Festival.