The Amazing Spider-man

Poster Featuring Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone)

Sorry it took so long for me to get this out, been busy. I went and saw The Amazing Spider-man on opening day, Tuesday, July 3rd.

First off, I’d like to say now, there will be no spoilers to this blog, aside from one. As it is a fantastic re-imagining of the classic story involving Peter, Gwen and her Father. This movie draws its resources and details from both Stan Lee’s original Amazing Fantasy 15, the first appearance of Spider-man and The Death Of Captain Stacy. (<— There’s your spoiler). I may not be the biggest Spider-man fan, as a kid I was, but later on, sure I like the character and his story, but these days my core comic book characters are Iron Man, Captain America and Batman.

While bearing this in mind, I do however know a lot about Spidey’s origins, from research for school, and from watching and reading the material. So while some will have qualms with the film and even I do with a couple of nitpicks, but they’re small, the movie holds its own, in having a ton of the elements that make a good origin story for the movie franchise, not to mention another feather in Marvel’s new studio hat, even though this was still through Sony.

Story

The movie’s story is excellent, some of the best writing and adaptation of Peter’s origins. Everything from his mother and father, to his aunt and uncle, and his beginnings of Spider-man. Not to mention also bringing back his first love, Gwen. She was always the first for him, and when she died in the comics, she NEVER came back until Spider-man 3, then her coming back could be eased into the comics, if it hasn’t already been done since the last of Raimi’s adaptations. The reason why Peter never tells Mary Jane until he finally lets her in, close to marriage, is because of the events that happen with Gwen. Now with Gwen in the comics, she died not too long after her father’s death, and in Spider-man 1, the incident involving Green Goblin holding MJ and the cable car full of kids, was actually Gwen’s death.

Now if this new franchise goes down that road in the future, I could see it happening. I was actually waiting to see if she would die in the movie, and nope, not in this one. With this movie’s story, it is both Peter/Spidey’s origin story, but woven in with Gwen, her father and a nice twist with The Lizard. Now the reason why Green Goblin wasn’t chosen as the villain, is actually due to the set up in the movie for possible sequels. Being an avid writer myself, I am trained to see and hear things in movies and writing as to clues to where the story is going and what kind of hints or omens to other storylines possibly being explored. In this movie, we do see evidence of that with Oscorp and the lack of an Osborne in the movie.

Character Portrayals

With Characters, we see the primaries, Peter, Gwen, Aunt May, Uncle Ben, Flash Thompson, Captain Stacy, and Curt Connors. All of which are portrayed with a stellar cast, Andrew Garfield, while not the best Peter, in my opinion, was a fantastic Spider-man. Peter’s social awkward-ness has always been tied to his genius, let’s face it, he’s a nerd (Like me, haha), and so he was meek, slim, constantly wearing glasses.

With Garfield, his portrayal is modernized, to help with his association with kids of today, which is fine, but he doesn’t look like a nerd, he has a skateboard, he is awkward, especially around girls, and the upper classmen on the basketball team, like Gwen’s boyfriend Flash (One of my nitpicks, as Flash was usually Football, not Basketball, meh). Flash’s portrayal is suited for the story, a pushy, cocky bully, out for attention, and enjoying what he’s getting, while making the meek and weak suffer.

Gwen- (Oh be still my heart, haha) Emma Stone knocks Gwen out of the park with her portrayal. Gwen was a straight A, upper classman that was from a cop family, so of course her father wanted her to do well in school, and instead of an Angsty, against-the-grain teen, she adored her father and worried like her mother about whether or not he may come home from work. So as the story develops, we see her move further from Flash more towards Peter.

Aunt May and Uncle Ben- First off, (Holy Hell its Martin Sheen), been a long time since Sheen has been in a big budget movie. With his portrayal as the lovable Uncle Ben, we see his talents and experience show for the soft-hearted and sincere Uncle. Sally Field, another big time actress from another time (I still remember her in Mrs. Doubtfire along side Robin Williams, haha). Unlike the previous portrayal of May Parker, whom seemed more of a damsel in distress, than a deep character, Field puts emotion and heart into Aunt May, by showing how the person would react in these circumstances.

Captain Stacy- (IIIIIIIII’MMM AN AAAAA—–E, haha) Denis Leary as Captain Stacy fits, he knows how to be an authority figure and father, as we’ve seen him play various different roles before. Including his short-lived music career that kind of came from his stand up comedy. Gone is his loud, in your face comedy, and here is his talents as an actor, making us believe he is Captain Stacy.

Curt Connors- Rhys Ifans while not my first choice as Curt Connors, did a great job, he made me believe he was a scientist, building a rapport with Peter, and Gwen, and when pushed to the brink, becoming the Lizard.

Special Effects

This is where the movie has a few issues, most of the effects are fine, they’re cool with some of the 3D and the Spidey perspective moments, however, the CGI moments with the Lizard were a bit cheesy, and while over all it was ok, there were times where I kinda miss the Lizard from the 90’s spider-man cartoon. I had qualms about this from the beginning, and I was hoping to see a more alligator type of face than just humanoid. The special effects with Spider-man are fantastic, most of the effects teams did a great job with him, it’s just the CGI moments with The Lizard, were a bit lacking, which is where a lot of previous movies that tend to do a full CGI monster, start to show signs of issues.

I like CGI, don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of ReBoot, Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and Shadow Raiders from Mainframe. However, some of the companies using CGI, should consider a less animated approach and try some facial mapping and use more video game techniques. In terms of games, while still a little bit off, they look closer than a lot of movie CGI. Like Max Payne 3, as an example, they used the voice actor’s likeness for Max, and damn were they spot on.

Pacing

The movie is excellently paced, you don’t get bored in certain segments, it keeps you interested in what’s going on, and doesn’t disappoint with story, character and Spidey’s webshooters. Yep, this time around he’s got webshooters, much like my favourite TV series, the 90’s animated.

Score

Music definitely suited the film, it wasn’t a crutch as some films use, but it wasn’t interfering. Some sequences just were the sounds of the movie, very little went on. Sparse segments, but when the music was playing, it fit the scene and what it was assisting.

Final Thoughts

This is an excellent re-imagining of the classic stories of Amazing Fantasy 15 and The Death Of Captain Stacy. This is a must see movie, whether you’re going to the theatre or seeing it on DVD or Blu-Ray. For Trailers, we got another for The Dark Knight Rises, I guess because Marvel and DC are not feuding, so they’re helping each other out. We also got a couple of comedies, one of which was “The Watch” which I’m not interested in, very few segments seemed funny, even in the trailer.

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Ghost Rider 2, more delays, I don’t think I’ll be writing a review for it, especially with summer blockbusters piling up. I’m definitely seeing The Dark Knight Rises, I may not see it opening night or a midnight screening, even though I’d like to, I’m waiting for a Tuesday showing so my friend and I can go, as he’s away for the weekend before hand. Not to mention movie ticket prices are a bit of a gouge on pockets, so Tuesdays give me a discount. Watch for my review of Ted, which will be up shortly. I’m getting my creative juices flowing again, so I’ll be writing more of my own personal stuff, so I might paste a few notes and tidbits of stories on here, also watch for my Facebook Author’s page and Twitter for more details.