100 movies: The Amazing Spider-Man

comments 26
100 movies of 2012
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!

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…

52 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)
  48. Insomnia 3/5 (16/06/12)
  49. Rebel Without a Cause 4/5 (22/06/12)
  50. A Lonely Place to Die 3/5 (26/06/12)
  51. Killer Joe 3/5 (29/06/12)
  52. The Amazing Spider-Man 4/5 (03/07/12)


  1. Great review! I don’t plan a trip to the cinema to see this one, I think it’s really too soon for the reboot, but as this one has Stone and Ifans I’ll definetly see it some day.

    • This is a reboot done right. A lot darker in tone and for the better. Stone and Ifans are great. Especially Stone. She is an incredibly talented young actress.

  2. Awesome, another positive review! Was getting a bit worried about this one! doubt I’ll be seeing in the cinema unfortunately but will definitely be renting!

    • Yeah, there have been a fair few lack lustre reviews. I think there’s a lot of expectation riding on the summer blockbusters and the comic book films this year. Well, everyone’s hopes are high after the epic Avengers.

  3. Yeah the obligatory New Yawkers ‘if you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’ bit always makes me laugh, I could understand it in the first Spiderman as it had that post 9/11 feel, but to still do it, so American.

    Do you think the success of the Dark Knight influenced their approach? Is it darker and more real or did they just think after Spiderman 3 no one would ever want to go and see Spiderman 4 so a reboot was in order.

    It does look good, sounds like the Spiderman they should have made 10 years ago, but I will probably wait for the DVD.

    • Yes, definitely. I think since Batman and The Dark Knight studios have all been clamouring for darker comic book adaptations. Something more realistic. Actually, a bit more relatable too.

      10 years ago, we got the Spider-Man the cinema viewers and fans wanted. They’ve changed over time, so we’ve got a different Spidey now. Well, that’s my personal view.

      • You are definitely right tastes and expectations do change, audiences want more grounded, human characters now, as you say someone they can relate to.

        I was probably a little harsh I did enjoy both Spiderman 1 & 2 when they came out!

        • Heh – even I look back at Spidey 1 and 2 and think, did I really enjoy those two films? The one memory that sticks in my mind are the ropey graphics! I’m harsh as well. I remember loving both of those films. I was obsessed with them!

  4. Yay, a positive review! I too enjoyed this one Jaina, and despite it being too soon to reboot, I think Marc Webb did spin (sorry can’t help myself!) something fresh with this one and that starts w/ the casting.

    I’m not as fond of Sheen/Field’s performances as you did but they’re minor quibble. I did not like the score at all though, it adds nothing and actually annoyed me a bit in parts, quite surprised it’s James Horner’s work!

    I’m still writing my review but generally I agree w/ your rating.

    • A friend who I went to see this with laughed when he saw the director’s name, Marc WEBB. It’s meant to be!

      Really? I’m looking forward to reading your review and your reasons for not liking Sheen/Field in the roles.

      James Horner seems to have slipped quite a bit with his recent films. While I was pleased I didn’t hear a millisecond of anything that sounded like Titanic in this score, it just wasn’t very good. There was no theme!

  5. I’ve read some pretty negative reviews about this last reboot and I’m afraid I’m siding with them for now.
    Most that I have read do seem to agree on the skill of the cast, especially focusing on the gifts of Andrew Garfield and his chemistry to Emma Stone. The duo, from what I’ve read, seems a step and a half above the previous pairing of Kristen Dunst and the forgettable Tobey Maguire.
    All in all, I can’t force myself to endorse the unoriginality of Hollywood. How can they get away with forcing yet another superhero film down our throats? This is nothing more than a rehash of a story that they told this decade and that, by now, everybody knows. How many times do we need to see the death of his uncle?
    I refuse to watch it for those reasons alone.

    • I don’t think you can judge this film and side with the negative reviews without actually having seen it.

      Though, I do agree with your sentiments about Hollywood. I can probably count on one hand the truly originally scripted films that Hollywood have given us this year so far. Everything’s either based on a sequel/prequel, comic book or a book. There are very few original films out there right now. Which is a little bit depressing actually.

      It is a rehash of a story we all know with a different villain and different players but the same themes. But still, an entertaining yarn.

  6. I want to see this one, not sure if I’ll get the chance to while its in theaters. From the looks of the trailers, the FX used for The Lizard is what should have been done with Venom in Spiderman 3, sometimes it’s simple things that can make or break a movie or franchise.

    • To be honest, I was a little disappointed with The Lizard. The FX were fine, he just looked… well a tad comical.

      Still, I’d say it’s worth a trip to the cinema.

  7. Fogs' Movie Reviews

    Glad to see another enthusiastic review Jaina. They’re out there. Lol There’s a lot of bashing going on, too though. Some haters around for this puppy!


    • I think this film’s an easy target. It’s the kind of film that’s not really been needed. Close to the release of THE biggest comic book film of the year. So, easy target. It’s been created as a summer blockbuster film. And for that, it does well. Well enough.

  8. I am glad you enjoyed this one so much. I did too!

    Spiderman was great!

    It’s funny you mention the American Flag as this was the first reason on this video why the critic didn’t like Spiderman so much http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdyTie9AQUo

    ha. it’s a fun watch.

    I was disappointed in the score, and didn’t feel Sally Field was the Best Aunt May, but I loved the film myself! Great review.

    • Ha! That is a great video.

      The score was just so non-existent. This year I’ve been pretty disappointed with film scores. Avengers was ok. Hoping TDKR kicks arse.

  9. Good flick but something just felt like it was missing in order for me to feel the same way I did with the Raimi original series. Maybe it was the fact that this flick took its premise very seriously, and the other ones were very jokey and fun. Still, a good time at the theater is a good time none the less. Nice review Jaina.

    • You know what Dan? I think I know what you mean. Raimi’s Spideys had a “feeling”. The films themselves had a character to them. Whereas Webb’s Spidey has borrowed it’s darker look and feel from a lot of other previous comic book films, most notably, The Dark Knight. It doesn’t have an identity of its own.

      Still, like you said, good time at the cinema.

  10. You do great reviews on movies! Do you take notes? Mental notes? ‘Cause they’re pretty amazing. I like to write food reviews. But not right away. And then a week later, I forgot what I thought ;). Anyways, great review and I can’t wait to see it now. I LOVE Andrew Garfield. He was in that Facebook movie and was great there. Wait, who’s Gwen Stacy. There’s no “MJ”? LOL on the comment about the soundtrack during that important/dramatic conversation. You sure have a great attention to detail!

    • I think I’ve started to make a lot of mental notes. Though, I still don’t quite remember everything I make a mental note of when I’m writing up my mini review, then remember it after I’ve published! Also, I try and get the film review written up the same day I see the film, so it’s still fresh in my mind. Otherwise, … forget everything!

      No MJ. And I am glad about that! She was never one of my favourite characters and Gwen Stacy is just an awesome female character.

  11. Good review Jaina.

    If you don’t mind, I want to go off topic though and suggest a couple of movies to you. I was just reading your list of films that you’ve seen this year and I see that you plan on watching about 100 movies. I wanted to suggest “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Monsieur Lazhar.” They’re great movies in my opinion and I just thought I would share them with you if you haven’t heard of them already.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.