Shmee Swings Into The Spider-Verse!

I am not a huge Spider-Man fan.  I think it is because when I was a kid I was supposed to like him, so I disliked him out of spite, but he has grown on me over the years.  To the point now that I was eagerly awaiting this new animated Spider-Man film, and it seems fitting that only a month after Stan Lee’s death that his most famous creation would get its best movie.  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t just a little better than the rest of the Spider-Man movies, it is Miles better.

At the beginning of Into the Spider-Verse, New York has gotten used to being saved by the blond-haired blue-eyed Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man (Chris Pine).  Things seem to be going his way.  He recently got married, and he has never failed the city on the big stuff.  Meanwhile Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is just an everyday kid.  Smarter than average, and has a good heart, but not extraordinary.  This changes when he is bit by very familiar spider.  When Peter and Miles meet during a mishap with King Pin (Liev Schreiber)’s particle accelerator their universe will change forever.

Everything is on point with this movie.  The writing is fantastic, the action is insane, it has a great cast, and it looks like a comic book come to life.  I am not sure why everyone thinks live action is the way to go with comic book adaptations because you can do so much more with animation.  I know some people will not like the sort of stop motion look they gave this film to kind of mimic the changing panels of a comic book, but it grows on you, and it gives the movie a unique feel.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse gets to the heart of what it means to be Spider-Man.  Living through the everyday failures but choosing to get back up and continuing to do what is right anyway.  Obviously, those failures include loss.  Almost all superheroes have tragic beginnings, and Miles’ is no different, but the movie never feels cheap and it drives Miles forward in believable ways.  Also we get to hear how tragedy as motivated the other Spider-People as well, and those stories help to inform Miles’ path forward.

The vocal cast for Into the Spider-Vese was great.  I already mentioned Pine, Moore and Schreiber who are all great, particularly Moore who really captures Miles’ complex feelings and wide-eyed awe of what is happening, but add to those guys, Hailee Steinfeld, Nicolas Cage, Jake Johnson, and Lily Tomlin and you can’t ask for much more.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse might be the best superhero movie released this year, and yes, I am aware Black Panther, Infinity War and Aquaman (review tomorrow) all came out this year, but it is that good.  I am on board for these high quality animated Spider-Verse movies, and hope Stan got to see it before he died because he would have loved it.  It was an ode to everything he and Ditko created in 1962.

Shmee Listens To Sabrina’s Chilling Tales!

If you haven’t been following Archie Comics lately than you wouldn’t know that they have gotten an update to their grocery store checkout sensibilities, and their reemergence has been so successful it has launched a new TV show on the CW, Riverdale.  Riverdale has been a hit for the CW, so the CW went to Warner Bros. Television for another show to sit alongside it.  What they came up with was a little too dark for network TV, but before Warner could go back and retool it, in swooped Netflix, and Netflix was more than happy to have The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina get as dark as it wanted to get.

The setup for The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is very similar to the 90’s sitcom, Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) on her 16th birthday will have to leave her human life behind and become a full witch, she is only half witch on her father’s side, but like any teenager she doesn’t want to do what she is told.  This is where the changes start to appear.  You see the Dark Lord really wants her on his side for some reason, and he sends in his team to sway her to the dark by any means necessary.

The word ‘Chilling’ from the title is best descriptor for the show.  It isn’t outright scary, but it is darker and much gorier than anything the CW has ever put out.  So much so I am wondering if they punched it up once the show moved to Netflix.  However, most of the show’s storylines fit firmly in the teenage drama genre.  It is still a CW show at its core.  No amount of witchcraft can change that.

If you want a teenage drama with some gore and some spookiness, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is probably what you are looking for.  It has a good cast doing crazy things, and it feels like Riverdale’s cousin, so those are all positives.  Though all the talk about and interaction with the Dark Lord are big negatives for me.  I guess how you feel about the show will depend on if you are looking for a dark gory teenage show where a girl has to rebel against the Devil or not.

Well Disney Went And Did It; It Owns The Best Parts Of Fox Now!

What does $52.4 Billion buy you these days?  Well if you are Disney it pretty much gets you all of Fox except Fox News.  It is official as of this morning (12/14/2017).  Disney now has almost all of the Marvel Movie rights under its umbrella.  Bring out the count down clock for Wolverine being featured in a Marvel movie.  At this point it is just a best guess, but I am giving it a year and a half.  They have to re-cast him/her, and then figure out how to jam him/her in to story that makes sense.

Warner Brothers executives must be screaming in to a pillow somewhere.  Though it is kind of on them for not being able to make an actually good movie for two flicks in a row.

Of course Disney also gets another 30% stake in Hulu (they now own 60%), the Simpsons, and all of Fox’s random cable networks.  It is safe to say that their media empire just grew significantly.  As with any acquisition this big, regulators will get involved even though Disney isn’t technically buying all of Fox.  That way the regulators can pretend that they do something useful.  In which case, I may have to set the Wolverine Count Down ClockTM back another six months.

The Justice League Has Finally Been United!

It has been a long time coming, but the Justice League has finally made their big screen debut, and for nerds like me it was a pretty great moment, but for everyone else it was probably just ‘fine’.  The movie had too many things to do and not enough time to do it, but the characters themselves were awesome.  Showing that if nothing else DC has a great casting director.

The movie starts pretty soon after Batman v Superman, and the world is still mourning the loss of Superman (Henry Cavill).  AKA The monster that everyone hated after Man of Steel because he destroyed Metropolis, but I guess you don’t know what you got until it is gone.  Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) has decided to take Lex Luthor’s (Jesse Eisenberg) advice seriously and get ready for an invasion, so he has to get a very special team together.

The team is far and away the best part of the Justice League.  Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa are great as The Flash and Aquaman.  Bringing their characters to life with so much fun and flare.  Ray Fisher was fine as Cyborg, but he wasn’t given much to do other then brood, so I will need to see more of him before I pass final judgement.  Gal Godot as Wonder Woman continued to be great, but the movie needed to pick up the camera off the floor when filming her scenes.  We get it, she has a nice butt.  Ben Affleck was given most of the heavy lifting in this movie to try and connect everything together, so sadly a lot of his dialog was exposition, and his character suffers for it.  Making him the least convincing member of the League.  I am not going to say much about Superman, other than he finally gets to genuinely smile, and it is fabulous.

Unfortunately the movie built around this great cast was not great, and honestly unlike everyone else I am not upset about the fact their villain was another gray blob.  When introducing three new characters you don’t have time to develop a villain, so random angry alien guy makes sense.  The problem was this movie was rushed.  The special effects are garbage.  The reshot scenes seemed to be filmed with a different type of camera on cheaper sets, so they stand out in bad way.  All in all this movie needed more time, and Warner Brothers/DC will no doubt pay the price for not delaying Justice League until early next year.

The fantastic cast of well acted characters made the Justice League work for me.  It has been a lifelong dream to see the League all together on screen, and slapdash special effects and poorly edited added scenes were not enough to ruin that for me.  For other people, maybe wait to rent or stream Justice League.  Though you will want to see it.  If only to get ready for Aquaman because after Jason Momoa’s fun performance you will be as pumped for it as I am.

Dynamite Wants Red Sonja To Get Some Of That Wonder Woman Money!

Dynamite Entertainment, the current publisher of Red Sonja comics, has optioned their fiery red headed barbarian to Millennium Media to be turned in to a feature film … again.  Last time it didn’t go so well making only $6 Million on a $17 Million budget, but they think with the success of Wonder Woman that now is the time to try again.  I am not so sure.  While her currant comic book run has been successful, Red Sonja is not the women’s power icon that Wonder Woman is.  She is more of a pin-up, and kind of always has been, but they have tried to change that recently.  All that being said, it has been a while since someone has made a good sword and sandals epic, so here is hoping they do Hyrcania’s fiercest warrior justice!