Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman - Movie Review

If you’ve noticed my posts being a little light for a couple of weeks, it’s because I’ve been on vacation. Of course the week leading up to vacation caused me to be extra busy at work and then, the writing I planned to do while in beautiful Carmel, California, was met with intermittent internet access. It’s all good though, because a real vacation should be from everything. So, I’m heading home soon. I thought while everyone is packing around me, I could maybe knock out this review.

Even though I was surrounded by the calming sea and gorgeous nature, I still couldn’t wait to see The Amazing Spiderman. Yes, I went opening day, expecting a large crowd, but it was just a normal amount of people.

I’m a huge fan of the original Spiderman (2002) films and I’m of a certain age, so I grew up with the 70’s cartoon and Spidey showing up on The Electric Company was normal for me. I waited my whole life for a Spiderman film and I was so excited when they made the first film. Tobey Maguire, Kristen Dunst and James Franco were a rare event of perfect casting. As satisfied as I was with the first Spiderman film, all my expectations were far surpassed with Spiderman 2!

As you can see, I really didn’t need a Spiderman reboot. Luckily, they cast two of my favorite young actors and that alone put my butt in the theater.

There’s some story tweaking in the re-boot. Peter Parker’s love interest is Gwen Stacy, in the comics this was an earlier love of his so it fits well with the high school setting. Although they are not teenagers in real life, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are a bit more believable of the young age then Maguire and Dunst. And the chemistry between these too is hot! Their budding relationship is really the core of this new edition. Stone and Garfield sizzle in their scenes together and being directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), guarantees that the viewer is going to have a great time watching this relationship blossom.

I would have to say that the overall casting is probably some of the best I’ve ever seen. Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Sally Field as Aunt May, are simply wonderful to see in action. It’s nice to see these roles given to heavy weight actors. They deliver on really making you feel their love and concern for the young Peter. Denis Leary has come along way in his career and it’s awesome to see a former stand-up comedian in a huge blockbuster film. We know he has his tough cop act down pact, but he’s so believable as Captain Stacy, that he still manages to impress.

If Andrew Garfield was looking for his break out role, this is certainly it. He brings his awkward, hyper, pent up anger of Peter Parker to a new level. I’ve recently found out that a lot people did not like Tobey Maguire in the Spiderman role. While that shocks me, I don’t see how anyone can complain about Garfield. He embodies the role with sarcasm, innocence and the arrogance of youth.

What I found interesting about this installment was that the special effects seemed to focus more on how Spiderman could move about and less about huge action sequences. Don’t get me wrong, there are big effects and smashing and all that, but there didn’t seem to big any “wows” in the effect department when it came to Spidey taking on bad guys.

I really liked The Amazing Spiderman and I would definitely buy another ticket to see Garfield and Stone again, yet there was still this emptiness I felt at the end. Something was missing. Then I came home and FX was showing Spiderman 2. I have to say, I think it’s my all time favorite super hero film. I sat down and re-watched the whole thing. That fight scene on the train? Phenomenal! Then when the people on the train carry Spiderman…it’s a scene of sheer beauty. Maybe it’s unfair to compare the two. Maybe the second installment will also blow me away. Time will tell.

Lastly, I did appreciate the filmmakers showing that pic of a young Martin Sheen on Peter Parkers wall. It’s important that a new generation gets to see how hot he was!

Oh I lied, one more thing. Why was I they only one to shout “Ponyboy” during the bridge scene? How soon we forget.


Co-Pilot Mom said...

While I wouldn't call myself a Spidey fan necessarily, I did see the first movie and I enjoyed it. After reading your review, I think I'd like to see The Amazing Spiderman, too. I would especially like to see Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May.

Rachael Heiner said...

I loved this movie SO much. I think it is my favorite of all of them at this point. I am a super huge Martin Sheen fan and love Denis Leary. I didn't really like Sally Field... I think to me she is not strong enough to be Aunt May and I did like the Aunt May from the Tobey Maguire movies.

WhisperingWriter said...

I wouldn't mind seeing this. I've enjoyed the other Spiderman films.