Tag Archives: Spiderman

Finding Originality In Unoriginality


The Summer of Sequels

Spring 2015 is in full swing! With that comes a clear view of which direction the captains of Hollywood are steering their studios for the summer. Yet again, it seems to be that the soup of the day is sequels, reboots, and recycles. The amount of original material vying to be the next summer blockbuster pales in comparison to the number of continuations and remakes that are in the coffers.

Not that I’m really complaining. There’s a number of them that I am really looking forward to this summer. The way I see it though, each of these movies has a few obstacles to overcome if they want to hold their own. A few off my list are below:

Avengers: Age of Ultron

(Marvel/Disney)-May 1st

We already know the plot: Our favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes team up to defeat the bad guys, whilst setting up the scene for our next foray into superheroland. I’ve always been a sucker for superhero movies, and ever since 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel has been on fire, pumping out blockbuster after blockbuster. It seems that there’s been a trend for each new release to have to top its predecessors, both in the terms of action and destruction, as well as character crossovers. The other night I rewatched the first Avengers to catch back up before Ultron and I had to press pause and read a refresher on who did what and where and in which movie, because in my head it was all a run on montage of action and explosions. I think there in lies the danger for both Avengers 2 and the rest of the upcoming Marvel films; they run the risk of audiences becoming bored with more of the same. Although, the rumors that I’ve been hearing about Captain America: Civil War give me hope that Marvel is going to be getting back to some more story driven plots.

Jurassic World


(Universal)-June 12th

This is the movie that I want to be excited the most about this summer (and it probably is!), but I have major reservations. The original Jurassic Park was probably one of the most memorable movies of my childhood. If I’m being honest here, it was my love for that first trip to the Park that made me convince myself that I enjoyed the two sequels. Now, 22 years later, the carrot is being dangled again. I just read that Jurassic World is considered a direct sequel to the original film, ignoring the events of 2 & 3. There was another article that had a quote from Spielberg himself, saying that he is happy with the direction that this new film takes the franchise. I also read that this film’s director grew up with the same love for the original film as I did. But, I’ve already been lied to twice, so my expectations are low. That said, I’ll be in the theater opening weekend.

Ted 2


(Universal)-June 26th

Comedy sequels have a notoriously hard time living up to their predecessors. They tend to fall into the pattern of recycling the same jokes from the first movie so that through the power of familiarity, not humor, they can weasel a few more dollars out of your wallet. Now, I’m a huge fan of the stupid, irreverent, and crass humor that is Seth MacFarlane, but he is notorious for beating a dead horse. The first Ted wrapped all the storylines up pretty tightly, but the trailers for Ted 2 seem to dole out at least a passable reason why we are revisiting the characters. If MacFarlane can find a way to not rehash his first film, then this could be one of the rare comedy sequels worth seeing.

Terminator: Genisys


(Paramount)-July 1st

The last two Terminator movies have lacked a key element that was a driving force in the first two: suspense. T3 played off as a straight action movie, and Terminator: Salvation was heavier on the drama then it had to be. It seems, from the trailers at least, that Genisys is shooting for the in-your-face, heavy action, summer thrill ride of a movie, instead of the paced, suspenseful action that started it all. I hope they get their formula right this time, but if not, they can always send back another machine from the future and reset the timeline, yet again.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation


(Paramount)-July 31st

If you pretend that MI:2 never happened, then you have a solid series that has been running strong with the same lead actor for nearly 20 years. Tom Cruise, love him or hate him, has made the role of IMF Agent Ethan Hunt his own, and his commitment to the role is one of the things that make the series one of the more enjoyable in the genera. I think the fact that there has been a different director for each film has helped maintain its freshness, even after all these years. Tom Cruise wanting to do a lot of his own stunts definitely adds to the flavor as well. As long as the writers stay away from the camp and ridiculousness that plagued the 2nd installment, I will always look forward to a new Mission: Impossible flick.

The Fantastic Four


(20th Century Fox)-August 7th

It’s a morbid curiosity that fuels my desire to see this movie. The Fantastic Four is one of the Marvel properties that they sold the movie rights to back before Disney bought the company and turned Marvel’s movie studio in to a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s been only 10 years since Fox, who had bought the rights, released their oft panned first Fantastic Four movie. It would now seem that Fox is trying to grasp at straws the way Sony did with Spider-man. Add into that drama the personal and professional issues of the films director Josh Trank, and this is set up to be a train wreck that I don’t want to miss, when it hits Netflix, of course.

The Transporter: Refueled


(Europa)-September 4th

I recently read that Jason Statham turned down reprising his role in this series because they offered him a 3 picture deal for the same money as only one of the previous films in the series. Again, I have super mixed feelings on that. The first Transporter movie was phenomenal. From there, there was a sharp nosedive into mediocrity. Casting another actor as Frank Martin seems a bit odd, but it works for James Bond, so I guess anything is possible. This is another series that would do well to go back to its roots. The first film had a less is more feel to it that set it apart from other movies in it’s category. Hopefully they bring the story back to basics, or this movie could wind up on a rack at the dollar store very quickly.

Just Like Starting Over

Breakout Tour: Day 1
Clifton, NJ

So I’m laying here in my bunk thinking of writing this blog and it feels like I’m planning the screenplay for a too soon reboot of a major motion picture franchise. Kind of like when it was announced that a new Spider-Man trilogy was being made only a few years after the third one in the Tobey Maguire trilogy was completed. It almost feels like a continuation of the last tour, but lower budget, and with different players. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking this tour when we’re just leaving the gate, I’m just stating the fact that this is across the board a much more D.I.Y. tour.)

So, welcome to the Breakout Tour, feat. Dive and Man on Earth! I’m not exactly sure where we’re breaking out from, but wherever it is I just hope that it doesn’t involve me having to tattoo the schematics of a prison on my back….

This run was booked entirely by Dive, hitting many of the markets that they’ve been cultivating for the last few years.

Just a little back history, the last time Man on Earth did a run with Dive was back in November of ’08, coincidentally the first show that I met Nate at. Back then Dive was a completely different lineup, well, except for Johnny Dive, the lead singer. (Man on Earth was at their beginnings too, Nate being the only one still around now that the lineup is solidified.) I haven’t seen Dive play since their 2009 album release party for their record ‘Picture Perfect’, another show that Man on Earth played with them. Needless to say, there was a bit of nostalgia seeing them take stage again.

I spent my morning/afternoon in transit, taking the bus from Great Barrington, MA down to NYC to meet up with the rest of the guys before heading across the river to New Jersey. My bus dropped me off at the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan, so I began to walk north toward the direction of Stevie G’s house, where the band was headed from. Traffic was so horrendous that I walked 12 blocks in less time then the guys could drive as much. When I saw them pulling up I just walked into the street and hopped on without them having to stop and pull over (being that traffic was at a nearly a complete standstill!).

The club was only like a 45 minute ride away from Manhattan… when there’s no traffic, that is. Three and a half hours later, we finally pulled up to the front doors of the club. Dive had save us a spot right next to the side stage door, so we had prime load in conditions. The bar had a classic ‘metal’ club feel, with black painted walls and a plethora of band stickers covering them on every reachable surface. Since Clifton is Johnny Dive’s hometown the staff was super friendly and treated us very well.

I finally was able to get behind the light board again, which felt like a long time coming. It felt good to actually be doing something that felt productive again during the set as opposed to sitting by the merch booth the whole night. Dive had their own DIY lighting system that has given me a few ideas for getting my own cost effective show in the works.

After the show we had to wait a bit to load out so Nate and I went across the street to another pub to grab a snack. There we discovered a new favorite snack…. They were these pizza roll bites, but instead of a doughy outside these had a crunchy egg roll shell. They were so good we had to get a second order.

After we finally were able to load in we took off and headed to a Walmart parking lot for the night. Most of the gigs on this tour are within a couple of hours of each other, so that gives us plenty of time each day. Because of that we fell asleep good, knowing there wasn’t a huge rush to wake up and hurry over to the next city…