Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A more fun Spidey

I did something last night that I have never done before. I saw a movie at a movie theater by myself. It was, surprisingly, a fun experience. Despite not having anyone to discuss the movie with after it was over, I was able to have my own thoughts, which I now get to relay on to you. One of the main reasons I went by myself is because I couldn't wait any longer to find someone to see The Amazing Spider-Man. If you didn't know, I pretty much love anything Emma Stone does, so this was a must see. And with the relatively good reviews, I had to see if for myself. And my verdict? Better than the original.

Now this movie had a lot of heat before anyone even saw it. A lot of people have questioned why a reboot of a movie that was just made 10 years ago, the most recent one done five years ago. So already fighting a lot criticism, I thought this movie was just so incredibly fun. Andrew Garfield, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors, was way more fun to watch than Tobey Maguire (and not because of his good looks). I thought Garfield captured the character a lot better and made me feel a lot more connected than I did to Maguire's Spidey. And even though that famous kiss, the one with Spidey hanging upside down and Mary Jane just pulling the mask to kiss his lips is like one of the most talked about kisses, I thought Stone and Garfield had some of the best chemistry I have seen in a long time. From the first scene you see them in, you feel a connection.

I also just had a lot more fun with this movie. It got to the deeper core of Peter Parker and examined his past a little further. It also took its time. I'm pretty sure the first really major action sequence didn't happen until an hour into the movie. I really enjoyed that pace. I was anxious to see him as Spidey but enjoyed the build up as well. Obviously and naturally, I did a lot of comparing to the original Spider-Man; what plot points were the same and what not. But once we got to the real meat of the movie, I stopped doing that and just enjoyed it. And I bet you if I saw it a second time (which I most certainly plan to do) I wouldn't compare at all.

Personally, and this might just be me, but I did think the plot was a little unpredictable. Of course, I saw where it was going in the first hour, but I wasn't quite sure where in the second hour. There are some surprising or unexpected things that usual superhero movies don't have in its first act. I thought the action sequences were a lot more believable, I thought the villain was pretty good, very similar to Dr. Ock (but not quite as good) and the overall directing was fun. My only critique would be the ending. I thought it was going to end three times before it actually did. There wasn't much of a cliff hanger either (unless you stayed till after the credits, which is something you should do).

Now, all this positivity toward this movie is not surprising. I can hear you all asking, "really, why?" Or maybe not, but I'll tell you anyways. Well, let's take a look at who helped make it. First there's Emma Stone. I have liked every movie she's made (except I'm not a huge Superbad fan, I know, that's like Superweird but deal with it). Then there's Garfield, who is pretty likable, plus you really can't go wrong with Sally Field or Martin Sheen as Aunt May and Uncle Ben. But then there's the fact that Steve Kloves was one of the screenplay writers. That's right, the guy who wrote seven of the eight Harry Potter films. It was also directed by Marc Webb, who directed 500 Days of Summer, which I am a fan of and think is a very creative movie. That is one of the reasons why I think this Spider-Man works so well, it's not just an action movie but has a lot of other dimensions to it. I would also just like to note for those haters out there, that the guy who wrote the screenplay for the second and third Spider-Man also collaborated on this one. Just saying.

So, basically what I am trying to say is if you are a huge fan of the Tobey series, you should still give this one a chance. I do believe it is a different take on Spider-Man and is in fact more enjoyable to watch. Definitely a quality superhero movie, which I think will mean that this summer will be 3-for-3 for superhero's (pending Dark Knight Rises doesn't suck, which is very, very unlikely). So go see this movie, because even though it is a summer blockbuster, it is a superhero movie that mixes a good heart with some good fun.

With that some side notes:
1. Comic-Con is this weekend, and once again I wish I had a job that would send me. But, alas, I'm just a college student. There are going to be a lot of really great stuff going on so if you care you should be sure to hit up Twitter and the entertainment sites to get all the dish. What I'm looking most forward to? Fringe, Dexter (have you seen those promos??), Community, I guess the last Twilight movie, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones. Wait I could go on forever, so I'll stop there.
2. Well it's official. Everyone is following in Harry Potter's footsteps. The final film of the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, will be split into two movies. Not sure how I feel about this, especially since it is easily the weakest book from the trilogy. Let the speculation of where they'll split it begin!
3. Check out this really cool thing that came out for The Hobbit. The films are officially done filming and I am anxiously awaiting December. The amount of pressure for this movie to be good is incredible and I would be lying if I wasn't one of them. But after seeing this scroll thing, I of course have 100 percent confidence in Peter Jackson.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Animation is here to stay

I, along with my 21-year-old friend attended an animated movie this past weekend. Sound pathetic? No, absolutely not. Why? Because the movie was made by Pixar. Yep, I saw Brave and was not at all disappointed, as I thought I might be, by briefly looking at some of the reviews. I mean, don't get me wrong, the reviews were all good, but just not Pixar good. Actually, it's pretty unbelievable how Pixar has revolutionized the animated movie. I'm not just talking in terms of how it looks and the technology used, but the actual story telling.

First let's talk about this whole animated movie thing before I tell you what I thought of Brave. There are clear animated movies that as a 20-year-old, I wouldn't really want to see. For example, any of the Ice Age movies or even the Madagascar movies. I might rent them at some point, but really they are not on the top of my must-see-list. Now, when it comes to Pixar movies, I am anticipating those like three years in advanced. I started looking forward to the Monster's Inc. prequel last year (now called Monsters University), and it doesn't even come out until next summer. Pixar's ability to find a story that is not told very often in an incredibly unique way, is something that rarely happens. Seriously, think about it. A rat, who wants to cook. An old man who flies a house. A legendary tale about monsters in your closet turned into a whole new world. And Brave is not much different. 

It was interesting, I was talking to my friend about all of the upcoming animated movies and actually how original they are becoming. It seems like all the other production company's are starting to catch on. For example, Rise of the Guardians is a film DreamWorks is producing about every fairy tale creature (Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, The Sandman and the Tooth Fairy). Watch the trailer and you'll see what I'm talking about. Animated movies are becoming more about fun stories that everyone can enjoy than just about movies for little kids. Or, that is at least my belief. I think this certainly started with Shrek, but for some reason I feel like people my age are still seeing these movies. Maybe it's just the generation we grew up in, but I believe animated movies are only going to get better and more creative. 

All right, now that I'm off that soap box, let me tell you to go see Brave. Totally worth it. I purposely didn't read anything about the plot and I have to say the trailers didn't give much away and I am so glad they didn't. Mostly everything in the trailer is in the first 20 minutes of the movie, so you're not really sure where it is headed from that point on. There is no question, this is a very different movie for Pixar. It has magic, witches, with kings and queens. I don't want to give too much about the plot because I loved not knowing but it tells a story that, I believe, is not told very darn often. It is a very moving story and the voices are fan-freaking-tastic. An Oscar category should certainly start up because of this movie (and Jack Black's Po from Kung Fu Panda). It's a shame these voice actors do not get recognized. Two thumbs up for Emma Thompson and her scottish accent because it took me till the credits to realize it was her.

Overall, I wouldn't put it up in my favorite Pixar movies (Ratatouille, Toy Story) but it certainly deserves to be in the Pixar family (I do not like Cars does, but that's just me). I will say, I am pumped for the upcoming films they have planned. I mean look at all of them! Anyways, I will say that DreamWorks is starting to make a push at Pixar. But from what I can see, I don't know if anyone will be able to reach the pedestal most people put the brilliant production company on.

With that I have a few random side notes that are important. 
1. The Olympics are officially 22 days away. Watching all these darn trials last weekend only got me way too excited for the epic event in London. Of course, now I have to wait three weeks till I see them again but we all know it's worth the wait. Also, I got word, and by that I read that the Dan Radcliffe and Emma Watson are saying a message at the closing ceremonies, which is just an added bonus.
2. New book cover!! The most anticipated book of the year came out with it's cover. That's right, J.K. Rowling's first book for adults, Casual Vacancy, came out yesterday and personally I think it looks classy, simple and intriguing. Have you pre-ordered your copy yet?
3. Even though 30 Rock is ending this season, Tina has a new movie coming out in 2013. She is currently filming in Princeton, New Jersey. And even though my mom wouldn't let me go there to try and creep the filming, a lot of photos have been released. Check out this one, and might as well do this one too. It's for her film called Admission, with Paul Rudd and Michael Sheen. Get pumped.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.