On The Amazing Spider-Man

the_amazing_spider_man_2012People continually think that to start a new story they need to create a new background (or origin).  But we’re not going to try to figure out how it could have worked or what went wrong…

First: they introduced Peter Parker’s parents.  It was a nice idea and gave the teenage Peter more reason to be angsty.  But mostly it was the easiest way to create a “larger” world; one where Peter and Dr. Curt Connors had more of a reason to be directly connected.

Second: they got a bunch of familiar actors, or faces, to play characters already known and established.

Third: the point-of-view shots were neat but mostly a distraction to take the audience from the details of the movie.

Fourth: the cinematography (in particular: the colors and the setting) were not established well.  More specifically (the colors) everything was kind of gray.  The foreground was established – the Spider Suit, Gwen Stacy’s hair – but the background had no life.  It was dull.  The buildings were nice but they, and the background, were not characters.  And the setting – the labs, the subway, the house, the school…everything – was seemingly closed.  There was no feeling of a world open to Spider-Man-type physics.  All the sets seemed isolated and disjointed.  There was no unison.  And, by the way, I’m pretty sure if you work in a laboratory – or intern at one – a skirt is not something they would normally allow an employee to wear (*Gwen Stacy*).  All the actors, sequences, camera angles were too much.  Basically the whole of the movie had too many attempts without true direction.

**Not entirely relevant but just a strand of information: I have no bad feelings towards the movie because J.J. Jameson was not re-introduced – and moreso – not recast. **

I don’t mean to cause offense or stir anything up; I like the movie.  This is just conversation, or dialogue, or web-speak…haha, “web”…but I can see why Derek wasn’t too fond of the film: not only because we’ve spoken about it but also because I’ve seen it at least four times in the past week.  I believe there was a similar excitement as found in Eric Bana’s Hulk movie and the cast and crew got carried away.  And for someone like Derek that is unacceptable.  And he’s right.  This is Spider-Man.  He is definitely a super hero whom is very well imprinted on our people (among others) like a bat-symbol on Batman’s chest.  Derek – and now, me included, — make up the .01%.  The movie made money.  The movie got the sequel.  The movie is successful and the sequel will be a large mark on the Marvel timeline.  Derek is upset at the cinematic aspects of the film and a bunch of other things.  I’m the other half of that percentage but for different reasons.  I enjoy what I was given but I also consider what could have been – just for kicks.

As far as the movie is concerned the parts and make-up of it are good and make sense…I suppose it was the structure of the characters that messed everything up.  They were all too perfect.  Peter did not just embody characteristics that are found in all people.  He was the nerd, the dweeb, the skater, the tongue-tied boy…he was every kind of high school stereotype except the girl figuring out how to deal with…girl stuff.  Uncle Ben knew everything all the time.  Flash Gordon is nice to Peter all of a sudden.  Everything is just too perfect before Spider-Man exists for anything that happened to be truly believable.  Even the secretary at Oscorp that was helping Peter – or “Rodrigo Guevara” – was witty and all kinds of awesome.  Easily summarized by using the words of Sam Winchester as he looks over a script in television’s Supernatural: “Who wrote this? Nobody says penultimate”.

What Spider-Man is (basically and in terms for people to understand in the easiest way) is a blend of Batman-ish heroism and Deadpool-ly taunting.  Spider-Man is a hero, a very good one, and super annoying to just about everyone who isn’t him.  But that’s just putting it simply.  He’s a bit more complex than that.  I know.

I admit I fell for most of the tricks the first time I saw it and I still enjoy watching it and I’m absolutely going to watch the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man sequel.  But I also see The Amazing Spider-Man and I venture deeper.  I look for the things people don’t want to see.  I find the things people have stopped looking for.  And I’m not trying to prove people wrong.  Nor am I trying to show you I’m right.  All I want you to know is: you, I, we can do better.

These are the times.

And if the movie was meant to be seen as Meta, or self-aware, it would have been the perfect way to depict this Spider-Man.  He’s young.  He’s learning his craft.  The movie is all the pieces of a story assembled into a couple of hours where their main connector is Spider-Man.  It was kind of there but that’s not something anyone would risk their job with.  If all the clunkyness and set-up led to the last few minutes of the movie then everybody would be rethinking their lives.  Also, if it were Meta, the movie would (or at least could) embody present America.  The current state of which is lost because the ideas on which the country was founded did not include directions for how to continue the ventures established.  So instead everyone takes a little piece and does what they want with it.  But it’s not Meta.  And as much as I (or Derek) may wish that every bit of the film was intentional in that way wasn’t.

But I’m straying from the point.  Derek (who has a picture of Spider-Man next to his phone number on my contact list) is not one to keep his opinion quiet.  When I said I enjoyed the movie he immediately shot me down.  And since I saw it that first time, in a theatre, the influence has not left my mind.  So now, before you invest in the current Spider-Man movie, the only thing to do is share Derek’s hatred with as many people of the world that will listen.

And with that: please, I ask all of you not to watch The Amazing Spider-Man 2 because Derek’s protest should be executed to the fullest extent.

1 Comment

  1. Derek Hobson Reply

    Although interesting to note that Marc Webb’s only other claim to fame is 500 Days of Summer, which centered on the architecture and buildings… but yeah, in Spider-Man, he shows no love of the buildings or New York at all. Clearly, someone else, a cinematographer or producer or second unit took care of buildings.

    New York is so empty in that movie.
    God damnit, damn Spider-Man.

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