Thursday, June 21

spider-man 3 - or - the longest post you'll ever read

for those that haven't seen the movie yet, you can read the first few paragraphs, but then i'm going to get into specifics. i'll warn you when i talk spoilers, because i really don’t want to ruin this movie for you.

what's a guy to do. the movie he's been waiting years for finally comes out, and he's got nobody to see it with. not only that, but it's been getting luke-warm reviews, some even saying that it was "awful," and none saying it was perfect. so what does he do? he skips the opening weekend. but he knows he has to see it, it's pulling him in... so what does he do? he goes to see a movie by himself for the first time in years (since the arizona days of seeing a movie and then sneaking into another after for free).

i don't know if i've gone into a movie before in the mindframe i was in for spider-man 3. i was worried it wouldn't be good, afraid it wouldn't be, yet excited, so excited. see, i like spider-man. :) and i don't know if i've ever viewed a movie in the way i viewed this one... after every scene - hell, after almost every LINE OF DIALOGUE I would analyze it and say to myself "ok, that wasn't so bad," or "oh, that was good..." thankfully after a while that scene-by-scene analysis wore off as i got wrapped up in the experience... because...

this movie is good. great even. i loved it.

now, it isn't as good as the first 2 movies (for the record, spidey 2 is better than the original, and then followed closely by 3)... but it's only hampered by it's ambition (4 enemies is a lot, in addition to 2 love triangles, spider-man, AND peter parker - all in under 2 ½ hours) and it's ending, which is too rushed and sloppy. the RESULT at the end is fine, but the last "fight" happens way too fast (you get hints that maybe it's winding down and then all of the sudden BAM last fight) and it's, well, sloppy.

for the life of me, i can't understand why if you were a fan of the original 2 movies, why you wouldn't at least LIKE this movie. i mean in my mind, you should think it's pretty darn good. it should have been much longer, yes, and the enemies' backstories could have been fleshed out just a bit more, and the end fight... ugh... but still, it's got everything else in it as the previous 2 movies! the perfect marriage of action/drama/horror/comedy.

SPOILER TIME: stop reading if you haven't seen the movie. and go see it already. whoever you are, i'm sure you don't have my problem of not having anyone to go with. i'm just a loser like that.

have you stopped reading yet? seriously, i don't want to ruin this damn-good movie for you.

ok, first off, i thought the story was woven together almost seamlessly. sure it wasn't as tight as 2 (which was near-perfect), but this one had a lot of characters, who had a lot of relationships... and the enemies, oh the enemies. spidey finally getting his props, NY loving him, mirroring mary jane's hope for stardom... and then her getting jealous of him ("this isn't about you peter!") was just pure genius. i mean it's REAL relationship stuff! and then peter just eating it up, falling for the fame, giving gwen that kiss in front of everyone... it was real drama people! i read somewhere that it's very shakespearian, and yeah, i'd have to agree. the betrayals, the return to old times, the realization you can never go back, the revenge, the eventual sacrifices... all there. and i'm a sucker for shakespeare.

i mean, these people are real, with real feelings. i could really see peter doing that - a boy from queens, a nerd, all of the sudden having this fame after being hated all his life (for spider-man and for being a nerd). and also, MJ is his first girlfriend! of course he's going to make some mistakes there! nothing felt fake or staged or anything. then there were things left unsaid, missed calls, circumstance... and THAT'S ALL GOOD DRAMA. i loved it all - the peter/MJ/harry triangle (and friendship because of the amnesia), the peter/gwen/brock small triangle... and OH MAN, topher grace just keeps proving that he's a great actor (he was surprisingly good in that drama/comedy from a year or 2 ago... uh, with dennis quaid? forgot the name). anyway, topher as eddie brock was the perfect choice. my only complaint is that you got a bit of brock, and a bit of sandman... but you didn't get enough of either of them. it was like just a taste of each.

there was enough here for 2-3 movies on its own, yet it somehow worked as it was. no, it wasn't long enough, but neither were the first 2. I mean come on, they never are going to be long enough.

what i loved:

- i loved the reality of peter and MJ's relationship

- the return to old times with harry's memory loss, if only for a brief moment of time

- topher grace as eddie brock

- any scene at the daily bugle

- the first fight between peter and harry as the goblin

- aunt may

- bruce campbell and the entire restaurant scene. the comedy and the drama. perfect.

- a pretty good backstory for the sandman (was worried i wouldn't like him being uncle ben's killer, but they made it work)

- thomas hayden church as the sandman

- black suit spider-man fight w/ sandman

- peter's decent into depression (kicked off by harry making MJ dump him... classic shakespeare stuff)

- harry and peter going at it at harry's house (maybe my favorite fight, no costumes, everything on the table, no holds barred)

- black-suit peter parker (his cockiness, the montage of him, outing brock at the daily bugle, asking the neighbor girl to make him cookies, the dance number)...

what i wasn't so keen on:

- peter's emo haircut as black-suit peter parker (though i got over it eventually)

- not enough venom. he comes in the last act, really didn't show off all his stuff in the fight, and then BAM, spidey kills him (though connors has that bit of the suit he was analyzing - but brock's dead)

- they introduced gwen stacy (and wow, picture perfect), but i didn't really like how they used her. she was just pretty much a pawn, and the way they left it, i don't think she likes peter anymore.

- the end fight

ok, the end fight needs it's own paragraph. so i think what kicks off the end (though we as viewers don't really know it's going to happen so fast) is that peter gets rid of the black suit, and it goes on brock. then i believe aunt may visits peter, gives him a pep talk - cut to venom teaming up with the sandman - cut to peter in front of MJs, he leaves, she gets in a cab, it's venom - cut to a news broadcast of MJ in trouble super-villian-style.

there should have been more time between when peter shed the suit and the final confrontation. ok, that's the first problem. next, the setup venom and sandman had for peter... how much more super-villiany can you get? it was just too convoluted of a plan... and maybe it works in the comics, but this movie is so real, i don't know... it just felt a little off. i don't think the news coverage helped either (something about that i didn't like either - though i did like the coverage showing quick horror-like shots of venom grabbing police officers, should have been more of that).

so peter goes to harry to get help. i loved that, didn't really see it coming. of course he says no, peter goes off and fights. the fight itself was ok, could have been better... i really think venom could have showed off more. anyway, you KNOW harry's going to swoop in, so he does - and then it gets REALLY campy. i mean, i like when spider-man is cracking wise when he's battling... but when it's the last battle, and my girlfriend-ex-girlfriend's life is on the line... they just joked around too much. and what was with them standing around like after he just saved him, and they're like, oh, whatever they said... i mean wouldn't you be RUSHING up to MJ to save her? just was weird.

they battle, "beat" the sandman, save MJ, fine... then peter's down, venom's going to deliver the final blow, and you're like "oh man, don't do it..." and yeah, harry jumps in the way. now, looking back, you kinda know harry's gotta die. i mean otherwise what, harry and spidey are going to be a crime fighting duo? and yes, it was in a similar fashion to the way his father died, very symbolic, yes i get it... but just something was off about it.

that could pretty much sum up this entire end fight sequence. something was off.

so harry's down, dying, and it's peter and venom and, i dunno... peter just beats him too fast, too easy. there should have been a little more, that's all. and i think it would have been much cooler if the suit died and brock lived - that way venom COULD come back (though, for fans of the comics, with doc connors having a bit of the suit, we could see carnage in another film).

ok, now after venom's dead, there is another case of "why are you guys talking at a time like this." sandman comes up and him and spidey have a nice heart-to-heart. WHAT?!? while i loved the dialogue, it just wasn't the right place or time for it - and yeah, maybe this guy killed your uncle ben and he's sorry about that and you'll forgive him, but HE JUST KILLED POLICE OFFICERS MINUTES AGO! what the hell!!! otherwise yeah, it was very nice, him turning into sand and wisping away in the wind... like peter letting go... very symbolic - but just no, not at the right time, the wrong circumstances. ALSO, harry's freakin' dying a few stories below! shouldn't you check on him peter?!?

anyway, so he checks on him and he's dying. it's nice, all 3 friends together for one last time - but again, something is off. i don't think the dialogue was that well written for that scene. but the sun rising, a new day - nice raimi, nice.

and then cut to the funeral, and the rest i loved. it was real cool almost ending on the funeral, mirroring the first spidey movie, but with MJ and peter standing apart. and the end, i'm glad they really didn't say anything, just started dancing. it was all there in their faces, in their expressions, their body language. they're going to try again, not "everything is fine now marry me." oh god. i was actually worried he was going to propose there at the end. glad he didn't.

all right, i think that's enough. if you actually made it to the end of this, kudos. you now know that even if i did have people to go to movies with, why they probably wouldn't go with me anyway - because i'd talk their ear off after. like this. but i had to, it's spidey 3. i was worried, but it was good. it was great. i won't go as far to say that it surpasses the others, but it could have had it been longer or the focus been tighter (and perhaps if they knew they were going to do more with the same cast, so raimi didn't have to worry about wrapping up his trilogy while leaving threads for new movies).

as a testament to how good it was, i really wanted to sneak in to another theater showing it and watch it again. i do think raimi has perfected the action/drama/horror/comedy, built upon what he had done in the first 2 and maybe did even better here in that regard. had it been longer, the enemies backstories more fleshed out, and the end fight sequence been less rushed and less sloppy... who knows. what can i say - i love me some spider-man.

- kawitchate

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