Saturday, May 05, 2007

Spider-Man 3

Your friendly neighborhood web-slinger is back, only this time his sunny outlook has become partially overcast in the third chapter of director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man saga. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco return to reprise their roles from the previous two installments, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace and Bryce Dallas Howard making their first appearances in the series as Flint Marko (aka Sandman), Eddie Brock (aka Venom), and Gwen Stacy, respectively. Peter Parker (Maguire) has finally learned to walk the middle ground between being the superhero that his city needs, and the man that Mary Jane (Dunst) loves. All is well in New York City until one night, as Peter and M.J. set gazing at the stars, a falling comet streams across the sky and crashes into the ground close by. But this isn't any ordinary shooting star, and upon impact the mysterious space rock is split open to reveal a shape-shifting symbiote with the power to overtake anything that it comes into contact with. Later, as Harry Osborn acquires his late father's flying board, engineers a powerful new Goblin outfit, and takes to the sky to avenge dad's death, the mysterious space sludge infects both Peter's Spider Man suit and ambitious street photographer Eddie Brock (Grace). His strange new suit giving him a newfound sense of power as it gradually overpowers his personality, Peter discovers that escaped convict Flint Marko was in fact the man responsible for the death of Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson). Unfortunately for Peter, Marko has recently acquired the power to morph at will and quickly completes his transformation into the dreaded Sandman. As the Sandman gives in to his darkest criminal instincts and the slithering space symbiote transforms Eddie Brock into the nightmarish fanged villain known as Venom, the citizens of New York City must once again call on Spider Man to fend off destructive forces that are far too powerful for the likes of mortal man. (all movie guide)

Well, the summer movie extravaganza has fine start with the release of Spider-Man 3. I had a thoroughly good time seeing Spidey, this morning, in what was without a doubt the fullest theater I've ever been in at 10:00am on a Saturday morning. I can usually get a pretty good idea of how a movie is going to do based on how many people I share the theater with early on a Saturday morning and Spider-Man 3 is going to be big. I was in the first showing, the next one started 20 minutes later, and the theater was practically full. The only other crowd I've seen that came close to that was when I saw The Da Vinci Code and the theater was about half full. The main difference being that for The Da Vinci Code, everyone was adults while for Spider-Man 3, maybe half were children which is to be expected. I actually prefer the early morning shows because when I'm watching a movie I'm not very fond of playing children, people who talk in theaters (there's a special place in Hell for them) cell phones, or the sound of people tearing paper or eating crunchy food. I'm just silly like that. I've learned that, for the most part, the people who are up early to see a movie on an opening weekend are very similar to me in the respect that we are there for the same reason: To see the movie and demonstrate respect for the other (2 or 3) viewers. Basically, we're nerds and nerds look out for each other. Simple.

As for the movie, Spider-Man 3 is exactly what summer movies are supposed to be: Fun. There's plenty of action, great characters and several new story lines as well as returning plots from the previous films with one or two actually being resolved. The movie runs about 2 hours and 20 minutes but could have easily been much longer and if I had a complaint concerning the movie, the story and the time allowed would be it. Granted, there were a few "down time" moments which felt a little long to me, but the overall story, dealing with so many characters, was spread entirely too thin and would have benefited greatly from an additional 30 minutes of fleshing out. But, then again, I could have sat through another hour of either of The Lord of the Rings movies and never given it a second thought. Either way, I still enjoyed the movie and I think it's an adequate successor to the first two, however, I will admit, I think I liked the first two better but an extended edition DVD might change my mind. We'll see.


Chris said...

I've just scanned through this post as I don't want to know anything about the plot for this flick as I've also attempted to not watch any trailers for it either. However, I like your comment about the movie going experience. Just before I left Vancouver one of the local privatly owned theatres started to host the 'Vancouver Sun Film Series'. Held roughly the 1st Sunday of a month at 10AM. Cost of admission included coffee, juice, muffins and bagels. No trailers, no commercials, just the movie and either before or after a guest speaker. A few movies I saw in this environment were Capote, Siriana (I know I'm spelling it wrong) and The Thre Buriels of... I can't remember the guys name but the flick had an amazing performance by Tommy Lee Jones.

Movies for people that love the art of film. I'm waiting to discover a similar environment here in Glasgow.

Greetings from Barcelona by the way.

John Taylor said...

hi chris and thanks-

I really want to see the Tommy Lee Jones movie - The Three.....of Melquiades Estrada - I've heard he is really good in it and it's his directorial debut, as well.
I hope all is well in Barcelona and let me know how things are in Paris.