100 movies: The Amazing Spider-Man

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

The Amazing Spider-ManThe Amazing Spider-Man 03/07/12)

Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.

The second big comic book film release of the year is finally here. Some thought it a little too soon for a reboot of Spider-Man. Heck, I was part of that ‘some’. Sure, I needed something to wash away the bad taste that Spider-Man 3 left me with, but I didn’t think a reboot was the way to go. Now, I am insanely glad that the almighty film powers that be decided that a reboot was in order for our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. Not only does The Amazing Spider-Man make me forget about Spider-Man 3, it makes 1 and 2 seem like very distant and fuzzy memories.

Let’s start with Andrew Garfield’s take on Peter Parker. Excellent. He’s that brash, cocky teenager that he was in the Ultimates series of the comic book. He’s a kid who thinks he knows it all. And yet still mumbles all the way when talking to a certain female of the species. He’s just a kid. Yet, as Spider-Man, he grows as a person and begins to understand the nature of what he has to do as a self-appointed super hero. All the while, there’s so much heart packed into Andrew’s performance as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Tears were flowing!

The rest of the cast is damn near perfect. Martin Sheen and Sally Field are brilliant as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. There’s a real warmth to them both. Uncle Ben’s inevitable doom is played out with a big sense of foreboding. I mean, who doesn’t know the fate of Uncle Ben when it comes to Spider-Man? Still, despite knowing what’s to happen, it’s still a little bit of a shock when it does happen. Who else? Denis Leary it is good to see you on the big screen and know you’re not a character from the Ice Age films. Captain Stacy is every bit a patriarch and protector.

Emma Stone shines as Gwen Stacy. Her and Andrew Garfield have amazing chemistry. There’s something very believable about the two of them. She’s genuine, sweet and funny. Couldn’t have asked for a better Gwen Stacy. Rhys Ifans’ makes for a great villain. As per usual, looking back at past Spider-Man film villains, he’s a villain who’s not really a villain. He’s been driven to it. Inside, he is a good man. But he’s on the brink of desperation and that never goes anywhere good.

The film itself was great. I do admit – the first half was a bit tiresome. Think that’s bit of a harsh word. But we know this story. Well this part. The trailers and posters are all bragging about The Untold Story, but I couldn’t find an untold part in this. Soon enough though, the film finds its momentum and skips along to the end with a nice pace.

I was hoping there would be none of the ol’ patriotic New Yorkers. For some reason, in the past Spidey films, these scenes just felt insanely cheesy to me. Maybe it’s because I’m neither a New Yorker nor an American! So when there was such a moment here, yes I rolled my eyes. But … a part of me actually enjoyed the moment. There were some other moments during the film that I felt could have been better. A scene where Dr. Connors is having a heated conversation with Rajit Ratha, there’s a completely overwhelming bit of score playing in the background. The score music just took away from the drama of the conversation. There were a lot of moments when I thought the score was just far too overbearing or just didn’t match with what was going on.

The action is aplenty. Those action scenes are done brilliantly well. Though my favourite have to be when Peter’s trying out his new skills. Not to mention when he’s learning he’s got some new talents – there’s a lovely amount of comedy in this film.

The Amazing Spider-Man is a great comic book film. It’s given the Spider-Man franchise a great new lease of life. It’s not a perfect film. The slow pacing in the first half and overbearing score are the worst parts of the film. But they’re only small issues. Does this beat or match The Avengers? Sadly, no. I had a whole lot more fun watching that film. I enjoyed it a lot more. It’s going to take something epic to knock that one out. Which might happen in a couple of weeks….
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

Two ‘Let Me’ Films Courtesy of the London Film Festival

100 movies of 2010

The London Film Festival is on and I’m actually seeing films that are screened in it! More than once I confused the titles to create a whole new film. It was very confusing.

Let Me InLet Me In (16/10/10)
I failed utterly at seeing the film this one is based on – Let the Right One In. I had planned on seeing the film long before I even knew I was going to see Let Me In. Ah well! Still, I have it now, so will set some time aside to see it.

Let Me In was a brilliant horror film. Well, I don’t know whether I’d call it a horror film. It has horror-esque moments, but really it’s the story of lonely boy who finally has a friend. There are some brilliant moments that will make you jump. Just because the whole film is so subdued and quiet, when the horror hits, it hits hard. Chloe Moretz is, once again, scarily good at her whole acting thing. She a very talented little girl! Kodi Smit-McPhee is excellent as Owen, but I think Chloe just steals the show.

The story is a little like a twisted love story. It’s touching, but then when you really think about it, you get a little freaked out.
Rating: 5/5

Never Let Me GoNever Let Me Go (17/10/10)
This film confused me. I thought it was just a film about the relationships forming and breaking between a group of very close friends. I had heard it had other sci-fi-esque elements. From what I saw I thought it was something to do with the school the children in the film were in.

I was partly right, but I was glad I really didn’t know what part of the film was about. Think of it as a classy version of The Island with extra drama. Actual, proper drama that is. Beautifully told film about three people, from their childhood to adulthood. The relationships they have with one another and how they change over time, but really stay the same. All three main cast members – Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield were fantastic. The casting for the child version of Carey was brilliant! So alike.

I did come away from the film feeling incredibly sad, make sure you line up something the make you feel better after you see the film. It’s what you might call ‘heavy’!
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see the entire list of the movies I’ve seen this year.

100 movies: The Social Network

100 movies of 2010

Thanks to Mild Concern I got to see the next movie at a preview screening for free! I can’t remember the last time I went to the cinema for free.

The Social NetworkThe Social Network (10/10/10)
I remember when the movie production first began. A movie based on Facebook? It was unthinkable! What on Earth?! Thankfully it’s not just 2 hours of Facebook profile pages, wall posts and group discussions. It’s about the origin of Facebook and the people who were involved from the beginning. It’s a brilliant film filled with the most witty dialogue you’ll hear in a very long time.

Jesse Eisenberg is fantastic as Mark Zuckerberg – really makes him a very awkward and not at all likeable character. I think out of everyone I was rooting for Andrew Garfield’s Eduardo Saverin. He was just getting the bum deal all the time. He was far too good a friend! I’m now looking forward to Spider-Man a bit more due to Andrew Garfield’s performance in this film. He was brilliant!

Loved the music and the score music done by Trent Reznor. Yes, him of Nine Inch Nails fame! I’m a little surprised by that fact, but I will definitely be buying the score.

What I was amazed about was the ambition and drive of these people. Really very young, talented and incredibly smart people who just went out there to do what they wanted to do. I wish I had that kind of drive! Well, without the whole having no real friends part.
Rating: 5/5