Film Review: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is an inventive, adventurous, and incredibly entertaining film.

When teenager Miles Morales gets bitten by a spider, he becomes the Spider-Man of his reality. When a experiment crosses dimensions, Miles meets his counterparts from other dimensions…

Another year, another Spider-Man movie. However, the filmmakers are acutely aware of this, making amusing reference to the many iterations in the opening gambit. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a self-aware adventure comedy. Despite the wisecracks, the film also offers sufficient heart.

The narrative of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is inventive enough to distinguish itself from other recent comic book movies. Although there is a good versus evil dynamic at its heart, the multiple dimension angle makes for an interesting storyline. The multiverse aspect may go over the heads of younger viewers, but should prove meaty enough for older audience members. The film focuses on a number of themes, with the central narrative concentrating on Miles and the responsibilities is new power brings. However, other aspects which could have felt tired, are made refreshing thanks to Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman’s screenplay. The nuance of Peter Parker’s character springs to mind in this respect.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a visual feast. The film delivers on spectacle, with an original style. Directors Rothman, Peter Ramsey, and Bob Persichetti combine computer generated animation with a hand-drawn style reminiscent of the comics. At times the images blur, emphasising movement and energy. The style of the film is immersive and impressive.

Voice casting in the film is great. Shameik Moore makes a good Miles; Moore delivers lines with sincerity. He is ably supported Jake Johnson, Hailee Seinfeld, and Mahershala Ali. Amongst the supporting cast, Nicolas Cage stands out in a small role as Spider-Man Noir. Music in the film is good accompaniment, and helps create the setting.

Producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller show their appreciation of the source material, and their ingenuity in crafting something different with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. A thoroughly enjoyable film.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is released in UK cinemas on 12th December 2018, with previews on 8th and 9th December.

Previews: Creed II Clip, Uglydolls, More!

Lots of film-related goodness in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including a new Creed II clip, Uglydolls, Missing Link, and more…

Creed II Clip

Here is a brand new Creed II clip. A sequel to 2016’s Creed, the film sees the return of Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson. They are joined by a face from the original franchise; Dolph Lundgren reprises his role as Ivan Drago. Directed by Steven Caple Jr., Creed II will hit UK screens on 30th November 2018.

Uglydolls Trailer

Here is the first trailer for animated adventure Uglydolls. Based on the toy brand, the film is about the residents of Uglyville, who confront what it means to be different. The film features original songs by Kelly Clarkson, Janelle Monáe, and Blake Shelton. Uglydolls is set for release on 16th August 2019.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Poster

Above is the latest poster for the upcoming Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the film focuses on a different Spider-Man universe. With an all-star voice cast (including Mahershala Ali, Hailee Steinfeld, and Nicolas Cage), Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is out in UK cinemas on 12th December, with previews on 8th and 9th December 2018.

Missing Link Trailer

Missing Link is the latest film from animation studio Laika. The film is about an explorer who  discovers the world’s most legendary creature. Featuring the voices of Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis, and Zoe Saldana, Missing Link is set for release on 5th April 2019.

Aquaman Poster

Here is one of the latest posters from the upcoming DC film Aquaman. Nicole Kidman stars as Queen Atlanna in the film. She is joined by Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, and Willem Dafoe. Directed by James Wan, Aquaman will hit UK screens on 14th December 2018.

White Boy Rick Trailer

White Boy Rick is based on the true story. Set in 1980s Detroit, during the height of the war on drugs, the film is about a father and his teenage son, who becomes a police informant. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Brian Tyree Henry. White Boy Rick is being released in UK cinemas on 7th December 2018.

Previews: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Trailer, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse trailer, Fahrenheit 11/9, and more…

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Trailer

Here is the latest Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse trailer. The film is produced by The LEGO Movie‘s Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, and features a mix of computer-generated and hand-drawn animation. The cast includes Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is set for release in UK cinemas on 12th December, with previews on the 8th and 9th December 2018.

Fahrenheit 11/9 Trailer

Michael Moore returns with a political documentary on the 2016 US presidential election. Fahrenheit 11/9 sets its sights on the Trump era, with filmmaker Moore asking how America got to this point. Fahrenheit 11/9 will be screened at the BFI London Film Festival, and will be released in UK cinemas on 19th October 2018.

On The Basis Of Sex Trailer

Above is the trailer for On The Basis Of Sex. The film is based on the true story of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who led the fight against gender discrimination. It stars Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer, and is directed by Mimi Leder. On The Basis Of Sex will be released soon.

Sorry To Bother You Trailer

Sorry To Bother You finally has a UK distributor and release date. The film, directed by Boots Riley, the film is about a telemarketer who discovers a magical key which leads to material glory. Starring Lakeith Stansfield and Tessa Thompson, Sorry To Bother You will be screening at the BFI London Film Festival and hits UK screens on 7th December 2018.

Rocket Man Trailer

Here is the first look at Rocket Man, the story of Elton John’s early years. The film stars Taron Egerton as the musician, as well as Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, the film count Elton John among its executive producers. Rocket Man is set for release in May 2019.

Film Review: True Grit

Joel and Ethan Coen’s remake of the 1969 western True Grit is handsome but pointless. Henry Hathaway’s original still holds up well, therefore this new version offers little to merit its existence.

After her father his murdered by criminal Tom Chaney, young Mattie Ross wants the man brought to justice. She hires Rooster Cogburn, a US marshal with a fierce reputation, on the provision she can accompany him on his mission. Joining them is Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who wants to capture Chaney in order to receive a hefty reward…

True Grit is a straightforward tale of revenge. What makes the film enjoyable is good writing and great characters. Nevertheless, the film loses its way in the middle section, when it ambles instead of continuing the momentum that had been building in the first third. True Grit recovers by the climax, providing a action-packed conclusion.

Joel and Ethan Coen use a lot of the dialogue from the original film, based on Charles Portis’ novel. Much of the humour from the original film is also present here. There are few changes to the narrative from the 1969 True Grit. The Coen brothers have included an epilogue to conclude proceedings. This adds very little to the overall film, the end of the action would have sufficed as an appropriate conclusion.

Cogburn, LeBoeuf and Mattie are at the very heart of True Grit. Whilst Cogburn brings much of the humour and action, it is the determined Mattie who really defines the film. For the teenage girl, the mission is life changing; it is Mattie’s unfailing determination that proves that she has ‘true grit’. LaBoeuf, meanwhile, is a more ambivalent character in this version. Whereas LeBoeuf was more of a straightforward good guy in the 1969 film, the Coens’ update casts his motives in an ambiguous light.

The highlight of True Grit is its cinematography. Director of photography Roger Deakins has captured some beautiful imagery of the landscapes. The film has an authentic feel to it; the locations and sets appear natural despite the 1880 setting. The music accompanies the visuals well, although the Coen brothers have missed a trick by not including the gloriously outdated theme from the 1969 version.

Jeff Bridges is excellent as Rooster Cogburn. Bridges wisely eschews imitating John Wayne; making the character his own whilst retaining the humour of his persona. Matt Damon is well cast as LaBoeuf, although his role is diminished from the original film. Hailee Steinfeld gives a terrific performance as Mattie, matching Kim Darby’s pluck despite her young age.

True Grit is a well-executed film, but ultimately an unnecessary one. It is curious that Joel and Ethan Coen decided to remake the film without many significant changes. It is enjoyable, but does not surpass the 1969 version in quality or entertainment value.