Well before the wide release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, early preview reviews started rolling out and proclaiming the film to be fantastic. I was a little worried that much of the hype was overblown; that the reviewers were overlooking the movie’s flaws just because they were happy to have Spider-Man as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Granted, I had no reason to feel this way having not seen the movie, but that’s just the anxiety in me. After seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming, however, I realize just how silly this notion was.
For starters, Homecoming doesn’t get bogged down in an origin story. One of movie-goers’ biggest complaints is that the first film in every super hero series is an origin. Most often, it’s necessary to establish where the character comes from. Sometimes, a movie is directed well enough that the audience doesn’t realize they’re watching an origin. For Spider-Man: Homecoming, there’s a quick scene recapping Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) experiences in Berlin prior to his debut in Captain America: Civil War and how Tony Stark (do I even need to put “Robert Downey Jr.” here?) gave him his suit but that’s it. They make references to the spider that bit him but we never see it happen. Thankfully Marvel and Sony understood that audiences know how Peter became Spider-Man.
As a character, Spider-Man has always been about dichotomy, and Homecoming recognized that. Peter Parker is the timid, nerdy, powerless kid but he’s also the strong super hero who can do amazing things. In the movie, though, we see this power divide almost everywhere. Spider-Man wants t do more and help people on a grander scale but Tony Stark limits his abilities and keeps him grounded. Adrian Toomes, the villainous Vulture played by Michael Keaton, is a hard-working, blue-collar salvage worker whose life is threatened when a powerful government organization comes in and claims authority over his jobsite. We can understand his fear and need to do whatever he has to in order to provide for his family. (This was also a nice way to tie Homecoming into the MCU and the events that transpired in Avengers.)
Spider-Man: Homecoming also places a lot of focus on Spidey’s supporting characters. Peter’s best friend, Ned (played by Jacob Batalon, who looks more like Ganke than Ned Leeds but I digress), gets almost as much screen time as Peter himself. School bully Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) shows up often and is much more than a one-note trick than previous portrayed in the other movies. Even a character like Michelle has an abundance of screen time, but that’s to be expected when they put someone like Zendaya in that role.
All of this works to make Spider-Man: Homecoming feel like a true Spider-Man movie. Spider-Man has always been about the people around him. Seventy plus years of comics show us that Spider-Man became the hero he is because of his affection for his friends, and even his tormentors. Previous cinematic versions of Spidey never really got that ideal, or at least never expressed it as well as Homecoming did.
One of my biggest complaints about Homecoming is the way it handled Peter Parker. As the quiet, nerdy kid, Peter either gets picked on or ignored. He lives with his elderly Aunt May, who no doubt maintains her household while living on a fixed income. Peter feels that financial crisis and decides to help carry the burden. However, in Homecoming, Peter isn’t like that. Sure, he gets picked on by Flash Thompson, but overall he has a few close friendships. His peers find value in his intelligence and every time they’re disappointed by him it’s through his own actions. Even Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is younger and prettier than her other incarnations (which the movie doesn’t hesitate to joke about), which allows her to continue to provide for herself and her teenage nephew. Peter’s life in Homecoming isn’t that bad.
Being Spider-Man, however, sure as hell seems like it. Homecoming manages to show audiences just how much it sucks to be Spider-Man. He gets yelled at by the public for making mistakes. His actions cause massive damage to the neighborhood he lives in. He puts his life on the line to take down a threat when no one else will listen to him. Why?
Clearly because “with great power comes great responsibility.” The beauty of Spider-Man: Homecoming is that we have a Spider-Man who understands Uncle Ben’s powerful message without having to beat audiences over the head with the phrase. Not once are those words uttered, but we see how much Peter values them. This all goes back to the lack of an origin story. Spider-Man knows when it’s time to do the right thing; whether it’s from the life lesson he learned off-screen from his Uncle Ben or from being mentored by Iron Man himself is irrelevant. It’s a notion that’s inherent in this version of Spider-Man.
There’s lots of things to enjoy about Spider-Man: Homecoming; all of the excellent performances of the cast, most notably by Holland and Keaton, the return of Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan in a true supporting role, and all of the small throwbacks and references the filmmakers added. Overall, what I liked about Homecoming is that this is the closest a movie version of Spider-Man has ever gotten to its comic book roots. The young Peter Parker/Spider-Man has a lot to learn, not just about being a hero but about life in general. They’re not fast forwarding through his growth but allowing audiences to experience it first-hand, which is the most exciting part of the story.
San Diego Comic Con is just about a month away and there’s a ton of stuff that we’re excited to see come out of the show, like the big announcements from all of the major movie and TV studios and comic book big (and little) shots. However, one of the major draws to the West Coast mecca for geek culture is the exclusive toys that are available at the show.
Over the last couple of weeks, Funko, the purveyor of fine Pop! vinyls, has announced their lineup of SDCC exclusive figures. We have compiled everything right here for you so you can decide before you go which ones you can’t live without (or salivate over the exclusives you’ll need to hunt down on eBay if you can’t make it to San Diego).
Even if you make it to to SDCC, chances are getting your hands on these Pop! figures will still prove difficult. Distribution will be similar to last year, in that access to the Funko booth will be by lottery only. Funko didn’t provide many details on how that’ll work for 2017, and in fact may be trying to work that out with the comic con showrunners, but we will share the info with you once it becomes available.
Fret not! Funko has said that many, if not most, of the SDCC exclusives will be shared, meaning they will be available at Hot Topic, Gamestop, FYE, or any other stores or distributors that have exclusive license with Funko. While there won’t be any details on which will be available where until around the week of SDCC, we’ll make sure to keep you in the loop.
Wave 10: HBO – Game of Thrones & Westworld (Announced June 29)
With the news of the Funko Pop-Up Shop at San Diego Comic Con, I honestly thought we were done with SDCC proper exclusives. However, Funko managed to prove me wrong. Their latest showcase of exclusives focuses on two television power-houses, both from HBO.
First up is Westworld. There’s two exclusives for the show, only one of which I’m familiar with. I like the detail on the Musashi Pop! but the Robotic Dr. Ford Host looks a little flat. Either way, I’m sure fans of the show will enjoy them.
Secondly, we’re getting some new Game of Thrones stuff. The Mountain in gold armor looks pretty neat, though I think it would have been a nicer touch if they made it a 6-inch Pop!. Besides that, there’s a Tormund/Brienne 2-pack of Dorbz, a cute little pack that celebrates their odd relationship on the show.
Also, Funko stated in this update that they will share the procedure to getting into their booth at SDCC sometime next week, so we’ll keep you up to date on that when it’s announced.
Here’s the news straight from Funko:
Our final wave of SDCC reveals comes to us from HBO!
Even more characters from the futuristic park and hit
HBO TV series Westworld come to the world of Pop! vinyl as SDCC exclusives!
Pop! Television: Westworld – Musashi
Pop! Television: Westworld – Robotic Dr. Ford Host
Our HBO line up would not be complete without a few Game of Thrones SDCC exclusives!
Pop! Game of Thrones: The Mountain (Armored)
This exclusive features the fearsome warrior The Mountain with his fists clenched and eyes wide, donning his near impenetrable gold armor.
Dorbz: Game of Thrones – Tormund & Brienne 2-pack (Toy Tokyo)
It seems Tormund and Brienne’s flirtation in Season 6 has brought them closer than ever in the SDCC exclusive Tormund and Brienne 2-pack.
We have one more special reveal on the way – stay tuned!
Wave 9: Miscellaneous (Announced Jun 23)
When I spotted Funko’s exclusive release for today, I started to scroll through them and got bored pretty quickly. Right until I saw the Megazord. That one had me. I’m a huge Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fan and I absolutely love that 6” Megazord.
Then I kept scrolling and spotted the Masters of the Universe stuff. Scareglow? A She-Ra Rock Candy. Yes, please!
I’m really hoping all of those are shared exclusives because I will need to track them down.
Today’s wave is a bunch of items that didn’t really fit in with any other category, but we love them just the same!
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Our Five Nights at Freddy’s San Diego Comic Con 2017 exclusives are from Sister Location, the latest game in the series!
Pop! Games: Sister Location – Jumpscare Funtime Foxy
Pop! Games: Sister Location – Jumpscare Baby
Fus Ro Dah! The mighty Dwarven Colossus joins our Elder Scrolls series as a super-sized 6-inch Pop!
Pop! Games: Elder Scrolls – 6” Dwarven Colossus
Our very first San Diego Comic Con exclusive Dr. Seuss Pop! is the flocked Lorax!
Pop! Books: Dr. Seuss – Lorax (flocked)
Initiate Megazord sequence! The iconic Megazord is a San Diego Comic Con 2017 exclusive super-sized 6-inch Pop! Megazord Battle Mode!
Pop! Power Rangers – 6” Megazord
Masters of the Universe
Our Masters of the Universe series grows with a glow-in-the-dark Scareglow Pop!, flocked Panthor and Battle Armor Skeletor Dorbz Ride, and She-Ra in Rock Candy form!
Pop! TV: MOTU – Scareglow (GITD)
Dorbz Ride: MOTU – Panthor w/ Battle Armor Skeletor
Rock Candy: MOTU – She-Ra
Long-time Funko collectors, rejoice! We’re bringing back Sike-O-Shriner in Pop! form for San Diego Comic Con 2017!
Pop! Funko: Sike-O-Shriner
Wave 8: DISNEY (Announced June 21)
So much good stuff out of this Disney line!
First of all, Chip and Dale are one of my favorite duos. I don’t have these guys in my collection at all so having a flocked version of them would be fantastic.
Secondly, the rooster was one of my favorite parts of Moana. Yes, I’m weird like that, but he was super funny, and this Hei Hei looks great.
Finally, two glow in the dark Pop! toys! Though I’m not crazy about “Pirates of the Caribbean,” that Jolly Roger looks amazing. It’s just a shame he’s limited to 1000 pieces because that means I’ll probably never get my hands on him.
Since I am crazy about Darkwing Duck, a glow in the dark Negatron is so up my alley. I’ll be working hard to try and acquire that guy!
As put in the press release:
Our Disney SDCC exclusives sure cover a lot of ground! We have some new characters from cartoons, movies, and Disney Parks! Plus, check out some fun versions of familiar faces, like flocked or glow-in-the-dark!
Pop! Disney: Chip & Dale 2-pack (Flocked)
Pop! Disney: Winnie the Pooh – Bouncing Tigger (Flocked)
Pop! Disney: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – Mr. Toad (1500 LE)
Pop! Disney: Moana – Hei Hei
Pop! Disney: Disneyland Resort – Jolly Roger (Glow-in-the-Dark 1000 LE)
Pop! Disney: Darkwing Duck – Negatron (Glow-in-the-Dark)
Dorbz Ridez: Aladdin – Aladdin & Abu with Magic Carpet
Wave 7.5: RICK & MORTY – Tinkles and Ghost in a Jar (Announced June 20)
I don’t know why this wasn’t included with the rest of the “Cartoons” wave but Funko dropped the news separately for Rick & Morty fans that they’ll be able to get a Tinkles Pop! I don’t watch the show and have no idea about this character, but it looks pretty cool, and I like that little ghost.
From the press release:
As the Master Toy Licensee Partner for Rick and Morty, Funko has made a concerted effort to showcase the incredible oddities of this uniquely creative show! The San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Tinkles with Ghost in a Jar Pop! is yet another example of why we’re proud to partner with minds capable of producing something adorable, fascinating, and, inevitably, sinister. Keep an eye out for more Rick and Morty products from Funko, such as Pop!s, Action Figures, and even the upcoming Portal Gun!
Wave 7: WARNER BROS – Harry Potter, Supernatural, Lord of the Rings & The 100 (Announced June 19)
This was kind of a mish-mosh of a reveal seeing as how these are all over the place but oh em gee there’s some amazing offerings in this bunch. While I’m not generally a fan of Pop! Rides, I am a fan of Supernatural so to finally have Baby in Pop! form is a god-send.
Also, a fun fact about me: my two favorite characters from Harry Potter are Neville and Luna. While Funko already made both of those, I am super stoked for the Luna in the Spectrespecs, and though I wasn’t too crazy about Fantastic Beasts, the 6” Occamy is beautiful and I love the iridescence on it.
Pop! Television: The 100 – Lincoln as Reaper (750pc LE)
Lincoln from The 100 is featured as a Reaper and is joining the SDCC line up!
Pop! Ride: Supernatural – Baby with Dean
How do you raise a babyshifter? Dean is figuring that out! Dean & Baby are now a SDCC exclusive Pop! Ride!
The magic of Hogwarts continues with some epic SDCC exclusives!
Pop! Harry Potter: Harry on Broom
Pop! Harry Potter: Luna Lovegood with Glasses
Pop! Movies: Fantastic Beasts – 6” Occamy
Now receiving the 6” Pop! vinyl treatment is the Occamy from the hit movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
Wave 6: TV (Announced June 16)
Finally a Clara Pop! There have been so many Doctor Who Pop!s already that it’s almost criminal that Clara is just getting a release, but at least it’s happening.
That Tick looks sweet, too (and it glows in the dark!), and I might even pick up that Stranger Things Steve, just for the detail alone.
Besides those, there’s not much in this wave that grabs me. I never really watched Twin Peaks or Mr. Robot (though from what I understand, I should) and I fell out of favor with The Walking Dead long ago. Fans of those shows might be interested in these Pop!s. For the most part, they look pretty good.
Pop! Television: Mr. Robot – Masked Elliot Alderson
It’s a mask he can’t take off! To hide his true self, it’s Elliot Anderson featured in the fsociety mask!
Pop! Television: The Walking Dead – T-Dog
One of the original characters from the hit AMC series The Walking Dead is now a SDCC exclusive… it’s T-Dog!
Pop! Television: Doctor Who – Clara
Clara, the Impossible Girl, is joining the Pop! vinyl SDCC line up!
Pop! Television: The Tick –The Tick (Glow-in-the-Dark)
Be prepared when The Tick hits Amazon Prime Video on August 25th with this SDCC exclusive glow-in-the-dark Tick Pop! Neat!
We haven’t had enough of Stranger Things on Netflix! Steve and Mr. Clarke are receiving the Pop! vinyl treatment for SDCC!
Pop! Television: Stranger Things – Steve
Pop! Television: Stranger Things – Mr. Clarke
Wave 5: DC! (Announced June 14)
DC seems to have the largest showing at SDCC this year and there’s a lot to be excited for. First of all, Ares from the Wonder Woman film is a must-have for any completists out there (such as myself). Though I’m not really a fan of Dorbz, the Diana/Ares 2-pack looks great.
Funko is also giving us additions from other movie-property Pop!s with a Joker Batman based from the Suicide Squad line as well as two Pop!s from the upcoming Justice League. I’m really digging Bruce Wayne; it would go well next to the Tony Stark SDCC exclusive.
Luckily, the animation gets some love too! Man-Bat from Batman: The Animated Series looks incredible and is enticing me to start collecting that series. We also get a Wonder Twins 3-pack! Who would have ever thought that would be a thing?
Finally, that Red Batmobile. I have no idea what it’s from but it’s a thing of beauty.
As seen from the press release:
From comic books to the big screen and some surprises in between, Funko’s DC exclusives for San Diego Comic Con really runs the spectrum! We have key additions to the Wonder Woman and Justice League movie lines as well as a Suicide Squad The Joker inspired Batman! Speaking of Batman, we also have a stunning blue chrome variant, a special Batmobile action figure colorway, and Interplanetary Batman with a space helmet! We have the Wonder Twins and Man-Bat for fans of DC’s animated shows, while comic buffs will enjoy classic Nightwing and Deathstroke Dorbz!
Pop! Movies: Wonder Woman – Ares
Dorbz: Wonder Woman – Wonder Woman & Ares 2-pack
Pop! Movies: Suicide Squad – Joker Batman
Pop! Movies: Justice League – Bruce Wayne
Pop! Movies: Justice League – Aquaman with Motherbox
Pop! Heroes: Blue Chrome Batman (Toy Tokyo)
Pop! Heroes: Batman The Animated Series – Man Bat
Pop! Heroes: Interplanetary Batman
Pop! Heroes: Wonder Twins 3-pack – Zan, Jayna & Gleek
Dorbz: Classic Nightwing & Deathstroke 2-pack (1500 LE)
Action Figures: Red Batmobile with Green Batman (1500 LE)
Wave 4: CARTOONS (Announced June 12)
Here’s a few that I’m really excited for! As of a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as I am, shockingly the only Pop! I own from that line is Casey Jones, but that Baxter Stockman Fly Pop! needs to be part of my collection.
An epic amount of your cartoon favorites are now arriving as SDCC exclusives!
Pop! Animation: Ren & Stimpy – Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy 2-pack (2500pc LE)
This 2-pack makes us Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!
Pop! Television: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Baxter Stockman
The mad scientist from TMNT is joining the SDCC lineup!
Pop! Telvision: Catdog – Flocked Catdog
Alone in the world is a little Catdog! This SDCC exclusive is a flocked (fuzzy!) variant!
Pop! Television: South Park – The Coon
The Coon and Mint-Berry Crunch from the animated hit show South Park are also joining Funko’s SDCC exclusives lineup!
Pop! Television: South Park – Mint-Berry Crunch
Wave 3: MARVEL (Announced June 9)
It’s no surprise that Marvel would get a major reveal, but what does surprise me is how few items are included in the exclusive wave, as well as how plain most of these are. I think the Gwenpool with the selfie stick is a pretty clever piece, but I’m not too keen on the Red She-Hulk and Bucky Cap Pop!s (although I do like that Tony Stark from Spider-Man: Homecoming and that may be the plainest from the bunch so judge me as you will).
From the press release:
Our San Diego Comic Con exclusives for Marvel include some of your comic book favorites and one major big screen personality! Gwenpool busts out her selfie stick and also joins the Rock Candy family, while Red She-Hulk & Bucky Cap both make their Funko debut! e also have Tony Stark showing off his snazzy street style while holding a familiar helmet!
Pop! Marvel: Gwenpool with Selfie Stick
Rock Candy: Gwenpool
Pop! Marvel: Red She-Hulk
Pop! Marvel: Captain America (Bucky Cap)
Pop! Marvel: Spider-Man Homecoming – Tony Stark (holding helmet)
Wave 2: SCOTT PILGRIM (Announced June 7)
I won’t lie; I’m a little surprised that Scott Pilgrim vs the World got its own wave of release news, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited. That Nega Scott Pop! is fantastic but I think the one I’m most excited for is the Ramona Flowers Rock Candy. The roller blades are a nice touch.
From the press release:
Funko earned the Power of new Scott Pilgrim figures! Scott Pilgrim with Sword of Destiny, NegaScott, and Roxy Richter Pop!s are coming for San Diego Comic Con 2017! We’re also offering a Scott Pilgrim Dorbz 3-pack – which includes Scott with Sword of Destiny, NegaScott, and Scott with his bass guitar – as well as Ramona Flowers in Rock Candy form!
Pop! Movies: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Scott with Sword of Destiny (2000pc LE)
Pop! Movies: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Nega Scott
Dorbz: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Scott Pilgrim 3-pack (500pc LE)
Rock Candy: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Ramona Flowers (1250pc LE)
Wave 1: STAR WARS (Announced June 5)
The first wave of exclusives Funko announced was their Star Wars line. Most of what they showed focused on the recent Rogue One and The Force Awakens movies, as to be expected, but that Leia/R2-D2 2-pack is on point.
Funko’s first round of exclusives for San Diego Comic Con 2017 come from a galaxy far, far away!
From recent fan favorites Bodhi Rook, Combat Assault Tank Trooper, and 6-inch holographic Snoke to the timeless pairing of R2-D2 with holographic Princess Leia, these figures are essential for every Star Wars fan!
Pop! Star Wars: Rogue One – Bodhi Rook
Pop! Star Wars: Rogue One – Combat Assault Tank Trooper
Pop! Star Wars: 6″ Supreme Leader Snoke (Glow-in-the-Dark)
Pop! Star Wars: Holographic Princess Leia & R2-D2
Marvel’s best and brightest heroes are stepping to the head of the class for a series of special variant covers! Marvel is pleased to announce 5 special STEAM Variants coming to some of your favorite Marvel titles this November!
“Our characters have been exciting fans for ages,” says David Gabriel, SVP Sales & Marketing, Marvel Comics. “With our new STEAM Variants, we plan to continue to motivate our fans to explore their passions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math and present these disciplines through some of our favorite young heroes who are doing just that – following their dreams and preparing for the challenges that await them ahead.”
Marvel is excited to reveal the following STEAM Variants by some of Marvel’s great cover artists:
- S (science) – MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR #13 by Joyce Chin
- T (technology) – SPIDER-MAN #10 by Pasqual Ferry
- E (engineering)— INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 by Mike McKone
- A (art) — CHAMPIONS #2 by Pascal Campion
- M (math) – GWENPOOL #8 by Will Sliney
Through Marvel’s STEAM Variants, this campaign plans to ignite the spark of creativity and innovation that fuels and empowers the very heroes that have helped inspire generations around the world.
This November, join Marvel at your local comic shop as we continue to inspire champions of education, seekers of enlightenment, and the next generation of visionaries with Marvel’s STEAM Variants.
This week, Andrew Garfield caused comics fans to literally (LITERALLY) explode when he asked a simple question to EW: What if Spidey was gay?
The actual full quote: “And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking!…So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”
Good question, Andrew Garfield. Why can’t Peter Parker be gay? Well, I’ll tell you why.
Because after this article hit EW.com, the comments immediately started crying out against the idea. Because you “don’t change an established character like that,” or something. Because it’s promoting AN AGENDA to make Spider-man gay. Which agenda? I’m guessing the one that insists that gay people are a lot like straight people and don’t deserve the shit they get socially and legally and when it comes to the media.
It’s also because when Marvel ran an innocent image of Hulking and Wiccan from Children’s Crusade, showing the openly gay teens about to share an intimate moment, the Facebook comments blew up claiming Marvel was, once again, promoting an agenda. Or worse, corrupting youth by showing them gay superheroes and encouraging them to emulate them. Or something. Bonus points to all of the people claiming they were only going to buy DC comics in the future because DC wasn’t “shoving gays down their throats.” Here’s a tip for those people: start your new-found devotion to DC by reading Batwoman.
In short, Andrew Garfield, the answer is simple: there is no good reason that Spider-man CAN’T be gay.
Because all of these arguments are bullshit. “Purity” of the character? So, characters who were created in a different generation should never evolve and grow with the times? You want Superman to act and talk and look exactly how he did in Action #1?
No, you don’t. You probably love Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns which took a new look at the character. Or Extremis which changed the status quo for Tony Stark. And if you don’t want a gay Spider-man but are okay with the ending of Man of Steel, I hate you. Your call for “purity” of the character is bullshit.
As for “agendas,” what you mean by that is “doing things for the sake of selling comics.” Because this is a recent thing designed to destroy comics for straight men who love comics, because it’s only because of the feminists and the gays that this could happen. It’s not like Dick Grayson was introduced as Robin in order to sell comics. Or Jean Grey returning from the dead. Again.
Get over yourselves. Here is a fact: COMICS ARE A COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE. THEY ARE A BUSINESS. THE POINT OF THE COMICS INDUSTRY IS TO SELL COMICS. I mean, this doesn’t necessarily apply to indie comics, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about DC and Marvel and they want to fucking sell you things to make money off of you. This is not punk rock, this is not about keeping the message in the subculture, this is fucking comics. And here’s a fact you have to deal with as well: gay people buy comics. So do women. And they deserve to see themselves represented not just as minor characters or sidekicks.
So, what if Spider-man was gay? What if, straight male comics fans, you identified with a gay character? What if you could understand him and relate to him just the same as a gay or bi or bicurious character as you can when he’s written as straight?
What if identifying with a gay character means you might be gay?
What if you start thinking that you’re a little further along the Kinsey scale than you previously thought?
What if you realize you’re not totally turned off by the idea of kissing another guy, though maybe you’re not gonna go out looking for a chance to do so?
What if you’re asked to challenge your culturally and socially ingrained sense of masculinity and sexuality and it means you have to re-examine yourself and a lot of beliefs or stereotypes you didn’t even know affected you?
Now, lemme ask you again: Why can’t Spider-man be gay?
Ashly is an IHO Geek staff writer who wants you to keep things civil in the comments but isn’t necessarily holding her breath. She can also be found on Twitter (where she is more than willing to use the “block” function) @newageamazon
Here’s where I stand.
Spider-Man is cool, but not my favorite super hero. To me, it’s like, “Oh neat, there’s Spider-man. That’s cool, I guess.” I’ve always felt he was a big whiner. And he is always whining about problems he created. That said, I enjoyed the first two Sam Raimi movies. I wasn’t like, “Woah, I <3 Spider-Man!” or anything after I watched them, but I thought they were good. Kirsten Dunst annoyed me, but it was good. The third movie was more of the same except Venom sucked and Sandman looked awesome. Suffice to say, I was just lukewarm about the new Spider-Man, but it had promise.
Emma Stone was gonna be in it and Andrew Garfield too. But then a CG Lizard? And it felt so soon off of the heels of the last Spider-Man movie. Did we really need a reboot already?
Emma Stone is really frickin’ cute, but that doesn’t mean she can act. It also doesn’t mean she is a bad actress either. Andrew Garfield was really good in The Social Network, but he was a side character and I wasn’t sure how much appeal he has outside of that movie. Marc Webb was directing and really has only directed a Green Day concert, a No Doubt concert, and an indie film (500 Days of Summer) that was getting some buzz. MIXED FEELINGS!
So I finally got into the theatre, sat down and put on some 3-D glasses, and went, “Okay, Spider-Man… Wow me“. The end result? Read on mes amis, read on.
Let’s start with the 3-D. It was good, but nothing you haven’t seen before. So if you don’t want to pay extra for it, you will still get the same viewing experience.
The movie started and like normal, Peter Parker is all like, “I take pictures of stuff and occasionally get picked on at school, despite me being witty and fairly handsome.” But, this movie immediately gets a high-five for not boring me to death with a lot of Peter Parker high school drama. There is just enough there to set up the scene and then BAM! Peter Parker has become Spider-Man before you know it. The Raimi movies dragged a little bit and dealt with Spider-Man: High School Edition too much for my taste. Marc Webb really stream-lined the whole thing, since everyone already knows the Spider-Man story. It gets to the good stuff quickly.
Oh cool, Martin Sheen plays Uncle Ben. Good choice! Nuff’ said.
Andrew Garfield ending up being a great choice for Peter Parker, in my opinion. He is a skilled actor and adds a believability to the part. It’s strange though… Spider-Man always seems very “quippy”, so to say, in the comics. Very charismatic. But Garfield’s take on it is a little more mature. He’s very calm and sarcastic, but it never feels like he is hopped up on sugar like how I picture Spider-Man in my head. I like it, I think. There’s a strange sexuality to his version of Peter Parker. He is supposed to be geeky, but he comes off as more of a “bad boy”. Still… once again… I like it, I think.
Spider-Man in the actual suit is done well and it never feels like you are watching a CG Spider-man swing everywhere like in the Raimi films. The web-slingy thing-a-ma-bobbers are pretty cool, but it never explains how they can shoot infinitely forward without losing height or velocity (the movie hangs a lantern on this when two “nerds” walk by discussing this very thing). It does however explain how they are so strong (synthetic Oscorp technology).
The fights are very fun to watch, and utilize all of Spider-Man’s abilities. They really went out-of-the-way to showcase how diverse Spider-Man’s fighting tactics can be.
On to Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. She nailed it, plain and simple. She’s cute, smart, and an endearing character. One of my favorite moments of the film is the inevitable kiss. The Amazing Spider-Man tackled this with class, and also did what movies are supposed to do… show instead of telling. Gwen Stacy never has to be told Peter Parker is Spider-man. Through a clever scene, it is simply shown instead. This is also done with Aunt May. She never has to be told that Peter is Spider-man. She just gradually comes to a realization as the movie progresses.
Dennis Leary does a decent job as Gwen Stacy’s father/Police captain although he feels like he is phoning it in here and there.
Rhys Ifans plays the Lizard/Dr. Curt Connors. The only other movie you would probably know him from is Harry Potter (Luna Lovegood’s father). He does a good job although I never quite bought his torment of missing a limb, but he still did his part. It should be noted his make-up was well done, with his flesh in varying degrees of scaly textures.
Now the CG lizard, which I was most concerned about…. well, it’s hit or miss, but I’d say 85% of the time it looked good. There are a couple times where he looks clearly CG, but it never really hurt the experience for me. They also managed to give the Lizard a few sneaky horror moments where he pops out of certain places. I liked it.
These are all the characters that really matter, and is probably one of the movies strong points. It focused on just a few main characters instead of spreading itself too thin.
The plot is straight-forward. Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man, falls in love with Gwen Stacy, Dr. Connors becomes the lizard and wants to make others into lizard people, and Spider-man attempts to stop him. But it was well executed, and that’s what mattered. It hits all the right notes and hints at some mysterious things for sequels.
The cinematography is nice, with a beautiful blend of dark blues and an overall darkly lit movie (although the tone of the movie is never depressing). There isn’t a lot of cameras following Spider-Man swinging through the city like in the Raimi films (although there are a few moments during key dramatic scenes), but instead the camera chooses to stay very tight and focused on close up Spider-man action.
Over all, the excellent direction of Marc Webb and the fine acting of Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy make this movie what it needs to be. The lizard is a fun enemy with a summer blockbuster feel to him, although I doubt we will be seeing much too more of him in sequels.
I give The Amazing Spider-man an 8 out of 10 for being fun, exciting, and well executed. If you love Spider-Man you will enjoy this film, and if you are on the fence you will enjoy it too. I now have faith in this reboot and I am excited to see them tackle what we all want to see in a sequel…. Venom or Carnage.
P.S. – Green Goblin is hinted at for next movie.
Who knew that this week would include so many new and amazing trailers?
Most people were asleep for the first look at The Amazing Spider-Man reboot late last night and have no idea what they missed. Suit, good. Webshooters, good. Smart Pete, good. And the promo shots must’ve been misleading, because he doesn’t look overly “hipster” at all – not a super nerd, just an everyday kid. Andrew Garfield finally convinces me that he will make a fantastic Spidey, just solely based off the smartass comments. Tobey was always a little too deer in headlights for me, while Andrew starts to flesh out Peter Parker and bring some much needed life to the character. And, as goes without saying, Emma Stone is lovely as always. Maybe a tad bit too breath-y, but those are the lines they chose to show. I like where this is going, but I’m hoping I don’t girlcrush too hard on Emma, knowing Gwen Stacy’s ultimate fate.
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Finally getting the exposure it deserves, the Hunger Games second trailer hit the Super Bowl crowd yesterday. Fans of the franchise will note the inclusion of Katniss’ iconic yellow dress but will probably nerdrage over the Mockingjay origin, and Lenny Kravitz yet again delivers as Cinna without saying a single word. The only issue I have with this trailer and the one before it is that I don’t think it succintly sums up what the actual Games are for new viewers, so they will go into the theater expecting something different.
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Another hit with the Sunday crowd was The Avengers spot. Most of the trailer was footage we had already seen and though there was some nice new banter between Loki and Tony Stark and a couple of Hulk smashes, I didn’t feel that it really pulled me in and delivered in any way. Overall, this trailer could’ve given us way more and I am a little disappointed by it.
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With a surprising win this weekend, my trailer of choice is the underdog, The Amazing Spider-Man! See an amazing trailer this weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!