Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, James Cromwell, Elizabeth Banks, Bruce Campbell
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Official Site of the Movie
Discuss Spider-man 3 on the boards!
Remember when you were a kid and every movie you saw was great? It was just nice to be out at the movies! It was just nice to be out of the house. You weren’t worried about plot development or character structure or any of those other logical thought processes that ruin even the most plausible movies for you now. You were just having fun. And some of those movies were awful. Teenage Mutant ninja Turtles 2? A complete mess. The Money Pit? Sucked. But you begged your parents to take you to see them and you loved ever second of it!
Since the logical thinker in you took over, there have been plenty of great comic book characters caught in horrible theatrical adaptations. Channelling the inner child that just loved going to the movies probably wouldn’t have helped movies like Daredevil and The Fantastic Four but it’s no reason to assume the worst.
With that, I ask you now: Are you going to watch Spider-man 3 as the rational thinker ready to call foul at every organic web-shooter and newly revealed uncle-killer, or are you going to watch it as that little kid that’s just glad to be at the movies? The little kid who always thought the Sandman would be great in a Spider-man movie? The little kid that isn’t going to let the fact that the story isn’t a carbon copy of its source ruin his enjoyment of seeing his favorite superhero swing around the empire state building blasting web balls at his arch nemesis.
No, I’m not telling you to turn off all rational thinking, but I am telling you to not to get hung up on the small things. It’s true that there are some problems with the film, enough where you could have a field day ripping it apart. But despite excessive crying, a couple of out-of-the-blue dance sequences and an expanding cast that are literally battling for screen time, Spider-man 3 is hiding one of the most fun comic book movies of this modern resurgence.
Peter Parker is on top of the world. He’s at the head of his class, he’s about to propose to the girl of his dreams and his superhero alter ego Spider-man is beloved by all of New York. As Spider-man is given the key to the city, and an upside-down smooch by the bottle blonde vixen from his science class Gwen Stacy (played by holy-cow-was-she-always-this-hot BDH), he’s completely oblivious to the fact that the world that’s treating him so well is slowly folding in around him.
His uncle’s real killer has escaped prison and some weird space goo has followed him home, but he couldn’t have possibly seen those problems developing. His overlooking these other problems is just a sign of how he’s let the celebrity go to his head. That perfect relationship… it isn’t as strong as he thinks it is. Between part 2 and 3, Mary Jane ( Kirsten Dunst) got clingy. Her career is a mess and she needs Peter’s attention, but like a lot of couples where one has success and the other has failure, everyone’s not getting what they need. I’ve never had a huge problem with Dunst in the role, other than her complaining she does off screen. While she’s not the brick house that the character of Mary Jane should be Dunst is still a real looker and I think she does a fairly good job here expressing the current trauma in Mary Jane’s life.
Peter’s supposed best friend Harry (James Franco) still holds a grudge against Spider-man for killing his father back in the first movie. His vengeance has gained new focus ever since he found his father’s secret Goblin lair and discovered that Spidey and Peter are one and the same. With ammunition and a target Harry strikes out becoming the first villain to make himself known in a fast-paced, sometimes difficult to see but still pretty bad ass, air chase that ends with Harry face planting a pipe. A nasty bump on the head has Harry focusing on a new enemy – amnesia. Franco is great here slipping from obsessive and bitter to a genuinely happy friend as fast as you can say, “Heads up!” What’s even more impressive is his slip back to the dark side as he embodies the smarmy evil that Willem DaFoe perfected as the original Green Goblin.
With his troubles forgotten Harry steps right back into the best friend role sliding out of the way leaving plenty of room for villain number two to gain some powers and become a nuisance. Coming to the plate, the visually imposing behemoth Sandman, played here to perfection by Thomas Haden Church. In a franchise that has had some pretty tragic evildoers, Sandman takes the prize. The Green Goblin and Doc Ock were both good men that went crazy from their creations. Sandman, aka Flint Marko, is just a dumb thug with bad luck. You can’t get too mad at a guy who’s trying to take care of his sick kids even if his methods are not the most noble. He’s not a character that’s a victim of his own hubris. He’s just unlucky. The effects on this character are alone worth the price of admission. There’s such a level of care, detail and subtlety that what is easily made shockingly horrific is able to transcend and take on elements of poetic beauty.
Spider-man learns that Marko is the real killer of his uncle (back to the first movie again), which sets up a vicious subway battle decorated beautifully by the most rickety looking underground public transit system I’ve ever seen, and a sweet looking flashy black costume! (Remember that goo…?)
The costume brings out the worst in Peter including but not limited to attempted murder and flamboyant barroom dancing. The costume acts as a drug allowing Peter to cut loose and show just how bad a nerd from Queens can be. The first time through the movie I found a lot of what was going on during this section to be distracting. I’m a big supporter of Tobey Maguire in the role and thought he’d done a fantastic job in all three movies, but I admit he lost me a few times during this period. I have since learned how necessary a little fancy walking can be. (Scroll down to the About the Comic section for more.)
After shedding the black costume, it merges itself with rival photographer Eddie Brock, played with brash confidence by Topher Grace at which point things get pretty messed up. That’s the basic set-up for the events that unfurl in Peter’s life before they get really bad. Pretty crazy right? Crowded. Busy. Definitely, but also really well handled. The plot is easy to follow, it’s long but it moves quickly, and most importantly (I’m may start to sound like a broken record) it’s fun!
There have been a lot of complaints that with so many villains, there isn’t enough time to really develop them properly , but I just don’t get that. I’d say that the characters here are as developed as the character of Doc Ock from Spider-man 2. Sandman is given a lengthy introduction, which includes a scene with his daughter and estranged wife to establish his back-story. After that he is given two extensive origin scenes that clearly map out how he got his powers and how he copes with them. Then he brings the sandstorm to Manhattan in 4 dusty throw downs.
With Venom it’s a slightly different story, but not entirely. It’s just that he doesn’t get his powers until the third act so there’s less time for fightin’. If you think about it, between the alien goo, the black costume and it’s influence on Peter, as well as the steadily developing negative relationship between Peter and Eddie Brock, the character of Venom is all over this movie. People are looking at Venom’s representation here as one fight and a couple pages of dialogue, but the best characters are built up slowly, not rushed into battle.
There’s a lot going on, I won’t deny that, but that doesn’t mean the movie isn’t able to hold up. A lot of great movies have a lot going on and they’re considered classics. Fredo is a little underdeveloped in The Godfather if you asked me, but it doesn’t hurt the movie at all. Of course it’s not like Fredo was a huge force that sold millions of comic books in the 1990s. He might have… God, someone tell me there’s a Godfather fan fiction site out there somewhere. How crazy would that be?
I had so much fun with Spider-man 3 and I think that it’s getting a bad shake online. People are just ripping it to shreds and it breaks my heart. Especially since it’s not that bad. Liberties are taken with Spider-man’s history, and there are a lot of characters to juggle, but since when does that mean the movie is gonna suck? I bet the little kid that grew up reading Spider-man comics and loving crappy movies wouldn’t think it sucks.
Again, this isn’t a plea for you to turn off your brain. If you have to do that to enjoy a movie then… well you probably don’t enjoy a lot of movies. But instead of turning down your rational thinking I recommend turning up your kid switch. Spider-man 3 can be an agonizing journey of “they should have done this…” or you can relax for the evening and watch your friendly neighborhood Spider-man swing through another adventure. Relax. Let the little kid in you out for the night. Go have some fun.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 - This is a realistic rating. I’m aware that right now, less than 24 hours from a weekend where I saw the movie twice and loved it twice, that I’m looking at the film through Geek Goggles. I’m excited about it, I loved the characters and the action, and that love may be clouding my judgment towards the film as a whole. Towards the bigger picture. Spider-man 3 is better in my head than it may actually be in reality and I’m recognizing that by giving it a lower rating than I would Spider-man 2 which has proven itself and endured through numerous viewings.
You never know what’s going to happen. I could get Spidey 3 home on DVD and think it’s a complete train wreck. Though, in the same respect, some of you naysayers may catch it on cable and be able to forgive some of those problems that ruined it for you the first go around. Either way, right now I can do nothing but recommend Spider-man 3 to you. It’s fast and loud and fun, like only a huge 300 million dollar summer blockbuster could be!
I know there’s a lot of negative buzz for this film, but if I have anything I’d ever want to say to you guys through JLCM, it’s that you should decide for yourself! Listening to critics is great, and I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart when people tell me they actually respect my opinion, but these reviews are as much about my thoughts on a movie as they are about encouraging you to form your own. Don’t label a really fun night at the movies as a crowded, comic disaster just because that’s what someone else tells you. Come to that conclusion, or a completely different one, on your own.
Besides, it’s Spider-man. Like you’re NOT going to see it. Pfft!
Absolutely. I think most die-hard Spidey fans, even the ones that were disappointed with the busy story of this chapter, will admit that there’s just too many fantastic stunts and effects going on here to deny our DVD players the visual treat. You might not like that the Sandman made it to the film but admit it – you loved his beautiful transformation and his epic scale as the sandy giant in the film’s finally. DVD’s were built with “chapter skip” for a reason.
Spider-man 2 - I don’t think you’re going to get many arguments if you walk into a comic book store and declare that Spider-man 2 is the best of the bunch if not THE best modern superhero movie. Some geek in the back might try and utter the words “X2”, but he’ll quiet down and get back to looking for an elusive issue of Invincible faster than you can say “train sequence”.
Start to finish Spidey 2 a near perfect example of superhero storytelling on screen. And while I think Spider-man 3 is a lot of fun and feels more like a comic book with it’s exciting and creative action sequences, I will admit that Spider-man 2 is the superior film. The tragic story of Doc Ock, with Harry’s decent into madness and Peter’s powers on the frits equals out to be the perfect meeting of an amazing story, spectacular characters and “web of” action.
I personally got sucked in about 6 months too early with Spider-man 2, buying the 2-disc collector’s edition for a hard to avoid $4.99. Last week an extended cut of the film came out called Spider-man 2.1. I’m not going to double dip because, honestly, I’ve got the movie and that’s all I really need. And while it boasts a few nice extra features, the advertising campaign is putting a lot of weight on those 8 minutes of extra footage the DVD has. 8 minutes in a 2-hour movie is a significant amount of time, but in a movie I already really dig, do I really need more stuff? Isn’t “too much” the problem most people are having with Spidey 3?
Truthfully, I’m just talking circles because I’m jealous I couldn’t hold out for this set myself. The 2.1 disc looks like a lot of fun!
This is a joke that rests on the reader having seen the movie. I asked some people if I could get away with a joke that requires the audience to see the movie, and every one of them said, “Who isn’t going to see Spider-man 3?” 150 million in 3 days confirms that pretty much everyone did see it, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I’m sorry. I hope you think of this comic when Peter is doing his thing.
The strut that Peter does as he’s all hopped-up on symbiote costume was very distracting for me the first time around. Mouth dropped, eyes widened, neck craned back. I was a total cliché surprised cartoon. But the majority of the people around me were really into it. Lots of laughs and even some cheers. They were having a grand old time with something that to me felt totally out of place. Point one to Raimi for tossing out a nod to the normies.
My second time watching the film I fully expected to hate this sequence again, but instead found myself laughing right along. It’s ridiculous! There’s no way the character should be dancing and pointing at people, but there I was, giggling along with everyone else in the theater. It turns out that all it took for me to get over my least favorite part of the movie was to just know that it was coming up.
Phil saw the movie with me the second time through and while talking about this scene afterwards he had an interested perspective. He said that after the “Raindrops keep falling on my head” sequence from Spider-man 2, something like Peter’s strut isn’t so out of place. It has the same campy vibe that audiences really eat up and offers a nice bit of levity amidst all the crying and punching. If you’re not taking the movie too seriously, 2 minutes of fancy walking is easy to get over. But the pelvic thrusts wereunforgivable.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - You know, I thought the teaser for this 5th Harry Potter film was a real stinker. There was nothing there to really get excited about except a new haircut and maybe the final shot of Harry flying his broom in London. Maybe. The release of the full trailer magically turns maybes into definitelys. The full trailer reveals Harry and a group of young wizards flying over London and as cool as those shots are both visually and in concept, it’s only the beginning of what may come.
What’s to expect for those of us that haven’t read the books and are still in the dark? Madeye is back, there’s a centaur uprising, a crazy witch, Harry gets his mack on and Voldemort looms in the train station! Obviously a dream (who’s not going to notice a giant condom wearing a suit in the middle of the train platform?) but it’s still plenty awesome.
Potter 5 looks DARK. I know there’s been a steady progression that way since the franchise started and I couldn’t be happier about it, but it’s so jarring when comparing the lovable mop-headed kid’s from The Sorcerer’s Stone to the ready-to-rumble witches and wizards of Phoenix. This isn’t going to end well is it?
Ok, this one was a doozy so I’ll keep this short. Tonight. The Triple Feature with Tom and Gordon. we’ll be talking about… ummm… Spider-man 3! UH-DUUUUUUUUHHHHHH! That starts at 10-pm EST. Should be fun.
Tomorrow come back to the Digitalpimp main page and see an awesome Spidey strip that Kevin did. Puts mine to shame, but at least we’re in the same comic group. It takes away part of the sting.
Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Wikipedia/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!
Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V