Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man: Is it?

Karen: Post your general impressions about the new Spider-Man film here. Please avoid any spoilers! We'll get to those in a follow-up post on Saturday.


Anonymous said...

I’m assuming that referring to stuff we’ve seen in the cinema trailers does not count as spoilers, but I’ll try to avoid specifics altogether.

I have to say it’s the first Marvel movie that I was actually determined to hate because I really thought that re-booting rather than recasting was a just a lazy way of...dare I say it...money-spinning. When they first announced, I thought ‘oh fantastic, Marvel have got back the franchise from Sony, so they’re going to start again. Fair enough’. But then I realised it was still Sony. So just about the money then.

Also, I liked Raimi’s ones. I thought he did a good job.

Having said all that, it looks bloody fantastic. I think of all the Marvel movies (heck, of all movies full stop) it is probably the subject that was born to be in 3D and the 3D looks absolutely gobsmacking. If you’re gonna do the webslinger, the one thing that has to be done right is the webslinging....I was very impressed with the way Raimi did it, but the new ones look amazing. Beautifully crafted cinematography should seduce your eyes, but good 3D should turn your lunch over....and when I say the trailers look fantastic, I am not voting with my heart or my head. I’m voting with my duodenum.

Can we agree between us all right now that we’re going to leave the ‘Marc Webb’ thing alone?


david_b said...

Yes, I may indeed eat my words after seeing it, but like Richard, my initial reaction is not liking the new movie. Hopefully it will be sufficiently removed from the other films to actually be done well. The casting already looks MUCH improved (goodbye, Ms Dunst..).

Loving Avengers so much, it will be a hard one to beat, but I may indeed like it on it's own merits and style.

Someone a few months ago mentioned that a Defenders movie couldn't be done because some of the characters are already being used by different studios, which I thought was balderdash, and with getting this franchise back from Sony, it proves my point. If there's great box-office return potential at stake, with a great director and meaty story concept, characters can be used by any studio commissioned. You can buy out any contract, especially if the contract stipulates something must be done with the characters every few years.

Totally agreed with Richard on whe webslinging. That was part of the Ditko charm that was an untapped source of humor. I liked the 'organic webbing' at first, but it made Peter just a tad more 'super' than he should have been. I'm still not liking the new suit much (still seems too much like a rubber basketball), but we'll have to see.

I won't be seeing it for a few weeks, so I'll welcome the spoilers (or perhaps just not tune to Saturday's column..).

Edo Bosnar said...

Don't really see the point - outside of the ka-ching factor - of re-booting these movies, since the Raimi ones weren't THAT bad (they were certainly better than the FF films...), although I agree with david_b that Dunst was a really poor casting choice for Mary Jane.
However, my real reason for commenting is just to turn everyone's attention to today's post at Diversions of the Groovy Kind, featuring what is probably the first live-action Spider-man film ever made - in 1969! It's absolutely sweet.

david_b said...



I just found that SAME film elsewhere, and was just going to suprise everyone:


You beat me to it. Hope everyone enjoys it.

Doug said...

My boys went to see it at a midnight show last night. Both of them said that they felt Amazing was below the first two Raimi/Maguire films, and my younger lad even said (gasp) that S-M 3 was better than this one.

Some non-spoiler comments from them:

Getting Peter into the suit takes about an hour.

No Daily Bugle, no JJJ.

Both of them felt that Maguire played a better Peter Parker than Andrew Garfield, who they both characterized as "awkward".

I know Karen's going tomorrow morning. I won't be seeing this for at least two weeks, as I'll be out of town on work. But I am looking forward to everyone's comments on Saturday -- to some extent this one's already a bit spoiled for me, as my enthusiasm was growing with each trailer that was released. I think another part of the equation, and it's been said, that following Avengers couldn't be easy for any film.


david_b said...

Doug, asking in a non-spoiler way.., how did you feel about the change in Peter from his street clothes to when he puts on the suit..? From the previews I saw, Spidey seems to have a nice touch of cockiness.

That to me is one of the more interesting (perhaps challenging) aspects of Spidey, how Peter's persona changes once the mask goes on, much like any other hero that 'becomes someone else' when the suit's on. Was that played up well?

I know studios always try to outdo each previous film with better, cooler effects, but I still yearn for smaller scale, retro movies which'll still pack emotional resonance.

Doug said...

David --

My oldest son said the transition Garfield makes from Peter to Spidey is smooth. He said there are a few good wisecracks.


Karen said...

One of the things I am excited about is the wise-cracks. We really didn't get that with the Raimi films and for me that is such an essential part of the character.

I thought McGuire was just OK, and Dunst dreadful, so I am happy to see these two new leads. Still don't think we really needed to retell the origin again though.

Anonymous said...

Can I just get clear on the awfulness of Kirsten Dunst? I didn’t think she was particularly awful per se, she just WASN’T Mary Jane. At all. But I don’t think that was down to a bad reading of the part, I don’t think the movie MJ was written, plotted or conceived to be our MJ.

Face it, Tiger, you missed the jackpot.


david_b said...

I would start by saying that to the legions of fans, there's an embodiment of who a character is.

Much like a lot of comments here have mentioned when a writer didn't have the 'voice' of a character, and how it detracts from a story. That's one aspect against Ms. Dunst (and the scripts, yes).

Second, I perceived no real chemistry in the role she played, along side the other main/supporting characters, just seemed very one-dimensional.

Third, visually, she didn't even look like most popular depictions of MJ in the comics, except for 'red hair'. I personally saw no sparkle in the eyes, but Maquire didn't have much either.

As for star billing, she basically provided what Alba brought to the FF movies. At best an adequate portrayal, but certainly not sufficient for the legions to say 'THAT'S Mary Jane'..

Doug said...

Mary Jane Watson? How about an 18-something Tina Louise? Now that would be a jackpot...


William said...

I just got back from seeing ASM the movie and I thought it was Spectacular, Sensational, AMAZING!!! As we were leaving the theater I asked my wife what she thought and she said it was awesome! And one of the best movies she'd ever seen. MY WIFE said this!

I loved it as well. I personally thought that nearly everything about this version was better than any of the Rami films. I thought Garfield was a Peter Parker/Spider-Man than MaGuire. Spider-Man seemed more like Spider-Man to me. He was wise-cracking while he was in action and he was also a lot more agile and spidery looking than in the previous films. Loved the mechanical web-shooters, and the action/fight scenes were absolutely incredible. I also liked Aunt May and Uncle Ben better in this one as well. I have to say that I very much disliked Rosemary Clooney as Aunt May in the other movies. She always came off as a grating old bitty to me. And Cliff Robertson (as Uncle Ben) looked like he was about to drop dead any minute even before he got shot by the Sandman (remember that brilliant plot twist?). I thought that Martin Sheen and Sally Field were much more likable and complete as those characters. I also much preferred Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy over Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson. But then I always liked Gwen better than MJ anyway. Even the costume (which I hated when I first saw it) grew one me in this one. After seeing it in action, I like it better than the Rami version as well. (I always hated that raised rubber webbing).

Things I was surprised by. First that J. Jonah Jameson (and the rest of the Bugle crew) didn't even make a brief appearance in the movie. I was also surprised that neither Norman Osborn nor Harry were anywhere to be seen, even though the entire plot of the film revolved around Osborn Industries. I can only guess that JJJ and the Osborn's will show up in the sequel. They probably didn't have the actors they wanted to play those pivotal roles selected as yet, which is why they didn't even have cameos in this one.

Well, that's my initial impression. I'll know more once I see it again. But as far as I'm concerned right now, it was pretty much the best super hero movie I've ever seen. Even better than Avengers (or at the very least it's a tie). To anyone who hasn't seen it, I highly recommend you don't delay, because it is truly AMAZING!

William said...

Sorry, in my last post I meant to say that - "I thought Garfield was a BETTER Peter Parker/Spider-Man than MaGuire."

tetrahedron said...

Like many of you, I sneered when I first heard about this reboot and could only think "why?".

But the trailers looked good and I started to have a change of heart, slowly.

The movie is indeed "amazing"!
I liked it over Raimi's version simply because this is a film of a higher calibre. I was thoroughly entertained, dazzled and satisfied.

That said, it is not a perfect film. But my criticisms are dwarfed by what I found good about it.

Andrew Garfield's performance is stellar, simply a great job. He IS Peter Parker! Emma stone is the living embodiment of John Romita Sr's Gwen Stacy.

The action scenes (specifically, Spidey's scenes) are so much more lifelike and thrilling than Raimi's version.

I saw it with my wife who is no comic book fan, and she also found it to be a great movie.

Leave your prejudices at the door and get ready to be entertained. I had been so sick of Spider-Man over the last 10 years (he had been my absolutle childhood fave as a kid, but with so many sub-par comics and the not-quite-good enough Raimi movies...ugh), and against all odds, this movie turned all that around...go Spider-Man!

Fred W. Hill said...

Saw this today with my friend Shane, his sons & daughter-in-law. I thought it was a great film, even better than Raimi's first crack at Spidey, which I liked too, although I hated that hard plastic Green Goblin mask. Of course, once again this take is different than that created by Lee & Ditko, as well as the Ultimate version and all the various other ones out there. Nevertheless, it was close enough to the spirit of Lee/Ditko's to satisfy me and I really like that the version of Gwen Stacy here is smart and brave, a great updating of a tragic, iconic character. I also liked that Flash wasn't simply a one-note bully. Some fans familiar with the Ditko era forget that Flash showed some significant growth as a character during those first 3 years. To me, it seems it was important to Ditko to show Peter and his high school peers slowly but surely growing into more mature, responsible adults.
Of course, in this movie, Peter & Gwen are just barely believeable as high school seniors. And the manner in which Peter devised his web-spinners and put together his costume worked for me. Reading those old Lee/Ditko issues it did seem a bit absurd, even if you grant his winnings from his brief wrestling career paid for the materials, but, well, if you'll go along with a bite from a radioactive spider giving a guy superstrength and the power to stick to walls and ceilings even with gloves and presumably thick soled socks (and those must have been impressively tough socks to not wear out every other week or so of wall-crawling adventuring!).

humanbelly said...

Aaand HBSon & I just now returned from seeing it. . . and quite honestly we both LOVED it. Mind you, I was about as negatively-biased as an audience member could be, going in. Completely and thoroughly hated the idea of the franchise being re-booted, and losing actors I was so pleased with in roles they'd been doing for three films.

But the movie opens by touching on some rather deep Spiderman lore-- which immediately gets the film off on the right foot to a longtime fan such as myself. There is an incredible amount to like here. I was DREADING spending the first hour (AGAIN) going through Spidey's origin. . . and by golly, they somehow pulled the impossible trick of telling quite a different story while maintaining a dynamic that kept it both true to the spirit of the source material, while grounding it in a more realistic movie environment.
As many reviewers have pointed out, though, the film is majorly elevated by the dynamite dynamic between Pete & Gwen. At one point late in the film I found myself commenting to HBSon that I couldn't believe how great the two of them played off of one another. And I daren't talk to much about it, or I'll fall smack into spoiler-land. . .

Many, many thumbs-up. A completely different kind of film from The Avengers, and it almost certainly wouldn't reach the same blockbuster status, but in a way it's just as well-done.


david_b said...

Wow, thanks everyone for the nice glowing reviews to change my mind.. Now I'm actually looking forward to seeing it.

Karen said...

My husband and I saw Spidey at the IMAX yesterday -what an experience! I thought the two leads were just perfect. Garfield makes Peter appropriately vulnerable, clever, funny, shy...he does a great job. And as Spidey, he is indeed a wise-cracking webhead. The chemistry between he and Emma Stone is strong. Martin Sheen gives his usual solid performance as Uncle Ben.

I actually thought the weakest part of the film was the whole Lizard plot. His master plan had a 'been there, done that' feeling. The fight scenes are spectacular though; much more like the comics than ever before. The web-slinging is incredible too.

We both enjoyed it. I think the Peter Parker side of the story was stronger than the super-hero side. But well worth seeing.

Karen said...

Oh by the way: David, is your new avatar the Eaglemoss Yellwojacket lead figurine?

humanbelly said...

@Karen (and, well heck, anyone else still in ear-shot)--

Completely agree about the fight scene effects and choreography. Clearly a LOT of thought went specifically into the logistics of how Spidey would realistically do battle, given his powers, speed, and abilities. "Spider-Speed" and "Spider-Sense" were clearly on display, and the director & editors trusted the audience enough to get that with a minimum of extra indicating. Not actually a lot of flat-out slugging being done on Pete's part.

There was also an inspired introduction of a sort of power/ability that I don't think we've EVER seen Spidey use before in film or comic, and when it occurs, you just smack yourself in the head and go, Omigod, of COURSE he'd do that! He's SPIDER-man!!!

Yeah. . . the Lizard plot did have a completely predictable arc (including how the GRAND SCHEME would be implemented) from a very early point in the film. When some randomly unused/unrelated bit of major technology in a lab gets an inordinate amount of explanation-time, well, y'know they don't call it Dramatic Preparation for nothing. . .

And the James Horner score was indeed awfully heavy-handed at times. It wasn't bad at all musically-- it just had a tendency to over-emphasize (or overwhelm) some moments. Although now I'd have to re-see it to be able to give specifics.

Hey-- how 'bout that Sally Field? Completely different Aunt May than Rosemary Harris, yes, but also a softness and true vulnerability that Harris' portrayal may have lacked. (And I LOVED Harris in the role). The kicker is, that afternoon we saw a number of old GIDGET episodes on AntennaTV, and then here she is nearly 50 years later playing Aunt May in the evening! And looking so bravely, unashamedly aged doing so. Heh-- still sort of "Gidget" under the weight of the years, though-!

HB-- carryin' on

Dougie said...

Saw it last night and was completely thrilled. The cast were terrific: Garfield was charming ( but I knew that from his Dr. Who appearance!)and I found him more likeable than Maguire, who always seemed a bit unsettling. Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, Sally Field and Denis Leary were all very engaging. I wish for once we could have a Spidey movie that didn't revolve around tragedy (Curse you, Conway!)and the Lizard didn't really work for me but I got the feeling the audience really liked it. I think my 6-year-old nephew would have been bored by the romance, however.
BTW, I've tried to teach Spidey 2 as a film text in school and it's deadly: so slow and talky. Although "Amazing" took an hour to get Peter into costume, the film was pretty pacy.

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