@ The Round Table: The… Amazing… Spider-Man?
First Words from Louis Santiago, a Major Spidey Fan:
It’s only been a handful of days since the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man hit the web, right on the tails of the teaser for The Dark Knight Rises. And already, it seems like almost everyone agrees that it’s going to be the absolute most terrible thing that’s ever happened to the comics industry.
Well, almost everyone. And “seems”. Because I ain’t one of… “everyone”… That sounded terrible–Look, the point is, I’m keeping my hopes up.
My Reasons Why:
- First off, understand that I don’t think the new suit looks fantastic. I already wrote a post about it on my own blog, so I won’t go into detail here about why exactly I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world, but I have to address the fact that about 70% of the negative opinions people have about this movie are based pretty completely on the suit. It’s not, “Well, I don’t like the approach,” or “I don’t believe this Garfield fellow to be the most astute choice. Oh ho ho!” Instead it’s “ZOMFG! Look at that racing stripe!!! LAME!!!” I’ve also heard, “It looks like some kinda… sports jump suit.” And, really, that kind of blows my mind. Cause here’s the thing:
- Anyway, you also need to know that I was not a huge fan of the first-person ride at the end of the trailer. Was it really, really gimmicky? Yes. Will it potentially be painful if used in the movie? Definitely.
But has anyone up until now really ever tried to show me what it’s like to be Spider-Man? No. Never. And, honestly, that always used to bother me about the Sam Raimi movies. Sam would give us these grand finales where we follow Spidey swinging around to booming trumpets and it was great. Only, the camera never followed him around any insane loop-de-loops; we always just sat back and watched him as casual observers, even though the technology would’ve allowed us to actually swing with the Web Slinger.
So in the end, do I have to at least appreciate that someone went through the trouble to show me what it’s really like to be Spider-Man, if only for a few seconds? Yes.
- Finally, understand that I also think Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker looks like an trendy douche bag. Unfortunately though, just by following modern trends, actual Peter Parker in actual Ultimate Spider-Man comics eventually started to look like a trendy douche bag. Did the fans rebel and demand the series’ then artist, David Lafuente, change Peter’s hairstyle so that we all didn’t just stop reading the book? You’re damn right we did. But, honestly guys, we’re completely incapable of affecting how Peter looks in this movie. Because, as always, this comic book movie is not just marketed to comic book fans (because, guys, if it was, it would tank, because there aren’t as many of us as you think); so if Peter wasn’t a trendy, hipster nerd, that one girl you know who had a Heath Ledger Joker t-shirt a few years ago, but who you eventually discovered really knew nothing about comic books, probably wouldn’t be interested in this movie. Neither would her friends or a lot of your friends and coworkers. And family.
So, just to be clear, I have a lot of the same problems with this movie that you do. I do think the suit’s a little weird. I do think some of the choices they made in the trailer (and maybe the movie [?]) are gimmicky. And I definitely (so definitely) do think Peter’s hoody in class and thumbs through the sleeves of his sweater are absolutely painful.
But, in the end, when I see the chances that they’ve taken with this re-imagining of Spider-Man (the suit, the shots, the weird, serious approach), do I think there’s a chance that this will maybe be something completely new and interesting and different? Do I think it may add major things to the mythos of the man? Yes, I do. And as a fan, that excites me.
I’m probably going to be completely wrong and incredibly disappointed, but for right now it’s fingers and toes crossed.
Onto Chaos Mechanica, a Moderate Spider-Man Fan…
You know, last week I got super-psyched to hear that the Dark Knight Rises first official trailer got released. First, a buddy of mine sent me a link to a bootleg uploaded video, totally real but certainly taken from a crappy video camera snuck into the last Harry Potter movie. And despite not understanding 90% of what was said, and seeing unbalanced and darkly contrasted images, I was excited enough to lose my mind when I saw two seconds of Bane (the first a quick glance shoved into the trailer, the second showing Bane advancing on Batman for presumably a huge showdown).
And then a few days later, I saw the actual uploaded trailer, the video clear, crisp, and audible. And you know what? I was still sort of excited, but, you know, whatever, it’s cool.
And then another few days later I hear the Amazing Spider-Man trailer had been released. How did I find out? Having three different friends send me the link almost one after another because they were just that. Damn. Excited. Immediately I thought “It must be a 30 second trailer showing him farting upside down or something”.
Boy, was I wrong.
With just a little less than a year left to go, we were given not a traditional teaser (especially in an age where comic film directors like to play coy and release the smallest bit of details once every year) but a whole, story-revealing trailer.
This is unprecendented. Small, but still major. Between showing the costume early and releasing this trailer early, they’re preparing us for this movie in stages. Get us uptight costume rabblerousers to get our shouting out of our system, let details get leaked bit by bit on the stellar cast and the continuity-influenced plot, and then they release this spectacular trailer, and what can we do but say “Ok, this is not bad.”
I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say I was part of that mob that hated the costume. I had my torch and pitchfork and I was ready to start sticking and bitchin’. I mean, who wouldn’t be up in arms over those early, leaked pictures?
This studio has been tasked to create an all-new Spider-Man franchise just years after the last multi-billion dollar Spider-Man franchise. Raimi’s trilogy made well over a trillion dollars worldwide and that’s a huge fanbase that you have to convince through magazines, TV spots, and pictures that this is something new and different, especially after the disaster that was Spider-Man 3.
You also have to prove it’s a whole new story, not a rehashing of the first trilogy or an elaboration of a part of it in any way. So what can you do? You make a new costume, cast an all new cast, and go for a different vibe. It’s not what they want to do, it’s what they have to do to distance themselves from Raimi and Maguire’s Spider-Man and make it their own. Your dad passes his car to you, you give it a new paint job, replace that 8 track player with an iPod deck, and hang a flaming skull where the minty tree freshener has been hanging there for twenty years.
Also, about the trailer: It’s great. In today’s society, this so-called emo Peter would be dressed that way because teenagers do dress that way now. They don’t dress like classic Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Peter. Loner nerds hide their glasses and burn their stupid knit sweaters. He would be quiet and drawing/writing by himself in the corner because he has no one to talk to. That’s the definition of a loner nerd. Alone. And you know why it makes perfect sense? Because in the comics when Peter finally finds a way to cut loose, as Spider-Man, he actually acts out and develops a sense of humor. He becomes daring. He becomes a wisecracker. An introvert finally given a chance to beat up big, brutish, jock-like criminals? Sounds like a Sigmund Freud scenario.
Give this movie a chance. It’s trying for something big, something unique, but something true to the heart and spirit of the comics. Sure it’s been given a 2011 facelift, but at it’s core it may be the most true interpretation brought to live action ever accomplished.
The Weekly Poll Results (7.25 – 7.31)