Amazing Spider-Man 2: Movie Review


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Director: Marc Webb Writer:  Alex Kurtzman (screenplay), Roberto Orci(screenplay) MORE Running Time: 142 mins

Starring:

This is way better than the Raimi movies and the first Amazing Spider-Man movie. THAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE SAID!

Dialogue is very important in a talking movie as it is in a comic book. The dialogue here is quite frankly just as amazing as the title would suggest. First, let me say that Spider-Man has been a pop culture icon since the 70’s (lets be fair, he probably wasn’t as cool with the world at the jump in 62) so he isn’t entirely hard to get right. Theres COUNTLESS  ARTICLES in his history. That said, he has been known as the kid hero who gets to beat up on you as he insults you. All while dealing with a elderly, near-nagging aunt. Homework money woes and everything and anything teens deal with in their day-to-day lives. This film is obviously a modern take on what exists. The dialogue is at its strongest when it comes to Gwen and Peter. I am no expert on love, but for the allowed time limit that this movie runs, It’s hard not to see the very obvious chemistry between the two leads. In the first ASM movie, there was that nervous love, almost secret love. Here and now, you have that same secret love but it’s a bit more of a guilty pleasure that just feels more right than wrong (because of the promise he made Gwen’s dad). Which is essentially ripped from the comic as it may (minus the contrast with Gwen’s approval of spidey). The remainder of the cast, interactions between the lot, and overall story; play very much like a comic but feels very grounded. But again, the best thing here, verbally, is the dialogue, notably between the couple. I remember sitting there and feeling the pain Peter was feeling from his guilt and  the joy, from what he was doing.

UnknownI will have to give credit to Jamie Foxx on having me believe that he could be an average dude who just wanted to be noticed. I remember how the design for this character came to be from an interview he did on one of them “late night talk shows. He said what would I look like if I didn’t make it… and was something like a nerd. (Don’t quote me tho) alas here we are with his portrayal of Max Dillion aka Electro. Everyone is mad he’s black. But I ask does it matter what he is. He was a skrull in New Avengers and no one bats an eye. So let it be. His race played no part in his character. Its not like he is Black Panther where it has a higher symbolism for that character to be black. Anyways, Mr Foxx really impressed me with what he was able to achieve. He’s really one of those underrated actors who doesn’t get proper credit (I feel so anyway). Maybe because he’s multi talented… or maybe cause of the movie Booty Call. But, here he plays a villain which isn’t so much something we have seen him play before, if memory serves correctly. Then you have DeHaan who again makes me anfan of his work. (Lawless and Chronicle) he really convinced me of his character. A bit of a bratty, very intelligent heir to a fortune; who later becomes a villian. He ties into the history of Peter nicely. Written to seem very seamless since he is a new actor/Character to the mix. The time square scene with Foxx and the board meeting scene for DeHaan are the stand out scenes for me acting wise, from those two. Andrew and Emma just steal it in every aspect when on camera together. Andrew just portrays spidey as he is meant to be.

Director, Marc Webb really out did himself in this movie. His stylistic choices only served to enhance the movie and lore of Spider-Man. I’m totally ok with chnaging aspects of what exists as long as they make sense to the character and theme of either the story and or the premise of said character. Don’t just make people switch up for the sake of it (I’m looking at you Chris Nolan). From the mechanics behind web swinging and way Foxx looks, talks, acts, etc. Overall look of the film is dope as hell. I really love the Time Square scene and the underlining importance of time.

The best thing about the Avengers was that they were able to essentially blend 5 movie star franchises into one world. Even though, most of those worlds felt very much independent from each other. What Spider-Man does is create a world all its own for itself, within. The dynamic of his parents being basically responsible for everything he is dealing with as Spidey. All while being roughly true to the comics (Ultimate Universe).

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My two flaws are the end sequence. From when he finishes off Electro (come on that’s not a spoiler) to the credits. When the inevitable happens I would have chosen to opt out of using a musical score. And the time lapse just seems odd. But still effective how it’s done. And Rhino’s voice. Not one word was understood by him… whatever happened to focus groups?! Atleast Nolan tried to fix that for that garbage I was talking about earlier.

Bottom line. This is arguably the best adaptation of any hero. It was as close as one can get to the comics and the greatness that was the 90’s animated show. Its very much reflected from Dan Slotts spidey as well as Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man. Which makes the most sense in terms of relevance (and of course the comic its based off of written by Gerry Conway) . This movie is a love letter to Spider-Man and it shows. Movies are an art form as is comics and this is a great cohesion of the two.

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 10 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10 (Score could have been better),
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Amazon has a bust statue case of it ready to pre order.. I did that weeks ago.

for your consideration, please see Spider-Man: Blue

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Gangster Squad Review

1987 had The Untouchables, and 2013 has Gangster Squad.

113mins,

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Writers:

Will BeallPaul Lieberman (book)


I said the above statement because it’s true. There hasn’t been a great movie that’s a cop/gangster style genre, set in the glory days of the gangster period, since The Untouchables. This movie isn’t better than The Untouchables, but it’s worth making the argument. I found a lot of similarities between the two.

Unlike The Untouchables, I wasn’t learning about these criminals when I was in school, I just wanted to see the movie because the trailer was bad ass (as you can see here or by clicking above). The cast also gave me the reason to go. Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, etc. It was really a bunch of actors who you would never suspect doing a movie together, and the only one I don’t care for is Nick Nolte. Penn, Brolin, Gosling made the movie for me, and the surprising role of Wrevock, by Troy Garity. Emma Stone was ok. I don’t think she’s an incredible actress but she has talent and potential. The best female in the movie is best said like this; I have this theory that all the best relationships are written (you Notebook lovers know what I mean). The role of Connie O’Mara by Mireille Enos was the best wife role I have ever seen in a movie…EVER. The movie was written a bit spotty up to her point in the movie and she acted the hell out of those lines. She easily was the best acted female, but because of her role she will be over looked.

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I don’t often comment on the directors, but I literally just peeped his work on imdb, and this is basically his first “serious” movie. He did 30 Minutess or Less and Zombieland. Shocking, I know.

Last thing. There’s a point in the movie that you’re supposed to feel sad for, but it fails. The camera work afterwards however, is an extreme highlight to the movie. Every action scene is amazingly filmed (though I feel some was shot in cgi which takes away from the effects of these movies in my opinion), and the one single best part to this movie over The Untouchables, is how the movie ends. It’s such a man moment which seems to have been forgotten since the days of 90’s action movies.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the movie: 4.6 out of 5,
  • Cinematography: 4.8 out of 5,
  • Editing: 3.5 out of 5,
  • Audio: 3.5 out of 5,
  • Acting: 4 out of 5,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? SEE IT NOW ANY WAY YOU CAN.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

Andrew Garfield
Emma Stone
Rhys Ifans
Denis Leary
Martin Sheen
Sally Field
Irrfan Khan
Rajit Ratha
Campbell Scott
Embeth Davidtz
Chris Zylka

running tine: 136 min

“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.”- IMDB.com

So, if you read my first of many comic book reviews, then thank you. If you didn’t, well go READ IT HERE if you were looking for a story that had dealt with the “joining” of Peter & Gwen, then just stick to the comics. If you were looking for anything that Sam Rami did in the first two spider-man movies (Most Spider-Man fans pretend that third one never happened), then you won’t get that. This movie didn’t enhance those movies, it didn’t get deeper. WHY?! From when Andrew Garfield was even announced to be the new Peter,(Andrew Garfield was announced for the lead role in early July 2010 ) this movie was claimed to “Not be a reboot, but more so a story that was never told within the previous 3 films”. Yeah.. ITS A REBOOT!

*[SPOILERS START HERE]*

The tone of this movie is 1000% more emotional than anything else. Which makes it its own right off the bat. So for that, I won’t compare the two franchises much. The plot is the “driving” force, which of course is “what happened to peter’s parents?” Though, as much on the surface as it was, it also wasn’t. That’s a real film makers skill. To be able to have a moral story, & not have it bombard you like it did in WRATH OF THE TITANS. The recurring philosophy in Spider-Man, is “With great power comes GREAT responsibility”. Uncle Ben (Peters Uncle who later becomes the guardian of Peter), teaches him that in the comics, sadly with his death that could have been averted had Peter stopped a robber–the first spider-man movie did it right. The sad part here, is I don’t even think Uncle Ben said those words in this film. Moving on, when Peter finally gets his powers, is when the story stops dragging on because to that point, it kinda just felt like a long boring origin story, though I think they did too much with that, the made it too connected to something that in all honesty kinda goes against the Marvel way of being in a bad place at the wrong time and with some determination making that experience, a good thing. As I said, the death of Uncle Ben is why Spider-Man even exists, so I felt almost all of the things in this movie, it was the most poorly handled scene (That may be an editing thing, but that’s much later and not an excuse). When we are finally introduced to the lizard– I felt for the first time, in most super hero movies, that finally we have an actual villain–one who isn’t totally into stopping the hero, but one that the entire city fears, one that wants to cause others (citizens) harm, & doesn’t care how its done. In The Avengers ending, it depicts how the public reacts via news reports & such, this is what Spider-Man needed. We need more “reactions” from the citizens to see the scope of how bad this villain really I feel. To skip through a bit so not to ruin the entire spectacle (feel free to ask me a question though), the school scene (you’ll know it when it happens) is the best scene. The final moments of the film at the building are quite good, well, on Spidey’s way there. Book the cliché american flag. The death spidey deals with at the end seemed a bit “forced” to me, as was the guilt trip.

Acting in this movie isn’t note worthy from anyone other than Aunt May, Andrew Garfield, and Emma Stone. Everyone else., wasn’t all that great. I think the role of Doctor Connor played by Rhys Ifans, wasn’t all that well done. He didn’t seem flat, just not believable in that role. Uncle Ben’s (Martin Sheen) scene where he tells Peter about the power/responsibility ruined everything that he was supposed to be in that movie to me, because the words weren’t said. I get if you can’t deliver the line, then you obviously take it out, but as great actors do, you analyze a script, and bring the words from the page to screen in a way that you the actor, are capable of doing. Andrew was the person I looked at the “hardest” though. I didn’t go in there with any biases or anything, other than he’s playing my favourite super hero. I think for the tone of this film he does a great job. As for Spider-Man as a whole, not so much. I don’t think his portrayal is close to anything that has been written, but if I HAD TO COMPARE, it would be Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Not only cause of him being a teenager in this movie, but because that particular franchise of spider-man comics has a lot more emotion than the main stream “Amazing Spider-Man” comic books, maybe because he is a teen in those books, and so his emotions are just everywhere, but they are still more present there than other Spidey titles–His performance may have been the one saving grace for the film.

The Editing & special f/x was fairly decent, there were some scenes that were seen in the trailers, that weren’t’ fully used in the movie (its a pov shot), and even still, it’s not that bad. The web swinging needed to be reinvented from the side scrolling of the previous spider-man films & it very much so was. It’s a joy to watch especially in 3-D (there was a CGI glitch with the Oscorp building), The Lizard, was done in the best way. I’ve always felt that, in the comics, he looks too much like a lizard that can walk which is sort of comical (depending on the artist). This take, he seemed more of what makes sense with Dr. Curt Connors being a human battling a within himself with which gene takes over. As terrifying as a walking lizard may be for some, this version makes more sense. The web swinging seemed more practical, and yet still very fantasy. They didn’t crap out on showing us the swinging. There’s random slow-motion moments, which I felt was just odd, but very cool at the same time, I think they were memorable poses seen in the comics. There weren’t too many shots I noticed that had meaning, not to say it wasn’t there but on the first watch, there just wasn’t any I noticed. The 3-D was pretty decent, it wasn’t the best that was out there but it wasn’t the worst. Any complaint I could make, could very well be that I was on a bad angle. The costume I still think is the WORST SUIT EVER FOR SPIDER-MAN PERIOD.

This isn’t a perfect movie, it isn’t the best movie of the summer, it sure isn’t the best of any spider-man film. I don’t think we’re gonna have a good film for spider-man again, until sony gives up the rights. This film is supposed to be the untold story, but when you get to the end, & see the post credit scene, you realize this is a movie to be told in two parts. There are many things in this film that show us why he dons the infamous red & blue suit. I just don’t think this is the smartest take on this character, for they skipped over things, that as a fan of the hero, was needed. If it’s one thing that’s been a delight to see in most comic book movies is the hidden nods to characters/events, this movie didn’t have much of that. Just a picture of Donald Glover from community who auditioned. As I said, this is a movie that is meant to be told in two parts, because we sure as hell didn’t get the answers they claimed to want to give us.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 3.2 out of 5,
  • Cinematography: 4 out of 5,
  • Editing: 3.5 out of 5,
  • Audio: 4 out of 5,
  • Acting: 3 out of 5,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Theatres on a cheap day

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW