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Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens

Movie Title: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Grade: B

In a Nutshell:
This new installment of the Spider-Man franchise successfully makes you feel like you’re reading the panels of a comic book, but also has the effect of a choppy story that is common within that genre. The flick is full of acrobatic stunts, impressive car crashes, and electrifying villains that young kids will get a kick out of. I saw a few little ones walk into the theater wearing their Spidey costumes. Adorable. Most teens and parents who still have the Toby Maguire DVD sitting in their cabinet at home are asking “Why are they doing a remake so soon?”

Uplifting theme:
• Peter Parker’s girlfriend, Gwen, gives the Valedictorian speech at her high school graduation that pretty much sums up the theme for the movie: “It’s easy to feel hopeful on a beautiful day like today, but there will be dark days ahead of us too. There will be days when you feel all alone and that’s when hope is needed most. No matter how bad it gets or how lost you feel, you must promise me that you will hold on to hope. Keep it alive. We have to be greater than what we suffer. My wish for you is to become hope. People need that. And even if we fail, what better way is there to live?”

Things I liked:
• The beginning of the movie sheds more light on Peter Parker’s parents and their unique mission which caused them to leave their young son.
• The slow-motion sequences were really great.
• Where else can we see Jaime Foxx with bad comb-over?
• The audience I sat with thought it was hilarious when Spider-Man sticks to a vehicle while it drives down the road. He says to Gwen on the phone “I got a little stuck in traffic.”
• I pretty much love Emma Stone in anything. This is a much softer version of her sass.
• This installment in Spider-Man is stuffed with villains. Some say too many. I rather liked the fact that the formula wasn’t “fight bad guy-win-happy ending-the end.
• (No spoiler alert) I loved the story line and ending with the brave little boy.

Things I didn’t like:
• While Garfield and Stone have some chemistry, there’s no magical kiss like the one Maguire/Dunst created in their famous upside-down scene.
• It’s hard for Spider-Man to be really amazing when we’ve seen so many truly awesome CGI movies lately….with and without Superheroes.
• Is it just me or does it seem like all of the villains in movies lately aren’t really bad, but just misunderstood?
• Before the movie started at the Regal Theater I attended, a bizarre announcement played with Emma Stone and a drugged out looking Andrew Garfield with a fake British accent. They were encouraging patrons to upgrade to a particular ticket after the movie with access to additional content.
• Spiderman’s clever banter with bad guys just isn’t very clever at all.
• Some of Spiderman’s webs magically hook onto thin air. What the?
• The story line turns Peter Parker’s girlfriend into a successful Valedictorian with a loving family, much different from the Kirsten Dunst's wounded character.
• I love Paul Giamatti, so I thought he was seriously underutilized in this film.
• Peter and Aunt May (Sally Field) fight in almost every scene they're in.
• Why do evil scientists always speak with a German accent and laugh after every sentence?

Inspiring lines:
• “What makes life valuable is that it doesn’t last forever. What makes it precious is that it ends.” - Gwen’s graduation speech
• “Time is luck, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Make yours count for something. Fight for what matters to you, no matter what. Because even if we fall short, what better way is there to live?” – Gwen’s graduation speech
• “You’re not a nobody. You’re somebody.” - Spiderman
• “The world cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” - Albert Einstein, as quoted by Norman Osborn

Funny lines:
• Max tells Spider-Man “I will be like a god to them.” Spiderman quips “A god named Sparkles?”

Things to look for:
• I love it when Stan Lee makes his cameo performance in Marvel movies. Look closely in the high school graduation scene. Stan sees Peter Parker with his Spider-Man mask on and says “Hey, I think I know that guy!”
• Some of the high school students decorate their graduation caps with little toys or words. My oldest son just graduated from college last weekend (proud mama!) and I didn’t see any of the students decorate their caps, but I thought it was a cute idea.
• Peter Parker’s ring tone on his cell phone.
• Peter Parker’s cute “Thrasher” t-shirt.
• Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live is wearing a Statue of Liberty costume and says to Spider-Man “Nice costume!”
• Don’t bother looking for a fun sneak peek at anything after the credits roll. When the movie is over, it’s actually over.

Tips for parents:
• Kids can learn about battery power and electric charges…
• The profanity is lean with only a few “mild” bad words, but there is, of course, a lot of violence. Young children with dreams of becoming the next Superhero may need to be counseled “Do not try this at home.”

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