Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse… Wait, Sony Made This!?

5 stars
Who would have thought that my favourite film of 2018 would not only be an animated movie but one made by Sony?
Initially, I was not very interested in seeing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse because I was not familiar with the Miles Morales character and, again, the film is made by Sony.
However, the trailers got more and more interesting and the word of mouth was so good that I just had to see it.
Given this positive word of mouth I was expecting the film to be good going in, but it still blew my socks off.
Right from the opening film studio logos I knew we were in for something special because they were shown in such creative ways.
From here, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse gets better and better as it goes on.
As I said, coming into Spider-Verse, I did not know much about Miles as a character and this made the surprise of how fantastic he is all the better.
Voiced by Shameik Moore, Miles is an incredibly relatable character with his own strengths and insecurities that make him a completely different kind of Spider-Man.
All of the other spider-people brought to Miles’ reality are also just as unique, with the best of them being a disillusioned and tired Peter B. Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson) and a Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfield) who took on the mantle after being bitten by the radioactive spider.
Watching these two spider-people grow alongside Miles was great and led to many emotional moments.

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Miles, Peter and Gwen are the best spider-people and I hope we get to see them all in a sequel.

In comparison, the other Spider-people do not get as much development or screen-time as these three, but they still get their own share of emotional moments and laughs.
Even the main villain, Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), gets plenty of development that actually makes us sympathize with him somewhat, even if he is at fault for all he has lost that drove him to this point.
Along with all of this, Spider-Verse is very funny, delivering on a multitude of jokes, many of them great examples of meta-humor concerning the numerous version of Spider-Man in film and media.
As for the animation, it is very unique to other animated films and often captivating.
That said, for the first few minutes you may find this style of animation to be a little jarring and, at worst, off putting but this quickly fades after these first few minutes and, from then on, the animation is stellar.
This is all accompanied with a fantastic soundtrack that works amazingly well with every scene.
All of this fantastic character development, animation and music combine in what is probably my favourite scene of any film in 2018 when Miles embraces his role as Spider-Man and leaps across the city.
This is a very inspirational scene that I will find myself replaying over and over when the film comes out of theaters.

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Watching Miles embrace his new role as Spider-Man was the most inspirational scene all year.

If I had one issue with Spider-Verse it would be the fate of one of the characters.
It felt like they could have had a massive impact on the story in a sequel but after seeing the film in full, this does not feel like that will happen.
I do understand why this choice was made though, as those making the film probably did not know if they would get a sequel.
Still, this will not affect my rating for Spider-Verse because I did not find it to be overly detrimental to the film.
Speaking of the film makers though, it is even more surprising when you learn that there were three directors for the movie, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rotham.
Usually, having more than one director can be problematic for a film because it can result in a conflict of ideas but it is clear these three directors came together to complete a vision, based on how fantastic Spider-Verse is.
I still cannot get over that this is a Sony film, considering their track record.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is without a doubt my favourite film of 2018 and I highly recommend it.
It definitely deserves an award for best animated film.

Bumblebee Review: No Michael Bay? Sign me up!

3 and a half stars
Who knew you could have a Transformers movie without overly sexualised women, borderline racist stereotypes and an overusage of explosions?
Well, Michael Bay clearly did not know this because the latest film in the Transformers franchise Bumblebee has none of these things and is all the better for it.
Directed by Travis Knight, Bumblebee is the best film in the Transformers series by a wide margin.
It is still not great but compared to what came before it is a massive step forward.
The film takes place in 1987 and tells the story of how the titular Bumblebee came to earth and lost his voice.
What follows is a mash up of Transformers with E.T as a teenage girl named Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) finds Bumblebee and tries to hide him from government agents, led by none other than John Cena, who plays Agent Jack Burns.
As a result, the story of Bumblebee is generic but still a welcome change to what came before.

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Watching Charlie try to hide Bumblebee from her family and the government felt very reminiscent of older films in both a good and bad way. 

The characters are actually likeable and relatable, there are a couple of funny moments and the action is not overplayed, unlike with Bay’s series.
Speaking of the Bay Transformers movies, Bumblebee recons a lot of events that happen in those movies but, given how said movies are also guilty of this, that is nothing new.
If anything, I would argue the recons serve to separate Bumblebee from those terrible film, which I definitely appreciate.
The opening scene is by far the best of the film and, even though I am not a huge fan of the Transformers, I know it will please many people who are.
Bumblebee is not without its issues because, as I said, the plot is generic and even though the characters are likeable they are a little stereotypical.
Along with this, the story drags a bit at times and it is pretty easy to figure out where the film will go.
All of that said, Bumblebee is still a good film that actually delivers some genuinely heartfelt moments.
It is definitely the best of the franchise and I hope to see more Transformers sequels like it… so long as Michael Bay no longer directs them that is.