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Paul Has Fun

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Jul 2, 2023

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is Sony Picture Animation's biggest financial success to date. Spider-Verse 2 has almost doubled the global box office of the initial Oscar-winning film.   

Movie pundits say 2018's Into the Spider-Verse run on Netflix helped this unique take on the Spider-Man story, grow a large cult following leading to this current film's winning box office. interviewed 4 of the animators who worked on this sequel and said it was a demanding production—working upwards of 11-hour days, up to 100 artists quitting throughout, and having to start from scratch five times due to pandemic-related starts/stops and editorial issues with Phil Lord.

My thoughts; it was my favorite theatrical release of June 2023, over several other notable franchises, including Transformers, The Flash, and Indiana Jones.   It made me yearn for more big-budget, superhero, animated films.

Visually I noticed it more in this movie than in the first; the mixing of the art styles is incredible-a comic book come to life.   

Examples include the scene in the third act when Gwen talks to her father; the background turns into these pastel-like colors. Spider-Punk is introduced, and his appearance is in a style of a collage alphabet often associated with the punk scene. Shading on Miles's face using Ben-Day dots to convey a dramatic scene.    The Spot monologuing and stick figure artwork present in his design. 

Once upon a time, I had aspirations of wanting to illustrate comics. I bought 'How to Draw Comics The Marvel Way' by Stan Lee and John Buscema.   I spent hours drawing what I was learning from that book. This film is a love letter to comic book art, which took me back to those days.

Other notes-anytime you throw in moms and dads relating to their children and kids wanting their parent's support, I get emotional, which happened several times.   

I loved the integration of the past live-action Spider films where you see clips of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Mcguire's turns as Peter Parker, which was unexpected and made these Spider-Verse stories part of the overall Sony Spider-Man universe.   

Fast action and, as the first film, contemporary, especially with its Hip-Hop influence and style.   Characters such as Miguel O'Hara's Spider-Man 2099, a motorcycling Spider-Woman, and Pravit Prabhakar were intriguing.   Potential TV and movie spin-offs?   I am here for it.

My criticisms-Across the Spider-Verse felt longer than it had to be.   It did what 20 years ago, Peter Jackson's LOTR Return of the King, did and had multiple endings.   It kept going on and on.

There should also be an epilepsy warning. The flashing lights and colors might be triggering.

This animated lane is a fantastic way to tell this Miles Morales story. Preferably he stays here and does not come into live action, but with the popularity of this character, it is inevitable. 

9 out of 10 for me.

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