(UPDATED after restoration of Internet service!)
Well, on the plus side, now we no longer need to wonder what the aborted early-90s Canon Films version of “Spider-Man” would’ve looked like – save that, in the early 90s, this CGI would only look one or two years out of date…
I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this in some other capacity soon enough, but for now let me hit the stuff jumping out at me right off the bat:
#1: I really like that one bit of Spidey fighting the cops – the Raimi movies had a paucity of hand-to-hand group fights since the villains didn’t generally have henchmen and it’s nice to see it here.
#2: Really kinda hoping SOME of this takes place in daylight. I know this is the darker/edgier/grittier/hardcore Spider-Man; but like I keep saying: NOT EVERY SUPERHERO NEEDS TO BE BATMAN.
#3: Dennis Leary appears well cast. I like the idea of Captain Stacy as a middle-aged working-dad type instead of the wizened elder-statesman from the comics.
#4: Well, there ya go, kids – snarky/jokey Spider-Man leaps into live-action… aaaaand in live-action it comes off as “douchey” instead of charming – like Dane Cook in a Power Rangers outfit. Who could’ve possibly predicted that??
#5: The dark eyepieces make him look like a villain. Sorry, they do. If I saw this version as a kid, my first assumption would be that this is an “evil” duplicate and that “good” white-eyes Spidey was going to fight him.
#6: The Lizard, as currently glimpsed here, would not pass muster in one of the “Resident Evil” movies – bad CGI rendering of a poorly-designed creature, a real shame.
#7: Well, there we have it: Peter’s missing/dead biological father was a super-scientist partner of Curt Conners at (Gasp! No way! NEVER saw it coming!) OsCorp, and they were working on whatever mad-science stuff turns Peter into Spider-Man and Conners into The Lizard. Ah, “Ultimate Marvel” – the gift that keeps on giving… even though you beg it not to.
#8 Y’know what? I’m not done with #7 yet. That’s awful. That’s what you’d put into a pitch making fun of unnecessary, convoluted, bullshit Hollywood revisionism to origin-stories. I’ve tried my best to find the good in this utterly pointless cash-grab of an endeavor, but then this trailer comes along and tells me with ONE SHOT pretty-much all I need to know. At the 1:53 mark – directly following the asinine “The Untold Story” title-card – we get another black-and-white flashback of Young Peter staring at…
…A spider under glass, also black-and-white and thus implied to be either directly or indirectly part of the same flashback. In other words: It’s NOT totally an accident anymore. It’s – symbolically, anyway – pre-ordained: The Spider (or, at least, the manner by which it’ll give him powers) and at least TWO of his major enemies (one in the film, one obviously being set-up) are all part of a path that’s been awaiting him… the laziest possible screenwriting crutch: DESTINY. Instead of being a story about Great Power being thrust onto someone accidentally, Spider-Man becomes yet another ersatz-Skywalker “Chosen One.”
64 thoughts on “(UPDATED!) So When Did Albert Pyun Change His Name To "Marc Webb?"”
I'm not going to argue whether Bob is biased or not (he is, but technically so is everyone who dislikes the Raimi versions). However, I got to watch the trailer last night, and I got mixed feelings.
Those eyes for the costume don't work. I have no problem with the rest of it, but those eyes look terrible.
I definitely like Denis Leary as Captain Stacy. Too early to tell if any of the other actors are cast well.
Andrew Garfield feels like he's doing a good job with the role he's been given, but my thoughts on the whole are that this doesn't feel like THE Spider-Man movie. Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, they all felt like their respective property. Maybe it helps that I'm not so familiar with any of those films as I am with Spider-Man, but in that sense, X-Men: First Class felt like X-Men still.
This feels like someone took a bunch of Spider-Man-esque elements and clung them together into a movie. Something about the tone is just off, though. While I appreciate Peter Parker having balls in this version, his snark is off. It doesn't sound like the Peter Parker I know (albeit from the Fox cartoons and from the Ultimate universe).
I think what really hit it for me was watching that tower topple in the trailer. It feels like they're trying to set themselves apart from Raimi's version, but at the same time, they may be shifting a bit too far from the actual spirit of the creation.
That said, I might go see it. Not completely certain yet. This could be a case like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, where the first trailer was terrible, the second trailer was intriguing, and it turned out to be one of my favorite films of last year.
I don't think the general audience will be a fan, though. I still remember the first time I sat in a theater when the first trailer appeared, and from all over the peanut gallery I heard “They're making another one?” “Why are they starting it over?” “Isn't it too soon?”
In other words, casual movie goers that hadn't already heard of this had pretty much the same reaction as a bunch of nerds. So I expect this to be a flop, with the only people really interested being the nerds, and half of those are going to make fun of it after already having their minds made up.
So anyone saying this has a chance of doing better than The Avengers, I'm sorry, but that's just laughable. At the very least, everyone will see the movie just for more Iron Man and Captain America, seeing how those films were loved by movie going audiences. Even if they go to see it as “Iron Man and those other dudes”, they're going to see it.
Avengers will probably be the biggest Blockbuster this year, Battleship will probably flop, and The Dark Knight Returns will be a decent second place to Avengers in regards to geeky films (I don't know enough about the industry to predict all-around performances).
Spider-Man is the only one I'm not sure about performance. It might be a total flop, and easily risks it. It might have a bad opening weekend and then word of mouth gives it a strong second and third. Who knows? It really is too early to tell.
Either way, I think I'll enjoy it more if I view it as A Spider-Man movie, rather than THE Spider-Man movie.
“I also think it'd be funny if we see that Oscorp was working on other animal experiments along these lines, say ones involving rhino and cat abilities?”
Ugh. “OsCorp: Your One-Stop Shop For Lazy Supervillain Origins.” Don't give them any ideas. One of the things the Raimi movies got most right was to establish right off the bat that this sort of thing isn't wholly uncommon in this world, which gives it so much more expanse and scope – there's a terrarium full of super-spiders in a museum on one side of town, there's a guy with gliders and goblin-gas on the other side, and there's ZERO need to tie them together because it's a big world and “these things happen here.”
Reworking the whole setup from “Spider-Man: Protector of New York” to “Spider-Man: Guy With a Personal Vendetta Against This ONE Villain-Generating Company” would be A.) a terrible idea and B.) something I'd wholly expect out of this new (maybe) series.
“One of the things the Raimi movies got most right was to establish right off the bat that this sort of thing isn't wholly uncommon in this world, which gives it so much more expanse and scope – there's a terrarium full of super-spiders in a museum on one side of town, there's a guy with gliders and goblin-gas on the other side, and there's ZERO need to tie them together because it's a big world and “these things happen here.”
But that's not entirely true until the third Raimi film considering Otto Octavius was also funded and supplied by Oscorp. Despite this, they managed to avoid being portrayed as an “evil corporation” in those movies. All we have so far in this new one is (probably) a scientist whose experiment goes out of control and (probably) the company founder going insane due to similar circumstances. That doesn't mean we can expect the Umbrella Corp. And that “big world” thing worked find in the other films but it doesn't mean it's the only way to go. I don't think tying things together in a logical way is necessarily a dramatic evil.
Besides, this type of set-up would be great to provide origins for villains like the Rhino would probably couldn't support a full story on their own but would make good henchmen.
Was The Rhino ever a truly fleshed out villain? I don't even really remember him being made use of in the Fox cartoon. He seems like a pretty generic villain to me, and not the sort you'd really build a movie off of or use as a henchman.
The best villains in comics tend to be the ones whose psychology you can understand. The ones that you can comprehend the reasoning behind their actions. Rhino always came off to me as a generic asshole “I got power so you get crushed”.
I think that's one of the things Raimi really did right, at least in terms of goals. He wanted the villains to be more than generic bad guys. He wanted them to actually be characters.
Except for Venom, who he COULD have done something good with, but screwed it up due to a stubborn attitude.
Either way, there's certainly more sorts of villains in the world than just mutations for Spider-Man to combat against.
That's exactly why I think this approach would work for villains like that. If say you had a villain like Green Goblin or better yet, a more cerebral villain like Mysterio or the Chameleon, but needed another element to give the film more action; the Rhino and villains like him could serve as muscle, providing some thrilling action scenes and an opponent for Spider-man to fight against physically while the main villain offers the more interesting psychological depth and dramatic value.
I do agree there are plenty of other villains, such as Kraven or those previously mentioned, that could be made use of that wouldn't involve Oscorp and wouldn't be surprised if we see that. Hell, I had hoped the abandoned Spider-man 4 would have been Kraven and Lizard, as in Spider-man has to simultaneously stop Connors while protecting him from Kraven, who's out to bag him as a trophy.
By the way, regarding your previous post, I'm curious if you consider any of the Raimi Spider-man films as being THE Spider-man film as you mentioned, or if you feel no one has reached that level yet.
I agree that making Peter's powers a result of destiny undermines his whole struggle to choose to be a hero. What's more, I dislike how so may fans claim this to be closer to the comics, because of “oh my God mechanical web-shoters,” and ignore the fact that Marc Webb is projecting personality traits that are antithetical to Peter Parker onto him. Claiming Peter is more “punk,” and turning him from a shy science-lover, to a wannabe Eric Harris, skater-rat. I had problems with the Raimi movies, and even complained about them before it was popular to do so, but everything I've seen of this makes me less and less interested.
That reaches the potential to having too many villains in one film. Handled well, it can work, but one really needs to be the primary focus. I was all on board with The Dark Knight's execution of Two-Face, expecting him to have been set up for a cliffhanger villain into the next movie.
Then they made him way too dark, way too fast, and killed him off. It felt cheap, as if they only had Two-Face for the sake of having Two-Face. It devalued most of his character's actions as Harvey Dent, and they tacked on some bull crap about “The hero this city deserves, but not what it needs” (I swear, that ending monologue STILL makes me scratch my head).
Unless the comic is about ensemble casts where the characters are based more on gimmicks than personalities, such as the X-Men universe (well, superficially: everyone gets a chance to be fleshed out in years-long-running comics after all), then having more than one villain is just a bad idea.
Plus, even in a universe where a man is turning into a reptile, I just…I can't get behind The Rhino. He's not even the Bane of Spider-Man villains. I'd go so far as to compare him to Aqua Man.
As for Raimi's films, I think the first two were what super hero films needed at the time. You saw the trailer, and you're like “Holy crap! It LOOKS like a Spider-man movie should look!” And they got the whole relationship between Peter Parker and Uncle Ben right. That whole “great power great responsibility” theme was pitch perfectly executed (until the third film which fucked it all up).
But upon repeat viewings, the first and second movies don't hold up. It's hard to like Peter Parker because he keeps doing and saying stupid things. It's easy to like Spider-man, sure! But Pete's personal life is full of him doing stupid stuff. Yeah, Pete in the comics was a geek, but he wasn't a pussy, so to speak.
Raimi's execution of Mary Jane is also beyond bland. MJ from the comics never came off to me as “Oh look, it's that pretty popular girl that Pete has a thing for!” She was different by having a fiery personality. Raimi basically recycled the old “Geek loves popular girl, out-of-the-ordinary circumstance gets him the girl”. Like Transformers. The plot line is old hat and played out, especially after having grown up a geek and resenting the popular girl. If I became a super hero as a teenager and dared to reveal my abilities and identity, I'd have been all “Look at me NOW, bitch!”
Not that such an attitude is admirable, but seriously.
In a lot of ways, though, I get sick of Raimi's B-movie sense of cheese. The man loves the woman with the shrill scream way too much. The inappropriate close-ups just asking for someone to say “groovy”. The over-the-top nature of some of the set pieces. The guy indulges in himself, pretty much, shoving a little bit of Evil Dead into Spider-man just because he can. It is tonally inappropriate, and the only way you'll enjoy it is if you happen to be absolutely in love with that old fashioned 70's scream queen grindhouse movie culture.
I feel like, between the Raimi films and this new one, there's a really good Spider-Man film out there. But both of them missed the bullseye and instead got the outer-edges of the target (as opposed to X-Men or Fantastic Four, which missed the target completely).
I agree with Bob on the destiny/unified origins thing, and I prefer the classic story. Obviously they were just trying to avoid it because Raimi did the classic origin story already, but I don't get the obsession with origin stories anyway.
Superhero sequels nearly always turn out better than the originals, so why not just start the film with the character already super?
Oh, that's right, they're rebooting because they ALSO want to use Doc Ock, Green Goblin and Venom again and they have to make sure the dumbass audience realises it's not a sequel to the Raimi films.
Lame. It really isn't a bad trailer apart from that, though. I agree that the Lizard looks rubbish, and I hope some of the film takes place in daylight, but Spider-Man himself looks pretty damn good.
This film won't light the world on fire like the Dark Knight or even like the original Raimi films did, but I think it's got a shot at being a decent Spider-Man movie.
I find it funny that you keep praising the Marvel movies for embracing comic book style writing (crossovers, shared universes etc.) but surely one of the main characteristics of comic books is the revolving door of writers and artists that keep tweaking continuity, retconning this or that, and putting their own spin on the established characters. Seems like this kind of “reinvention” is exactly the kind of thing comic books like to do, and between this movie, Superman, Hulk, and Batman, it's fast becoming standard practice for superhero movies. Be careful what you wish for, Bob.
He didn't come off as that douchey to me, from that one exchange it seems like Garfield might be able to pull it off, he might not. Not entirely convinced either way.
At least we can all agree that George Stacy is a step up from Cromwell :V
in any case
/goes to sit in the corner for liking Ult. Marvel
I don't need to add another paragraph to this comment section. I'll just second your last statement.
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