There is a new Spider-Man movie coming out perhaps you’ve heard

 

If films are the modern day myths and legends and highest forms of storytelling, then the same stories are probably going to be passed down year by year, generation by generation. Especially if there’s already some source material. Whether it’s super heroes like Spidey or Supes or Batman, or something going so far back as Robin Hood. How many damn different versions of Robin Hood are there? We all know the basic outline of the Robin Hood tale. It’s been told many different ways. It’s been extended upon in episodic form, it’s been traced to its purest possible historical origins, it’s been altered, parodied, etc., etc. But I guess since it’s not a geeky franchise not that many people will bitch about it. Nevermind, I guess a lot of people bitched about the 2010 Ridley Scott version of Robin Hood. Can’t please everybody.

 

Superman, not unlike Jesus, died for our sins, and was resurrected after defeating his cyborg doppleganger.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man seems to be telling Peter Parker’s origin story once more, which was already portrayed in the 2002 film by Sam Raimi which for some people feels like last Thursday. It looks to be a little different than before, seems darker, more serious in tone, and will probably add a little bit more regarding Peter Parker’s parents. We’ve just seen the teaser. This could occupy 15 minutes of the movie, or it could occupy 45. I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.

 

 

I understand why people aren’t being won over too easily by the notion of rebooting a franchise whose dead body isn’t even cold yet. Yes, it feels a little too early. And when you compare it to the Batman series’ reboot, it doesn’t feel as necessary. Batman’s origin was not part of any movie. In Tim Burton’s 1989 version, Batman already existed, ready to fight crime. Nolan’s films started from the beginning in every sense and gave the story the darker edge it deserved.

 

The 2002 Spider-Man film was…okay. I never thought it was all that great. The only thing I thought it did very well was the origin, which it nailed perfectly. They took their time with it and set up everything we needed to know about Peter Parker, his gift, and his curse as Spider-Man. When it came to the second half of the movie, though, I don’t know. It failed to deliver. Willem Dafoe was born to play a comic book villain, and Norman Osborne was a perfect role for him. But despite pulling off a good job he was given very little to work with. The action and situations were pretty generic, even by comic book standards, and the design of that Green Goblin suit- dear God, it was fucking dreadful. Really. What the fuck?

 

 

But it set up the groundwork and made way for the second film, which some regard as one of the best comic book films ever made, and others who say it’s pretty much on par with 1 and 3. You can put me in the former category of people. I think it is one of the best comic book movies ever. Why? I don’t know for sure exactly why, but maybe it’s just because it’s actually about something. It’s not just formula. It’s not obligations. We have the standard stuff, like mad scientist and experiments going wrong and becoming evil and putting the city in danger and OF COURSE taking the girlfriend hostage. But I think it was less fantastical elements that really struck a chord: the average kid trying to survive, dealing with school and part time jobs and unrequited love, and all that super hero crap getting in the way of his life, seriously struggling with whether or not he should embrace his powers. It didn’t constrict itself to a basic formula, it roamed free and let us observe Peter a little bit. So many people bring up the fact that it was completely pointless that they had a scene where he eats cake with his landlord’s daughter. Well, why the hell not?

 

Then we had Spider-Man 3 and the series imploded into itself and instead of gracefully steadying after the fumble they just went back to the drawing board and went for the reboot.

 

Am I really going to have watch Peter get bitten by a radioactive Spider again? Am I really going to have to see Uncle Ben die again? Is it really going to be yet another science experiment going wrong and a genius becomes a monster? So be it, that’s comic books for ya. If it’s good, then it’s good. And if it’s good, it would be downright moronic of me to complain. It’s not as if it erases what I liked about Raimi’s films. And hello, Denis Leary FFS.

 

 

 

But yeah looks like they may be going for gritty and realistc much like Batman. I GUESS. I mean, I don’t know for sure. I’ll bet there’ll be a good amount of humour in it. But again it will just follow the origin story. It will have all the obligations and it will follow them and it will try to keep within a fairly reality-based environment. As great as Nolan’s Batman films are, they may actually be a bad influence. Come on, gritty is nice, but I want to see Spider-Man fight giant fucking robots and explore alternate dimensions or some other crazy comic book shit like that. There’s more to Marvel’s Sci-Fi than simply “SCIENCE GONE AWRY!”

 

That’s what I actually liked about this year’s Thor. It was Sci-fi fantasy to the max. Space vikings. Ice creatures. Travels through time and space. Oh, and hey- giant fucking robots. Neat-o.

 

But since film is still a fairly new medium (at least compared to those paper things with words on em) then I’m sure we’ll have dozens of different incarnations down the road, well beyond our lifetime, provided the world doesn’t end 6 months after the films release, and the film series will be classified by their eras, and certain people will like certain series better- just like with the comics. I hope within my lifetime though, I get to see Spider-man fight a Spider Slayer Robot on the big screen.

 

Anyway, I guess the whole point of this rant is, doesn’t The Dark Knight Rises look awesome!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A British actor has been cast as Superman which is probably a sign of the apocalypse.

Jazz and comic books. Two forms of art that have the distinction of originating in America. Maybe jazz is a little out of date and only enjoyed by pretentious D-bags but those comic book things are still huge, particularly the film adaptations.

Now, if the fat cats in the United States want to outsource their already wealthy, profitable corporations just to make an extra billion here and there and damn the lower-class working stiffs, that’s fine, but outsourcing your super heroes is one step too far.

Batman, Wolverine, and the new Spider-Man are not played by Americans. It was never that big of a deal, it was forgivable, “the best man for the job,” you may say, but the news has come out today that the new Superman will be played by Henry Cavill, a British actor. That just doesn’t sit right, does it?

But why is it that it’s not that big of a deal when Brits play other super heroes? I could do my homework and write a long winded essay about how Superman was on the scene long before Spidey or Bats ever showed their sorry asses and he became a symbol of hope during World War II, or that his motto is standing for “truth, justice, and the American way,” or that his very origin story is an allegory for the American dream. But I won’t. I’m too lazy to write it and you’re too lazy to read it. Short paragraphs work so much better for both of us.

Richard Donner’s 1978 film, a spectacular classic, was wise enough to embrace all of the Americana associated with Superman. Maybe that’s why his film is the only Superman adaptation to date to be considered a great work of filmmaking.

Why is it cool to not care? I’m Canadian (Superman is a half-Canadian invention by the way), but if I were American I think I’d boycott the movie. Where’s the patriotism? If they got an American to play James Bond I’m sure people would be pissed off, so why not for Superman? Why do people want to insist it isn’t an issue? It is.

But hey, it’s fine if a Brit plays Superman, it’s fine if all the companies move to India, whatever, it’s all good, as long as I have my I-Phone. It’s cool to be open to anything because I’m just so awesome.

Anyway, I think this casting is distracting from the big picture anyway, and that’s that the movie can’t possibly be any good anyway. Zack Snyder is directing it, after all. How good could it possibly be. I liked Watchmen and everything but if ever there was a “style over substance” director it’s Snyder. Seriously, since when did he become the go-to guy for comic book adaptations? I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw the Watchmen trailer and laughed so hard I peed a little when he was described as a “visionary director.”

And that got me thinking. Zack Snyder is an American, I wonder if it crossed his mind if it would be a good idea to cast a non-American for the role. I wonder if he considered whether or  not it may upset people. I’m sure he’ll give some interviews in the future to explain himself. But if he sees it as a non-issue, I can’t imagine the guy having a firm grasp on the character.

Ultimately I think it’s far more ignorant to act like it isn’t an issue at all than to at least acknowledge it. You can agree with this blog or not, but just don’t pretend it isn’t an issue and that anybody feeling uncomfortable about the casting is totally out of line. That’s like saying “When I see a person, I don’t see race or colour, I just see a person.” Yes, that seems all nice and everything but that’s one of the worst things someone can say. It’s our diversities that make us unique and every race, colour, creed, and nationality has its own rich history and ignoring Superman’s impact on American culture is pretty close-minded.

I can’t speak for Americans but if they cast anyone other than a Canadian to play Captain Canuck, I wouldn’t think twice about skipping it.