The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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I feel like there is so much I could say about this film but can’t; any words I think of seem to contain some kind of spoiler, and this is one film you need be on edge for.

Of course I went to see it last night – day of the UK release and 2 for 1, how could I refuse?! As you can tell from my previous posts, I am a big fan of the first film, so I was a little apprehensive about seeing this one. The trailers for it looked fantastic, but I’ve learnt from previous experience not to trust this. I also knew a little of what happened in the comics so was unsure of how this would come about on screen.

My doubts were pointless. It was brilliant. Marc Webb (such an ironic name, love it!) has pulled it off once more. There were a couple of places where it lacked pace and felt long, but these were quickly forgotten with the interspersed action scenes and revealing secrets. And personally I happen to like the slower scenes anyway. They built Peter’s character, which was definitely something the previous franchise missed. We saw more of him attempting to live in the real world, and the development in his relationship with the gorgeous Gwen Stacey. We also got to see more of Aunt May which I found crucial for Spider-Man’s back story. There were times when it felt more of a romantic drama but this was probably deliberate in order to keep such a wide audience. It needed to appeal to everyone and I think it succeeded in doing so.

Second film in and I still believe that Andrew Garfield is the perfect choice to play our hero. He is witty, smarty and handsome, with a bit of goofiness thrown in, all the qualities needed for the lead character. He’s an amazing actor, though it is hardly recognized in these types of films. His emotional range kept me captivated and I felt every ache and pain alongside him.

And of course, the wonderful Emma Stone. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about her. She is the perfect match for Garfield both inside and out of the film. She matches his banter perfectly and they have such good chemistry it’s easy to get caught up in it. From her performance it is easy to see why fans prefer Gwen Stacey to the red-headed Mary-Jane; there appears to be much more substance to her character.

Jamie Foxx did a good job as our insane villain ‘Electro’, definitely bringing crazy to the table, but I felt that there was something missing from his story. I knew he was angry but I couldn’t feel it, it just came across as a petty grudge.

Harry Osborne (Dane DeHann) was such a major character in the original franchise that I am surprised they didn’t make more of him in this one. I understood why they didn’t but I think that they should have shown us more of his character. We barely know him before he loses it and so we don’t really feel that empathy for him, nor do we have the connection between him and Peter as strongly as we would have hoped for. The actors did a good job, but because we didn’t know their relationship beforehand we don’t fully understand how hard it is for Peter to see what his friend turns into.

Despite it being a good story there were some fairly big plot holes, but I don’t want to say here due to spoilers. Also the end scene seems a bit random and I think they could have tied it up a lot better, or faster than they did. It dragged a little. There’s not much more that I can say, without revealing too much, but I do want to encourage every marvel fan to go see this film. Out of all of their films so far I think this one draws you in the most. We are definitely emotionally invested in the characters and the paths they go down.

So go watch it, it’ll be worth it I promise.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes out on Wednesday!

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Is anyone else really excited to see the new Amazing Spider-Man film?

I am, probably too much. But the trailers make it look epic and thoughts are that it will be better than the first one. We can only hope it doesn’t fall into the same trap as the old franchise, but with Marc Webb directing and the cast line up, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be as good we hope.

Come back in a few days to hear what I have to say about it. Yes I have already booked my ticket.

Divergent

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Divergent has arrived.

A lot of people see the female protagonist and the futuristic setting of this new film and immediately think it’s a copy of The Hunger Games. But despite these similarities they are completely different. It would be like comparing ‘i,Robot’ and ‘Robot & Frank’, both containing a male character that, through unlikely circumstances, befriends a robot. Completely different. OK there might be a few more similarities than that but you get my point.

The story line really is quite different. If you’ve read the books then you’ll be nodding along, and thinking ‘just wait till the next couple in the series, it sets itself even further apart.’ But I do understand where people are coming from saying they’re the same. As well as the common attributes I’ve mentioned above, they also have a very similar tone, with actions, tension and secrets, and of course the romantic side. Though this is maybe of a story in the Divergent series.

Of course being a big fan of the books, I went to see it on the day of the UK release, and I loved it! Despite the fact it was a teensy bit long, there was the right amount tension – both dangerous and sexual; some brilliant action scenes; secrets withheld and revealed; and it actually sticks pretty close to Veronica Roth‘s original story which is a massive plus. Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, I couldn’t wait to see how they were going to do certain scenes and I was just as excited coming out as I was going in. The acting was good, could have been better but it was what’s expected with that kind of film. Shailene Woodley was great as Tris, I think she did a great job. Theo James was OK, the typical good looking heartthrob of a YA film, but I think he was lacking his ‘meanness’. In the book, his character, Four/Tobias, is quite harsh with Tris and definitely has a mean streak going on, but in the film it was quite obvious he was a big softie underneath. He wasn’t the tormented man we were expecting. When it came to Miles Teller, I just wanted to punch him the face, so I guess he did a good job as Peter. I think the best actor in the whole thing was Kate Winslet, of course. She was brilliant, carrying off the suave, menacing character that is Jeanine. Straight away you know she’s going to be a problem but you’re not entirely convinced she’s a completely bad person… just maybe a bit twisted. Not a bad thing can be said about her role.

I do have to say I would have enjoyed it more had there been a higher risk of danger or death, but I know that this is to come in the next installment so I’m not too worried by this.

Something really petty that I don’t like is the tattoo, the three birds are a lovely idea but the way they’ve been designed just doesn’t look right. They looked like Microsoft clipart if I’m honest.

 

There’s a lot of complaints that the future isn’t realistic, that people aren’t ‘buying’ it, and all I have to say to you is WAIT! It is a bizarre system, one that shouldn’t work but if you wait for the rest of the story you will understand why it’s been done like this. If you can’t wait, then READ THE BOOKS! They explain everything.

I think in a lot of ways this film is far more relatable than that of  The Hunger Games; it focuses on the terrifying choice of choosing between ones family or to follow your own dreams; of wanting to do the right thing but struggling with not putting yourself first; fitting into a new place; trying to prove your own strength; and the frightening scenario of intimacy. And it doesn’t stop there, the next couple of books/films delve further into the complexity of the mind and we start to see our heroes suffering with mental challenges as well as physical. It’s definitely something I appreciate, and might even encourage young adults and teenagers to open up about their own problems.

No, it’s not going to win any Oscars but it’s a good entertainment film and personally I loved it!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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Have you guys seen the new Captain America Film yet? I was so excited about watching it I went on the first day it was released in the UK. I thought the cinema would be packed but when we arrived the screening was only about half way full. I was really surprised as the Marvel franchise has become so popular, but maybe it’s just because we were viewing it 3D… who knows.

If you haven’t seen it I would definitely recommend it! It really is brilliant, even if you don’t like Captain America, as I’ve found many don’t, you’ll still find something to like.

I never was one of those people that disliked Captain America, I’ve always liked the first film and am a fan of Chris Evans, but I do understand the reasons for disdain. He’s very old fashioned, some would say he was a bit of a drip, though I would say that he was just a gentleman. But in this new film his character is much improved, he’s witty, sarcastic and cynical of the work he’s doing, however, underneath that lies the man too afraid to get close to anyone, and after what he’s experienced who can blame him?! There’s a particular scene with his old beau Peggy, in which we see the heartbreaking condition she’s now in, whilst he’s still young and able. Despite this he manages to carry of some brilliant sexual tension with his partner in crime Natasha Romanoff (played by Scarlett Johansson). The whole film is a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ moment; fans of the Black Widow/Hawkeye duo may find this hard to digest but do not fear, I don’t think anything is definite – maybe a love triangle will spruce things up a bit in the next Avengers…

The action in it is also, in my opinion, much better than the first film. The car chases, one on one combat, guns, things get blown up left right and centre, and not to mention Johansson’s fancy moves. That girl can really kick butt. And we also have the new female bad ass Kate/Agent 13 played by the brilliant Emily VanCamp and the return of Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders). This one’s got all sort of female empowerment roles. Just what we like. They often put the men to shame.

The addition of Sam Wilson/Falcon (played by Anthony Mackie) is another welcome new friend to stand by Cap’s side, and his cocky humor provides great banter between the cast. I certainly hope to see more of him as the franchise progresses.

And of course not to forget the story line, taken from one of the original graphic novel plots, it doesn’t fail to meet expectations. There’s so much tension throughout and the twists and turns are placed very carefully, if you don’t know the story already then you’ll be shocked to find out some of the secrets revealed.  I knew parts of what was going to happen and I was still on the edge of seat. The Winter Soldier’s story is definitely one to keep an eye on. However, it still doesn’t sit right with a lot of fans as the films steers away from the ideal that the Captain is made out to be. Chris Evans particularly has stated how excited he is to see his character make some mistakes along the way. I’m certainly one of those eager to see what they can come up with over the next few films.

I really think it’s a fantastic film and if you don’t believe me the go see it for yourself and prove me wrong!

Take a look at some of the secrets revealed in the film that you might not notice HERE

Iron Man 3

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I know it came out a year ago now but I re-watched Iron Man 3 last night and though I should do a post on it.

I loved the first Iron Man and was even keen on the second, despite popular opinion. I thought it was very watchable and entertaining, so I had high hopes for the next installment. I wasn’t disappointed. I was really intrigued to see how they would deal with the aftermath of The Avengers, how would they explain the lack of the other characters? Would one character by itself quench our thirst for action? They never really explain the lack of the other heroes, but in regards to the second question, then one is definitely enough!

I loved it. Robert Downey Jr. as usual, was brilliant as Tony Stark, and it was fascinating to see him in a different light. There was a darker side to our protagonist as we witnessed him struggle through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. For me the anxiety attacks didn’t seem as real as they could have been but it was a brave move nonetheless.

The film focused less on him as a superhero and more on him as a person, he definitely came across more human than in the previous two films. It was the first Marvel film to do this and it was slightly reminiscent of Nolan’s Batman franchise.

Of course we still get to see the witty banter produced by Tony, and the laughs are just as good. It has just the right amount of ‘cheese’, as needed for any superhero film, getting the balance right between that and the deeper essence of the story. Hence the reason it was a box office hit.

The storyline was good, amusing in places but I felt there was something lacking; I wanted to see more of what the ‘bad guy’s’ plan was, why he wanted that power. He came across as a bit flat overall. And don’t get me started on his ability to breathe fire. It didn’t seem at all believable, and that’s saying some in this franchise. But I guess that’s what Marvel excels at – bending the rules and working with the unrealistic. Also I think Tony could have been a little more crazy, after experiencing something so traumatic in New York, it would have been completely understandable.

What about Pepper Potts as an ass-kicking human bomb… ? I didn’t really like it but I can see why they put it in, it’s nice to have someone save the hero once in a while.

However I still enjoyed it, enough to buy it on DVD, and I’ll always have a soft spot for Tony Stark. He’s just so sassy.

The Amazing Spider-Man

I wrote this review a couple of years ago now but with the new film coming out soon, I thought it should go up.

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Appearing in the same year as huge blockbusters such as ‘The Avengers’, ‘Dark Knight Rises’, ‘Skyfalland ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ wasn’t given much notice as it crossed our big screens. Only five years after the Tobey Maguire franchise released their third film, it strangely felt as if the remake was long overdue. However the original films did have some credit to their name, with great sets and exciting story lines they were great for the family, all they needed were a little substance, and a decent lead character. Speculation amongst comic book fans suggests that the third one was made specifically to be bad in an attempt to the end the franchise there before they got any worse; whether this is true or not, it worked. Where Tobey Maguire faltered Andrew Garfield has succeeded; giving viewers a taste of how Spiderman is really supposed to be; sarcastic, witty and with the right amount of ‘dorkiness’. Garfield pulls achieves a role that both fan boys and girls can appreciate.

Though Garfield pulled it off with triumph not all credit can be awarded to the talented actor; the writers of the film (Vanderbilt, Sargent, and Kloves) deserve huge acknowledgement for the humour and emotion that the story entails. Giving Spiderman a more complex and interesting history the audience are enthralled with the outcome and find him a much more relatable, and generally likable character. With Marc Webb then bringing the whole piece together, showing the same flair as in ‘500 Days of Summer’, it is difficult to find someone who cannot appreciate the film in some way.

The decision to hire Emma Stone as ‘Spidey’s’ first love, Gwen Stacey, is another detail that also has to be recognised; her natural chemistry with Garfield makes the relationship believable and we find ourselves rooting for her before we have even met the future Mary-Jane. She brings a kindness and sensitivity to the film that would otherwise be lacking, and within the first few seconds of being introduced to her character we find that we too are falling for Stone’s charms.

What is found to be most refreshing about this film is that we are not faced with the unoriginal plot of ‘The Secret Identity’. Although Peter Parker doesn’t go shouting about his vigilante ways he accepts that it’s something that needs to be shared with those close to him, primarily Gwen, and we are left with the feeling that his Aunt May might also suspect his late night antics. He even uses his true identity as a reason to be allowed to fight the bad guy, as well as saving a young boy from a fatal accident; it’s a relief not to have to view his struggle to ‘tell the truth’.

Despite the film being an exhilarating watch, we are still left with the lifelong question of ‘What is he swinging from?’ however this is left in the back of our minds as we enjoy the abundant hit that is ‘The Amazing Spider-man’.