Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse

It’s not just Spider-Man, but also Spider-Man, and Spider-Woman, and Spider-Man Noir, and robotic mecha spider, and Spider-Ham! Into the Spider-Verse is a dimension collapsing fun time where various versions of Spider-Man must save the world before everything disappears. Yet, the movie isn’t about something as grand as world conquest or destruction. The movie is more grounded than that.

Into the Spider-Verse is a strange concept movie that works out wonderfully. It’s fun, bright, full of action. The movie also brings out great emotional and quiet scenes. It does the serious parts well, and the two tones meshes together well.

Also, this movie looks amazing. It has an old style comic-book look to certain scenes, and the animation is a bit stilted making it look like a series of quick frames. The style works really well for the movie and they aren’t afraid of being an animated comic-book, such as putting in word boxes and writing out sound effects. It is bright and colorful, and the dimensional parts of the movie look extra trippy.

The main Spider-Man for this film is Miles Morales. It is his story and how he becomes a hero. To help him, there’s an alternate dimension Peter B. Parker. Peter, here, is old and cynical while Miles and young and scared. Both of them are fantastic in the movie. The other Spider-Heroes don’t have as much of a focus, but they get enough time to develop a little and gets a small arc.

The villain is Kingpin, and he’s great. He’s the one building a machine to tear through dimensions, but his motivation is different than power. The guy is still a villain through and through. The reasons he has for this particular act adds some humanity to him. Really, he doesn’t even care about Spider-Man here but has to because Spider-Man is opposing his machine.

The secondary villains are good. I think Prowler could have used a bit of backstory. We don’t know why any of them are working for Kingpin, but Prowler should have something more given on him.

I like the little twists to Mile’s dimension to make it different from others, such as instead of having the NYPD, they have the PDNY. It’s small, but it makes the world feel like its own.

Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse is colorful and stylish with great characters. The action is fun, and the heart of the movie is touching. And there are lots of jokes and references to other Spider-Man media, too.

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Shazam!

Shazam! is a fun superhero movie. It captures the feeling of a kid gaining superpowers great. Not just superpowers, but also have a super form of a buff adult male. Billy Batson has the powers to turn into Shazam, but he keeps his young outlook on things. It gives Shazam a different feel to other superheroes. He has powers, has no idea how to fully use them, but wants to show off. Then he has to deal with his first super villain.

The characters in Shazam are all great. Billy is a foster kid that is always running away and trying to find his birth mother. He gets placed into a foster home, and they’re all really nice people. Of course, Billy doesn’t want that family, he wants his other. It leads to friction at the beginning, but the growth over the movie is done well. The children are all great at their parts. The youngest is adorable.

As the hero Shazam, Billy does feel like a different character. He’s much more outgoing and happy as Shazam. I can see how being a buff super human will brighten up anybodies day.

Then there’s the villain of the film, Thaddeus. He is dark, scary and a legitimate threat. He doesn’t play around. His scenes always has an anxious undertone to them. Once Shazam and Thaddeus meet, the movie shifts into darker tones. But it still manages to keep some fun parts, never getting too grim.

The parts I really enjoyed were just Shazam and his foster brother, Freddie, learning about powers and goofing off. Seeing a superhero do that kind of thing is really funny. The casual usage of super powers, the showing off, the ridiculous costume, it makes for great scenes of joy.

Perhaps the ending sequence drags on a bit too long. But there were lots of interesting things to see, such as the wizard’s home. The effects were good in the movie. They didn’t need too much of that. There is no giant, world-ending portals, but there are lots of monsters around.

Shazam is a fun movie in the DC Cinematic Universe. It brings the joy of being a superhero to a fourteen year old child. He must learn that with great power, comes other jerks wanting that power, and there are things worth fighting fore. Watching Billy grow, not just as a hero, but growing closer to his family is a joy. The villain is truly menacing, as well. It all comes together into a solid and fun superhero film.

Miracle Workers

A comedy show in which angels tries to stop the world from blowing up. Heaven is a corporation with God as the boss, the God want’s something new, so he decides to blow up the Earth, thank partially to Eliza, the newest angel on staff. To fix her blunder, Eliza makes a bet that she can get two socially awkward people to kiss within fourteen days. If she does, the Earth will be spared.

It’s a fun concept that works out really well. Each of the characters in the show are endearing in different ways, even those that initially come off as jerks. You get to see them at vulnerable points where you want them to succeed, then you get to see that they are good at their jobs. Except for God, though. But he’s fun in different ways.

The corporation has lost its passion for running Earth, and Earth pretty much doesn’t listen anyway. This leads to the world we have, a chaotic place of both good and bad things. Most of the staff doesn’t care since their boss doesn’t. Only a small group of people in the Department of Miracles is actively trying to save the world.

They start with Craig and Eliza. Craig is the guy that’s been working there for thousands of years, yet he’s meek and doesn’t like risk. Slowly, he learns that drastic actions must be taken to save the world, but he still just wants to help people find their lost keys and gloves the most rather than anything more impressive. Eliza is the new girl that has to save the world since she caused the bet in the first place. To do so, she’s more impulsive and wants to do bigger things.

God, played by Steve Buscemi has a wonderful presence. He’s goofy through most of the show, but you do get to see a wrathful side that could potentially flood the world a long time ago. Now, he just wants to open a restaurant instead. He also gets a fair bit of development, perhaps the most. While he’s an annoying character, his scenes feel lively and fun.

Each episode focuses on a different character while they try to get the two socially awkward people together. More and more people join the group to save the world.

This is a limited series. I want more, but telling a full story without dragging things out is also good. Miracle Workers is funny and full of strange situations. It is good-natured, leaving a good feeling all around. Each of the characters are fun and endearing. It is a fun little show.