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


What’s it about?

For anyone who hasn’t watched it yet, here’s what you need to know:

Ironically, I would typically start off with “You know who Spider-Man is” and move things along. Except this movie isn’t about the Peter Parker/Spider-Man you’re familiar with. I mean, it is. But not actually. Sort of. In a way.

In the world of comic books, there’s only one thing better than a hit character: and that is the same hit character in more comic books. What do you do when the vast majority of your revenue is centered around just a few major characters? You use them and re-use them as much as possible. You put them in a team. You give them an animal side-kick. You release as many comics as you possibly can with the same character.

That’s how you end up with The Amazing Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Astonishing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Unlimited, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Avenging Spider-Man… not to mention multiple cartoons and at least three different Spider-Man movie franchises.

Now, you have a problem. Your fans love all the stories, but you’ve got stories where Peter Parker has broken up with Mary Jane, ones where they get married, ones where he never dated her to begin with. Stories where he fights villains, and stories where he teams up with those same villains. How do you keep track of it all?

It’s easy! You don’t. They all happen AND they aren’t contradictory because they all happened to different versions of Spider-Man in alternate universes. With alternate universes, you can have a Spider-Man that’s a giant robot from the future, a film noir detective, a kid who with electricity powers who can turn invisible, a pig, and if that doesn’t stretch your imagination to the breaking point you can even have a Spider-Man who’s a girl (gasp).

All of these different versions of Spider-Man meet up and have to work together to get back to where they belong. Hijinks ensue, evil is fought, webs are thrown, and maybe we all learn that the greatest treasure was the friends we made along the way.

Also John Mulaney is hilarious as Spider-Pig.

The comic book industry has probably done more to propel quantum physics than anything else. Just keep watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and shows and you’ll get it.


Is it worth watching?

Definitely.

You can stream it on Netflix (as of the writing of this post), and I highly recommend it.

If you haven’t watched it, do give it a try – even if you don’t care for superhero movies.

It has an animation style that is a bit unusual to say the least. It’s a bit jumpy and takes a little while to get used to. There is no denying that the art is incredible. In a world with little original material on the big screen (or at least established characters used in an original way), it is a breath of fresh air.

Make sure you stay through the credits for the extra scenes!

Just don’t try to figure out the morphology of King Pin. It’ll give you a migraine.


Is it worth listening to?

Normally, this is not my jam. I might have heard of two or three of the artists on the soundtrack. It’s not the kind of music that I typically listen to, and it didn’t inspire me to immediately go find all the albums from the contributing artists.

But… it’s great. All together, it’s a strong album with great beats, catchy rhythm, and even some songs with lyrics that I could understand! For me, this album is greater than the sum of its parts. Individually, I’d probably skip some of these songs as they came up on my random playlist. Put them all together… they work so well.

A note that this soundtrack includes songs inspired by the movie, which is a nice addition. Would have been nice if the producers of the “Hackers” soundtrack had done that instead of not including all the songs from the movie which forced me to buy an extra album which was fine only why would you do that I’m not bitter you’re bitter shut up.

It’s a great album to listen to when working out, fighting crime, setting a positive example for youth, imagining winning arguments with your boss, or pretending you’re a badass in your minivan.

I admit I love the move more than the soundtrack, however I give both an enthusiastic thumbs up.


Yeah But What Else

If you liked Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, you may also like The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street, and 22 Jump Street – all were written and directed by the same guys. And they all had pretty awesome music (everything is awesome!).

Perhaps the most interesting YBWE is that someone convinced Sony that releasing “A Very Spidey Christmas” was a good idea. And to that person, I say thank you, because this is the cheeky side of Spider-Man.

It’s five Christmas songs with Spider-Man parody lyrics. You’ve got “Joy to the World”, “Jingle Bells”, “Deck the Halls”, “Up on the Housetop” and “The Night Before Christmas”, all performed by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse voice actors. Shameik Moore, Chris Pine, Jake Johnson, and Jorma Taccone. The songs range from “Hmmm, okay” to “That was surprisingly well done”, both in terms of lyrics and singing abilities. I was surprised that Jorma didn’t actually sing, considering his roots in The Lonely Island, and Chris Pine can really carry a tune!

Christmas-themed parody albums are a niche market to cater to, so I’m mostly shocked that I didn’t hear about it until now.

Will this be on your Christmas playlist next year? Hopefully. Probably not. This is not exactly award winning stuff, but you won’t need to be a Spider-Man nerd to enjoy it and get most of the jokes.

And yes, Scott, it was released on vinyl too. If I ever do start collecting, this will be on my wish list. Hint hint.

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