Conundrum

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Conundrum

Just because your film is first in a series doesn't mean you can get away with leaving out important details.

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TsunamiWombat:
Are you STILL fapping on about Amazing Spiderman!? For gods sake Bob, take some mydol and lay down. The movie isn't nearly as bad as you want us all to think it is.

I know, right? I'm already getting tired of this. Since Sony did this movie so they wouldn't lose the rights back to Marvel, Bob has been on a personal crusade on this thing since its pre-production, and probably would still be even if this thing was the Holy Grail of superhero movies.

EDIT: And yeah, I watched it. It was fun. I actually thought it was better than the Sam Raimi ones. Andrew Garfield had way more personality than Tobey Maguire. With the exception of the "dumbest thing in a Spiderman movie ever" that Bob quoted in his review, the movie was all I wanted from a Spiderman movie. And I'm thinking that the reason because Bob keeps saying this has nothing to do with the comic book version is just because he blatantly refuses to compare it with the version of the Ultimate universe. I mean, he keeps telling about how he has a crapload of "Amazing Spiderman" comics and therefore he knows what he's talking about.

Diegolomac:

TsunamiWombat:
Are you STILL fapping on about Amazing Spiderman!? For gods sake Bob, take some mydol and lay down. The movie isn't nearly as bad as you want us all to think it is.

I know, right? I'm already getting tired of this. Since Sony did this movie so they wouldn't lose the rights back to Marvel, Bob has been on a personal crusade on this thing since its pre-production, and probably would still be even if this thing was the Holy Grail of superhero movies.

The thing is, several intelligent people whose opinions I value very highly absolutely LOVED the movie (and i'm going to go see it on their recommendation). The big difference between them and Bob?

They were women.

The Amazing Spiderman reboot wasn't really directly aimed at Spiderman fanboys like the Raimi movies were, and I think it's a shame Bob is too busy T'bagging on the movie to take note that it's doing well with women and has a very intelligent and powerful female lead in the story.

To me, the Amazing Spiderman was like the movie Romeo X Juliet: Horrible, but inexplicably become awesome in the last act.

TsunamiWombat:
...and has a very intelligent and powerful female lead in the story.

Oh yeah, that too. Gwen Stacy is independent, smart, can defend herself, and actually is on top of things through most of the movie. She seems to have more control of the situation than Peter has sometimes. So, where the hell does Bob see Twilight in this? In Twilight, the woman was an insecure, dependent, complaining prick that kept clinging to her love interest because she was too incompetent to do anything.

O geez Bob come on. Using an Avengers pic to lure us into reading you bitching about Spiderman some more?

Diegolomac:

TsunamiWombat:
...and has a very intelligent and powerful female lead in the story.

Oh yeah, that too. Gwen Stacy is independent, smart, can defend herself, and actually is on top of things through most of the movie. She seems to have more control of the situation than Peter has sometimes. So, where the hell does Bob see Twilight in this? In Twilight, the woman was an insecure, dependent, complaining prick that kept clinging to her love interest because she was too incompetent to do anything.

The hair.

Admittedly, I hated the movie at first too, because of the hair. It just looked like so much churned out twilight cash in pretty teen garbage from a distance,.

I think those characters got dropped because they had nothing left to do, seriously why would Mr. Ratha meet with Conners after he's fired? Does he just so happen to like spelunking in the sewers? Bob there is enough in this movie to dislike without having to make stuff up.

Bob your hatred of this movie is making you sound as bad as a Star Wars fan talking about Episode One.

Oh cool, Bob must be talking about The Avengers in this... Oh. Nope. Yet bitch-fest about Spider-Man.

I don't appreciate the half-assed attempt at an article that he's using as an excuse to bring up a new complaint he just thought of.

Please stop talking about "The Amazing Spider-man" (great film, so it last night). And even if you don't like it, you cannot seriously put it in the same category as "Green Lantern" with a straight face.

Also could someone enlighten me, what was the "dumbest Spider-Man moment" refering to? If it is was I think it is then I will have to disagree.

Just because of this intermission and Moviebobs obsession with the film, I will buy The Amazing Spiderman on DVD.

Rossco64:
Please stop talking about "The Amazing Spider-man" (great film, so it last night). And even if you don't like it, you cannot seriously put it in the same category as "Green Lantern" with a straight face.

Also could someone enlighten me, what was the "dumbest Spider-Man moment" refering to? If it is was I think it is then I will have to disagree.

If it's not referring to the muzzle flash on web-shooters, I'm not sure. I didn't care enough about either the movie or review to go watch the review again to check. ;p

Great article, even though we're tired of reading about Spider-man now. But the point stands, wether it's true for ASM or not (haven't seen it, don't plan to) you shouldn't get away with lazy screenwriting and calling it "world-building" or some bullshit like that.

Though I AM getting curious. How can so many people LOVE this new Spider-Man, and my two favorite critics dislike itso much (You and HULK)? I'm gonna need to check this out when I can rent it

Varya:
Though I AM getting curious. How can so many people LOVE this new Spider-Man, and my two favorite critics dislike itso much (You and HULK)? I'm gonna need to check this out when I can rent it

How many people love Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray?

Something doesn't need to be good to be popular.

@Rosco64

Probably the scene where all the crane-workers in NY can somehow deduce that they need to use their cranes to make a path for Spider-Man so that he can save the day (even though he could have just used the buildings like he always does) and somehow they manage to mobilize and pull that stunt off in record-time.

Either that or the fact that Peter left a "Belongs to Peter Parker"-sign on his camera (because THAT is the smart thing to do for someone with a secret identity.

All in all though, I really don't think this film is half as bad as Bob makes it out to be. Andrew Garfield is likable as Peter Parker and has more personality, Gwen Stacy is VASTLY superior to MJ as the female lead and the action and web-slinging scenes are better than in the original trilogy. I'm also ecstatic that Spider-Man actually cracks jokes like he is supposed to in this version. That is basically the reason why I ever started liking the character in the first place and it was just nothing of it in the Raimi films.

I saw the movie last week and still regret seeing it.

Shjade:

Varya:
Though I AM getting curious. How can so many people LOVE this new Spider-Man, and my two favorite critics dislike itso much (You and HULK)? I'm gonna need to check this out when I can rent it

How many people love Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray?

Something doesn't need to be good to be popular.

True, but the only thing that can match the Twi-love is the Twi-hate. ASM seems to be loved by mainstream and geek alike, or if not liked, met with disinterest. Where is thegeek-rage? Good or bad aside, it's clear that the Spider-Man of the movie is not the one from the comics, that alone should bring a storm of hate from whiny fans, jut I just don't see it. I wanna make clear I don't neccesarily want an outrage at this movie, I'm just surprised there isn't one. Perhaps I'm just looking at the wrong places.

Varya:
I wanna make clear I don't neccesarily want an outrage at this movie, I'm just surprised there isn't one. Perhaps I'm just looking at the wrong places.

I dunno. Personally I just can't find it in me to care about another Spider-man movie in any way.

Here is how they should have had the story (speaking in the tiny capacity I have as an internet nobody):

The lizard doctor is working on the new medicine for a shady company. He's a well meaning, but short tempered guy. When he discovers that the shady company have been testing deadly, unfinished serums on random tramps/veterans, he gets mad and tries to leave. The company doesn't like this and try to have him "removed". In a scuffle between him and some goons, he accidentally slashes himself with a semi-successful serum, which makes him turn into a super strong, super angry lizard. Instead of the bullshit "turn the world into lizards" plot that comes out of nowhere, have an angle about how the lizard is tracking down and killing all the big wigs in the company, V for Vendetta style.

Where spiderman comes in is that he tries to stop the lizard and his attempts to murder people. Parker eventually learns the doctor's motive, and realises the similarity between the lizard's goals and his own desire to get back at his uncle's killer. Seeing the lizardman, he realises in the end that you can't just solve your problems with anger and vengeance. Justice is stoic and impartial.

Well look at that! A fucking story-arc, using the shit that was already established and not built on by this terrible movie. Hell, its the exact same plot to Batman Begins, but they were already ripping The Dark Knight off anyway. Give me $200 million dollars.

Oh for fucks sake, people. We're not even fifteen comments in and already a bunch of you are jumping down Bob's throat because he dares to talk about the only movie currently worth talking about. Yes, I disagree with him too (In some cases quite heavily), I quite liked Amazing Spider-Man. So what? Is his opinion ruining your enjoyment? Is it going to change your life if he keeps voicing his displeasure until a more interesting subject comes around? If you don't want to hear about it, then don't read it. It's that simple.

lord.jeff:
I think those characters got dropped because they had nothing left to do, seriously why would Mr. Ratha meet with Conners after he's fired? Does he just so happen to like spelunking in the sewers? Bob there is enough in this movie to dislike without having to make stuff up.

Bob your hatred of this movie is making you sound as bad as a Star Wars fan talking about Episode One.

Na-ah. The problem isn't that Mr Ratha doesn't meet Connors again, it is that Mr Ratha magically disappears halfway through an action scene. The last we see of him is him bashing his head against a car window, whilst hanging off a bridge. Is he dead? Is he alive? Was he rescued? A two second establishing shot could have cleared that up one way or another. Considering his prominence and potential importance to the film and the sequel (he's giving deadly magic serums to Oscorp), it might have been worth while telling the audience what happened to him.

That's just one example of the shitty writing. Hell, and don't think this is a rant coming from a Spiderman fanboy. I disliked all the previous spidermen movies and don't read comics. But even those movies were better.

While I don't share Bob's obsession or distain for this particular movie, I do feel that his criticism are valid here: movies should be self-contained episodes and not have lingering plot points/threads so they can be solved in later movies.

I also agree with him that the movie does have rather bad CGI, music, confusing moments and a very sloppy third act. However, I will not obsess over it like he does.

PhunkyPhazon:
Oh for fucks sake, people. We're not even fifteen comments in and already a bunch of you are jumping down Bob's throat because he dares to talk about the only movie currently worth talking about. Yes, I disagree with him too (In some cases quite heavily), I quite liked Amazing Spider-Man. So what? Is his opinion ruining your enjoyment? Is it going to change your life if he keeps voicing his displeasure until a more interesting subject comes around? If you don't want to hear about it, then don't read it. It's that simple.

But we don't know we don't want to hear about it until we click the article and read it, it was a stealth rant, he tricked us here with an Avengers picture.

Oh, and please tell me you see the irony in complaining about comments you read with the response 'then don't read it'. You didn't have to read their comments either.

And Bob's desperation to prove to everyone that The Amazing Spiderman is bad is actually kinda sad. So it should be pointed out, for the good of mankind.

"I enjoy good world building as much as anyone, but I hope the price I have to pay isn't a long run of bad movies like Amazing Spider-Man and Green Lantern that we'll look back on a decade out as "the period when every damn movie was trying to be a prologue."

It will be.

PhunkyPhazon:
Oh for fucks sake, people. We're not even fifteen comments in and already a bunch of you are jumping down Bob's throat because he dares to talk about the only movie currently worth talking about. Yes, I disagree with him too (In some cases quite heavily), I quite liked Amazing Spider-Man. So what? Is his opinion ruining your enjoyment? Is it going to change your life if he keeps voicing his displeasure until a more interesting subject comes around? If you don't want to hear about it, then don't read it. It's that simple.

I generally enjoy his articles/movies. But he's fixated. It's a little a sick. Like I get he doesn't write these for us technically, but c'mon. It's time to move on.

I agree that movies should be self-contained. Subtle hints toward a possible sequel are perfectly fine, but they should not take away from the movie. Something that I liked about The Avengers is that Hawkeye made a cameo in Thor, but he wasn't central to the plot. They didn't try to set Hawkeye up as anything but a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Because he was set up as an agent, however, the path was clear for him to appear in The Avengers. However, if you just saw The Avengers, or didn't notice him in Thor, it wouldn't impact your enjoyment of either movie. Both movies are self-contained stories, but Thor, and the other Marvel continuity movies, contain subtle set-ups and nods to The Avengers, but you can watch any of them individually without seeing the others. This is the idea of a continuity without direct continuations, which I like.

For movies that are explicit continuations, though, like Harry Potter or Star Wars, it works a little bit differently. Not absurdly so, though; each film should contain its own story, but mythology and elements have to be shared and each story should be part of an overarching plot. None of them should say things like "this'll be important in the next movie". They should focus on the things that are important in this movie. The things that'll be expanded on in the next film should be pushed to the side, and if a sequel happens, then maybe they can be called upon.

I like the TV Show-style episodic structure best, however. It can tell a story in short, well-defined chunks. One of my favourite examples of this structure is the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica where pretty much every episode can be defined by an important occurrence, but they all add to the plot and build on the things established previously. Plus, there're a bunch of things early on that you don't need to understand, but after watching the rest of the series, you understand them and they give you a much better idea of what's going on.

My point is, I prefer a story that's told in well-defined chunks that have a distinct beginning, middle, and end, and don't take things out to be explained in a future instalment. Continuity should not be used as a tool for money-making, but rather as a tool for telling stories.

The problem with a saga is that in order to maintain interest, the first installments have to be good. So many things do this poorly, not understanding that there's a lot of groundwork to be laid before more can be piled on top of it. If you start with gaping holes in your foundation, then you'll spend most of your sequel time filling it. That's not just bad writing advice, that's bad structural advice. All it does is muck you up.

Can we stop talking about this now? We get it, you hate the film. Fine. You keep playing up the negatives and being ridiculously petty with your reviews, if it was once I wouldn't care, your inexplicable hatred is unimportant but this is what, the third in a row for the same thing? Get the fuck over it man, your views aren't always correct*. It IS subjective, despite your previous rants and is this seriously the third thing in a week and a half railing on the same film from you?

I thought some of those skips sucked, notably our vanishing friend. The robber arc? I wanted that closed, others disagree. Personally I think it makes more sense to Spidey's development but whatever. But everything else...can we drop it? Unless you want to bring something new to the table I'm getting really bored of hearing the same ridiculously exaggerated complaints Bob.

This is something that seems to crop up a lot and I agree it is a problem, I think it's primarily for the issue you noted in the piece, things being cut and then pushed to the next one as though it's a TV episode or something.
It's pretty much my main issue with TAS. I've seen it worse in other films as well, I guess movie execs are just overconfident, I'm surprised it persists.

*Mine, of course, are.

I agree that each movie in a series should be self contained to an extent. However, I think the same should hold true for, say, an internet review series. It's Bob's job to get in, tell us what he thinks, and get out in a single episode. Any lingering thoughts should be wrapped up in a single Intermission. Now, Bob has spent two episodes and two Intermissions to talk about one movie. I'm convinced that, if he hadn't already committed to doing the whole Batman thing, we'd be getting Big Picture episodes about this, and the comments here have made it fairly clear that he is no longer changing anyone's mind. Anyone who liked it is going to continue liking it, and anyone who hated it is going to continue hating it. In fact, his lengthy ranting is beginning to look fanatic, which will actually deter people who haven't seen the movie yet from taking his opinion seriously.

Bottom line, he's no longer reviewing the movie. He's ranting, raving, foaming from the mouth and waving his old copies of his favorite Amazing Spider-Man comics in the air like a fanboy, and that's not his job. If any other movie critic reviewed the same movie four times in two weeks, he'd be reprimanded by the management, if not fired.

I went into "The Amazing Spider-man" thinking I would hate it because Bob hated it so much.

Instead, I walked out very satisfied.

Is it my favorite superhero movie ever? Not even close. It's not even my favorite Spider-man movie (that would be Spider-man 2). But I definitely liked it more than Spider-man 3 and I like it almost as much as Spider-man 1.

Half of what ASM does it does better than the original Spider-man, and half of what it does is worse than the original Spider-man. Both of them I feel are very flawed movies with very strong strengths.

I mean, I rewatched the original Sam Raimi Spider-man, and, you know what? It's got some serious problems too. Green Goblin looks like a Power Rangers villain reject. The acting is all over the place and totally hammy, even during dramatic scenes. Spider-man himself rarely quips and wise-cracks, and the organic webshooters were an odd thing to do. Mary Jane exists solely to get kidnapped, attacked, and have Spider-man save her. Add in random things like a concert cameo from Macy Gray, pointless scenes of Goblin trying to get Spider-man to join his evil empire, and very cartoony, very dated effects, and it's a good, if weird, film.

The new film does many things better. Andrew Garfield is a far more versatile and believable actor in the role (even if he's a bit of a jerk). Emma Stone's Gwen in insanely superior to Kristen Dunst's Mary Jane. The web shooters are back, the wisecracking Spider-man is well done, and I felt the action scenes were really cool and dynamic, and I even liked the very strong familial relationship Peter has with Uncle Ben in the new one, where you see them doing family things, dealing with family issues, and you could see how Uncle Ben himself is not some saint of a man but a very flawed, loving person that embraced his role as Peter's father figure. Peter telling him he's a good father, and then Peter being unable to listen to Ben's last phone message, were better than any moments in the original film.

But the new film has some problems; yes Peter's a bit of a jerk, the story meanders all over the place, I can't remember a single tune from the soundtrack, there's a lot of plotholes, and the sheer absence of J. Jonah Jameson is sorely missed.

But despite that, I find it to be about on par with the original Spider-man movie.

It's not perfect, no, and nowhere near as good as many recent superhero films, but it's no Green Lantern or Ghost Rider or Elektra or Catwoman or Fantastic Four. It's a good film. It really is, despite its flaws.

The fact Bob's now done THREE segments trying to convince me it sucks is about two segments too many. I like it despite its flaws and it's contractual studio obligations.

Hell, some of the best films ever made were done under studio contractual obligations.

For my money, it was a good, but not great, film. It's worth seeing. It does not suck, nor does it perfect Spider-man either. There is room for improvement, but they did plenty right the first go-around.

Didn't really think about it while watching it, but yeah there is some stuff that sort just disappears. Still, I don't think it was enough to make the movie bad, it still some scenes, the plot was alright, and enjoyable action.
Anyway comparing this movie to Green Lantern is just mean. Green Lantern's problem was it's lack of good action and it's annoying hero, Spider-Man's problem is all plot thread stuff which while annoying doesn't mean the movie as a whole is bad to watch.

Bob, STOP.

Do you understand what you've done here, Bob? I completely agree about self-contained stories and dropped plot lines. It irritates the hell out of me. I don't have any reason to argue with you here.

Instead, I read the first paragragh and all I can think is "Bob is ranting about the Spider-Man movie AGAIN!" You didn't get this crazy over Green Lantern... why this?

You're seriously testing my patience here. Yes, you didn't like the new Spider-man movie. You've said so in three previous postings, now four. This isn't going to change opinions. This isn't going to halt the box-office progression. This isn't going to make other critics start hating this movie just because you feel the need to keep pointing out the negatives over and over and over and over...

Move. On.

And then there's the current king of this particular mountain, Marvel Studios, whose ambitious (and thus far wildly successful) Cinematic Universe experiment has given the entire medium a raging case of continuity envy. Five films released over half a decade sharing a single universe and timeline, culminating in gigantic ensemble action vehicle that ultimately serves to make said universe bigger and even more intertwined? Surely these films, above all others, would be both expected and enthusiastically forgiven for only delivering mere fragments of a narrative prior to The Avengers.

And yet, that's not what happened. Despite growing out of the comic books (the medium that invented the concept of "you have to buy them all to know what's happening"), the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far contains six films all of which stand solidly on their merits as complete stories independent of the bigger narrative. Yes, even the somewhat sloppy, "Oh crap, we didn't know this would be the most popular guy, quick give him something to do for a sequel" Iron Man 2. All the details and hints and recurring characters help make for a richer experience, but it's never 100% necessary.

Well the opposite actually happened with Avengers than with other over-arcing movies. Typically, the end result for multiple movies follows character arcs as well as an overall story which results in dramatic character developments for better or worse. Aragorn finally accepts the responsibility of his birthright. Gimli and Legolas learn to accept each other. Han gives in to his feelings for someone other than himself. And, most impressively, we see Vader fall from grace only to redeem himself at the end. Essentially, there's changes in character, and plot points are either built upon or explained.

Avengers went the opposite route. Character motivations were explained in the individual movies, but in the end game, there was no significant change. They became static characters, with only Black Widow's history being the biggest character development. Captain America's still the do-gooder boy scout. Thor still smashes things with his hammer, and Hawkeye's just super good with a bow. The argument could be made for Hulk being able to control himself, but he already sort of did that at the end of Incredible Hulk, and we don't even see him bring himself under control in between the movies. The argument could also be made for Iron Man learning to put others before him, but, again, this is hardly the first time he's shown a propensity for self-endangerment for the sake of others.

As for plots, there wasn't really anything over-arching between all the stories. Yes, the tesseract plays a major part in both Captain America and Avengers. And yes, the gods in Thor and Avengers are the same ones Red Skull is obsessing about. But there's no real connection between the overall story. It's more episodic than anything, the cartoon villain that loses then tries something new only to be beaten again. Yeah, it's kind of an arching storyline because its the same people involved but they just keep doing different shit.

Bottom line: Avengers isn't really a culmination, it's more like just another episode in the Marvel Universe's movie series. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter still did the continuity thing better.

Silverspetz:
All in all though, I really don't think this film is half as bad as Bob makes it out to be. Andrew Garfield is likable as Peter Parker and has more personality, Gwen Stacy is VASTLY superior to MJ as the female lead and the action and web-slinging scenes are better than in the original trilogy. I'm also ecstatic that Spider-Man actually cracks jokes like he is supposed to in this version. That is basically the reason why I ever started liking the character in the first place and it was just nothing of it in the Raimi films.

Why is cracking jokes such a big deal for people. Most of the jokes he tells sorta suck, and the whole balancing his real life with his responsibility as Spider-man is a much more thematically important part of his character that the Raimi films got right so I forgive them for having organic webshooters and no one liners.

RTK1576:
Bob, STOP.

Do you understand what you've done here, Bob? I completely agree about self-contained stories and dropped plot lines. It irritates the hell out of me. I don't have any reason to argue with you here.

Instead, I read the first paragragh and all I can think is "Bob is ranting about the Spider-Man movie AGAIN!" You didn't get this crazy over Green Lantern... why this?

You're seriously testing my patience here. Yes, you didn't like the new Spider-man movie. You've said so in three previous postings, now four. This isn't going to change opinions. This isn't going to halt the box-office progression. This isn't going to make other critics start hating this movie just because you feel the need to keep pointing out the negatives over and over and over and over...

Move. On.

It's because other people seem to like Amazing Spider-man and people keep telling him that he's wrong so its natural to want to retaliate. There's no point to prove with Green Lantern because everyone hated Green Lantern.

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