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04 May 2007 — Why I Won't See Spider-Man 3 (2)

At first I didn't plan to see Spider-Man 3 because the story doesn't interest me. I don't like Venom. The idea of three villains seems like overkill. The second film was so good, that there's no need to see a third.

Then I didn't want to see this because of the obscene amount of money plowed into it. Upwards of half a billion dollars? It almost begins to seem immoral to support that kind of excess. Why don't we spend half a billion dollars to do something more productive, instead? Or maybe $450 million. Give me a $50 million Spider-Man movie with a good story, and use the rest to feed starving kids, or to support peace, or to stop global warming. I don't care — pick your cause. Just don't waste it like this.

This brings up another reason I might not like the film: it contains excessive CGI from all accounts. It's no secret that I believe modern filmmakers use CGI as a crutch. They think that if they throw up some splashy, costly special effects, this will excuse their poor storytelling skills. (Peter Jackson and George Lucas are the most egregious offenders, in my book.) It doesn't work that way. (At least not for me.) Your half-hour tear-filled farewell scene still sucks, no matter how many CGI elves you put on the screen. You can cram as many clone troopers as you want into a battle, but it's not going to matter because you've done a poor job of making me care. From all reports, this film is a CGI lovefest. Ugh.

So, those were all the reasons I didn't plan to see Spider-Man 3. But now, after reading some reviews, I don't plan to see it because it's not any good. From the SF Gate:

"Spider-Man 2" was a textbook example of how to make a sequel: Deepen it, make it funnier, give it more heart and come up with a strong villain and a good story. "Spider Man 3," by contrast, shows how not to make a sequel. The film takes three bad stories and tries to fashion a narrative out of them. It can't be done. It also takes established and warmly regarded characters and has them behave in ways that make no sense in terms of what we know about them. And, perhaps to give the movie the illusion of scale, it contains many empty conversations — scenes in which characters dither and nothing happens. Word to the wise: Whenever Rosemary Harris shows up as Peter Parker's beloved old aunt, it's safe to run out and get popcorn.

From Anthony Lane of The New Yorker:

If “Spider-Man 3” is a shambles, that’s because it makes the rules up as it goes along. By the end, for instance, Sandman has become the size of an office block, each swinging fist as big as a truck, his personality reduced to brutishness. I half expected him to come after Spider-Man and Mary Jane carrying a gigantic bucket and spade. By what criterion did he grow so mountainous? Is he like a Transformer, or more like a genie? The fact is that if the fantastical is to flourish it must lay down the conditions of its magic and abide by them; otherwise, we feel cheated. (Tolkien knew this better than anyone.) Some viewers will take the New Goblin, whose name sounds like a small-circulation poetry magazine, to be a vessel of unnatural forces, while others will see him, when he fires up his rocket-powered skateboard, as a rich kid with too many toys. That’s the problem with this third installment of the franchise: not that it’s running out of ideas, or lifting them too slavishly from the original comic, but that it lunges at them with an infantile lack of grace, throwing money at one special effect after another and praying—or calculating—that some of them will fly.

I'll save my money, thanks.

p.s. I recently watched Superman Returns. I was disappointed. B-O-R-I-N-G!

On this day at foldedspace.org

2006Unaltered Star Wars Trilogy Coming to DVD   In which some news makes me both happy and and angry.

2005Manly Talk at the Barber Shop   In which a trip to the barber shop is like a journey to another world.

2004Adaptation   In which I write a story that adapts a portion of a graphic novel, and wonder about the legalities of it all.

2003Small   In which I reuse an old photograph; my tripod breaks and I use Warren's; we lurk in alleyways, snatching photographs; I research photographers' rights.

2002Spider-Man   In which Mac, Kris, and I go see the new Spider-Man film and it's better than I expect.

2001Hypochondriac   In which sometimes I worry that I might be a hypochondriac.


Comments
On 04 May 2007 (12:53 PM), Lisa said:

Bah. We didn't even bother to finish watching Spiderman 2, it was so tedious. If that was a good sequel, spare me the bad one.


On 05 May 2007 (04:53 PM), Lacey said:

Thank you or telling me it sucks. That way I can go to the theater not expecting anything great and be pleased when it is ok.

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