Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"The Amazing Spider-Man"

Retitling the SpideReboot "The Amazing Spider-Man" is, by any objective measure, a smart move on behalf of Sony Pictures: It reaffirms that it's a new start, plus by specifically evoking the source-material it strongly implies that it's "of a kind" with the current wave of more "faithful" adaptations.

It also reveals a certain level of confidence in the project: Part of the reason you DON'T see a lot of positive-adjectives used in movie titles is that doing so is pretty-much inviting the media to have fun with it if and when they have to report negative reviews or performance (re: "The Underwhelming Spider-Man" or "Amazing? Not Quite.") Either way, I like it (the title) and if they so-choose to use the same font/text-design for it as the comics I'll like that, too.

They've also seen fit to counteract all those less-than-impressive set photos of the new costume by giving us the first "official" look at the thing with the mask on, in an action-pose, properly lit and color-corrected. That's it on the right. I stand by my initial impressions up to this point: It's overdesigned, the blue fingers make it look like he's wearing ugly finger-gloves over his uniform, and as much as I like mechanical-webshooters I'm not fond of them being big silver buttons on the outside of fabric. BUT, he looks more like Spider-Man than TDK's Batman looks like Batman, so it's not terribly unpleasant.

Hey, wait a sec... where are his feet?

Look close: The shadowing has been staged in such a way as to completely obscure both of his feet below the calf. Aside from lending the image a somewhat-ironic Leifeldian quality, it denies sharp-eyed fans an answer to the biggest costume-question to come out of all those unplanned candids: Are those metal toe-shoes he seems to be wearing over his boots part of the onscreen costume or just a stunt/safety thing for certain shots? And if they ARE part of the actual outfit, why exactly does Spider-Man need to armor his toes?

I dropped it into photoshop, blew up the bottom portion and cranked the brightness/contrast to try and bring up the detail and make them out. There basically ISN'T any detail to raise on the feet, as though it's been darkened even beyond the shadows from the photography, but I got a small hint of what looks like the shiny non--red "tip" of a boot, which leads me to believe that he WAS wearing them in this shot and that they ARE part of the costume-proper. Take a look:

So, if the new Spider-Man has metal feet... what are they? Is the wall-crawling a mechanical-aparatus now as well? Does he have shooters on his FEET, too?


Dave Kraft said...

@Bob: First off, good post. Agree 100% thus far. (see? I give credit where it's due)

Secondly, I have an answer for you, and an additional set pic. It actually isn't metal; it's white on the sole of the shoe, like a sneaker. Functionally, considering a lot of the high-impact stuff he's putting his feet through, what with all the running and landing, it makes sense.

The reason the picture has been darkened by his feet is, presumably, because there was a background in this shot that's been photoshopped out as not to give away other things in the scene (a villain perhaps), or just to call attention to the costume without exterior distraction. perhaps he was standing on something and the shadows were cast by his body, making the soles less visible when they blackened everything else.

They look like a reflective white (as opposed to a chrome), and the design seems to be similar to the pattern breaks on the gloves. The ones worn by the stunt man may have been slightly different, for the sake of whatever he was doing.

But who knows? You might be right; the design of the gloves might have more open blue area on the fingers to allow those hairs on his fingers (from the Raimi film) to peek through, allowing him to stick to walls. But how his feet could stick to walls through the soles of his boots was always kind of up-in-the-air. This movie, from the web-shooters on, seems to be putting an emphasis on the functionality of the costume. But good call; I didn't think of that.

Here's the set pic:http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/181673_1699357777042_1630848397_1624989_6088320_n.jpg

Dave Kraft said...

There is one other question which comes to mind with regard to this costume..... the lenses. Remember back when you posted the link to the stunt man's costume? The lenses on the outfit were red. Here they're shown as orange. Are they tinted lenses, or is that just how the environment is reflecting on what are supposed to be silver lenses?

Again, I argue the functionality point; tinted "sunglasses" lenses would make sense for web-slinging during the daytime, lest he blind himself and smack into the Chrysler building or something to that end.

I think that's why the costume is redesigned: to really give it the feeling of functionality it never had.

Is that a good or bad thing? Can't say just yet. We'll have to see how they work this suit into the narrative, and take it on its own merits as a creative work. Frankly we don't know enough about it to judge.

Also remember, it may give a very different perception while in motion. Again, we'll just have to wait and see.

akkuma420 said...

Looks ok... I dunno bout those blue hands though.
Not gonna make any kind of judgment until I see more.
Looks like there at least trying to make a faithful reboot at least.
I guess we'll see...

Bob said...


If you look at the HD versions of this pic, the eyepieces seem to be a metallic mesh-screen, like they were on the 70s TV show... so I imagine they're reflective to some degree.

Dave Kraft said...

@Bob: The lenses in the Raimi version were also like that, though beneath the transparent lenses. Still, if it's a silver wire mesh, it shouldn't reflect color that easily. The color does look a bit too strong for that effect. The material normally doesn't work that way.

Still, you might be right. I guess we'll know for certain as we see more of this Spidey.

ZAENGO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZAENGO said...

ive never heard the term "leifeldian" before. i'll have to use that one.

Sssonic said...

A well-reasoned, relatively-invective free post about the Spider-Reboot? From Bob? Will wonders never cease? Seriously, though, kudos; I disagree with your assessment of the costume still, but at least I can respect where you're coming from regarding it this time.

As for me, I love this costume more and more each time we see it. I admit to some anxiety as to whether the metal tips are really a part of the costume, as if they are that'd be a pretty bad call IMO, but otherwise I actually REALLY like it. In a way, it actually feels MORE like the comic-book costume than Raimi's version did, less armored and more cloth-like, and although I initially preferred Raimi's version to this one, I'm starting to feel my opinion sway on the matter; not definitively yet, but close. So yeah, I dig it big time, personally.

R. Dempsey said...

I think the over-designing may stem from them trying to differentiate their Spider-man from Raimi's Spider-man as much as possible.

I'm digging it. I'm not all that much of a Spider-Man fan to begin with, but this is looking to be entertaining at the last.

Dave Kraft said...

@Sssonic: I think it has to do with Garfield's body type being more akin to the character than Maguire. Also he seems to be a bit more flexible. The material of the suit helps by being more form-fitting to his musculature than in Maguire's case.

@R. Dempsey: I'm not sure if that's an entirely accurate assessment. After all, the Raimi version is not only the classic comic book costume, but has lasted for three movies which are fairly recent and remain in public memory. Bringing in a radical redesign after three movies worth can negatively impact the marketability of the new outfit.

Marvel, unfortunately, doesn't own the film rights to Spider-Man. Sony does. I think what's happening is a similar deal to why Fox keeps making crappy X-Men movies.

The general idea is, if Sony and Fox don't keep pumping out Spidey and X-Men movies (respectively), then the film rights will default back to Marvel. Since these are popular, well-known franchises, the films will make money on their names alone. Crummy flicks like the recent Wolverine movie will still make a return profit, due to having a lower budget. Even a small profit return can be a significant one.

So the reason is more likely to be someone's creative vision of Spider-Man, having called "shenanigans" on Peter making the classic costume from Raimi's film all by himself, as well as on how some of the powers work, and trying to toss his/her creative take into the mix to unnecessarily make sense out of the whole ordeal.

This wouldn't be the first time someone did that with a comic book character.

Dave Kraft said...

Btw, for those of you who haven't seen it...... the House of M Spidey costume:


Some of the details (like the particular cut of the red & web pattern) seem similar to that of the new costume.

Dave Kraft said...

Oh, btw, Bob? More casting news for TDKR: http://batman-news.com/2011/02/14/confirmed-marion-cotillard-in-talks-to-join-the-dark-knight-rises-new-locations-revealed/

As of yesterday, Marion Cotillard has been more-or-less confirmed for The Dark Knight Returns. The role is allegedly major. She would wrap up filming in November here in New York.

Nolan is still lining up actresses, as I said before and as this report confirms.

Will said...

I think the slippers, if they really do become part of the official costume, probably have something to do with swinging around and then landing on concrete from high distances. Thats the only reasonable way they could explain it to me.

To me, they don't bother me that much. Its silly and stupid but its not that distracting.

However, what is distracting is the web shooters. If the first three spider-man films do anything right, it was having them be organic. As a comic fan, my little annoyance was the horrendously stupid web shooters, in idea and execution. The web shooters have ALWAYS been a blotch on the Spiderman comics, IN MY OPINION (there are no facts when talking about costume design).


Sawtooth said...

Oh cripes, the new Spider Man has cloven hooves. D: