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Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather swing in from several dimensions to overthink Sony’s new animated Spider-Man movie, Into The Spider-Verse. Matt doesn’t know the difference between John Mulaney and John Krasinski; Pete is sitting alone in a room full of teenagers; and Mark wonders if the movie is having it both ways.
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Pitch-perfect scene: the resolution of Miles’ and his father’s emotional arc, beginning with the abruptly finished phone call about a death in the family and ending with Kingpin being strung up in a giant web (presumably to be arrested for zoning violations of some kind related to the operation of a particle accelerator since I’m not sure what other crimes of his that the police have actual evidence for). Not only is this scene a good reversal of the earlier moment when the characters are similarly cut off from communicating directly (that time by a door and some webbing) but also — I mean, he’s screwing with his dad here, right? Which is just such an authentic male teenager way of relating to a parent.
I also love that Miles doesn’t have to have the overly-tidy Spider-Man 2-style hero’s unmasking in order to get to this place in their relationship. Jefferson does not have to truly understand his son’s identity in order to accept it.
This feels like especially pertinent messaging in a world wherein an otherwise innocuous awards show can generate headlines like “This Black, Gay Furry Is Now the LeBron James of Gaming”. So that’s neat.
It was pointed out elsewhere, but I want to discuss it here. I’ll try to keep this spoiler free.
There is a scene where a character named Oliva says that her friends call here “Liv.” Than, later in the film another character does in fact call Oliva “Liv,” but not in a friendly way.
This hints at some sort of falling out between these two character. My question is, WHAT the hell happened between the two of them?
Yes! I noticed this too. Between the PS4 costume showing up in the Spider-Cave and the Raimi-verse shout-outs there’s plenty of potential backstory being hinted at here that we may have already seen in some form or another.
More intriguingly though, is it possible that Original Peter’s scientific aptitude runs in the family and that’s where this connection comes from?
For what it’s worth, I agree that all men in movies with similar first names are basically interchangeable. For example, even though I think I like him, I could be easily convinced that Kevin Pollack is just an Alan Smithee kind of identity for other Kevins.
The mention of Spider-Man’s horror aspects reminds me that Marvel is often at its best when its characters draw on the romance and monster stories Marvel’s predecessor companies (“Atlas,” most prominently) published in the ’50s. Spider-Man is probably their most popular character with the least connection to those days, but there are still those lingering concerns about Parker’s health and humanity on one hand, and his relationships on the other. In other cases (the Hulk or Iron Man), the heroic adventures are almost the least-interesting aspects of the characters.
What’s odd is that, even though (as Pete outlined) other characters have “families” around them dating back to the early ’40s (and almost every significant DC character has a dynasty around them), Spider-Man might be unique in how many of his have standalone careers and their pretty wild diversity. So, I’m not sure you could really make a movie like this about Captain Marvel or Batman, whereas you could dig slightly deeper into Marvel history to pull out the Spider-Women, Silk, the Indian Spider-Man, the Dutch Spider-Man, and probably a bunch of others I’m forgetting that would be easier to explain than characters from the past or future…or Spider-Ham, for that matter.
Oh, I remember what I actually wanted to mention: I think it’s linguist John McWhorter’s “Doing Our Own Thing” that talks about how language tends to change much faster at its source (England, in this case), rather than where speakers settle.
I don’t know if any research considers what happens, though, when settlements combine with the settlements that speak other languages. That seems like it’d be a huge factor in the case of the Americas.
But either way, it’s a bit more likely that American accents are closer to Shakespeare than British accents. I prefer to imagine that the plays were all presented in the Mid-Atlantic accent, ideally a brisk “Bringing up Baby” staccato banter.