Monday, May 07, 2007

Why Can't I Shoot Web From My Wrists: An Homage to the Spider-Man Trilogy




Ladies and gentleman, it's here.

Spider-Man 3 has arrived and the world may not be ready.

Or maybe Hollywood wasn't ready, but needed some money. Only time will tell.

Actually, time has already told us plenty. And the word isn't good.

Spider-Man 3 was the most disappointing thing to happen in theaters since they reenforced the bottom of popcorn boxes, ruining the lives of many perverted fifteen-year-olds.

(If you don't get that joke, have a smart friend draw you a diagram)

Before we begin, let me explain my love of your friendly neighborhood so and so.

I met Peter Parker in a simple comic in my brother's room one sad and rainy day, back when being a little brother meant keeping out of your sibling's rooms lest they beat the ever-loving piss out of you.

I read the detailed and beautifully drawn comic for hours (I was young, and words weren't my specialty in the brain section) before hearing those footfalls that stood as my cue to exit.

But I wasn't hooked yet.

A few years (and many solid whuppings) later, I was at my friend Tony's house when I saw an action figure. Now, comics only slightly interested me, but action figures? Those were my bread and butter.

And then came the video games.

And TV Series.

And cameos on lunchboxes.

After a few years of severe inundation, I couldn't say no to Spidy.

I read more comics, trying to discover how anyone touched by a spider could be popular. (I believe that spiders are in fact the creations of the Devil and will one day reveal their true purpose in trying to bring about a thousand years of evil domination on Earth)

Skip ahead a few years and you get senior year of high school, the most tumultuous time for any teenager. Girls have gone from scary to hot to scary again in the span of a few years, friends have come and gone with the frequency of an eighty-year-old man's twilight bathroom trips, and "Spider-Man: The Movie" entered theaters.

And it was awesome. Toby Maguire ("Cider House Rules") was not my first choice to play the destiny-fulfilling Peter Parker, but once I saw his performance as a whole I was quite impressed.

The effects took my pants, ripped them from my legs, wrapped around a length of pipe and beat my head in with awesomeness.

And Willem Dafoe as the villain? GENIUS!

I left the theater dancing, and for those of you who don't know me, dancing is not my specialty.

In fact, the last time I legitimately tried to dance, I nearly killed fourteen people and gave a young girl a seizure.

Skip ahead again and you reach the launch of "Spider-Man 2."

This time, the audience is geared up for the movie. "X-Men" and "X-Men II" already proved the validity of comic-book movies, and the first film rocked my face (as previously mentioned).

Alfred Molina (the bad politician from "Chocolate") starred as the nefarious Doctor Octopus, and by George he stole the damned show.

Again, the effects were out of this world. Again Toby showed off his acting prowress (though he sometimes makes this bird face which cracks me the hell up.)

My only doubts came at the end of the film, when Doc Ock dies in a heroic manner.

This was the beginning, and I should have seen it then.

The Batman series, arguably the best superhero series of all time (with some GLARING exceptions) suffered greatly when the creators chose death over imprisonment of famous villains.

The Joker (Jack Nicholson at his creepiest) stomped all over other bad guys, even the best of Bond, and scared the begeezus out of children. But then he died at the end of the film.

With "Batman Returns", Danny Devito stepped in as the Penguin (an uber creepy Penguin) but as he was only half a villain they had to bring in Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman (which could bring us to an amazingly awful Halle Berry film, but we'll skip that for now).

At least with "BR" they kept Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight. In "Batman Forever" Mike left and Val Kilmer (a fine actor who I shall not slander) came in to play. Val was a different style of Bruce Wayne, but his Caped Crusader stayed true to Keaton and the audience couldn't tell the difference.

However, the use of Jim Carrey as The Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face (which, by the way, is a REALLY CLEVER NAME--sorry, the writer in me weeps for the comic) brought the seriousness of the series down a peg or FIVE.

Also, given the fact that Val was a little distracting as a hero, they thew in Chris O'Donnel as Robin, and boy did his career soar after this.

Finally, we come to "Batman and Robin," decidedly the worst Batman movie to ever be made (yes, that includes the orignial "Batman: the TV Show: The Movie" with Adam West).

The quick rundown of bad decisions include:

- George Clooney as Batman
- Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl
- Governor Ahnuld as Mr. Freeze
- Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy
- A love triangle with B, R and PI
- Some of the worst dialogue since the silent film era.

The list goes on, but this diatribe isn't called "Why Batman Almost Died." Needless to say (needless because I just said it) I was very disappointed with the addition to the series.

Which brings me back to "Spider-Man 3."

Willem Dafoe bites it in the first movie, and Alfred Molina in the next. In the third, director Sam Raimi made a wee little mistake.

Three villains.

Yes, three: The Green Goblin (the Harry variant); the Sandman and Venom.

And none of them get nearly enough screentime. In nearly three hours of film, you find out so little about these characters as to render them pointless.

What you do find out about is how EMO they can make Toby Maguire look. And how he likes to dance in the street.

Sure the effects are great, sure they even managed to work in the Spidy-Gals, but WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

Wait, I apologize. I can't really use that line. It belongs to the Angry Video Game Nerd, a man who needs no introduction.

Instead, I shall use this phrase: WHAT A TERRIBLE MOVIE!

I can't go into too much detail, as this has already gone on longer than intended, but look for a review to come soon.

In summary, why can't I shoot web from my wrists?

Watch Carefully.

1 comment:

Eli said...

That picture of spider-man sums up the entire movie.