Friday, July 6, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

My View:  The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): In this re-telling of the origin of Spider-Man, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a teenager whose parents abandoned him at an early age. He encounters a genetically altered spider that gives him his spidey powers. Parker sets off to discover what really happened to his parents while he tries to win the heart of his high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). I enjoyed this film, and you should see it in 3-D as all the shots of Spider-Man flying through the city are spectacular. Garfield does an admirable job as the nerdy Parker, but what makes this movie worth watching is the wonderful Emma Stone as Peter's true love, Gwen.  Emma Stone plays her perfectly.  What I didn't like about this film was how long it was. There is too much time taken setting up the story, and I felt the bad guy in the film, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), was too cartoony of a villain. As long as Stone is in the Spider-Man films, I’ll keep going to them. Be sure to stay through the first part of the end credits as with many Marvel films, there is a bonus scene that sets up the next film.   My Rating: Full Price   The Amazing Spider-Man Website
Indiefest:  To Rome with Love (2012) Writer/Director Woody Allen brings to the screen a story of love and relationships set in one of the most romantic cities in the world, Rome. This film has multiple storylines with a large ensemble cast that includes Roberto Benigni, Alec Balwin, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig and Penelope Cruz. This is the first film that Allen has acted in since 2006, and his character has some of the best lines in the film. Not all the stories work, as some are rather silly, and the film feels a little scattered as some of the scenes take place over one day and others over a period of weeks.  This makes the film confusing.  To Rome with Love is beautiful film with a number of shots showing how much Allen loves the city, but I felt that the script wasn’t up to par with the great cast that Allen had assembled.   My Rating: Cable   To Rome with Love Website 
Family Faire: Brave (2012) In this animated film, Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), is a princess in a Scottish kingdom. A contest is held to decide who will wed Merida, but she defies the custom, and chooses not to follow her parents’ wishes. She decides to use a curse to change her parents’ minds about the marriage, but that curse goes terribly wrong, and Merida has to be her bravest to break the spell and save her kingdom. Children five years old and younger should not see this film.  The villain of the movie is a very large and scary bear, and when I saw this film, a child started crying and had to be taken out of the theatre. The animation of this film is beautiful, and Pixar revamped their animation process to give better detail on-screen to visuals such as Merida’s hair, an amazing sight of curls intertwined with different lengths. The storyline, though, made me feel as if I were watching an ordinary DreamWorks or Universal animated picture and not the Pixar magic that we have seen in the past with films such as Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo or WALL-E. I also wanted Merida to be more heroic, as she comes off rather mischievous than brave. While this isn’t a bad film, it just doesn’t live up to the Pixar standard of excellence that we have come to know and love.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Brave Website
The 50 (A Movie From My Best/Worst Films of All Time)
#18 Best Film
It Happened One Night  (1934):  The winner of 5 Academy Awards, including Best Director for Frank Capra, Best Picture and Best Actor/ Actress for Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. It is the story of an heiress, Ellie(Colbert), who runs away from her family to her husband whom she just married and a man her family disapproves of. She gets help from Peter (Gable), a man she meets on a bus. But Ellie doesn't know that Peter is an out of work reporter who sees Ellie's story as a way to get back into the business. This is the quintessential screwball comedy, one with incredible dialogue that Gable and Colbert rattle off with surprising skill, speed and grace. When I first saw this film, I kept looking at my watch, not because I was bored, but because I didn't want the film to end.  This film has become one of the greatest romantic comedies ever made.   It Happened One Night Info
Forgotten Film:  Murphy's Romance (1985) Emma (Sally Field) is a divorced mom who with her teen son, Jake (Corey Haim), moves to a small town to open a horse ranch. She meets Murphy (James Garner), the town druggist, and a budding relationship begins. Things get complicated, though, when Emma's ex-husband (Brain Kerwin) shows up, and Jake wants more than anything for his parents to get back together. What I love about this film is the chemistry between Field and Garner. They give such warm, real performances and Garner has some great, folksy lines.  My Rating: Full Price   Murphy's Romance Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):  21 Jump Street  (2012): This is a comedy, based on the TV series with the same name, where Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum go undercover, posing as high school students, to bust a drug ring. While I like the rapport that Hill and Tatum have, I didn't like how the film went for the easy joke too many times.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   21 Jump Street Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Seen Only in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Total Recall (2012) Why does Hollywood keep making remakes of films that weren't that good to being with?    Total Recall Website

Weird Credits: From the credits of The Amazing Spider-Man: Boy Soprano

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: The Bourne Legacy (2012) Jeremy Renner takes the reins of a film franchise that Matt Damon thrived in. After Renner's great performance in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011), I think the series is in good hands.   The Bourne Legacy
Until Next Time!

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