Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse puts a refreshing spin on a familiar hero

In a world inundated with superhero films, it’s difficult for a new contender to make its mark. Especially so if it’s a Spider-Man film following six predecessors. There’s something different about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, however, that makes it stand out from the pack. Part of it is the unique animation style, but it’s also the fact that it’s a fresh take on a familiar hero.

An enjoyable storyline

The story focuses on Miles Morales, a biracial kid who receives powers similar to Peter Parker’s and struggles to follow his legacy. On the way, he is assisted by an older Peter Parker who has fallen down on his luck, along with a cast of other Spider People.

The interplay between the different heroes is a joy to watch, and Miles is fleshed out well enough with an appropriate focus on his family and life. The heroes are opposed by Kingpin, who is a menacing and hulking brute trying to reunite with his family. The themes of a family are resonant in this film, as are loss and responsibility.

Visual treat

The true star, however, is perhaps the outstanding visual style, which has plenty of comic book elements such as dialogue boxes and sound effects. It’s a refreshingly unique style that stands out in today’s crop of animated movies, and here’s to hoping it pops up more in future films of this calibre. The city is gorgeously realized, and the action is vibrant and fun.

Favourite Characters

On the character side of things, the mentor-student relationship between Peter and Miles is nicely handled. Peter’s laid-back nature contrasts nicely with Miles’ more earnest personality. Spider Gwen and Spider-Ham also stand out from the cast, as does Spider-Man Noir, thanks to a delightful turn by Nicolas Cage.

Verdict

The movie is not without its problems. For instance, it could have fleshed out its antagonist more, although it does feature a new twist on Doctor Octopus. Nevertheless, writers Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman have crafted a fine addition to the Spider-Man mythos. There is news of a follow-up to Into the Spider-Verse, and if it’s as good as this one, then that’s certainly something to look forward to in the future.

Originally published on Upthrust.

Watch Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse in STAR Cineplex. Get your tickets from here.

Venom: not as bad as critics say

HiFi Public recently checked out a screening of Venom, thanks to Star Cineplex. We, just like everyone else on the internet, thought it would not turn out to be a good one. Critics on the internet, such as renowned reviewers on IGN, did not praise the movie. Coming out after watching a screening of it, however, we feel it has been a better movie than most said it was. SPOILER WARNING as we’ll be talking about a few details of the movie not shown in the trailer.

Plot

Venom movie review-HiFi Public

The plot takes a back seat in the first ever Venom movie. It’s not quite as engaging as many of the better MCU films such as Winter Soldier. There are no plot twists, nothing groundbreaking harlot-wisest wise, it’s a pretty run of the mill affair. It’s worth noting that the Venom movie, even though associated with Marvel, does not tie into any of the MCU movies. At least, not in any way that was explicitly mentioned. The story of the movie revolves around the Life Foundation. They sent a spaceship out for recon, which found millions of alien life. These aliens are called symbiotes, just like in the comics.

As the spaceship returned with samples of said life, something goes wrong. One of the symbiotes, later revealed to be Riot, is a leader of the species. This Riot manages to break out of it’s container and infect the Captain of the shuttle, Jameson. If that name sounds familiar, that is because he’s the son of Spider-Man’s biggest critic, J. Jonah Jameson. The plot revolves around the Life Foundation killing homeless people in the name of science. Eddie Brock, disgraced reporter thanks to a run in with the Life Foundation’s CEO, finds this and goes to investigate. This is when he bonds with Venom, and the movie becomes a completely different genre.

Up until this point, the movie was not a comedy. Sure, there were jokes here and there, but the movie seemed serious. Venom, however, is not. He is a funny symbiote who in his words is a loser on his home planet. This is when the movie truly picks up. This also marks the point when we stopped caring for the plot.

Characters

Venom movie review-HiFi Public

Eddie Brock is played exceptionally well by Tom Hardy. Hardy really shines in this movie and makes the role his own. He also voices the Venom symbiote. Venom is the most interesting character in the movie. Even though the trailers make him out to be a badass, he really is not. He’s a real softy on the inside. Even though his original mission is to go back to his own planet and bring an invasion force, he changes his mind because of growing fond of Eddie and his world.

The rest of the cast is just kind of there to support these two protagonists. Michelle Williams plays Anne Weying, Eddie’s ex and his love interest in the film. Riz Ahmed plays a competent antagonist in Carlton Drake. The role could have been better if he was given a better script. Overall, this movie is a story of Eddie and Venom trying to work together, and in a buddy cop way that really works.

Action

Venom movie review-HiFi Public

The Venom symbiote really shines in the action scenes. The CGI is done well, but it’s nothing special in this day and age. The main gripe I have about this movie is it being rated PG. Without an R rating, it’s exceptionally difficult to portray Venom’s violence. Tom Hardy has mentioned that 40 minutes of the movie has been cut, scenes that he said were his favourite. This makes me think that an R rated directors cut could be on the way, which would be a way better movie than the family friendly Venom. The movie does a good job of making Eddie look clueless as Venom takes over. Venom also looks like an idiot at times, but never when he’s fighting.

Verdict

Venom movie review-HiFi Public

Venom is a deeply flawed movie. It has many problems that many superhero movies suffer from. The Venom symbiote is introduced almost halfway into the movie. The characters, aside from Eddie and Venom, are woefully underdeveloped. The ending is also a glorified CGI battle that many have loathed in recent years. The trailers of this movie also did a bad job in portraying that it would be closer to Deadpool than The Dark Knight. Yet, it is a stunningly entertaining movie. We enjoyed watching one of our favourite anti-heroes finally get the right treatment on the big screen. It was a movie that never took itself seriously, yet handled the symbiosis of Venom and Eddie with a surprising degree of maturity.

All in all, it’s a better movie than the critics give it credit for. A solid action-dark comedy, we would give this movie a 7 out of 10.

Watch it on Star Cineplex. It’ll be running this entire month.

STAR Cineplex celebrates its star studded 14th anniversary

STAR Cineplex was the first and the leading multiplex of the country. It celebrated its 14th anniversary in the multiplex on last Monday 8th of October. The grand event saw a star-studded guest list that included stars from the film industry, several ministers and many media personnel.

In the opening speech, Mahboob Rahman Ruhel, the Chairman of STAR Cineplex, shared STAR Cineplex’s journey from 2004 to 2018. “We started out in a turbulent time when the movie industry of our country was dying. We had to struggle for the first two years, redefining the habit of moviegoers in the country, offering them a better, family friendly environment for watching movies in theatres.”

“It was difficult in the beginning to bring in Hollywood movies from big studios. Even more difficult was to generate the audience for it. But now the studios are trusting us. We’re getting the same day releases as in USA for many movies. We hope this will inspire the local industry to produce quality movies and create a healthier culture, altogether” he added.

Cineplex awarded 14 local movies with lifetime achievement awards, based on their performances in STAR Cineplex. Among the local movies were the critically acclaimed, Aynabaji and war drama Guerilla.

Local movie stars and filmmakers urged the government to invest in more multiplexes around the country to support the growing Bengali movie industry. “We want to create good films. But we fear that we lack the infrastructure to cater to the audience who’d appreciate these films” said Shakib Khan, the star of the mainstream Bengali movie industry. He shared these thoughts as he shared the stage with veteran film stars of the industry.

A new branch of STAR Cineplex is set to open in Shimanto Square in Dhanmondi. The authorities have also expressed a desire to open multiplex of international standard in the tourist city of Cox’s Bazar.