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Friday, August 17, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man  $$$

136 Minutes
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dennis Leary, Sally Field, Martin Sheen, and Rhys Ifans.
Director: Marc Webb.

             Ah, here we have it, one of Hollywood’s newest fads; the Reboot. Personally, I’m not a fan of remaking a story ad nauseum. It’s bad enough that the Tinsel-Town movie factory has come to rely on sequels and old television shows for their box office offerings. I know a handful of writers that have plenty of screenplays that would be fresh and entertaining. Certainly there has to be plenty of innovative films waiting to be made from the hundreds of worthy scripts waiting to be picked up.
            That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. A review should be about the merits of the particular film being discussed, but sometimes you can’t get away from comparing the rebooted version against the original. In this case, and this is all I’m going to say about the comparison, the reboot wins.  

            The Amazing Spider-Man starts with a young Peter Parker (Max Charles) at home with his parents. When they find that the house has been broken into, they quickly pack and take Peter to stay with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen). All of this is very mysterious and the only thing we know is that his father has been working on some secret science stuff.
            Jump forward about ten years and we find that Peter (Andrew Garfield) is still living with his aunt and uncle and wondering what happened to his parents. A portion of that answer surfaces when he finds his father’s old brief-case and a sheaf of papers carefully hidden in the lining. They discuss his father’s work and include a mathematical formula. He also finds out that his father worked with fellow scientist Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans).
            Hoping to find answers to what happened to his parents he visits Dr. Connors and discovers that he is working on a project that, if successful, will cure many of the world’s maladies and allow humans to regenerate lost body parts. All that is missing is the mathematical formula that Peter found in his father’s briefcase.  

            Spider-Man is a film that deserves to be seen on a big screen in order to get the most wow out of the battles between Spider-Man and The Lizard as well as the web-slinging scenes as he travels along the streets of New York. Or should that be above the streets? In either case they look fabulous on the big, bright screen.
            The acting is great. We have veteran actors Martin Sheen and Sally Field who handle their roles with subtle finesse. Andrew Garfield infuses his Peter Parker with emotion. I could really feel the character’s joy, pain, and confusion through Andrew’s performance. As good as Emma Stone was good as Gwen Stacy I think Dennis Leary, as police Captain Stacy, upstages her in the scenes the share. And the writing was good.
            My only problem with the film was the CGI sequences. The Lizard looked comical to me. His mouth, and perfect teeth, seemed horribly out of place on the face of a lizard man. And the fight scenes moved too quickly. It reminded me of the old black and white movies where they just speeded up the film when they wanted to show people going faster. It’s alright for the audience to owww and ahhh at the spectacular sights on the screen, but special affects fail when they bring attention to themselves for any other reason.
            This film earned a solid three movie bucks. See it at a discounted showing.

            Randy’s Rating System

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.


  1. Maybe when it gets to the second-run theater I'll break down and watch it. Tomorrow though I'm going to see The Dark Knight Rises in REAL IMAX, the six-story kind. Sweet.

    1. Fair enough. If choosing between the two I would highly recommend Batman, especially if he's six stories tall.

  2. Like you, I'm not a fan of reboots. I want to see fresh story ideas, and I'm getting incredibly irritated with all the remakes/reboots. I have yet to see this, but I figure the kids will like it and it is getting overwhelmingly good reviews. Maybe the matinee tomorrow.

    1. I highly recommend that. It was one of the very few times that I felt the reboot was worth the effort. I'm sure your kids will love it.

  3. I've been reading, and hearing, mixed reviews about this movie. My Chipmunk liked it. Then again, it's Spider-Man so that's all that mattered to her :-)

    One thing that seems to be common in the reviews is that more people seem to favor the rebooted Peter Parker over the original. I find that interesting.

    1. I think the biggest reason the reboot is preferred over the original is because of the cast. While both Uncle Ben roles were well done, in the reboot Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone turn in much more animated performances. They are more likeable characters.