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Requiem For a Genre Star: Michael Massee and Familiar Faces In Small Roles…

With Jamie Foxx in contention to play Electro in the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, I got thinking about the teaser in the middle of the credit sequence. In the small scene, a mysterious visitor confronted Curt Connors about what Peter Parker did or did not know about his father. He got a single line, and was couched in shadow. My less cynical side suggests that this was an attempt to play up the mystery of the character so his inevitable appearance in the sequel would make sense. My more pragmatic side figures that it was to leave the role open for the production team to hire a big-name actor for the character’s appearance in the next film in the series. That is, after all, why all the shots of Norman Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man were careful not to reveal any facial features. Perhaps they can be digitally reinserted into the first film when the role is cast next time around?

However, this short sequence is a bit disappointing, if only because I was able to recognise the actor appearing, only for a second, cloaked in darkness. He was Michael Massee. And I feel a little sad that this means he likely won’t be playing a significant role in the sequel.

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Dan Slott’s Run on The Amazing Spider-Man – Ends of the Earth (Review)

While Ends of the Earth might not work quite as well as Dan Slott’s other epic from his Amazing Spider-Man run, Spider-Island, it does succeed in playing to the writer’s strengths with the character. It seems like Slott is fascinated with how Spider-Man interacts with the world – both in terms of the other fictional constructs of the shared Marvel Universe, but also in how the character tries to make his world a better place through more than beating up bad guys. Apocryphally, Stan Lee once argued that comic book fans don’t want change, but “the illusion of change”, and Slott manages to do something which almost seems impossible. He offers a take on the web-crawling wonder that is by turns classic and yet boldly new.

The last sand…

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Dan Slott’s Run on The Amazing Spider-Man – Spider-Island (Review/Retrospective)

Dan Sott’s Amazing Spider-Man run has been pretty well received by fans. Credited with giving the title a sense of fun after the continuity-tangling mess of One More Day, Slott has managed to inject some fun back into the franchise. Or so I’ve heard. Despite being a fan of Slott’s Mighty Avengers, I remain somewhat disappointed that there’s been no effort made to collect his Amazing Spider-Man run into either an omnibus or an oversized hardcover collection. Still, I recently had the pleasure of devouring Slott’s Spider-Island plotline in a nice oversized hardcover, and I have to admit that I was more than a little impressed with Slott’s epic “event” comic book.

New York, New York, it's a hell of a town!

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Tangled Webb: The Amazing Spider-Man and Doing Twilight Right…

A lot has been made of the argument that The Amazing Spider-Man is a superhero movie for girls. Indeed, comparisons have been made to Twilight of all things, suggesting that The Amazing Spider-Man has been constructed in such a way as to appeal to younger female audience members. I think that’s a fair point, even if mentioning the “T-word” inevitably provokes fanboys to foam at the mouth. Gwen Stacy, as brilliantly portrayed by Emma Stone, feels like a much more central and important part of this film than any female character in any major superhero blockbuster produced over the past few years. However, there’s also a sense that while there are some quite conscious and deliberate similarities between the Twilight franchise and this “new and improved” superhero reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man manages to fulfil all these tropes and conventions without resorting to the uncomfortable sexism and stilted emotional responses that have prompted a lot of critics and viewers to so loudly criticise Stephenie Meyers’ vampire franchise.

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Non-Review Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man is a jumble of clever ingredients thrown into a pot, stirred for two hours and yet never managing to produce that ideal flavour. There are moments in Marc Webb’s adaptation that are fantastic, as good as anything Raimi brought to the best of his films in the series, Spider-Man II. However, there’s also simply too much going on here for its own good. Running for two-hours-and-a-quarter, the film feels like one-part origin to two-part stand-alone adventure, unsure whether it should it is trying to rush through the motions of one of the most iconic origin stories ever told or if it’s trying to bring something a bit deeper to the table. When it gets going, it’s a solidly entertaining piece of film that does try to do something just a little new with the superhero formula, but it suffers from the same identity crisis as its lead and struggles to really find its own voice.

Peter’s not quite on top on the world…

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The Amazing Spider-Man 101: Ultimate or Amazing…

Hey. With about a week to go until the release of The Amazing Spider-Man, we thought we’d publish a quick introductory guide to the latest adventure featuring the webcrawler, for those looking for a bit more trivia on the latest pending superhero release. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing it and, while reviews are embargoed until Friday (unless you’re a major publisher like The Guardian or The Hollywood Reporter apparently), here’s the skinny.

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Does Whatever a Spider Can: Do Chronicle and Kick-Ass Render The Amazing Spider-Man Moot?

We still have a few months to wait before Marc Webb reboots Sony’s Spider-Man franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man. Despite some tonal worries, I’ll admit Webb has quite a talented crew assembled – Andrew Garfield is on the cusp of stardom, and Emma Stone is a bit ahead of him. However, I can’t help but wonder if Webb’s film might be a few months too late. After all, haven’t Kick-Ass and Chronicle offered a fairly solid deconstruction of the iconic web-slinging superhero? Is there really enough left to be said in the Spider-Man origin story when we’ve already seen it picked apart and subverted so often and skilfully?

Webb's Spider...

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Second Chances for Sequels…

What if you have to pee when you’re on fire?

It’s awesome.

I have a confession to make. I am actually kinda looking forward to Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The trailer looks like it could be either off-the-wall over-the-top brilliant, or mind-numbingly terrifying, but promises to be interesting either way. Still, the taint of the original Ghost Rider, perhaps the weakest comic book adaptation of the past decade (and there have been some weak adaptations), hangs around the title, and I can’t help but wonder if my dislike of the original film should somehow mute my anticipation for the sequel. After all, I’ve seen the concept fail on screen before, so why should I feel even a hint of excitement for a follow-up to a ridiculously crap film? Appropriately enough, with sequels, is it once burnt and twice shy?

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The Joy of Movie Fest…

So, the inaugural Movie Fest is over. It was an amazing (and successful) attempt to bring pop film to Dublin, organised by Vince Donnelly and the team at movies.ie. Vince should really and honestly be proud of what he accomplished, because spending the weekend at the festival was the most enjoyable weekends I’ve had in quite some time. There’s something about that sort of communal celebration of cinema that makes these sorts of festivals and conventions so popular, the idea of drawing together movie fans of all ages and backgrounds to share in a unique experience. As a huge film nerd, I do have to concede a giddy thrill at the idea that this is “hardcore.”

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Emo Spider-Man & Going Against the Nerd: It Isn’t Easy Being Geek…

The Amazing Spider-Man trailer debuted during the week and it was… kinda okay, I suppose. Nothing too shocking or gripping or incredible, and nothing to push it too high on a “must see” list that includes The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers as two massive hits for my superhero fix. However, I was surprised at the rather immediate response from relatively mainstream sources to “emo Spider-Man.” Even non-geeks seem to have picked up on the fact that Peter Parker in a hoodie hunched over a text book is not a good sign. Surely Spider-Man III taught us that “goth Spider-Man” is not a good idea?

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