I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Summer Movie Flashback: The Amazing Spider-man

tn_amazingspiderman

2011
2012

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, eh? More like THE YOU KNOW TO BE HONEST I KINDA LIKED THIS ONE SPIDER-MAN if you ask me.

Over the years I’ve gained a rep as an anti-Nerdite, due to some of my challenging of online conventional wisdom and use of insensitive terminology (some people get mad when I use “nerd” instead of “geek”). But the truth is I rarely miss a comic book movie, and I even like some that you all hate (SPIDER-MAN 3, X-MEN 3, MAN OF STEEL it seems, probly something else I’m forgetting). Not to mention the whole issue with STAR WARS prequels and CRYSTAL SKULLs. Face it, geeks – I like this shit more than the people who like it do!

That’s why it surprises me that I never got around to seeing THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN until now. I mean I had intended to see it in the theater in 3D and everything. But everybody said it was bland and they confirmed that they really were re-doing the original story already so I lost the urgency and never got to it.

Sure enough it does feel a little redundant, but I think they did a good job of making it different from Raimi’s version. They seem to speed through the stuff he covered (spider-bite, guilt over the criminal who kills his uncle, making a costume, and especially learning what his abilities are) to make room for some new wrinkles about his parents being killed (or fake killed, I’m gonna go ahead and predict) in a plane crash because his dad was a scientist at Oscorp who was maybe on to something. His colleague Kurt Connor (Rhys Ifans) continues with the study of genetic crossbreeding, which of course is gonna later turn him into a lizard man, the supervillain of the piece. But it happens as a result of the boss at Oscorp pushing him to do unethical human trials (on war veterans, the son of a bitch!) and it’s some bullshit just like what must’ve happened to his dad. So it all ties together.

While getting bit by a spider, discovering his new abilities and figuring out how to fight crime, Peter also accidentally gets the attention of his school crush Gwen (Emma Stone) and starts awkwardly courting her, which becomes very relevant because she works for Dr. Connor at Oscorp (they really hire high school kids?) and her dad (Denis Leary, DEMOLITION MAN) is the police captain who is trying to catch The Masked Vigilante Known As Spider-man.

mp_amazingspidermanThis is the stuff that makes the movie work for me. Tobey Maguire played Peter Parker as a cartoon of a nerd (that’s correct here, right? Not geek?) probly in keeping with the old comic books. But Andrew Garfield’s Peter is a more naturalistic portrayal of awkwardness, a shy kid who has a hard time making eye contact, who mutters and stutters. He’s a good looking kid, they don’t try to cover that up, but he’s socially inept enough that you can believe he’s not the fuckin prom king.

Then when he becomes Spider-man he can confront people, he can be real sarcastic (sometimes joking too much for my tastes, but it fits the character), it makes sense. These two have a really good chemistry, seeming to be genuinely into each other. Gwen is funny and smart, contributes to the heroics within her established abilities (and against Peter’s wishes), but also can be dorky just like he is, not knowing how to talk around him.

There’s a moment where Peter gets in a Spider-man argument with her cop dad at dinner, Peter and Gwen go out on the balcony to discuss it, he clumsily reveals to her that he’s Spider-man, and spidermanwebs himself off the roof to chase after a monster. She’s left there and suddenly she laughs and says “I’m in SO much trouble!”

God damn it, I’ll say it, it’s charming. I kinda liked how seriously Raimi treated the melodramatic relationship stuff in his trilogy, since that was kind of out of fashion at the time. But this is much lighter on its feet. It fuels the movie instead of slowing it down.

The traditional super hero shit is more of a mixed bag, though. I gotta assume the budget is lower because the computer animated stuff is alot phonier looking than at least my memory of the Raimi stuff. I mean the surfaces and textures look good but there’s way too much weightless characters flying around. There’s a big jump between the real-world-ish live action and the exaggerated animated stuff that is kinda distracting. On the other hand I noticed some of the spiderswinging is animated with some clumsiness to it, with him flopping around a little and not always able to strike the awesome comic book poses, and whenever they do that it’s cool.

The weakest element is the villain, but that could also be said about the Green Goblin in Raimi’s. I don’t like The Lizard – he’s an interesting character when he’s a scientist, but then he just turns into a bad guy when he’s a lizard. Just like Franco in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES he’s a well-meaning researcher who gets fired by a greedy corporate boss and then unethically continues the experiments on his own. He builds a mad scientist lab in a sewer and starts injecting himself, which is a pretty jarring leap into un-groundedness. And then all the sudden he’s a growling monster that wants to kill Spider-man.

I don’t know why they didn’t go a little more subtle, play out the relationship they’ve already set up between Connor and Parker. It only becomes important again when he switches back to human form. I think it would be cool to see the lizard monster struggling with the idea of fighting his friend’s promising young son.

It is nice when he turns back, he gets to be tragic again. His personal stake in the research is that he’s an amputee, so when he’s mixed with a lizard he gains their power to grow back a limb. Then when he’s cured of lizardism he’s slowly morphing back and you see him watch sadly as one of his lizard claws melts back into a stump. Kinda felt sad for the guy.

Another case where I could picture the more nuanced version was in the end (SPOILER IN MY OPINION), where the police captain is dying but has been won over to the side of Spider-man, and gives him a big speech about it. The other cops are about to arrive so he hands Peter his mask back and tells him to put it on. Wouldn’t that have said it all? Just shut your mouth and hand him the mask. It could’ve been great.

That’s not the only inspirational speechifying either. President Martin Sheen plays the late Uncle Ben, who not only gives Peter pep talks and sincere Racer family style apologies when he’s alive, but even leaves him a profound voicemail that he can replay for an emotional voiceover from beyond the grave at the end. (I hope he doesn’t accidentally delete that.)

Corny as it is though I think Sheen is really good in the role, as is Sally Field as Aunt whatever. She comes off looking better actually because alot of her role is in her expressions as she worries about Peter and is figuring out what’s going on without coming out and saying it.

I was impressed that at the end I was more concerned about whether Peter and Gwen were gonna get together than about if he was gonna climb a tower and defeat a lizard monster. At the end of one of the Raimi movies, part 2 I think, Peter had decided that he had to break up with Mary Jane to protect her from getting attacked by mad scientists and space monsters and shit. It was an effective bit of soap opera, but AMAZING has a better twist on it, I think. He has a more interesting reason to break it off and the last part of the movie is about us hoping he’ll change his mind. Your mileage may vary but for me it didn’t feel like the boring relationship epilogue, it felt like the actual climax.

I definitely don’t rank this among the top comic book or super hero type pictures, but I like these characters. I’ll probly remember to watch the next one in a theater.



VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 at 12:29 pm and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

96 Responses to “Summer Movie Flashback: The Amazing Spider-man”

  1. You’ll remember to watch the next one in a theater… until you find out Kurtzman and Orci are writing it. A shame, I liked the first one too.

  2. Redundant,indeed. One of the most unnecessary movies ever made. Raimi did a fine one.An excellent one in fact. Why pay to see the same movie twice, but this one made by a twerp?

  3. I avoided this for obvious reasons in theatres and on home video. It hit the pay TV circle a few months ago and I recorded it, but I still haven’t watched it. Sorry, I just can’t find a good reason to get over my irrational hatred for something that I haven’t seen. And usually a positive Vern review is reason enough for me.

  4. I really liked this one. While I was a little disappointed with how they handled the Lizard, I really liked all the Peter Parker stuff. I thought Garfield was great, as was Stone and Leary and Sheen and Fields. I was sort of against this one in principle when it was announced, but I actually liked it a lot. I hope the other geeks and nerds get on board with the sequels so we can see a long running Spidey movie franchise which can hopefully dig deeper into some of the craziness in Spidey’s world. I also think I’m in the minority in that I’m happy Marvel doesn’t have the rights to Spidey. Don’t get me wrong, I love what Marvel has done with its movies, but I think Spidey works best when he’s not burdened with setting up other franchises or being the comic relief in a super team. It’s just nice to have at least one big name solo hero in a stand alone series.

  5. I really liked it too. I feel I’ve gotten the Peter Parker I’ve always wanted with this. Maguire was good, but he was a bit too maudlin at times, while Garfield’s Peter actually has more of a sense of humour to him even before he becomes Spider-man(who FINALLY gets to banter during fights, thank God!). I also like the reasons he becomes Spider-man here. Instead of doing it because he’s unjustifiably guilty about Ben being killed, he actually starts off looking for justice(or revenge? We haven’t seen what he really intends to do when he finds the guy yet), and then later decides to go help out at the bridge because it’s the right thing to do. Speaking of that scene, I thought a really great touch was how he takes his mask off, risking his anonymity just to comfort that scared kid. Emma Stone is great too. It’s amazing to find myself liking a Spider-man movie love interest after how selfish and unlikable I found Mary Jane to be in previous movies, and she plays more of a role in things than just needing to be saved all the time. I like the visuals of the movie too. This movie’s version of New York feels more real and less soundstagey/cgi than Raimi’s, probably because of most action happening at night, and it also no doubt helps that they did some of the web-swinging stuff practically. I like having Conners as the villain, and how he’s a genuinely moral guy just being influenced by the treatment and his desire to heal himself, and his more heroic moments make the villainy stand out more(his first rampage as The Lizard after all came about because he was trying to stop that guy from experimenting on the war vets, and he saves Peter’s life after he’s been foiled at the end).
    There’s also little things, like how Flash Thompson actually has some of the depth he has in the comics and isn’t just a bully, and I’m a sucker for these moments in superhero movies where the general public helps the hero like the crane operators do. Totally sappy and implausible, but I eat it up.
    Yeah, I’ll admit it’s a bit redundant, and certain attempts to get around that make things awkward, like when they try to have Ben do the “great power, great responsibility” line without using those exact words. The ticking bomb climax is a bit stupid. Why would a machine made for medical purposes be designed to operate like that, with an ominous countdown and such? It’s pretty ridiculous. There’s also bit of a plot hole with how that guy that works for Osborn vanishes after the bridge scene(in actuality, there’s deleted scenes on the DVD showing how this was originally meant to continue, but it doesn’t fit what happens in the finished movie, so is rendered a dropped plot).
    I am somewhat worried about the sequel, yeah, just based on how they seem to be cramming too much stuff into it, and I’m not very enamoured with what they’re doing with Electro.
    Also the usual factor of “seriously? how does no one know he’s Spider-man and/or try to capitalise on it?” factor, where after that display on the basketball court where he must make the biggest distance slam dunk in history, not only does no one find it suspicious, but they want to punish him(because school equipment doesn’t usually break in this universe?) and apparenly have no desire to recruit him for their school team? That’s almost as bad as the wrestling promoter in SPIDER-MAN not trying to scoop up this super strong, super agile guy who could shoot lines out of his hands for an exclusive contract.

  6. I don´t know you guys…

  7. You brought up some things I forgot to mention. At first I thought it was corny that they were redoing the “working man supports Spider-man” theme that Raimi already used, but it won me over because 1) I believe it’s the father of the kid he saved from the bridge who starts it, right? and 2) the absurd way they were able to line up all the cranes to create a bridge for him was too cool not to enjoy.

    And I agree, Peter being willing to take the mask off to save the kid (and later to talk to Gwen’s dad) was important. In the Raimi movies I got some laughs when he seemed to stupidly risk his identity, just standing on roofs with the mask off assuming nobody would see him. But in these specific contexts he does it for specific reasons and I think this is to show that protecting his identity is not the most important thing in the world to him. The end of the first IRON MAN made this possible I think, that we would consider super heroes that are willing to go public. I like it just because it mixes things up.

  8. 1) yeah, it was the same guy, played by C Thomas Howell
    2) yep, absurd, but glorious. Plus it’s an example of the “Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-man” theme of the character where even if the establishment (be it the authorities or the media) in some way consider him an outlaw or menace, the average person actually knows he’s a hero and likes him. It’s maybe a little unearned at this point, but it was one specific guy he helped pulling in a favour.
    Oh, and since I remember you making a post on this very sight about the matter when it was revealed, what’s your take on mechanical webshooters? Making them breakable certainly added an extra element of danger and suspense to the climax, in my book.

  9. I felt this one was really mediocre. Raimi crammed so many iconic elements in his Spider-Man movies (the first two, mainly), and so much personality, creativity, craftsmanship, and humor – in my opinion they really captured the offbeat feel of the early Ditko/Lee issues, which, for me, is the definitive version of the character that has since been watered down for the most part over the past fifty years. This new one was pretty forgettable, much less inspired. My friends and I laughed a lot at the police sketch of Uncle Ben’s killer, though, which is the main thing I remember. I wasn’t into Garfield’s hip skateboarding Peter Parker. I think maybe I also just have an irrational dislike for the actor’s face, he just looks so smug – Gwen Stacy was cute though. I actually felt much more engaged and entertained by the Katy Perry movie I saw immediately afterwards, which is basically a propaganda film.

  10. A touch I liked was that even before he got powers, this Parker was willing to fight the school bully because you know, it’s the right thing to do.

    (Strange though how this and Raimi’s movie both have kinda stupid scenes where Parker shows off an awesome trck in public yet its treated as no big deal. Wrestling promoter given by God this jumpy web-slinging dude? He does a Paul Heyman, screw him out of his money. Basketball team sees dude dunk from the 3 point line? Give him detention or suspension, whatever it was I can’t remember.)

    Stu – I remember Raimi back in the day saying the webshooters were ridiculous because how can a high school kid make a sci-fi James Bond gadget?

    A fair point, but sometimes fantasy overrides such logic. I mean the movie pulled a BATMAN BEGINS regarding those shooters how Mr. Parker could’ve crafted them. Is it still ridiculous? Sure, on the level of dude going out in public with red/blue spandex. But I bought it.

    Oddly enough we now have 2 Spidey Baby origin stories, but neither went with the idea that Spider-Man was a celebrity before he went into heroics, going on TV and stuff. I guess the same appeal for me of that element is the same one I liked about C-level hero Booster Gold over at DC Comics: Guy goes into spandex to become rich and famous, but ultimately forced to become a legit hero.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll get that in 2022 when the series gets rebooted again.

  11. Actually, I sort of remember enjoying the mindless superhero action at the end, compared to the teenage romance aspects beforehand. The first two Raimi movies embraced the hokey-ness of the romantic angles and somehow came off much less obnoxious to me than the somewhat more nuanced approach in the new one – maybe it’s because as I get older, I have a harder time taking teenage romance very seriously.

  12. I liked it, but The Lizard was certainly disappointing given that a) The decision to cast Rhys Ifans was probably what I found most intriguing about the film prior to seeing it, b) There was some interesting stuff hinted at in the trailers which didn’t come to anything in the final cut

  13. I liked this one okay, for reasons already mentioned. It looked good, Peter and Mary-Jane were charming as hell, Spider-Man’s banter was mostly funny, Peter helping people, the crane scene, Martin Sheen etc. But there were also things that really bugged me.

    In Raimi’s films they were always really careful to make the villains have a personal connection to Peter Parker, a human side that they struggled with, and goals that were at least understandable. Even Green Goblin had a Dr Jekyl/Mr Hyde thing going on. The Lizard is just some scientist vaguely connected through Peter Parker’s parents and he wants to set off a lizard-bomb because… he’s evil, I guess? It should be noted that there was a lot of stuff about this cut out of this movie, something about Peter’s parents somehow having a hand in his transformation into Spider-Man. I hate this idea, because it takes this ordinary guy accidentally lucking into super-powers and turns it into a “Chosen One” story.

    I thought Andrew Garfield gave a great performance, but I didn’t like his Peter Parker. I just didn’t buy that this particular dude would ever have a problem with bullies or making friends or meeting girls. It just seemed like a case of him being an outcast loner because the script says he is. Maybe I’m just being prejudiced against shockingly handsome dudes with great hair and sweet skateboard skills, I don’t know.

    The final twist left a really bad taste in my mouth too. The guiding principle of Spider-Man is “with great power comes great responsibility”, that’s the core of Peter Parker’s character arc . That’s why the ending of Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN is so perfect. In AMAZING they try to put their own twist on it, but it goes against everything he’s supposed to have learned. The fact that so much of the movie hinges on the teen romance angle makes it seem like the whole movie was pointless. Promises are made to be broken. Responsibility and sacrifice are for suckers.

    I don’t know, it’s seems like every deviation from Raimi’s version (intentional or not) just watered down Peter Parker’s character arc more and more.

  14. There was definitely no need to reboot/make/imagine another Spiderman so soon, but I actually really liked this one. I liked that he (and Mary Jane) acted like real teenagers. They were awkward at times and made bad decisions and were petty and real. I liked that he didn’t immediately put on the suit and turn into a hero, but was instead seeking revenge. It made it even more meaningful when they were smart and made the right decisions to tough choices. I also liked that he would get beat up. Yes, he’s got these powers now, but that didn’t make him indestructible and it was nice to see him sporting some injuries. Plus, the whole crane thing to help the wounded hero made me choke up. I’m not too proud to admit it.

    I didn’t notice being bothered by any of the effects at the time. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that when I watch it again. I do remember, though, that some of the effects in the Raimi versions were painful. I don’t remember which one, but I know there were some very obvious Spiderman CGI moments and I know the CGI Sandman made me cringe just as much as the Scoripion King did in The Mummy 2.

    Really the only part that I rolled my eyes at (I won’t go so far as to say disliked) was how she was the most well credentialed intern in the history of the world. It’s a good thing she had access to everything and anything in that company that made super secret and very expensive and potentially dangerous and highly profitable scientific discoveries.

    One of the things I hate the most about superhero movies is the old, “you can’t be my girlfriend because I have to protect you” trope. It’s not only insulting to the female characters, but it’s bullshit. Because the bad guy’s not going to take her hostage if you’re just good friends, right? I’m sure a superhero would sacrifice a “good friend” at the drop of a hat. I’m glad they are trying to get around that.

  15. I really liked the Sam Raimi Spider-Men, so I never gave this one a shot. But I also remember enjoying 500 Days of Summer, so it seems like the studio at least picked the right director. If it ever comes to Netflix instant, maybe I’ll give it a shot.

  16. Stu – yeah, I still think it’s weird that his powers come from a spider but his spider ability does not come from the spider. Still, it worked how they did it in the movie. It made him a little more fallible too because it didn’t always work right.

  17. sorry, this one didn’t work for me, I was bored pretty much the entire time, the origin stuff is just SO redundant (ten years is too soon to be re-booting anything), in fact the only thing I did like was the color palette, nice, bright comic book like colors, it’s not much but in this age of “orange and teal” it counts for something

    however, maybe the next one will be better since the origin stuff is out of the way, but to be honest I think it’s a bummer Raimi never got another chance, I mean SPIDER MAN 3 was not THAT bad people, it was overstuffed and over-corny at times, but I’ve seen far worse, in fact I remember that moment near the end when Spider Man decides to let the Sandman go actually being pretty affecting

  18. I think I have mentioned before in comments somewhere but at one point I went back to rewatch the Raimi Spider-mans to compare with the Amazing reboot. My conclusion is that Amazing is actually a better movie than the original adjectiveless Spider-man. A main part of that reason is I forgot how goofy the original was and in particular how so over the top the Green Goblin was as a villain. The dialogue was also kind of painful on rewatching as well.

  19. ok then, 2012, obviously it was just last year, so there’s not much to say other that there was a period of time from about March of 2012 to September 2012 that was FUCKING AWESOME, I loved it, but then some bad things happened and the remainder of the year was not so good, so that was a bummer

    but to wrap this up I would like to share my thoughts on the present day, we like to categorize things by decade (the 70’s, the 80’s, the 90’s etc) but I’ve noticed that it’s more accurate to categorize periods in American culture by who was President, e.g. the Clinton years, the Bush years, the Obama years etc, so we are currently living in the Obama years and this current cultural climate has been going since roughly 2009 and it’s almost eerie how quickly things started changing once he entered office, it’s bizarre just how much the President sets the tone for the era

    and to be honest, I fucking hate the modern day, I hate almost everything about it, I fucking despise it, loathe it etc, now I don’t blame Obama for this, things are shitty DESPITE him, but there’s no denying that the time period he’s overseeing is fucking awful

    where do I even begin? I mean really, I could go on and on but I don’t want this to turn into too huge a wall of text, so consider HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO, that show is every thing that’s fucking rancid about the times we live in, I mean who would have ever connived of such an abomination? who would have ever predicted that a TV show about a family of ugly rednecks would become such a huge hit? (although I understand now it’s popularity is already fading and thank God for that) who wants to watch that shit? it’s fucking gross, it’s like a Goddamned nightmare come to life, another thing that sums up the absurdity of the present day is Miley Cyrus’ MTV VMAs performance, the country was possibly about to go to war but what was the most important thing on the news? her Goddamned “twerking” (OHHHH SO SHOCKING OMG!)

    now you may say a lot of this simply has to do with my age (24 in fact) and fair enough, I’m sure twenty somethings thought the 90’s were lame too, but it doesn’t change how I feel, I still fucking despise the present day

    beyond cultural things though there’s just the state of the world today, it’s fucking terrifying, there’s so much fear, shootings, bombings, wars on the horizon, global warming, creeping fascism, shitty economy, the state of the world today is fucking terrible and I hate it

    it’s like I don’t even recognize the world anymore, I started to lose the plot post 2007 and I now I just feel lost and nostalgic for pretty much any year prior to 2008, anything’s better than the present day, even the Bush years (which were better DESPITE Bush, I should say)

    I’m ever the optimist though and if there’s one thing that gives me a sliver of hope it’s the fact that things do always change, one things for sure by the end of this decade things will be totally different, nothing stays the same forever and who knows, maybe things will get better, America has had it’s ups and down before, but I just pray things get better, because I’d hate to imagine would the world would be like to make the present day look good by comparison

  20. Does anyone else think that the casting of C Thomas Howell was an attempt to emulate THE DARK KNIGHT? Cast formerly successful 80s actor who’s been relegated to television and DTV I’m big budget studio superhero movie- ala Anthony Michael Hall?

    It seems obvious but I’ve never seen it mentioned anywhere.

    That said, I think this movie is superior to Spider-Men 1 and 3 (which I also still dig).
    So many of the great things about the movie Jane already been mentioned already so I won’t repeat them.
    BUT I am very surprised, especially on THIS site that so little mention has been made of the largely in-camera real life, real deal stunt work done as well as the more than solid choreography in the fight scenes.
    Watch the special features on the putting together of the subway fight. That shit is just badass.
    Take everything else out of the equation and there’s no denying that the action, fights and general web-slinging/web-swinging were all FAR better than anything in the Raimi movies. Sure nothing as Raimi-cool as Doc Ock’s “escape” from the hospital or so comic-booky and grand in scale as the finale if part 3, but fuck me… The sewer fights, the crane thing, the bridge sequence, the aforementioned subway fight- its all so bad ass and by and large looks like its really real shit happening to real people in a real world.

  21. And after 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, I had no worries about Webb handling the drama/humor/relationships…but was rightly apprehensive about the action and heroics. Well hells bells if Webb doesn’t stick that landing admirably too.

  22. the thing i hated about this was the whole peters parents mystery conspiracy bullcrap, part of the trend of making everything connected with everything in a way that i imagine is supposed to give things more weight but instead just reduces a story to a series of ridiculous coincidences.

  23. Jiminy jillikers! If I’d waited ten years to reboot Griffy, I’d be too old to twerk!

  24. Griff Rebooted Reloaded

    September 26th, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Ew pukeatronic! Twerking is like so yesterday OMG! Time to reboot Griff Rebooted LOL!

  25. “the thing i hated about this was the whole peters parents mystery conspiracy bullcrap, part of the trend of making everything connected with everything in a way that i imagine is supposed to give things more weight but instead just reduces a story to a series of ridiculous coincidences.”

    ron – As a kid, you know how much I thought about Peter’s absent parents while reading those comics? Never.* Its like wondering about a young King Lear, just an irrelevant uninteresting mystery for me. But with these damn reboots you gotta explore new shit to fill up the plotting. I just think its funny the ASM ads made a big deal about this mystery, and ultimately the movie kinda ignored it.

    But honestly a film like ASM, it reminds me of how much I loathe the Internet sometimes. Regardless if you liked or hated it (I liked this, but don’t have any urge to rewatch it anytime soon) what annoyed the fuck out of me was the stupid shit people whined about at the time, almost on the level of the idiot nonsense people threw at TDKR. (“that fire CGI looked outdated!” “Spidey took his mask off too much!”) Most of these same folks who later seemed to cut brakes left and right for MOS. (Well except those misguided nerds upset that Superman killed somebody. What sillyness. That scene just didn’t work, the movie’s failure to make it meaningful beyond an artificial afterthought disguising as “substance.”)

    When the bullshit clears out thanks to time, reality reveals itself.

    *=Broddie can maybe clarify this for me, but I seem to remember a storyline where his parents came back from the dead, then revealed to be robots or something dumb like that. Just amazing how many retarded storylines have clogged the pages of Spidey over the years.

  26. I didn’t really like this one that much but I also really didn’t like Raimi’s SpiderMan 2 that I didn’t bother with three. I guess I just don’t like Spiderman.

  27. Damn, that movie is on TV right now, but every time I check in and catch a few seconds, it’s just Peter Parker, sitting in a darkly lit room and making a mopey face!

  28. This was last year’s most pleasant surprise for me – everything about it seems wrong on paper – an origin story reboot of a 10 year old movie, a lower budget than the originals, a lead actor who hasn’t really impressed me in anything, ads that focused alot on teen romance, making this look like Twilight. But I loved it, what can I say – the chemistry between Garfield and Stone is great, the action scenes (especially the one in the school) were exciting and well shot and looked different enough from Raimi’s. I know James Franco has complained that this was basically the same thing as the Raimi trilogy, but I think the changes in story and tone kept it fresh enough for me. Then again, my Spider-Man taste is questionable since I actually thought SM3 was my favorite of the originals (being a part 3 and piggybacking off the emotional issues set up in the first 2 definitely helped) and part 2 was pretty good but I have no idea why nerds obsess over it (or X2, for that matter)

    And Maggie, yes, I weirdly choked up at the scene w/ the cranes too. Audience manipulation at its finest. I honestly had no idea that was C. Thomas Howell until the end credits, but I did think during the bridge scene “wow even though this extra is probably the director’s dad or something, he’s actually really good!”

  29. I didn’t really have anything against this movie, but it didn’t do much for me either. It’s more like The Utilitarian Spider-Man… it’s mostly pretty rote and without spark or imagination. Nothing in the movie seemed deeply felt to me, and its idea of naturalism just felt so dreary and unrealized next to the poppin’-off-the-page four color melodrama of Raimi’s flicks. In fact, I don’t think naturalism is really an appropriate word for what this movie does… it’s more like a milder, less personable version of what Raimi did.

    There were some things I dug about it, including the crane scene and Martin Sheen’s performance. It’s a hard movie to outright hate… or love.

  30. The sasd thing about the new Spider-Man reboot is that the sequel’s script is writen by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, which means whatever problems you giys had with the first movie they will me minimal compared to the next movie. On the other hand, maybe it will make people stop being so harsh about ASM and even gain a newfound appreciation for the movie, and kick their own asses for the too harsh opinions they had on it which caused the studios to hire the due of hackdom that is Orci and Kurtzman. The geeks only learn when things are really in the toilet.

  31. Looking over my notes that I posted on the outlaw forum at the time, it seems that I hated this movie more than the rest of you:
    ———————
    The previews hint towards a less whiny Spider Man who actually engages in his trademark skill of making wisecracks during battle. Well, all of the wisecracks are in the preview itself! For the most part the movie focuses on everything that was annoying about Sam Raimi’s movies (Peter Parker being a whiny emo bitch with more girlfriend problems than superhero problems, who only fights scientists gone bad and people who killed his uncle) and magnifies them, while totally missing the sense of fun and adventure that the original trilogy possessed.

    I mean there’s like twice as much screentime devoted to Parker kissing Gwen Stacey than to him webslinging. He doesn’t even don the costume until about an hour into the movie, which means half the film is dedicated to regurgitating an origin story that we were already thoroughly familiar with before we even saw the Raimi version! Meanwhile the dialogue starts off bad and only gets worse, from like 30 seconds into the movie where Pete’s mom wails “HE LIKES THE CRUST CUT OFF HIS SANDWICHES” as she abandons her child. Like what was missing from the other Spider Man films was too much seriousness and emotional baggage.

    What else:
    1) Pete’s a photographer and future journalist who WON’T snap a picture of the school bully perpetrating against a classmate, even though the photo could obviously be used to bring the bully to justice
    2) Compare the out-of-the-blue kiss from this movie from the upside down kiss from the other Spidey and it’s obvious which is the better, more iconic film
    3) Lizard looks like a circumcised penis
    4) A certain character’s Big Hero Moment is to save Spider Man from falling down the side of a building, even though Spidey can STICK TO THE SIDES OF BUILDINGS
    5) Spider Man can’t control his strength or his sticking-to-things powers at first, but then he learns how … by spending his whole training sequence skateboarding to bad indie music?
    6) Characters have motivations and traits that they suddenly abandon for no discernable reason (like, Denis Leary for example)
    7) Bullet wound cured by spider web
    8) etc

    There’s about 45 cool seconds, where he actually builds a spider web (why have none of the other Spider Man films thought of that?) and where a guy doesn’t hear a battle because he’s listening to music on headphones (not as good as the same scene in Face/Off).

    I mean I wouldn’t have cared about all the bad writing if there had been some good action, but you only get about 10 minutes of combat in a 2.25 hour film?

  32. asimovlives – I think K&O were hired before TASM 2 even came out in theaters.

  33. Finally got around to watching this one, and whaddaya know, I liked it quite a bit. I agree with Vern that the superhero stuff was less interesting than the relationship stuff. The Lizard was a weak villain. You never got to know what his deal really was. One second he’s an inarticulate snarling monster tossing cars and shit, and the next he’s a Bond villain with a master plan and a doomsday machine. He was formidable in the action scenes, though, a far more physical threat than any of the Raimi villains. So the character wasn’t a dealbreaker for me.

    I thought Jean-Ralphio Garfield and Stone were great together. I liked the angry young man vibe Garfield brought to Peter. So much more appropriate for a guy who’s experienced so much loss in his life at such a young age than the wide-eyed doof that Macquire played in the original. And Stone has the same magical ability as Drew Barrymore to make you believe that she’s totally smitten with whatever actor they put in front of her, no matter what a dork he is. This is a girl who got her big break playing Jonah Hill’s love interest. If she can pull that off, she could get cast as the Lizard’s girlfriend next time and I’d buy it.

    One thing I noticed is that this movie has the worst New York geography I’ve seen since JASON TAKES MANHATTAN. So Peter lives in Queens, right? That’s canon, and he says it multiple times in the film. So why does he take the Q train to Coney Island to get home? Why does Gwen go to his high school despite living in Midtown? How does the Lizard get to Canal Street from Queens on the A? And furthermore, why did he go all the way down to Canal in the first place when he just has to head back uptown to get to the Oscorp Building? It’s like they’d heard that New York had all these places in it but never bothered to figure out how they fit together.

    Most of this stuff actually would work if Peter lived in Coney Island, except for Gwen going to his school, as she’d be in a school in Manhattan, not one of the boroughs. (And if I were the Lizard, I’d have taken the F straight from Coney to Midtown instead of transferring to the A at Jay St. in Brooklyn the way he must have done to get to Canal.) My theory is that in the shooting script, Peter was living in Coney Island, because Coney Island is way fucking cooler than Queens. But then somebody complained that Spider-Man was really all Queens has now that Jam Master Jay and most of the Ramones are dead, so they ADRed all the lines about Queens in there after the fact, regardless of the geographical implausibilities.

    Still, I liked the look, I liked the action, I liked the characters, and I really liked the corniness. The crane operators coming to his rescue was great. I know in my heart that New York City would love the fucking shit out of Spider-Man. He’s a flamboyant dresser, he talks a lot of shit, and the cops hate him. He’s a New Yorker to the core.

    I never would have guess this, but I think I might actually like AMAZING better than Raimi’s first SPIDER-MAN. I’m pretty excited for the sequel now. Anybody think they’ll have the grapes to follow through on, you know, the only thing about Gwen Stacey anybody actually remembers? Because that has the potential to be the most emotionally devastating thing to ever happen in a comic book movie.

  34. “Why does Gwen go to his high school despite living in Midtown?”
    They go to Midtown Science High School, which I guess would BE in Midtown?

  35. I’d completely forgotten this thing, due to it being terrible & uninteresting, but what’s the Gwen thing (from the comics, I assume)? Does she kiss a girl and she likes it?

  36. That’s preposterous. Midtown is where Grand Central and Time Square are. It’s the place with all the skyscrapers that out-of-towners think of when they think of New York. There’s no way that sprawling, suburban-looking high school is anywhere near Midtown.

    Marvel Wiki says Midtown High is in Forest Hills, which is so deep into Queens it might as well be in Long Island. It’s at least six or seven miles from where Gwen lives (that’s as the filthy, one-legged pigeon flies, so it’s probably more like ten by car or subway). That might not sound like much, but by New York standards, six or seven miles is like 50 anywhere else in terms of travel time. They clearly just wanted to have Gwen live in a big, fancy building (on a cop’s salary?) to contrast with Peter’s working-class rowhouse upbringing and didn’t think through the logistics.

    This is all just fun nitpicking for me, though. It didn’t detract from the movie, and anyone who’s not familiar with NYC isn’t going to notice any of it anyway.

  37. I think Garfield is a much better Spidey. At least he doesn’t look like a serial killer, which I’m convinced Tobey Maguire actually is in real life.

    Hey, you fuckers still need to see Boy A. It’s the best film to come out of Britain in years, and Garfield is brilliant in it. I really hope these Spider-man movies don’t distract him too much from pursuing more dramatic endeavors. The kid’s got some serious acting skills.

  38. Mr. Majestyk – Its like how with all the physics violations and coincidences galore in THOR: THE DARK WORLD, yet the one moment which I called bullshit was when our hero has like 7 minutes before the apocalypse and he’s able to take the London subway to where the baddie is at in 2 minutes. As somebody who a long time ago actually rode it, yeah that’s very unlikely. The universe would’ve ended twice before he finally got there.

    Anyway dude I can’t decide whether to feel righteous or be weirded out that on both IRON MAN 3 and TASM, two good movies of their kind which have got alot of nerd bullshit thrown against them, that you and I park in the same garage.

    Also its interesting how with the new trailer for TASM 2, you have people online pissing on it as looking “like a video game.” Of all the comic booky movies we got last year that were heavy CGI spectacles from IM3 to MOS to THOR: TDW to even R.I.P.D., this is the one that gets singled out by the geeks as a “video game”? Pfft.

  39. Well, RRA, you know what they say: Even a broken clock is synchronized with a perfectly functioning clock twice a day.

    Mouth: http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_1_121

  40. Mr. M – Good sir, you sell yourself short. You’re not broken at all. ;)

  41. And he takes the easy alley-oop!

  42. “Of all the comic booky movies we got last year that were heavy CGI spectacles from IM3 to MOS to THOR: TDW to even R.I.P.D., this is the one that gets singled out by the geeks as a “video game”? Pfft.”
    It might not be just a case of the CGI, as the fact there’s multiple villains(like video game boss fights), and some sequences in the trailer do look a bit like quick time event sequences.

  43. Stu – yet none of the Nolan [REDACTED] movies were called a “video game”, even though they all had CGI and multiple villains.

    Mr. M – It could be worse. Remember when I gave you hell over that certain movie that you said you didn’t totally hate and I reminded you about this omission for like almost forever afterwards?

  44. Garf’s a good actor but I thought he overplayed the awkward twitchiness at times. In fact I thought he laid it on a little too thick in general – it’s not a performance I was in love with. He’s already such a shaggy puppy dog type that he shouldn’t have to work so hard to ingratiate himself with us. Maybe he was directed poorly or they used his worst takes, I dunno. Emma Stone was great though for sure, but I wish they’d written her an actual character.

    Majestyk – “That might not sound like much, but by New York standards, six or seven miles is like 50 anywhere else in terms of travel time. They clearly just wanted to have Gwen live in a big, fancy building (on a cop’s salary?) to contrast with Peter’s working-class rowhouse upbringing and didn’t think through the logistics.”

    this is one of those movies that’s FILLED with those ‘little things’ that don’t make any sense. Normally I’m not a fan of isolating and picking on – nitpicking one might say – little things like that. But I really think this is a case where the accumulation of little things snowballs into a bigger problem. Peter has a scene where he slams a door and the glass shatters, he reacts to it but Aunt May and Ben don’t. That was the film in microcosm to me, things happening because they’re Supposed To and hardly anyone can rouse themselves to care.

    For instance there’s a couple of scenes where Peter goes to talk to Connors at his Oscorp office (the most comically insecure corporate laboratory on the planet) after fighting the Lizard, then he goes over to Captain Stacy’s office to warn him about the Lizard. All I could do was wonder why this kid gets to wander around these places like he belongs there, cuz these are the kinds of places that random kids explicitly don’t get to barge into without anybody taking exception. I bring this up not because it’s really important to me to see security protocols and people waiting around in lobbies, but because the cumulative effects are that we feel like this is a world where nobody really cares about anything (and so neither do I, the viewer) and the movie also misses out on chances to put us in the shoes of Peter Parker, the relatively powerless teenager who’s closer to the bottom of the totem pole than he is to the top. It’s a movie that has a bunch of scenes that have the appearance of mattering but also lacks the connective tissue that would actually make them matter.

    I really dig the Raimi movies and I think they set a pretty high bar for the new guys to beat. But I’m not a hardliner about how Spiderman “should” be and I’m open to seeing new interpretations by filmmakers with their own points of view. But instead of going off in a totally new direction this felt like if the Raimi version of spiderman was an hour-long CBS drama with a $200 million dollar budget. The scene where Uncle Ben dies doesn’t make any fucking sense, is borderline comical and is a choice example of the film’s two conflicting impulses colliding and making a mess – there’s certain scenes that “have” to be in there and they also have to not excessively resemble how Raimi did them, but the movie doesn’t really do the legwork to justify them on their own terms. I wasn’t a big MAN OF STEEL fan either but I give it major points in comparison for feeling more like the product of a unique personal vision and for having a ballsier interpretation of an old and familiar character.

    Also coldplay sucks in my opinion. The Raimi movies had shitty soundtracks too but IIRC they had the decency to only play them over the end credits and not during the movie. Someone correct me if I’m misremembering.

  45. “Stu – yet none of the Nolan [REDACTED] movies were called a “video game”, even though they all had CGI and multiple villains.”
    Yeah, but not all of those villains leant themselves to big set piece fights light Spider-man’s does, mostly because actual super powers are involved. I don’t know how much of a gamer you are, but I am, and I think I get what they mean with the feel of how the trailer presents things.

    Although it may merely be the fact that Rhino is in this movie, and he’s always a villain in the games. In fact, if Spider-man doesn’t defeat him by making him charge at him, and jump out of the way so he runs into a wall/electricity source/explosives, that’ll be the biggest deviation from the source material imaginable.

  46. I don’t think though that multiple villains are necessarily a bad thing, but if films use them, there has to be a pecking order. It just seems weird to me that we have Harry Osborn Green Goblin as a SECONDARY villain to Electro of all people. Electro’s an okay villain, but he’s never been big-time enough that you’d make him the lead antagonist. He’s like Rhino. He’s more a henchman or random encounter guy. He’s not the type to have a Big Plan That Needs To Be Stopped. Rhino will probably fit the most faithful role in the movie, though the casting of someone as high profile as Paul Giamatti makes me worry they’ll try to also make him more than he needs to be.

  47. That was very well stated, Mr Mutombo.

  48. Dikembe Mutombo – The first Raimi SM had some brainfart moments too. Remember when the Goblin got Spidey knocked out, absolutely vulnerable, but he neither (1) kills him or (2) unmasks him? I love selective memory.

    In fact as somebody else wisely pointed out earlier, both TASM and the first Raimi movie have scenes where the hero publicly displays an awesome skill (dunking a basketball from the 3 point line, out-luchadoring Luchadors in a wrestling match) that surely should positively impress somebody else. Yeah what high school coach wouldn’t want a guy who could dunk from the 3 point line? Yeah what wrestling promoter wouldn’t want a dude who can jump and fly and swing around and do endless flips and kick butt, while insanely over with the crowds in just one match? $$$! Instead the coach reports Parker and the promoter pulls a Paul Heyman, screwing Spidey out of his owed money.

    What’s fair is fair, folks.

    Stu – Remember Tim Burton’s [REDACTED] RETURNS? Multiple villains, that was really darn good!

    Also your video game reasoning has a flaw. Other than the fact that I do play games (but not a hardcore gamer by any means thank god), lets look at the CGI-ed superhero movies we got last year.

    In THOR:THE DARK WORLD, a movie where we had two villains* and a climax where the hero and villain (with his own Aether-fueled powers…which were just lame tentacles) basically do a movie version of PORTAL (a video game) where they fight through London, that ice planet from the first movie, that Elf world, etc. In fact before the climax, Thor has to fight the villain’s henchmen who inserted that orb (?!?) which mutated him into a monster.

    In IM3, the hero sends out all his suits and their powers to defeat Guy Pearce and his army of bioenginered superpowered soldiers. In fact using your logic Stu (same one Internet apparently is using for TASM2), that was the boss ending, your NINJA GAIDEN everything-is-fucking-ridiculously-stacked-against-you level. And Tony Stark on the run had to fight those superpowered soldiers off at that Tennessee town and later of course went to that Miami mansion.

    MOS, its a repeat of the above. Superman dukes it out with Zod’s superpowered henchmen/woman in Smallville. Ending is him and Zod brawling across Metropolis, into space and back, and all that.

    R.I.P.D., its….you know I rather not talk about R.I.P.D., if you all don’t mind. That one sucked. Of what I barely remember of that film, I think it fit within this same pattern as well.

    With this pattern, you should understand now why I’m baffled with the video game charge at TASM 2. You could do the same with what we got last year. I don’t know if TASM2 will be good or not, quite frankly its not a high 2014 priority for me. But I’ll see it, I hope its good. I’m rooting for it. Why do I try to make sense of the Internet? I should know better.

    As for Rhino, I wouldn’t be shocked if Rhino gets only a glorified cameo in TASM2 since Sony has announced a SINISTER SIX movie down the road. Perhaps more screentime, but think Jeremy Renner in THOR.

    Come to think of it, SINISTER SIX is kinda interesting. We’ve never had a supervillain movie, and a supervillain team movie? That’s a fascinating potential right there, not to mention Ray Charles and Pig Vomit already in this team? That’s good casting right there if that is their plan down the road.

    *=OK technically the super-powered Loki isn’t a baddie as much as a tweener in TDW, and *SPOILER* has no role at all in the climax. But you get my point.

  49. There are superhero movie-tie in commercials. And then there is this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyV57QlGUGI

    Spider-Man’s powers: Crawling on walls, swinging across cities, and Moonwalking.

  50. Well…at least we now finally know what a live action adaptation of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN would look like.

  51. Somebody asked McWeeny on Facebook why we’re getting overloaded with TASM 2 marketing, and he says its because TASM 2 is tracking poorly. Devin Farraci echoed this same as well earlier at BAD.

    I’m kinda surprised honestly. Am I wrong to be?

  52. And to think I was actually considering ASM 2 due to the trailers despite skipping the first one and not really giving a fuck about the superhero movie genre. Oh well looks like I’ll stick to SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN for my Spidey fix.

  53. I never understood what that “tracking” thing means. Dooes it just mean that people don’t WANT to see a certain movie or that people don’t KNOW that a certain movie is coming out?

    Either way, I’m not surprised, considering how the last movie was the lowest grossing Spidey movie ever (In all fairness, it DID make a big enough profit!) and even the people who liked it, were more on the “Well, it was pretty good, I guess” side of “enjoying it”.

    Pointing at the people responsible and saying: “Told ya it was a bad idea to reset the series within a time frame, where everybody was expecting a sequel” might be the easy thing to do, but you can’t deny that it seems to be the main reason for the underwhelming response in a time, when Marvel heroes are the biggest thing ever!

  54. Broddie – Sorry. Man Sony’s gonna be pissed at me for costing them a ticket! :)

    CJ – “tracking” basically refers to how much a movie is expected to make on Opening Weekend. I don’t exactly understand it, but there’s supposedly a math behind it that gauge audience interest, buzz, and other elements.

    Of course tracking aint a precise science to say the least. TWS was tracking weeks back for $80 million this weekend, I think most expect it to do better than that. (Some folks even think 100 million is possible. I doubt it.) Meanwhile, THE WOLVERINE last year was tracking for I think $85 million but wound up doing 30 million less.

    Point is if TASM 2 is tracking badly, then Sony thinks that currently it’ll open to less than they expect for a bigass budget Spider-Man movie.

  55. I saw AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 yesterday. There’s a lot I can nit-pick about it, and I think they tried to do a little too much, but overall there’s enough heart and fun to carry it and I really enjoyed it. Garfield and Stone really make it work, and I liked Foxx as Electro (post-transformation. When he’s an overwrought nerd he feels like a weird throwback to the Raimi movies, as do a few other things) and Dale Dehaan as Harry (though he commits to being an utter villain FAR too quickly). They also thankfully explain all the stuff with Peter’s parents and why he got his powers pretty fully and completely, the superhero action is good, and there’s a lot of humour and Spider-man quippiness.

  56. ***SPOILER-FREE COMMENTS I PROMISE, KEEP YOUR KNICKERS ON (unless you’re bridget fonda) KEEP MOVING, NOTHING TO SEE HERE***

    Got my Spidey-Freak on today at TASM 2.

    First impressions were –

    – Best first 15 minute opening scenes in a Super Hero film since Dark Knight Rises.

    – Giamatti steals the show as he reprises his role from Big Fat Liar. No blue face though.

    – Garfield is endlessly likeable as Parker. Stone is too but she doesn’t do it for me personally.

    – The only Raimi influences I picked up on were some of the camera angles, which is a good thing. More Darkman than Spiderman though.

    – I’ve never been to New York but some of the locations they used looked more authentic than you would expect in a super hero film. Like when Parkers walking through a tunnel on a train line in the middle of the day and theres what looks like real graffiti everywhere.

    – DeHaan is *very good* as Harry. Ok as Goblin. Maybe it’s his baby face but he looked a bit too Lord Of The Rings Elvish. His dark, watery-eyed look serves him well as the messed up Osborne though. Reminds me of a young Benicio Del Toro with those eyes.

    – Foxx does a good Rupert Pupkin pre-transformation.

    – DID NOT see the ending coming.

  57. Stu/Darren – one of the CBM website guys called it the “BATMAN & ROBIN of the franchise.” Is there any legitimacy to that or is it typical nerd over-reaction?

  58. Over-reaction. Like I said, there’s a lot of smaller things I can nitpick. One thing I think is lacking is a real reason for Foxx to be the film’s primary antagonist. Don’t get me wrong, Electro at full force is utterly formidable and scary, it’s just his whole role in things is ultimately less important than Harry’s. Electro’s big “plan” at the end of the movie is to cause a power cut in New York. That’s it. They have Peter and Gwen react like it’s a terrible cataclysmic thing they need to prevent, but it really doesn’t have that far reaching implications. They tack on an extra consequence the power cut which adds TWO ticking clocks to the situation, but he really makes the most sense in the movie when he’s acting as Harry’s muscle.

  59. “The only Raimi influences I picked up on were some of the camera angles, which is a good thing. More Darkman than Spiderman though.”
    Yeah, the camera angles, but there was a decided increase of Silver Age Comic Book tone to things compared to the first movie being in a more plausible world. Stuff like Marton Csokas as the weirdo scientist Dr. Kafka and the general over the topness of stuff like Giamatti’s character, who isn’t exactly mega acting, but he’s definitely deliberately hamming it up. I understand he asked to have a part in the movies because he’s a fan, so he was probably having a lot of fun.

  60. The more the nerds hate it, the more excited I get.

  61. I saw a few days a “critic” on a morning show praising that movie.

    Host: “Is the movie good?”
    Critic: “It is! Spectacular action scenes and Garfiled and stone are brillant!”
    Host: “So what else?”
    Critic: “The action scenes are spectacular and Garfield and Stone share real chemistry together!”
    Host: “So the fans will like it?”
    Critic: “The fans already love it! They praise how the costume finally got the eyes right!”
    Host: “So this is the movie to watch this weekend?”
    Critic: “It is, the action scenes are spectacular and Garfield and Stone are really great on screen!”

  62. The Original... Paul

    April 19th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    CJ – but what did he have to say about Garfield and Stone? I think we need to know.

    Seriously, unless someone says this thing is the second coming, I think I’m gonna skip ASM2. As if anybody needs TWO weeks in a row of me bitching at a superhero film that everybody else likes way more than I do. I certainly don’t.

  63. RRA – Yeah, must be nerd over-reaction. It’s a cheap shot to launch the B&R grenade. The redundancy of that charge is that the new TASM films have approached the story from a human level first, super hero second. They live or die with Peter Parker and the people he cares about. B&R dropped us into a stir-fry of egos and assholes.

  64. Stu – agree with Electros big plan not being that far-reaching, but usually these heroes are confined to protecting their own cities, like Gotham and Supermans New York. The exceptions being X-Men and Watchmen. I think it works better as an Immediate Threat To Be Contained for heroes like Spidey and Batman who are more relatable on a human level than the alien/mutant ones who have a global/metaphysical purpose to stop the universe from exploding or changing the past to alter the future etc.

    I think the reason Electro’s purpose didn’t amount to much is because***SPOILER***SPOILER***after he transformed he still had the Rupert Pupkin syndrome. His big showdown with Spidey in Times Square(?) was about him spitting the dummy that Spidey was getting more attention than him.****END SPOILER****

  65. Superman lives in Metropolis, not New York.

  66. Yeah Metropolis, Superman’s New York!

  67. Darren – which is a weird thing to say since in the comics, Metropolis is in the midwest. (In Kansas if I remember right.) Like if somehow Kansas City grew up in size and became as big as NYC or Chicago.

  68. Darren/Stu – If any of these movies with tights have any humor in them, nerds seem to always throw out the B&R accusation. Some of them did this same shit last year with IM3. Yet they also turn around and bitch about MOS being too grounded or serious or whatever.

    They really don’t know what they want, do they?

  69. I actually had no idea Metropolis was meant to be in the midwest. I knew Kent went from country boy to the big smoke and I guess I associated Metropolis as a stand in for NY.

  70. Darren – probably because the Donner movie more or less used Metropolis as a NYC-ish city, what with its own Statue of Liberty.

    Then again such geographical details change in comics all the time. I think at one point, Metropolis was also situated in New England. Same with Gotham City, which Nolan basically situated in Chicago in his films. (Yet his last one, Gotham became a stand-in for NYC, especially Manhattan Island.)

    I could be wrong, but I think that tv series SMALLVILLE used the idea that Metropolis was in the midwest but don’t quote me on this because I never watched it. Just going by second hand accounts.

    Off-topic: Which approach is better? DC’s fantasy cities or Marvel using real cities? (Of course according to them, NYC has like a 100 superheroes alone. Crime should be non-existent you would think!)

  71. But it’s also meant to be only across a bay from Gotham, which was stated as being in New Jersey at one point.

    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

    Darren- Was it just me though, or did Spidey mess around way too much in the opening scene, considering the danger that was being posed to the public? I mean, I get that they don’t want the scene to just end immediately, but while he chooses to taunt Giamatti rather than just knock him out and stop the truck from the get go, the collateral damage is still going on. In fact, when he saves Dillon’s life, the truck plows through three or four more cars, in ways I don’t see how the drivers could survive. But at least the Times Square scene reinforced how much he looks out for innocents though. Even if they are somewhat suicidal, like the kid at the end.
    I also loved the way they did Jameson in the film. If they actually cast him for future films, would anyone REALLY be that bothered if they just hired Simmons again?

  72. BATMAN & ROBIN is going too far but a BATMAN FOREVER comparison wouldn’t be totally unfair. It’s more nuanced, arguably better structured (while having structural problems of its own) and (I guess?) less illogical because a lot of lessons have been learned since 1995, but it juggles excessive plotlines and has a tone which more recalls the comic book movies of two decades prior than it does its contemporaries. In someways I found that quite refreshing, and it’s a fun film (I actually enjoyed it more than the last two “proper” Marvel movies personally), but it’s certainly a deeply flawed movie which isn’t going to go down well with everyone.

  73. Why does Jamie Foxx look like Mr. Freeze?

  74. The Original... Paul

    April 20th, 2014 at 3:43 am

    RRA – in all fairness to “the nerds”, the main criticisms levelled at “Man Of Steel” seemed to be that the characters were non-existent, their motivations inconsistent, Pa Kent was a suicidal lunatic who taught Supes to hide his identity rather than save kids, Lois Lane was irrelevant, and in the finale Supes deliberately kept the fight in a major metropolitan city rather than taking it to a place without innocent bystanders. Or that’s what I’ve read in its more hostile reviews.

    Agree or disagree with those criticisms as you please, but I don’t think “too serious” was one of the charges levelled at that film.

    (One of these days I should probably at least try watching the movie and forming a judgement, but I’ve gotten the strong feeling from the start that I’d be on the side of the haters with this one – what they’re saying is exactly the kind of thing that would really bother me. Especially as I tend to dislike superhero movies slightly more than most people do, at least unless they star Thor. I’m SO not the intended audience for this crap. I could be wrong, there are films that I absolutely expected to hate and that I ended up liking and vice versa; but honestly, I’m not that interested in finding out.)

  75. “unless someone says this is the second coming, im gonna skip TASM2.”(paraphrased)

    Paul – consider this the second coming of Garfield as Parker/Spidey and go see the bloody thing! Right after you watch Evil Dead 2013 of course. And if you think you’re bitching will be too bothersome, don’t worry, there’s plenty of us be willing to bitch-slap some sense into you!! haha.

    ***SPOILERS***

    Yeah Stu, I never really thought about the collateral damage in the opening until you mentioned it. I was having too much darn fun! I think those opening scenes were for highlighting how confident Parker had become as Spiderman since part 1, so they probly ramped up the action at the expense of collateral.

    Overall the action was the most comprehensible I’ve seen in a long time.

    ***SPOILERS CONTINUED***

    The way they did the JJ Jameson insert was clever, but I don’t get why they’re 2 movies in and they haven’t shown him. There WAS a lot going on in this one as Pacman pointed out, so they probly couldn’t get him in. You’re suggestion of using Simmons makes sense because it got me thinking about how interchangeable these new movies are with Raimi’s, and I mean that as a compliment because I still like the Raimi ones. I like how Webb hasn’t really messed with Raimis approach that much and even homages him with the camera angles and the Dr Kafka guy, who I’ll be damned if I didn’t think was Ted Raimi in a cameo until I saw the credits.

  76. So Vern, are you going to review TASM 2 or are you going to wait for DVD?

  77. Probly wait for the disc. I was considering seeing it in a theater but then I found out it’s not shot in 3D like the first one was. It sounds like it could benefit from watching a year or two later like I did the last one. (but that could change, who knows.)

  78. “Spider-Man: The New Avenger” is allegedly the title being rumored for the upcoming Marvel reboot.

  79. I find it hilarious how Spider Man is already being rebooted, but I can’t say that I blame Sony.

  80. Knox Harrington

    April 27th, 2015 at 4:38 am

    I feel bad for Andrew Garfield, though. He’s a damn great actor (KID A) and was a genuinely good Peter Parker.

    And while his Spidey movies weren’t that amazing, I feel that the Devin Faraci cult went completely overboard in their hate for them (as they do in most things).

  81. Knox Harrington

    April 27th, 2015 at 4:46 am

    Speaking of geek stuff. I kept waiting for Vern to post his AVENGERS 2 review, only to realise you poor Yanks only get the movie a week after the rest of the world. That sucks.

    For what it’s worth: I liked it. It doesn’t have those massive wow moments (Banner’s “I’m always angry” moment; Hulk comedy-smashing Loki) that the first one had, but the dialogue is great and there are some great Cap+Thor co-op moves.

    There is a sense of diminishing returns, or “sequelitus”. The novelty is maybe gone, but it’s still a damn good blockbuster. There will be a massive backlash, I suspect.

  82. Part of me thanks “please God, make sure this isn’t an origin story”, but on the other hand I think if it was it would be kind of ballsy, in a corporate way, just because it would be such an unpopular, easily mocked move. Plus it would be kind of interesting to have THREE different versions of basically the same story with huge budgets made within a 15 year period.

    And I too have seen AVEG2VERS, and I agree that a backlash is on the way. Is it bad? Not at all, and I say that as someone who has been unimpressed with a number of Marvel films in the past. There are flaws, fairly major ones even, but it isn’t a tough sit. Is it in anyway exceptional or surprising? No. And we all know there’s no such thing as “OK” on the internet.

    As for the AMAZING SPIDER-MENses I liked em, but at the same time no other films so comprehensively typify so much of what is wrong with modern blockbusters, the second escpecially.

  83. Don’t know if I will watch TWOVENGERS before its home video release, but I’ve noticed that I actually seem to be okay with watching the two Garfield Spider-Men, now that this run is definitely over. I guess recording both movies from Pay TV in case something like that would happen, has finally paid off.

  84. CJ, I hear a vast number of German cinemas are refusing to screen Avengers 2, because the studio is demanding a larger cut of the pie. Good luck with that.

    I hate to say it, but Marvel is getting super greedy. They’ve gone from hiring perfectly suited directors (Joe Johnson for Cap 1, Favreau for Iron Man, Branagh for Thor, Whedon for their big ensemble movie, Gunn for Guardians) to hiring mostly TV directors and/or guys with no discernible style . Nothing necessarily wrong with that. So far the films don’t seem to suffer from it (was bored by Thor 2, though), but their choices are becoming less inspired and their magic formula might start to show, I fear.

    Hey, I hope I’m wrong and they keep things fresh, but it is a concern.

  85. I’m actually much more excited by the idea of studios tackling more obscure characters from smaller publishers, like those Valiant Comics movies that they announced the other day.

    Or, even better, when the studios finally decide to create their own superheroes. That would be hilarious.

  86. I’m not sure it’s a “vast number”, but several smaller theatres, especially in small towns, decided to not show it. Normally the distributor decides how much the theatre has to pay, depending on the size and other factors, but this time Disney simply said: “Nope, doesn’t matter if you are a big city multiplex or a Mom & Pop village theatre, you all have to give us 53% of your AVENGERS earnings”. And since the movie is now #1 at the German box office anyway (thanks to the multiplexes who can afford a 53% cut, despite not being very happy about it either), everybody wonders how much Disney will ask for when the new STAR WARS hits.

  87. Also RE: Marvel hiring TV directors without style. While I think WINTER SOLDIER is my least favourite MCU movie since their HULK and I’m really scared for the further Avengers sequels, considering how incompetent the Russo Brothers seem to be not only in the action department, I think hiring the guy who did the best HELLRAISER DTV sequel and a from what I’ve heard pretty cool low budget creepy-kid-stares-at-you-and-sometimes-a-door-suddenly-slams horror movie for DR STRANGE, is an inspired choice. Peyton Reed, well…I have no opinion on him, but I guess they needed a quick replacement. I just hope they don’t wuss out with their other Phase 3 movies.

  88. The report I read stated that cinemas in 193 small towns in Germany were boycotting the movie, so I figured that was pretty big.

    I really liked WINTER SOLDIER, but it’s becoming pretty clear Kevin Feige is running the show. At this stage, the dude might as well just start directing.

  89. On the topic of comic books, I’ve felt pretty alienated from the world of comic books for about a decade now.

    This is mostly due to Marvel and DC trying their absolute best to make it a nightmare for anyone but the hardest of hardcore comic fans to actually read a comic title. With all the big annual events and cross-overs and spin-offs and tie-ins, it’s just about impossible to read a single title with a single continuing story.

    I gave up. But then, about a month ago, I discovered SAGA by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and I swear to God, I’m enjoying it more than I’ve enjoyed anything in years.

    After falling in love with this phenomenal series, I discovered that its publisher, Image Comics, has over the past few years transformed into what Vertigo was 15 years ago. They are publishing all these awesome, self-contained, creator-owned series; and many of them are amazing! I’m now busy reading BLACK SCIENCE, SEX CRIMINALS, RAT QUEENS and SOUTHERN BASTARDS, and every single one of these titles has impressed the hell outta me.

    I never would have guessed it, but I’m actually excited about comic books again. Weird.

  90. Yeah, I think 193 cities is a pretty big number, although obviously not to the point where Disney really gets hurt because nobody knows where to watch that dam thing. I’m sure each one of that small towns has at least one multiplex with TWOVENGERS playing less than 1 hour away. I’m on the small theatres’ side, though. Maybe I should really wait till the home video release. That’s how I watched all MCU movies except two anyway.

  91. The Original Paul

    April 27th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I have no plans to see AVENGERS 2 (yeah, I know, what a shocker, eh?) but people whose opinions I usually disagree with on all things Marvel are saying it’s way worse than AVENGERS 1. I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Most of those people liked CAPTAIN AMERICA and didn’t like THOR, so I get the feeling that we’d probably disagree on this latest film too. Oh well.

    I think I’ve said this before elsewhere, but I have seen THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN on DVD and quite enjoyed it. I’m definitely on the side of Vern and the people who liked it here. I had a lot of fun with the three Raimi movies but they were definitely a “so bad it’s good”-kinda deal. I think those movies, with the possible exception of #2, are pretty much terrible in every respect other than some pretty nice action scenes. The two main characters in particular… I felt genuinely sorry for Kirsten Dunst, having to try to make this awful, awful character likeable; and as for Maguire, every time I see that death’s rictus of a smile that he uses in those films, a little bit of my soul dies. On the other hand, the Raimi movies are chock-full of moments like the Green Goblin forcing Aunt May to finish her prayer, the Oscorp board of directors being turned into CGI-skeletons by an awesome bomb that we never get to see used again, or the infamous emo musical number. How can you not have love in your heart for a movie with emo musical Spiderman?

    The reboot has very few of these moments (although the Stan Lee cameo is freakin’ awesome) but it has stronger and more likeable characters (my only complaint with Garfield’s Spiderman is that his quips can get really obnoxious at times). It’s not great – it misses some opportunities for character “moments” as Vern pointed out, and has a tendency to tell when it should be showing, and shout when it should be talking. It also suffers severely from attempts to turn it into a franchise, and the villain is kinda weak (as many people have pointed out). But overall I liked it despite these flaws. Garfield, Stone and Field pretty much carry the movie, and do it well.

  92. Pacman2.0 – I don’t know. If MOS got “massive backlash”, will AOU face something on that level? I mean we must remember that alot of the bitching at MOS involved certain memes that people hanged their hats on from the neck breaking or the destruction or it being too dark or Supes not saving civilians or whatever.

    If Marvel gets backlash for AOU, what will be the memes other than “not as good as first one”? I need to see it to judge and speculate. I hate early reviews because when it comes to complaints, its like watching somebody do a dance interpretation of a pop song, but on mute. It doesn’t help or clarify the matter.

    Besides look at their filmography. Incredible Hulk. Iron Man 2. Thor 2. Or hell, the first season of Agents of SHIELD. All got complaints, but none which made people sour on the brand name for long. Sorta like how MOS (unfortunately) has made the Internet bitch at everything WB/DC-related, even when they do something right (THE FLASH) or something coming up that so far looks right (SUICIDE SQUAD).

    Usually its because Marvel would come back around and make people forget about the supposed missteps. I mean look at DAREDEVIL which the Internet loved. After IM2, we got the decently received first Thor and Cap films followed by AVENGERS which was well-received. Thor 2 was’t that well-received, but then we got the 1-2 punch of TWS and GOTG.

    It probably won’t happen, but wouldn’t it be hilarious if ANT-MAN ended up getting better received than AOU?

    Fandoms can be like cults, if you reward the faithful frequently (if not always) you’ll keep their loyalty. I mean look at another fandom/cultdom in Pixar. The upcoming INSIDE OUT allegedly is a “return to form” for Pixar according to early screenings. If that’s the case, same people will forgive them for CARS 2 and whatever. Nevermind said Pixar cult overlook CARS and A BUG’S LIFE and their other weaker entries.

    Knox Harrington – The irony of you complaining about Marvel hiring TV directors is, that also describes Whedon. In fact I’ve seen people bitch at him for his movies looking too much like TV. (Which I find bogus, but whatever.) I can’t really slam them for their upcoming hirings when the only other new guy they’ve hired so far was the SINISTER dude. We got no directors for Captain Marvel or Black Panther yet.

    Speajing of Whedon: I saw him the other day complain about Coulson being brought back from the dead for his TV show and I thought BOO FUCKING HOO. Nobody put a gun to your head to develop said TV series or write/direct the pilot or give your brother and his wife jobs as showrunners. Hell his show is the worst of the Marvel TV programs so far. If forced to choose between whether only Agents of Shield or Agent Carter comes back, I would pick Agent Carter in a heartbeat.

  93. Paul – you saw TASM 2?

  94. The Original Paul

    April 27th, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    RRA – No, only the first one, although I do plan on seeing the second one if I can ever find it on DVD at a non-premium price. I’ve always regarded Spiderman as an entity that’s somehow “set apart” from either the Avengers-verse or the X-Men verse, which is a good thing.

    I saw AMAZING SPIDER MAN before both WINTER SOLDIER and whatever the fuck the latest X-MEN movie was called (remember the days when you could just refer to them as “X-Men 1”, “X-Men 2” and “Oh fuck, not that one”? Simpler times, weren’t they?) It was a while ago is what I’m saying. Back when I wasn’t quite as jaded with Marvel as I have been recently. Although jaded me still likes TASM just as much as… erm… un-jaded me did? (Pretty sure that’s not a thing, but whatever.) What I’m saying is that WINTER SOLDIER pretty much confirmed that we would never ever get an Avengers movie set in an alternate universe where the American Government were fascist dictators or something (which is exactly what the beginning of WINTER SOLDIER hinted at, before fucken’ Hydra came into the picture and ScarJo gave a rousing speech in defence of the NSA.)

    TASM, on the other hand, showed that it was possible for a future Spiderman movie to at least manage “interesting”. And ok, I probably still won’t get my evil American Government alternate reality in a billion-dollar movie, regardless of how many there’ve been in the comics (from what I’ve read on the Internet, probably about ten thousand), but I’d settle for a spiderverse (is that a thing?) if it has generally likeable characters and a lack of horrible political subtext. Hell, by that standard the first TASM pretty much hit the ball out of the park (even if it missed the mark in other ways).

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>