Saturday, May 5, 2007

Spider-Man 3

So. Spider-Man 3. I hear it's got the biggest opening day gross ever. I did not care for it a bit.

Mostly, it was just forgettable. If I hadn't been taking notes, all I'd be able to say is that this movie used the word "love" too many times for a superhero movie. Also, Spider-Man should consider keeping his mask on more often, partly because the mask is more expressive than Tobey Maguire can achieve on his own.

However, I did take notes, because Rhias and I were watching the movie from the special soundproof viewing area reserved for families with infants. There weren't any infants in the theater, so we snuck in instead. Then we got to snicker at the movie and whisper things to each other the whole time. It was great, because there was a lot to snicker and whisper about. Before I get into this, I should mention that in the process of talking about a movie, I have a tendency to talk about things that happened in the movie. If you haven't seen it, you might consider these things "spoilers". If that's the sort of thing that bothers you, I would encourage you to not read comments about it.

Mostly what I objected to was Emo Spider-Man moping around and whining about his love life and taking his mask off all the time. It's 45 minutes into the movie before we see Spider-Man, as opposed to Peter Parker. Frankly, I don't think it looks as good when the CGI body flailing around is a guy in a three-piece suit. It looked wonky to me. The Sandman effect also looked wonky, but that might just be because it reminded me a lot of this one very similar shot in Lawnmower Man.

There were a lot of plot elements that seemed to be either completely ignored (the people running that conveniently-placed Physics lab never checked on the results of their experiment, did they?) or puttied over crudely (Mary Jane went directly from "on the marquee of a Broadway show" to "singing waitress at a jazz club"?). Some of the story seemed to do actual harm to the characters; it seems to me that Spider-Man's origin makes more sense if the guy who killed Uncle Ben is the same one he let get away. And some things just didn't make sense: we saw Peter leaving messages on MJ's answering machine, but we also saw her talking on a cellphone. Hey, Pete! If you're such a freakin' genius, maybe you should call the phone she carries around wherever she goes! I mean, unless that phone stops existing the moment the scene involving it is over.

I got tired of seeing women dangle from things, slipping a little, and then grabbing something else to dangle from until the next time they're required to be in a tiny bit more peril. I imagine Spider-Man's New York is a pretty safe place to dangle from things, overall; it's not every city that has a superhero so well suited to saving danglers. Incidentally, speaking of dangling women, shouldn't Spidey have done something about that runaway crane that was demolishing an entire building? Or did he figure, "Hey, I saved a model; I've done my part for the day. Maybe later I'll kiss her for no reason other than to tick off my girlfriend."

There was a lot of product placement, which you obviously expect these days, but I was surprised to see that the police scanner was bought at Radio Shack (it was a "Realistic", which makes it the only "realistic" thing about this movie. Zing!). Radio Shack can afford product placement in a $250 million movie?

And speaking of huge sums of money, I wonder what Harry did with his inheritance. He probably didn't have time to write a new will leaving everything to Peter, but how about Mary Jane? Harry's house looked pretty nice, and I'm sure MJ wouldn't mind living there for awhile. I'm not sure she could affor the Butler With Incredibly Convenient Plot Details That Could Have Been Mentioned A Movie Earlier, Or At Least Before Harry Got Disfigured, though.

There were some things I liked: I enjoyed Sandman, although the character could have been completely taken out and improved the movie. I also enjoyed Rhias pointing out that Sandman visited a child as it slept. Very thematic! And J.K. Simmons was as much fun as always. I was pleased to see that when the Bugle had to publish a correction, it went on the front page in big letters with an apology to Spider-Man. That's actually pretty classy.

Mostly, though, it was 2:20 of filler. Blah.

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