Skip to main content

Journey into Movies #4, 5, and 6: Amazing Spider-Man, Amélie, and Anastasia

Continuing our plan to watch every movie we own in alphabetical order, over the previous couple of weeks my wife and I watched or re-watched the following three movies:

4. Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The first superhero movie in our list is Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man.

As you might tell from my other posts, I'm a huge fan of comic books and superhero fiction.  While Spider-Man is not on my reading radar, I do enjoy him as a character, though my wife makes compelling arguments on how he is a menace to society.

I suspect I will one day write a post about why J. Jonah Jameson is completely correct in his judgments on Spider-Man.  Image from Marvel Wiki.

I enjoyed Andrew Garfield in the role of Peter Parker (though not as much as the other two actors who have played him in movies).  He brings a unique charm to the character, being a more well-rounded, smart kid and less of a traditional nerd.  Emma Stone was wonderful as Gwen Stacy, and I loved Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May.  Overall, a very well cast movie.

I enjoyed how the producers tried to distance themselves from the previous batch of Spider-Man movies.  As a reboot, they wanted to avoid direct comparisons, and so some things changed.  They used Gwen Stacy instead of Mary-Jane Watson as the love interest.  They used a villain that had not appeared on screen before (the Lizard).  Peter Parker was reworked to be different from his previous iteration.  They did waste a lot of time retreading the same origin story (with only slight variations), but that can be forgiven.

I am also one of the few people who enjoyed the sequel, though apparently not enough to purchase it.  I may one day pick it up if I see it on sale.  If I do, newly-purchased movies that we would have passed alphabetically jump to the top of the viewing list.

What I suspect will be many years from now, the Spider-Man movies starring Tobey Maguire and the newest one, Spider-Man: Homecoming, will come up in the alphabetical viewing order.  I look forward to re-watching those.

5. Amélie (2001)

The first movie that entered our collection from having been purchased by my wife before we met: Amélie.

Amélie, or "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain", is the type of movie I would have gone to see at the local arthouse theatre when I was in university.  Indeed, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed weird independent or foreign films.  Amélie was strange in how it told its story (a lot of narration, flashbacks, and dream sequences), and its main characters were all very odd people.  I found myself constantly wondering what would happen next, because while I could follow the quirky plot, I could not predict it.

Audrey Tautou is a delightful actress, and I was surprised to find out this was the only movie of hers that I had seen.

After watching Amélie, I have a renewed desire to go to the arthouse theatre to see some random movie.  Time no longer allows me to do that, but I shall await an opportunity.

6. Anastasia (1997)

The second Disney movie (and the first modern one) to appear on my viewing list is Anastasia, the alternate-history retelling of the legend of the Grand Duchess of Russia having escaped the fate of her family.

I had only seen this as an adult; it came out during a time when I was no longer interested in Disney movies.  So I have no nostalgic connection to this one.  Still, I love the story and the voice cast.  The unnecessary comedic talking bat wasn't bad (I see how he would appeal to younger audiences).  Rasputin's big song was fantastic.

After the failure of Alice in Wonderland, Anastasia renews my interest in getting to the Disney movies in our library.

The next three: Austenland, Avatar, and Avengers!


Popular Posts

A Letter To My Daughter On Her Six-Month Birthday

Dear Marilla,

I can't believe it's already been six months since that wonderful day, 8 March 2017, when you first graced us with your presence.

Your mother and I had been awaiting your arrival for literally years.  When the doctors first told us you existed, we were absolutely ecstatic.  We didn't know much about you then; not your gender, or what you'd look like.  You just had a heartbeat and a yolk sac.  Nevertheless, we nicknamed you Thor, a strong name for a strong baby of either gender.

As we got closer to the delivery date, you decided to be a bit difficult and give mommy a bit of trouble.  But after a day and a half in the hospital, at 12:30pm six months ago today, the nurse handed you to me, and we gave you your name.

You've learned so much in your first six months of life.  After perfecting the basics like breathing and eating (not an easy start, to be sure), you started figuring out how your body works.  Your dexterity keeps increasing.  You can hold y…

Star Wars Read-Through #10: Journey to The Phantom Menace, Part 3 of 3

Having covered the adventures of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and then the adventures of Sith Lord Darth Maul, I am now in the final stage of my "Prelude to Episode I: The Phantom Menace" coverage.  In this post, I will cover a handful of stories that did not fit elsewhere, specifically:

Darth Plagueis (novel by James Luceno, 2012)Jedi Council: Acts of War 1-4 (comic by Randy Stradley, 2000)Republic 1-6 (comic arc by Jan Strnad, 1998-1999)Prelude to Rebellion parts 1-6Vow of Justice parts 1-3Starfighter (video game by LucasArts, 2001)
I read the two comics in Omnibus: Rise of the Sith.  I read Darth Plagueis in hardcover and played Starfighter on my PC, having just purchased it from  It is worth noting that, at the time "Republic" was simply called "Star Wars"; it was renamed Republic in its 46th issue in 2002.  I will be referring to it as Republic in all of my posts, to differentiate it from other comics named simply Star Wars (others having been…

Star Wars Read-Through #7: Darth Bane: The Start of the Sith's Eventual Victory

In the final moments of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Yoda and Mace Windu discuss the fact that the enemy recently defeated by Obi-Wan Kenobi was a Sith, but that "Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice."  But the Sith we had seen in stories set earlier (written both before and after) featured entire empires of Sith.  At some point, the Sith way changed from being empires of many down to only two individuals.  The stories I read for this post (below) chronicle that transition and the Sith Lords that brought it about.

Darth Bane: Path of Destruction (novel by Drew Karpyshyn, 2006)Jedi vs. Sith 1-6 (comic by Darko Macan, 2001)Darth Bane: Rule of Two (novel by Drew Karpyshyn, 2007)Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil (novel by Drew Karpyshyn, 2009) I read Jedi vs. Sith in the Trade Paperback format.  Path of Destruction and Rule of Two I read as paperback novels, while Dynasty of Evil was read as a hardcover novel.  There is a short story, Bane of the Sith (K…