Marc Webb

Electro - Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t a good movie. It’s sloppy, has a half-baked villain, and, for a huge blockbuster picture, it lacks scope and style. In fact, a lot of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies feel more modern and photo-realistic than what director Marc Webb has done so far. With every sequel you hope lessons will be learned from whatever past mistakes. Sometimes a series needs to go through a learning curve before getting to the goods. Sadly, that’s not the case with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Webb has managed to make an even worse film. While this sequel is more polished, its script is disastrous in parts. It’s easily the most frustrating movie Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (and co-writer Jeff Pinkner) have ever written. The wildly varying tone, the cheap character motivations and poor plotting all scream Joel Schumacher. It has some things going for it, most of which are overshadowed by all the glaring issues. Spoilers included, here are 10 things I didn’t like about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 5 things I did.

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The Fly Movie 1986

There’s a lot being made of superhero science, both by me and also the rest of the world. Now that superheroes have become a regular thing in the multiplex and not just something that nerds on the fringe of society reads, it’s not uncommon for someone to ask what a real-life superhero would be like. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 marks the fifth time the Marvel web-slinger has made his way onto the modern movie screen. While some of the changes made by Sam Raimi for his series have been switched back to the traditional model (like the organic web shooters being replaced with mechanical ones), the superhero is basically the same. Bitten by a genetically-altered spider, Peter Parker is imbued with special powers unique to spiders. Watching the new movies and contemplating the powers Peter Park has and doesn’t have got me thinking… Ignoring the actual process of infection for Peter Parker, how likely are his powers really ones that realistically come from spiders? What would a real-life “Spider Man” be like?

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Electro

Talking to himself in delusional outbursts, an increasingly mad genius develops super powers that make him finally feel as if the world might take him seriously. Or at least notice him. The eternal dweeb, he sets out to get revenge on a personal hero who slighted him (an unforgivable sin to the bullied psyche) and to find the fame he deserves. That’s how Jim Carrey’s Riddler is born in Batman Forever, and it’s also how Jamie Foxx‘s Electro is born in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. They are both brilliant losers who worship at the feet of superheroes (Bruce Wayne for Ed Nygma and Spider-Man for Max Dillon). Both are transformed by injured anger, both are crushed under the heel of asshole middle management bosses and both boil over when they don’t receive the respect they feel entitled to. Early on in Spidey’s latest adventure — especially whenever Foxx is on screen —  it’s easy to pick up on the Batman Forever DNA. Luckily, Peter Parker is the only acrobatic orphan who shows up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Of course the movie also doesn’t share the look of Joel Schumacher’s Gothic cartoon cabaret, and with some interesting character choices, it acts as a redemptive mulligan for one of the worst superhero adventures in modern memory.

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amazing spiderman 2_2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is over five months away, but the marketing is already picking up steam to ensure butts are in seats this coming May. It would be silly to call a film that earned $750 million worldwide a failure, but director Marc Webb‘s first Amazing Spider-Man was definitely a bit underwhelming. Story-wise it felt like little more than an unnecessary reboot, and that shows in its ranking as the lowest grossing of the four Spider-Man feature films. Sony already has plans (and release dates!) for two more films in their ‘amazing’ franchise, but first up will be Spidey’s “greatest battle” yet as he (Andrew Garfield) goes head to head with Electro (Jamie Foxx) and The Rhino (Paul Giamatti). Judging by the new teaser below though his greatest threat may actually be Stan Lee‘s blathering intro. Check it out below along with another new pic (courtesy of EmpireOnline), but fair warning, the second pic may or may not constitute a spoiler for some of you.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Jamie Foxx

The clearest thing about the Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer (and its entire production history) is how thoroughly Marc Webb and company ignored complaints about having too many villains in a single movie. Not only have they dropped three into the mix here, they’ve also made the overwhelming nature of that reality part of the thematic challenge Peter Parker must face. That dramatic turn may help transform the juggling act of multiple baddies (with multiple origin stories) into a usable energy, but they’re going to have to do a far better job of balancing the story than they did with the messy first outing of the rebooted hero. On that front, it looks like the all-but-erased-by-the-studio “secret origin” is back in the mix as Peter delves deeper into what his father was working on at Oscorp. Again, that’s fertile ground, but it adds another layer to the dip. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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sm-maryjane

Why on Earth are we already reporting on The Amazing Spider-Man 3 when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t even finished being made? It’s a long story, one that starts with Monday’s news that Sony is so happy to have the rights to the Spider-Man property in their portfolio, they’ve already scheduled release dates for ASM 3 and 4, even before ASM 2 can be completed and released. For fans of Marc Webb and the principal cast he’s put together for this new Spidey franchise, Sony’s faith and commitment to new films has to be seen as a good thing, but, unfortunately, planning for two more movies has forced some things to be shuffled around, and all of that shuffling doesn’t come without at least one casualty. From the looks of things, said casualty is going to be Shailene Woodley’s portrayal of Mary Jane Watson, which we were supposed to be seeing in ASM 2.

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colm-feore-vulture

Some news about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that’s potentially very exciting got dropped this weekend. It’s sort of a two-part story, with the first bit being a pretty concrete piece of casting news, and the second part being some spoiler heavy whispers about where the plot of these films is likely leading. We’ll put the more spoilery part beyond the jump, to be safe, so consider this your warning not to click if you don’t like knowing about awesome things before everyone else does. The news starts with an actor named Colm Feore, who you might remember from recent roles in television’s Revolution or The Borgias. Comic Book Movie is reporting that they have it “100% confirmed” that he’s been cast in director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in the role of Adrian Toomes, who longtime Spidey fans know better as the winged and persnickety super villain, the Vulture. What exactly Toomes is going to be up to in the movie, well that’s the part you’re going to have to click through to read.

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The-Amazing-Spider-Man-Rhino-Pantsed-Fight

I love this behind-the-scenes video from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 because without the CGI movie magic, it makes Spidey seem like a real wizard with even more extraordinary powers. He simply waves his hands, and Paul Giamatti‘s  pants drop. No webbing required. This is Harry Potter territory. Plus, the sense of humor here is great — this is what a teenager does with great power and great responsibility. Some light humiliation followed by a few slick dance moves. The confidence is solid, but Spidey should really learn not to leave automatic weapons lying in the street. [SuperHeroHype]

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chris-cooper

In case you were worrying that Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man sequel didn’t have enough of Spidey’s villains rumored to be appearing in it, Heat Vision now has a report confirming that the film is going to, in some way, feature the Wall-Crawler’s most hated villain of all time, unhinged industrialist Norman Osborn. According to the report, Chris Cooper (of American Beauty, Adaptation, and The Muppets fame) has signed on to play the role. For those who have even glanced at a “Spider-Man” comic over the last fifty years or have seen Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, where this same character was played by Willem Dafoe, you know that Osborn starts off as a generic rich jerk, but eventually he experiences an accident that leaves him completely insane and with a split personality who refers to himself as The Green Goblin.

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Amazing Spider-Man 2

The fine folks over at Coming Soon have scored an official image of the Spidey suit from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and the result is something big and bold albeit a bit familiar. Plus, if you’re fighting crime, this looks pretty comfortable to do it in. In the sequel to the incredibly tepid reboot, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is crawling his way through high school while juggling his love for  Gwen (Emma Stone) and his promise to stay away from her. A new villain, Electro (Jamie Foxx), enters the scene, and Pete’s old buddy Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) brings that whole semi-abandoned plot line from the first film about a secret Parker past back  from wherever it was left. Sounds fun! The movie hits May 2, 2014.

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commentary-500daysofsummer

It’s Valentine’s Day, and that means it’s time to watch a cinematic love story with your special someone. Or, it could mean it’s time to watch a cynical film skewering the concept of love if you’re a single person. Lucky for everyone, there’s a film that can cut both ways. Marc Webb describes his film (500) Days of Summer as “a coming-of-age story masquerading as a love story.” This means the romantic in you can find the love story, and the cynic in you can find the character development. After being a hit at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, (500) Days of Summer went on to become a hit with audiences and critics alike. It struck a chord with people because it was a different approach to a relationship story rather than the standard rom-com. Based in part on one of co-writer Scott Neustadter‘s former relationships, this film gets a commentary treatment by the writers, the director, and star Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And on to the commentary…

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Venom Spider-Man 3

Like any comic property that has a million built-in fans, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is already getting swirled up in the rumor mill. Most recently is the thought that Marc Webb is planning on bringing Venom back to the big screen. The boys over at /Film do a good job collecting what meager evidence there is here. If you don’t feel like clicking over, it goes something like this: Webb tweeted a photo of a locker numbered #14 that looks exactly like a locker numbered #14 from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic books that contained the Venom symbiote. Additionally, Sony seems fairly intent on making a stand-alone Venom movie for some reason, despite never having gotten the character right to begin with. Their thinking is simple. If comic book fans have a soft spot for Venom, why not bring him to the big screen? Sounds great, Sony, but it’ll only work if you don’t ruin him.

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Jamie Foxx

Now that Jamie Foxx is official to play the villainous Electro in Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man sequel, it only makes sense that he should start talking about the role in interviews. People are pretty crazy about superheroes, after all. Who could avoid trying to pry some information out of him? From the sound of things though, getting info about his new role isn’t much of a challenge. Foxx seems to have pretty loose lips when it comes to all things superhero. And, more specifically, he seems to be doing everything he can to make sure that everyone knows he won’t be wearing Electro’s traditional (and awesome) green and yellow outfit in the upcoming film. First off, in an interview with Black Film, Foxx made a point to address the outfit in the movie by saying, “It won’t be green and yellow. It will be a different color. They (the producers) want something for the future. They want to have it more grounded and not as comic book-y, so it won’t be green and yellow. They want to try new things, like a liquid rubber and things like that, and there are all these bolts and stuff in my arms when they are hanging me upside down and trying to figure out what happen. How did he become this way? So, it will be some new stuff.” It doesn’t end there though. In an interview with MTV, the actor had similar comments regarding the suit. At the notion that he might […]

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Dane DeHaan

Now this is a way of announcing big casting that we can get behind. The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb has circumvented scoops, toldjas, exclusives, and the entire trade racket and gone ahead and announced the casting of the film’s sequel’s Harry Osborn via his Twitter. In a simple tweet from earlier today, Webb tells his loyal followers: “Meet Harry Osborn. @danedehaan. pic.twitter.com/oi4Ql6nQ,” directing us over to Chronicle‘s Dane DaHaan‘s own Twitter, along with that appropriately moody picture up top. DeHaan was one of three names mentioned as being a possible for the role back in November. Along with Brady Corbet and Alden Ehrenreich, DeHaan’s name popped up when THR reported that Webb and company were going for “dark and edgy,” though a few days later, the outlet then reported that the role could be going in a different direction, with a whole slew of other names trotted out as Osborn-maybes. So, dark and moody it is?

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Jamie Foxx

Consider the slow news days over with this amazing bit of casting buzz. Variety reports that Jamie Foxx is currently in “early talks” to take on the main villain role in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, with Foxx reportedly looking to take on the epic super-villain role of Electro. The outlet provides a bare bones explanation of the character, telling us that “Electro is the alter ego of Max Dillon, an enemy of Spider-Man who gains the ability to control electricity after being struck by lightning. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the character first appeared in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man #9′ in February 1964.” With Dr. Curt Connors’ own alter ego super-villain, The Lizard, finally getting his chance to wreck havoc on ol’ Spidey’s life (after he was hinted at heavily during Sam Raimi’s previous trilogy), Electro seems like a natural fit. Variety also notes that, in “The Amazing Spider-Man’s” post-credit sequence, background lightning plays a major part, leading many fans to already speculate that it would be Electro to next take center stage at the main baddie. To add fuel to this speculation fire, Foxx has already tweeted about the news…sort of. This afternoon, the actor issued this tweet:

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Recent months have been very kind to the career of young actress Shailene Woodley. Not only did she make herself ridiculously famous basically overnight by standing toe-to-toe with George Clooney in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, but recently she signed on to play the very high profile role of Mary Jane Watson in Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man sequel. This freight train of success isn’t stopping with acclaimed dramas and big comic book blockbusters, however, because Heat Vision is reporting that Woodley is now closing in on a deal to star in the next big YA adaptation, Divergent. Divergent, if you’ll remember, is the first adaptation of a planned trilogy of Veronica Roth novels, and is set to be directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist). Amazon’s description of Roth’s novel gives the story the following synopsis:

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Though reactions to Marc Webb’s reboot of Sony’s Spider-Man franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man, were mixed, the one thing that nearly everyone was in agreement on was that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone made for an upgrade in principal actors over Sam Raimi’s choice of Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst for his trilogy. Stone especially seemed like a breath of fresh air, as Dunst’s version of Mary Jane Watson wasn’t written to be like the character comic fans loved from the very beginning, and getting the chance to restart the story using Peter Parker’s real first girlfriend, Gwen Stacy…well, it just felt right. That leaves the question of Spider-Man’s second girlfriend hanging over Webb’s new franchise, however. Everyone knows that the love triangle he gets thrust into with Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane is a big part of Spider-Man’s early stories, so do Webb and crew have plans to introduce the confident and vivacious Mary Jane of the comic books into their future films, even if it could mess up the goldmine of chemistry they’ve discovered between Garfield and Stone? If a new report from Variety is to be believed, the answer is yes, and if things end up playing out like they’re looking to, that might be a good thing. According to the trade, Webb and company are currently in negotiations with The Descendants star Shailene Woodley to board the Amazing Spider-Man sequel as the aforementioned Mary Jane Watson. As anyone who saw The Descendants can tell you, despite the […]

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Despite the fact that it opened to mixed reviews and didn’t bring in as much coin as the movies in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man was profitable enough that it was sure to spawn at least one sequel. Given the fact that the reboot wasn’t successful enough to be crowed about as a home run, and Webb was reportedly looking for a raise to work on a second film, however, it was always in doubt who would actually end up helming a second go-around with the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man. We can all stop speculating now though, because Columbia Pictures has announced [via THR] that Webb has been signed for the sequel and will reunite with stars Andrew Garfield and (most likely) Emma Stone to begin shooting sometime in early 2013. At this point the film has been slotted in for a May 2, 2014 release.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Here be Spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man. Consider yourself warned. With The Amazing Spider-Man performing considerably well — and better than a supposedly worried Sony had expected — we’re bound to hear news of a sequel in the coming weeks. We already know the plans for a trilogy, but where that trilogy will actually go remains something of a mystery. The dull Peter Parker’s parent subplot/question will likely be answered, sure, but why not move away from this topic? Better yet, why not take a crack at all these suggestions below that I just know every exec at Sony is feverishly scribbling down? They may need to. Although Marc Webb‘s reboot of Spider-Man is pretty good, the impending release of something like The Dark Knight Rises means “pretty good” doesn’t exactly cut it. Sam Raimi handled the character properly, and showed how to make a great movie or two with him in the meantime. Even with all these origin amnesia criticisms that have been made, The Amazing Spider-Man didn’t exactly take notice of what worked in Raimi’s first two Spider-Man installments, and it should have; there’s plenty to improve on. Some of these things include:

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Although The Amazing Spider-Man opened the lowest out of all the other movies in the Sony franchise with a $65m weekend, it’s already scored $341m worldwide. Not bad for a week’s work. Sam Raimi‘s series opened with $114.8m, $88.1m, and $151m (chronologically), and even though Marc Webb’s rebooted version starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone didn’t hit that mark, it benefited from an extended holiday week and made more than enough to earn sequels. This film was in a funny situation though. As pointed out last week, it had the ability to change the direction of major studios – a fitting task for the reboot of a franchise that shifted the rudder of the last decade. For some fans, it proved to be a story success, but the response has been far from unanimously positive. However, this initial haul (and the money still to come) proves that Sony (and all other studios) can keep mining their name-brand superhero content as long as they want, rebooting whenever they see fit. Spider-man and Batman are the new Bond.

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