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The Amazing Spiderman Pleasantly surprised.

#1 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:46 AM

Well, with Prometheus, the summer blockbuster season of 2012 got off to a rather shaky start. However, after seeing that abomination, I saw a film that didn't appear to have a lot of build-up and hype but blew Prometheus out of the water, along with a number of other movies.

I'm talking here about The Amazing Spiderman. If you've read the lukewarm reviews, then I have only this to say: ignore them.

This movie's fantastic. It's terrific fun and although it may seem rather soon after the previous version of Spiderman, I'm really happy to have it. Perhaps I can express the strength of my feeling in this way - I never was a fan of Spiderman, I found the Tobey Maguire movies entertaining enough but never felt the urge to watch them again... and now, I can't wait for this latest movie to come out on DVD so I can add it to my collection.

For me, it succeeds where the previous series failed for a number of reasons. One of the most important is subtlety. Peter Parker doesn't have long rambling soliloquies and Aunt May doesn't wax poetic with long anecdotes on every subject in life. Conversations are natural (it scores over The Dark Knight there, as well as the previous Spiderman movies). People fumble around. They talk over each other. It's almost like a seventies movie in that way.

As a result, the characters feel like real people. And that's another thing I liked about it. Just like in real life, the characters in this movie are allowed to evolve. Even the school bully evolves and in a believable manner too. And there's something clever just in that. There's a scene where that character tells Peter Parker that he's sorry about what happened to his uncle and it's very sincere. And in having that scene, the audience isn't able to see this kid as a boo-hiss character any more. It's not black and white.

Also, the movie deals with a range of tones and handles the transitions deftly. It is at times quite moving, sad, thrilling, funny and it even had some good scares as well. Nothing too out there but good jumpy moments. I thought the villain was quite scary in certain scenes too - and not always the ones that you would think.

I'll try to avoid spoilers for a change until I get a feel for whether the regulars here have all seen it or not. However, I will say a few other things:

- I found absolutely no plot-holes to speak of. None. And the attention to even minor subplots was impressive. Tiny things were followed through to the conclusion of the movie in a way that I just couldn't help but admire. There were some plot-contrivances, sure, but they were all for a good cause - which was damn good entertainment.

- The action scenes were brief and just did what they needed to do. It's hard to express how good it is to see restrained action scenes in movies these days. BRAVO!

- There is no Mary Jane and I didn't miss her a bit. The character of Gwen Stacy is wonderful in this. The actress Emma Stone who portrays her does a terrific job, as does Andrew Garfield with the title role and they have great chemistry together.

- On that note, all the performances are terrific and full credit to the cast.

- There is no cage wrestling match. The movie scores huge points over the first Tobey Maguire movie for that alone as the cage wrestling match is a major reason why I can't be bothered watching that movie again; I don't want to see the entertainment of the lowest denominator on TV so why would I want to see it in a movie?

- There's a scene where some citizens of New York help Spiderman. Unlike similar scenes in the previous series, in this movie the citizens actually help him.

- There is a terrifically tense scene near the end of the movie, with the villain nowhere in sight. Those who've seen the movie will know what I'm talking about.

- The movie deals with some quite weighty themes and does so in a mature fashion. Yet young children can see it and enjoy it as well. It goes to show that the mentality that heavy issues can only be dealt with if they go hand in hand with 15+ ratings is rubbish.

- And on that note, for all that the movie deals with quite heavy material in places, and has characters who behave like real people, its not ashamed of the fact that its a comic movie and it relishes the medium. Big points over The Dark Knight there.

- I found more entertainment in this than in the three Sam Raimi pictures combined.

The Amazing Spiderman is first-rate entertainment - and while it appears to be something of a hidden gem at the moment, it's sure to become a favourite down the road.

This post has been edited by Just your average movie goer: 13 July 2012 - 08:50 AM

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#2 User is offline   Gobbler Icon

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:55 AM

Haven't seen anything except the movie posters of this yet, but I have very high hopes for it, especially after your description.

There were just so many things that bugged me about the "other" three Spiderman movies... Tobey Maguire was bad, though I'm not sure whether that was entirely his fault. Same thing goes for Kirsten Dunst... oh god, how I hated her in those movies. She was unbelievable as Mary Jane and they kept sticking her in the worst clothes - that awful brown dress... I'm still seeing that one in my nightmares.

Over all those movies were far too dopey and too comicky, strange as that may sound, especially when considering that they were directed by Sam Raimi (somehow I keep expecting another incantation of "Joxer the Mighty" in each of his movies). I think what all of these super-hero movies need is a solid touch of grittiness. They're aimed at us, the people who already had to grow up with the comics and the dopey animated series. We've grown up, please give us something gritty so that we don't have to lose face in front of our girlfriends when we're trying to reprise some of our childhood memories.

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There is no Mary Jane and I didn't miss her a bit. The character of Gwen Stacy is wonderful in this. The actress Emma Stone who portrays her does a terrific job, as does Andrew Garfield with the title role and they have great chemistry together.

Hm, yep, sounds like it could work, never had a problem with Emma Stone so far, Easy-A still ranks pretty high on my list.

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There is no cage wrestling match.

Aww... :( That was actually the fondest memory I had of the previous movies, but only because the German translation of "Bonesaw is ready" turned into a really horrible/fantastic "BONEsaw ist beerrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeiiiiiit". :D

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There's a scene where some citizens of New York help Spiderman. Unlike similar scenes in the previous series, in this movie the citizens actually help him.

Ah, right, that 9/11 thing... couldn't help but smirk at that scene, felt pretty much like a half-assed "America - Fuck Yeah!" rehearsal before Team America: World Police was released.

This post has been edited by Gobbler: 16 July 2012 - 03:56 AM

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:49 PM

I really like this movie as well. I won't meet JYAMG all the way with the naturalistic dialogue; while much of it is good, and it flows well, there is still a good deal of speechifying. Aunt May is great, yes. How can you fail with Sally Field? Her motherly concern / fear when Peter makes a discovery about his past is fantastic. She outshines Martin Sheen in every scene they share, except one case where she is given an impossible line about meatloaf. There he wins by having nothing to say, because, damn.

Some of the action was almost too fast, but I like the energy of it all. Without going too much into specifics, I also really loved the way the citizens of NY got to help Spidey out this time. Rather than a jingoistic overreaction to a recent tragedy in the real world (is it possible to overreact to that event? Am I being unfair?), this time it works to counterpoint a current of mistrust regarding the masked vigilante with the personal agenda.

I really like Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, even if I must admit that owing to my age I have always pictured her as Lea Thompson. Some of the developments of the Peter / Gwen relationship are too coincidental to meet halfway, but a movie that tries to tell three stories at once is bound to have to cut some corners. The other corner cut, removing the Spiderman celebrity boxer period from the origin, is as JYAMG said, a welcome relief.

Ok enough specifics. One thing I loved was Spidey's cockiness! That's the character trait that Raimi's films utterly ignored. He loves his powers, he loves adventure, and he loves lording his strengths over the bad guys. He even takes it out on a cop in one scene, which without being over the top shows just where he stands on authority versus the responsibility of helping people. And even when the cops don't exactly show their appreciation, he sticks to his mission without any second thoughts; another film might have had the "Spidey gives up in disgust" sequence before he is drawn back in by a supervillain. This stuff alone makes this stand out ahead of some of the other superpowered vigilante films of recent memory.

With all the ho-hum responses to this film, I was almost dismayed that I liked it so much. Will it do well enough to get a sequel? I hope so.

PS: Best Stan Lee cameo of them all.

This post has been edited by civilian_number_two: 16 July 2012 - 10:49 PM

"I had a lot of different ideas. At one point, Luke, Leia and Ben were all going to be little people, and we did screen tests to see if we could do that." -George Lucas, in STAR WARS: the Annotated Screenplays (p197).
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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:04 PM

Forgive me for being the opposition here, but no. This remake was completely unnecessary and only pushed out to keep the rights from reverting. No doubt it's better than Spider Man 3, (so is a root canal) but I cant get behind it. Theres no Bruce Campbell in it, so that ticks off 2 out of 5 stars right there. Also, I think the first two Spider Man movies were just a lot of fun. Ok, the pro wrestling bit was dumb, but it was also a bit of fun, and a first chance to see Spidey in an awful first attempt at his costume which I feel made sense.

I've heard all over that the action and fight scenes in the reboot are better, but I still don't feel it's necessary, nor do I like the possibility that it sets up a sequel that could focus more on Pete's parents. To me its in the vein of the Total Recall reboot - there was nothing wrong with the original, so no need to mess with it.

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#5 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:25 AM

Testing 1... Testing 2...
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#6 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:21 AM

Testing again. 403 Forbidden errors with 'You don't have permission to access' messages are extremely annoying and frustrating to users.
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#7 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:34 AM

Well, this just sucks. I can get my test messages through but I can't actually post the original reply I'd written. It's a shame really. I was enjoying the recent conversations. Anyway, take care guys.
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#8 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:40 AM

Another day and another attempt to post a reply to a topic that I first tried to post two weeks ago. Why so persistent, you may wonder? Itís a good question but I basically I donít like the idea of being beaten by a silly apache server or whatever it is thatís giving me these forbidden error messages.

ORIGINAL POST TO CIVILIAN AND GOBBLER:

I sure hope it gets a sequel too. The groundwork for an equally excellent follow-up is certainly there.

Now, just a quick note on the reaction to a certain tragedy, it may be possible to overreact to such things but I think what I dislike in recent movies is this notion that it must be acknowledged and referred to constantly. I've really had my fill of directors in interviews stating that things in their films have to be different now because of that event. It doesnít make sense. Lots of terrible things have happened throughout history. I can't see why that means that they should all be referenced in movies. Actually, since we often go to movies for escapism, it would seem far more logical to not refer to them. Sometimes, references to real-life tragedies work. The way the sinking of the USS Indianapolis was utilized in ĎJawsí in Quintís story helped to create a suitably tense mood for the finale. However, when movies make these references just to be topical, it often adds nothing and actually takes you out of the films.

For myself though, the problems with the citizens of New York helping Spiderman in the previous movies was that they were worse than useless. Take the way they threw things at the Green Goblin for instance. They couldn't hurt him and at best, they could enrage him. If they really wanted to help Spiderman, they should have cleared the bridge so he didn't have to worry about them. However, in the new movie, the citizens who take it upon themselves to help him out are actually useful - as in they really do help.

Moving on now. I agree with you about the corner cutting. They're the plot contrivances - but as you said, it was almost necessary given what they were trying to cover in the movie. And yes, the meatloaf line was pretty bad but oh, well. And yes! Spiderman's attitude in the costume elevates the movie over the previous series too. Suddenly, watching Spiderman in action was a lot more fun. And on that subject, I quite liked the use of first person perspective to give an extra bit of thrill to the action sequences.

One other thing that comes to mind is the pacing which was great for this kind of movie. The movie just flew by - and not in a J.J Abrams 'Star Trek' "What on earth did I just watch?" kind of way but in an exhilarating roller coaster of a ride. I've said it before but I think I can't overstate it - fantastic entertainment.

Oh, and I loved that Stan Lee cameo as well. Fantastic!

You'll love it, Gobbler. I'm sure of it.


MORE RECENT REPLY TO JM:

Given your reasons, I can see why you're opposed to this movie but I don't think the fact that you liked the first two movies from the previous series should prevent you in any way from enjoying this. Just think it of it as another take on the character. I can't see any reason why you can't enjoy both the older movies and this one. Sure, I picked one version over the other but I can't see any reason why someone can't like both.

If it was made to keep the rights from reverting to another studio, then yes, I agree that's not a good motivation for making the picture. However, regardless of the reason or reasons this movie was given the green light, it's still an excellent movie in my opinion.


All right. Letís see if this works.
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#9 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:47 AM

WOW! IT WORKED! IT ACTUALLY WORKED!

Just for anyone's interest if they encounter this issue, I don't know why the post initially didn't work but I think the problem in subsequent attempts was due to me copying and pasting the reply from Word. What I did just then was save my word document as an .html file and copy the text from that.

All right. I feel better now.
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