The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I really did not expect The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to take my top slot for the year, but that's what it did. Oh, the movie is not without its problems, but I had a blast watching it with my oldest daughter.

The thing that put it over the top was not its length (too long!) nor its dramatic pacing (too slow!) It was the action scenes. They were delightfully comprehensible, they advanced the story, and they were comic-book cool and comic-book fun.. 

Some folks complain that "bullet time" or "time slice" scenes take them out of the movie because the POV is physically impossible. For some films I'd agree, but in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 the technique shows us what Spidey's spider-sense is telling him. Yes, it's a physically impossible POV, but only if you disallow comic-book physics. Which, I should point out, is not a ruling that is going to play favorably for the sorts of costumed folks flying across our screens of late.

I did not like the first Amazing Spider-Man film very much, mostly because I've grown a little tired of superhero origin stories, and wallowing in Spidey's origins yet again felt like a waste of my time. Sure, the film was really well done, but I was bored most of the time. Not a good sign. This second one, however? Loved it. The story was much fresher, and even though there was some wallowing, it was wallowing in new places. I had a few "get on with it already" moments, but when the film did get on with it, it got all the way on, and then some. 

On a related note, the soundtrack for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been great for listening-while-working. The Electro tracks were a little distracting at first because of the thematically distorted, crazy-repetitive vocals, but only at first. If you work to music, this might be worth checking out (though if I had it to do over, I get the regular version instead of the deluxe. The deluxe version had extra pop tracks on it that didn't do anything at all for me, and definitely was not worth the extra $5.)