Thursday, December 13, 2018

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse Movie Review


MBE partnered with Sony Pictures for this review, post contains affiliate links

Why Parents & Kids Should See this Together

What a fitting way to memorialize Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, of blessed memory. He sadly left this world just over a month before his last cameo on-screen appearance for the animated family feature film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse from Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation in association with Marvel. The movie opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow just in time for the holiday season. 

Late Stan Lee Marvel Comics Legend
Sony Pictures

Stan Lee Backstory

Born Stanley Martin Lieber in the New York apartment of his Romanian-Jewish parents, Stan grew up during The Depression within a tight-knit, hard-working home with his mother, father and brother. He was a family man, too, father of two girls (one who died shortly after birth) and husband to Joan, his wife of 69 years, until she passed away last year. 

So, it could not be more appropriate that the final motion picture Lee inspired closely reflects his own life. Set not only against a futuristic backdrop of his beloved native New York City, this is a story about a kid who loves to draw. It is also deeply rooted in the challenges of a child growing up in a modern, multi-cultural world, while simultaneously underscoring the importance of family values and close relationships, especially between parent and child even during the turbulent teenage years when the going gets rough.

New York Chrysler Building at Night

Spider-Man Storyline

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, from the brilliant duo of Phil Lord (Producer/Writer) and Christopher Miller (Producer) who met at Dartmouth College and brought us The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and more. The screenplay written by Lord in partnership with Rodney Rothman, is based on the 2011 Spider-Man comic book characters and focuses on Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), the son of loving, hard-working married parents: an African-American father (Brian Tyree Henry) and a Puerto Rican mother (Luna Lauren Velez). 

The problem is Miles doesn't feel he fits in at the private Manhattan school for gifted students his folks want him to attend so he can get the best education possible. Instead, he spends his days day dreaming and drawing comics, eventually deciding to hang out with his rogue but lovable Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) who encourages his nephew's artistic skills through subway graffiti. 

Jake Johnson Shameik Moore Writing/Producer Team Chris Miller Phil Lord

Pictured above: Actors Jake Johnson and Shameik Moore; Actress Luna Lauren Velez and Producer Christina Steinberg; Chris Miller (Producer) and Phil Lord (Producer/Writer)

While decorating New York's underground walls the artistic teenager gets bitten by a radioactive spider, instantly injecting Miles with super hero powers. Luckily he soon learns to navigate and use his new found strengths for good under the tutelage of the 40-something Spider-Man Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson). From there, the story and its plethora of characters moves forward non-stop, interacting through all kinds of exciting city adventures both down in the subways and above the ground, hanging and jumping off buildings, through assorted dramatic conflicts and dimensions. 

Joined by a wacky all-inclusive cast of time traveling Spider-Man characters from other dimensions -- including Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) and Japanese anime Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) -- Miles morphs into his own present day generation's Spider-Man. 

Lily Tomlin Jake Johnson Shameik Morre Luna Lauren Velez

Among Miles' biggest fans is his spunky Aunt May, voiced by veteran actress and comedian Lily Tomlin. Kathryn Hahn, whom I last interviewed for Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, again plays the role of a villainess. In her latest film project, Hahn wickedly voices the character Doc Ock.

All the while Miles maintains his respect and love for his parents, who never stop believing in him and worrying about their son's well-being. Ultimately, as a multi-racial teen New Yorker, this bright, talented young man surmounts every obstacle in his way, leading through example and delivering the uplifting message for today's kids that we can all be heroes and anyone can wear the mask.

Spiderman Into the Spiderverse Movie Release Nationwide

Positive Family Role Models

In a nutshell, that's why even those who don't generally like watching movies about super heroes will want to see this film over the holidays. If you have kids, definitely see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse together as a family. When the movie ends, stick around after the closing credits, it will be worth your while. After the show is over, as you walk out of the theater, get ready to be inspired and feel good about what each of us can do to help make this crazy world we live in a better place for everyone. Then, continue the conversation with your sons and daughters at home.

Spiderman SpiderVerse Movie Poster

About Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Learn more about this new cinema movie release (December 14, 2018) by visiting the official movie site and by following Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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