Amazing Spider-Man trailer; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Super 8; Adventures of Tintin

I’m reading the YouTube comments on the trailers for the upcoming Spider-Man reboot film starring Andrew Garfield. I’m absolutely baffled by the number of people who say that they’ll never be able to accept another actor as Peter Parker after Tobey Maguire.

Look, I’ve got nothing against Tobey Maguire–he was fine in those films–even likeable by some measure in a largely innocuous way. But he hardly defined the role for me, primarily because the character, itself, was never very charismatic, and Tobey Maguire isn’t the sort of actor who could feasibly impart that trait to the role. For example, if you wanted to say this about another actor taking on Tony Stark at the point that Robert Downey, Jr. inevitably abandons the role, I’d understand. Why? Because of charisma: both the character and the actor have it in spades to the point that it’s almost difficult to determine where the actor ends and the character begins.

I really don’t know if they’re going to be able to turn that around in The Amazing Spider-Man, but if nothing else, this trailer at least has one joke that’s funnier than anything Spider-Man got to say over the course of the three previous films. I also love the actor’s delivery, both verbal and body language.

In other news, here are a few short reviews, and when I say “short”, I don’t mean my customary “short”, which always ends up being half an essay. I’m actually going to make an effort here to be as concise as possible.

On a side note, I added my blog to Networked Blogs just because the two other people I regularly follow are also on there. So become a follower (scroll to the bottom of the page)!

Super 8 (2011)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Okay, I think I get it. This is J.J. Abrams attempting to blend a 1950s-style sci-fi horror and The Goonies. It’s largely pretty fun, mostly owing to well-written parts for the child actors, who are all good. But it falls somewhat short of being a great film, if only because the ending feels so anti-climactic. I wanted more.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

This was a great film…if you want to put yourself to sleep. My wife was asleep after about five minutes, and I made it roughly half-way through. One or two good performances simply weren’t enough to make me care about anything happening in this film.

Look, I’m just going to spoil the ending, because I swear to you, it doesn’t matter at all. At the point that we learn the identity of the mole that Gary Oldman’s character has spent the entire film trying to root out, the only reason whatsoever you could possible care is because it’s Colin Firth. The mole could have been anybody and it wouldn’t have made a difference, because we hardly know a thing about any of these characters anyway.

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

There was nothing about this film that wasn’t fun. It’s interesting to see Steven Spielberg return to the top of his game in an animated film. Brilliant from start to finish. I don’t think any prior affinity for Tintin is required.

Second Opinions

13 Replies to “Amazing Spider-Man trailer; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Super 8; Adventures of Tintin”

  1. I’ll be short too:

    Tobey Maguire sucked in those movies. He was miscast and never worked as either Peter Parker or Spider-Man.

    Super 8 was neat to look at, but it was boring. A film needs more than just nostalgia to work on its own.

    I tried reading the novel TTSP years ago and it was boring. Never finished it. Never cared.

    I love Tintin. The movie, that is. The comic is neat too.

  2. Well, I’m trying to give Raimi’s trilogy the benefit of the doubt and assume that he and Maguire weren’t attempting to recreate the Peter Parker of the comic books. So I’m judging those movies on their own storytelling merits, and when divorced from my preconceptions about the character, I think Maguire was okay. The character was so mopey and boring, however, that I’ll never speak more highly of the portrayal than that.

    As to Super 8, I didn’t find it boring. I found it pretty entertaining, actually. I just thought it wasn’t necessarily successful at telling the story it wanted to tell.

    I’d heard about the Alec Guiness version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy a couple of years ago, and I kind of wanted to see it, because I heard it was a great espionage story. Now I only want to see it to know if it could possibly make this story interesting at all.

  3. On another note, I did recently buy Tintin on Blu Ray. Pretty awesome. This is the perfect kind of movie to own, since even though it’s never boring, it’s still the kind of film I might want to jump through just to watch certain scenes. That huge flashback fight between the two ships, for example. I could watch that scene every day.

  4. Also, my interest was piqued somewhat by your comment that Tintin was “a return to the top of [Spielberg’s] game,” so I looked up his filmography to see when he was last on the top of his game.

    His film previous to Tintin was Crystal Skull. While I liked that movie a lot, it would be hard to argue it showed him at the top of his game.

    Before that was Munich. Great movie… but, no, not a game topper. Too… what’s the word… vexing, or perhaps inscrutable. It’s a very well done, interesting film that he should be proud to have made, but Spielberg at the top of his game should transcend cinema and become something of a cultural tent pole. Munich wasn’t that. In fact, if it was on TV right now, I’d probably check the other channels to see if Rush Hour was on.

    Before that was War of the Worlds. I’m embarrassed to admit that I might end this post right her. I don’t care what anybody says, this is an awesome movie. Maybe not “great” like Munich was great, but a real crowd pleaser. If this was on TV, I’d stop what I was doing and watch it, at least until the last fifteen minutes or so when it starts to drag.

    Before that we had The Terminal. I like this movie a lot, but no.

    Catch Me If you Can — taken with the film before that Minority Report — are probably Spielberg back at this top of his game. Both of these are awesome movies that I own and watch all the time.

    So that settles… absolutely nothing, but thanks for playing along. Oh, and the film before Minority Report was A.I. Ugh.

  5. Tobey Magiure was in them Spiderman movies? All I remember from them shits was Bring it On’s rock hard nippy nips in the rain. Also remember thinking that Willem Dafoe finally looked kinda handsome for once… when he was wearing the Green Goblin mask, that is.

    1. I would hate to be Willem Dafoe right now.

      But in all seriousness, I guess that’s the point I was trying to make: Tobey Maguire just isn’t a very charismatic leading man. He ain’t a bad actor.

  6. heh. Thanks for doing the research. I was mostly making a veiled remark about Crystal Skull, which you know…was aiight, but it wasn’t really Spielberg at his best.

    I liked Munich. Seen it a few times. Wouldn’t mind owning it. Great movie? I don’t know. It certainly wasn’t a crowd-pleaser.

    War of the Worlds I DO own, and I watch it semi-frequently. It’s great. There are so many perfect moments in that film that I wouldn’t feel bad at all saying that it’s Spielberg at the top of his form.

    On a related note, I was recently reading some blog post in which a guy was telling a long story about how he flew half-way across country to see Munich with his friend (or something) because they have this tradition of seeing every Spielberg film together opening night. Some douche in the comments said, “I wouldn’t cross the street to see a Steven Spielberg film.”

    Really? I mean, this guy didn’t even like Raiders of the Lost Ark? Jaws? What an idiot.

  7. The first half of War or the Worlds is, maybe, as good a movie as I’ve ever seen. It’s just amazing. The last half… meh. Not terrible, but not as good. When I rewatch it, I usually turn it off after Tim Robbins’s last scene. That’s the moment when it gets boring. That’s probably well after the halfway point, actually. Long story short, that crossing the street guy is a total piece of shit.

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