Saturday, December 7, 2013

Amazing Spider-Man 2 -What Does Your Spidey-Sense Say?

Karen: The trailer for the next Spider-Man film (apparently titled Amazing Spider-Man 2) came out this week and has generated some buzz. Your friendly neighborhood bronze age babies exchanged some words on it, and for once, we were not in agreement! While I really dig Andrew Garfield as Peter/Spidey way more than Tobey McGuire, Doug can't stand him, finding him "quirky and awkward."  I think we both still have some concern over the backstory involving Peter's dad, but all in all, I'm starting to feel a little more hopeful about this one, while Doug summed up his feelings as "meh"! So take a look and jump in here -what do you think from what we've been shown?


William said...

Overall I think it looks pretty awesome. I especially dig the switch to the more comic accurate costume. Also, everything else I saw in the trailer makes It appear to me like it's going to be the best Spider-Man movie yet. But we'll just have to wait and see.

My only real issues are 1) it still doesn't look like Peter is going to be working at the Daily Bugle yet in this movie either. Which means no J. Jonah Jameson, or any of the supporting cast from the Bugle will be appearing yet.

And 2) it looks like there is a LOT of stuff happening in this movie. What with more info about Peter's parents coming to light, plus Norman Osborn, Harry Osborn, Electro, Rhino, mysterious guy in hat and coat, etc. {whew!} That seems like quite an abundance of plot points to cram into one movie.

Also, it seems like they are setting up Oscorp as the ultimate evil organization that is going to be responsible for every bad thing that happens in NYC. We know that the last film's villain (the Lizard) came from Oscorp, and it appears in this movie that Electro is created there as well, (I'm not sure about Rhino). We also know that eventually the Green Goblin will be making the scene (probably in SM3), and there was a glimpse of an Oscorp lab that showed Doc Ock's arms and the Vultures wings hanging in a display case. So, it looks like every major Spider-Man villain is somehow going to be connected to Oscorp (and Norman Osborn). I'm not too thrilled by that direction personally. Although I believe they did do that in the "Spectacular Spider-Man" animated series, and it worked pretty well.

On the issue of Andrew Garfield as Spidey/Peter, I actually agree somewhat with both Karen, and Doug on the issue. I never really cared all that much for Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker (he was a little too weepy and whiney for me). I think that Andrew Garfield is better (but only marginally). While I prefer Garfield's performance over Maguire's, he is still definitely not who I would have picked for the role. I agree with Doug that his Peter is too twitchy and weird. He is also too old for the part. I believe he is now 30, and even though he can play much younger, how long can he really keep being believable as a high school/college student? Are you telling me Sony couldn't find anyone more age-appropriate actor to play the role? There are probably only about 10,000 18 to 20-something young male actors in Hollywood, who would have made a better (or at least as good) a PP than Andrew Garfield.

Comicsfan said...

I think "meh" pretty much covers it.

david_b said...

Along the lines of William's comments, I'm cautious about this new one as well.

I never liked Tobey as Parker. He just looked like he had a 'stoner face', not exactly knowing how to describe that, but I think.. you know what I mean. I never found him exciting, nor particularly nerdy, nor someone behind test tubes, which is how we first saw Ditko's Parker. He just didn't exemplify the basic qualities we knew about the Peter Parker we saw in comics. The first film was nice from the Norman Osborne paranoic angle becoming the Goblin then seeing him die at the end, but there was nothing Tobey added to the mix.

I didn't see the first new Spidey flick with Andrew, but this 2nd one looks interesting, with Electro's arcing electrical bolts and the 'webbing through the air' sequences look pretty comic-bookish. I'll most likely wait for cable again on this one, but we'll see.

MUCH more interested in the next Avengers flick and Ant-Man. Perhaps in 5yrs or so they'll try relaunching an Alba-free FF franchise.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Meh.

I think Garfield is fine as Peter Parker (1000x better than MacGuire), but basically everything else doesn't do it for me.

William Preston said...

I liked the previous Garfield outing, though the film as a whole seemed superfluous and the villain failed to be interesting. I thought it was the first movie to capture the look and feel of Spidey perfectly.

Garfield is always twitchy. If anything, he toned it down for the Spidey role, so I was pleased with how he played it. I thought Emma Stone was outstanding; not only is she a terrific actress, but she was given a decent role to play: Gwen is smart, and you can see how she and Peter connect.

The Goblin may as well be in this movie, even if he's not fully realized until the next movie. The poster shows DeHaan hovering on a Goblin flyer in the background. The Rhino as a giant metal thing? That looks terrible. Electro looks cool, at least.

Those of us who grew up in the Bronze Age think fondly of those larger story arcs and interconnecting narratives that Marvel concocted. The pure Marvel movies (not Sony or Fox) have done a nice job containing each of their stories while making subtle, clever links (and then putting everyone into a larger narrative in the Avengers flick). These Spidey movies have it backwards, thinking that the focus should be on some giant tale rather than coming up with strong, discrete tales. We've seen how those BIG stories tend to disappoint readers. I don't mind that there's a larger arc, but they're approaching this awkwardly, it seems to me.

Fred W. Hill said...

Looks like good escapist superhero entertainment with some typical Marvel angst. This franchise is taking yet another path in the Spidey mythos, but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. The main thing I'd expect is that the film at least depict Peter Parker reasonably close in personality to the original comics -- remember, Pete was generally well-meaning, but he could also be a bit of a jerk sometimes. In the Ditko years, Pete still had a lot of maturing to do, although with that famous scene of Spidey lifting the massive debris he was trapped under during a fight with Doc Ock, it seems in Ditko's mind that was when Pete became a man and when Ditko's differences with Lee in how to portray Peter became significantly strained. Forget the Green Goblin identity bit -- I believe Ditko himself intended him to be Norman Osborne all along. The real source of friction was whether to show Peter as an entirely emotionally mature adult as Ditko seemed to prefer or as a young man who still had a lot of hangups as Lee preferred. If that was it, I'd side entirely with Lee as no one ever entirely grow up and overcomes all their personal foibles, although some do a much better job of trying than others. And a comic about a hero who was essentially perfect would get verrrry boring pretty quickly.

Garett said...

This preview makes me want to watch an episode of the old '60s cartoon. Where is the Spidey who makes quips while fighting the bad guys? How about some jazzy/funky music?

Doug said...

William P, it's nice to know that Garfield is always "twitchy" -- that will help me to ensure that I never see another of his pictures. Oh, sure, I'll probably go to this ASM2 show. Call it the completist in me.

And this is mainly what puts me off about Garfield and in favor of Tobey M. Hear me -- Tobey was not perfect in the role of Peter Parker. But given that our live-action choices so far have been Nicholas Hammond, Maguire, and now Andrew Garfield, I'm going with Maguire. He's as close to the Johnny Romita Peter Parker that we've seen. And as Tim Burton said of Michael Keaton, it's more important to cast with Bruce Wayne in mind. Anyone can make the suit work (well, not anyone, but you know what I mean). Maguire's been the closest (again, not optimal) Parker for me.

I'm tired of the extreme liberties taken with comic book costumes. Maybe this gets back to a question someone asked a few weeks ago -- is there a line between the Marvel Studios films and those by Fox and Sony? Yep -- and what audiences will/won't tolerate seems to be that line. Marvel says this is what we are -- making some concessions to no masks, etc. -- so this is what you get. Fox and Sony seem to think audiences won't go back to see a comic film a second time. The best non-Marvel film has been Spider-Man 2, and I think it's because it was as close to the comics as it could get. Anyway, a metal Rhino isn't going to get it done for me. Off the top of my head I don't have a better solution, but I know this isn't it.

I thought the CGI in these clips looked really cartoony. Now there's nothing inherently wrong with that -- I just noticed it here and in the first four Spidey films I really didn't get that sense. So I'm just saying I noticed it.

Lastly, if there's one thing we should have learned from the last two Batman films (1990s series), Spider-Man 3, and the X-films, it's that too many characters crammed into one film -- seemingly for the sake of cramming in characters -- isn't wise. This one already smacks of over-crowding.

Jeez, I'm such a curmudgeon...


MattComix said...

The main two worries that spring to mind are if or not the Sinister Six (which seems strongly implied) is gonna be something that can make having the multiple villains actually manageable. I wouldn't want it to be badguy version of the Avengers guest starring their wacky pal Spidey.

Also I'll be honest, I have very mixed feelings about the death of Gwen Stacy. Because in some respects Gwen's death was one of the worst things to ever happen to superhero comics if only because of the reasons behind it and the lessons learned from it have not served the genre well IMO. So I'm not sure how eager I am to see that played out on-screen. But that's a whole other post.

The main thing that stands out to me is that this is the best Spidey's costume has ever looked on film. Sure it may be more Bagley than Romita but I think the suit looks so much more like that guy on the page than we've seen so far. For me it fits within that "bring it to life" thing I talked about with Ross's work.

Andrew Garfield is a guy I like in the part almost despite the actual material. Kind of like Lynda Carter was Wonder Woman where even when the scripts are really bad she's the thing that still works. ASM was not the Spidey movie I'd waited my whole life for but he at least made sense to me. Party because now Spidey's humor was finally getting some camera time along with his angst.

I also like Garfield as something of a custodian/ambassador of the part. He completely embraces it and clearly has a passion for the character.

As for the villains looks, I get taking an extreme liberty with Electro, I don't get turning Rhino into a mecha (Even being someone who likes mecha!) and I really don't get turning the Goblin (Norman or Harry) into an armored version of a troll doll.

Doug said...

Matt --

I just gave the trailer another look (my fourth). I was just coming back here to post how much I thought the Spidey mask leaps off the Ultimate Spider-Man page when you beat me to it. This is a Spider-Man "costume" and not some sort of tech suit like we saw in the first trilogy. But I did like the Maguire suit just fine.

I guess if we go back to a posit many of us have felt, and that is that all of these films live more in the Ultimate universe than in our MU, then some of the character changes are better understood. That being said, I think I'd almost rather they try a Green Goblin like the hulking gargoyle that Bendis/Bagley gave us than whatever you'd call these video attempts. Wouldn't you like to sit in some of the creative meetings and listen to the Hollywood types walk all over 75 years of comic book history?


MattComix said...

Doug. I think with Goblin it seems like they just sort of gave up.

They obviously felt the original comics costume was too silly for whatever reason and the Raimi take had got a negative response so they didn't want to remind anyone of that.

I was more or less fine with it at least as long as the film and Dafoe was selling it as menacing, but then they broke that entire illusion when he was just leaning casually and showing his eyes uncovered. Imagine that same suit if they hadn't camped the performance and it was allowed to have some dark purple touches in the right places to better line it up with the what's on the page? Might have saved it.

Though it does beg the simple question that for all of Hollywood's vaunted advancements in special effects how hard would it really be to create the illusion of a Goblin mask that works exactly like it does in the comics? They're already using an effect to simulate Spidey's mask and the body suit being two seperate pieces that he casually pulls on and off.

The problem with the green hulking gargoyle is...well, the Hulk.

Sean Budde said...

Everything wrong with the Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer in 5 minutes or less (yes, i copied those videos on YouTube LOL):

1. Elektro has "FAIL" written all over him. When you see Elektro, just think of a flashing electric "FAIL" sign flashing on his chest. His "Mr. Freeze look makes me think this movie is going to leave people feeling cold. RaPUNzel!! RaPUNzel!! I'm talking like that asinine control tower guy in the movie Airplane! LOL Shirley, i'm not serious!

2. Garfield is a cat in a comic strip as far as i'm concerned. To me, the REAL Peter Parker will always be the voice in the Power Records Spider-Man Book & Record set of 1974 (that i had when i was a kid back in the groOvy day!).

3. Sally Field as Aunt May. Don't you expect her to start saying "Boniva" at any second? When i think Sally Field, i think of her riding around with Burt Reynolds in his Trans Am. What happened?? I guess a few years went by. LOL

Otherwise, it looks like an AMAZING movie! I'M TOTALLY HYPED!!! LOL

Karen said...

Matt said, "ASM was not the Spidey movie I'd waited my whole life for but he at least made sense to me. Party because now Spidey's humor was finally getting some camera time along with his angst."

This is to a large extent how I feel. To me, one of the chief qualities of Spider-Man is that he runs his mouth when he faces a for. The quips run wild. We never saw this in the Raimi films, and I think it might've been because Toby McGuire just couldn't do it. The couple of times he tried, he failed miserably. When he delivered the famous "just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man" line, it made me cringe.

But Garfield can do all the humor and show Peter's frustration, guilt, head over heels infatuation with Gwen, etc. I know Doug's not the only one who prefers Toby; another of my good friends feels the same way. But when I see Garfield I feel like he captures the Peter/Spidey I read about as a kid. And it's really interesting to me that how we may have all read the same material but have such different opinions on who Peter/Spidey is or is not!

I am not too concerned about Rhino -I'm guessing his role won't be huge. But why would they make the Goblin -assuming that is THE Goblin -so similar to the James Franco version from Spider-Man 3? There has to be some sort of happy middle ground between the god-awful Power Ranger suit of Dafoe and that.

I will agree that Emma Stone is wonderful and makes a great Gwen. If they are going the route of ASM 121 it will be a real heartbreaker.

I am still dubious over Jamie Foxx as Electro, still not certain about this big arc with Oscorp (William P. makes some good points about this type of story structure for a film series), but I am looking forward to seeing this film, despite it all, just so I can see Spidey swinging through New York. I guess I am a simple creature.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit concerned that they're relying on special effects at the cost of good acting and writing. "Meh" is right. I get why they had to use special effects with Ifans, I mean he was the Lizard, but Jamie Foxx? Why turn him into a monster with special effects instead of just letting him paint a human character which we've all seen he can do as well as anybody.
I think some of these superhero movies rely too much on CGI. But, what do I know, my favorite movie was The Thing. (80's version)
My brother summed it up when he saw Iron Man vs. Thor vs. Captain America in the Avengers where nobody gets hurt or wins or loses; "What's the point?"

Edo Bosnar said...

I've only seen the 3 Maquire Spidey films, of which I only kind of liked 2 (agree with you there, Doug). I haven't even bothered to see Garfield 1 yet (maybe I will before this one comes out?), so you can imagine I'm falling more on the 'meh' side here. The thing that strikes me is that so far I've found the movie versions of the two comic properties I loved more than any other when I was a kid (Spider-man and X-men) largely disappointing.

Anonymous said...

The thing I hate about these movies is something I also hate from the comics - which is the transformation (retcon) of Peter Parker/Spider-Man into someone who has a destiny and comes from a line of SHIELD agents or genius scientists or whatever.

It not only creates this twisted sense of heredity - like somehow Peter inherited his science knowledge from his parents - but it undermines the normalcy that I think defines his character. He should be a working class kid from a working class background who may be a genius, but that genius is as much that makes hims alienated from his peers and family as his superhero identity.

The sense of destiny re-writes Spider-man into a tradition of heroes that he was meant to be a breakaway from and that led to his initial popularity.

Jcpowell said...

I'd like to say that I am a very positive person BUT I think "meh" sums it up nicely, the first installment of ASM was underwhelming to say the least. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree here from the looks of it.

It seems to me, why even bother wearing a mask when you take it off every 5 seconds ... especially when neither of the two actors who have played Spidey add much in the way of "acting" to the part anyway.

Electro did not in any way, shape, or form get me excited fro this film either. Didn't see enough of "Rhino" to comment on that.

I think this may be a "Redbox" viewing for me. As a budget conscious family man, I have to be very discerning where our limited "movie-night" expenses go. I don't think this one will make the cut.

Doug said...

Sean and JC --

Welcome to the BAB! Don't be strangers.


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