Tell me if this happens to you:
You're at an amusement park. You're eating cotton candy (candy floss, if you are living in Victorian England). You and your buddies get on line for the insane, backward, upside-down, stand-up roller coaster you aren't allowed to ride if you wear a pacemaker because just by looking at it you will probably have a heart attack.
You're chatting with your pals, then suddenly you are next in line and it is time to get in the car and OH MY GOD WHY THE HELL AM I ABOUT TO DO THIS?!?!?
This is, perhaps, what might happen to you when you go to see “The Amazing Spider-Man” next week.
You'll go, because it is Spider-Man, because we've got to see all movies with people zipping around in colorful suits, but the moment before the lights dim you might think, "Hey, waitaminute, shouldn't I be seeing a movie with Tobey Maguire directed by Sam Raimi? Why the hell am I about to do this?"
Don't be scared of a Spider-Man reboot. It's circle of life, man. Here are the reasons it's happened, and why it's a-ok.
Think back to "Spider-Man 3."
"Spider-Man 3" was, at best, aiiiiight. Some people hated on it, and that wasn't fair, but, c'mon, were you jumping for joy after that film? Consider the fact that Sam Raimi probably would have been a little grumpy that 'Drag Me To Hell' wasn't quite the wild storm of success he wanted it to be and would be a defeated man back in the Spidey director's chair for part four. It's not like "Spider-Man 3" was a financial bust, but it cost way, way, way too much and was met with a critical and fanboy meh. Is this the proper state of mind for readying an awesome super-hero flick?
Peter Parker is supposed to be a high school student.
Tobey Maguire looks young for his age. But he's still 37. I don't care how many times you flunk Algebra, you aren't still in high school at age 37.
While current Spider-Man comics has him as a young New York City bachelor working at Horizon Labs, the eternal Peter Parker is a student. Studying, riding the bus, getting beaten up by Flash Thompson. It is right and just and fair that Spider-Man has been sent back in time a little bit.
First, True Love
Before Mary Jane Watson, there was Gwen Stacy. We can debate all day long which of these fine women is Peter's true soul mate, but we've got more important things to do. (Like debating whether or not Wolverine's healing power can withstand getting liquified in a giant blender.)
Either way, by rebooting the series, we can let Peter have his romance with Captain Stacy's daughter without it feeling like cheating on MJ. Imagine that -- seeing what your life would have been like if you stuck with the other girl. That's a superpower more tempting than wall-crawling. And just think, in a few years, we'll have another reboot where we can see what it would've been like with Betty Brandt!
Webs In Your Face
"The Amazing Spider-Man" is shot in native 3-D, and there are more than a few occasions where it made me flinch. Yes, it is all well and good to turn up our nose at this latest whiz-bam gimmick within the seventh art, but tell yourself that when the top of the Empire State Building looks like it is gonna poke you in the eye.
That, and a half-dozen other clever moments of swinging, punching and thwipping will have you cheering the dopey plastic glasses tricking your brain into creating false depth!
Hey, I Had Salad There Once!
Much of "The Amazing Spider-Man" is actually shot in real New York City locations. (Though some of it isn't -- 39th Street Station?) Anyway, you should know that the scene where Peter is about to go up elevators to Oscorp and first spots Gwen Stacy is actually a big media company's 2nd floor lobby. The chairs you see in the background are, in fact, the cafeteria. I've eaten there more than a few times and not only are the prices reasonable, there's an all-you-can-eat frozen yogurt policy.
Now you know.
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