I mentioned in a previous post that I wasn’t going to see Spider-Man but after being bummed about the Raptors losing their game I went and saw a late late late showing of Spider-Man 3 this past Friday. As with most of the people posting reviews I will concur and say it was enjoyable but not amazing. There are a ton of things that bothered me
- I get that the theme of this movie was forgiveness and all but stuff happened that people just don’t forgive for. Without giving too much away….Spider-Man basically forgave the guy who killed his Uncle because he seemed like a nice chap.
- There is a big part of the movie where Peter Parker does the worst John Travolta “Staying Alive” era impression.
- As a fan of the comics and of the movies I really dislike the whole Peter and MJ just hanging out and making out in a human sized web somewhere over the city…..don’t know why this bothers me but is does.
- don’t even get me started on the musical/dance number in this film 🙁
I could go on and on about this and write a full review but Heidi MacDonald from THE BEAT summed it up better then me and with better grammar so I am going to post her review for your reading enjoyment.
SPIDER-MAN 3 is a touching musical about a young couple whose struggles to
keep their relationship going increase as they face the challenges of career,
money and maturing in a fast paced world where not everyone is your friend, and
old friendships can turn into something quite different. It stars Tobey Maguire
as a man named Peter Parker. Parker is a photographer for money but he goes to
grad school as well, and by night he dresses up as Spider-man, one of the most
famous superheroes on the planet. However, as famed as he is as Spider-man, he
doesn’t make any dough at it, so Parker must ride a mini bike to work, and lives
in a tiny shoe-box — albeit one with a great view.
Meanwhile, Parker is trying to deepen his relationship to his
girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), who has just opened on Broadway as
the third lead in a new musical as the film opens. Director Sam Raimi has set up
a sort of present day take on A STAR IS BORN — while both Peter and MJ seem to
be having success in their respective careers — she as a star of musical comedy,
and he as a superhero — Spider-man’s career is on the upswing, no pun intended.
The main action of the film is set off when MJ’s limited singing talents get bad
reviews and she’s canned from the show after a single performance. The fact that
she doesn’t tell Peter immediately shows the cracks in their relationship, and
sets them both off on the road to self doubt.
While Peter and MJ try to iron out their difference, several
complicating factors arise: there’s Harry Osborn (James Franco), Peter’s
one-time best friend, who is also in love with MJ and blames Peter for his
father, Norman’s, death (Peter was present when Norman died in a accident while
dressed as a supervillain.) In addition, there’s Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), a
competitor for Peter’s job at the Daily Bugle, and Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas
Howard), Peter’s pretty blond lab partner who is also dating Eddie. Finally,
there is a supervillain named Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), who has the
ability to turn into sand, which can be pretty handy since he’s a petty criminal
who is trying to steal money to save his young daughter. Peter also has to deal
with his costume being taken over by an evil alien symbiote, which brings out
some of his worst qualities at a time when he’s trying to patch things up with
The main problem with SPIDER-MAN 3 is that there just weren’t enough
musical numbers. Mary Jane has a few scenes, and Maguire performs a humorous
song and dance reminiscent of Christopher Walken’s classic number in PENNIES
FROM HEAVEN. For reasons unknown, Raimi decides to substitute CGI fight scenes
between Peter in his Spider-Man outfit and the Sandman, Harry Osborn and, later
on, a character named Venom. These fight scenes, while well executed, do nothing
to move the story forward and just slow down the denouement of whether Peter
will be able to win MJ’s love back. Raimi should have just stuck with his
original plan to make a musical — it could even have ended with a great take off
on A STAR IS BORN with MJ getting up on stage and saying, “Ladies and Gentleman,
my name is Mrs. Peter Parker.”
Instead, by throwing in all those action
scenes, Raimi just makes a puzzling blend of melodrama and heroics. Call it
“Imitation of Strife”*…if you want to do Douglas Sirk, just do Douglas
Despite our reservations, the rather piquant and vibrant scenes in
SPIDER-MAN may make it a cult favorite among action movie enthusiasts, and we
predict this film will make a lot of money.
Yes, yes, yes…we are HUGE fans of Sam Raimi and his quirky pacing and what
not but this time he made a movie that was ALL QUIRKY PACING! SPIDEY 3 is 75%
melodrama, 10% wonderfully humorous bits (particularly Bruce Campbell and JK
Simmons) and 15% action. If it had about 10 minutes cut out — did we need to see
the facade of EVERYONE’S building EVERY TIME we cut to that scene???– it would
have been a fine final chapter to the trilogy.
I will say that Haden Church
as Sandman was SUPER DUPER. Best villain in all three films. The special effects
were eerie and imaginative, and Haden Church underplayed the role beautifully,
rocking that striped shirt like the sad, middle aged loser he was.
Perhaps because the Sandman was so cool, Raimi totally lost control of the
Eddie Brock/Venom plot line, which should have been THE central idea of the
movie! Instead of endless scenes of Peter and MJ squabbling, or Peter and MJ
phoning each other and one of them not answering the phone (this must have
happened four times), or scenes of Aunt May telling one of them what they should
do, we should have honed in on Eddie Brock and why he was bad, and why he was
doomed. As it is, his heinous deeds amounted to nothing more than using
Photoshop. We hear in the sequel he comes back and uses In Design —
The truth is, in Sam Raimi’s timeless 50s world where young folks still
live in ratty apartments in the city, guys take their dates to jazz clubs where
the waitresses double as singers, and newspapers still sell, all of the
characters are so well known and lovable that we WOULD watch them run around
crying in diners for 2 1/2 hours. He’s earned our goodwill. SPIDEY 3 isn’t a
horrible movie — as the directors cut on DVD it would have been fine. As a
theatrical movie, it’s just…long.
Type at you soon