Spider-Man 3 (discussion and spoilers)

ourchair

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
13,105
Location
Philippines
Okay, so I saw this with Compound.

I was really hoping that the new trailer for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer would be attached to it, so I could scream, "BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" But this is the Philippines, where we get American blockbusters a few days earlier, which means that the reels usually aren't as up to date on trailers.

Anyway, I'm not going to try to summarize the plot, and I'm still undecided about my feelings toward the film. Someone at AICN said that he felt he liked the film less because he re-watched Spider-Man 2 before, and that he might have enjoyed it more having not seen it. I came in with the same deal: I just happened to catch Spider-Man 2 on cable while having dinner a few days ago and was struck by how well handled some of the character moments were in spite of its odd storytelling trajectory.

So anyway, I'll just highlight some moments and give my thoughts:

The Score: I really really really really hated the new score. Most people who know me particularly well know that even though I'm not really a hard-core nerd-student of film scores, I do respond particularly to them. The new themes that Christopher Young created were just terribly handled. I was fine with his work on Ghost Rider, but the new theme he crafted for Venom and the blacksuit was really annoying --- this clanging, wailing dirge-like sound that was so one-note and devoid of subtlety.

It might not have been a problem if the scenes in which it was used weren't strung together. But since they were --- you'd have four scenes in which the theme just repeats with no variation (even John Williams' Harry Potter theme, which I hate, tries to vary itself according to scene mood) and I'm all like, "We get it already! Peter's turning to the darkness!" Compounding the problem is that Elfman's theme for Spider-Man essentially gets used here with barely any remixing, save for some odd synth heavy version that's used in one scene.

Butler Ex Machina: At one point in the film, Harry refuses to help Peter take on Sandman and Venom, seeing as Peter is responsible for saying mean things and
horribly scarring him with a pumpkin bomb
. So Peter leaves and suddenly Bernard (the practically silent butler from the first two films) walks up to Harry and reveals that he has known all this time that Norman died at the wrong end of his own goblin glider and therefore has no real reason to blame Peter for losing his father. Oh and then reminds him that his friends love him and all that.

I can understand that as a 'polite' butler Bernard tries to not comment on the things that happen around him (he even says so), but if Bernard chooses this moment to set Harry on the right path of helping Peter, couldn't he have done this AT THE START OF THE MOVIE, long before the young master Harry gets his face disfigured from a vengeful battle with Peter?! Dumb-*** butler.

Sandman: Thomas Hayden Church is a much better actor than the material he's given to work with here. I can't say I've seen ANY of his movies, but he carries the character well in spite of the fact that he is blatantly underdeveloped, saddled only with a half-heartedly conceived humanizing element of having a sick daughter he's trying to acquire money for. His involvement in Ben's death is handled poorly through no fault of his performance.

As for his origin, Marko just happens to fall into a particle physics accelerator --- a plot-convenient twist of fate. This doesn't bother me since almost all the Spider-Man villains are about strange twists of fate involving petty crooks and their origins were never that memorable in the first place. They're essentially crooks with a gimmick.

Venom: I feel that Venom will receive mixed reactions. I myself liked him a lot. There isn't a whole lot of substance or depth or empathy to the character, and you know what? I don't care. That's exactly how I like it. In this movie, Brock is portrayed as a photojournalist with tabloid-levels of integrity, and absolutely no regard for anyone but himself. He's a freaking jerk.

He's a very very bad man, a jerk and a dickhead before he got the suit, and the suit only serves to amplify that. None of that "Spider-Man hurts the innocent" bull**** or delusions of being a "lethal protector". There's this one scene towards the end where Peter tries to argue with Eddie telling him that he's got to take off the suit because it only does bad things, blah blah blah poisons your soul, and Eddie says, "I like being bad. It makes me happy."

I suspect some fans are going to quibble over this Venom and his patent one-dimensionality and the very briskly (but IMO efficiently) handled character development, but I like that there's no BS. In fact, I think the line above would've been much better if it was, "Being bad makes me happy. It always did." to further underscore the massive levels of jerk-titude. Especially since you don't get the sense that Eddie had a bad childhood as Grace and the film-makers suggest in interviews.

The symbiote is a big outer-space ex machina, that just arrives on earth via a meteor --- no explanation and no sense of how that relates to the larger 'universe' of the film franchise, but I didn't really mind as there wasn't really any neat way to introduce it, as both its Ultimate and 616 origins are heavy on explanation.

My only real problem is the that the black costume is treated with such nonchalance. Most of NY doesn't seem to really care about Spidey's new look, and Peter's dismissal of Connor's repeated warnings is handled in a fashion that seems like we as an audience are also supposed to dismiss it.

This is further exacerbated by the fact that when Peter decides to rip off the costume he does it with such callous disregard: He goes to a church for NO reason whatsoever, and tears an evil aggression-amplifying alien parasite off his body and then he just leaves. Thanks for respecting the House of God, jackass.

More thoughts later.
 

Dr.Strangefate

He Sees You When You're Sleeping. He Knows When Yo
Joined
Oct 24, 2004
Messages
10,075
Location
New York, NY
Thomas Hayden Church is a much better actor than the material he's given to work with here. I can't say I've seen ANY of his movies

See Sideways. He's fantastic in that.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
13,105
Location
Philippines
See Sideways. He's fantastic in that.
I would've but I can only manage to see so many films. You already know I'm a Hollywood whore, so it just happens to be a complete fluke that I haven't seen him before.

(I did see One Night Stand and 3000 Miles to Graceland, but I can't remember who he was in those films)
 

cmdrjanjalani

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
707
Since this already has spoiler tags, I guess I can say it:

Venom and Harry dies. Although to be honest, the way Venom is a left, a flaming puddle of goo with no body is very reminiscent of his "death" back in the Venom arc that I beg to question if he actually is dead. Harry meets the same fate as his dad, but in a better and redeeming light. Just watch the movie if you want more than that.

The movie was enjoyable but is not as good as expected. Gwen Stacy here is basically a throwaway character, even more her dad. I think they would have lived taking out one of the villains and focusing on his character development. Although Eddie Brock is supposed to be depicted as "Peter Parker without an Aunt May and Uncle Ben", it's not that evident in the film. We know he's a jerk, that's it. I prefer the way he was approached in the Ultimate Venom arc where he appeared like a nice guy at first but bits and pieces of his darker personality showed later on to depict why he is a villain and a counterpart to Peter. I also don't like the cheesy super-villain team-up in the end. Venom and Sandman never meet, but then suddenly, Eddie shows up and virtually says "You hate Spidey, I hate him too! Let's work together!". James Cromwell as George Stacy had a disappointing scene where it is obvious that his daughter's going to die and you could not feel in the scene that he feels the same way.

As always, Tobey Maguire owned Peter Parker. I am not that confident if there will be a Spider-Man 4, and Tobey will not return, that we will have someone who will be as good as him.
 

Dr_Draco

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
387
Location
Titusville, FL
I enjoyed it. I was disappointed with how the backstory for Sandman was handled, and Kirsten Dunst is a horrible singer (3 scenes in this movies where she sings :sick: )

Other than that, I thought it was hella sweet :rockon:
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
13,105
Location
Philippines
Just tell me, what part does Bruce Campell play in this movie? That's all I care about
He plays a maitre'd at a French restaurant where Peter wants to propose to Mary Jane. He's hilarious because he has a cartoonishly phony French accent that doesn't aspire to any level of authenticity.

Unlike his other cameos, Campbell doesn't play 'against' Peter here. Peter basically makes a few special requests to him --- put the ring in the champagne, yadayada --- and the scene plays out as an argument between him and MJ, with Peter and Campbell miscommunicating to each other for comic effect.

Incidentally, here's a video blog interview with Campbell:
http://flash.sonypictures.com/movies/spiderman3/blog/sm3_bruce_vblog.mov

cmdrjanjalani said:
Harry meets the same fate as his dad, but in a better and redeeming light. Just watch the movie if you want more than that.
IMO Harry died 'well', but he died better and with much more drama in Spectacular Spider-Man # 200.

cmdrjanjalani said:
Although Eddie Brock is supposed to be depicted as "Peter Parker without an Aunt May and Uncle Ben", it's not that evident in the film. We know he's a jerk, that's it.
I agree with you that they needed to cut a villain, but I think to do that properly would be to rewrite the film.

So it's either Brock with a slowly-fleshed out "I seem good but look I'm evil" development and the film bloats out by ten more minutes, or stick with "I'm a jerk". As I've said before, this is the way I prefer him for this film. I think doing so was for 'the better' in terms of efficiency, but it doesn't solve any of the other problems the film has.

Incidentally, I looked up the Wikipedia entry for this movie, and it says that the symbiote regrows itself from the body of Eddie Brock and starts consuming the entire building and Spidey has to destroy it. I don't know which cut of the film the rest of the world is seeing, but that scene wasn't here in the reels that I saw in the Philippines. Perhaps this is the '156' minute version that people are talking about, because other reports clock it at 139.

And to that end, I suspect that this film might've actually developed Eddie, but those films were trimmed out, especially when you consider that Topher Grace has specifically mentioned that Eddie had a 'bad childhood' that he is 'Peter Parker with a bad upbringing' and they have 'very similar situations' over and over in interviews. If I recall correctly they even mention the kind of parents/foster parents that Brock had as a point of comparison.

cmrdrjanjalani said:
James Cromwell as George Stacy had a disappointing scene where it is obvious that his daughter's going to die and you could not feel in the scene that he feels the same way.
I have no idea why they bothered getting a 'minor name' actor like James Cromwell to play George Stacy. It really wasn't necessary. They could've gotten anybody else and saved money.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
13,105
Location
Philippines
Kirsten Dunst is a horrible singer (3 scenes in this movies where she sings :sick: )
I have no idea what you're talking about. I thought she sang pretty decently... the REAL problem was that it was obvious that it wasn't Dunst singing, but someone else dubbed over her.


...

Unless of course, they're showing reels over there without Dunst dubbed over, in which case you're probably right.
 

cmdrjanjalani

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
707
Just tell me, what part does Bruce Campell play in this movie? That's all I care about

I loved the scene. Bruce Campbell basically made a snooty Clouseau impression, which is totally unrealistic, but it was hilarious as hell. Bruce really pulled it off.
 

the watcher

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
6,530
Well I'm all set... I got my ticket for the Midnight showing and I reserved my copy of Spider-Man 3: The Game. Since I told the guy I been watching this game on the web and told him some stuff he didn't know about and were to find it, he gave me a look at the game guide. There was a lot of cool stuff in there.

also I find it annoying that the mods keep on adding stuff to the Spider-Man 3 News thread, now that its closed and no one else can...
 
Last edited:

Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
5,141
Location
Ohio
wow....


I want my giggle back, this movie made me actually appreciate X-Men 3
 

Willverine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
690
Location
Ft.Worth, TX
I just got home from watching it, and I thought it was well-done. Sure, I could've done without the lovey-dovey crap, but I understand that's all part of the character.

For all the people who said Venom was going to suck, I think he was handled perfectly, just like ourchair said. You didn't feel sorry for the guy. He was a prick, simple as that. I'm glad they didn't go too overboard with the special effects on him, his appearance reminded me of the classic, McFarlane style grinning demon than more contemporary versions with huge tongues and all kinds of green slime.

I'll go see this movie again once the hype starts to die down and I can get a middle seat at an IMAX theater. As an audio guy, it was nerve-wracking to have to sit in one of the side seats, but that's what I get for going to the midnight premiere.
 

ultimatedjf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
9,059
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
I liked it a lot. There are tons of nits I could pick, but they would just be the ramblings of a disgruntled fanboy/geek. I even liked the whole Peter walking the streets / dancing in the Jazz Club scenes, which I was prepared to hate.

Lots of people cheered at all the right places. I think Bruce Campbell got the biggest cheer, followed by Stan Lee and the first appearance of Brock as Venom.

All in all, a great start to the Summer Movie Season.


Spider-Man: B-

Spider-Man 2: A



and




Spider-Man 3: B+



More thoughts to come....
 

thee great one

Master of TOG-fu.
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
15,570
Location
Mormon Land.
****in Stan Lee and his nuff said.

But Bruce Campbell was awesome.


Some parts were good but some parts were major wtf?

I liked the darkside of Peter, especially in the bar and against Harry.


And Venom was awesome.


But the movie was very average and didn't flow well.
 

MaxwellSmart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
3,335
Location
SoCal
This was excellent.

I could have done without the emo hair, but I survived. Peter's attitude while he was

I'm pissed they killed Harry. He had a lot of potential for the fourth movie.

Venom rivals Green Goblin as the best Spiderman villian. Brock's character was well crafted. They really developed him as a selfish yet sympathetic character.

Sandman was a pretty weak character, but he surved his purpose well.

I was surprised they managed to pull off the Gwen Stacy love triangle. The funny thing is that I didn't think she was hot in the promos, but she was pretty hot in the movie.

I loved seeing Peter as a media whore. You know it's wrong but you can totally understand why.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
13,105
Location
Philippines
Venom rivals Green Goblin as the best Spiderman villian. Brock's character was well crafted. They really developed him as a selfish yet sympathetic character.
I thought he was an excellent villain because he WASN'T sympathetic. He was a damn jerk, and I didn't need or want him to be sympathetic. The jerk-villain is a very "Ultimate-era" concept that I like (one I might be writing an analysis on for some kind of comic studies project soon), and the fact that this Venom carried that was something that pleased me.

MaxwellSmart said:
I'm pissed they killed Harry. He had a lot of potential for the fourth movie.
I wish they killed him better. The idea was perfect --- re-establish the nice guy Harry who existed briefly in the first film, then make him go bad but with the idea that his amnesiac period has reconnected him with his past-friendly personality, creating an emotional conflict for later so that his sacrifice is more dramatic --- the problem was that in terms of editing, writing and overall flow, it wasn't handled very well.

MaxwellSmart said:
I loved seeing Peter as a media whore. You know it's wrong but you can totally understand why.
Yes. And it's exactly the way he has behaved in the past the moment his publicity factor turns for the better, like when Thomas Fireheart (aka Puma) bought the Daily Bugle.
 

Sacred&Profane

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
998
Location
Indiana
The new cast members were absolutely perfect, and their worst crime was killing off Topher Grace's Eddie Brock. That man had SM4 villain written all over him.

Gwen Stacey made my eyes melt whenever she was on screen. By god, why wasn't SHE Mary Jane? Hell, she can even act, unlike Kirsten Dunst.

This was better than Spider-man, but not quite up to Spider-man 2. Then again, they're pretty different movies, which is great for a change when it comes to sequels.
 

MaxwellSmart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
3,335
Location
SoCal
I thought he was an excellent villain because he WASN'T sympathetic. He was a damn jerk, and I didn't need or want him to be sympathetic. The jerk-villain is a very "Ultimate-era" concept that I like (one I might be writing an analysis on for some kind of comic studies project soon), and the fact that this Venom carried that was something that pleased me.
I wouldn't say he was sympathetic in a traditional sense, but you can tell he's the kind of guy that's been living in someone else's shadow his whole life.
I wish they killed him better. The idea was perfect --- re-establish the nice guy Harry who existed briefly in the first film, then make him go bad but with the idea that his amnesiac period has reconnected him with his past-friendly personality, creating an emotional conflict for later so that his sacrifice is more dramatic --- the problem was that in terms of editing, writing and overall flow, it wasn't handled very well.
I was hoping that we would see Peter and Harry reconcile. They seem like the kind of guys that really need friends in the world. I was almost sure it wasn't going to happen, but I would have liked to see it.
Yes. And it's exactly the way he has behaved in the past the moment his publicity factor turns for the better, like when Thomas Fireheart (aka Puma) bought the Daily Bugle.
I just found it funny that Peter's usually seen as this guy who is impervious to such shallow things. I thought it did a lot to make him more human.
 

Latest posts

Top