Tag: Spider-Man

I am INTO the Spider-Verse

I am INTO the Spider-Verse

When I watched Sony Picture’s “Venom,” my major take-away was that the post-credits preview scene from “Into the Spider-Verse” was the best part.

Little did I know how right I was when I said my time could have been far better spent.

I just walked out of this Spider-Man adventure, having seen it with my friend Juan. Frankly I regret every single day that it took me to see this movie.

Firstly because it’s an absolute joy visually and from a narrative standpoint. It hits things out of the park in every category. That’s also from someone who isn’t very knowledgable about Spider-Man lore, so there are whole other categories I can’t appreciate as well as others!

But I also regret not seeing it sooner because holding off has left me in a very enigmatic place as far as what to say.

It took me 20 minutes of staring at a blank screen to figure out where to start because despite the unadulterated passion I had walking out of it, just what can I add to the conversation at this point in the film’s life cycle?

Yeah I know what you’re going to say, “Jason this is the Internet, it’s the place where opinions thrive.”

I get that. I probably wouldn’t have bothered writing anything if I didn’t feel like I should at least spread my opinion that “Into the Spider-Verse” is a film everyone should see, regardless of their feelings on comic book blockbusters.

The only problem is… I know for a fact I’m not the only person who has that opinion.

For weeks, all I’ve heard about this movie is that it’s phenomenal. The best comic book movie in years, if not ever.

I knew they couldn’t be lying, because the trailers did look great. Though I expected to walk out feeling like hype drove my expectations too high.

Yet… That’s not at all the case.

If anything I walked out of the theatre floored at how much this movie ruled IN SPITE of the over-hyped praise.

Not only does “Into the Spider-Verse” balance six different art styles at once with various Spider-people, it does so after proving itself with a masterful blend of comic book aesthetics so engrained in the narrative that not a single flashy effect feels superfluous.

Take notes Ang Lee, this is the movie you wanted to make with “Hulk” back in 2003.

But even with such a complex dance of art styles and truly fluid, engaging action , somehow the story doesn’t falter. Any joke or meme you could make about previous Spider-Man movies are addressed in the first few seconds, leaving audience members open for something completely novel.

From there, every single character is given a perfect amount of exposition.

There wasn’t a single person in this film that was not relatable or well-developed in some way. Other than some brief cameos who didn’t need anything to appear and be awesome.

It’s not a joke to say that “Into the Spider-Verse” crams in seven or eight origin stories and tells you just enough with each to feel invested better than some movies handle an entire 2-hour origin story.

Plus most of it is so comedic that barely any part of the film is dull. The sensory overload is welcomed.

The only moments that could be described as ‘duller’ in terms of that overloaded sensory splendor are poignant, emotional character-building scenes that all seem to appear exactly when they need to.

But with all that film fellating, the thing that truly astounded me about this Spider-Verse film was how little got spoiled for me.

If this were “Infinity War,” it would have been dangerous to go anywhere online because people like to slip spoilers into unexpected places. For this movie, I’ve seen nothing but praise and still got a ton of surprises.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say this movie has one of the best “secret villain” reveals I’ve seen in ever. I won’t say anything more.

The problem, however, is just that. I don’t know that there’s anything I can say that wouldn’t spoil a thing, or that you wouldn’t get out of some big media site review.

Especially since you should just see the damn movie!

After three Sam Raimi movies, two Amazing Spider-Men, a number of Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances and enough cartoons to choke a small village, the biggest piece of praise I can give “Into the Spider-Verse” is that it is truly fresh and original and an absolute joy to behold.

If you’re writing your list of New Year’s resolutions, be sure to add ‘watch this movie’ onto it if you haven’t already. Or even if you have already seen it, go see it again!

Just give this movie all the money, people. What more can I say?


Featured Image courtesy of IMDb.com

Hanukkah came early this year

Hanukkah came early this year

The latter half of this Thanksgiving Break has included a lot of media binging with my family. So much so, in fact, that I had planned on writing something today which could serve as miniature reviews of “Daredevil” season 3 on Netflix and “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” on Amazon Prime.

But then we wound up going out for most of the day, and that distraction coupled with my overall lethargy kind of killed any desire to do a serious, hard review of things tonight.

So here’s a two sentence review of each:

  • “Daredevil’s” third season, despite starting slow, becomes one of the best Marvel Netflix shows due to its compelling characters, brilliantly used set-pieces and themes of religious disillusionment and government corruption. The show is engagingly dramatic in all the right ways and builds up to a crescendo of an encounter in the last episode that serves as a perfect catharsis for the Matt Murdock.
  • “Electric Dreams” is an anthology sci-fi series in the same vein as the Twilight Zone, which tackles similar societal and psychological scenarios that are the apparent long-reaching effects of modern-day consumerism, technological advancements and fear mongering politics — all based on modernized Philip K. Dick short stories. My Dad and I watched the show on a whim and (except for one or two episodes) did not regret the experience in the slightest thanks to their varied directorial styles, futuristic concepts designed with well-done CGI and some really dark, thoughtful stories.

I would recommend both of these shows if you have the appropriate streaming services. Though, as a fair warning, “Electric Dreams” might just give you a dejected, jaded world view for a short time after.

I know I certainly felt somewhat paranoid taking out the trash after watching the final (and in my opinion best) episode. Very poignant in today’s media scape.

With that said, let’s move on. Even though Dad and I stayed up extra late finishing the latter show, we still had to get up and do chores this afternoon.

But before we went out to do chores, my Mom (for reasons I’m still don’t really know) decided to give Aly and I some of the more goofy, kitchy Hanukkah gifts she bought. Despite the fact that Hanukkah starts on December 2.

So even though the holiday is much earlier than usual on the Gregorian calendar this year, she still decided to give us some of our gifts weeks in advance?

Don’t know guys, I’m just rolling with it. Mostly because it gave me something kind of funny to talk about on a night where I don’t feel like exerting a whole lot of effort.

For instance, one gift that she got for both of the Rochlin siblings was:

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Big ol’ cotton balls that vaguely feel snow-like in texture meant to stand-in as snowballs for us west coasters in the blazing tropics.

Cool? I guess?

I mean don’t get me wrong it was fun pelting people with these things and there’s basically no way they could hurt anyone. But… Still a strange and kind of random gift.

Though I still don’t think they top this other gift in terms of randomness:

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Marvel socks!

Marvel socks?

Yeah, again I’m not entirely sure where the inspiration to get these came from. But they are actually kinda cool and much more useful than fake snowballs.

Like sure I know in my Stan Lee tribute post I talked all about how I don’t have a ton of experience with the Marvel universe outside of movies. But that said I do love me some Marvel movies.

Plus some of these socks are kind of nice. I’d wear the Spider-Man ones, or the Captain America ones or the Ghost Rider ones just because they’re nice designs.

I’d also wear the Red Skull socks because, let’s be honest, they’re so incredibly dumb that how could I not?

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What a fuckin’ goof he is.

So long story short, I may have a ton of socks already, this may be one of the strangest, most random gifts I’ve ever gotten and we completely disregarded the ‘advent calendar’ packaging for the socks (because that was something they were trying to do)…

But that doesn’t mean I won’t wear them ever. Plus even if I don’t, Alyson already stole the Rocket Raccoon socks, so someone will.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget that while we were out, we happened to pick up a copy of a certain new Pokémon game for a certain Nintendo Switch.

But I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to pretend I don’t know that yet, so more on that some other day.


P.S. — Featured image courtesy of Shlomo via Wikimedia Commons.

Because we haven’t actually broken out any of the Hanukkah stuff in our house yet.

A post-Stan Lee world

A post-Stan Lee world

I don’t know that I had anything planned to talk about today amid a storm of homework I’ve been putting off. But once I saw this news come through, I knew there was really only one thing I could do: Pay tribute.

Within the last hour or so, rumors began to trickle around Twitter that the great Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee had died today at 95 years old.

Having seen a few celebrity death hoaxes in the past, I didn’t want to succumb to the emotions that came with that statement at first.

But once I saw the Associated Press confirm it, I has to accept the truth.

Since then I’ve honestly been walking around seemingly like a shell of my former self. Hell, I haven’t felt inspired to write a tribute in death for a celebrity since Carrie Fisher passed away, so you know this one must have hit hard.

How do you quantify the life of a man that has affected culture so much? How do you live in a world that, in its innate cold-nature’s cruelty to our mortality, will just keep moving forward in time without him?

Obviously this isn’t a “surprise” beyond the fact that it’s happening somewhat unexpectedly right now. The internet has been talking about Stan Lee’s inevitable passing for years, lamenting the possibility of the older man disappearing now that he has become a ubiquitous part of our movie-going culture if nothing else.

In fact, take a look at any of the stories that have already come out about Lee’s passing and you can tell they’ve been written and on the back burner for a long time, ready to update once the day came.

Personally I really like the piece Variety put out. It captures a lot of the good and the bad of Stan Lee’s life in a degree far better than I could as an arguably fledgling comic book fan.

To be honest, that’s kind of the craziest thing about my feelings toward Stan Lee’s death right now. I’m not even a huge comic book fan — so I can’t imagine how terrible other people must feel.

While a much younger Jason had a vague appreciation for certain comic book animated shows like Teen Titans or Batman the Animated Series (both DC properties I know, but that’s beside the point), it wasn’t until the Marvel Cinematic Universe boom began with 2008’s Iron Man that I started to steep myself in the world of comics.

Also, I guess you could count “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” from the mid-2000s as part of my early exposure to Stan Lee. But I feel like that old show is a topic for another day.

I’ve seen almost every movie put out by the studio since their cinematic universe project began (outside of, say, Iron Man and Thor 2). Having grown into my own as an aspiring writer alongside its release schedule, I’ve come to really appreciate the way they create such an extensively connected story, one that makes me more and more excited for each entry to see where it can go next.

Sure, I know the films are somewhat formulaic and arguably predictable for anyone who knows the comics… But like I said, I don’t really. Only since the movies have grown in popularity have I personally started to research different famous comic book arcs and find YouTube channels dedicated to comic book stuff so I can educate myself on the matter, like NerdSync or Nando v. Movies.

Both of whom have also become regular parts of my life through binging their podcasts on my long commutes to-and-from CSUF.

So the Marvel movies have really been my gateway into comics. And all of them have one unifying thread.

A creative giant who has a cameo in all of them.

From what I’ve read there are a few more Stan Lee cameos pre-recorded for Captain Marvel and Avengers 4 at least, but they’ll certainly be more bittersweet than ever before.

Though not any more bittersweet than never seeing him cameo again after, even if Avengers 4 seems like as poetic an end point as they come.

Rest in peace, Stan Lee. A man who will truly live in forever in his creations.

Excelsior.


Featured Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.