Pat Coston Movie Reviews

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spider-Man 3

I just noticed that they spell Spiderman as Spider-Man. I checked out some comic book covers and sometimes they use the dash and sometimes they don't.

I actually went to see Jim Carrie movie "The Number 23" because I have tickets to see Spider-Man 3 next weekend. My gym rented out an entire theater so I bought two tickets for RM 10 (USD 2.85).

When I got to the Gurney Mall I saw posters for "The Number 23" everywhere including behind the woman selling tickets. I had confirmed the day and time on the Internet and in the Sunday newspaper but when I asked for a ticket they said that "The Number 23" had been canceled because of Spider-Man 3.

That makes sense. They sell-out theaters for Spider-Man 3 and a few people go to see "The Number 23", it makes sense to inconvenience a few people so that hundreds don't get disappointed but still I was a little annoyed. This has happened before when I came to see the Malaysian movie Ciplak about pirating DVD movies in Malaysia. Nobody was coming to see Ciplak so they canceled it even though they still listed it on the Internet and in the newspaper. It makes sense. Why play a movie for an empty theater wasting that electricity and causing extra wear and tear on the film and equipment.

Never once in my life in the US have I ever gone to see a movie and the theater reports that it is canceled and yet it has happened to me twice in Malaysia in the past 6 months. I'm actually OK with it because like Spock said "The needs of the many outweigh out weigh the needs of the few". Actually that's not exactly what he said but close enough.

Quoting Star Trek is not easy for example Kirk never said "Beam me up Scotty". The closest he came was in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, when he said "Scotty, Beam me up!" No future Star Trek movie will ever say those words either because the actor who played Scotty, James Doohan, died in 2005.

I decided not to see Spider-Man 3 so I saw Wild Hogs instead. That was a fun movie full of movie stars. Some light fluff for a Sunday afternoon. The audience certainly enjoyed it more than I did. They were laughing hardily at every little thing.

After Wild Hogs, I was still in the mood for a movie so I got back in line to buy myself a ticket but the movie time was flashing orange on the monitor meaning that tickets were being sold fast and it was about to be sold out. It's no big deal if it had because there was a showing every half hour so I would not have had to wait long but I was able to get into that show but I probably should have waited because I think I got the last seat.

In Malaysia you choose where you want to sit. They show you a monitor showing available seats and you can see where the screen is. The rows have letters and the seats have numbers it's like playing Battleship, you will say, I'll have J10. That is row 10 from the back and 10 seats over from the left but this time I had no choice. I literally got the last seat in the theater which was near the back row.

I wonder what would happen if two people chose the same seat at the same time. One would probably get it and the other person would probably be told it is taken. I wonder about this when choosing a seat for an airplane on the web. Obviously they have to have a way to handle this but it's never come up.

So now I'm due to see Spider-Man 3 twice which is good because you always see new things the second time. Actually you could see Spider-Man 3 ten times and you would still see new things each time because some of the action sequences happen so fast, you can't possible see everything that is happening.

I thought the chase scene of the New Goblin and Spider-Man were a little too fast to follow. I wasn't sure what was happening at times. They really tried to amp up the action but maybe they pushed it too far.

When I read about Spider-Man 3, I wondered how they were going to pack all of the different story lines into a two hour movie. You had the Sandman, the New Goblin, the black symbiote Spider-Man suit, Venom and the love affair with Mary Jane Watson but somehow they fit it in and made it all work.

There was a child sitting behind me that would break out crying any time something scary happened on screen. This child must be totally traumatized by this movie because the parents never left the theater. They made the kid sit it out even though the kid was bawling over and over. That's a form of child abuse of you ask me. As we all know, you're supposed to take crying babies to the lobby. Oh wait, that's in the US. I have never seen that policy posted anywhere in Malaysia.

As I've said before, watching a movie in Malaysia sucks because they cut it and Spider-Man 3 is no different. I'm not sure what language, sex or violence was cut but I was aware of several jumps. It sucks to see movie in Malaysia not to mention that annoying sub-titles in Chinese and Malay.

I read that Spider-Man 3 is the most expensive movie ever made because of the CG sand. The final effect was pretty cool at times but they went to a lot of effort mapping every grain of sand in detail that is far more minute than anyone can see. It's like in the movie Monsters, Inc. when they mapped every hair of the big blue monster. Is it really necessary?

It's interesting how the Spider-Man movies deviate from the comic book for example he has organic web shooters instead of mechanical ones.

The suit came from a meteor in space instead of fabricated on some distant planet during the Secret Wars. I'm not sure of Eddie Brock's fate in the comic but they killed him off and the symbiote. In the comic book the symbiote lives on bonding with other hosts for example creating a villain named Carnage was splits off from Venom. Venom actually helps Spider-Man fight Carnage. The symbiote is currently bonded to The Scorpion so the story of the symbiote goes on in the comic book but is finished for the movies.

I laughed when Spider-Man said "Where do these guys keep coming from?" If you think too much (which you should avoid with movies like this) you will see that all of these super villains seem to show up in New York City at the same time Spider-Man was there. What a coincidence! That meteor just happened to crash right next to Spider-Man and the symbiote just happened to latch onto his motorbike and follow him home.

I thought it was funny how they made the Daily Bugle building the Flatiron Building. It does not match the how it looked in the comics.

Stan Lee has a cameo appearance where he imparts some wisdom to Peter Parker although I'm forgetting what it was. I'm wondering how many movies Stan Lee has had a cameo in. Stephen King likes to get a cameo in his movies just like Alfred Hitchcock. It makes sense. If I were big and famous and making movies, I'd do the same thing. It's kind of fun but since they're not actors, their performances often feel awkward, forced and out of place as was the case with Stan Lee and his performance.

I'm not a big fan of the Sandman so I wasn't looking forward to that but I really liked the flying snowboard for the New Goblin. Harry Osborn situation reminded me of Batman. Both are wealthy and both have a butler who knows their secret. I won't spoil the ending but I really like the words of wisdom imparted to Harry Osborn from his butler that turn things around for Spider-Man.

I hope they never use Hydro-Man. He's as bad as the Sandman. Stopping a man made of sand or water is nearly impossible. Let's stick with villains that are a bit more realistic.

As for Spider-Man 4 and his next villains to face, I'd like to see the Kingpin, Lizard, Mysterio and the Hobgoblin. In the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man has crossed paths with pretty much everyone including the Hulk, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Daredevil, Captain America, The Punisher, Electra, Ghost Rider, Silver Surfer and Iron Man. Technically Marvel could do a cross-over movie sequel with all of these Marvel movies.

There is a scene where a crane strikes a building and a woman falls 30 stories. I had flashbacks of people jumping out of the World Trade Center twin towers. I don't know if they meant to mimic that but it felt eerie.

The final scene of the movie is a low key and you get the feeling that the movie is almost over. This apparently is a signal to half of the people in the audience to pull out their mobile phones and check for text messages. Suddenly dozens of bright mobile phone screens light up all over the place. It is as rude as talking to someone on the phone because that bright light is shining in my eyes distracting me from the movie. If I was Spider-Man I would have sprayed my web and snatched up all those phones and thrown them at the exit door for everyone to trample on.


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