Friday, July 6, 2012

Mousey Movies - Spider-Man

Spider-Man Movie Poster

Were Betweenlanders ready for Mickey Mouse’s cousin Spider-Man in this summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man released on July 3rd?  Wait a Spider-Man movie?  There does not seem to be any tweets, blog posts, Facebook status updates or covers of D23 magazine to support this effort from Disney.  Why wasn’t Marvel’s most prominent hero not in The Avengers?  Clearly that had to be a mistake on Disney and Marvel’s part.  Well, I bet Disney would love to be promoting a Spider-Man movie, maybe even including him amongst the Avengers.  But they can’t do it.  Sure they can put Ultimate Spider-Man on the small screen to promote The Avengers but Disney does not have the rights to produce big screen Spider-Man projects.  Those rights are currently owned by Sony and The Amazing Spider-Man is distributed by Columbia Pictures and not Disney.  But I bet that Disney would love to get those rights, along with the rights for Spider-Man to appear in an Orlando area theme park, rights currently in the hands of Universal Orlando.  Despite the lack of press from Disney on this film, despite a Disney Store email I received letting me know they had Spider-Man gear, the new film seems to be doing okay.  And when I say okay, I mean the highest premiering film on a Tuesday in movie history.  Yes, the all important Tuesday!    

Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure
This isn't the Magic Kingdom!

In 2002 it felt like there had not been a superhero movie for decades.  Okay, there had been but sometimes perception is reality.  So that summer’s release of Spider-Man staring Toby Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man telling the origins of the webbed one on the big screen was an event.  Overall I enjoyed the movie back in 2002 and thought it well done.  Now with The Avengers in the rear view mirror it seems less exciting and less like the event it was ten years ago.  Yes, it lead to a Spider-Man trilogy but when originally viewing it I just did not get the sense that was going to lead to something bigger like I did with Iron Man.
With Spider-Man being popular in the Between House right now, our pretend play trunk has recently seen a full costume added to it, it was time to dust off the DVD (yeah DVD) and watch this surprisingly Mousey Movie together. 

·     Dead Man’s Party:  All you have to see is music by Danny Elfman to setup a Mousey experience.  I was introduced to the front man of Oingo Boingo in 1989 with his brilliant collaboration with former Disney animator Tim Burton in Batman.  As I think about it maybe I should include this non-Disney hero’s tent pole film as a Mousey movie because it is loaded with Disney connections too.  But to come back to the point.  Burton and Elfman have worked together numerous times since including Disney’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland which earned a box office of over 1 Billion dollars, yeah capital B.  But his work has not been limited to Burton films and other Disney collaborations include Flubber, personal favorite Meet the Robinsons, Burton’s Frankenweenie to be released this year and next year’s Oz, The Great and Powerful.    

·     Warrior King:  Willem Dafoe plays villain Norman Osborn or the Green Goblin.  Dafoe brings a good amount of crazy to the role.  His eyes yell, “Hello, I am psychotic!”  For Disney Dafoe would play green again.  In 2012’s underrated John Carter he nailed the role of Thark, green Martian, Jeddak Tars Tarkas.  Yes I know his costume is CGI, but in the same way his eyes communicate crazy in Spider-Man his voice and captured motions scream nobility in John Carter    

·     The 13th Floor:  A few years ago I made a mistake.  Hoping to encourage one of my kids to ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror I rented 1997’s Tower of Terror starring Police Academy’s Steve Guttenberg.  I remembered the film as harmless and helping to provide a back story for a ride that I had only ridden only to a child scared off by the word terror.  Well, for a kid Tower of Terror can be well, TERRIFYING.  So note Betweenlanders Tower of Terror is not going to get a skittish kiddo to ride the elevator to the 13th floor.  Now for us a five dollar bribe from a friend eventually did the trick and now I can’t get this same kid to quit ridding The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  Kirsten Dunst who plays Parker’s love interest Mary Jane Watson also plays Guttenberg’s young nice Anna in this made for TV movie and serves as the character in Tower of Terror that kids can most indentify with.  

·     Hero Maker:  I love it when the Between Kids find Stan Lee in a movie.  Yes true believers, Stan Lee has a cameo in this movie profiling his most prominent creation.  And I look forward to playing Where’s Waldo with Lee this summer in The Amazing Spider-Man.  I have heard the cameo is fantastic.   

·     Coming Attractions: Sam Raimi directs this 2002 Spider-Man flick.  Now he has stepped away from the Spider-Man franchise for other things.  These include 2013’s Disney feature Oz: The Great and Powerful, which tells the origin of the Wizard of Oz starring James Franco who plays Harry Osborn in Spider-Man

Oz: Great and Powerful
I enjoyed my afternoon reliving Spider-Man with first time viewers, especially ones so into Spider-Man at the moment.  The movie may not be on the scale of The Avengers but they do share the background of New York and you definitely feel as if you are in the same universe though Nick Fury won’t be stepping into any scenes.  If you don’t feel like you can take the entire family to this summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man while it’s in theaters Spider-Man is a good candidate for a family movie night.   

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