Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spider-Man

Erin and I watched this last night. Meant to watch Jason & the Argonauts, but it was no longer in Comcast’s freebies. I remember seeing Jason when I was young, eyes wide no doubt. The special effects hold up well. But anyway…

Spiderman (I do not really want to use that requisite hyphen, thank you) is about as good as superhero movies get. It is nice that Sam Raimi knew what to do with the money he was given for it. The movie looks fresh from the start.

Tobey Maguire is an unlikely choice for Spidey, in the sense that some blander hunk might have been chosen. He has dorky charm. No complaints about the rest of the cast. Kirsten Dunst puts depth in the pretty girl role, and Willem Dafoe is Willem Dafoe. Gosh he is wiry. I think he was in a movie in which he was a boxer in a German concentration camp, fighting (literally) to survive. Lean then, lean now.

As with all these superhero flicks, there is a long portion supplying us with how the superpowers developed and how the arch villain came to be so arch. Added to that is several other plots mostly surrounding Pete and MJ. Thanks to Marvel, comix turned to the inspiration of soap operas to keep their legions of fans interested. Yeck. It is just clutter when you do not really mean it.

So anyway, when something hi-tech goes wrong for Peter, it is a good thing, when something hi-tech goes wrong for Dafoe, he’s blowing people up. Well, that Dafoe is tightly wired, we all know that.

Spidey in action is giddy stuff, reflecting the tone of the comic. Yes, as Peter Parker he is morose, but swinging thru NYC, he’s a happy camper. The effects sometimes look cartoonish, but the sweeping camera views make up for that. And unlike with Star Trek, I was not suffering vertigo.

I liked the 2nd Spidey, as well, tho I can barely recall it except that it had Doc Ock, and there was the scene in which Spidey stops a train, which was cinematically exciting but I’m thinking that it pushes the reasonable limits of Spidey’s strength. Never saw part trois.

Funny to think of comix as such a mine for movies. I mean, yes, of course they invite the transfer, but they are hit or miss. Mr Fantastic’s powers, for instance, are just ridiculous, unbelievable. Spidey stopping a train leaves one wondering if he has limits. Tho he was mightily wasted from the effort, you still think, come the climax, he will have to do more. I think with myths like Jason, there is a more meaningful imperative. At any rate, Spidey comes as close as I have seen for a superhero movie to have soul.

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