Latest 'Spider-Man' isn't that amazing

Los Angeles Daily NewsNovember 8, 2012 

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    These DVDs also were released this week (when two prices are listed, the second is for Blu-ray):

    New films: Fire With Fire ($19.98, $24.99); Your Sister's Sister ($24.98, $29.98); 360 ($26.98); Kiss Me ($24.95); Maximum Conviction ($26.98); Trishna ($24.98); Even the Rain ($27.97).

    Television: Call the Midwife: Season One ($34.98, $39.98); Entourage: The Complete Series ($249.99, $299.99); Vera: Set 2 ($59.99); Law & Order: The 11th Year ($36.98); Red vs. Blue: Season 10 ($19.95); The Young Riders: Complete Season Three ($16.95); Wolf Lake: The Complete Series ($39.98); The Paradise Lost Trilogy: Collector's Edition ($49.95); The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams: Season One ($29.93); Sea Hunt seasons 1-4 ($16.95 each).

    Holiday-related: Arthur Christmas ($40.99 Blu-ray); Prep & Landing: Totally Tinsel Collection ($19.99, $20.99); The Muppet Christmas Carol: 20th Anniversary Edition ($19.99, $26.50); A Carol Burnett Christmas ($19.98); Kung Fu Panda Holiday ($15.99, $19.98); The Dean Martin Christmas Show ($12.98); It's a SpongeBob Christmas ($14.98); Chilly Christmas ($19.98); Lifetime Presents 12 Days of Christmas ($39.95).

    Older films: They Live: Collector's Edition ($29.93 Blu-ray); Rashomon: The Criterion Collection ($29.95, $39.95); Sunset Boulevard ($26.98 Blu-ray); Planes, Trains and Automobiles ($22.98 Blu-ray); Sweet Home Alabama ($20 Blu-ray); Guys & Dolls ($34.99 Blu-ray); Von Ryan's Express ($24.99 Blu-ray); Beaches ($20 Blu-ray); The Client ($19.98 Blu-ray); Bonfire of the Vanities ($19.98 Blu-ray).

    Music: The Rolling Stones: Charlie Is My Darling — Ireland 1965 ($22.99, $22.99); Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest ($39.98 Blu-ray).

    For kids: Sesame Street: Old School, Volume 3 ($29.87); Looney Tunes Super Stars: Porky & Friends ($19.98).

Hollywood learned a long time ago you can never tell the same story too many times — but even Shakespeare and Homer knew that. It's all in the telling, after all.

So it's no surprise that a mere decade after Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and five years since his Spider-Man 3, we have a reboot of sorts of the enormously successful franchise.

The Amazing Spider-Man has a new lead in Andrew Garfield as Spidey/Peter Parker, a new girl in Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, and Martin Sheen and Sally Field as the dependable Uncle Ben and Aunt May. The villain is a green Lizard (Rhys Ifans as the unbalanced scientist Dr. Curt Connors) instead of the Green Goblin. And Peter's crazy newspaper editor who thought the superhero was a menace is gone, replaced by a police captain (Denis Leary) who thinks Spidey is a menace despite his good deeds.

Other than that, it's like apples and apples, really. The new leads are cute and likable. Peter's change from geek to super-geek is interesting as he explores his new physical possibilities.

Smartly, director Marc Webb didn't go overboard on the computer-generated images, so there is more of an immediacy and less cartoonish feeling to the action sequences.

And the relationship between Peter and Gwen seems more filled out. Maybe that's because Webb made the bittersweet comedy (500) Days of Summer and didn't come on board with a Michael Bay, over-the-top effects agenda.

There is nothing wrong with The Amazing Spider-Man and a lot of things right. But for whatever reasons (perhaps studio dictates), the filmmakers didn't try to do something more radical like Chris Nolan's reimagining of Batman in The Dark Knight.

The Amazing Spider-Man retails for $30.99 or $40.99 three-disc combo on Blu-ray.

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