"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Can you fellas explain this to me: Spider-man’s web shooters

webshootersOkay, I remember this being a thing when Sam Raimi made his first Spider-man picture (we’ll call it SPIDER-MAN A), but I kinda forgot about it. Now there is some hubbub now that the other guy is doing the other Spider-man picture (SPIDER-MAN B). See, in SPIDER-MAN A the guy had what the nerd community refers to as “organic web-shooters,” which means that he has the power of a Spider-man and can shoot spider-webs from his wrists although he is the size and shape of a man and does not suck the blood of flies or any crazy spider shit like that. In SPIDER-MAN B he has non-organical type web-shooters, meaning he’s just a regular non-webshooting individual who owns little web-shooting machines that he invented, on account of he is a huge nerd. This is considered a victory for all Americans because apparently this is how it was done in the comic strip books.So here’s my question for you experts: you’re telling me this “Spider-man” has been nothing but a complete fraud from day 1?! He is not in fact a Spider-man at all, but just a dude with a cool wrist-device who happens to have a disgusting infection?

I don’t know the material, I just know what one absorbs as a citizen of modern society, that there is an individual named Peter Parker who was bit by a radioactive spider that gave him the powers of a spider. In my opinion a reasonable expectation would be for those powers to include the one unique thing that a spider can do, which is to make spider webs. It turns out Mr. Parker inherited nothing of the sort. He just can walk up a wall, like a spider, or an ant, or pretty much any type of bug. He is really a mere Bug-man. Since he can actually invent the much more interesting and useful power of web-shooting I think we can assume that he could’ve also invented wallsticking, so that “power” is really not even worth mentioning.

The way one of you explained it to me recently a “super hero” is somebody who actually has superhuman powers, such as Blade or Popeye. But a “crime fighter” is somebody who does not have magical beams or strengths, but just good equipment, like Batman or Sean Penn. This means that Spider-man is not in fact a super hero, he is a crime fighter who should probly see a doctor. Right?

I don’t know man, I feel like I’ve been lied to all along. I’m surprised Howard Zinn or one of those guys didn’t uncover this a long time ago.




Oh, by the way, thanks everybody for telling me about the guy interviewing Seagal on British television. I’m working on getting ahold of it and looking forward to studying it.

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150 Responses to “Can you fellas explain this to me: Spider-man’s web shooters”

  1. I just hope that they find a good explaination, why Parker doesn’t make millions with his self invented webshooters. They are apparently cheap enough to let a freelancing teenager create a decades long supply of it, so I can imagine that he could sell it to the police and they don’t have to use tasers anymore. Because, y’know, stopping criminals works very well with it!

    But why do I care? I’m not planning to see the movie until its TV premiere anyway.

  2. And how exactly does the wall sticking work through his suit? Methinks if he has such super sticking power, it’d only make him stick to the suit, unless the suit itself had sticky powers as well.

  3. I have less than zero interest in watching another Spiderman origins movie.

  4. What did he have in the old tv show? I can’t remember, but that is the Spider Man I always think of as the real deal.

  5. Its strange but i find the organic web scenario much more believable than this mechanical one. If im going to suspend my disbelief about super powers lets just go the whole hog. Dont half ass it and then expect me to believe that hes hanging, flying, and swinging around on something attached to his forearm. That is impossible and seems really painful

  6. Just had it confirmed by a proper dork. The tv show had little match box gizmos. I guess it would be much better if the web jizzed out of his ass. No, scratch that.

    What did Spider Man do in the original funny books?

  7. Did Popeye have super powers? I always thought he was on drugs.

  8. I’ve always been against the mechanical web-shooters. Having the webs just jizz right out of his arms saved a shitload of story time in SPIDER-MAN A, but now we’re gonna have to have a whole fucking montage of shooter-building and shooter-testing just to establish the point that we’re already well aware of: Spider-Man can shoot webs out of his arms. Great.

    Why are we talking about this and not DIE HARD 5?

  9. Maybe I am misremembering this, but didn’t his spider-powers give him the knowledge to make the web-shooters? He wasn’t JUST a bright teenager; his newfound powers gave him some sort of instinctual understanding of how webs work. Or some shit like that.

    Also you forgot Spidey-Sense. He has that too. Which makes perfect sense because, as we all well know, spiders have psychic abilities.

  10. Its not going to be another origin story is it? Does it need to be told again?

    Die Hard 5 you say? Tell me more.

  11. Well, it has Uncle Ben and is said to be a “gritty look at Peter Parker’s High School years”. So yeah, another origin.

    And DIE HARD 5: I don’t if there is really much to say about it. They got a new director and it’s a first time guy who did some pretty cool HALO spots, which of course means nothing, if you remember that part 2 was done by the director of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4 and FORD FAILANE and part 4 by the guy who made UNDERWORLD. And doesn’t matter how you think about the sequels, the directors were their least problems, so I don’t mind HALO dude for part 5.

  12. I think I’ll pass on Spider Man’s gritty look at high school. Web guns or natural wrist jizzers.

  13. In the original 1960s Stan Lee-Steve Ditko penned origin story, Peter Parker is a whiz kid science nerd. (Something which subsequently almost completely vanished from the character and was replaced by photojournalism as his main interest, but, anyway.) He gets bit by the radioactive spider at some big Columbia University science expo or something; he’s so psyched for the expo one gets the feeling that it’s his Comic-Con or Sundance or something.

    When he recovers from the spider bite, he has spider-powers but can’t create webbing. So he builds his webshooters (in his bedroom, apparently) and off he goes to spin a web any size and catches thieves just like flies.

    Now, in the mid-90s James Cameron was developing SPIDER MAN the movie and working on a script. He realized there were a lot of plausiblity issues with this aspect of Spider Man. (Incidentally, I’d love to read an interview with Cameron exclusively about his attempted Spider Man movie.) As others have pointed out in these comments and as Cameron picked up on too, if Peter could build these miraculous devices, how come he never built anything else? Where did he get the parts? How much does web-fluid cost and why didn’t he patent it and make a fortune? It’s the same logic problem that afflicts a lot of comic book characters, especially supervillians–if you invent anti-gravity discs, why the hell don’t you just market them, get richer then Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg combined, and go live on easy street? Why use it to rob banks and armored cars and keep getting busted and sent to Riker’s Island?!

    So in Cameron’s first draft “scriptment” he gave Peter organic web-shooters but had him build little wristbands (out of swiss watches and aerosol cans, if I remember correctly) to guide the projected webbing; and then had him TELL people they were mechanical devices so he wouldn’t seem like a freak. This concept seems to have been enthusiastically absorbed into the subsequent Sam Raimi films.

    So there ya have it.

  14. Of course. Put James Cameron’s slant on it and it makes perfect sense.

    Anyway, will John Mcclane be an all drinking all smoking badass or more like the Mk4 model?

  15. Just to break into really nerdy (And I don’t mean that in a cool way, or the way nerdy sometimes means ‘I know about stuff’, I mean it as in nerdy like incredibly uncool) territory, I think the organic solution is cooler because:
    Innate stuff is cooler than gadgets. Some other jerk could borrow wristbands = not cool.
    Spiderman is the only jerk who can shoot webs and he doesn’t need goddamn fancypants gadgets to do it = cool.

  16. I dunno, the web-shooters are implausible… Even with the ret-conned notion that the webbing substance was something Peter’s dad was right at the cusp of perfecting when he died and Peter just picked up the pieces of his research. But, that is how the character was created. Implausible or not, it is an indelible part of the character. And the reason he doesn’t sell the formula is explained away 1) by that point, whoever patented what was widely considered to be so associated with Spider-Man- must BE Spider-Man, so it’d be an immediate out-ing and 2) his whole initial run in with “celebrity” causing the death of Ben is what soured Peter to using his powers (either real or invented) for personal gain. Granted Pete makes a living off the EXISTENCE of Spider-Man, but indirectly.
    No none of it is terribly logical- but it IS at least explained.
    Like Bruce Wayne could CERTAINLY find better uses towards crime prevention for his money, but instead blows it on cars and planes and gadgets and whatnot.
    Again… implausible, but it is part of what made the original character what he was.
    Personally, I am stoked on the web-shooters. I had no problems whatsoever with Cameron/Raimi opting for organic. At all. Made sense and didn’t REALLY betray the character… but this time out I am jazz Ted on a different spin (ugh!) albeit one taken from the original comics.
    Oh and then there is the fact that sans the mechanical devices, Spidey’s iconic web-shooting gang-sign hand gestures REALLY make no sense.

    As for the wall crawling abilities- unlike an actual spider (or Tobey Maguire) it is not little spiny things sticking out of his fingers that causes him to stick to shit. It is more an odd type of magnetism. Think about two magnets- they are still going to stick to one another, even if they are both placed on opposite sides of a piece of felt. (explain that to the ICP)

    And Vern, silly or not, Spider-Man still has super strength, spider-sense and an inhuman reaction time. Even without the wall-crawling or the web-shooting (or the chair-dancing) he would still be a “SUPER-HERO”.

    I think this new franchise is kicking off a little too soon, but I am still excited for it. I like the cast, I (in the minority) like the costume, I like the return of web-shooters, I like how much recent spy-pics have led us to believe that a lot more of the stunts are being done practically vs CGI this time around and I like that this series takes place in high school. Granted Raimi’s Parker was still a put upon nerd, but part of what made Spider-Man great in the beginning is that he really was just a fucking kid. Not an awkward “kid” in his 20s. But a 15-16 kid barely past puberty risking his life and fighting grown men and women- sometimes ones with powers and abilities that far exceeded his own.

  17. I’ll break the gridlock of this debate and simply say that I don’t quite frankly give a shit (good or ill) about this movie.

    Or for that matter, any of the hero movies this summer.

  18. Well, it comes out next summer, but I don’t give a shit about any -Man movies of 2012 either. (A sick, sad world it is, where we get a new Spider-, Bat- and Superman movie in one year and they all fail to get me excited.)

  19. CJ – On the contrary, one of those 3 in ’12 does intrigue me. The only one that’s not a reboot. You know which one.

    But as soon as Bale and Nolan are done and leave, WB will reboot Batman to. coming summer ’14: BATMAN STARTS AGAIN!

    Speaking of the ’11 “Cape” pictures….I could see maybe THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA working, I mean even if the marketing has left me unmoved, theoretically the potential of them are there per say I guess. maybe for GREEN LANTERN too, but I can’t muster much because even as a kid, I never liked Hal Jordan*. X-MEN FIRST CLASS….another fucking perquel? Pass.

    *=Seriously who did? Boring mother fucker. The only “good” Green Lantern I look back in fondness was Guy Gardener, only because he was such an unabashed dickhead. Not everybody gets knocked out by Batman with one punch.

  20. Just a further biological clarification:

    Actual spiders shoot their webs out of glands called spinnerets, located alongside their ass.


    Which would make for a whole new cinematic experience should they go with a more organic web-shooting spider-man again.

    Interestingly enough, which I did not know until reading the wikipedia link, one spider group breaks with this convention: tarantulas. Tarantulas have their spinnerets located to the side of their feet. Therefore, I submit to the nerd community that spider-man should more accurately be called “tarantula man.”

    Finally, for no particular reason, Filipino Spider-Man:


  21. A Spider-Man that shoots his web out of something near his ass? The Venture Bros did it!

  22. I wish they’d just explore the origins of Turkish Spider-Man instead, complete with sword and pajama costume and torturing people with guinea pigs / boats. Instead of web shooters they could have a nice montage of a nerdy kid growing out his eyebrows through sheer power of will

  23. It is my understanding that Rami went with organic web shooting powers for the reasons Majestyk mentioned, and the fact that if allows him to be less extraordinary. The reason being if he is smart enough to make these powerful web shooters then he is already pretty amazing without his spider powers, and you could no longer consider him a regular guy who just happened to inherent super powers by chance. I actually think Rami made the right call so I am a little concerned that the SPIDER reboot would switch back to the original mythology.

  24. Did I ever mention how much I enjoyable the un-nerdy (or at least reasonable nerdy) atmosphere here? Everywhere else, people are pro-mechanic webshooters, just because it was in the comics and they suddenly hate everything about Raimi’s pictures. (Just like they suddenly hate everything about Singer’s X-MEN movies. Poor Nolan. Your time will come too!)
    Oh, and how the nerds creamed themself over the title THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! Because apparently calling HULK b THE INCREDIBLE HULK made it a so much better movie.

  25. I like the title. I like the costume. I can’t speak to the talent involved because I haven’t THE SOCIAL NETWORK or (GEE) ZOOEY DESCHANEL IS PRETTY. But I just can’t take another origin story. The only way this could be interesting is if the movie starts and he’s already Spider-Man and there’s some threat he has to deal with. I’m okay with it being a story set in high school as long as it’s not the same fucking story we’ve already seen. I mean, do we really need to explain Spider-Man’s deal again? I’m pretty sure even my grandmother knows that Spider-Man is a guy who fights crime by swinging around on webs and sticking to walls. And if she didn’t, she’d probably figure it out when he started fighting crime by swinging around on webs and sticking to walls. My grandmother is pretty clever like that.

    That’s what people like about comics. They’re not stories ABOUT superheroes. They’re stories WITH superheros.

  26. Well I guess I feel like the big nerd in the room then.

    And yeah, despite all the stuff mentioned that I actually AM stoked about this movie for, I will join the ranks who are NOT excited about another full-on origin story. At all. Take the Burton Batman route and start the story in progress, perhaps flashing back to bits of origin occasionally, but nothing more.

  27. Or to supplement Majestyk’s cry, how about instead this new movie does what the comics usually do when new people come in with new directions?

    As in, they transistion with storylines and developments, good or bad, wise or not, clever or illogical.

    Say Spiderman has a disease or something, and his web glands quit working. So boom boom, he makes web shooters. Or hell he crafts web shooters so to give new angularity and range to his webbers. Why have a pistol when you can have an automatic machine gun?

    I mean hell why just white rope come out of his wrists? Why not a white web or white triangular stream?

    CJ Holden – I think the reason for why this board is ungeek and indifferent is because…well, this is a reboot of a series that only started 9 years ago. And SPIDERMAN 3 sucked, not for that slammed musical sequence* but because of maybe the most convoluted, crammed busy screenplay of decent potential ideas all suffociated by the lack of air I’ve seen in a whale’s lifetime.

    *=I liked that? I mean its Raimi going back to his campy routes, which his geek fans usually seem to ignore or forget.

  28. GGC – But Burton’s BATMAN did have an origin story: Joker. Come to think of it, I always saw it as JOKER CO-STARRING BATMAN. Hell look at the marquee: who had top billing?

  29. Wow, I guess I AM a nerd. I thought it was almost common knowledge they were mechanical…he was always running out of fluid in the show and comics. Mechanical is part of the original character; the bite gave him knowledge of how to make the webbing. He didn’t sell it because he wanted to use his powers for good; also, I believe there was some mention of how the webbing wasn’t good for anything commercial because it dissolved in 30 minutes (or something). The reason he can use the webs and swing from them (he actually holds onto them, not “hangs by his forearms”) is because he is super strong and agile. Can someone steal them? Sure. Would they have the ability to USE them? doubtful. I mean, look at what Spidey does with those thing. Its badass. Its also a nice metaphor of how he is using his intellect along with his powers to be a superhero…what made Spidey different was that he was a wiseass, smart, and used his brain to get out of a jam. Making his own webshooters kind of gave him that “underdog who has to use his brain feel” rather than “the superhero who just has it all”.

    The argument that organic webshooters make him more spidery is silly because he doesn’t exactly have the powers of a spider in the first place as Vern mentions, so why give him this weird, gross ability that is not part of original canon and has been an important part of most spiderman stories for most of his time? To save 5 minutes in the movie? just make it 5 minutes longer! the science part is cool!

    Its like saying: “it’s stupid Wonder Woman is an Amazon because she doesn’t use a bow (As Amazons are wont to do). So she should use a bow as her primary tool and not a lasso in an upcoming film.”

    BTW, I havent read a comic book in about 6 year, thats just what I remember from my days of yore.

  30. RRA- True… but villains’ origins (even a villain as well known as The Joker) are not nearly as ingrained in the general public consiousness as the major superheroes are. And don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of Burton’s Batman overall- but I did like the handling of Bats origin himself.

  31. I’m fine with either version of webshooters. Organic are logical and convenient, Stan Lee says he wished he’d thought of it and they were even adopted for a while in the comics. Mechanical ones DO add to Peter’s character, showing his ingenuity and his scientific abilities, which the films half-ass by having his teachers say he’s great at that stuff, but every time he needs to figure something out with science (the fusion reactor about to destroy the city/world, the symbiote) he just asks a scientist about it rather than figure it out himself. He also can’t really patent the fluid AND stay Spider-man, cos it creates an obvious connection as to who he really is. One other thing is you can do more in the story with mechanical webshooters, because they can be broken or run out of fluid, if you want to increase tension and put him in a corner more in a fight. Also it supposedly IS pretty expensive to make, so you can tie the need to keep up his supply with how broke he is all the time, and if he’s got no money at all, he can end up without the webs for a while. You may think it’d be an awful waste of time to show him making it and testing it, but I think going to the trouble of establishing psychological reasons for his powers not working like in Spider-Man 2 was also a pretty stupid way of doing that.
    And Vern, he’s still got Spider-Agility, Spider-Reflexes, Spider-Sense and Spider-Strength (proportional strength of a spider, so if a Spider could lift 6 times it’s own weight, so could Peter, though I don’t know the actual specifics, but I think I have seen him lifting a car with it).

  32. I don’t buy the “If he would patent spider string, everybody would know who he is” argument. He could just wait a few months and start to go on the streets as Spidey. In the public he would maybe just a guy who stumbled across the product and figured out how to do awesome things with it. I saw people doing incredible thigns with Yo Yo’s, but I didn’t think they invented it, because of how good they are.

  33. According to the strength charts in the old Marvel Superheroes RPG, Spider-Man can lift a VW van.

  34. In one of the early stories he does try to sell his idea to some sort of “science company” but they won’t buy it because its effects don’t last long enough for them to be interested. Sure, he probably could have gone around to other companies and eventually sold it, but he was a kid and sometimes when you’re 15, 16 one person telling you no is all it takes for you to give up on something. Also, it’s more important to the character and the story that we worry about him being poor and not being able to pay his Aunt’s hospital bills and relate to him as the guy who no matter how good he is, no matter how many lives he saves, remains the perpetual loser.

    It also has to be taken into account that Spider-Man, and really all Stan Lee’s creations in the 60s, as endearing and enthralling as they may have been, were still hack sci-fi work aimed at children. Picking apart the logic is pointless.

  35. Thanks for all the explanations. Nerds welcome. Nobody should feel bad for knowing and answering my question. That was good information, I appreciate it.

    As for DIE HARD 5 I don’t know what to say about it yet because it’s an unfamiliar director and nobody knows anything else. The guy who wrote the script, Skip Woods, has a very, very bad track record, but I’m sure they’re rewriting it. I guess the one thing to say is that I’m glad it seems to be going down before Bruce makes up with Kevin Smith and brings his character back.

    And, of course, shoulda gave it to John Hyams.

  36. Nothing more than a VW? Just a VW? Could he do it with a Ford? Or anything Japanese?

  37. What exactly is DIE HARD 5 gonna be about anyway?

  38. Ace… Ha, it did not specify. It was a visual strip showing his strength’s limitations. Showing him doing various strongman acts, from ripping phone books in half to twirling barbells, then lifting a VW van… The last image showed him next to an airplane with the caption “You’ve gotta be kidding me.” or something like that.

  39. Grim… thanks. Did it have anything on Captain America. Some friends of mine say he has super strength, but I always thought he was just stronger and smarter than the average dude.

  40. Vern – you might want to check out SMART PEOPLE with Dennis Quaid and Ellen Page. It’s from the guy who’s going to direct the new DIE HARD. I haven’t seen it, but I guess that movie (comedy/drama) and the HALO commercials (action spectacle) are all we have to go on when it comes to deciding if this Noam Murro guy has the goods.

    You’re right, though – John Hyams would’ve knocked it out of the park.

  41. Y’know, I had completely forgotten, but you’re right–Peter DID try to sell the web formula to Raytheon or General Electric or somebody like that at some point, and they did (foolishly) reject it because the webbing crumbles to dust after an hour or so. Good point. It’s that kind’ve thing that made Silver Age Spider Man so great. There were lots of little touches like that; Stephen King points out in DANSE MACABRE that no matter how great he was on Ed Sullivan, Bank Of Manhattan isn’t going to cash a check made out to Amazing Spider Man.

    Still, Parker could have gotten around the “he must BE Spider-Man!” issue by just claiming he gave a sample to someone who then gave it too Spider Man, or whatever–point is, the mechanical web-shooters and web fluid implied a direction for the character that was never followed.

    And Captain America, if I remember my Deluxe Handbook Of The Marvel Universe, can lift like 500 pounds or something, but he doesn’t have superhuman strength–he’s just in “optimal human physical condition” thanks to the super-soldier formula. He can exert himself in physical feats equal to the greatest Olympic athletes, has razor sharp reflexes, superb agility, tremendous stamina, ect. Presumably Nick Fury, who also got a dose of super soldier serum, and a few other people in the MU are in “optimal condition” too.

    Then, one level below that, you have folks like Daredevil, Moon Knight, The Punisher, Elektra, Iron Fist, The Black Cat, The Kingpin, ect, who are just in really, really, really great shape. (The Kingpin may look fat, but he’s supposedly a 6’5′ powerlifter who can beat down 6 ninjas at once, so I’d say he qualifies.)

    Below them you have Mary Jane Watson, Pepper Potts, Betty Brant, Alicia Masters, Flash Thompson, Wyatt Wingfoot, Dr. Moira McTaggert, ect, who are in great shape but don’t do much with it besides just look hot;

    And then you’ve got Foggy Nelson, Jarvis, Aunt May, Willie the postman, ect, who are in lousy shape. I guess the extreme other end of the scale is Tony Stark, who used to smoke and drink a lot and has a heart condition. I’m guessing if Tony was out of his armor, the midget from Alpha Flight could’ve beaten him up.

  42. Yeah, that was the Marvel Superheroes description of Cap as well- Olympic level athlete in every regard, peak of human perfection, without being INhuman…

  43. Re-Red:

    While I would maintain that the organic webshooters were a logic choice (and a good one) I’ll play devil’s advocate here for a second.

    You don’t seem to understand what 5 minutes adds to a movie. at 121 minutes, Spider-Man (A) was already overlong. Movies run under 2 hours in general for several reasons.

    1: Film prints are expensive. It costs between 7 and 8 million dollars to make prints and ship them to a theater. The longer the movie, the more expensive. And since Spider-Man (A) was, I believe, the widest release film of all time upon its’ initial release, that cost does add up.

    2: Pacing. You would be shocked by what 5 extra minutes can do to a movies pacing. Audiences get antsy. And even if the science stuff is cool, if you add an extra 5 minutes of exposition before you get to the action, you can lose a lot more of your audience than you think. And When your movie costs about 120 million dollars, as the first Spider-Man film did, you have to think of mass appeal.

    3: And this is the big one — number of screenings per day. Why was Jonah Hex 72 minutes long without credits? Why was Cat in the Hat 68 minutes without credits? Why didn’t they release the DC of Kingdom of Heaven? Runtime. The shorter your movie is, the more screenings you can get in during a single day. And 5 minutes over the course of 6 screenings is an extra half an hour which is enough to cut your showings from 6 a day to 5 a day, and when you’re opening a summer film, which often has a 4 week shelf life maximum, that’s a big deal.

    For the sake of ease, let’s say that the average theater size in America is 300 seats for an opening weekend picture. Let’s also say that the average ticket price is 10 dollars. If your movie is on 3500 screens with 5 showings a day each, your maximum ROI is 52,500,000 (10 x 300 x 5 x 3500) Meanwhile, if you can fit in 6 showings instead of 5 because the movie is 5 minutes shorter, your maximum ROI is, 63,000,000 (10 x 300 x 6 x 3500). That’s a difference of 10.5 million dollars potential difference, PER DAY.

    So, how important is that science stuff again?

  44. Every night I pray for DAVID CRONENBERG’S SPIDERMAN, wherein Peter Parker starts growing an exoskeleton, six additional eyes, four extra limbs, a proboscis for venom dispersal, and an incredibly bloated hairy thorax. It will outdo Brundlefly tenfold. There will be no conventional villain, and the story will take place entirely in the Parker residence, where Peter develops an appetite for the giant humanoid roaches he breeds in his laboratory. Dramatic climax consists of Aunt May willingly injecting herself with radioactive spider venom, transforming, then ritualistically mating with her nephew before biting his head off in an operatic orgy of spider goo.

  45. So does Captain America qualify as a “super” hero? Or is he a tough fuck like Seagal or something?

  46. To me, if you fight evil by doing shit that normal folks can’t, whether it’s through technology or magic or just because you were born different, you’re a superhero.

    Tights help, too.

  47. Thanks Hunter D, I actually didn’t understand what 5 minutes adds to a movie. Those are all good points I’ve actually never really thought about. The 5 minutes was really a flip comment, to be honest. Glad I learned something.

    My view is, I understand why they went with organic webshooters, and the reasoning is ok with me. Even if not for convenience, comic characters are rebooted etc over time. I just think the mechanical shooters are a cool part of the character and they should keep them. Plus, its always good to impart some nerd trivia!

    I guess my wonder woman analogy was pretty bad then. Ha!

  48. Noam Murro actually has enjoyed great success as a commerical and music video director. He’s won 2 or 3 Golden Lions at Cannes for his commerical work and his Halo adverts were pretty darn slick. Smart People was not a good movie, however. Not a good movie at all.

    Here’s the thing though, second unit is gonna do pretty much all the action and Bruce Willis doesn’t want or need a director to play McClane at this point. In fact, a strong director would be deeply problematic for a film like this. That’s part of why when Willis is in big budget/paycheck mode he often chooses to work with foreign directors who come from outside of Hollywood and sometimes don’t speak English natively (Red, Hostage, Lucky Number Slevin) or younger directors whom he can overpower (Die Hard 4, Cop Out, The Whole 10 Yards).

    A film like Die Hard 5 won’t function with an auteur behind the camera. It will be made (if it is made) on a time schedule reverse engineered for a release date that will allow for a holiday DVD street date while still fitting into the overall programming schedule of demographic appeals for Fox.

    It doesn’t really matter who directs it. There is no way Fox would allow a director to come in and wildly rework the formula anymore than a McDonalds is gonna hire a chef to come in and randomly spice up their Big Macs. It’s a production line product, Fordism and what not.

    What this film needs is a director who can capture visual imagery in a previously established style (IE, the Halo shorts) and produce consistent work on a short schedule (IE a career in music videos and commercials) while taking notes from studio heads without putting up too much of a fight.

    This is a business decision for all involved and likely a profitable one. I just don’t see the point in losing sleep over the alleged lack of chops from the director of 5th sequel in a franchise that has always been made up of spare parts from previous work. Fox already set the tone for this project when the hired Skip Woods. Nothing against the guy as a human being, or even a writer, but you hire a guy like that to churn out product, not to push the medium.

  49. I just think that Andrew Garfield was born to play Peter Parker so I’m excited about this movie.

    Someone pointed out that Parker was supposed to be a huge science nerd but all that went out the window and he became a photograph. In the comic book, he was always a science nerd and his level of intelligence is basically Nobel-Prize winner. He even attended University but had to drop out because of his Spider-Man duty (hard to attend class when you’ve got a couple broken bones from fighting Doctor Octopus or when the Lizard invade the Campus).

    Being a work-for-hire photograph was the only job he could do that gave him money and freedom to be Spider-Man whenever he wanted. Peter Parker basically turn down his career to be Spider-Man. In the comics, he beat half the bad guys by outthinking them or finding pseudo-scientific ways to beat them. Even Tony Stark was impressed by Peter level of science geekyness when he became his protégé (long story).

  50. RRA – I’m guessing that mercenaries pretending to be terrorists take over a large location that John McClane happens to be in, by sheer coincidence, while trying to reunite with a close female relative. By another sheer coincidence he escapes the notice of the mercenaries long enough to kill at least three of them, at which point their leader will have several lengthy conversations with McClane. Having heard McClane’s working-class accent, he will subsequently, continuously, and fatally underestimate McClane’s capacity to ruin his day, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    I think we can also safely assume that McClane will clash with local and federal-level law enforcement, and the authorities generally, with the exception of one world-weary good guy (who is 3/4 likely to be played by an ethnic minority – in “Die Hard 2” it was a white janitor, so go figure). This guy will survive, it is hinted, to testify on McClane’s behalf after the movie has ended. I think we can also assume that early in the movie, McClane will blow up a large part of the location in question; later on, the mercenary leader will do the same thing to a different part of it. These two explosions will be entirely unconnected in terms of plot and story.

    Finally, we can reliably expect the following to happen: McClane utilises the recently dead corpse of a terrorist-mercenary in a way that a corpse shouldn’t be utilised; McClane breaks or throws something out of a window in order to attract someone else’s attention; McClane destroys a flying vehicle that is filled with mercenaries, causing another large explosion. (This may or may not be accidental.)

    I’m all in favour of the “naturalistic” version of Spider-Man, but I say take it a step further. Have Spider-Man grow a giant second abdomen that sticks out two metres from his gut, and shoot web strands from THAT. Or just go the whole hog and have him shoot it out of his penis. (Actually, “Spider-Man 2” is practically one giant metaphor for premature ejaculation anyway, so I’m kinda surprised they didn’t do it then.)

  51. DAMN, when I started writing my last post, Ace Mac’s post was the last one showing. Basically I agree with Jericho and Hunter.

  52. So did any other UKers watch the Seagal documentary with Justin Lee Collins? I’m half way through it on channel 5s website at the moment and it’s fascinating seeing how Seagal works on set.

    They seem to have spent all day working on one fight scene – but the weird thing is how they do it in bits: seagal does his spoken line, then drives back to his trailer, then drives back and practice runs through his fight, then drives back to his trailer, then drives back, then actually does the fight. I don’t know if it’s that they’ve got other stuff to get done and Seagal can’t be bothered waiting for them to set the scene up or what. He seems fairly relaxed with Lee Collins which I’m surprised about, possibly because he’s so amused by his accent.

    Lee Collins is verging on being a bit too sycophantic, but on the other hand it’s great having someone who clearly loves Seagal (including his musical works) doing this doc on him.

  53. Oh also it shows that all the shakey cam crap they do in Seagal’s recent works is completely pointless – the dude is still ridiculously fast, the shots of the action from the documentary crew cameras is much more exciting to watch than the shakey cam version they’re actually filming.

  54. GoodBad – that’s funny, “Machete” pretty much convinced me that Seagal was past the point where he’d ever be able to do a decent fight scene. The film literally cuts away from every blow we see being thrown.

  55. Paul – That’s what I assumed as well. But the bits they show in the documentary he’s still incredibly quick with his fists. I don’t think he’s particularly quick on his feet or anything, but from his hand work was good.

    The documentary was just ok overall. There’s only a few short conversations, some interesting stories but you never really feel like he ever risks asking anything particularly deep. Early on he asks Seagal if he thinks he’s a better father now then he was 30 years ago (Seagal has a 35 year old daughter and a 1 year old son!) and Seagal is saying “oh yeah definitely, wow that’s quite deep to be going in already” and Lee collins kind of steps back from it and says he’ll come back to it later. But he never does. Which is a shame because it doesn’t actually seem like Seagal would mind discussing it he actually seems open-ish but Collins sticks to safe questions.

    There’s also a scene in Seagal’s bedroom where he reveals he hides guns all around his room including a ridiculously oversized assault rifle. But I can’t tell if the whole scene was staged or not.

    Also testicles/balls are mentioned a lot, which seems to balance with Seagal’s thematic work in his films of hitting people in the balls a lot.

  56. CC: Iron Fist isn’t just in great shape though.
    incidentally, they’re apparently working on an Iron Fist movie now. How about Florentine directs, Adkins is Danny Rand and Michael Jai White is Luke Cage?

  57. You guys all heard about Michael Jai White starring in a Mortal Kombat web series, yeah?

  58. @stu – that would be awesome.

  59. I thought Iron Fist was just their Bruce Lee / Shaw Brothers rip-off character. I gotta go back and look at those POWER MAN AND IRON FIST collections they’ve since published.

    And y’know, admit, I love re-reading the Marvel Handbooks and seeing some of the goofy characters that Marvel has been quietly trying to forget about. Like Sabra, the Isreali equivalent of Captain America, who’s costume was a white jumpsuit with a blue Star Of David; the precision motorcycle riding group Team America (seriously), who wore matching jumpsuits, had names like “Wolf” (the Mexican guy) and “R.U. Reddy”, and were a hastily rewritten Evil Knieval and Friends comic changed when Knieval dropped out of the licensing agreement at the last minute; the Superhuman Pro Wrestling League (Ben Grimm wrestled for them for a while); and supervillan Turner D. Century, who wore a straw boater, a bow tie, a striped jacked and white pants, and rode a bicycle with a big giant front wheel that could fly. And had a flame-throwing umbrella.

    They missed a major bet, though, by not reviving Brother Voodoo after the Haitian earthquake.

    They are indeed developing an Iron Fist movie. Marvel is trying to set up a medium-budget deal to make smaller films based on different characters, that will all take place within the onscreen Marvel Universe of IRON MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, AVENGERS, ect. These films are supposed to supplement them. They’re working on Iron Fist, Ka-Zar, Luke Cage, Hero For Hire (I’ve read a script for that and it’s pretty damn good); Dr. Strange…

    The two I’m most psyched to hear about, though, along with Luke Cage, are Power Pack, which could be the ultimate homage to 80s Amblin / Spielberg / Zemeckis / Stephen King kid’s sci-fi adventures : ) ; and a Dazzler film. A Dazzler film could REALLY rule. I’ve been saying for years she’s perfect for a movie adaptation. Think about it–she’s a rock star superhero! She’s a MUTIE! (big red letters) It’s “Purple Rain” meets “Iron Man”! Imagine Blake Lively or Amanda Seyfried, or Mia Wasikowska in the blue jumpsuit, rocking out and firing laser beams. It could rock, in every sense. : )

  60. I really hope Iron Fist gets made, because who doesn’t want to see the awesomeness of a scene like this in live action:

  61. Oh, and before they decided to try to make the smaller budget movies, weren’t they planning instead to make shorts to showcase more obscure characters, which they’d stick in front of their more major ones? That would have been nice, and it could actually supplement smaller character’s cameos in the main features. I don’t know how much development Hawkeye will be getting in Avengers for instance, so something like that to flesh him out more could be cool.

  62. See, Raimi acually improved on the comics by making the webshooters organic, much in keeping with Vern’s opinion. It just makes more sense for his superhuman powers to include shooting webs from tiny vaginas in his wrists (that’s right; I said VAGINAS).

  63. Well this conversation sure was geeky. I love how the conversation went from webshooters to Die Hard.

    Both of these new movies sound awful by the way.


    – spidey

  64. Vern, you write the things i think!

  65. They are developing an IRON FIST movie since 1999! Back then Ray Park was attached to star and Che-Kirk Wong (THE BIG HIT) was attached as director.

  66. Not sure what I can add to the Spidey/other superhero discussion at this point, but I’ll take a swing at it:

    1.) Peter actually did use his scientific know-how (comic-book science anyway) to defeat a lot of villains and put his powers to work most effectively; and that includes special variants of how he used the webshooters. To pull two examples out of my non-webby butt {g}…

    1a.) Spidey once rigged a pair of cartridges in his webshooters to deliver a cure serum into the Lizard’s mouth–a choice that left him at some tactical disadvantages for a moment (considering that there was a similar supervillain, Stegron, wandering around at the time);

    1b.) When a bunch of heroes were buried under a mountain range during the Secret Wars (long story, don’t ask, Hulk was using leverage to keep them from being crushed for a few minutes), Peter worked with Reed Richards to help upcharge Iron Man’s repulsor rays (Stark’s friend Rhodey was doing duty in the suit at this time, so Stark himself wasn’t around to help rig it) using parts cannibalized from his shooters. This, incidentally, also ruined his shooters, leading him to make use of an alien symbiote (which he didn’t know at the time was going to become Venom) to replicate his webshooting abilities (and create a new costume since his was torn from fighting).

    2.) I think Shang Chi is/was Marvel Comic’s expy of Bruce Lee. Definitely not Iron Fist.

    3.) Cap and Iron Fist both count as ‘super’-heroes, in that the latter has actual greater-than-human powers (the “iron fist” punch being the most prominent), and the former gained his Batman-level abilities by doing something other than obsessively training a lot like Batman.

    4.) If I told how Parker briefly gained the organic webshooters in the comics (to mesh better with the movies), I would be afraid people’s minds would implode from the awfulness of it. I will say, however, that it is very close to the CRONENBURG SPIDER-MAN proposition earlier mentioned in the thread. Except actually worse in some ways. (True, it didn’t feature Aunt May mating with Peter in order to kill him afterward in post-coitus. But something even more goofy and arguably mind-bleachingly worse happens.)

  67. And then he sold his marriage to the devil to stop his really, really, really old aunt from dying.

  68. It’s crap like that and whatever the fuck Grant Morrison spent five years doing to Batman that now has me buying as many comics in two months as I used to buy in a week.

    Well, that and my student loan payments went up.

  69. Cool. I hope Black doesn’t skew things too much in the Tony Stark is a goofy motherfucker direction and remember he’s meant to be you know…a superhero and actually have him doing more of that sort of thing too.

  70. Did you see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang? He made Downey credibly heroic in that, and that was a movie where Abraham Lincoln showed up at the end.

  71. Yeah, I saw it. I sadly seem to have lost my DVD. I just mean we think of Black a little more for his dialogue, and I just hope he doesn’t overemphasise Tony Stark over Iron Man like the second film did.

  72. Majestyk, I was excited when I heard the news as well. I think Black would be a great fit. I would also be willing to bet Downey is at least partialy responcible for him even being considered.

  73. It’s a shame it’s too late to cast Val Kilmer as a gay, sarcastic Captain America.

  74. Shang Chi. Good call, Sabreman. In fact, I suspect I was actually thinking of Shang Chi when I writing about Iron Fist earlier…

  75. I grew up being a Spider-Man fan (early 70’s comical books) and I like the traditional mechanical web shooters. As Stu mentioned, they add an element of tension, because they can fail. It wasn’t uncommon for Spidey to be in the middle of a big fight, when he would go to bust a web move and instead, a little goo would just drip out of the end (c’mon guys, we’ve all been there). There is also an opportunity for the typical Spider-Man sad-sack humor. I swear I remember one time Spidey being out of web jizz and he had to take a cab home. I think there needs to be more of that lovable loser kind of stuff, like the funny books.

    As for the retelling of origin stories, let me say this – the longest running franchise in movie history waited 24 or 25 movies, before they showed even part of 007’s origin. Even then it was just how he got his license to kill. We don’t see him when he was kid (SPOILER), yes, his parents die, just like someone else we know. We don’t see him in the military. We don’t see him going to spy school. We don’t see him learning how to drive fast, climb mountains, scuba dive, ski, fuck, or anything else that we see him doing later. They just jump right into the current story. Works just fine.

  76. Vern just posted this ‘question’ because he knew it would generate lots of talkback. And we all well know he gets $1 for every talkback from Mr Internet Pay Man.

    Suckers! You are falling into his web of deceit.

  77. RE: Jimmy

    And it was totally out of place when they explained the origin of 007 in Rin-Tin Tin part 24.

  78. There’s a series of Young Bond novels written by Charlie Higson that tell of his exploits as a teenager while attending Eton. They’re written for the young adult genre and they seem to be intended as canon with Fleming’s works, as it doesn’t transplant him to a modern age, it’s the 1930s.

  79. Shang Chi was Marvel’s Bruce Lee rip-off, to the degree that I don’t think a Shang Chi movie is even necessary because they would basically just be remaking Enter the Dragon.

    Iron Fist was sort of a combination of the Kung Fu tv show with King Boxer.

  80. Grim Grinning Chris wrote:
    “his whole initial run in with “celebrity” causing the death of Ben is what soured Peter to using his powers (either real or invented) for personal gain.”

    Isn’t he kind of abandoning the whole “with great power comes great responsibility” thing though? If web shooters were widely available think about how they could save the lives of people trapped in burning buildings without fire escapes, for example (or construction workers on skyscrapers, or mountain climbers, not to mention their usefulness to cops as a nonlethal way to immobilize criminals). If Peter was so concerned with not revealing his secret identity, he could just anonymously post the plans to webshooters on the internet or mail them to some inventor guy without a return address.

  81. Jesus Christ, people are way over-thinking this shit. Multiple reasons have been given by myself and others as to why Peter did not/ could not sell his formula for webbing most of which have been specifically addressed in the comics. Whether those reasons are airtight is beside the point- reasons were given and we move along in the story…
    The Spider-Man of the comic books uses web-shooters that he invented… (almost) always has. That is the way the character was created. Take it or leave it. Again, I was fine with the organic web-shooters in the Raimi movies, but I am not going to sit and bitch and overanalyze and nitpick how “flawed” Lee’s original creation was and the way the character has been presented in print for 50 years.

  82. Said it before, and i’ll say it again. Card carryin comic geek tho I am, conceptually, I got no problem with “organic webbing”. I think it’s cool. And if those favoring them could just say, “I think they’re cooler”, and leave it at that, so could I. In the immortal words of Jack Burton, I’m a reasonable guy…”. But when everybody and their sister starts in with these “plausibilty” arguments, I just gotta drop the geek hammer. I mean dudes, really?? Mechanical “webshooters” is the tipping point of your suspension of disbelief? Really?? Your’e comfortably nessled in your theatre seat with your spider-man bucket of popcorn and your super sized spider-man coke fully and eagerly prepared to except the premise of a teenager gaining super-human powers from a genetically altered spider bite throwing on some red and blue long underwear and defending the world against flying goblin, octopus, and or lizard men, aaaaannnd then you see***web-shooters***aaaaannd throw your coke on the floor shouting, “Why, what kind of far fetched fantastical horse-malarky is this now??!!!!!!” No gents. I don’t think so. Lets admit that what’s really going on with these “plausibility” arguments is the typical compulsion towards hipper than thouism. “We’re so not like those nerds with their nerdy webshooter comic book obsessions.” Sorry friendos, but you ARE those nerds. And thats ok. Dive in, the water’s warm. And as for all the, “Why doesn’t he cash in on this amazing gizmo?” observations, be a little more observant. That whole “With great power comes great responsibility” lesson Pete learns when his uncle is killed as a direct result of his “cash in/ lookin out for number one attitude” should’ve covered it for ya. ( Sorry I cribbed your style a bit there Vern, your “Rise of the Silver Surfer” review was an instant classic. )

  83. I didn’t say anything about the comics being “flawed”, but superhero comics back then were understood to be aimed at kids and had the logic of kid’s stories, they weren’t really meant to be all that much more “realistic” than, say, the adventures of Scrooge McDuck. The trend now is for audiences to expect slightly more “adult” interpretations of these characters and the world they live in (look at the Nolan Batman movies and compare them with 1960s Batman comics!), not saying that’s a good or bad thing but it’s just the way it is, and things which you’d have no problem with in the cartoony world of old comics might seem kind of incongruous to modern audiences.

  84. That was part of the point of the original creation though… teens were meant to identify with Peter Parker/ Spider-Man. Obviously they could not identify with the actual superpowers, but they sure as hell could identify with a bookish kid like them that had trouble with bullies, girl problems and actually INVENTED the means to one of his coolest “powers”.

    If we are bringing up Batman again, Nolan’s or otherwise… I have to point out again, how inherently silly it is for Bruce Wayne to spend billions of dollars on caves and cars and motorcycles and gliders and whatnot when that money could be used innumerable other ways to far more effectively fight and prevent crime in Gotham… but then Batman would not be Batman and there would be no comic, no character, no stories…

  85. Rogue4 wrote:
    “I mean dudes, really?? Mechanical “webshooters” is the tipping point of your suspension of disbelief? Really??”

    I think you’re missing some subtleties of how suspension of disbelief works, depending on the genre you may be fine with accepting certain kinds of unrealistic premises but more bothered by others. For example, in a superhero movie that tries to create a somewhat “realistic” and non-campy world of ordinary humans around the superhero himself, I might accept the idea of Spider-Man gaining superpowers from a radioactive spider without a second thought, but then if the movie ends with everyone being so grateful to him for saving the city that they immediately appoint him President and the last scene is him chilling in the Oval Office, and the filmmakers expect us to take this in a non-comedic way, then I’m gonna be bothered because that’s a totally different type of ridiculousness that isn’t really based on the basic needs of the superhero genre. I’m not saying mechanical webshooters is that bad or that it’ll bother me much, but it’s weird enough that I’m willing to say it was a bad idea on the part of the filmmakers to go for that kind of faithfulness to the original comic, at least if they’re not going for an intentionally campy vibe like the Schumacher Batman movies.

    “And as for all the, “Why doesn’t he cash in on this amazing gizmo?” observations, be a little more observant”

    Well, that wasn’t *my* observation, my observation was that this type of invention could potentially save a lot of lives if it were widely available, probably more than Spider-Man will ever save on his own, so it’s pretty dickish of him to keep it all to himself (or just clueless, maybe it just doesn’t occur to him that it could have all these other uses besides swingin’ around like a human spider)

  86. Well Hypno, I can appreciate your point about the subtleties of suspension of disbelief. And I certainly hope no one thought I was headed into “What do you want, Shakespeare?” territory. But by your own explanation, within the context of a superhero movie, I don’t think said superhero crafting a fantastical gadget for superheroics falls out of bounds or even gets within spittin distance of the fence.
    As for the rest, Grim Grinning Chris said it best. So refer to his last paragraph above. But I still sense just a bit of disingenuousness in such observations.

  87. I can shoot a sticky white fluid from my penis, does that make me spiderman?

  88. Great, now I have to imagine Spidey swinging from house to house with his little Peter Parker.

  89. Can we get off the web-shooters now and agree that the most promising aspect of everything that has come out on this movie so far- is that all the spy pics indicate a REALLY strong emphasis on physical stunt work?

  90. “If we are bringing up Batman again, Nolan’s or otherwise… I have to point out again, how inherently silly it is for Bruce Wayne to spend billions of dollars on caves and cars and motorcycles and gliders and whatnot when that money could be used innumerable other ways to far more effectively fight and prevent crime in Gotham… but then Batman would not be Batman and there would be no comic, no character, no stories…”
    Well the comic makes a point of showing how as Bruce Wayne he does put his money and influence towards making things better with free clinics, employment programs and charities. And it’s not like when he started out he made all that stuff immediately. As it stands now, he was just tackling ordinary criminals and widespread corruption, so the only way he could combat it was to go outside the law and become a vigilante, and he did pave the way for Gordon to be the top cop and clean up the department and got rid of a lot of the main crime families, but then all the weirdos like Joker and Two Face and all that came out and it’s those sorts of things that he deals with most of the time, the stuff the regular cops can’t handle, and he’s updated his arsenal to meet each new threat. I mean, he doesn’t need a Bat-Plane for day to day stuff, but when he has to go abroad and deal with international criminals, it makes sense. He doesn’t even have a Batmobile in “Year One”. Plus in Nolan’s film specifically, they make it not so ridiculous by having it that he doesn’t invest money to make most of this stuff, he just appropriates things that Wayne Enterprises had already built for Government and Military Contracts.

  91. From what i once read about Spider-Man, it seesm not even he has figured out why he can climb walls. He just accepts it in stride. and aparently, his climbing ability is not just on touch, it has a certain area of influence, some centimeters from his fingertips, like an aura or an halo around his hands. In recent spider-Man comics, he can even grab to walls with parts of his shoulders and back, he doesn’t need to actually touch the walls with his hands or feet to stick.

    As for the mechanical webshooter,s i have to agree wtih Vern here, organic webshooters sounds far more reasonable to expect from a guy who inherited the powers and skills of a spider.

    I once rwad that originaly, spider-Man was not su+pposed to be spider-like, but more like a fly. Sticking to walls anda bit of super-human strengh was his real inicial powers, but Stan Leen then figured out that a super-hero called FLYMAN wouldn’t sounded too cool. So he wen tto Spider-Man instead. but it never occured to him that spider web might also be a logical ability/power that one could had if one becames a human spider.

    Also, if Peter Parker gets to be spider-like, where the hell are the extra limbs? Spiders have eight limbs (because they arachnids and not insects as most think – the later have six limbs), and since humans only have four, where are the extra four limbs that should come with the territory? That always puzzled me.

    And by the way, guys it’s incorectto call spiders as bugs, because, as i said before, spiders are like scorpions, they are arachnids, they are of a diferent group of animals altogether. Arachnids are not insects. Arachnids have 8 limbs and have their body dvided into two parts, unlike insects who have six limbs and have the body divided into 3 parts. It really bugs the hell out of me seeing people call spiders as bugs or insects. Such ignorance cannot go unchecked.

  92. I really have to laugh at people who try to be smart-arses by comenting on how silly it is for Batman to be this rich boy fighting crime in disguise, specially in coments to the Chirstopher Nolan movies. and then they get great joy and satisfaction watching crap idiotic retard movies like JJ Abrams’ STAR TREK IN NAME ONLY or any of the crap movies of Michael Incompetent Bay. Something about the definition of irony is absent in the minds of this people.

  93. Asimov, I see you’ve taken my advice and dropped the nonsensical “FRAUD TREK” designation in favor of something a little less insane. I like STAR TREK IN NAME ONLY because after you’ve used it once in a post, you can abbreviate it to STINO for all other uses.

  94. Wasn’t Stino the director of BANANA JOE?

  95. Dan Prestwich, it’s not insane to call STINO as such thing as FRAUD TREK or worst. That’s not insanity, that’s just telling the truth, saying it as it is. You know Vern’s comitment and striving for excelency? It’s my deal as well.

    STINO is the kindest thing i can call to that retard bad movie, and it aches me that forced kindness to something that doesn’t deserve it.

  96. CJ Holden, STINO means STAR TREK IN NAME ONLY, and it refers to that stupid fraud of a movie that JJ Abrams conman convinced the american people to like it for reasons that are as yet completly unable to be understood by human reason.

    Some people called JJ Abrams as the savior of Star Trek. He’s not the savior, he’s just a naughty boy. The Jar Jar Binks of Star Trek, as in as if the Jar Jar Binks directed the movie himself.

    And i say no more about this.

  97. Don’t you love it, when you make a stupid joke and someone explains to you why what you just said was totally wrong?
    No offense. :)

  98. Asimov,

    I don’t mean that it’s insane for you to hate the movie. I mean of all of the options available to you in coinging a Mad Magazine-esque parody title for STAR TREK (Star Drek, Star Bleech, etc), you went with one that neither rhymed nor was alliterative. I think STINO represents a major step forward for your STAR TREK bashing skills.

  99. Is STAR WRECK too obvious?

    Or if you want to get a little meaner, I recommend WHORE TREK.

  100. That would only work if the movie had, well…whores! And to be honest, it was less blatantly sexed up than both VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE!

  101. I’m lenient enough to even accept FART TREK at this point. It’s just that FRAUD TREK was so surreally off the mark I felt it needed to be addressed.

  102. Y’know, FART TREK is a good one. It’s simple and suggests that you hate it for being as low brow as a fart joke.

  103. No, no, don’t you see? It’s the movie ITSELF that is the whore, whoring itself out to all the teenyboppers and whatnot with its heartthrob cast and flashy CGI whizpoppery!

    But yeah, FART TREK is better. Because it has fart in it.

  104. Actually, I’m starting to come around more towards STAR WRECK. It’s a solid pun, and it kinda sounds like you combined TREK with WARS. I’m not sure if Asimov ever specifically name-dropped STAR WARS, but his complaint about the new TREK was basically that they turned it into a whizbang, STAR WARS-esque space opera and abandoned the more conceptual sci-fi of classic STAR TREK.

  105. But there are already several STAR WRECK movies!

  106. I’m more annoyed by the Jar-Jar Abrams thing, most of all now with this “as if Jar Jar directed the movie”, because who’s to say Jar Jar wouldn’t be a good director? A warrior, a senator, yeah, he’s shit, but Directing might be his thing!

  107. I hate to say this, but wouldn’t STAR TREK IN NAME, CHARACTERS, SETTING, PREMISE, PLOT, THEME SONG AND DESIGN ONLY be closer to accurate? It seemed pretty recognizable to me, I’d seen those uniforms and space ships on the TV before and I remembered them as from the Star Trek show. I guess it’s hard to abbreviate though.

  108. I have no idea what’s going on here.

  109. Mouth, don’t you understand? There are lens flares. Lens flares! THIS IS NO TREK OF MINE!

  110. Did anyone like the lens flare?


  111. Because by mimicking the flaws of a real camera they create a sense of realism in a purely digital image. Also lens flares look cool.

  112. GUYS. Seriously. This debate has been had a thousand times on the Internet. It’s over, it’s done. Everyone’s taken their sides on the new “Star Trek” film so just let it go. This is an argument that’s not worth having because nobody’s ever going to “win” it.

    Now, about “The Phantom Menace”…

    PS – Mouth, I’ve had enough of this. Please either change your avatar, or send what I hope is her sweet ass (can’t see that far down) across the Atlantic and on a date with me.

  113. Man, watching this thread unfolding is like standing ringside at the Battle Royal event wearing wrestling gear and a luchador mask: sooner or later you just have to jump in the fray and take a swing!

    If you a not a complete Sci-Fi obsessing dweeb, the new STAR TREK is a fine little movie and probably the best thing ever to come out of Mr. Jar Jar Binks’ directing and producing endeavors… that said, Mr. Kurtzman and Mr. Orci could really get on a person’s nerves with their blatant disregard for ethics and lack of intelligent solutions to postulated problems, so I kinda understand where Mr. Asimov is coming from.

    It would really help if the new TREK’s creators had actually read, say, an actual book in their lives and not just sifted their way through old space shows looking for cool stuff to appropriate.

    By the way, the lens flare thing totally comes from FIREFLY/SERENITY, where, believe it or not, it actually sorta had a vague kind of purpose in creating a low tech and pseudo-documentary feel of the show/film.

  114. I don’t understand how anyone can get upset by JJ’s Trek considering how generally shitty the entire franchise has been for the last decade. First Contact was the last semi-decent movie before JJ’s and that came out in ’96 (fuck I feel old). As for the TV shows, Voyager didn’t have any likeable characters whatsoever, and Enterprise fucked with the trek canon so badly they had to hit the reset button and pretend the entire series played out on the holodeck (spoiler). Both shows were creatively bankrupt and horrible written – JJ’s effort is in fact fucking Hamlet compared to that shit, and I challenge anyone (Asimov) to argue otherwise.

  115. How can you say that VOYAGER didn’t have any likeable characters, when it had The Doctor!!!
    And although I really try to not discuss this topic any further here (after all we have a review of the latest Trek movie on this websight AND a Nerd Shit talkback), but I was seriously amused by how fans were bitching about how Rick Berman drove the franchise to the ground, but then some of them suddenly wanted him to return after J.J.’s movie came out! (And the same people wonder why nobody takes Trekkos seriously…)

  116. For the record, I am pro lens flares. I don’t want to get caught on the wrong side of the great cultural divide.

  117. Now see what you guys have done? If I ever see this film (which, to be fair, I probably won’t) I won’t be able to enjoy it because I’ll be too busy watching for lens flares.

  118. “Also lens flares look cool.”

    Vern – Didn’t Abrams apologize for them or overdoing them?

  119. Zoe Saldana’s best movie is probably CENTER STAGE.

    Yeah, I said it.

  120. I agree with Vern’s pro-flare reasoning. I like the way they add another point of visual interest in a shot. I enjoyed the scratches in GRINDHOUSE for similar reasons.

  121. Jake,

    I’d argue that the lens flares come off more as an unnecessary visual distraction rather than a point of visual interest. I’m not really a fan of the fake scratches and whatnot in GRINDHOUSE, but I think maybe they are more defensible because they are less distracting, serve a more clear cut purpose (to make the films look older), and one could argue that they add something tonally/atmospherically to the films.

    I can’t really buy Vern’s reasoning on the lens flares, because it wasn’t just a matter of the SFX folks inserting the flares into effects shots to make them look more natural. The flares happen all the time, for no reason, even when the character are just standing around talking on the bridge. I think it’s sorta equivalent to the overuse of shakycam in many modern action movies.

    Still, I’m going to try to argue for lens flare middleground here. I didn’t really like them, but I also don’t think they ruined the movie or need to be obsessed over. They were a stupid aesthetic choice by a director who I don’t think has a particularly interesting visual style or serious technical chops… but they don’t detract seriously from the genuine pleasures of the movie, which I think had more to do with the story and the likability of the cast.

  122. Dan – But, it’s light! That goes like sideways and stuff! Or in a circle! How can you not get behind that aesthetic choice?

    I don’t know why but I’ve just always enjoyed intentional imperfections in films. Like the motion-blur slow motion of Wong Kar-Wai. Or Godard putting a red filter on a shot for no reason. Those aren’t exactly the same thing but I like them for similar reasons. So I’ve just always liked the look of the lens flares. I especially like it when I see hand-drawn animation that includes hand-drawn lens flares. That’s the kind of nonsense I can respect.

    I do agree with you that there are more “valid” reasons for the scratches in GRINDHOUSE but I tend to disagree that “Because it looks cool” is not a valid enough reason to include something in a film. I feel the same way about slow-motion or unmotivated camera movements or excessive use of Samuel L. Jackson. If something makes a film look cooler I’m all for its inclusion. It’s even better if it adds some depth or additional meaning to a scene but just being cool is a good enough baseline for me.

    I also like the crackle of vinyl records.

  123. Jake,

    I definitely get what you are saying about intentional “imperfections”, and you include some good examples. No doubt there have been many interesting and artistic uses of lens flares throughout cinema. I just think in the case of STAR TREK that 1) they didn’t, to me, look very cool 2) they didn’t serve much of a point except that Abrams had some half-baked idea that the future’s so bright he’s gotta wear shades, and 3) in a few instances I felt they were an active (if minor) distraction from the visual and/or story elements that were supposedly the focus of the scene.

    I don’t mind stylistic gimmicks that serve no purpose except to be, you know, stylish. But I do want those elements to be well executed, well thought out, and genuinely cool. The difference here being that Wong, Godard, Tarantino, and Rodriguez are visual stylists far beyond what Abrams has shown himself capable of (at least in my esteem). I don’t think you’re off the mark when you say that Godard would highly stylize his films for no obvious reason (other than effect), but his execution was often impeccable and genuinely inventive. I don’t think the same can be said for Abrams.

  124. And to clarify I’m more pro-flare than I am pro-Abrams. Of his stuff I’ve only seen STAR TREK. I liked it, but not as much as a lot of people do. Still, if he’s gonna use that boring “intensified continuity” style of film-making I’m glad he at least took the trouble to point some flashlights at the camera for me.

  125. “Still, if he’s gonna use that boring “intensified continuity” style of film-making I’m glad he at least took the trouble to point some flashlights at the camera for me.”

    Ha, well put.

    And for the record, I think I had about the same feelings on STAR TREK as you did (enjoyed it plenty, though not to the degree that a lot of others seemed to), so I don’t mean to come off as unfairly piling on it.

  126. Hi guys, late to the party but I’d just like to say Mouth’s usericon is making this site almost unreadable for me, as it is extremely distracting from whatever he or anyone else might have been typing.

  127. Gilmore seems like a nice, normal non-nerd.

  128. “If you a not a complete Sci-Fi obsessing dweeb, the new STAR TREK is a fine little movie”
    While I wouldn’t put it quite so meanly, I guess that term would apply to me, and I LOVE the new Trek, despite having watched and enjoyed a lot of the series and other films (though only a few months ago sat through The Motion Picture, which didn’t come across to me as bad as it’s reputation made it out to be, it just needed some editing). Yeah, it’s not exactly the most original thing ever, but I think all it’s parts were handled well and put together in a really enjoyable way. Don’t get me started on some of the petty fan complaints like the bridge looking different from the tv show. Well, of course it’s going to look different. If they’d recreated it as it was on the show, you’d have a seriously dated looking idea of the FUTURE. I’m also interested in seeing that they weren’t afraid to shake things up from the old continuity like with the destruction of Vulcan and I wonder if this’ll extend to members of the crew being able to die at any time now?

    “I’m not really a fan of the fake scratches and whatnot in GRINDHOUSE, but I think maybe they are more defensible because they are less distracting, serve a more clear cut purpose (to make the films look older), and one could argue that they add something tonally/atmospherically to the films.”
    I agree on the tone/atmosphere thing, but the fact that they’re done to make the films look older doesn’t make sense when you consider the films are apparently set in the present. People have got mobile phones, they reference The Rock as an actor, Osama Bin Laden as a terrorist etc, so really these films are meant to be set within the last 10 years. It be less bothersome if they’d actually set them in the 70s, as nothing much would really have to be changed and it would have fit everything else about the movies pretty well too.
    Speaking of Grindhouse though, have you fellas seen the Rodriguez nike commercial with Kobe Bryant, Danny Trejo, Bruce Willis and Kanye?

  129. The best/worst thing about Fraud Trek is the guy hamming it up with his Bones impersonation, seriously he seems like he’s doing Rich Little doing Bones. I think possibly I love it.

  130. To be fair, even the original Bones was hamming it up a bit. Anybody with a catchphrase is going to find it hard to come across as subtle and it was often his role in the show/movies to overreact to Spock’s logical suggestions to problems. I thought Urban did really well, but he does stand out a bit as the only new cast member who’s actually trying to impersonate the original.
    Maybe Generations would have been better with more action. I mean, this suggested ending certainly seems an improvement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOQL3fbRCmE

  131. Stu,

    You’re right about the false aging of the film not really making sense, but one could probably make an argument that it’s supposed to be like we’re people in the future finding these old forgotten B-movies from the 00’s that have gotten all worn down, or something. (I would not personally make that argument.)

    What really bothers me about the fake scratches & whatnot, even though I do think they lend a certain grimy atmosphere (esp. to PLANET TERROR) is that they sem like they are trying to lend a false sense of authenticity to the films. I really enjoyed GRINDHOUSE, but its aspirations of downward-mobility are disingenuous. They films are trying to ape the “realness” of low budget B movies, but c’mon. They are both multimillion dollar productions by major directors, with glamorous Hollywood casts. The filmmakers they are paying homage to didn’t have the resources that Tarantino and Rodriguez had, and though I enjoyed their homages, lets not pretend like they are the genuine article.

  132. Gilmore – I’d comment on your post, but I’m too busy obsessing over Mouth’s avatar’s man-milk dispensers.

    And I see Stu has got into the act. Stu, I recognise those boobies, and we don’t “do” Cracked.com over here ever since they ripped up one of Vern’s Seagalogy articles.

  133. Am I missing something here? Can you not get lens flares on a digital camera?

  134. “And I see Stu has got into the act. Stu, I recognise those boobies, and we don’t “do” Cracked.com over here ever since they ripped up one of Vern’s Seagalogy articles.”
    If Vern asks me to change it, I will. Not for anyone else.

  135. I thought the new STAR TREK was decent, and this from someone who was a casual fan of the original series, movies (well most of them).

    Its just blindside nonsense to ignore the flaws or the little annoying bits that come up when you do watch it and slam people for daring to make criticism.

    The lens flare, the remixing Trek with STAR WARS, the engineer room looking like a brewery*, etc. All in all, little shit.

    I put it on the level of….First Contact. Yeah I make my stand, fuckers.

    Mouth – How come Vern didn’t review that unreleased Steven Seagal video game that Cracked.com’s own Sean Baby reviewed/pissed on earlier this month?

    *=You know, one thing I actually agreed with Arkady Renko, believe it or not inbetween his Jay Leno-level of inspired puns.

  136. Stu & Dan – I don’t think the scratches were intended to make the film seem older, just that we were watching a beat up print. Something late in its run that had toured the country already and had projectionists cut out parts they liked. The scratched up prints Tarantino was watching back in the 70s were new films at the time as well.

    Caoimhín – I know nothing about photography but I have to assume anything with a lens can have lens flare. I think people may have been referring to artificial flares put into computer generated digital effects shots. Though I don’t think that was done with STAR TREK. An interview I read with Abrams seemed to suggest all the flares were done in camera.

  137. Jake,

    I don’t know. Granted I’m not the most knowledgeable fellow when it comes to this sort of thing, but back in college they used to screen movies at the campus theater for cheap that had been around the block a few times, and they never looked nearly as chopped and screwed and the fake deterioration in GRINDHOUSE. To me, it seems like they were trying to make the films look like they had taken YEARS of abuse, not just a few months.

  138. Plus I DO remember reading/hearing Tarantino talking about how it was meant to be like a just recently discovered print of an old movie.

  139. Dan – Yeah, I don’t know that much about projection either but I was under the impression that the more modern platter based system is kinder to the prints so you’d see less print damage on newer films, even ones that had been around the block, than you would for films released in the 70s. Plus the fact they had fewer prints of those movies so they got more wear. My college also showed archival prints and I’ve seen several that were even more beat up (except for the missing chunks) than the ones in GRINDHOUSE. Usually around the reel change they’d start looking like some abstract film where Stan Brakhage took a knife to the print. (Entirely possible since he taught at my school. I picture him breaking into the screening room and taping moths to the films they were showing.) Still you have a point that it’s kind of inconsistent since only older films would be seeing that kind of damage.

  140. Oh spider-man is a superhero because he has super powers such as super strength and spidy sense. Also if anyone can make a wall-walker, that’s doesn’t mean they can perform like spider-man. Human body just can’t take that much acceleration.

  141. he does have web powers.it is in his blood.the machine helps it come out. I think spidrman type a is unrealistic.ther is no hole in his costume or his skin but somehow the webs cum out.

  142. spider mans wall crawling is some sort of bio electricity he has increased strength agility and of course there’s the spider-sense and while he initially needed web-shooters and a synthetic webbing at one point he developed spinnerettes in his forearms allowing organic webbing this change came after one of his man-spider
    “episodes” along with stingers and and night vision so he is in fact a “super hero” if you dont like you just a jerk and he was always a gifted science student in many fields

  143. hey Vern, how come you never reviewed The Amazing Spider Man?

  144. I didn’t think it would be fair to write a review since I haven’t seen it.

  145. decided to skip that one eh? can’t say I blame you since it was pretty bad

  146. Well this is all very interesting in retrospect some great comments/predictions about movies that at that time hadn’t been released.

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