by David Kent | staff writer
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – (Dec. 14)
The art style of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse takes heavy inspiration from the aged comic books created by Stan Lee and the visual style created by artist Steve Ditko. This type of style offers a unique and visually stunning look into the world of Spiderman and helps to set it apart from the majority of superhero movies.
The movie’s plot line is equally as interesting, it focuses on the perspective on a newly gifted African American Spiderman, Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), who goes under the mentorship of the fabled Spiderman, Peter Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson). Throughout the film, the two meet up with all of the different versions of Spiderman from alternate realities, ranging from Spider-Ham to Spider Gwen. The film focuses more on a comedic style of storytelling, which is mixed with serious undertones and plot points, offering a theme complementary to its art style
Overall, the film appears to be a well-rounded and visually appealing movie. However, the plot line appears to be cliche with a two-dimensional villain and no real ‘stakes,’ other than the superheroes saving the day as they always do.
Overall Interest Score = 7.8 / 10
Mary Poppins Returns – (Dec. 19)
I’ve never seen Mary Poppins, so I’m not an overly effective judge at telling if it’s remake is better than the original Mary Poppins movie. However, it is following the recent trend of Disney remaking their old, animated movies into live action adaptations.
Mary Poppins Returns offers a visually unique cinematography perspective, blending the use of hand-drawn CGI effects and the real world to offer a distinctive nature of animation and the real world in one, continuous setting. Although interesting the idea is, I find this style of combining of the real world and the world of animation stark at times and even over the top which makes the movie‘s visual art style upsetting in both a visual sense and a practical sense. It isn’t on the same level of grandeur as The Jungle Book which brought to life CGI recreations of living animals, which makes me disappointed at knowing the level of skill and ability that Disney had and isn’t giving to this movie.
The plotline of the movie appears to be a cliche one of “rediscovering the joy that they knew as children.” Despite the cliched nature of it, this message is very relevant in today’s society with all of the bad things goings on in both politics and globally as well.
Overall, the movie seems interesting enough to watch and pay to go see, though the once brilliant visual idea conceived years ago now seems daunting, overly ambitious, and visually troublesome to the common moviegoer’s eye.
Overall Interest Score = 6.1 / 10
Welcome to Marwen – (Dec. 21)
Any movie that features the best boss in the world from The Office, Michael Scott, or just Steve Carell, will be a good movie. Welcome to Marwen looks like it will be no exception to this trend.
The movie details the real story of artist Mark Hogancamp (portrayed by Steve Carell) who was attacked by five men in the year 2000 and was left with brain damage because he was different. To cope, Hogancamp creates little miniature sets and uses miniature figurines to recreate the people who helped him recover from the attack that he suffered. In these miniature sets, he recreated his enemies as well and represented them in miniature battles as a way to cope with his pain and to find peace.
Both visually and narrative-wise, Welcome to Marwen appears to be a striking movie. The movie’s use of CGI and practical effects to represent the miniature sets that Hogancamp created are breathtaking and take you into the world he created. Narratively, the movie follows the trend of real-life stories that are adapted into movies, such as Hachi and Lion (both of which I highly recommend to see). Overall, the movie looks to be a must see for people of all ages.
Overall Interest Score = 8.9 / 10
Bumblebee – (Dec. 21)
The world of Transformers became a global phenomenon with the Michael Bay movies that grounded Transformers into the real world, full of explosions and practical effects to make everything look over the top.
However, the direction the new Bumblebee movie is taking is most welcome and I’m most excited for it. Visually, the move harkens back to the retro 90’s appearance that the Transformers first took when they first aired on television as a TV show. This retro look is actually rather interesting and sets it apart greatly from the more realistic ‘Bayformers.’
As for the movie’s capability at telling a good story, that remains to be seen. It takes place twenty years prior to the first Bay directed Transformers movie, Transformers. Bumblebee goes to Earth and befriends teenager Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) and the two of them band together to try and help Bee accomplish his mission. From what we have seen in the trailers, the story seems to be cliched in some aspects whilst also harkening back to the original Transformers cartoon to appease the fans of the original cartoon instead of the infamous Bayformers. The movie’s heavy reliance on nostalgia seems to be it’s strongest aspect, which is never a bad thing.
Overall Interest Score = 7.7 / 10
Aquaman – (Dec. 21)
In recent years, the DC Extended Universe has had a number of movies that have both failed critically in ratings and movies that have also failed commercially as well. Their most recent movie, Justice League, barely made $300 million at the box office. Ever since the Batman trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan, Warner Brothers has never been able to reignite that spark of fan enthusiasm, commercial success, and high ratings from movie critics..
With the new upcoming movie, Aquaman, DC seems to be veering in a new direction of comic accuracy with the lighthearted humor of the undeniably successful movies produced by Marvel Studios. Aquaman had reignited fan’s enthusiasm and visually, it appears to be the best looking DC movie so far, being on the same “level,” so to speak as the gritty practical effects of the Nolan Batman Trilogy.
The story and narrative of Aquaman looks to be similar to that of the classic mythological trope of a lost king coming back to reclaim his kingdom, drawing narrative parallels with both The Lion King and Black Panther respectively; many people are calling it “Underwater Wakanda” because of just how similar it is to Black Panther. Despite this, the trailers that have been released have shown very little of the narrative style of this movie so for all we know the movie could have a very complex storyline, though there are abound to be some cliches. Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) band together in this hopefully blockbuster movie to reclaim the trident of Poseidon and to stop Aquaman’s half brother King Orm (Patrick Wilson) from attacking the surface world.
Overall, Aquaman seems like a relatively fun superhero movie to go see in theaters. However, the skepticism about whether the movie will be a success or a flop is still in the air with many people both hoping for a good movie or believing that the movie will fail undoubtedly.
Overall Interest Score = 6.8 / 10
Avengers Four Trailer
Overall Interest Score = 9.5 / 10
The Avengers 4 trailer released on Dec. 7 after much anticipation, rumors and hype from fans and moviegoers alike. Within the first twenty four hours of release, the trailer reached a whopping 289 million views across all of social media including Youtube and Instagram. Avengers: Infinity War had reached a record-breaking 230 million view count when it was first released, and yet already Avengers: Endgame if following in it’s predecessors footsteps of breaking countless movie records.