Tag Archives: Emma Stone

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

By now everyone already knows the premise, but in case you live under a rock—

Years after his parents disappeared, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) finds a clue that might unravel the mystery. Following this lead, he visits Oscorp Industries to seek out Dr. Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s partner in researching cross-species genetics. There, he gets bitten by a genetically altered spider, gaining superhuman capabilities which he uses to round up criminals and impress Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). But the same research that turns Peter into Spider-Man also transforms Dr. Connors into the vicious Lizard, whose evolutionary vision endangers New York City.

Young Peter has always been awkward, but in film he hasn’t exactly seemed very youthful. Although 28-year-old Garfield looks nothing like a pubescent, his charms lend a boyish aura to the new Spider-Man. His Peter is a tech-savvy teen who plays Bubble Shooter when bored, who gets reprimanded for forgetting errands and breaking curfew. His crush, the smart, self-possessed Gwen is a far cry from perpetual damsel-in-distress Mary Jane. She actually plays a pivotal role in saving the day, transcending the typical role of superhero love interest. But while the original Spider-Man series highlighted an adult relationship (with all its encumbrances), Marc Webb’s version presents a sweeter, more innocent love—not better, but refreshing.

That said, their first kiss doesn’t even come close to the iconic Spider-Man scene; but they don’t try to trump it—and no one can blame them. What I can’t dismiss, however, is the clumsily handled conclusion to the romance. Given what happened, Peter’s last quip—and Gwen’s responding smile—seem inappropriate. I also found the Uncle Ben part too downplayed, although I liked the portrayal of Peter’s grief, how he shuns even Gwen’s consolation. Lastly, one bugging omission: Where’d Peter get the Spidey suit?

The Amazing Spider-Man promotes itself as “the untold story,” but essentially it’s the same story re-told with more flair. Perhaps the sequel might hold up to that promise? For now, viewers can appreciate the spectacular action sequences, engineered for maximum visual pleasure, but not overwhelming enough to distract from the story. (It must be way more awesome in 3D, but with a free pass from Sarah, I’m not complaining.) It’s not the original, and it certainly doesn’t mark an industry milestone, but for a franchise reboot just five years after the last film? Not bad, not bad at all.

‘We all have secrets—the ones we keep…and the ones that are kept from us.’

‘Peter, secrets have a cost. They’re not free. Not now, not ever.’

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Easy A (2010)

Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. There, I have your attention. It never disappoints, does it? Sex does not fail to incite interest, regardless of age or group or gender, although obviously it’s the object of much more curiosity in high school than afterwards—at least in the West. Let’s admit it: this is what makes Easy A so appealing, what with its slew of scandalous (sometimes illicit, mostly unfulfilled) underage sexual exploits. Of course nothing really erotic happens onscreen, but the constant coquettish tomfoolery keeps us interested nonetheless.

In this movie, a seemingly innocent “We did it!” lie pushes anonymous good girl Olive (Emma Stone) in the school spotlight. As her reputation spreads, she receives a series of proposals for fake sexual trysts, entertains them in exchange for gift cards, skyrockets into infamy, and achieves super-slut status—all while keeping her virginity intact. But soon enough Olive discovers that things have gotten out of control and decides to extricate herself from this web of lies—before it’s too late.

Like any teen comedy flick worthy of the name, Easy A combines a likable lead actress with a bevy of recognizable characters: the crazy best friend, the gay buddy, the ideal boyfriend, the snobby antagonist, and the ubiquitous pair of wacky parents. Not that I minded. Familiar but not too rehashed, these identities provided enough laughs to keep me entertained throughout. But the real, uncontested star of the show here is the irresistibly charming Emma Stone. She plays her character so well that she endears herself to us instead of coming across as a daft girl who brings about her own downfall. Almost by herself, she successfully carries a rather loose plot that seemed less like a smooth succession of events and more like a contrived sequence made up to lead to a predetermined conflict. But to its credit, the movie didn’t seem too forced in its reinvention of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (though it did have some awkward self-aware comparisons here and there). But despite its weaknesses (as Meryl said, Penn Badgley’s character Todd seems oddly out of place), Easy A remains a funny, engaging movie. It appeals not only to adolescent girls but to all of us who have undergone that bizarre, unforgettable period in our lives: high school.

‘You’re not even a real slut. You just want people to think you are. It’s pathetic.’

‘How do you know I like being thought of as a floozy?’ ‘Because at least it’s your being thought of.’

‘And sure, we can sit and fantasize all we want about how things are gonna be different one day but this is today and it sucks.’

‘Just once I want my life to be like an awesome 80s movie.’

‘That’s Todd. Not that I owe you guys any more confessions, but I really like this guy. And I might even lose my virginity to him. I don’t know when it’ll happen, you know. It might be five minutes from now, or tonight, or six months from now, or maybe on our wedding night. But the really amazing thing is, it is nobody’s goddamn business.’