The Amazing Spider-Man

I wrote in a post recently that I was not overly impressed with this reboot of the Spider-Man movie series. Despite liking it better then Sam Raimi’s trilogy I found that I was a little bored by it. After having seen the origin story for Spider-Man so recently I found it boring. There were good points. Andrew Garfield looks very natural as Peter Parker and Emma Stone is really captivating as Gwen Stacey. Sally Field and Martin Sheen were awesome as Aunt May and Uncle Ben, their chemistry together is priceless and they look and act like a couple who have been together for a long time.

I’ve recently brought and re-watched it after I went and saw its sequel. I wanted to give it another chance because I liked the sequel (Mostly, but that’s another blog post) and I’m going through a stage in life where I’m feeling like I’ve been too critical with some things and movies are a big part of this.

On my first and only viewing when it came out there were a number of things which didn’t sell me on it. Like I said the origin of how Peter Parker became Spider-Man, been there and done that. I think they put it in to remind us all and to set up the story arc of Peter’s parents and the mystery around them. I really wasn’t sold on Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors either, but on watching it again he has won me over a little. I do like it when actors break from the characters that people typecast them as. In this case I think I was as guilty of that as the next person. Ifans is a very talented actor but normally in slightly odd, out there and louder then life roles. So I think that played too much on my mind at the time but give the man some serious credit for taking such a big jump away from what he normally does.

As for the storyline, there were times when I found myself looking at my iPad and seeing what was happening on Facebook and Twitter, but I did not find it as boring as I recalled it to be. I think the cast did a lot to keep my eyes on the screen. I’ve mentioned some of them above, but I’ll elaborate a little more here.

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man looks right at home here. He’s got that quick wit that is needed and easily comes cross as someone who is highly intelligent. I heard a Spider-Man fan saying that Peter Parker is a genius and Garfield plays that side of Peter Parker well. I felt he also pulled off the awkward teen that Peter Parker is early in the film well. Tobey Maguire always felt more creepy then awkward in Raimi’s trilogy. Overall Andrew Garfield seemed to live the character very well and was very convincing. He held the screen, had a fair bit of charisma and pulled off the range of emotions that was needed.

Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey is just perfect. Let’s get the male oriented aspect out of the way, Emma Stone is a strikingly beautiful women, but instead of being there just to look sexy and supply someone for Spider-Man to save so serves a part in the conclusion of the film. She is just adorable, as well as being strong. That can be hard to pull off but Emma Stone does it really well. I’d not seen her in anything before this and she all but stole the scene each time she was on screen. She has a lot of charm and strength and isn’t scared of getting stuck in despite any threats that may be coming. Emma Stone looks very natural on screen, some actors look like they are trying too hard but Stone seems to be very at ease on camera.

The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is amazing and believable, to the point where they are in a relationship in real life. This just strengthens their on screen relationship.

The director, Marc Webb, does do a very good job with steering the film. It’s pretty well written and is not over inflated or trying to do too much, it’s very straight forward. I think having the villain be The Lizard was a good idea, although from my small knowledge of the Spider-Man universe it felt a little like the character was a little misinterpreted, but I’m willing to let artistic license be used here. The story isn’t about the Lizard, it’s about Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man and the Lizard is just a bad guy thrown into the mix so there is a conflict and threat that Spider-Man has to stop.

The performances, style and tone saved this movie for me. It’s not a bad film in any way shape or form but its core story has been done before. Webb has a great eye and gets the best out of the actors. he also made a fun film, Spider-Man had that smart arse wit that never felt quite genuine in Raimi’s trilogy.

This film is setting up a bigger story arc and I think it does that while also being a stand alone film. The sequel does step it up a notch and it felt like they let loose a little more, but I’ll talk further about it in another post.

Looking at The Amazing Spider-Man 2 & X-Men: Days of Future Past

There s a lot of films coming out this year that I am looking forward to but there are two that I am feeling  a little nervous over. They are The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Let’s start off with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Even though I preferred The Amazing Spider-Man to Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy I was not blown away this reboot, which was directed by Marc Webb. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy it but I watched it thinking, yes I know all of this already. With the original trilogy so fresh in mind a lot of what was in the film was information that I already knew and found myself bored by. I liked Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but I wasn’t convinced by Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors. Sally Field and Martin Sheen were really good as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. As I said though because I knew the origin of Spider-Man so well I found it quite boring. I also saw the animated series from the 90’s so I had that knowledge in the back of my mind. The only part of the film that interested me was Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone. I know of the character but I’ve not seen her portrayed and this was good to see.

A few months ago I was really looking forward to seeing The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but as I’ve heard a few things about it that excitement has turned to a little bit of fear. This is because it feels like they are trying to set up an Avengers style series with the movie. I’ve heard rumours of at least two spin off movies. The Sinister Six and Venom, and I’m kind of scared they are trying to set up a universe to rival that of which Marvel has created. Now if they do this the right way, then fair play and bring it on because it can only be good for the movie going audience. If they do it wrong though it could be painful to watch.

I’ve heard a little feedback from friends who have already seen it and one person said it was too long but the other three have said it was really good, one even said its one of the best movies they’ve seen! But I’m still a little anxious about it. I should be seeing it Tuesday so I’ll know soon

 

Now onto X-Men: Days of Future Past. I cant really put a finger on what is causing my anxiety with this movie. It could be the premise or the simple fact that it has pretty much every actor who has been in an X-Men movie in it. Sometimes there can be too many characters in a movie. Even that I don’t think is the reason I am feeling anxious about it. I really liked the first two X-Men films which Bryan Singer directed and I’m hoping this is going to match those for depth as well as story and character development. I would have liked to have seen a direct sequel to X-Men: First Class but from what I can see from the trailers they are going for a bigger, universe shifting storyline. Maybe that’s what I’m worried about. Or maybe its that Singer hasn’t directed anything that has stood out to me since X-Men 2. It may be the same fear that I have with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, that its trying to build something to rival the Marvel movies. But I have a little longer to wait to find out with this one.

 

Although I am anxious about these two films I have a feeling that I am still going to enjoy both. I think this Spider-Man film will be what I’ve been looking for. We don’t need to see any of Spider-Man’s origin story again and hopefully it’ll be a well written and directed film. With X-Men I’m confident that Singer can bring that love and commitment that we saw in the first two movies.