Thursday, July 19, 2012

REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man: The IMAX 3D Experience

The Amazing Spider-Man

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone


July 3, 2012

Marc Webb

Columbia Pictures, Marvel

2 hours 16 minutes



It was only a mere five years ago when the mediocre 'Spider Man 3' came out and disappointed critics and fans everywhere. In my opinion, it really wasn't very necessary for Sony and Marvel to reboot 'Spider-Man' in the first place, since the series is too young to be remade. However I'm actually glad that Sony got an entirely new cast and crew to make this movie now, because it's more than just a plain old good superhero film. This is probably a bit too much to say, but here it goes: if 'Batman Begins' and 'Iron Man' were combined together but were placed in a high school setting, then one may have this movie. 'The Amazing Spider-Man' exceeded every one of my expectations, and it was funny, action-packed, stunning, and overall fantastic.

Peter Parker lives the life of a modern high school nerd. He's picked on by jocks, takes pictures for the paper, and has a crush on a girl named Gwen Stacey, whose father is the captain of the NYPD. To top that off, his parents abandoned him when he was a young boy, so he's lived with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben ever since. While trying to learn more about his parents, Peter is accidentally bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him the powers of a spider. At the same time, Dr. Curtis Conners is trying to develop a way to regrow his missing arm, only becoming a giant lizard instead, which starts terrorizing New York City. It's up to Peter, who now goes under the name "Spider-Man" to stop The Lizard and save New York City from any trouble it has.

Way to go on the casting department’s behalf, because they chose THE perfect Peter Parker to not only replace Tobey Maguire, but even surpass him in every way possible. Peter Parker is supposed to be that awkward, back-of-the-classroom type guy who just doesn't know how to fit in, and Garfield pulled that off perfectly. When Peter Parker put on the suit in the comics, he became this wise-cracking and sarcastic vigilante who messed around with his victims before webbing them up. The previous films didn't show this Spider-Man very much, so I'm glad that the writers decided to get that aspect of the vigilante in this film.

I loved how Garfield's Parker could relate to any teen out there seeing the film, and I loved how his Spidey was essentially THE superhero that anyone would want to be. It kind of reminds me of the 1994 film 'The Mask,' in which Jim Carrey plays an average-joe who puts on a magical mask and becomes the guy anyone would want to be. I hope they keep Peter and Spider-Man this way when the sequel comes out. Garfield might have stolen the show, but that doesn't mean that his co-stars weren't bad. In fact, I loved these co-stars a whole lot more than the co-stars from the previous three movies.

In the original 'Spider-Man' movies, Kirsten Dunst played a rather annoying damsel to Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker. Her name, of course, was Mary Jane Watson, and for those who never read the comics it would be assumed that she was always the main girl in the original sources. However the thing is that she only came in to the picture AFTER the comics were done with Gwen Stacey, portrayed briefly in the third film by Bryce Dallas Howard.  I felt that Stone's chemistry with Garfield was so touching and sweet, that it almost reminded me of the chemistry between Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning in 'Super 8.' I love it when characters can become so down to earth and so relatable to the audience, so and so that it just makes me feel right at home. The rest of the cast, including Rhys Ifans and Martin Sheen, were all good for what they were given, but they did not compare to the two main leads of this film.

The only problems that were present were from the screenplay and the editing.  There were characters that were under-developed, and there were characters who just disappeared from the movie for no reason.  Some things in the final story were left unexplained, which could lead others to be confused with things.  I'm guessing that the original cut of the film was much longer, but it had to be cut down in order to fit into a sustainable length.  Hopefully there will be a director's cut of this movie, because set and official photos, along with some footage and lines used in the promotional material, have shown that a huge part from the movie was taken out for no reason.  I blame the studio for letting this happen, but to me that really was only two little flaws while watching the film.

'The Amazing Spider-Man' does live up to its title well. Sure there are flaws in the storytelling department, and some moments with poor writing, but this movie tells a great origin story, shows off a fantastic cast, and features some of the best 3D I've seen all year. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are the perfect hero/damsel couple for these types of movies, and I hope Sony keeps them on for the next movie. Some people are blaming Marc Webb's direction for the less than great reception that came out of this movie. I blame the screenwriters for that, because they were the ones writing the entire story, while Webb was just the guy telling everyone what to do. I hope Sony keeps him on as well; otherwise this might go in the direction of the bad 'Batman' movies, despite only being one film into the series currently. You probably can't see it in IMAX anymore (due to 'The Dark Knight Rises' coming out) but if you did see it on that big screen, hopefully you agree that when the aspect ratio changed for the movie to fill the entire screen, it was pretty spectacular. Overall, 'The Amazing Spider-Man' is a spectacular superhero movie that hit many of the right notes, but not all of them. Hopefully the sequel will go in the direction of 'The Dark Knight' and be an incredible movie.

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