Similar to “Spider-Man 3” (2007), so much is going on in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014) that – even if all that stuff is pretty good on its own – a viewer can’t appreciate any of it as much as he should. In this sequel that probably was not intended to be the final statement in the “Amazing” series but ended up that way when Spidey got rebooted over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), director Marc Webb and a team of four writers cram in a ton of ideas.
Like what the Dark Knight Trilogy is to the 1990s “Batman” movies, and what the 21st century “Superman” films are to the Christopher Reeve versions, “The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012) gives us a darker alternative to Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy. This approach only makes creative sense for Batman, since he has long been a Dark Knight in the comics, fighting villains from nightmares. And indeed, when watching “The Amazing Spider-Man,” I couldn’t help but think how much more tonally appropriate the 2002 “Spider-Man” is. But while “Amazing” isn’t a good Spider-Man movie, it’s not a bad movie in a vacuum.
Not to be confused with TV’s “X-Men” series “The Gifted,” “Gifted” made a blip in movie theaters in April (it’s available via Redbox and streaming), but it’s worth checking out for those who enjoy sweet little family dramas with good performances, dashes of humor and beautiful Savannah, Ga., settings as a stand-in for Florida.
After a fairly awful September of new show premieres, October is off to a much better start with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (8 p.m. Eastern Mondays on The CW), a delightfully note-perfect mashup of genres from Rachel Bloom, who came up through the ranks of “Robot Chicken” and self-produced YouTube comedy videos.
“(500) Days of Summer,” the would-be-romantic, too-sad-to-be-a-comedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, starts with a narrated warning that this is not a love story. It’s not so we’ll smirk and say, “Isn’t that cute — a love story that says it’s not a love story.” It’s meant as a literal warning, so don’t say it didn’t warn you.
I have the day off. Here are my movie-going options. I can drive an hour to see “(500) Days of Summer,” which I really want to see. Or, at the local googolplex, I can see “A Perfect Getaway” or “Time Traveler’s Wife” or “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra” or “The Ugly Truth” — none of which I want to see.