Saturday, December 15, 2018

An Oldnerd Has A New Favorite Spider-Man Movie

Not too many Spidermens
This has been an amazing year for superhero movies. Black Panther, Infinity War, Deadpool 2. Lots of people liked Incredibles 2 (which I haven’t seen yet. I know. Netflix end of January.) Ant-Man And The Wasp was fine. Some people even liked Venom and Aquaman.

It’s too early for me to decide where Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse ranks among the superhero movies of the year, and the movies of the year, but I’ll tell you this. It’s top three at least and angling for higher. In both categories.

But the movie ITSV reminds me of the most is The LEGO Movie. They’re not really similar in plot, not really similar in tone, and not really similar in structure. But do you remember how you felt after leaving the theater from The LEGO Movie the first time? The sense that people who truly gave a shit took what could have been a throwaway license and made something absolutely magical and unique out of it.

It’s one of those movies that makes a lot of unexpected choices and decisions from the start to the end, but every one is right. The characterizations are pitch perfect, from the major characters to the minor ones. Lily Tomlin (!) continues a tradition of increasingly awesome Aunt Mays, just as one example.

And then there are the visuals. Much like The Lego Movie, you’ve never seen anything like this. Frenetic, kinetic, mashing up styles in a way that should be jarring but comes off as effortless. It looks so good I’m actually extra happy I got that new TV because when this hits 4K Blu Ray I’m all over it and want to spend a week still-framing through big chunks of it.

It’s as intersectional as Black Panther, as complex as Infinity War, close to as funny as Deadpool 2, and it’s own brand of honestly heartwarming. It’s not blatantly trying to emotionally manipulate you, and I know, because we got a long trailer for A Dog’s Way Home before the movie, and goddamn, that bullshit was some buuuuuuullshit.

It’s better than the trailers made it look, and the trailers made it look great. It’s better than the reviews have made it sound, and the reviews have been stellar. See it.

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