Friday, November 05, 2010

Somber, Authoritative Voice to Recite Famous Motto in Tremendously Unnecessary Film (UPDATED!)

Or, to put it another way, Martin Sheen is the new Uncle Ben Parker in "Spiderlight."

The "cute" angle on this, of course, is that both Uncle Bens will now have been played by men who also played JFK. That'll be a trivia question that endures much longer than the film is likely to...

UPDATE! Deadline says they want Sally Field for Aunt May. That's... on the nose and completely uninteresting, honestly. She'll essentially be playing Forrest's Mom again.

Honestly, this is really the only bit of casting that I'm willing to call "pretty cool" on this. It's not really "good" casting, there's nothing about Sheen that screams "perfect for it" other than the fact that "With Great Power..." is going to sound really, really good in his (very, very familiar) voice in all the trailers - which, let's face it, is what they've hired him for; he'll probably also score the voiceover gig for the innevitably crappy video-game tie-in, too.

This particular turd is still scheduled to be floating in the superhero-movie punchbowl sometime in 2012.


Chris said...

Bob, I say this with great respect and liking towards what you do with your videos. I'm aware that the reasons for this film are pretty dubious with the studio and that they did effectively screw over Raimi.

Given that, isn't there still a chance that this movie could reasonably be alright? The casting has been at worst, competent, and Marc Webb has shown some potential in directing.

Yes, you've expressed a view that the makers will go after the "Twilight" set in term of demographics, that the film will be a cheap cash grab to hold onto the rights.

However as a guy who defended controversial figures in film (whether M. Night Shyamalan prior to the The Last Airbender fiasco, or much of Zack Snyder's filmography) it just strikes me as odd that in this particular case you're so utterly convinced that the film will be utter crap.

You yourself have consistently been a voice that called for fanboys of both film and gaming to not immediately judge franchises or particular projects without genuinely seeing what they have to offer. Being so dead set against this just strikes me as a blind spot.

Every Second said...

Well we can always hope the world ends before it comes out...

But joking aside, I actually have to agree in the thinking that this movie will be crap.

The casting doesn't fit, the plot is already something everyone knows so every viewer will already expect something (Which means they'll either be disappointed that it's so bland, or upset that it isn't "Portrayed the right way.")

So it's shit and sugar in a blender.

I guess it's better to think it'll be horrible and be surprised, then to hope it's great and be disappointed when it isn't!

Bob said...


I'm applying exactly the same logic toward reporting on this that I applied to, for example, "Sex & The City 2" at this same point in the production - namely that every available indicator is that it was a bad idea. The SECOND I see or hear something about this that makes me think differently, believe me you'll hear about it.

Incidentally, if you'd like a spoiler about where this is going to go NEXT (assuming Sony doesn't go for the dwindling-relevancy hat-trick and cast Betty White as Aunt May)... at some point in the near future there is going to be a "leak" about some minor detail that'll be "closer to the comics" in this compared to the prior films (my money is on mechanical webshooters) that's going to make TONS of fanboys immediately "come around" on it - and declare anyone who hasn't also turned-around to be satan incarnate.

Just watch ;)

Chris said...


That is a fairly reasonable way of approaching the project, I suppose. I guess my view towards the reboot isn't necessarily one of overt optimism or even an outright neutral viewpoint; really more of a belief that Sony by sheer necessity will has to deliver a film of some merit, if just to address the publicity of the dislike of Raimi's departure and the skepticism of a reboot so soon after an original series (though Hulk/Incredible Hulk has set some precedent).

While it may be tempting fate to assume common sense in a business that's produced things like Batman & Robin and Superman III, I guess I just have to believe that even Sony is aware of the risks of alienating a broad movie-going audience to appeal to such a peripheral market like the Twilight crowd. Especially given that such a demographic has far better alternatives for their tastes than a film that by sheer design has to be half action movie.

Bob said...


The thing is, Sony's overall angle on this IS common sense... it's just not "good filmmaking" sense ;)

Their math on this is really simple: A new Spider-Man movie released as a summer tentpole a year after Batman 3 and Avengers is almost-definitely worth an automatic $200 Million domestic to them even if it's not any good, if they keep the budget low even better and if reconstituting it as a teen romance "works" even better.

Ben said...

Bob, your constant hate-on for this movie is becoming more and more of a schtick each time you pull it out. A couple blog posts, maybe, when big news comes out, or when you come up with a really interesting new idea about the movie, sure. But a post with no new ideas, just you shitting on the whole affair every time a tiny piece of news comes out? I'm not going to try to tell you what to post on your own blog, but I am going to tell you that from my perspective it's getting old. I come to you for interesting commentary on film as it relates to the overall history of the medium, and this just seems to be a big pile of nerdrage.

Kyle said...

I actually thought the first 3 Spider-man movies were crap.

(exception: I really liked the fights with Dr. Octopus, and when Spidey saves the train at great expense to himself)

My point is, I'm fine with someone else trying their hand at it. (good luck finding a better J Jonah Jameson)

Dave Kraft said...

@Bob: I'm STILL surprised you haven't bitched about THIS yet:

For the love of CHRIST, it looks like an alien bong!!!!!!

I await this movie to suck the long, high and mighty one. And I eagerly await your scathing review of it with a childlike glee. :)

Dave said...

@ Chris. Yeah but those controversial figures didn't replace one of his favourite directors. And because webb is guilty of NOT being sam raimy, everything affilitaed with his is automatically bad, even if it looks like good news. It's called confirmation bias and sadly Bob has been running on it for god knowns how long.

So far spider-man has a bloody fantastic cast that is orders of magnitude more talented than the last one, and a creative team that almost certainly won't find that referencing their previous movies is more important than character development. We jst might get a witty spiderman. Rememebr that? How that character defining trait was completely absent from every spiderman movie up until this point?

Bob said...


This has nothing to do with Marc Webb. If Marc Webb was simply taking over directing the series for a fourth movie and getting new actors (an innevitability either way with everyone's contracts up) it would be much less of a story and no one would really care until we started seeing photos and trailers.

This is about a remake of a movie that's not even ten years old being made fast and on the cheap NOT because Webb or anyone else has some daring new vision for it but because the producers A.) torpedo'd the previous series, B.) need to make it right away or risk losing the rights and C.) think they can rework it into a shameless "me too" of the already-waning Twilight craze.

Also: Regardless of who is writing, directing or starring in any given adaptation, Spider-Man doing his standup routine during fight scenes will NOT work in live-action the way it does on a static panel where you're reading the joke at your leisure in thought-balloons. Remember how "well" it worked out for Mr. Freeze in Batman&Robin?

Sara Pickell said...

I say this with the greatest of affection, but I'm almost looking forward to a world where the new Spider Man movie comes out and is actually very awesome... and Captain America flops. The sheer irony of the situation would be a greater source of entertainment than either movie could ever be.

Dave said...

@ Bob

You sidestepped my point. You hatred of this film is based not on what it is but what it isn't. Fact is, while suspicion was understandabel at first, every bit of news we've had has been positive. Talented leading man with one successful scifi drama under his belt, a casting choice in love interests that implies she might not be a useless doormat this time around. Both the writer and director have been responsibe for some very well done films, and a supporting cats that seems destined to be populated with talented character actors.

Oh and they are using classic spiderman villains and trying to be more comic accurate, which itself has got you gushing about how many films in the past 6 months alone?

Objectively speaking this film is looking a hell of a lot stornger than it had any reaosn being and a lto stornger than raimy's abysmal 4th film would likley have been.

Your constant twilight comparisons are baseless unless you can come up with some evidence. I've yet to see a single bit of evidence anywhere online for them, and from this angle it just looks like you are quiet transparently taking the most reviled thing in geekdom, and attaching it to the new movie so we will hate it by association. Much like what you later do with the MR freeze example.

Regarding the "standup routine", it worked well in both he 90s animated series, and spectacular spiderman. Both series were able to successfully combine the action and comedy. Furthermore, shows like Buffy made use of the exact same formula, to great effect. And someone with the extensive knowledge of geek media you claim would know this.

Bob said...


I'm sorry... are you doing some kind of "schtick" that I'm not getting, or do you legitimately not know how "Raimi" is spelled?

Dave said...

@ Bob. To be honest I never really thought about it all that much.

Now was that a serious inquiry or were you just trying to give a non response to distract attention from the points I raised?

A cynical person might think that you were employing the style over substance fallacy to avoid having to respond to some difficult claims.

A deeply cynical person might even think that you know on a conscious level EXACTLY what you are doing and are attacking a movie out of petty spite and are fast running out beliveable excuses.

akkuma420 said...

What an extremely immature thing to say...... how bout you respond to him and not beat around the bush by pointing out petty grammar mistakes, or is it that you just have nothing to say?
wow bob...... wow.