The Juice Bloggers
By: Wanggo Gallaga
Why would you go and watch the origin of Spider-Man all over again? We know it by heart already and we've seen it on the big screen played by Tobey Maguire and directed by Sam Raimi. So they are going to change things up a bit again but it is still essentially going to be the same -- a smart, albeit geeky, high school student gets bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes a costumed superhero and fights crime with the extraordinary powers he gets that make him quite like a spider. What more can be done, right? Apparently, a hell of a lot. That's what director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer and television's The Office) more than accomplishes in his reboot of the famous web-slinger. The also appropriately named Webb presents us a Peter Parker that is far more human and more relatable than Raimi's attempt. This Peter Parker is a genius, but he's hurting because of his parents' sudden disappearance and he is already brave and heroic even before he gets his powers. He's spunky and a little reckless and impulsive. And unlike Maguire's take on Parker, Andrew Garfield's portrayal is never corny. In fact, he's charming and awkward and a little of a gorgeous dweeb. (Did it rock or did it suck? Tell us all about it and win a Lumix digital camera, and iPad, and more.)
When he does get bitten, his first discovery of his new abilities is clumsy and messy and, later, as he learns how to use them, we are given a wonderful montage sequence of him skateboarding in an empty warehouse. It is graceful and fun and completely rooted into something so contemporary and urban and youthful. It is probably one of the best sequences in the film. Suffice to say the movie is just amazing, as the title says it is. The characters are fleshed out and everything is played through, not taking anything for granted. It elegantly drives its theme and its lessons organically into the story that you don't feel, at any point, that they are trying to teach you something. It is all part and parcel of the story and it moves effortlessly into each other. The acting, the scripting, and the direction are all working on a very high level. Andrew Garfield proves he has the skills to maintain your empathy throughout a rather long film. Emma Stone, who plays Peter's love interest Gwen Stacy, is stunning. She hasn't had a bad film yet and this is another showcase of her ability to be absolutely believable in yet another role. Their chemistry is explosive and their scenes together are pitch perfect. (It's time to run for your life... again! Join Outbreak Manila's second leg on July 28, 2012.)
The supporting cast is terrific. Martin Sheen and Sally Fields are terrific as Uncle Ben and Aunt May, Peter's surrogate parents, while Rhys Ifans is beguiling as Doctor Curt Connors, who becomes The Lizard. The most amazing part is that the web-slinging sequences were not done by computer graphics but instead shot live with rigs and stuntmen so that the movements were more realistic and the film became more physical. The effect, on screen, is spell-binding. You are actually seeing a man swinging across New York City. People may find the two hour and a half screen time a little long but no scene in the film can be thrown away. It is essential to the story-telling and they give you so much to enjoy that you eat it all up. I noticed that the pacing was slow but it was steady and felt necessary. It covers all the bases and touches on all the specific points necessary. The only flaw is that it seemed the film does not seem to have benefited from a 3D treatment. The Amazing Spider-Man's New York feels hemmed in and claustrophobic, which is not a bad thing. We can see the potential jumping places for good ol' Spidey but it does not lend itself well to 3D, unlike, say The Avengers, where New York seemed more panoramic and wider and open. The 3D lends itself better to that sort of visual storytelling because you really get the depth of feel. The Amazing Spider-Man didn't need it at all. What made this movie great was its essence and its characterizations, the visuals were merely extra candy. It still shines outside of a 3D viewing. Most importantly, the movie is pure comic entertainment. It is dark without being grim; it is still fun and enjoyable; and at the very core, it is full of heart. Apparently, there was a reason to do a reboot and to show Spider-Man's origins all over again. It's so that this movie can be enjoyed. Have you watched The Amazing Spider-Man yet?
Juice Recommends: Juice Dining: Channel your inner foodie
Juice Sports & Hobbies: Keep your mind and body active