Saturday, June 30, 2012
When I first heard Sony Pictures was rebooting the Spider-man franchise, I was a little skeptical. Not just because Hollywood has been "reboot" crazy for a while now (ie Batman, Superman, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween and even another Sony Picture title due later this year, Total Recall), but unlike the others, the original Spider-man franchise ended less than a decade ago! I thought it was a bit too soon for a reboot; however, after enjoying 'The Amazing Spider-Man' today, directed by Marc Webb (tee-hee) in glorious true IMAX 3-D (not L-IMAX), I can now add 'The Amazing Spider-Man' to my list of successful reboots, right next to 'Batman Begins'.
So yes, I would say 'The Amazing Spider-Man' is pretty amazing and what this film has that the others did not are better relationships, a better sense of mystery, and better character arcs. Forget what the previous films told you, 'The Amazing Spider-Man' goes back (and I mean WAY back) to Peter Parker before being bit by the genetically enhanced spider; still in high school and still suffering with puppy love. There is a new Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) and even Peter's parents are introduced in this film. There is also a new villain, Dr. Curtis Connors/The Lizard (Rhys Ifans), but don't go into the theatre expecting a ton of The Lizard; though prominent, this is an origins movie which takes primary focus, but I reiterate that the improved plot did not slow the film. Still, it's not all gooey relationship stuff, the fighting is grittier, more creative, and quite honestly, made me a little restless when my own fear of heights kicked in, which I did not feel watching the other films. There are also better special effects and a few POV shots of what it would look like being inside the spidey suit, which was nice. But since this is the summer of action/superhero films, I do have to compare the action sequences to, let's say... The Avengers, which are not quite as thrilling, but still very entertaining.
However, I've saved the best for last, and what I think makes this film superior to the others is Andrew Garfield. Tobey Maguire is a fine actor, but I think Garfield gives Peter Parker another layer that was missing in the previous portrayal. No, I did not forget about Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey, who was good though her part was probably the least demanding, but that is not a dig at the screenwriters who did the very impressive job of giving everybody a significant part to play that is intricate to the story - right down to a very grateful father.
So, no offense to the original "classics" but 'The Amazing Spider-Man' is a needed reboot that leaves a couple of unanswered questions for a sequel. Also, as is with most superhero movies these days, there is an end credit ending, which occurred right after the main casts' names were scrolled. If anyone can explain it to me though, please do as I feel that only readers of the comic books would understand it.
BORN IN BLOOD
Born in Blood by Kate Paulk. $1.99 from Smashwords.com
Vlad Dracul, known later in life as Vlad the Impaler, suffered more than any should at the hands of Mehmed, son of Sultan Murad. Of all the pain and indignities brought upon him at the behest of the future ruler of the Ottoman Empire, the curse was the worst. All the young Vlad can do is try to survive and plot his vengeance.