Much time and energy has been spent bemoaning the existence of The Amazing Spider-Man when three financially successful Spider-Man films were released all within the last decade. In particular, Spider-Man 2 was exceptional, with many feeling, and count me amongst them, that the film belongs on the top shelf of the greatest superhero adaptations ever made. After scoring the series’ biggest financial success, but also the loudest and most jagged critical response yet, 2007’s Spider-Man 3 left many people cold. Lead actor Tobey Maguire had taken the character of Peter Parker as far as he felt he could and director Sam Raimi fell into “creative differences” with Columbia Pictures over the direction a fourth film would take. Spider-Man, as a franchise, was placed on the shelf.
After much delay and discussion, Columbia Pictures opted to reboot the entire Raimi franchise, almost unheard of for a series so young, and commissioned director Marc Webb ((500) Days Of Summer) to helm the project. After a screenplay by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Losers) was rebooted in its own right by Alvin Sargent, who has had a hand in writing all of the Spider-Man films, and Harry Potter adaptator-extraordinare Steve Kloves, The Amazing Spider-Man arrived in July 2012 to much anticipation, tilted-head confusion, and the curiosity of whether Andrew Garfield can slide into the Spider-Man suit effectively.
The Amazing Spider-Man is saddled not only by its unnecessary existence but also by the fact that that adjective in its title – Amazing – sets it up to fail. While not a bad movie, it is contentedly mediocre and you feel every second of its 136 minute running time. There are some excellent sequences and moments that make this passable, with the film barely rescued by a great supporting cast and two excellent performances from Garfield and Emma Stone. Read more on The Amazing Spider-Man (**½)…
The US poster has arrived for Joe Wright’s (Atonement) heavily anticipated period drama, Anna Karenina. In the distance a train seems to be chasing down Keira Knightley, who stars in the titular role, while a hovering tagline reminds us that love sometimes can’t be explained or restrained. Based on the famous Tolstoy novel that spans late 19th-century Russia, Anna is caught in a love triangle between her husband (Jude Law) and love interest (Aaron Johnson). Anna Karenina will open in the UK on September 7th, and will be in limited release on November 9th, expanding shortly after.
Have a look at the poster after the jump…
Read more on New ‘Anna Karenina’ Poster – Don’t Question Love…
*Sigh* You guys…sometimes I don’t have the energy for this. Well, just because I personally cannot muster up any excitement whatsoever for the newest releases this weekend doesn’t mean I can neglect my duty to you, dear readers. Without further ado…
Look, I’m not naïve. I understand that moviemaking is a business, and with risky passion projects must also come those aimed to make a profit. I have no problem with companies exercising their power over franchise installments and popcorn flicks for commercial purposes. It’s business…it’s life. But dammit, a line has to be drawn somewhere, and the debate over whether or not a reboot of Spider-Man so soon after the previous trilogy ended was “necessary” sidesteps why it exists in the first place. Because the truth of the matter is that The Amazing Spider-Man – retelling the iconic superhero’s origin story with Andrew Garfield web-slinging through New York City – was made for the sole purpose of fulfilling a fine-print contractual obligation regarding licensing rights. There was no personal ambition in the creation of this film, either artistically or financially. Even the popular canard that Columbia and Sony Pictures are trying to redeem the franchise à la Batman Begins doesn’t fly; the only reason they didn’t move forward with a Spider-Man 4 was because Sam Raimi was frustrated with their strong-arming of the third film and called it quits when they were planning to do it again. Read more on Weekend Openings (July 6-8)…
Categories: Weekend Openings
Tags: Andrew Garfield
, Benicio Del Toro
, Blake Lively
, comics and superheroes
, demian bichir
, emma stone
, Jay and Mark Duplass
, John Travolta
, katy perry
, Marc Webb
, Oliver Stone
, popcorn movies
, Rhys Ifans
, Salma Hayek
, Taylor Kitsch
, The Amazing Spider-Man
, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon
, Weekend Openings
In preparation for this film, I went back and watched Brian de Palma’s Scarface (1983) with Al Pacino, a film written by Oliver Stone before he became a two-time Oscar-winning director. Scarface (1983) was un-mercilessly slaughtered by the critics when it opened, yet became a top renter on video and was rediscovered by audiences through the years. Pacino’s over the top performance as Tony Montana is electrifying to watch, as he commands the screen with a confidence he has not had since 1990, and an inner rage that drove him in his early work. The performance works big, because the film is about wretched excess, everything about Tony’s life is going to be big. Tracing the rise of the Cuban immigrant from dish washer to all-powerful drug lord, selling cocaine and making untold millions, the film was a cautionary tale about drugs in the eighties when cocaine was still the drug of choice. Despite the film’s failure, it is now considered a classic and taught in film schools as an example of outstanding direction from this era.
I thought Savages might share some of the qualities as Scarface (1983). Read more on Savages (**)…
It’s hard to believe that we’re over the hill on 2012. And while time is flying by at an alarming rate, for a movie fan this time of year means things are just about to heat up. We’re halfway through the summer blockbuster period and can see the glow of awards season just over the horizon. There are still an incredible amount of movies out there to look forward to. So many, in fact, that I really feel we are going to look back on 2012 as being an exceptional year for cinema.
Have a look at a preview for the second half of 2012 after the jump, and be sure to leave the three films you are most excited about in the comment section…
Read more on Bonus Circuit 3: The Most Anticipated Films for the Remainder of 2012…
Categories: Circuit 3
, circuit 3
, Django Unchained
, Life of Pi
, The Bourne Legacy
, the dark knight rises
, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
, The Master
, Zero Dark Thirty
Much like Mark Johnson felt about the directors who have helmed Batman flicks, this list of the best actors in the role of Batman really sort itself out quite easily. Playing Batman is treacherous territory for an actor, not only do you have to corral the entitled billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne side, but you have to be up for the physical and anti-hero aspects of the Batman side. There is also an added issue of serving the director’s vision for the character, regardless of how bad it might be. So without further ado, here are the rankings of the Best and Worst actors to play the Caped Crusader.
Read more on Best and Worst Batman Actors…
, Batman and Robin
, Batman Begins
, Batman Forever
, Christian Bale
, George Clooney
, Michael Keaton
, The Dark Knight
, the dark knight rises
, Val Kilmer
Yes, you read that right. the Awards Circuit will be heading to Comic-Con this year! From July 11-15, I will be attending the festival on behalf of the site to bring you all of the goings on of this great event. For those of you unfamiliar with Comic-Con, it started as a one day festival back in 1970 hosting 300 comic book enthusiasts over 3 days in sunny San Diego (Ray Bradbury was a featured guest). Now the festival boasts an attendance of 130,000 people who come to celebrate comics, genre fare, and geek culture. As someone who has long been a fan of genre fare, I’m excited to attend the convention for the first time and cover it for all our wonderful readers! Be sure to check back here frequently for recaps, exclusive interviews, and maybe a few special surprises. If any reader has a question about a particular panel, or would like to propose a possible “reader question” for an interview, please post in the comments, hit me up on the Awards Circuit Facebook page or send me a tweet or direct message on Twitter: @LeNoirAuteur.
Check out the top 5 things I’m excited to see at the festival as well as a tentative schedule of interviews you can look forward to seeing here!
Read more on Awards Circuit goes to Comic Con!…
This might surprise some of you, but I’ve only gone to see a handful of theatrical films in the IMAX format (I’ve seen dozens at museums, but that’s a different story). They include the likes of ‘Avatar’, ‘The Matrix Reloaded’, ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’, ‘Prometheus’, and ‘Spider-Man 2′…along with a press screening of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ in the format. I didn’t see ‘The Dark Knight’ that way though, and I do regret that. Times are different now, so I’ll be sure to see ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in IMAX, and I’m sure plenty of you will as well, since Christopher Nolan is quickly becoming a master of the format. Anyway, to get you more excited (if that’s possible) we have the IMAX Poster for the flick to share with you. You can see the full Poster after the jump, and remember kids…we’re only a few weeks away now. Take a gander below…
Read more on Here’s the IMAX Poster for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’!…