I’ll start by saying I really like Willem Dafoe and the roles he usually picks. Some may remember him as Paul Smecker, the detective in “Boondock Saints.” He’s been in a lot of films and has over 126 roles and credits on IMDB. So, I was looking forward to this film about the artist, Vincent van Gogh and went to see it in my local little indie theater–you know, the small ones with chairs instead of recliners and a small stage that might be used for burlesque shows as much as watching movies.
I’ll get right to the point. I found the film ok. Yeah, just ok. The storytelling was really well done. The imagery, scenery, background settings, and acting were all really well done. So why just OK? Because the director made some choices in the way he shot it that just sucked. For example, there’s not a single stabilized camera shot in the film. It has that Blair Witch vibe with tons of camera shake. Scenes that would otherwise be gorgeous are hard to watch. The second point is the score. I’m not sure if the intent was to show the distress in van Gogh’s mind or anxiety, but there are segments of the film where the score consists of someone beating on a piano. It’s distracting to listen to and kills parts of the film. I recommend you watch it on Netflix if you’re going to watch it at all.
I’m bummed about how I feel auto this movie. I really wanted to like it more than I do. I like the actors in it and thought it was beautifully acted. The vehicle that brings us the story, however, the camera and the score seem to have been driven by someone under the influence.
If you’re a Van Gogh fan, check out his complete works–this 700 page book is pretty great. Van Gogh liked to paint quickly and was prolific. And if you like the poster, which I really do, you can get it here.
When I saw the preview for this movie at the end of Venom, it didn’t really make me think I’ve got to see that. Instead I thought it was a bit of a contrived mash up, but I did like the style of the animation.
Fast forward to the film’s release date and I started noticing a lot of comments on social media about how great it was. Really?
So I went to see it. IMAX and Dolby style–with reclining seats that move with the sound. Holy shit. It was AWESOME! I’m pretty sure it’s the best Spider-man movie that’s been made thus far. I love the characters. I love the diversity and that it’s a modern story. You can tell that this isn’t the same story from 1962. Instead, the story stays true to its roots, but it’s been thoroughly updated for a modern audience. It really deserves that Golden Globe nomination.
Oh, let’s not forget the soundtrack! It’s pretty fantastic and consists of multiple collaborations that are woven into the film beautifully. For example “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee, “Familia (feat. Bantu) by Nicki Minaj & Anuel AA, and “What’s up Danger” by Blackway & Black Caviar to name just a few. Although, I have to admit, after buying the soundtrack I like some of the songs much better in the context of the film. Other than “Sunflower” and “Elevate” much of the album will likely not make it into a playlist I listen to regularly.
Titan has even released a deluxe collector’s edition book. Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse The Official Movie Special. Look for a review here after I get it. Here’s the IMDB link so you can check out the whole cast, crew, etc. You can come back after you run out to the movies and watch it if you haven’t already!