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July 5, 2017

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) --- "Spider-Man Vs. Lizard-Man...Who Will Survive?"

Plot Summary
Peter Parker (Garfield) is an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance - leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
- Written by Columbia Pictures 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     The Amazing Spider-Man (TSA), which cannot necessarily be considered as Spider-Man 4, is essentially the same story with a few changes in comparison to the Sami Raimi trilogy. Here the web swinging is slightly more realistic, the idea that Spider-Man is a menace to the public is more greatly defined, Parker’s character outside of being Spider-Man is different, he has a different love interest, and a new/different villain.
     Andrew Garfield’s (Hacksaw Ridge) Peter Parker remains an emotionally uncomfortably, reserved, and inarticulate loner high school student which convincingly reminds audience members how brave Parker must be in being Spider-Man; he is by no means pathetic or weak. Rather than be a simple yet skilled photographer, he is also a skilled skateboarder and an accomplished science student – being second in his year. However, unlike Tobey Maguire’s (Spider-Man, Seabiscuit) Spider-Man whose webs were organic (which I preferred more) Garfield’s Spider-Man’s webs were mechanical web dispensers. Now this does follow along the same lines of him being more scientifically intelligent in this film but I think fans preferred the organic webs shooting out of his wrist. One admiring quality in this film is that Garfield is carful to not make Parker out to be some goody-two-shoes kind of guy. He portrays more rebellious, irresponsible, distracted, and somewhat mischievous Parker, due to abandonment issues because of his parents. The chemistry between Stone and Garfield is good (the two also dated off camera)  however, I do feel like Stone’s potential as his love interest was a bit underused. Rhys Ifans (Alice Through the Looking Glass) as the Lizard was pretty good and the appearance of the Lizard was a nice cross between a Komodo dragon and Smaug (the Hobbit) with some human elements. According to some haters, the Lizard’s face was too human but I believe this was essential in order to convey the some elements of humanity. That even though this man has turned into a monster, a creature, at one point he was human so shouldn’t he retain some of those qualities too.
     Now where it all went wrong, was because the film felt more like a reboot rather than another sequel added to the franchise. The majority of movie goers already know the story and origin of Spider-Man so it proved to be a bit boring when producers decided to retell the same story. TSA could have easily been Spider-Man 4 with Andrew Garfield filling in as a new Spider-Man, kind of like how they did Batman in Batman vs Superman (2016). However, that did not happen here and as such the film suffered because of it. In addition there are a few aspects in this film that have been somewhat copied from the 20o2 version. First, the police decide to point their guns at Spider-Man rather than chase down the massive lizard wreaking havoc throughout the city. Next, there is an almost cliché moment when all hope seems lost and the city finally decides to unite with Spider-Man in helping stop the villain. And finally, the villain turns out to be a good who realizes he made bad choices, like Norman Osborn and Dr. Octavius. I think that if the Lizard was a more evil villain, like with Venom in Spider-Man 3 (2007), than the movie would have been a bit better.
     Furthermore, reboots are not all bad ideas but there needs to be a certain amount of decent time between the original. For instance, the original Planet of the Apes came out between 1968 and 1973, in 2001 we were presented with the first reboot with Mark Wahlberg (but it did not take off as good), and in 2011 we have the second reboot which has already had two successful films and a third comes out later this year. There was a good chunk of time between the original Planet of the Apes and the Wahlberg reboot, and then at least 10 years between the first reboot and the second one. Of course, there is also 10 years between this Spider-Man and the 2002 version like in Planet of the Apes the only difference is most people don’t necessarily remember the 2001 Planet of the Apes reboot right off the bat because it wasn’t a huge success. But in this film they have nothing else to compare it too. In other words, it helps a reboot if the original was either a bust or not relatively recent, and this film failed on both accounts.

     Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man is still a fun and entertaining story, not the lazy cash in movie it almost was. However, there are some supporting character and plot holes which hinder the film from achieving its intentions; breaking out as a big hit. Now, is this film better or equal to the original? No and yet it is in its own way. One being that due to its over 2 hour running time, the producers were able to expand Peter Parker as a character, prolonging his life changing date with the spider. And although the Lizard is hardly an inspiring choice as a villain, it does fit in with the whole origin story displayed in the film. Of course, there will be continue to be divided opinions for this film but I can safely say that it was not a bad or poorly made film just an underused one.  

Ahem. You know, in the future, if you're going to steal cars, don't dress like a car thief, man.”
– Spider-Man

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.6 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  3.5 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
 Ant-Man (2015)
Avenger (2012)
Avenger: Age of Ultron (2015)
Captain America: First Avenger (2011)
Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Daredevil (2003)
Fantastic Four (2005)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Spider-Man 1 (2002)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Cast & Crew
Directed by: Marc Webb
Writing Credits:
(Based on Marvel comic) Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Produced by 
Avi Arad                   ---    producer
Tom Cohen              ---    associate producer
Matt Daly                 ---    producer: Arc Productions
Kevin Feige              ---    executive producer
Michael Grillo          ---    executive producer
Kyla Kraman            ---    associate producer
Stan Lee                   ---    executive producer
Beatriz Sequeira      ---    associate producer
Matthew Tolmach   ---    producer (as Matt Tolmach)
Laura Ziskin             ---    producer
Music by: James Horner
Cinematography by: John Schwartzman
Production Design by: J. Michael Riva
Andrew Garfield                                  ---        Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Emma Stone                                         ---        Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans                                             ---        The Lizard / Dr. Curt Connors
Denis Leary                                           ---        Captain Stacy
Martin Sheen                                        ---        Uncle Ben
Sally Field                                              ---        Aunt May
Irrfan Khan                                           ---        Rajit Ratha
Campbell Scott                                    ---        Richard Parker
Embeth Davidtz                                   ---        Mary Parker
Chris Zylka                                            ---        Flash Thompson
Max Charles                                          ---        Peter Parker (Age 4)
C. Thomas Howell                              ---        Jack's Father
Jake Keiffer                                          ---        Jack 
Kari Coleman                                       ---        Helen Stacy
Michael Barra                                      ---        Store Clerk
Leif Gantvoort                                     ---        Cash Register Thief
Andy Pessoa                                         ---        Gordon
Hannah Marks                                     ---        Missy Kallenback
Kevin McCorkle                                   ---        Mr. Cramer
Barbara Eve Harris                            ---        Miss Ritter
Tom Waite                                             ---        Nicky
Skyler Gisondo                                    ---        Howard Stacy
Charlie DePew                                     ---        Philip Stacy
Jacob Rodier                                        ---        Simon Stacy 

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