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Not so Amazing Spider-Man — By Jack

Once a generation a Spider – Man is rebooted.

It’s a shame our cinema blockbusters have come to this. The mass rebooting of franchises and poor ones at that.  The newest victim Spider-Man–

That’s it! I’m not letting your poo-poo another awesome summer movie. First Prometheus, then Ted, which was freakin’ hilarious! Now–
This is my blog post, Jill. Why don’t you bitch about the subway or something?

It’s coming. And I can’t have you crap over every fun action film. No one’s trying to win an Oscar this season! Are we really doing this? You’re going to argue with me as I review Amazing Spider-Man?

Damn skippy!

***Word of warning – this is no longer a review, Jill and Jack are going to bitch about this movie with the assumption you’ve seen the film. MAJOR SPOILERS!***
Shut up Mack! Go write about Quantum Entropy!

Okay…let’s start again. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater this reboot–Looks amazing. From the first person web slinging, to the darkness of Manhattan at night–
Yes it looks good. The action is fast. This Spider-Man is lankier than the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man which is true to the comic.  But let’s talk about the plot–

Okaaaay. Peter Parker is a bullied and likes Gwen Stacy. He gets bitten by a genetic spider. Becomes Spider-Man. Bada-bing! Bada-boom web-slinging action! But this movie is desperately trying to follow the Christopher Nolan-make-a-dark-and-compelling-superhero-story-so-we-can-be-taken-seriously approach. It casts Sally Field and Martin Sheen in the smaller parts (ala Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.) Even its opening screams Batman Begins. Hell, I thought little Peter Parker was going to fall down a well and get covered in spiders. 

So? What’s wrong with that? It doesn’t pull it off. It has plot holes you can drive a truck through (Spider-Man just gives up looking for the guy who killed Uncle Ben)  and forced emotional moments that make you want to laugh. (cough cough the construction crane scene, anyone?) 

They’re just so good together.

Those didn’t bother me. I got to see a romance blossom that was miles deeper than anything Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst were ever capable of having. Jesus, did Peter have to reveal his identity to everyone in the film? We’ve seen three movies of Peter Parker keeping his identity secret. It really struck me to see him come to Gwen’s window, bruised and beaten, to be cradled in her arms. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone had great chemistry. They’re dating you know. Duh!

So many elements just felt left out there waiting be developed but instead were forgotten while other moments felt forced. The lizard cops, Ben’s killer, the true nature of how Peter got his powers. Hell, even the tower falling from the top of Oscorp felt superfluous. Once again! Summer action film! If you want to see character development go see Moonrise Kingdom.

There is an important distinction between action sequences and explosions for the sake of explosions. One moment that did work for me was when Spider-Man was on the bridge, webbing the cars to stop them from falling. He finds the one kid trapped in the car and goes to pull him out before the car infernos. You’re really going to use inferno as a verb? The point is in that scene, Spider-Man’s holding the car with one hand, the webbing with the other and doing everything thing he can to get the kid to climb. He’s being pushed to his super hero limits and he still might fail. That what I want to see in my summer action sequences. Not a giant skyscraper antenna falling after the villain of the film has been defeated which it doesn’t affecting anything except to give the unsuccessful justification of the  3D glasses upcharge.  

I thought that was awesome. Except that I saw it in the trailer a dozen times. Okay, point blank question; were you bored?
 
No. But counter point blank. Were you satisfied?
Sure.
Really? The way you were with The Dark Knight, The Crow, and The Incredibles?
Yes. Yes I was.
I can’t believe that. 

Maybe it’s because I’m a Spider-Man fan and have been since I was 4. The movie just got what I’ve always loved about him so much more than the Sam Raimi films did. The web-shooters, the wise-cracking, and of course the sewer scene.  This was a film for Spider-Fans. 

Okay this was pretty cool.

We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I don’t agree with that.

Addendum: Jack, Jill, and I all agree, The Amazing Spider-Man has the best Stan Lee cameo ever. Period. 

This isn’t the cameo.

 

 
 

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Prometheus Review — By Jack

Hey all.  The summer movie season is in full swing. We got the very satisfying Avengers about a month ago.  Battleship sunk (easiest flop headline ever) and MIB3 is pretty much now off everyone’s radar.  The next benchmark film, Prometheus is finally here. So does it measure up to the hype? Short answer: no.

To those of you living under a rock, Prometheus is the prequel to the prolific Alien saga. It follows the crew of the ship, wait for it…Prometheus, as they search for what they believe are a race of “engineers” that created human life. They arrive on the desired moon, LV-223. Once there, they uncover the remains of an alien spaceship, littered with the corpses of dead “engineers,” and some very eerie artwork.  As they explore, the ship’s android David, played by Michael Fassbender, clearly has his own agenda as he tampers, secretly, with the  “engineers’ ” remains. His meddling leads to catastrophe for the crew members.

You know, these Aliens.

In a nut shell, the film is an enjoyable experience.  It looks good. There are some really stand out performances. It’s fun to see references to the Alien films, particularly the engineers’ ship. There is a very intense surgery scene.  And even a storm sequence that is impressive. But unfortunately, the film never rises above the average space alien disaster film.

Prometheus is directed by Ridley Scott, the director of the first Alien film from 1979 who has since has gone on to many other important and distinguished films.  (I’m very hot/cold on Scott. Loved Thelma & Louise, Black Hawk Down, and Alien. Not a fan of Gladiator, Hannibal, or Blade Runner, blaspheme I know.) And moment to moment, Scott gives us an entertaining ride that never feels boring even if it does seem cliche.  There are a few unintentionally laughable moments, but all in it’s got a great look, mood, and tone.

Most of the characters are pretty indistinguishable or completely forgettable.  There is a security officer introduced early in the film who I confused with one of the geologists. The security officer disappears after his introduction and the geologist gets lost and dies. The main character, scientist and crisis of faith heroine, Elisabeth Shaw, (played by Noomi Rapace) isn’t terribly charming or likable. She’s obsessed with meeting these engineers, but by the end of the film I can’t understand why she’s still on that quest.

Michael Fassbender as David

The real gem of the film is Michael Fassbender. He plays the ship’s android David, with excellent physicality and an eerie but captivating coldness in everything he does. The man is just fascinating to watch.  The Wire‘s Idris Elba plays the ship’s captain. And even though he doesn’t do much, we get enough of his character and Elba’s charm that you really like the character.  Charlize Theron plays Meredith Vickers, the stern and driven woman in charge.  Unfortunately, Vickers starts strong, but as the film unravels towards the end she just falls away.

Charliz Theron and Idris Elba.

So what stops this movie from being the epic classic it should be?  The plot. The movie has a lot to live up to. A legendary director, one of the most influential sci-fi and horror series in all cinema history, and it even invokes the name of Greek mythology. So when **SPOILER** the characters finally uncover the one living engineer,  the thing with the all answers we’ve been sitting the edge of our seats waiting to hear… instead of telling us, what does it do? Runs amok trying to kill everyone, becoming the monster of the film. And out of nowhere it resumes some out of left field mission to destroy Earth. It’s a momentous let down.  It changed a movie that could have been about humanity, exploration, and meddling with powers not meant for us and turned it into a run of the mill monster movie.


For more on Prometheus, check out Kevin Smith’s new show Spoilers on Hulu . It’s a fun new show where he and an audience see a film and bitch about or cream their jeans over it. It’s good fun.

http://www.hulu.com/embed/Db2v06F3U9TlHetIWbnonw

— Jack out.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in By Jack, Reviews, entertainment, etc...

 

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