05 May 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Two years ago, I really, really, really dug The Amazing Spider-Man. From a character standpoint, I thought it was brilliant, pitch-perfect even. The blossoming relationship of Peter and Gwen, the relationship between Peter and his Aunt May, Peter's struggle dealing with unanswered questions from the past, a thirst for vengeance instead of justice, and a moving climax about secrets, promises, and what's right. In the two years since, it appears I am a member of a very, very small minority who wholeheartedly love The Amazing Spider-Man and don't find it as "gritty" and "grab" as the criticizers commonly label it, although I won't comment on the effectiveness/cartoonishness of Curt Connors. I don't watch these movies for the villains, I watch them for the characters, and Amazing Spider-Man delivered on character in magnificent glowing spades.

So naturally, mega amount of excitement and enthusiasm for Amazing Spider-Man 2. But then they started casting, and the likes of Shailene Woodley, Paul Giamatti, and Jamie Foxx coming out of nowhere to do roles that seem shoehorned in? Yeah, I got worried. And then production ended ahead of schedule, Woodley's Mary Jane arc was cut entirely from the finished product, and trailers started making the rounds. Visually, the film looked pleasing. Story-wise? Oi vey, looked like shit was about to hit the fan, where story and character were to be sacrificed for world-building, bad comedy sketches, and villains. Lots and lots of villains!

The good news is, there's plenty to like/love about The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but there's also a helluva lot to bitch about, and, I feel, rightly so. But before that, can I just say . . .

I need to see every big-budget epic blockbuster in IMAX 3-D. No if or but about it, this is my new preferred way of watching these types of films. There's something so spectacular in being immersed in the film, as this giant screen literally takes over your vision and you're just in the middle of every little detail and story beat. Moreso in the awesome category, watching Amazing Spider-Man 2 in IMAX 3-D was the first time I really felt the merits of 3-D, especially the opening Spidey-flying-around-Manhattan shots, where were just gobsmacking in their level of detail and dimension. It would be a bit boisterous to say I was flying along the New York skyscrapers with Spider-Man, but I sure as hell felt the dimensionality of his actions. Naturally, the 3-D effect didn't sustain all that well during the more intimate talking heads stuff, but when the film switches gears into a full on CG-frenzy of explosive action, the 3-D was just mind blowing.

Even further in the 'cool' category, this super nifty IMAX exclusive poster, designed by British artist Matt Taylor, was available for free at the concession stand. Can you say 'gorgeous?!', and a perfect representation of one of the key amazing shots in the films opening minutes. Anyway, all this to say, the environment for the film was just all kinds of awesome, and this flick really opened my eyes to the benefits of 3-D when utilized correctly. As of right now, I've decided, through Hell or some magical Minnesota return to winter, I will watch Godzilla on IMAX 3-D. I just gotta.

Anyway, onto the quasi-review. Oh, and SPOILERS!