Posts Tagged ‘the’

The Amazing Spider-Man

Posted: August 12, 2012 by pacsack in Movie reviews
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ImageAfter a rather disappointing ending of Sam Raimi’s trilogy about Spider-Man, both skepticism and hope about a fresh, new start was related to ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’. First and foremost, questions like how necessary this reboot actually is has been discussed since the announcement. It’s just five years since the previous trilogy ended, so in which extent has the director Marc Webb actually proven it was worth it?

Well, while the main fundation obviously still is the same, this movie stands on its own pretty well. Again it’s about Peter Parker, an intelligent outcast in high school who has lived with his aunt and uncle after the parents left him in a rather mysterious way when he was little. Suddenly he discovers some old documents revealing his father’s position in a huge project about giving humans animal powers; his curiosity leads him to Oscorp where he’s bitten by an extraordinary spider after sneaking into a forbidden area, and after getting contact with his father’s old colleague Dr. Connors the project is back on track again. However, a great breakthrough provides Dr. Connors a possibilty to get back his lost arm grown back, but something goes terribly wrong, and along with the birth of Spider-Man he becomes Peter’s greatest enemy in the form of a gigantic lizard. 

As you probably have noticed already, it takes a little while for the movie to emerge into superhero-mode. The first  part of the movie instead focuses on Peter Parker, how he handles the reveals and his school- love- and family-life. While this is quite understandable in terms of the necessity of getting a little insight to the characters’ lives, it has been laid to much emphasis on this part of the movie to actually get the main-part exciting enough. A well thought out balance between the two pretty different parts is missing, and it’s especially the bad guy – The Lizard a.k.a. Dr. Connors – who gets to pay for this. Instead of getting him to develop into an interesting villain like for instance Chrisopher Nolan has made so well in his Batman-movies, the little attention he gets leaves him behind as a rather forgettable character. This is really a shame, cause Rhys Infans’ playing gives the character a great deal with potential.

Accompanied by some tearings and devastations of things in his house resulted by his new inhuman strength, a scene where Peter uncontrolled beats up a whole bunch of people at the metro makes up for the first signs of action in the movie. The transformation scenes are tremendous, but the action-scenes further out in the movie doesn’t actually add the tension and intensity I’m looking for. ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ unfortunately never gets exciting enough, just because Spider-Man and his more dangerous problems doesn’t get enough attention – although the ending is pretty thrilling.

Due to the fact that the reason for this is a lack of balance, and not necessarily something about the first part, Peter’s normal life actually is pretty entertaining to follow. Peter is played by Andrew Garfield, which does a noticeably better job than his predecessor Toby Maguire to portrait Peter. The stereotypical, insecure nerd we saw last time, is replaced with a much more realistic character which is way more down to earth. It’s noticeable that the director Marc Webb has taken his experience from his romantic comedy ‘(500) Days of Summer’ on when one sees Peter’s credible relationship to his uncle (Martin Sheen) and his crush (Emma Stone), whose police-father is hunting down – yes, you guessed right – Spider-Man. The whole bunch of characters are characterized by credible playing, which helps getting this aspect to feel more genuine and recognizable than it was in the previous trilogy.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ doesn’t either remain as a breakthough, a great surprise or a great lift-up for Spider-Man, but it’s definitely good entertainment. While the superhero himself and his agenda doesn’t get enough attention to get me engaged enough, the role-playing is still is pretty impressive, the story behind Spider-Man is way more interesting this time, and parts like the transformation-scenes and the last minutes lifts the movie a few notches. It just doesn’t feel enough.

Pros: Impressive role-performances, well-made drama-part, entertaining transformation-scenes, interesting origin-story

Cons: Too little attention towards the superhero-part, which leaves the potential of many action-scenes and the bad guy behind

6.5/10

Alexander Lange

 

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Gojira – L’enfant Sauvage

Posted: August 4, 2012 by Fredrik Schjerve in Reviews
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Is there really any other band right now that has experienced such a stratospheric rise to prominence that Gojira has? Add another detail; that has risen to success, and deserved it wholeheartedly? I think such a band would be hard to find, cause in todays world of music, new trends arrive and cease by the blink of an eye, and a steadfast band like Gojira is indeed a rare entity to come across.

After one magnificent album (Terra Incognita), a lacklustre one (The Link), and two classics (From Mars To Sirius and The Way Of All Flesh), Gojira was left in a rather uncomfortable situation. How do one follow such stellar outputs like FMTS and TWOAF? It seems like gojira has made a stable conclusion, concerning the positive reviews L’enfant Sauvage has garnered all over the musical network. But as the dust and anticipation has settled, and the record have sunk its way into my cerebral core, I am left with a disturbing thought. L’enfant is in many ways, gruefully disappointing.

I know that most people certainly do not follow that statement, but I know that there is a lot of people who does too. Gojira and their progressive take on death metal has always made a steady bit of progress during their career, but on this record, it seems like they have reached the end of that philosophy. The signature Gojira-sound has been altered slightly, but apart from some added bombast, it sounds processed.

The record is so unmistakably Gojira that I start to wonder if there is a danger of getting… say, too much Gojira. The record is basically littered with the standard harmonic “whale”-sweeps and natural harmonics that after the first couple of songs, you really don’t want to hear a single harmonic again. To put it straight, it feels like: whenever Gojira runs out of ideas, they utilize a few harmonics and whale-sweeps. Reference point: the outro of “Liquid Fire”.

The record starts out with a couple of rollercoaster-rides. “Explosia”, “L’enfant Sauvage”, “The Axe” and “Liquid Fire” have all got their moments of glory, but also their moments of shame. The title track sports a new-found, grand soundscape inducted in the admirable verses and bridges of the song, but also puts forth a fast-paced section painstakingly alike earlier Gojira-material towards the end. “The Axe”s simplistic assaultery and wonderful chorus achieve a certain facepalm-factor when the clean guitar, which actually fits rather well, moderates in a useless way by moving the last note a half step up half of the time. Its just one of the little things that makes you really awry. Same problem about “Liquid Fire”, the magnificent verse and anthemical midsection falters due to a bluster of harmonic abuse.

While interlude “The Wild Healer” proves a neat treat, there are both really good songs, and really bad songs on the album too, evening the score out further. “Planned Obsolescence”s simple intro is justified by the genius drum-fueled rampage following the verse, and there is really just a dash of Gojira-magic veiling the song in quality. Same can be said about the unique and gripping “Born In Winter”, its lofty, tapped riff-sequences coming across as inventive and blistering. But then we’ve got the downers. The horribly naive “Mouth Of Kala”, showcasing THE most average intro riff I have witnessed in a long time, and “The Gift Of Guilt”, being submissively under the standards of the mighty mammoth-group Gojira.

But looking backwards in the end, it really isn’t a bad record. Its not a “transcendental manual to understand life and the universe” as Metal Hammer UK tried to proclaim, yet, it is not a terrible album by any means. The downsides to the record are slightly weighed up for by the good material, and the CD ends up being a good CD by itself, but a solid let down considering it’s written by Gojira. I just hope that this pattern is a repeat of the event of “The Link”, which was a lacking release followed by a stone-cold classic. It is not unrealistic by any means, so we await in excitement, waiting for the story to unfold. The best of luck to you, merry frenchmen.

Recommended tracks: Planned Obsolescence, Born In Winter

                  7.0/ 10.0

                  Fredrik Schjerve

A second opinion by a guest contributor :

The leap from underground to elite is no easy task, yet Gojira’s attempt on french revolution is well adjusted. It was already in the cards since the release of “From Mars to Sirius”, we could already then get the feel that something majestic was on the way.

With L’Enfant Sauvage Gojira seems to get the attention they deserve. They have adapted a more mainstream appeal, as have they made their instrumental complexity more edible for the regular listener. Allthough it’s a rock solid record I can’t help but getting a feel that something is missing. It might be the hypnotic guitar riffing that was on “The Way of All Flesh”, or the progressive tendencies which were a lot more notable on the previous albums. “L’Enfant Sauvage” is a well-produced and well-written record, but unfortunately it does seem to lack a bit of the Gojira-esque atmosphere that were so much appreciated on the previous albums.

                7.0/ 10.0

                    Martin Sollien

Enter Metal Penguin

Posted: August 2, 2012 by Fredrik Schjerve in Features
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Hey guys, and welcome to the first post of the new reviewers site, ThyMetal Penguin at WordPress.com. Fredrik Schjerve (that’s me) and Alexander Fossen Lange will try to write quality reviews of quality and non-quality records that mainly sticks to the genre-tag of heavy metal, but it might happen that we find the urge to write a couple of non-metal reviews once in a while. the records will always be closely related to the metal universe, so don’t fear a full length review of the newest chart-topper by Lana del Rey or Kanye West. Hope some of you stay along for the ride, and hopefully, whoever comes across this site may feel free to recommend us to your neighbouring metalheads (if there is anything to recommend, that is). first review will hopefully surface tomorrow, and it is by a metal band-gone-non-metal, so that might be interesting for some of you more open-minded buggers out there. A last notice for the visitors; always keep in mind that I and Alex are two relatively open minded guys ourselves, so don’t be surprised to see a couple of non-meat and potatoes metal releases getting a great score. Stay put, we will emerge.

Fredrik Schjerve