Josh Wilding Reviews: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3D Trailer, New Footage And Cast Q&A
I was in London tonight to check out not only The Amazing Spider-Man trailer in 3D, but also a sizzle reel of new footage and interviews with Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans. Read my detailed review and description right here!
Tonight in London, I was one of the few lucky enough to be in the queue for a sneak peek of The Amazing Spider-Man. As Sony employees asked fans for their reaction on camera (look out for those later this week I would say) we were brought in from the cold Leicester Square and welcomed by the new Spider-Man logo up on the big screen. Empire's Chris Hewitt took to the stage and we were taken to live feeds in Los Angeles (Marc Webb), Rio (Emma Stone) and New York (Andrew Garfield). It was then that the trailer was shown in 3D. To put it simply, it was phenomenal. It serves as a wonderful example of why shooting a movie in 3D actually makes all the difference and will surely do nothing other than enhance the overall experience.
There was a lot going on in the action packed teaser and while I can't remember the specific order or every single little snippet shown, I will do my best to describe the highlights to you. Surprisingly, there is no clear shot of the Lizard. We do see a close up of his eye and claws - both of which were incredibly detailed and looked fantastic - as well as several other action shots featuring the villain taking on Spider-Man in various locations (not to mention a very cool scene of his tail wrapping around the hero's neck in what appeared to be a sewer). However, this is arguably no bad thing, especially with another six months until the movie is released...we don't want to be spoiled with too much after all. What it lacked in Lizard, it more than made up for in Spider-Man. There are a lot of web swinging shots which really pop off the screen in 3D and the mix of practical and CGI is blended seamlessly. The "money shot" can be seen at the end of the trailer as the top of what appears to be the Oscorp building starts to collapse as an unmasked Spider-Man runs for cover after battling the Lizard up there too from what we saw of their confrontation.
The scene shown at last year's San Diego Comic Con of Peter waiting in the back of a thugs car was shown, and yes, he does have the black eyes at this point (however, it would appear this was due to the lighting rather than any other specific reason, although I have a feeling this WILL be elaborated upon in the film itself). There are plenty of wisecracks and the mask actually moves when he speaks - thankfully eliminating the extremely false sounding moments in the past films where the audio was quite clearly dubbed over. This was a really fun sequence which really separates it from the Sam Raimi helmed movies. You wanted a faithful take on the character? Well, this lifelong fan of the character would say that THIS is it. There's some quieter scenes too, including Peter finding his father's old bag, hunting down Curt Connors and finding his way to Gwen's apartment by landing on the fire escape outside. The dinner with the Stacy's first glimpsed in the teaser trailer sees Peter suggest that the menace Spider-Man is doing what he police can't, something that doesn't sit well with Captain Stacy who we later see declaring him an outlaw. All in all the 3D was, well, amazing. There were no POV shots, but there WERE plenty of other scenes which convinced me that it will be worth forking out the extra few pounds for a 3D ticket. Even the regular scenes in the Parker household really pop and while it may be too early to say this, I honestly can't recall seeing better 3D footage since Avatar back in 2009...this was better! One other thing which really grabbed my attention was Peter building his web shooters and then activating them, resulting in a blue light which also flashed as they're used - it works brilliantly.
As if it couldn't get any better, Marc Webb then revealed that he had one more surprise for those lucky enough to be in attendance. A reel of footage (in 2D due to the fact that they're still working on it) which would feature a handful of unfinished scenes, but plenty of other never before seen moments too. It played very much like a trailer and started with Flash Thompson beating up a kid and telling Peter to take a photo of it. He refuses and receives a beating for his troubles (to which he has a witty comeback - "I'm still not taking that picture"). The next scene was the one shown at last year's San Diego Comic Con, an exchange between Peter, Uncle Ben and Gwen in which the chemistry between the three in their respective scenes with one another is clear. We also saw an extended version of the scene in the car, this time featuring Spider-Man getting on his knees and begging the thug not to use his knife on him. What happens next? He uses his webbing to make a fool of the guy, pretending to sneeze at one point and throwing it like a baseball only seconds later. This was very, very funny and while some fans may think this sounds as if Peter is being portrayed as arrogant while in costume, I assure you that it doesn't come across that way. A motorcycle cop pulls up behind him as the scene moved on and he fires off a couple of shots before Spidey dodges them with ease and jumps over him.
We also see Peter testing his powers out in an abandoned warehouse, struggling at first and later perfecting them as he skateboards through the city. There were a lot of negative comments from fans when Garfield was spotted with a board but it works very well here and is a fun way of showing off his new powers. This footage also confirmed that it is Captain Stacy who unmasks Spider-Man (part of this IS shown in the trailer but it isn't quite so clear) and that he is handcuffed when it happens. Moments before a helicopter shoots something which seemingly immobilizes him, thereby allowing this to happen. He escapes, fighting off the police despite literally having both hands tied behind his back. Later on, a confrontation between Spider-Man and the Lizard reveals via voice over that Peter may have helped create him by assisting Connors with the experiment to regain his arm (removed convincingly by CGI and then growing back again). One of the unfinished sequences saw the Lizard attack Van Atter's car, only to be thwarted by Spider-Man who saves several of the vehicles from being thrown from the bridge. It was at this later point in the reel of footage that we were shown a facial shot of the Lizard as he climbed up the top of a building in pursuit of Spider-Man and he looks EXACTLY like the Pez dispensers, concept art and various toys we've seen. Whether he had a snout wasn't clear (more on that below) but it looked to me like a regular humanoid face and not the animalistic version associated with artists such as Todd McFarlane.
The Q&A with the director and cast was nothing any regular visitors to CBM won't have already heard before, although it was very interesting to see Andrew Garfield say that he hopes the next Spider-Man is played by a half Hispanic/half African American actor, a la Miles Morales. Emma Stone commented on how Gwen is the complete polar opposite of Mary Jane Watson, while Rhys Ifans discussed the complexities of a character like the Lizard. One the cameras stopped rolling, Chris Hewitt turned to the audience for questions. Asked whether the Lizard will have a snout, Ifans looked somewhat taken aback before saying that no, he won't. A few more questions followed, and when asked how he felt to be a Pez dispenser (something he had no idea about) he responded dryly with, Great, that's my Oscar right there!". As you can tell, the Q&A was a a very lighthearted affair and great fun. The final question (something along the lines of whether he was able to relate the loss of Curt Connors' arm to anything in is own life) he joked that the only thing he had lost a few times was his mind, before finding it again, bringing the event to a close with a round of applause and plenty of laughter. Right now, I honestly believe that this will be better than both The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. It looks and sounds like no other comic book movie and feels totally original and fresh. Raimi's trilogy has come under a great deal of criticism from fans in recent years (including myself) but this feels as if the best moments of all all of those films, just a million times better. It's like nothing I've seen before. The soundtrack (at least what I heard of it) is fantastic and promises to be as memorable as Marc Webb"s brilliant score for his big screen directorial debut, (500) Days Of Summer. If there's only one adaptation this year that fans will say feel like it was torn from the pages of a comic book, I honestly believe it will be The Amazing Spider-Man.
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors/The Lizard
Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben
Sally Fields as Aunt May
Denis Leary as George Stacy
RELEASE DATE: July 3rd, 2012.
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