Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thoughts: The Amazing Spider-Man

Well I sounded off about The Dark Knight Rises, how about The Amazing Spider-Man now?  Sound good?  Okay.

I enjoyed the previous Spider-Man trilogy.  I enjoyed them a lot.  Odd thing is Spider-Man is not a favorite character of mine on the comic book scene.  The few comics I have read involving Spider-Man his character really irritated me with constant quips and nonsense.  However, I enjoy the films immensely.  This is probably because they are a bit glossy and overly comic bookesque (I think I coined a word there).  I personally feel this is how Spider-Man should be because he is marketed towards a broad audience and a large portion of it is children.

A girlfriend of mine was working in the city with children needing a type of therapy.  One of the questions she would ask the kids was what superhero do they like and 9 times out of 10 she would hear Spider-Man, not Superman, Batman, Captain America, etc... Spider-Man.  I am not sure I know any little boy that does not like Spider-Man.

Warning: There are spoilers sprinkled through this post below

I have never read The Amazing Spider-Man (shocking, I know).  When I left this film I left confused as to why I couldn't decide how I felt about it.  I think my initial reaction was that it was very similar to the 2002 Spider-Man, just with some character changes (or reversals considering Gwen was Peters girlfriend not Mary Jane).

Andrew Garfield seemed to work perfectly for the roll of Peter Parker, but when did Peter become so tough and cool?  Something about the actual character made me feel like he was a bit of a jerk and not the sweet nerdy (bullied) Parker I have come to know.  I understand that the setting is one where geek is socially accepted but without the lack of social acceptance I didn't build up any longing to see Parker become the hero.  Isn't that who Spider-Man is?  The unaccepted geek who becomes a hero?  Not some cool hipster that happens to become a hero.  The shiny suit bugged me the entire movie.  It seemed a touch too flashy for a new hero.

The web shooters were not a favorite of mine.   I had to explain to my movie buddy what they were.  I absolutely loved the Subway scene where Parker discovers his abilities and I also believe this movie had the absolute best Stan Lee cameo to date.  I couldn't help myself from laughing along with the entire theater.

The Lizard was interesting.  I wasn't a fan of his costuming.  It reminded me of TV's Dinosaurs.  I couldn't take him seriously as a villain.  That and my small knowledge of the Lizard allowed me to know Parker and Connors remain friends through the years.  My knowledge of this ruined the ending for me.  However, it's refreshing to see a villain that is actually more of a Jekyll and Hyde then a complete psychopath.  I enjoy feeling sympathetic to the villain, but that costuming was hard to take in.

Gwen Stacy was absolutely stunning and I have to say her costuming was SPOT ON.  Her part in the climax of the film was a bit melodramatic and the character could have been played a larger part in the film had it been given a more complex plot.  Being so spot on I had to hold back little delightful squeals each time she appeared in her thigh highs stockings and knee high boots.

This is one of the rare films I did think about seeing in 3D.  I like 3D more for animation but I could see it posing a lot of fun with this film.  Webs flying out of the screen, Spider-Man swinging out of the screen, etc... I imagined a lot of fun 3D potential.  Unfortunately I did not see it in 3D, ho hum.

Overall, I did enjoy The Amazing Spider-Man.  It's a lot of old fashioned fun and that's what Spider-Man should be.  I think the problem with loving this film is that it is a reboot.  In my eyes, the first three Spider-Man movie are excellent films and they are not old.  Spider-Man came out in 2002 and Spider-Man 3 was out in 2007.  Granted CGI has improved, but it really hasn't been that long.  The first three films are not dated yet and therefore it's difficult to view The Amazing Spider-Man as a fresh and new take.

I love that Marvel kept it very family friendly.  Spider-Man has a lack of weapon violence and no sexuality.  I was asked before seeing it to let friends know if they can bring their kids.  Parker never uses guns and the Lizard uses brawn and brain power plus he can regenerate.  I say absolutely yes bring the kids, Batman however... definitely not.

Bottom line: I would definitely see this again.