Friday, August 5, 2011

And now a belated look at Andrew Garfield in the new Spider-Man costume

It seems like the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire/Kirsten Dunst Spider-Man movies were too recent-- and the second one too awesome-- for a complete reconfiguring, but I'm not the person who makes these decisions. If Hollywood had listened to me, the Fantastic Four movies would have been Cold War period pieces stylistically akin to Mad Men, with the Thing in place of Don Draper, instead of product-placement-heavy sitcoms. This year, the producers of X-Men: First Class took the retro approach and I didn't bother to see it. So what do I know?

Okay, Andrew Garfield in his Spidey suit
. The guy looks the part. In some of the poses-- if that's actually him and not a stunt double-- he's got the body type and language down perfectly. He looks as though he stepped right out of a Steve Ditko page. That's a good thing. The costume's texture works for me-- but why does it look so dirty? How does that material stand up to an ordinary household washing machine and why hasn't Peter Parker attempted to find out? He is a would-be scientist, after all. Or perhaps it requires dry cleaning and he's too afraid of giving away his secret identity. Whatever the reason, it seems a shame Marvel's most amazing character has to run around in duds that look as if they smell of sweat and accumulated city grime.

Even as a hardcore old school Spider-Man fan, I can live with the American Chopper-style detailing around the gloves and the on the spider emblem. I only wish they'd used the belt motif from the comic book costume. There's too much of a "slingshot" swimsuit effect going on here, and it makes Spidey look a little crunched.

I'm not exactly waiting with clenched fists for this movie. I do like the cast. Garfield seems an excellent choice, Emma Stone impressed me in Zombieland, I love me some Sally Field (go Norma Rae!) and I respect Martin Sheen. But Marc Webb is an unknown quantity-- while his surname seems to qualify him, I haven't seen (500) Days of Summer. A Spider-Man movie could plausibly have a lot of thematic overlap with a romantic comedy-drama. I need more data!

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