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Tag: Spider-Man 3 (1-10 of 38)

Geek Defense: 'Spider-Man 3'

SPIDER-MAN3

The internet is an echo chamber with no room for ambiguity. That’s especially true in the geekosphere, where the mob mentality of fandom creates a set-in-stone orthodoxy. In Geek Defense, EW’s writers challenge that conventional wisdom by defending a project, a creator, or a movement with a bad reputation. The goal is to restart a conversation about the things we’re not supposed to enjoy.

The Accused: Spider-Man 3, the final film in the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy.

The Crimes: Generally considered one of the prime modern examples of Franchise Bloat, Spider-Man 3 overdoses on villains (The Sandman, Venom, and Green Goblin 2.0) while throwing in ambient bits of canon (Hi, Gwen Stacy! Bye, Gwen Stacy!) and wasting pretty much everything with hammy workaround plotting: Harry Osborn gets magical plot amnesia and can’t remember anything about Spider-Man, until suddenly he can; an alien symbiote just happens to crashland in Central Park next to Peter Parker. READ FULL STORY

'All-Star Superman' will get animated. Does this mean we're finally done with gritty superheroes?

dark-knight-supermanImage Credit: Stephen Vaughan; DC ComicsThe formula for superhero movies hasn’t really changed that much since Bryan Singer’s X-Men ten years ago. Make it grim and gritty. Remove all primary colors. Tell the actors to scowl. Don’t put anyone in a costume unless you have to. The post-Matrix vogue for bleakly dystopian action movies merged with the post-Frank Miller trend of “realism” in comic books, and the result was Batman’s Alec-Baldwin-with-strep-throat voice.

Friends, there is another way. Look no further than Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s epic All-Star Superman, a miniseries that supercharges all the hokiest elements of an unabashedly hokey character – Bizarro talking funny! Time-traveling Superman from the future! Kryptonite in every color! Jimmy Olsen! – and becomes a funny, sad, world-beating epic. According to The Hollywood Reporter, All-Star Superman is next in line for DC’s well-regarded series of direct-to-DVD animated movies. (Christina Hendricks is voicing Lois Lane, and I’m already sweating.) A DVD-movie intended for kids ain’t exactly a blockbuster, but could we be witnessing the end of the Grim Superhero era? READ FULL STORY

Good luck with 'Spider-Man,' Marc Webb

It’s an interesting move to hire Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) for a superhero franchise like Spider-Man. The accomplished music-video director has a refreshing aesthetic that will certainly differentiate his Spidey from Sam Raimi’s. But I can’t help but feel a little chagrined for Webb as he’s hurled into the deep end of billion-dollar franchises. For one, taking on Spider-Man just three years after the web-slinger’s last adventure is a thankless task. We haven’t even had a chance to miss our friendly, neighborhood superhero yet. Is there really a hunger for his immediate return? Many people dying to see another Spidey this quickly are probably craving Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s Spidey, and anything less — or different — than that could be soundly rejected. Secondly, I worry about the magnitude of Webb’s promotion. Christopher Nolan established the formula for the highbrow reinvention of comic book pulp, via his Batman films. But at least Nolan made Insomnia in between his indie breakthough (Memento) and Batman Begins, proving he could direct movie stars (Al Pacino and Robin Williams) in a moderately-budgeted studio film. Webb’s budget on (500) Days, on the other hand, was reportedly under $8 million. Spider-Man 3 reportedly cost $258 million to make. That offers Webb a lot of room to get creative, but with great budgets come great responsibility. And pressure.

What do you think about Webb taking on the Spidey reboot? Is it safe to assume that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on Webb’s short list of potential Peter Parkers?

'Spider-Man' spin-off 'Venom': A poisonous idea?

venom-Gary-Ross_lAccording to today’s Variety, Sony is prepping to make a Venom flick — you remember, the bad guy Topher Grace (and a whole mess of CGI) played in Spider-Man 3 — to be written and directed by Seabiscuit‘s Gary Ross. I find myself wondering: What’s a worse idea, Venom or Elektra 2: Sai Anything?

Venom is popular in the pages of Spider-Man comics, and has been for years. But with Spider-Man 3 being universally criticized as the weak link in Sam Raimi’s trilogy, and Venom being a chief instrument of that lameness, I can’t help but puzzle at the wisdom of spinning off a whole movie based around a character audiences didn’t seem to care for in the first place. Of course, this will be a reboot, one that refashions Venom/Eddie Brock from the ground up, with a new actor (since Grace is heading to the jungle for Robert Rodriguez’s Predators). And Ross is a solid filmmaker, who must’ve wowed the Sony brass with his rewrite for Spider-Man 4 to put him in line for this gig — otherwise, how else to explain the leap from equestrian elegy to costumed fisticuffs? — but I’m just not feeling it.

I don’t care about who Eddie Brock was that made him so eager to give himself to a puddle of alien goop. I don’t care to see him refitted as the tragic hero — because that’s what’ll happen, as we’re in Hollywood, and they don’t make movies starring the villain. Yes, I know the key to a good Big Bad is that they have to believe they’re doing the right thing; that in their heads, they’re the hero of the story. Doesn’t mean I need to see that story. Can’t we just let bad guys be bad guys?

What do you think? Is Venom a good idea, a bad idea, or a bad idea you’d still be willing to pay to see?

Photo Credit: Ross: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos

Hooray! It's Spider-Man Day!

Spiderman_lGuess what, friendly neighborhood PopWatchers? Today, apparently, is Spider-Man Day! Now, I can’t say I’m entirely sure what that means, or who the official sponsor is (you’d think it was Marvel Comics, but their website isn’t looking too celebratory), but I’m always happy to give some love to the ol’ webslinger.

I’m gonna celebrate by using an elaborate system of pulleys and counterweights to upside-down kiss random redheads (I will be taking donations for my legal fund). How about you? Planning on watching the Spidey movie trilogy tonight (it’s okay if you fall asleep on Spider-Man 3)? Reading up on the comics (I recommend Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man)? Trying to coax a particularly bitey arachnid into a radioactive lab and hoping he’ll just do what comes naturally?

addCredit(“Spider-Man: Jack Kirby”)

Digging up zombies from the movie graveyard: The Ramones, Venom, and Austin Powers

Sterngracepowers_lThree film projects I’m not sure I’m excited about:

1. The Howard Stern-produced remake of Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. Stern (pictured, left) has been talking about doing this for at least six years (along with a remake of Porky’s), but now he’s hired a screenwriter: actor-turned-filmmaker Alex Winter. (Winter knows from satirical high school movies, having played Bill opposite Keanu Reeves’ Ted in the Bill & Ted comedies.) No word yet on which band will sub for the stars of the 1979 cult movie, the Ramones, though maybe Stern could make it a period piece and star as his lookalike, Joey Ramone… nah. Feel free to suggest in the comments section a present-day analog to the then-rising punk act for Stern and Winter to cast in the update.

2. A Spider-Man 3 spinoff centering on the villainous Venom. Except it doesn’t look like Topher Grace (center) will star (or Tobey Maguire, for that matter), so essentially, the filmmakers will be creating a new character named after a villain in a comic book series whose hero is not likely to make an appearance. The last time Hollywood tried that, we got Catwoman.

After the jump: one more follow-up project no one asked for…

addCredit(“Howard Stern, Topher Grace, Mike Myers: Scott Wintrow/Getty Images, Kimberly Wright”)

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Spider-Man fights for truth, justice, and the United Nations way

Spider_lGee, if only the United Nations had thought of this sooner: enlisting superheroes to serve in its peacekeeping forces in global hotspots. Of course, whether Spider-Man, by fighting imaginary enemies in imaginary lands, can also fight the not-at-all-imaginary PR problems of the UN — well, that’s another story. Then again, why does the UN need imaginary heroes when it has real ones? Angelina Jolie was already turned into a cartoon this year, so why not make her into a comic book heroine? She may find the task of saving the world equally daunting in 2D, but at least she’ll score the UN the fanboy vote.

Spider-Man now sticks to envelopes too

Spider_lAt long last, the superheroes of Marvel are joining forces with a formidable new ally: the United States Postal Service. This Thursday, during kick-off day at Comic-Con, the two behemoths will get together to unveil a new series of 20 stamps — going on-sale across the country that morning — commemorating Marvel Comics characters and classic comic book covers.

Take a look, for instance, at the Spider-Man stamp to your left. Upon first glance it made me think three things. 1) Stamps cost 41 cents now? 2) People still even mail letters? And 3) this is a really awesome-looking Spider-Man stamp. Other featured characters destined to grace the upper right corners of America’s envelopes starting Thursday are Captain America, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Silver Surfer, Wolverine, and — hooray for equal rights — Spider-Woman.

What do you think? Will you be lining up at your local post office first thing Thursday morning?

Spider-Man like you've never seen him!

Spidey_venom_lAre you suffering from a "case of the Mondays"? Well, if this YouTube clip (or this one) doesn’t cure it, might I suggest checking out Jeff Victor‘s "bubblehead" drawings? The Los Angeles-based artist’s Wicked Crispy blog (click here to see it) focuses primarily on Star Wars‘ characters — his Jabba the Hutt is particularly delightful — but my favorites are his Spider-Man, Pale Man (from Pan’s Labyrinth), and Batman (which you can view after the jump). 

addCredit(“Spider-Man/Venom and Batman: Courtesy of Jeff Victor”)

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Merch that will make your Spider-sense (or something) tingle

Maryjane_lToo bad the Mary Jane action figure pictured here (and clearly modeled more after the MJ of the Spidey comics than after Kirsten Dunst) didn’t make the rounds a few weeks ago. (Is "action" even the right word for a figurine whose definition of "action" is hand-washing her fella’s superheroic Underoos?) It could have made this hilariously appalling list of the worst Spider-Man tie-in merchandise. But at least it inspired this turnabout-is-fair-play parody. (Which is probably NSFW, and probably not safe if you’ve just eaten, either.)

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