Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

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Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his reality and crosses paths with his counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat to all reality. (IMDb)
Despite its meta, self-aware take on the hero origin story it still feels a little too familiar by the classic big-explosion end (a different use of the shoulder-tap with the tragic villain would’ve helped). That said, it nails its humour and pace (though the Uncle Aaron twist is under-explained), and Miles is a refreshing lead for the old coming-of-age arc. More significant than anything though, is the fantastic animation (the action sequences are amazing) and unique comic book-esque flair.
8/10 (Great)

 

Dope (2015)

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Life changes for Malcolm, a geek who’s surviving life in a tough neighborhood, after a chance invitation to an underground party leads him and his friends into a Los Angeles adventure. (IMDb)
Despite a fresh-feeling setting, nice-looking cinematography, active editing, great music, and a trio of likeable protagonists, the film struggles to connect in a solid way up until Malcolm’s dramatic gun draw, thanks to some messy writing that half-hazardly breezes through a high school partying plot and too often feels try-hard with its humour. A unique fourth-wall-breaking “moral of the story” hits home though, and re-frames the film’s brazen Superbad-esque story in a thought-provoking way.
6.5/10 (Alright)