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Screening Room: “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

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1. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (PG-13)
Sony Pictures/Marvel

RUSS
Let’s face it. When they rebooted the Spider-Man franchise in 2012, they set the bar high by calling it, “The Amazing Spider-Man.” “The Acceptable Spider-Man” or “The Competent Spider-Man” would have been more apropos. The same can be said of the sequel, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

SHAWN
Yes, once again there is nothing amazing about the 'Amazing Spider-Man." It's actually pretty dull. The last 20-minutes are kind of exciting but nothing spectacular.

RUSS
The visual effects are pretty amazing, but there’s nothing else that’s exceptional in this continuation of the Peter Parker story.

SHAWN
That's because this reboot is stuck in set-up mode. Please, please move forward. give us a refreshing story. something different. Something compelling.

RUSS
Andrew Garfield leads a notable cast of skilled actors who do the best they can with the material they’ve been given. Really fine performers like Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHann are wasted as the villains Electro and the New Goblin. The filmmakers have made an attempt to capture the snarky and sometimes-cheesy humor of the comics, but their efforts are only modestly successful.

SHAWN
The problem with this reboot is that it's too similar in tone and execution with the original three Spidey movies. There is nothing new happening. Needed to completely over-haul like the difference between the original Batman movies and the darker reboot.

RUSS
The special effects team is the real star of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” deftly launching our web-slinging hero into some impressive action sequences. If your expectations are low, then “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is a adequate vehicle to launch the summer movie season.

SHAWN
Here's an idea. Just let Spidey fight, swing, fight, and kiss the girl then fight, swing, fight and kiss the girl again. Stop setting things up! we get it. You parents abandoned you. You got bit by a spider and got powers and everyone in your peer group will eventually become your enemy.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week: “Le Week-End” is a romantic drama about an elderly British couple who return to Paris, the site of their honeymoon decades earlier, in an attempt to find the old spark or bring things to an end. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan co-star. “Finding Vivian Maier” is a documentary about a nanny who was also secretly a skilled photographer. After purchasing thousands of her photos at an auction, a man named John Maloof worked tirelessly to unravel the mystery of her life. “Short Peace” is a collection of for short anime films from Japan. “Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa” is a comedy starring Steve Coogan as an insufferable TV and radio broadcaster. “Hateship Loveship” is a comic drama about a shy housekeeper. Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce co-star.

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1 Comment

  • john

    Short version: AS 2 is MOST FUN of the five Spiderman movies so far. It’s also the most tragic. This is poetic plotting and scripting and lyrical execution, a world-class effort.
    Close observers of mainstream movie reviews verses poetic and spiritual quality will know some movies often so exceed the poetic imagination of corporate reviewers that amazing movies frequently get low scores. Amazing Spiderman 2 is only the latest trashing of robust and lyrical plotting and imagery.

    The classic example of poor review scores for amazing and uplifting movies is Cameron’s Titanic. Please recall how the majority of Steven Spielberg’s movies got poor, middling or very divided reviews including Schindler’s list and E.T.

    This pattern is most pronounced as regards “spiritual movies.” If I recall correctly, only Field of Dreams escaped the generally trashing most uplifting movies receive. This happened most recently with both Oblivion (terrible and misleading title) and Cloud Atlas (terrible and misleading title). Let’s also champion Michael Bay’s Island (terrible, misleading title) also.

    In my book AS 2 rates as a rare movie that rises to the impact on me of the best of the summer blockbusters of the 1980s, like Total Recall. AS 2 is a better movie than Total Recall, either version