Posts Tagged ‘SpiderMan’

Spider-Man (2002)

Posted: September 27, 2017 in Movies


With Spider-Man now back home safe and sound (for now I guess) in the MCU I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at the characters’ first big screen outing in 2002’s Spider-Man, directed by Sam Raimi, he of the great Evil Dead trilogy and Drag Me To Hell fame. The film has an impressive cast with Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville, Wonderboys) as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Kirsten Dunst (Interview with a Vampire, TV’s Fargo) as Mary Jane, James Franco (Pineapple Express, Milk) as Harry Osborn and Willem Dafoe (John Wick, Wild at Heart) as Normon Osborn/Green Goblin. Surprising nobody the film was a box office hit and Raimi proved himself as capable with big budget comic book movies as with smaller horror movies and thrillers.

I put the film on, having not seen it in almost a decade and one of the first things to hit me was the special effects. Wow. Haha. Look I’m not bashing the effects work. The effects are very good in this film, but what caught me off guard was that I feel like I only went the cinema to see this movie last week! It still feels fresh to me and of course it’s not. Some of the CGI used to convey Spidey’s movements is a bit blatant but that’s not the films’ fault. It’s simply the passing of time taking me by surprise and what I can say is that Raimi’s film goes a long way to mix and match CGI with practical ‘guy in suits’ action to create believable and great action.

Plot wise Raimi’s movie follows the origin route we all know by now. Student Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider on a school trip and is granted great power. He learns some tough lessons and ultimately decides to do good with his new powers and thus Spider-Man is born. In a cool way the arc of Norman Osborn paralells that of Peter, as Norman becomes the villain of the film the Green Goblin, both hero and villain dealing with a similar sense of amazing power but choosing to use it in two very different ways. Both Maguire and Dafoe doing wonders and nailing their characters.

Raimi has a solid handle on the action throughout the film. Whether in the form of massive set-pieces – a Green Goblin attack on a street parade in the middle of the city is awesome, as in the final showdown between Spidey and his nemesis – or smaller and more confined cut-away or montages showing Spider-Mans’ reputation as a hero growing throughout New York as he helps folks out catching thugs and robbers. Yet Raimi loves horror and you can’t help but grin when you catch glimpses of that fun darkness coming through in this movie from time to time as Green Goblin explodes onto the screen out of nowhere like some movie monster without warning. I love that stuff about this movie.

Maguire, Dafoe, Dunst and Franco are good in the movie and looking back now it’s one strong core cast and no surprise Dunst and Franco went on to carve out careers as great actors. Obviously by 2002 both Maguire and Dafoe had more than proven their acting chops at that stage in their careers. The big standout in Spider-Man is J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. Now Simmons is a big Hollywood name but back when this movie came out he was not as established yet it’s clear from his performance here that this guy has talent and charisma by the bucket load. Keep a look out for ‘unknown’ (at the time) Joe Manganiello and Elizabeth Banks in small supporting roles.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man is a terrific debut for the Marvel Comics character who had more than a few stops and starts in his journey to the big screen through the 1980s and 1990s. Sure at times, for my tastes anyway, the film is a bit too sentimental for it’s own good, almost becoming outright corny but I think that’s down to me being slightly heartless (haha) and the film trying to ape the more innocent feel of Spidey as he was when he first came onto the scene in his original comic debut. Yet for Spider-Man fans this is a must watch movie and as far as cinamatic debuts go you’d just hope you could manage one as strong as this if you were about to launch a comic book movie franchise.



Mavel and Sony have delivered a good movie with Spider-Man: Homecoming. It is crazy to think that Spider-Man is now on his third reboot in just a little over ten years. If this tells fans anything it is that Sony is unwilling to give up on delivering a quality product. Perhaps that is why once Spider-Man 3 and Amazing Spider-Man 2 showed signs of not hitting with audiences Sony felt it was time to re-think it’s approach to the licence and who better to help out than Spidey’s home Marvel? Captain America: Civil War introduced audiences to the MCU version of Spider-Man and Homecoming is his full on solo MCU feature debut and when all is said and done it’s a home run.

Spider-Man: Homecoming feels like a John Hughes teen movie with sprinkles of Super Hero adventure scattered throughout the films running time. Think Marvel Presents The Breakfast Club. It’s a great approach to the character, but just as important is the decision to cast young. Tom Holland, barely out of his teens, makes for a believeable teenage Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He is relatable as your everyday highschool kid yet able to sell his smarts and inherent heroics as Spidey. Nailing the casting for Spider-Man was always going to be what made or broke Homecoming, with Tom Holland Sony and Marvel have got a charismatic actor to anchor the series moving forward.

The plot of Spider-Man: Homecoming is the films other strong point. It’s very simple, despite the trailers – which don’t give everything away I promise – featuring Iron Man, multiple villains and other Easter Eggs. Homecoming at it’s core it very much a movie about a kid having to come to terms with the realities of being a super hero. At this stage in his hero career Peter wants to leap before he can crawl so to speak and so the lesson of Homecoming is for him to make mistakes and get some perspective. The way that is handled – through Michael Keaton’s excellent portrayal of The Vulture and how his arc interacts with Peter’s – is a credit to films writers John Francise Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. Homecoming is a smart movie, The Vulture isn’t an outright despicable guy and you can understand his reasoning for the choices he makes meanwhile Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and especially Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) can come across as assholes at times so you can forgive and understand Peter’s rash decisions as the kid is pretty much left to figure all of this Super Hero stuff out for himself. I mean look when you think about it Tony recruited Peter to take part in Civil War and then he’s basically giving him a taste of the major leagues and then dropped him off “We’ll call you, don’t call us” sort of thing? Any kid would be going out of their mind wanting to get back into the game!

Director Jon Watts handles the drama, the pace and the action with ease. The action in the film is never over the top or world threatening in nature and as such it’s a breath of fresh air having a more grounded threat and action that spirals out from that. The film takes a few twists and turns in it’s plot that I liked a lot and I felt the film was only stronger for them as they served the plot naturally and totally stayed true to the whole 80’s teen movie vibe. The comedy hits and the cast is rounded out with a likeable ensemble of young up and coming talent and seasoned vets. Another strength of Homecoming is the way it’s able to move away from the Spider-Man check list we’ve seen again and again. So there’s no Uncle Ben here or Gwen Stacy and such. Instead we get a focus on the characters who have comic counterparts but have yet to have a chance to really breath on the screen.

As a massive Spider-Man fan I can say I walked out of Homecoming thinking it was a fun time at the movies and a credit to the source material. It’s not the best comic book movie I’ve ever seen and it never had to be. It showed up confident in what it is and did it’s thing and that I can appreciate and hope this new iteration of Spider-Man continues to do!

MV5BMzY4MzQ1OTU3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTc2OTEwMzE@__V1_SX1503_CR0,0,1503,999_AL_Sony pictures have found a director for their Spider-Man spin-off movie Black Cat/Silver Sable. The talented lady is…Gina Prince-Bythewood. I am not familiar with the directors work but I understand she’s highly regarded with her resume including Beyond The Lights, Love and Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees. The most recent draft of the script was written by Thor: Ragnarok’s Chris Yost although Bythewood is expected to do a re-write of the latest draft.

Look. I am excited for this movie and I have no issue with Sony focusing on solo adventures for Black Cat/Silver Sable and Venom. I’ve heard a ton of “Well if there’s no Spider-Man it just doesn’t make any sense!”. I don’t agree with that. Venom, Silver Sable and Black Cat are all great characters and I’d rather see them get explored on the big screen than ignored. No one knows for sure yet what the Sony/Marvel deal includes. For all we know Tom Holland may be able to appear in these movies or even if he won’t maybe Tom Hardy’s Venom will be Sony’s version of Spider-Man. It just all depends on the execution.

Sony has gone about this the right way so far. Hiring talented writers and directors and then going after the on-screen talent. As for who will play either of the two leading ladies well that’s still to be determined!

Black Cat/Silver Sable (I’m sure they’ll change the title of the movie!) is set to shoot this Autumn with a release set for next year.

Tom Hardy IS Venom!!

Posted: May 20, 2017 in Comics, Movies
Tags: , ,


That’s how you get the world hype for a Venom solo movie folks. You hire Tom Hardy. What a casting! Sony Pictures announced yesterday that Hardy will star in their Venom movie which is set to shoot this fall.

Venom, an alien symbiote that takes over it’s host, was created by artist Todd McFarlane and is one of Spider-Man’s most famous villains. Throughout his many incarnations the Venom Symbiote has been both villain and hero and linked to several different hosts.  In Sony Pictures Venom Hardy will take on the role of Venom’s most famous host Eddie Brock.

The solo movie, to be directed by Zombieland and Gangster Squad’s Ruben Fleischer is said to be a R rated horror/sci-fi movie. I can’t wait. This could be amaze.

It appears that Spider-Man and the rest of the Marvel cinematic universe will collide after all! After several weeks of rumors regarding Spidey appearing in a Marvel pictures release it became official yesterday that the webhead will debut – alas Andrew Garfield is out – in an as yet unspecified Marvel release. Sony will later distribute the characters solo movies which will be made in partnership with Marvel. Specifically Marvel’s Kevin Feige, who has been great in his role of guiding the ship that is the MCU. Exciting times to be a Spider-Man fan, for starters it means you’ll no doubt see a clearer vision for the character and his growth over the course of the new series of films. Is it a little bit too early to be disregarding Garfield’s Peter Parker? I think so but perhaps when all is said and done a fresh start will be for the best.