‘THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN’
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An ‘Amazing’ New Era of ‘Spider-Man’ Begins
The ‘Spider-Man’ movie series gets rebooted for 2012!
With the ‘Spider-Man’ movie series in doubt, it was unclear whether there would be another movie featuring the web-slinging superhero again. But his days on the big screen were far from over, as ‘Spider-Man’ was reinvented for a new generation of Spidey fans to enjoy, which was very exciting indeed.
In 2012, the ‘Spider-Man’ series started again with a new lead actor playing the web-slinging superhero. This is ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. Many wondered whether this new film would be a success. But the new film worked and became popular.
When I heard about this remake of ‘Spider-Man’, I wasn’t overly keen at first. I remain loyal to the Tobey Maguire era of ‘Spider-Man’ and didn’t think I would enjoy this new movie. But on a whim with my parents, we went see the new movie and I immensely enjoyed watching it at the cinemas.
So what makes this new version of ‘Spider-Man’ different to the Tobey Maguire era? Well, this new version takes a modern approach from the recent comics and deals more with Peter Parker as a teenager in high school. Also the story is focused on the history of Peter Parker than on Spider-Man.
Peter Parker is a social outcast. He gets bullied at school and has a crush on Gwen Stacy. But Peter knows there’s a secret to his past life. When embarking on a trip to OsCorp to find more answers, Peter gets bitten by a genetically engineered spider and becomes the new superhero, Spider-Man.
To make mention on Spider-Man, he still crawls on walls but can’t shoot webs out of his own arms organically. He invents the web shooters in his suit to do the web slinging through the city and to capture criminals. Spidey’s costume is rather different from the traditional look we know and love.
Andrew Garfield is great as Spider-Man/Peter Parker! I first saw Andrew in the two-part ‘Doctor Who’ story, ‘Daleks In Manhattan’/’Evolution of the Daleks’ with David Tennant. Andrew is no Tobey Maguire, but he gets Peter’s sense of humour spot-on and he’s pretty agile in the costume whenever he’s in action.
Emma Stone stars as Gwen Stacy, Peter’s love interest in the movie. I found it interesting that they decided to go for Gwen instead of Mary Jane Watson. Emma gives a lovely performance as Gwen, who is a sweet and loving girl. She connects and gets to know Peter at high school before she discovers he’s Spidey.
Rhys Ifans stars as the Lizard a.k.a. Dr. Curt Connors, Spidey’s arch-nemesis. Connors turns out to be a colleague of Peter’s father, Richard Parker. I really like the relationship formed between Peter and Dr. Connors. Rhys is likeable as Dr. Connors before he transforms into a monster and attacks New York.
Denis Leary stars as George Stacy, Gwen’s father and captain of the New York police. I really like Denis’ interpretation of Captain Stacy. Denis’ Captain Stacy is pretty suspicious of Spider-Man as he believes him to be a criminal. There’s tension between him and Peter when they talk about Spidey.
Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz star as Richard and Mary Parker, Peter’s parents. They appear at the beginning of the movie. There’s a dark secret about Peter’s parents which is one they never shared with Peter as a boy. They drop him off at Uncle Ben and Aunt May’s place before they disappear.
Martin Sheen stars as Uncle Ben. He’s a loving uncle who does tell Peter off at times and teaches him about responsibility. He’s concerned about him at school and helps him through the struggles of life. Pretty soon, Uncle Ben gets killed in the movie, leaving a distraught Peter before he becomes Spidey.
Sally Field stars as Aunt May. Sally plays her as a caring, loving aunt. Aunt May loves making spaghetti and meatballs for Peter (Hmm! Nice! 😀 ). She gets worried about Peter after Uncle Ben dies. This is especially when he goes out on at night to fight crime as Spider-Man, giving her less sleep as it happens.
Jonah Jameson doesn’t make an appearance in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ movies, I’m afraid. This is a shame as I really liked Jameson when I saw him in the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy with Tobey Maguire. Mind you, you can’t top up on J.K. Simmons’ performance as Jameson in the original trilogy.
The film’s director is Marc Webb. He certainly delivers a ‘web’-filled action-packed superhero movie for Spider-Man. I prefer the direction given by Sam Raimi in his ‘Spider-Man’ movies, but I do like how Marc Webb balances the action scenes and the character drama throughout the superhero film.
The set design is pretty good as well in the movie. I enjoyed visiting the home of Aunt May and Uncle Ben in the movie as well as seeing the OsCorp Tower in New York (which is quite a contrast to OsCorp in the original trilogy) and seeing New York at night when Spidey is swinging through the city.
The special effects for this movie are spectacular too. The visual effects of Spidey swinging through the city are agile and dynamic than ever before. The Lizard’s CGI make-up is also pretty terrifying to watch. I was shocked when the Lizard released a gas that turned everybody into lizard-kind like him.
The DVD special features are as follows. There’s a filmmakers’ commentary with director Marc Webb and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. There are some deleted scenes cut from the original edit of the movie; a series of stunt rehearsals and there is ‘The OsCorp Archives – Production Art Gallery’.
There are some more special features on the Blu-ray release of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’. Speaking of which, the Blu-ray I’ve got of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ in the ‘Spider-Man: Five-Movie Collection’ on Blu-ray only contains Disc 1 of the 2-disc Blu-ray edition. Meaning Disc 2 isn’t included. Such a pain!
On Disc 1, as well as the filmmaker’s commentary, there’s the Second Screen Experience with the ‘What is ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Second Screen Experience?’ This is an app only suitable for people who use an iPad or a Sony tablet, which I personally don’t have and is rather annoying. Apparently, you can see behind-the-scenes stuff of the movie with the app whilst playing the movie.
On Disc 2, as well as the deleted scenes; the stunt rehearsals and ‘The OsCorp Archives – Production Art Gallery’, there’s also the seven-part making-of documentary ‘Rite of Passage: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Reborn’. There are also pre-visualisation sequences; image progression reels and the ‘Developing ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Video Game’ featurette for Blu-ray viewers to enjoy.
‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is a great start to a new era of the web-slinging superhero. I didn’t think this version of ‘Spider-Man’ would work and be as good as the Tobey Maguire era, as that will always be my favourite era. But this is still Spider-Man and he will always be my favourite superhero.
This film is dedicated in loving memory of Laura Ziskin, who was the producer of the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi era of ‘Spider-Man’ as well as the first ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ movie with Andrew Garfield. She sadly passed away in 2011. I was very saddened to hear the news when I saw it online.
‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ rating – 8/10
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