Posts Tagged ‘ Twilight ’

Why 2012 Was The Wrong Year for The Amazing Spider-Man

(This is not a review)

Amazing Spider-man Int. Poster

Amazing Spider-man Int. Poster (Photo credit: marvelousRoland)

The official reviews for The Amazing Spider-Man are in. While the film itself isn’t released here in the UK for another week, the general consensus is the Marc Webb directed Amazing Spider-Man is a good film that diminishes itself by rehashing an origin no one really wanted to see. With Marvel’s The Avengers managing to easily pass the $1 billion mark already this year and The Dark Knight Rises expected to do better, was 2012 really the best year for the return of the high school Peter Parker?

Despite popular opinion, Spider-Man 3 (2007) was not the huge disaster it’s often made out to be. Emo-Spidey and underdeveloped villains aside, Spider-Man 3 still managed to be the highest-grossing film of Sam Raimi’s trilogy. It should have been easy to follow suit with a fourth movie. If Internet rumour was correct, Sony would now be the one’s having Anne Hathaway as their anti-hero in their franchise, not Warner Bros. With Hathaway’s Hollywood stock at an all-time high, Sony would have been guaranteed success with Hathaway and Jon Malkovich. Instead, studio interference led to director Raimi dropping out, leaving the project without a director and crew. Sony insisted they had no choice but to reboot with Andrew Garfield replacing Tobey Maguire as the lead hero.

A new Spider-Man film should have been easy to sell to anyone. Spider-Man is one of the most relatable and popular superheroes of all time, and is Marvel’s highest-grossing franchise to date. How could it go wrong? Perhaps taking the focus away from the action, and focusing on the relationship between Peter and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Sony has risked alienating their biggest audience. Children. Children that wear the Spider-Man pyjamas, the Spider-Man face paint and buy the Spider-Man toys. The Avengers catered for everyone and as a result it’s managed to become the third highest-grossing film of all time. Will The Amazing Spider-Man reach similar heights? I doubt it.

I credit The Amazing Spider-Man for deliberately trying not to cater for the superhero action extravaganza audiences. After all, they’ve already been catered for this year with The Avengers, so why bother trying to outdo a group of superheroes when you can tell a more personal and intimate story? That’s where I admire The Amazing Spider-Man’s ambition. It’s trying to be different from your usual superhero flick, or is it? There are some very direct parallels between Webb’s reboot and the Raimi movies. The Lizard for one treads the same water Alfred Molina already crossed with the tortured scientist trying to make the world a better place as the brilliant Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2, while Denis Leary’s Captain Stacey fills the void left by J. Jonah Jameson played by J. K. Simmons.

If The Amazing Spider-Man was never going to be the cinematic revolution many hoped it would be, you would think Sony would know better than to put their reboot between two franchise juggernauts. Providing a film to match Spider-Man’s 50th anniversary in 2012 is a nice sentiment, but it looks as if Sony has paid the price for re-visiting Spider-Man’s origin. Looking at next year’s comic book movie schedule, there’s Iron Man 3 hitting cinemas May 3rd Man of Steel on 14th June and Thor 2 on the 8th of November. That’s a pretty crammed schedule, and adding a fourth superhero film to 2013 risks over-saturating the comic book movie industry, so The Amazing Spider-Man probably wouldn’t have faired much better there either.  Will The Amazing Spider-Man find itself as the first major casualty of an over-saturated market? That’s something that’s long been on the horizon but until now with the exception of Warner Bro’s Green Lantern, we’ve never really noticed it. When was it going to get to a point where people started tiring of comic book movies?

I may be wrong, and The Amazing Spider-Man may go on to hit the $1 billion mark, however it was never going to meet my people’s expectations. If I want dark and gritty, I can wait to see The Dark Knight Rises. If I want a romance film embedded in fantasy, the Twilight finale hits at the end of the year. Raimi nailed with the character in my opinion. Spider-Man is so compelling because he’s a character surrounded by tragedy, by uses it to drive him to achieve good in the world.

When Sony booked the 2012 slot, they should have considered that rehashing a worn- down gritty origin was never going to satisfy fans that have just seen The Avengers. From the moment the first trailer was released, The Amazing Spider-Man has always felt dwarfed. If the plan was to deliver Twilight in spandex, they should have perhaps waited for the vampire franchise to actually finish.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 Review

 

Cover of "Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Sag...

Cover via AmazonFilm Details: 12A

Release Date: November 18th 2011

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

Director: Bill Condon

If you’re going to see this film, I doubt this review will stop you. Since vampire mania swept the globe with the release of ‘Twilight’ back in 2008, the Twilight Saga has grown from bad to worse. Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is an example of everything wrong with the Twilight franchise. Like myself, if you’re not part of the teenage ‘twihard’ demographic, avoid this grim sequel at all costs.

Team Edward! Team Jacob! It’s hard to watch a film, when you have a cinema full of screaming teenagers around you. As the film opened with our first glimpse of Edward Cullen (Pattinson) and Jacob Black (Lautner), the screams from at least 200 girls beckoned. Staying silent, I must have counted four other men in the cinema at the most, no doubt dragged to see the film by their ‘twihard’ girlfriends.

As the film progressed the screams died down, and the laughs grew. Where Harry Potter benefited from telling its story between two films, Breaking Dawn almost becomes a self-parody. The film’s opening is arguably it’s strongest point. Mortal Bella Swan (Stewart), who still can’t catch a smile, is finally getting married to the love of her life, the sparkly vampire Edward Cullen. The wedding speech montage from friends of the bride and groom is the best moment in the film. Too bad it’s cut short for a quick cliché stare down between rivals Jacob and Edward (with Lautner delivering just about enough sarcasm to make the scene remotely interesting).

That’s where the romance story ends. From then on, the flick transcends into a rather grotesque soap opera.  An anticlimactic lovemaking scene between Bella and Edward (during in which every girl in the audience, and a few guys strangely enough erupted into cheers) leads to Bella falling pregnant. At this point we find out her human womb struggles to cope with a foetus that’s half vampire and the race to keep her alive begins. As the Cullen clan try to keep Bella alive, the film takes a stake to the heart with some laughable conversations between CGI wolves, who swear revenge for Bella’s life becoming threatened by the Cullens. It’s almost impossible to make the plot seem sensible. It’s safe to say, if you’re not up to speed with the Twilight mythology, this film does not work as a standalone.

What I found most disappointing was from an outsider’s perspective, the script deliberately avoided anything that would have made for compelling drama, in order for the film to remain as light, clichéd entertainment. Edward’s hesitation over fathering a child that may kill his wife, and Jacobs test of loyalty to his tribe went completely unexplored, instead the film focused on making Bella look as grotesque as possible while she struggles to survive her potentially fatal pregnancy. From her illness, to her gore fest caesarean, I struggled to see how this film managed to pass with a 12A rating. Perhaps some salvation might come from the film potentially putting 13-year-old girls off pregnancy. Judging by the deafening screams of cheers from the audience, Breaking Dawn somehow manages to do just enough to get fans excited for the sequel. I’d like to imagine we might finally see an action packed vampire/werewolf showdown, but if any of the last films are to go by, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Verdict: 2/5

As someone who has been forced to watch all four of the Twilight films, I can say this is by far the worst of the bunch. Despite having some of the better acting of the series, pacing problems, awful special effects and a relatively boring script highlight that this is one franchise that just won’t die. Still, I’ve got a year to brace myself for the next one…