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“The Amazing Spider-Man” sneak peek reveals more details about webslinger’s return to the big screen

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Your friendly neighborhood wall-crawler returns to theaters this year, and a worldwide event held earlier today that revealed new footage from “The Amazing Spider-Man” served as a great reminder that Peter Parker will be giving The Avengers and Batman some competition at the box office.

Held simultaneously in 15 cities across the world, the “Amazing Spider-Man” preview event featured appearances by director Marc Webb and producer Avi Arad, as well as cast members Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, and Peter Parker himself, Andrew Garfield. And while the short Q&A with the guests of honor didn’t offer much in the way of new details about the film, the event also played host to not one but two collections of footage: a 3D presentation of the brand new trailer for “The Amazing Spider-Man” that debuts tonight, as well as a short “sizzle reel” featuring selected scenes from the film, both finished and unfinished.

Here’s a brief recap of what was shown in both pieces of footage:

First, it’s worth noting that the new trailer for “The Amazing Spider-Man” offered a great indication of how 3D filming will play into the visual element of the film. Rather than seeming gimmicky or yet another victim of 3D post-conversion, the the visuals in the trailer appeared sharp and higher definition than standard 2D films — which is the way 3D films have found the most success. Later in the event, Webb commented on this fact, reminding the audience that much of “The Amazing Spider-Man” was filmed in 3D rather than converted after the fact.

As for the trailer itself, we get to see some great scenes of Peter Parker (both as Spider-Man and out of costume) swinging around New York City and interacting with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), as well as some shots of Peter in a makeshift laboratory of sorts, working on his web shooters. This was one of the major reveals of the trailer, with very clear confirmation that Spider-Man will be using mechanical web-shooters of his own design. The shooters feature a glowing, red, circular symbol in their center, and appear to “charge up” as he delivers webbing.

During the trailer, we see Peter working on the web-shooters in his lab, and there are a number of shots in which the red glow of the shooters is visible during action scenes. Near the end of the trailer, there’s a close-up shot of the shooters being “charged” before Spider-Man swings into view.

The trailer also offers quite a few scenes of Peter interacting with Gwen and her family, which includes her police officer father, George Stacy (Denis Leary). The footage emphasized that Spider-Man won’t be seen as a hero at first, with Peter seen arguing with Gwen’s father about Spidey’s motives over dinner, and later brawling with a group of police attempting to subdue him. (He’s also missing his mask during this scene — something that adds an interesting wrinkle to the story.)

While the up-close look at the web-shooters was a big moment, the reveal of several scenes featuring Spidey’s nemesis were also big crowd-pleasers. Dr. Curt Conners was seen in both his human form (as played by Rhys Ifans) and his reptilian alter ego, The Lizard, though more was shown of the former than the latter. Peter and Dr. Connors clearly share some connections that go beyond mentor and student in the film, and the additional footage revealed later at the event confirmed that Connors and Peter’s father were professional colleagues in the past.

At one point in the trailer, we see Dr. Connors inject himself with what can only be the serum that changes him into The Lizard, and we’re treated to a barrage of brief images showing The Lizard rampaging through the city. There are several shots of The Lizard crawling through the sewers and ripping a hole in a car, the floor, and several other set pieces, and near the end of the preview, there’s a nice shot of Spider-Man and The Lizard duking it out high in the sky.

Before the next reel of footage was shown, several of the cast members answered some prepared questions. Asked about the “Untold Story” tagline the movie is sporting, Webb said the film will focus on several elements of Peter Parker’s origin story that haven’t been explored on the big screen so far — including “the emotional consequence of being an orphan.”

The second reel featured some unfinished footage, but also a few great work-in-progress action sequences and a nice scene with Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Martin Sheen, who plays Peter’s uncle in the film. Not only did the scene offer a great look at the relationship between Peter and Gwen (which seems to have great chemistry), but it also offered an indication of how Sheen will be playing Uncle Ben in the film — which is very much a modern take on the character and his relationship with Peter. At the risk of spoiling a key plot element, the scene might also foreshadow one of Peter’s darkest moments, as Ben mentions that one of Peter’s decisions is forcing him change shifts at work and be somewhere he might not have been otherwise (and any Spidey fan knows how that usually works out for the people in Peter’s life).

The extra footage also included a scene that showcases one of the biggest changes in tone from the previous “Spider-Man” franchise, as we get to see Spider-Man spouting a constant stream of quips while he subdues a car thief. One thing noted by many comics-friendly critics of the original franchise is the more emo, angsty tone the series developed with each installment, and the new footage from “The Amazing Spider-Man” appears to take a far more lighthearted approach to the webslinger’s famous never-ending commentary while stopping crimes.

On that note, the new footage also showcased Spider-Man enhanced agility and web-swinging abilities, with several scenes in which Spidey dodges bullets and leaps, flips, twists, and contorts his body in mid-air to avoid projectiles. If nothing else, the new Spider-Man clearly seems to be a more limber take on the character.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” hits theaters this July, but keep an eye on IFC.com for more coverage of today’s sneak peek event, including some upcoming lists that break down some of the specific changes you’ll see in this new film as compared to the previous “Spider-Man” franchise.

What do you think of the footage described here? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.