NOTES ON ENTERTAINMENT, CULTURE AND MORE FROM KOREA (OR WHEREVER)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Craptacular Spider-Lame

Okay, I am not a big fan of people (often on the web) who endlessly and cruelly pile on the insults and witty put-downs on movies they dislike. However, if I were such a person, I would be insulting and putting down SPIDER-MAN 3. Wow, it was bad.

I just watched it (it made its debut a few days early in this part of the world), and I was so disappointed. It was basically a two-hour talkathon soap opera, with a 15-minute action finish. Now, if the talky stuff was well-done and interesting, I would have been fine with it. But S3 was no Eric Rohmer film. Or a Tarantino. Or anything. It was comic-book deep (and I don't mean Alan Moore), with endless cliches and silly melodrama.

As for the action, we had three villains this time, which was way too much for this movie. There just was not enough screen time to introduce each villain, show his origin, and create a personal conflict with Spider-Man.

Despite the excess of super-powered characters, there was surprisingly little action. And most of that action was completely random and disjointed, not organic to the flow of the film at all. But after 100 minutes, we were still sitting through endless exposition and platitudes and nonsense. My friend and I were crazy bored.

Basically, S3 feels like the studio had two or three ideas floating around and no one could decide which one to use, so they used them all.

Anyhow, I am dramatically downgrading my estimates on how well SPIDER-MAN 3 will do. Doubtlessly it will have a big opening, but it is going to crash hard and fast, especially once SHREK 3 is released in a couple of weeks. Here is Korea, I think it should still get around 1.5 million or 1.7 million admissions by the end of Sunday. But I doubt the film will pass 4 million. Definitely not pass 5 million.

Ugh. What a disappointment.

4 comments:

daninbusiness said...

While I am a fan of your blog and your previous postings, I must respectfully disagree with your posting related to Spider-Man 3.

I just got back from seeing it here in China, and our group of 8 were all very pleased with it.

While I admit that the villian's characters could have been developed in more detail; I think that the movie did a fair and respectable job as it was.

The action scenes were solid and fast paced.

I guess I'm not expecting Oscar-quality acting and story lines from a comic book movie; but the Spider-Man franchise thus far has been special in both keeping the spirit of the comic book alive while not beeing completely predictable. I think Spider-Man 3 does justice to the series and will probably be enjoyed by the majority of people watching it.

On the other hand, at the theater I went to at 21:00, the crowd was quite sparse...you could pretty much sit where ever you wanted.

Either we were going to a very unpopular theater, or that people in Shenzhen, China are not excited about seeing Spiderman 3.

Regardless, I still gotta say that I think the movie did not suck and was certainly not "Spider-lame".

John from Daejeon said...

I've read a few of the early critiques of the new Spider-Man 3 movie, and this one in particular is so very negative. I even expected to walk into one of the worst films in the history of film-kind, definitely not a film that focuses on such issues as humility, forgiveness, redemption, friendship, hope, and love in a time on this planet when they are so greatly needed. I was never led to believe that this film would be on par with the likes of Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane, or The Big Sleep, but it was a solid couple of hours of diversion from my stress-filled and media overloaded world. Plus, the photography was absolutely stunning and the special effects were awesome. This is probably the last film of the series with the original cast, and with over 45 years of thousands of comic issues of back story and only a little over two hours of run time, something did have to give. Overall, Mr. Raimi did an admirable job given the amount of material in which he had to choose from without alienating the core comic fans (me included) while appealing to those with limited or no knowledge of the web head.

Bloggers' words can convince others not to see something that may actually inspire them to overcome their insecurities, or how to learn from their mistakes and overcome them, or help them to believe that there is more to this world and we all aren't all down here struggling in vain. “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.” Too bad every budding Shakespeare with a blog doesn't take to heart the real meaning of Spidey's words a little more.

BTW, check out Spider-Girl. Peter's daughter deserves her own movie franchise. May “May Day” Parker is her father's daughter.

Blue Sunflower said...

I'm so agreeing with you. I'm such an avid fan of Spiderman. I watched previous sequel over and over again. I feel like from all movie taken from a comic, spiderman is the only movie that I think have a heart. I can still the comic side with the amazing effect but same time I can feel the conflict and emotion of each character. That's why I can't wait to watch part 3. Can you imagine I watch this movie alone 2pm on working day yesterday - means skip work, well long lunch time? But somehow in the middle of the movie bores me. I can't feel any emotion. The conflict is not believable, the plot is too much, the effect is not that great, and the ending is just sour for me, esp when Peter Parker told the audience about the choice...Just doesn't connect with me.
So, I left the theater with such big dissapointment...
And somehow I can feel that the audience - half full & mostly students - didn't very impressed with this sequel cos I can hear some is laughing and even booing at the unbelievable scene...
Oh well, there goes one bad movie sequel...
Hopefully Sam Raimi didn't think to make Spiderman4, if he tried to make same lame sequel like Spiderman 3...

gordsellar said...

What was interesting about this version of Spider Man was that it really tried hard to be more like the comic books. Visually, they were using much more comic-book-like shots to stylize characters and scenes, to drive images home in a way characteristic of the comic's origins. That's cool.

But that's not enough to make up for the film. As the story progressed, we could see more and more that Spider Man is, really, just a kind of deputized law enforcement officer. When poor people are screwed, Spider Man doesn't have the right to care or act on their behalf, but he can sure bust them when they break the law.

The inexorable moral logic of the film is that Spidey's on the side of good, and the side of good protects the property and power of the (mostly unseen) elite. The elite can become "good" by pitching in at the last moment by using their power to prevent any kind of interruption of the status quo. The black Spider Man could as easily have been protrayed not as the dark side of law-abiding Spider Man, but as the side of him that questions prevailing moral superhero logic.

After all, the first Superman comics involved a hero who was fighting on the side of the poor, the screwed-over working class. He cruelly punished and sometimes even killed some extreme exploiters like crooked businessmen. The original Superman would have shamed the city for allowing a poor father to become so desperate for his ill daughter that he had to go on a crime spree.

Because the film directly confronts the idea of the superhero's moral code -- something implicit in most mainstream comic books today -- the film cannot but help look inadequate and stupid when Spidey decides that his moral calling is one that protects the status quo even when that makes him complicit with a society which ignores the unfair inequalities within the society. After all, we see Sandman fly away, we see Spidey swing off victorious, the new Green Goblin becomes good by crushing the Sandman and black Spidey's rebellion, and what happens to the little sick girl? She's forgotten. She has to be forgotten or else the movie's moralizing comes up hollow.

So, just like the revolution in V for Vendetta -- the film version -- the moral dilemma in Spider Man 3 is a fake one, a weak and simple one with a preordained, and rather boring, answer.

That's why I hated Spider Man 3.