I'm currently spinning the 1975's last record in anticipation of what they may, or may not be doing. They've teased June 1st for what seems like an eternity now, and what did we get? Pink. Whatever happens, Im down for.
So, I've been meaning to write this for awhile now and I don't know why I haven't done so until now. Maybe it's the feeling of the summer movie blockbuster season coming upon us, I dunno. I think it has a lot to do with The Avengers sequel and how anything Marvel related over that past 5 years seems to dominate at the box office. I'm fascinated by not just the financial impact of certainty that Marvel anything produces, but the common thread of opinion relating to movies in general. I touched on it briefly in the "Entertainment" forum how if something is labeled "bad" by a critic per se, it's all too common for critics to jump on that narrative and follow suit. Not all movie critics are guilty of this, but a lot of them are.
I've thought about this sentiment for awhile now and what got me thinking about it was a film from last year that, to say polarized audiences would be an understatement. The film in question is The Amazing Spiderman 2 and the responses both from critics and normie-folk alike is a broad spectrum of opinion. There is something about a sequel that many urn for. We as moviegoers are taken aback by a piece of film that we have enjoyed or not enjoyed, and movies have a way of moving people like nothing else. This could be the visual representation of drama, comedy, love, hate, war, whatever the narrative of the film, there's something about seeing something that impacts you unlike music, or art via paint, sculpture, etc.
How many times have you watched a movie (maybe none) and thought to yourself "Wow, I want more of that, there should totally be a sequel" ? Some movies get sequels, some don't. Some get them and it's great, while others get them and you just want to forget it ever happened. It's 2015 and superhero movies, specifically anything tagged Marvel, are money machines. You know damn well if you see a Marvel movie there's going to be another and another and another, one is never enough. Marvel as many of us know, was purchased by Disney 5 years ago, but given the complex nature of acquiring properties and licensing of said properties, Marvel didn't acquire the cinematic rights to characters they otherwise owned. Spiderman being one of them.
The Amazing Spiderman 2 was a sequel of the rebooted Spiderman franchise that saw 2007's Spiderman 3 faulter and as a result be panned as one of the worst superhero movies of all time. Rebooting a franchise is a lofty task, doing so with a character as iconic as Spiderman is a marathon underwater. 2012's The Amazing Spiderman was a terrific return to form for everyone's favorite red and blue New York defender. It was an enjoyable movie that had depth, heart, was entertaining, and showcased fantastic performances from the newly mantled Peter Parker, Andrew Garfield and his onscreen turned offscreen lady pal Emma Stone. By all accounts the movie was swank from the get go. How could you not like Andrew Garfield? It's impossible I know.
All was going well in the world of Spiderman, the movie was great, the actors were great, it made a ton of money, sold a ton of mercy, and yeah. This was not the case for Marvel though. The Marvel cinematic universe, an ever expanding (confusing to follow at times) world of heroes and villains, was growing at a steadfast pace. The MCU centers around the Avengers and their struggle against Hydra/alien anything essentially. Following loose templates of what has occurred in the comics, Marvel faced a problem: when were they going to add Spiderman? Sony controlled the cinematic rights to the character, and surely they could have worked out a deal with Marvel to allow Garfields inclusion right?
Not so fast Spider fans. The Amazing Spiderman 2 proved a challenge as sequels do sometimes, and things didn't go as planned for the franchise. Sequels are tough, sometimes impossible even. The Marvel cinematic universe put pressure on Warner brothers to green light the DC comics universe, and Sony followed suit with plans to build around Spiderman. Anyone can do it right? Nope. The Amazing Spiderman 2 fell victim to expectations. Theres a problem with "world building" that in my opinion doesn't work entirely even with Marvel. He didn't? He did! TASM2 was criticized for cutting scenes out, the movies length, the flow of the story, the number of characters, and I can't even remember what else.
I think TASM2 was a, bare with me, more realistic take on Peter Parkers experience than what we typically see in movies dealing with superheroes. Real life isn't a perfectly timed experience. Life doesn't cutaway to a new scene after that precisely timed joke, it doesn't. Life isn't so smug and casual with problems with an "Oh yeah, we got this no problem" nonchalant attitude. Life is awkward, it's terribly timed, it's boring at times, it's hard, it's not as it's presented in typical superhero movie fashion. The depth of real life is something the majority of superhero movies don't do, because of the aspect of escapism people look after in them. There's an emotional depth that Spiderman deals with that isn't for everyone. Spiderman is fun and smart alecky and he's the hero, but he is also a tormented soul.
I think TASM2 and anything Spiderman related is going to be scrutinized in a harsher way as apposed to a great deal of superheroes because of how much torture and struggle plays into Peter Parkers sense of identity. Peter Parker isn't a billionaire, he's not the good looking perfect popular guy. He's a regular guy who has a gigantic brain, that's it. The "realness" of Peter and the dual relationship of his real life and superhero life are something that is hard to juggle. TASM2 presented far more real life Peter than any previous films had felt with, and it was a much more realistic take. Garfield stubbled, he wasn't eloquent, he was nervous, it was shaky, so were his costars in many instances. It was....real!
My ending to this rant/observation/whatever this is, is that The Amazing Spiderman 2 is a beautiful interpretation of an extremely complex character. I believe what Marc Webb and co did on TASM2 was something great, I'd love to see a directors cut if one eventually saw the light of day. The movie is long, it's jumbled, it's awkward, it's not the perfectly edited smooth Hollywood experience, it's a more, "realistic" take in so many ways. Is the Amazing Spiderman 2 a terrible movie? In my opinion no. Is it a perfect movie? No. Is it a, dare I say "realistic" view on what a persons experience would look like during his early 20s balancing two identities and a myriad of problems? I think so. Go Amazing Spiderman 2, you do you.
So, for my second blog entry, I thought I was going to do something music related but it is not so. I am of the nerdier ilk if you could say such a thing, and l probably like things too nerdy for my age. One such thing being Batman. I love all things Batman, always have, probably always will. With that said, I am writing some initial thoughts of the new series Beware The Batman currently airing on Cartoon Network. Three episodes in and I can say the series isn't half bad. Batman has always been a darker character, attempts at making him kid friendly, or harkening back to the campy Adam West Batman (which I do adore) have been mixed sometimes. With Beware The Batman, a darker and honestly more adult one akin to the beloved Batrman: The Animated Series is apparent.
Stylistically I think the characters are rendered with a modern look, but again bringing about memories of BTAS, which isn't a bad thing. A mere 3 episodes into the series, it focuses on a younger Batman, whom as usual battles villains, struggles with balancing the battle of Bruce/Bat, and learning as he goes along the way. Among other things I have been impressed with is the voice acting and this incarnation of Alfred. In this depiction Alfred is a badass, ala Michael Cain's references to Alfred being ex British military, and it works. I really would love to see this series continue. There ya go, I'm a child. Thank you.
If anyone reads this, please note it's my first blog entry. I'm writing this because like many of you (I hope I'm not the only one) sometimes, for some reason be it life, work, school, etc., I just never get around to checking out a band. It's not because I don't like them or am avoiding them based on a preconceived opinion; shit happens AP.NET. I am writing in regards to the band who have dubbed themselves Squid The Whale. I've seen their name (which I love) tossed around this website from time to time, and being the grown up in training I am, I finally checked them out. My first impressions are that I dig their sound, and to me they sound like a mix of The Gaslight Anthem/A very soul infused Circa Survive. That's just me though. Check them out!