A silly little blog for me to drop the excrement of my mind.
Spoilers ahead, you have been warned!
Published on May 6, 2007 By BlueDev In Movies & TV & Books

I am a closet comic book fan.  I had a subscription to both The Amazing Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk when I was much younger (back when a single issue was $0.65!).  I tried to follow them, particularly Spiderman.  It was my favorite comic book and I watched the old movie regularly.  After my subscription ran out, I still cherry picked the issues and story lines that interested me.  But, it became too much to really keep up on.   

The years passed, but I still, secretly enjoyed comic books.  I was always drawn to the comic section in bookstores and it was with great anticipation that I awaited the release of the first Spiderman movie.

I loved it.  It really captured the feeling of the comics (at least the old ones I used to read).  The movie wonderfully portrayed the geekiness of Peter Parker, the fascination of his new powers, and I think it dealt with the relationship between Pete and MJ nicely.  The Green Goblin was menacing, a little silly, but also human.  We understood the character.

The second movie improved on the first in just about every way I felt.  Dr. Octopus (Octavius) was again a real character.  We knew him before be "turned", we understood his motivations, we could still see the glimmer of human in him at numerous points during the movie.  And the interaction between Pete and MJ was, again, handled superbly.  It set quite a high water-mark for superhero movies in my opinion (only surpassed by the marvelous "Batman Begins").

And so, it was with high expectations that my wife and I went to see Spiderman 3 Friday night.  Be warned, there are plenty of spoilers that will follow.  You have been warned, you have been given time to leave, so any complaints about spoilers will be, at best ignored, most likely derided for the poster's inability to read.  'Nuff said.

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I'm not going to walk through the whole thing, but from the beginning I had my doubts.  MJ is in a Broadway show and frankly, she sucks.  No big deal, but the voice they used just sounded so bad, so different from Kirsten Dunst's voice, it was off-putting.  Plus, in a stage show all facial expressions should be exaggerated, but I'm not sure Ms. Dunst's constant expression of supreme boredom couple with some slight mental, er, emptiness is really something you should exaggerate.  Throughout the entire movie she just looks vacant.  Nothing there.  Is she happy?  Hurt?  Sad?  Constipated?  I just don't know.  I never get anything from her.  Now I'm not a big fan of hers, so I won't say she has done anything great.  But in this movie particularly she just always has this half-eyed, tired expression.  Even when she is breaking up with Pete I get nothing from her.  No pain, no sadness that she is being forced by Harry to do this.  Nada.  Ugh.

The entire situation with Harry was actually probably the best part of the movie.  Harry comes for Pete, pretty much kicks his butt, then gets knocked off his new glider (looks like a snowboard this time around), hits his head and becomes amnestic.  Now, suddenly he and Peter are best buds.  He knows his dad is dead, but nothing more.  He becomes a rich, simple loser.  Had this been the end of it, it would have really sucked.  Fortunately he snaps out of it, tries to kill Pete again (who this time is a bad dude and really takes it to Harry) and the whole thing is one.  The team up at the end (after intervention from the butler who reveals the truth about Harry's dad) was a nice way to reconcile their relationship.  Still, something about his death felt anti-climactic.  It just didn't click with me, but was still one of the highlights of the movie.

Villains just plain sucked.  Sandman is a two-bit criminal who we find out is the one who actually (accidentally) pulled the trigger on Uncle Ben, and suddenly he is on the loose.  Throw in a little snazzy science accident and he becomes this thing that is sand/human and can absorb any sand he comes in contact with (making him potentially huge).  There is an underlying story of a sick daughter and him trying to get money to save her life.  But this is so underplayed that I just never felt any pity toward the character.  At least in the two previous movies I felt we understood the motivation of the bad guys.  But this one was just so undeveloped that at the end I didn't care that he just whisped away into the New York air.

Venom was too little, too late.  Eddie Brock was unconvincing as anything more than a punk, and though we understand his motivation, the whole "you took my job, I'll take your life" bit was just dumb.  Had he been in more of the movie I think it would have had more impact.  But he felt like a complete support player who at the end they decided they needed a second bad guy for Peter and Harry to team up against, so they threw him in (I am comic savvy enough to know that this was a result of the whole symbiont/black suit thing, but it still felt tacked on).  When Eddie gets fried at the end I felt neither pity nor triumph.  I was just glad we weren't going to have to suffer through any more if him.

So, as to the central part of the movie: Peter versus black suit Peter.  There has always been some camp to Spiderman, but this was just over the top.  It was funny at first, but just became painful.  Peter suddenly thinks he is "da man" as he struts around town, dancing up and down the street with the black suit under his clothes.  He becomes a nasty, irritating emo punk (stringy bangs hanging down into his eyes to boot!).  But what about the suit?  Why does he want it on?  We know that with Venom the suit makes Eddie stronger, faster, he can shoot black, goopy webs.  But what does the suit do for Peter?  He says he likes the way if feels, but other than making him aggressive and vengeful, we are never given any indication that it enhances his powers or changes them in any way.  So much there was unexplored because we were too busy with all the other stuff (MJ, Spidey as the hero of NY, Sandman, Harry, Eddie issues at work).  We know that the symbiont enhances "certain" traits, but which ones?  Why negative ones?  Where did it come from?  Why did it go for Pete?  (Because he happened to be the closest to the landing spot?)  And why does it wait so long to merge with him?  I just really felt that this aspect had the potential to be really interesting, but again, like all of the movie, felt very rushed.  Peter hitting MJ is what finally snaps him out of it, which I think worked, but this was about the only aspect I thought really did work.

Overall, it was just too much.  Most of my complaints with the movie could have been remedied by cutting something.  What had the potential to be the more interesting parts of the movie just never were developed well because there was too much to get to.  I thought that perhaps I was seeing things through nostalgic lenses, but caught the last half of Spiderman 2 on TV last night and just thought it was better in every way.

Final verdict, I'm glad I saw it, and I actually think I will like it more after I see it again.  But I promise, I won't be spending the money to see it again in theaters.  This one will be waiting to catch on DVD.  With two other movies this year that complete trilogies I really enjoy, I am hoping that is the most disappointing of the three (Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and The Bourne Ultimatum).


Comments
on May 06, 2007
I'm really afraid that I'm going to go in hoping for too much, but I hope that I've read enough poor reviews that my expectations are lowered.

I still think that Spiderman 2 and X2 are two of the best superhero movies ever made (Batman Begins I don't even really consider a superhero movie, but a compelling action/drama that's just cream of the crop. Dark Knight Returns had better be good . . .) but X3 was disappointing, and most people seem to say that Spiderman 3 is, too. Oh well. I'll see it in a week or two.


And I hope both other trilogy enders kick butt, too.
on May 06, 2007

Dude, it was bad, for what I was expecting.

Honestly, had they trimmed out some stuff and focused on what they had it would have been so much better.  So much.  Oh, just get rid of Kirsten Dunst.  She was just awful from beginning to end.  Then again, Tobey Maguire as a "bad boy" was terrible as well.

Granted the other people who saw it with us weren't nearly as disappointed.  I think that is because of how much I liked Spiderman 2.  So I think many will be happy with it.  But I sure wasn't.

on May 06, 2007
Oh, and I enjoyed X3 a LOT more than Spiderman 3 (while agreeing it was hands down the weakest of the three). 
on May 06, 2007
I think your critiques were spot on. I didn't have as high of expectations and I never read the comics. I do think it would have been a better movie if they had only one villain. Venom/Eddie Brock seemed like almost an afterthought. Really he only had a couple of scenes at the end. But still I thought it was worth the ticket price maybe not in a changed my life way but just two hours of entertainment.

btw, I was disappointed in the second Pirates movie. My boys will probably want to see the third it but it's not high on my list.
on May 06, 2007

Oh, and I enjoyed X3 a LOT more than Spiderman 3 (while agreeing it was hands down the weakest of the three). 

But, in thinking back, this is probably becuase I didn't go into it with super high expectations.  I went into X3 wanting to be entertained, nothing more.  It entertained me.  I think I would have to say that Spiderman 3 was a better movie than X3, but I was much more disappointed by it.

But still I thought it was worth the ticket price maybe not in a changed my life way but just two hours of entertainment.

I don't regret seeing it, and I will get it on DVD, if for no other reason than to complete the trilogy.  But after Spiderman 2, I wanted to see it again in the theater.  This one, not so much.

I was disappointed in the second Pirates movie.

Oh, I was disappointed as well.  It, too, suffered from too much syndrome.  But I am looking forward to the completion.

on May 06, 2007
"I am a closet comic book fan. I had a subscription to both The Amazing Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk when I was much younger (back when a single issue was $0.65!). I tried to follow them, particularly Spiderman. It was my favorite comic book and I watched the old movie regularly. After my subscription ran out, I still cherry picked the issues and story lines that interested me. But, it became too much to really keep up on. "

You have no idea how old this makes me feel, as I was readinng spiderman, x-men, fantastic four, on and on. for the mind boggling price of 12 cents a book.

I am still going to see spidy in the movies, as I am a huge fan of not just spidy, but special effects.

on May 06, 2007

You have no idea how old this makes me feel, as I was readinng spiderman, x-men, fantastic four, on and on. for the mind boggling price of 12 cents a book.

Aah, the golden days. 

Go see it.  It is still worth seeing, just a let-down for me.

on May 07, 2007
I too am a big (though not closet) comic book fan, with Spiderman being one of my all time favourite superheros. My wife and I saw Spiderman 3 on the weekend and thought it was absolutely fantastic. While some of the plot line was a bit twee, we absolutely enjoyed it. As a movie, is was as good as the other two and expanded the relationship between PP and MJ beautifully. The introduction of both Sandman and Venom was great but could be a little confusing for those who only know the movie franchise.

All in all, an excellent movie.
on May 07, 2007
never been a comicbook person, but loved all the Saturday cartoons. I followed as much as I could and heard stories from comic bppks to keep the story going.

My take on the movie (which I saw Friday)? I think most of the movie was good. I think the action was good, Parker as a bad boy, funny but entertaining. The black suit was sweet. MJ, maybe a little less of her would have been better. Harry (The hopgoblin, spelling?) played his role pretty well, I was surprised to see him turn to good, guess I didn't follow the story line that good. Venom was great, one of the best cartoon to reality conversions I've seen yet, though I think The Silver Surfer will knock him off soon. The Sandman was OK, I think they could have found a better actor to play him.

All in all the movie had a bit too much talking, too much time between bringing the bad guys to the scenes and the fighting, especially with Venom. Still, I think it's work watching. It will be a nice addition to my DVDs when it comes out. Will most likely search for the Trilogy Pkg. I hope they consider doing a movie with more heroes, maybe some of the X-men, Iron Man, Hulk or Ice man and Firestar. That would be kinda nice.
on May 07, 2007
Honestly, had they trimmed out some stuff and focused on what they had it would have been so much better. So much. Oh, just get rid of Kirsten Dunst. She was just awful from beginning to end. Then again, Tobey Maguire as a "bad boy" was terrible as well.Granted the other people who saw it with us weren't nearly as disappointed. I think that is because of how much I liked Spiderman 2. So I


My friend saw it and had the same views as you! She said there were too many villians and she was sick of Kirsten Dunst who was just too whiny!

I haven't seen it yet, but probably will still go to the theatres since my son wants to see it. I won't let him know what I know. Bests he finds out for himself and I'll see if he feels the same way. You're the third person who said basically the same thing.
on May 07, 2007

Maso:  I'm glad you enjoyed it.  It makes me think I will enjoy it more perhaps next time I see it.

Charles: Thanks for the comment.  I thought there was too much of just about everything, including talking.

FS: A lot of people are enjoying it, so hopefully he will too.

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