Monday, July 16, 2012

Be good!

My cousin Tony and I used to go to the movies all the time when I lived in Connecticut. We're both teachers, so our schedules aligned perfectly. We would go just about every other weekend, and in the summertime - forget about it. I moved to Pennsylvania with my wife in 2007, only to see my cousin (and the rest of my New England relatives) sparingly over the next few years. A wedding, a funeral, two baseball trips and the occasional long weekend were the only times we ever saw each other, and well, there was no time to go to the movies. In fact, the last movie we saw together was five years ago yesterday, the oddly effective John Cusack flick, 1408.

Friday night, we headed to our old stomping grounds, the Loews 20 in Plainville, CT to catch a 3D showing of The Amazing Spider-Man. Late last year, Tony was diagnosed with cancer and was in a very dire situation. I saw him in March, and things didn't look so good (little did we know, he was about to get much worse). Every movement was a struggle.

My point, is no matter what the Hell was on the screen for the next two hours and sixteen minutes - it didn't matter. Me and my cousin, born less than a month apart, we're at the friggin' movies. Again. And, (AND!) he drove us there. It f--king ruled.

Oh, and one more bit about my cousin. Yes, he's battling cancer in his early thirties and yes, he's one of the best people I know, but you know what makes him truly unique? Like, one of a kind? Dude's never seen any of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man flicks. Seriously?

Anyway, on to what was rather secondary that night, the flick itself. What is there is say? It's the [dramatic pause, lower your voice] untold story of Spider-Man. Really? 'Cause for me, it was the exact same thing with different people. I don't read comics, but I'm sure there's an alternate origin story for Spider-Man out there somewhere. Should have used that one. Because outside of some better special effects, you've seen this movie. Well, most of you have anyway.

If I had to pick which one I liked more, I wouldn't know what to do. Likely, I would simply punch the person making this absurd demand in the face and/or reproductive organs. This is like asking your favorite brand of bottled water. My favorite is the one I just had.

So, might as well break this one down. I'm going to shoot the Yays at you from my wrists. The Boos, well, they're coming out of a device I wear on my wrists. That matters, you know.

I want a girl with a short skirt and a loooooong jacket.
  • I liked both the leads. Garfield and Stone are nice to look at and had a decent amount of chemistry. 
  • Speaking of Stone, Gwen Stacy's attire was incredibly sexy. I will buy this outfit in pieces and slowly give it to my wife. Christmas? Knee-high socks. Birthday? Short skirt. Valentine's? Oh, yeah - lab coat.
  • I thought it was going to be gimmicky, but the first-person web-slinging was pretty cool.
  • As was the action...when there was some. I think School Battle was my favorite.
  • Flash! This is the typical douchey-alpha male guy, right? But in very limited screen time, he actually works out a nice little role, and fully redeems himself.
  • This is Stan Lee's best cameo scene. So far.
  • And, you know what? I liked the ending exchange. Those are the best ones.
He's actually looking for Master Splinter.
  • Why is it that in every drug company human trials must start now, damn it!
  • Guess what I learned about myself? I hate when regular people help superheroes. It's always cheesy. Especially when it's New Yorkers. Hey, I'm helpin' Spidah-Man ova here!
  • What was that Giant Rat thing? And if you're going to show it, can we also get to see it killed? I thought it looked like the Sumatran Rat Monkey from Dead Alive. Weird.
  • Oscorp has some serious shit going on inside. It also has one of the most advanced computers I've ever scene. But, security? It sucks. You can tell a bad lie and still get a name badge no questions asked.
  • I actually really like Andrew Garfield, but this guy nods his head so much I thought it might roll off. 
  • The Subway Battle against Old Bald Buy over Bra Lady was supposed to be funny. It would have been hilarious if the lady hadn't been wearing a bra. Boobs are inherently comical.
  • I'm paraphrasing here, but: (shouting) Do you know how to cook a serum? Of course I do, silly billy! Remember, I am an intern there! Someone, anyone, punch me in the face.
  • Okay, it's time. THE LIZARD. He really sucks. I liked him better when he was Sherman Klump. Oh, you heard me. This guy is a complete ripoff of the Nutty Professor.
    • Trying to better himself genetically, oops, I mean the world? Check.
    • Often handles glowing serum? Uh, check.
    • Alter-ego version often overindulges on aforementioned serum to disastrous effect, leaving his clothes in tattered ruins? Check. Mate.
  • And speaking of reptiles, what was with the all-call for NYC's lizard population? Dumb.
  • Denis Leary's heroics. Go, Parker! (Peter hesitates) I've got a shotgun that holds 9,000 bullets. I'll hold off the Lizard by shooting the f--k out of his hand. Go! I got this.
  • And finally, the scene that made me want to leave the theater and punch an actual spider: Level 9: Crane Assist. New York is being evacuated due to bio-terrorism and who rallies all the most absurdly loyal crane operators in the world? Ponyboy Curtis, of all people. And to make matters infinitely worse, there's a spotlight that travels from Spider-Man to his destination, bad video-game style. It's so bad, I actually like it. Wait, I love it.
BOTTOM LINE: Though it might seem like I hated this movie, I didn't. It's just kind of silly and ultimately very unnecessary. But, if you've somehow never seen the first one, this isn't a bad place to start.

Tony liked it. And that guy's Amazing.


  1. Hey, you mentioned something I completely forgot about. What indeed happened to the giant rat? It looked more menacing than The Lizard! Perhaps there's a spin-off story where the construction/crane workers help kill it along with the gathered lizard group. Now THAT would be a real untold story....

    1. This is the movie I want to see!

      Seriously though, is the rat the next villain? A giant angry rat that throws small lizards perhaps?

  2. Nice review M. Good flick but something just felt like it was missing in order for me to feel the same way I did with the Raimi original series. Maybe it was the fact that this flick took its premise very seriously, and the other ones were very jokey and fun. Still, a good time at the theater is a good time none the less.

  3. Great review. Also that is a nice story about you and your cousin going to the movies in Plainville....hope he gets better soon!

    1. Thanks Ty, I appreciate that.

      I obviously love going to the movies, but it was so secondary I felt I had to mention it.

  4. Again I bet your review is more entertaining than the film itself. Still, I'll probably see it for Emma Stone, she is so adorable!

    1. She might have been worth half the 14 dollar ticket price. Adorable? Your pup's adorable. Stone? She's all kinds of fine.

  5. WAIT hold up I had to stop reading in the middle of the review - you LIKED "those are the best kind"?!

    I have to disagree; I thought it was repulsive. After what had just happened, how it would affect Gwen, how it SHOULD have affected Peter, caring about and protecting others, making his Uncle Ben proud, learning the meaning of "responsibility" from the Uncle Ben episode, etc...

    And he just throws ALL of that away like a selfish, conceited little brat! Anything that might have been remotely likable about this Spider-man went out the window when he said that.

    Sorry I'm not trying to flame you, I just had a lot of love for the wonderful person Peter Parker was as portrayed by Toby Maguire. Andrew Garfield just wanted to be cool and dreamy >.<

  6. First of all, this isn't your old lovable Peter Parker. This one's edgy. I mean, he has, like, a skateboard.

    On a slightly more serious note, I always felt the 'I must avoid you because I love you thing' was the biggest bitch move (though respectful). This guy is a friggin' superhero. Let people after his lady. See what happens.

    I also just wanted Gwen to be happy and not end up the miserable hag that MJ became.

    And, please. Flame away.

    1. (Spoilers)

      It would definitely be interesting to see a superhero who thinks having a relationship is worth the risks, but that shouldn't involve sh***ing all over Gwen's dad. He just GAVE HIS LIFE for you, you ingrate! Show some respect! Now you're smirking and making wise-cracks about his DYING WISH?!

      And I'd like to see a little depth to Gwen; shouldn't she care about her dad's death, beyond "Why didn't the boy I like come to the funeral? Doesn't he like me anymore??" meh.

    2. She definitely got over it pretty quickly, so I guess Peter's just trying to keep up. Though he showed some respect, I mean, at least he attended the funeral, right?

      So you left the theater thinking that Peter is a huge a-hole, huh? But isn't he a bigger jerk if he leaves her alone, after her father dies?