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Nordling Has Mixed Emotions About THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!

Nordling here.

Comparisons to Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN are unavoidable, no matter how much Marc Webb and the other writers and filmmakers involved in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN would like it not to be.  The Raimi movies are still fresh in our minds - SPIDER-MAN 3 was only 5 years ago, and it's been playing repeat on cable, along with the other two, since then.  So when THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN goes over ground that we as an audience are already well-steeped in, there's nothing for it but to feel a little bit of "Been there, done that" with the movie.

That's unfortunate, because all the origin stuff, even though it's a retread, are some of the best things in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.  Marc Webb puts a real sense of earnestness and even urgency in the proceedings and despite the repeating nature of what we're seeing, we've become invested all over again in the story of a young man, learning his place in the world and adjusting to new superpowers, dealing with the tragic death of his uncle.  Never mind all the ads forcing down our collective throats that this is the "Untold Story" of Spider-Man; there's not a whole lot new here.  But the performances across the board, from Andrew Garfield's completely on-the-button performance as Peter Parker, Sally Field's Aunt May and Martin Sheen's Uncle Ben, are note-for-note perfect and completely work.  You feel badly for them, because you want to see them in a real Spider-Man movie and not just a reboot.

And that, my friends, is the impossible hurdle - THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is a good movie - I'd even go so far as to say it's better than Sam Raimi's original in spots, but nowhere near close to SPIDER-MAN 2 - but it's strapped down with a story that requires everyone involved in jumping through those hoops again when you can feel them straining against all that to take flight.  There are choices made - almost all of them at the story level - where the movie feels a little like Andy Kaufman just waiting for that moment in the Mighty Mouse song to shout "Here I come to save the day!" even though he's just repeating material.  Sure, it gets it right - but it's all been gotten right before.

Andrew Garfield is leaps and bounds a better Spider-Man and Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire.  He really dominates your attention when he's onscreen - so much so that you aren't waiting for the moments where he puts on the mask.  Garfield, oddly enough, reminded me a lot of Jeff Goldblum's performance in THE FLY before everything goes south - he's nervous and twitchy, always feeling like he's in the wrong place at the wrong time, but still through it all has a good soul.  Emma Stone, as Gwen Stacy, builds some nice chemistry with Garfield in their scenes together - she's the stabilizing force in his post-Uncle-Ben life.  Martin Sheen does good work as Ben, but Sally Field's Aunt May feels a little outside the proceedings - not her fault, again, that's the strain in the writing - as she simply reacts to the events of the movie.

Denis Leary as Captain Stacy is quite good - he provides the snappy banter that the movie needs because J. Jonah Jameson isn't a part of the story yet.  He's wary of Peter, being a dad, and he's dedicated to stopping Spider-Man any way he can.  Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors/the Lizard is probably the biggest problem of the movie.  It's not that he's bad - he's not - but again we have a situation where he's just saddled with bad writing.  Once he goes down the path of the Lizard, the script has him reacting in ways that may make sense from a story standpoint but cause his performance to go from one polar extreme to the other and it's tonally all over the place.  The Lizard as a foe onscreen looks awful - you can see Rhys Ifans in the facial work but I couldn't help feeling that they should have went more animal with it instead of the direction they did go.

There is one aspect that I'll say that THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN has it over Raimi's work, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but it's in the action scenes.  The 3D is plarticularly playful when we ride along with Spidey through New York, and the action choreography is terrific - Spidey moves, jumps, leaps, kicks, and wiseasses his way through his battles and those scenes feel straight out of the comic book.  I sorely missed Spidey's cracks during combat in the Raimi films and Andrew Garfield sells it completely.  The presumptive Stan Lee cameo is by far my favorite cameo he's done in all the Marvel movies yet - just a perfect little moment of organized chaos and sheer geek joy.  James Horner's score isn't bad either, but it doesn't have a recognizable theme that the movie needed at times.

However, the problems are almost all in the writing, and I can't help but think it's because many of the writers from the original Raimi films returned for this one.  This one needed a really fresh take on the material, writers who weren't trying to capture that lightning again.  Honestly, this had no business being a reboot.  There would have been nothing wrong had they just continued the story from the first movies - Spider-Man certainly has a big enough rogues gallery that a new villain wouldn't have been a problem, and they were heading towards the Lizard story anyway - and the audience would have went with it, regardless of the new actors.  I understand that the filmmakers would have wanted a fresh start, and a retelling of certain characters that show up in Spider-Man's history, but that should have been done further down the line.  All the characters in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN are connected in some way, whether through Curt Connors and Gwen Stacy, or through Peter and his parents, or through Gwen and her father, and the result is that THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN feels much smaller in scale than Raimi's films.

Is it worth seeing?  I'd say it is - the performances are great when the writing lets them be, the 3D is nice, especially in the action sequences, and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing these characters again in a movie where they aren't so beholden to the source material.  Garfield and Stone look like the two oldest high school kids on the planet, but that's easy enough to get over.  THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is a movie where you get the feeling that once Marc Webb and the writers are allowed to go their own way, there might really be something there that's worth seeing. 

I have the feeling that a sequel to this could be quite good as long as they don't go the predictable "Kid needs to find the secret of his parents" route, and in the post-credits stinger you already know that is likely to happen, unfortunately.  For those asking if the origin somehow is different now, I'd say no but the potential is there that instead of Peter's powers being some random event that it was all planned.  THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN sets up a sequel as inevitable as this movie is, and if Webb and the screenwriters really want to make this its own series and not just a rehash of Raimi's films, they need to pull out all the stops to keep that from happening now.  In short, I think it's time for Kraven the Hunter.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • June 29, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST

    WATCH OUT FELLAS! TOM CRUISE IS A CONFIRMED BACHELOR AGAIN!

    by AzulTool

  • June 29, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Post credits stinger

    by slone13

    C'mon, someone tell us what it is. I'm not gonna have a chance to see this for a while.

  • June 29, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Just go to Spiderman with an open mind

    by Mennen

  • June 29, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Mixed emotions?

    by MooseMalloy

    Its a Spider-man movie, dude.

  • June 29, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Lizard

    by Phil Black

    No matter how bad the Lizard is it can't be worse than the Power Rangers quality Green Goblin from the first one. Reduced the first film from poor to terrible.

  • Why reboot so soon? Why tell same story? Those other movies were okay, right? These are critiques of the concept of making this movie-- but how about the movie on its own terms? How about if we pretend for two seconds the Raimi movies don't exist-- is this good? Isn't that the issue? The Raimi movies are not aging well. They are stagey and cartoony, which is fine-- but there are a lot of ways to make super-hero movies. And for those of us who love Spidey and have grown to not-love the Raimi films, the existence of this reboot is not upsetting. It might suck, I have no idea. But retelling the story is not a problem. Any idea how many times they've told the DRACULA story? Probably a few of those were closer together than these two Spider-Man origin stories. I'm looking forward to checking this out, and I'll be surprised if the other movies will feel like baggage.

  • June 29, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Yes. What is the Stinger Godamnit!

    by JudeNWM

  • June 29, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO SHOCKER NEXT!

    by HASBEER_WILLCHEET

    GREEN GOBLIN WAS ALREADY DONE FINE. PLEASE FUCKING DO SHOCKER. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE. HE MUST KILL CIVILIANS TOO.

  • June 29, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    TOMKAT 2005-2012

    by paulloch

    I wonder what she's gonna get in the divorce settlement, along with the obligatory monetary gag order on Scientology. (you know the one Nicole got handed) Must have been rough watching her fellow cast mates on Dawson do well, while her career tanked. But now she'll make more than all of them combined in the settlement. So she "wins".

  • June 29, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Post-credits stinger:

    by buggerbugger

    Scorpion's tail.

  • June 29, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    *an

    by Gary Makin

  • June 29, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Seeing it before isn't a flaw

    by Pipple

    Especially if it's the origin that's been set in stone since its inception. What'd you expect them to do, make it so he gets his powers from gamma radiation. And rebooting is necessary. It'd be like if they rebooted fantastic four tomorrow. Those movies were garbage, who cares...

  • June 29, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Post-credits stinger

    by Nordling

    If you've seen the trailers, you've seen most of it.

  • June 29, 2012, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Eh.

    by Cruizer Dave

    It seems people who have been bitching about the Rami movies and saying that "finally we'll have a version of Spidey that's true to the comics (organic web shooters, more wisecracks!) are going to be disappointed. Yes, we have Casio webshooters and more snide remarks, but even the positive reviews are saying most of the "humor" falls flat. Also, while they've added those two elements, they've changed around the origin, tied it to Pete's dad, got rid of the wrestling thing in favor of a store robbery, completely ignored JJ Jameson's existence and made Pete to be the hippest skateboarding nerd this side of Glee. I may see this. After Avengers, I just don't thing it's going to be anything but a letdown. I'm really just killing time until The Dark Knight Rises.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    this review jumps through hoops

    by walt

  • June 29, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST

    The guy that killed Brandon Lee is Norman Osborn in the

    by Russell

    Mid credits scene and him and Connors say the spider was a robot or some shit

  • June 29, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    I was really shitfaced but thats what I remember

    by Russell

  • June 29, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    chifforobe

    by textual

    The reason why this is being made so soon is not in doubt. It's being made because Sony does not want to give the rights back to Marvel and let Spider-Man become a Marvel Studios picture. They had to make a movie and make it this year or lose the license. In fact, they were willing to let Raimi make a fourth film but he couldn't meet the deadline. But you are correct, the circumstances behind the film's existence, as crappy as they may be, should be ignored. A good film is a good film, regardless of why it was made. And Nordling seems to have given it a fair shot, most of his criticisms have to do with the original elements not done before, such as the Lizard. Personally, I'll give it a shot, probably after Rises hits to get a quieter theater experience. I think it looks pretty good from the trailers and such.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    THIS IS THE TRANSFORMERS OF SUPERHERO MOVIES

    by TopHat

    Not just in execution, but, also in how movie bloggers will make excuses for it because "kids like it", or it has good action, etc. Prove me wrong, I dare you!

  • June 29, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Just can't muster interest in this.

    by D.Vader

    The images of Spider-Man swinging in classic Spidey poses straight out of the comics is the *only* thing that gets me excited.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Zero interest in seeing this...

    by Melanie Griffiths Sour Patch

    ...just can't get myself excited to watch the same plot beats with different players. This is Broadway. It's not like going to see The Producers with Larry David instead of Nathan Lane as Max. Movies are different. If they chucked the origin story and just did a Spiderman movie they'd probably get me in the theater. Watching Uncle Ben die again to motivate Parker is just boring. And the Lizard looks like shit.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:16 p.m. CST

    "Any idea how many times they've told the DRACULA story?"

    by buggerbugger

    You can count the number of decent 'Dracula' adaptations on two or three fingers. Not good odds, considering how many times it's been remade since the dawn of cinema. I'm not entirely sure that's a good argument for filming another variation on Spider-Man's origin so soon after the last one. The 2002 version was serviceable enough, so why can't we just get on with an entirely new story that doesn't revolve around Peter getting bitten, discovering that he can stick to walls, then stitching together a costume, swinging through the air for the first time and wailing, "Nooooo, Uncle Bennnnnn! Uncle Bennnnnn!" Fuck me, Uncle Ben again. And then we're probably going to go through some variation of the Green Goblin origin all over again. Cue mad experiments, lots of cackling, some girl falling from a bridge and the bad guy being impaled on his own glider during the climactic showdown. Again. It's like a stuck record.

  • "The sequel will be better" That's what its come to... ...spending hundreds of millions of dollars ...for a sequel. Who cares if THIS movie is mediocre? As long as the studio can spend even MORE money and make another sequel. With this movie, particular: Is there any doubt anyone's mind that the sequel will be about the Green Goblin and will probably be a Hodgepodge of copying beat-for-beat Raimi's 2001 film AND The Dark Knight? Keep making excuses movie bloggers... ...that's pretty much all you're good for now.

  • And Spidey has to stop his friend from being killed while also avoiding being killed by said friend.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Stop Rewarding Mediocrity

    by RustyShakelfort

    Having not yet seen The Amazing Spiderman, I cannot speak to its quality. But I do know that us "movie geeks" need to get with the program and broaden our gaze as to what films we pay to see. Perhaps one of the reasons many "genre" movies fail to meet our expectations is that we'll immediately go see any generic big budget action spectacle; thus signaling to the suits what we want to see in the future. Nolan earned our sequel dollars with Batman Begins, and again with TDK. Were any of The Transformer movies really worthy of your first weekend dollars? just sayin'

  • June 29, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    And how about we see some minor villains in the films?

    by D.Vader

    Like open on Spidey saving people from the rampaging Rhino before we get into the meat of the story with the real villain? Show that these bizarre characters exist and keep coming quite frequently.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Amen, rustyshakelford

    by TopHat

    Movie Geek Blogger/Reviewer = Complacent Consumer

  • June 29, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    "The guy that killed Brandon Lee is Norman Osborn"

    by buggerbugger

    Michael Massee?! Oh, fucking hell, not him. He's one of those guys - like Richard Lynch and Billy Drago - who's known primarily for playing Generic Cheesy Bad Guy in any number of TV series. Those three blokes, totally interchangeable. Going from a class act like Willem Dafoe to 1990s Richard Lynch Man? What a downgrade in talent.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:38 p.m. CST

    D.Vader - Kraven hunting the Lizard? That's gold man.

    by sweeneydave

    I'd see that movie. I like the idea of minor villains running amok too. Marvel is giving us a world populated with superfolks, thanks to the Avengers. Sony needs to jump on board that train - at least with Spidey characters.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Thank you, SweeneyDave. It makes sense, right?!

    by D.Vader

    Connors becomes the Lizard, starts terrorizing New York. Kraven is a big game hunter, maybe has his own show like The Crocodile Hunter (like in the Ultimate Spidey comics) and comes to NY to hunt The Lizard. Spidey gets in his way and Kraven becomes obsessed with defeating him too. So now you have two villains but for the first time in a superhero movie, they are NOT working together and are actively fighting each other, and Spider-Man has to be the guy to get in between them, trading blows with both of them. And yes, please show us a world where these costumed guys are *everywhere*. For once I'd like a superhero movie to open with the hero tackling one of these minor villains (well, Batman sort of did it in The Dark Knight but that was more of a cleanup from the end of the previous movie). I wanna see Rhino knocking cars over, or Shocker robbing a bank with Scorpion. Bizarre stuff like that for villains who might not have enough real story to carry a film as the primary baddie.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:53 p.m. CST

    So, it's a shitty movie?

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

    If the writing is bad then all the great performances in the world don't matter. Looks like a good Netflix rental to me.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Ridiculously too soon....

    by Marshal_Lannes

    ...to have rebooted this character, and for that reason alone, I have no interest in it.

  • June 29, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    scratchmonkey-- only two or three good Dracula films?

    by chifforobe

    What? Maybe if you're not really a horror or Dracula fan, I guess. You've got Max Shreck, Bela Lugosi, probably three or four excellent Christopher Lee versions-- Klaus Kinski might be the best, Gary Oldman was interesting at least. Plus, making movies is hard. Maybe it takes a few crappy ones to find these gems. I haven't seen a great Spidey movie yet-- this may or may not be it. I hope they keep at it, because I love the character-- and I love the origin story. You're over it, that's fine.

  • I have no illusions about studios cynical motivations. But they've got some creative folks working on this, and I imagine their goal is just to make a good movie-- and I'm not even convinced the Marvel company would do a better job. We'll see I'm sure.

  • June 29, 2012, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Another "Meh" review. Who knew?

    by bat725

  • June 29, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    What did any of you really expect?

    by Kytas

    And yet, it will still gross $300 million domestically. Sigh. At least Garfield delivers as Spider-Man. He's likable enough, but they should stop casting Brits to play American icons.

  • June 29, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Agree addition of minor villians would be great so long as

    by angry kitty

    they are only onscreen briefly. Much like say, the addition of the Scarecrow in the opening scenes of the Dark Knight. Granted that was more for continuity with the previous film, but it was nicely done. For a Spiderman sequel, Rhino or maybe Kingpin could be nice additions, if they pop up randomly and don't stick around too long. Remember, there's a fine line between "adding some minor villians" to enhance the story, and "adding a few minor villians" that leads to another Spiderman 3.

  • June 29, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Spider boy wearing spider mousse in his spider hair...

    by awardgiver

    for his spider coiffe! Backstreet boys aditions were well over a decade ago, son!

  • June 29, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST

    That's exactly what I was saying, Angry Kitty

    by D.Vader

    Just open with Spidey foiling a bank robbery by one of those minor villains, something like that for a small set piece, that's all. Would work great.

  • June 29, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST

    @ d. vader- yes, I understand that was your intention

    by angry kitty

    just felt it was worth repeating because its a brilliant idea. I just put a little more emphasis on the "brief cameo" part, because Spiderman 3 still hurts me deeply. it is part of my therapeutic road to recovery.

  • June 29, 2012, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Didn't like the Rami movies

    by Adam Bishop

    and not liking the look of this either sadly. Shame Marvel can't get the rights back.

  • June 29, 2012, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Mask off 60 percent of time + YELLOW EYES when on =

    by Behemoth

    GIGANTIC SHIT-FEST and an ABOMINATION of a Spider-man movie. FUCK this shit.

  • June 29, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Reboot too soon

    by shane peterson

    they did this waaay too soon after Raimi's Spidey. Should've waited at least a decade.

  • June 29, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Tazzman

    by time2323

    If I'm not mistaken, the main reason this was churned out so soon was so that Sony could maintain the rights to the franchise. I believe there was some clause where the rights would have reverted back to marvel if Sony didnt release another movie in a specific time frame.

  • June 29, 2012, 4:32 p.m. CST

    A villain like him is always played by a well-known actor.

    by Mr. Pricklepants

  • June 29, 2012, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Kraven's Last Hunt

    by ERobs

    Potential to be incredible but I think it'd take two movies. Kind of like how Venom should have taken two movies to develop instead of shoehorning him into the third Raimi one.

  • June 29, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Same writers eh? Hmmm...and Massee as Osborne??!

    by Darth Macchio

    I guess I've got a little sympathy for this film or something - as much as it should be a giant 'meh', i'm actually hoping it does well. but its one of those things - does it becomes the same as the parent or does it become 180degrees different? I was hoping neither would be the case but if its the same writers from the Raimi versions - why? Forget the Sony rights stuff or any other nonsense...why would they use the same writers? Nothing against them - they did a great job but why use them again? I want this to do well - I love Spidey as a character and want any variation of that ethos doing well in any medium he may find himself within but I'm wondering about Lizard now. We had such a great buildup with Dylan Baker (after 3 movies, an even worse fuck off for Baker than even Billy Dee Williams got after the first Keaton/Burton Batman) and such a great tragic story for Connors as a character. The more human features, while not my preference, are also not really deal-breaker in and of themselves...but the story arc is important. And a robotic spider or bitten on purpose? Well, if that's true then I may have to re-evaluate my enthusiasm for this movie... Sorry but a robotic spider purposefully biting Peter through some father/Connors agenda/plan is the worst kind of retcon since turning Teenage Mutant Ninja turtls into martial arts aliens who look an awful lot like turtles but aren't actually turtles as that would just be dumb...right? And it's true...the guy who killed The Crow is fucking Norman Osborne! (not proper fucking, mind you). I thought he meant Michael Wincott at first - which might be great casting for Osborne actually...but its not him. Massee is billed as "The Man in the Shadows" which plays out to be Norman Osborne, apparently. Horrible casting if they're taking this guy to be Osborne in any of the sequels. I was concerned about Ifans casting (especially the rumor of him using his own cookie monster voice for the Lizard's voice) but if they cast this guy (also the creepy/scuzzy hotel clerk in Seven) as Osborne, then my anticipation of seeing a smart/chaos/badass version of Green Goblin (wearing a goblin mask and NOT a kabuki helmet) was just lost completely.

  • THAT could have been great. Who the fuck is this Michael Massee??

  • Sure, we didn't know yet that that scene was going to be the mid-credits scene, but still... It's like showing Thanos in one of the Avengers trailers.

  • June 29, 2012, 5:36 p.m. CST

    saw it yesterday, and the mid-credits "stinger"...

    by brightgeist

    the "stinger" is really not that exciting. it's Connors in his prison cell, talking to some mysterious guy with a very comic-villainy voice (Osborn?), whose face stays hidden in the shadows. they exchange a few sentences about "Peter finding out the truth about his parents", but there's no real "stinger" there. nothing compared to Thanos or Thor's hammer or any of that kind of thing.

  • June 29, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST

    and yes, i completely agree...

    by brightgeist

    the movie is pretty good on its own, but the problem is that is ISN'T on its own. it should have been a sequel, not a reboot. i usually HATE it when they recast characters in sequels, but i would still have preferred a recast SPIDEY sequel to a reboot that tells the whole origin story AGAIN, pretty much identically to Raimi's SPIDER-MAN, while not succeeding to involve me emotionally during 98% of the movie. i enjoyed watching the movie, but i hate the fact that it exists like this.

  • Yeah. What the fuck are you talking about?

  • June 29, 2012, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Is Tom Cruise gay or is Katie sick of the scientology bullshit?

    by Raptor Jesus

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  • June 29, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Good review.

    by tyler_turden

    Pretty spot-on. My take. http://thecrat.com/movie-reviews/the-amazing-spider-man-review-by-adam/

  • June 29, 2012, 8:31 p.m. CST

    They blew it from the start...

    by Boober

    So many of the finer details in this movie were an improvement...like an upgrade to an already awesome sportscar. Better rims, sleeker paint job, redone interior. Unfortunately, this movie was only EVER going to be as effective as the backstory and emotional investment in Connors and the Lizard. Nordling is being polite in his review, and by polite I mean he is doing potential movie-goers a disservice by sugar coating the failures that doomed this movie to a disappointing "could have been". The writing didn't just hamstring arguably the best actor in this movie...it locked his talents away. I have some experience with commercial art and I cannot for the life of me understand why they thought the final Lizard design was a good choice. I understand trying to translate some of Ifan's facial expressions to the final CGI product, but this is in no way the Lizard of the Comics. It's some aweful amalgam of Venom, Killer Croc (from Batman), and some juicer on Steroids painted green (much like the at least partially successful Abomination in the Hulk). Finally, the "Twilight" marketing plan of hiring a guy nearly 30 years old to play an angsty teen is just stupid and cowardly. If it's a reboot, find a kid with acting chops to REALLY pull it off and stop getting the guy with pecs that gets mommy and tween-daughter all hot and bothered. Apologists are ignoring this glaring problem like it doesn't exist, but Garfield is about as much Peter Parker as Ryan Reynolds would be...

  • June 29, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Sorry dude...it's that bad.

    by Boober

    It's so far off base, it's stupid. Utter source material FAIL.

  • June 29, 2012, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Nordling are you kidding about Sally Field's Aunt May?

    by Meta

    She had one of the most unimpressive, underwhelming performances of any actor in this film. She doesn't act, she simply reacts to everybody else's actions. She just "oh's and ah's" and makes facial expressions over the rest of the cast's emotions, that she basically vanishes into the wallpaper. In fact she's not Aunt May. Aunt May was a living reminder and driving force of what made Peter Parker into Spider-Man. In this film she's just a punching bag for everybody's emotions. Whatever you make think of the previous trilogy, Rosemary Harris' version of Aunt May was much more like the Aunt May we knew from the comics. Sally Field was no Aunt May. And I won't go into how many stupid script writing ideas and plot holes they wrote into this turkey on this thread but if you go Matt Adler's spoilerific review on AICN. You'll read my posts on how horribly scripted this film was. http://www.aintitcool.com/node/56704 And by the way not once in this fucking film do they use the words "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility!" If you're going to do the fucking origin again, you have to at least include that!

  • June 29, 2012, 10:51 p.m. CST

    The CGI action sequences are horrible

    by DonRivella

    and are completely at odds with the more realistic feeling the rest of the movie is going for. They feel like a studio head decision to appeal to the video game crowd and add to the inconsistent feel of the whole affair. The look of the movie is great in parts, the acting serviceable, but there appears to be a lack of a coherent vision to the whole project.

  • Ouch!

  • Ah-Ha! You implicate that this is not a "real" Spider-Man movie - and it isn't! Hahahaha! Exactly - exactly. I did not like this flick.

  • June 30, 2012, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Furthermore...

    by THX1968

    The narrative is stunted because of sequel build-up. Your review is far too kind. Leary is probably the best aspect of the film, but Garfield drove me nuts. He just ain't Parker - not the one I wanted to see. Your comparison to The Fly makes my point in the exact opposite of opinion, though it would work fantastically if they parlayed this behavior into the six armed Spidey from ASM 100-101. The action, however, is indeed excellent, but I chalk that up to continuing technological advancements. Particularly in compositing. It's a retread with some new flash meant to separate it from what came before. Kinda dull, really. A pointless reboot, when they could have successfully and simply continued the story.

  • June 30, 2012, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Raimi films are cartoony because they are BASED ON A COMIC BOOK!

    by GeorgieBoy

    Comic movies are SUPPOSED to be cartoony! If you want something more real-life, go watch Jerry Maguire.

  • June 30, 2012, 10:10 a.m. CST

    The Raimi films were far from holy...

    by WeylandYutani

    The second film in that series was quite good despite the problems: • Raimi's over the top campy style and inability to draw nuanced characters (he was able to do it in a simple plan, so why not in the SM series)? • The miscasting of key characters (Dunst is a good actress, but she was clearly lost in the role are MJ). • Fussing with the source matrial in ways that did not offer any improvements to the narrative even when you consider the switch of mediums from print to film (why did Stacey show up in part 3? Her original story arc would have worked fine if she had been introduced in part 1). • Poor character design (the green goblin suit and concept was a mistake). I have yet to see this new version. But Webb has proven he has a knack for creating interesting young characters (500 Days of Summer). I am actually a bit surprised Joseph Gordon Levitt was not cast as the lead. But the trailers suggest this has been well cast and acted. It will be interesting to see if the plot will hold the film together and if the villain and Spidy designs work.

  • June 30, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    georgieboy

    by WeylandYutani

    I totally disagree. Using cartoony/campy characters and situations can be funny, but in the long term, often do not age well. Spiderman's screen adventures are a good case study. If the material is handled with a degree of verisimilitude, the film shifts from silly summer tent pole to genre classic. The original Superman and Nolan's Batman films are good examples – Raimi's films look crude by comparrison.

  • June 30, 2012, 10:22 a.m. CST

    "scratchmonkey-- only two or three good Dracula films?"

    by buggerbugger

    Ummm... no. We weren't talking about Dracula films, were we? We were talking about "the Dracula story" (in your words), AKA "Dracula adaptations" (in mine). "What? Maybe if you're not really a horror or Dracula fan, I guess. You've got Max Shreck, Bela Lugosi, probably three or four excellent Christopher Lee versions-- Klaus Kinski might be the best, Gary Oldman was interesting at least." Oh, I'm a big horror fan. Grew up watching the Universals and Hammers. But, to me, when you refer to "the Dracula story", you're referring to Bram Stoker's novel. It's nothing to do with, say, 'House of Dracula' or 'Dracula AD 1972'. Fun though some of the Lee Dracula movies are, they're not "the Dracula story". When I say that you can count the number of decent 'Dracula' adaptations on two or three fingers, I'm talking about actual adaptations of the story of Dracula as written by Bram Stoker. 'Nosferatu', '(Horror of) Dracula', Coppola's maybe. There you go, that's three. Herzog's? It's okay, even if it's all over the place, with Yorkshire bordering London for some odd reason. Lugosi's was always crap. Always. A fair few other adaptations of it are crap, too. I'd say that the bad or "meh" versions outweigh the excellent or even decent ones.

  • June 30, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Origin Stories

    by KDog629

    There is literally nothing that annoys me so much about super hero movies as the ceaseless bitching about a retelling of the origin story being unnecessary or redundant. Every director tells his version of a story. Every director wants to put their spin on telling an age old story. Every generation has stories re-translated into their cultural language. Chris Nolan didn't need to re-shoot the death of Bruce Wayne's parents because Tim Burton already covered that? What if you want to change some details? We don't need to see Kal-El's ship crash into the field in Smallville because "we've seen it all before"? Bullshit. A super hero franchise that does not contain an origin story would be an unbalanced narrative disaster.

  • can this site get anymore pathetic. Only thing this site is good for is the talkbackers

  • June 30, 2012, 7:10 p.m. CST

    It had to be a reboot Nordling......there's different actors.

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    Surely it would have been stupid carrying on from the other films when Spidey's being played by a different bloke?

  • June 30, 2012, 7:15 p.m. CST

    I liked Spiderman 3......just thought I'd say that.

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    Don't understand why it gets a bad rap sometimes

  • June 30, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Especially as it had Sandman in it.

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    One of my favourite Spidey villains.

  • June 30, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Verisimilitude

    by GeorgieBoy

    Sure, Superman The Movie and Batman Begins has gobs of it, but I think that the original Raimi Spider-Man has it too. But it was also a *FUN* movie. What I object to is people complaining that comic book movies aren't "realistic" enough when the source material was never realistic to begin with. (Spider-Man 3 notwithstanding...)

  • Lordo, have you ever looked at the comics? These days a dozen different artists a year do the drawing, many with radically different styles. Peter and Spider-Man sometimes never look the same from one issue to the next. In movies it is not uncommon for new actors to step into roles. This movie would have been much much better if they had just left Gwen Stacy out of it, kept Peter in college, and just let Garfield and another red head win us over. Doing the origin AGAIN adds nothing. The comics show that it is not the only, or most powerful, Spider-Man story possible. It is not needed to reboot continuity. They could still change just about anything they wanted to, even the crappy webbing which, if it was to be something "natural", was coming out of the wrong part of his anatomy. They could even get rid of Mary Jane if they wanted.

  • June 30, 2012, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Nordling and reviewers

    by sportsguy88

    Not understanding why so much emphasis is being put on "how soon" this is being redone when Batman was rebooted 8yrs later? Don't recall everyone get all pent up about that.

  • June 30, 2012, 9:56 p.m. CST

    "should have went"....

    by Funis4assholes

    You should have 'went' back to school.

  • July 1, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Big Money for Spidey this weekend..

    by Red_Right_Return

    http://www.hitfix.com/news/movie-power-rankings-spider-man-swings-past-dark-knight-and-star-trek

  • That's the way things are now.

  • July 1, 2012, 6:36 a.m. CST

    it's just a bad movie

    by unami

    with bad cgi (even the web slinging had more depth in raimi's 2d-version), characters you don't care about, a bad script and worse editing. yeah, the actors are not bad and the camerawork is sometimes nice (when not disturbed by the terrible cgi), but that's far from enough to save this steaming pile of shit.

  • July 1, 2012, 11:25 a.m. CST

    It's better to start over again if there's different actors michaelh

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    It's ridiculous when you have different actors playing the same parts and it's trying to be a continuation. They made 3 movies with Maguire and if he's not coming back then start again.

  • July 1, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Spidey's NOT Dr Who......he can't change his appearance.

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    by regenerating and it would be testing the imagination too far too pretend Garfield's the same person as Maguire. It would be silly...even if different artists make Parker look a bit different in the comics.

  • July 1, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    but we've had two hulk films

    by JAMF

    and a third hulk actor in the avengers and everyone "gets" the hulk. they should've just continued the story from spidey 3, put a comic book style sequence at the beginning to get people up to speed like they did in spidey 2.

  • July 1, 2012, 11:55 a.m. CST

    what the hell..

    by dengreg31

    is he standing on in that poster? a 747?

  • It don't exist.

  • July 1, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    But those Hulk's are all separate.

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    The Norton film was pretty much a reboot so was different to Ang Lees and the Hulk in the Avengers doesn't seem to tie up with both the previous films (apart from a standard Hulk origin). I wish they all did but they don't. It's a shame Ang Lee didn't get everything right first time then maybe they could have kept the same actors.

  • July 1, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Batman needed the reboot

    by paulloch

    which is why no-one complained. Say what you will about the Raimi films, they weren't as embarassing as Batman and Robin.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Kraven...

    by vosborne951

    Justin Theroux

  • July 3, 2012, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Post credits scene...

    by Tom

    Doctor Connors sits in a cell at what is presumably the city jail. A man in the shadows asks if Parker knows about his father, and then retreats into the shadows and disappears... The actor who plays "Man in the shadows" is Michael Massee. You're welcome. It was very uneventful and left more questions than it answered.

  • July 3, 2012, 6:15 a.m. CST

    If it was all planned, then that's like THE HULK.

    by Michael Morning

    In THE HULK, banner's father experimented on him, so his turning into the Hulk was a perfect storm. I gathered from the trailers that this was the direction they were headed. VERY lame, IMO. And Garfield better than Toby for Peter Parker? Nope, not seeing it. Garfield looks like a male model they're trying to glam-down to play the role of a geeky teenager (doesn't work).

  • July 5, 2012, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Agreed, bugeninpo

    by Kremzeek

    I still just can't get excited at all about this film. It doesn't even look "bad" persay. It just doesn't interest me at all. And, as some others have said, for a comic book movie geek like me to not even care says a lot about why this film shouldn't exist. I'm cool with them trading in the cast for a new one (other than JK Simmons and Maguire) as it was really time for some new creative blood (I'd like to think they can do a "James Bond" on the Spider-Man franchise - or any superhero franchise, really). But to completely reboot from scratch? Stupid, and I just don't see the point... which is why I won't be seeing this until Netflix at the soonest.

  • July 5, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST

    @lordoflight

    by Kremzeek

    The Ang Lee Hulk and the rebooted Norton Hulk are 2 distinct individual versions of the character, yes. But the Norton Hulk is supposed to be the same one as in the Avengers film. And though I surprisingly didn't miss Norton in that film, it's still supposed to be the same version. Different actor, same Banner/Hulk. So, there's really only been one true reboot of Hulk. They pretty much did a "James Bond" on him (like they should've done with Spidey).