Franchise Weekend – Spiderman 2 (2004)

Director: Sam Raimi

Writer: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Michael Chabon, Alvin Sargent (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (Comic Book)

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons

 

Plot: Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Fun

 

Story: Spider-Man 2 starts with the beautiful opening credits that recap what happened in the first film, before we follow Peter Parker (Maguire) in his new roles as a pizza delivery boy. Peter is still struggling to be on time for the important moments of his life including college, times for being there for Mary Jane (Dunst) and Harry (Franco) who is still holding the grudge against Spiderman.

Harry now running Oscorp where he has Dr Otto Octavius (Molina) working on fusion energy technology but when an accident happens Otto becomes Doc Ock, who has 4 extra arms that control him as they take over the city.

 

Thoughts on Spider-Man 2

 

Characters – Peter Parker still finds himself running late to his important matters but he still finds time to fight crime even though Spiderman has become hated by his best friend. He must deal with his life crashing down around him now, his best friend hates his loyalty to Spiderman, Mary Jane has moved on and his powers are draining. He must overcome the difficult moments in life to defeat his latest enemy. Mary Jane has moved on from Peter and Harry but deep down she does still love Peter. Dr Otto Octavius does believe he can help change the world for the better but when he loses his love and becomes controlled by Doc Ock he wreaks havoc on the city.

PerformanceTobey Maguire once again brings us a performance worthy of leading any movie showing us in the early 2000’s he was one of the best in the industry. Kirsten Dunst is good enough but once again falls into the damsel in distress role taking away the talent we know she has. Alfred Molina is great as the villain here, he is filled with the emotionless actions but also feeling like he is smarter than everyone else in the film. James Franco is good but we are continuing to build his character up.

StoryThe story has two main parts, the first is looking at Peter Parker trying to balance his normal life or education, love and friendship with being Spiderman, giving himself the decision on whether to give up the Spiderman side of his life to be a better man or not. We also have a villain on the loose that wants to continue his experiments which could destroy the whole city. The conflict is strong through the story as having a superhero question his part in the battle which gives s edge of your seat viewing.

Action/AdventureThee action is toned down in places when you look at the number of sequences but the reality is they are much bigger sequences throughout the film that have increased peril for Spiderman to fight.

SettingsWe stay in New York which was always key to making this film the enjoyable experience we know it was going to be.

Special EffectsSeemingly remaining with practical effects with editing around them, this film does seem to feel like we are in a real-world city with real superheroes battling.

Scene of the Movie – Train sequence

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel we need to start making Mary Jane stronger.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great continuation of the Spiderman evolution that was needed to keep things feeling fresh in the genre.

 

Overall: Enjoyable continuing Spiderman films

Rating

 

 

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Taylor Kitsch Weekend – John Carter (2012)

posterDirector: Andrew Stanton

Writer: Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, Michael Chabon (Screenplay) Edgar Rice Burroughs (Story)

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Bryan Cranston

 

Plot: Transported to Barsoom, a Civil War vet discovers a barren planet seemingly inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Woola and a princess in desperate need of a savior.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Enjoyable

 

Story: John Carter starts by giving us the backstory of Barsoom known to us as Mars where a peaceful life is turned upside down. We move to 1880s where John Carter (Kitsch) is avoiding by captured but leaving his story to his nephew Edgar Burroughs (Sabara). In his story John tells how he was transported to Barsoom while avoiding his time in the army.

John finds himself captured by Tars Tarkas (Dafoe) and his barbarians as he finds himself in the middle of a war where Matai Shang (Strong) is leading Sab Than (West) in a quest to take over the planet. Sab has made a deal to marry the princess Dejah (Collins) to create peace between the opposing sides.

John Carter must lead the fight against Sab Than to save the princess and free the people of Barsoom from his terror bringing peace back to the planet once more.

John Carter is a film that I avoided for years having only heard negative things about it but now I have gotten around to watching it I found myself enjoying this one. I will say there are good and bad things about this story so we will start with the good. I liked how the story reflected the Earth story with Mars, we had a reluctant hero that learnt to stand up for himself proving he isn’t the coward the Earth through he was. On the bad side we do spend slightly too long building up to the transportation to Mars, we also do spend too much looking at the jumping ability Carter has. I did find the final twist very smart and fitting for the film ready for any sequel too. This is a very good story that can be enjoyed.

 

Actor Review

 

Taylor Kitsch: John Carter is from 1860s, he doesn’t want to get involved in the war going on in America only to find himself transported to Mars where his ability to jump and fight put him in the middle of a war on Mars. He must lead the people in a fight for peace. Taylor proves he is a good actor with this role that could have been a lot more successful.john

Lynn Collins: Dejah Thoris is the princess of Mars, she is forced to wed the evil tyrant taking over the planet but when she meets John Carter she learns that he could be the one to save her and her people. Lynn is good in this role without being too original in character.princess

Samantha Morton: Sola is the daughter of Tars, she has been disgraced by her species her only chance to redeem herself if to help John Carter on his mission to create peace on the planet. Samantha is good in this role even if we would have like to have seen more from the character.sola

Willem Dafoe: Tars Tarkas is the leader of the barbarians that first find John Carter, he believes John Carter has something different about him and uses him to help with his leadership even if it leaves him against his kind. Willem gives us the performance we have all come to know from the actor.

Support Cast: John Carter has a huge supporting cast that all give good performances when it comes to the final story.

Director Review: Andrew StantonAndrew gives us a good sci-fi action film that is all enjoyable without being too difficult to watch.

 

Action: John Carter has good action sequences throughout with most being massive battle scenes.

Adventure: John Carter puts our character John Carter on an adventure of a lifetime.

Fantasy: John Carter brings us into a fantasy world on Mars.

Sci-Fi: John Carter takes us to Mars and has an impossible travel idea for the sci-fi side of the story.

Settings: John Carter creates a beautiful looking setting for the story to take place in on Mars.
Special Effects
: John Carter has great effects to create the mixes of species involved in the story on Mars.

Suggestion: John Carter is one that should actually be tried by all. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Mars side of the story.

Worst Part: What is with all the jumping?

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: It could have one but poor Box Office returns means we won’t get one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $263 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

Tagline:  Lost in Our World. Found in Another.

 

Overall: Enjoyable sci-fi adventure that comes off fresh

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