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Head into the 'Spider-Verse' on your home screens

Matt Shiverdecker, special to the American-Statesman
"Spider-Man- Into the Spider-Verse" won the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture. [Contributed by Sony Pictures]

Here is an interesting new release available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title that has recently become available for streaming.

 Video on Demand

"Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse": Producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ("The Lego Movie") helped bring the first animated feature film into the world of Spider-Man. Taking its cues straight from the comic books, it has a wildly inventive and boldly colorful visual style that truly pops off the screen at home (if you have the ability to see this in 4K HDR, do it). The story (co-written by Lord and Rodney Rothman) uses the Miles Morales lane of the Spider-Verse, wherein Spider-Man is a 13-year-old boy from Brooklyn with an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother. Shameik Moore ("The Get Down) stars as Miles and brings a humorous, but raw honesty to the role. His adventures take us on a wild ride as his timeline intersects with others in the shared "Spider-Verse" including Peter Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson), Peter Porker (John Mulaney, who comically steals every scene he's featured in), and even Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage). The entire voice cast is uniformly excellent with other actors like Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as Miles's uncle Aaron, Lily Tomlin as Peter's Aunt May, and Kathryn Hahn as the evil Doctor Octopus. It wouldn't be a Marvel movie without a Stan Lee cameo, although sadly this one was posthumous and will probably be his last. If you purchase the movie from digital providers, there is an additional "Alt-Universe Cut" that contains over 30 minutes of bonus footage. "Spider-Verse" won all 7 of the Annie Awards it was nominated for last year (essentially the Oscars of the animation world) and, as the winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, it became the first non-Disney or Pixar film to take home the prize in almost a decade. (Cable and digital VOD, 4K Ultra HD available)

Also on streaming services

"Cold War": Polish filmmaker Paweł Pawlikowski won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015 with his exceptional World War II drama "Ida." His latest effort didn't win but earned three nominations (Foreign Film, Director, and Cinematography). Clocking in under 90 minutes, it economically tells the story of two musicians in post-war Poland who make a break for it and head to Paris in the early 1960s. Lead actors Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig have a sparkling and unforgettable chemistry. Handsomely photographed in black-and-white and, like "Ida," filmed in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, Pawlikowski also skillfully uses folk songs from his homeland alongside artists like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald to push his story forward. (Amazon Prime, 4K Ultra HD available)

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