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‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ Isn’t Another Big, Generic Superhero Movie

Spider-Man Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming is the latest standalone superhero film to tackle great power and great responsibility without actually having to mention those famous words. This is Marvel Studios and Sony’s first full-length collaboration on a superhero film, making Homecoming a risky experiment that was clearly worth taking.

Go on…‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ Isn’t Another Big, Generic Superhero Movie

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The Ghostbusters Episode

ghostbusters review

It’s time for a brand new podcast episode of Now Conspiring, and all sorts of things happened. We reviewed Ghostbusters, obviously, but we also found time to chat about some of the big movie news of the week.

Wondering what the deal is with those new Power Rangers posters? Confounded at the popularity of the gentleman’s smartphone game, Pokémon GO? Well, it’s time to conspire by listening to our conspiring.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK (and you’re required to answer this): If you could choose ONE film franchise to never be rebooted (or rebooted again), which would you choose?

Go on…The Ghostbusters Episode

Review: The ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Suffers Most From Forced Nostalgia

ghostbusters review

2015 was a banner year for the “requel,” in that it boasted several largely successful sequel/remakes ranging from Mad Max and Jurassic World all the way to a new Star Wars.

Yet this year’s Ghostbusters is more akin to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in that it reboots the lore of the previous films entirely by placing its hapless group of ghost hunters in NYC at the very beginning of their story. Despite this clean slate, though, the movie really doesn’t want you to forget that there was another Ghostbusters movie over 30 years ago.

The best gags come in the very early scenes, when it’s established that two former friends and paranormal scientists, Erin and Abby (played by Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy), reunite to help with a ghost problem in a local haunted house. They’re aided by Abby’s new engineer accomplice, Holtzmann (played by Kate McKinnon), who builds all the gear they use to subdue the CGI specters that have been unleashed all over town.

Later on, the “Ghostbusters” also recruit Kevin (played by Chris Hemsworth), a secretary with almost no other character traits aside from him being good looking and a total airhead, as well as Patty (played by Leslie Jones), a former MTA worker who lends the team knowledge over the historical nonfiction of New York, along with a new, sweet ride from her uncle’s funeral home.

ghostbusters review

It’s important to point out that this reboot works a lot harder than Ghostbusters 2 when it comes to rejuvenating what made the original 1984 film so endearing and an instant classic. But it does still contain a lot of the same story beats, because it is a reboot, after all. The idea of a mostly-female cast, however, is never quite used to its full potential, believe it or not, as a way to make this Ghostbusters feel like something all its own in comparison. For whatever reason, it’s nowhere near as smart as it probably should have been.

The main characters are still, for the most part, derivatives of the original cast, but with new actors who happen to be mostly women this time around. Granted, the comedic timing is a lot different as to be expected from a Paul Feig film (though Bridesmaids-level humor, this is not). Unfortunately, the majority of jokes read as some of the worst kinds of ad-libs you’d hear from an amateur improv group, rather than out of the mouths of SNL veterans, and a good number of the gags don’t extend far beyond the realm of generic slapstick and flatulence jokes.

In other words, this film won’t do any favors for harsher critics of last year’s Spy, for example, though that Paul Feig movie somewhat benefited from a more “uninhibited” McCarthy performance. Many of the jokes in Ghostbusters are surprisingly unfunny and ill-timed, many of them sounding like someone used the wrong punchline from another joke or bit.

ghostbusters review

And it’s not just the humor that feels a bit stifled and poorly executed. A good number of scenes were shoddily edited with very obvious cuts in the middle of humorous scenes that apparently didn’t translate well after shooting. There were plenty of moments when a scene would just end, without any sort of dialogue or transition you’d expect to be warranted.

The action, at times, is thrilling enough and benefitted by decent effects that let the movie go all out on its weird premise. To be fair, though, a lot of these action scenes are a lot longer than you’d want them to be, and it’s easy to find yourself getting quite bored as you wait for the ending, in no small part thanks to a weird lack of tension, even for a comedy.

The film is also distracted by its own overload of cameos and references to the original film, in a way that feels far too forced and hamstrung to carry any weight beyond, “Oh look! I know who that is!” Worse, the cast members they brought back for these cameos come off as positively bored and reluctant to even be here, save for Dan Ackroyd.

ghostbusters review

That said, the movie does have its funny, even engaging, moments, at least in the early goings. It’s hard not to be at least somewhat entertained by a Ghostbusters movie, after all, especially when you’re watching one with so many obvious callbacks to the movie you already love, as well as a funny joke once in a while. For a lot of people, though, these references and cameos will be painful reminders that they’d rather be watching the original Ghostbusters, instead.

To sum up, Ghostbusters is flashy, dumb, and shoddily made, which would be fine if it was at least consistently funny. And it lacks a basic fundamental of subtlety you didn’t know you expected from cheesy action comedies, in favor of forced nostalgia desperate to make billions of dollars out of a franchise. And even that’s been done to death already when it comes to Ghostbusters.

Grade: C-

Extra Credits:

  • There’s a lot more I want to say about this movie, both good and bad, which would be impossible without getting into spoilers. So if you’re interested a more substantial review, be sure to check out Monday’s podcast.
  • Dedicated to Harold Ramis. A nice touch, and well-appreciated by the fans in my theater.
  • Yes, there is a post-credits sequence that sets up more movies. And it’s about as cringeworthy as you’d expect.
  • According to Paul Feig, the original cut of this movie was over 4 hours long. And yeah, it shows.
  • Was there chemistry between the leads? Sometimes. But then you would have scenes where characters would start dancing for no reason, say something intended to be funny, and that would be the scene. I’m not sure if that’s chemistry or…anything.

 

Which is Better? Spider-Man vs. The Amazing Spider-Man

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

Which is Better” is a sort-of new editorial series, where I break down two similar pieces of entertainment and evaluate which one is, well better. I’m starting to realize this intro isn’t necessary anymore. 

In 2002, Sony Entertainment kicked off the Spider-Man trilogy, which helped shape the landscape of superhero movies we enjoy today. While these movies certainly weren’t perfect, they made a huge impact on moviegoers like me who’d grown tired the “dark” and “cool” movie heroes who had to wear leather jackets in order to be taken seriously.

After the poorly-received Spider-Man 3 was released in 2007, a fourth sequel was in the planning stages for years. Sony wasn’t about to let one of its most profitable franchises ever disappear after one misstep.

But instead of continuing the saga they established with Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, Sony decided it was soon enough to reboot the series with a new director, lead actor, and (taking a page from Marvel and Disney) overall focus on franchise continuity.

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

So in 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man  hit theaters with Andrew Garfield now playing a younger version of the webhead. The film was a modest hit, prompting its sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to lay even more groundwork for future spinoffs and adaptations.

TASM2 was also a moneymaker, but that didn’t stop Sony and Marvel from striking a deal to once again nix the franchise and start fresh, virtually erasing all of their plans for a Sinister Six film and even (I’m not joking) a spinoff for Aunt May.

This is probably because both TASM films made less than the previous trilogy, even before adjusting for inflation. They still made a ton of money each, but not the billion Sony was banking on.

In other words, Sony bit off more than it could chew, and they eventually recognized that there was more money to be made if they could play nicely with Marvel and Disney. We can’t really fault the TASM franchise, then, for essentially being incomplete.

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

But which is better? It’s a question that’s confounded fans of Spider-Man for years, myself included. Sure, it’s easy to compare singular movies to each other (Spider-Man 2 is my personal favorite overall). But comparing two entire franchises is a big undertaking, since both have significant flaws that have to be considered.

In order to reach a verdict, I’ll have to break these movies down by their core elements: characters, story, action, and more. So in the end, we should have a pretty clear answer.

Note: When doing my research for this piece, I came across a similar breakdown done by the Nostalgia Critic on YouTube. I don’t agree with all of his points, but this is a pretty good analysis that can be paired with my own if you want a more comprehensive insight.

SPOILER WARNING: there are some major spoilers below, especially for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Do not read if you haven’t watched these movies yet.

Let’s begin with…

BEST SPIDER-MAN

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

Let’s just get this out of the way. Who is better at being Spider-Man?

This is a harder question to answer than usual because it’s almost a tie for me. The character of Spider-Man has always had a dual personality, with the mask allowing the dorky Peter Parker to get out of his shell with quips and daring antics. Strangely enough, both franchises excel at one side of this character.

Tobey Maguire is vastly more believable as the unsettling science nerd he portrays in SM trilogy, while Andrew Garfield is much more fun to watch with the costume on, especially in TASM2.

But what about the inverse?

I never had a problem with Maguire’s take on Spider-Man, until I watched the trilogy again years later. His dialogue is incredibly one-note and campy, which is exactly Sam Raimi’s intention. While I don’t dislike this, I have a hard time loving it as much as I used to.

With Garfield, I have a bigger problem with his take on Peter Parker not feeling even remotely true to the source material. This is an issue because the source material informs too much of his character and motivations for this aspect of the character to be out of sync.

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

Specifically, it’s too hard to buy Garfield’s Peter Parker as someone who is unpopular. From the beginning, he’s a good-looking guy who skateboards and mopes around with his hood up, making him exactly like most of the cool guys we actually went to high school with.

At the same time, I love Garfield more as the movies progress. By TASM2, he swiftly becomes the competent superhero genius as portrayed in the comics. Yet there’s no real sense of his struggle or yearning, with everything he wants being pretty accessible, including his rapid romance with Gwen Stacey (a fault of their natural chemistry, no doubt).

With Maguire, it’s the other way around. By the end of the trilogy, his character becomes a real mess. Though at his peak in SM2, he truly delivers a relatable character that makes you root for him. When he loses his powers and quits in SM2, you don’t blame him. But you feel as triumphant as he does when he finally returns to the action.

Because both of these movies don’t give us the ultimate, complete Spider-Man, I have to say this one is a tie.

BEST VILLAINS

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

This is pretty easy. It’s SM trilogy.

Look, I get that the villains in the trilogy have repetitive beats, like split personalities and being inextricably tied to Peter Parker in some way. But this was completely overshadowed by their overall performances, especially Doc Ock — a character who was never that interesting in the early comics, yet weirdly profound when Alfred Molina got his hands on him in SM2.

I’ve seen TASM a handful of times, and I honestly couldn’t tell you one thing about the Lizard that I remember from the film, aside from tidbits I know because of the comics, TV shows, and characters. Worse, Electro was poorly handled as a guy who loves — then outright hates — Spider-Man for weak reasons.

It’s also no fun watching Electro be a villain whose motivations revolve almost entirely around the hero, rather than a character like Norman Osborn, who resorts to mind-altering insanity in place of losing everything he’s worked for. Or Sandman, who escapes a life in prison only to succumb to a life of being immaterial.

I looked forward to Dane Dehaan as Green Goblin, and overall, he was fine. But the look of the character managed to be even more bizarre than Dafoe’s. Both costumes are pretty unimpressive, but at least SM gave Dafoe a better reason for being insane enough to wear green armor. Dehaan’s motivations were close to being as whiny and petty as Electro’s, and don’t get me started on the wasted potential of Paul Giamatti as Rhino.

Like I said before, it’s SM trilogy by a landslide.

BEST ACTION SCENES

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

In TASM and TASM2, I love how well the action is choreographed. Spider-Man looks and moves like Spider-Man. What more could you want?

But SM trilogy has superior action scenes. The final showdown in SM, the entire train sequence in SM2, and SM3’s brutal beatdown between “dark” Spidey and Sandman. These are all incredibly visceral and emotional confrontations that I don’t think TASM and TASM2 matched nearly as well.

That said, we already evaluated these movies for story, so I have to set that aspect of the scenes aside. If we’re just looking at how well the action unfolds, then it’s safe to say that TASM is superior. Watching Spider-Man in action was more thrilling in these movies, even without all of the emotional buildup done so well by SM trilogy.

Point goes to TASM.

BEST SUPPORTING CAST

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

Almost everyone loved the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey in TASM and TASM2. Unlike the constant “will they/won’t they” of SM trilogy, we got these two as a couple early on, with Gwen Stacey even learning of Peter’s double life in just one movie.

While I appreciate SM for giving this relationship time to develop, it was smart of Sony to give us something new to watch with Peter and Gwen, and they pretty much nailed it. And this goes beyond the chemistry between actors.

Mary Jane is easily one of the weakest characters of SM trilogy, which is no fault of Kirsten Dunst (I guess). Her recycled peril got old very fast, which is why it was refreshing to see Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey be a more dynamic and action-oriented character. Watching her solve problems and be an ally to Spider-Man was something fans wanted a long time ago, and Sony delivered.

I do like SM trilogy’s more cautious buildup, and the kissing scene in the rain is iconic. But overall, TASM gave us a more captivating romance.

But what about the rest of the supporting cast?

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

Without a doubt, J.K. Simmons was perfectly casted as J. Jonah Jameson, who stood out as one of SM trilogy’s best characters. He was so good, in fact, that TASM and TASM2 seemed too afraid to even try recasting him.

I also preferred SM trilogy’s Aunt May, played by Rosemary Harris. She lived and breathed the character, while Sally Fields gave us a somewhat one-note performance. Even in SM3, her cold shoulder scene with Peter admitting his involvement in Uncle Ben’s death trounces anything we saw of Aunt May in the newer films.

Despite all of this, TASM and TASM2 has a well-rounded (if somewhat inferior) supporting cast, so the excellent romance manages to put it on top.

Point goes to TASM.

BEST STORY

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

Is a story better if it’s more memorable? If so, then I’m leaning toward SM trilogy in a hurry. The iconic kissing scene we mentioned earlier, the death of Uncle Ben, and Peter’s speech to Mary Jane at the end…these are all moments that stuck with me.

With TASM, I remember more key moments from the sequel, namely the death of Gwen Stacey. It was handled very well, and Garfield killed it in the scene. But the only other moments I found as interesting were just quips and funny moments sprinkled throughout the movie, including Garfield’s “leg tap” and wearing the firefighter helmet.

Even the subplot with Peter’s parents ended up being a letdown, with the whole conspiracy being yet another web of unimportance that “might” be explained more in the next movie. I’ll give TASM and TASM2 credit for not being boring movies, but I’d be hard pressed to say they had compelling stories, even when they didn’t have the excuse of well, we have to retell the origin story.

SM and SM2 had incredible stories that coincided with the odd premise of a man swinging around the city like a spider. The first one nailed it as a coming-of-age story about an unassuming guy suddenly blessed with enormous gifts, learning how to use them with responsibility.

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

The second was a compelling followup about the reality of that responsibility, and how they would result in massive sacrifices that Peter Parker wasn’t actually ready for like he thought he was. And that’s not even getting into the villain’s plot, a shade of Peter Parker who won’t compromise anything to get what he wants.

Of course, SM3 is where the story goes off the rails with a rehashing of Peter’s struggle with Uncle Ben’s death, a pointless turnaround of his relationship with Mary Jane and Harry, and the rushed introduction of yet another villain who deserved much more screen time and development.

But even with the disappointments of SM3, the first two movies at least tell a coherent story that can stand on their own, unlike the incessant teasing of TASM and TASM2, which promised “even more answers” in the next installment.

Both movies do a good job in this department, but SM trilogy is the true standout. It’s good even without all of the super heroics, so for that reason, it gets the point.

THE VERDICT

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

It’s interesting how close these movies are in quality, despite one series being the more successful one overall. I stand by the movies scoring a draw when it comes to Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and I’ve always considered the romance and action much more polished in the newer films.

Yet the story and villains of SM trilogy are true winners when it comes to coherence and direction. The original SM movies dared to be legitimate comic book movies in an age when superheroes couldn’t translate to the big screen without some major overhaul to the source material. Sam Raimi defied that with his take on Spider-Man.

So what is the best overall experience of these movies? Which one had you leaving the theater with a big grin on your face?

If you’re asking me, it’s SM trilogy. Not because I was expecting a whole new franchise universe of more movies I could spend money on, but because they delivered everything I wanted in a superhero movie, even before I loved superhero movies.

That said, I have to let my bias shine here (at least more than usual). These are truly subjective movies that I don’t think anyone can objectively pick apart and deem one as the superior. But if you stop and consider which movie made you feel better and just…happy…then you should have your answer.

spider-man vs. amazing spider-man

Some of you will no doubt leave TASM and TASM2 grinning just as wide as I did after SM and SM2. You’ll hate how slow the action is in SM, as much as I hate how boring the villains are in TASM and TASM2. And you’ll forgive Garfield’s unrealistic version of Peter Parker because you love how excellent he is in almost every other area, extending to his relationship with Gwen Stacey. While I’ll still ponder how convincing it was to see Tobey Maguire as a guy who just has a simple crush on a girl.

For the first time in Which is Better history, I have to call this one a draw.

Agree? Disagree? Just want to say hey? Sound off in the comments.


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Why The Ruler Of My Childhood Just Got Kicked Off The New ‘Popeye’ Movie

If you’ve never heard of Genndy Tartakovsky, then you’ve at least loved his work. The animation director is an under-the-radar legend in the business, despite never acquiring the acclaim he truly deserves.

Some of his early work included Batman: The Animated Series, but the man is better known for creating Dexter’s LaboratoryPowerpuff Girls, and Samurai Jack. When I was a kid, this guy was one of the kings of animation, at least for people who could get Cartoon Network on their cable subscription.

This is the man George Lucas entrusted the keys to the first Star Wars: The Clone Wars miniseries (long before it was ever computer animated), which won three Emmies. Before that, Tartakovsky directed the somewhat successful The Powerpuff Girls Movie and (it bears repeating) creating the legendary series, Samurai Jack, which also won multiple awards.

genndy tartakovsky

Sadly, this was the end of Tartakovsky’s reign. After 2004, the momentum of his work went into a gradual free fall, as new projects like Adult Swim’s Korgoth of Barbaria were canceled before they even started. This kicked off a trend for Tartakovsky that we’re still seeing today.

Tartakovsky planned on creating the long-awaited Samurai Jack movie to complete the series, but Bad Robot abandoned him to work on Star Trek. Genndy’s new Cartoon Network series, Sym-Bionic Titan, only lasted one, short season.

But in 2012, Tartakovsky’s luck changed when he moved to Sony and directed the animated monster movie, Hotel Transylvania, starring Adam Sandler. Though the film received mixed reviews, it was a huge financial success for Sony, earning Tartakovsky the chance to strike gold again with a sequel. The trailer just came out this week, and the movie is set to release this fall.

Amidst this Gennaissance, the animator/director was also announced as the director of the new Popeye movie, which we’ve already seen early footage of. And it looks amazing. But just this week, Sony kicked Tartakovsky off the project for unknown reasons, and it’s unclear whether or not the movie will still go forward.

In an interview with Moviefone, Tartakovsky explained the sudden shift:

“Popeye, at least, we put up a great screening, everybody really liked that sizzle, we got a positive reaction. I was in love with what we were doing, but I think the studio is going through changes and I don’t know if they want to make the Popeye that I want to make. So they’ve got to make a decision…It was hard to let Popeye go, but that’s the business.”

To be clear, Tartakovsky still works for Sony, and we all know the production studio is currently in the midst of some unprecedented turmoil. His personal project Can You Imagine? is still in the works for now, which is an original story about a boy and his imagination.

genndy tartakovsky

Before we delve into the why behind Genndy’s expulsion from Popeye, let’s review the man’s career. As the headline implies, Tartakovsky is one of the rulers of my childhood. His work influenced me greatly through shows like Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack. Just the other day, I reflected on the chaotic genius of “Ego Trip,” the TV movie for Dexter’s Laboratory that made me embrace time travel as the fluid concept it really is.

I still look back on Tartakovsky’s “Clone Wars” with wonder, remembering almost every detail of every set piece. I remember wishing the man had been allowed to work on Revenge of the Sith, even (at least when it came to General Grevious. That final scene of the second season sent chills up my spine).

I can’t pinpoint the exact reason for why Tartakovsky’s work happens to work. I don’t know if it’s that he understands how the mind of a child operates or if he just has a gift for maintaining his own childlike imagination. Whatever it is, there’s something bizarre and magical about the way Tartakovsky visualizes a story, and it’s something noticeable that made me appreciate Hotel Transylvania before even realizing whose vision developed it.

genndy tartakovsky

And yet Tartakovsky hasn’t ascended to the level of greatness that I personally believe he’s earned. For all I know, he could be difficult to work with, or his vision could be akin to George Lucas, in that he needs many checks and balances to prevent his story from descending into pure lunacy.

Whatever the reason, I take solace in knowing that for now, it appears Tartakovsky and Sony are on OK terms. He’s still getting his Can You Imagine? movie, and for all we know, Sony is just gun-shy about putting out an expensive Popeye movie after the middling success of similar nostalgia projects that seem to have doomed Dreamworks Animation, despite them being great movies (I’m looking at you Mr. Peabody and Sherman).

Yes, the hopeless optimist in me somewhat believes there’s a chance Sony wants Tartakovsky to redirect his efforts to finishing Samurai Jack  before a Kickstarter finally does it for him. We’ve been waiting 14 years for that series to have a conclusion, after all (and no, I don’t count the comics that started in 2013).

genndy tartakovsky

To sum up, Tartakovsky is a young guy (only in his mid-forties), and I personally believe his best work is ahead of him. I just hope that whatever is going on with Sony is either resolved, or someone else manages to recognize Tartakovsky’s talent and snatches him up. Can you imagine (har har) how good a DreamWorks movie would be if they brought in Tartakovsky? Specifically, I bet the animator would’ve breathed some incredible life into Rise of the Guardians or the upcoming Home (which looks awful to me).

For now, we’ll see if Tartakovsky and Sony can surprise us all with something completely unexpected. And if anyone can do that, it’s Genndy.

 

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5 Compelling Reasons Why We Need Tobey Maguire To Return As Spider-Man

Spider-Man 2 is my favorite superhero film of all time. Anyone who’s been within earshot of me during any conversation about cinema in general should know this. I say it loud and unapologetically.

And it’s not only because Tobey Maguire will always be my default live-action version of Spider-Man (though that’s true too). It’s also because of Sam Raimi, and his distinct vision for Peter Parker.

tobey maguire spider-man

I hated the first Amazing Spider-Man, and I only barely liked The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Again, this actually has little to do with who was wearing the mask (most people agree that Andrew Garfield was at least fine, if not great in the role).

These movies just lacked the same depth and quality that we got with the first two Spider-Man movies in 2002 and 2004. And with Tobey Maguire getting on in years, it seemed like a great idea to just reboot the whole thing just five years after the disastrous Spider-Man 3.

tobey maguire spider-man

And now we have a new Spider-Man reboot on the horizon. Marvel and Sony have officially struck a deal to share the same version of this character within both Marvel and Sony’s cinematic universes.

It’s exciting news, but it also means Andrew Garfield is almost certainly done with the role, and we have to start all over again. Again.

I would have liked to keep Andrew Garfield in the mix, and there’s still a slim chance he might. But I would much rather we come back to Tobey Maguire, and here’s why.

1. It would be more faithful to “Civil War.”

tobey maguire spider-man

For what Marvel wants to use Spider-Man for, bringing Tobey Maguire back is actually perfect. Amidst reports that Marvel and Sony want to keep Spider-Man in high school, fans who actually read comics are getting frustrated.

We’ve experienced high school Peter twice now (seriously, I can’t handle Uncle Ben dying again), and Marvel is planning to debut the character in Captain AmericaCivil War.

One of the biggest reasons Marvel is bothering to make this deal (which they’re reportedly getting little financial value from) has to do with the fact that “Civil War” makes little sense without Peter Parker and Spider-Man.

Spider-Man’s role in “Civil War” is key because he’s the relatable center of conflict stuck between two people he respects. Its through Peter that we’re able to feel the real struggle between Captain America and Iron Man during their spat over privacy, a theme Marvel has been carefully building up with Phase II of the MCU.

And in “Civil War” (the comics version), Peter Parker isn’t in high school. He’s not even in college. He’s a high school science teacher years after first becoming the webhead.

That may seem like a little detail Marvel can just ignore, but it robs the story of a lot of the impact gained from when Spider-Man famously unmasked himself in public in order to support the Superhero Registration Act (and Tony Stark). But we’ll get to that later.

2. We haven’t finished Sam Raimi’s story. 

tobey maguire spider-man

Spider-Man 3 ended with the death of Harry Osborne, but we have no idea what truly became of Peter. He might have married Mary Jane, and the death of his friend could have prompted him to hang up his mask for a while.

This would explain his absence during the Battle of New York in The Avengers, which could then explain why he’d consider becoming Spider-Man again.

It could be during this time that he gains the attention of the Avengers during the prelude to Civil War, eventually leading to his famous unmasking to a public that’s known him as Spider-Man for years.

If they reboot the franchise again, then this moment won’t be nearly as powerful. Any new Spider-Man they throw in there will just be yet another actor we’re not used to.

How are we supposed to believe that the public cares about this Spider-Man if he hasn’t really been around much? Marvel could make it work because they’re Marvel, but it would be a missed opportunity.

3. The unmasking would be way more epic. 

tobey maguire spider-man

Can you imagine if the guy taking off his mask was Tobey Maguire, the guy who’s been Spider-Man in most of our heads for the last 13 years? And think about the impact of having JK Simmons reprise his role as J. Jonah Jameson and witnessing this from his office at the Daily Bugle. It’s just perfect.

And it even works within the Sam Raimi timeline because Maguire could easily be a science teacher by now. Unlike a new Spider-Man or bringing in Garfield, it actually fits.

Of course, this would sort of work for Garfield, too, but it still doesn’t fit quite as well. Unlike Garfield, Tobey’s Spider-Man is the Sam Raimi version. He’s the guy we’ve actually seen a consistent, compelling story arc with.

4. Tobey Maguire is a better Peter Parker than Andrew Garfield.

tobey maguire spider-man

Garfield did a great job, and he brought a faithful take to the character that Tobey could learn from. But Garfield was better at being Spider-Man than than being Peter Parker.

In contrast, Tobey Maguire nailed the character of Peter Parker. He was a lovable weirdo who never seemed comfortable in his own skin, unless he had the mask on. Garfield, by comparison, was never a believable outcast.

He spent most of his time charming Gwen Stacey and investigating something about his parents, or something. With Garfield, I just didn’t connect with him as Peter in the way I did with Maguire, which is a shame because, again, I had a great time watching him as Spider-Man.

5. Sony could still keep Garfield.

tobey maguire spider-man

Rumor has it Sony still wants to do Sinister Six and Venom. So my conspiracy theory of the week is that we could also see The Amazing Spider-Man 3 with Andrew Garfield still doing his thing, while Tobey returns to the fold with Marvel. Everyone wins, pretty much.

But this is less likely to happen if Sony invests in yet another reboot. While many fans probably won’t like this idea, I think it would be great fodder for the “multiverse” dimensions and realities we’ve been waiting for Marvel, Sony, and Fox to dole out with their scattered characters.

Before I go, I do want to point out that yes, I think it would be interesting to bring on Miles Morales, the half black, half latino version of Spider-Man from the Ultimate storyline.

tobey maguire spider-man

He’s a great character and would work great in his own movie, but I don’t think this is the right time and place for his story. If anything, it would make more sense to introduce him into the world already established by Marc Webb and Avi Arad.

Also, as big a fan as I am of Donald Glover, he’s just way too old at this point to be Miles Morales. Maybe in a different timeline, that’s not the case.

What do YOU think? Should Tobey stay or should he go?


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Everything We Know About Marvel’s ‘Spider-Man’ Movie, Including Who’s In It.

spider-man marvel

From Moviepilot: 

According to Marvel, the deal is that they get to have Spider-Man for one movie first (most sources say it will be Civil War), and then Sony will continue the franchise with their standalone movie in 2017 (see above). They’ll control the financing and distribution of all future Spider-Man films from then on. 

But this also means that Sony and Marvel are essentially collaborating on the same character within the same universe.

This is unprecedented, especially for a $4 billion franchise.

You can read the rest of my write-up on this subject via the link above. I get into the subject of Andrew Garfield and where Sony apparently stands on casting. We don’t know a lot of the details yet, but we can make some pretty reasonable assumptions.

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