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Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Mike Finkelstein just got bit by a spider. Suddenly, his vision and strength seem to be improving tenfold, and he is able to sense all these dangers from around him. Or maybe all of that is just a hallucination from the poison slowly seeping through his veins. Damn spiders…Here is his review of “The Amazing Spider-Man”.

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Mike Finkelstein just got bit by a spider.  Suddenly, his vision and strength seem to be improving tenfold, and he is able to sense all these dangers from around him.  Or maybe all of that is just a hallucination from the poison slowly seeping through his veins.  Damn spiders…Here is his review of “The Amazing Spider-Man”.

PLOT: The retold story of how Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) became the one and only Spider-Man.  This time, however, the focus is on Peter’s high school relationship with first love, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who also happens to be the police commissioner’s (Dennis Leary) daughter, and his battle with Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), who will soon be known as The Lizard.

Check out the trailer:

MIKE’S REVIEW: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is by far the quickest reboot in superhero movie history.  It has only been five years since SPIDER-MAN 3 destroyed our collective Spidey-loving hearts (Raimi was talking about his fourth and fifth entries as recently as 2010), and only a slim decade between this and Raimi’s original SPIDER-MAN.  So with the strong taste still lingering from the previous trilogy, as well as competition from five years of Marvel’s universe and the undisputed perfection that is Christopher Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT saga, what are the odds that Marc Webb’s vision could leave its own footprint on the fanboy world?

With a new, fresh cast, a villain many have been craving, and enough changes to the origin story to make us feel like we’re watching something new, it seems like Webb has not only does his job, but created a version that actually outdoes the films before it.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN tells the all-too familiar origin story of how Peter Parker became the aforementioned superhero, but this time around, we get a narrative more in line with Nolan’s Batman films.  Yes, there are the same plot points that we have to hit, and I’ll admit that there were moments where I was feeling a small tinge of déjà vu, but luckily, each point is altered just enough to make us feel like we’re not watching the same damn thing again.

What you may not be expecting, however, is how dark the film really does go.  Each and every character has their demons to face, starting with the mysterious deaths of Peter’s parents.  Beginning with the last time he saw them and fast forwarding to today, we see the toll the loss has taken on Peter, and the drive he has to figure out exactly what went wrong.   This kid is depressed, and when you add onto that the very quick and almost casual death of Uncle Ben (if you haven’t known this was coming, you really have to brush up on your Spider-Man lore), you wonder when things could possibly go anywhere near right by him.

Also welcome is how Peter actually gets molded into the superhero he soon becomes.  His vigilantism is no longer due to a moral obligation because of a new great power (although the classic line is missed, even if it is paraphrased…), but instead more of a secondary result of Peter trying to find his Uncle’s killer.  In lieu of rushing to get him into the full suit, we get mini clashes with small-time crooks that build the bridge from teenage freakazoid to hero, and when we do finally get to the climactic final battle with a villain Peter literally created, it has more heart and soul behind it than most comic book movies of the last five years.

So how was Spidey, you ask?  Completely opposite from Tobey Maguire’s nerdish version of Peter, Andrew Garfield is perfectly cast as more of a social outcast that’s almost comparable to James Dean.  Parker is good looking, kind and nowhere near awkward here, but his shyness, obvious smarts, and almost emo personality is what makes him the loner we all love.  It’s an interpretation that hasn’t been done before, fits perfectly into the environment, and is a huge step to giving this entry its own identity.

Building on Garfield’s Parker is his love interest.  Instead of the well known Mary Jane Watson, Webb decided to go with Peter’s original young love, Gwen Stacey.  The chemistry between Emma Stone and Garfield is undeniable, and it was nice to see that Gwen really liked Peter even before his climactic bug bite (damn you, ya shallow MJ!).  I think everyone in the audience was blushing every time they were on screen together, if only because of how cute and innocently they interacted.

As for the villain, we’ve been waiting to see Dr. Connors turn into The Lizard for almost a decade now, and Webb handled his transformation beautifully.  Dr. Connors can almost be thought of as a hero for testing an unpredictable serum on himself instead of countless others.  Yes, he was overtaken by said serum later on, turning him into the necessary badass foe (those claws are intense!), but everything else, from his feelings towards Peter and his parents to his interactions with Norman Osbourne’s minion is only lined with good intentions.  Rhys Ifans brought out those conflicting emotions brilliantly, and gave us a reason to both like, hate, and fear the man at the same time.

Marc Webb has done something that many comic book fans thought wasn’t possible: he took a story that was still fresh in our heads, twisted it around, and served it up as something newer and better.  With some pretty damn good special effects (even the 3D was worth it for me), characters (both lead and supporting) that ignited the screen, and a quick pace that made the 136 minute runtime seem almost short, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is an improvement on its predecessors on almost every possible way.  Yes, Raimi’s films will still have a place in all of our hearts (no, SPIDEY 3, not you…you go away), but if Marvel does things right, we might just have a universe equal to Nolan’s Batman films to look forward to.  Let’s just hope they do…

GRADE: A-

Mike’s LIKES:

1) ANDREW GARFIELD: Garfield is the perfect fit for Peter Parker.  Completely reinventing the character, he brings Parker from nerdy to a James Dean-ish social outcast.  He is the first step to making this movie stand out on its own, and I applaud him for the bold choices.

2) EMMA STONE: Emma Stone is not only absolutely gorgeous as Gwen Stacy (and, you know, just in general), but she is also absolutely adorable with her crush on Peter.  The chemistry is insane, and you could almost feel both their hearts pounding when they talk to each other.  I guess that’s why they’re now a couple in real life…

3) UNCLE BEN AND AUNT MAY: Martin Sheen and Sally Field do a beautiful job at grounding the two parental figures that we all know and love.  While Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris did an excellent job in Sam Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN, these two really feel like your aunt and uncle instead of a grandma/grandpa pairing.

4) VISUALS AND 3D: The first-person shots in the trailers really don’t do this film justice.  The overall special effects are excellent and enthralling, and the first-person shots are used sparingly enough that they don’t bother anybody.  Also, the 3D, while not used like a gimmick, is detailed enough that it really does add a nice extra layer of depth to the action scenes.  (I’m sure you won’t see any difference if watching the film in 2D, but still nice to know that Webb respects the format.)

5) NUMEROUS OSBOURNE REFERENCES: Green Goblin is Spider-Man’s Joker, and despite not being the man bad guy here, his presence is completely felt. He is the overall reason for basically all the tragedy in these characters’ lives, and I can’t wait to see how he is incorporated into later films.

Mike’s DISLIKES:

1) THE PHYSICALITY OF THE LIZARD: I’m not sure if I didn’t like the special effects, or the fact that The Lizard just kept reminding me of a smarter Goomba…either way, something seemed to be lacking in the creation.

2) THE TASTE STILL LINGERS: There were definitely certain plot points where I was feeling a sense of déjà vu…granted, it’s inevitable, but I still wish I didn’t have to keep getting taken out of the film, even it if was only for a split second.

3) JAMES HORNER VISITS THE TITANIC: I don’t know what it was about this score, but did nobody tell James Horner to cool it on the horns?  All I kept thinking about was Rose flying and Jack sinking to the bottom of the ocean!

EXTRA FACTS:

1) Others up for the part of Peter Parker before Andrew Garfield got the role: Taylor Lautner, Josh Hutcherson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Logan Lerman, Robert Pattinson, Jamie Bell, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Angarano, Michael Cera, Alden Ehrenreich, Zac Efron, Aaron Johnson, Xavier Samuel, Jim Sturgess and Anton Yelchin.

2) Andrew Garfield sent Marc Webb a picture of his three-year-old self dressed in a Spider-Man Halloween costume as a thank you for the audition and to show how badly he wanted the part.  That picture helped the producers confirm that he was the right man for the job.

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The Pentagon Has Released Official UFO Videos Because 2020 Is The Absolute Worst

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Aren’t swarms of locusts supposed to be the next installment of this plague?!

Can we finally declare 2020 as the worst year ever? In January there were fears of a third World War. In February the coronavirus began its rapid spread. In March the world essentially shut down due to social distancing and quarantining. And now in April…with only two days left in the month…we have official government footage of unidentified flying objects. I’m sorry but Milton Bradley’s game of “Life” never prepared me for any of this!

The Pentagon has confirmed the authenticity of three videos that have been circulating the web but didn’t really answer what is visible in them. In the videos, now declassified by the Department of Defense, navy pilots capture “unidentified aerial phenomena” aka unidentified flying objects aka UFOs! Pentagon officials were sure to state that the videos do not show “any sensitive capabilities or systems,” meaning we probably won’t be seeing any little green men any time soon.

The first video dates back to November 2004 and the other two from January 2015. Of the Pentagon’s confirmation of authenticity, Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said the videos were released “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos.”

So great. We now know that these strange videos are real but what exactly are we looking at? Well, the Department of Defense says it has no concrete answer as to what might be floating around the skies and has classified the phenomena as “unidentified.” And…just like that I suddenly feel less defended.

Social media is having a field day with this revelation of course. The #AliensAreReal has been trending high on Twitter since the news broke. One user referenced Independence Day and said the aliens are “getting ready for July 4th.” Of the bad timing, another wrote “Et tu aliens?” And finally one user couldn’t help avoid sarcasm and wrote”Where’s the space force when you need it?”

Well 2020, you have worked your awful black magic once again. What’s next, cat videos get banned from the internet?! You’ve taken everything else from us!

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Priest Accidentally Forgets To Turn Off Filters Before Live Streaming Mass

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The internet is having a field day with the innocent mistake of biblical proportions.

With new social distancing guidelines, many churches have closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And while that doesn’t justify all the wine you’ve been chugging during your self quarantine, it does have many people practicing their faith from their homes. One Italian priest was just trying to recite a little prayer for his followers when he accidentally left a filter feature on during the broadcast! In the clip the priest is digitally adorned with a space helmet, workout gear, a fedora and sunglasses and more.

Social media went nuts for the video, which has now gone viral. One comment reads “He just doubled his holy power.” Another reads “Father, Son and Holy Influencer.” One commenter couldn’t resist a good pun and said the video is having a “Mass effect.”

Enjoy your daily blessing and take a look at the funny video below!

 

Priest in Italy live streams mass, activates filters by mistake from r/funny

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Danny DeVito Passionately Urges New Yorkers To Stay Home…And Twitter Agrees!

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For the love of Danny DeVito, stay home!

The world is in a dark place right now and I am not sure how much more bad news we can handle. That’s why when I saw Danny DeVito’s name trending on Twitter I froze. Our great nation could very well crumble if anything bad was to happen to such an icon right now. With extreme trepidation I clicked on the social media link and was relieved to see that good ol’ Danny boy is just strumming up hype because he is passionately urging New Yorkers to stay home.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been driving New Yorkers to stay home and has taken every precaution short of shutting the state down completely to help prevent the virus from spreading. Because New Yorkers can be hard headed, it doesn’t hurt to have some famous friends reiterate your message. Big names like Lala Anthony, Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller have all made appearances on Cuomo’s social media pleading with New Yorker’s to heed the governors warning. Only one celebrity was able to make it to Twitter’s trending page however and that was none other than Danny DeVito. DeVito’s message is simple…stay home! In the two minute video, DeVito reminds fans that it’s not just up to the elderly to isolate themselves. “Young people can get it and they can transmit it to old people and the next thing you know – I’m out of there” says the actor. We must save him!

Twitter went into a frenzy with many users agreeing that we need to stay home for Danny. One user wrote “When Danny speaks, I listen.” Another passionately wrote “If you idiots kill Danny DeVito I SWEAR TO GOD.” One promoted DeVito from the icon status I previously awarded him and said “WE GOTTA PROTECT WORLD TREASURE DANNY DeVITO.” 

Take a look at the video below and for the love of the newly minted national treasure, stay home!

 

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