‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ (Film)



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An ‘Amazing’ New Era of ‘Spider-Man’ Begins

For Timelord007

Spider-Man gets a reboot in 2012! 🙂

With the original ‘Spider-Man’ film series in doubt, it was unclear whether there would be another film featuring the web-slinging superhero. But his days on the big screen were far from over. Spider-Man was reinvented for a new generation of Spidey fans to enjoy, which was pretty exciting indeed.

In 2012, the ‘Spider-Man’ film series was reinvented 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 first heard about this film remake of ‘Spider-Man’, I wasn’t keen at first. I was still loyal to the Tobey Maguire era of ‘Spider-Man’ and I didn’t think I would enjoy this new film. On a whim, my parents and I went to the cinema to check out the new movie and we greatly enjoyed watching it. 🙂

So, what makes this film version of ‘Spider-Man’ different to the Tobey Maguire era? Well, this film 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 out more answers, Peter is bitten by a genetically-engineered spider. He becomes the ‘amazing’ Spider-Man. 🙂

To elaborate more on Spidey, he still crawls about on walls, but he can’t organically shoot webs out of his arms. He invents his own web-shooters in his suit to do the web slinging throughout the city and catch criminals. Spidey’s costume is rather different from the traditional look we know and love.

At first, I wasn’t a fan of the costume Spidey wore in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, as it didn’t match to the comic book design by Steve Ditko. But knowing what his costume will look like in the next film, I can accept this early look of Spidey’s costume as a progression before we have the proper-looking outfit.

Andrew Garfield is great as Peter Parker/Spider-Man! I first saw Andrew Garfield in the two-part ‘Doctor Who’ story called ‘Daleks In Manhattan’/’Evolution of the Daleks’ with David Tennant. Andrew is no Tobey Maguire and I wasn’t quite convinced by his interpretation of Peter at the start.

He also goes about on a skateboard when at school. As time went on, I grew to appreciate what Andrew was doing playing Peter’s character in the movie and he gets his sense of humour spot-on, especially when in the Spidey outfit. Andrew’s pretty agile in the Spidey costume whenever in action.

Emma Stone stars as Gwen Stacy, Peter’s love interest in the movie. I found it interesting that the filmmakers went for Gwen instead of Mary Jane Watson in Andrew Garfield’s era. Mind you, it makes sense, especially since Gwen was Peter Parker’s first love interest in the ‘Spider-Man’ comics.

Emma delivers a lovely performance as Gwen, as she’s a sweet and loving girl who looks out for Peter throughout the film. She connects and gets to know Peter at high school before she discovers he’s Spidey. It helps that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were actually dating at the time of this film.

Rhys Ifans stars as Dr. Curt Connors a.k.a. the Lizard, Spidey’s arch-nemesis. Connors happens to be a colleague of Peter’s father, Richard Parker. I liked the relationship formed between Peter and Dr. Connors. Rhys is likeable as Dr. Connors before he transforms into a monster that attacks New York.

Had ‘Spider-Man 4’ been made, I suppose the Lizard would’ve been the villain, considering that Dr. Connors was already established in the original ‘Spider-Man’ film trilogy by Sam Raimi. Interesting that both film versions don’t have Connors with a family of a wife and a son as in the original comics.

Denis Leary stars as George Stacy, Gwen’s father and captain of the New York police. I quite 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 once they talk about Spidey. 😐

George Stacy adopts the Jameson role, as Jameson doesn’t appear in the film. Denis Leary’s George Stacy is better than James Cromwell’s in ‘Spider-Man 3’. Denis Leary appeared in ‘Small Soldiers’, which also featured Kirsten Dunst, and he voiced Diego the sabre-toothed tiger in the ‘Ice Age’ films.

Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz star as Richard and Mary Parker, Peter’s parents. They appear at the beginning of the film. There’s a dark secret about Peter’s parents, which is one they never shared with Peter as a little boy. Dropping him off at Uncle Ben and Aunt May’s place, they soon disappear.

It was interesting to see Peter’s parents make an appearance at the beginning of this film, since they never appeared in the original trilogy and their significance was more prominent in the later ‘Spider-Man’ comics as opposed to the early ones in the 1960s. Both seem quite decent and loving parents. 🙂

The film features Irrfan Khan as Dr. Rajit Ratha, an OsCorp executive who is Connors’ immediate superior. Ratha is the one who hampers Connors’ attempt to inject a lizard serum into him to grow an extra arm. He also relays information on the current state of Norman Osborn, who happens to be dying. 😐

It’s interesting Andrew Garfield’s era of ‘Spider-Man’ has an OsCorp, yet Norman Osborn doesn’t appear in the first ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ film. That’s saved for the second film, but it’s intriguing how limited Norman Osborn’s role is in the Andrew Garfield era compared to Tobey Maguire’s era. 🙂

Martin Sheen stars as Uncle Ben. He’s a loving uncle who does tell Peter off at times and teaches him about responsibility. Mind you, the message that Uncle Ben gives to Peter in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ seems rather long-winded compared to Uncle Ben’s in the original ‘Spider-Man’ film trilogy. 😐

Uncle Ben: “..if you could do good things for other people, you had a moral obligation to do those things. That’s what at stake here. Not choice; responsibility.”

Uncle Ben becomes concerned for Peter when he’s at school and he helps him through the struggles of life. Pretty soon, Uncle Ben gets killed in the movie, leaving a distraught Peter before he becomes Spider-Man. It was interesting how this movie era handled Uncle Ben compared to the original era. 🙂

Sally Field stars as Aunt May. She plays her as a caring and loving aunt, and Aunt May loves making spaghetti and meatballs for Peter (Hmm! Yummy! 😀 ). She becomes worried for Peter after Uncle Ben’s death, especially when he goes out late at night, unaware he’s fighting crime as Spider-Man. 😐

She has sleepless nights when this happens. I quite like Sally Field’s interpretation of Aunt May. It doesn’t match to Rosemary Harris’ version of Aunt May, but at least she’s a caring aunt with a fierce determination to look after Peter. Sally Field starred in the film ‘Miss Doubtfire’ with Robin Williams.

Like I said, J. Jonah Jameson sadly doesn’t appear in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’. This is a shame, since I greatly enjoyed Jameson when I saw him in the original ‘Spider-Man’ film trilogy with Tobey Maguire. Mind you, you can’t replace J. K. Simmons, since he’s excellent as Jameson in ‘Spider-Man’.

The cast also includes Chris Zylka as Flash Thompson and Lief Gantyoort as the burglar who kills Uncle Ben. Stan Lee also makes a cameo appearance, playing a librarian listening to music whilst Spidey and the Lizard fight each other in his library. It was amusing to see that in watching the film. 🙂

There’s also Michael Massee as a mysterious man in the shadows who talks to Connors in his prison cell in a teaser scene during the end credits. Michael Papajohn, who played Dennis Carradine, Uncle Ben’s supposed killer in the original ‘Spider-Man’ film trilogy, plays Alfred, who is Ratha’s limo driver.

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 like how Marc Webb balances the action scenes and the character drama throughout this particular movie. 🙂

The set designs are pretty good too. 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 film trilogy). I also liked seeing New York at night when Spidey is swinging through the city. 🙂

The visual effects for this movie are spectacular too. There are scenes of Spidey swinging through the city, which are pretty agile and dynamic. The Lizard’s CGI make-up is also quite terrifying to watch. I was pretty shocked when the Lizard released a gas that turned everyone into a lizard like him.

The DVD special features are as follows. There’s a filmmakers’ audio commentary with director Marc Webb, producer Avi Arad and producer Matt Tolmach. There are some deleted scenes cut from the original edit of the movie, a series of stunt rehearsals, and there’s ‘The OsCorp Archives – Production Art Gallery’.

There are some more special features on ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Blu-ray. Speaking of which, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Blu-ray in the ‘Spider-Man: Five-Movie Collection’ only contains Disc 1 of the 2-disc Blu-ray edition. Disc 2 isn’t included. Such a pain! 😦 On Disc 1, as well as the filmmaker’s audio commentary, there’s the Second Screen Experience with the ‘What is ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Second Screen Experience?’ featurette. This is an app-only feature suitable for people who use an iPad or a Sony tablet, which I personally don’t have and it’s 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 film’s deleted scenes; the series of stunt rehearsals and ‘The OsCorp Archives – Production Art Gallery’, there’s also the seven-part making-of documentary called ‘Rite of Passage: The Amazing Spider-Man Reborn’. There are also pre-visualization 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 good start to the Andrew Garfield era of the web-slinging superhero. I didn’t think this version of ‘Spider-Man’ would work or be as good as the Tobey Maguire era, as that will always be my favourite. But this is still Spider-Man and he will always be my favourite superhero.

This film is dedicated in loving memory to 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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2 thoughts on “‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ (Film)

  1. Timelord 007

    Great review Tim & thanks for the dedication, i loved this film but i felt very underwhelmed by it’s sequel, the attention to detail in your reviews is commendable my friend, you really do put a lot of hard work into them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Thanks Timelord Simon. Glad you enjoyed my review and I appreciate how you felt underwhelmed by the sequel. Hope to post my review on ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ soon. Thanks for your comments. Tim. 🙂



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