Normally, The Amazing Spider-Man would be a Videogum Movie Club selection, but it comes out on Wednesday, and also there’s a weird cloud of disinterest that seems to be surrounding it. Or is that just me? Maybe everyone’s pumped for this movie, but if they are, they sure are keeping it pretty cool. Very cool cats, everybody. It’s weird! This is Spider-Man we’re talking about! Is it because we already used up all of our Spider-Man Energy on the Broadway Musical Disaster Gossip? (Remember that? It was the best.) Or is the reason that people don’t seem that excited about it because we are all pretty sure that we just saw this movie not that long ago. DING DING DING! That is what it is, and that feeling is correct. Because as someone who saw a sneak preview of this thing (sign up for a free account at JEALOUS.COM) I can tell you: this movie is pretty fun, and pretty unnecessary. Remember Spider-Man 1 from 2002? Paint Tobey Maguire’s face in green paint and key out his head and cover it with Andrew Garfield’s head and then also Emma Stone and now it’s a lizard and you start to get the point. We were just here! And it was great! But now we are sleepy!

So, here’s the thing: Andrew Garfield is pretty good in it. Before going to the movie I was talking with my friend Max and we both agreed that one of the reasons we weren’t as excited as we could have been was because we both thought Andrew Garfield was a snooze. But he does a good job of acting like a teenager, kind of bitchy and annoying and full of nervous energy. (That is a compliment, somehow, I think.) And then there’s Emma Stone, who, like, it’s weird because she’s supposed to be a teenager in this movie, too, but it’s like WELL ALSO MARRY ME. I’m not being a creep, the movie is being a creep. She is supposed to be a junior or senior in high school, but she also is a scientist and makes mature, middle-aged adult decisions when it comes to her dating life, and in all ways is turned into a legitimate “object of desire” for full-grown adults. It’s a little weird! And gross! And hot! Everyone else is pretty good in it, the real actual adults I mean, although Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben gets a little silly sometimes. Nerds will be glad to know that Spider-Man has the original mechanical web-shooters from the comic books and not the weird organic orgasm-wrists from the Tobey Maguire editions. Also, the 3D is pretty well done and I say that as someone who dislikes 3D. I SAY THAT AS SOMEONE WHO DISLIKES 3D! Wow. Bold moves.

So, there’s that.

But for as many tiny variations that this telling of the origin story makes on the previous telling of the origin story, it’s still pretty much the exact same origin story. We see Peter struggle with bullies at school. We see him go on a science trip and get his bug bite and discover his powers. This time Uncle Ben gets killed by a guy who robs a bodega rather than a guy who robs a wrestling promoter. Cool? And you’d really think (this is Max’s point) that with this reboot coming so hot on the heels of the previous iteration that they would spare us scenes of Peter Parker SEWING HIS OWN COSTUME. We get it! Who cares?! Also: yes, this time the bad guy is the lizard guy instead of the goblin guy, but on that note what is UP with Peter Parker’s need to constantly build surrogate father relationships with dudes who want to kill him? Work it out. This guy knows what I’m talking about:

So, the movie is fun. No one is saying that the movie isn’t fun. But the tagline on the poster as I was leaving the theater reminded me that this movie boasted telling “The Untold Story.” Hardly. (Actually: the trailers suggest that there is some connection between Peter Parker’s dead/missing father and his transformation into a human-spider hybrid, and even more than that, that perhaps there were larger forces at work to make sure he BECAME the spider-boy, which IS a kind of interesting spin on things but guess what: that’s really not in the movie. Like, actual lines of dialogue from the trailer never appear in the finished film. This is what Don Draper would call a “bait and switch.”)

And the movie is also unnecessary. Because we just saw it, like, five minutes ago. Maybe the rebooted sequel will finally get us somewhere? I sure hope they bring back the Evil Jazz Hands! Love those. So good.

Comments (36)
  1. hey, what’s up with Topher Grace?

    • Listen to me, mate. I love The Ro;ma’nce with wealthy people! It is so nice. My boyfriend and I both think so. He is a sexy billio’naire, LOL. I kno’w him via B i l l i o n a i r e F r i e n d s . C O M. singles here start out with something in common – A love for singles from other races and ethnicities. This common interest will help make dating easier, more effective, and more successful!

      • Wow. What a coincidence. I too am interested in dating people of different ethnicity. And by different ethnicity I mean billionaires.

  2. Maybe the third movie in this trilogy won’t be terrible.

  3. Oh man. This may be the greatest youtube comment ever. On the “So good” clip.

  4. “weird organic orgasm-wrists from the Tobey Maguire editions”…I wish I had orgasm wrists!

  5. I saw the movie over the weekend (because for some reason, Europe now gets big movies earlier, so suck it) and this was pretty close to my views on the film. Garfield and Stone were wonderful, especially together and the action looked great and fluid. My main problem was that the director couldn’t decide between a light romp about a kid with spider-powers or a serious superhero movie. All the light parts are wonderful, but the dramatic heightening was at times just so stupid. I won’t go in to spoilers, but there were at least three times they want to do something dramatic and I just went “really?”. Which is a shame, because it is 75% fun movie and 25% standard superhero schlock. Still, I would recommend checking it out and it has me excited for the sequels.

    Also, even though I’m pretty sure there are absolutely no comic book nerd on Videogum: they do put in more stuff from the comics than the Tobey Maguire ones, but then that does not pay off at all. Plus it gave me reason to go into a lengthy tangent about how even though everyone would benefit from it, Spider-man will not be in an Avengers movie.

    • I was out of town or else I would’ve probably replied to this comment as soon as it was posted, you know, just to represent a person who reads comic books. And even though I don’t nor have ever read/bought many Spider-Man books with any regularity, like most things Marvel & DC superhero comics, I know way too much about stories I’ve never read than is healthy or assuring. I’m sure those brain wrinkles could’ve been committed to retaining more worthwhile information. C’est la vie.

  6. Sony made this so they would not lose the rights to Spider-Man, yes? Isn’t that why we are also getting a new Superman movie soon too?

    • you are correct, sir.

      Which is why we’ll probably have rehashes of superhero films every ten years for the next few centuries.

    • Superman & DC Comics are owned by Warner Bros, so no DC movie is in danger of switching movie rights. The reason we’re getting a new Superman reboot so soon is that they want to napalm the last one where Superman is an absent father which has little to no franchise potential.

      But get ready for that Fantastic 4 reboot!

      • DC/Warner don’t own Superman, or at least they won’t for long. There’s been a pretty complicated lawsuit between Warner/DC and the estates of the creators of Superman, which at this point has ruled that a substantial portion of the Superman intellectual property belongs (or will belong) to the Siegel and Shuster estates.

        I don’t completely understand all of it (it’s crazy complicated), but as far as I can tell the court ruled something along the lines of Warner needing to start production on a film by 2011, or the estates could sue for lost money connected to the production of a movie. As it stands, the rights to the various concepts of Superman will be split in 2013, so Warner will lose rights to things like: Clark Kent, Lois Lane, the costume, the origin, some of his abilities (e.g. leap over tall buildings), etc. I think Warner needs to make the movie so future films could use the concepts/story/characters as a version of Superman they own completely.

        But I could be wrong. This is all based on stuff written by people who know far more about the law than I do.

        • Whilst not a qualified lawyer, I am a qualified nerd and I can confirm that DC will never ever ever (ever) lose the rights to Superman – if the Siegel/Shuster estates win their case (which – come on, they’re fighting TimeWarner!) then it just means DC will have to pay them more money to make Superman comics/films. There was some nerd wish fulfillment that they’d get the rights and they could publish their own version of Superman and Superman could do what he wanted and FUCK LOIS LANE, SHE BORING… but that’s nerd wish fulfillment. Nothing will ever change. Capitalism, you know? Corporations win.

          Did you guys see the cheque that Siegel & Shuster got for creating Superman? It was, like, $138. Which is still a lot in the 1930s, but they created one of the most famous super-powered Jews since Jesus. Hang on, I think I may have misconstrued that Mel Gibson film…

          • Don’t even get started on things past copyright, like TRADEMARKS, of which the Siegel & Shuster estates would only own the original symbol, and not the diamond-shaped, modern S-shield that’s been around for decades. That’s a brand, and DC owns that shit hands-down.

            It’s also been speculated that part of the reason for the Superman redesign/reboot with DC’s ‘New 52′ is to visually distance the character even further from the 1930s version. Most notably, no red, circus-strong-man underpants.

            But yeah, I’m always rooting for the estates when it comes to all of that copyright/work-for-hire stuff before the 1970s where they retooled it. I’m for creator-rights in general.

  7. problem with super hero movies is the stories are contrived and manipulative and the CGI is uglier than balls. hated the toby macguire spider-man movies, hated the bat-man movies, walked out on the avengers movie. Ix-nay on the anks-Thay, broheimz

  8. There’s thousands of comic book stories to go off of and Hollywood keeps making origin stories over and again, so much so that people have figured out the formula and don’t care anymore. TELL A NEW STORY.

    Just because they got a new actor in the role doesn’t mean they need to tell the origin story over again, just keep going as if the story never stopped, like James Bond throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. JUST KEEP GOING.

    • Casino Royal with Danny Craig was a rad re-boot. Sometimes the feeling is a re-boot might be kinda rad. Sometimes it ain’t. All depends on various factors.

      • bat-man for example is an awful reboot, all dreary and super serious and “dark” etc when the Adam West ones were the best, more goofy and light hearted, campy even. No pretensions and delusions.

        • This is a very valid opinion to have. These two Batmans, unlike the recent Spiderman stories, are completely different creatures. And it’s not impossible to consider someone liking one style better than the other.

          I personally have some great memories of coming home from school and watching Adam West Batman reruns on TV.

  9. Who’s the lady in the pic towards the end of the post? Is she the star of the new reboot of that porno about Sarah Palin…? “Nailin’ Pailin: ORIGINS”…?

    • She’s Dr. Milf, err, Melfi, Tony’s psychiatrist in the Sopranos (aka Lorraine Bracco). I absolutely LOVE her. And my husband has a hall pass for her, even though she is 20 years older than him.

  10. Chris Huss  |   Posted on Jul 3rd, 2012 +1

    Holy cow, it blew away my expectations. Garfield is way better than Maguire (and I liked Maguire). Emma Stone is wonderfu.

  11. So yeah, I remember when they rebooted Batman, everyone talked about how short a time it had been since “Batman & Robin” or whatever, even though it had actually been a million years since the Michael Keaton ones, and likewise since anybody gave a glurb about Batman movies. Additionally, “Batman Begins” was pretty obviously a significant departure from the Burton/Schumacher movies, which was obvious even from the early promotional material.

    However, this looks so note-for-note the same as the Sam Raimi “Spider-man”. Which, yeah, the third one is bloated and they spent a bunch of time ominously setting up the one professor guy to be Killer Croc but then went with Emo Venom Spider-man instead, but still.

    Also, the mechanical web shooters are stupid. What’s the point of being bitten by a radioactive super spider, if you have to wear mechanical things to give you the spider powers? Why not have him just invent some device that lets him stick to walls as well, and leave out the spider bite entirely? Stupid.

    • It’s called “sticking to the source material.” Spider-Man’s power set includes super strength (can lift multiple tons), speed, agility, stamina, can stick to any surface and his spider-sense that warns him of imminent, immediate danger. That’s already quite a power set.

      What the web-shooters did was display Peter’s prowess as a scientist. Peter was a super-smart kid before the accident, and he remains a science geek afterwards. The web-shooters exhibit his nuance and understanding of his passion/craft, as well as speak to his desire to fully commit to the spider-angle of his powers. Peter too wants webs, and he works hard to make them instead of just getting thinly-veiled-virility-symbols in his wrists (shouldn’t it come out of his nethers, you know, if you want to get technical?)

      It was also nice to have a hero with weaknesses and limited power– His webshooters can run out of juice. He can theoretically run out of cartridges if he’s out for too long. He must be conservative with their usage. It just ups the stakes, while also being closer to the comics. I’d much rather Spider-Man be in a knock-down drag-out fight and wind up emptying his cartridges then use his biological wrist webs get used for symbolic reasons tied to impotency and self-worth.

      Typing about stuff that doesn’t really matter ad nauseam is so taxing. But it’s in my head and somebody asked a question!

  12. It’s almost as if you don’t WANT Hollywood to reboot every comic book story every three years forever and ever until we all die.

  13. I am very late to this party but I feel about the same about the new Spidey as Gabe does in this post. (We just need to sub out “Emma Stone” with “Andrew Garfield” for the talk about feeling awkward about how his Peter Parker was supposed to be sexy but also 17, even though Garfield is not 17.)

    This movie came out on my birthday and some friends joined me for seeing it at midnight, which was fun. Spider-Man is my favorite superhero, so while I wasn’t pumped on “Avengers” level of joy for this reboot, I did really want it to be good. The first two Raimi films are good (the second one is great), but Peter Parker just wasn’t dead-on. This film filled that one glaring hole for me with a better actor and a slightly better understanding of Spider-Man himself.

    I think some other people noted and I agree that the only strange part was how they tried to make the actual plot points as different as they could (different villain, adding The Parkers to his backstory, different love interest, no JJJ) , but still kept a lot of the feel and style of the original 2002 film and tried to hit the same dramatic notes. Hopefully in the future, they stop trying with these origin reboots and just go for broke on some new stories. Spider-Man has decades of canon to choose from, so hopefully the next sequel is entirely new territory.

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