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ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Spider-Man 3(2007)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Sam Raimi

Starring:
Tobey Maguire/Spider-Man/Parker
Kirsten Dunst/MJ
James Franco/New Goblin/Harry
Thomas Haden Church/Sandman/Flint
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Spider Man fights Sandman, New Goblin and Venom. While Peter Parker fights with Mary Jane (again), seeks out Uncle Ben’s killer (again) and starts acting flighty because he’s wearing a cowlick and mommy’s mascara. What’s going here?
THE LOWDOWN
I grew up with the Spider-Man comic book and the many Spidey cartoon incarnations on TV (with the 60’s one being my favorite). When Raimi finally delivered Spider-Man the movie on the big screen, I was blown away by it (Green Goblin design aside). When Part 2 came out, I was pleased once again (and the film has grown on me even more since) and now with Spider-Man 3; the let down begins! Here are 13 reasons as to why Spider-Man 3 shot blank webbing at me, starting my summer movie season with a cinematic bummer.

-WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD-

1- The film took on way too much at the same time; two villains, too many subplots and not enough time to address all of it properly. Result, the flick felt crowded, rushed in some instances and disjointed.

2- Why did Harry’s Goblin look like a skater boy, see ya later boy? Probably for the same reason The Green Goblin in the original was a Tonka suit; TO SELL TOYS! Bugh…

3- Was it me or did the two lead actors Toby Mcguire and Kirsten Dunst phone in their performances without dialing *69 beforehand? Where was the heart and conviction? NOT HERE!

4- The tension between Peter Parker and MJ within their relationship was fueled by utter stupidity in this second sequel (i.e. simpleton writing). They had the communication skills of deaf and blind toads in this one! How long they've been going out again? A while no? Why they’re still fighting as if they were in Grade 1 is beyond me. It's called "communication" kids! Sad…

5- In this entry, MJ has become a self centered, overly sensitive ball breaker that needs a tan and some burgers shoved down her throat. I’m supposed to feel sympathy for this character? WOW! Parker, dump that trinket already, you can do MUCH better.

6- If I was supposed to buy Harry’s amnesia (what a silly subplot) and Harry getting a scratch on his face after a bomb blew up inches away from his head; then I guess I should buy that Elvis is still alive and well living in Honolulu, working at some Big Cahuna Burger joint.

7- Jonah Jameson was underused and misused. And why was Gwen Stacy in this film again? Like really? EXACTLY!

8- Why does Sandman have to keep reminding himself of the motive behind what he’s doing (looking at a locket of his daughter)? Is his short term memory that weak? Sand is getting to his noggin or what??? Oh… wait…that was meant for us! For us to retain sympathy towards the character. Talk about underestimating one’s audience.

9- Instead of doing its own thing and progressing off the base Part 1 and 2 established, Part 3’s storyline just back-tracked to regurgitate elements from the first two films. Love triangle (with Harry)? Check! Uncle Ben’s (new) killer getting in the mix once again? Check! MJ in distress for the final act? Check! And the list goes on! Can you spell recycccllling? I obvioulsy can’t, but Spider-Man 3 sure could!

10- The tone was all over the place! Where the first two films managed to remain somewhat grounded even within their comic book settings; this one just went total cheeky on my ass. Jameson’s vibrating desk???? PLEASSSE! Too far! Peter Parker embracing the dark side equals him doing pelvic thrusts in the streets and gun finger pointing at chicks? WTF? Talk about ruining a potentially gripping subplot (Evil Parker/Spidey) by turning it into a flat-out joke! I was definitely laughing at the film during them scenes, not with it! Embarrassing!

11 - Why does bad Parker adopt a full on "emo" look when affected by the alien black suit with hair grease and mascara in tow? I thought having the evil within him amplified would make the lad more manly, not turn him into a drag queen in training.

12- The many relationships found in the film were far from credible with the Harry/Peter one really pushing the limits in the "I love you", "I want to kill you", rinse and repeat department. WOW! Those guys are worse than them bitches on the O.C.!

13- Lots of the plot turns were triggered by convenient and far fetched coincidences. Some may say "its a comic book movie, let it go", I say it's lazy writing. I expect better than that from a Spider Man film.

Now don’t get me wrong the film wasn’t a total loss. The pace was surprisingly easy for such a choppy effort; some of the action scenes delivered hardcore as to staging, ambition and execution (the early ones anyways – that final one sucked spider-balls), Bruce Campbell’s cameo was mucho funny and Venom looked AWESOME (when we saw him that is-last block only). Furthermore when the CGI effects were on, they were on while both Topher Grace and James Franco constantly stole the show! If only the flick had stuck to one villain, kept Venom for Part 4 (he deserves his own film) and did something fresh instead of going around in circles to give us the same damn thing all over again. Consider this Spidey fan unhappy…sniff, sniff…

GORE
We get some minor blood here and there and some light brutality. Venom has nice sharp teeth too!
ACTING
Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man/Peter Parker) had one really good acting moment (bridge/park scene) and the rest of the time he felt like he didn’t want to be there. If Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane) loses more weight; she’ll be invisible. James Franco (New Goblin/Harry Osborn) was given some dumb shite to do (amnesia) but stole the show when the “evil” cap was on (restaurant scene had me clapping). Thomas Haden Church (Sandman/Flint Marko) superceded the meh script and managed to give his character a semblance of depth. Solid actor! Topher Grace (Venom/Eddie Brock) robbed every scene he was in from under the cast’s noses. What an engaging and hilarious show! Props man! I didn’t know Bryce Dallas Howard (Gwen Stacy) could look this attractive! Thanks Spidey 3 for that! Rosemary Harris (May Parker) has a monologue or two while J.K. Simmons (J. Jonah Jameson) did a sweet Jameson cameo this time around... minus cigar.
T & A
NATHING! Although I’d tap that Gwen Stacy ass in a heartbeat! Yes, I’m a romantic at heart!
DIRECTING
I never thought I’d say this word alongside the name Sam Raimi but its happening right freaking now: serviceable. Raimi did what he had to do and that was that on that. The style, energy and obvious love for the material he displayed in Part 1 and 2 didn't shine through this one. Cashing that check and moving on!
SOUNDTRACK
Composer Danny Elfman and his intoxicating score were sorely missed here. Christopher Young’s score was just “there” rarely evoking anything other than background sound.
BOTTOM LINE
With the symbiotic suit, Harry's vengeful cravings and Venom in the house, I was expecting Spider-Man 3 to be the darkest of the series! Didn't happen! Instead I got the most immature and vacuous of them all. The money was on the screen (at $250 million it better be), some giggles were on hand, the early action bits rocked hard and I was entertained randomly throughout. Its hard for me to not love Spider-Man, even when he flops! With that said, the heart was gone, lots of check cashing was going on and instead of a full fledge narrative that built on what Part 1-2 set up, I got a slew of recycled vignettes flimsily webbed together that tried to do everything at the same time; hence doing... not much. My Spidey sense says; its time for a new creative team behind this franchise; obviously the one that’s there now is either sick of the material or is out of juice. Is this the end of Spider Man? I hope not! He deserves a better Swan Song than this!
BULL'S EYE
All the Raimi brothers worked this film! Sam Raimi directed, Ivan Raimi worked teh script and Ted Raimi played Hoffman.

Word has it that Vulture was initially going to be in this one but was replaced by Venom.

Thomas Haden Church trained for 16 months to play Sandman.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL SPIDERMAN 3 SITE HERE

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