Hi folks, welcome to ARCHIE G’s. I’m your waiter, Raoul.
Here at ARCHIE G’s, we don’t think you can make a dependable Pull List decision based on the first serving of a comic. Publishers throw everything they’ve got at a first issue: promotions, gimmick covers, etc. And speculators? Sheesh, don’t get me started on speculators. Because of stuff like that, first issue sales figures are always bloated.
You need to make your decision based on the SECOND issue, because it will give you a better idea what the series will be like, issue-in, issue-out.
Which is why I ask: You Want 2nds?
TODAY’S SPECIAl: Amazing Spider-Man 2
So my lady-friend Rosie says to me “You know, sweetie, it’s too bad you can’t do your little review thing on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, just because it’s a movie and not one of your comic books.”
You see, the FIRST Amazing Spider-Man flick was also the first movie Rosie and I went to see. Yeah, first date. She told me she hated “funny-book movies”, but me being a colossal bone-head, we went anyway.
She loved it.
So there’s a special place in my heart for AS-M #1.
I gave it some thought. AS-M #2 is the second in what you have to think is going to be a series, right? Andrew Garfield is signed for at least one more. The dvd’s and blu-rays are out. Netflix. Pay-per-view. So you have to make a decision on whether or not it should be on your “video pull-list”..your “queue”, right?
So I am going to make my recommendation on whether or not to order AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2, because it was AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 that showed Rosie maybe I was somebody worth going out with again. By sharing AS-M #1 with her, I showed I was sensitive, imaginative, creative and lots of other “good boyfriend qualities”.
Plus, the fact she said I was a pretty good kisser.
Of course, two years later, when I took her to see AS-M #2, she was probably wanting to tell me to kiss her ass.
I knew we were in trouble when they had the absolute WORST Stan Lee cameo in ANY Marvel movie: Stan the Man sitting in the crowd at a high school commencement. Four seconds of Mr. Excelsior himself turning his head? Was there not enough time, not enough creativity to come up with something better than that?
No, there wasn’t, and THAT’s what is wrong with this movie.
Too many characters, too many subplots, too much emo. No time is spent on developing anything in this movie. Pete and Gwen’s romance, you say? (Rosie’s favorite part of #1, btw) In the course of #2, they are together, break up, get back together, break up again, get back together again, break-up yet again…you get the point. Repetition is not development. It is the exact opposite of development.
The fight scenes are fantastic. Great energy, terrific use of sow-mo, creative angles. I really dug how they portrayed Spidey’s agility, intelligence, and speed, and his throw-away lines were hilarious and well-timed. I loved the fight scenes.
Both of them.
At one point, Peter complains to Gwen that every time he has fought Electro, his web-shooters have gotten fried. “Every time”? They had fought ONCE at that point!
Perhaps they could have tossed in one extra action sequence and shortened up the bromantic love scenes, with Spidey and Gobby sharing a sunny New York afternoon, giggling and skipping stones.
I’m not making this stuff up, folks! The bromance they DEVELOP!
The bad-guys? There aren’t any.
By Crom, I am sick and tired of all these sympathetic villains. Poor Green Goblin and his disease. Poor Electro and his low self-esteem. We even feel sorry for Rhino with his hideous accent. (Okay, that’s a stretch but COME ON, PAUL GIAMATTI, BORIS AND NATASHA HAD BETTER RUSSIAN ACCENTS THAN YOU!)
This movie uses up precious screen time trying to make us care about way too many characters to the point where we don’t care about any of them.
I take that back. The guy playing the Television Anchor got so much screen time, that I actually felt emotionally invested in him. Kudos, Pat Kiernan. (When will there be another WORLD SERIES OF POP CULTURE?)
Here’s a little movie-watching clue for you: When the “TV Anchor” character gets THAT much face time, he is presenting far too much exposition. Might be an indicator that you have TOO MUCH STUFF IN THE SCRIPT? MAYBE?
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2 Script Conference (A DRAMATIZATION)–
WRITER: When we broke for brunch we had added the goofy subway car that came up out of a secret subterranean vault, somehow paid for by a researcher and his wife.
OTHER WRITER: Then, when we broke for lunch, we had added the stereotypical over-the-top Nazi scientist, sadistically laughing as he tortures someone.
OTHER OTHER WRITER: Can we have Peter’s hair change from scene to scene?
STILL ANOTHER WRITER: Oooh! How about shot to shot?
YET ANOTHER WRITER: Don’t forget, we want to create a character for Jamie Foxx that is so ridiculous, it makes his WANDA character on “In Living Color” look tame.
ONE MORE WRITER: Only if we can instantly change him into MR. FREEZE from “Batman and Robin”, completely off-stage where the audience can’t see it.
But why did Rosie and I finally check out?
It has to do with the soundtrack.
The Hans Zimmer score is all over the place. Military marches in light moments. Serious dramatic moments when you hear some goofy tune resembling the music they play during Final Jeopardy. And in the final, thrilling confrontation with Electro, the soundtrack blasts out “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. And our webslinger says “I hate that song”.
You hate that song? The one in the soundtrack? That only the audience can hear, because there has been nothing up to this point that would make us think a giant jambox is blasting out nursery rhymes? THAT song?
Before you say: “Hell, Raoul , that’s an awfully miniscule point!”
No, it’s not. It’s huge. It shows you that the people who made this film were more concerned with chocking it full of what they considered cool s—tuff, than they were with giving YOU and ME and ROSIE a good movie.
Just so you know, Rosie did NOT dump me. But she did say”No more comic book movies for me.” That cheeses me off. Do you have any idea how many chick flicks I’M gonna have to go to, to leverage her back into trying AVENGERS 2?
And don’t forget my tip. Ain’t nobody gettin’ rich here.