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Panda Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

By: Von Jared Omo

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I’m going to try to keep this review spoiler-free, but just in case I get ahead of myself, be on the lookout for these [SPOILERS AHEAD] warnings if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

For the record, I’ve seen the movie 3 times now,  once in IMAX 3D, and let me tell ya…IT WAS WORTH IT. I LOVED this movie. Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 will always will always have a spot in my heart as far as Spidey movies go, but I TRULY believe that Marc Webb did an awesome job with Amazing Spider-Man 2. I’ll break it down for you.

STORY
There’s a few plots in Webb’s Spidey universe, ranging from Peter’s Parents’ fate, Oscorp’s plans, and Peter’s life both as Spider-Man and Peter Parker. Webb does a good job with the pacing of the film, even though it sometimes seems rushed at times. We discover the fate of the Parkers and why they had to leave Peter with Aunt May and Uncle Ben that night they left. We also discover why the spider bite is only compatible with Peter and not with any of the human trials Oscorp performed behind closed doors (hence, why there are no Spider-MEN crawling around New York).

We also see Peter juggling life as Spider-Man and as a college student and being Gwen’s boyfriend. Keep in mind the promise he made (and then broke) to Gwen’s father and how Peter being Spider-Man would endanger those around him. Although we never see Peter attend college, let alone step inside the Daily Bugle to talk to JJ about his Spidey pictures, there are subtle hints to show his struggle, such as Aunt May going to school to be a nurse to help pay for Peter’s college expenses and JJ’s emails to Peter about Spider-Man.

CHARACTERS
The chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as Peter and Gwen is beyond compare to Tobey and Kirsten in Raimi’s trilogy. Raimi’s Spidey universe depicted MJ too much as a damsel in distress and by the 3rd movie, it had become predictable as to what she would portray besides a love interest. In Amazing Spider-Man 2, we see Gwen not as a damsel in distress primarily, but a strong love interest who helps Peter overcome his enemies through the use of her knowledge in science (“That’s why he’s #2”, as Gwen would say).

The enemies and their development could have been done better, particularly Harry’s take on the Goblin and the portrayal of Rhino. I think Dehaan’s take on Harry Osbourne was better than James Franco’s in a way that Dane played the menacing role more believably than Franco. To me, there wasn’t enough screen time of the Goblin and Rhino, which leads me to my next character: ELECTRO. Jamie Foxx did an EXCELLENT job playing both Max Dillon and the Electro. He was able to show how Max as an introvert affected his life at home and at work and how he is unnoticeable to everyone (especially on his birthday). As Electro, he unleashed all the anger and fury he felt as the isolated Max Dillon.

VISUALS
The scenes with Peter swinging through the city are worth the price of IMAX 3D. It’s not from his point of view as it was in the first Amazing Spider-Man, but seen from his chest as if he was wearing a GoPro. The fight scenes are SPECTACULAR. Definitely worth watching in IMAX 3D as well! From the choreography to the CGI effects, it will definitely leave you feeling satisfied. I don’t want to say too much about it, except that there’s no way to describe it other than telling you guys that you have to see it!

Now, I’m going to talk about a particular scene in the movie that took my breath away. One that was closely adapted from the comic book. You’ve been warned!

[SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT READ PAST THIS WARNING UNLESS YOU’VE SEEN THE MOVIE OR YOU WANT TO KNOW SPOILERS!]

 

 

The way Webb depicted the death of Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man 2 couldn’t have been done better. The whole scene leading up to it with Peter struggling to keep a hold of her and fighting off Harry at the same time gave the scene more of a feeling of desperation…and you could feel it, too. Inside, you know what’s coming, but at the same time you’re thinking to yourself “C’mon, Peter. Don’t give up. DON’T LET HER GO!” And as she falls in slow motion, there’s no music. There’s no sound in this scene other than Gwen’s last breaths as she’s falling and the sound of Peter’s web shooting out like a hand begging to reach her in time. I was holding my breath the entire time Gwen was falling and sat at the edge of my seat with my heart beating as if it was going to jump out of my chest. This is how I felt when I read it in the comics. Only this time, it was more intense. This time I could hear Gwen’s body snap as her head hit the ground and see her lifeless body hanging on the web. What made the scene even more emotional was seeing Peter’s reaction as he held Gwen for the last time knowing that maybe…he could have saved her. Maybe.

 

 

[SPOILERS DONE!]

 

To me, this is the best Spider-Man movie done so far. There’s enough emotion, action, and story to continue on to the next Amazing Spider-Man movie. If you haven’t check out the movie yet, YOU NEED TO! You won’t be disappointed…unless you’re looking for a certain character to survive at the end. And that’s as spoiler-free as I can get! GET TO IT!

RATING: 9/10

Panda Discussion: Will Amazing Spider-Man 2 Depict The Night Gwen Stacy Died?

By: Von Jared Omo

DAMN! That’s all I gotta say about watching part 1 of The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Super Bowl trailer. The end of that trailer really gets to me because I KNOW Gwen Stacy is going to die in the sequel. And if she doesn’t, well…it wouldn’t be a bad thing really. The movie itself would become…just like the Raimi’s trilogy where Peter gets the girl in the end. To be honest, I don’t want to see that again. I mean, if I wanted to watch a universe where Peter defeats his enemies AND gets the girl without making GREAT sacrifices, I’ll stick to Raimi’s Spider-Man. BUT…the thing is…I want to see Spider-Man taken to a dark place. A place so dark that we no longer recognize the Peter Parker we’ve seen in Amazing Spider-Man Part 1, but a Peter hellbent on vengeance (and no, I’m not talking about the “emo” Peter we saw in Raimi’s Spidey 3).

The death of Gwen Stacy was and STILL IS considered one of the most jaw dropping moments in Marvel Comics history, and I will continue to say that because that’s how I felt when I first read that issue. I couldn’t believe it. Here’s this character that I’ve grown to love while reading the comics and in an instant, she is killed by the Green Goblin. This is how the scene in the comics looked like: (Click on images to enlarge)

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According to Marvel Comics editor at the time, Roy Thomas, her death was caused by a broken neck from the whiplash during Peter’s attempt to save her, in which he used his webs to stop her from falling to her death, which was instigated by the Green Goblin.

Now, what strengthens the rumor that we might see Gwen Stacy’s death in Amazing Spider-Man 2 aside from the scene of her falling in the trailer and Peter catching her, is the outfit she is wearing in that scene. It is VERY similar to that depicted in the comic images above. Don’t believe me? Check out the screenshot from the trailer below:

GwenStacy

Believe me now? I hate to say it, but we may be saying goodbye to Gwen Stacy in the next Spider-Man film. And it’s such a shame, too. I LOVE EMMA STONE and I think the chemistry with her and Andrew is WAY better than that of Tobey’s and Kirsten’s. Maybe this is why Marc Webb scratched the idea of including Mary Jane Watson in this sequel and pushed her to part 3…which would make MJ look like his savior…or better yet, Peter’s salvation.

What do you guys think? Will we see the death of Gwen Stacy in the next Amazing Spider-Man film?

(All images courtesy of Marvel Studios)

Panda_Destroy Convention Wrap-Up: COMIKAZE 2013!

Written by: Von Jared Omo
Photos by: Clyde Grapa

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WHOO! Sorry for the late update, guys. To sum up this weekend’s Comikaze 2013 in one word would be most difficult, but I’m going to try anyway. Ready? Here we go. This year’s Comikaze was EPIC! And fun, too! HA! Told you it would be too hard to sum it up with a single word. Nonetheless, it was a sight to see all the actors and attendees enjoying themselves while walking through the exhibit hall without any SERIOUS TRAFFIC. Yes, I said it. You could’ve actually WALKED through the exhibit hall comfortably, which is an awesome thing compared to other big comic book conventions out there. So, what did we enjoy about Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2013? Let me tell ya!

Comikaze has come a long way. It started out in the lower parking garage of the LA Convention Center and moved it’s way on up to the main exhibit hall. This year, the convention had an increase in vendors, exhibitors, and artists. The atmosphere wasn’t as overwhelming as with other big comic conventions either. Despite the increase of booths and attendees, there was still enough walking room on the show floor for people to comfortably get where they needed to be with easy access to aisles which increased the ease of navigation. Now, you may be thinking to yourself “Why is he telling me this? Why do I need to know this?” You need to know this because this was one of the main reasons I enjoyed Comikaze. No walking in crowded aisles and moving inch by inch in a crowd that would bring about the feeling of claustrophobia. Comikaze brought about a memorable experience that I enjoyed without the hectic crowds, and because of this, I will surely return next year!

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The exhibitors and vendors were more than I expected this year and the con had a wide variety of items to purchase aside from the usual video game/anime/comic book clothing and accessories, such as those made of hemp material (as pictured above with the Harley Quinn bag and hoodie from the GeekyU which was made with hemp). Comikaze also had big name exhibitors and vendors, such as I Love Boobies, NEFF, and Hot Topic, which came as a surprise to me (maybe not Hot Topic, but the other 2…YES) with Hot Topic selling a few Comikaze exclusives, such as the Peter Parker POP! Figure that I, myself, got my hands on (as seen below).

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As for the guest list? LEGENDARY. What set Comikaze apart from the other conventions was that there was a Hot Topic Main Stage placed at the back of the exhibit hall. Now, I know what you’re thinking…FIRE HAZARD! Well, nothing to worry about, children. It was located near the fire exits (and 2 gigantic garage doors, might I add) to provide safety. The Hot Topic main stage was an addition I thought brought the most out of Comikaze. The main panels took place on this stage, which eliminated the need to stand in line for hours or even attend a panel you have no interest in just to attend the panel you wanted right after. This addition of the main stage made it so that everyone in the exhibit hall could see and hear what the panels were about even without having to stand in front of the stage (1 large screen placed in the middle for all to see. You can see the picture of the stage above).

So, there you have it. A quick wrap-up of Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2013! Check out more of our pictures on our Flickr and Instagram if you haven’t done so already! The links will be placed below. See you guys at the next comic convention….which is LONG BEACH HORROR AND COMIC CONVENTION on NOVEMBER 23 AND 24!

To view more photos and see our experience at Comikaze as well as future conventions, catch us on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_destroy/ and follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/panda_destroy! Thanks, guys!