So I saw the new Spider-Man film at a preview in Nashville tonight. I’m not sure when the review embargo gets lifted, but I’m not going to offer any judgments or spoilers here. If you saw Tom Holland’s turn as the web-slinger in his extended cameo in Captain America: Civil War you’ve got a good sense of what to expect from this Marvel Studios summer tentpole. If you liked the new Spidey in the Civil War flick you’ll love the new Spider-Man movie. If this new take on Spidey turned you off in the last Captain America outing you’ll really hate the new Spider-Man movie.
The new flick doubles-down on the notion of Spider-Man as a young teenager and it’s a fun and fresh take — the original Peter Parker was introduced to the world as a 17 year old, but in the current Marvel universe, Parker was bit by the spider that changed his life at the age of 15, and this latest iteration begins shortly after that fateful sting and the events in Civil War. But the thing I liked best about the new Spider-Man is how it shouted out the animated series from 1967, and how it felt like a love letter to the gritty New York City that those old cartoons captured so well: the classic cartoon theme song is quoted in the opening credits and the phrase “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” had me recalling the title sequence from the old cartoon which is also quoted in the lyrics of the theme song. The film also highlights music from the Ramones, and spotlights old school NYC icons like the Staten Island Ferry and the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island — all icons of pre-Giuliani Gotham when New York stood for gritty toughness instead of bundled derivatives and the effete pleasures of locally-sourced, artisanal, small batch conspicuous consumption.
Check out old school Spidey in old school New York with this playlist of a ton of episodes from the 1967 animated series that even predates me. Even if you don’t have the time to watch this right now, just leave it on in the background to dig the flat-out jams that accompanied this funkiest-ever Spider-Man…
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