April 2011

Another blog. About Portland. And other stuff too.

about | archives | twitter | flickr | potma | iphone snapshots | facebook | yelp
rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log


Questions? Comments? Reservations?
anotherportlandblog[at]gmail[dot]com

Another Portland Blog

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

 

The Passion of the Spidey




Spiderman 2 is *not* the best superhero movie ever made. The once, and still champion, is 1980's immortal geek classic Superman 2. Kneel before Zod!

But the last 45 minutes of Spidey come close, real close- closer than that car flying over Peter Parker's head in the cafe. Imagine the most perfect comic book ever brought to life with a billion dollars worth of special effects, full of every plot twist you wish a Hollywood director had the balls and know-how to put up on screen. A subway train is trashed, innocents are flung through lower Manhattan like rag dolls, the hands on a gigantic clock are used as missiles, lives change and even Kristen Dunst's nipples get a good deal of screentime. Without giving away too much, that should be a good approximation of the film's third act.

It's too bad the first two are such a dull slog. Raimi, maybe in an effort to achieve Ang Lee's failed goal with The Hulk, attempts to dramatize these comic book characters and haul them up to the level of Shakespearian tragedy. Instead of Pepsi and Macy Gray, the film is clogged with literary product placement for authors like T.S. Elliot and Oscar Wilde. At one point, Raimi even breaks out a can of Christ-imagery.

Yup, Christ-imagery in a Spiderman movie.

No matter how talented the cast and crew, can a comic movie every receive the sort of respect given to something like Citzen Kane or...Forrest Gump? Doubtful but Spiderman 2 tries its damnedest to swing onto the same pedestal. The cast struggles to make Oscar-caliber performances out of, well, cheesy comic book dialog. Shots of Spidey swooping through rush hour take a back seat to a huge batch of subplots. The movie stops just short of tossing a cross on Tobey Maguire's shoulders but burdens his character with just about every dillemia imaginable. Despite being able to do everything a spider can, he can't quite juggle school, taking photos for the Daily Bugle, an elderly aunt, problems with "emissions," his feelings for MJ, a pizza delivery gig and his night job. Being a wise-cracking superhero isn't as easy as it was back in good ol' 2002 when he just had a gernade-tossing billionare to deal with.

Spiderman 2 buckles under one personal crisis too many and even leaves a few of them unresolved. The film is too long by 20 minutes and a few moments don't make much sense (what's up with the cake scene?). Screentime devoted to Parker's everyday woes should have been used to flesh out his new enemy, the incredibly flippin' cool Dr. Octopus.

At the most, Doc. Ock. gets a grand total of 20 minutes on the screen. He goes from sane scientist to conflicted supervillian at the drop of a fusion experiment gone wrong. Making way for Parker's endless sighing, Ock takes a back seat and doesn't get a chance to raise hell with all those nasty metal tentacles until the film's finale.

It's too bad that Spiderman 2 suffers from the same identity crisis as its protagonist. Should it be a superhero flick or an everday, average tearjerker? The movie is a summer movie trapped in the body of an coming-of-age drama. Regardless, the initial wait in tedium line is well worth the blazing fast roller coaster waiting on the other end. As mentioned earlier, plot twists fly and lives change at the end of the film. This isn't your typical, episodic superhero potboiler. At the screening I attended, people in the audience were actually crying. Go ahead and name the last comic book movie that did that.

Daredevil doesn't count.

The first hour and twenty minutes: C. The last 45: A+.

----

OK, I was hoping to catch the movie at the Newberg Drive-In. I made a mistake and failed to note that it was actually playing at the Cameo Theater. I stood in line with a group of students from nearby George Fox University. Given all the Jesus hat tips in the film, maybe they were on a field trip [rimshot]. As we were all waiting for the box office to open, a car drove by with a guy's bare butt hanging out of an old Chrysler. Someone in the back seat screamed "SPIDERMAN! SPIDERMAN!" as they passed.

The Cameo is an ancient movie palace where the ushers still wander up and down the aisles during screenings with flashlights. After bitching about this endlessly prior to the start time, the freshman undergrad next to me broke out a canteen full of stolen rum. He didn't share.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home


SEARCH THIS BLOG? SURE, NO PROBLEMO, AS BART SIMPSON USED TO SAY....





www.flickr.com




-archives-

  • October 2003
  • November 2003
  • December 2003
  • January 2004
  • February 2004
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011

  • Clicky Web Analytics


    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?