Monday, November 29, 2010

"Turn Off The Dark" reveals itself... kinda.

The first write-ups from preview-showings of "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark;" aka the 2nd most-likely-to-suck impending Spider-Man project - 3rd being "Death of (Ulimate) Spider-Man" and 1st being you-know-what - are starting to come in. A growing consensus: Not-awful, so long as you assume a certain level of self-parody.... though it sounds like they haven't come close to solving their infamous technical problems. Certain details sound garaunteed to give serious comic fans heart-attacks, but I'll say it right upfront... other details make it sound like something that might actually be pretty interesting as bloated spectacle goes. Not the same thing as "good," mind you, but it's worth remembering that while they are indeed perfect living-caricatures of pretentious twits, Julie Taymor, Bono and Edge are really good at what they do.

IO9's writeup handily sums up a lot of what I'm hearing about it (note: details may or may not qualify as SPOILERS to whatever degree you care.) AICN has more in-depth stuff, too. Discussion of said details after the jump:

So... yeah. These are the (supposed) elements that made me stand up and say "well, they certainly aren't phoning it in, at least;" in no particular order:

It's a meta-narrative... about Fan-Fiction.
That seems to be the biggest "huh?" of the overall production coming out of these previews: The story is structured around what may be called a "Geek Chorus" (oh, lord...) of fanboys brainstorming a Spider-Man story. That's actually kind of ingenious, though you've got to be a bit wary that they'll be some sort of obnoxious strawman caricatures - a "pre-emptive strike" against the people most likely to dislike the production on principle.

Swiss Miss = Red Herring?
Apparently, universally-derided new-for-the-show villainess "Swiss Miss" is an intentional bit of self-satire on the "Geek Chorus" attempt at inventing a character for the show.

Swarm is in it.
If true, this would be enough to get me in there all on it's own. For the unfamiliar, Swarm is a Marvel villain. He is made of bees. Yes, made-of. He doesn't dress like a bee, he's not a giant bee, he doesn't control bees, he's made of BEES. He is also a Nazi.

It's mythological.
Greek mythological figure Arachne, from whom spiders derive their scientific name, apparently turns up as a celestial guide (she may or may not literally BE "the spider" from whom Peter Parker recieves his powers) and mid-air romantic "hookup" for Spidey. This is the sort of thing you'd put in a PARODY of what a Julie Taymor "Spider-Man" production might look like.

Alright, sign me up. Assuming they make all the tech actually WORK, this is still supposed to open in about six weeks.


RocMegamanX said...

I dunno...they couldn't make the Batman musical work, so I'm not sure about this musical based on a comic superhero.

However, Swarm does sound cool, now that I looked him up.

Bryce said...

Yes, let's doubt Bendis, the guy who has brought one of the best runs of Spider-Man in the character's history.

Sophie said...

One Question: CAN it really be worse than the Musical version of Stephen King`s Carrie? If´s a can´t rant about it without having suffered through it, if not... it´s a must.. come one, no matter how good or bad this´s a musical on spiderman...a thing itself so hilarious in its existence, I´d watch it just for that. And if it is back... I just become famous and have a really...long ... with Bono.

akkuma420 said...

Conan showed a pretty awesome preview of the Spider Man musical on his show tonight.
You should check it out Bob.

bobbzman said...

From the preview reviews, it sounds like a great production of a bad play.

Broadway has done this before. The Lion King musical is basically a cheap Disney-On-Ice translation of the movie buoyed to unreasonable heights by excellent costume and set design. Similarly, Starlight Express was not Andrew Lloyd Weber's best work by a long shot, but remains popular as a weird musical rollerskating show. Both of these examples (and others) are more fun than they should be, but they aren't exactly Shakespeare.

Anubis Soundwave said...

William Shakespeare himself isn't exactly "Shakespeare" when you think about it. In his day, he was the equivalent of a TV screenwriter; if he were writing today, he'd be compared to J. Mike Straczynkski(I may have murdered this man's name...).

(Keep in mind how many of Shakespeare's works were easily adapted to such Jems as West Side Story.)