Saturday, May 05, 2007

Spider Man 3: Quick Thoughts

I just finished watching the third installment of Marvel's blockbuster triumvirate of Spidey movies with friends and family. There were 3 or 4 theaters showing Spider Man 3. The initial time we chose was sold out but we finagled our way in regardless. We were in the fifth row and risked suffering neck pain and eye strain but it was worth it.

It was great seeing how successfully transmitted comics to movies bring out the whole family. The lines were long but moved fast. One of the highlights was seeing the coolest movie display of a forthcoming movie ever. There was a life-sized, Silver Surfer bursting through the grey, white and blue backdrop of the second installment of the Fantastic Four. The reflective sheen of both Surfer and his board was a fantastic site to behold. It even got the bad taste left in my mouth from the first movie's jaded and deeply disappointed expectations to dissipate a bit. I'd venture to say that these life-sized mannequin's surfing the cosmos into your favorite movie lobby will be stolen across the nation. (Remember the Sponge Bob thefts from atop the Burger King franchises years ago?)

The first 10-15 minutes of the SM3 movie served as a great recapping vehicle for seasoned and knowledgeable vets and newbies alike. The world loves Spidey and MJ has landed the lead in a small Broadway musical. Even the press, which initially vilified our red and blue arachnoid, were heaping praises...with the exception of, The Daily Bugle, of course.

There were some well-acted, tender moments with Aunt May sharing with Peter how Uncle Ben had proposed to her almost 50 years ago. There were other heart-tugging moments that got me a little choked up such as the time MJ (in an attempt to save Peter's life from a villain) tells Peter that their relationship is over. Sam Raimi's deft artistry and direction shows in these deeply-heart felt scenes and can easily turn 180 degrees with other-worldly villains and special effect that dazzle the senses. It is also a testament to the actors in the movie who capture the soul of their characters and have the talent to pull in the audience and convincingly have audiences live vicariously through them. There were some great comedic scenes with Bruce Campbell as the maƮtre d' at the French restaurant. I also loved Peter's obnoxious strut down New York and everybody's repulsive reaction to him. It is a credit to the creative teams who contributed to the movie to tell a full and dramatic story which can grab audiences from all generations and simplify the complexities of the movie into an entertaining (if not somewhat bloated) movie.

When I first heard of that Venom, Sandman and the new Goblin were in the movie, I really didn't think Raimi and company could pull it off. My disbelief became further rooted when I heard that Spidey would don the black garb (from the Shooter-based comic book series, "The Secret War"...remember that one kiddies?). Add to the mix that Harry believes Peter killed his father; MJ's career takes a dive; Peter gets shown up by a new recruit to the Bugle and the revelation that the dude in the first movie did not kill Uncle Ben and that the killer is still on the loose...this makes for one action-filled, emotional rollercoaster not easily navigated by the faint of heart. (My son is now a big Venom fan...sigh!)

The special effects, as we've come to expect over the years from this iconic franchise, were absolutely fantastic. The creators paid a reported $250 million to capture those effects and every penny put in was worth it.

My favorite part of the movie was when both Venom and Sandy team-up to bust up Spider Man. Hey, folks! It's Marvel Super Villain Team-Up Time! Overall the movie is an enjoyable conclusion to the trinity of movies. Great acting and even better special effects make this a ride worth taking. However, I don't' think I'd watch it again in the theaters. When the DVD comes out, I'll buy it as I have the previous two. This film could've used a little editing with the movie weighing in at almost 2 1/2 hours. I guess with that many characters which inherently demand a lot of screen time, it was destined to go a bit long. Maybe they should have trimmed down the villains gallery a bit and saved them for later installments of the series.

I'd quietly recommend the movie to everyone interested with some reservations. If you are going to watch the movie, I'd recommend that you watch the movie on the big screen to capture the grandeur of the special effects. This is a movie "built" for that type of viewing.

1 comment:

c-man said...

I think that the movie could have used less villains and maybe been a little shorter but I loved it.
Venom seemed tacked on. He a major character in the comic universe and we only see him for the last half hour! Even though I hate the character (over-hyped and over-powered), this movie didn't do him justice.
I loved how they portrayed the "evil" Peter Parker. Even though he was walking on the
"Dark Side", he was still a geek/nerd. Pretty funny stuff.
The Sandman was awesome. It's so wonderful how far advanced the movie industry is in computer generated fx. I used to think that "Toy Story" had great graphics! As a kid, I used to think that the sandman was pretty cool, but seeing him on the big screen reminds me of how unreal he is. When he turns into the Sandman, his whole brain dissolves. I could see how someones DNA can be effected by a bio-engineered spider bite, but having your brain melt and then having your consciousness in a million particles of sand? I don't buy it. Also, I consider him more of a Fantastic Four villain than a Spidey villain. He was always fighting the FF along with his team, the "Frightful Four." He always gave the Human Torch a run for his money and he was ALWAYS beat by the torch via water from a broken fire-hydrant. You think a guy would learn from his first defeat!
I was surprised on how the movie ended drenched in sad overtones. I actually yelped out-loud when the tragic event happened with somebody dying. I was sad that it happened.

Bryce Dallas Howard did a good job of portraying Gwen Stacy. I didn't recognize her in her blond wig. If you didn't know, she is the daughter of Ron Howard "Richie Cunningham." I first saw her in that terrible M. Night Shamalyan movie, the "village." Talk about a stinker! I have the "Lady in the Water" DVD, as you know, and I've still yet to watch it.

Anyway, Sam Rami did a great job, and from what I've heard, this may be his last, along with rest of the cast. I wish Venom wasn't played by Topher Grace. For one thing, he's too skinny to be Venom, and secondly, I think he would be a great Peter Parker if/when Toby Maguire leaves.

I never liked Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane. Growing up and seeing artist rendering of Mary Jane, especially by Todd McFArlane, she was alway sexy with the "movie star" quality. Sorry to say it, but Kirsten Dunst seems to plain or average to fit
the part. She's still a good actress, though

Just my 2 cents.