Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman - Ten Years Later

Okay, I have to admit why I waited so long to watch the reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man.  I had seen the 2002 release of Spider-Man.  And I watched and enjoyed the two sequels.  So I, like many others, decided it wasn't worth watching it again.  I mean, Columbia Pictures released this remake only TEN years after the previous one.

However, after reading Orson Scott Card's review of the newer movie, I decided to go ahead and watch, and I'm glad I did.  It was overall a very good movie and I enjoyed nearly every minute of it.  But the whole time, I couldn't help but compare with the 2002 version.

Was it a good idea to produce this movie so soon after the other?  The movie has actually done well so far, having already pulled in $256.7M in the USA, beating its $230M budget.  And foreign markets brings the total to $691.8M.  As far as I know, they are continuing with their plans to produce the sequel.  So, yes.  In hindsight, it was a good move to produce the movie.

How does this compare with the 2002 movie?  The earlier movie pulled in $403.7M USA and $821.7M Total.  Adjusting for inflation and adjusting for 3-D ticket sales, the older movie will probably have pulled in almost twice as much as the newer version.

Funny thing is, I actually liked the newer one better.  It was a more personal movie.  Andrew Garfield did a great job portraying the quirky teenager.  I don't know how times I had to remind myself that my own teenager wasn't up on the screen.  I had to keep looking at my son sitting next to me to make sure he was still there.

This Spider-Man movie also does a better job at addressing the pendulum physics as Peter swings in between buildings.  He doesn't just magically fly down the middle of the street like in most other renditions.  In fact, we're treated to a 30-second clip of two science geeks analyzing Spider-Man's swinging.  Awesome!  (We could always use more geeks in movies.)

The music was pretty good and appropriate to the setting.  At first it sounded too similar to the Elfman score, but it quickly deviated.  The only complaint I have is the usual one of the music being too loud in some parts.  The worst being a piano slam on the keys during a Halloween-like scene.  This technique would have been more effective if it weren't so loud.  As soon as a person's attention turns to the music instead of the action, the music has overstepped its bounds.  Though, I did like the piano being used, and more movies ought to incorporate this wonderful melodic and percussive instrument.  I noted in the credits that the composer himself, James Horner, performed the piano solos.

The 2002 movie provides more in-your-face action and possibly cooler effects.  The 2012 movie provides a more in-depth exploration into Peter Parker's mind.  The 2002 movie provides more memorable and cinematic scenes.  The 2012 movie provides the funniest Stan Lee cameo I've seen so far.

Is the new movie worth watching in 3D?  I don't know.  That option was no longer available in my city.  But I enjoyed the movie fine without it.  My advice: if it's still out, go see this movie.  Or catch it at the $2 theater.  It's worth watching on the big screen.

Finally, I couldn't help noticing that the director is named Webb.  That's funny.

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