Once again Sony Pictures has graced us with another Spider Man film called The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This marks the second film in which Andrew Garfield portrays the famous web slinger and he doesn’t disappoint. Neither does Emma Stone, reprising her role as Gwen Stacy. We are also introduced to three new villains: Electro/Max Dillon (Jaime Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Green Goblin, aka Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), although the main villain here is Electro. Green Goblin and Rhino show up later in the film.
The most pleasing thing about Garfield’s Spidey is that the actor brings to life the wisecracking, spirited web head found in Marvel comics. At times it seems as if Spider Man has jumped straight from the inked pages onto the silver screen. This is quite refreshing too, because a lot of the time when a sequel comes about, the main character has somehow changed between the first and second film-anyone remember the drastic change Peter Parker had made between Spider Man and Spider Man 2?-not the case in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Any changes that Peter Parker/Spider Man go through happen over the course of the story in the sequel-and they’re doozies.
Peter isn’t the only one going through changes in this film. The relationship between Gwen and Peter goes through its own metamorphosis as well. Max Dillon and Harry Osborn however, go through the most drastic changes, each becoming not only powerful super villains, but the embodiment of the psychosis they suffer from. Max, who only wants to be noticed and remembered instead of repelling everyone, becomes a creature whom attracts and absorbs all forms of electricity. Ironically the most repellent force of nature to humans. Harry Osborn, the son of Norman Osborn, who feels as though he’s been a throw away undeniably becomes one of the more repulsive villains from the Spider Man universe.
Through this observation, it appears that the main theme in The Amazing Spider Man 2 is that life changes us. Whether it be everyday things like graduating from school, deciding which college to attend, choosing to pick up a new career to make ends meet, or an extreme physical change. Except that there are two themes in this story, the second being that of finding hope within oneself when life takes a turn for the worst and in finding that hope, also discovering the strength to continue on.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is full of thrills, laughs, intense and heartbreaking moments. It is also chock full of spectacular visual effects, explosive action and even romance. Of all the movies to kick off the summer blockbuster blitz-yes it begins in May-this Spidey fan is more than pleased that this is the movie to do so. If you’re looking for a treat for your senses, or just a huge fan of Spider-Man check this film out. At the very least, it will be fun.
In 2002 Columbia Pictures released Spider-Man the Motion Picture starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco. At the time, it was a highly anticipated film and did very well in the box office. However, the following two films in the franchise were met with disappointment despite their box office success due to weak plots and character development that did not make sense—especially in regards to Peter Parker.
Ten years later Columbia partners with Marvel to reboot the franchise and the result is The Amazing Spider Man with Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider Man and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane Watson. In a number of ways this version is superior to the version released a decade ago. A Better plot and story arc, characters in touch with their humanity and fight sequences that seem to have leapt out of the pages of a Spider Man comic are the elements that make this a superb film.
An intriguing aspect of the newer Spider Man story is that this one attempts to answer the question that has burned in our minds for the last forty or so years: What happened to Peter Parker’s parents? Ultimately Peter is lead to his destiny while in search for that very answer. Unfortunately, finding a key to his past also brings unforeseen consequences that only Spider Man can vanquish.
A story this good needs characters that the audience can become vested in. Fortunately for all the cast in this movie pour every ounce of talent and experience into the people they portray. Especially of note are Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. However, each member of the cast seems born to portray the characters they embody. It will be difficult to see any of them in any other movie for a while.
For more than five generations Spider Man has been in comics, cartoons and video games. Anyone who has read the comics, watched the cartoons or played the video games knows that Spidey has a certain way of fighting—flipping, jumping and shooting webbing with the accuracy of a marksman—and we have all come to expect it. Spider Man’s fighting style is so accurate in the film, it is easy to believe that this is truly the Spider Man from the comics. It suffices to say that it was a joy to watch.
In the wake of the epic battles in The Avengers Movie, The Amazing Spider Man seems a tad smaller. That is far from being a flaw because this film is nothing short of amazing. Truly a must see this summer.
There was once a man named John Hughes who made movies such as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Sixteen Candles. These were movies that put the likes of Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Matthew Broderick into the hearts and minds of teenagers during the eighties. Easy A; directed by Will Gluck and starring Emma Stone is most certainly an homage to the late John Hughes who passed away last year. Emma Stone’s character Olive, even makes reference to John Hughes while questioning if chivalry only exists in eighties movies where she says, “I want my life to be an eighties movie.”- lists a number of scenes from iconic films from the decade- and then; wisely states, “John Hughes does not direct my life.”
At its core, Easy A is just a movie about a teenage girl who finds herself in a situation which leads her to do a lot of question asking and lesson learning. It also takes her through some heartache. Olive’s situation is reminiscent of a similar one in the eighties movie Can’t Buy Me Love, which starred a young Patrick Dempsey. In that movie, a teenage boy who is tired of being a nerd, hires a cheerleader to pretend to be his girlfriend so that he can be popular.
The similarity in Easy A occurs when Olive, after lying about losing her virginity; does a favor for a classmates reputation by pretending to have sex with him. This one favor turns into a number of others and Olive soon finds herself with a reputation as the school tramp. She decides to play along and feeds the fire by changing her look and donning a red “A” on all her clothing after being inspired by the classic novel The Scarlet Letter. This choice of course leads to disaster and Olive discovers that her new reputation is far worse than her old one.
What I love about this movie is that it really is a kind of throwback to the old John Hughes formula of screenwriting and film making, in that it takes the audience on a personal journey of life lessons and reminds us of how our choices in life can have unforeseen and often large consequences. Emma Stone is perfect as Olive and her co-star, Amanda Bynes is delightful in her role as Marianne. Easy A is a must see in my opinion and I enthusiastically give it a bright red “A”.