Monthly Archives: May 2014

X-Men: Days Of Future Past Review (MILD SPOILERS)

"Well, yeah, it's convoluted, but are you not entertained?"

“Well, yeah, it’s convoluted, but are you not entertained?”

I’m old enough to have read the classic Days Of Future Past storyline when it originally came out in the X-Men comic book back in the 80s. The story, broken down to it’s basic components is rather simple: due to the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly at the hands of a mutant, Trask Industries creates the Sentinels to wipe out mutantkind. The Sentinels go awry and proceed to wipe out both mutants, superhumans, and much of humanity, thus in the future, the X-Men send Kitty Pryde back to the past to prevent the senator’s murder in the hopes of normalizing relations between mutants and humans. After seeing the debacle that was X-Men: The Last Stand in terms of the portrayal of the even more classic Dark Phoenix story arc, I was concerned this would be a debacle as well. Well, I wouldn’t say it was a debacle, because the basic storyline is intact, but it is somewhat of a convoluted hodgepodge of corporate decisions and questionable direction.

Want to ensure you get the most bang for your buck? Then rather than send Kitty Pryde back in time, you send Wolverine back in time. Okay, I can forgive that because, yes, I’d rather see Jackman’s Wolverine anchor the film as opposed to Ellen Page. However, other signs of corporate interference include the introduction of certain characters and the altering of well-known characters. East European Pietro Maximoff, a mutant speedster and highly arrogant adult in the comics, becomes Peter Maximoff, an American emo teen. And his function in the film is nominal, save for a visually interesting set piece which demonstrates how remarkably fast he is (although as a former reader of X-Men and Avengers comic books, I didn’t buy that he is that fast). Kitty Pryde, a mutant who can pass through solid objects, is inexplicably endowed with the ability to send people’s conscious minds into the past. Well, that’s convenient. Especially given that Charles Xavier, a mutant telepath, actually possesses that ability! But I suppose the bean counters saw Patrick Stewart as a bigger bean than Ellen Page, so bada-boom, bada-bing, Stewart keeps his dialogue, Page grimaces in the background. And most egregious, the bean counters couldn’t have a crippled young Xavier, thus the creation of a serum that allows him to walk. Unfortunately, to hide this superficiality, the writers devise the notion that the serum blocks Xavier’s telepathic abilities because he can’t deal with all the voices in his head. Despite the fact this wasn’t a problem for him in any of the previous X-Men installments. And to round it out, the Beast, for reasons I can’t understand, is required to perform a spot on impersonation of the Hulk, similarly limited to growls and roars while in Beast mode. I can only assume the writers found it too much of a challenge to write dialogue for a furry blue guy.

Other issues with this movies I attribute to Bryan Singer. He seems to have difficulty with pacing. And plotting. Events occur and dialogue is spoken that have no consequence or necessity. Was it necessary to insert John F. Kennedy into dialogue in such a preposterous fashion? Did we need the added tension of Kitty being mortally injured in the future? Camera shots are blocked as if to purposefully confuse the audience. Is that actually Xavier or a mental projection of Xavier? Actions and motivations are murky. If Magneto is willing to sacrifice a beloved member of his team to assure that humans don’t embrace the Sentinel program, why is he later so gung-ho to assassinate the president in front of a global audience? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the X-Men to stop the assassin prior to the national event where the assassination is to take place, where cameras from around the world are focused on the terrifying battle and the public couldn’t give a damn if the X-Men were acting out of good intentions? But worse yet, in the climactic scene, certain characters that have been set up to be pivotal to the action are rendered completely feckless. The climax undermines everything that we’ve seen prior. I don’t want to say any more than that so as not to completely spoil the film. But it makes a viewer like me very frustrated in that I maintain this silly notion that a good plot involves A leading to B leading to C and so on.

Having said all that, I recommend this film. I give the filmmakers credit for creating a story that’s massive in scope. I also have to respect the fact that they wanted to erase the slate clean of the past X-Men films, as their attitude towards franchise continuity is decidedly “NFG” (No F–ks Given).*  I applaud them for addressing some instances of possible continuity error, however, I had to eventually give up trying to determine where this film resided in the timeline of the X-Men cinematic universe; I believe the past storyline takes place a few years after X-Men: First Class (although many of the young mutants in that film are unaccounted for here) and the future storyline takes place ten years after 2013’s The Wolverine. There is plenty of action and exciting visuals–Magneto uses RFK stadium to entrap the White House. There’s absolutely no reason for it, but it looks amazing. There’s great chemistry between the characters and the acting is top-notch. Michael Fassbender is once again awesome as Magneto; Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart are all great. The future is convincingly dystopian, downright dark. Unfortunately, Halle Berry and Ian McKellen don’t contribute much. But the unlikely casting of Game Of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage is brilliant. His Bolivar Trask, while a character in the comics, replaces the comic’s Robert Kelly. More importantly, is there anything this man can’t do? As much as I want to refrain from commenting on his diminutive stature, I can’t help but point out this guy is the definition of a good actor being able to deliver, no matter the circumstances. Although only 4′ 5″, Dinklage’s presence is one of the most commanding throughout the film. I’m convinced he could play nearly any role. The only criticism I have is that it seems unlikely there’s no mention of Trask’s appearance in terms of genetic anomaly, yet his entire crusade is against people with genetic anomalies.

Is it a bad film? I guess I’d say no. Could it have been better? Absolutely yes. While I enjoyed X-Men: First Class far more, this film is worth seeing. Although unnecessarily confusing and murky at times, it’s worth a second viewing to determine if the confusion is the fault of the film or the fact that I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Actually, during the 9:15 am screening I attended, the film froze in place during one scene and we were informed that it would be fixed quickly. Rather than wait, I took the opportunity to sneak into the 9:45 am showing down the hall, hoping that going back a half-hour into the film, I’d pick up on some of the more confusing plot points. That didn’t help much. So I recommend you go see it and report back to me; you can help clear up the stuff I missed. 3/5 reels

*Michael Dean™

P.S. I should point out that while leaving the theater, I heard another viewer on his cell phone say, “Yeah, it was pretty good…but not as good as Captain America.” Hear, hear.

Godzilla Review

"What was that ish you were talking about canceling the apocalypse?"

“What was that ish you were talking about canceling the apocalypse?”

I wasn’t that much of a Godzilla fan as a kid. I seem to recall thinking it was a bit silly, given Godzilla was obviously some guy in a latex suit (I was a huge Ultraman fan, probably because Ultraman was more anthropomorphic). But then, when other monsters were introduced for Godzilla to fight, it became a little cooler. Still, I maintained a distance. I watched the 80s cartoon (“Up from the depths, thirty stories high, breathing fire, he stands in the sky!”) and enjoyed that. Fast forward nearly twenty years later and I’m watching a leaner, refined Godzilla from Roland Emmerich. Maybe because I wasn’t a devoted Godilla fan, I liked the new more realistic look. Sure, I hated most of the cartoonish characters and the Jurassic Park cribbing, but I walked away mildly entertained by the creature. Still chasing Godzilla fandom, I watched Cloverfield and Pacific Rim, both of which I consider to be in the same wheelhouse as Godzilla. Again, I was mildly entertained, despite the silliness. Then came news of Godzilla, a film that reverts the creature back to his upright-standing roots. Listening to all the buzz, I figured this would be the film that would finally, after nearly four decades, lock me in as a Godzilla fan.

Unfortunately, I walked away from this film only mildy entertained, slightly bored, perhaps even less of a Godzilla fan. Why less? I’ve narrowed it down to two main reasons:

1) All the movies and programs I previously mentioned, including the widely-reviled 1998 film, had one thing in common that this film lacks in spades: at a minimum, they were FUN. Let me be clear, I have no problem with taking a campy property or concept and injecting a more serious tone. In fact, I welcome it. But you gotta know when to let up. With Godzilla, the filmmakers clearly don’t. The first half hour is devoted to the always amazing Bryan Cranston setting up the story. As Joe Brody, supervisor of the Janjira nuclear plant in Japan, he comes across as the stereotypical “lone person” who knows the truth about what is yet to be, but is marginalized. Although his character is a familiar trope, Cranston holds the screen. The nuclear plant is destroyed in an alleged earthquake and Brody pays a huge price.

Fast forward fifteen years and, as you would expect, he’s become the lunatic no one takes seriously, even his grown naval munitions expert son (Kick-Ass‘s Aaron Taylor-Johnson). It’s not until creatures start sprouting from the ground that his warnings are taken seriously and of course, by then, it’s too late. Whenever Cranston is the focus of the plot, the film maintains an intriguing gravity. But that becomes trying nearly a half hour into the film with no appearance by Godzilla. And when Cranston is not the center of the plot, it becomes expositorily leaden. If you thought Man Of Steel wrung all the fun out of Superman, you’re likely to be similarly disappointed. As a nuclear scientist, Ken Watanabe, another reliable actor, punctuates the fact that there’s not much fun to be had here, because he’s given very little to do outside of scowling and frowning in subdued panic while delivering all his lines in the stereotypical clipped and stern fashion that speaks of IMPENDING DOOM, reserved for two-dimensional Japanese characters in hokey martial arts films. 

2) I would assume that a film entitled Godzilla would feature…Godzilla. Godzilla seemed to be an afterthought in this film. Put it this way: as I mentioned earlier, the first act involves much character definition along with plot setup. We exit the first half not having seen Godzilla, but two large creatures resembling metallic stinkbugs. I can’t overstate that much of this portion of the film is devoted to the portentous admonitions of Brody, warning of impending doom if they don’t heed his advice that the tremblings underneath their feet are more than an earthquake. It’s beaten over our heads that SOMETHING is coming and sure enough, once the first stinkbug appears (they’re referred to as MUTO: Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms), all hell breaks loose. The creature lays waste to Honolulu and soon thereafter runs rampant in Las Vegas and San Francisco, joined by a companion MUTO.

Putting aside the odd design of these creatures, from a CG standpoint, they are impressive. Although like nearly every other kaiju film of late, they’re rarely shot in broad daylight, only in fog, mist, rain and night. The populace and we the audience are awed by their size and mass. And they do look convincingly massive. Their presence and the havoc they wreak are in direct proportion to the awe and fear they’re afforded prior to their appearance. But this is a Godzilla movie. And surprisingly, Godzilla’s introduction comes across as merely an afterthought. Godzilla is just all of a sudden…there. It makes one scratch one’s head why all the shock and awe that any of these MUTO creatures could exist when apparently this movie wants us to believe that some of the characters are fully aware that Godzilla has been in existence for some time. And for whatever reason, when he appears out of the blue, or more accurately, out of the sea, his only motivation is to fight the MUTO. No explanation is given, as far as I could tell, why he suddenly appears, other than he’s been tracking the creatures. For nearly 60 years. Okay, moving on. Godzilla’s sudden appearance, with the flimsiest of setups, is rationalized as his being akin to a force of nature. More than that, Godzilla comes off as deus ex machina with scales.When the fighting ensues, the destruction is akin to an extinction-level event. Throw a red cape on Godzilla and it’s Superman vs. Zod in Metropolis all over again. At least, the mayhem here is warranted, given it’s caused by mindless monsters.

The film is peppered with ostentatious nods to the Asian audience, one of which is glaringly obvious involving a lost Asian child. It borders on insulting, particularly given that it goes absolutely nowhere. Nonetheless, I think I speak for us all when I say we come to a Godzilla movie to see Godzilla stomp around, breathe fire (blue fire?), and fight other monsters. Sure, it’s great when the source material is taken seriously. But if that’s the approach, why cut corners and limit an actor of Cranston’s abilities to a handful of scenes and why not give Godzilla the setup he deserves, force of nature or not? Having said that, there’s a fine line to walk when making a film of this nature too serious. Because at the end of the day, let’s remember that the source material revolves around a guy wearing a latex suit. 3/5 reels

P.S. I don’t know if it’s the innate immature schoolboy in me or if I should submit myself to a series of Rorshacht tests, but something about seeing a female MUTO, despite the fact it’s a horrifying creature, take a phallic-shaped nuclear missile and stick it between it’s legs makes me think of Samuel L. Jackson’s proclamation that Redtube is one of the greatest contributions to pop culture in the last 50 years.

 

 

Why Henry Cavill Is Screaming at His Agent

"Hmm--there's gotta be a loophole somewhere…"

“Hmm–there’s gotta be a loophole somewhere…”

Recently, I got into a heated and hilarious debate on a podcast I appear on weekly entitled This Is What We Do, where we discussed a number of topics, including the alleged 2017 Justice League film, reportedly being directed by Zack Snyder. One issue was: how was it going to be possible to hit a 2016 deadline for Man Of Steel 2, then subsequently release the Justice League film in 2017 unless they’re shot back-to-back?

Putting aside the Justice League film however, from what I’ve been hearing and reading in comic geek circles is that a majority of fans feel the MOS sequel is going to be an unholy mess. The manner in which DC and Warner Bros. unveiled Batman’s appearance in the sequel at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con seemed somewhat capricious. Afterwards, all information about the sequel was put out in a “leaked” fashion until the cast was finally confirmed by Warner Bros. Baggage-laden Ben “Daredevil” Affleck starring as Batman. The waif-like Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Jesse Eisenberg as a prepubescent-looking Lex Luthor. A “scratching the head trying to figure out who he is” Ray Fisher as Cyborg. This was confirmed after rumors of Denzel Washington playing Green Lantern, Bryan Cranston playing Luthor, and I’m sure a host of other rumors I missed were thrown about. It all reminded me of the scene in A Few Good Men where Kevin Bacon tells Tom Cruise, and I paraphrase, “You got bullied into that courtroom, Kaffe. Bullied by the memory of a dead lawyer.” Warner Bros. got bullied into making a sequel with all these characters as a means of establishing them for the Justice League film, even though they haven’t sufficiently established Superman yet. They got bullied by the success of Marvel’s cinematic universe, namely The Avengers. So Warner Bros. is scurrying about trying to cash in and keep what little relevance they have in terms of developing a cinematic universe, which would allow them to compete. And it all comes across as though they do not have a solid plan.

To that end, during the podcast (here at about the 1:47:40 mark–yes, it was a long one), I stated that Henry Cavill is probably screaming at his agent, “What the hell have you gotten me into?” I suggested that Cavill is probably upset because he was not expecting to have to share his screen time with all these haphazardly introduced characters. He’s seeing the buzz flying around these films from the public and he’s worried that, in fact, Warner Bros.’ plan is to throw shit against the wall, see what sticks i.e. see how the fans react, then move forward thusly. Which, in my world, is not a plan. And which, in Henry Cavill’s world, is a concern because it puts his film at risk for being, as I previously stated, an unholy mess. I was informed by Michael Dean, host of TIWWD (and founder of Podcastjuice.net) that it was ludicrous to imagine Cavill being upset about starring in a big budget Hollywood feature, cluster fuck though it may be, because prior to this, he was appearing in direct-to-DVD movies with Bruce Willis. Of course, Cavill has starred in more recognizable projects, but for the sake of argument, I won’t take the discussion there.

What I will say, however, is that none of us mere mortals who work a nine to five job, often working from paycheck to paycheck, have any notion of the mentality of an actor who breaks through to get cast in his or her first major feature. While any of us would likely kill to be in a Hollywood flop and still make a cool million or so, our minds aren’t tuned in at the same level as even a D-list Hollywood actor. My contention is an actor like Cavill, who starred in Man Of Steel, which I’m sure made it’s money back but fared just okay in the pop continuum, now sees himself as on an upward track. For him, it’s not just about the money now. It’s about maintaining forward momentum. Using this franchise to eventually branching off into doing whatever he may want to do in the future. Having options. Becoming bankable. Being offered all types of scripts because he’s a draw as a result of being in a successful franchise. Just as we have our careers and of course, we consider salary, benefits, etc., we also stop to consider if we are marketable enough to move vertically or laterally in our careers. Our concerns about taking on a job, unless perhaps we’re destitute, are also based in part on, where will this job lead me? How will it further my career?

And so, I made the statement that Cavill is probably upset with the direction the sequel is heading. I surmised that Cavill is upset that the film in which he signed to play the central character, is now being inundated with three other iconic characters. Cavill’s ego as an actor, who, as I said, is undoubtedly looking to parlay this role into other meaty roles down the line, probably has him a little salty at the fact that he has to share screen time with all these additional characters, thus stealing from HIS screen time. He has to relinquish screen time for the development of all these characters who will be introduced in this franchise. I stated that the producers had no idea when they launched the Man Of Steel that the sequel would have additional comic characters and neither did Cavill when he signed the contracts to appear in the franchise. So he might just be feeling slightly pissed because he didn’t sign on for what looks to be a train wreck of a film wherein he runs the risk of being overshadowed.

To which Mr. Dean countered, and I’m again paraphrasing, “You think Chris Evans wanted to bow out of the Captain America role when they told him he was going to be sharing the screen with other characters in The Avengers movie?” If you listen closely to that comparison, you might just hear an apple saying to an orange, “we are nothing like each other.” Why? I’ll break it down:

1) Marvel HAD A COHESIVE PLAN from jump. I believe their plan was apparent when Iron Man 2 was released back in 2010. So when Evans agreed to appear as Captain America, most likely he signed a contract that spelled out the fact that he was going to appear in three Captain America movies and an Avengers movie.

2) We agreed on the podcast that Cavill could not have known at the time he agreed to appear in the first MOS that his sequel would have three additional comic characters because the producers did not know at the time. So Evans appears in Captain America 1, the Avengers, and Captain America 2. Does anyone think it’s a solid comparison to propose that Evans would bow out of a film entitled THE AVENGERS because HE’S not the lead character? A parallel comparison would be if Thor, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Hulk and Black Widow were SUDDENLY thrown into Captain America 2. Then I’d say perhaps Evans would be a little salty as well. Or to make the comparison spot on, if only three of those characters were suddenly jammed into Cap 2, I’d predict that Evans would be salty.

And let me cut those of you off at the pass who are screaming, “Well, Falcon and Black Widow were in Cap 2!” I say, “Nice try.” Because even though both Scarlett and Mackie did the damn thing in Cap 2, they were sidekicks. In NO WAY are either of those characters as iconic and buzzworthy as Batman and Wonder Woman, perhaps Cyborg. I would champion the fact that after seeing Captain America: Winter Soldier, which I believe is arguably the best superhero film ever made (or at least belongs on a short list with Dark Knight Rises–yes, I said DKR, NOT Dark Knight–the original Iron Man and the 1978 Superman), that Falcon is now an onscreen hero that an actor in a comic book role might be concerned with sharing the screen, because Mackie was so good as that character. But that’s another debate.

Man Of Steel 2 aka Batman vs. Superman aka the Justice League prequel may turn out to be a great film…hang on–damn–they release all this other info but not the name of the movie. Maybe because they haven’t settled on a name yet? Doesn’t that kind of speak to the fact that they don’t have a solid plan? Anyway…while I could find many things to enjoy about the first Man Of Steel, it won’t bode well if the tone isn’t tweaked and if the plot isn’t more logical. The writers will have to be absolute geniuses to establish Clark Kent, whom we only saw in the last few seconds of MOS, as a character, as well as strengthen the character of Superman (who killed his enemy, a no-no by many Superman worshipers), plus establish the three new characters. Also, it’d be nice if there were some nod or wrap up to the fact that midtown Metropolis was leveled in a fight where Superman didn’t seem too concerned about the citizens of Metropolis while taking Zod down. Just a summary of why I predict Henry Cavill is screaming at his agent. As I stated on the podcast, why is that so hard to understand?

TIWWD #14 – Wanna Be Startin’ Something

qvs

 

Hosts:

Michael Dean: @Mdean
Anthony:@antpooh,
Qstorm: @qstorm3476,
Marc Wiggins: @BigSexyInSac
Sean Hill: @hillstreetviewz

Facebook: PodcastJuice

In this episode of This Is What We Do, a weekly podcast in which I participate as guest host, I acquire the superhero alter ego “Online Gangsta,” and I do battle with super villain (and primary host and Podcast Juice founder) Michael Dean over such topics as:

1) Michael Jordan’s statement on Donald Sterling, which was delivered apparently after weighing all his options (as opposed to standing up for what’s right when immediately asked for his opinion)

2) The announcement that Zack Snyder will be directing a Justice League movie, possibly back to back with Man Of Steel 2. I hypothesize that Henry Cavill is pissed because the contract he signed to appear as Superman in the franchise most likely did NOT stipulate that he would be sharing the screen with a bunch of haphazardly conceived additional superhero appearances.

Then after all the electric bolts are thrown and webs are slung, we join together in a chorus of Kumbayah and review the Amazing Spider-Man 2, the new single from Michael Jackson, and the new Star Wars cast.

It’s a hot one, folks! Click here, check out the show, leave your comments and come back next Saturday for more!

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review (MILD SPOILERS)

You may not have liked my movie but the check cleared, so I'm good.

You may not have liked my movie but the check cleared, so I’m good.

Well, I’ll say this much for Amazing Spider-Man 2. It managed to do what I considered to be impossible. It made me yearn for Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire to return to the franchise.

Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Raimi trilogy and I’m including Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 which some have labeled one of the best superhero movies ever. The plots didn’t grab me and Maguire seemed like a lost puppy dog. But at least his Peter Parker had a sweet innocence about him which contrasted with his alter-ego. Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker is kind of a dick. Put it this way, in the screening I attended, there was a promo with Garfield and Stone right before the movie, where they inform us that we can go upgrade our ticket for a few extra bucks to be first in line for the Blu-Ray. Before I go further, let me say if this had appeared after the film was over, I would’ve told the both of them to do something to themselves that rhymes with ‘cluck,’ as in huge turkey, as in this movie. Even in the promo, Garfield comes off as a smug jerk. Which makes me wonder how much he’s acting in this film. He’s full of annoying tics, head-swaying and bobbing…he comes off as either a total spaz or a drunk.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 manages to leap frog past the original Spider-Man 2 and jumps right into committing all the errors that Spider-Man 3 did. Multiple convoluted subplots–I’m still not clear why Parker’s parents were on the run and why they felt it necessary to abandon their only child. I know what the script wants me to swallow, but I didn’t buy it–multiple villains crammed in to the storyline and forced into unlikely alliances, cartoonish and underdeveloped characters–SCREECH, let’s apply the brakes for a second and delve into this.

Only a masterful screenwriter could successfully convince me that a character whom I’ve met all of a few minutes onscreen is Peter Parker’s best friend from childhood. And the three credited writers on this film are not masters. Well, one of the writers is Roberto Orci, who’s responsible for the original Transformers and last year’s worst film, Star Trek: Into Darkness. Rather than make an attempt to set up the relationship between Parker and Harry Osborn in the opening scene (which should’ve taken place in the first film), they devote the first five minutes to a fight scene involving Parker’s parents. Subsequently, there’s nothing substantial in this film that requires all the opening exposition centered on the parents that couldn’t have been accomplished with a couple throwaway lines. Then you have Gwen Stacy, who is ingeniously written as an employee of Oscorp. Quelle coincidence! She’s also written as smarter than Peter Parker in the science department. Huh? You have Max Dillon, who is written first as a cartoon character (with a cartoonish soundtrack set behind him as well), then once he gains his powers, he becomes a two-dimensional lackey to Harry Osborn, who becomes the Green Goblin, in a sequence that has the same tacked-on feeling as Venom had in Spider-Man 3. The Rhino is not even worth mentioning. If you were unhappy with the denouement of Liam Neeson’s The Grey (2011), the Rhino’s appearance will provide you with unhappy memories. The Rhino’s only raison-d’etre is to provide a bridge to upcoming Sony comic book movie releases.

But let me return to Andrew Garfield. Whenever he’s onscreen as Parker, whomever else is onscreen with him acts rings around him. Emma Stone, Dane Dehaan (who I believe is an actor to keep your eye on), and especially Sally Field all mop up the floor with him. Garfield, whom I thought was excellent in The Social Network, is simply annoying. What I saw as quirky, or as a different take on Peter Parker in the first film comes off as asshole-ish in this film. You hear from some actors how they studied the movements of a character or animal in order to nail the character perfectly. Garfield slacked off on his studies. He is not convincing when he appears in practical shots wearing the costume. He looks like any other human being in the costume as opposed to looking like a man who moves like a spider, as the character does in the books.

This is a Spider-Man film where a character breaks free of Spidey’s webbing with a pair of scissors. A film where a powerful godlike villain is inexplicably defeated by some kind of generic power beam. Where Oscorp is established as being the source of all Spider-Man’s future foes. Where I suppose Oscorp is involved in genetic manipulation, yet Paul Giamatti’s Rhino wears a battle suit (so is Oscorp into genetic study or battle tech?). Where we’re supposed to believe Max Dillon single-handedly designed the entire power grid for New York City, only to have it stolen by Oscorp–wait, Oscorp is a power utility too? Where Peter pushes Gwen away, then stalks her and whines when she prepares to study at Oxford (note that Woody Allen did this 35 years ago in Manhattan) . Where Gwen Stacy breaks bad and schools Spider-Man (who in the comics is a top-notch science student) on his web shooters. Where the writers use Gwen in a ridiculous fashion to move the plot along to a shocking climax (no pun intended–I say shocking, but the only emotion I felt at this point was nonchalance). This is a film where scenes which seem like set ups have no pay off. And finally, I imagine the Blu-Ray will not contain any additional or extended scenes because at two and a half hours, I believe the cutting room floor where this was edited was clean enough to eat off of. Meaning there was nothing left out and there was so much that should have been. All this to say the movie is full of potholes and plot devices that exist simply to get from point A to point B, unconvincing characterizations and motivations, and overlong uninteresting scenes.

To add insult to injury, the end credit sequence doesn’t even involve Spider-Man. It’s a truncated scene from X-Men: Days Of Future Past that has no connection to Spider-Man whatsoever. So, are the producers suggesting they’re so clueless about the direction of the Spider-Man franchise, they weren’t prepared with a proper credit sequence to whet our appetites for Amazing Spider-Man 3, to which Garfield is already committed? Or maybe the geniuses behind this film didn’t realize the scene with the Rhino was actually the scene they should’ve used for the credits given that was all it was worth?

If ever there was a movie that’s not worth seeing but I know you’re going to see anyway, it’s this one. But at least take this advice: don’t waste your money on the 3D. Paying $13 for the 3D matinee would be like throwing salt into a big, wide, gaping pus-filled wound. 2/5 reels