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June 23, 2012

‘Amazing Spider-Man’: Want to see it free, early and in IMAX?

Posted in: Movies

Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker and his alter ego, Spider-Man, in “The Amazing Spider-Man.” (Jaimie Trueblood/Sony Pictures)

Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” swings into theaters everywhere on July 3 but 350 of our readers are going to see the movie early, for free and in Hollywood’s most heroic format thanks to the Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series.

“Amazing Spider-Man” director Marc Webb will be the special onstage guest for the Q&A that follows the 7:30 p.m. screening on July 1 at Rave Cinemas, at 6081 Center Drive in Los Angeles.

Tickets for the event will be available at our RSVP SITE, which goes live at 10 a.m. (PDT) on Tuesday.

CLICK TO RSVP FOR THE JULY 1 SCREENING

“Amazing Spider-Man” opens a new era in the Hollywood history of the most famous Marvel Comics creation. Webb, who made his feature-film directorial debut with “(500) Days of Summer” in 2009,  brings a different energy to the franchise as well — along with new stars in Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.

Webb says he feels “a responsibility to reinvent” the wall-crawler and this movie does that by hitting the reset button on the screen mythology. Garfield portrays a Peter Parker who is still in high school and has not yet encountered the radioactive spider that will change his life with its fateful bite; Stone plays Gwen Stacy, who begins to fall in love with Peter but is also the daughter of the New York police captain (Denis Leary) assigned to bring in the mysterious vigilante.

Director Marc Webb will be the special guest on July 1. (Jaimie Trueblood )

There’s a lot of history for this hero — this year marks the 50th anniversary of the revoutionary Marvel character created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee and further defined by John Romita —  and this new edition will naturally be judged against Sony’s success with the three Sam Raimi films, which racked up $3.5 billion in worldwide box office.

“They have a lot to live up to,” was the candid appraisal by Kirsten Dunst, who starred opposite Tobey Maguire in Raimi’s series. Indeed, many fans say the first two Spidey films rank among the best superhero movies ever, although Raimi seems far less charitable when he watches his own hits.

The Lizard dates back to “The Amazing Spider-Man” No. 6 in November 1963. (Marvel Comics)

The new film’s script was written by James Vanderbilt then worked on by Alvin Sargent before Steve Kloves (the writer of seven “Harry Potter” films) came in with a real focus on enhancing the voice of Stone’s character. According to Leary, that paid off on the set where Stone was an electric presence: “She’s the real thing,” said the “Rescue Me” star and co-creator.

This film adds new layers to the hard-luck life of Parker and shadows to his family history. Orphaned as a young boy, Peter has been raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May (portrayed by Martin Sheen and Sally Field) but there are secrets that have been kept from him that change his view of his heritage and his destiny.

Those secrets are also connected somehow to scientist Curt Connors, played by Rhys Ifans.

It is Connors’ dark choices that lead to a laboratory nightmare that transforms him into the Lizard, a hissing and homicidal monstrosity. For Ifans (“Notting Hill,” “Anonymous”) there’s no doubt that this franchise will spin a distinctive web of its own.

“What Marc has done is very exciting,” Ifans told Hero Complex. “Not to be disparaging to the other movies at all but they were kind of going a certain way and Marc has rolled it back to its delicate, human domesticity. Spider-Man is a working-class hero. He’s an everyman. And I think Marc as a director and Andrew in his performances are doing special — we’re reclaiming the poetry of the hero and of the story.”

– Geoff Boucher

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