Monday, May 14, 2007

Spider-Man 3—A FanBoyWonder and Kemosabe Review—SPOILERS

FanBoyWonder and our best pal and Kemosabe John Micek along with Kemosabe’s music mates Mike and Chad (who play with the Harrisburg, PA-area band Fink’s Constant…’sconstant) went to see the much anticipated Spider-Man 3 during its opening weekend.

FBW and Kemosabe say goodbye to Mike and Chad, we spent the short drive back to his house from the theatre recording our first impressions of the third Spidey movie.

SPOILER WARNING: If you are one of the few who has NOT seen Spider-Man 3, do NOT read the following.

FanBoyWonder: We are pulling out of the parking lot after seeing Spider-Man 3. Our raw impressions…Kemosabe, you first.

Kemosabe: Oh my good God. That was like three movies. There was at least three movies in there. There was the Harry Osborn/Goblin thing, the Sandman plot thread and the Venom plot thread interlaced with the romantic angst with Mary Jane Watson played by the lovely Kirsten Dunst, who I’d actually watch read the Yellow Pages

FBW: With a little bit of Gwen Stacy thrown in.

KS: With a little bit of Gwen Stacy thrown in. Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of Ron Howard, used as Gwen Stacy—underused, criminally so because she just sparkled in every scene she was in but she just seemed like an afterthought.

FBW: You’ll note the irony. Kirsten Dunst in real life is a blond and Bryce Dallas Howard is actually a redhead.

KS: So they swapped hair. Yes.

FBW: I didn’t think it was nearly that bad actually. I went in with lowered expectations. It was a least 20 minutes too long, at least 20 minutes too long with the bad Peter Parker and the bad hair and the disco Peter Parker.

KS: With Goth Spider-Man?

FBW: What did [Mike] say about the hair?

KS: It looked like [Stan from] the Goth episode from South Park. That whole interlude where [Tobey Maguire] became the bad, disco anti-Peter was completely unnecessary.

FBW: Yeah, with the John Travolta/Saturday Night Fever strut.

KS: It was completely uncalled for, completely unnecessary.

Ok, my general impressions. There were broad swaths of it that I liked. In the end there where Harry [James Franco] and Pete team up to take on Sandman [Thomas Haden Church] and Venom [Topher Grace]. Very cool.

FBW: I did like the tag team. Yes.

KS: You know, they had that whole underlying tension through the three movies of; you know I need to get my revenge. And they finally get past it and the act of forgiveness and they fight together. And of course—SPOILERS—Harry doesn’t make it.

You know, Tobey Maguire IS Peter Parker. Picture Peter Parker and he is Tobey Maguire. I gotta be honest, some of the moments between Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire seemed really genuine, like they were an actual couple.

There’s a genuine chemistry between the two of them and should there be a fourth movie, there’s a lot left to be resolved.

FBW: I don’t think there is going to be a fourth movie. Maguire in interviews kept talking about how he only wanted to do three and Dunst only wanted to do three. I think they kind of threw everything into this last script knowing they probably couldn’t get the actors back.

KS: I think they just bit off a bit more than they could chew. There were too many moving parts and a lot of plot text that if you were coming into it cold, it would be a little bit much of you to keep track of.

FBW: With Spider-Man 2, I thought it had too little story so this time around, I guess they had too much going on.

KS: See Spider-Man 2 was perfect. I’m a firm believer in the one villain per movie theory, which is proven ably in the first run of Batman [Michael Keaton/Val Kilmer/George Clooney] flicks where they crowded it with too many villains and things just went off the rails. One villain per movie.

FBW: But what about Batman Begins where they had Scarecrow as a minor tier villain and Ra’s Al Ghoul as the big villain?

KS: But you didn’t have them chewing scenery the way Jim Carrey [as The Riddler] did or the way say Tommy Lee Jones [as Two Face, both in Batman Forever] did.

Alfred Molina as Doc Ock in the second [Spider-Man] movie I thought was just nefarious enough and just evil enough that he could carry off the movie. Plus that was more about the drama about Peter trying to adjust to becoming Spider-Man.

Shot through the Spider-Man books and shot through the movie, there’s a whole human element which has made Spidey so darn accessible.

FBW: Thomas Haden Church as Sandman was dead on. The look…that was [Spider-Man Co-Creator and original Spidey artist] Steve Ditko right there.

KS: It was an inspired piece of casting. He was terrific in Sideways and he’s a great actor. The soliloquy and the monologue at the end of the movie between Thomas Haden Church and Maguire was…there was a nice bit of closure there.

FBW: He did not have enough to do though.

KS: He did not.

FBW: Of the villains, he should have been featured the most. Of the actors, he’s the heaviest weight.

KS: Can we please just get this out of the way now—Topher Grace is annoying beyond comprehension.

FBW: Yes.

KS: I mean granted that’s part of the character, but I could have done without it.

FBW: A pet peeve during the battle. Goblin Jr. He’s running around with a mask. I guess he doesn’t care.

KS: Well he had the cybernetic mask thingy and then he took it off.

FBW: And Spidey, how many times is his mask going to get beaten up?

KS: And how many times is he going to get unmasked before all of New York knows who he is? Does the city have collective amnesia where they see Spider-Man without the mask on—there are telephoto lenses on those TV cameras kids.

FBW: J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. Oh my god!

KS: Perfect, perfect, perfect! I almost peed my pants during that scene with Jonah and the pills. That because I had like 40 ounces of Coca Cola in me, I almost peed my pants.

FBW: You know Betty Brant the receptionist? I’ve seen her before.
She was from the 40-Year-Old Virgin. She was the blond.

KS: Oh my god yes, that was Elizabeth Banks. Ok I remember now.

FBW: I did like the full circle thing with the Goblin.

KS: Yes. We should say that there was fight scene in the middle where it looks like maybe that Harry buys it. I was surprised as any that he was still alive because I was wondering how they were going to wrap up that plot thread.

It kind of looked like Spidey blew him up into teeny tiny little pieces. Sorry SPOILER.

FBW: I do like that it was Bad Spidey that took on Goblin Jr. that the black costume kind of unhinged Peter.

KS: Enough to kick [Harry’s] ass.

FBW: Yes. Because I was kind of getting sick of Harry bitching…. ‘you killed my father, you killed my father’.

KS: [doing a BAD imitation of Mandy Patinkin from the Princess Bride] ‘You killed my father, prepare to die!’

FBW: I just wanted Spidey to say, ‘no I didn’t, suck it up.’

KS: That had to be resolved somehow.

FBW: And Bad Spidey just lets loose.

KS: He finally just throws down.

FBW: You see, you always have the bad guy who is always counting on the good guy to hold back.

KS: Yeah…this time not so much.

Hey can we just say the Russian landlord and the cutie daughter…I liked that little touch there. That was very nice. I liked it in the last movie where she offered [Peter] cookies or brownies or whatever…that was very nice.

FBW: All in all, I liked how Ted Raimi….no Sam Raimi.

KS: No Sam Raimi. Ted Raimi, Sam’s brother played editor guy at the Daily Bugle and he played Joxer on the old Xena TV show.

FBW: Bruce Campbell’s cameo?

KS: Oh God. One of the bright spots of the movie. Campbell is a joy in everything he does.

FBW: To me his cameo in the first movie as the ring announcer was the best

[We pull into Kemosabe’s driveway]

Ok, bottom line it—Spider-Man 3, DVD or movie pick?

KS: DVD. Don’t know if I’d pay $7 again to go see it.

FBW: I would say, if you want the full screen experience and you want the special effects…you’re going to kill 2 hours and….

KS: 20 minutes.

FBW: …and they’ll be some cringe moments.

KS: and don’t have any soda.

FBW: ….and then if you want to get the DVD and zip through the bad parts, go ahead.

KS: and DON’T have any Soda!

FBW: Thank you Kemosabe.


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