Friday, December 28, 2018

benefits of "into the spiderverse"

  1. undeniably a new success in combining film and comic mediums, on several fronts:
    1. visuals: there's a wide array of attempts and some of them are pretty successful. and most of them are used sparingly and for emphasis! and often quite elegantly. 
      1. in the early part of the film, Miles's teenage anxiety at highschool pairs his developing superpowers via the introduction of comic thought boxes... which Miles remarks on: "why are the voices in my head so loud" (paraphrased)
      2. the choppiness of the animation and a lot of the editing singles out poses etc. lends itself to the experience of reading across panels (compare to less-successful previous attempts by filmmakers who would use panel-shaped irises and stuff in like ang lee's the hulk)
      3. serialization: comics are by nature serial, and serial narratives have a lot of associations and freedoms. spiderverse summons literal serial dimensions to emphasize these associations and to play with them.
        1. it's different than just nostalgia, it's post-modern, we understand the formula and so the movie's often subversive to that understanding
        2. in this way the film shows a great understanding for the way comics work. familiarity and ease help u feel good watching it
  2. major failings: I get the sense that comic book movies main struggle is over sentimentality. U want that emotional connection to yr characters but if u fuck up the writing or pacing the long slow scenes with Aunt May or whoever are boring and saccharine. 
    1. Spiderman 2 (2004) has like an hourlong stretch where spiderman is going thru an emotional crisis and not doing any superhero antics (for example)
    2. I was in to most of Spiderverse's emotional relationships but they had 3, count 'em 3 father figures (arguably 4) and that just was too much father figuring for me. The cop father just showed up for no reason in the final extradimensional battle and didnt do anything and so we had to have that many more lingering reaction shots
  3. The film's animation techniques get self-obsessed and onanistic in the final fight scene, which takes too long as well... everything's abstract no grounding in reality unlike all the earlier scenes where it's like, Spiderman takes a bus to a forested area and swings around the trees (very good)
  4. The fight scenes of the first 2/3 of the movie do a great job of grounding the action in reality or comic book tradition, and play around with that tradition
  5. There are many funny jokes
  6. It's weird to watch a "kid's film" -style film and be entertained as an adult. Pixar
  7. Probably worth expanding the pixar comparison. Most pixar films have a better standard of quality than spiderverse did. Like a wide-eyed and all-inclusive attention to every element of the film, all the overtones neatly paired and the story well-revised.
    1. Spiderverse's good moments tho were as good as anything Pixar has done like it, and there's many good moments in Spiderverse
Overall, worth seeing, and a genuine appreciation for Spiderman reignited in my heart, albeit, yeah, by the end of the film, I was like "ain't got time for that". Plus they're gonna make a bunch more movies in this like cinematic universe within-a-cinematic-universe and they're gonna suck, all of the above is EXACTLY how I felt about the first avengers movie

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