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“Spiderman 3” Review – Too Many Stories, Spoil the Film April 25, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Movie Reviews, Movies, Spiderman 3.
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I’m back from a preview of “Spiderman 3”; after going through a hassling traffic jam, and reached home only to find out my electricity had been switched off for some road works – with no advance notice. After arguing with the chaps for a bit, managed to rush out my preview for the new “Spiderman 3″…. albeit a few minutes late. Here’s the blog version, different from my published one apart from the synopsis (for professional reasons, of course):

Review : Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), now having gone through what we’ve seen in “Spiderman” 1 & 2 movies respectively, is living the life of a dream. He has a beautiful girlfriend by his side. As Spiderman, he is revered by the city as a hero for fighting crime and saving people’s lives daily. Although he still stays in a dodgy little apartment, and still has that freelance photography job at the Daily Bugle, he’s a happy man.

However, problems soon arise, when Parker finds himself caught up in his fame as Spiderman, that he begins to revel in it at the cost of his love, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). One morning, he wakes up to find himself in a new black suit, and discovers that an alien-like symbiote has merged itself into his suit, creating the new look; flashier, stronger – yet, darker, in a sense – Spiderman. Parker soon exhibits a darker personality, and begins to change; not just as his alter-ego, but as an individual – pushing Mary Jane to the brink.

In the midst of all this, Parker is dogged by more problems. Word is out that the real man responsible for the death of Parker’s uncle, Ben, is Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), who has just escaped from prison and is now loose on the streets. Digging deep into his darker side, Parker goes after Flint for more than just revenge, but to exterminate him; only to find that the ex-convict has somehow become The Sandman.

More chaos occurs when Harry Osborn (James Franco) takes up the mantle of his father as the new Green Goblin. Out for revenge for his father’s death, which he believed was caused by Spiderman, Harry pursues Parker at every turn of the corner – creating havoc, and pushing Parker into finally embracing his darker side.

At the losing end, Parker must find a way to destroy his enemies, and sever his link to the alien symbiote – but ends up creating a new enemy when the symbiote lands on Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), the new guy at the Daily Bugle who is out to replace Parker as Spiderman’s photographer; thus creating Venom – and who’s hatred for Spiderman runs deep.

The beginning credits of the film showed freeze frame snippets from “”Spiderman” 1 & 2, creating a little background history for the viewers before delving into the third movie.

Stan Lee makes a cameo, as he’s done in the past two Spidey movies, and has a good line this time. Topher Grace acts like his character, Eric Foreman, in the “70s show”. Rather wooden. And as much as I would like to believe that he has embraced the Venom character, he sounds odd when talking, like his mouth is full of teeth. Oh wait. They are.

Thomas Hayden Church was good here, showing the anguish the character needed, to convince me why he turned to crime, and how he became the Sandman later on. However, James Franco didn’t do much to convince me that he’s angry enough to want to kill Spiderman, but came off sounding like just another spoiled, rich brat who’s throwing temper tantrums.

Tobey Maguire’s looking a bit puffy here, probably having put on some weight recently from fatherhood. He gets to flex some acting chops, by not being a goody-two shoes all the time in “Spiderman 3”, but also as the bad-ass version of Peter Parker. The scenes after his transformation into the bad side, or , in homage to “Star Wars”; the ‘dark’ side – are funny, especially when you see the normally well-mannered, staid Peter Parker suddenly filled with the groove, checking out the ladies, and smoothly standing up to the dreaded J. Jonah Jameson.

Regrettably, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane looks haggard, drained, and quite aneroxic here; and although you know better – you’d find yourself rooting for the character of Gwen Stacy who seems to be more alive than the red-headed skeleton pining after Parker. However, the Gwen Stacy character is more of a tool to be used by Parker in the movie, rather than the cause of internal conflicts and the object of desire as it was in the comics.

There were too many stories squashed into this film. The final result : the main story was messed up, with some parts too short, and some parts too long and dragging you along. After a while, it gets a bit tiring to know that you can sort of predict what’s going to happen before every scene. Don’t get me wrong. The movie (some parts) were still exciting, sometimes gripping, yet, predictable.

One gripe : Spidey landing in front of the U.S. Flag, however – that was a big groan. Enough with the patriotism already – this is an international movie, with an international audience. We need a flag for Earth, and wave that around for every movie now.

In one of the final fight scenes, with heavy irony, the news reporter says “Could this be the end of Spiderman?” which almost seems prophetic. Three’s a lucky number at this stage, and I don’t see how much more excited one can get with the fourth instalment of “Spiderman”. Maybe it’s time to make a choice, just like the theme of this movie. There’s no such thing as having no choice – you can choose to do what’s right, or what’s wrong – but there’s always a choice. To end it, while the feeling is high.

No review can do justice to the film, even though the film ain’t that great. There’s just TOO MUCH to talk about, and I feel like I’ve skipped a whole saga with 2 reviews. Go watch it, but, with an open mind, and no major expectations.

Drowmage Rates this Movie as : 3 Stars

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The Drowmage’s Top Ten List : Cinema Etiquettes For the Movie-Goer April 10, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants, Drowmage's Top Ten List.
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Eons ago, our ancestors were nothing more than barbarians, walking with their simian brothers across the dense forest. However, as time passed, they learned to use their cognitive abilities and communication skills, evolving into a species which was considered more supreme than those which had existed for millions of years on this revolving sphere of gas, rock and water.

As societies began to form, and man created rules and social etiquettes to distinguish himself from the lower dregs of society, he considered himself to be a civil being, worthy of a higher station in life.

Yet, fast forward all of that to the year 2007, we haven’t changed much from our ape-like brethren. People drive like they have something stuffed up their rear end (the body, not the car), and create the boundaries between race, religion and even gender, for reasons of power than anything else.

But I digress…

Here’s a top ten list of cinema etiquettes which every movie-goer should have:

1. Don’t talk during a movie. EVER. Nobody forked out money to hear you give away the entire plot in your know-it-all voice, so shut your yap.

2. Don’t grope, kiss, fondle, and all the sick things couples do during a movie. Get a damn room, and if you can’t afford one, chances are that you’re under-aged. You know what that means.

3. Don’t bring in your smelly lunch, covered in six different sauces of undistinguishable origins, and smothered in garlic. Even a hotdog is pushing the limit. I don’t want to smell your food just as the Spartans fight for their glory with blood.

4. Don’t kick my chair. I know how to kick back, possibly aiming for your head.

5. Don’t answer your phone. Heck, don’t even switch it on – because the bright lights from your fancy gadget shining in my damn eyes everytime you flip it open to check for a message from your be-yotch might be the last thing you see.

6. Don’t be late. When you buy your ticket, look at the time stated there. An 11 o’clock show doesn’t mean you walk in at half past 11, saunter down the aisle in the dark looking for your seat and blocking everyone else’s view. Don’t go giving me that whole “Malaysian time” crap; have some common sense.

7. Don’t bring your kids under the age of 3. Hell, don’t bring them if you can’t keep them from screaming on the top of their voices. And what kind of parent brings their kids to watch an 18PL rating “Children of Men” anyway? You enjoy them laughing when people’s heads get shot? Freak.

8. Don’t snore. Don’t fall sleep. If you couldn’t keep your eyes opened for the movie, you shouldn’t have paid for the ticket. Movie reviews exist to tell you whether the movie sucked or not.

9. Don’t keep waving your plastic bag around as you try to dig into it for the last few chips that fell in there – the damn thing makes noise. I’m missing crucial moments here, and that don’t make me a happy person.

And last but not least, (you know who you are) :

10.Don’t ask me questions during the movie. I have no idea why that man shot the other guy, or why the girl appears in two places at once. Do I look like a damn psychic?

Watching a movie in the cinema is a sacrilegious experience and each scene brings you into the story, so having interruptions and nuisances in between can make a very, very, agitated movie-goer.

Next up : Cinema etiquettes for the cinema workers