Posts Tagged ‘ Mary Jane Watson ’

The Amazing Spider-Man Movie Review (2D)

It’s the reboot none of us really needed, but probably the one we deserved right now. That was my thought process when sitting down ready to watch Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man. While the latest Spidey-flick does tread over a lot of previously covered ground, it manages to tell much more of an emotional tale than what any other superhero blockbuster has managed to do, making it one of the better comic book movies out there.

Perhaps one of the main reasons audiences have been so against Sony’s decision to reboot the Spider-Man franchise is given the context of the current state of comic book movies. When Sam Raimi hit the ground running in 2002 with his Spider-Man début, there had only really been one great comic book movie with Bryan Singer’s X-Men to challenge against (two if you count Blade). Wind forward ten-years later, Spidey finds himself up against the might of The Avengers, and the punch of The Dark Knight Rises.

It’s because of this factor the film often struggles to find its own identity. Too often it feels as if Webb’s film has been influenced by what Christopher Nolan has achieved with the Batman franchise. Taking a Batman Begins approach to Spidey’s origin may have seemed like a good idea, if only Webb could keep with it. The shift in tone is remarkably jarring at times, but recovers by the end when the film falls into more familiar superhero territory.

The story is simple. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is sent to live with his aunt and uncle at a young age after his parents (are they spies?) are presumably sent away on a mission. Cut to present-day and an angst-filled Parker has developed into a social outcast at school, while resenting not knowing the truth about the fate of his parents.

Colliding with this tale however is the journey of Dr. Curtis Conners (Rhys Ifans), a scientist desperate to regrow his missing limb through cross-species genetics. This is where problems with the script are notably on display, as the plot-threads don’t intertwine well at all, and we are left with little closure on any of them.

Performance wise, Andrew Garfield is a revelation as Peter Parker. Not only sporting a physique much more akin to the Peter from the comic books, but also bringing with him an attitude that was missing from the Raimi films. Sure, some of the one-liners fall flat on occasions, but this is much more of a relevant Parker than what Tobey Maguire achieved. If a teenager suddenly got spider-powers, would the first thing they do really go and sign up for a wrestling match. No, and Webb’s film brilliantly captures Peter exploring his powers.

Peter’s love interest Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is a welcome change from the typical damsel in distress role Kristen Dunst played with Mary-Jane Watson. For once, a comic book movie has a strong female lead, with Gwen being top of her class at school, while holding down an internship at Oscorp.  Furthermore, Stone proves to have fantastic chemistry with co-star Garfield, and the Gwen/Peter scenes pack far more of an emotional core than the Magure/Dunst relationship ever did. Many reviews have unfairly labelled the film as ‘Twilight in spandex’, however the relationship between Peter and Gwen elevates the film at least two stars, even succeeding where Nolan’s films have failed in giving us an interesting female lead.

Rhys Ifans gives a solid performance as Curt Conners, despite his character feeling very reminiscent of the brilliant Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2. Denis Leary does an impressive job playing Gwen’s father Captain George Stacy, bringing a likeable quality to him despite acting as one of Spider-Man’s nemesis for much of the film, while Martin Sheen is a brilliantly funny Uncle Ben, further adding to the inevitable tragedy that entails.

Special effects wise, the film does an impressive job with the practical effects used in scenes when Peter Parker is web-slinging, however that’s probably the best compliment I can give as it’s clear this is a much smaller-budget production than the Raimi films. From a choreography stand-point, some of the action scenes were brilliantly done, but the effects used on the Lizard were laughable at times, and it’s questionable as to why they didn’t give the Lizard a snout as originally thought as it would have looked far more menacing.

Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man was a welcome surprise. Despite having some dreadful CGI in places, the fantastic leads and emphasis on drama makes this a truly spectacular reboot. Now if they can get Webb back for the sequel we might get a movie that can top Spider-Man 2

Ohh, and there are many hints towards the sequel…

8/10

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Welcome back Spidey?

Garfield-Spider-Man-costume

Image by Daniel Semper via Flickr

Next year will see the return of everybody’s favourite web-slinger, The Amazing Spider-Man. On the 4th July 2012, five years after Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 left an emo taste in our mouths, Peter Parker heads to back to high school/college to learn that with great power comes great responsibility. Again.

When Sony announced the Spider-Man franchise would be rebooted for a 2012 release, directed by Marc Webb and staring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, I was initially thrilled. I loved the Sam Raimi trilogy, even Spider-Man 3 to a certain extent, however it was just fitting it was time for a reboot. Tobey Maguire was getting too old (and out of shape) to play Spidey, whilst Kirsten Dunst‘s Mary Jane Watson had become a terrible bore. Plans for the fourth Spidey film were not helped by the fact that spoilers were leaked concerning the films plot and the fans were not happy with what they saw.

Apparently old webhead was up against The Vulture (played by John Malkovich), one of Spidey’s oldest enemies (quite literally)  and was set to be the films main villain, accompanied by a female sidekick known as The Vultress. The Vulture was apparently a mechanical bird, piloted by Malkovich through an avatar type process. Thank god that never materialized.

My initial idea for the Spider-Man reboot was that Spideys origin was dealt with quickly through the films opening credits (similar to the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk), so that the film could move forward at a fast pace not have to worry about setting up the origin. We all know how Peter Parker got his powers; after all we saw it only 11 years ago. Instead Peter Parker is going back to high school/college to face the drama of teen life alongside his newfound powers. Whilst I can see Sony’s ideas, jumping on the success of teen flicks such as Twilight would bring in the popularity, but re-doing the death of Peter’s uncle, discovery of his powers thing seems like a wasted opportunity to me.

After all, unlike the 2000 era, Spidey no longer dominates the field for superhero movies. Whilst his franchise has been on hiatus, characters such as The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America have come into play. Even the X-Men franchise, which was around the same time as Raimi’s trilogy, has gone back to prequels with X-Men: First Class to keep things fresh. There’s a lot more selection now when it comes to comic book movies so web-head needs to be fresh and ready or he could be set for tangle at the box office.

Apart from the boring choice of re-doing the origin, The Amazing Spider-Man does look promising. After his widely acclaimed role in The Social Network, Andrew Garfield has proven himself to be a fantastic rising star really does look the part of Peter Parker. Unlike Maguire, Garfield is skinny and can pull of the nerd look at lot more effectively. If you think I’m wrong then check these pictures out and see for yourself. I’m not so big on the Spider-Man suit however. I thought they would go back to basics and invent a suit, which looks like it was actually made by a teenager. Instead it looks like a cross between the original costume and his wrestling attire from the original Spider-Man movie.

As far as villains go it looks as if we will be seeing Rhys Ifans play Dr Curt Conners aka The Lizard. It will be interesting to see how this pans out as the reboot only has a rumoured 80 million dollar budget, so I’m guessing special effects will be limited. Perhaps we will see a more humanoid Lizard through practical effects such as makeup. Seems to be that way so far as webslinging goes which isn’t a bad thing. Too many comic book movies are plagued by mediocre special effects.

I am really disappointed that we are seeing another origin story, but as long as he’s in costume by the films quarter mark I’ll be happy. Spider-Man is and should be one of the greatest comic book characters of all time, and it’s only fitting we finally get a movie to reflect this.

Just stay clear of the dancing…

We’ve had a Royal Wedding, why not a Super Wedding?

Fantastic 4 - Rise of the silver surfer

Image by Brajeshwar via Flickr

The Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton has taken place, and seeing how excited people get over weddings has led me to ask why we don’t see more superhero weddings on screen?

There are plenty of superhero weddings in comic books, such as Spider-Man and Mary Jane, Superman and Lois Lane, but when it comes to film, our heroes seem to fall shy when it comes to asking the big question? Is it because marriages between heroes are doomed to fail? Or are they just afraid of commitment.

First up is our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. When we last saw the webslinger in Spider-Man 3 he had had his proposal to his girlfriend Mary Jane Watson surprisingly rejected. And this was after enduring a battle with his best friend where he nearly lost his engagement ring, kissing another woman and fighting a giant sandmonstor. He certainly didn’t catch a break when it came to marriage proposals. Sadly we will never see if MJ eventually accepted as the franchise has been rebooted for a new Spidey played by Andrew Garfield in 2012.

Next up is Batman in The Dark Knight. The caped crusader was unable to commit to life long love Rachel Dawes because of his antics as the dark knight. To add insult to injury, Rachel goes and accepts a proposal from District Attorney Harvey Dent. Even that marriage was doomed from the start as moments after telling Dent she accepts, The Joker kills her and Dent is hideously scarred and turns into Two Face. Seems no one wins in that triangle.

We almost had a wedding of royal scale in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Tipped as the wedding of the century in the film, the service between Mr Fantastic and the Invisible Woman was interrupted by the Silver Surfer. Cue a crashing helicopter, a fiery chase between the Human Torch and the cosmic surfer, and the service was ruined. The super couple did marry at the end of the film in a private ceremony in Japan, however they had to prematurely wrap up the ceremony to attend superhero duties.

Perhaps Superman fairs a little better. He at least fathered a child out of wedlock in Superman Returns. The Man of Steel didn’t even seem to have the courage to ask his mortal lover Lois Lane to marry him. I think that’s Superman’s problem not hers, as Lois had been married in Superman Returns to another man for at least five or more years. Shame on you Superman.

We’ve seen a wedding in superhero animation however. In the wonderful 2004 Pixar movie The Incredibles, we witnessed the marriage of two superheroes, Mr Incredible and Eslastigirl. That didn’t go too smoothly as the groom turned up late after foiling a robbery as the masked superhero. Still the service was done, as they’ve been the most successful married super couple on film so far.

It seems marriage doesn’t fit the superhero lifestyle. Our heroes are happier fighting crime and saving lives then tying the knot, or in Superman’s case, impregnating a woman and flying off for five years. Perhaps Green Lantern can prove us wrong, after all,

he already has a ring.