I'm Kevin Licht, a graduate from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor emphasis in Film Studies. When I'm not working I watch and write
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I don’t think you’re alone. Check out the excerpt I left from a Wesley Morris Article up above.
Isn’t it amazing we’re talking about nostalgia for a film series that isn’t even a decade old yet?
Anyway, I do think calling the Gwen and Peter relationship impressive is a little bit of a stretch. The dialogue between them in the series has been less than stellar (that scene in the first one where he tries to ask her out is almost unbearable). I do think the Gwen and Peter aspect is the part Marc Webb is more interested in, and I think that really comes out in Amazing 2, because of how clumsily the action sequences are intertwined with the story.
I do want to ask a question about the comment “The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fails because The Amazing Spider-Man failed to set the movie up.” Should that be the goal of any movie… to set the next one up? I think you may have identified a problematic trait in these types of films with that thought. And it may be a reason for these films becoming overloaded.
There’s absolutely a way to be faithful while still making these films. I don’t deny that, however I don’t believe being faithful should be a goal of the filmmaker, or at least a main goal.
Most films come from some sort of source material (I should probably specify other than the screenplay), and there are certain genres that seem to get over-criticized for the mere fact they were unfaithful to the source material. Noah is a movie that really got it bad recently.
I guess the question I would pose is why would being faithful be all that important when one can just go back to the source material to enjoy the story in the way they prefer? Wouldn’t differentiating be preferred if the original way the story is told already exists?
It’s certainly a matter of preference, but it really shouldn’t factor into the “quality” of the film. I look at it as more of a bonus to the fans of the source material.
Aside from the sticking to the comics more, I had almost the exact same view before giving Spider-Man 3 a second viewing. And while I agree it’s messy, there are things to like. There was a recent excerpt from Wesley Morris in his review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that discussed Raimi’s third film:
“A comic book could take you anywhere, and the good ones always did — sometimes until, with the change in creative personnel, they leapt off a cliff. However, if they had you, then over the cliff you went, too. That’s the story with Spider-Man 3, one of the strangest and cleverest of the Marvel movies. The whole thing is built on doubling and brings Maguire as close to classic Nicolas Cage lunacy as any actor playing super has come. Spider-Man 3 is just like what certain issues of comic books were: stuffed with randomness and quirks that were the product of either inspiration or inertia. I like that movie. It’s not serious but takes the enterprise of making a $250 million movie seriously enough. Raimi will give you a showdown with Sandman, but he’ll also take Peter to a jazz club and let him do Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face.”
For the full article go here: http://grantland.com/features/amazing-spider-man-2-review/
I do enjoy hearing views from the comic book perspective. A majority of your issues seem to be based on how faithful the films are to the comics.
I personally have trouble buying into the argument of faithfulness when dealing with adaptation because a film is a completely different medium and whether the film is faithful to it’s source has little to do with the actual quality of a film. I try to separate any film from it’s source material when trying to determine how much I like the film. It’s understandably a very difficult thing to do.
I could probably go into an extremely long rant about adaptation, but I’d rather not at the moment.
I have a feeling Spider-Man 3 truly turned out the way it did mostly due to studio pressure. I know Raimi was meant to have 5 total movies and I think they were meant to spread out the Arc of Harry becoming the Green Goblin. I would’ve loved to see how that turned out.
I like the list, but where’s the love for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?
Just kidding, nice job getting something in like this before Godzilla hits theaters.
An interesting sidepiece to this could be something about the greatest men that were monsters on screen, i.e., Hannibal Lecter, Anton Chigurh etc.
After re-watching each one a few weeks ago I’m leaning towards agreeing with your ordering, however the experience with ASM2 may be influencing my opinion of the ASM1.
Before giving each a 2nd watch I probably would have had it in this order:
Spider-Man 2 > Spider-Man 1 = ASM > Spider-Man 3 > ASM 2