Monday, May 7, 2007

I saw Spider-Man 3 Friday night and it was good. My wife leaned over to me towards the end and said "This is my favorite of the 3" and that constant reader is a good sign. See, I'm never sure how my wife will respond to comic book movies, she's liked the Spider-Man series but I was worried she wouldn't like Venom. And before this I was worried she'd hate Batman Begins (especially the scary, demonic, scenes when people are on the Scarecrow's dust, but she loved it too) But she liked it and frankly I did too. There's been a lot of mediocre and bad reviews, which I frankly don't understand.
The movie revolves once again around Peter Parker,the kindly geek who gains super powers and becomes Spider-Man. His life is going great, everyone loves Spidey and their throwing parades in his honor. Things are great for him and Mary Jane and he's ready to ask for her hand in marriage. But as all of you Spider-Man fans know when things are going great, the ground will quickly fall out from underneath poor Peter.
MJ starts to pull away after her acting career takes a tumble and she feels Peter can't relate seeing as how Spidey's doing so well. A new photographer, Eddie Brock (That 70's Show's Topher Grace), is trying to steal his career at the Daily Bugle. And the police thing that the man actually responsible for his Uncle Ben's death is still at large, that would be Villain Numero Uno: Sandman (Wings' Thomas Haden Church), whose recently had his whole body turned into sand (it's explained better in the movie). Plus if that wasn't bad enough, Peter's best friend Harry still hates him after finding out that he was "responsible" for his father's death (See the first movie in the series) and has taken to attacking him using his father's Goblin devices, making him Villain Numero Dos: The New Goblin.
All of this compounds on Peter and makes him angry, which is fine with the Alien Goo that has fallen to Earth in a meteorite and taken up residence inside Pete's apartment. The goo bounds with the now furious Peter and becomes a "black suit" which makes him more powerful and feeds on his anger and amplifies it.
Peter becomes a jerk, which Director Sam Raimi, plays up in a very humorous fashion, and is soon killing a bad guy, smashing bank robbers through windshields, and being an all around prick. And hurting those who get in the way, such as Eddie Brock who uses falsified photos to steal the staff photographers job from Peter. But, when in a manner or minutes he manages to hurt (either physically or emotionally) the two women in his life, MJ and the newly introduced Gwen Stacy (the stunning Bryce Dallas Howard), in a matter of minutes, he realizes what the suit has done to him and decides he has to get rid of it.
Unfortunately the suit has bonded with him (it's basically a parasite who needs a host to live) and proves difficult to get off. But once it does come off it quickly finds a new host, one that hates Peter as much as it does, Eddie Brock. Eddie's pissed because he's lost his job and all respectability and thinks Peter's stolen his girl Gwen as well. But with the suit he becomes Villain Numero Tres: Vemon, a demonic looking version of Spider-Man. All of this Cumulates in a final battle between the Villains and Our Hero, Spidey. A battle royale that is only ruined by the frequent cuts to some horrible reporter and repeated crowd shots, only one of which (featuring J. Jonah Jameson) is entertaining.
Overall the entire movie works well, but I do have a couple of minor complaints. First, I felt like we could have used more of Eddie Brock/Venom & Flint Marko/Sandman, they were featured nicely but I feel Raimi could have done more with this, if only he had made a movie that was about 30 min longer. (Personally I'd be fine with a 3 hour Spider-Man movie because I feel like if I'm paying $10 a movie, the longer the better and the more for my money!) Having said that, as the movie stand now it really needed both villains and the plot works well to make them both central to the story, I just would have liked to have more.
My second complaint is the main one I have with the movie: Not Enough Gwen Stacy! As any good Spider-Man fan knows Gwen was Peter's first and True Love in the comics. In fact the scene from the first movie where the Green Goblin tosses MJ off the bridge and Spider-Man catches her with his web, is right from the comics, only it's Gwen and when Spidey catches her the force of the sudden stop snaps her neck killing her. It's only after this tragic event that MJ comes into Pete's life. I'll be honest I was a little weary of Howard being cast as Gwen, but she looks amazing and did an amazing job with the character, she just needed more to do.
Highlight to read more of my opinion featuring a possible: Personally I'm still hoping they pull a roll reversal, killing MJ and moving Gwen in to be the new love interest. Plus she's much more attractive than MJ in the movies.
Other than that I enjoyed the movie, as did the others in my theater who cheered, hollered, clapped, and seemed to have a good time all around.
Bottom Line: Better than the First, not as good as the Second, but still better than most of the Super Hero Movies out there! Raimi once again proves why he is the best choice for this franchise. Here's Hoping For Part 4!


John said...

I'll wave my nerd flag for this one...

I actually thought we'd seen all we could of Sandman... he provided some cool effects, but we saw giant-sand-man twice and frankly that was enough... they had three fight scenes together which was as many as Doc Ock had and he was the only villain in Spiderman 2. I gotta say that if there wasn't too much Sandman there was just enough.

And while Venom probably had some more moves tucked away in there somewhere I can't see how he and Spiderman could have somehow had more to resolve apart from their single encounter... y'know, while showing up and fighting more than once is cool it's gotta have a point, otherwise it's just fighting... we get it, Spiderman ruined your life... if they got together again it would just be for the same reason, y'know?

The CineManiac said...

Mainly I wanted to see more of the backstory with these two. I felt that Sandman wasn't developed enough, while there was enough fighting, we didn't see much of him away from the fights except for the two sec with his daughter. Same with Venom/Eddie, there was very little development, and I wanted to see more of that.
Also with Venom, I wanted to see more of them talking to each other, since Eddie and Venom are 2 entities sharing the same space, the didn't explore that the symbiote hated Peter now or that Eddie now knows everything about Spider-Man and Peter because of the Symbiote.
Just felt another 20-30 min could have fleshed it all out better and made for a better movie, but that's not much of a complaint.

John said...

Yeah... that stuff isn't really important, though. And they did the whole "villain-talking-to-his-costume" thing in Spiderman 2. EVERYBODY can't talk to their costume Travis... as much as you'd like that.

I can remember when all you would ever do is talk about people talking to their costumes and I was all like, "Dude... let it go."

This is just like old times.

The CineManiac said...

You're right, I'll let it go (tear)

The Rigoulots said...

I have been looking forward to Spidey 3 since I walked out of Spidey 2 and I have to say that I am fairly disappointed. I did not like the humorous twist to Peter's dark side - a dancing demon is cool on Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Mask, but don't turn Spiderman into a Spiderham (hey - there's an idea). I have to agree about the need for more Gwen Stacey and maybe some more with Sandman and Venom. I loved Harry's turn and Aunt May's wisdom. Some of the shots were incredible - as expected, but the dancing and the reporters and the crowd shots and the lack of editing really left me underwhelmed by the movie. Also - are you satisfied with Peter and MJ dancing as the closing shot of the series - I felt like they were trying to wrap everything up and while I hope they will do another my gut tells me it's done.
Talk to you later cinemaniac! Here's hoping Harry and the Pirates won't disappoint.

The CineManiac said...

I will admit I while I thought the dancing, comedic "Dark" Peter was funny, it does take a bit away from how the Symbiote turns him "evil" IT takes his anger and hate and feeds on it and makes it worse.
But I think the scenes where he "kills a villain" & "Hurts" MJ and Gwen (sorry don't want to give anything away) sort of make up for that wacky stuff. (Maybe it's my love for old Raimi that lets me tolerate that stuff, but I didn't hate it)
Also as I said I really didn't like the repeated shots of the crowd and that inept actress playing the reporter (seriously was that girl related to Raimi, cause she was awful)
Also, I agree the ending wasn't great (I was still hoping MJ would die and Gwen would be there to comfort Pete) But I know Raimi & Maguire have both (Finally) said they'd do number 4.
My perfect number 4 would be to have Peter, MJ, & Gwen back with The Lizard as the villian (I mean really how long can they set up Dr. Conners and not make him the Lizard!) and promptly (like first 10 min) kill MJ somehow and develop the relationship between Peter and Gwen. They really need to do a reverse of the comics.
All in all while the movie wasn't perfect I still loved it. IT wasn't as good as Spidey 2, but I still think it was better than 1. Would I have liked a perfect movie? Yes, will I settle for great with a few flaws, Yes.
At least it wasn't X-men 3 or Fantastic Four (or is that Craptastic Four?)!

John said...

I personally loved "dark Peter." We got plenty of real bad moments from him... "killing" a villain in cold blood (well, he certainly wasn't short of trying) deforming his best friend, and slapping the love of his life in the face.

I thought the dancing scenes were actually pretty funny, and it just went to show that even the darkest side of Peter Parker is a complete dork.

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