In 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker has a poster of Rear Window hanging in his room.
So Web-Head knows a thing or two about movies.
He might know, for example, that long-time Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Hermann didn’t score Rear Window, which is noteworthy because he scored Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, Marnie, and even The Birds (which doesn’t have a real musical score, but Hermann modulated electronic noises to create bird sounds, basically scoring it without music. Neat, huh?).
But, in Rear Window, he’s noticeably absent.
Which means one of two things for our friendly neighborhood film geek:
Either A) he knows this, and because he knows this, he knows also that Hermann scored Psycho. Knows (probably) that Psycho was remade shot-for-shot in the nineties by Gus Van Sant (presumably laments this as a true crime like most high school film fans). Assuming he’s even mildly aware of that film, he probably knows that they reused the score, too, only it was adapted by some musical genius named Danny Elfman.
And if he knows anything at all about Danny Elfman (and prey he should, if he knows anything at all about film), he’d know he spent a good chunk of the year 2001 scoring a little movie called…Spider-Man.
Which…I mean, that’s gotta really screw poor Peter Parker up. Right?
Cognitive Dissonance. That’s how he gets by. He’s pretending he’s never seen or heard of this film Spider-Man, this mega blockbuster trilogy based on years and years and years of comic books that everybody in the universe and all of their collective grandmas have read and loved, and the entire city of New York is pretending right along with him, because we’re all just creeps or children…
Or (B) Rear Window is the only wildly famous Hitchcock film that exists in the filmic universe of The Amazing Spider-Man. There was no Bernard Herrmann, maybe never even a Psycho, and obviously Danny Elfman doesn’t exist.
Or, he does, but he certainly never did the music for Spider-Man, because what the hell is Spider-Man?
All of which begs the question of all questions: how is it even possible that Spider-Man could live in a 21st century world that doesn’t know about Spider-Man?
What is the world we see in these comic book films? I mean, it looks like our world, but…
But it’s a terrifying pale imitation. A world where fruit tastes like wood. This synthetic, hollow world is in every single Marvel film.
That, or those films are populated by fools.
I mean…what, are they lost? Born yesterday? Born in the dark? Never heard of Spider-Man?
What the holy hell? What do they do for fun? What characters do they read about? What colorful heroes plop around in their dreams?
How can we pretend they’re anything like us? These simpletons. These slack-jawed extras that are always canon fodder for villains or giant robots in modern comic book blockbuster films. We’re supposed to feel pity for them? Recognize a kinship in them, that they’re just like us? The masses, waiting to be protected by a hero?
Only they’re nothing like us, because they don’t even know who Spider-Man is!
Have they never been to a Macy’s Day Parade? Never been to any store, ever? Never played a video game, or visited a comic shop, or freaking opened their eyes for one tiny second in their entire, miserable lives?
They don’t know who Tobey Maguire is? Never heard of Seabiscuit? Kirsten Dunst? Bring It On?
Come on, guys. No Bring It On? Seriously? I hope the Green Goblin drops me off a bridge, because I’m out. This world is ignorant.
Or it’s just a bland drag world that doesn’t even have fake super-heroes.
Sure, they’ve got the real thing, ho hum, didlee doo. So what do they have to replace that giant hole in their hearts that used to be filled with childhood imagination and wonder and glee? Pictures of us? The audience? Gross, slouched in our seats, covered in popcorn crumbs, Coca-Cola pumping through our veins? Are we rare in a world with actual super heroes? Something to be admired? Did we switch places?
That would be cruel, to see us plastered on the sides of cereal boxes, staring down at the kids with our movie shot eyes, filling the pages of comic books that line the racks of the 7-11s in Netflix’s Daredevil, for example. No child deserves to see us.
No, the children don’t need to see that every time they go literally anywhere, instead of the friendly visages of comic book super heroes.
No, the poor children in comic book movies probably just get straight up nothing.
No “God bless everyone of us!” Tiny Tim, no, not today.
They live in orphanages straight out of the Dark Knight Rises. Spend time with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and end up working in sewers for Bane when they age out. Then Batman beats them up. Batman is no fun for them. They’ve never heard of Adam West, don’t have Family Guy. They don’t get Danny Elfman, so they don’t get The Simpsons.
If Batman doesn’t beat them up, they can wait for him to show up and save them from atomic bombs, that they probably secretly wish would go off, because they live in a world with no pop culture.
Maybe Macy Gray from Spider-Man 2002, but that’s it.
They don’t even have freaking Beetlejuice, because then they’d know who Michael Keaton was, and if they knew who Michael Keaton was, they might just know a thing or two about Bat Men and rubber nipples.
Imagine how much empty ugliness there would be if you just removed every image of Spider-Man from the Earth.
The Earth would be nonsense. I’d own a lot of empty papers stapled together: comic books about nothing and no one.
There would be a lot of sad boys and girls’ rooms with boring walls and boring sheets because someone forgot to tell them about Spider-Man. Oops.
How deep does this go?
Is there no Sam Raimi in the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man universe? No Evil Dead, no Ash?
That’s a bummer.
I mean, and there isn’t even an Andrew Garfield Spider-Man universe in our actual universe anymore.
Paradox closed? Until they neatly fold a new Spider-Man into The Avengers, but I don’t think I can take it, because our actual, modern world has thus far survived two major Spider-Man film franchises, and on some level, it’s affected us all, ya know? Even the measly peons of Marvel Cinematic Universe New York.
It must have.
The butterfly effect.
Apparently, a mosquite can fart in the woods and it’ll create a tornado halfway across the Earth (imagine what your farts can do).
Take away two major film franchises from the last fifteen years from the cinematic consciousness of the extras in the new Avengers film? Don’t expect it will have no consequences. You’re basically scraping away the modern western world’s identity. Maybe they eat out of their butts, sing songs with their eyes, because I don’t know who these people are.
Who are the Avengers saving? Who cares? Who even are the Avengers? People without interesting taste, for sure, because they’ve never seen a damn film about Spider-Man.
It’s hard to type because my tears have coated the keyboard.
At least, whenever they bring Dracula into modern times, they have the dignity to have him plop into a modern world that knows a thing or two about Dracula.
“Ho hum!” the characters cheer mightily, together. “He can’t be the actual Dracula! There is no actual Dracula! Just a book…” but then WHAM, it’s too late, because Dracula’s gone and killed one of ’em. Sucked their blood, has their guts for garters, that sort of thing.
These people have to adjust (and fast!) to the fact that something they thought was fake is actually real. Bummer.
And, unattractive as it is, these people would be us.
Not the schmucks who don’t know who Spider-Man is (Pretending you don’t know about superheroes is the hardest method acting gig in Hollywood. It must be, but it usually goes to extras).
Because Spider-Man is on that level, right? Dracula level? Santa Claus level? Captain Hook level? Batman too?
If this new Spider-Man doesn’t know immediately who he is, and visit Tobey Maguire at some point, and if they don’t ride a small horse together, then I don’t think I can take it.
Because I’m a horrible old man now.
Goodbye, twilight of my youth. Hello true night.
Went straight from developmentally arrested millennial to decaying fossil in a blink of an eye, because I realized that movies aren’t real. What a horrible day.
Yes, I’ll watch Batman v. Superman. I’ll be scoffing in the third row, at these fools who have never even heard of themselves before. World’s Greatest Detective? Pssh. There’s a clue behind you, Bats. It’s called a Redbox. Yuk, yuk, yuk…
But I’ll be the only one laughing.
Because I’m like old man Peter Pan now. From Hook. Forgot how to have fun.
Forgot how to think happy thoughts.
Forgot how to fly.
And you know what’s even worse than all that?
The fact that even though sad lawyer Peter Pan from Hook has at least heard of Peter Pan (because, unlike everyone in every superhero movie ever, he cares at least the tiniest sliver of a fraction of a fingernail about pop culture), he still can’t save Rufio.
Can’t save him. Nope.
Rufio. How sad.
Spoiler alert. RIP.
Gonna miss that guy.
There! I just wrote a haiku about Rufio! Bucket List complete.
Like the old man I’ve become, I can prepare to die.