Okay, so much for trying to post every day to get caught up. It's amazing how easily your time gets eaten up when you have less to do. I'll have to work on that this summer...but for now, I'm going to post something that was not even on my list of upcoming posts: a review of Spider-Man 3 that I had written back on opening weekend and then never posted so that I didn't spoil it for anyone. I guess the statute of limitations has run out by now, so here's the big post (as written on May 4).
Last night I went out with my coworkers and watched the midnight showing of Spider-Man 3. However, it would not be fair for me to give a bunch of spoilers to everyone else who did not go to the midnight showing, so I'm not going to actually post this article for several weeks to give people a chance to see it. So here's my disclaimer again: The following review contains major spoilers and expects familiarity with all parts of the plot, including the ending, so don't read it if you don't want the movie spoiled.
First, my critical review: I enjoyed the movie. I don't feel like it met the high standards set by the first two, but it was an overall enjoyable movie. I had three major concerns with it: first, it felt like they were trying too hard in this film. The first two films were known for their "more is less" mentality, but this one went all-out to try and wow and impress. The best example of this is that there are four major villains in this film, which just feels like too many. The special effects were great (especially on Sandman), and the backstories were good, but not fleshed out because there was too much going on. Second, the editing felt poorly done. So many times I felt whipped around, like they were trying to fit too many things in, so they just had to show me this--and then that--and then this because we were running out of done.
Third, much of the humor felt very campy and out of place in this film. Both of the earlier films had moments of humor, but this one played up the jokes significantly, especially during the time when Peter is under the influence of the black suit. For example, he breaks out into a whole dance sequence at one point, which personally left me thinking, "What on earth?" It seemed like the audience was constantly being led to laugh at times when a laugh felt out of place (part of this was because of some very melodramatic moments that came between Harry and MJ). However, the French waiter did not feel out of place (at least to me), and I quite enjoyed it (it felt very John Cleese-esque...in fact, at first I thought it was John Cleese).
So those were my critical comments, but I also found some great thinking moments I wanted to comment on. Overall I thought that the alien symbiote that first took over Peter and then Eddie Brock made some great points about the nature of sin (although not perfect by any means). It was a sort of Jekyll/Hyde adventure, where Peter loves the power rush that putting on the black suit gives him, but soon finds that it is possessing him and turning him into something terrible. When he finally tries to free himself from it, it is intensely difficult. When it takes over Eddie, turning him into Venom, he loves the way it makes him feel angry, and at the very end, when Peter gives him the opportunity to escape from its clutches, he runs back in and embraces it as it is destroyed, taking him with it. He is so attached to the anger that he is willing to be destroyed rather than part with it. It is sad, but it's a great picture of how sin grabs onto our lives, makes us feel good, but eventually destroys us.
So it was an imperfect film and could have been much better, but I did enjoy it. If you want to see a great superhero film, though, watch the first two and Batman Begins. Those are the cream of the crop.