Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Spectacular Spider-Man

I admit to being pretty depressed after seeing the Amazing Spider-Man 2. Now, I don't get to say that I am a "huge fan" of Spider-Man because I don't collect comics. #1 the cost, #2 the neverending soap opera-esque storylines with characters being killed off and brought back all the time, and #3 I wasn't born in the 60s.

I mean, by the time I was born, Gwen Stacy had already become backstory like Uncle Ben, except she was the ugly backstory you never hear about in the light of day. She didn't have a great catchphrase "With great power, comes great responsibility," she only had guilt and shame and depression.

But well, I do love Spidey.

And I did love the Amazing Spider-Man the first. I don't really know why people don't particularly care for Andrew Garfield, although one I keep hearing is that he is too attractive to be Peter Parker. He was socially awkward and he definitely had the stammer thing going in the first one, and becoming Spider-Man actually caused him to put ON glasses, instead of take them off (I keep trying to tell everyone that glasses are cool).

But the Amazing Spider-Man 2. Ugh.

There was so much potential, so much amazing, and there's a lot to like about this movie if you saw it chopped up into its itsy-bitsy pieces.

It was so disparate and dichotomous and discordant. Most of the individual pieces were GREAT, but suffered from either too little screen time or not enough screen time. And nothing felt like it fit together. So rushed and railroaded to the what-should-have-been ending.

And the rubbish trailers and commercials, all of them, which gave away the ending everyone knew was coming.

Well, at least to anyone that knows the story.

But whatever. So, back to the present with the Amazing Spider-Man 2. The Amazing Spider-Man the First made me so happy. I was so thrilled to see Spidey in action with an actor that (I feel at least) does him and Peter Parker justice. Gwen was amazing with another great actor with great chemistry between her and Peter if nothing else. I was surprised at the omission of the Lizard's family and his working at Oscorp, but I can understand changes and accept them.

It was...it IS fantastic. I've seen it at least half a dozen times. I really don't understand people that didn't like it and I have no idea what people are smoking that think TASM2 is better than TASM the first.

Here finally was the dream I've had since a child watching the steadily devolving Spider-Man the Animated Series on TV. A larger-than-life, heroic, representation of the character I angsted with before I had ever heard the word angst. The character I mourned with, that I grew up with, the character that I love more than any other hero in fiction. 

...and they dropped the ball.

They dropped the ball so fucking hard.

They dropped the ball with arms outstretched running to the endzone from ten yards out to have it recovered by the enemy and not carried to the opposing endzone, to have sex with that ball in the middle of the field for all to watch like your one-true love's new boyfriend screwing her in front of you on the 50 yard line in a football stadium and then disrespecting her BUT SHE LIKES IT.

It hurt.

I was in shock for hours after. What just happened? Did I really watch that? Why didn't they end it when they should have ended it? Why did they do that? Why? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? Do I have to lose you too? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

And I locked myself away with YouTube to see if anyone could make sense of the trainwreck of my childhood dreams burning away on the screen.

And cries of Sony mismanaging, forcing the hand of not just Mark Webb, but also the motivator behind Sam Raimi's descent into madness with Spider-Man 3 of the Maguire era! Sinister Six and Venom movies already announced! The Amazing Spider-Man 2 more of a Sony presentation to stockholders about what the future of their movie studio looks like for the next 5 years. Mismanagement was the first word to come to mind when I walked out of the theater and apparently is the word of the entire future of this character.

Because really, there are three Spider related sequels on the way already. TASM-3, Sinister Six, and Venom.  THREE. Three Spider-Man movies that will take at least three years to realize, and, IF they fail, which I'm not sure they will in the strictest sense of "Sony will want to stop making Spider-Man movies after those disasters," then another 5 years before their contract reverts to Disney and then how long until Joss Whedon can finally make the Spider-Man we deserve? Will he even still be alive? Will I be alive to enjoy it? Is there any worthwhile Spider-Man fanfiction out there that isn't just shipping and more of the soap opera bullshit that I dread from the comics???

And then there was the Spectacular Spider-Man.

I'd seen a few episodes here and there over the course of the last few years, and I always enjoyed it, but I'll admit to not being able to keep the different animated webhead series in place with how many there seemed to be lately. Some of them were decidedly not entertaining, some of them on the other hand, were.

YouTube turned me on to the Spectacular Spider-Man yet again, one reviewer ("Sam's Review" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJfb6DvPxz8) had a ridiculous number of great things to say about Spectacular Spider-Man and the twisted downward spiral of a web I found myself caught in latched onto Spectacular Spider-Man as possible salvation.

I knew going into it that the series was already killed and there were unresolved aspects to it, but I dismissed those and actually went out and bought the complete series of the Spectacular Spider-Man.

I didn't watch it all in one go (because I have a real life and a job), but I did devour it in a couple of days.

It started good and it got way better. There were a couple parts that generated sincere emotional responses from my synapses, whether from Spidey being heroic or getting the crap beat out of him physically and emotionally and the end just left me wanting more and more.

It was therapeutic to get to experience Spider-Man in a way that was not just palatable, but in a way that the character deserves. It was extremely unfinished though. There's a lot more in front of the character that we will never get to explore.

Oh, and the reason why is because although Sony kept the movie rights, they lost the TV rights. So Disney screwed up the animated series with the Ultimate Spider-Man and Sony screwed up the movie series with The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

It's still worth it though.