The Amazing Spider Man

 

My wife went to a housewarming party yesterday, which left me to my own devices and a quiet house. I had every intention (I swear) of staying home and working on the editing of my novel, but it was such a nice day out so I decided to, you guessed it….

Go to a movie. Yes….I know…I”m lame.

Anyway.

A few flicks have come out, recently, that I’ve wanted to see….Brave, Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and The Amazing Spider Man. Knowing that the wife wants to see Abe Lincoln, again (she went with her perpetual ‘movie pal’, her sister, earlier), I decided to hold off on that one and, while Brave looks ‘o.k’, I can honestly wait for DVD on it. Yeah, I know….heresy, you say. Just didn’t grab me, I say in return.

That pretty much  cinched it for the re-booted Spidey flick. Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been poo-poo’ing this film since I’ve found out about it.

“It’s too early for a reboot.”

“Seriously? Another reboot?”

“Here we go again….Hollywood looking for more of my money!”

I really do need to learn to keep my big trap shut, sometimes.

This movie was pretty awesome, I have to say. It’s times like this when I’m actually glad to be wrong.

Now, I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible….

First off, Andrew Garfield (who I’ve never heard of before) was a top-notch Peter Parker/Spider Man. He’s no Tobie McGuire…..and thank God for that. As Parker he comes across pretty believable as the average adolescent with an interest in skateboarding and photography, who also happens to be a scientific genius. We see, early on, that Parker is one to stand up for the little guy and willing to do what’s right and what he believes in. In this film, we see how Peter’s parents hastily drop him off at his Aunt May and Uncle Ben’s before taking off, never to be seen again. As Spidey he brings out that wise cracking, smartmouthed, wallcrawler that I remember so well from the comics.

That brings us to the second bit of good news….at least for me. Sally Field and Martin Sheen. I’ve never been a huge fan of either one of these actors and the last thing I think I liked Sally Field in was the old Gidget t.v. show but, they do a pretty good job here. Especially Sheen as the ever wise Uncle Ben.  Sally Field does a decent job and I think the fact that we only get these two in smaller doses makes them even more bearable….at least for me.

Emma Stone makes for a cute Gwen Stacie, though I had a tough time buying that she was supposed to be just seventeen….but that’s, mainly, a nitpick.

Denis Leary, as Capt. Stacy, is well….pretty much Denis Leary. If you’ve ever watched Rescue Me, he’s, for the most part, the same character just not as abrasive.

I figured that, through the whole film, I’d be constantly comparing it to the Raimi version but, again, I was wrong. The closest this movie got to being like it’s predecessor was the opening credits which kinda/sorta resembled those of Raimi’s Spider-Man and that was about it. The film, pretty much, stood on its own merits.

Now onto the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

The Good:

  • Andrew Garfield was excellent. You could say he was a tad bit more ‘angsty’ than the comic book Spidey, but I think it fit in a modern re-telling.
  • Non-biological web shooters!! Wait, let me do some more exclamation points (!!!!!!!!!!!)  One of the biggest gripes I had with the original film was Spidey’s web shooters not being man-made. I mean, come on, it was one of the biggest Spider-Man gags….running out of web fluid at an inopportune moment. It didn’t happen in this film but there’s a point, near the end, where his webbing is ‘neutralized’ and he has to do without.
  • There wasn’t a lot of time spent showing Peter adapting to his new found powers, which I didn’t mind at all. I guess, after seeing so many different origin re-telling’s in the comics, I was fine with it being glossed over.
  • It’s been said in quite a few issues of the comic, that part of the reason Spidey can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds is due to the fact that he can infuriate his foes with his constant and inane chatter. In other words, he jabbers on way too much….and he did that in this film. Some great one liners, even when taking a pounding which is classic Spidey fare.
  • The way the story starts was very different from almost every origin tale I’ve ever seen, which was pretty cool. I also think it helps set up the sequel.
  • The camera angles were well done. Granted, some were shot to enhance the 3D aspect of the film, I’m sure, but they still looked good in 2D.
  • Emma Stone is a cutie….that is all.

The Bad:

  • The music. Some of it reminded me of something you’d hear on a CW show. Admittedly, though, that could just be my age talking, I don’t know.
  • I’ve never been a big fan of the Lizard as a villain and, while I thought he was played well and was a sympathetic type villain, I still couldn’t get into it. Besides that he just looked….well….weird. Even for a giant lizard.
  • The costume reminded me more of the old Spider Man: 2099 series (minus the underarm webbing) than the original. Not that it was a game changer, just something to go ‘meh’ about.
  • It seemed like the plot point of Peter finding Uncle Ben’s killer just fades away. We never see any resolution there…at all….which was very odd, I thought.

The Ugly:

  • The Lizard. ‘Nuff said!

All in all, I really enjoyed The Amazing Spider Man. Enough, even, to go see it a second time….at the theater….and anyone who knows me (and my ‘frugal’ ways) will say that’s high praise, indeed.

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