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Filtering by Tag: Spider-Man

Pop Culture Happy Hour: "Spider-Man: Far From Home" and What's Making Us Happy

Chris Klimek

Tom Holland gets some enhanced security screening. (Sony)

Tom Holland gets some enhanced security screening. (Sony)

Host Linda Holmes is off promoting her already New York Times-bestselling debut novel Evvie Drake Starts Over this month, so Glen and Stephen handled the hosting chores on PCHH this episode, with Mallory Yu and me in chairs three and four to talk about Spider-Man: Far From Home, the eighth movie with the proper noun “Spider-Man” in the title since 2002. (For more important data analysis, see my NPR review of the movie.)

We recorded this episode first thing in the morning on one of the most heavily-scheduled days of my adult life. Fortunately, my energy peaked early that day, which is rare. I'm sure the wise and kind Jess Reedy was doing me a favor and protecting NPR when she sensibly excised my rant about how much money I lost on my first car, a Ford Taurus, when its engine exploded in the middle of the night and the beginning of a snowstorm as my brother and I were on our way to catch a plane to my grandpa's funeral. Attentive listeners will easily pick out where in the episode that would have gone were Jess not so good at her job.

I also shamelessly plugged my Washington Post piece from Tuesday about 1970’s Honor America Day and its soundtrack album, Proudly They Came… to Honor America.

Does Whatever a Spider Can, Again, Some More: "Spider-Man: Far From Home," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Secret identity, shmecret identity: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland in  Far From Home  (Sony/Columbia)

Secret identity, shmecret identity: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland in Far From Home (Sony/Columbia)

Here's my NPR review of Spider-Man: Far From Home, a lovably shaggy vestigial tale on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Y'all are great at this. Now just stop it for a while already.

I'll be on Pop Culture Happy Hour next week to talk about the movie with the great Mallory Yu, Pal-for-Life Glen Weldon, and guest host Stephen Thompson.

Summer 1989: Todd McFarlane was a good Spider-Man artist whose fast-growing popularity convinced him he could write, but he was wrong.

Summer 1989: Todd McFarlane was a good Spider-Man artist whose fast-growing popularity convinced him he could write, but he was wrong.

Talking "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" on All Things Considered

Chris Klimek

Miles Morales, Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker, and Peter Porker. (Sony)

Miles Morales, Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker, and Peter Porker. (Sony)

Look, we didn’t think I’d actually get to interview everyone I had on my to-interview wish list. That never happens.

Only this time it did, which is how I came to have five different voices in my four-and-a-half-minute All Things Considered piece on the animation in Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse, a movie I cannot wait to see again.

All of them—producer Chris Miller, producer/co-screenwriter Phil Lord, co-screenwriter/co-director Rodney Rothman, co-director Peter Ramsey, and finally, Eisner Award-winning comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, who (with artist Sara Pichelli), created Miles Morales, the primary hero of Spider-Verse—had smart, illuminating things to say. I spoke to Bendis solo and Lord & Miller and Rothman & Ramsey in pairs, and pretty soon I had something like 75 minutes of good tape for a story that could accommodate mmmmaybe two-and-a-half minutes of that.

It was an epic job of cutting, followed by more frantic cutting, and then more surgical cutting. My editor, Nina Gregory, and news assistant Milton Guevara, showed me how radio pros get things done on deadline. Bob Mondello, who’d suggested the piece in the first place, gave me some vocal coaching in the booth.

I wish we could’ve used more of what all those smart, imaginative people had to say. I wish we could’ve made the segment 15 minutes long. But I’m very happy with what we managed to pack into about 240 seconds.

It's True, All of It: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

It takes all kinds of spider-beings to make a spider-verse. (Sony)

It takes all kinds of spider-beings to make a spider-verse. (Sony)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the first good Spider-Man movie in, uh, 18 months! But it's more than that: A fun, warm, visually astonishing omnibus of Spider-lore that elegantly rebukes reactionary fans whose minds are stuck in 1963. I rarely get worked up over animated films—a blind spot I can neither defend nor explain—but I loved this. Here’s my NPR review.

Julie Taymor probably hates pink even more now

Chris Klimek

Julie hated pink. It also seemed as if she could discern gradations of red on the electromagnetic spectrum that no one else could. Humans are ‘trichromats,’ meaning we have three different types of cone cells in our eyes. However, it has been surmised that because of the XX chromosome, some women may possess a fourth variant cone cell, situated between the standard red and green cones. This would make them — like birds — ‘tetrachromats.’ These hypothetical tetrachromats would have the ability to distinguish between two colors a trichchromat would call identical.

To date, only a few female candidates for tetrachomacy have been identified. I didn’t tell Julie my suspicions. And I’m not saying she is a tetrachromat. But it sure would explain several of those extra hours in Tech, when Julie had hues finessed to a fare-thee-well. But then again, a writer will fuss over a single word, to the exasperation of a choreographer who will make endless refinements to a dance step, deliberating between differences an engineer can’t even perceive. In other words, an obsession over subtleties may just be an attribute of expertise, rather than evidence of being a mutant. Still, a scientist should check her out.
— Glen Berger, "Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History," pp. 146-7.