Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld
Release Date: March 19, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘21 Jump Street’, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.
Gather up the superhero fans young and old and prepare yourself for an experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen in the groundbreaking animated feature (and this year’s well deserved Academy Award Winner for Best Animated Feature) ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ which introduces us to Brooklyn teen Miles Morales. A normal local kid whose life is changed forever when he’s bitten by a genetically modified spider and soon finds himself with powers similar to those of the famous superhero Spider-Man. Believing there can be only one Spider-Man, he sets out to find the hero himself, and after the Kingpin sets off a dangerous device that breaches other dimensions, Miles soon discovers that there are far more heroes with similar powers than he could have ever imagined. Learning to embrace his newfound gifts while still trying to balance his old life, he must now team up with these other Spider heroes in order to stop Kingpin and find a way to send the others back home to their own universes.
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is a brilliant and breathtaking animated adventure that delivers something remarkably unique, yet also incredibly familiar. One of the best films of the last year (possibly even the best period) and one of the very best comic-book films of all time, it’s a passionately crafted and fast paced good time that dares to do something drastically different with the property while also poking fun of some of the previous Spider-Man films and comics along the way. Loaded with heart, humor and plenty of unforgettable action and adventure around every turn, it’s capably directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, and features a perfectly selected voice cast that includes Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber and many more. ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ truly is a clever and original animated experience unlike anything else to grace the silver screen. Always giving the impression of a comic brought to full, gorgeous life, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is sure to prove the ultimate treat for comic book fans everywhere (and only all the more so for the hardcore Spidey fans) and one that you won’t want to even think about missing out on if you happen to find yourself on the fence. Chances are quite slim that you’ll be anything but blown away and thoroughly amazed with this phenomenal animated film, not to mention downright thrilled that you decided to give it a shot.
Overall, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is nothing short of remarkable and groundbreaking. Not only one of the best films of the year, but one of the best comic book films of all time. A living, breathing comic book brought to stunning life that only excels beyond all expectations every step of the way and should have no trouble leaving viewers with a grin permanently plastered on their face from the opening logos. ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ definitely earns my highest possible recommendation, especially for fellow fans of the Spider-Man and/or Marvel universe(s) in general, as well as those that simply enjoy a well done animated film, and all are almost guaranteed to have a ridiculous amount of fun with this truly amazing ride. It should easily prove more than worth the price of a rental and two hours of your time at the absolute least, but don’t be too surprised if you also end up promptly purchasing a copy after watching.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole and offers a sharp, richly detailed presentation from start to finish with no hiccups or faults to be uncovered throughout. Perfectly representing the bright, vivid colors and unique animation style within, it holds up perfectly even during the numerous fast moving and heavily populated moments throughout, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a magnificent high definition video presentation from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment that looks consistently great and should thoroughly please the fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers an immersive, wildly enjoyable and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all five available channels in order to unleash an auditory assault of activity consistently whipping throughout the various speakers with regularity, and really getting aggressive during the action sequences wherein there’s nary a moment without all five speakers dishing out constant activity, and still always managing to make certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a magnificent 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds remarkable around every turn and contributes a great deal of additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ includes a considerable collection of extras that should thrill fans of the film. The release offers fans the option of viewing two different versions of the film; allowing you to select between the regular ‘Theatrical Cut’ of the movie, or watching in ‘Alternate Universe Mode’ which features Alternate Scenes, Plotlines, Characters and more integrated into the movie (often with unfinished animation, but a very nice treat regardless and running approximately 25 minutes longer) and hosted by Chris Miller and Phil Lord. The release also includes a ‘Filmmaker Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer Phil Lord, Producer Chris Miller and directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman’, in addition to the Animated Mini-Movie ‘Spider-Ham: Caught in A Ham’ (running 4 minutes in length) and a collection of various Behind the Scenes Featurettes and fun videos that include interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus some behind the scenes footage and more. They include: ‘We Are Spider-Man’ (running approximately 8 minutes), ‘Spider-Verse: A New Dimension’ (approximately 5 minutes), ‘The Ultimate Comics Cast’ (15 minutes), ‘Designing Cinematic Comic Book Characters: Heroes and Hams’ (8 minutes), ‘Designing Cinematic Comic Book Characters: Scoundrels and Scorpions’ (5 minutes), plus ‘A Tribute To Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’ (approximately 8 minutes) and ‘The Spider-Verse Super Fan Easter Egg Challenge’ (5 minutes). Also included are ‘2 Lyric Videos’: ‘”Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee’ (approximately 3 minutes) and ‘”Familia” by Nicki Minaj, Anuel AA, and Bantu’ (3 minutes).