Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Miles Morales Poster

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t just one of our top animated films from last year. It was one of our top films of 2018, period. Upon several repeat watches, the film still holds up and never gets old. You can attribute that to the sensational hot pot of comedy that filmmakers put into the film. You can find a combination of comedic styles. These include slapstick, one-liners, and spoofs.

The film is also a spectacular buddy comedy too. The relationship between Peter B. Parker and Miles Morales is reminiscent of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 21 Jump Street series. In other words, the two main characters couldn’t be any more different, but their friendship becomes so incredibly sweet.

You can attribute a lot of that to the voice acting job by Shameik Moore and Jake Johnson. They play off each other well and provides the film with a lot of laughs. It’s not just Moore and Johnson that excel either. The entire cast embodies the core personalities of the character they’re portraying. That’s why audiences attach themselves to them.

The superior job by the voice actors heightened the family drama of the film. This family drama is what drives the emotion of the film. The relationship between Miles, Aaron, and Jefferson Davis is so complex that it moves Miles’ origin story. Not to mention, the film is an amazing coming-of-age story as well. If the family drama drives the film’s emotion, then the coming-of-age story drives the film’s important message. It’s the kind of storytelling quality that you consistently find from rival animation studios.

As entertaining as the film is, it’s also astonishingly beautiful as well. It pushes the envelope as to what animated films can be. The filmmakers somehow figured out a way to combine traditional hand-drawn animation with computer animation. At the same time, they added some style to the film with some pop art and comic book styles. Needless to say, this gives the film a uniquely visceral experience. The filmmakers have said that they wanted each frame to look like a piece of art and they’ve successfully done that.

Overall, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sets the bar ridiculously high for future animated films. Although it’s important to have great voice actors and a fantastic storyline, it’s not going to be enough. Thanks to the film, you’ll need a fantastic visceral style as well. It’s a complete and total package and it deserves all of the awards that it’s won.

Movie Rating: 5/5 atoms

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Miles Morales

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The brightness is so incredibly vibrant that the brights simply pop from the screen. As it is with most animated films on Ultra HD, there’s no bloom and no loss of details in these areas. The black levels are a deep dark black without any loss of shadow details. You can easily see this on Miles’ Spider-Man suit. The black on his suit is a deep black but you can still see the webbing on his suit and texture on his suit. As you saw from the film, the film features a really wide color palette. All of the colors on the color wheel does make an appearance in this film.

However, the color does necessarily pop from the screen. The saturation ranges from natural to something that pops from the screen. It really depends on its usage. The colors seem to pop more during the more stylized scenes. On the other hand, the colors are more subdued during the more normal scenes. As you can imagine, the details are clear and distinct. You can easily see this with the subtlest halftone and pop art design. The details are also crisp around the edges as well. There’s no softness whatsoever around the edges. Since this is an animated film, you won’t find any film grain at all here. Overall, this is a superior video transfer.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Sp//dr, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Miles Morales, Peter Parker, Spider-Man Noir

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘s Dolby Atmos track. It’s disappointing that the audio mix isn’t as playful as the film itself. Much of that has to do with the music and score drowning out most of the audio mix. You can hear a good amount of movement during the action-packed scenes, but the music and score still take more precedence. Unfortunately, this issue also affects the overhead effects and atmospherics as well.

Without the dynamic panning and atmospherics, a lot of the audio immersion comes from the sound object placement. The object placement is both accurate and distinct. Similarly, the dialogue is crystal clear throughout the entire film. At least the music is layered throughout the soundstage. It’s also really playful with its use of volume and movement. Even the subwoofer adds some weight to the sound effects and music. Overall, this is still a decent mix despite the music issues.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Special Features
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Jefferson Davis, Miles Morales, and Rio Morales

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse only has the Spider-Ham short on the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc. However, you can find the following special features on the regular Blu-ray disc:

  • “Spider-Ham: Caught In a Ham” Original Short
  • Alternate Universe Mode
  • We Are Spider-Man
  • Spider-Verse: A New Dimension
  • The Ultimate Comics Cast
  • Designing Cinematic Comics Characters: Heroes & Hams
  • Designing Cinematic Comics Characters: Scorpions and Scoundrels
  • A Tribute to Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
  • The Spider-Verse Super-Fan Easter Egg Challenge
  • Lyric Music Videos
    • “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee
    • “Familia” by Nicki Minaj and Anuel AA (feat. Bantu)

Although the list above may seem small, Spider-Verse‘s special features are quite robust. The filmmaker commentary isn’t an entertaining listen but you’ll learn A LOT about the filmmaking process here. For a complex film such as this, it’s intriguing to hear about how the film all came together. It’s a must-listen for any budding filmmakers or animators out there. The “Alternate Universe Mode” is essentially an alternate cut of the film with deleted/alternate scenes and the Spider-Ham short edited into the film. Since the theatrical cut is perfect the way it is, the Alternate Universe Mode is essentially a one-time watch since none of the additions really bring anything spectacular to the film. The edit does, however, gives Miles’ parents and Ganki more of a presence in the film.

The Spider-Ham short is a hilarious animated short done in the wacky comedic style of Looney Tunes. It’s really an off-the-wall short that’ll make you want more Spider-Ham shorts.

“We are Spider-Man” gives such an in-depth look at the diverse iterations of Spider-Man.  It takes a good long look at the impact of Miles Morales and why his story needs to be told today. “A New Dimension” takes a look at the difficulties and techniques used to animate the film. With such a unique and distinct animation style, it’s nice to see the reasoning behind some of these techniques. “Comics Cast” individually breaks down all of the main characters in the film and why the actors were chosen to portray those characters. It’s such an informative feature. Not to mention, it’s kind of fun to hear someone tell the story of Nicolas Cage asking one of the directors if he should go “full Cage.”

“Heroes and Hams break down the various looks of the different Spider-Mans in the film. It looks at their comic book origins and how they interpreted it into the Spider-Verse world. Not to mention, it features the animated references. “Scoundrels and Scorpions” are not as in-depth as “Heroes and Hams” but the core concept of the previous featurette is still in this one. In other words, “Scoundrels and Scorpions” take a look at the comic book origins of the villains and how it’s interpreted into the Spider-Verse universe.

“Stan and Ditko” is a touching featurette where various comic creators and the filmmakers sing the praises of Stan and Ditko. This feature also has a loving tribute to Stan Lee which may strike up some tears. “Easter Eggs” isn’t necessarily catered to the Marvel super fan. It doesn’t show you a ton of obscure references but it does show you a lot of random Easter eggs in the film. The lyric music videos are just that.

Special Features Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Overall, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an amazing, astonishing, and superior film that raises the bar for animated films. It’s the ultimate animated film. The video is spectacular but the audio mix doesn’t quite reach the same level. The special features, on the other hand, is sensational. This is definitely a case of quality over quantity. In addition, the special features allows you to watch the film more than once. There’s a lot of replay value here.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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