That night, we sat down to watch the Webb version, and I tried to explain to them that we were going to see the beginning of Spider-Man's story again, but different.  Even after we watched the movie, I'm not sure they understand the notion that these are two different continuities.  As late as this afternoon, Toshi tried to explain to Allen that the Green Goblin can't be in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" because he died already.  As we watched "The Amazing Spider-Man," though, it seemed like they understood that we were seeing different versions of beats that they'd seen in the first film.  They decided after much debate that they like organic web-shooters more than Peter Parker making the webbing, but they decided that they like the Lizard more than they liked the Green Goblin.

What ended up tipping things in favor of Webb's film was the simple act of being Spider-Man.  While Tobey does a nice job as Peter Parker, there's not a lot of Spider-Man in that first film, and Garfield spends more time in the costume.  In addition, I'd argue that Garfield gets the body language right in a way that Maguire never quite nails, and the boys liked watching Spider-Man swing more in the new film.  It's a far more physical thing, and when you watch them back to back, you can see the benefits of doing more of an on-set shoot for Spider-Man in costume, and the advances in CGI are also fairly evident.

They missed J. Jonah Jameson in the Webb film, and they both complained about that repeatedly.  They didn't care for Gwen's father as played by Denis Leary, and Toshi pointed out that he though he was just like JJJ, but less funny.  "He's even got his haircut, daddy," Toshi observed.  Allen thought the Lizard was far more frightening than the Green Goblin was, but he appreciated that.  He thinks bad guys should be scary, and at this point, if he's not creeped out by a bad guy in a film, he considers that a mistake.

Once again, when we finished, Toshi took to the IMDb, and in the morning, I found another review waiting for me, finished while I was still sleeping.

I noticed how close his second review was in format to his first, and this time, I saw the notes he made about what information to include and how many paragraphs to write.  I love how seriously he took this as an assignment, even if it was one he gave to himself.

"The Amazing Spider-man

Directed by Marc Webb
Written by James Vanderbilt Alvin Sargent Steve Kloves

I saw The Amazing Spider Man. I saw it at my house. I love it. I watched it with my brother and my fater.

The movie is about a kid who becomes a spider dude.  Andrew Garfield as PETER PARKER. Emma Stone as GWEN STACY. Rhys Ifans is THE LIZARD DOCTOR CURT CONNERS and he is also a CGI. That is so he can be a Lizard. Martin Sheen is UNCLE BEN and he does a good job talking about how Peter can be good, and I liked him so it was bad that he got killed.  Campbell Scott is RICHARD PARKER who is Peter's father, and he has a mother named Mary too.  They are gone when he is young because they are killed by somebody, and Peter is SAD.

The movie is a little funny and scary.
It was on blu-ray and it sounded really good.

I like it a lot.  The movie made me think I would be like him.  It made me learn that being a hero.  We know Richard Parker made the spider that turned Peter Parker in to Spider man.  It is a very good movie.  I like the Lizard and he has A BIG BALD HEAD.

That is great."

That's right, Ebert.  Someone's gunning for your Pulitzer, and his name is Toshi.

More than anything, it seemed like the two films ended up blurring into one big Spider-Man themed weekend for them, and in the conversations we've had since, it's obvious that there are events that they've got mixed up, things they thought happened in one that actually happened in the other.  They're excited to know they still have two more Maguire films to see and a new Garfield film about to start production.  I figure by the time "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" rolls around, they will have managed to make sense of the two different continuities.

The most important thing about the weekend we spent with Peter Parker, though, took place the Monday morning after we watched them.  I took the boys to school to drop them off, and as soon as I got the car door open, Toshi was out and on the move, running to join his classmates.  I saw him swoop down on the two boys who like to run things, and he jumped over them, landing like Spider-Man in an action pose, facing the two of them.

"You know what?!" he yelled.  "I'M A NERD!"  Cackling, he ran off, his Batman backpack bouncing along behind him, happy as could be.  He certainly is, and I couldn't be any prouder. 

"Film Nerd 2.0" is a regular feature here at Motion/Captured.

Here's the moment the series was born, at the tail end of the series of "Star Trek" reviews with Toshi. (9.2.09).

"The Last Starfighter" on Blu-ray (9.7.09)

"Popeye," empathy, and David Bowie's codpiece (9.21.09)

Talking Heads, 'Astro Boy,' and "Willy Wonka" on Blu-ray (10.26.09)

"The Dark Crystal," featuring a guest appearance by Toshi's little brother (12.2.09)

"Help!", in which Toshi discovers the Beatles, especially Ringo (1.4.10)

'Last Action Hero" introduces Toshi to Armer Shirtzganoma (1.18.10)

A Tale Of Two Zorros (2.23.10)

"Clash Of The Titans" on Blu-ray (4.2.10)

"Jason And The Argonauts" on Blu-ray and Harryhausen at AMPAS (8.9.10)

"Time Bandits," "Mars Attacks," and letting go (9.7.10)

"Toshi and Allen encounter high adventure with 'The Goonies'" (3.6.11)

"'Tron' vs 'Babe' on Blu-ray" (4.19.11)

"Toshi and Allen head to Asgard for 'Thor'" (5.4.11)

"Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA dazzles and disturbs" (6.6.11)

"We kick off a special series with a first viewing of 'Star Wars' on Blu-ray" (9.22.11)

"We finally reach The Moment with 'Empire Strikes Back' on Blu-ray" (10.3.11)

"We flashback to 'The Phantom Menace' as the 'Star Wars' series continues" (10.10.11)

"Yoda seals the deal for 'Attack Of The Clones' on Blu-ray" (10.18.11)

"'Revenge Of The Sith' devastates the kids as Anakin falls from grace (10.23.11)

"We scare the crap out of the kids with 'Jurassic Park' on Blu-ray" (10.26.2011)

"The hero's journey ends with 'Return Of The Jedi' on Blu-ray" (11.6.2011)

"Toshi and Kermit and Miss Piggy in the first ever Film Nerd 2.0 interview" (11.16.2011)

"We wrap up 2011 with 'The Muppet Movie' and pick our slate for 2012" (1.10.2012)

"The boys hit the road for 'Pee Wee's Big Adventure'" (1.16.2012)

"Film Nerd 2.0 gets a sneak peek at 'Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace' in 3D" (2.8.2012)

"Film Nerd 2.0 heads to Skywalker Ranch for a weekend of 'Star Wars'" (2.9.2012)

"Lightsaber battles, model making, and the return of Darth Maul" (2.9.2012)

"Sneaky stormtroopers and breakfast with R2 in the last Film Nerd 'Star Wars' diary" (2.10.2012)

"A screening of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' uplifts, enlightens, and even terrifies" (2.15.2012)

"What happens when I realize I hate a film the boys love?" (3.20.2012)

"An evening of '20,000 Leagues' and Mickey Mouse cartoons" (4.1.2012)

"'Mary Poppins' thrills the kids and destroys Dad" (4.28.2012)

"'Close Encounters' marks the boys deeply in unexpected ways" (7.23.12)

"The boys get a chance to meet E.T." (10.2.12)

"Film Nerd 2.0 and James Bond Declassified collide for 'The Spy Who Loved Me'" (10.5.12)

"Universal Monsters, Bud and Lou, and Something Really Scary" (11.14.12)

Prev 1 2 Next
A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.