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James Berardinelli review - *** out of **** James Beradinelli review - **1/2 out of **** James Berardinelli review - **1/2 out of **** James Beradinelli review - **1/2 out of **** James Berardinelli: #1 Worst Film Of The Year James Berardinelli review - ***1/2 out of **** James Beradinelli review - *** out of **** James Beradinelli review - * out of **** Star Wars fans after The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi Lindsay Ellis - That Time Disney Remade Beauty and the Beast View all posts >


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[url]https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WZFkR__B3Mk9EYQglvislMUx9HWvWhOaBP820UBa4dA/preview#[/url] [quote]When The Lego Movie was released, the concept of openly satirizing pop culture iconography was relatively new. Deadpool, which turbo-charged it, was still in pre-production. The Lego Movie 2 doesn’t add a lot and at times it seems to be trying to hard to be funny and hip, although it scores a few solid blows. There are multiple versions of several DC characters representing their different iterations through the years (Aquaman and Wonder Woman). Bruce Willis shows up crawling around in air ducts. And the end credits music is a song about how great it is to sit through the end credits. So what do we have with The Lego Movie 2? A moderately entertaining but overlong film that emphasizes visual razzle-dazzle over narrative backbone. It’s funny at times but this brand of cleverness has lost its freshness in recent years due to frequent use. Kids will enjoy it more than adults, although there’s enough to keep older viewers from zoning out (at least most of the time). By this point, however, I think I’ve had enough of The Lego Movies. These things can only go so far and I think they may have exceeded their natural life span.[/quote] He gave Death Wish and Fifty Shades Freed **. The rest he didn't see. [quote](Note: This being a Marvel movie, stay until the end credits finish. There’s also a touching moment mid-credits when tribute is paid to Stan Lee, who also has an earlier cameo.)[/quote] [quote]The possibilities with all these characters are, if not endless, at least large, and the filmmakers soften the blow of Peter’s death by having another variation of the original Spider-Man (in costume) around for most of the movie. Aunt May makes an appearance – as voiced by Lily Tomlin, she’s closer to a traditional version of the character than the Hot Aunt May (TM) introduced in the most recent live action Spider-Man movies. In addition to Kingpin, the rogues’ gallery includes a female Doc Ock (Kathryn Hahn) and a supersized Green Goblin. Like Deadpool, Into the Spider-Verse begs the question of whether it’s a straightforward comedy, an action film with a strong comedic overtones, or something just really unconventional. Of course, coming after a couple of Deadpools, the strangeness is less bizarre, although it hasn’t yet become commonplace. I’m not sure I’d want every superhero movie to be chock-full of jokes, self-referential satire, and cracks in the fourth wall. It works here, as it did in The Lego Movie (and to a lesser extent, Batman Lego) because the unreality of animation allows the filmmakers greater latitude than would be possible in a live action adventure. I’ll allow someone with a strong recent understanding of the Spider-Man comic franchise to put Into the Spider-Verse into that context. (Sadly, my familiarity with the book ended about 35 years ago, so I’m out of date.) As a stand-alone movie, however, it’s great fun and does enough to satisfy those to whom continuity and canon are important. As a family-appropriate holiday destination, it’s more rambunctious and energetic than the old-fashioned musical Mary Poppins Returns and, as a result, may appeal more to today’s generation of youngsters. Into the Spider-Verse is a fresh and breezy way to steer the superhero genre and a testimony to the main character’s appeal and versatility.[/quote] [quote]The plot is minimal, as befits an “origin” story of sorts. The early scenes are devoted to introducing Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), the boy destined to replace Peter Parker (Chris Pine) under the mask. We meet Miles’ family, get to know a little about his circumstances, and see him get bitten by a radioactive spider. Later, he has a brief encounter with Spider-Man in less-than-ideal circumstances. Spidey’s luck runs out; he’s on the losing end of a fight with Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) and succumbs to mortality, but not before he can pass on a vital “key” to Miles – the way to shut down a supercollider Kingpin intends to use to merge universes with potentially disastrous results. With dimensions overlapping, Miles is joined by a number of unexpected “Spider” allies. Gwen Stacey a.k.a. “Spider-Woman” (Hailee Steinfeld) is a little older and a lot more experienced than Miles. Another Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) – this one past his prime, down-on-his-luck, and still carrying a torch for his estranged wife, Mary Jane (Zoe Kravitz) – crosses over. The Dark Knight-inspired “Noir Spider-Man” (Nicolas Cage) only does black-and-white…unless he’s playing with a Rubik’s Cube. Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) is an anime refugee, complete with wide eyes and a pet robot. Then there’s Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), who bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain Warner Brother pig (and even uses his signature phrase – although someone wonders whether he can do that legally).[/quote] [quote]It’s possible to complain that this smacks too much of consumerism and self-promotion but the intent of these sequences seems fun-loving and lighthearted. Surely it’s worth a smile to see 3-CPO interacting with Belle and Snow White? Given the opportunity to do this, everyone got on board including eleven returning actresses (plus a few new ones for the older princesses) and the animators who meticulously recreated the appearances of the characters. This isn’t something I’d like to see done often but, considering that the circumstances allow it in this case, its inclusion gives Ralph Breaks the Internet a must-see element. Considering the incestuous relationship that exists between Pixar and Disney Animation, it’s easy to forget that they remain separate entities. Sophistication is one dividing line – the Disney films tend to be thematically lighter than the Pixar ones – a characteristic that’s evident here. Pixar’s approach to childhood memories and nostalgia resulted in the emotionally powerful Toy Story 3. With Ralph Breaks the Internet, there’s some superficial overlap but few adults will be moved to tears by what this film offers. Instead, it’s a great Valentine to old-time video games, the Internet, and Disney. The animation is bright, busy, and eye-catching. It’s a great holiday present and, as with many presents, the packaging is at least as important as what’s inside.[/quote] I wasn't even aware that I asked a question. View all replies >