I did this slightly out of order, I know. I listed this one before AotC, but I had limited time yesterday and since AotC was already written and I wanted to say some words on The Avengers, this is what happened.
This is going to be a combination anniversary reflection and current brain vomit. It's not for the faint of heart.
Ten years ago, three films had my vote for the best of the year. First was AotC, natch. Second was The Two Towers, more on that come December.
The third, and the first one out of the gate was Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man"
It's interesting to me that the three comic book universes I love more than any are the three that became animated series when I was a lad. Batman, as I'll get into this summer, was the pinnacle that I can watch and re-watch to this day. X-Men wasn't as well done in the art department but it had a style and some decent writing, and while I have no desire to own it I would watch it again in reruns. The Spider-Man one was...well, utter crap. I tried watching it again recently and it just showed how horrible the animation was. It hurt.
But as a kid, I didn't care. I loved the characters and got into the retellings of the stories. So you can imagine how stoked I was when a big-screen Spider-Man was imminent. And this film changed my entire perspective on the story and characters - in a good way!
It made me want to read about the comic's history. It changed my view of the Green Goblin from a lame knock-off (remember, in the early 90's Norman was "dead" and the Hobgoblin had taken his place) to one of if not my all-time favorite comic book character. The toys, with their 32 points of articulation, got me interested in collecting more than Star Wars again.
I loved everything! the performances, the effects. Danny Elfman's score was brilliant and a lot subtler than I was used to from him. I even liked that "Hero" song at a time where I was completely unreceptive to "modern" music (I still dislike most contemporary styles, though I'm more willing to give things a chance).
It spawned two sequels that I loved, enough that I'm going to go into them when their anniversaries come, though neither matched the first for me. Which brings me to the second thing I wanted to talk about.
It's too soon for "The Amazing Spider-Man."
Spider-Man 3 came out in 2007, just five years ago. And while it had its share of problems like the other two, it was still a great movie. And there was so much more of that story to tell, why not tell that one more?
I do have some knee-jerk geek issues with what I've seen of "Amazing", but I recognize I can probably get over it. Having Gwen Stacy smacks of Marvel's push over the last decade to erase Mary Jane Watson and any semblance of romantic stability in Spidey's life, yet Gwen did come first. The guy they cast as Parker looks like an underwear model, but then again Pete was never drawn particularly ugly and, hey, I said the same thing about Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow in "Batman Begins" and he turned out awesome. See, while my guard is up, I could still get excited about it if it weren't for one thing.
It's too damn soon. Five years after the last installment, especially if its good, is too soon (Begins would have been too soon if Batman and Robin was a better film). Ten years is my minimum comfort zone for reboots. I will give it a fair shot, once it's made the HBO rounds for a few years, and there's a good chance I'll even like it, if not love it. But I'll be avoiding it like the plague in the theatres.
Because it's erasing the story I fell in love with and that I wanted to see continue.
I don't necessarily want to bring up my militant stance on Star Wars in a celebration of Spider-Man, but I have to address it because some of the language I'm using is dangerously similar to that of prequel hateboys, and I want to assure you that I haven't lost it or become a hypocrite.
The feeling I have about this is similar to what a lot of hateboys claim regarding the saga. Except here's the difference: The prequels DID add to the existing story, just to the other end. It was as many of the same people as they could logically have. It wasn't a reboot, like this situation. SE fixes notwithstanding, it wasn't trying to erase what had come before and pretend it doesn't exist, like this situation. And I am not spitting venom at the film and telling people it will definitely be horrible and to not see it, just that I'm skipping it for my own personal reasons, and only for now.
Because you never know when some lunatic will come along with a sadistic choice.