Comparison – Total Recall old and new

Ok, so finally here is the Total Recall review, I warn you now, this will contain spoilers, so if you don’t want any, watch the movie first.

Total-Recall1

I decided to make this a comparison, because I watched a review from Doug Walker as The Nostalgia Critic and That SciFi Guy (Leo Thompson). As such, I’m going to illustrate why the original with Schwarzenegger is a much better piece of writing, compared to the new one. I don’t like doing that, but I feel because simply the review of the new one would be kind of considered snobbish, without context of relating it to its predecessor, as some people have not watched the old one. The problems with the old one, are that it has tropes, like many of Arnold’s movies, but its one of the few gems that not only has a fantastic story adapted from Phillip K. Dick’s story “We can remember it for you, wholesale”, but that it’s still a great movie to watch and be entertained.

Being that I enjoy most of Arnold’s movies, I might have a slight skew on this, but its negligible compared to the issues the new movie has. While they removed the tropes that made the old movie cliché in ways, they didn’t give enough depth to specific scenes and characters to let the story develop. They focused on making bigger and better scenes in the movie, and letting the writing slip. This is because, the movie suffers from opposing ideas of 2 different screenwriters. Sometimes this can happen within a movie, where the movie seems like its bi-polar. We start to tread down the path of explanation and exposition, then boom we get whipped back into the other direction to have more action scenes to move the pace along.

This becomes a problem, where there is one pivotal moment in the story, that both movies have. Quaid is presented with the mental conundrum that what he is seeing and doing may not be reality as he knows it. Both times he went to Recall (Rekall in the new one), to have the super spy treatment on Mars. Where things differ between movies is that in Arnold’s movie, we’re actually on Mars and he is being shot at like he’s a super spy, and is having an adventure as per what he paid for at Recall.

So everything is believable including the point in the movie where they have someone try to use psychology to trick Quaid into surrendering. In the old movie, Quaid is able to see through this ploy because if it were merely an illusion and it were in his head, why would the image of someone important, like a doctor with confidence be showing fear in his eyes and sweating visibly? So Quaid rejects the false pretence given to him and kills the man.

In the new one, we have Quaid’s friend being in this role, and its all wasted because Colin Farrell overacts and the friend shows so much confidence and no subtle hint that he’s lying, that we don’t truly know why Quaid rejects his friend’s claims. He just rejects it because that’s what he’s supposed to do, to move the plot along. It’s the problem with remakes, they want to retell the same story, but they miss the point of the way the old movie is written. Similar to how Dick himself wrote in other stories, to give the reader a subtle hint as where the story is heading, and those able to pick up on it, can see WHY people do things.

With that major point being out-of-the-way, I’m going to move on to acting. I find everyone in the movie does an excellent job with what they are given, with a few exceptions. I really don’t like Colin Farrell as Douglas Quaid in this movie, I can see why they put him in this role, but when his other self is played by Ethan Hawke; a much better character actor, it makes me want this movie to star him in the leading role. Jessica Biel does a great job for someone whom isn’t totally an action star, granted she did have an action role in Blade Trinity. She did fine with the role she was given, she didn’t really make it her own and roll with it, like in Blade 3, but she didn’t phone it in.

Now we come to the role of Doug’s fake wife in the movie, Lori. Played by the Director’s wife, Kate Beckinsale, I enjoy the character in this movie, I don’t know why they let her keep her accent in the movie, but I guess it’s because she sometimes has trouble with others. Lori to me is better portrayed in Arnold’s Recall, because who wouldn’t want to wake up next to a hot and young Sharon Stone in the morning. Putting that thought aside for a moment, the new version of Lori is fantastic, mainly because she is a combination of 2 characters from the old movie. In the old one we had Michael Ironside as the lead pursuer after Quaid as Richter, the overzealous bad ass. In the new one, Lori is the lead pursuer in charge of taking down Quaid.

They probably changed it because in the old one, Richter had a lackey that was just there, and didn’t really need to be. As such we get someone who’s just as good in the action scenes. I don’t want to bring about a bigger spoiler involving Beckinsale’s Lori that shows up later, I’d rather you find out that yourself. As its one of the few good scenes in the movie. Now onto Cohaagen, this character does go through a change, but it’s a good one. Both Ronny Cox and Bryan Cranston are awesome actors to have as villains, as such in the new movie, Cohaagen has even more moxy compared to Cox’s version. Every movie I see with Cranston, I tend to enjoy, especially if he’s in a major role. I really liked him as the villain in this one.

The only nitpick I have to say about Ronny Cox’s version of Cohaagen, is something that tended to happen to Ronny throughout the years in movies and TV shows… Is that he tends to play the same basic character for every villain and some semi-good characters. So he is a bit typecast in his villains. One of the exceptions is the Beverly Hills Cop movies. Which is for a different type of blog entry. Now with the Leader of the resistance, as this is a revolution sort of story; is played by Bill Nighy, who does a good job, but his character is cut very short in this movie. Even more so than in the old one.

In terms of premise of story basis, both movies are a revolutionary tale, as such the old movie does this better, in that it’s a corporation wanting to cash in on Mars inhabitants needing air. Where as this one is a dystopian plot involving a calamity which makes land valuable with the government, all on earth. Which brings me to 2 major plot devices in this movie, one of which is a glaring plothole the size of… oh I don’t know, say the planet!

This is brought up in other people’s reviews, one of which is Noah Antwiler’s, where there is a giant Elevator through the planet, going right through the Earth’s mantle and core. This isn’t explained in any way, it’s just there, and used as a big plot device later in the movie. The other plot device is related to Doug’s job. In the old one, he was a construction worker so it was short and simple. This one, he’s a technician helping to assemble and inspect robots, that later are found to be an army made for the government (Way to recycle I, Robot’s plot there, guys).

Special Effects: What can I say, it’s basically what I wanted from the trailer that they showed, and since it was Len Wiseman, we had his usual moving camera and stylized vision.

Noteworthy items: In the movies, the company Recall is portrayed differently. In the old one, it’s a very clean, and professional company. In the new one, it’s a black market dealer, played by John Cho, who (to me) does a better sales pitch than the old movie’s sales guy. In the old movie, we had the seedy bar featuring the 3 boob hooker. This one also has said woman, played by a new person this time, and instead of a bar, its outside Rekall, haha. It’s a blatant throwback, but at least its good fan service.

Final Thoughts on the new one: The movie isn’t bad, mostly. It just needed a rewrite by a third screen writer, so he could blend the ideas of both previous screenwriters and give us more depth and exposition where it really needed it. I consider it a good re-hash of the same ideas and elements of the old movie without the tropes and with really nice special effects. Also a couple of twists that weren’t in the old one.

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Man Of Steel

Man Of Steel

Tonight, I went and saw Man Of Steel. Well, with all the mixed views of the movie, its understandable why people are not enjoying this movie. I can also see why some will at least enjoy the action in the movie. I found the action a bit over used, and it feels like its compensating for the fact the character arc for Superman is rather lackluster. I thought the movie was meh overall, and needed a rewrite for some of the characters. The only character I liked and thought it was better than I previously had seen, was Zod. I at least cared about why he was doing, what he was doing. Everyone else, just felt like they were there for the sake of being there, to move the plot of the movie along.

In terms of acting, Henry Cavil does a good job with what he’s given. Same goes for Russel Crowe as Jor-El, both of them do well with what they’ve got in terms of writing in this movie. Although the writing is where things seem to fall apart for me. People will like the movie, simply for being a popcorn flick, but those of us who are comic book fans, may not like it as much. I’m not the biggest Superman fan, but even I know there are issues with the character arc for Superman in this movie. We’re given clips and pieces as to why Superman does what he does, but not enough exposition to give us how he came to this revelation. In terms of the previous origin stories, Kal-El as Clark Kent, learned to be a source of good, and be a source of hope and light to many and help others through his experiences with Jonathan and Martha Kent.

In this one, he is born with this instinct to save others, and has no fear of his abilities. Ma and Pa Kent just try to have him not use his abilities and let people around him die, instead of saving them. To keep his abilities a secret above all else, as if to turn a blind eye to suffering. Even though we have scenes where Jonathan Kent is wanting Clark to wait until the right time for him to save others. The Kent’s feel rather wasted in this movie, and the eventual death (no spoiler for anyone who know’s the lore of Superman) of Jonathan Kent is rather pointless in this movie.

There are major character flaws within this version of Superman, I can’t really elaborate, without spoiling the movie. So I’ll let you figure out those flaws on your own. They happen right towards the end, when the action picks up. Granted the Action looks great in some instances, but others feels way too long and disjointed. It reminded me of District 9, and the first 2 Transformers movies. Sometimes we don’t see the details of how the Kryptonians do actions. We just see sometimes a jumble of jump cuts and odd camera angles. One annoying thing though, don’t watch it in 3D, otherwise you’ll get nauseous, the “Shaky cam” effect is really starting to become old and a headache. I actually felt nauseated and had a headache from the shaky cam being enhanced further by the 3D.

I liked Crowe’s Jor-El in this movie, granted I only enjoy his scenes on Krypton, where out of everyone there, he feels the most three-dimensional, but only to a certain point. Zod does feel three-dimensional but not as much until later in the movie. I liked his character arc much better than in the old movies, where Zod was wooden in the old ones. I just wish Superman was more fleshed out in terms of his normal character qualities. I might be spoiled with the previous versions of Superman I’ve seen. Christopher Reeve did an amazing job in the old movies, and in the cartoons I’ve seen, those versions of superman are great too. It’s just in this one, while we have Henry Cavil doing his best, it’s just the material he’s given, doesn’t do the character justice.

I’ll end this here, as there isn’t much else to say without spoiling the movie. I just was wishing for more in terms of the movie’s story.

Iron Man 3

Sorry this took so long, and its been so long since posts. I’ve just been rather lazy, haha. Being Laid off due to a lack of orders coming in.

Iron Man 3 poster

So I saw Iron Man 3 on opening weekend. Being a comic book fan and a fan of Iron Man, I am glad I saw this movie, but there are some issues with it.

First off, the writer/director of this movie was Shane Black, creator of the Lethal Weapon movies, and director of a great movie I like, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which also starred Robert Downey Jr. Both movies have RDJ narrating certain parts, but Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is more of a neo-noir type of narration, where as Iron Man 3, is more of him talking to someone specific. Spoiler: You find out after the credits of whom he speaks to.

The movie is alright, it’s quite funny where it means to be, however do not expect this to be an Iron Man movie, it is much more so a Tony Stark movie, so you’re expecting a ton of scenes with him in the suit battling stuff, like the first two movies, you’ll be disappointed. Being that it is a Tony Stark character development story, it leads into the main plot point as to why. Tony, (if you remember from trailers), is suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Something that anyone involved in war on the front lines, are likely to have experienced after combat.

Now, I have no problems with the story being around Tony dealing with said disorder; Unfortunately, we have the writing that has a few holes in it. We keep seeing this building, and building and over time Tony has a few panic attacks from it. The problem is, we build to his supposed “Revelation” to overcome his PTSD, and its extremely lack luster and rather pointless. It just seemed like it was an idea, with very little execution. This is first major problem with the script, an idea that doesn’t get enough detail to fully develop.

As we delve further into the writing and plot, we find that (like The Dark Knight Rises) we’re going into 2 different comic book storylines. One more recent, which is the Extremis line of 2005-2006, and the second which is older, but major in terms of the comics, The Mandarin. The problem this film has, is that both storylines are very weak when put together in this way. Granted the movie has humor and enough action to keep you entertained, but anyone going in for being an Iron Man or comic book fan, will probably leave a bit annoyed if not angered. I myself did enjoy the movie, for its entertainment value, but it didn’t impress me with the comic book adapting of the first 2.

See, this is something facing comic book movie adaptations, instead of focusing one particular storyline, or one comic, we’re getting multiple storyline adaptation, that are meant to deepen the movie experience, and give us more twists, but we get very little exposition as to why things happen and a proper resolution to the underlying problem, and in the case of this movie, we get a lot of unanswered questions left over. Now, unlike TDKR, where some of us were going “That’s completely uncharacteristic of Bruce Wayne/Batman, he never gives up.” We didn’t have those moments here, at least as much. All of Tony’s attitude was characteristic of him, but there were some things that were very contradictory to the previous films and the lore of the comics.

One thing that kind of bugged me, and may bug the rest of you, is the fact that under normal circumstances for the suit, it’s powered by Tony’s Arc Reactor. In this one, they set it up that all the suits are independently powered by some internal system, and not the arc reactor. So when we have scenes where Jarvis is saying things like “The flight systems have not been restore due to insufficient power, are really thrown askew, when in the first movie, we had that happen, and Tony’s life became at risk, because his electro-magnet starts to fail without power. So what is odd is the fact we have that, but without the risk to Tony. Logic tells us, that if in the previous movies, his suit was powered by the Arc and in this one he’s constantly worrying about charging it, “why doesn’t he connect it to his arc reactor again?”

The other part that kind of loses the comic book fans is the treatment of The Mandarin. All the trailers marketed the focus of the movie as being on The Mandarin, and the shots of the rings and Ben Kingsley being all bad ass in monologue. What we got, was what we perceived as The Mandarin, with all the rings, being written off in the first hour, and reduced to nothing. Then we go into the other half, which had been set up throughout the movie, the major plot, which is Extremis. The problem is, they focused on the idea of Extremis, but didn’t use a lot of the good points of the source material, like what happens to Tony with it.

This is where the Extremis plot begins to fall apart; they focus on the primary part of it and explain with subtle hints and exposition through characters with the setup, but then after the main villain is defeated, they kind of just write it off, much like The Mandarin. As we get to a series of random scenes, with no proper context and basically writing off what we could get in Avengers 2.

In the trailer, we see scenes of Tony having surgery. Well yes we do see this, but its a short scene of the surgery being performed to remove the arc reactor and magnet, along with the remaining shrapnel from his heart. What we don’t get is the fact that they don’t show any exposition as to how he uses Extremis to repair the gaping hole in his chest, and removing of the apparent side effects we’re shown in the movie. Especially with another character whom is also injected with it, I won’t say who.

Acting in the movie is one of the few things keeping the movie interesting, besides the humor. Mainly due to the fact that Robert Downey Jr is an amazing actor and really funny, keeping us interested in Tony. Guy Pearce is kind of wasted in a good chunk of scenes, because while some didn’t find him over the top early on, but I did. He was very stereotypical, as with most of the early scenes of the movie involving everyone. I understand why they had the opening scenes, to give us a reason to care about the rest of the plot involving Pearce, but it’s not really necessary and kind of makes this more of a spin-off movie involving all the characters, rather than being a true Third movie.

Now, with all this in mind, there is still more holes in this movie. I don’t mean to dump on this movie, but there are some things that just annoy me personally about the way some of the comedy is presented. Now all the stuff involving Tony is fine, it works, as its similar to what we’ve seen in the previous movies. With everything else, involving government and Rhodey, is where things start to turn into a bad taste sort of joke. The problem I have with this, is that if Tony were to point these things out in passing, it would work better. What we got was the director showing us these humourous points, in a series of scenes that basically reenact the introduction of The Patriot Act, through War Machine being re-labeled as The Iron Patriot.

The main thing of the Iron Patriot, is that he’s basically being a symbol for the good with the US, which they already have with Captain America… In my opinion, why it doesn’t work, is that they rename the “War Machine” suit, and repaint it to be patriotic, much like Cap, but when you paint “Weaponry” and rename it “The Iron Patriot” with a series of scenes poking fun at the US government during the last war, is kind of bad taste and throws us the usual stereotype of (to borrow a line from Team America) “America! F*&% YEAH!” motif, which we normally relate to red necks.

The problem with doing something like that is that, if its done in a clever way say that of Tony making a joke in a conversation, so that everyone has a cheap laugh, it will work. If we have it in this way, it gets old really, really fast and its a constant reminder throughout the whole movie. One of the few times in the movie, they try to redeem themselves for making that joke, is by Tony making fun of the name change and paint job.

At least William Sadler doesn’t feel too wasted in the movie, since he doesn’t get a lot of screen time, and that he is human in the movie. His character doesn’t make a great President, because they need to show courage in the face of danger, and his character is kind of, a wimp. Then the vice president role goes to someone who is used to playing an a**hole type character in quite a few projects over the years. Miguel Ferrer plays the Vice President, and his role being tied to the plot, is kind of out of nowhere, where he didn’t get a lot of scenes in the movie, but you get the feeling that they wanted more of the role for the plot, but couldn’t quite fit it into the movie.

If things improve on the DVD, my thoughts may change, but for now that’s what I felt about this movie, it was as bad for Iron Man’s franchise, as TDKR was for the Chris Nolan Batman franchise. it just feels there’s too much going on for a simple premise. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still entertaining to watch, it’s just in terms of being an Iron Man movie, it kind of falls short for me.

Excerpts from my own written work. Enjoy!

So, as the title suggests, I’m going to post an excerpt from something I’ve been writing for a while. The main character is something I created, for a much larger universe of characters in an already established medium. Although I hope one day, he’ll be added to that community later, with approval of that particular company, some of the stories I have written, do not specifically relate to said community. This is one of those that does not relate to it specifically. I’m sorry if this sounds vague, but I don’t want to reference any big names in fear of copyright lawsuits.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from one of my stories… it is told in first person, although not all the stories involving the main character are told this way. I am experimenting with different styles to showcase the character and my own self for writing purposes.

And to save myself any issues down the line, if you can forgive the legal statement below, I thank you in advance.

*All copyright of characters, events, and things therein are on the sole copyright of myself, the author. No infringement is intended or implied of any other properties contained therein*

“”

. The next fight was even more brutal than what I did to the Russian. Both fighters drew so much blood out of one another; they had to get a hose to clean it up. I was declared the winner by default, as both of the other fighters had nearly killed one another and could not continue. “Unfortunately due to our last two competitors beating the shit out of each other, and crippling themselves, The Shroud will continue by default to face Ryan ‘The Fury’ Wilson, our reigning champion.” He said. The crowd booed for a moment, before he resumed. “We will have a short 1 hour break, while we clean up and prepare for the final match of the night.” He said. I sat at the bar, drinking some water. “He’s going to kill you… you know that right?” The bartender said. “He can try.” I replied.

“Ooohh, someone is cocky.” The bartender said. “Well, I came here to face him in combat, I know that one of us will be walking out, just don’t know who yet.” I said. “You warrior types always intrigue me.” The bartender said. I drank some more water, and iced my fist some more. “Russian was tough?” a patron asked. “Hard jaw; bruised my knuckles, just icing them down before the final bout.” I said. “Ah.” He said. I sat there, for most of the hour, surveying the place with subtle glances, while my hand healed. As the hour neared to a close, the Announcer came up to the stage, after the ring was cleaned. “Alright, Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re just about to start the final match, between our reigning Champ, Ryan ‘The Fury’ Wilson, and our finalist ‘The Shroud.’” He said, as he sipped his drink. I stood, and stretched, as my muscles had started to stiffen from sitting. I walked up to the stage, as Wilson also stretched.

This fight would be similar to the Russian, except for the facts, Wilson is faster, and can drill his fist a lot harder. The announcer did his hype up before we started, once finished, we took our places. I decided to switch things up, and used a mix of moves from both my martial arts training, and some tactics I learned in CQB combat training from the Military. Wilson came forward, and performed a high kick, I ducked, and grabbed the back of his calf, and drive my foot into his back. Wilson fell to the bottom of the ring, and got up quickly. He charged at me with his fist, running and yelling as he did so. I grabbed his wrist, and fell backward, using my foot as a lever, and my back as a fulcrum, sending him flying into the cage wall. Getting up, and getting more agitated, Wilson came up and started living up to his nickname. I tried to block one of his kicks, but he moved quicker than I could counter, and I took his barrage of kicks to my arm and chest.

I was knocked back, he had cracked one of my ribs, and I spat blood onto the mat. I had to finish things before Wilson turned the tables and would annihilate me. I got up, and saw Wilson punch, I jumped up as I grabbed his wrist, and drove my fist into his elbow, smashing the joint, ruining the muscle mass on it. I would be swollen later, but I figure some pain would go a long way to victory. Wilson grabbed his arm, as it fell dead at his side. I ran to the cage wall and jumped off of it and swiftly kicked Wilson in the face, causing him to spin into the opposite end of the cage. Wilson stood and leaned on the wall. I could hear voices from the private bar behind me, Marshalls was talking to Warsaw. “Who the fuck is this guy, he’s making mincemeat out of Fury?” She asked. “I don’t know, but he’s using what looks like CQB, Close Quarters Combat, US Military guys use it.” Warsaw said. I had a keen sense of hearing, and could filter out a good part of the crowd. I didn’t have time to sit there and contemplate, as Wilson charged his other arm, while still partially using his broken one.

I dodged the fist, but he brought his knee up, I grabbed it, but it still carried some momentum and hit me in the cheek. I bounced into the cage wall with my feet planted, I pushed forward, knocking Wilson back, as we fell, I planted my foot into his knee cap. We landed in a pile; his knee shattered the cap, just as the Russian’s had. I rolled and got to my feet. Wilson held his leg, and stood, now 45% of his body damaged, he wouldn’t last much longer, but could still deal some bad hits to me. He charged and drove his good knee into my hip, bruising the muscle. I grabbed it and twisted his leg, causing him to do a face plant into the mat. Wilson stood on the bad knee, hobbling, as his other leg was twisted. He swung his good arm out; I moved to the side and swept his feet. His momentum sent him into the cage.

He grabbed the twisted leg and reset it with a rage of hatred. He ran at me, with his good fist aimed at my skull, time seemed to slow, as I took a moment to analyse what part to hit him on next. I ran up the cage wall, and used his head as an apex, bouncing off of it and landing behind him as he drove his fist into the cage. In creating a hole in the mesh, his arm became trapped, metal digging into the flesh. With his good arm now out, I took the advantage. Running around and up the cage wall again, and brought my knee down to him, as he yelled, trying to free his pinned arm. “Good bye, Fury.” I said as my knee came into contact with Wilson’s face, driving his nose in, and cracking the forehead. His body fell down, and hung for a moment from the cage. He was done, if he survived, he would never fight again.

“”

*All copyright of characters, events, and things therein are on the sole copyright of myself, the author. No infringement is intended or implied of any other properties contained therein*

Hope you enjoyed this excerpt, as I said its a work in progress and is a part of a larger work I’m in the process of writing. I just posted this to help generate some exposure to my work, other than my usual ramblings about games, comics and movies. Also, I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed 3, and its truly awesome, and I’m really enjoying it, but more on that later.  On a side note, I may see Skyfall in theatres,  hopefully yes. (No promises, as I’m broke and still unemployed.) If I am able to, I will write a review, as I’m hearing good things about it from other reviewers, such as Rotten Tomatoes with its ratings and with Brad Jones of http://thecinemasnob.com and Noah Antwiler (Spoony) of http://spoonyexperiment.com.

So, with that, I’ll sign off, enjoy your time here and Godspeed.

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.