Friday, 6 July 2007

Spider-man 3

So how badly was I waiting to see this movie? Literally since the summer of 2004 when Harry Osborne discovered the Goblin’s Lair and had the realisation that his late father was the Green Goblin at the end of Spider-man 2. I was screaming in my head “What?! No! Don’t end now! Great, now I have to wait years to see the story continue!”

I am a huge Spider-man fan; he’s my favourite super-hero (just marginally ahead of Batman) and I know most of the villains and all of their back stories. Although most of my knowledge comes from the 90’s animated series, which I use to watch religiously and in my opinion is the greatest cartoon of all time.

My favourite villain is Venom and I absolutely loved the 3-part story that was used for his creation in the animated series (which could be used as a step-by-step guide for one of the films). I’ve never been a huge fan of Sandman, but thought the CGI potential would be something to look forward to. I love the story of the Green Goblin, especially the transitions from father to son (but I wasn’t a huge fan of his costume in Spidey 1), but from the movie universe I was really interested to see how it was going to be handled in part 3.

When it was announced that these three villains were going to be in the movie I was very sceptical. Yeah, Harry as the Green Goblin was a definite, he had to be in this one. I can understand the thought behind adding a second villain to fill up the story and give the fans something new, so Sandman would be a pretty good fit. But a third? That just seemed too much! Especially using Venom as some tag along villain.

In my mind the black-suit and the Venom saga deserve it’s own movie. As much as I want to see Venom on the big screen, I’d gladly wait until Spider-man 4 so he gets the care and intention required.

Of course at the same time I’m thinking “this is the same cast and crew who have made the first two, so maybe they’ll pull it off”.

So with all this in mind, knowing how much story they had to fit into a 2hour film (in my mind it had to be at least 3 hours to do all the characters justice). I went in fingers firmly crossed and whispering to myself as the credits rolled “Please be good. Please be good…”


Well what can I say? What a mess. This is a completely different kind of film to the second, it’s schizophrenic in it’s gear changes, it’s pacing is all off, nothing flows, some scenes are truly magnificent and then others are downright awful. What the hell happened?!?!

When I came out, I was filled with completely mixed emotions. For everything I loved, there was something I absolutely hated or smelt bitterly of wasted opportunities. I really felt like giving it 5/10 considering half of it was genuinely good, yet the other half was just plain bad. It’s almost impossible to write about it cohesively, because it just shoots off all over the place.

For example, I loved the opening fight sequence between Harry and Peter, the imagination, choreography and effort that went into this is outstanding. Yet it just happens, no build up, no tension, nothing. Peter’s riding his moped down the street, then BAM we’re in a middle of a huge action set piece above the New York sky scrappers.

Really, would it have killed the film makers to add 30 seconds of Harry sneaking up behind Peter, or have his spider-sense tingling for a few seconds. The problem is, this sort of stuff plagues the entire movie. Especially the end, the four on four battle itself is immense, but for christ sake a news report introduces it!?!? Then a newsreader narrates it? What the hell?!

Seriously, this film is crazy. There are individual scenes that are amazing, but in the context and flow of the film they’re out of place. Think of a puzzle where individual pieces are full of detail and quality but they just don’t fit together to make a finished picture. It’s like watching a 2hour extended trailer, scenes must have been cut or shortened left, right and centre.

The best thing I can do is bullet point what I liked and what I hated (not it any particular order). It’s quite literally the only way I can think of getting all my thoughts down about this film. (Btw I love spider-man so there’s going to be a lot!)

Here goes: -

1 - The birth of Sandman, absolutely beautiful and by far my favourite scene in the whole film. The music, the atmosphere, the special effects, everything works perfectly to capture a man rebuilding himself (quite literally in this case).

2 - Topher Grace as Eddie Brock (what an excellent piece of casting), he plays him as a cocky know-it-all smart-ass. Maybe not the same as the character in the comics but as an opposite to Peter Parker (which I think the film-makers intended) it works perfectly for the film. I laughed at his lines, and couldn’t help but identifying with him more than I could with Peter at some points.

He is severely under used though, I wish we’d spent more time with him and that the competitive-ness between him and Peter was developed further. If he was the only villain this could have been done a lot easier.

3 - Dark Peter. I loved the scenes where Peter was wearing the black suit and acting like a complete asshole (you can see Tobey Maguire is loving it too). But to me his transformation happens too quickly, it should have been a gradual descent into darkness throughout the film. But here it’s literally; suit on = Peter’s bad. Suit off = Peter’s good.

It’s pretty off putting, the first time he puts on the suit, he walks past a mirror, combs his hair forward and now he’s bad. But once he is acting on his dark side, it’s funny and interesting to watch, you just have to ignore that he got there so fast.

Like with so much of this film, it’s good when you get there, it’s just how they got there that leaves a little to be desired.

4 – Jonah Jameson = comic genius. Nothing else to say, every scene he’s in is hilarious.

5 - The Restaurant scene. I loved this for so many reasons – Bruce Campbell as the French waiter, classic. The uncomfortable atmosphere once Gwen Stacy introduces herself to Peter and MJ, for me it’s probably the most identifiable scene in the film. “You’ve never mentioned her before?” “Yeah, about that…” Everything for 3 minutes is perfect. Comedy and drama in a bag baby.

6 - The way Sandman and Venom meet. What the hell kinda bollocks-ass screen writing is that?! It is appalling and is down-right the worst scene of the film. They ‘bump’ into each other by pure coincidence!?!?

“Hey I hate Spider-man and so do you. Wanna join forces?” “Um, Ok.”

Seriously, I almost walked out of the cinema I was so infuriated. I had to hit myself to make sure I didn’t just dream seeing that crap! This film is made by real people right? You’re telling me that a group of people sat around a table, discussed it and agreed that this was a good scene?! Who even writes that into a script? Of all the ways they could have met!


7 – The second thing I hate is how the ending is set up. A news report? “Okay, so we have to get Spider-man, Venom, Green-Goblin and Sandman all together for the climatic show-down. How are we going to do this? I know! We’ll announce it on the news and then just sit back and press play.”

What. The. Hell?

And then when the scene finally gets started and you start getting back into it, it’s narrated by the most annoying news reporter in the entire world (complete with the worst English accent I have ever heard). Shut the hell up! I know what’s going on, I’m watching the same film!

8 – The black suit. Well based on the trailers, the posters and the marketing campaign you’d think it was in the film for a fairly long time wouldn’t you? Try 5 minutes of actual black suited spider-man screen time.

It lingers in his room for the first half, attaches itself to Peter and we get our ‘ONE’ sequence of spidey in action with it and then it’s either locked up or under Peter’s clothes. I smell ‘wasted opportunity.’

The way Peter even comes into contact with it is ridiculous. Peter and MJ are in a park and a meteorite just happens to land next to them?! Right… And they don’t even notice? Okay…

When Peter realises he has to get the suit off and that it’s turning him bad he’s only wearing half of it (no mask and no gloves). Yet he then decides to put them back on and then struggles to get it off in a bell tower. Why? Oh because it’s a homage to the comics.

No you idiots! In the comics he went to the bell tower because he knew the suit was sensitive to the sonic sound waves of the bell clanging. Here it’s just coincidence he goes there and makes the realisation later on. There’s also no suggestion that the suit is attaching itself to Peter, because before the bell scene he has been able to take it on and off as he pleases. The script makes up the rules as it goes along.

9 – I really liked the introduction, with CG webbing and a recap of the previous 2 films, thought this worked really well, created a cool bit of style and set-up the film nicely.

10 – The action sequences are amazing (despite of how some of them just start out of the blue), whilst they’re running they were all creative and the majority of the special effects were top notch. There isn’t really any small sequences in this film of say spidey just nabbing a bank robber or something like that. They all link into the plot and generally involve a large set-piece.

11 – The first two films felt like cohesive movies that had a focus and a core story to tell. This one feels like a bunch of people sat in a room, everyone chucked in a suggestion about what villains they wanted, what new characters they wanted to see, what action sequences should be included, and then they employed someone to write a script to join the dots together.

12 – The fight between Harry and (dark) Peter is brilliant. Despite both of them being superheros the fight is very brutal and has a down ‘n’ dirty feel to it as they smash each other through the furniture. Also I loved the way they tease each other “Arr what’s the matter? Is Goblin junior going to cry?”

13 – Venom was wasted plain and simple. There is no two ways about it, Avi Arad got him included for the fans and Sam Raimi obviously didn’t want him there. So they tacked Eddie into a couple of scenes and then transformed him into Venom so he could be in a fight scene at the end. The fact that they then kill him is just more salt in the wound as you know he’s never going to be in another film and potentially used properly.

They seem to have no grasp of the character or any development of the symbiote taking Eddie over. No “we” instead of “I.” Nothing. As much as I wanted to see him in a movie, I would have preferred they left him out of this one.

I really like the design of him though, with all the twisted webbing wrapped around his body and some of the things he says are kinda funny like his little tease to Peter “Oooh, my spider-sense is tingling.” But for the few things they got right, there’s a lot more they got wrong.

To me it would be like making a Batman movie, having a couple of minor villains in the whole film, then adding the Joker for the last 15 minutes and then killing him. It just wouldn’t happen, so why they did it here I don’t know.

14 – The dance scene? That’s pretty crazy and out of place in my book. I love the idea of taking your new date to the place where your ex-girlfriend works, (just to rub it in) and it really demonstrates how the black suit is changing Peter. But for him to then get up and dance just ruins it for me.

15 – Why use MJ in the final scene? There is no indication what-so-ever that Eddie Brock knows that MJ means a lot to Peter. Or how the hell does he know where she lives?!

In my book they should have used Gwen Stacy, Brock’s pissed off that she dumped him and then saw her on a date with Peter, in my mind he’d go after her. Then you could also have the added turmoil of Peter fighting for another girl, whilst MJ watched on worried for his life but also slightly jealous.

16 – The whole “Sandman actually killed Uncle Ben”. This didn’t bother me too much as it did add to the story they were telling (despite being different to the cartoon), gave Peter some extra motivation and helped his descent into darkness.

17 - I can’t help but think this film is just way too over-crowed, from characters to plots points, there is enough material here to flesh out at least 2 movies.

Even if they wanted to tell essentially the same story I wish they’d split the film in two, so we could have say the blacksuit and sand-man in the first part and then have the second half deal with Harry and Venom.

How cool would it have been to end with Spider-man getting the black-suit off and Venom being born. Harry making a gradual change throughout the film and then finally becoming the Green Goblin at the end. Just to be left with a “to be continued” That would have kicked ass. Instead it all just gets chucked into one and spat out as muddled movie and left with thoughts of what could have been…

I could say more but I think you get the idea of what a complete mixed bag of a film this is.

I have however seen it 3 times and have never got bored whilst watching it (it is a pure pop-corn flick), but that doesn’t necessarily make it a good film either.


(Oh and just so you know I’d would give the other two films both 9/10.)
Any thoughts?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Princípio Chines.

Sobre o dinheiro.

O dinheiro pode compra uma casa,mais não um lar,
O dinheiro pode comprar um relógio,mais não o tempo.
O dinheiro pode comprar uma cama,mais não o sono.
O dinheiro pode comprar um livro,mais não o conhecimento.
O dinheiro pode pagar um médico, mais não a saúde.
O dinheiro pode comprar um posto,mais não o respeito.
O dinheiro pode comprar o sangue ,mais não a vida.
O dinheiro pode comprar sexo,mais não o amor.
Um pricípio chines trás sorte,o original saiu dos países baixos.
Este princípio já deu 8 vezes a volta ao mundo,agora é a você,a quem vai trazer sorte.
Depois de ter recebido esta carta,você terá boa sorte.
Isto não é nenhuma brincadeira.
A sorte virá até você por correio ou por internet.
Envie uma cópia desta carta as pessoas que realmente precisam de boa sorte,não envie dinheiro,
porque a sorte não se compra e não conserve a carta por mais de 96 horas (4 dias).
Constatin, recebeu a primeira carta em 1953,pediu a sua secretária para fazer 20 cópias.
nove horas mais tarde ganhou 99 milhões de marcos na loteria do seu país.
Carlos,empregado,recebeu esta mesma carta e não a enviou,alguns dias mais tarde perdeu seu emprego.
Dias depois decide continuar a corrente e fica rico.
Em 1967,Bruno recebeu a carta, se esquece dela e joga fora, uns dias depois seu filho cai doente.Ele pro
cura a carta,a copia 20 vezes ea envia.Nove dias mais tarde,recebe a feliz notícia:seu filho são e salvo.
Esta missiva da sorte tem sido enviada por Anthony de Croud, um missionário da África do Sul.
Após 96 horas deverás jogar fora esta carta.
A sorte te chegarás em menos de 4 dias a partir do momento em que tenhas recebido esta carta,se cumprir com o solicitado nela.
Isto é verdade.
Esta missiva tem sido enviada para dar boa sorte
A sorte acaba de bater a sua porta
Envie 20 cópias a seus conhecidos, amigos,familia
Uns dias mais tarde terás boas noticias ou uma surpresa
Eu te a envio já que a carta tem que dar a volta ao mundo
Envie simplesmente 20 cópias e espere a ver o que acontecerá no nono dia

Não mude nada do texto que te foi enviado,copie exatamente como te foi dado.

Boa Sorte