Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse

In this rendition of Marvel’s Spiderman the world wakes up to a new Spider-man. A young black boy named Miles Morales who lives in New York City is bitten by the magic spider and he starts walking up the sides of buildings. Miles meets the Spider-man he is taking over from. He’s a jaded, overweight white boy who gallantly fights on saving the city from baddies, despite being out of shape. Then, into Miles’s dimension come various past versions of ‘Spider-man’. A funky Spider-girl (who looks like Scarlett Johansson), an eighties Japanese talking toy Spider-girl, and a hilarious sixties comic book Spider-Ham. And more. Something has gone wrong in the cosmos to cause all these Spider-men/girls to congregate in one dimension and it’s up to Miles to set it right or they’ll get sucked into a vortex and cease to exist as individuals.

This Spider-man movie is an animated one. More than that, the look and feel is intended to be that of a comic book. The characters look like drawings, the colours are washed-out like typical comic-book paper, and text appears over the characters’ heads now and then. I think that’s partly why I enjoyed Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse. It’s not a comic book posing as real life, as the other Marvel films do when they use real people. Because of the comic-book medium presented in this one, the viewer doesn’t have to pretend it’s real; they can just enjoy it for what it is – a comic. Other typical comic-book elements that appear are: humour, and characters falling from dizzying heights and yet surviving.

Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse is a tale about celebrating and preserving differences. The new Spider-man is a black boy, who comes of age in this tale. His difference from the earlier Spider versions race-wise is obvious. But the other Spider-men/girls aren’t thrown out or denigrated in any way. They all have something to contribute for who they are and the presentation is tasteful and unforced.

Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse opens at cinemas in South Africa today 14 December 2018. It’s an enjoyable film for adults and children alike.

 

 

New animated Ballerina highlights the need to decolonise ballet

Ballerina is set in France in the late 1800s. A half-built Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty (or Statue of Puberty as one of the characters calls it) and a reference to Sherlock Holmes set the scene. In this animated story a little girl called Félicie Milliner and her friend Victor escape from an orphanage and make for Paris. Upon reaching the city they are determined to pursue their dreams: Félicie as a ballet dancer, Victor as an inventor. Through a series of serendipitous events Félicie finds a place to stay and becomes a pupil at a famous ballet school where she has the chance to audition for a main role in the Nutcracker.

Félicie is an orphan that goes on a journey to fulfil her dreams of becoming a ballerina. Picture source: http://www.beyondthecartoons.com/ballerina/2016/5/16/weinstein-co-picks-up-us-rights-to-gaumonts-ballerina

Félicie is an orphan that goes on a journey to fulfil her dreams of becoming a ballerina.
Picture source: http://www.beyondthecartoons.com/ballerina/2016/5/16/weinstein-co-picks-up-us-rights-to-gaumonts-ballerina

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Not Everybody Wants Some of this new movie

Everybody Wants Some is a film about a group of college baseball players. The action revolves around an all-male group reconvening at their common digs a few days before the academic year begins. Made up of a mix of juniors and seniors the young men struggle to get to know each other and in which sector of society they fit. In various groupings they try out – what amounts to – different music styles and the identities accompanying that music. So from country and western gigs to pop, metal and fantasy (okay the latter is not a music genre but a unique grouping nevertheless) they dress accordingly and try to fit in. Some of their social jostlings parallel how the boys are later to work as team members on the baseball field. Academia is merely an afterthought when compared to these important musings on the meaning of life.

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