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.

MV5BMjMyOTM4MDMxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjIyNzExOA@@._V1_SX214_

 

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’.

Advertisements

We’re Going on an Adventure

hobbit_desolation_of_smaug_poster

With the recent release of the second Hobbit film; The Desolation of Smaug, I thought I would check out some of the fan-based extras that were available. On my phone I came across two apps that I thought would be worth downloading, one was free, ‘Middle Earth Index’ and the other cost £0.94, ‘The Lord of the Rings Project’

I was first recommended The LOTR Project which I happily downloaLPded; it looked very neat but I was a bit disappointed with the lack of rustic charm that you would expect from such an app. Other than the map and small tree symbols, it contained no images to show off the fantastic world that Tolkien created. The family trees were large and contained all the information, but they were so big that it took ages to scroll to find the character you were looking for.

I found the timeline impressive, with a lot of the events there would be a small clip from the map to show where it happened, and it contained every event you’d be interested in knowing about, however, unless you already knew the timeline pretty well it could be quite difficult to find certain events. If you’re a true fan this might not be considered a problem, but for those just discovering Middle Earth and can seem like a lengthy and unnecessary process.

One thing this app did have was statistics regarding characters, including life span, sex, age distribution etc. I thought this was a good thing to include and I found it really interesting to see how numbers changed over the years. However I did get a little confused at some of the graphs, not being a ‘maths person’ I struggled to understand what some of them meant.

unnamedAfter doing some research I found another app called ‘Middle Earth Index’. Straight away I was more impressed by it, the first impression is so much better than the previous app; it provides a more visual aspect and gives a better Lord of the Rings vibe. It doesn’t contain as much information as LOTRP but the layout is much easier to navigate. Though it doesn’t include family trees or maps, it does include information on plants, animals, events, languages and tales. It works more like a dictionary or encyclopedia.

So it really depends on what you’re looking for in a Lord of the Rings app, if you’re a fan but don’t want to spend any money then the M.E. Index would work fine for you, however if you want that extra bit of information and don’t care about the appearance, LOTRP might be the one worth downloading.

Though these two aren’t perfect, I think it’s such a good idea to make books more interactive in this way; you could create an app for any book you wanted, they could then be used for study or recreational use depending on the user. I hope to see more like this over the coming years as the Digital Revolution gains momentum.

OTHER LOTR/HOBBIT APPS WORTH HAVING A LOOK AT

Hobbit Translator

Eye of Sauron

Lord of the Rings 3 Sounboard