Film Junk Podcast Episode #376: The Amazing Spider-Man

0:00 – Intro
5:45 – Review: The Amazing Spider-Man
51:30 – Headlines: Spider-Man to Appear in The Avengers 2?, 4-D Theatres Coming to the U.S., Jack Reacher Trailer
1:08:30 – Other Stuff We Watched: Magnolia, To Live and Die in L.A., There Will Be Blood, Zodiac, Dirty Harry, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Hurt Locker, Reign of Fire, Sunshine, The 39 Steps, Harold and Maude, Ted
1:45:40 – Junk Mail: Top 5 Movies from the Perspective of Sound, Celebrity Divorces, Rebuying Movies on Post-Converted 3D Blu-ray, Next Format After Blu-ray
2:17:55 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:19:55 – Outro
2:21:43 – Spoiler Discussion: The Amazing Spider-Man

Film Junk Podcast Episode #376: The Amazing Spider-Man by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

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  • http://www.filmjunk.com Jay C.

    Just to clarify (not that I really should have to as I’d like to think this is assumed): This point about Peter Parker’s nerdom is simply one issue I had with the film and seems to have taken center stage due to a lack of any other worthwhile conversation due to apathy (on my part) towards the rest of the movie. If The Amazing Spider-Man was truly amazing, it would probably have been a nitpick in passing.

  • Kasper

    50, hear hear! Sean really knows how to pick ‘em.

  • Kasper

    #51 Can’t say I agree. It’s not really Peter Parker if the character is turned from somewhat nerdy to just some random tool who happens to like science. It may not be enough to ruin the movie, but even if the rest of it was great it would make for a shitty opening to the entire film and therefor taint the rest of the viewing somewhat, as it would sit in the back of your head and annoy you. For me anyway, of course.

  • Chris

    I am listening to the podcast now. There are arguments that the movie is brought down because it is not like the Raimi movies, and because it is like the Raimi movies. Which is it? The person of Peter Parker has been molded throughout the years by different writers and artists. This movie was another piece to that puzzle. I really enjoyed the movie. I enjoyed that it felt different than the Raimi movies.

  • Steve

    Those John Murphy score samples we heard in the podcast were very reminiscent of Hans Zimmer’s Inception score. But they were not as much like that as they are to each other. WTF indeed.

  • Goon

    “The Amazing Spider-Man has already made way more money than The Incredible Hulk. There’s no way this movie will have the same level as apathy as that flick.”

    What does making more money have to do with whether or not people care about the movie? Look at the money the Grinch made in 2000, Shrek 2 a few years later, the Matrix Revolutions.. then look at totals for say, Children of Men and There Will Be Blood. Box office receipts don’t equal passion.

  • Goon

    “There are arguments that the movie is brought down because it is not like the Raimi movies, and because it is like the Raimi movies. Which is it?”

    The argument is that if you’re sitting through essentially the same story, it can be boring, and if the character is in your opinion, a lesser version of what you had before, it’s boring AND bad. If forced to choose, would you rather watch a boring familiar story with retread characters you at least like, feel real, and identify with – or… watch a boring familiar story with new versions of characters you now don’t like, don’t feel real, and don’t identify with?

    This version could have skipped over the origin story like the Hulk movie did, but instead went back because it was going to do an “untold story” which it advertised and then later cut out of the film in order to save for sequels.

    So in other words, this cash grab reboot bailed on it’s initial reason to exist so it can push back and tease the same reason to exist in, or across, sequels. An ‘untold story’ I don’t give a shit about. I’m not sure why anyone cares about the untold story with his parents. If someone wants to tell me why we should, go ahead?

  • Goon

    Btw Jericho , Re: “it doesn’t make me a dick r an asshole, it makes me human”

    As Frank would say… Please. It does make you a dick. You don’t need powers either. You can go to a gym or take karate and go back and kick ass. Doing so though, makes you an asshole. You’ve taken in new skills and you have the choice to be responsible or abuse them. Abuse is yes, human, but it also is an asshole thing to do. Its not mutually exclusive. If you can’t see that I guess this Parker is the hero you deserve. Go look up to this dick as your shining example.

    You know, there’s a saying: “The best revenge is living well.” People who don’t listen to this saying are the people shooting up their schools, beating up the new boyfriends of their exes (or their exes themselves), and beating up people who gave them a hard time when they were lesser versions of themselves. Im not denying their humnity, but theyre still unlikeable dicks. Revenge is for weak dicks who can’t win any other way. If you gain superpowers you’ve already won.

    Miyagi out.

  • Brendan

    Not to belabor the issue, but I had some of the same issues as Jay mentioned with Peter/Spider-Man. Although, I had issues with the Raimi movie’s changes, but it was far more in line with the original comic characterization than the new film. One thing that originally bugged me in the first film was Peter being in love with the girl next door, Mary Jane. That was a huge change from the comics. Aunt May was always trying to fix Peter up with her friend’s niece, who wasn’t shown in the comics until much later, and didn’t become his love interest until later still.

    I mention this because it was a big change that was made from the character’s original development, but it worked for the movie. They basically fast forwarded the relationship in order to tell a more succinct story. The new film did some of that, but ultimately made changes that didn’t feel true to the original character’s motivations and development.

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    Goon: Box office receipts mean that we will likely get a sequel, which means the character will get a chance to grow on people and thus become legitimized. Unlike the Incredible Hulk, which is essentially now forgotten because they recast the character and moved on as if it didn’t exist.

  • Zac

    Haven’t seen Spider-man yet, but I love how Sean is sticking to his guns in the comments.

  • cap

    I’m with Sean on this one. Not only did I like it a lot, but after rewatching Raimi’s films (just the two, I couldn’t force myself to watch the piece of shit that is Spider-Man 3) I find them overrated.

    Biggest advantage that this one has over Raimi’s is Peter-Gwen duo that is way more compelling than Peter-MJ. Where Jay sees universal and relatable Peter as portrayed by Tobey, I see broad and cartoony guy that looks like he’s from the 50s or something (now THAT makes him dated… not how someone dresses). And don’t even start me on MJ. She is nothing but a shallow, cheerleader type, wannabe actress that dates asshole with a cool car (Flash), asshole with a lot of money, who treats her badly (Harry) and All-American pretty boy astronaut (who’s probably rich as well). Am I the only one getting some serious gold diggin tendencies? And when she’s not annoying she’s useless screaming damsel in distress. The only reason I can think of why Peter would be into her is that she’s pretty and lives next door. But Gwen… she’s whole different story. She’s smart and into science, which makes her look for something else in a guy, which is why she finds Peter attractive. Them coming together makes so much more sense, because they actually feel like a real world couple. And when shit hits the fan she actually does something instead of just being kidnapped by the villain and screaming a lot.

    And the whole undercutting ‘the promise’ moment. While I agree that it’s a little bit iffy, didn’t they do the exact same thing in Spider-Man 2, that you guys revere so much? I one scene MJ finds out that Peter is Spider-Man, and he tell her why they can’t be together… and five minutes later she leaves her own wedding and wants to be with Peter. And he says… sure? What? Why? What changed? WTF? How is that not undercutting the talk they just had?

  • Jericho Slim

    Goon,

    So Chris Reeves Superman in Superman II is a dick and an asshole, so he can’t be looked up to.

    Raimi’s spider-man is a dick and an asshole because he used his powers to beat up the wrestler (to get money for a car and impress a girl – not heroic), he beat up Flash Thompson, and didn’t stop the robber.

    Oh, and by the way, Peter didn’t beat up Flash in this movie, he just teased him with a basketball and then dunked it. So you could make the case that this Peter is less of a dick than the original.

    The only people this guy was a dick to was the criminals that he thought killed his uncle. In the original, the search for his uncle’s killer lasts 5 minutes. During that time, you would call him a dick for how he treated that guy, I guess. I mean, he was responsible for his death and didn’t try to save him. In this one, he’s searching longer for the guy (he never finds him) so his “asshole” phase lasts longer, but he doesn’t cause anybody to die. It’s called a character arc. After he becomes a hero on the bridge, he does no more “assholish” things.

    So, no deaths and not beating up Flash = ashole and unworthy of being a hero.

    A death, and beating up Flash in front of everybody = a great role model.

    Makes perfect sense.

    Hey, I get it – you hated the movie. Cool. Just ease up on the hyperbolic statements.

  • alechs

    #62

    MJ chooses Peter in the end, so she ain’t a gold digger. Flash is the biggest faux pas but he’s a high school boyfriend (probably her first) with whom she dumps. Harry treats MJ poorly because of his father but she calls him out on it constantly—it is the crux of their relationship. If anything, judging MJ by the men she dates, the only consistency value judgements I can make about her personality is that she likes white American males who, all love her back. Thank god she’s a fictional character.

    Which is more than I can say for Gwen Stacy who showers love for a guy who is wish-washy about whether he will continue seeing her. She is not a damsel in distress but by the end of the film she is letting Parker off the hook for being a liar, a guy who chooses intentionally to disrespect her father’s memory, and someone who did not comfort her in her hour of need but is now back for more. If I were to take that relationship seriously, there would have been consequences and Gwen would have dumped him immediately simply out of self-respect for herself… as MJ did to Parker throughout Spider-man 2. In the analogous scene, MJ chooses, unlike Gwen, to be with Peter in spite of his dual identity accepting the consequences of the relationship. If Maguire’s Parker had broken up her wedding Graduate-style then that would be a different story… afterwards he and Garfield could share pints at a bar over how they are both promise-breaking assholes.

  • alechs

    Also… Garfield crying as he tells Gwen he can’t see her anymore and going back on his word is like Homer Simpson crying as he savours eating his pet lobster—can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  • Goon

    “Box office receipts mean that we will likely get a sequel, which means the character will get a chance to grow on people and thus become legitimized.”

    My issue was you seemed to indicate that more money = people care. But with sequels… Is anyone passionate about Underworld or Resident Evil? It has a chance, it doesn’t mean it will.

    Jericho:
    I forget when I saw Superman II last. But I don’t connect with Superman much, or most DC characters. They’re distant gods. I’ve always noted Superman was always a bigger dick than Clark Kent, in comparison. Overall though, like the first Spider-Man movie, there’s enough kindness and good deeds going around that he could have his dick moments, it’s about balance. Garfield’s Parker is definitely not balanced.

    “Peter didn’t beat up Flash in this movie, he just teased him with a basketball and then dunked it. So you could make the case that this Peter is less of a dick than the original.”

    No. Watch that scene again. It’s on youtube, go, and then come back. I’d do that but I’m already sneaking enough windows at work ;) – Back? Notice how Peter was just ducking punches the whole time, using the scene to discover his powers, giving Flash an out at all times? Notice how he just threw one punch which he didn’t even seem to enjoy, because the scene is all about discovery and not about petty revenge? Garfield’s Parker goes out of his way to humiliate Flash in front of everyone for a good while.

    After he becomes a hero on the bridge, he does no more “assholish” things.

    I keep bringing up the broken promise, and you keep ignoring it.

    Also, everything alechs said.

  • Goon

    alechs: your analysis makes me want to rewatch Spidey 3 soon, since everyone says MJ treats Peter Parker like an asshole. People were saying she was a bitch. Have you rewatched recently? Is MJ actually right to be pissed/did Peter have it coming?

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    For those who listened to our spoiler discussion about TAS, I just wanted to follow-up on that mysterious villain in the post-credit scene. The thing I was trying to remember was that apparently there were lightning flashes when the character appeared and disappeared. No clue if that is significant or not, but that’s where the “electricity” thing came from.

  • cap

    alechs: If you really think MJ is a better character than Gwen then we simply see things differently and I can’t do much about it. But I still don’t get why, at the end of Spider-Man 2, Tobey just decides it’s ok to date MJ. I never bought it, and, having just rewatched the movie, that scene and his decision still bug me. The danger is still there, isn’t it? All it takes is for her to be aware of that? That doesn’t seem consistent with the self-sacrifice thing that Tobey seems to be all about.

  • http://lior20.wordpress.com/ Lior

    Chain-reacting is the best way to watch movies, Frank!

    I also agree regarding Magnolia. It’s a perfect imperfect film, and remains my favorite PTA movie. I only watched There Will Be Blood once, and I quite liked it, but I remember that what caught my attention was how stylistically dissimilar the two films were. While Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and to a lesser degree Punch-Drunk love (I haven’t seen Hard Eight) were characterized by fluid camera movements, frantic energy and a song-heavy soundtrack, TWBB took a huge departure and looks almost austere in comparison. I wonder if it bothered anyone else.

    As for sound in films, I just wanna throw out there the first 12 minutes of Once Upon A Time In The West, which has one of the best uses of sound I have ever seen. It is also the longest opening-credits sequence in cinema history, I would think.

    It’s always a great show when the main review is full of conflict. :-)

  • bard

    Wow, some people take The Amazing Spiderman too seriously.

  • Jericho Slim

    Whether he didn’t want to or not, he punches him and knocks him 20 feet down the hallway. He could have kept on dodging. Garfield never touches flash.

    And yeah, you’re right, Garfield’s not balanced. He just saves all of the people on the bridge, including the little kid, and saves all of NYC from being turned into lizards. Not to mention risking his life in the sewer looking for the Lizard and almost drowning. He’s a slacker.

    And you can view the broken promise as a dick move, or you can view it as him being with the girl who truly loves and needs him and wants him back in her life. It’s open to interpretation – I can see what you’re saying, and you can see what I’m saying as well, whether you want to admit to it or not.

    What’s worse, breaking a promise, or taking MJ back after you have just seen Doc Ock almost kill her?

    But you know what, I’m crying uncle (ben). You hate the movie and almost everything about it. I’ve been there before and will probably be there again within the next few weeks.

    Maybe in 2 years when you watch it again, you’ll like it.

  • Goon

    “Maybe in 2 years when you watch it again, you’ll like it.”

    Maybe in 2 years… you won’t.

    “He could have kept on dodging. Garfield never touches flash.”
    Flash was gonna keep on swinging at him. It was self defense. 20 feet down the hallway is absolute moot when he doesn’t know that was going to happen.

    “He just saves all of the people on the bridge, including the little kid, and saves all of NYC from being turned into lizards.”
    You seem to have no sense that one can be a dick and still do this stuff. Michael Moore saved a person’s life once, but he can still be a huge douchebag.

    “I can see what you’re saying, and you can see what I’m saying as well, whether you want to admit to it or not.”
    We’re going to have to stop debating if you’re going to make up my mind for me.

  • Jericho Slim

    This is what I would have done to flash – Menace 2 Society beatdown, baby!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snLPZWgXNf8

    now that’s a real dick move, pahtner. That’s the spider-man I want for the next reboot in 5 years.

  • Goon

    In the meantime I guess you’ll have to live with a Peter Parker that acts more like Harry Osborn.

  • alechs

    Goon: I only pay attention during the Travolta strutting, club scene, Franco’s “best of friends” line. That being said I think Raimi makes it very clear that Parker is totally clueless tool while MJ is trying to connect like a normal person.

    cap: Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy way more than Kirsten Dunst as MJ… but I am also aware that Gwen is male adolescent wish fulfillment (she approaches him four times in the film, twice to ask him out and the other two where he rejects her). I also wanted to point out that MJ is not a gold digging slut. Those were my main points of contention.

  • Jericho Slim

    and heroes can do dickish things – they don’t have to be perfect.

  • Goon

    Yes. See previous comment about balance. Are we about done? We’re spinning our wheels. Say something ridiculous so I can be outraged over a movie I’m forgetting more and more by the hour.

  • Steve

    Is Cunterage a real movie, or did someone make it up?

  • Jericho Slim

    done

  • kyri

    I actually saw the final scene.. After multiple hours of mambo jumbo melodrama about a suitcase ..an equation ..a decay algorithm and all this shit about his parents that went nowhere…. a stranger asks the Lizard “have you told him the truth about his parents?”

    -”No I haven’t” and then lighting.. and CUT and Print.

    The lighting was there not as a clue but more as a climactic device in an otherwise boring irrelevant anti-climactic scene.

    It reminded me of “evil twin” revelation scenes
    in 1980s soap operas..

  • Goon

    I’m sure Cunterage is real. But I think I’d rather see Cuntrage.

    Also real: Pee Wee’s Big XXX Adventure.

  • Markus Krenn

    @Jay Cheel

    Sunshine was 2007. Go back 5 years and listen to this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTr3SQtMoRE

    Was the first thing that came to my mind when i heard the episode.

  • P. Traum

    DIPSY-DOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    I love it when Frank refers to things as a “dipsy doo”; he can (and does!) use it to describe anything, absolutely anything. There is no rhyme or reason to his usage nor to why I find it so hysterical, but when he unleashes one I go into senseless fits of laughter.

  • http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/ Jay1

    Amazed at the level of beatdown the movie gets on the show, then I look at the sky-high ratings by all but Goon! A 3.5/4 ? After the beatdown.

    The top 10 of all time from filmjunkers had many comic book movies on it from what I recall.

    At least you noticed all the flaws, cinefantastique’s podcast missed the ‘peter’s dad’ plot-hole.

  • Spooksta

    Im with Sean, Thought it was good, 3.5/5 from me.
    Lump in my throat in parts…im such a softy ;)

  • Bob

    I finally saw the movie last night and gotta say, count me out of the Andrew Garfield fan club. I’ve seen him in at least three movies now and there is something about his expressions and the way he talks that annoys the life out of me. The guy doesn’t play drastically different characters if you watch him on screen very closely between Never Let Me Go, The Social Network and now Spider-Man. In fact, there were times in this flick that I was reminded of Hayden Christensen in Episode 2 & 3. Not good.

    I agree with Jay that leaving out “with great power comes great responsibility” is a mistake and the film is worse for it. I also agree it’s problematic that Peter is friends with Gwen Stacy, a hot girl in the school. So we’re supposed to believe Peter, who already stands up for the little guy and is good looking, also gets the hot girl but is actually an outcast? Not buying it.

    This movie wasn’t terrible. It was just meh.

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