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Non-Review Review: Spider-Man – Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an amazing Spider-man movie.

There is no other way to describe it. Into the Spider-Verse is a clean lock for the best superhero film of the year, neatly leapfrogging the superlative Black Panther. Into the Spider-Verse is also the best animated film of the year, placing comfortably ahead of The Breadwinner or Incredibles 2. In fact, it seems fairly safe to describe Into the Spider-Verse as the best feature film starring Spider-Man since Spider-Man II. Even that feels like hedging, and would be a very closely run race.

Just dive on in.

Into the Spider-Verse is a creative triumph. It is a fantastically constructed movie, in virtually every way. The film’s unique approach to animation will inevitably dominate discussions, and understandably so. Into the Spider-Verse is a visually sumptuous piece of cinema that looks unlike anything ever committed to film. However, the film’s storytelling is just as impressive if decidedly (and consciously) less showy in its construction. Adding a phenomenal cast, Into the Spider-Verse is just a film that works in an incredibly infectious and engaging way.

Into the Spider-Verse does whatever a Spider-Man movie can. And then some.

Suits him.

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Non-Review Review: The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie is – as one might expect – a wonderfully well-constructed family film. Following a construction worker repeatedly described as “normal” or “average” – but, one colleague hastens to add, “not normal like us” – named Emmet, the movie is structured as a conventional “special one” narrative. However, veteran directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller stir things up just enough to keep it interesting.

With a wry sense of humour and an acute awareness of the clichés of a typical “hero’s journey” narrative, Lord and Miller have actually managed to tap into the core essence of Lego – if a massive multi-platform brand name empire can be distilled to a “core essence.” It’s a story about the magic of playing with toys and the necessity of throwing away the instructions every once in a while.

The ensemble fits together perfectly...

The ensemble fits together perfectly…

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It’s The End of Cinema As We Know It…

Tell us something we don’t know. Okay, I’m being mean, but Francis Ford Coppola, once so optimistic about the future of the medium of cinema, has become jaded and cynical about the studio system:

The cinema as we know it is falling apart. It’s a period of incredible change. We used to think of six, seven big film companies. Every one of them is under great stress now. Probably two or three will go out of business and the others will just make certain kind of films like Harry Potter — basically trying to make Star Wars over and over again, because it’s a business.

And, yes, this is from the man who made The Godfather III.

But does he have a point?

He gave us The Godfather III and Bram Stoker's Dracula and NOW he's worried about the death of cinema?

He gave us The Godfather III and Bram Stoker's Dracula and NOW he's worried about the death of cinema?

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