With the third installment in the most reliable comic adaptation franchise hitting theaters this week, is it any surprise today was chosen as free comic day?
Cast and Crew
Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson
James Franco as Harry Osborn / the New Goblin
Thomas Haden Church as Flint Marko / Sandman
Topher Grace as Eddie Brock / Venom
Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy
Rosemary Harris as May Parker
J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
Dylan Baker as Dr. Curt Connors
Bruce Campbell as the Maitre d’
Elizabeth Banks as Ms. Brant
Written by Alvin Sargent, Ivan Raimi and Sam Raimi
Directed by Sam Raimi
Complete information is available from this IMDB page.
Buy from: Amazon.com
Past movie reviews can be found here.
Just when Peter’s life is looking up in all respects, he’s accosted on six fronts. (Peter’s job, love life, and understanding of his past are attacked, while Spider-Man is attacked by three different supervillains.)
The first confrontation with Sandman, a high octane battle against the Sandman comic readers love.
The final confrontation with Sandman, for reasons that shall be spoiler guarded: That wasn’t the Sandman, that was a big, sandy version of King Kong. Sandy works better as a man sized shape-shifter than as a great big cloud. End spoilers.
It’s a sequel and an adaptation, so that hurts the originality. They did, however, find a very different story to tell than they told the first two times around. I give it 4 out of 6.
The effects were a constant presence, and well handled. The transitions from live to CGI are getting more and more subtle each time through. The movie is not without its faults, but the visual effects are not among them. I give it 6 out of 6.
The story was not as cramped as I expected. Introducing the Stacys, running the bulk of the Harry Osborn story arc, as well as introducing Venom and Sandman is a really, really tall order. None of the plot threads get all of the attention they could have had, but none feel particularly shortchanged, either. Moreover, they manage to relate them all to the themes of choices made by individuals, and the dual nature of everybody. There are definitely more shades of grey to be seen by the decision makers this time around, and that common bond helps to avoid the sensation that they’re trying to do too much. I give it 4 out of 6.
The acting hasn’t faltered in this series. Dunst, Maguire and Simmons keep up their roles, Grace and Church both do nice turns with their roles, and James Franco steps forward to give a great and varied performance compressing 25 years of comic book developments into a two hour subplot. I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response was good, but not like it was for the first two. When a movie really resonates with me, I get chills. In the first movie, I got chills during the city montage that kicked off the crime fighting career, as well as when the people on the bridge attacked the Goblin. In the second, I had chills starting with the clocktower fight that lasted right through the train sequence. This time, it didn’t happen. It’s a good movie, with nice moments for comic fans, but it just doesn’t quite hit the high points that the predecessors did. I’ll still buy advance tickets for a fourth installment and line up opening night, but it won’t be done with the same level of anticipation. To be honest, I was more fired up by Harry than Peter this time. A large part of this is probably the darker nature of the story. It’s a good story to tell, but the dark edge just takes it away from the raw summer fun status that the first two films hold. I give it 4 out of 6.
The production is still there, with the distinctive Raimi camera moves and angles, the snappy editing, and the direction of the actors to tie it all together. (I particularly liked the way the black suited Spidey never needs his hands to gain balance when landing on a building, while normal Spidey always does.) I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, it’s a quality movie that, while good, just isn’t as good as the previous installments. If you enjoyed the first two you’ll probably enjoy this one, but don’t expect the same quality that we’ve seen before. I give it 4 out of 6.
In total, Spider-Man 3 receives 32 out of 42.
#1 and #2 scores?
What were the scores for #1 and #2?
Re: #1 and #2 scores?
31 and 35 respectively.
Lots of character/plot development
All I can say is that I found myself looking at my watch several times after the first hour.
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Liked it, but…
I really enjoyed it (especially the bit with Bruce Campbell), but there were a couple bits that felt just a little clumsy to me. The introduction of the suit, for instance. I know they couldn’t fit the entire Secret Wars in there, but it just felt awkward, like there were a couple scenes they cut at the last moment without editing the ones around them.
Also, shouldn’t Pete have had some spider-sense warning when Harry came after him at the very beginning?
Re: Liked it, but…
Answer: He did. Harry kept his distance for a while, and swooped in fast. When he did, you can see Peter react before the impact. I got the distinct impression that Harry had tested the limits of the spider sense to maximize his odds of getting through it.
Very good movie
I thought Spider-Man 3 was a very good movie. I think all three movies have been very well done. Looking at this movie, they did a very good job of combining all the story elements together, there was a LOT of plot to fit in.
Initially I was worried, because in the Batman movies, the more villains, the worse the movie gets.
I do have a couple of low points that did bother me:
Harry’s return at the end of the movie… In the second battle between Spider-Man and new goblin, I thought harry was killed by the pumpkin bomb, it would have taken them two seconds to show us he wasn’t killed and was only injured.
Second, the Sandman at the end. I thought he was a little out of character to ask for forgiveness there. Perhaps he was really afraid of Spider-Man there, but he was just trying to beat his brains out there a few seconds ago, and now hes sorry. I think a little bit more of a call for a truce, before looking for forgiveness would have gone better.
Still this was a great superhero movie. Comparing this to Superman Returns and you can see that while the Superman movie was good the Spider-Man movies are great.
Re: Very good movie
Well, they did have the entire section where 1) Pete went to Harry’s place to ask for his help against Venom and Sandman to save MJ, 2) Harry showed the damage to his face and spurned Pete, and 3) Harry’s butler told him Pete didn’t kill his father. All of that was after the pumpkin bomb. So, I think they pretty well covered that. Did you miss that somehow?
Re: Very good movie
No, no I didn’t miss that thats exactly the scene that I meant. When Peter went to Harry’s place was where I was confused, that was exactly the scene I was talking about. Up to that scene I had assumed Harry was killed in the blast in the earlier confrontation.
I liked how it forced the audience to constantly reassess who was a hero, who was a villain, and who was a victim.
I liked it…except for one thing
First off, I wasn’t a real big reader of comics growing up so I can’t say anything about the movie vs. original story…but I thought it flowed pretty well.
The one thing that really bugged me was that the butler waited all this time to tell Harry that it wasn’t Spidey who killed his dad. I mean, WTF? "I’ve seen lots of things I haven’t spoken about…" but he couldn’t have mentioned this one little fact a bit earlier? Like before Harry’s face got melted by a pumpkin bomb? Harry should have killed the butler…that would have made more sense.
But other than that I enjoyed it.
Oh, one other comment: I saw the movie at an IMAX theater, which would have been cool if it wasn’t one of the domed ones. My neck hurt by the end of the movie from all the back and forth looking I had to do to see what was going on. It would have been better seeing it on a regular screen, IMHO.