This week I went out with youngest son to see the latest Best Animated Film from the Golden Globes, which is Spiderman: Into the Spider Verse. It defeated Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Now I preface the review with the well-known understanding that I am not a big superhero guy. I just am not, unless it has Christian Bale acting as Batman. Beyond that I am not really interested (okay, well maybe still Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, but in truth that has nothing to do with being a super hero). Both son and I found the story here to be a bit confusing. In short we have the (laughable) bad guy Kingpin. Laughable because only in animation could a character be so unbelievably big through the shoulders and body and actually move. Every time he came on screen I had to chuckle. So there was that. But he creates a machine, not really explained, that can create alternate dimensions where his own wife and son could return to him. As part of this we see a young man with his police father who is bitten by a radioactive spider. He then becomes another spider-man in addition to the already known Peter Parker. The stories of the alternate dimension spider-people stand on their own (one voice was particularly interesting) and they do come together. The animation was very good, incorporating comic book views, as well as visuals that can only be accomplished through animation. Still. Maybe it is just me, but the super hero overload, and especially Spider-man who seems to have a re-boot every three to five years, just wears on me. The wrinkle is that alternate dimensions means anybody could be Spider-man, and even have some unique powers that he currently does not as Peter Parker. But for me, I only live in one dimension, and that is the Peter Parker dimension. Yes, I like the added flair with personalizing the individual Spidey look but in the end there isn’t a big emotional connection to the story. For the Incredibles, I can feel for the family and hope that things go well. I suppose this young new Spidey I hope for too, but it’s not the same. And yes it isn’t lost on me that the Incredibles are super heroes too, but again, it’s not the same.
On Netflix they have released Chappaquiddick, starring Jason Clark and Kate Mara, and the dentist from The Hangover. This is the Teddy Kennedy story and his car accident very late at night with a woman not his wife, off a bridge on an island in Cape Cod. Its Senator Kennedy in 1969 as Apollo 11 has left to land on the moon, and he is on the island preparing for a potential Presidential bid. He has gathered up some staffers who worked on brother Bobby’s campaign. The accident takes place and you see through it all the actions and in-actions of Teddy. The knee-jerk reaction for most people, I think, would be after the accident and miracle of escaping a car overturned in water, would be to seek help (just a short run up the way) and help the woman with you. But Senator Kennedy is not most people. He thinks of himself and his political career. “There goes the White House” he says. And after a failed attempt with his friends to assist, and being told to “get help” Teddy doesn’t. Family patriarch is the aging Joe Kennedy, crumpled and barely able to speak, and he provides no help nor comfort. He is played by Bruce Dern, and shows a man incapable of compassion nor love for his only remaining son. It was an eye opening film, and makes you realize the celebrity and power of the family that has many powerful people spin-doctoring their way through a crisis. You can youtube the actual address to the people with Teddy explaining the incident. I am amazed at the end result and won’t spoil it here for those who don’t know it. But suffice it to say that even though the people of Massachusetts decided to forgive and forget, I am not so sure that a man of character such as this should be representing The People.