Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Writer: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman (Screenplay) Phil Lord (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoe Kravitz

 

Plot: Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man of his reality, crossing his path with five counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.


Tagline – What makes you different is what makes you Spider-Man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The New Best Spider-Man Film

 

Story: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse starts as we meet Peter Parker who has been fighting crime for 10-years-now, we jump to Miles Morales a kid from Brooklyn who ends up at private boarding High School a place he doesn’t fit in, with fellow new girl Gwen Stacy.

When Miles is bitten by a spider, he starts to see changes in his body, which seems him come face to face with Spider-Man who is trying to stop an inter-dimensional device from being activated by Kingpin. When Peter Parker is killed, Miles starts to learn his own power which will see him meet Spider-Man from different dimensions including Spider-Ham, Peni Parker, Spider-Man Noir and Peter B Parker, each has their own enemies, but this latest one has put all their homes at risk.

 

Thoughts on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 

Characters – Miles Morales is a kid from Brooklyn his dad is a cop and he is being pushed into a boarding school, he still has a streetwise side to him which sees him bitten by a spider that will change him into the next spider-man. He must learn to control his abilities if he ever wants to be the hero, and now he has five other versions of Spider-Man who can teach him his place in this world. this is his origin story, similar to many we have seen, only he has come from a different background. Peter B Parker is the oldest Spider-Man, he has lived a life fighting crime, seen his personal life go sour and now he gets t be one of the Spider-Men that helps Miles learn his powers. Gwen Stacy is the new kid in school who just so happens to be from another dimension where she is Spider-Gwen, she is the newest of the visiting Spider people who tries to help Miles too. We have three other versions of Spider-Men, with the Noir one which is a private investigator from the 1930s, Spider-Ham a pig version and Peni Parker from the future, each has their own kill which will help in the fight. We do get villains with Doc Ock working for Wilson Fisk, known as Kingpin who is using the collider to create the fracture in the universes.

StoryThe story here shows the origin of Miles Morales, the new Spider-Man as h must learn to control his powers, but he must learn quickly with the help of Spider-Men from other dimension as they go into battle against a villain in Kingpin that is putting everybody’s home in danger. This is an origin story, only it bypasses the simple first battle which we often see, even though it does build the character of Miles the same as other superheroes. This is easily the most ambitious superhero story you will ever see, which we can get away with in the animation side of the film. the story also gets to poke fun at other origin stories as well as previous films in the universe which give the story the heart required to make you care about the characters and just what they are going through.

Action/Adventure/Family/Sci-FiThe action in this film is massive with giant battles which put our characters through their best abilities, which is the adventure side of the film as they go in search for the answers on how to get home. The sci-fi side to the film takes us through the idea of multiple dimensions that heroes could exist in.

SettingsThe film does give us different looks at New York as we see the different dimensions the characters have come from, this gives us different comic book concepts of the city too.

AnimationThe animation is interesting, to start with it looks weird, but it grows on you making you feel like you are watching a rolling comic book strip, each version of spider-man does have a unique look too.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its hard to catch all the jokes.

Final ThoughtsThis is an ambitious animated superhero movie that takes everything to a new level with different Spider-Men, it has laughs and hearts throughout.

 

Overall: Massively Ambitious that delivers.

Rating

 

 

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Shazam! (2019)

Director: David F Sandberg

Writer: Henry Gayden, Darren Lemke (Screenplay) Bill Parker, C.C. Beck (Creators)

Starring: Zachary Levi, Djimon Hounsou, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel

 

Plot: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam.


Tagline – If you want to save the world, say the magic word.

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tonally Messy

 

Story: Shazam! Starts when teenage runaway Billy Batson (Angel) gets sent to the latest foster home after being caught searching for his mother, Billy must share a room with Freddy (Grazer) who is a comic book enthusiast. When Billy is select as the latest candidate by a Wizard (Hounsou) he is given the power to become Shazam! (Levi) a superhero.

Billy must turn to Freddy for help to understand these new powers which he uses for fun, until Dr Thaddeus Sivana (Strong) comes looking for the power after he was a rejected candidate because he was drawn to the evil within the lair. Billy must learn his powers to stop Thaddeus from bringing chaos to the world.

 

Thoughts on Shazam!

 

Characters – Shazam is the superhero version of Billy, this plays out like any teenage who would become a teenager, be it buying alcohol, skipping school or visiting a strip club, he is immature just like you would imagine and must learn to control his powers to fight Thaddeus, he is meant to be an icon for good. Dr Thaddeus Sivana was once a candidate to be given the power of Shazam, but he was drawn to the evil, banished from the lair, he has dedicated his life to searching for the truth which he unlocks the evil of the seven deadly sins. Billy is a runaway teenager, he is in search for his mother, he doesn’t like the foster system, but this new family give him a chance, he continues in his rebellious ways until he is given the power of Shazam which lets him learn the true meaning of family. Freddy is the roommate and superhero expect that is help Billy understand his new powers, he would love to be in his position because he gets constantly bullied at school.

PerformancesZachary Levi in the Shazam might well look the part, but due to him complete difference to character to Billy it is hard to take him seriously in this role. Mark Strong is as I have always said, an easy to pick villain that never lets you down. Jack Dylan Grazer brings plenty of enthusiasm to his role, while Asher Angel does his best mood teen impression.

StoryThe story shows us how a foster child is given unlimited power by a wizard who needs somebody to take over the guardian role to protect the realms from evil, only the evil is out and the foster kid is the last resort to stop this evil. It would be fair to say this is a tonally confusing story, we have a villain that is very dark and could easily be just another figure from later Harry Potter story, he has the deadly sins which are monsters that are trying to scare children, only for some reason they don’t, we have a reluctant hero who would rather make money of his need alter ego than help people. The problems do mount up quickly here as Billy and Shazam do feel like very different characters and it feels like Shazam is just Zachary Levi doing his funny man routine, over the idea of him being a version of Billy suddenly grown up. The villain is the best part of the film, he is going to step into fights before anybody else not needing anyone to help him. The story does try to bring us some heart with the ideas of just where Billy is in his life, between searching for somebody that left him or accept a family that wants him.

Action/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action is mostly silly over the top action we know DC tends to do, we have destruction of windows, fight scenes that just have people crashing through stuff along with some flying. The fantasy side of the film shows us just how the magic world can produce good and evil depending on which side of you soul you let think for you. The sci-fi element of the film comes from the idea of a new superhero being inside a teenage boy.

SettingsThe settings in the film mostly use Philadelphia as the main setting, we haven’t really seen a comic book movie set in this location before.

Special EffectsThe effects are a real mixed bag, the creature designs look brilliant no question, but certain flying scenes look like they came from an 80’s Superman movie.


Scene of the Movie –
Unlocking the true power.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Shazam didn’t feel like an adult version of Billy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a silly superhero movie, it gets the tone wrong by having a villain that is way to dark and a hero that is just too playful.

 

Overall: Just another DC miss.

Rating