Tag Archive: andrew garfield


Again, nothing seems to have really peaked my interest THAT much in the world of movies this week, other than the release of the brilliant Looper, of course.

First up, the best news of the week I think is the announcement that writer and actor Seth MacFarlane will be hosting the 85th Academy Awards, or the Oscars as the rest of us know them. In recent years the awards have opted for actors/actresses to host the ceremony so it is a nice change that a writer will be hosting it, meaning a lot of his material will be his own. Now this obviously becomes somewhat of a risk because MacFarlane is known for being pretty intense with his jokes and right on the border between what is acceptable and what is not (that line being crossed on more than one occasion). However, I am looking forward to his performance as I do think he is a very talented writer and he should be able to keep everyone entertained with ease. When James Franco co-hosted the Oscars in 2010 (alongside Anne Hathaway) he was nominated for Best Actor, I doubt that MacFarlane’s Ted will be winning anything though.

Also this week Fox announced that Mark Millar has been hired to oversee all of their current Marvel products, much in the same way that Joss Whedon is doing actually AT Marvel but probably to less effect in Millar’s case and to a lot less excitement. That being said, this is probably a good move because Millar has a history writing comic books for Marvel having contributed to X-Men comic books and the Civil War storyline. He clearly has an understanding of how comic books work and how the comic book should influence the movies (much like Whedon) and God knows Fox do need some help with their Marvel properties. Fox currently has X-Men: Days of Future Past and a Fantastic Four reboot in the pipeline.

In other Marvel related news (I don’t know if you can tell from my blog but I do love Marvel) there is more good news! The Amazing Spider-Man came out this year and was without a doubt the best film based on a Marvel property not made by Marvel Studios in a good few years! Part of this was down to the fact that Marc Webb was directing and Andrew Garfield was playing a role he suits down to the ground: Peter Parker. I had always assumed that Garfield would be returning for the sequel but directors are usually more touch and go with many directors leaving after one instalment. But this week the return of both Webb and Garfield was announced to a chorus of cheers.

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When The Amazing Spider-Man was announced there was a mixture of uproar and confusion among audiences. After all, Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s trilogy had only ended in 2007 and Spider-Man 3 became the highest grossing movie of that franchise so why start from scratch again, why not continue? Everyone had an opinion on whether it should be rebooted or not but one thing was guarantee; whether it was Spider-Man 4 or The Amazing Spider-Man people were going to see it because Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes in the world. I will only make one comparison between The Amazing Spider-Man and the trilogy of the last decade and it is this:

Things that are better in The Amazing Spider-Man than in Sam Raimi’s trilogy: EVERYTHING.

Andrew Garfield takes on the role of teenager Peter Parker who after being bitten by a spider… blah blah blah. Everyone knows the story, so what is different here? This time Peter Parker is looking to try and find out who he is, why his parents disappeared when Peter was just a child, what work his father was working on that was kept so secret. All the time, trying to come to terms with his new abilities and manage a love life with the beautiful Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), avoid being captured by the head of New York Police who just so happens to be Gwen Stacy’s father (Denis Leary) and eventually saving New York from a huge giant Lizard, or Dr Curt Connors, if you would prefer, (Rhys Ifans). So really, he’s got it easy.

Andrew Garfield in the lead role is superb. A genuine fan of Spider-Man since he was a kid and it shows in the charisma and life he brings to the troubled teenager on screen; he carries a great emotional range and the one liners and witty remarks are delivered perfectly. The chemistry with his co-star Emma Stone is there for all to see and she puts in a performance to rival that of Garfield’s. The lead duo are supported excellently by Rhys Ifans, a man born to play villains. But my favourite performance of The Amazing Spider-Man is from Michael Sheen as Uncle Ben, really really fantastic!

The Amazing Spider-Man is visually wonderful and I really would not have expected anything less from director Marc Webb. A lot of trust was put in Webb with this being only his second ever film and his first on a big budget but he proved with (500) Days of Summer that he has a great talent for capturing great performances, stunning visuals and examining relationships.

Despite this being a clear superhero comic book movie film, the superhero antics seem to take a back seat and we are allowed to delve deeper into the characters. Peter Parker is clearly a conflicted guy who has grown up having a troubled life which isn’t about to get any easier and the relationships he forms with his Uncle and Aunt are really well written, his relationship with Gwen Stacy (a vital part of Spider-Man history in the comic books) is dealt with wonderfully and with a huge deal of respect. You get a real sense that all of these characters are believable in their motivations, their friendships, their triumphs and short comings.

The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t quite match up to The Avengers and probably won’t beat The Dark Knight Rises either but what we have here is proof that they were right to reboot the Spider-Man series. Seeing Andrew Garfield as the wise-cracking friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is a treat that everyone should witness.

My Rating: 9/10

In a blatant marketing ploy, Sony is advertising this Spider-Man reboot as the most anticipated movie of the summer. However, this is clearly not true with the arrival of The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus all released this summer as well. The Amazing Spider-Man is like that kid in school that everybody knows who they are, but nobody really wants to hang out with them; this may change as we approach its release date of July 3rd but right now, lets have a look at why we should be anticipating the new Peter Parker’s arrival.

Sony recently released the above preview; four minutes of footage from The Amazing Spider-Man and, although some scenes we had seen already, we were offered a new look at Spidey saving a child on a bridge which looks just as amazing as the title of the film suggests. It is possible to tell from what we have seen already and what we know that Marc Webb’s reboot of the character is really trying to distance itself from its predecessors.

Andrew Garfield unmasked as Spidey.

Andrew Garfield looks perfect as Peter Parker and he seems to be bringing some much needed wit and humour to New York’s friendliest web slinger, something that lacked with Tobey Maguire’s incarnation of the character. Being a fan of the comic book hero himself Garfield brings great enthusiasm to the role and his performance as Spider-Man is something to look forward to in itself. It will be interesting to see how the story plays out because we have seen more than one image of Spider-Man without the mask so will people know the secret identity of our hero? How will that work?

Ooh la la… Spidey’s love interest is blonde this time around.

One person who does know Peter Parker’s identity is love interest Gwen Stacy, played by the talented and wonderful actress Emma Stone. Gwen Stacy was Peter’s first love interest in the comic books and was largely unmentioned until she made an appearance in the final instalment of the previous trilogy played by Bryce Dallas Howard. In the comic books Gwen was unaware of Spider-Man’s true identity and her father knew Peter Parker was Spidey but in the film these roles have been reversed and it will be interesting to see how the fact that Gwen knows about Peter plays out and how their relationship develops with that knowledge.

Spider-Man’s foe in this reboot is Dr. Curt Connors or The Lizard as he may be better known to fans. The Lizard is a very popular nemesis of Spider-Man among fans and was to be featured in Sam Raimi’s next film if he continued his own franchise. Other differences from the original trilogy include mechanical web slingers rather than the controversial biological ones Peter inherited before and also the back story of Peter Parker. With his family’s past being a key plot detail in The Amazing Spider-Man it has been hinted that it won’t just be the spider bite that gives Peter his powers, but maybe something to do with his parents tampering with his biological structure. How this move will go down with fans remains to be seen yet.

With Marc Webb directing I think that a great importance will be paid to the relationships between characters as this is something that Webb brought out superbly in (500) Days of Summer. He has claimed that this reboot will hint at future villains and storylines and has even said that he will be working on the sequel, therefore he and Sony must feel that they have a hit on their hands here.

A brief look at Spider-Man taking on The Lizard featured in one of the trailers.

The Amazing Spider-Man has been largely pushed to the side do far this year and maybe rightly so; The Avengers was something everyone was waiting for to see their favourite heroes on screen together while The Dark Knight Rises concludes Christopher Nolan’s near perfect Batman trilogy but hopefully the film won’t suffer because of the other comic book movies out this year. The trailers show promise, as do Garfield and Stone and I for one, am hotly anticipating Spider-Man’s next arrival.

Keira Knightley: A British Star

Keira Knightley seems to have been around for a lot longer than she actually has. In fact, the English actress is still just twenty seven years old and along with Carey Mulligan and Gemma Arterton, she spearheads the representation of young, talented British actresses working in Hollywood.

Before becoming the big film star that she is today, Keira Knightley cut her teeth in television. As a child she had small roles in several episodes of television shows, including British institution The Bill. It is not common knowledge, but at just 14 years old Knightley appeared in the heavily criticised Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Despite the commercial success, it would take another couple of years for Keira to land the role that would launch her career.

After appearing in television series Oliver Twist, she made a couple more films specifically for television before showing up in the psychological thriller The Hole alongside Thora Birch. 2002 was the year that really kick started Knightley’s career. She picked up a role in a film centring around a young female Sikh’s rebellion against her parents as she joins a women’s football (or soccer) team; the film, of course, is the brilliant Bend It Like Beckham. This was a brilliant performance by the young Keira Knightley and really raised her profile within the film industry.

Keira Knightley is a brilliant English actress. Orlando Bloom is just English.

In 2003 Keira Knightley became the new Hollywood ‘It’ girl with the lead female role in smash hit Pirate of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (the best of the Pirates films) as Elizabeth Swann. Knightley put in a great performance in Curse of the Black Pearl and you can tell how good it is by the fact that she actually manages to make Orlando Bloom look like a half decent actor too. The Pirates franchise made Knightley well known to Hollywood audiences and she went on to star in the next two films in the series as well.

After breaking Hollywood Knightley appeared in British romantic comedy Love Actually alongside a whole host of British stars including Emma Thomspon and Hugh Grant. Unfortunately, her career seemed to stall after this (aside from the Pirates films) as she starred in King Arthur, Domino and The Jacket; all of which were flops with critics and audiences.

After failing to impress as an ‘action chick’ Keira Knightley moved into a genre that most audiences now would associate her with: the period drama. In 2005, Knightley portrayed Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice for which she was awarded her only Oscar nomination to date. Knightley continued to impress in this area with Silk, Atonement, The Edge of Love and The Duchess. Atonement saw Knightley nominated for a Golden Globe and a Bafta for her performance and left many critics puzzled as to why she had not been nominated for an Oscar as well.

Knightley gives one of her best performances in The Duchess.

In 2010, Keira Knightley appeared alongside other bright British talents Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield for Never Let Me Go. She then went on to appear in Last Night and then London Boulevard which teamed her up with one of the most hot and cold actors of our time, Colin Farrell. She was most recently seen on cinema screens in A Dangerous Method with Viggo Mortensen and the brilliant Michael Fassbender which details the birth of psychoanalysis from Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung’s friendship.

I think that Keira Knightley is one of the best young actresses that England has produced over recent years. And despite the fact she gets acclaim for a large majority of her performances it seems like she is forgotten when she doesn’t have a film out and so is very hard done by. She is certainly a talented actress and I think it’s great that she continues to make British films and resisting the lure of big budget Hollywood blockbusters.

Which one of these three comic book films will rule the box office?

Superhero films have been increasing in popularity since they first hit the big screen and this year comic book fans have even more to be excited about. 2012 promises to be an unforgettable year for fans of the comic book genre as three of the years most anticipated films feature some of the most popular superheroes of all time: The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. But with all these heroes fighting for top spot at the box office which one will reign supreme?

The Dark Knight Rises

UK Release: 20th July 2012.

The Stars: Christopher Nolan (director), Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman.

The Hype: It’s the sequel to The Dark Knight, need I say more? This is the final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s, so far, brilliant Batman franchise. Christian Bale has done a good job as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego but the buzz about this film is the villain: Bane. And with Ra’s al Ghul returning to the franchise, along with his daughter, the mere thought of this film has the Batman fanboys and the Nolanites frothing at the mouth.

The Drawbacks: After the huge success of The Dark Knight it’s going to be hard to follow that and with high expectations come huge disappointment. The casting of Anne Hathaway didn’t go down very well with fans so it’s risky as to whether that will work. Bane’s voice has been the cause of much controversy surrounding the film but that will soon be forgotten surely.

My Opinion: I’ve never been a huge fan of Batman and I didn’t enjoy The Dark Knight as much as everybody else seemed to either, although Heath Ledger was fantastic, there is no doubting that. I’m a fan of Tom Hardy (not so keen on Anne Hathaway) so he gets my interest in this film anyway. I really enjoyed Batman Begins and it has been claimed that this final piece will focus more on Bruce Wayne than Batman, more in the style of Batman Begins than The Dark Knight so this bodes well for me, I think. Whatever happens, I’ll be seeing this on the opening day anyway.

The Avengers

UK Release: 27th April 2012

The Stars: Joss Whedon (director), Robert Downey Jnr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddlestone

The Hype: Just look back at the cast. It’s great to see so many top quality actors sharing the screen together. Not just the actors, but the characters; it is every comic book fan’s dream to see the big three (Captain America, Iron Man and Thor) on screen together. Bringing the characters together through solo films leading to this moment have been some of the greatest events in comic book movie history. Joss Whedon is known for writing brilliant characters and dialogue so this should all point towards success.

The Drawbacks: Since he has had two films, Iron Man is most known to audiences and has been leading the promotion of The Avengers which hasn’t gone down well with the whole of the fan community. There is also the danger that too many characters means not enough development and lack of story but hopefully this will not be the case.

My Opinion: Out of the three, this is the one that I am most excited for. I cannot wait to see Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Hawkeye all share the limelight. I’ve loved watching all the solo movies waiting for The Avengers and with the release of the second trailer which was incredible it just does not get any more exciting. This has the potential to be the greatest comic book movie ever made. It’s going to be amazing.

The Amazing Spider-Man

UK Release: 4th July 2012

The Stars: Marc Webb (director), Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen

The Hype: Spider-Man is one of the most iconic heroes of all time and Marvel’s most popular and highest selling character. This is an interesting retelling of Peter Parker’s backstory and features initial love interest Gwen Stacy rather than the more universally known Mary Jane. The Lizard is Spider-Man’s enemy in this film in a move to excite fans as he was strongly suggested for a Spider-Man 4 that never came to be.

The Drawbacks: We’ve just had a Spider-Man trilogy in the last ten years. This could be a factor that puts a lot of mainstream cinema goers off the film; do they really need to see another origins story for Spider-Man, a character that, let’s be honest, doesn’t really have that much of an interesting origin anyway.

My Opinion: I’m really looking forward to seeing Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man as I think he is a brilliant young actor. From the trailer the new Spider-Man seems a lot more like the comic book character with his wise-cracking attitude which I cannot wait to see. Although, I do think that this will gross a lot worse than the other two big comic book films coming out this year.

Who Will Win?

Batman. Hands down, which is a shame. The Dark Knight grossed over a billion dollars and so there is already a HUGE market in place for The Dark Knight Rises. No matter how hard it tries to topple it’s competition I think The Avengers will fall short, whilst The Amazing Spider-Man will be the third film that doesn’t really stand a chance against the two big boys.

The AMAZING Spider-Man

UK Cinema Release: 4th July 2012

So hands up who is sick of reboots? Yeah, I thought so, most people. And here we go again, a Spider-Man reboot just ten years after the original film was made. Why do we need a new one? BUT, after watching this trailer, I’m more excited for it than I was before, and I was excited anyway.

This incarnation, from the trailer and from what we know about the film, seems to follow the comic book origins more closely. For a start there are mechanical web slingers, rather than organic and there is also no sign of Mary Jane, with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) playing the love interest of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield). Another difference to the Sam Raimi films is the idea of who Peter Parker is as a character; in the original trilogy Peter was a loser at school and in love, whereas here we have the wise-cracking Spider-Man that fans of the comic books love.

In this trailer we get a clear shot of what the Lizard looks like and many of the complaints about him are the fact that his face is ‘too human’ rather than him actually having a snout, but in my opinion Lizard looks great in the trailer and I’m sure he will look fine in the finished film too. It seems as though the story focuses more on character than Raimi’s versions, with a large part of the story being based on the fact that Peter Parker wants to find out why his parents left him with Uncle Ben and Aunt May.

The trailer looks exciting, the fight scenes look great, Stone and Garfield are fantastic young talents and will no doubt excel in their roles. Let’s hope that this version of The Amazing Spider-Man proves you can add depth to characters whilst still keeping the film light.