So-called summer in this auspicious year of our lord, 2012, of which the Mayans predicted the dawning of a new global consciousness, Rik Clay (RIP) predicted a staged alien invasion/rapture event at the London Olympics, and a bunch of 15th Century monks predicted that the final pope, Petrus Romanus, AKA the Anti Christ, would come to power. A year in which the lizard rulers of this wet island so angered the Skygod he got all old testament Biblical on our asses and hit us with three months worth of rain in a week in June.
The killers in high places scream their prayers from the rooftops. Bad Craziness, Psychotic Negligence and Flagrant Wealth Reconsolidation are the orders of the day amongst The Powers That Be, and so too Bread And Circuses - the Roman practice of keeping the drooling proletariat fat and distracted in an orgy of gluttony and lowest common denominator entertainment - is at an all time high. BREAD! AND CIRCUSES! IS AT AN ALL! TIME HIGH! I feel a chorus coming on.
In a year that's already brought us The Avengers (amazing) and Prometheus (Chris de Burgh's A Spaceman Came Travelling stretched out for two hours) the Circuses element of the equation shows no sign of abating any time soon. The Dark Knight Rises in a few weeks, but first, we have Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man.
Now, it should be noted here that Spider-Man was my most very favouritest superhero of all when I was growing up. Pretty much the first thing I can remember is Spider-Man. My mum painted him on my wall when I was an infant. I was drawing him from the moment I could wield a crayon.
When I was seven I was in Liverpool children's hospital because the hole in my dick mysteriously disappeared, but the whole thing was worthwhile because my dad got me a pile of American comics, among those the Todd McFarlane period Amazing Spider-Man, which burned neural pathways in my brain that remain to this day.
I will never forget the fear I felt as Venom chased that homeless man through the sewer, or the terrified awe that image of the Lizard gripping Spidey by the throat, mask torn, inspired in me. I even played my first rap show in a child's Spider-Man outfit, so nervous/drunk/high that I puked through the mask on the support band's bass amp.
Therefore, you'd be forgiven for assuming your humble narrator to be excited as a politician in a pile of babies at the prospect of this brand new Spider-Man movie. But despite my legendary optimism - my tankard remains always half full, and even the blackest of clouds lined with platinum - I am not excited about this movie at all. I probably won't even bother to see it, unless loads of people who's opinions I value say its amazing. And here are five reasons why:
1: It's not being made because a bunch of people really wanted, more than anything else, to tell the best Spider-Man story they could on the sliver screen. It's being made to stop the rights to the character reverting from Sony back to Marvel. Who, as we have seen, make much better superhero movies than Sony. Because of this movie, we won't see Spider-Man in any Avengers or Avengers-related movies for at least the next decade.
2: As a reboot, we are once again going to be told the Spider-Man origin story. And as great an origin story as it is, I think I've seen and read it enough times for one lifetime. It's only 10 years since the last big screen Spider-Man origin movie. And while there are a couple of welcome changes in this reboot - the Who Were His Parents angle, the re-assertion of Peter Parker as a science genius, creating his own web shooters like he did in the comics - I don't care. There's 40 plus years of Spider-Man stories out there and you want to tell the first one yet again?
3: The director. This noob's only directed one movie (the rom-com 500 Days of Summer) along with a blizzard of cookie cutter major label music videos for people like Diddy and Maroon 5 and Nelly. And I'm pretty sure the only reason he was hired was because his name is Marc Webb.
4: The lead actor. Or more specifically his hair. Every time he takes his mask off in the trailer or any photos I've seen his hair seems to magically bounce into this amazing sculpted foux messy quiff, rather than clinging damply to his head, as anyone that's worn a Spider-Man mask for any protracted length of time can tell you is what happens.
5: Last, and by no means least, in fact most importantly by 17 light years: The Costume. Spider-Man's costume is indisputably the greatest superhero costume of all time. Steve Ditko's design is flawless in every aspect, and while over the past 40 plus years countless artists have tried improving it, they've always reverted to the original design.
One of the main reasons I didn't care for the last batch of Spider-Man films (despite the second being very good) was the stupid web piping on the costume that made the lines look white half the time. But this one is worse. This one dispenses with the best thing about Ditko's costume design - the curved webbing. The curved webbing, in this new incarnation... is straight! Why? Why do such a horrible thing? It looks worse! It looks like when a kid tries to draw Spider-Man for the first time and just does a grid! He looks like he's wearing a trellis! It looks like gaudy red plaid! It is an outrage and an insult!
I can't think of a single reason to do this other than the designers wanted to feel like they'd contributed something artistic, like the needless reinventions of Giger's perfect xenomorph design in all the Alien sequels. Its needless vanity and foolishness on the part of the movie's creators, and I can't see me being able to watch the film without being constantly distracted by that outrageous obscenity.
So there you go. As I said, I'm a Plenty More Room In The Jar For More Booze type of a fellow, and I can just as easily thinking of five reason the movie might be great, but that's another post, and regardless, I'm still too scarred from what Ridley Scott and Damon Lindyhop did to me with Prometheus. So I'm going nowhere near this movie unless a whole load of people whose opinions I deem worthy of consideration tell me it's amazing. So if you can find it in your heart to look past the trellis and watch the thing, let me know.