I’ve always enjoyed the Spider-Man character, and despite my initial reservations I liked the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man.
Having graduated from high school Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and on/off girlfriend Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) are trying to work out their complicated love life. Meanwhile Harry Osborn, an old friend of Peter’s, is in New York with a secret of his own, and a new villain Electro (Jamie Fox) is causing problems for Spidey.
First of all this film does not fall into the trap of Spider-Man 3 and become overwhelmed by the amount of villains onscreen. Out of the film’s baddies only Rhino (Paul Giamatti) feels like he was tacked on to give the film more villains. Fox is great as Electro, a guy desperate to be seen even before his unfortunate accident. Even better is DeHaan as Harry. Given a powerful motivation for his actions its easy to get swept along in his descent into villainy. He almost steals the show away from Garfield and Stone. But not quite. This is their movie.
The strength of the Spider-Man stories has always been the relationships, whether his romantic one with Gwen Stacey, his family bond with his aunt May or even his turbulent friendship with Harry Osborne. All the relationships here are handled beautifully. Of course at the centre of all this is Peter and Gwen’s relationship. Some of the best moments of the film is them discussing their relationship and their plans for the future, whether it should be together or apart. Garfield and Stone are key to making this work on-screen. Both handling their scenes with intensity and emotion that draws the audience in and gets you rooting for them. They are both also great with comedy and dramatic scenes.
There are some aspects which are lacking in this film. The action scenes are functional but not jaw-dropping and I’m still not completely convinced the mystery about his parents is that interesting. However when a film packs an emotioanl puch as much as this one does then it barely matters.
Rating 4/5-Funny, sweet and heartbreaking good with Garfield and Stone on top form
I haven’t posted for a little bit, been feeling a bit of the winter blues, which seems to have affected my wallet so was unable to see anything new recently. Luckily I’ve just been able to see Quentin Tarantino’s latest Western Blaxploitation Django Unchained.
It isn’t until I saw this that I realised how much I miss Tarantino when he’s away. His witty screenplays, exaggerated blood splattered violence and even his own best forgotten cameos.
So Jamie Fox is Django, a slave in 1858 who encounters Christopher Waltz’s Dr. King Schultz a German dentist turn bounty hunter (hey, could it happen!). He offers Django his freedom and a chance to rescue his Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) if he helps Shultz hunt down the Brittle brothers.
The film has a great cast, it’s fun to see Leonardo DiCaprio let loose at playing a villain as plantation owner Calvin Candie. Him and Samuel Jackson’s as Caddie’s loyal house slave, Stephen are a thoroughly disturbing pair. As the hero Fox is solid as Django but the film is really stolen by Christopher Waltz, possibly the nicest character in the whole film, and when your kindest guy is a bounty hunter who shoots one wanted man dead in front of his son you can imagine how horrible the rest of the cast is. Waltz brings warmth and humour into the film which is much needed in a film about slavery and violence. Tarantino’s film may be controversial for some for its violence but it just serves a reminder of just how bad slaves were treated (not that most of us should need reminding).
Surprisingly for a Tarantino film the lead female character Broomhilda is underdeveloped and I wish I could have known more about her apart from that she is Django’s wife and speaks German. Some flashbacks to her life as a slave without Django would have been good but then again that may have been distracting. Broomhilda is more a plot devise, she is what Django is aiming for.
There are many great scenes in this film; the funniest for me being the Ku Klux Klan scene which just goes to show one of the underlying themes of Tarantino’s film-racist people are just stupid.
4/5-Tarantino is back and hopefully he’ll have some Oscars for his efforts