TODAY'S FEATURE IS BLOG #3674 - Yesterday, Tina, Vinnie, and I attended the first showing of The Amazing Spider-Man 2012 film at our local theater. Yesterday, July 3rd was 'Opening Day' for this film in the USA, although Tokyo, Japan had the first Opening Day on June 13th.
Here are 'Our Takes' on the film:
Tina: Watching this Spider-Man reboot, it's tough not to compare it to the original. For me, the first Amazing Spider-Man with Tobey Maguire is still my favorite of all the Spider-Man movies, including the latest. While Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker is nerdy, open and full of wonder for his new found powers, Andrew Garfield's Spidey comes off as a moody loner gleefully uses his powers to avenge past hurts.
The biggest challenge with this reboot - besides 'why do it?' - is the two main characters. Garfield and Emma Stone are likeable actors, but their portrayals are way too mature for a couple of high school kids. When Stone as Gwen Stacy first appeared on screen I thought she was a teacher! Later we see her leading a group of new interns at Oscorp. She has the run of the place. Much later we learn she "creates antidotes for Dr. Curtis all the time!"
Don't get me wrong, Garfield and Stone are terrific actors. The problem is they are playing college students (and Stone a graduate student), not high schoolers.
Purists will have trouble with the changing of the origin story. The general movie-goer will have a harder time with the unbelievability of the leads and general darkness of the title character. Unfortunately for the audience, Peter spends most of the movie as a cranky-ass who uses his abilities for retribution. It's only when he rescues a little New Yorker from Lizard-induced peril that Spidey's heart grows three sizes that day.
One big plus in this Spider-Man is the villian. I enjoyed Rhys Ifans thoughtful portrayal of Dr. Stone. Is he evil? Is he mad? Did he have Peter's parents killed? It's not quite that simple. Interestingly, his first Lizard tirade is really a rescue mission; he's trying to stop his slimy corporate counterpart from infecting a veterans hospital with the Lizard serum. Like most great villians, Dr. Stone/The Lizard is a multi-faceted character - and when he's The Lizard he still talks like the Doctor - very cool.
Like most super-hero movies there's a ton of CGI and special effects that were lost on me. I will say that Spider-Man's soaring between New York skyscapers didn't seem half as exhilarating as when Tobey Maguire first did it ten years ago.
Rating: Fine / Very Fine (F/VF) 7.0 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grade.
Vinnie: On opening day, July 3rd, my dad, my stepmother Tina, and I went to go see the new "Amazing Spiderman" movie. My favorite aspects of the movie would be the after-editing (aka special effects), plot, and actors. I feel that the whole movie was quite "amazing" (hehe get it? Oh, I should stop while I'm ahead...), but to be more precise, the actors would have to be my favorite.
I found the special effects to be quite believable. The Lizard was spectacularly done. Even small details like facial features were touched up on, and made it feel like a true evil monster. The method of moving between scenes was done the original, but proven method, EG. zooming in/out of an object or fading away when a character was entering/exiting a place. However, it was still quite charming, and well executed.
My second favorite piece of the movie was the plot. Fans of the comic series, (such as my father) or purists may disagree with me, but I feel this "reboot" of the series was pleasing. Yes, the plotline was different from the comics and the original movies, but if you're going to get a new cast, you may as well spice up the plot by adding, removing, or changing certain elements. One of the major changes done was the new villain, The Lizard. I personally loved this change, because in all reality, who would pay to watch the same movie with a different fight scene. Another big change was the character swap from "Mary Jane Watson" to "Gwen Stacy". Like I said previously, new cast, why not a new plot. One other difference was the fact that Peter was no longer a college student - he was a high school student.
Finally, my favorite aspect of the movie was the acting. The actors of Uncle Ben and Aunt May were OK as small parts of the movie. If they had a bigger role than they did, I would honestly prefer a different set of actors. They just didn't develop any on screen chemistry like a 37 year long marriage (as stated in the movie) would certainly have. I just didn't buy their act. On the other hand, Anndrew Garfield (Spiderman), Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), and Rhys Ifans (The Lizard) were amazing. The chemistry between Andrew and Emma was remarkable. Not only that, but their acting was incredible - especially Andrew. He acted just as a high school student would - slightly immature, but still a responsible and respectable young man (or at least what the average high school student would be...). Rhys Ifans, of course, didn't develop chemistry with the others (at least on screen) being that he was the man who became the evil villain known as The Lizard. His acting as both Dr. Curt Connors, and the Lizard was very believable. I'm glad all three of these actors were chosen.
In summary, I really enjoyed this movie. To recap, I found the special effects, the plot, and the actors to be the highlighting moments. I give the 2012 film, "The Amazing Spiderman" a Very Fine/Near Mint (VF/NM), a 9.0 out of 10.0 grade scale. If you haven't stopped by a local theatre and seen it yet, I really recommend you take the time to fit it in your plan. In my opinion, it is definitely worth it.
Michael: Well, I wasn't overly keen about going to see this film, as what little I had seen didn't move me. However, we have Vinnie for a week's vacation, so this was one family outing we decided to do together.
The idea of another 'origin film', ten years later in real time, didn't exactly thrill me to want to go see it. The choice of 'The Lizard' as the film's villain, was one that I wouldn't mind seeing, as it had been a possibility in the previous films...
The whole early part of the film was totally 'foreign' to me, a long time Spider-Man fan. No Mary Jane Watson, and Aunt May didn't have white hair. Plus a lot of other strange things, including Gwen Stacey being in his high school. And yes, I was there 50 years when Spider-Man was first published, so truth to tell... I don't like 'reboots'.
Although the film's early sequences didn't grab me, I did grow to enjoy the scenes between Gwen and Peter Parker. Those two did have some sort of chemistry between them.
The Lizard's appearance was not at all what he had been envisioned as in the earliest comic books, and it was just weird to me to see this creature as 'The Lizard'.
Denis Leary as Captain George Stacey just didn't cut it as that role for me. Too young, I believe.
I like Sally Field in most TV shows and films, but she wasn't 'Aunt May' for me in this film.
Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben Parker pretty much captured that role for me in this film.
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker / Spider-Man just didn't carry the title role for me.
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey was close to being 'Gwen' for me, but the storyline was all messed up, and ruined her role for me.
Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors was just fine, but the animation for 'The Lizard' scenes just didn't cut it for me.
I enjoyed Stan Lee's cameo in the film, which actually was a pretty good scene!
As you can tell by the above, this film just didn't cut it for me. On a comic book grading scale, I'd have to give it a FINE (F) 6.0 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grading scale. It would have been even lower in grade, but the interaction between Peter & Gwen was actually good!
For those of you that don't mind spoilers... Here is the Wikipedia entry for this 2012 film.
Here is the link to the earlier three films in the 2002 / 2004 / 2007 film trilogy. A different Wikipedia entry.
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