Ok, let’s do this one last time.
Into the Spiderverse was Sony’s most recent effort with Spider-Man, having almost completely lost power over the main thread of Peter Parker to the Disney/Marvel steamroller. Sony have been left with the castoffs to play with, and they’re doing the best they can with limited control, including a Venom solo movie that had an underwhelming but not disastrous response from audiences, and now the animated feature that brings together Spider-Mans from across the Marvel Multiverse.
To a chorus of “why though?” we get into the first major reboot of the series. Five years after the critical flop of Spider-Man 3, Sony elected to take a do over than try and save the Raimi series. With Tobey Maguire in his late thirties and a lot of ill feeling around the mishandling of the third film of an acclaimed series, it was a reasonable response, although the staggering box office return and the good favour bought by the first two films made a lot of people a little nervous. Sam Raimi had a proven track record, and there was hope that the studio might have learned the lesson to take their hands off the reigns and let the creativity fly.
A cautious audience went to see Amazing Spider-Man, with new face Andrew Garfield and director Marc Webb. name jokes aside, Webb’s previous credentials included 500 Days of Summer and a host of pop-punk music videos, and Tom Holland was already 29 and trying to play a high school student. A cautious audience also left the cinema… (more…)
There’s not a lot can be said about Spider-Man 3, last in the Raimi trilogy, that hasn’t already been said. It’s common knowledge that pressure from the studio forced Raimi into introducing an extra villain that the fans wanted to see, one that he wasn’t entirely happy implementing, and one which he infamously screwed up (and he knows it), Venom. And maybe that’s on us! There was a lot of hype at the time, and I seem to remember a lot of discussions featuring the words “Well it’s got to be Venom, right?” from kids raised on the 90’s series who adored the Venom saga responsible for bringing the symbiote off the page and onto screen. (more…)
Spider-Manuary continues with Spider-Man 2, second in the ill-fated Sam Raimi trilogy, is regarded by most as the best of the big screen excursions for the wall crawler. Continuing my delve into the series, I want to look at exactly why, and why some people might disagree… oh yeah, I’m going there too! It’s a good film, but not above criticism. Ok, so they’ve refined a lot of the formula, upped the pace and feel of the action, and given us a glimpse into the future of super-hero villains in cinema.
Not going to draw this one out, it’s a fourteen year old film, let’s get into it. (more…)
This month… and a little bit of February, I will be reviewing all of the Spider-Man films of the century in order. I’ll skip Homecoming as I already reviewed it when it released, although expect a lot of cross-commentary and inevitable comparisons.
Spider-Manuary… I have never been so ashamed and proud of myself at the same time. (more…)
Tuesday I summarised the MCU as best as I could in brief, and tried to give you some idea of what to expect from Infinity War without giving too much away. Today the gloves are off, and so begins the review proper.
Given the volume of characters in play, it makes absolute sense to divide the narrative between them, each group trying to find a way to halt the progress of the Mad Titan. So let’s take this group by group, doing insufficient justice to each character as we go because we have many years to summarise with each:
What happens when a Spider-fan, of almost three decades, walks into the most eagerly anticipated Spider-Man film since Spider-Man films were a thing? Well, they do so with a lot of expectation! They carry with them memories of the best bits of five previous Spider-films, a fantastic cameo in Civil War, the 90s Spider-Man cartoon (and its AWESOME theme tune) and a shed load of comic book knowledge. Any fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is aware that you can’t get too precious about any of that – there will be changes and you should expect things to be different.
But not like this.
Cometh the hour, cometh the Spider-Man, right back into the middle of the MCU where he belongs. No backstory, no spider bite – because it has been done – just straight into the life of a teenager irrevocably altered by comicbook logic. Instead we jump in with the Peter Parker straight after the fight in Civil War, hero-worshipping Tony Stark, fully kitted out and ready to get into a fight with someone a little more daunting than the odd bike thief or shoplifter.
After all of the backbiting and corporate petulance between Disney and Sony, it is so good to have Spidey amongst the ranks of the Avengers because without him it all has all seemed a little weird, but here we have a Spider-Man born of the Cinematic Universe, only a child during the New York Incident, and fully immersed in the unique-to-film narratives, lore and history. (more…)
In which we compare the two biggest comic book showdowns as they duke it out on the silver screen. This is the second part of a two part review because it got too long to confine to a single article. Read part 1 here. There are a lot more spoilers to be found in this section so a warning is in effect across the board.
Marvel – This is the first time I’ve seen a Marvel film to which I have read the actual comic! Oh I’m a fan of comics, sure, but my knowledge is broadly based on cartoons, games and research, I only pick up the odd comic here and there, but Civil War felt like a must have.
Well, the Nigeria replaced the Stamford Incident, a disastrous mission by a young band of heroes facing off against a far more experienced villain. The Superhero Registration Act was the original name for the Sokovia Accords but by and large they represent the same thing, except that in the comics the concern was more over identifying rather than regulating supers, and Spider-Man revealing his identity becomes a pivotal moment with major ramifications. I like that Parker and Stark are already bonding though. (more…)