‘Silence’ speaks volumes

Adam Driver (left) and Andrew Garfield in 'Silence'
Adam Driver (left) and Andrew Garfield in ‘Silence’

“You make a deal.  You figure out how much sin you can live with.” – Martin Scorsese

Silence is a movie that has been a project of Martin Scorsese’s for over 25 years.  Based on a novel published in 1966 that won the Tanizaki Prize (one of the most prestigious literary awards in Japan) it tells the story of two Jesuit priests who journey from Macao to Japan in search of another Jesuit priest who has disappeared.  Worse yet, the two are told by Father Alessandro Valignano (Ciarian Hinds) that Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson) renounced his faith while being tortured.  “Father Sebastião Rodrigues” (Andrew Garfield) and “Father Francisco Garupe” (Adam Driver) do not believe their mentor would become apostate and volunteer to go to Japan and find him.

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‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ tries to do too much

Andrew Garfield spin another web in 'Amazing Spider-Man 2'
Andrew Garfield spin another web in ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’

[rating=3]Starring:  Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz and Marton Csokas
W
riter(s):  Alex Kurtman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner (screenplay); Kurtzman, Orci, Pinkner and James Vanderbilt (screen story), from the comic book created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Director(s):  Marc Webb

It’s tough to reboot a film franchise.  It’s even tougher to do when you’re doing it only ten years after the film that (to borrow an overused meme) “jumped the shark” comes out.  But The Amazing Spider-Man did just that in 2012 and did it very well.  The sequel, The Amazing Spiderman 2 has just opened, and with two more films (plus spinoffs) already scheduled, the expectations were high.  Especially with the key cast members all back and Marc Webb in the big chair.

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‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is better than Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man 3’ … but not ‘Spider-Man 2’

Andrew Garfield (as Spider-Man) and Emma Stone in 'The Amazing Spider-Man'
Andrew Garfield (as Spider-Man) and Emma Stone in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

[rating=3]Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field,
Director(s): Marc Webb
Writer(s): James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves, from a story by Vanderbilt, original comic by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

The Amazing Spider-Man is a much better film than Spider-Man 3The Amazing Spider-Man is not as good as Spider-Man 2, but the two films do share some strands of DNA. One of ASM’s screenwriters, Alvin Sargent, worked on the screenplays for both previous Spidey movie entries; he is joined byZodiac alumni, James Vanderbilt and perennial Harry Potter screenwriter, Steve Kloves. Director Marc Webb and the screenwriters build a compelling Spider-Man film that is more emotionally truthful to the source material than it is the minutia.

Read more‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is better than Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man 3’ … but not ‘Spider-Man 2’

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is not just for comic book fans

You don’t have to be a fan of the comic book version of the character to enjoy The Amazing Spider-Man, now in theaters.  If you saw the first major motion picture of the ‘wall-crawler’ back in 2002 you know the base elements of the story.  That won’t change or lessen your ability to enjoy this re-boot of the franchise, directed by Marc Webb.

Read more‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is not just for comic book fans