Some of the shots in the new Amazing Spider-Man trailer are particularly interesting. Some of them will be especially so when you get to see them in 3D.
Here's a selection of shots from the trailer, with some notes. Click on any of these images to make them bigger.
She has spider webs eminating from her torch. Not a euphemism.
Some of the POV stuff we saw in the first teaser. Looks a lot less fake by night. Webb has said that this style of shot is interspersed throughout the film. I'm not going to put all of the captures up here - you'll see them in the trailer as you watch it - but they don't sit well with me at all.
The trailer's first look at The Lizard. Several shots give you a fairly good look at his face - here are the rest, not a snout between them.
I put those in chronological order with the exception of the gas one, as that's what I want to talk about now.
We've already had it spoiled for us what The Lizard is doing here, but this trailer reveals the scope of his plans.
Check out this Ghostbusters-scale cloud of badness, for example.
That seems to be caused by a cannister of the biological weapon being fired up into the sky. Makes me wonder why Webb composed his shot of the projectile being launched with it going down frame, however.
Are there some fired downwards? Has Webb just chosen some ineffective screen direction? Is he playing games with up and down?
Actually, you might note that whoever cut the trailer flopped several shots to make them fit together better in this edit. All of these shots are mirror images, as demonstrated by the text, and several other may well have been reflected too.
Another odd bit of jiggery pokery, while we're on the subject, comes right at the end. These shots have been cut together out of sequence, to better finish on a hero shot of Spider-Man.
I think a shot has been optically cropped in this trailer, to create an emphasis that isn't there in the raw material. It's in this scene, where Peter is unmasked. We start on a shot-as-shot, and end on a blow-up, I think.
Several shots in the trailer focus on another scene we've been hearing a good bit about. There's something bad going down on the bridge, and Spider-Man ends up having to save an awful lot of people.
One of the recurring motifs in the trailer is the image of eyes with reflections in them.
Some shots are particularly interesting in 3D. Webb is not afraid to use negative space and have things "come out" of the screen. Look at Spidey's feet here, for example.
In stereovision, they come right out. The shot is framed specifically so that there's no chance of occlusion around the edge, but it is quite extreme in how much the volume is pushed, and how close the feet come to the audience. Still, I think people will have a lot of fun with these moments.
Getting away from the purely visual, let's see what the dialogue illuminates.
Around the 1:20 mark, Peter says:
My parents left when I was very young.As opposed to died. Interesting. Not to say he's right, or telling the truth.
Around 1:25, somebody says:
Did you tell the boy about his father?Is that Norman Osborn? That's one rumour going round. The actor you see is Michael Massee, and he was rumoured to be playing Osborn a very long time ago. Officially, though, he's playing David Lowell, the Osborn employee who transformed and took on the alias Sundown.
At 1:34 Connors says:
If you want the truth about your parents, Peter, come and get it.It's worth noting that this before he transforms, so he has interactions with Peter about "the secret" fairly early in the narrative.
There's been a biological attack on New York City.I'm... not sure I understand The Lizard's plan. What good will this do him?
And then, at 1:59, I believe that's The Lizard we can hear speaking. Perhaps. He says:
Do you think what happened to you, Peter, was an accident? Do you have any idea what you really are?It seems to me that Webb and co. have changed Spider-Man's origins considerably. To my eyes and ears it seems like there's something latent in his DNA, possibly put there by his father, and it is simply activated within the time frame of this story - probably by a spider bite, maybe not.
I've got a feeling that switch isn't going to go down terribly well with a lot of fans.
Most of Gwen Stacy's dialogue serves to demonstrate that she knows about Peter's alias, which is another interesting piece of the set-up. It's going to put her in danger, of course, but it also puts her at odds with her Father in some ways.
All in all, it's an interesting trailer with a lot of compelling elements, and a few things I remain unconvinced by. There's a lot more to discuss - the lab coat, the blackboard, etc. - so, please, take it away.