Spiderman 3 opens the summer movie session with its premiere on May 4th. After the black-hole period of January and February, at least when it comes to movies, Spider-Man 3 and a suite of other movies bring a breath of fresh air to the movie industry.
Let’s face it – when it comes to this part of winter, the offer isn’t really that great. The Christmas specials are over (thank God!) and whether they’re new and high-tech or the same you see each year, they’ve left room for…well, not much really. This is the time of year when the movie companies release all sorts of class B movies (mostly horrors or flimsy comedies), lacking other immediate options.
It happens every year. This spring, however, Spiderman 3 seems to be one of the most awaited blockbusters. The third and final part of the trilogy by Sam Raimi, it closes the series with an inner battle. The movie’s tagline is
‘Next Summer the Greatest Battle Lies Within’ – accurately descriptive of he character’s situation. Peter Parker is taken over by a strange entity from beyond our own world. It causes him more trouble than villains and mischief by interfering with his everyday life. And above everything, he has to fight more evil doers, resist temptation and take his revenge. Spider-Man 3 brings a slightly darker face of things to life, making the Peter Parker story more complex.
Sam Raimi is a prolific producer, actor, director and writer. Spider-Man 3 is said to be his masterpiece. However, his attraction for the movie industry started out when he was little. Big fan of The Three Stooges, as a teenager he used to make movies with an 8mm camera and the influences of The Stooges’ movies were obvious. Later on, he directed a series of comic horrors and comic book based movies. They had moderate success throughout the 80’s, but definitely increased his filming abilities and skills.
After some favorable critic reviews, he finally made it big in 2002 with the first part of the Spiderman series. Ever since, his fame soared. If in the 80’s he had to take his unsuccessful flicks to Europe when they were rejected in the U.S., he has now gained the respect of Americans critics and fans once and for all.
Spiderman 3 already finds lead actors Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst as extremely renowned actors. Not among their first movies, but definitely destined to reach a wider public than others, the first Spiderman film opened up the gates of Hollywood for the two. Thus, their freshly-gained popularity made way for other projects, at least as interesting as this one.
In any case, things weren’t always like this. Before Spider-Man 3, with its famous actors, director, and millions of related items sold worldwide, there was a young cartoonist. In 1962, Stan Lee brought a new comic book superhero to life. The business had been dominated up to that point by fully-grown, muscle-bound tough guys. The contrast was more than obvious – Peter Parker was nothing but a frustrated teenager who wanted to make things better for himself and for the ones around him, and who, for the first time, actually could do it. It obviously hit a soft spot with millions of teenagers facing the same problems, tired of unrealistic, complex-generating comic book heroes. They wanted someone they could relate to, and Peter Parker was just that; more than 40 years later, Spiderman 3 is a legend.
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Spider-Man 3 (DVD)
Spider-Man must battle the Sandman, the second-generation Green Goblin and his own dark side if he is to save New York City and his love for Mary Jane
How many exposed girders are there in New York? The mind wanders during frenetic computer-generated action sequences, and this reviewer became fixated upon the numerous riveted beams on show in Spider-Man 3.
In a vertiginous aerial battle, Spider-Man (Maguire) and Harry Osborn (Franco), son of the Green Goblin, ride the Z-axis like deranged birds until Harry bangs his head upon a girder and suffers amnesia. Later, in a thrilling action sequence, a construction crane goes awry and takes a bite out of the side of a skyscraper, shredding the glass exterior to shock us with the fragility of the underlying structure of the building. The climactic battle takes place on a construction site. The Sandman (Haden Church) looks like he has escaped from God's cement mixer: Spider-Man is tied to a girder and pounded by the Sandman's enormous fist. This is a New York that is being rebuilt; its reconstruction, and the preponderance of building materials lying around, tie into the central theme of the film - forgiveness.
New York has been the mistress of many superheroes, demanding they leave their family life to come and enjoy some thrills upon her streets, saving her from her reckless impulses. Spider-Man is awarded the key to the city, an infidelity he seals with a kiss upon the lips of Gwen Stacy (Howard). His girlfriend Mary Jane Watson (Dunst) is gutted. Their relationship has moved past the early successes of youth into the troubles of grown-ups, where failure lurks.
An aspiring actor, Mary Jane's performance in the musical 'Manhattan Memories' gets bad reviews. In a nice moment of characterisation that looks back to the first time we met Mary Jane, her self-worth battered by a terrible home life, she notes that each word of those bad reviews reads like it was written by her father.
As New York turns young Parker's head, he becomes less attentive to his girlfriend's problems. She turns to amnesiac Harry Osborn. Harry and Mary Jane make an omelette together and share a kiss: James Franco plays amnesia as if the condition has returned him to a state of prelapsarian innocence. He babytalks and cutie-pies around these scenes until one longs for the girders to return.
If the first two Spider-Man films were driven by Jewish guilt - Peter Parker compensating for his role in the death of his uncle Ben - then Spider-Man seeks completeness in the Catholic doctrine of forgiveness, whether it's Peter understanding and forgiving the man who killed his uncle or - in the background - New York moving on from the 9/11 attacks, rebuilding, reconstructing, rebirthing. Hence all those girders. The now-iconic New York fireman is seen cheering on Spider-Man, who pauses before the Stars And Stripes so that the subtext flashes blindingly upon the surface of the film.
The visceral stuff - the fighting and chasing - is great. The comedy is funny. But the film unravels with no emotional charge and you'll be pretty restless during the climactic apologies.
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