Friday, May 11, 2007

"Spider-Man 3" And the Box Office

Well, it's official: Spider-Man 3 is a bonafide hit. It scored the biggest opening weekend of all time and has banked over $400 million worldwide. That's a lot of people turning out for a movie that includes about 10 minutes of James Franco and Kirsten Dunst making an omelet. Scratch that. They don't even succeed at making said omelet. When Harry tries to show off his omelet flipping skills (which suck compared to his armblade skills, flying snowboarding skills and pumpkin-bomb throwing skills) it falls on the floor, which is exactly where my jaw was when director Sam Raimi decided that the best way to convey Peter Parker turning "evil" was to have him comb his hair forward and wear eyeliner. Let me repeat that: Spider-Man wears eyeliner. In short, he turns emo. I'm surprised he didn't go shopping at Hot Topic while listening to My Chemical Romance before updating his Myspace page with pictures of himself looking artsy and sad. Ugh. Emo kids.

You'll recall that I already talked a bit about this movie in an earlier post. In fact, it's the one directly below this one. The reason why it's still on my mind is that I really still don't know where to place this film. It's such a hodge podge of "wow, that scene was pretty cool" mixed with "is this the same movie?" It was like a roller coaster ride of suck. The movie brings you way up before plummeting headfirst into mediocrity. I know that I'm mixing up metaphors in ways that would make most English professors furrow their brows, but screw it, it's my blog and I'll rant if I want to.

I wanted to like this movie. I really did. But there really was something that was off. Really off. Like the studio told director Sam Raimi, who I've trusted for years, that his little story about forgiveness wasn't enough to sell action figures and video games so they added a third MAJOR comic book villain, fan-favorite Venom, in the third act. Blink and you'll miss him.

I'm not stupid, and I know that movies are a business. And I also know that these movies in particular are made for mass consumption and aren't necessarily directed at the obsessive comic book nerds, like myself. But for Spider-Man 3, I just couldn't figure out the audience they were going for. They threw in stuff to please the fans, yet did none of it justice due to time constraints, while certain plot aspects like the whole black costume nonsense (it needed its own film) totally alienate everyone in the audience that isn't up on 1970's comic book storylines. It's so tacked on, knowledge of how the story was SUPPOSED to be told is almost a prerequisite to begin to fathom this Cliff's Notes version we actually get.

But all in all, I'm blowing off steam. It's pretty entertaining if you approach it as a Sam Raimi movie first and a Spider-Man film second. For example, I love Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness, but high cinema they AIN'T. They're cheesy, on purpose of course, and that might be what Sam was doing here. But then again, that subverts all of the work he did in the first two movies getting us to care about these characters, doesn't it?

Whatever, you're gonna see it, or have seen it, no matter what I say. You might have some fun, and I honestly hope that you do. Because there is fun to be had during the film's 2+ hours. But you probably won't leave satisfied.

Wow, did I just write all that? Christ, I need a girlfriend.

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