Saturday, December 29, 2018

5 Reasons You Should See "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse" Before The New Year

Let's get this out of the way first thing: I'm not really a Spider-Man fan.

I don't dislike him, either. Overall I'm pretty "eh" about the friendly neighborhood dancing kid in the onesie.

Cut to last week, when two of my closest friends spent a solid 30 MINUTES raving to me about this new movie I'd never heard of, Into The Spider-Verse. I was... intrigued. So yesterday John & I went to see it with some other friends and their kids.

To demonstrate John's level of excitement for this film, allow me to present his FB update, written IN the theater just before the movie started:


Exactly two hours and 15 minutes later, John added this amendment:

Now, somehow neither of us saw a single trailer or image from the movie beforehand, so John and I went in with zero expectations - and I think that made it even better? So if you're as clueless as we were, and want to be completely surprised by an amazing movie, then close this tab and go see Into the Spider-Verse right now, before the rest of the 'net catches up and spoils it all for you. I can already see the groundswell starting, so I predict this is going to be the movie everyone's talking about for the new year. I mean, just look at the Rotten Tomatoes rating!


If you're Ok with knowing a few things, though, and/or have already seen the trailer, then let me break down 5 of the things I loved most about Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verse.

1. Characters You Instantly Fall In Love With

Miles Morales is the Peter Parker I've always wanted - I just never knew it. I loved Miles from the second he appears on screen, crooning away with his headphones on. He's not the wimpy shy guy you might expect; he's confident and charming and just the right amount of awkward. You really feel for him as he navigates a new school, and the embarrassment of having a loving-but-strict cop father. (I won't spoil it, but THAT scene with his dad was John's favorite, ha.)

Beyond Miles, though, it's fun and refreshing to see an out-of-shape, older Peter Parker, strong parents (plural!), and a whole cast of side characters that grab you from the beginning. The subplot with Miles' uncle was especially good, and left me wanting more.

 2. An Animation Style That Will Make Your Spidey Senses Tingle

I'll admit, I was worried at first. The opening credits blast you with a frenetic flickering that promises full sensory overload - or at least a headache. That calms down once the story starts, though, and ends up being a blend of Pixar-level 3D, Borderlands-style cell-shading, and classic comic book dot colors, word bubbles like "POW!," and typed-out thoughts. If that sounds insane, IT IS, but in the best possible way. I haven't seen something this different since Toy Story, and it's exciting!

One thing I didn't like: there's such a heavy use of blur and double-vision overlays that you sometimes feel like you're watching a 3D movie without the 3D glasses on:

It's not like that all the time, though, and I only found it super distracting a few times.

 3. Just The Right Balance Of Dark & Light 

I laughed so much in this movie, but the laughs are balanced by heartache, family conflict, and multiple deaths. You find out early on that heroes are fallible, and those moments of sadness really help ground a story that might otherwise get too silly.

4. ... But It Doesn't Take Itself TOO Seriously

Spider-Verse never breaks the 4th wall, but it totally reaches Deadpool levels of hilarity - just on a PG level. I mean, it's hard NOT to be funny when you end up with this Spider team by the end:

 (John Mulaney voices "Peter Porker" and Nic Cage is "Spider-Man Noir." 'NUFF SAID.)

5. Not Only Does It HAVE A Message, It's One That Will Make You Want To Stand Up And Cheer

Anyone can be a superhero, and Spider-Verse won't let you forget that. I left the theater with a full heart and zero eyeliner, 'cuz I cried it all off by the end. I'm a sucker for big triumphant hero moments, and man, this movie delivers.

 Oh! That reminds me!


The music in Spider-Verse is fantastic: nothing I'd ever listen to on my own, and yet I found myself bopping along in my seat more than once. I'm actually off to look up the soundtrack now, because I've gotta hear this again!

I should mention we saw this with 3 kids ages 5-9, a girl and two boys, and they all loved it. There are two jump-scares that spooked the younger two, but that's it. Everything else seems safe!

I'll end with the trailer, just in case you're still not convinced. I think it gives away too much (I just watched it now for the first time), but at least MY favorite parts aren't in there, so you'll still have plenty of surprises in the theater:

I hope you guys are having a relaxing weekend! John and I are looking forward to doing absolutely nothing for New Year's, a much-cherished tradition over here. :D Instead I'll be making lists of projects I'd like to try in 2019 and counting my blessings - starting with the one where I watch movies in the theater now, no earplugs, no meds, no anxiety, no biggie. I've had a rough week of physical pain over here - nothing new, just some gut setbacks that won't let me sleep - so remembering where I *used* to be helps. That, and editing photos on my phone at 4AM, as I'm sure you IG followers have noticed. :D

Talk to you guys next year!


  1. Thanks for the review. We are looking forward to seeing this!

  2. Glad you found a surprise fave. I'm seeing this next week.

  3. We saw it yesterday. I have to agree with your assessment-it was great! I thought Stan Lee's cameo was just perfect. The pacing was a little slow for me at times (explaining the origin stories for each of the Spider-persons), and I did have a bit of a headache from the 3-D-ish graphics. I would recommend it, though.

  4. You know the Spidey Christmas album is a real thing now, right??

  5. I'm a little surprised you didn't hear about it because the marketing has been HEAVY, but I know you were sick and planning a massive party so I can also understand how you missed it. I'm glad you got talked into it, though. It's such an outstanding movie.

  6. I'm so glad you loved it! I saw it opening night with 42 7th and 8th grade kids from our comic book crew and again tonight with my 20-year-old son. I think I noticed more the second time, so I think you'll love it even more when you see it again!

  7. I didn’t know much about it other than it was an animated movie. We actually grabbed 3D glasses and wore them for part of the movie but that didn’t help. I loved a lot of the soundtrack but haven’t found the movie version of the song.

  8. So I LOVE Jake Johnson (thanks to the show New Girl) so I really loved his old, out of shape, Peter Parker.

  9. I LOOOOOOOOVED this movie. Like it shot to my top 5 favorite list immediately.

  10. My husband originally was going to see this movie with only one other friend (my husband knows about every comic book movie way before any trailers come out) because he didn't think anyone else would be interested. Then we went to see another movie with some friends and this trailer came on. I was mesmerized. I turned to him and said, I need to see that. He was pleasantly surprised, and about 11 of us turned up to see it. IT WAS EVEN BETTER THAN I WAS EXPECTING. Some of my friends also found the 3D but not 3D thing distracting, but I honestly was so into the story (and music!!! the music is also something I didn't think I would like but I need that soundtrack in my life) that I didn't notice.

  11. My husband and I got to see an advanced screening of the movie in early December. We couldn't believe how good it was and we had heard nothing about it beforehand!!! We're still talking about the movie weeks later. IT'S SO GOOD! We've love it enough to see it multiple times (this never happens!)

  12. One little thing that got me was that they made it clear that Miles' universe wasn't 'our' universe through little things. They got permission to use some logos, so it wasnt the usual licensing dodge. Look at the trailer: Miles' dad's car reads 'PDNY' not 'NYPD'. And if you pause the trailer at the 1:04 mark, you may notice they've had some *interesting* inflation in that universe. (probably why Peter asks if Miles can cover it. While I imagine he keeps some cash on him, no way he has that kind of money... at all.)

  13. My favorite part is how Miles is wearing a Spider-Man costume. So funny.

  14. I had NO desire to see it when I first heard about it. Then I saw a trailer and thought "that actually looks okay, I'll watch it on Netflix sometime." Then every single person I heard from who saw it just raved about it, so I saw it in the theater yesterday, and I'm SO glad I did.

  15. We saw it this week and enjoyed it immensely! I loved the various animation styles and the humor. As a John Mulaney fan, I would have loved more Peter Porker!

  16. We saw it today solely off of your review and while not my usual type of movie, it was a welcome change! My teens loved it and I did really enjoy the humor. The fight scenes and flashing animation/graphics gave me a headache, but I am glad we saw it ! I also saw Greatest Showman last January completely off of your review and it's one of my Top 5 faves! :)

  17. But did you stay past the end credits???

    1. No, and now I'm kicking myself! I think someone told us there was nothing to wait for, so with 3 little kids in our group we didn't wait.

    2. NOOOOOOO! Go back IMMEDIATELY! Seriously.

  18. Oooh, I already wanted to see this and now I REALLY want to see it! :D

  19. I'm not a Spiderman fan either. I really sympathize with John on that: but when we saw the Trailer and heard John Mulvaney's voice come out of Peter Porker.... We Had to see it. and yes, it was even better than we'd hoped. <3

  20. I don't think the '3D that's not 3D' is actually meant to be 3D, but a nod to the color separation that used to sometimes occur in earlier 4-color printed comics, but you'd have to be kind of old (like me!) to 'get' that. It's one of the many stylistic choices of the film, which pretty much cover the history of comics art since the '60s (says some one who's old enough to have experienced Gwen Stacy's death 'as it happened').

    I have to say this movie captured everything I love about Marvel - especially the richness of their characters and how important their relationships are to being grounded people, not just punching and kicking superheroes. If you liked this, I can highly recommend some of their other comics, especially the latest 'Ms. Marvel' who's completely relatable and adorable.

    And it's pretty hilarious how important Spider-Ham has become to the Spider-Gwen universe.


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