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Author Topic: Spider-Man: Homecoming  (Read 4427 times)
Mandella
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Reply #70 on: July 10, 2017, 04:07:46 PM

Let's approach Ben from another angle:

What evidence is there as to whether this Peter Parker knows that he was responsible for Ben's death? If there is no evidence, was he responsible?

I'm betting Spidey 2 circles back to the origin when the guy that killed Ben is caught - and he then discovers that the guy was someone he could have stopped, but didn't.

While I agree that they well may be going for "catching up" on the backstory in later installments, Bobthesomething's comment makes me question if Unka Ben even exists in this timeline (yet). There was one mention this movie something about "All the stuff Aunt May's had to go through recently" but has Ben even been mentioned by name? (Remember, I'm the guy who didn't remember The Milano being mentioned by name in GoTv2, -- it takes me a few viewthroughs to get all the details down, so I'm probably just not remembering it.)

If not, then maybe there will be no Uncle Ben to fuck up and get killed (Peter has to learn about the whole responsibility thing another way), or, maybe Aunt May hasn't married him yet. Could be a story arc in an upcoming movie where Aunt May meets some guy and ties the knot, Peter maybe doesn't even like him, and then fucks up and gets him killed.

As for narration in movies, I'm totally down with it. But then I would be...
Velorath
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Reply #71 on: July 10, 2017, 05:01:18 PM

Ironwood is 100% dead-on here. The audience is assumed to have a level of knowledge and the movie lets you infill gaps because of it.

Except it's not even necessary to fill in the gaps. There's nothing about "kid with superpowers wants to be a superhero" that actually requires a dead Uncle in his background.
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Reply #72 on: July 10, 2017, 09:30:37 PM

Know what was fun? Watching windup defend the prequels from these same arguments.

know what's not? Watching them be defended the same way again.

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Khaldun
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Reply #73 on: July 10, 2017, 10:50:28 PM

"Kid with superpowers wants to be a superhero" is sufficient for Sky High and a zillion other movies. It's kind of underwhelming with a character who has the characterization cornucopia available with Spider-Man. It's really like saying, "Batman is a guy who likes to wear underwear on the outside so he can fight muggers". Like, ok? Sure? That would be fun? But you know, then he's not much different from Comet Man or Big Daddy or a zillion other characters. Being a totally fine generic superhero character who is vaguely comforting because you've seen his costume before seems a pointless waste of one of the four or five best character motivations in the genre.
Velorath
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Reply #74 on: July 10, 2017, 11:52:29 PM

Unless that motivation is thematically being tied into the story currently being told, no I don't really think it's that important. I'm rarely reading a Spider-man comic and in the back of my mind thinking "oh thats right, it's because he didn't stop the guy that ended up killing his Uncle that's motivating him to prevent the Sinster Six from launching a satellite filled with poison gas right now."

When you say that these are the best motivations in the genre, you should really stress the "in the genre" part. Seeing your parents gunned down in front of you isn't really motivation for dressing up in a bat costume and fighting crime at night. It's a genre convention but let's not pretend it's a beautiful piece of storytelling that can elevate a Batman story from being just another Superhero to a masterpiece through it's mere mention.

I'd argue that the heart of Spider-man isn't the Uncle thing, it's that especially at the time he was created, he was a character whose life only got harder from gaining superpowers. He struggled with real life problems while trying to juggle his two identities and especially in his superhero life, he used humor to help get himself through it. Getting those aspects right to me is a lot more important than the origin window dressing.
Ironwood
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Reply #75 on: July 11, 2017, 03:06:20 AM

NO.

No, I'm sorry, you're not right.  I didn't wanna get into this again, but you're not right.

He was living it LARGE and happy before his Uncle Died.  For Fucks Sake, he was earning shitloads WRESTLING.  He could have been a lazy fuck that's also clever and made bank from his GENIUS inventions and wrestled on the side and had a penthouse and been HARRY for fucks sake.

NO.  BEN IS IMPORTANT.

Or at least the Power and Responsibility bit.  I mean, you have to ask yourself WHY in this version of the movie Peter is even doing any of this shit.  Sure, he wants to be an Avenger now, but he was fighting crime and helping people before Stark showed up.  He's clearly the genius that he was in the comics.  He's clearly made something that would have the average IP Lawyer creaming his jeans (so much so that Stark commented on it first).  Yet, he's still in a shitty apartment with his aunt helping old ladies for churros.  Why ?  It's important to know WHY.  If I had these powers I'd want to do the same thing - we all had that dream at his age;  but the cleverness of the comic and the character was pointing out to us every fucking issue that it's just NOT fun and games.  Being Spider-Man ruined Peter's life in some very, very, very important ways.  Annnnnnd, shit, I'm ranting.  Goddamn it, you got me monologuing again.  I hate you all.

Also, I'm always reading a Spider-Man comic with Uncle Ben in the back of my mind.  Because that's the point.  The Batman analogy upthread is Dead On The Money.  Without his parents slain, Batman is just a total fucking rich shithead who likes to punch hobos in his spare time

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Velorath
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Reply #76 on: July 11, 2017, 04:35:19 AM

I disagree. I'm enjoying the conversation but not enough to give you aneurysm so I'll leave it at that.
Ironwood
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Reply #77 on: July 11, 2017, 04:42:31 AM

I'm enjoying it too, don't stop on my account.  Anger is the default setting in Scotland, something more people would understand if they visited.   why so serious?


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Khaldun
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Reply #78 on: July 11, 2017, 08:02:40 AM

Again, run it down like this.

Why does Thor do what he does? Because what he does is what he is. He's the Norse god of thunder, the heir to the throne, Daddy's Favorite, a warrior born. He's not an ordinary guy who gets superpowers, he's from a superpowered civilization. If he's in that poison gas control room, he fights on because that's his job and his nature.

Why does Captain America do what he does? He's got a great motivation too--and it's what makes him different from Spider-Man, even *if* they find themselves in that same control room filling with poison gas. He does it because first, he doesn't like bullies--he's been the weaker man. But also, because honor and duty.

Why does the Hulk do what he does? He can't help it. Because he's a monster with a human being trapped inside. Really different if he is in that room with poison gas--he fights on because he's fucking angry.

Why does Iron Man do what he does? Because he's trying to prove he's smarter, sexier and more foresighted than *anyone* else. So he fights on in the poison gas room because fuck if he's going to let the Sinister Six show him up.

Why does Ant-Man do what he does? Because he's a decent guy who is in over his head and kind of got tricked into this anyway. He'd probably rather get away from the poison gas room if he can and just let someone else handle those guys, but if there's no way out besides beating them--or if they're threatening the place where his daughter lives--he'll put in some more effort.

Why does Scarlet Witch do what she does? She doesn't really know herself at this point. For her brother? To make up for doing bad things in the past? She'll fight on out of self-preservation and maybe loyalty to Captain America, but not a lot of certainty. If the bad guys can get away, she might not feel too personally obsessed with nailing them all, unless they really annoy her or insult her personally.

Every one of those scenes is *different*, and it's not just the kinetics of the superpowers involved. So it matters a LOT that Peter would be there because he felt obliged to, and that he'll keep fighting even when he should probably give up and leave it to someone else because he's afraid of what will happen if he lets those guys go. He'll take risks and suffer where the other guys might not, to the point of being kind of dumb about it.

And it's exactly what Ironwood said: without that sense that he's got something to make up for, Peter would be having fun and making money. He'd be off in Silicon Valley at 16, impressing women with his physical abilities, and so on. You can look at the motivations chart and see who the guys are who couldn't give it up: Captain America, Thor; the guys who might actually give it up: Iron Man, Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch; the guys who want to give it up but aren't able to: Hulk. Spider-Man has a really distinctive place in there--he's always tempted to give it up but he won't let himself. That's a precious story-telling engine.
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Reply #79 on: July 11, 2017, 08:11:54 AM

 Heart

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Threash
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Reply #80 on: July 11, 2017, 08:40:29 AM

Ben wasn't important enough to diminish my enjoyment of the movie in any way, wasn't important enough to even notice that he hadn't been mentioned at all until someone pointed it out. 

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Reply #81 on: July 11, 2017, 08:44:32 AM

so

i didn't know rdj was in this movie so i'm going to see it and probably like it (but not pay for it)

however, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - dumber than comic book canon

these writers literally make this shit up on the fly, otherwise reboots wouldn't be the expectation with these characters

uncle ben was important once. he's not important now.

who gives a fuck
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Reply #82 on: July 11, 2017, 08:56:07 AM

There are two constants in the comic book universe and they relate to motivations:  The Waynes and Uncle Ben are dead.  Their deaths motivate their hero. Without that, they're someone else.

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Reply #83 on: July 11, 2017, 09:11:02 AM

counterpoint: there are no constants in comic books and nothing matters
BobtheSomething
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Reply #84 on: July 11, 2017, 12:15:04 PM

So Uncle Ben is Poochie?

"Whenever Poochie is not on screen, all of the other characters must ask, 'Where's Poochie?'"


Seriously, just because Uncle Ben isn't mentioned explicitly in this one film doesn't mean he has been written out.  We can see Peter still retains his Responsibility Quotient by his obsessive need to get dangerous guns off the street.  "If you're going to shoot at someone, shoot at me."  This is not a kid just fucking around for the lulz.  Give him some credit: Peter's got object permanence down. 

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Reply #85 on: July 11, 2017, 12:20:42 PM

There are two constants in the comic book universe and they relate to motivations:  The Waynes and Uncle Ben are dead.  Their deaths motivate their hero. Without that, they're someone else.

If its such a constant why does it need to be brought up at all? unless we see Uncle Ben running around alive and well the constant is assumed, there is zero need to bring it up.

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Shannow
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Reply #86 on: July 11, 2017, 01:11:43 PM



however, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - dumber than comic book canon


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Saw this on the weekend. Loved it. I have comic book fatigue but enjoyed it immensely and stayed awake the whole film (that's basically a two thumbs up from me).

Some great laughs throughout the movie. A+ screen time from Cap and Hannibal Burress.

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Velorath
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Reply #87 on: July 11, 2017, 01:13:06 PM

Again, run it down like this.

But to say that a character has motivation to do something isn't to say that there has to be an specific incident causing that motivation shown on screen.

Cap is a good example of how we don't need a tragic incident to show how a character's moral code was formed. He wants to join the army because everyone else is putting their lives at risk and he feels he can't do any less. We don't need a scene of his mom being killed by Nazis or something. He's more or less just established to be that guy and his origin is that Erskine see's what's already in him and selects him for the Super Soldier program. When he crashes the Red Skulls plane near the end of the first movie I'm not thinking "Man, that guy really must have hated bullies to have sacrificed himself like that".

If you really need Spidey's motivation spelled out that badly, he literally states it out loud in his first MCU appearance in Civil War "When you can do the things that I can, but you don't, and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.". Would it have helped somehow if they had just found a way to loop that line into Homecoming somehow even though everybody commenting in this thread I'm sure saw Civil War? Maybe the argument is that Civil War is a different movie and we're trying to judge HC in a vacuum for academic reasons, or that since this is the first solo movie it needs to clearly restate his motivation under the "every comic is somebody's first" rules".

Beyond that, I guess I just don't get the notion that comic book characters specifically need their unique motivations pointed out in order for their movies to be good. It's essentially just arguing that ever character needs an origin story movie, but without anybody actually coming out and arguing that. To me this conversation is like if somebody told me Ghostbusters is a bad movie because we don't get any backstory on any of the characters to explain why they risk their lives against Gozer at the end. They do it because it needs to be done, it's the right thing to do, and they're the only ones capable.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 01:14:43 PM by Velorath »
jgsugden
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Reply #88 on: July 11, 2017, 01:38:18 PM

There are certain things that are integral to a character.  If you leave them out of the character's story, you're missing key elements of that character.  Ben and the phrase "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" are key elements of Peter Parker as Spider-man.  Without them, you can have a hero, but he isn't "THE" Peter Parker Spider-man.  He is more of a "What If?" character.

If you fuck with this shit, you end up with Smallville.  You might enjoy the entertainment, but Smallville wasn't a Superman show.

We didn't get these key Spider-man elements here and that left me wondering why this Peter was web slinging.  Why was he out there being a hero?  It sure as hell looked like he thought being an Avenger was important because it was cool.  He wanted to be a cool Avenger.  He wanted to "do more" because it excited him.  He got a taste of the big leagues and wanted to get back into it.  

From Civil War, we know that the action starts about six months after Ben's death.  If you're a 15 year old kid and you fuck up and it results in your surrogate father dying, that emotional turmoil is not tied up in 6 months.  The comic book Spider-man wrestles with it still - years/decades/whatever later.  You don't watch Stark hit on May and not feel angry.  You don't have friends comment on your hot Aunt and laugh it off.  Hell, you probably can't even look her in the eyes, especially if she doesn't know you blame yourself.  This is a Peter that doesn't think about being there for May when deciding to go away for an overnight trip.   This is not a Peter that has that weight - and without that weight, this Peter is not the true Spider-man character. 

I applaud them not taking 20 minutes to go through the story again.  We didn't need the full length of it.  I just lament that they don't give us the quick version of the bite, of Ben's death, and of Peter feeling that responsibility. 

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BobtheSomething
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Reply #89 on: July 11, 2017, 01:47:33 PM

So, if Ben isn't mentioned and his catchphrase isn't spoken during the ~90 minutes of Spider-Man's life we see, it's as if Ben never existed at all?

If a Spider-Man movie isn't a tedious emotional drain at some point, it isn't a Spider-Man movie at all?
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Reply #90 on: July 11, 2017, 02:15:56 PM

If a Spider-Man movie isn't a tedious emotional drain at some point, it isn't a Spider-Man movie at all?

I haven't really weighed in on this because I haven't seen the movie yet, but actually, yes, it's not really a Spider-Man movie without that tedious emotional drain. That emotional drain is what I always disliked about the character but I do feel it is fundamental to the character himself. I'm not going to be broken up that it's not in there because again, I always HATED how whiny the character was. One of the things I like about the latest post-Secret Wars comic Spider-Man/Peter Parker is that that baggage is much more subtle and his character isn't just the perpetual teen angst superhero that they tried to keep him at for years. He's a more mature Parker as Tony Stark with a heart. It sounds like the movie wanted to have all the positives of the current version of the character like the gadget Spider suit but ditch the emotional baggage that defines the character.

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Reply #91 on: July 11, 2017, 02:56:05 PM

Yeah, that's my complaint. It's fine to ditch the baggage. Great to even move on and show how he's dealt with it, but you do that with an older character.

When you state, explicitly, that the accident that turned Peter into Spider-Man happened ONLY 6 months ago, and neither he nor his aunt have any real fucks to give about Ben, you've either decided to ditch that part entirely or you've written a shitty characterization.

Adult Peter will have acknowledged and moved-on. Even a few-years-in Peter might have started to come to grips with and realized he's done more net good than his big mistake, but will still obsess of making sure May isn't hurt. 6-months-in Peter giving no fucks? Yeah, no.

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BobtheSomething
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Reply #92 on: July 11, 2017, 03:05:00 PM

When did they mention the accident was 6 months ago?  I missed it.  The movie makes it feel like he has been Spider-Man for a while, more like a year or two than 6 months.
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Reply #93 on: July 11, 2017, 07:49:10 PM

When did they mention the accident was 6 months ago?  I missed it.  The movie makes it feel like he has been Spider-Man for a while, more like a year or two than 6 months.

Ben should have at least had a mention. This is still less than a year after Ben's death according to the timeline established in Civil War. Peter's been Spidey for 6 months when Tony recruits him. He explicitly says so: (2:23) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OnOJSNktOs  and that's at the start of this film.

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Reply #94 on: July 12, 2017, 03:24:23 AM

So I liked this movie.

I am not torn about them not doing another jumping cut rendition of Uncle Ben dying and Peter Parker hearing his surrogate father saying "with great power comes with great responsibility". However. UNCLE BEN IS SPIDER MAN. Fucks sake people. Captain American always wanted to be a soldier during a time when being a soldier meant punching Hitler in the face and getting revenge for Pearl Harbor. Of course he doesn't need a tragic back story, he is the greatest generation summed up in red white and blue spandex minus none of the other things we attribute to white men in the 40s. But that's not spiderman fuck me, thats not peter parker.

Neither is he tony stark little because that's boring and comic books are bad. Spiderman is working class blue collar hero, the type of guy with a phd but would work in a public high school because helping everyone kids is more important than moving along the 20 kids who can afford his intelligence. Yes having uncle ben psychologically scaring the kids for life is a big part of that character. So at some point, uncle ben may need to show up.

As far as spideman. Again liked the movie (alot) but the following nitpicks needs to be said

1. Spiderman not really. They really emphasized boy aspects of his character. So much so I spent a good bit of the movie not taking him too seriously. And that was almost fine and they actually did show some of the "true grit" aspect of his character in the later half. Sam Remi's spiderman (not spiderman 3) did a better job of emphasizing a lot of the pain and shear struggle associated with spiderman's heroics.

2. Supporting cast has issues. I wanted to punch the fat kid in the face. Repeatedly. So much so that everything that came from his mouth almost triggered a violent outburst. Spiderman is not a CW character, he doesn't need a mother fucking guy in a god damn chair. But even going beyond that the only good supporting cast was Liz who while realistically would never talk to peter parker sold the "mary j" vibe this movie really missed. BUT FOR FUCK SAKE why they completely throw MJ actual character out the window. Man the holy hell why not call her gwen stacy fuck sake you basically wrote her...... fuck me just make new characters pretend all the ones we actually know got hit by a bus.


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Ironwood
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Reply #95 on: July 12, 2017, 03:34:36 AM

Dude, I think you missed a lot of subtext.  Like, a LOT.   
Ned was BRILLIANT.  I loved him.  Peter actually DID need a guy in the chair.  While some might see this as a departure, guy owned the role and the chemistry between them both rocked.  Liz was also a character out of place, which you understand when you
Also, it's clear they didn't want to touch Gwen Stacey with a fucking bargepole after Emma Stone and I don't blame them.  ASM was all over the shop with her and it's best forgotten for now.

Seriously, with that Sig, I can never tell if you're trolling or just daft.  It's a worry. 

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SurfD
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Reply #96 on: July 12, 2017, 04:25:05 AM

Somewhat tangental to the whole "Uncle Ben" thing:  Perhaps the Age difference with his aunt plays a much more significant role in this iteration of the spiderman universe than we are fully appreciating.   jgsugden mentions that Peter has no problem going off on a school trip and leaving May behind.  But why should he?  This isnt 60+ year old May who could be his grandmother, who just lost the "man" of the household and needs Peter to stand in to fill that role.  She is young enough that Stark is hitting on her, that the local sandwich shop guy comments on how hot she is.  We don't know what she does for a living, but it can be safely assumed that she is probably still working a 9 to 5 job, and even without her husband (assuming he even exists), she is the one who appears more likely to be taking care of Peter than needing Peter to take care of her.   That alone changes the dynamic of an entire facet of Peter's character.

In all honesty, without actually knowing how they plan to deal with the "Ben" section of the current Peter's story, we won't really know what angle they are going for.

PS: I watched that clip from Civil war.  He mentions he has had his powers for 6 months.  He mentions "Bad things happening, and if you have the power to do something about it and don't, then they happen because of you", but Ben is never actually mentioned at all.   They essentially managed to allude to the standard Ben Dying / Peter blaming himself origin beat and simultaneously paraphrase "With great power comes great responsibility" without actually touching directly on either. So at this point, all we really know is there may be some kind of "bad thing" that happened that Peter may think he could have prevented, but since Uncle Ben has never actually been mentioned, literally ever, we have no idea if he even exists in this iteration of Spiderman.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 04:29:32 AM by SurfD »

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Reply #97 on: July 12, 2017, 07:19:39 AM

Dude, I think you missed a lot of subtext.  Like, a LOT.  
Ned was BRILLIANT.  I loved him.  Peter actually DID need a guy in the chair.  While some might see this as a departure, guy owned the role and the chemistry between them both rocked.  Liz was also a character out of place, which you understand when you
Also, it's clear they didn't want to touch Gwen Stacey with a fucking bargepole after Emma Stone and I don't blame them.  ASM was all over the shop with her and it's best forgotten for now.

Seriously, with that Sig, I can never tell if you're trolling or just daft.  It's a worry.  

Its not that I don't get the subtext. Its just that I don't like it. At all. Because it sucks. Not ruin the movie suck. But coming from someone who followed spider-man in the animated series, read some comics, cried bitter tears when spectacular spider-man was canceled. I don't care what the characters look like as long as the characterization is about right and since spiderman is my sacred cow, I actually like the dynamics in the media I mentioned before. Granted this is waaaaaaaaay better than Rami's or Garfields supporting caste. But if you write gwen stacey, have a character act like gwen stacey, but call her MARY JANE? FUCKING CALL HER GWEN STACEY. Flash thompson also sucked for the same reason. Call him Harry Osborn, just do it please thank you bye.

Also fat kid repeatedly attempting to blow spidermans secret identity for the stupidest reasons? Come on. If your going to give spiderman a cisco ramon for the love of christ don't have the cisco be that stupid.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 07:24:30 AM by MediumHigh »

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Reply #98 on: July 12, 2017, 07:42:28 AM

Ned wasn't stupid; he was just an average teenager.  Having just gone through a daughter as a teen and now having a son as one, Ned was as smart as 90% of teens I've encountered through their friends. Yes, that's terrifying, but it's accurate. (Yes it applied to us at that age as well.)

Fuck, if anything boys get dumber than Ned when they hit their early 20's. The shit I just dealt with regarding a house of 20-something boys is proof of that to me.

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Reply #99 on: July 12, 2017, 08:35:58 AM

Ned wasn't stupid; he was just an average teenager.  Having just gone through a daughter as a teen and now having a son as one, Ned was as smart as 90% of teens I've encountered through their friends. Yes, that's terrifying, but it's accurate. (Yes it applied to us at that age as well.)

Fuck, if anything boys get dumber than Ned when they hit their early 20's. The shit I just dealt with regarding a house of 20-something boys is proof of that to me.

If I want to punch the kid in his face every time he talks must be a sign of my advancing age.

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jgsugden
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Reply #100 on: July 12, 2017, 09:28:57 AM

... jgsugden mentions that Peter has no problem going off on a school trip and leaving May behind.  But why should he?  This isnt 60+ year old May who could be his grandmother, who just lost the "man" of the household and needs Peter to stand in to fill that role...
It has little to do with age. It has everything to do with the guilt of being responsible for her soulmates death... and her not knowing that he actually does deserve some of the blame. Peter destroyed her life and ended Ben's. And he is 15. That fucks a kid up more than 6 months can fix, especially when he had no way to share it.  He doesn't have to be emo Parker, but he has to feel that weight to be the Peter Parker we've seen for 50 years. You can't make Cap a Gulf War vet without changing his DNA.  You can't make Stark a poor repairman without changing his DNA. You can't make Parker without the Ben trauma without changing the fundamental DNA of Spider-man.

Further to add here: Tomei is talking about a script scene that was never shot in which May saves a kid, Peter sees it, May doesn't know he sees it, May doesn't tell Peter because it would worry him, and this inspires Peter to take his approach to being a hero.

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Reply #101 on: July 12, 2017, 09:54:49 AM

aunt may the retired super model is not something im going to get used to anytime this decade.

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Khaldun
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Reply #102 on: July 12, 2017, 11:17:12 AM

Ned is basically Peter Parker's best friend from the Ultimate Spider-Man book, a kid named Ganke Lee. I have no idea how consciously they were basing him on Ganke, but that's fundamentally who he is. And he's fine. Peter actually needs a good friend like that to anchor him into a high school reality--in the early Lee/Ditko books, he really doesn't have a good friend at first, which is why he is first so selfish about getting spider powers, because he's a nerd who gets beaten up by everyone. I think it's time to evolve that plotline at least, and they did a good job with it here.
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Reply #103 on: July 12, 2017, 12:19:20 PM

You can't make Cap a Gulf War vet without changing his DNA. 

You can, however, do that for Punisher.  Because all that matters is his fucking family get wasted.   why so serious?

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
TheWalrus
Terracotta Army
Posts: 3242


Reply #104 on: July 12, 2017, 02:02:42 PM

This is the movie you guys need.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za77OuZ2Irs

Paelos: Somebody find that post where I declared Seattle dead, because those fuckers are NFL cockroaches in the NFC.
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