Movie Experience: The Amazing Spider-man

Obligatory IMDB blurb: Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.

(Sorry, but every time I hear Peter Parker, I can only think of Peter Piper and his peck of pickled peppers.)

This was the first movie where I really saw the difference between 2D and 3D. I’d seen the trailer a bajillion times when my husband and I went to John Carter and The Avengers in IMAX 3D. When the theater brought Avengers back to IMAX after Dark Shadows couldn’t pull in the crowds, we went to see it again. I realized something might be wrong when they showed 1 different trailer than the line up we’d been seeing (trust me, it was a refreshing change).

And the Spider-man trailer was in 2D. While I did like one thing (no longer felt slammed in the face when the tower fell off the roof of the OsCorp building), it just didn’t pull me in and make me feel like part of the experience.

My sister went out to tell a manager that the movie hadn’t switched over (yes, we were about to be treated to Dark Shadows), and when it started again, it went through the usual trailer line up. That’s when I saw how much better this movie looked in 3D. Yes, it’s extra, but given that going to the movies should be an immersive experience, it cemented my love for 3D (otherwise, we’d stay home and enjoy Netflix or the billions of Blurays we have).

Alright, on to the movie.

I’m not a comic book fan, but my husband is, so I often feel I straddle the line between real fans and those who’ve vaguely heard of the characters. It’s been forever since I watched SM1 and it was eh for me. I didn’t see SM2 or 3. So, I approached this one knowing only bits and pieces of Peter’s backstory.

I really liked it.

Having two awesome actors for his aunt and uncle (Sally Field and the *insert holy music* fantastic Martin Sheen) lent real weight to the cast. I can’t speak for how well all the actors did when compared to the comic books, but it hit all my requirements for a good story. It drew me in, made me care about all of them, made me sympathize with the villain (okay, that might be a new one here), and…it made me cry.

Watching what happened to Peter with the guy with the star tattoo and then his uncle…feeling the weight of a wrong decision…then the character at the end and the weight of a promise that tears you apart to keep…

I loved the scenes where he learned 1) that he had powers and 2) how to use them. I didn’t get seasick with the camera angles like I thought I might; director did a good job not keeping it too close up while making you see the world from Peter’s perspective as he slung his way across the scenery.

Dislikes: The music during the fight at school. It didn’t build up. Good music doesn’t stand out and adds to the tension of the scene. This one felt like a throwback to the Transformers cartoon where the background music is screaming even when the characters are just standing around talking. It’s like amateur writers who use tons of exclamation points! Everything feels IMPORTANT!!! when in fact, it has the opposite effect. I was so busy thinking about this aspect that I didn’t realize the scene in the library was Stan Lee’s great cameo (though it was still hilarious). The music reset after that and wasn’t really a problem for the rest of the movie.

There was one time where it would have been impossible for him to put the mask on (after rescuing the kid from the car on the bridge) and a couple times where he seemed to take it off for reasons left unexplained to the audience. (Continuity or reasonable explanations are required if I’m to suspend disbelief.) Some of the security detail around his first visit to OsCorp and the way the spiders got on him were kind of like wha? to me, as well. I just didn’t get why plucking one of the web strands would make the machine stop, throw spiders on the intruder then continue as if nothing had happened. That scene should have played out differently.

Also, once you have confirmed sightings of a giant lizard rampaging the city, I don’t think you’d waste manpower on a masked vigilante in that moment. Find some other more realistic and compelling way for these two to cross paths. Just my nit picky 2 cents worth.

Overall, it was great. I’d give it 3.5/5 stars and recommend seeing it in the theater just for the shots of him swinging through New York.


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