Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Spider-Man versus The Amazing Spider-man

There are no spoilers in this review that were not shown in previews. The only spoiler is in the final point and there is a large warning before it- so read only if you dare!! I will compare 6 different categories and announce my pick for winner between Spider-Man (2002) and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012):

1) Spider-Man- While the Raimi Spider-Man's suit was more traditional, the Amazing Spider-Man utilized web-shooters which was more true to the comics. While at the time the organic web shooters was something many fans were able to swallow as a necessity to main stream the movie, this proved equally effective and believable. The Amazing Spider-Man spent less time showcasing his powers and more time having them actually use them. Raimi's Spider-Man was very corny. Webb's Spider-Man was darker and had more issues, but still made wise-cracks while attacking the bad guys. Winner- The Amazing Spider-Man

2) Peter Parker- Maguire's Peter Parker was much dorkier than Garfields. Maguire portrayed Parker as a true nerd- one that liked science and was picked on at school. Garfield was less nerdy, more emo-Twilight-esque. He had problems, he wasn't popular, Flash Thompson still picked on him, but it wasn't the same. He had a certain ease talking to Gwen Stacy that lacked the awkwardness you felt when Maguire talked to Mary Jane (Dunst). Garfield was just not as dorky as Maguire was. Winner- Spider-Man (minus the 3rd one, "Dancing Maguire"

3) Relationships- Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane? Emma Stone or Kirsten Dunst? Kirsten annoyed a lot of people and most did not like her. I felt like her portrayal of Mary Jane was great. Was she the best actress for the part? Maybe, maybe not. But I thought she really looked the part. What's interesting is both of these on screen couples were also behind the scenes in relationships. Emma Stone had less screen time, but the relationship is a more interesting one. Mary Jane's story in the comics is more of a supportive character for Spider-Man. Whereas Gwen Stacy drives story development. Her father is the chief of police hunting Spider-Man. Her story in the comics is one of legend and one that is much more interesting than Mary Janes. Hopefully they will stay loyal to that storyline and explore it through to the end. Winner- The Amazing Spider-Man

4) Web Slinging- When Spider-Man came out in 2002, everyone fell in love with the idea of swinging about in New York City. The scenes were beautiful and breathtaking and looked very realistic. Spider-Man 2 added a lot of high flying action which combine the beauty of web-slinging with Spider-Man's ability to use it as a tactical advantage fighting Doc Ock on the metro rail or the top of buildings. But nothing compares to seeing the Amazing Spider-Man in IMAX 3D. The web-slinging looks even more realistic now and this movie really captures the beauty from the comics. Its one thing to draw a person all contorted flying over NYC- its another thing to put it on screen. The final shot of Spider-Man web slinging in Amazing, was breathtaking and reminiscent of many comic book shots. Winner- Easy- The Amazing Spider-Man

5) The Villian- In Spider-Man, the villan was the Green Goblin which offered a story arc that would carry through to the end of the trilogy with the son taking over the fathers secret identity. The Green Goblin was crazy, but had many dimensions as a character and adding the vengeance of his son, best friends with Parker and soon to be arch-nemesis of Spider-Man, he was a very complex and interesting character. The Lizard was less so. Rhys Ifans did a great job of Dr. Connors, but the Lizard just did not seem as sinister as the Green Goblin. The Lizard was done very well and the action scenes were great, but the character just did not seem as evil and dangerous to Spider-Man's very existence as the Green Goblin did. There is also a scene where the Lizard has an inner monologue fight with the Connors alter ego. This was annoyingly reminiscent of both the Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus's inner dialogue. Sony- Take note- not every villan has an evil inner voice! Winner- Spider-Man


6) The End- The end of Spider-Man alluded to Mary Jane being in danger again due to her relationship with Spider-Man. Harry Osborn vows vengeance on Spider-Man for his fathers death. In Spider-Man 2, Harry Osborn discovers the Green Goblin's toys behind his fathers office alluding to the final chapter where Harry would finally attack Spider-Man. These were great and subtle preludes to the next movie. This movie did not have that. There was no clear picture of who the Lizard was talking to at the end. And even the most loyal comic book fans cannot figure out who it was. There are allegations to Norman Osborn, Mysterio, or just Lizards evil inner voice. In order for the director to excite fans with these post-credit clips- you have to give just enough to get the fan boys to know whats happening and then educate the rest of the theater. This was just a waste of time. Winner- Spider-Man

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