Tag Archives: Spider-Man

Mr. Holland’s Opus: Spider-Man: Homecoming, reviewed.

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I know I’m supposed to be sick to death of superhero movies, but I don’t think we’ve ever had three as strong as Logan, Wonder Woman, and the new Spider-Man: Homecoming arrive in such rapid succession. Here’s Homecoming, for NPR. Continue reading

Presenting my fourth annual Village Voice Summer Movie Preview

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It’s a tradition! Here once again I choose a dozen movies due in the next three months for which I’ve got medium-high hopes.

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Julie Taymor Probably Hates Pink Even More Now

Panel from The Amazing Spider-Man #21, by Stan Lee 7 Steve Ditko.“Julie hated pink. It also seemed as if she could discern gradations of red on the electromagnetic spectrum that no one else could. Humans are ‘trichromats,’ meaning we have three different types of cone cells in our eyes. However, it has been surmised that because of the XX chromosome, some women may possess a fourth variant cone cell, situated between the standard red and green cones. This would make them — like birds — ‘tetrachromats.’ These hypothetical tetrachromats would have the ability to distinguish between two colors a trichchromat would call identical. Continue reading

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Return of the Machine

"If I am not me, who da hell am I? I mean, who da hell am I NOW?"

“If I am not me, who da hell am I? I mean, who da hell am I NOW?”

I am delighted to tell you that I am making my Village Voice debut this week with an essay about one Arnold Schwarzenegger, screen icon of my youth, governor of California for part of the time I lived there (I didn’t vote for him) and celebrity host of my narrowly acclaimed 2012 Christmas album.

It was a happy, potentially self-improving experience, being edited by the noted crapologist Alan Scherstuhl, whose cover story in last week’s Voice about current Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott is well worth your time, if you care at all about Spider-Man or comic books. Continue reading

Faux REALS: On the Longevity of the Longjohn-Wearing Hero

“…but brother, there are days when I wish I was Plastic Man or the Flash or one of those happy-go-lucky bozos.”

I wrote about Gwydion Suilebhan‘s new superhero play REALS this week, taking his provocation that “Superhero films are bad for you” as a jumping off point for talking about, well, superhero films.

Not quite 10 years ago, I spent the better part of a year trying to write one. It was called Hero Complex, and it was about a guy who becomes convinced he’s the illegitimate son of The Gryphon, the mightiest hero around. I was aiming for a bittersweet comedy with touches of doomed romance and magical realism. I pitched it to my professor and fellow students in my screenwriting program as “a Wes Anderson superhero movie.”

I wrote two full drafts and many more first acts. I had a version where my hero was in his early 20s and unattached, and a version where he was 40 and married with kids. Neither was very good, but there was a scene here, a line there, that I thought might be worth saving.

Then The Incredibles came out. That’s not a film that bears much resemblance to my description of the one I was trying to sweat into existence, but at the time it felt close enough to make me throw up my hands. I loved The Incredibles. I felt certain my screenplay would never get to be that good, no matter how many night and weekends I sacrificed to it on the altar of my crumb-covered, coffee-stained keyboard. Continue reading

What the Facts Are

Image of Zen: I Am Curious (Yellow)

Courtesy of the Criterion Collection’s Twitter feed, which says this is from a 1971 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. No. 101, cover date March ’71, it turns out.

I so enjoy referencing the title of this 1967 arthouse film, which was banned for a while in the U.S., that perhaps one day I’ll actually watch it.