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.
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.