Spider-Verse: My Favourite Movie of the Last Decade

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is what I’m calling my new favourite movie since Forgetting Sarah Marshall [2008] (and they’re so different, don’t even bother making me rank them). I’ve spent a lot of time talking with my friends about how much I love this movie, and so far nobody I’ve met in real life has really come to the same obsessive conclusion about this movie as I have.

I love the YouTube channel FilmJoy, and Movies with Mikey is such a wonderful video essay series, I just have to share this entry with you (but honestly, go pick any movie you love from the back catalogue and you’ll appreciate his take on it). There are lots of great video essays about this movie, this is but one recent example too.

Spider-Verse is a fun and unique movie in just so many ways. It has a great cast, flips expectations on their heads at every turn, it’s hysterical, and is SO beautiful in a way that I’ve never seen in any movie, animated or not. This film won the Oscar for best animated picture, and in a year with other GREAT movies, it wasn’t even close.

I could talk for weeks about the animation style, the amount of detail and passion that so clearly made it in to every frame of this movie, the characters and story which show off stories which have never been seen in Hollywood before. The way this movie is able to carve out a niche for a ‘different’ Spider-Man , while only heightening the ‘legend’ and legacy of the Peter Parker Spider-Man we all know and love is something that other adaptations could only dream of.

I’ve always loved Spider-Man as a character, and the emotional, humourous, and suspenseful moments just hit you SO hard. The soundtrack and musical cues are perfect, the lighting and colour are vivid, imaginative, and visually pleasing in a way you have to see to believe. And the way that the different comic book styles blend together seamlessly makes the world of this movie so immersive you believe everything it asks you to without question.

I could watch this movie over and over again, and it would never get old, or feel stale, because there’s something new or interesting or beautiful to focus on in every single frame through the entire movie. I love everything about Spider-Verse, and I hope that you’re excited to go watch it again reading this, whether you’ve not yet seen it, or whether you’ve seen it a hundred times.

‘Drop the Soap’ Jokes are SO Weird

While the YouTube video is being reinstated (read more here), here’s the Archive.org version.

I may as well just post every single time Pop Culture Detective puts out a video, because I’m right there with them shouting my support every time a new one is posted.

This time, the subject is the treatment of males who are sexually assaulted, and their portrayal in pop culture. It is truly unbelievable how pervasive this ‘joke’ trope is, and to me it is equally bizarre how this trope persists even today.

It seems like today for the most part, sexual assault of women is a pretty clear taboo, especially to be played for laughs. However, the same cannot be said of men who are subjected to the same kinds of assaults. The range of types of media where this is pervasive is truly one of the most shocking parts, ranging from children’s shows all the way to adult police dramas.

I think what is happening here is that the ‘joke’ is so played out at this point, that (surely male) writers don’t really think through the implications of what they’re implying is occurring. At least, that’s my hope, because if they are thinking it through, that’s even more horrifying. The idea that if you’ve done something wrong in your life, that you deserve physical punishment is something that I find abhorrent, and it’s a central tenet of this trope.

Nobody ‘deserves’ abuse of any kind, especially in the context of somebody already serving a prison sentence, and anybody could become a victim of this kind of assault. This type of situation is certainly not deserving of a laugh in TV or movies, and it should certainly be something we continue to see less of until it hopefully disappears completely.

Football is Killing its Players

For the last few years, as evidence has been mounting about brain injuries befalling NFL players, I’ve found it really hard to separate the violent aspects of football I tolerated from the jaw-dropping highlights and strategy I enjoy so much.

I actually have several hundred words written on the topic of CTE in a draft on this blog that I will hopefully get a chance to publish someday, but this video sums up my thoughts pretty perfectly on the matter. It’s kind of unbelievable that given what we know about how football affects the brain, that we’re all just okay with this.

As with many ‘traditions’, it’s very hard to even discuss because some people refuse to even acknowledge there might be a problem with something their families have enjoyed for generations.

The other aspect mentioned in this video, the fact that they are talking about college football, where players get literally zero compensation (and if they take endorsement money or any other kind of gift, they face suspension), while coaches and other staff associated with this billion dollar system are paid up to millions of dollars a year. It’s quite clearly exploitation, and like they said in the video, “I’ve woken up”, and I just can’t look at football the same way again.