Thursday, May 8, 2014

Phil sees THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 in 2D at the Cinelux Alamden Cinema-May 2, 2014

Marvel Studio's juggernaut onslaught of major blockbusters to dominate movie theaters this year continues with this past Friday's newest release. Now if you recall, I disliked the relaunch of America's favorite wallcrawler THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. In fact, I ripped that film a new one in my review and gave it only one star! In fact, the last statement I wrote in it was, "Sony Pictures wants to recapture the magic of the Sam Raimi films, but after seeing this, it looks very doubtful." Now two years later, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Sally Field and director Marc Webb return with the latest installment of the franchise THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. And this time, the filmmakers finally got it right!

The film's official synopsis: It's great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there's no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.

Right off the bat the on-screen chemistry between Garfield and Stone is much better and more believable and makes the audience care about their respective characters. Of course it doesn't hurt that Garfield and Stone are actually dating in real life. So their acting is honest and real and really quite enchanting to watch. Plus Garfield's Peter Parker looks and sounds like his comic book counterpart and Stone's Gwen Stacey is more three dimensional and sounds and looks like a real woman. Two vast improvements over their previous performances in the first film.

For the newbies in the film, really outstanding jobs all around. Jamie Foxx proves that he has ability and capability to portray a truly deadly super villain. His version and vision of Electro is a sympathetic and tragic person who embraces his inner most desire of vengeance against those who wronged him. Hey, if I had his electrical powers I'd wreak havoc all over the place! Here we get to see the evolution of the timid gaining the powers of a god and as the old saying goes, "Absolute power corrupts absolute." Foxx's Electro is a perfect example of this. My vote for Best Villain of 2014! A great performance on the part of Foxx!

Dane DeHaan's performance and his version of Harry Osborn is again another improvement of the previous incarnation, this being the James Franco version from the original Sam Raimi trilogy. Here, DeHaan's Harry is, to me, much more fleshed out and much more interesting. His background is more complete, the animosity between him and his dying father Norman, his strained friendship with Peter, and suddenly the young heir  is given the keys to the Osborn Kingdom are all interesting aspects to his character development. And his rise as the Green Goblin, Spider-Man's most deadliest foe of all time. Kudos to Dane DeHaan for making Harry a more well-rounded character and for bringing back that element of pure evil!

Once again Marc Webb steps into the director's chair and has improved tremendously. The look of the film is way more dynamic, looks like the comic book coming to life before our very eyes. Instead of imitating what Sam Raimi did (like he tried in the first film), Webb transforms the franchise and makes it his own; visually stunning and entertaining, gripping action scenes, tender moments of human emotions, and the ultimate sacrifices that capture the audiences' interests. Also congrats to screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner and James Vanderbilt for crafting a smart, personal, exciting, and entertaining story, which is based on the old comic story by the legendary team of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

Now the film is available in both 2D and 3D. I saw it in 2D since there was no 3D version available at that time frame. However, I am very interested in seeing it in 3D, just because these is so much action in film, I am very curious in what it looks like in 3D.

Overall THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 is an impressive, all-out action packed, thrill ride of a superhero movie! It superiority over the first film is dully noted and those who didn't like that film will love this one! Hands down one of Marvel's best summer films! 4 out of 5 stars!! Recommended!!

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 is currently playing in both 2-D and 3-D in theaters nationwide, including at the Cinelux Theaters here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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