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.
I'm not a movie snob. I'll go see a wacky comedy or the big new superhero action flick. However, this weekend I encountered something that befuddled my expectations: Fast Five.
I had never previously seen a Fast & The Furious franchise film. I dismissively thought that these movies and the gazillions of dollars they make time and again weren't for me.
This weekend I had a family event, though, and my mom offered me two options of films she wanted to see: Fast Five or Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I looked them up on my phone and went with the one with the higher Rotten Tomatoes score.
And boy was that ever the right choice. Friends, this is a capital-A-action movie. It's not often that you go to the movies and see a stunt/set piece that isn't similar to one you've seen in dozens of other movies, but I thought there were bits in this that genuinely surprised me.