Friday, May 26, 2017
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THe Amazing Spider-Man

 

Spidey-Fans Sommer K and Joe Kach of MightyVille caught the first midnight showing of The Amazing Spider-Man in 3D IMAX at the AMC Mercado 20 in Santa Clara, CA. Here are our (semi-sleep deprived) thoughts, as well as the reactions of other (semi-sleep deprived) fans we chatted with after the film:

 

The Amazing Spider-Man completely lives up to its name. The film is, in a word, amazing! Finally, a Spider-Man film that captures the spirit of the character we love from the comics! It wasn’t perfect, with a few strange plot points and uncomfortable teen makeout scenes. But overall, this movie was everything we had hoped for, blowing away the previous Spider-Man movies like a spider in the wind.

Fans we spoke to after the film agreed. Everyone liked and enjoyed the movie. The word “awesome” was in frequent supply. Everybody said that the new Amazing Spider-Man was better than all three of the previous films, and most felt that the acting, story and special effects far surpassed previous efforts. Fans also agreed that Andrew Garfield was great as both Peter Parker and Spidey, and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy was a vastly superior love interest to Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson.

Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy

We did hear a few grumbles from movie-watchers. The most common complaint was that, while the film was enjoyable, it wasn’t really necessary. The story was quite similar to the first of the previous films. Also, not everyone was sold on the Lizard as the best baddie for the film. As one fan put it, “the villain was less interesting, when compared to Norman Osborne, who seemed more diabolical. He had more interesting motivation. This one seemed arbitrary.”

We agree that the film was not necessary, but really, we don’t care. It was a great movie, and we thoroughly enjoyed it! We were also not huge fans of the previous flicks, and in particular did not find Tobey Maguire to be a good fit as Spider-Man. We would argue that Spider-Man deserves this new film, so younger audiences can be gifted with a more convincing, believable Spider-Man and Peter Parker. Garfield is superb. As Parker, he is intelligent, shy and subtle - an alter ego who is more disturbed and outcast than just plain dorky. And the Spider-Man half of his personality is excellent in contrast, as Garfield brings us the brave, confident, wise-cracking Spidey we know and love from the comics, complete with New York accent!

We tend to disagree that the Lizard was not a worthy and engaging villain. As fans of Godzilla will concur, a villain doesn’t always need complex motivation to be a total fright. There is something to be said for animalistic anger and reptilian singular focus in a bad guy, and we enjoyed seeing the match-up between the animal powers of lizard vs. spider. And, before becoming the Lizard, Dr. Connors does have sufficient motivation, with Rhys Ifans playing him as a sympathetic character whose desperation to regain his missing limb leads him to become a scientific experiment and ultimately, a super villain.

The Lizard

Great performances by Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, Sally Field as Aunt May, and Dennis Leary as Captain Stacy round out the film. There is chemistry in all the right places. Plus, the fact that director Mark Webb captured the two lead actors, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, falling in love in real life is icing on the cake.

Finally, the special effects were right where they needed to be, bringing us a much more realistic, believable Spider-Man film than we’ve seen in the past. The Disney-style, colorful scenery of the previous films is gone. This is a much darker, grittier, more recognizable NYC. Watching tiny Spider-Man swinging and climbing against a backdrop of the giant skyscrapers of Manhattan was exhilarating. Our hearts skipped every time he lept from a building. And the addition of (Peter) Parkour-like, martial arts-style fight scenes lent greater believability to Garfield as Spider-Man.

So, while some may argue that this reboot was unnecessary, it couldn’t have come too soon for us. This is a Spider-Man we can believe in. We LOVED this movie!

 

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Comments (2)
  • bjmorga
    While I really enjoyed this movie, I felt the absence of J. Jonah Jameson heavily. JJJ is an essential part of Spider-Man to me. I also have some misgivings about revisiting the origin of Spider-Man yet again, but it was well done.
  • Joe_Kach
    Y'know, I thought I would miss JJJ going into it, but I surprisingly did not. I am still anxious to see JJJ in this new universe, & look forward to seeing him in the sequel. I am glad they didn't try to squeeze in Daily Bugle subplot into "Amazing," it would have muddied it up (& it was getting close as is).
    Also, I feel they left JJJ & the Bugle out as a way to try to differentiate it from the previous films. As I'm sure you're aware, one of the main early criticisms was how it will be no different than the previous films, & I think this is one way of combating it.

    Thanks for sharing!

    --J.
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