Thursday, April 05, 2012

Spider-Man Is An Asshole In "Leaked" Clips

People have been uploading what look an awful lot like unfinished scenes from "The Amazing Spider-Man" unlocked from a Kelloggs promotion to YouTube, and they look... not very good. Not very good at all. But, again, they also look unfinished, so maybe the benefit of the doubt is in order. The Escapist points me to a set that has all three together:

Yeah... that's pretty painful.

I'm willing to consider, until proven otherwise, that the "messin' with a mugger' scene is presented extremely out-of-context; i.e. that maybe this movie's version of "I was a self-centered wrestler first" is "I started out as a massive douchebag." Because otherwise... wow, that is show-stoppingly horrible stuff as presented here. Set aside the fact that stand-up-comedy-Spidey (still) doesn't seem to work in live action - I stand by my original appraisal of "Dane Cook as a Power Ranger" - and whole thing still feels... "off."

It's a weird distinction, I realize, but in the comics/cartoons/whatever Spidey verbally dressing-down the bad guys generally comes off as "playful;" partially because his sense of humor is generally so corny (THIS is the thing Sam Raimi "got" that few others ever do - even when he's Spider-Man, Peter Park is still a total dork.) but also because you're reading it to yourself and can make Spidey sound agreeable to you. Everything about this clip feels exactly the opposite of playful and/or agreeable. Spidey comes off like a bully here - from the awful "stop hittin' yerself"-style douchebag humor to the "come at me bro!" stance and posture. Couple that with the ugly visual scheme (though, again, this is probably an unfinished scene) the still-not-working black eyes and the fucking MUZZLE FLARE on the webshooters (duuuuuuuuuuuude! hardcore!!!) and this continues to look every bit the awful grimdarkedgygritty bullshit version I was soooo relieved we avoided the first time around. BUT... it could be out of context, so who knows?

That bit in the bathroom, on the other hand... you've got decades worth of superhero movies to steal from, and you choose to steal from "X-Men Origins: Wolverine!?"


NathanS said...

To be fair the Ditko era Parker WAS an asshole. He only turned into "Nice-Geek boy" when John Romita stepped in.

volvo crusher said...

Between this and that new Ultimate Spiderman cartoon, I really miss Spectacular Spiderman. That really nailed his quips.

TheDVDGrouch said...

Oh look its the bathroom scene from origins Wolverine.

Hey at least I'm liking the Miles Morales Spider-man.

Daniel R said...

Liked the first fake out,

"Anything but knives!"

But yeah, the webs that followed don't seem like anything Peter would do.
What was that baseball throw? Can he make web balls now?

IMO Spidey's quips work best in print and to a lesser extent in animation because the mask and the 'eyes' can form facial expressions that help the quips come off as much better to the audience.

This could also be a problem with Iron Man. Thankfully the films worked around that by shooting inside the helmet in the films.

That bathroom scene looked terrible.

Anonymous said...

@volvo crusher: what are you talking about? Spectacular Spider-man was some awful stuff. It's by far the second worse spider-man cartoon ever made. Scratch that, third, I forgot about that weird 3D one that Bendis actually help produce. Ugh... those were dark days alright. Thankfully it wasn't too long after until Spiderman Unlimited aired. Now THAT was an awesome show. Too bad it got canceled.

Anonymous said...

"(THIS is the thing Sam Raimi "got" that few others ever do - even when he's Spider-Man, Peter Park is still a total dork.)"

Name one scene where this ever occurred. Raimi's Spiderman didn't do anything outside of standard action hero tropes with really awkward one liners delivered on thankfully rare occasions. The only thing less interesting than the main character in those movies was MJ.

MerelyAFan said...

I still find it endlessly amusing that Moviebob, the guy constantly stating his preference for comic book movies to look and feel like comic books (the look of the Avengers vs. armored Batman) including having the outrageous elements that make them fun and different... apparently believes that funny, snarky Spider-Man just can't work in live action.

Gorilla Grodd in a Justice League movie, Mister Sinister as a main villain, etc. Oh of course that can work. Spider-Man quipping? Can't be done.

Christopher Delvo said...

I really do miss Spectacular Spider-Man as I watch this (and as I watched the concentrated ass that is the new Ultimate Spider-Man show). That show was kind of dorky and corny, but in a way that WORKED, right down to Eddie Brock calling everyone "Bro."

This...really just comes off as dumb. The first scene looks like it was cut together by a 5-year old. The second one shows similar terrible editing, and other problems that I'll get into in paragraph 3. And the third is just...bad. I mean, first of all, Garfield has NO emotion as this whole thing is going down. He actually gets tooth paste off the mirror before reaching toward the faucet knob (WTF? Who does that? Any normal person would clean that shit up first.) which he just pulls off without even attempting to turn. And it's all put together with that terrible editing.

Back to the "Spidey-is-a-douche" scene. I think it starts out okay. The "Not a knife! My only weakness!" bit comes off well, as well as the first web shot. Even the second shot works. But once he does the sneezing bit and just starts laying into the guy, I can't stand it any longer. I'm really wondering: who is this guy? And where is my fun and familiar Peter Parker?

Yes, they're likely taken out of context. But still. The choppy editing, doucheyness, and bad acting cannot be excused. I was willing to give this movie a shot after its second trailer, but now I'm starting to see what's really going on.


MovieBob said...


Fair point, but the difference is most of those are "thematic" hard-to-pull-offs. The problem here is TECHNICAL - Spidey wears a full-face mask with no mobile features, in live-action that means elaborate-pantomime and ADR'd lines and that very seldom works for "selling" verbal humor.

MerelyAFan said...


Point taken, though I do think if the audience were brought in via narration to the point where the quips felt more like internal monologue it might work, though that in itself has its own tricky elements.

Just Gavin said...

It looked... accepetble, but I'm trying to take a very optimistic attitude to this.

Clip 1: Whatever, not much to talk about, effects need a little bit of a touch up.

Clip 2: Doesn't work. Actual dialogue was O.K, but the delivery, too OTT and yeah, docuhbaggy. The dark and edgy tone and aesthetics just make him seem like a jerk. The muzzle flair also makes it look like torture, and I don't think any context will make one guy street thug looks like he warrants torture.

Clip 3: Not very funny imitation of Wolverine seen. Nuff said.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan said...

Ouch. This hurts.

I don't know how much of this will be represented in the final cut (these are from a Kelloggs promotion, after all: they could have been slapped together with a younger audience in mind), but these were pretty rough for all the reasons Bob pointed out.

Jeez, that bit with the mugger was painful.

At any rate, I have to disagree partially with Bob in his take on Raimi's Spidey.

Raimi's version of Peter Parker was pretty much "What if Beaver Cleaver got spider-powers?" And he didn't really have any humor to him ... at all. He throws out that lame "Gobby" line in the first one, but, for the most part, he just does standard hero stuff.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Spider-Man, 2 and half of 3 ... well, maybe 1/3 of 3 (the rest was horrid), but Raimi's Peter Parker had no sense of humor, which I found to be a major flaw in those movies.

I think you can make a Spider-Man that quips work in live-action, but, based on these clips, it's not gonna happen any time soon.

Blue Highwind said...

I think this movie looks great, better than the other Spiderman movies. As for relations to the comics, I don't give a damn.

I never cared for the original trilogy's Peter Parker. "I'm such a good person, WAAAAA WAAAAA, I can't be with my girlfriend, WAAAAA, BEING A SUPERHERO IS SOOOO HARD!!!!" But asshole Peter Parker, I can get behind that. Are superheroes not allowed to have fun with their jobs?

I thought the bathroom scene was funny.

Lord Slithor said...

Bob, I know you've had it out for this movie from day one, and something tells me that when it finally comes time to review it, you're still going to find reasons not to like it even if it turns out to be good. And it seems to me like you're still trying to justify it by pointing at this footage and going, "See? SEE!!!???"

What I see is raw footage; no music, no dialogue looping, no editing, nothing. Yes, becuase of that, it looks WAY out of context, and no doubt will probably play better in the finished film. And I'm sorry, but at the risk of committing nerd sacrilege, I think this will be better than Raimi's films.

I've said this before, but for whatever reason, I just didn't like Raimi's films. In your last Big Picture, you mentioned how your liking of a franchise was to an extent dependent on how you were first exposed to it. For me I guess, it was the 1960's Spider-Man cartoon from Grantray-Lawrence, which had Spidey constantly wisecracking. So to me, that's what Spider-Man should be. And yeah, I know Peter Parker has kind of a hard-luck life, but even the eps that were later done by Ralph Bakshi did that well. So fanboys who come up to me saying, "If you read the comic, you'd feel differently" I think is bull, because what stuff I've read (at least from J. Michael Staczynski's run) wasn't all that far off.

So I'm going to have to disagree with you vehemently here, Bob. Until I actually see the movie, I think it's going to be great. Right now, though, it looks as if you're grasping at straws.

Anonymous said...

Right now these clips make me think this movie is going to be more like Wolverine then most people are willing to admit to. For I remember the cringe worthy leak of Wolverine that one of my friends called a public service advertisement so people would stay away from the movie.

Aiddon said...

yeah, that was pretty painful. Spidey trying to be funny just doesn't work in live-action. It's why one-liners in general are considered cheesy at best and douchey at worst.

Charlie Irons said...

Like stated, since they're out of context, and rough, it's hard to give a solid judgement.

However, the fact that studios aren't willing to put stock faith in the strength of the matrial, as it is - cases like Spiderman, Hellboy, and Batman as resounding examples, I think it's fair to say that us fanboys will probably never get a true version of any franchise we see make it to the big screen.

These movies aren't, in fact, tailor made for fans of the title, at all. They are poured over by studio execs armed with risk managing flow charts and guidlines that are designed to increase mass, broad appeal, while minimizing potential profit losses. And, in today's entertainment market, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

I give Bob credit for his opinion of Raimi's quiping Spiderman, but only against the other various TV/Film versions. (Animated, and otherwise.) He did get pretty close to the line witty web head we've all come to love; regardless of how canon it may, or may not, be.

Will I see this in the theatre? Probably not. But, of course, this is just my opinion; your mileage may vary.

KevinCV said...

Holy shit. That was directed not just at the how horrible the clips are, but also people's response to Bob's feeling on them. I'd love to see Spidey quip and be snarky in a live-action film as much as the next guy, but even I can see how bad these clips are, even without the finished music and whatnot. Honestly, the more I see of it the less inclined I feel to give Sony my money for this travesty.

Say what you will about Raimi's films being "cheesy" and "Peter Parker being whiny and emo", (sidebar: Does ANYONE even know what "emo" means anymore?!) but at least the cheesiness is somewhat tolerable and the atmosphere of it is pretty endearing. Plus, Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson -God rest his soul- will always be Aunt May and Uncle Ben.

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

I think we've got it all wrong. This movie isn't about playful, quipping, corny, adds-an-'ie'-after-everyone's-name Spiderman. And it's certainly not dark, gritty, emo Spiderman (whatever that is).

It's Internet Meme, 60's, 4chan Spiderman!

Christian said...

I've got an issue of Tangles Web where Vulture, Kraven Jr., and Osborn are in a bar talking about Spider-Man. Vulture says that the thing he hates most about Spider-Man isn't having getting beaten by him; it's the constant wisecracking.

When you think about it from that perspective, Spider-Man must really sound like a bad stand-up comedian to the villains. So maybe this movie's version isn't rally too far off.

Popcorn Dave said...

Yep, these clips don't bode well at all.

Clip the first: Well, this is probably part of a much bigger sequence so I shouldn't really judge, but damn, that's some piss poor editing. Why the fuck does the camera do a 180 when he hits the ceiling? Is that supposed to be cool? Some kind of "comic-book aesthetics" thing? Christ, I hope this is just a rough cut and not indicative of the final edit... bloody hell.

Clip the second: Oh lawd. It would be nice to be proved wrong, but I don't know what "context" you could put that clip in that doesn't make Spider-Man look like an arrogant, vindictive arsewipe. The webslinging is bad enough (yeah I THINK you disarmed him already, dickhead), but presumably this is part of the same sequence as "don't dress like a car thief" from the trailer. So we're looking at 2-3 solid minutes of screentime where Spider-Man fucks around with some helpless idiot for his own amusement. I get what they're going for but damn! If he starts off THIS much of a prick, and they want the audience to like him by the time the serious action kicks off, well, they'll need some damn good screenwriting up their sleaves.

Clip the third: My guess is that this is a lead-in for a lame "what were you doing in there?" masturbation joke, just in case Raimi's version was a little too subtle. It's not a terrible scene in itself but it's incredibly forced; it almost looks like he's smashing the bathroom up on purpose, which doesn't exactly fill me with confidence in Marc Webb.

I was mildly interested in this film, but these clips have put me right off. Pity.

Ted said...

Sorry Bob, but you're the LAST person I'd go to for an unbiased opinion on this one. You've been bashing this one since day one, and as such (I assume) you're combing through the footage LOOKING for things to hate in it. The first clip? It was fine. Effects and editing's a little wonky, but it does its job and the nitpicky problems will probably be fixed up before release. The second clip? Okay, yes, he does come off as "douchebag" a little, but to be fair, Spidey's quips are pretty douchey in everything he's in. We usually don't see them that way (as we're seeing the story from Spidey's perspective instead of the mook's), but if you were getting beaten up by some guy in a costume with superpowers, his quips would seem pretty douchey to you too. This scene with the mugger is the only one we've seen with Spidey doing his quip thing, and yeah, he's being a douche to him. But we can't judge the entire movie on one scene; I think that you're taking the supposed "douchyness" too far. Besides, what's wrong with Spidey acting cocky? If I had superstrength and web shooters, I'd mess with the mugger I'm trying to bring in too. As for the third scene, it does what it needed to do. So what if it's similar to Wolverine? Who says that the writer has even SEEN Wolverine? Not everything's a concious rip-off. Everything I've seen of this movie has ranged from "okay" to "good." I don't expect you to start judging the movie fairly, though. That would be too much to ask.

Chris Wyatt said...

Eeesh... I've been giving this movie the benefit of the doubt for so long, but I'm starting to agree with Bob here, these clips are pretty painful.

The first one wasn't bad, nothing particularly special about it but I don't really have any issues with it either.

The second on the other hand... yeah that was pretty bad. I think you hit the nail on the head Bob, that even when Spidey was cracking jokes in the comics or the previous movies, he did them in such a corny manner that it came off as playful and dorky. That clip just makes him look like a douchebag. Maybe it's a bit out of context, but still...

The third, yeah that was just painful. That scene didn't work in Wolverine, what made them think it would be better in Spider-Man.

I guess it's kind of nice to see that they're trying to add at least some humor and comedic moments instead of making it totally dark and depressing, but there's got to be better way.

Teej Turtle said...

Yeah I see what you mean but it could be his "before he learns responsibility" thing.
It's never good to judge a whole film on scenes out of context. I thought I would like Superman Returns from their scenes and look how that film turned out...

And really? Th bathroom scene is going to be linked to Wolverine? Not just take it that it works here because he's actually trying to do normal things but now he's stronger. In Wolverine it was dumb because you know, he had claws. Here it works.

Anonymous said...

What gets it most for me is that I could never picture this guy also being "your friendly, neighborhood Spiderman".

Anonymous said...

The one lineres could work, I think. You'd just need a more physically expressive actor, probably someone stage trained used to the audience not having the luxary to see closeups, actors who has to use large movements so that even the guys in the back of the theatre can tell whats going on. The problem with that is that you'd have a very cartoony spidey walking around, which would clash with what looks like a darkedgey aesthetic.
As for how to write the one liners, I think what seems to be lost here is that they're not meant to be funny, or insulting. At best they're cute, in an pathetic aw he's trying so hard way, and if they're funny at all its because of how akward and stupid it makes Spidey look. This may be projection, but I think the wise cracks are a security thing. Parker's still a kid, at least here, and wouldn't you be scared of the super powered criminal trying to kill you? The cracks make light of the situation. The only one who should be laughing at the jokes are Spidey himself, as a way to cope with the situation. You want a great Spidey line? Remember that part in the ultimate spiderman game with Rhino?
"Hey, is that a horn I see or are you just... just... I'm so scared i can't even finish my lame joke."
Lame, self-depreciating, pointing at the ridiculousness of the situation.

Anonymous said...

No offense. I usually agree with you on most things It's amazing how every time you open your mouth about this you show little you actually know about Spider-man.

First of all the wisecracking you say CAN'T be done without him being an asshole......yeah every animated series and video game proves you wrong.

But more then that it is an inherent trait of the character. That Magneto aspect you keep talking about with yourself. THAT'S WHAT THAT IS! It's a geeky kid shit on by life letting loose. It's him getting back if just a little bit at LIFE. It's an outlet for everything that sucks. Without it Spider-man seems more like a serial killer. Which he does OFTEN in the Rami films silently stalking everyone.

And no the Rami films didn't GET the whole Peter is a dork thing. In fact unless the scene STOPS to show you how FUCKING dorky he is he NEVER seems dorky. He's just a guy then STOP HE'S DOING SOMETHING DORKY LOOK HOW DORKY HE IS! SEE HIM FIGHTING WITH A BROOM CLOSET THAT'S DORKY! ISN'T HE RELATE ABLE!

And you've seriously lost ALL credibility on being able to objectively see this film when in another post you bitched about the Lizard looking terrible when you DON'T SEE HIM. You see an eye and an arm and a figure in the shadows. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO GO ON. Your just hating this movie because you want to because you LOVE the Rami films (god knows why. The first two aren't BAD but they really aren't Spider-man).

And NO I don't hate Spider-man 3 because "OMG HE DANCES" I hate it because it's too much jammed into one film that constantly undercuts each other and half the movie gives characters motivations that there's no backing for "I've done bad things too" WHEN!

I really REALLY wish you'd just shut the fuck up and wait for the movie to come out. I'm not saying it's going to be good. I'm WAITING TILL I SEE IT TO JUDGE IT.

p.s. To the guy who loved Spider-man unlimited but hated Spectacular Spider-man. They just put out a collection of stories called The Clone Saga. You should really check them out. You'll love them.

Anonymous said...

Peter Parker ALWAYS has been a douche when in costume.

He can go from making conry jokes to ripping the bad guy a new one verbally at the drop of a hat.

Ultimate Spider-Man, which this movie is lifting a lot from, made a fool out of KingPin through fat jokes.

616 Spidey is known to be INCREDBLY assholeish to bad guys when he is pissed off.

Some times JUST to get under their skin.

He once even talked to a shrink on the nature of the Anonymous movement and how it is a lot like what he does when wearing the mask.

So yeah, Bob, you're very off on this one, as are a lot of complainers.

I think this movie has a lot of troubles, from a badly designed Lizard, to Hipster-ish Peter, to a badly designed costume, and perhaps TOO much of USM's incredibly complicated background in one go.

But Spidey being an asshole to a crook is not one of this movie's problems.

Anonymous said...

Call me old fashioned, but I don't really think it's possible to be an asshole to somebody who threatens people's live for money for a living.

CJ said...

Bob is never going to like anything to do with this movie. I almost hope its great, just to see his reaction.

Scott C. said...

Hahahaha, I'm sorry Bob, but anytime you say the Raimi movies got something "right" about Spider-Man, I can't take anything you say as serious criticism anymore. You want to see Spider-Man done right? Watch the 94 cartoon or Spectacular. Raimi Spidey movies were a complete train wreck.

Toby Maguire said...

I just got done watching Amazing Spiderman and googled "Spiderman + asshole" to see if anyone felt the same way. I'm glad I'm not alone.