The Amazing Spider-Man

   Director: Marc Webb, Columbia Pictures, Rated M, 136 mins

It is 10 years since filmmaker Sam Raimi released the first of his three Spiderman moviesand now it is Marc Webb (whose debut movie was 500 Days of Summer) at the helm directing only his second feature with his spin on the origins of the comic book hero.
   Webb presents both an interesting and an intriguing insight into the early life of Peter Parker (aka Spiderman) played in this reboot by The Social Network star Andrew Garfield that delves into his past, beginning with his childhood, the day his parents disappeared and later as a teenager where he is cared for by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen - The Way) and Aunty May (Sally Field - TV’s Brothers and Sisters).
The Amazing Spider-Man
   Now as a high school science student Peter is determined to find out more about his parents’ disappearance, coming across his father’s briefcase that reveals his secret work on cross species genetics.
   This leads Peter to his father’s former partner, the one-armed scientist Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans - Anonymous) who invites Peter to work with him on his cross-species project that later changes Connors into an alarming lizard.
   It is also at Connors’ lab where Peter is bitten by a lab spider, transforming him into Spiderman thus ensuring a final confrontation with Connors’ lizard form.
   There is no doubt that Tobey Maguire provided a praiseworthy portrayal of Spiderman in Raimi’s highly popular Spiderman trilogy and that Garfield’s wonderful characterisation only enhances the image of the iconic superhero through Webb’s skilful recreation of The Amazing Spider-Man including the picture he paints of Peter appearing as an awkward high school nerd with skateboard and showing some difficulties taking on his Spiderman role.
   There is also a pleasing approach to Peter’s love interest in high school student Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone - The Help) who also works as a protégé at Connors’ science establishment Oscorp.
   Overall Webb has clearly added to the Spiderman franchise with his entertaining retelling of the Spiderman story due in large part to the performances of a fine cast (especially Ifans, Stone, Sheen and Field) and his inclusion of some amazing special effects that are particularly enjoyable in 3D-and just in time for the school holidays.
VIC'S VERDICT:         4 Rubber Stamps

DVD Review


   Release Date July 2012
   Director: Roman Polanski, Universal Pictures, Rated M, 80 mins

Acclaimed director Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer) returns with his latest release that looks into the human altercation between two couples arising out of a playground fight between their sons.
   The concerned couples are the Longstreets - Michael (John C.Reilly) and his wife Penelope (Jodie Foster) - and the Cowans - Alan (Christoph Waltz) and his wife Nancy (Kate Winslet) - who agree to meet in the Longstreet’s apartment to smooth things over after their son had both teeth knocked out by the Longstreet boy.
   Polanski has adapted Yasmina Reza’s award winning play God of Carnage to the screen and chosen award winning actors - Foster, Waltz and Winslet - to play three of the four leading characters in this wonderful satire on human relationships that begins cordially enough but deteriorates to the degree of bad behaviour.
   Once again Polanski has excelled as a director in this amusing short skit that is shot entirely within an apartment.
   The lesson from Polanski’s movie is never invite the parents to one’s home after a fight between children as it is like to turn into carnage.
   This particular DVD with its bonus features is certainly worth having in one’s movie collection.

VIC'S VERDICT:         3 ½ Rubber Stamps

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