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'The Amazing Spider-Man' review: Spidey satisfies despite mysteries that don't get webbed up

'The Amazing Spider-Man' Germany Premiere

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Andrew Garfield attends the Germany premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man" at Sony Center on June 20, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.

Actress Emma Stone arrives for the premi

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Emma Stone (who plays Gwen Stacy) arrives at the premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man."

"The Amazing Spider-Man" Cast Visit The Empire State Building

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Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone take pictures on the observatory deck of The Empire State Building on June 25, 2012.

"The Amazing Spider-Man" Panel - Comic-Con 2011

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Andrew Garfield speaks at "The Amazing Spider-Man" Panel during Comic-Con 2011 at San Diego Convetion Center on July 22, 2011 in San Diego, initially disguised under that mask as a fan.

The Amazing Spider-Man is in theaters now, for everyone who thought there was a need for another Spider-Man origin story just 10 years after the last Spider-Man origin film. The verdict: It's actually good.

The film's cast combines the heft of Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Peter Parker's aunt and uncle with the young fresh faces of star Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spidey and Emma Stone as love interest Gwen Stacy. The relationship between Peter and his uncle, one that proves the inciting incident for his heroism, gets more development here than in the previous Spider-Man film. Denis Leary has a nice turn as Stacy's father, who's also the chief of police.

Superhero films are often defined by their villain, but while there's certainly a villain here in the Lizard, the movie takes its time getting there. The first hour or so is spent building up to Peter as Spider-Man, making you care about the man before he puts on the mask. The shadow of Spider-Man archvillain the Green Goblin hangs over the film due to its inclusion of shadowy corporation OsCorp, with the Green Goblin/Norman Osborn alluded to, but he never stands revealed. The Lizard himself is a tragic villain and proves a worthy adversary, challenging Spider-Man both physically and mentally.


President Obama gets movie pitch turned down, all aspiring screenwriters cry in despair

US President Barack Obama walks out of t

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President Barack Obama walks out of the Oval Office to board the Marine One helicopter to leave the White House in Washington, DC, on Febraury 23, 2012 en route to Miami, Florida.

Bad news for all you aspiring Hollywood screenwriters out there: It apparently doesn't matter how powerful you are, you still can't get your project made. The latest failed auteur? President Obama.

OK, this might be a slight exaggeration, but President Obama got turned down on a movie idea by Harvey Weinstein at the Weinstein Company, based on a book he read.

"The president sent me a book the other day and said 'Why don't you make this a movie?'" Weinstein told the Times of London.

What was it? "I can't tell you. It was a spy novel."

Weinstein replied to the president, telling him that he was "the most overqualified book scout I've ever had." And this is coming from Weinstein, who's a big supporter of Obama and the Democratic Party and has even hosted fundraising events for the president in New York and Los Angeles.


George Lucas says he's retiring, tells off 'Star Wars' fans

Spike TV's "SCREAM 2011" - Show

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Darth Vader and George Lucas (R) onstage during Spike TV's "SCREAM 2011" awards held at Universal Studios on October 15, 2011 in Universal City, California.

Spike TV's "SCREAM 2011" - Show

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Actor Elijah Kelley, actor Cuba Gooding Jr., director George Lucas and Nate Parker onstage during Spike TV's "SCREAM 2011" awards held at Universal Studios on October 15, 2011 in Universal City, California.

"The Adventures Of TinTin" New York Premiere

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Film director George Lucas at the "The Adventures of TinTin" New York premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 11, 2011 in New York City.

George Lucas says he's retiring because he's sad people don't like him anymore, basically. When asked about making more "Star Wars" movies, Lucas responded, "Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?"

Lucas told the New York Times that one studio executive wouldn't even come to a screening of his latest project, "Red Tails."

Best moment in the article for Lucas haters: sympathy being expressed for the criticism Lucas gets — from Michael Bay. You also get both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas trying to fall on their sword for being responsible for the much-maligned "nuke the fridge" scene in Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull.

He does say he'll still make smaller, more personal films, though. Oh, and he'll do another Indiana Jones movie, too.


'Dark Knight Rises' midnight showings already sold out - for July

Screenshot from "The Dark Knight Rises" trailer.

Want to go to a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," which opens July 20? Well you should have thought of that sooner, as midnight screenings are already selling out.

The IMAX version of the film has already sold out its midnight screening at the AMC Loews Universal City cineplex, Deadline Hollywood reports. Same for the AMC Loews Lincoln Square theater in New York City. However, there are still IMAX tickets available at the Rave IMAX on L.A.'s Westside, but I'd get over there to get some, like, now.

Of course, there's still plenty of time to add more showings, but with a limited number of IMAX theaters, the chance to see the film in glorious IMAX is legitimately limited.

I admit experiencing a brief panic when I saw this and considering buying tickets now, then emailing friends and trying to lock them into a moviegoing experience six months from now, assuming we're still friends at that point. Then I decided to stop being crazy and decided I could wait.


Iron Man, Captain America & Thor come to LA for 'Avengers' reshoots

"Avengers" film trailer

Captain America and Thor, coming to Hollywood Boulevard?

The new "Avengers" superhero movie, combining the Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk franchises into one film, is reportedly doing reshoots in Los Angeles, according to comic book news site Bleeding Cool, so if you see anyone walking around in brightly colored costumes, they might not be prostitutes.

Oh boy! Who wants to go stalk superheroes with me?

But actually, seeing how these things are made can take away a little of the magic, so I think I'll just wait until this is in theaters. A little bit of movie magic died for me when I saw this fan footage of a fight scene from the movie featuring Captain America and Thor, with the blows not connecting by a distance of, oh, let's say five feet:

Yes, movie fighting is fake, but it is apparently even faker than I thought.

What needs to be added to the film? What didn't turn out so great the first time? Director Joss Whedon has said that he threw out the original script and wrote pages himself as the film was being shot, so the edge-of-your-seat filmmaking may have left some things undone, but we'll have to wait and see.