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The Amazing Spider-Man

IN the abundant doc extras on the deluxe Blu-ray DVD, producer Laura Ziskin utters the most dubious justification of a franchise reboot ever: "There's a whole generation that wasn't born in 2002," she says, referring to the year Sam Raimi's mega-hit Spider-Man launched.

Really? Ten years ago?

In fact, only five years have gone by since Raimi put the finishing touches on his own Spider-Man trilogy. Undeterred, director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) relaunches the Spidey origin story with Mary Jane Watson, J. Jonah Jameson and the Green Goblin nowhere in sight.

English actor Andrew Garfield is a skinnier, geekier Peter Parker, troubled by the usual bullies, but even more troubled by the mysterious absence of his parents since he was very young.

Between science projects and beatings, Parker still has time to moon over schoolmate Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), a smart, cute science student who also happens to be the daughter of New York top cop Captain Stacy (Denis Leary). But when he learns his absent scientist dad (Campbell Scott) shared secret genetic research with the mysterious one-armed Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), he is drawn to a secret research facility where he has his inevitable meeting with a genetically altered spider.

He soon finds himself with the ability to scale walls and race over obstacles -- just call him Peter Parkour.

His obsession with his father's disappearance leads him back to the lab of Dr. Connors, whose genetic experimentation promises a monstrous mutation that will offer a dark parallel to Peter's transformation.

In the big action set pieces, Webb really tries to place the audience in Spider-Man's tights with lots of impressive point-of-view shots as the webbed wonder swings his way through New York.

Raimi's movies are still much more fun. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

[REC] 3: Genesis

THE [REC] series of Spanish horror films is kind of like Paranormal Activity with a Catholic twist.

The premise: A virus transforms people into flesh-eating zombies. Once infected, they become demons.

The good news: They can be stopped in their tracks by readings of scripture.

Where the first REC was an exercise in claustrophobic horror and the second was action-horror (kind of like the difference between Alien and Aliens), the third has unmitigated comedy elements.

This time, the outbreak occurs during a storybook wedding between Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martin). But there's a creepy uncle in the wedding party who looks a little worse for wear after suffering a bite from what he thought was a dead dog. When he topples from a balcony, it looks like just another wedding disaster. But when he rises to bite the necks of various guests, it truly becomes a wedding from hell.

Clara and Koldo get separated and spend much of the film trying to find each other. At one point, this involves an enraged Clara running down a subterranean passage armed with a rumbling chainsaw, screaming, "It's my day! It's my day!"

Maybe it should have had the tagline, "If you think your family behaves badly at weddings." 'Ö'Ö1/2 out of five

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2012 C14

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