Emma Stone

Denis Leary in The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man can get ridiculous. By its very nature, there’s an inherent silliness to Marc Webb‘s reboot of the iconic character. There’s a giant talking lizard wearing a lab coat, and in terms of comic books movies, you can’t get much more cartoony than that. What stops The Amazing Spider-Man from playing as an all out cartoon is both the emotional grounding from Webb’s part and the comedic touches made with Captain Stacy, played by Denis Leary. Without ever making an obnoxious ironic smirk about that kid in unitard, Webb utilizes Leary as a way to pull the film back down to earth. In the 1990s, we saw Denis Leary in his fair share of commercial movies, and, as even he would admit to and poke fun at, not many of them were particularly good. As of late, while Leary’s schedule was packed with his Rescue Me duties, we saw a real lack of him appearing on the big screen. What does it take to get Leary in your movie now? The possibility of a good time is certainly a part of it. Denis Leary, who seemed to be enjoying himself during The Amazing Spider-Man‘s press day, sat down with us to discuss firing shotguns, when making a movie doesn’t “suck,” and the importance of knowing structure:

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A large portion of The Amazing Spider-Man does not come off as a typical summer movie. Battling that lab coat-wearing Lizard aside, the heroics of Peter Parker’s life often take a backseat to his identity crisis. Director Marc Webb, as he told us, did not want to retell the origin of Spider-Man, as we already got that film ten years ago. No matter how much we all like to chuckle at the “untold story” tagline, Webb gives us good reason to reconsider why this is a new origin story: this is Peter Parker’s origin, not Spider-Man’s. The first hour of The Amazing Spider-Man takes its time to set up this new Peter Parker and the grounded world Webb aimed to capture. Tonally everything, including the giant green lizard who talks, Webb takes as seriously as he can. The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t realistic and gritty in the Nolan sense, but bares a key similarity in its dramatic grounding. Here’s what director Marc Webb had to say about the emotional chip Peter Parker carries on his shoulder, the wise-cracking teenage hero he saw while reading the comics, and why we’ve seen so much footage from his major tentpole release:

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The Amazing Spider-Man

It was a kinder, simpler time back in January of 2010. Daybreakers and Youth in Revolt were both in theaters, New York City was asking people to eat less salt, and we were all about to find out the one-two punch that Sam Raimi was done with Spider-Man but Sony was not. It was the sort of news that reeked of corporate thinking – extending a franchise cash cow without the creative forces behind it; rebooting an unimaginably familiar character just five years after his last outing; and deciding to do all that on a dime. Optimism pointed to characters like James Bond getting new actors, but this was that rare time where a character introduced to us was being re-introduced to us, and the announcement was, admittedly, a bit surreal. It won’t be revolutionary, but there are two ways, two chances for that reboot to change the ways that movies are made. Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man will have a lot of eyes on it these week, and a few of them will be watching it as an experiment instead of entertainment.

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Marvel has enjoyed a pronounced measure of success with their films of late. Captain America, X-Men: First Class, and especially The Avengers have proven worthy of all manner of flashy adjectives. And now we arrive at Marvel/Sony’s reboot of the character for which flashy adjectives are often indivisible from his name. The unfortunate irony is that any number of films on Marvel’s slate from the last year are more deserving of the descriptor “amazing” than Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man. That’s not to say the film is a total disaster, but in the company’s current climate of quality, passable is not acceptable.

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For the past few days a comical and depressing mash-up of the marketing materials for The Amazing (and pretty good) Spider-Man has taken the internet by storm. Louis Plamondon – who was today’s Reject Radio’s fine guest – made a short film out of all the footage Sony has released, nearly nailing the film down beat by beat. Speaking to the film’s director Marc Webb today, his response was simple: just don’t watch it. If you care about the movie, then why delve more into spoiler territory? When asked if he had seen it yet, Webb responded, “I have not seen it, but, listen, I think most movies reveal as much stuff. That’s a marketing department thing, so I wasn’t necessarily involved in that. If you don’t want to watch it, don’t watch it. Is it really that hard?”

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Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man

While everyone might still be buzzing about The Avengers, this summer does still hold yet another major comic book movie that just might end up being the unexpected hit of the season. Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man again returns Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) to high school, but the focus this time around is on Peter’s relationship with his true first love, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and his quest to discover his parents’ background and how that effects who he’s turned out to be. Oh, and of course he’s dealing with becoming a superhero with spider powers, but that’s just old hat at this point. The film’s latest international trailer features a lot of material we’ve seen before – some shots of the Lizard going after Spidey, a few sweet moments between Peter and Gwen, and a hefty reliance on Peter’s parents and whatever the heck it is that Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) is cooking up in his lab – but it also continues to hint that Stone’s Gwen Stacy is quite aware of what’s really going on with her boyfriend. Especially when Spidey tosses her out a window and reels her back in, thanks to those nifty web-shooters. Do you have that kind of trust in your relationship?

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Ruben Fleischer is two for two. Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less both exhibited an energetic brand of comedy that showed off the chops of a new talent. Now it’s time for that talent to change genres and show some range. The Gangster Squad was a black list script from Will Beall that made its way to Warners. The first trailer boasts a stellar cast of Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Sean Penn and a ton of familiar face. Plus, Gosling comes off as a total pansy here, no matter what size gun he’s got. That’s an interesting reversal after the stoic badass in Drive. It looks like a standard gangland story, but the visuals are dynamic and everything points to it being a solid flick. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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The summer of 2012 will go down as one of the biggest movie-going seasons for comic-book superheroes, and it’s a feat that probably won’t be repeated anytime soon. Joss Whedon’s fantastically entertaining The Avengers opens tomorrow and Christopher Nolan closes out his epic Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises this July, but nestled in between those two guaranteed blockbusters is a web-slinging wildcard. Director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man is fighting an uphill battle as it reboots Sam Raimi’s beloved trilogy that’s less than a decade old. It’s an origin story, of course, but Webb and friends insist that doesn’t mean we know the whole story… Check out the new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man below.

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The team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa just keep on trucking. The pair, best known for scripts like Bad Santa and Bad News Bears, have lately turned their attentions to writing and directing films, such as I Love You Phillip Morris (which they scripted and helmed) and Crazy. Stupid. Love. (which they directed from Dan Fogelman’s script), and now they’re set to again write and direct a production. Deadline Thousand Oaks reports that Ficarra and Requa have made a deal with Warner Bros. for their newest script, called Focus, and the pair already know who they want to start in the film – Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who exhibited such delightful chemistry and comic timing together in Crazy. Stupid. Love. The film is a fair bit different than their latest team-up, but perhaps many of the same tones from Crazy. will pop up in this one. Focus is described as “the story of a veteran conman who gets involved with a newcomer to the grifter business. They get involved romantically but that becomes perilous in a business where they lie and cheat for a living. The complications of the encounter haunt them when they meet up again in the future.” Based on what we saw from the pair in Crazy., this actually sounds like quite the fun fit.

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With Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to the hugely successful The Dark Knight and Marvel’s unprecedented live action team-up of their biggest names, The Avengers, both hitting theaters this summer, The Amazing Spider-Man has started to feel like the odd man out. Clearly Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes of all time, but enough time just hasn’t passed between his last big screen trilogy and this franchise relaunch to build a level of anticipation and excitement for the film comparable to these other big, comic book-based events. That hasn’t stopped the marketing team from doing their damnedest to sell this movie to a superhero-saturated audience, however. This might not be the summer of Spider-Man when all is said and done, but it’s undeniable how cool all of the recent advertising for the film has been. The recent additions to the marketing blitz are a new, Japanese trailer that takes, mostly, the same  footage from the second trailer, but remixes it to produce a much darker tone and sense of dread, and a couple of new posters that look standard at first glance, but might tell us a bit about where this story is going with closer consideration.

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Unfortunately for this year’s WonderCon, I was only able to spend one day at the convention. When busting your cherry, convention or otherwise, it is often best to go nice and slow. While I’d have loved to get a few more hours at the convention, which moved to Anaheim, California, this year, I did more than just get my toes wet. Because it was raining. I spent the better, longer part of Saturday sitting in the massive ballroom at the Anaheim Convention Center, just down the street from Disneyland, staring up at a gigantic screen projecting clear images of actors, actresses, writers, and directors which, to my naked eye, were tiny specks about a quarter of a mile away. The panels I managed to get into included Lockout, Battleship, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Resident Evil: Retribution, so let’s all take a look together at the joyous cinematic wonders they had to show!

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The new trailer for Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man reboot has just hit the web… and it doesn’t look bad at all! The film stars Andrew Garfield as the titular and angst-filled hero and Emma Stone as the love interest alongside Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Denis Leary, Rhys Ifans, C. Thomas Howell and Campbell Scott (and yes, probably Stan Lee). It claims to tell the “untold story” but appears to be an origin tale, so who knows what Webb and friends have up their sleeve. (Beside the web shooter I mean.) Check out the new trailer below.

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When Sony released the “Untold Story” tagine for The Amazing Spider-Man, it rang about as true as a career politician and lobbyist claiming to be a Washington Outsider (or, for a less current joke, like Hot Pockets claiming they wouldn’t cause your bowels to erupt). It’s a rebooted franchise – essentially a remake of an earlier film that came out of the same studio a decade ago. However, there were always elements that hinted at Sony and direct Marc Webb going big instead of going home. A new synopsis, uncovered by the Times of India (via Screen Rant), shows off exactly what they mean by an untold story, and as it matches up to the original Sam Raimi film – it’s pretty damned untold. Sure, there are the teenage elements of angst and that certain feeling of being lost in a sea of hormones without a rudder or a helping hand. Hopefully there will be some playfulness and some sarcasm. Of course there will be a spider bite. All of it rings familiar, except the rest of the plot. In fact, much like a comic book, it reads like an alternate history of a character delivered by a new writer. Check it out for yourself:

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Amidst the pinky-out prestige of awards season sits the manic pixie of The People’s Choice Awards. Perhaps they can easily be dismissed by the cinephile crowd for not being nearly well-rounded or interesting enough, but looking at the nominees and the winners can provide a bird’s eye view into the abyss of mass-entertainment. With over 200 million votes cast, according to a press release, the winners included Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds as The Green Lantern, Adam Sandler‘s comedy and Bridesmaids. To put that into perspective, that’s a ridiculous amount of people. To really put it into perspective, it’s 7.6 million more people than the entire population of Brazil, and it’s 2/3rds the population of the United States. The giant, faceless wad of “the people” have made these their movie champions of 2011:

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Emma Stone

Things are starting to look up for screenwriter Michael Dillberti. Not only did his screenplay 30 Minutes or Less get made into a pretty high profile comedy last year, but another one of his scripts, Little White Corvette, made it onto this year’s Black List. The list’s description of the movie reads as follows: “A down and out brother and sister go to Miami to sell a duffel bag of cocaine that they found in the trunk of a corvette left them by their dead father.” Sounds like it has some potential, especially when you factor in that the script already has Emma Stone attached to star. She’s had a year even better than Dillberti’s, starring in the wildly successful The Help and just finishing shooting on superhero tentpole picture The Amazing Spider-Man, and apparently she’s been interested in doing something with Little White Corvette for quite a while now.

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The marketing machine behind The Amazing Spider-Man, the upcoming reboot of Peter Parker’s coming-of-age origin tale, hasn’t been giving us much to chew on lately. It was all the way back in July when they released the first teaser trailer for the film and here we are, entering a new year and still only teased. Though there is no indication of when the studio might release a meatier trailer with more finished effects work, so we can get a better idea of how this movie is really going to look, there were a handful of still images recently released via the movie’s official Facebook page. These new images don’t focus so much on Spider-Man and his battles with the villainous Lizard, but they do give us a glimpse into the sequences where he’s figuring out his powers. There seem to be scenes where he discovers that he suddenly has what it takes to fight back against bullies, that he has mad ups on the basketball court, and that it’s not so hard to swing around on suspended chains at abandoned construction sights as it used to be. I think it’s all a metaphor for puberty. Also there’s a shot of Emma Stone all decked out in her Gwen Stacy garb and holding some hefty books to remind us that Gwen Stacy is and forever shall be a prettier, smarter, less annoying romantic interest for Peter to pursue than that catchphrase-spewing ball of drama Mary Jane Watson.

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A couple weeks ago it was reported that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s production company Gary Sanchez had spent about a million dollars to pick up a spec script called He’s F***ing Perfect. Today it was reported by Deadline that actress Emma Stone is negotiating to be in said film, only they’re referring to the project as He’s Fuckin’ Perfect. I’m not sure which is actually the official title of this movie, but it doesn’t matter because there’s no fuckin’ way this thing is getting all the way through development and keeping either. More than likely it will be called something pseudo hip but still generic like He’s the Bomb or Friend Request, so there’s no point debating that issue. The thing to focus on is that Emma Stone would be perfect for this role. The story is about a girl who uses her advanced social media skills to dig up dirt on all of her friends’ loser boyfriends to convince them to dump them. A wrinkle comes when she finds that one of her friends is actually dating the perfect guy, so she uses those same social media skills to figure out what his perfect girl would be, and then become her. Essentially, she’s trying to break people up, and then steal her friend’s boyfriend. What a bitch. That’s not going to be a character that’s easy to like, no matter how funny writer Lauryn Kahn’s script is.

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If you haven’t been reading along, I’ve been gushing about Ruben Fleischer’s upcoming crime drama The Gangster Squad for quite a while. Story details about the cops and gangsters flick about real life gangster Mickey Cohen can be found in my first article about the movie, where it was announced that Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, and Ryan Gosling had all been cast in key roles. Penn is in the starring role as Cohen, and Brolin and Gosling are two of the members of the titular gangster squad that is put together to take him down. After hearing that, I didn’t think that life could get much better, but then it did. The second Gangster Squad related bomb that Fleischer dropped on me was that man about town Bryan Cranston would also be joining the cast as a rough and tumble member of the LAPD by way of Texas. Suddenly the original Triumvirate of Awesome that was the Gangster Squad cast became the Cornerstones of Awesome instead. And now that the film has such a solid foundation to build a metaphorical house on, it’s time to start picking out pretty curtains and stuff by filling out the cast further. The big news of the day from Deadline Monowi is that grizzled, crazy actor Nick Nolte has also been cast. He will play Bill Parker, the incorruptible chief of police who takes it upon himself to form this so-called gangster squad. That sounds like a big role. Seeing as Nolte’s upcoming movie […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr makes big plans to publish a best-selling book that women across the nation will read in hoity-toity book clubs. Step one: Move to the deep south and get raised by an African American maid. While Kevin tries to figure out how to move past that step, he gets a job delivering pizzas and lives in constant fear he’ll be used in a bank heist. Then he cheats death by avoiding the Glee concert movie, but lives in even more constant fear that the flick will hunt him down and make him watch it.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr runs screaming from little blue people invading his life and seeks refuge in the old west, hoping that James Bond and Indiana Jones will protect him. When he returns home, he has a fight with his wife and uses the events of Crazy, Stupid, Love to put his relationship back together. What a godsend Hollywood can be for marriage woes. Finally, Kevin curls up for a long nap after an exhausting summer movie season with many more arrests than he ever thought he’d incur.

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