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Wayhomer Review #126: The Amazing Spider-Man 3D

By Widge - posted 07.04.12 @ 11:25 pm

Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man

Episode #126 for The Amazing Spider-Man 3D, in which our protagonist makes a case that 2012 is the year in which comic book movies have come of age, thinks whoever cast Sally Field and Martin Sheen are bloody geniuses and praises (no, really) Marvel for seemingly getting everybody to step up their game.

Update: Stay clear of the comments if you want to avoid SPOILERS. Normally I don't allow spoilerishness in them, but they're extensive and well thought out, so I'm writing them a pass.

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Special thanks to PhantomV48 for the closing animation.

Previous episode here.

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3DComicsMarvelMoviesReviewsspandexSpider-Man

Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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A Mob Numbering 50
»
    1. 

    Reasons why the movie sucks:
    1) Having weak, nerdy Parker suddenly toy with Flash, then dunk a basketball from at least the free throw line and break the backboard, then throw a football at least 50 yards in the air and dent the goal post. Secret identity anyone?; (2) Parker stealing intern pass into major corporation - good thing major corporations never require photo i.d. to obtain a guest pass; (3) Parker's ability to walk around Oscorp with only a guest pass; (4) No security into hugely important/secret lab testing area;

    (5) No Daily Bugle/J. Jonah Jameson; (6) No catching of Uncle Ben's killer; (7) No payoff or real relevance of going into Peter's parents' background; (8) Whole transformation scene occurring on subway is fucking retarded, and then way crowd reacts to his being on ceiling of train is even more retarded; (9) How did Connors, who was fired from Oscorp, get all of that equipment into a sewer; (10) When Connors was being told he was fired, 99.9% of all corporations escort your ass out the town that second, with a security guard hovering over your every move, not, "You're fired. You have until the morning to clean things out.";

    (11) Parker revealing himself to Gwen was way too rushed; (12) Gwen's acceptance of Parker as Spider-Man was way too casual;(13) I don't recall the "with great power comes great responsibility" speech from Uncle Ben, and if it was there, poor writing to not make the pinnacle moment of Spider-Man's development not stand out more; (14) Way in the Hell do we have to have another scene of New York union workers all joining to help Spider-Man swing from crane to crane at the end of the movie. Aside from the ripping off of an equally annoying scene from the first Spider-Man, almost every other shot of Spider-Man swinging shows him going from building to building - he didn't need the fucking cranes, and it's inclusion was completely stupid.

    (15) Killing of Capt. Stacey was too soon (and by wrong character), and his dying instructions in the comic were to take care of Gwen, not stay away from her; (16) No way does anyone make that promise; (17) No way does anyone keep that promise; (18) After blowing Gwen off, including missing her father's funeral, there is no way that one simple line as Parker walks by her causes her to smile; women do not think like that, only boys who never grew out of adolescence (and apparently now write movie scripts) think they do.

    Comment by #1Spiderfan — July 4, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

    2. 

    WHOA!I knew you liked it but I did not expect 4.5 stars that's high praise, sir!

    I liked it but I would give it a solid 2.5 stars. (Honestly it would get 3 stars if they had cut that godawful kid in the car scene out. I actually laughed out loud in the theater. My mom thought I was about to walk out.) The acting was great and the effects were great. And the casting was GENIUS. It's a shame that I found the writing to be so piss poor. Uncle Ben's death was a let down, and the the parents thing went no where. Why did they even bother with the parents thing? His parents were AGENTS OF S.H.E.I.L.D. Sony? You don't have that license! Anyway... As you know I am very fond of the Raimi films. (In fact I would be long dead if not for them. Long story short I was real low and Spider-Man was one of my lifelines.) Anyway... I've been rambling... This film was really fun to watch and enjoyable enough but for me that was it. I found it servicable. Not great nor worth hatred. I liked it but it didn't blow me away.

    Comment by c13old — July 5, 2012 @ 12:33 am

    3. 

    Is the Lizard a worthy villain?

    I'm not sold on its visual design, but Rhys Ifans is a cool and versatile actor, and I really enjoyed most of his performances, so I'm a bit torn, as the villain is of course integral to comic book flicks. Just for comparison, I really hated the scenery chewing of Vilhelm The Foe's Green Goblin.
    Glad to hear it's a bantering Spidey this time 'round. Was wondering if it ended up as "emo" a movie as the trailer suggested it to be. Thanks for the review, and by the way, thanks for the Prometheus talk on Weekend Justice (I listened to it some days later). Watched the film again, raised even more questions the second time. Have a nice weekend!

    Comment by Montag — July 5, 2012 @ 3:25 am

    4. 

    Way-Munchier...I likey.

    Comment by Serv — July 5, 2012 @ 7:50 am

    5. 

    Montag: The Lizard worked for me...I think they're taking a Nolan/Batman take on it, saving the big gun (Goblin) for Round 2.

    c13old: They're agents of SHIELD? Missed that.

    #1Spiderfan: Thanks for your comment. Sorry you didn't enjoy the film.

    Comment by Widge — July 5, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    6. 

    Widge, Widge, Widge. You ruind things for me! In my head I was so set that my final feelings on this movie were: "Good but not great". Then I saw this review. Now I've been thinking about the movie constantly and my feelings have grown more positive. I need to see it again now...

    Comment by c13old — July 5, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

    7. 

    "c13old's heart grew three sizes that day..."

    Comment by Widge — July 6, 2012 @ 4:41 am

    8. 

    Cheerios, yes of course if there's Oscorp (so much for spoilers), there will be a goblin sooner or later...

    Comment by Montag — July 6, 2012 @ 6:31 am

    9. 

    Oscorp was shown in the trailer, though. So no surprises there.

    Comment by Widge — July 6, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    10. 

    I was thinking about this in the shower today and I'm wondering; who is your dream cast for Norman Osborn? I'm thinking Hank Azaria. Seriously! Comb his hair back and put some shoulder pads in his suit and you have a pretty good Norman!

    Comment by c13old — July 6, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    11. 

    I suppose it depends on which Goblin we get: costumed Goblin or creature Goblin. And if we get Goblin immediately or if we get some of Evil Corporate Norman first.

    Comment by Widge — July 6, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    12. 

    And you were thinking about Hank Azaria in the shower? o.O

    Comment by ScottC — July 6, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

    13. 

    Widge,

    What are your thoughts about the Sinister Six concept in a feature film? Now that I've seen Avengers (2012) seven times at last count. I believe its possible. But can 1 hero and 6 villains work in a feature film? Or do they have to pull a Peter Jackson?

    Thanks,

    Bruce

    Comment by Bruce Pullen — July 6, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    14. 

    Bruce: I think that would be a fascinating spin on the Avengers Cinematic Mythos. Instead of building up heroes and then combining them, build up villains over the course of the series and then have them all come in at once. It is very, very tricky, though. But interesting because...has it really been done before? And honestly, their problem (the filmmakers) is they don't have the deep creative pockets of Marvel--Marvel can pull from anything they haven't sold and add it to their universe. The Spider-Man Cinematic Universe will have to get creative. I fear for this notion of a Venom stand-alone movie. Although I don't recall when it lapsed as its own property and was folded into the Spider-Mix. It was at New Line for forever as a movie where they *didn't actually have the rights to Spider-Man*.

    And since we've already crossed over into Spoilersburg (with good reason), I think my favorite theory about the end is Mysterio. That's the one that seems to hold the most water. Anyone with any thoughts on that?

    Comment by Widge — July 6, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

    15. 

    Widge,

    There has been wide divergence from many folks as to who that person is. Talk has ranged from Mysterio, Norman Osbourne, to someone named Electro. I'm not heavy heavy into Marvel comics. So I have no clue who Electro is.

    I will say I loved what Sony did with this movie. The scene in the library is exactly what I think of when I think of Spiderman. The edged quips coming a mile a minute, the web shooters, playing on a smart phone while waiting for something. This is the film Sam Raimi should have made.

    I would be very happy if somehow Sony does merge with Marvel films and add Spiderman to the next ensemble. Do you find that likely? Or just stupid headlines?

    Bruce

    Comment by Bruce Pullen — July 7, 2012 @ 3:14 am

    16. 

    Of the three you've listed, Mysterio has the power to do what Mysterious Guy did, namely seem to be there and then disappear after. Electro is a guy who can generate electricity.

    Sony merge with Marvel? Not sure how that would even work, as Disney owns Marvel. And I don't see Sony and Disney merging. As for the rights, Sony doesn't have to. So I don't see them doing it. The only way I can see them making a case for it is if it's a "You scratch my back I scratch yours" thing and Sony allows Spider-Man to "crossover" with the main Marvel Cinematic Universe and also Disney/Marvel makes it a two-way street. In other words, you could see an Avengers character show up in Spider-Man 2 and vice versa. They used to do this stuff with actors on contracts all the time, loaning one out to another studio in return for somebody else. So there is some precedent. But the potential lawyering involved to make that happen...makes my nose bleed.

    Comment by Widge — July 7, 2012 @ 3:42 am

    17. 

    Electro can also disappear into electrical outlets or lightning storms. I'm thinking the guy is either Mendel Stromm or Spencer Smythe.

    Comment by c13old — July 7, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    18. 

    Ah. Well that's new. Back in my day we were content to have a guy who could shoot electrical bolts...

    Anyway, if you have to pick either Stromm or Smythe--they're in essence the same character, right? Guy Who Makes Killer Robots. And while killer robots are awesome, with Mysterio you get practically anything. But Stromm has the Oscorp tie. All good theories. Let's just hope they pick the right answer. It's vague enough to where I'm sure they've left themselves on "out" to make it whoever they want, really.

    Comment by Widge — July 7, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    19. 

    (And the outlet thing has been around since the 70's. I think it was established in a Christmas issue)

    Well the guy was kind of freaky and weird. Mysterio is very bombastic and egomaniacal. Stromm could help led into the Goblin thing (Osborn stole the Goblin formula from Stromm) and Smythe was apparently mentioned in the video game and the comic adaptation so.... I have no clue...

    Comment by c13old — July 7, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    20. 

    On further thought Electro can only ride on lightning bolts. He's also gay.

    Comment by c13old — July 7, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    21. 

    Wikipedia seems to think that Electro's recently been turned into a living lightning bolt. And Wikipedia is Always Right. It doesn't say anything about his sexuality.

    Comment by Widge — July 7, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    22. 

    Okay, so I was a little mixed up about Electro. Sorry. Now here's what I know (not going by wiki):

    He's always been able to zip along on power lines and lightning bolts to travel. It was recently (when Waid wrote that three-parter in the early 600's) that he gained the ability to pass through wires and such... Sorry.

    He visited a shape shifting hooker in the Marvel Knights 12 part story and requested she become a man as he had 'discovered' something in jail. Yeah.

    Comment by c12old — July 7, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

    23. 

    Widge,

    Here is the article I was alluding to. Producer Avi Arad said the following about a Spider/Avengers crossover,

    “Everything is possible,” Arad said. “If something like that happens, it’s great for Disney, it’s great for Sony. If the right story comes in, we are now working on Venom first. It’s our first out. So our thinking is in the right direction. Avengers to me was an expected success so I never looked at it because Avengers was successful.”

    Arad went on to say, “Team ups can happen once you create the character, establish the CG, otherwise it’s not affordable.”

    Here's the link. Take it what it's worth...

    http://www.craveonline.com/film/articles/190183-exclusive-spider-man-producers-tease-venom-storyline-avengers-crossover

    Thanks.

    Comment by Bruce Pullen — July 7, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    24. 

    c12: It's not hard to get mixed up about Electro and movies. In the James Cameron scriptment for his version of Spider-Man, they basically mashed up the characters of Kingpin and Electro.

    Bruce: That's basically your Hollywood No. In other words, they hardly ever give you a definitive no because then they can't tease you. Anyway, a Spider-Man/Avengers movie crossover will happen around the time DC gets their act together and actually does a Justice League movie. With the Big Seven. (And recall, this is a company that can't get their act together enough to do a World's Finest movie. And that's just two characters. So.)

    Comment by Widge — July 8, 2012 @ 3:58 am

    25. 

    Carlton Strand you mean? Yeah that Cameron scriptment was... interesting.

    Comment by c13old — July 8, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    26. 

    "I suppose it depends on which Goblin we get: costumed Goblin or creature Goblin. And if we get Goblin immediately or if we get some of Evil Corporate Norman first."

    If we get Creature Goblin I'm boycotting the movie. Norman Osborn is my favorite villain in fiction and he needs to work for me to enjoy a Green Goblin movie.

    I'm still trying to see this movie in the same light you did but... I can't. I was very whelmed by it (not overwhelmed or underwhelmed just whelmed). But than again... I hated the Dark Knight and personally see it as both a godawful superhero flick but also a horrible movie. So maybe I just have bad taste.

    Comment by c13old — July 8, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

    27. 

    You get 10 points if you remembered Strand's name without having to look it up.

    And I would much rather we have Evil Corporate Norman before any Goblin at all. Save Goblin for #3. Just like if you take Luthor straight to the green and purple armor, then...well, first I question your taste in armor...but Luthor as a normal guy fighting Superman I find much more intriguing.

    Stunned you didn't like Dark Knight. I would never say you were wrong about your opinion--I reserve that for Jon and Casablanca and everybody is entitled to having whatever opinion they like except for that one--but I will suggest that you may have your genres muddled. Dark Knight to me is NOT a comic book or superhero movie. As I've said: it's a crime epic that happens to have two costumed weirdos in it. But since you said you didn't like it as a film then...not sure how to even approach that one. Other than to just say very sorry you didn't like it.

    Comment by Widge — July 8, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

    28. 

    Yeah I remembered his name. But a name like Carlton Strand IS kind of memorable.

    Yes, Byrne's Luther was very interesting. He was basically the Kingpin but he was also f-ing nuts.

    My entire problem with the Dark Knight is that it is a crime epic. Batman is a costumed comic book character. A movie about Batman should be... I don't know a comic book movie! And it should be... I don't know fun! Batman is a fun character or at least he was before people like Frank Miller and Chris Nolan bled the fun out of him. (Memento is still a masterpiece though. Inception too.)

    Comment by c12old — July 9, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    29. 

    C12old,

    There's enough "fun" super hero pictures out there. Like Widge, I'm sorry you didn't like it. But there are options. The Marvel brand has plenty of fun to offer. And there's always the Tim Burton original.

    Back to Dark Knight, I enjoyed a serious film exploring Wayne's mystique. It provides a fine composite when you compare and contrast with what came before. Soon Nolan's experiment will be done. And we'll go back to the status quo.

    As to your lack of options. As a fan of 80's and 90's action films, I really have no option unless I like cheap films in January and February or the Bourne films. Like you I too can go back and watch past films. And I do. But unlike you, I don't see anything new on the horizon to add to it. While the comic book craze is another story.

    So don't tell me your troubles. You still get grade A product while I get stuck with Cop Out (2010).

    All the best and sincerely,

    Bruce

    Comment by Bruce Pullen — July 13, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    30. 

    C12Old: I would love to comment further but Bruce just did a backhanded reference to Cop Out and I spit coffee everywhere. So. Now I get to go deal with that.

    Comment by Widge — July 13, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

    31. 

    Bruce,

    I feel for you on the Cop Out front. But I think you could sympathize with me on this if you think of it like this:

    Imagine Cop Out was an ultra-serious deconstruction of 80's action films and it was a huge success and everyone loved it. Now imagine you hated this deconstruction and didn't get why people couldn't just appreciate 80's action films the way they are.

    And to be perfectly blunt; Nolan's films will NEVER go away. They were so popular and so ingrained in the public mindset that Batman will always be remembered as the grim gritty growly guy who never smiles. And I like a Batman who smiles.

    And don't forget, as a comic book fan I may get awesome movies but the comics themselves? Well let's say the New 52 and Marvel have been lackluster *cough*utter garbage*cough*.

    Comment by c13old — July 13, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    32. 

    c13: Just so you know: the same things were being said about the Adam West Batman, the benippled Schumacher Batman, etc. etc. etc. They were never going to go away as well.

    So relax. As a comic book fan, you should know better than most that nothing is truly permanent.

    Comment by Widge — July 13, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    33. 

    I point to every bow! zap! and pow! to show that West's Batman never did go away.

    Comment by c13old — July 13, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

    34. 

    I must've missed those in Dark Knight. Was that in the Director's Cut?

    Comment by Widge — July 14, 2012 @ 4:15 am

    35. 

    Every time the general public writes an article about comics they put a 'Pow' a 'Zap' or a 'Bow' in there.

    Comment by c13old — July 14, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    36. 

    We must read very different periodicals.

    Comment by Widge — July 14, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

    37. 

    Yes. We must.

    Comment by c13old — July 14, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    38. 

    C13old,

    There's always something in the lexicon that draws attention and groans. First it was Michael Uslan who was mortified and aghast that the Batman of old was reduced to "bow! zap! and pow!" He worked and worked and we ended up with Batman (1989).

    Then Adam West and others were upset and disturbed by Batman being so dark that it didn't appeal to kids. The Batman Returns (1992) Happy Meal controversy was another case in point.

    Then Burton left and we got Joel Schumacher. Val Kilmer, George Clooney, a sidekick, and lots of spandex. We all complained about the empty-headed shallow spectacle Batman had become. Arnold Schwarzenegger watching Snow Miser, Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl, and Jim Carrey doing a better Grinch than he did for Ron Howard. This and the Abercrombie and Fitch kitsch made people wonder if the serious Batman would come back.

    Then came Christopher Nolan and his angst. And frankly anything after Batman and Robin (1997) was going to be better. But immediately people seemed to be drawn to it and the reputation of Batman Begins (2005) had a huge effect on everything that followed. It wasn't until The Dark Knight (2008) swallowed up everything that I started to hear the complaint. First by Adam West and then by some wanting to know when the funny engaging Batman would return.

    This Batman thing is like the seasons. Though Nolan will move on to other things, Batman will end up alarming a new group of "fans" soon enough. The DC universe direction will certainly move Batman away from Nolan to a new flavor. And then someone new will complain and wonder if it will ever change. It will. Give it time.

    Nothing lasts in Hollywood. Spiderman (2002) gets a remake. And the same will be true of Batman and in less time. WB needs the franchise. The Bat will be back. And some new director will become someone else's headache. Time will tell…

    Thanks again.

    Sincerely,

    Bruce

    Comment by Bruce Pullen — July 14, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

    39. 

    C13old,

    For the record, Michael Uslan was the guy who created the first college course on comic books. He becamae a celebrity back in the 70's, and is considered an authority on comics and Batman. His belief was Batman was at its core a dark story and the West stuff is stain on the real spirit of Batman. It took 10 years to make a dark Batman movie because (as Uslan puts it) the suits all thought of Adam West and didn't see where Uslan was going.

    And Bob Kane shared Uslan's feelings. He was tickled pink by what Burton did.

    Sincerely,

    Bruce

    Comment by Bruce Pullen — July 14, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

    40. 

    I like a dark Batman! I like the funny Batman! The problem I see is that we have only seen those two extremes on film. We haven't seen the O'Neil Batman. The Batman who smiled and could crack a joke but took his job seriously. That's my Batman But isn't that the beauty of Batman? He can have so many intepretations all of which are equally valid.

    Comment by c13old — July 14, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    41. 

    I agree.

    Comment by Bruce Pullen — July 15, 2012 @ 2:33 am

    42. 

    Now to the topic at hand...

    Aaron hit the nail on the head for me in Weekend Justice. I had the same problems as he did.

    The acting was great. The editing was horrible (the Raimi film was beautifully paced and edited). The dialouge was beyond godawful.

    And, Widge, I am glad you liked it. I am actually very very very glad you liked it. I'm not trying to ruin it for you. But this movie just... I don't know how to feel about it! You know?

    Comment by c13old — July 15, 2012 @ 4:55 am

    43. 

    Yes. You have made it abundantly clear how abundantly unclear you are.

    Comment by Widge — July 15, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    44. 

    Widge, I got to call you out here on something you said about comics in the latest Weekend Justice.

    Comics are a medium. Along with radio, t.v. books. and movies. There are things each medium can do that the others can't and vice versa. Comics are just as viable as any other medium.

    Comment by c13old — July 15, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    45. 

    Um. I agree with you.

    Comment by Widge — July 15, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

    46. 

    Are you sure? Would you say a movie adapted from a book wouldn't work becuase it uses 'book conventions'? That's not really respecting a medium.

    Comment by c13old — July 15, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    47. 

    I'll be happy to answer your question if you can first give me a definitive list of "book conventions"...and to be clear, I mean a generalized list that covers all books. Especially because I think I was referring to super hero comics and not the entire medium.

    And do please lighten up. Just a smidge.

    Comment by Widge — July 15, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

    48. 

    Watched it last night, and it was both boring and silly. The lizard was cartoonish (with one really scary moment of no consequence, plus that obvious one from the trailer)and campy too :-(
    The things they got right were PP and Gwen (though both actors are clearly older than their roles). Anyway, as slow and "emo" as this one was, I would like to see a better written and paced second film with Garfield as Spidey, he was an inspired choice.

    P.S.:
    1.)This movie had the worst music choices/"score" ever. Almost every time there was an instrumental or song playing in the background, it took me right out of the moment (not the library fight/cameo sequence btw).
    2.)It was the first time I remember where there were hordes of toddler aged youth present, brought along by parents, and I can sympathize with you Widge, it was pretty distracting, if sometimes more entertaining than the film. This was not a kids' movie on any plane at all.

    Comment by Montag — July 16, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    49. 

    ... Oh.... I get it now. So you were refering to the tropes of a genre not a medium? That's better. Okay I'm cool with that. Never mind. Sorry.

    And that's what the doctors say.

    Comment by c12old — July 16, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

    50. 

    Ugh that goddamn costume... the more I see it the less I like it.

    Comment by c13old — July 17, 2012 @ 12:47 am

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