Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spider-Man vs The Amazing Spider-Man

Okay, before I get onto the main topic of this post, let me just say that with YouTube's One Channel changes, I'm first going to check if I can change back after they change me or if it's permanent. Since many major channel's are changing, I'm going to assume the worst. No worries though, I preparing a channel trailer, most of the content will be based off of the recent Knight Era Revolution videos, which started with the Little Talks video. That was a signal that things were going to change and eight months later, I'm pumping out videos reminiscient to my old slideshow days, though they are video versions.

Just to say this early, though, expect NO videos in July and August and two to three in June. Also, this is a longer post because of all the spare time I missed at the beginning of the year:

Okay, now on to the post, I love the original Spider-Man movie and I appreciate the new one. They are both good representations of the story for their generation. The original Spider-Man movie became the pinnacle of what superhero movies were about. Now let's backtrack, the Superman movie was a comicbookmovie, but it was not presented as such (III and IV were) and that is why it was such a good film. It took Christ figures and real life issues (nuclear missiles) and in truth, Superman seemed like a metaphor throughout the whole movie, what if a man could fly? X-Men was much of the same presented in a different fashion, it highlighted racism and homophobia in a way appealing for film audiences, genetic prejudice (and this issue will be a discrimination issue in about two decades). Spider-Man was the first comicbookmovie to ignore these things and give the story of the comic strictly, without dealing with real life issues, and let the audience enjoy it. People may even bring up Blade, but that, it's just a no. The Amazing Spider-Man follows in this suit and so it's not bad at all, but it adds unnecessary details that just tend to piss you off (skateboarding). The story is generally the same, boy is nerd, bug bites boy, boy becomes bug, bug-boy saves NYC. It's just how this story is presented that makes Spider-Man better, it gives the viewer a better reason to watch and that reason is the same, yet opposite reason in The Amazing Spider-Man. What is that reason? Peter Parker. The reason in TASM is Spider-Man, you watch half to see him become Spidey and you watch the rest for Spidey, simple enough. Since the bite happens way earlier in Spider-Man, it's not Spidey that keeps one in the story. I remember being a kid and all I could remember is what's going to happen next with Peter and Harry? I loved it. You see, in Spider-Man, Peter Parker is presented as what he always has been, photographing nerd who has been given these sensational powers that some would kill for. It is what Peter Parker endures throughout the whole film that keeps us invested at an emotional level. Stan Lee often stated that the early issues of The Amazing Spider-Man were about how Peter Parker grew up and dealt with turmoils in his life, all the while being forced to handle crime in the neighborhood as Spider-Man. Keeping secrets (mind you Gwen Stacy, your special...) was a key part of this because if anybody ever found out who Spider-Man was, it was the loved ones who paid. Captain Stacey sure didn't love Peter... You see, the original film hit all of these notes well, the new one did too, but only how you would expect them to in a realistic fashion. I mean Marc Webb is a romance director and for a lot of these key rules about Spider-Man, he had to alter them and that is fine. Now, let's move on to key points:

Who is a better Peter Parker?: Tobey Maguire gave one of the best performances known to comicbookmovies, and well even movies at the time, as Peter Parker. He looked like a nerd, and to be honest, I would have probably avoided him had he really existed like that. Andrew Garfield, even with the glasses, does not LOOK the part, I feel like I would have wanted to hang out with him. But what really sold the part was Tobey's acting, Andrew is good, but he is just not comparable to Tobey. Let's get into a bit more depth here, the Peter Parker that Andrew Garfield gave us was good, he gave us emotion, he gave us desperation but the only audience he connected with was the romance audience, let's be honest. Tobey Maguire connected with all audiences, because the way he handled the turmoils and even the happy moments of his life, that hug with Aunt May after graduation, was done perfectly. One could tell that while both were deeply invested with the character, acting is a tie, it was the diversity of the script that allowed Tobey to push the bounds for what the character defined. It was the diversity of the script that allowed us to see that Tobey Maguire gave the better Peter Parker.

SM: 1 TASM: 0

Who is a better Spider-Man?: Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man performance was awesome. He gave the character everything he deserved, a snarky attitude that hid the depressed man-teenager (cause Garfield was a man when acted) that Peter Parker is. He gave us the jokes and he gave us the fight scenes. Sure he was nowhere as jacked as Tobey was for all three films, his flexibility made up for it. Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man, on the other hand, was more akin to the comics, it was just a shade of Peter Parker and did not really do anything else to hide his identity beyond the mask. Tobey Maguire's gave us the jokes as well, but they were not what one would expect Spider-Man fashion to be, rather what Peter Parker would say, not a vigilante who wants his identity secret. While all Garfield's Spider-Man borrowed from the comics was the jokes, it is he who gets this because of the way he presented the vigilante.

SM: 1 TASM: 1

The Director?: Sam Raimi, established horror director, creator of Darkman and the Evil Dead franchise vs Marc Webb, a music video director and creator (500) Days of Summer. Yes, I saw Days of Summer and laugh at me, it was a good movie. It had it's funny moments, but it was a romance. Marc Webb's TASM's main flaw was him, though, it had okay direction and the film was really only made good by it's wonderful actors and great script. I mean his episode of the Office was good, but the worst of the half-season it was in. Sam Raimi on the other hand was a horror director and a completely unconventional choice for the film, his only saving grace was the fact that he had made Darkman. Which moron chose him? Then again, looking at Chris Nolan, don't unconventional choices make the best pick? You see, Sam Raimi's direction would have been bad if it was his second film like Webb's, but he was established, confident and he gave the film wonderful direction. Had Marc Webb done little more than videotape Fergie lip syncing and made movies, he could have done it.

SM: 2 TASM: 1

Love Interest?: The character of Mary Jane Watson trumps Gwen Stacy, but the characterization of Gwen Stacy trumps Mary Jane. To tell you the truth, MJ really just comes off as shallow in Spider-Man, a plot device to make the character more emotionally invested in Peter. This role is given to Gwen's father, and while that fails, she just stands out more. I'm not going to compare the actors or anything, I personally think both are terrible, but just the way the character of Gwen was handled makes it better.

SM: 2 TASM: 2

The Kiss?: This one is for whatever female demographic I may have? Upside down? A lot of women seemed to love this instead of that perverted shit that happened in the reboot.

SM: 3 TASM:2

The Villain?: One could argue that the Green Goblin is a Power Ranger and because Curt Conner's isn't intentionally evil, getting audience sympathy, he is better. You see for a normal character, for a Spider-Man movie named after the villain called The Lizard: The Amazing Spider-Man, yeah I would agree. But there is a reason he's the villain, you want to see him go down. In TASM, you just want to see him turn back and that's because of sympathy. DaFoe gave his creepiness to Norman Osborn, making him generally unlikable from the start. When he becomes Green Goblin, you just want Spider-Man to kick his ass. Then you feel bad when Norman makes his last plea, not feel bad when he turns.

SM: 4 TASM: 2

The Best Friend?: No points for this one because The Amazing Spider-Man didn't give a best friend.

The Death of Uncle Ben?: It was done off screen in Spider-Man and this was, in my opinion, a bad decision. But it worked because of how angry Peter was at Ben because of nothing. This made Peter seem like a real dick and it got sympathy when he goes to see it's his uncle. Since the same thing happened, but with less emotional emphasis prior, but on screen in TASM I'm not giving points for this. Though TASM did screw up the aftermath.

The Bite?: The original gets this simply because of how long it took for TASM to get to it. The thing was that Spider-Man was the main focus of the reboot and if he's only there half the film, why wait so long? I know it's an origin story, but so so was the original.

SM: 5 TASM: 2

The Score?: As talented as the TASM guy is, he fails on two major points: one, nobody can remember his name and two, people can't remember his score. When you think of Spider-Man music, you think of Danny Elfman's wondrous music that played during the webswinging scene, which brings us to the next category...

SM: 6 TASM: 2

The Effects: The effects of the original Spider-Man were again, sensational, at the time and though they have so far withstood the test of time, are nothing extraordinary. They weren't extraordinary back them either, since there actually weren't that many effects, certainly not as many as in X-Men. I will not lie, they are amazing in Amazing, specifically the crane scene. One could argue that the original was better, I mean I would rather have scene makeup and actors than CGI in The Hobbit, but I can't give this one to Spider-Man because it just won't win.

Final Score: M: 6 TASM: 3

Make no mistake, both are wonderful movies and good movies only betters the franchise. I know a lot of people prefer the new one over the old, but I hope that this proves that whether or not you prefer, doesn't mean it's better. I like The Dark Knight Rises better than The Dark Knight, but I'll be out of my mind to say it's the better movie. I mean, imagine if they made a remake of The Goodfellas, it would be amazing, like the new Great Gatsby, but will likely fall short to the original. Don't get me wrong, I mean sometimes reboots are better, like The Incredible Hulk, but in this case, Spider-Man wins and because it's such a great movie, being half as good as it means it's twice as good as most movies.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The DC Comics Hierarchy

At the top we have the King, Superman. Without him there would be none and with him there is all. He is the most powerful being in existence and the most important. Superman is the reason why superheroes and comics exist, he is synonymous with DC Comics. The Crown Prince is set to reclaim his throne when the Man of Steel comes out, let's hope he does.

Then there is Batman, the face of the franchise, second to only Superman. Arguably the most popular character due to his anti-hero tactics but pureness at heart, many rules and the evolution that his character has head over the 70 years he has been in existence.

Then come Batman's lieutenants, as in everyone else except the World's Finest on the Justice League. These are what make up the franchise, they bring in variety and substance to the franchise, let's just say it like this: Superman is the franchise, Batman represents that franchise, these guys make up the franchise.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

TOM and TGG: Equal Opposites

To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby are two of the greatest works of literature, because they present a story which would otherwise be seen as stupid and boring and present them in a way that makes you fall in love with the literature. Let me reiterate, they are two of the greatest works of literature, untouchable classics. They are equal in the perspective that they provide the reader with a main plot: Boo Radley and the truth of Gatsby, but give a theme, a tone an underlying substance which makes the reader question the truth and morality of what the writer was actually wanting to say. They are equal in this perspective, but how are they opposite?

The True Theme:

Racism - Harper Lee very carefully deals with racism in her story, using it as the basis of describing Atticus Finch's reasons for not making Boo Radley a hero. In truth it was Tom Robinson that was the mockingbird, but the tumultuous time that the novel was written in proved that it needed to be Boo Radley. Racism is not introduced into the novel, but it is rather spoken of as if it was there all along. It doesn't appear as a friend or a villain, though it becomes one, lets say evolves into one, during the storm before the trial. The novel is truly about racism, even though it was written as if it was not. It still lives and makes the reader think, as a theme.

Classism - People are seperated in the big cities, Vancouver, Toronto, by class. In these cities it isn't about your goddamn work ethic or your attitude, it's how often you get to wear the nice suits. It's where you got to go to school. It's who your dad was. It's different from the caste system in the way that you are what you always were, it's similar in the way that you are born into a class, no matter how long you retain it. The Great Gatsby is about a man trying to find the truth behind his enigmatic neighbor, a Trimalchio of the 20s. Everything about Gatsby shows the difference in classes and the attitudes of those and how they react to those below them. In truth, this is what the book is about, we care for what we learn from the story and we learn why classism is one of the most disgusting forms of discrimination: we read for Gatsby, we leave with truth.

The Time:

The Great Depression - Ah the Dirty Thirties, you presented to us, Harper Lee, a world that had gone through so much hardship to enter a time where nobody wanted to live. The Great Depression and how poor people are is shown through so many different ways in the novel, but because it is underlying it is so hard for many people to grasp how this is instrumental to the stringing of every bead that is the novel's plot. Most people think it's just Atticus confirming to Scout that the family is indeed, poor.

The Roaring Twenties - Woo! Bam! This is a time contrary to the Great Depression because it is the result of a people who just wanted to let go. A people who wanted to celebrate and live every day as if it was their last. A bunch of cities whose elite gathered together in splendor, renovating and shifting the city to fit their design! New York was the best example of this for in the Roaring Twenties, New York as a whole, became the house of the Gold Hatted Gatsby. It is the Roaring Twenties setting, that makes Gatsby what he is, rich.

Those two things: Time and Them, ah the old Time/Theme Continuum that make up the major differences of a novel which deal with two parallels of something that is completely the same: discrimination. Sure the core story is decidedly different, but what the two novels hope to convey, are not really.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Upcoming Goodies!

Okay, so I've been working on a couple of projects for YouTube in my spare time. One of these has been a video on the Komagata Maru incident, this I have not put up now simply because it needs a tad bit of tweaking. The other one, which I got started on today is a video about Half-Life, I suppose it is dedicated to Ross Scott's Civil Protection and Freeman's Mind. I use the music Radioactive by Imagine Dragons because half-life is all about radioactivity and Mendeleev's elements.