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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.

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


Spiderman 3 – Venom Tidbits, Trailer and Other Assortments March 8, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Movies, Spiderman 3, YouTube.

Just found some yummy pics of the upcoming “Spiderman 3” movie, at “Pink is the New Blog“. Here’s a tidbit of it :

Photo source: Pink is the New Blog

Are you drooling yet?!?
Apparently it’s the production image for the movie.

Here’s the poster we’ve been seeing all over the news and trailers :

Photo source: RottenTomatoes.com

It’s a bit of a shame though. I know the new Venom costume looks cool and all of that, but still, here’s what I remember growing up with :

Venom in Wiki
Photo source: Wikipedia

Half of me is looking forward to the movie; but the Spidey fan side of me is skeptic. The past movies haven’t exactly followed the timeline of Spidey’s life – I mean, where’s Gwen Stacy, the Black Widow, and all the villains? Plus, the Goblin saga is more complicated that what’s on the silver screen, and the Sandman character in the comics differ from the movie version.
Having 3 villains in “Spiderman 3”- Sandman, Green Goblin, and Venom – just seems so cluttered; perhaps the thought of losing Tobey after the third Spidey movie was so traumatizing that they just had to squeezed all the villains into one last possible movie to milk us of our cash? We’ll see what happens in May. It looks like they’re sticking to the correct storyline for Venom’s – albeit a few loose strands (pardon the pun).

Here’s a tour of where the costumes, special effects equipments and weapons are kept, found at the movie blog.

And now I leave you with a video found on YouTube, showing clips from the movie and the trailer – plus some commentaries from the stars. (Look out for Sam Raimi – it’s been ages since the days of Xena and Hercules, but dang, doesn’t he look like his brother, “Joxer“?)

For more info on “Spiderman 3”, visit Sony’s website. Remember to disable your pop-up blocker for this.

Update: “Spiderman 3” gets released in Malaysia on May 3rd, a day before the U.S. Release date of May 4th. Why? Apparently Sony might be pushing for the Asian market, but according to Variety.com, Japan gets the world premier on April 16th and the release date for the 3rd Spidey flick on May 1st. Also, the Japanese Golden Week starts on the April 29th (one week of holiday, imagine that), and probably to avoid clashing with the other summer blockbusters – “Pirates of the Caribbean 3” and “Shrek 3“. Feeling spoiled for choice? Better book your tickets a week in advance – I know I’m going to catch all three!

Update 25/04/2007: I’m such a lazy-ass for not updating this. Malaysia gets to watch Spidey 3 in cinemas on 1st May, along with a bunch of other countries. After some shifting around, U.S. gets a swing at the movie on 30th April. Click here for my review on the web crawler’s third film.