Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Amazing Treat

I bet you're mighty curious about what this post is about--what exactly makes this an amazing treat, that is. Well, for starters, it has been a while since I've shared my unique inner thoughts. A long while. And, just to warn you, I've been utilizing those dashes in many of my written sentences--as in that dash I just typed in, that signifies a pause, whether it be awkward or necessary for effect. Anyway, yes, I have not been active for quite some time, and I can say without a shred of a doubt that, after this post, I will feel so satisfied that there may be another extended pause between posts yet again. The reason for this is that I feel, after I've written what I think to be a decent, insightful post, I tend to gain so much pride that I feel that one specific post was enough for the next week, or two, or four. You've noticed, I'm sure, so why bother in explaining? To occupy space, of course, for this unnecessary information takes up a lot of room on this page. Have you noticed? However, this post will be about something. There may even be a movie review deep within the recesses.... How ominous of me, those dots. Dot, dot, dot, period.

As I squeeze the veins on my hands, I contemplate on where I should begin. At the moment, my mother is conversing (yes, it's a word) with her husband, about incoherent paraphernalia that I really shouldn't listen nor care about. Yet, I do. Because, as proven with Sex and the City, I enjoy digesting ridiculous dialogue, and criticizing it thereafter. I won't disclose whatever they were just discussing here because, frankly, I do not know. Nor should I care. Anyway, today is the twenty-third of October, in case you were just wondering, and, throughout my "office" people have posted flyers declaring that today is "mole day". This day is a play on the date, 10/23, which could be interpreted as ten to the twenty-third power--this is the accompaniment to the quantity of a mole, a unit in chemistry, which is 6.02 x 10^23. Oh, how I hate typing numbers. Anyway, everywhere I look, I see a reminder that today is mole day. What a vile occasion, based on its name, of course. Can I move on? I'm sure you'd be pleased. Because of the irritating ambiance emanating from the bathroom (where my mother is talking to her husband), I've opened iTunes and am now listening to a soothing song called "Wonderful Life" by Black--one of those myriad one-hit wonders. It is so wonderful.

This date, in addition to a distasteful-sounding "holiday", also commemorates the birthday of Johnny Carson, who, apparently, is a big deal. I've never experienced the classic humor and wit of this renowned talk-show host, who is further recognized and adored for his hosting stints at the Academy Awards. He was one of the names listed when the Parents Television Council was protesting Seth MacFarlene hosting the next ceremony--which I still express immense enthusiasm over. ("Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode just came on. Quite a beat.) Johnny Carson is revered as "the greatest talk-show host of all-time", and I am paraphrasing from what I read from IMDb and Wikipedia. More accurately, he is the "King of Late-night TV", according to his biography on IMDb. Looking at his profile image, I have to say he resembles Dana Carvey, one of the best performers on Saturday Night Live, which causes me to wonder if he ever parodied him. (Parodied is a term, right?) He looks as if he would have been a sweet, old guy, if I were to have met him. But I didn't, clearly, and I'm sincerely upset that he is no longer with us. In 2005 (nearly eight years ago), emphysema claimed his life when he was not even eighty-years-old. What a shame. And I mean that. His show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, actually received a Golden Globe nomination, for Johnny Carson as Best Television Actor in a Musical/Comedy, something that is unheard of in talk-shows I believe. Based on his biography, he has made a massive impact on late-night television talk-shows, as well as humorous insight on politics and society. 

Excuse this interruption, as it is completely uncalled for and "out of the blue". I'd just like to express my deepest sympathy for the deaths of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, the original odd couple that has affected audiences such as myself in such a touching manner. Each of these magnificent actors are absolutely flawless in character and humor--they never take it too far in their jokes or their acting in general. Their humor is--was--simply perfect. As I continue to praise their unquestionable greatness, I cannot prevent tears from falling down my face, and that's not just an expression of reverence, I literally cannot hold them back. I'll continue on my path of intention.

Since I am not so familiar with the timeless wit of Johnny Carson, I'll move on to that movie review I mentioned. As an alternative to suffering from this obsessive-compulsive disorder, which has become increasingly disturbing, I will simply state the movie which I have been hinting towards though supposedly clever titles and whatnot: The Amazing Spider-Man. Initially, I was annoyed to hear of yet another Spider-Man installment being added to that disgustingly tiresome franchise starring the equally disgusting Tobey Maguire. (He might be the reason for the each of the films' poor quality. That's how effectively obnoxious he is.) However, upon learning that this Amazing film would be a reboot--a film completely different from what audiences know, and in some cases love--I was quite thrilled over the idea of an alternate perspective. Furthermore, learning that Andrew Garfield would be assuming the role of Peter Parker, I was a little short of ecstatic. Haven't you heard? He's rather attractive, in the subjective mind of my own. And, as his co-star, not white-trash Mary-Jane Watson, but the sharp, intelligent Gwen Stacy, with Emma Stone in the role. What could be more adorable or ideal? Again, all this is from the subjective, non-conformist opinion of me, myself. The fact that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are now dating as a result for their undeniable chemistry, both on-screen and off, is just an overly pleasing perk. Additionally, this couple is far more appealing and likable than that mopey Tobey Maguire and unsympathetic Kirsten Dunst. (Those three movies they shared the screen were so excruciating that I can't forgive either of them for partaking in it, and, in the process, assuming the identity of those two irritating characters. They made them unlikeable to begin with.) There have been many forums, it has come to my attention, concerning the inadequacy of this reboot, including the casting choices; many declare that no one can regenerate the chemistry Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst shared. Pause. Really? There was unmistakable chemistry present, was there? Right, around the time Tobey Maguire rejected Kirsten Dunst at the end of the first one, for no fully explained reason; or when they were meant to have a relationship in the second one because Mary Jane was upset Peter never showed up at her play; or when Tobey Maguire acted absolutely repulsive in the third one when he became a version of Venom, and his confidence undeservedly sky-rocketed. All those instances may have been confusing to comprehend, and I apologize. In my head, I make sense.

Let's move on to the reboot. The Amazing Spider-Man was a pleasant treat following the major misfire the third one ignited, that caused a whole lot of unnecessary complexity around a basic plot. Three villains, all of whom are normal people motivated by immorality such as jealousy or rage; pathetic relationship issues; an impending marriage that involves Mary Jane but not Peter, yet they share the most "romance"; and, of course, those scenes where Tobey Maguire portrayed an irresistible, confident beast. Indeed, this reboot was incredibly enjoyable considering what it follows. Even as a single film in itself, the quality is rather decent, if not more than that. (Note that I may compare this to the previous inferior installments.) First and foremost, the plot was relatively coherent and believable, for a superhero film anyway. While Peter Parker did get bitten by a spider at Oscorp Industries, he acquired his powers rather suddenly, which sped up the formerly dull process of realizing his new-found powers. Granted, it was a very quick realization--from being an awkward teenager to a sticky gymnast with amazing reflexes--it was much more flowing, plot-wise, than Tobey Maguire's long learning process. Also, Andrew Garfield's character invented the "webslingers" based on some schematics found in the laboratory, I believe, as opposed to Tobey Maguire's already-included web powers, which was a more standard superhero gift. (I prefer Andrew Garfield's transformation, overall.) I also liked, which my dad pointed out, how Andrew Garfield developed his costume: it was logical how it came to be, by researching fabrics and all, while Tobey Maguire simply drafted some sketches and his costume magically appeared. (Are we to believe that he purchased that material and knit it himself?) Minor detail, yet still impacts my eccentric evaluation.

Furthermore, Tobey Maguire is simply an awful choice for a superhero, and allow me to explain: he's unattractive (yes, objectively), unsympathetic (therefore, you can't root for him), mopey-dopey (my word for overly-sensitive), feminine (heroes need to emit a manly aura, one that assures they will protect), and just disgusting to watch. Andrew Garfield, on the other hand, is very attractive and enormously charming. As a geeky hero to begin with, for Peter Parker is, indeed, depicted as a clumsy nerd, Andrew Garfield is certainly the cutest geek one can find that suits the age requirements and all.
As for the ladies, it is almost unneeded to declare which one I prefer. I love Emma Stone, just love her. Her humor, acting style, the way she presents herself, everything. Especially how she transitioned into the Hollywood majors from starting out in dim roles such as House Bunny, that awful excuse for a comedy starring Anna Faris, who I no longer like. Now, Emma Stone is appearing in Oscar-nominated films (The Help), witty teen comedies (Easy A, which she earned a Golden Globe nomination for), and terrific romantic-comedies (Crazy, Stupid Love.). Are you currently in awe of this girl? She's only twenty-three, to add even more inspiration. Or aspiration. Perspiration? Well, it is more than safe to say that Emma Stone impressively trumps over Kirsten Dunst's annoying, whiny, dependent Mary Jane Watson. Gladly, that actress will not be returning to reprise a character she is now stuck with for the rest of her career. (Nice try trying to get nominated for Melancholia, though.)

Diving deeper into the plot (though not too deep as to give anything away), let's analyze the villain and his motives. Here, we have Dr. Curt Connors, also known as The Lizard, who has a mental struggle with himself as he attempts to devise a serum for regenerating limbs. What makes his determination all the more palpable is the fact that he, himself, has no right arm, and it is understandable why he is striving to concoct this potion. Alas, there is an obstacle: an Indian business(?)man. This semi-villain arrogates the doctor's ability to experiment, which induces him to test the serum on himself, before having successfully tested it on animals, including a lizard. In turn, he his right arm is regenerated, while his entire body subsequently transforms into that of a giant lizard. Standard villain development, in comic-book terms. The villain is portrayed by Rhys Ifans, a talented British actor who is only now being rediscovered in a sense. (He appeared, most notably for me, in Little Nicky, as a devilish brother, and in The Replacement Players, as a misfit soccer player.) Upon hearing this casting choice, I was not fully on board with the decision, though, after watching it, I now have no problem. (I am just now finding out that Michael Fassbender was originally attached to the role, and, while he may be too young, it would have been a wonderful thing.) Anyway, the character of The Lizard displays a keen similarity to Gollum from Lord of the Rings, in that Dr. Curt Connors "talks" to The Lizard, trying to convince him to be nice, to which The Lizard refutes.Very basic plot, villain-wise, but I prefer that over excess evil or an origin of evil out of stupidity. (What exactly was Doctor Octavius trying to do with his metallic arms?) The physical appearance of The Lizard was a bit unsettling, resembling an enlarged lizard (which was unexpected) with a disturbing Joker-like grin. Although I did admire the fact that Rhys Ifans was that actual Lizard in a stop-motion, CGI-dot suit. And, I might be biased in saying this, but I think this may be the best villain i  the entire Spider-Man film franchise thus far.

Notice what I just said, emphasizing on the part about being biased. This is a key factor in why I liked the film, and I am not too blinded by such bias not to admit it. Yes, I prefer Andrew Garfield over Tobey Maguire (an understatement, yet nonetheless a statement), and, true, Emma Stone is much more talented and lovable than Kirsten Dunst. Their performances, in my opinion, were far superior, as well as more professional when analyzing them objectively, than those of the original. The reboot's plot was, also, much more modern and even realistic in superhero-terms, unlike the childish, painfully simple plot of Sam Raimi's trilogy. The villain was a more sympathetic character, and therefore his rage was a factor of the film that moved the audience into wishing for his reconciliation with himself. The other villains were either completely unlikable or ridiculous in their reason for villainy. All these could possibly be a product of my prejudice against Tobey Maguire and the original three films. Perhaps I enjoyed this reboot as much as I did solely out of spite for the other three. True, this is definitely a possibility, but what is also true is that The Amazing Spider-Man was a more-than-decent superhero picture that stands beside the likes of Iron Man. Well, it's difficult to compare because of the age demographic; also, they are two different films, owned by two different companies. (Marvel owns the rights to Iron Man, while Sony owns Spider-Man, which is probably why Spider-Man does not appear in The Avengers. Interesting facts for interested readers.) Whether I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man truly or spitefully, I enjoyed it nevertheless, and highly recommend it for those who were skeptical if another actor could assume a role previously coined by another. Yes, Andrew Garfield can, and did.

Why, what a terrific post. Long and everything. I am very satisfied with what I have here, which indicates that I may go on another unexcused sabbatical from writing. No, I tease; whenever I feel the urge to write, I will damn-well write. For now, before I drift aimlessly into the realms of upcoming films, I shall bid thee all good evening. I was going to mention, in detail, a new film starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn called The Gangster Squad, but my shoulders are in pain from this seated position. For your own benefit, watch the trailer for that film, and decide for yourselves what you think of it. If it reminds you of a particular film produced fifteen years ago, starring Kevin Costner and Sean Connery to be exact....

I just had to include this image to prove my point--that Tobey Maguire is, truly, a dreadful Spider-Man.

P.S. Even though this was posted on October twenty-fourth, the mark claims it was published yesterday, and that is because it was actually written yesterday. My computer would not allow me to post it last night, which is why it was not posted last night. I assure you, this was written on the twenty-third of October.

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