The Amazing Spider-Man
Friday, July 13, 2012

Director: Marc Webb; Cast: Andrew Garfield, Rhys Ifans, Emma Stone

It’s impossible to avoid the comparisons, so let’s get them out of the way early and move on. This reboot is different in every way from the staggeringly successful Marvel Comics-inspired trilogy that preceded it. The basics are the same: A high school kid gets bitten by a scientifically modified spider, discovers he has newfound super powers, decides to use them as a vigilante crime fighter and takes to the streets of New York in an unforgivingly tight red-and-blue suit. But in terms of tone, characters, performances and even visual effects, The Amazing Spider-Man feels like its own separate entity. Much of that has to do with the central performance from Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. Garfield plays Peter as more of a rebel with a chip on his shoulder. And that slightly arrogant attitude gives the whole movie a reckless energy and a welcome sense of danger. At the helm, Marc Webb is a very different sort of director. He may not have sounded like the most obvious choice for a hugely anticipated blockbuster but he conveys a pervasive sense of humanity, which may be an even tougher feat in this kind of fantastical scenario. Emma Stone is bright as ever as Peter’s love interest, with Rhys Ifans nicely underplaying his role as Spider-Man’s nemesis. PG-13 for sequences of action and violence. 138 minutes. — AP

DVD reviews: New releases and classics in stores

Wrath of the Titans (2012) (PG-13)

All hell is about to break loose in the heavens above, as the terrible but imprisoned super god Kronos renews attempts to get free. His three sons — Zeus, Hades and Poseidon — must combine forces if they hope to stop him, but deception and revenge soon thwart their unity. Now, with Zeus captured and Hades changing allegiances to team up with Kronos, it is up to Perseus, the demigod son of Zeus, to take up for the divine cause and in turn, restore peace on earth. Yet, all he wants to do is live the quiet life on earth, playing single dad to his own little boy.

  • Duration: 99 minutes
  • Genre: Action/ Fantasy
  • What’s good: Knowing that even the gods have to deal with family drama
  • What’s bad: The fight scenes were too abrupt and failed to impress; graphics too
  • Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
  • Rating: ***

City of Life (2009) 

In Dubai, the lives of several individuals collide for better or for worse and change forever. A young rich Emirati struggling with his identity, an Indian taxi driver who bears an uncanny resemblance to a famous Bollywood star (and is the worse for it) and a Romanian flight attendant are more connected with each other than they can imagine.

  • Duration: 116 minutes
  • Genre: Drama/ Romance
  • What’s good: The film gives a glimpse of Dubai that is more commonly hidden from public view: behind the closed doors of Emirati homes, in the hours after the city’s taxi drivers clock off, and inside the homes of wealthy expats in the city
  • What’s bad: The movie bears too much resemblence to the Hollywood film Crash
  • Cast:  Alexandra Maria Lara, Sonu Sood, Saoud Al Kaabi, Javed Jafri
  • Rating: ****


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