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The Amazing Spiderman/Rated PG-13 for violence and a giant lizard out to do bad

Sony Pictures has decided to produce another round of Spiderman movies that start at the beginning of the story. The last trio of films, staring Toby McGuire, were box office blockbusters so it was only a matter of time before the story was retooled. The last films premiered in 2002, 2004, and 2007, which means this group should carry on in 2014 and 2017. Then a new group will premiere in 2022. That series will continue in 2024 and 2027. Get the picture?

The Spiderman character is lots of fun. He shoots webs and swings around the city like Tarzan in the jungle. He has super strength but is vulnerable to a particularly virulent can of Raid.

The bad guy does not know he can get this product at any Target store along with thousands of movie tie-in Spiderman games and toys so he wastes his time trying to destroy SM by ripping him limb from limb. This never works.

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The story follows the basic plot of the prior films. SM aka Peter Parker is orphaned by his parents and left at his aunt and uncle’s house. They sacrifice weekly trips to Vegas and concentrate their time and money on bringing up little Spidey. Uncle Ben (not the guy on the rice boxes) is played by Martin Sheen. His fate is about the same as it was in the 2002 film. Aunt May is Sally Field. She worries and frowns a lot.

The villain, who is missing a limb, runs an animal experimental lab where his is trying to find a way to mix genetics and combine different species’ DNA to regenerate limbs. He wants his arm back. Eventually it works. The arm comes back but then he turns into a giant lizard and sets out to do bad, evil, lizard deeds to NYC. His genetic material can regenerate parts, similar to The Terminator. This means he is hard to kill. Even if you decapitate him, a new head pops out within 15 seconds. This is not good for Spiderman. Not good at all.

Along the way, many of the previous plots of getting even with the bully and resolving his frustrating love live occur right on schedule. It’s only when the CGI effects occur that the film gets Spidey swinging around and kicking bad guy tush. The effects are top-notch, as the film had a reported $215 million dollar budget.

The score by James Horner is also top-notch and easily the best part of TASM. JH won an Oscar for the song and score to Titanic (1997). His best works were for the film Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and the film Sneakers from 1992 (the title does not refer to tennis shoes). Sneakers had a dream cast featuring Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd and was a gem of a suspenseful, heist-style story. JH’s masterful themes from these two films are re-stylized and add a great background to the Spiderman saga. The score is available on CD from Sony and costs less than a pair of tickets to the film. Buy the CD. Watch the film. Wait for the upcoming sequel that will follow the timeline at the beginning of this review.

Rated 3.2 out of 4.0 cans of Raid. Target is having a sale.

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