Not Exactly a Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Much as was the case with The Cabin in the Woods, I missed The Amazing Spider-Man when it was released in theaters last year.  There are a bunch of possible reasons for this, but the most obvious was that it just felt too soon to reboot the Spider-Man story.  Sam Raimi’s trilogy had only ended 5 years ago, and the first movie was only 5 years before that, and I just felt that if they weren’t continuing the story that they’d be better off leaving Spider-Man alone for a while.  However, over the weekend I watched it (thanks to a free weekend of HBO) and I generally enjoyed it.  While it’s too far removed from the film’s release to give it a full review (though I’d generally give it a B+), I thought I’d do another “Not Exactly a Review” filled with my disorganized thoughts.

I’ve always believed that films should be appreciated on their own merits, and that it’s unfair to judge a film either positively based on the reflected glow of other films (The Dark Knight Rises benefitting from the praise for The Dark Knight) or negatively simply because it is being compared to something universally loved.  However, it is fair, and in this case unavoidable, to compare this film with the Raimi trilogy, given the close time frame and wide appeal of the previous films.  The Amazing Spider-Man tries to blaze its own trail, succeeding in some ways and failing in others. Continue reading

What’s your favorite movie?

If I were to ask you to name your favorite movie, would that be easy for you to do?  I feel like for the general populace, the answer is either easy, or “I don’t know.”  But for a film buff the answer becomes a lot more difficult.  At least, it does for me.  I tend to change my answer depending on a number of factors, including the identity of the questioner, the way the question was phrased, and who the audience is.  Here are some of my favorites, and why I will sometimes give them as my “favorite movie.”

If I’m in a situation where I’m being completely honest, my answer is usually that Hook is my favorite film.  It’s my de facto favorite movie, as it were.  It’s the movie that means the most to me, and that I connect with in a way that surpasses all others.  I think it’s a brilliant and remarkable movie, with some of the best sets ever created for the screen.  I could (and probably will) write an essay about Hook’s brilliance, but I’ll save that for another time.  I feel like Hook has been unfairly maligned through the years (it has a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes), though it does have a cult following.  Even Spielberg has said critical things of it.  I’m pretty defensive when it comes to Hook, because it does mean so much to me, so I often will name something else if I feel like there’s going to be an argument about it.  On the other hand, I like defying expectations, and for a film buff to pick a critical flop from the 90’s as his favorite film often surprises people.  I give this answer a lot when people who know that I’m a film buff ask me the question.  But it is, in fact, my favorite film, even if it’s not always my answer. Continue reading