Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Spider-Movie Senses are Tinglings . . .

It occurs to me that I never blogged about the Avengers.  Insert this into your personal time stream the day after the movie released:

Wow!  Go see this movie!  Often!  It's amazingly awesome!

Okay, now that that's out of the way, I was thinking today about Spider-Man movies past, what was done right, and what was done wrong.  I really hope Amazing Spider-Man is . . . well, amazing.  Spidey is one of my favorites, and I want this to give me the same kind of grown up comic book geek fuzzy feeling I got watching Avengers.

So, in my pointless yet still oft expressed opinion, what was right and what was wrong about previous Spider-Man offerings?


The Good:  The origin was spot on, including the awesome sequence with Randy Savage in the wrestling ring.  Well, it was spot on, except for one thing  (see below).  Willem Dafoe was an awesome Norman Osborn.  J.K. Simmons should have been voted J. Jonah Jameson for life.

The Bad:  Organic web shooters  (not a deal breaker, just took away from Pete being a science geek and took away a complication, i.e. running out of web fluid), Kirsten Dunst as MJ  (I'm an MJ fan that didn't like the marriage being erased, but not only was Dunst wrong for the part, they way overplayed MJ being the center of Pete's universe), Green Goblin's costume, restaging the Goblin/Spidey fight where Gwen Stacy died and robbing it of it's emotional effect by inserting MJ and having her survive.

Overall:  It was a win.  There were mistakes made, but overall the movie seemed to "get" Spider-Man, even if they make standard Hollywood mistakes with the script  ("yeah, Pete's got a million things going on, but we have to shove the love story into all of it now!").

Spider-Man 2

The Good:  Doctor Octopus looks a thousand times better on screen that Green Goblin did.  When he's actually being a villain, Alfred Molina is a great Otto Octavius  (more on that later).  JK Simmons is still Jonah.  The overall theme of Pete's life going to crap and him still fighting on, even after some doubts,  is spot on from the comics.  From the perspective of just this movie and the potential for the future, the foreshadowing of Harry finding his father's gear and Doc Conners making an appearance could have been great, and not overplayed.

The Bad:  Yes, make Otto a nice guy that goes nuts.  Don't go overboard on making him sympathetic, especially not with a love interest.  And don't give his vicious villain turn an on off switch.  You want to make him tragic, make his personality switch permanent!  Dunst continues to be bad as MJ, and then gets worse.  On top of that, the sub-plot with her marrying JJJ's son is pointless and only serves to make her seem like a flighty girl with no personality.

Overall:  No too bad.  The fights between Spidey and Doc Ock are a lot stronger overall than Spidey versus Green Goblin.  Ock holds up as a great villain right up to the end where they have to make him into an innocent victim again.  The film holds up, but there is every more standard Hollywood crap creeping in, most of it personified by Kirsten Dunst.

Spider-Man 3

The Good:  I didn't go see this in theaters and waited until it was on cable.  I didn't have a stroke watching it.  I'm having a really hard time here.

The Bad:  First, and admonition.  If you don't want to do something the way your bosses want you to do it, don't do it for the express purpose of screwing up.  Just let someone else do it that actually can do the job.  Seriously.  If you have Venom and Sandman in a movie, you don't make Sandman your lead villain.  You never, ever, cast Topher Grace to play someone that is suppose to be intimidating.  Creepy maybe, but not intimidating  (oddly, I could see him playing Cletus Cassidy/Carnage).  You don't introduce Gwen Stacy once the seminal scene that she should have been in has come and gone.  You don't waste a future villain like the next Green Goblin the way they did in this movie.  And you don't have a magic butler that suddenly fixes everything that he could have fixed back at the end of the first movie.

Overall:  I'm still looking for a Kickstarter for a time travel project that is aimed at specifically stopping this movie from ever being made.

I'm not expecting Amazing Spider-Man to be a Batman Begins, I'm just hoping that it is at least an Incredible Hulk.

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