Watched this film a couple of days ago while eating dinner since it was raining (first time of the holiday), it was picked up incase of such an occasion by my mum. The basic premise being that a random tourist gets caught up in something far beyond his normal life when he meets Elise on the train to Venice.

The Tourist - leads

Elise (Jolie) and Frank (Depp) meeting for the first time

The two leads are played by Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, both actors I like, and as a result, was looking forward to seeing them. Depp plays Frank Tupelo, a ‘math’ teacher from Wisconsin, who is, as hinted (rather strongly) by the title, a tourist currently going around Italy (or possibly all of Europe, never really told), whose entire life gets turned upside down when he meets and starts to get to know the mysterious Elise Ward, played by Angelina Jolie, and then proceeds to get mistaken as a man on the run from the law. I must warn you that Depp (sadly) doesn’t have the same accent as per the Pirates films, although I do believe I saw some hints of the famous Captain Jack run during one of the more humorous scenes as he is seen fleeing from a couple of gun-toting Russians across the tiled rooves of Venice whilst wearing some striped pyjamas; which was quite a sight, and probably my favourite scene of the entire film. Jolie plays Elise well, coming across as a powerful woman, who knows what she wants, and knows what she needs to do to get it, although her facial expressions felt a little out of place at times, as though she was continually in an advert for Chanel’s latest scent. Often Americans who are asked to put on a British accent for films tend to be a bit naff, however I was pleasantly surprised. She has a slightly elusive and sexual air to her, which is at odds to Depp’s more down to earth and underachieving character. The story follows Frank and Elise as they keep coming together, whether by chance or design, and as they do their best to avoid the Russian henchmen of a gangster who goes by the name Shaw (played by Steven Berkoff) and who thinks Frank owes him a rather large amount of money.

The film is almost entirely based in Venice, and as a result you get to see some lovely views of the city, and even manage a ‘high speed’ chase along one of the numerous canals throughout the city, which has a wonderfully relaxed feel to it due to the speed, which fitted with the tone of the film, despite the relatively serious and tense action occurring on screen. There is a relatively decent chemistry between Depp and Angelina. The ever persistent inspector (played by Paul Bettany) at Scotland Yard is determined to get his man despite his higher ups telling him to let it go, although you never really feel the sympathy you’re meant to for him. Overall the story has enough to keep you interested, but doesn’t really grab you, with various lines coming together quite nicely in the end; however the climactic twist doesn’t really work since by the time you’ve got there, you’re not really bothered.

For me the negatives would be a couple of the scenes, or more specifically some of the looks by some of the characters, which felt a little … forced, or at least, when it came to the relationship between Frank and Elise, a little quick (and as a result, a little ‘Hollywood’). There was also the odd moment where none of us watching could quite work out what had happened (during the canal chase scene, one of the baddies in pursuit seems to just disappear, letting them get away scot free).
The entire film does slightly struggle with its own identity slightly, since there wasn’t quite enough tension to be an out and out spy thriller, but nor was there enough romance or comedy to be a romantic comedy.

The Good:

  • Strong leads (especially Depp)
  • Some lovely scenes showing the city of Venice

The Bad:

  • Not a particularly strong story
  • Did an ok job at being a thriller with elements of romance and comedy, but didn’t really shine in
  • any of those regions

Should I watch it?
I enjoyed it, since I didn’t really mind the lack of identity, and lack of a gripping story. I tend to base my films on the cast, and this is no different, with Depp stealing the show, delivering most of the humour, both in his accidental (one assumes) use of Spanish throughout the film, and his entire demeanour. It’s nothing special really, but is quite suitable for all of the family, and good for a quiet night in while you eat your tea or whatnot, but possibly not worth going out of your way to watch it.

This will be the first of a couple of reviews I hope to write while on Holiday in France. Now I know this may sound slightly sad to some of you, but to me, the idea of typing in the sun of an evening seems rather civlisied to me, the review has come a bit later than planned due to me getting into some Bernard Cornwell books, and only just discovering this Wi-Fi hotspot. This film wasn’t on my ‘to watch’ list really, I’d heard of it, and it was something my Mum really wanted to watch, and so when she found out we could watch it while on the Ferry from Portsmouth, the decision was made, and I wasn’t going to pass up on a free film. The film is about a hotel in India which claims to be perfect for the ‘Elderly and Beautiful’, specifically the English with its apparent English feel and character

The 'Elderly and Beautiful'

The ‘Elderly and Beautiful’

The film has a fantastically strong cast, including Maggie Smith, Ronald Pickup, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson (in order as per the image above) and a somewhat more recent star, Dev Patel, made famous for his role in the film Slumdog Millionaire. The film follows the various older characters, introducing them each in classic scenes many of the older generation could probably empathise with, varying from Judi Dench trying to work out her wireless from her Wi-Fi to Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy being shown properties with a panic button in case of a fall. They of course all end up seeing the advert for this wonderful sounding (and looking by the brochure) hotel, and all decide it’s for them. The film then continues with them getting to know each other on they journey to India, which doesn’t go quite as planned, to arriving at the hotel, only to find out it’s not quite what they were expecting, with the hotel only just habitable, lacking many common comforts, such as working phone lines, but with an incredibly enthusiastic and positive manager (Patel).

Throughout the film not only is Patel having to struggle against the hotel itself, due to its poor condition and lack of paying guests, but also his mother, who is both against his management of the hotel, claiming his life would be so much better if he were to come back with her to Delhi, and his choice of girlfriend, a lowly born girl working in a call centre. Each of the guests at the hotel have their own story to say, and as the viewer you see each of them grow (at their own rate) into their new environment, although some are a little more willing than others. Most of the characters get a joke or two, and the whole film had a positive vibe, even with the odd jab at bringing a tear to the viewer’s eye, as the harshness of reality comes crashing back down into their lives.

The film does a wonderful job of showing the difference in culture, both between the countries of England and India, as well as the differences due to the generation (Patel and his mother). With many beautiful scenes of the bustling city streets, children playing cricket in the road and the precarious rides through town on tut-tuts, it really captures the essence (one assumes since I’ve not actually been) of India, and especially how it would be seen from an older person’s perspective, slightly hostile due to its busy nature, never quiet and always someone wanting to sell you something.

If I had to pick out some negatives of the film, it would probably be the pace, which at times may have felt a little slow to some (although if that was the case, then the film probably isn’t for them in general), and the story was relatively predictable, with only one moment catching me off guard. While not necessarily a negative, there is some racism some may find offensive (although I would think you’d have to be of a very sensitive nature).

The Good:

  • Fantastic cast and acting
  • Good number of laughs throughout
  • Can be enjoyed by all the family (mine certainly were pleased they watched it)

The Bad:

  • It may lack a little in the story department for some.

Should I watch it?
Well, that depends mainly on whether the concept appeals, if it does, then I don’t really see any reason why would shouldn’t see it, the cast do a great job of portraying people coming from a range of backgrounds, all being dumped in a foreign land, with customs which often seem bizarre and the storyline has enough there to keep you attentive. For me it was the individual performances which made the film, including Patel who I hadn’t seen much of before yet had a wonderful presence on screen, it’s a great example of a film showing it doesn’t need a head over heels storyine, with many twists and turns, it takes a simple concept, a group of people all stuck in the same situation trying to make the best of it, and does it wonderfully. Overall it’s a lovely family feel good film, a real showcase for British (mainly) acting.

This film is known for it’s rather complicated (confusing) storyline, novel take on time travel, while also all being done on a very low budget. I can confirm that it is indeed all 3. To give a bit more information, it’s the story of a group of friends who spend their spare time working away at various projects in a garage, aiming to create the next big thing. Two of them discover time travel (accidentally) and so the film follows them as they begin to explore the possibilities it brings.

I didn’t recognise the names nor the faces of any of the cast, which is hardly surprising considering the budget of the film, a mere 7000 dollars (US). The shooting feels a little low budget at times, in regards to lighting, and a lot of the scenes, however I think it did very well on the whole.

Aaron (Shane Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan)

Views are often split on the film as a whole, due to it’s complex nature, and I think I’m on the side who enjoyed it, but I can’t be sure. Most people suggest watching it numerous times so you can ‘get’ it, I personally don’t think that’s a great thing, I mean, I’ve nothing against a film being complicated, and making you think both through it and afterwards, however the extent to which Primer goes may be pushing that idea a little, potentially resulting in no enjoyment for the viewer as they sit there bewildered by the mix of scientific jargon used in the conversations (which was a deliberate choice by the writer and main actor Shane Curruth to make the film feel more real) and the lack of explanation of the storyline.Now, on the other hand it does a very good job when it comes to the realism of time travel, you see them sitting there working out when they have to be where, what they can and can’t do, and it’s a little more than the standard ‘don’t kill a butterfly, who knows what could happen, maybe they dinosaurs won’t die out’ kind of affair.  The initial discovery of the time travel isn’t all smiling faces, it’s in fact discovered by one of the pair, and due to his uncertainty, he is very cautious when trying to tell his partner about it, there is a suitable amount of disbelief I felt for 2 guys inventing a time machine in their garage.

The storyline itself isn’t anything particularly special, without the usual romantic element, or challenges they need to overcome, even the scenes involving a gun are very laid back, and as the viewer you feel completely detached from the gravity of the situation. The film starts relatively slow, and builds well, before ending somewhat anticlimactically I felt, obviously not helped by my brain doing it’s best to keep up with what was going on, and trying to fill in the (numerous) bits which you aren’t shown.

For me there were some out and out poor decisions though, such as one point when a 3rd party somehow discovers their time machine, and uses it (incorrectly), then they have to deal with him. The issue being, their time machine isn’t like anything you would think, it’s infact just a grey looking box which makes a nice hum. So the idea that this guy somehow worked out what it was, how to use it etc, is very weak to me.

Not your standard Hollywood time machine

The Good:

  • Does a good job of making a ‘realistic’ story about time travel
  • Makes you think

The Bad:

  • Makes you think (a little too much at times in my opinion)
  • Due to the intricate nature of the story, I found myself lacking the normal desire to see the conclusion, since it almost didn’t seem to be going anywhere

Should I watch it?
Most people probably wouldn’t enjoy it as they would a normal film, as it really does require you to be on the ball, not to miss anything, and even if you can tick both of those boxes, you’ll most likely get to the end feeling rather confused (as I did). Saying that, I enjoyed it, and am glad I gave it a watch, not sure if I would recommend it to my friends though, and if I were to, it would be purely to hear their initial reactions, and see if they could work out what actually happened etc.

For those who have watched it already and are struggling, here’s a couple of things which ‘cleared’ it all up for me (still left me feeling a couple of aspects were out of place/poorly done).

I apologise for the lateness of this review, real life sadly got in the way. Moving on though, this film is very different from any of the ones I’ve reviewed so far, it’s an eye opening, powerful showing of the effects of sexual addiction on a man, and his relationship with his sister, as well as all those around him.

Michael Fassbender plays Brandon, a (presumably) well paid office executive who is addicted to sex, whether it be with prostitutes or just getting off to porn. He portrays the daily struggle he has to deal with due to his addiction, and the way it affects all parts of his life, including his work when he is told his computer was taken away for ‘cleaning’. He then hears the report about it from his boss Dave, played by James Badge Dale, and how someone must have used his computer without Brandon’s knowledge, as he continues to list a variety of pornographic practices which were searched. You see a mixture of emotions from Brandon as his boss suggests his intern could be the culprit, and how sick the person must be to look at that stuff, varying from confusion to shame. Dave is a slimey character, showing his disregard for his wife and child as he goes out with Brandon on the prowl. Brandon’s sister, Sissy, clearly not without a little baggage herself. is played by Carey Mulligan. She comes into the film when she announces she’s coming to stay at Brandon’s apartment while she tries to get her singing career off the ground, although Brandon seems to think she’s just there to irritate him.

Brandon and Sissy

The opening 10 minutes or so of the film set the tone, with no dialogue, just scenes showing Brandon going through a routine, one minute on his way to work on the Subway, dressed meticulously, the next getting out of bed naked for all to see and checking his phone messages. You can probably already tell that this film isn’t for those viewers who aren’t fans of nudity in films, since it has plenty, of both the male and female variety. The opening scenes let us glimpse into Brandon’s life, and how … lifeless it is. He shows no pleasure in anything he does, he is just going through the motions, the closest he comes to showing any pleasure is when on the subway, and he catches the eyes of another passenger, and their fleeting glances rapidly escalate until the woman, ashamed of the effect it’s having turns away.

The film contains many a scene some could find a little upsetting, whether due to the graphic nature, or some of the implications. Throughout the film Brandon and Sissy seem to walk in on each other naked more times than the average siblings would (Sissy walks in on Brandon getting himself off for instance), and what’s interesting is the coolness they have about each other’s nudity (when Brandon walks in on Sissy having a shower, not knowing she would even be there, they continued to talk despite Sissy’s fully naked state, with no attempts by either party to do anything about it). The director leaves it up to the viewer to guess as to what the past between them was, and whether that had an effect on one or both of them.

One of the most, interesting, scenes involves Sissy singing New York, New York, at a pace I had never heard before, in a club with Brandon and Dave in the audience. The slowness, and camera work during it really pull you into the scene, with the static camera just looking at the faces of both Sissy and Brandon, as the slow melody continues to play. At times it was almost agonisingly slow, with the entire song being shown on screen, but I felt it fitted in with the slightly arty feel of the film. A similar slow, lengthening of a scene is used later when you see Brandon take a lift, and watch him as it goes all the way up, with very little going on, leaving the viewer to ponder the emotions and thoughts running through Brandon’s mind.

The scene in which Sissy sings continues to become one of the most awkward and painful to watch, as after the song, which has clearly touched Brandon, during which you see one of the few moments of emotion from him. Sissy and Dave get off to a great start, and are soon exploring each other’s mouths in the taxi back to Brandon’s place. As they continue to get to ‘know’ each other, Brandon has to leave and you see another ‘slow paced’ scene, as the camera just follows him jogging along the street for several minutes. A dinner date later on in the film, between Brandon and a colleague (play by Nicole Beharie) uses the same static camera shots as the earlier New York, New York scene, and it does a wonderful job at showing a true date, with all of the uncomfortable silences and awkward pauses you would expect, very ‘un-Hollywood’.

Now, this film may not be to everyone’s tastes, as I mentioned, it can have a slightly ‘arty’ feel, especially at times, and the general theme and content of the film are not something everyone might be comfortable watching, it’s certainly not something I’d want to watch with my parents!

The Good:

  • Excellent acting from both leads
  • A bold look at a subject not often covered
  • Does a good job of making what’s seen on screen very ‘real’

The Bad:

  • The entire subject matter may put some off straight away
  • Can feel a little too slow at times

Should I watch it?

This one is tricky. It is very dependant on whether you like the style of film and are ok with the content, if you do then it’s a great film, showcasing good acting, and some wonderfully real scenes. I would personally recommend it, since both Fassbender and Mulligan portray siblings with a very real love/hate relationship, and it explores an aspect of life rarely looked at.

I watched this film the same night as Shame (review to come tomorrow) and The Road, I didn’t know a lot about it before watching it, just had heard relatively good things from the bits and pieces I’d seen from reviews etc. It turned out to be a little different from what I was expecting (I thought it was based in the UK for example).

I should probably start with a brief overview, this film is about a clockmaker’s son, who lives in the walls of a train station in 1930’s Paris, and his journey to find out more of his father and a strange device known as an automaton. The first thing which struck me, was all of the characters having British accents, some of which were quite strong, even though it was set in France. Now, I was not expecting people to be speaking in French, nor to be speaking in English with a French accent, since, let’s be honest, that’s no more realistic than them speaking with any other accent, however my brain still found it slightly odd to begin with. The next thing I noticed was the language used, it was wonderful, it’s not often you’ll find a film where a small girl uses words such as ‘panache’ and ‘doltish’, and when one of the characters came out with the word ‘physiognomy’, I was almost certain he was making it up!

There were a couple of recognisable faces (such as Richard Griffiths as Monsieur Frick, and Christopher Lee as Monsieur Labisse) and M Frick, while his part was small, was a fantastic character in his own right, with a couple of amusing scenes with Madame Emelie (Frances de la Tour). I was impressed by the main 2 children, Hugo was portrayed by  Asa Butterfield, most likely to be recognised as Bruno from The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and his friend Isabelle by Chloë Grace Moretz, who I instantly recognised from Kick-Ass, although her role in this film was quite different. The other ‘main’ character was the Station Inspector, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, made famous by the film Borat. Now, in this he isn’t quite as ridiculous as his previous times on screen, but there is no doubt his character is slightly strange. I found him to be quirky and quite fun, although I can easily see why some may find him annoying and quite simply stupid. However, he does have one feature which makes him more than the annoying character he may otherwise have been – a metal contraption of sorts to deal with his leg which was injured during the war, and it gives him this sense of vulnerability, and oddly enough, humanity. Ben Kingsley plays M Georges Méliès, Isabelle’s grandfather, owner of a toy shop at the station, but someone who once was a great film maker and inventor.

Most of the film takes place in the train station itself, which feels very real, thanks partially to the heavy smog hovering above people’s heads. In fact the entire film gets the era spot on I think, with the characters suitably attired, the bustling masses as they move around on their respective journeys, and the general feel of it all. There a couple of lovely sequences where you see Hugo run through the walls, from clock to clock, peeping out at the people in the station. The film even manages to include a chase scene, where Hugo is on the run from both the Station Inspector and his dog. This is a scene which I defy anyone not to laugh at as they see the dog slipping and sliding, and the Inspector doing his best to run with his dud leg. But for me, the most amazing aspect of the entire film has to to be the automaton, a clockwork robot which can write. I mean, when you think about it, and when you see it, you can’t help but think that you’d need a little more clockwork, and a lot more winding up to get the results achieved, but as long as you don’t focus on it, it doesn’t detract from the otherwise near magical feeling you get from it. Throughout the course of the film you discover more about  Méliès’s past, through a series of flashbacks, where you see him go from magician, and a successful one at that, to putting all his eggs into the film basket, as he purchases what looks like a giant greenhouse,  where he wrote, directed and starred in hundreds of films, until the war, at which point he threw it all in once he thought no one wanted his films any more. He then retreated to become the distant owner of a toy shop, hiding from his past, until Hugo and his automaton dredge it all up to be seen once more.

Sadly it’s no without its flaws. The automaton can be a little creepy, especially its face in some scenes. Now whether this was due to the design of the face, or merely the directing I cannot be certain, but I wouldn’t worry, the moments aren’t too common.The other main issue I had were some unexplained sections of the story, such as the fate of the father, which while you see on screen, an explanation is never really given.

The Good:

  • Excellent  characters
  • A heartwarming (if not slightly unusual) tale
  • Some beautiful scenes of 1930’s Paris

The Bad:

  • Some bits are left unexplained
  • A couple of moments where the magic is broken by the lack of reality (few and far between)

Should I watch it?

Most definitely. It’s a great film, a little quirky, but I think that’s what makes it so good, in both its setting, its character and the tale itself. Some may find the whole concept too bizarre/creepy, and it may not to be everyone’s taste, with no explosions or death defying stunts, but in the end it’s a film that’s enjoyable for the whole family, full of little flashes of brilliance to bring a smile and a laugh to the living room.

This has been on my to watch list for a while now, I’m not a massive apocalyptic fan, however after enjoying The Book of Eli (which I would highly recommend, Denzel Washington is fantastic as a man on a mission to get to the coast through an apocalyptic wasteland, with many of the same themes as this film), and a recommendation from a friend, I sat down and gave it a watch.

To give a bit of background, this film is an adaptation of book written by Cormac McCarthy in 2006, a twisted tale of a man and his son as they travel across America, after some unknown apocalypse, and their struggle against both the environment and the people left in it. From what I’ve read, it seems the film is slightly softer than the book, certainly in parts, however I can’t comment on that personally having not read the book myself, so I won’t be making any more comparisons between the two.

Once again, I think the casting was very good, Viggo Mortensen plays the unnamed man, and he plays it very well, he has the haggard, dirty look you’d expect from a man living in the wilderness, struggling on a daily basis for food and warmth, all the while caring for his child. Yet he also shows his determination, as he will do anything, and sometimes commit acts you wouldn’t think possible for someone in his state, all in order to protect his son. Kodi Smit-McPhee plays the son, presumed to be 10-12 years old, and he does a good job of showing the confusion, the uncertainty, and most of all, the fear of almost everything around him. There are several flashback sequences in which you see Charlize Theron as the mother, who is pregnant when the apocalypse happens, showing how long Viggo’s character has survived.

The scenery is very similar to other post apocalyptic films, with the various shades of grey and broken, abandoned buildings all around. The pair are seen going through supermarkets, hoping to find some food, throwing money aside (it now being worthless), all of their possessions residing in a  trolley which goes with them everywhere.

From the offset the father is reassuring the son that they are in fact the good guys, and that they must always be on the lookout for bad guys, people looking to hurt them, such as the gangs trawling the countryside hoping to find fresh meat, since cannibalism has become rampant. There is an incredibly sobering scene in which the father double checks that the son knows what to do with the gun if the bad guys were to get to them, even goes through the action of putting it in his mouth and firing. It’s clear that the gun, with only 2 bullets left, is the most important item they have, since the father knows that a swift death is better than whatever fate may otherwise befall them in the captivity of a gang. The relationship between father and son is obviously strained, being in such a harsh environment, and the film is always making the viewer question, what would I do in that situation, would I side with the child, who still sees the good in everything, or the father, whose desire to protect his son has potentially cause his judgement to stray, making the son worry whether they are becoming the very bad guys they are scared of.

The film has numerous heart in your mouth moments, as the pair are hiding over a mound, mere metres from an armed gang searching the area, and the chase that follows, you can really feel the fear, and I found myself leaning towards the screen as though from pure thought I could urge them to run faster. There are some scenes which really show the horror that living in that environment involves, including finding a cellar of people, being farmed, ready to be eaten, and mentions of putting them in the smokehouse really hit home when you realised it’s people they’re talking about.

The pair meet several other travellers on their journey, and it’s the pair’s different reactions towards them which really shows the brutal environment they are being forced live in. And you can only feel a mixture of sorrow and pity as the film goes on, and you see the changes coming over them, one of the most poignant of which was the father’s reaction to a thief, and his treatment of him when he catches him up. You can see the thief is terrified, just as they are, and meant them no harm, but was merely looking out for number one, which is exactly what they are doing, much to the son’s disapproval.

The Good:

  • Excellent casting, with some brilliant performances
  • A storyline which really draws you in

The Bad:

  • The setting as a whole may not be enjoyed by all

Should you watch it?

Yes. Well, obviously it’s not that simple: it’s not a fun family film, nor is it for those who aren’t fans of serious films. However I would recommend it to anyone, as it shows what a good storyline and cast can do, they can make you feel for the characters, you cry when they cry, you smile when they smile, you would do anything to see them succeed. It’s a film which took me through highs and lows, and left me emotionally drained, but I don’t regret watching it at all.

Thought I may as well get this blog going with a film I saw on Friday, The Amazing Spider-Man. This had been on my radar for quite a while due to having several Marvel manic friends. To give a bit of background, the film starts the whole Spider-Man thing over, with Peter Parker (this time played by Andrew Garfield) starting off once again as a normal, if not slightly geeky and shy teenager. We are taken through a similar sequence of events as the previous generation of films, with the spider bite, and his uncles death, but this time with a new villain and storyline.

Onto the review itself, I thought the casting was very well done, Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker with just the right amount of uncertainty of character you would think Peter would have. His physical appearance is slightly ‘cooler’ than that of Maguire’s Peter, with the hairstyle, general clothing, and especially the skateboard. I personally don’t think it was a bad choice, made him look like more of a normal clever kid who’s into maths and science, rather than the generic ‘Hollywood’ nerd. Rhys Ifans plays the slightly mysterious Dr. Curt Connors, a scientist who works with Peter’s father and has continued his work, who’s dream is to use Lizard DNA to be able to regrow his arm. He does an excellent job of portraying a man who is torn apart when he finds out his research is no longer being funded, and his desire to overcome his disability may just be that, a desire. Martin Sheen and Sally Field play Peter’s uncle and aunt respectively. Emma Stone plays the lovely Gwen Stacy, the daughter of Captain Stacy, a man who publicly puts out an arrest warrant for Spider-Man.

The film differs from the others in that it puts more time and effort into Peter’s history, giving you an insight as to how his father died, and possibly why. It’s his discovery of some of his father’s work which leads him to Dr. Connors, and after a pretty iffy scene involving a name tag and some security, he gets the chance to meet the man and does his best to impress. While there he manages to sneak off into a super secret lab full of spiders, one of which of course bites him. This scene showcases some of emotional side to the film, with the obvious connection between Gwen, who is Dr. Connors’s head intern and Peter. The relationship between the two of them is wonderfully done on the whole I feel, with a very awkward scene in which Peter attempts to ask Gwen out, and I thought it was a lovely scene, showing both actors playing the nervous and unsure characters they were at the time. Peter’s nerves are once again shown later on when he tells Gwen his identity, that he is Spider-Man, and apart from one line which I feel goes against the rest of the conversation slightly, it’s a very well done scene.

One of the highlights for me was the entire transformation series of scenes, showing him discovering and trying to get used to his various powers granted to him from his spider bite earlier that day. It starts with an amusing scuffle on a train with a bunch of slightly dodgy looking characters while he constantly repeats ” I’m sorry I’m sorry ” , followed by the destruction of various items such as alarm clocks and door handles in his room at home. It’s a good upbeat comedic section before some of the darker tones set in, such as his unhappiness and frustration at home, as he struggles to manage his new powers, till finally the death of his uncle.

The action in the film is well done, clearly showing Lizard having the advantage when it comes to power, and all Spider-Man can do is try to avoid his swinging limbs while trying to immobilise him with his web, which made for some great quick fluid fight scenes.

Sadly the film isn’t flawless, the music was a big let down for me, with a couple of scenes in particular causing me to really question some of the decisions made by James Horner in his score. These included a very disappointing main theme during what was purely meant to be an uplifting, near inspirational scene of Spider-Man swinging through the streets, and again with an odd use of the music to punctuate events on screen, but done incredibly poorly, one doesn’t expect a sudden  chord from the strings when something sudden happens on screen, tis a little obvious.

The Good:

  • The casting
  • Some very well done scenes
  • A more powerful emotional side to it than the previous trilogy

The Bad:

  • The music
  • Some really odd dialogue choices

Should you watch it?

I would recommend this to my friends, it has a half decent storyline, some great characters, and in the end, delivers an action film which is worth seeing. I wouldn’t compare it to the previous trilogy while watching, it’s perfectly good in its own right, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they will do with the sequel.