Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As grand as the themes of good and evil, needs and deservings, power and responsibility and such forth are, superhero movies are generally pretty straightforward in premise: hero stops villain from wreaking havoc. As off-putting as this kind of simplicity might sound, it's usually the right way to go. If you pack enough substance into your characters and adhere your plot to these linear margins, you can actually wind up saying a healthy amount (and having a lot of fun). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets half of this formula down pat. Although Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is still a moreover undistinguished identity, his emotional magnitude (re: his relationship with Gwen Stacy) is enough to keep him valid through the storm of lunacy that is his second feature. And it's not even that lunacy that holds him back. The problem isn't how wild his conquests are, how silly some of the action sequences feel, or how absolutely bonkers his villains turn out to be. It's all the other stuff (and yes, if you can believe it, there's a ton more going on in this movie than what I've already mentioned — that's the issue). All the plot twists, tertiary mysteries, ominous flashbacks, abject reveals, and weightlessly sinister pawns in this brooding game that, save for its fun with the baddies, takes itself way too seriously. All that stuff that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 thinks is necessary to make Peter Parker matter? It actually does just the opposite.
Peter is at his best when he's playing Tracy and Hepburn with the girlfriend he's perpetually disappointing (the eternally charming Emma Stone), or trying to win back the favor of the only remaining parental figure from whom he's rapidly slipping away (Sally Field, reminding us why she's a household name), or angling to connect with the mentally unstable engineer who just wants people to notice him (Jamie Foxx working his comic shtick with a frightening zest). We have the most fun with Peter when he's playing the simplest games, and we connect best with him on similar ground. But Peter and company, at the behest of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise's Sandman-sized aspirations, spend so much time exploring new avenues: the secrets surrounding the death and work of Richard Parker, the behind-the-curtains operations of OsCorp, the nefarious goings on in the waterside penitentiary Ravencroft.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As a result of the grand stab at world building, there is just so much stuff that Peter has to wade through in this movie, dragging the likes of Gwen and his boyhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan, mastering angst, menace, and upper-class privilege all at once) into the dark crevasses of narrative waste. With so many diversions into the emotionally vacant, deliberately joyless explorations of Parker family origin stories, secret brief cases, and underground subways — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rivals Captain America: The Winter Soldier in complexity, but forgets the necessary ingredient of fun — we barely have enough energy left when the good stuff hits.
And in truth, the good stuff isn't really good enough to sustain us through all the duller periods. Garfield and Stone do have laudable chemistry. Foxx is a hoot as Peter's maniacal new foe, especially when paired with the grimacing DeHaan. And the action, while often straying from any aesthetic authenticity, is nothing shy of neat-o. It's all passable, occasionally worthy of a hearty smile, but rarely anything you'll be definitively pleased you took the time to see.
But beyond coming up short in the micro, the film's regal downfall is its scope. With so much to do, both in accomplishing its own necessary plot points and setting up for those to come in future films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't seem to take time to make sure it's having fun with its own premise. And if it isn't having fun, we won't be either.
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The cast of Edgar Wright's superhero adventure, Ant-Man is growing at an exponential rate, and after the recent additions of Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and Michael Pena to the cast, Evangeline Lilly is now being considered to play the female lead.
Lilly is no stranger to genre film, after spending six years battling smoke monsters on Lost, and appearing in Peter Jackson latest The Hobbit movie. While the jury is still out on who the actress will play in the upcoming film, the scuttlebutt over at Variety is hinting that she might be cast as the daughter of Hank Pym (Douglas), and a love interest to Scott Lang (Rudd, Ant-Man himself). Since Lily is taking her first step into comic book filmmaking, we wondered what roles the rest of her Lost castmates could play. We've already heard rumors of Josh Halloway being considered to play Aquaman, or some other DC fixture, in the bizarrely cast Batman vs. Superman. We think his casting as Aquaman could work, given he plays the hook-handed and more roguish version of the character, and not the vintage boy scout of the sea of yesteryear that probably cries a lot after watching Finding Nemo. So now that we're in Lost mode, which superheroes can we match up with the other islanders?
Matthew Fox (Jack)What Character?: The Red HoodWhy: The Red Hood is a former incarnation of Robin who gets blown up by the Joker and feels betrayed that Batman never killed the dastardly clown in retaliation. Those are some Jack-level daddy issues. We've already seen Fox play maniacal in Tyler Perry Presents: Alex Cross, so maybe he could pull it off in a future Batman movie.
Terry O'Quinn (Locke)What Character?: Lex LuthorWhy: Terry O'Quinn is already bald so that's already a mark in his favor, but his period as "Evil Locke" showed that the actor exuded the right mix intelligence, charisma, megalomania to be Superman's greatest foe.
Naveen Andrews (Sayid)What Character?: ArchangelWhy: Archangel or Warren Kenneth Worthington III was a young rich playboy whose mutant powers manifested into a pair of giant wings that allowed him to fly. Several very comic book-like plot developments turned him into a dark and misunderstood anti-hero. Sayid had a similar slide into darkness during Lost and, Naveen Andrews is well-equipped to play a similar character.
Emilie de Ravin (Claire)What Character?: JubileeWhy: Jubilee is a young and feisty member of the X-Men. Actress Emile De Ravin has a lot of the same exuberance and sweetness that has made the character such a popular addition to the X-Men mythos over the years.
Dominic Monaghan (Charlie)What Character?: SpeedyWhy: Green Arrow's troubled sidekick grappled with a crippling drug addiction, and is generally underappreciated in the comics world for being the sidekick of a character whose only ability is to shoot arrows pretty well. Who is better to play Speedy than Dominic Monaghan, who plays a wounded drug addict extremely well in Lost.
Jorge Garcia (Hurley)What Character?: The KingpinWhy: Jorge Garcia has always played the nice guy, but maybe it's time for some career diversity. We want to see the actor take on a role that's really a 180 from anything that he's done before.
Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim (Jin and Sun)What Character?: The Wonder TwinsWhy: One of Lost's most crushing moments was the demise of Jin and Sun. In fact, we still wonder why Jin didn't leave Sun behind, no matter how painful it would have been, to raise their baby, but that's an Internet rant for another day. Bringing the actors back in roles where they would hardly ever be separated from each other is the only remedy for our post-Lost blues.
Harold Perrineau (Michael)What Character?: The PunisherWhy: Michael lost his only son on the island, and has done some unsavory things in order to find him. Loss has driven him to do some terrible things, but deep down he's still a good guy, just a bit misguided with the methods he uses.
Malcolm David Kelley (Waaaaaaaaaalt)What Character?: Franklin RichardsWhy: Walt seemed like a normal kid in Lost's first season. That is until he started using creepy backwards speak and was revealed to have some sort of mystical connection with the island that had viewers going "What the f**k is up with that kid". He could definitely play Franklin Richards who also seemed normal, before becoming a reality-warping mutant.
Michael Emerson (Ben Linus)What Character?: Doctor OctopusWhy: Michael Emerson played the manipulative and intelligent Ben Linus in Lost, and he'd be perfect to play Dr. Otto Octavius in the new Spider-Man series.
For five nights and four days, the San Diego Convention Center will play host to the geekiest and nerdiest and scruffiest looking nerd herders at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con. Fanboys and fangirls, your annual 96 hours of Zen have arrived.
Hollywood.com will be on hand at this year's Con to report on all the big events, but you're friendly neighborhood Couch Potato/fanboy is here to give you the skinny on what to expect over the next few days.
You're welcome. Just bring me back some swag!
Wednesday Night, July 20 - Previews Galore!
No, not free handouts of the Diamond Distributors catalog, but for those getting to the Con early, you can entrench yourself in Ballroom 20 for a three-hour marathon of some of the fall season's hotly anticipated TV shows. And if their not hotly anticipated, they sure will be by the time this night's over.
From 6-9PM, you can catch a plethora of pilots.CW's The Secret Circle - from Kevin Williamson and L.J. Smith (The Vampire Diaries), Fox's Alcatraz, which stars Jurassic Park's Sam Neill, Lost's Jorge Garcia and is produced by J.J. Abrams, and CBS' Person of Interest, which will star another Lost alum, Michael Emerson. Person gets the the extra uber-geeky award, for being both executive produced by Abrams, and being created by Jonathan Nolan (Christopher "Dark Knight" Nolan's brother). Preview night also includes the pilot premiere of the animated Supernatural series, which will debut on DVD and Blu-Ray.
After the pilot marathon, head back to your room, get some rest and put the finishing touches on your costume. You've got four epic feature-length days ahead of you.
Thursday, July 21 - Comic-Con Day 1: They Live!
The main event is here!
For lovers of spies and chins...
If you happened to have camped outside of Ballroom 20 after last night's screenings, then you must really love Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, because the DVD premiere party will be happening here from 10-11AM. You'll get to hear from the series' creator, Matt Nix, star Jeffrey Donovan, and of course, the man, the myth, the chin himself, Bruce Campbell.
For seekers of the precious...
I know what you're thinking: "I'm not at Comic-Con for a Q&A of the hottest show on USA, I dressed like Gimli for cryin' out loud!" That's why from 10-11AM, you and your battle axe should swing on over to Room 7AB for a Q&A with "Quickbeam," Clifford Broadway and "MrCere," Larry D. Curtis, staff veterans of theOneRing.net for Hobbit Talk to get an unauthorized look at the upcoming Hobbit movies.
For anyone that's ever swung a stick making while making an electric humming noise...
If the story of Bilbo Baggins isn't geeky enough for you, then surely you must want to know about what's going on in a galaxy far, far away. One of the most anticipated XBox 360 Kinect video games in development, is St the Con, so grab your Padawan braids and force push your way to room 32AB for a sneak peek at Star Wars: Kinect where the wizards of LucasArts will be showing off the title's sure-to-be wild, addicting gameplay. Any Star Wars fan worth their weight in Jawas has dreamt of wielding a lightsaber, and now here's your chance. Later in the day at 4:45, in 6BCF will be the a preview of Star Wars: Clone Wars Season 4. If the prequel films have jaded you to the Star Wars Saga and have missed this incredible series, then you should check this preview out and then catch up on what is actually one of the best animated shows on TV.
For Twi-hards, there's really no word to describe your level of fandom...
The books and films that have captivated legions of teenagers the world over (and plenty of adults as well) are heading to the Hallowed Hall H at 11:15AM for a sneak peek at The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, and for what's sure to be a shriek-inducing Q&A with the filmmakers and members of the cast.
For fans that came actually came for Comic Books...
Did you know that the San Diego Comic-Con is actually a Comic Book Convention?! It's true by golly, and DC is bringing it's big summer event to the Con. Room 6DE at 11:30AM will play host to "DC: Flashpoint," a discussion with the DC Universe's executive editor, Eddie Berganza and some of the talent behind the all but confirmed rumored reboot of the entire DCU. Then help the lovely staff at the Con clean the room up and get an even better seat for a discussion with acclaimed comic book writer, Grant Morrison at 12:45PM. At 3:15PM in 6DE will be a Batman Panel featuring a discussion about the caped crusader's new books and global appeal. 24 hours later in the same room, DC will preview their upcoming Superman books to see how the Man of Tomorrow will fit into the new DCU.
For Scoobies who long for Sarah Michelle Gellar...
When Bridget Martin witnesses a murder, she goes on the run posing as her wealthy twin sister, Siobhan and Comic-Con's Ballroom 20 gets to have a sneak peek at the new CW show called, Ringer, at 1:45PM. Panel to follow with Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar and costars, Ioan Gufford and Nestor Carbonell.
FOX fans need not apply...
The hallowed halls of Hall H have served as jump off points for films like Independence Day, X2, Avatar, and Wolverine. 20th Century Fox returns to Comic-Con to preview their upcoming sure to be hits for 2011 and 2012 at 3:15PM.
For the Targaryens in attendance...
I have to admit, I had never heard of George R.R. Martin's "Song of Fire and Ice" fantasy series before Game of Thrones debuted on HBO, and after a triumphant first season, I am waiting with baited dragon's breath for the second. Martin himself will be moderating the "Game of Thrones Q&A" starring Emilia Clarke (Daenrys Targaryan), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Ser Jamie Lannister), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow), and the Khal himself, Jason Momoa (Drogo). Ballroom 20 at 3PM.
For every member of Batman, Incorporated...
While Warner Bros. is saving some advertising dollars by not bringing The Dark Knight Rises to the Con (and while fans are depressed over this, let's face it, TDKR doesn't need the hype— the film is already hyping itself), the company along with video game developer, Rocksteady is bringing the most anticipated game of 2011 to ComiCon - "Arkham City." Voice actors Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy will be on the panel that is showing off some secrets and gameplay of what is sure to one of the top three games of the year. (5-6PM, no room yet). Then get yourself some dinner and head to Room 8, because at 7:30, "Detecting Deviants in the Dark Knight: Profiling Gotham City's Serial Killers" will be looking at the expansive, intriguing and exciting Batman Rogues Gallery, featuring Forensic Psychiatrists of Broadcast Thought - MDs H. Eric Bender, Praveen R. Kambam, and Vasilis K. Pozios; teaming up with Mark E. Safarik, FBI retired supervisory special agent, Behavioral Analysis Unit. The quartet will be taking a very real look at some of Batman's most dangerous foes and their real world counterparts.
For the Dark Passenger in us all...
If you're a fan of Showtime's Dexter, then you know that the series is one of the best on TV, and the stars of the show, CS Lee, David Zayas, and Dexter himself, Michael C. Hall are headed to Ballroom 20 at 5:30 to partake in "Showtime's Tired of Ordinary Television?" panel to preview the upcoming sixth season of the acclaimed show. Also coming to ComiCon for this event are the stars of Shameless, William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum; and a preview of the networks's newest series, Homeland, from Howard Gordon and Alex Dansa (24), and starring Claire Danes.
Friday, July 22 Day 2 - They Wish to Cure Us, But I Say We Are the Cure....
I knew there'd be some Star Trekkin' going on...
A whole day has gone by at Comic-Con and no hide nor hair of Gene Roddenberry's epic franchise. That's all about to change at 10:15 in 6BCF, where Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) and Captain James Tiberius Kirk himself, William Shatner will be on hand to present the Shat's new EPIX documentary series, in which he traverses the world interviewing he actors that have played Starfleet Captains in a panel moderated by the always geeked out voice of generation X, Kevin Smith!
For everyone siting in Sheldon's spot...
The world of TV invaded Comic-Con again, and this time it's by a bunch of actors playing the very geeks and nerds we happen to be, only way smarter. As "The Big Bang Theory," gears up for it's fifth season, the stars of the show (Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, and Melissa Rauch; along with creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady converge on Ballroom 20 at 12:30 to talk up the new season and the upcoming Fourth Season DVD.
In brightest day, in darkest night...
Bruce Timm has been responsible for bringing the worlds of Superman, Batman, and the Justice League to life in some of the most memorable cartoons ever and now he's bringing his golden touch the emerald knight, The Green Lantern! Timm is bringing footage put together especially for the Con, previewing the upcoming animated series, which centers on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps' trainer, the lovable Kilowog as they try to fight off a Red Lantern invasion. Most of us will have to wait until 2012 to raise our rings, but you can speak the oath at Comic-Con and get this sneak peek early in room 6BCF.
"Kate, we have to go baaaaaaack!"...
One year later, and uber-Losties, Jeff Jensen and Dan Snierson are still going on about islands, time travel, hatches, and Sawyer insults. At 3:30 in 5AB, the duo behind Entertainment Weekly's "Totally Lost" will tie up loose ends on their whacked out Lost theories and discuss promising new TV obsessions.
Not enough Bats in your belfry yet...
Batman is such a global media franchise, there's more than a few panels dedicated to the Caped Crusader, seemingly one for every angle the character can take! While many of us grew up loving the Dark Knight, there can be only one "Boy Who Loved Batman." Producer Michael Uslan will be in Room 4 at 4PM discussing his lifelong obsession with the World's Greatest Detective and his journey to bring fans the truest representations of the character on film. Maybe even get a taste of The Dark Knight Rises.
Now swinging into Hall H...
Some of us have been waiting impatiently for footage The Amazing Spider-Man movie and at 4PM, Sony Pictures is bringing Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and director Marc Webb to talk about and maybe show some of the July 3, 2012 release. Sadly though, we're gonna have to endure Nicolas Cage as well, as the worlds biggest comic fan and coincidentally, one of its least improved actors, will be at ComiCon as well, pimping his second adventure as the flaming skull of vengeance in Ghost Rider - The Spirit of Vengeance. Also previewing at the Con will be the 30 Minutes or Less, panel starring Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, and Michael Pena. Lastly, it's time to start the reactor and stop starting at three-breasted Martian mutants, because the remake of Total Recall and stars Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, and John Cho will all be at ComiCon too.
Because Twilight is just too clothed for you...
The fourth season of True Blood is underway and Sookie's got to deal with fairies, vampires, and werewolves (oh my!). And many of the series' stars are going to have deal with the insatiable appetites of fans at ComiCon in Ballroom 20 at 5:30PM for a q and A with stars Ryan Kwanten (Jason), Sam Trammell (Sam), Rutina Wesley (Tara), Nelson Ellis (LaFayette), along with some others join show creator, Alan Ball and moderator, EW's Tim Stack.
The world premiere DVD you've been waiting for...
Yeah I know we've mentioned Bruce Wayne quite a bit in this ComiCon preview, but the big black bat does have that kind of media dominance. Friday night will culminate the world premiere of Batman: Year One, adapted for the acclaimed best selling Frank Miller mini-series. Ballroom 20 will play host to the movie, as well as then panel featuring voice stars, Ben McKenzie, Eliza Dushku, Katee Sackhoff, executive producer, Bruce Timm.
Check back soon for Part 2!
Colombian folk singer Carlos Vives topped the Latin Grammy nominations with six nods Wednesday, including album, record and song of the year.
Vives, who also won a Grammy this year for best traditional tropical Latin album, performs in the style of Vallenato, the traditional music of Colombia's northern plains, which is known for its simple lyrics about village life, The Associated Press reports.
"Me and my people are very happy," Vives told AP through a translator. "This shows that traditional music and rhythms that come from the heart can have appeal no matter the language."
The third annual Latin Grammys ceremony will take place Sept. 18 at the new Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, airing live on CBS.
Here is a list of nominations in some of the top categories:
Record of the Year
La Negra Tiene Tumbao, Celia Cruz; Sergio George, producer; Jon Fausty, engineer/mixer
Mentira, La Ley; Humberto Gatica and Kenny O'Brien, producers; Humberto Gatica, Cristian Robles and Eric Schilling, engineers/mixers
Se Me Olvido, Gian Marco; Emilio Estefan Jr. and Archie Pena, producers; Javier Garza, engineer/mixer
Y Solo Se Me Ocurre Amarte, Alejandro Sanz; Humberto Gatica and Kenny O'Brien, producers; Chris Brooke, Humberto Gatica and Eric Schilling, engineers/mixers
Dejame Entrar, Carlos Vives; Andres Castro, Emilio Estefan Jr., Sebastian Krys and Carlos Vives, producers; Javier Garza, engineer/mixer
Album of the Year
Sereno, Miguel Bose; Peter Walsh, producer; Alessandro Benedetti and Peter Walsh, engineers/mixers
La Negra Tiene Tumbao, Celia Cruz; Sergio George, Isidro Infante and Johnny Pacheco, producers; Mario deJesus and Jon Fausty, engineers/mixers
Jobiniando, Ivan Lins; Roberto Menescal, producer; Guilherme Reis, engineer/mixer
MTV Unplugged, Alejandro Sanz; Humberto Gatica and Kenny O'Brien, producers; Humberto Gatica, engineer/mixer
Dejame Entrar, Carlos Vives; Andres Castro, Emilio Estefan Jr., Sebastian Krys and Carlos Vives, producers; Javier Garza and Sebastian Krys, engineers/mixers
Song of the Year
A Dios Le Pido, Juanes; Juanes, songwriter
Dejame Entrar, Carlos Vives; Andres Castro, Martin Madera and Carlos Vives, songwriters
La Negra Tiene Tumbao, Celia Cruz; Sergio George and Fernando Osorio, songwriters
Morenamia, Miguel Bose; Miguel Bose, Lanfranco Ferrario and Massimo Grilli, songwriters
Y Solo Se Me Ocurre Amarte, Alejandro Sanz; Alejandro Sanz, songwriter
Best New Artist
Best Female Pop Vocal Album
Peces De Ciudad, Ana Belen
Secreta Intimidad, Cecilia Echenique
Vuela, Monica Molina
Viaje Infinito, Nicole
Muchas Flores, Rosario
Best Male Pop Vocal Album
Sereno, Miguel Bose
Sea, Jorge Drexler
Lerner Vivo, Alejandro Lerner
A Tiempo, Gian Marco
Mas De Mi Alma, Marco Antonio Solis
Producer Of The Year
Geronimo Labrada Jr., X Alfonso
Ana Lourdes Martinez Nodarse