Monday, July 23, 2012

Backworlds and The Amazing Spider-Man

M. Pax: Brains AND Beauty. 
My wonderful and talented friend, Ms. M. Pax, has official launched the sequel to fantastic book, The Backworlds. Time to celebrate!

Craze and his friends continue their adventures in Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge. See what role chocolate plays in the galaxy this time.

The interstellar portal opens, bringing in a ship that should no longer exist. A battleship spoiling for a fight, yet the war with Earth ended two generations ago. The vessel drops off a Water-breather, a type of Backworlder thought to be extinct. She claims one of Craze’s friends is a traitor who summoned the enemy to Pardeep Station. A betrayal worse than his father’s, if Craze lives to worry about it.

Available for all ereaders from:
Amazon / Amazon UK / B&N / Smashwords
iTunes and Kobo will be available shortly.

If you haven’t read The Backworlds yet, it’s available as a free read from many outlets. See HERE for links. []

Inspiring the words M. Pax writes, Mary spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the husband unit and two loving cats. She write science fiction mostly and has a slight obsession with Jane Austen. Mary blogs at

So go check out her books! If you're a fan of pure science-fiction, you will not be disappointed.

# # # #

Who's Better??????

Anyone else catch The Amazing Spider-Man movie yet? I will admit that I was VERY skeptical about the whole reboot. I thought that the first trilogy was too recent, but I love the Spider-Man franchise. Have since I was a kid.

I was completely surprised! It looks like there's a big debate going on right now between the two Spider-Men. Who is the better Web-Slinger? Is it Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield?

I weigh in on 3 points:

1) Blinded Me With Science. I have to give the science project blue ribbon to Andrew Garfield here. I know Maguire's Peter Parker was a science genius too, but I just didn't feel like you got to see much of that in practical use. Maybe it has to do with how each Spider-Man makes webs.

Garfield stays more true to the comic book and he uses his scientific skills to make these cool wrist thingies that shoot webs. I never really liked director Sam Raimi's take on Maguire's Spidey shooting webs from veins in his wrist or whatever. I mean, if you're going to go the biological/organic route, why not have the web shooting out of his ass. It's more accurate, right?

2) Nerds 'R Us. Both actors portrayed the geeky, loner, science nerd very well. However, they each had such a different take on it. Maguire is obviously a big time nerd, and he gets bullied by Flash Thompson pretty good. He's an outcast until he gets his powers, and that's when he stands up to Flash. Garfield's version of Peter Parker is a little more brooding. Not as helpless. He tells Flash to stop beating up on some poor kid and the jock then kicks the crap out of Parker instead. 

Here, Toby Maguire's portrayal is actually more accurate and faithful to the comic book. But I kind of like Garfield's take on it a little more. Yeah, he's a geek and a loser, but inside, he's got the heart of a hero. Just not the means...until the spider bite.

3) "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." I give the edge to the Sam Raimi version here. It's very true to the comic book, but it's the main theme of the first movie and it's carried out from beginning to end extremely well. Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker uses his powers not to fight crime, but to make some money to buy a car to impress MJ. But when he lets a robber go, who goes on to kill Uncle Ben, it's a major turning point in his life.

They did a great job in Garfield's case too, but it just seems the journey from geek to hero isn't as much of a stretch for him. And the part where after his uncle's death and he's listening to Uncle Ben's final message in the form of a voicemail just seemed kinda hokey to me. Most voicemails are either quick and to the point, frantic and incoherent, or drone on and on. Here, the voicemail is profound and just a little too scripted to be believable.

4) Smart Ass! If you've read any of the Spider-Man comics, you know that he is a pretty big smart ass. In the middle of the fight, he's talking trash with zingers and put-downs galore. It's a major trait of his. Tobey Maguire did spew a few one-liners for sure, but Garfield's Spider-Man stays more true to the wise-cracking New Yorker that's deliberately taunting his enemies in order to play with their minds. In the scene where he starts pretending to be horrified at the sight of a criminal flashing a little knife comes to mind. Spider-Man has a sense of humor, and there's little bit of arrogance when he's donning the suit and taking on the bad guys.

Overall, I have to give Andrew Garfield's take on the humorous side of Spider-Man the edge.

Other things of note:

Action: I give the Tobey McGuire trilogy mucho propos. Much longer, more intense action scenes.
Romance: Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have much better chemistry, in my opinion
Bad Guys: When you think of Spider-Man, you think of The Green Goblin. I really liked how The Lizard's character tied into Peter Parker's quest to learn the truth about his parents. I'm going with the reptile on this one.
Flash Thompson: I really liked Garfield's bully much better here. He's not the typical caricature of a jock we see torture Tobey McGuire. He's flat and 2-dimensional in the original trilogy. But with the new version, we know that Flash ironically loves Spider-Man (he's wearing the spider shirt) and even shows Peter some compassion after Uncle Ben dies. In the comics, Flash and and Peter actually become best friends.
Spider-Man 3: This movie sucked. Just brought the whole trilogy down. It was a bad movie, and it was not a satisfying way to end it.


Melissa Bradley said...

I'm not a big Spider-man fan, but I enjoyed this one, though the snark was meh and not well-written. It could have been so much better. I don't like that they contrived to have Peter's father be the science genius who develops the spider that bites Peter. Way too convenient and very, very bad writing.

I loved Emma as Gwen. She was a proper partner to Peter and not a screaming dumbass, damsel in distress like M.J.

Both Spidermans were cool, though, and I liked both versions overall.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I thought the snark was perfect! As you said, more true to the comics. I was really skeptical as well, but this Spiderman really impressed me.

Kelley Lynn said...

Can't wait to see this one!

Ciara said...

I'm hoping to see Spider-man. Congratulations to M. Pax! She's so sweet.

farawayeyes said...

Interesting post. I have not been too interested in the'new' Spiderman. Thanks for the insight.

Also read your post from Friday - a very nice tribute to a senseless act of violence against all mankind.

Jay Noel said...

Melissa: With my writer's hat, I have to agree with the bad writing and Peter's father bit. MJ was pretty useless.

Alex: I'm with you on the snark.

Kelley: You'll be surprised how good it is.

Ciara: She is!!!

faraway: Thanks so much. Very senseless, and sure enough, his picture is plastered everywhere. Hopefully the focus comes back to the victims and survivors.

M Pax said...

I appreciate you joining in the launch today, Jay. Thank you.

I always loved the spiderman song. Will probably see this version.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

The only thing I liked about the Tobey Maguire versions WAS Tobey Maguire. He's better looking than Andrew Garfield. But Andrew's movie is way better than any of Tobey's.

Tiyana said...

Agree, agree, agree, agree!

I also liked how they developed the doctor/Lizard's character, as well. I didn't feel like he was a villain so much as an unfortunate soul who gets in over his head...

Kinda refreshing, when you get so many cardboard or one-dimensional villains in comic book movies.

But then I thought it was odd, or coincidental, how he seemed to suffer from the same split-personality I-hear-voices situation as the Green Goblin in the other films... I wonder was that intentional or actually how it was in the comics? o_O

Samantha said...

Congratulations to M. Pax!

I've had my reservations because like you said, the last trilogy was not that long ago. I don't claim to be a huge Spiderman fan, but I'm a big movie fan. I like to be entertained.

I think you may have convinced me to go see it :D

Rusty Webb said...

Great breakdown of the Spidey movie. I know in the old Comics, back when Flash was still bullying Peter, he was the president of the Spider-Man fan club. I thought the shirt was great wink at the comics past.

Great stuff.

The Phoenix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay Noel said...

Mary: You are so very welcome! I love the Spiderman song too. Even the Michael Buble version.

Michael: I agree with you totally on both points.

Tiyana: I thought the exact same thing about that scene. There were a couple little tributes to the first trilogy - like when he found himself in the middle of a wrestling ring.

Samantha: I think you'll like it!

Rusty: Love the irony too.

David P. King said...

Cool! I just heard about this book. In need of a good sci fi read.

And the new spider-man was great. Had the same misgivings you did, but it was everything the original was not, so I eagerly await the next installment. :)

Phats said...

I can honestly say I have never seen any of the spiderman movies, I have been on the ride though at Universal Studios and kicks ass.

Did you get your prize?

Jay Noel said...

David: Just saw Dark Knight Rising. It was really good too. Might have to share my thoughts on the controversial ending.

Phats: Seriously? You need to check them out. Got my prize on Monay! I'll have to show it off with a pic on here. Thanks so much.

Christine Rains said...

Yay for M. Pax!

As for Spider-Man, I was never a Mcguire fan. I've liked what I've seen in the commercials for the new guy, but I heard he isn't geeky enough.

Morgan said...

Go M. Pax! She's so awesome. :D

And I have yet to see the new Spiderman... I'm a little skeptical as well!

Anonymous said...

I'm so far behind in the movie realm. Wifey wants to see Savages. I want to see The Dark Knight. Lids want to see Ice Age again. Missed Spiderman altogether. I need to do a movie marathon and just leave the fam at home.

The Desert Rocks said...

Great review and I haven't seen the new Spiderman yet. I love Toby Maguire though and I'm sure Hollywood did a great job of trying to out do themselves. I don't think it's fair to compare the old one with the newer one because there has been newer technology, newer makeup and newer marketing surveys finding out what people really want to see in their Spiderman.

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