Tv blabs, movie blabs, book blabs. Lots of blab, but no flab.

Monday, July 5

Spiderman 2 - The Amazing Spiderman

In the 5 days it has been open, I've been twice. That doesn't happen to me very often, but I liked it enough to be willing to go twice in close succession.

'That's it, that's the spot. Oh yeah, scratch it!'Spiderman 2 begins 2 years after the events of Spiderman 1. Not that hard to grasp. Peter Parker is struggling to maintain his grades at college, trying to keep a pizza delivery job and, you know, save people. Life's not great. Harry Osborn has taken over Oscorp Industries. He's still in mourning over his Father's death, and takes to the bottle for solace. His hatred and sworn vengeance for Spiderman is intensified by his alcoholism. Mary-Jane Watson is a successful actor and model. Her face appears on billboards around New York. She still loves Peter but that doesn't stop her from dating.

Spiderman 2 is visually a big step up from the first. Sam Raimi has shaken loose the studio reins and takes the camera further than before. I dare anyone not to be impressed by the web slinging sequences. If you felt like you were flying in the first, then you'd better hold onto your armrests, because you will be flying along with Spiderman again.

It's behind you!The Big Bad is Doc Ock. A man who has 4 mechanical arms attached to his back. I am unfamiliar with the comic, and don't know the history of the characters, so I assumed that Doc Ock was going to be another bad guy who did something monstrous to himself because of his lust for power, like the Green Goblin. This doesn't lend itself to creating an opponent who can easily be feared. I find most of them weak and annoying. Doc Ock isn't one of that ilk. In fact, he's hardly a nemesis to Spiderman at all. He only hunts him down when he has something to gain from it.

Alfred Molina portrays a likeable and very human Otto Octavius. His role as the Comte De Reynaud in Chocolat is the role I remember the best. I was glad to see him cast as Doc Ock. The mechanical arms attached to his back are amazing. A combination of CGI, puppetry and animatronics, the arms are a character in their own right. By combining the three techniques to bring them to life means I could rarely tell what was real or not.

The arms bring me to one of the things I didn't like about this film.

The danger of giving a director more freedom is they can make a bad choice. This bad choice was to feature so many to-the-camera close-up screams. This sort of technique should be left to schlock horror and parodies like Scary Movie. Rather than intensify the horror of the moment it detracted from it.

Public Safety Advice: Train Riding is Dangerous!The train fight sequence was excellent. Fighting on a train, with all the dangers therein, created an intense, well choreographed and executed sequence. A lady sitting at the end of my row was vocalising her reactions all through this part. It wasn't distracting, in fact it made the scene more enjoyable, because I was thinking the ooh and eeks she was saying.

Peter Parker's story is the ups and downs of being a masked superhero. Trying to find a balance. Something most of us are likely to be doing. I fully understand why chose to give up the super business (being a superhero myself. Shhh!) and how rough the guilt about not helping must be.

Tobey Maguire delivers an excellent performance, as is expected. There were a few for many lingering close-ups of Peter looking forlorn, but that's easily forgiven.

'I'm wet again.'Kirsten Dunst needs to re-evaluate her hair and makeup team. She should be the 'girl next door'. Instead, for most of the film she looks like they stopped doing her hair and makeup halfway. It is brought more into focus because the first shot of the film is a billboard image that is airbrushed beyond belief. No one can stand up to that comparison. Perhaps it should be a new clause in stars' contracts that beauty should be evenly presented throughout a film.

Spoiler Alert for those who know nothing about the film.

The wedding sequence at the end was a complete waste of time. It oozed cliche. Spiderman saved MJ during the night. Sure that was enough time, probably 12 hours, to make her decision not to get hitched. Yet, she still waits to get into the dress before she runs away. Ridiculous. It served no purpose but to pay off a caviar joke.

Spoiler Over

A very enjoyable film that is a worthy sequel of the first. It lags a little in the middle, but not enough to induce sleep. With the set for film three quite concrete, three years is going to be a long wait for the next one.

(All pictures copyright Sony Pictures)

4 viewers interjected with:

Blogger MuzeKez said...

Love your captions on the pics, particularly the first with Spidey and Doc Ock. Made me giggle!

5/7/04 11:10 am

Blogger Casyn said...

Thankyou :-)

I aim to please. Well not actually. I just write down the things that make me laugh. Am glad they were funny to someone else!

5/7/04 4:43 pm

Blogger Draic said...

Captions? I didn't notice captions! Will be checking that out...

I remember you being much more critical after we saw it. Led me to believe you didn't like the movie, in fact. So I was all ready to tell you how absolutely certain I was that the second was sooo much better than the first, having revisited the original this week.

Horrible puns, gaps in logic, horrible puns, schizophrenia and more horrible puns. Oh, and the very, very rubbery Elastic Spider, who does all these cool (but unrealistic) moves in the first that are nowhere to be seen in the second (though I'm thankful for it).

One of the things I stopped to think about was that Peter Parker suddenly knows how to do backflips, etc. Suddenly gaining amazing strength and athleticism is different from being able to use it.

12/7/04 12:35 am

Blogger Casyn said...

To read the captions. Just hover your mouse over the little pics in the post. In theory, a text box will appear above the pic, saying something humorous about the pic. Well, humorous to me anyway.

12/7/04 12:51 am


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