Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spider- Man (2002) DVD

Rating: 4 out 5 pumpkin bombs thrown at your beloved aunt

Plot Synopsis:  Nerdy Peter Parker has a rough life.  This all changes when he’s bitten by a radioactive spider and instead of dying a horrible, horrible death embodies all the powers of the spider without even the smallest amount of necrosis and goes from awkward teenager to angry teenager to fun loving super hero.

The Good:

-Pete discovering his powers, the slow manifestation of his spider powers followed by him running across the NY rooftops.

-The confrontation with Flash Thompson when Peter finally starts using his spider sense and agility to at first dodge all of Flash’s attacks before lifting his fridge up with one punch.

-Peter’s character arc, it’s pretty realistic how this shy nerd gets a lot of power, goes on to abuse that power before finally realizing what it means to have power.  Hence the whole lesson of Spider-Man which is with great power comes great responsibility.

-Bonesaw and everything about Bonesaw because Bonesaw is indeed reeeeeaaaaaaddddddyyyyy.  RIP Randy Savage.

-Bruce Campbell.  Nuff said.

-Willem Defoe as Norman Osborne/Green Goblin.  He is totally believable as bi-polar super psycho.

-The Green Goblin.  I like the comic interpretation the best and they probably could have done something cool that was more comic based but going the high tech, more realistic route works just fine.  Yeah, the mask is kinda stupid but it’s serviceable.  Big fan of the glider though as well as the tech behind the Goblin

-The crime fighting spree with “man on the street” interviews, it’s a fun, entertaining way to establish Spider-Man as force in the city

-J. Jonah Jameson.  Despite being a total asshat most of the time he still doesn’t give up Peter to the Green Goblin even after Goblin crashes into his office and grabs JJ by the throat

-Goblin putting Spidey in a full nelson and then slamming him into a church window

-Kirsten Dunst has never looked sexier

The Bad:

-The butler, I hate that dude.  He’s not a good actor and his scenes are painful

-Goblins death scene is outrageously stupid

-Aunt May praying when she’s attacked by Goblin, in a movie filled with over the top moments in a genre that where it’s expected this moment was too over the top even for me.

-James Franco’s descent into apathy.  He starts the movie out strong, really displaying his acting ability but by the last scene at his father’s grave he clearly just wants to go home and get high.  You could not possibly get a more apathetic read from an individual unless Sam Raimi said to James Franco “Alright James, your father died, you don’t know what’s going to happen because he’s dead and you are out of the company that’s been sustaining you your whole life.  Alright, now give me: slightly hungry.”

-Does Goblin understand how doors work?  Because there’s nothing in this movie to demonstrate that.

The Ugly:

-I fucking hate that butler

-I hate the scientist that Norman kills when he becomes Goblin too

-Macy Gray.  Seriously?  Seriously?

Final Thoughts:  This is a good movie, really from start to finish a good outing by the team behind it.  The CGI is a little dated but not terrible to look at, for the most part the entire cast is on point the entire movie.  The butler is hard to watch but he’s only got one brief scene, the scientist is bad but not terrible and he’s not in it much.  It’s strange that Franco does such a good job for most of the movie but those last scenes he just falls apart. 

The movie sort of establishes Harry as this guy with an anger problem that he doesn’t quite have full control over.  So there are scenes that show this and they are convincing enough to make you think “Whoa, something’s going on here.” but then the scene where this should be the most apparent we get nothing.  This would have been great to see him run a gamut of emotions, happiness over losing his controlling father who he’s been struggling with his whole life, guilt over that happiness, remorse for never making up with him, anger at Spider-Man who took his chance for paternal redemption away from him.  All of that could have been at work in that scene and we get the most emotionless promise of revenge since I swore to blow up the Burger King for putting tomatoes on my Whopper (even though I clearly asked for no tomatoes). 

For a first movie it’s good and it sort of brought with it the idea that you can do a comic movie, you can put some effort into it and you can make money doing it which really changed the landscape of comic book movies. 

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