[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] T [/dropcap] he Amazing Spider-Man is Stan Lee’s latest contribution to Western Civilization. It is directed by Marc Webb, who directed 500 Days of Summer. Clearly, the producers were trying to go in a different direction from the prior 3 Spideys. The writing crew further bear evidence as in addition to Alvin Sargent who wrote the other Spiderman scripts, they added James Vanderbilt, who wrote Losers and Steve Kloves of the Harry Potter powerhouse. My son, who goes to Comic-Con every year, says the script of The Amazing Spider-Man was truer to the books.
The most important choices they made were Andrew Garfield as a righteous Peter Parker (much more believable than Toby McGuire) and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, much easier on the eyes than Kirsten Dunst.
The story is about what we all have come to expect with Rhys Ifans playing the evil Lizardman and Denis Leary as the irreverent Captain Stacy. They even threw in Martin Sheenas Uncle Ben and an aging Sally Field as Aunt May.
The special effects are the special effects. What makes them even better is that they seem more believable with all the mess-ups they put into the program. Perhaps the most creative part (other than the ubiquitous Stan Lee scene in the music lab) is when the NYC crane operators pitch in and align all the construction cranes for Spider-Man to swing from as he beelines it uptown. This should be a winner for all the Joe Six-Packs out there.
[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] D [/dropcap] irector Roland Emmerich brought us such blockbusters as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, Godzilla and 10,000 BC. But he also dipped into the historical/political arena with The Patriot….even though Mel Gibson is more
blockbuster than subtle. He has moved away now into the full bore (no pun intended) historical/political with Anonymous. While the story is about who really wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets, what Anonymous is really about is how politics worked in Elizabethan England.
The concept is that Edward de Vere, The Earl of Oxford wrote all of Shakespeare’s works, but as a noble, he was supposed to be above such trivial pursuits and common forms of expression and focused instead on the economics of his estates and the waging of war for England to gain more estates.
I like this movie thematically and I thought it was well acted by the likes of Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave and Rafe Spall, but as a period piece about Thespians, I’m not sure whether they were acting or just donning their preferred poncy ways. What I really liked was the deceit, deception and manipulation. This is what happens every day in Washington from what I can tell. We on Wall Street are like dogs….we are very obvious about the bone we want. The Thespians in DC are far more conniving and Machiavellian in their ways…..and the intangible bones of power, influence and intellectual arrogance are far more cat-like with the attendant biting and scratching that comes with it.
Shakespeare may have been a beard to de Vere, just as Wall Street may be the foil for Washington public policy that are too hot to handle (expanding housing and mortgage issuance, more sovereign debt whether creditworthy or not and commodity price fluctuation to invoke national interest). The lesson is that REAL power always hides in the shadows like the Earl of Bruce in Braveheart.
DC angst/envy notwithstanding, I liked the movie and found the pondering of who really pulled the heartstrings of jolly old England almost as interesting as who is really to blame for the global economic mess we find ourselves in today.