Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman and The Artist

The Amazing Spiderman

After hearing that Spiderman was getting a reboot, I was one of those people who thought a Spiderman reboot wasn't really necessary.  It looked decent from the trailers but it wasn't a movie I was super excited about.

I was pleasantly surprised by The Amazing Spiderman.  The Amazing Spiderman is another origins story for how Peter Parker becomes Spiderman (Andrew Garfield).  It maintains a different voice and tone from the original movies.  It's less corny and while many of the story elements were similar, it's like a really good remix that stands strongly on its own.  I really liked Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spiderman.  His Peter Parker is still smart and witty but maintains more of a sharp, rebellious edge.  Tobey Maguire's Peter was a dork (and that wasn't a bad thing at all since it fit those movies well), while Garfield's Peter is more like that smart, mysterious loner who does his own thing.  I do like how Garfield's Peter doesn't go into being Spiderman with the best of intentions but learns along the way to become a hero.  He and Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) also have great chemistry.  I like that Gwen does get to take more of an active role than Mary Jane has in the past movies.

That being said, there are plot holes and sketchy sketchy biology.  One of my favorite parts of the original Spidermans was Peter's relationship with Aunt May, and while she's still supportive and Peter's only family, isn't she remotely curious or deeply concerned about how often and how badly Peter gets hurt sometimes?

Despite the plot holes, Spiderman is still a fun, superhero movie to watch and I am looking forward to what they do next.

The Artist

The Artist, which won best picture last year at the Academy Awards, is about George Valentin, a famous silent film star (Jean Dujardin)'s fall into obscurity as the silent film industry dies down.  Meanwhile, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) an actress he helped out during his prime rises to fame as speakies, movies with sound and dialogue, rise to their prime.

The Artist is a black and white film with very little dialogue.  Most of the little dialogue that was in the movie is done in silent film style - with quotes and captions shown after the scene.

A lot of The Artist is very predictable.  It's filled with these storylines that you've see over and over again and they all turn out as you expect  but despite all that, it's still very charming and very well done.    
It reminds you of the power of visuals and music and that you don't necessarily need much or any dialogue to tell a good story.  There are so many great movies that are kind of downers (and I do love my downers, I really do).  At the same time, though, it's refreshing once in a while to see a movie that's happy where all the characters genuinely have their best intentions at heart.


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