Written by: Dan O’Connell, Guest Contributor
Let’s party like it’s 2002: Wimpy high-schooler Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), is bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him the ability to sling webs and fly about the city, but putting his burgeoning relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) at risk, while battling Gwen’s police chief dad (Denis Leary) and the nefarious Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), who has the ability to morph into a giant lizard and release clouds of noxious gas over NYC.
Many said this “reboot” came along too soon, only 10 years after Sam Raimi’s original, and I’m among them. Too much focus is put on the relationship between Pete and Gwen, and the movie spends much too much time setting up Spidey’s origin and doesn’t introduce the bad guy until over an hour into the film. There’s nothing here that wasn’t done better before. Every story element is almost exactly the same, and – although I never thought I’d see myself writing this – Tobey Maguire’s goofiness easily trumps Garfield’s introspective angst. The effects are solid, the 3D is well employed, and as a whole it isn’t bad, but it’s unnecessary, and smacks more of a cash grab than a legitimate attempt to revitalize a floundering franchise.
Overall Rating: 2.5 Dishes
Julie Taymor took aim at the blogosphere when referencing the criticism she received during the development of Broadway’s Spiderman. Taymor explained the difficulty of making a show in today’s landscape, when the audience basically steers your product. According to Taymor, “Shakespeare would have been appalled.” Because I’m a blogger, I’m obviously biased on this one. Having admitted that, I’d like to say I completely disagree with her. For years, big movie studios have test screened their product, and Broadway does the same. The blogosphere provides a way to speed up the entire process. The only issue is that the entire world finds out about your crappy product before you have a chance to correct it, which means it’s difficult to recover from the bad press. Perhaps Shakespeare would have been grateful for the criticism. I’m sure he asked his friends for advice — now he would just have millions of them.
I watched Good Will Hunting
for the fiftieth time last night, and something occurred to me. Matt Damon’s character was an intellectual superhero. He didn’t have a batsuit, and he certainly couldn’t stop a train with his bare hands. His likability was based solely on smarts. There’s a scene in a bar where Ben Affleck hits on a girl, and a Harvard graduate makes him feel stupid. Damon comes to the rescue on his best friend’s behalf, but instead of punching the guy in the face in a well-choreographed fist-fight, he intellectually belittles him, and says “you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin’ education you coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the Public Library.” So here’s my question — would you rather date Will Hunting or Spiderman, and have there been any intelligent superheros since? If you take that rubber suit off, do you think Batman even knows how to multiply?
The Actors Equity Association investigated the recent Spiderman injury and determined that it was due to an error on the stage crew’s part. Is this supposed to make anyone feel better? The outrage surrounding the highly dangerous show, is that it’s open to human error. That’s the point. It should be safe enough to where a crew member’s mistake won’t result in someone’s death. Broadway previews are supposed to be about tweaking the small stuff — not figuring out how to keep your actors alive. To quote the very elequent Rent star, Adam Pascal, “I hope whoever was hurt is ok and sues the shit out of Julie Taymor, Bono, Edge and every other asshole who invested in that steaming pile of actor crippling shit!”