Friday, May 2, 2014

Welcome, Summer Movies!!

Well, it's the first weekend in May, and you what that means.  Time for SUMMER MOVIES.  The next couple months will be filled with big, loud, dumb movies.  Hopefully, enough of them will be fun romps that I don't lose my sh*t.

The first weekend of May has belonged to Marvel movies over the past few years, and this years is no different.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 kicks off the summer movie season.  In lieu of a typical review, and in honor of my homeboy Teddy Westside, I'mma break this down into a list of pros and cons, with the cons first.


  • I still don't like Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.  He's too pretty, a little too smart ass all the time.  I'm fine with the snarky one-liners when he's in the costume, because I've always thought that the costume frees Parker up to be who he wants to be.  He feels more confident, and that allows him to smart off.  Plus, Garfield is pretty damn twitchy in his performance.  That said, I felt he was a little more tolerable this time around.  But, he's still not a good Peter Parker to me.
  • The consistency of the tone of this movie was all over the place.  Sometimes, it wants to be gritty and serious.  Sometimes, it wants to be emotional.  Sometimes, it goes way over the edge into Silly-ville.  (Check out some of the scenes with Jamie Foxx.)  It got a bit distracting.  The first film held the tone much more consistently.
  • The film was too long, and it definitely felt it.  The story has multiple side plots, and there was at least one side plot they could cut out completely and you wouldn't miss a single thing. 
  • What a disappointing Stan Lee cameo...
  • The Max Dillon character was a little unbelievable.  I found him a little too nebbishy and mumbling.  And some of his stuff was ridiculous.
  • The musical score.  I hated the score to the first movie.  This one may have been worse.
  • The attempt to cram so many villains into this flick made it feel a little too much like a set-up flick for a Sinister Six movie.

  • Emma Stone.  She's delightful as Gwen Stacy.  Smart, sassy, funny, adorable.  And heartbreaking.  That's all I can really say about that.
  • Dane DeHaan was pretty creepy as Harry Osborn.  And effective.  He made my skin crawl a couple of times.  Yes, that's a good thing.
  •  The action scenes are spectacular.  Although I'm fed up with slow-motion camera work (and slo-mo CGI), the filmmakers have come up with a bunch of cool-looking battle scenes that feel like they're right out of the comics.  Come to think of it, the stuff of Spidey web-slinging through New York is pretty great, too.  It almost makes you feel like you're soaring through the city right along with Ol' Webhead.
  • The end of the film.  I can't say much about it without spoiling it, but I found it to be pretty satisfying.
  • Although some of the jokes in the movie fell a little flat, I was glad to have some humor in the movie.  Of course, I'm not a big fan of "dark, gritty, serious" comic book movies.  I like fun comic book movies, and Amazing Spider-Man 2 is pretty fun.
  • Aside from the slo-mo crap, this movie looks really, really good.  Even the way the suit crinkles and billows in the wind as Spidey swings through New York is pretty impressive.
  • Sally Field feels much more like a part of this story than she did the first time around.  Aunt May is a huge part of the Spidey mythos, and I was very happy to see her get more involved.
On the whole, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a bit of a mess, but there's enough good stuff in this movie to make it worth seeing.  It may be a bit long and it doesn't always keep you engaged, but when it starts to get going, it's a fun time.  And it's a good way to kick off what promises to be a fun movie summer!  

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