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461 of 562 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I read a lot of reviews for this movie before watching it myself. In the end, they all boiled down to a few basic criticisms, which I kept in mind as I made my own appraisal. Here are the major problems people seem to have had with Marc Webb's "Amazing Spider-Man", along with my responses.

1. The reboot was too soon.

This more or less depends on your point of view. True, the last Spidey movie was in 2007, a mere five years ago - more than long enough to warrant another Spider-Man film; not exactly long enough to call for a complete reboot. On the other hand, I think a lot of people would agree that it's been more like eight years since the last GOOD Spider-Man film. I loved Raimi's work with the character, though I do criticize him on some minor points. But in the end, he really dropped the ball with Spider-Man 3, running a lot of good characters into the ground and painting himself into a corner with two hours of very messy plotting. In the end, whether a reboot was necessary per se is a matter of personal preference. But even if you think it wasn't necessary, is it fair to write off the new movie completely as a result? I don't believe it is.

2. We've heard it all before.

Yes and no. This is another interpretation of Spider-Man's origin story. But it's very different from Raimi's first Spider-Man film. More importantly, it's a well-done interpretation. At the heart of this "origin story" is Peter Parker's development from a somewhat geeky, trouble-making teen into a true hero. This transition happened far more quickly in Raimi's first movie, mainly because Maguire's Peter had a more strongly-developed moral compass to begin with. Neither version is objectively inferior in my opinion, but I do have a personal preference for the deep character drama achieved by Webb. The point is, yes, this is the spider-bite story again, but it's a good spider-bite story.

3. The hype about "secrets being revealed" was a big lie.

Yes, it was. This is most definitely not "the untold story". Significant-sounding lines from the trailers such as "Do you think what happened to you was an accident?" and "If you want the truth about your parents, Peter, then come and get it" didn't even feature, which I'll admit kind of annoyed me. That amounts to false advertising in my opinion. I was very happy with what I got, but it wasn't what I was promised. The thing is, there is some big mystery going on in this movie with Peter's parents. However, their story doesn't feature very heavily in this first movie. The elements of it that do were given away in the trailers. So don't bother watching this solely to find out more about Richard and Mary Parker. Their story will have to wait until the sequel.

4. The villain was weak.

My main problem with this film's take on Dr. Curtis Connors was that it diverged so heavily from the comics. The Connors I remember was an intriguing villain because he was a father and a husband who transformed himself into a monster in a quest for healing. Billy Connors and his mom aren't around here. Instead there's a bachelor, British-accented Connors who frequently runs the risk of going boldly where so many villains have gone before. Fortunately, Rhys Ifans' performance is good enough to prevent this happening most of the time. Connors' motivation makes sense overall, though little time is given to truly flesh it out. Perhaps if his mysterious connections to Norman Osborn had been explored in greater detail, he would have been more memorable.

5. The Lizard's design was flawed.

Most people who didn't care for the Lizard's look seem to describe it as "too human". The face certainly is. It wasn't really that scary. I've seen alternate designs which the production team ultimately abandoned which I think would have been a lot better. So basically I would agree with this criticism, but for me it was a minor quibble.

6. It had too much teenage angst and Twilight-esque drama.

Actually, it had none. The teenage interactions were more mature than I'm used to seeing in film or TV, with even Flash Thompson evolving from a typical bully into a likable character over time. There are a few moments of stereotypical rebellion from Peter, but they lead rapidly into the tragic events that change him, so they're quickly forgotten. Despite the early publicity saying that this movie would be "darker", I don't think I'd describe it that way. It's a little less cheesy and a little more gritty in parts, but there are enough moments of clever humor to give the viewer a break from the gradually building tension.

The Amazing Spider-Man does have flaws. But in my opinion, its good points are so good that they cancel out the missteps. Andrew Garfield brings the wisecracking, geeky, sometimes mischievous Peter Parker from the original comics to life better than anyone I've seen (or heard, in animation) thus far. He nails the sense of humor that was frequently lacking from Maguire's Spidey. I had my doubts about Emma Stone as Gwen, but her acting was superb as well. She and Garfield have great chemistry on screen, which bodes well for the future. Really all the main cast was terrific, but I must make a special mention of Dennis Leary's Captain Stacy. He truly did a fantastic job. The special effects in regard to Spider-Man's web-slinging and other stunts were breathtaking, and clever cinematography draws the audience into the action effortlessly. The music was forgettable for the most part, but served its purpose in the more dramatic scenes (much like the soundtrack to The Avengers).

In short, watching this movie was a delight for me as a long-time Spider-Fan, even with the memory of Raimi's better efforts fresh in my mind, and I'm very much looking forward to the sequel (teased at the end of this movie by an intriguing mid-credits scene). Worth buying, worth watching, and worth re-watching. It's a fun, engaging superhero film, and deserves to be judged on its own merits, which are considerable. Please don't let the unfair amount of negativity surrounding this movie scare you away from it. If you give it a chance, you won't be sorry.
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56 of 68 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 26, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
After watching the first five minutes of The Amazing Spiderman, I knew I was gonna like it; after the first hour (which includes a lot of exposition without being tedious) I actually preferred this one to the Raimi versions mainly cuz I think it possesses an intensity and believability that the previous films lacked.

Marvel seems to be producing more mature, rebooted versions of all their super-hero series and I actually prefer this variation on the Spider Man story as well, especially the disappearance of the pointless Mary Jane obsession (which always made me respect Spidey a little less). I suspect that a more scientifically savvy audience appreciates an ever evolving origins story and I also enjoyed the initial dealing-with-new-superpowers interlude which was very amusing and again just seemed a much more realistic reaction from Peter Parker to his new abilities. Exceptional performances for Peter and Gwen are what truly make this production stand out from every other action-packed big-budget flick out there, not to mention a truly scary and menacing super-villain causing some sequences to play a little like a horror film. The tragic loss of his uncle is intensely emotional making the motivation for becoming a vigilante seem more credible, while the use of fantasy tech to supplement his powers added to this as well. love Martin Sheen as uncle Ben, never been much of a Sally Fields fan but apparently the producers were looking for star power to offset the use of mostly unknowns in the starring roles (which I think was a stroke of brilliance by the way).

The FX action sequences are seamless, gorgeous, captivating and again convincing (hitting on this alot I know but I think it's an essential factor). It's the details that make the difference, like while on the job at dizzying heights getting a call on his cell from aunt May reminding him to pick up eggs on his way home. The wise-cracking Spidey is not only back but actually funny with flawless comedic timing throughout and the gratuitous Stan Lee cameo was priceless. This is a new Spider-man, a better one, one whom you will be emotionally invested in by the dramatic ending which brilliantly wraps up an all-around excellent, excellent film! :o)
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I'm a big fan of all three Raimi Spider Man films and when I heard they were doing a reboot I was skeptical, but being a fan of the character for over 40 years I decided to go see this film.

The Good: 1) We get the wisecracking Web Head from the comics, 2) The special effects are excellent, 3) A better Gwen Stacy. 4) Mechanical web shooters 5) The best Stan Lee Cameo ever!

The Bad: 1) This wisecracking Web Head is a little too mean spirited and Peter is way too cool to be the nerdy outcast from the comics. 2) The Lizard is poorly designed, he isn't sympathetic like in the comics and that takes a lot away from the character. He is much more interesting if he can't control his changing into The Lizard and having a family gives the character complexity. 3) They don't utilize the fact that his web shooters are mechanical and even though they weren't organic in the comic books, I prefer that route in the live action films. 6) When uncle Ben dies, it isn't heartfelt and Peter doesn't show enough emotion about it.

Toby McGuire may not have been the perfect wise cracker in the Raimi films, but he was engaging to watch when not in Spider Man mode. This was key to making a super hero film that was entertaining through out the entire film. (like Robert Downey as Iron Man).

I know a lot of people complained about Spider Man taking his mask off all the time, but if you think about it that mask would have to be extremely uncomfortable and hot, so I think that is just a realistic observation by the filmmakers, but some times emotions are needed to be seen and you can't see expressions through the mask.

The Amazing Spider Man is a very good film, but I won't watch it nearly as many times as the Raimi Spider Man films. It just isn't as much fun or as good. The Blu Ray has a very good transfer and some interesting bonus material, but nothing like the Raimi Spider man films received on their 2 disc DVD sets.

Looking forward to seeing Spider Man 2 on opening day. :-D

Update *** Went to see the 2nd film in this series and I was pretty disappointed. My review for that film will come soon.....

End of Update****
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
It was a decent 3d movie. It also has about 10 minutes behind the scene special features about 3d in 3d.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
My 9 year old is into Spider-Man, so he wanted to buy this movie on amazon, so I opted for this package and it worked fine. They sent us an email with a code and I went online to schedule us to see Spider-Man 2 (I still had to pay $6 - fandango charges a $2.50 handling fee) We saw Spider-Man 2 today and it was pretty good! We liked it better than the first one. I guess we also get $5 off Spider-Man 2 when it comes into amazon prime, which is good cuz we'll probably get it. REALLY good CGI effects!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
It's amazing to me the following these movies have. It's not that the movies are so terrible but that they are just barely adequate. There's no point to this series. There's a reason I stick to the cartoon and comics. They simply can't make a good Spidey series all the way through. The Tobey series lost all my interest because it got way too crazy but even those first two movies haven't aged well. The movie looks nice here but that's about where the good ends. The acting I found to be passable but it had it's fair share of over the top moments. The action, there's not much to say, it's very forgettable.

Spidey seems to do some more wise cracking but that's one of the few things they got right. They don't even have the photography aspect with the daily bugle which is a huge part of the character. I didn't care about Gwen Stacey, never have never will. I guess basically this movie is just pointless. They do the origin story again but it's not as good. After that we get some annoying romance and a fight with the lizard. Skip this series but if you're a Spidey fan you already knew that didn't you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Another keeper for our family movie night collection. This one is good for the older kids, but the littler ones enjoyed it too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
While this film isn't a magnum opus of Super Hero films, it improves on the Spider Man franchise's previous offerings in spades. While I was apprehensive of Gwen Stacy's selection as Peter's main squeeze in this particular movie, I think it was a wise choice by the studio and writers.

Much is done to distance this movie from the previous offerings, as the plot leaps along through Peter Parker's life and background without feeling rushed.

Most of the parts are well acted, though I have to give kudos to Spider Man, Gwen Stacy and Gwen's father in particular as stand out roles in this film. Gwen's father comes out at the beginning seeming like a character the audience is supposed to dislike because of how him and Peter interact. But you never quite get there and I find myself admiring the steadfast manner of the character.

The pacing works for the film and I think it moves the story along at a relatively reasonable rate. As with most Marvel films, you'll find that the movie follows a relatively well developed formula that involves so much exposition before settling into a faster, action-filled pace towards the end of the movie. The end DID feel a little rushed as the plot struggles to tie off all of the lose ends that are meant to be tied off in short order. But I also think they made an effort to segue into the next movie that makes it work a little bit better.

This is a movie that was made with a sequel in mind, and without trying to shoehorn Spiderman into the Avengers, though he's been one of their headlining members in the comics for some time. I think if Spidey is going to be on the Avengers, the Disney/Marvel writers are trying to grow him up a little before he is.

I think Spider-Man easily stands on it's own among the Marvel films, and for their individual hero films is one of the better movies in the Marvel Film franchises.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
An embarrassment to the Spider Man movies. The concept for this movie should have been turned into a TV series for teens akin to Smallville.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
Though I enjoyed Raimi's original "Spiderman", upon finishing it, I was rather underwhelmed. I think the reason for this is that it followed so closely to the original comic (I mean issue #1) that it was almost pointless to watch this movie if you had read the comic.

This one is much more of what I would consider a true update, something the franchise badly needs. These days, nerds are "cool", and the '50s-'60s Peter Parker just doesn't play true by today's standards. This movie brings him into the 21st century while still retaining what makes him what he is. It also follows the Lizard's origin tale (which I also used to own) closely enough to make me nostalgic, yet different enough to be fresh. He's also my favorite Spidey villain. I'm glad, too, that Gwen Stacy was Peter's love interest rather than Raimi's awkward atttempt to amalgamate her with Mary Jane, a completely different personality.

Only one minor complaint: I wish they had used some giant actor in a suit rather than yet another CGI creation, as it looked way too fluid to be truly reptilian. Through animatronics and modern make-up methods (with CGI thrown in for some action sequences), I think a more impressive creature could have been realized. But, this is just a quibble.

I did like the Raimi films, but I think this one hits the mark a little better.
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