Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

December Movies

Before I forget, I did promise to share my thoughts on The Grinch. It was cute and fun, better than the Jim Carey version, not as good as the original, and definitely appealing to kids. I don’t have much more to say about it, really, so on to the main event.

Clash of the Superhero Movies

I love superheros. I’ve been a comic book fan since I was a kid, and it’s awesome that so many of my favorite characters have hit the big screen in great films. With two new offerings in the theater, I would be thrilled to be able to recommend them both…

…but I just can’t. I saw Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse on Thursday, and thought it was a great film that succeeds on so many levels. I saw Aquaman on Friday, and was decidedly underwhelmed. (Critical and fan reactions have been mixed on this one, and a bunch of people in the theater applauded when it was over, so take my opinion for just that: an opinion.)

Let’s get a little more specific:

Visuals

I’m happy to give Aquaman an unqualified two thumbs up here. The movie is gorgeous, with stunning depictions of the world beneath the sea and some amazing visual effects on land. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it’s a serious success.

20181220_091411

Spider-Man also features great visuals. The animated film shows clear evidence of careful consideration by the filmmakers in terms of character design, settings, action sequences, etc. It takes full advantage of the freedom animation allows, and knocks it out of the park. I really enjoyed the frequent (but not overwhelming) integration of stylistic elements straight out of comic books.

Plot

So Aquaman contains an origin story, a hero’s journey, one major villain (and a moderate level bad guy), and some exploration of the fish out of water problem (pun intended).

Into the Spiderverse contains the origin story of a new superhero, issues with family dynamics and growing up, a multi-dimensional threat, three major villains (and a few supporting bad guys), and seven incarnations of Spider-Man.

Given that, it’s really telling that Aquaman manages to feel more convoluted and harder to follow. The issue is that while Spider-Man is carefully paced, controls the flow of information, and makes sure the audience sees situations developing, Aquaman jumps from scene to scene and from action beat to action beat, relying on awkward exposition monologues to fill in the gaps. If your attention wanders for half a second during one of these explanatory moments, be prepared to be confused in an upcoming scene.

Character Development

Speaking of awkward exposition monologues…they also served as the bulk of the “characterization” in Aquaman. Characters told us why they were doing (or had done, previously, off-screen) certain things, but rarely was a decision, motivation, etc. really explored. Instead, there was a lot more dialogue. And most of the dialogue was really, really awkward.

Spider-Man, on the other hand, had great characters, especially Miles Morales, who really shines as the protagonist. The characters made sense and were easy to relate to, and I felt invested in their goals and struggles.

20181220_115510_HDR

Let’s Wrap This Up

I had a few more thoughts in mind, but I really don’t want to belabor the point. Although Aquaman looked great, I felt the script was overstuffed and underdeveloped, and after a while I honestly got bored.

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse was a definite win for me (a comic book geek), and my best friend (who’s a casual fan of the movies) also thought it was great. If you’re heading to the movies any time soon, my advice is to choose the webs over the water.

Popcorn

Agree? Disagree? Have your own movie recommendations? Just want to say hi? Leave a comment below.

29 thoughts on “What’s Worth Watching: Spider-Man versus Aquaman

  1. aonah c. says:

    omg this just made me want to watch spiderverse more. im so hyped!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It’s awesome. I think I’m going to see it again this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post Amanda, very informative. Thank you, I’m interested in Spider-Man now 😉 Blessings!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I hope you get a chance to see it. Have a great Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Amanda, working on seeing the movie and a great Sunday!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. robertkwanga says:

    While I haven’t seen any of them. I’m always more inclined towards Marvel than DC and more so in the recent years. I love your review Amanda, its really well written :-). However I might watch both of them too, The Webs ’cause I’m a Marvel fan and The Seas because I’m a Jason Momoa fan.

    Nice work Amanda. I really enjoyed your review 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      In terms of the comics, I’m a little more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan, although I enjoy both. DC movies have been so uneven that I’ve become pretty leery of them, although I always go see them and hope for the best. Personally, I think most of the problems in the DC movies are based on script and story decisions.
      I’m waiting for another Wonder Woman level success from DC, because that movie completely blew me away.
      Thank you so much for the feedback! 🙂

      Like

      1. robertkwanga says:

        You are welcome. 🙂 And you are right, Wonder woman is one of the best DC movies out there, definitely the best in the current DCEU. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    I’m a very harsh critic of modern entertainment. With that said… the last original movie I saw was none other than Napoleon Dynamite. Silly, yes! Stupid, yes! But totally original. I’ve grown more than tired of movies made over time after time.

    😑 don’t hate me Amanda!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Definitely no hate! I enjoyed Napoleon Dynamite, too, and I think “stupid but original” hits the nail on the head. Lol
      I’ve been accused of being too harsh sometimes, too, but opinions are opinions. You should have heard all the grief I got when I didn’t like Avatar. Visually brilliant, weak and derivative script. Boy, did I catch hell for that…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        Lol!!! But I agree with you!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Shanz B says:

    I’m gonna go see these today …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Yay! Come back and tell me what you think. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Katherine says:

    Good sugestions, Amanda!
    I have seen Grinch but haven’t seen SpiderMan or AquaMan.
    I suggest to you the movie A christmas Carol.
    Happy holidays! ❤ ❥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      A Christmas Carol is a classic, and there are SO many good versions of it. Which one is your favorite?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Katherine says:

        The good old classic one made in 1984.
        I have to say I enjoy the movie but also love the animated version of it, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Watched aquaman last night, and it was ok, I often feel DC fall flat, whereas marvel shoots it out of the park

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m so with you. I think DC needs to just put Patty Jenkins in charge of every movie.

      Like

  8. Haven’t seen either yet. Hopefully the local cinema will do its early morning (less busy) viewings for our son. With the exception of the Wonder Woman movie the DC movies have just felt cold recently. Disjointed storytelling with cold characters you don’t really bond with.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I prefer the early morning showings, too. And I could’t agree more with your description of DC’s recent offerings. I had really hoped that Wonder Woman would be the start of a new direction, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case.

      Like

  9. Jay says:

    Definite agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great review & comparisons! I love superheroes too! Except, my heart still belongs to Superman & Wonder woman. Lol. The grinch looks so cute! I’m looking forward to watching all 3 movies to compare thoughts 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Wonder Woman is in a class by itself. I really think DC should put Patty Jenkins in charge of all their movies.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. kariettef says:

    Can you review Bird Box? 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      That’s a great idea! I’ll do that soon.

      Like

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