EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "The Amazing Spider-Man." Want to be a film fan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 stars out of 4
As a fan of the original Marvel comic books ("Spider-Man," "Iron Man," "Hulk," etc), long before the half-baked Hollywood attempts to capture the spirit of the characters involved in the original stories, I am happy to report that, in this version, they finally got it right. While watching this movie, I actually felt as if I was leafing through the pages of my old collection of comic books.
Andrew Garfield (who looks like a young Anthony Perkins) is outstanding and more than believable as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and Emma Stone is almost, but not quite, as genuine as his love interest Gwen Stacy. Denis Leary is also very good as Gwen's father, who is also the local police chief.
Consistent with the popular Hollywood trend of prequels and sequels, the story begins with Peter Parker growing up in the household of his aunt (Sally Field) and uncle (Martin Sheen), who both do an excellent job of recreating their characters.
The real star, however, is Garfield. While learning about his "real" father's legacy and then transforming into what becomes Spider-Man due to a bite by one of his father's mutant spiders, we watch as he hones his skills and swings through the city, fighting crime, while uttering the familiar quips and exclamations of the original "Spidey" we all know and love.
The fight scenes and CGI are a bit artificial, but all-in-all a really fun movie for kids of all ages. I can't wait for the inevitable sequel to the prequel.
-- Steve Kalberg, Lawrenceville
2 and 1/2 stars out of 4
I'll be the first to admit I wasn't thrilled of the idea of a relaunch to one of my favorite superhero movies. Even though I really enjoyed "Spider-Man" with Tobey Maguire, I tried to go into "The Amazing Spider-Man" with an open mind. I liked the idea of introducing Gwen Stacy and the Lizard characters. Unfortunately, this really didn't make that much of a difference. "The Amazing Spider-Man" is a little darker, with decent special effects; but it was less engaging and a little slow at times. Take away the new characters and all you're left with is an inferior, copycat version of a movie that was already good.
-- Kenny Grams, Lawrenceville
2 stars out of 4
Sally Field (Peter's aunt) remains an incredible actress typically carefully choosing the roles she plays, as does Emma Stone. Stone plays Gwen Stacy, the left brained girlfriend of Peter Parker and an OsCorp lab assistant. Peter, the onscreen as well as offscreen love interest of Emma Stone, is well played by the versatile Andrew Garfield.
For a film self-marketed as a prequel, ("The Untold Story begins"), not much time was allotted for the story behind the story. It did develop a little history about Peter's parents, but by and large with superficial information and facts within the first few minutes of the movie. For the remainder of the movie, it was deja vu of the Tobey Maguire version, but with slight variations and more character development.
If you're a superhero/action movie fan knowing it's more of a remake than a prequel, you won't be disappointed. Of course, the ending leaves a second installment open, so as a spoiler alert, do stay after the credits roll.
I recommend this movie for the $6 before noon price and definitely as a rental. It's not worth the $11 prime-time price.
-- Cathryn Veal, Lawrenceville