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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!


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