A Superhero Summer: “The Amazing Spider-Man” Advanced Thoughts

In our third Superhero Summer article Burner, Alan and Chas discuss the upcoming the Amazing Spider-Man reboot.

What concerns you about The Amazing Spider-man?

Chas: I’m concerned this movie will waste tons of time telling another origin story (sick of it), i’m concerned Spider-Man won’t be a cocky jokester but will just be a dick.  I’m concerned everything about it will feel far too similar to Sam Raimi’s versions despite being a “reboot” … I’m very concerned.

Burner: I’m concerned that they’re even rebooting Spider-Man.   I mean honestly what possible new ground is there to cover in the adventures of whining sad sack Peter Parker?  “Oh my uncle’s dead.”  “Oh Mary Jane won’t fuck me,”  Ugh.  I’ve never understood the appeal of Spider-Man, sure his powers are neat, but who cares when they’re attached to such a colossal douche.

Alan: First of all, to Burner: are you kidding me? Spider-Man is the best of all the heroes because his life sucks and he still finds a way to make jokes and do the right thing. I think you should be excused from the rest of this conversation.

To Chas’ point, I just don’t think these people get Peter Parker. I don’t think Sam Raimi did. I don’t think Tobey did. Where this Hollywood certainty came from, that the only superhero who is allowed to crack a smile is Superman, is beyond me. Spider-Man is the Bugs Bunny of superheroes and I don’t think this movie is going to embrace that vibe at all.

I’m all for another interpretation of the character — except maybe the bearded Superman thing they’re making — but to tread so much similar ground seems way too money-grubbing to me. I’m hoping Mark Webb — he of 500 Days of Summer — has something up his sleeve that will surprise us.

Burner:  I’ve only read a handful of Spidey comics, so my main exposure to him is through the Tobey movies.  That being the case, it seems like you may agree with the characterization of him that I have seen.

Chas:  The only thing that surprised me about 500 Days of Summer was that there were people who enjoyed the movie.  I have no faith in Mark Webb.  Also, Sam Raimi is a golden god.  Is there something in particular about Peter Parker that is difficult to translate to the silver screen?  Why is he always boiled down to a sad sack sourpuss nerd?  Is his sense of humor too nuanced and you could risk having Spider-Man come off as an ass?  Although all things beiung equal I’d rather have him be a bit of an ass than a “colossal douche”.

Are there any character’s you’re worried about?

Chas:  I’m worried about Sally Field and Martin Sheen.  I’m pretty sure they are both dead in real life.  Beyond that I am worried about the Lizard.  I’ve never been a fan of Dr. Curt Connors nor his reptilian alter ego. I suppose I’m mostly worried that the Lizard will continue his crappiness in his film debut.  Also, a character like the Lizard is bound to be a CGI nightmare.  I really enjoyed the non-CGI nature of the Green Goblin and the minor use of CGI with Doc Ock. The Lizard could end up looking like the “fake as fake can be” Mutts in the Hunger Games.   I understand the desire to not repeat the villains of Tobey’s past but I would have been happier with another major Spider-Man heavy. A few better choices off the top of my head:

  • Vulture
  • Mysterio
  • Rhino
  • Carnage (just to aggravate Alan! mwahahaha!)

Alan:  Basically everyone. I don’t see the co-creator of Facebook as Peter Parker. I think Emma Stone is Mary Jane, not Gwen Stacy. I think Doc Connors is going to serve the same role as Raimi’s Green Goblin — the brilliant surrogate father Peter has to face off against.

But putting Dennis Leary in the thing is genius. I totally can believe his as a New York City cop, since he made such a good New York City fireman.

Burner: To worry about it, I would have to be interested in seeing it.  Hiyo!

Chas:   Dennis Leary will be the Hobgoblin in the Amazing Spider-Man 2.  It’s an uncanny resemblance:

Why didn’t someone tell me Sally Field was still alive?

Burner: To worry about it, I would have to be interested in seeing it. Hiyo!

Chas: lol. I still refuse to believe she’s alive. I’m 95% certain Marc Webb is having her CGIed. Based on the amount of CGI in the trailer, I’m guessing the post-production studio could just throw in a CGI Sally Field gratis.


Andrew Garfield talking to two CGI creatures

Alan: Because no one cares.

What was your reaction to the trailers?

Chas: Main concern from me (and I am not alone) is that it looks and feels too much like Sam Raimi’s trilogy.  Unfortunately for the Amazing Spider-Man, that comparison is something they are going to have to deal with from the entire nerd kingdom.  Also, I’m sick of hearing about how bad the third Sam Raimi flick was.  It wasn’t a masterpiece like Spider-Man 2 but it also wasn’t Tin Cup.

Alan: What was wrong with Tin Cup? I mean, if you liked Bull Durham, it was basically that. I sort of like the trailer, but again, Spider-Man is my boy, so I’m probably not an objective audience here.

I kind of like that they are dialing up the Peter the geek student aspect a little and actually showing him doing actual science. Raimi always skipped around that a little. But I don’t care how smart he is, no one at his age can design that costume. Does he have a polymer lab in his basement?

Burner:  I thought Bull Durham sucked.  I know that’s blasphemy is some circles, but I thought it was about as entertaining as actual minor league baseball.

Chas:  I don’t need a polymer lab in my basement to know that Bill Durham sucks.  It’s impossible to suspend disbelief in any movie where someone’s attracted to Susan Sarandon.

Will it be too similar to the Raimi Spider-Man movies?

Chas: It looks like the exact same damn movie. I don’t know why people care so much about whether Spidey’s webs shoot from a gadget on his wrists or from his actual wrist, but alas that seems to be the biggest difference between the movies. For god’s sakes, it looks like they have the exact same cinematographer. I hope there’s a post credit sneak preview where Marc Webb stands in front of the camera and then his skin falls off to reveal that he’s actually just Sam Raimi in a Marc Webb costume. Classic Raimi!

Alan: The problem with a reboot so close to the timing of the series being rebooted is that you almost HAVE to look like the property being rebooted. Tim Burton’s Batman worked, at the time, because it looked so radically different from the Batman most people knew. (Two Adam West references in one roundtable. Take that, hipsters.) Same with Daniel Craig James Bond. Little bit of time, little bit of distance, let’s people air out the whole franchise and give the talent involved the chance to break any preconceived notions. But I feel like I just saw Spider-Man 3 with Chas not that long ago, so to get people to show up, they have to make the flick look like the current mental image of Spider-Man. We’re getting dangerously close to Jungian collective unconsciousness territory here. This is the kind of analysis Stew Over has built a reputation on..

Burner: It’s too bad they didn’t pick Donald Glover to be Spider-Man, that I would have watched:

"Spider-Man and Abed in the morning!"

Consensus:  None.  God help us all.

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